We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Blog Tour for Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie’s AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER, a historical fiction novel is published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins, and releasing March 1, 2016! AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER is a compelling, richly researched novel by bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie. Drawing from thousands of letters and original sources, the authors reveal the fascinating, untold story of Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph, Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter. Patsy was one of the most influential women in American history: not only the progeny of a founding father – and the woman who held his secrets close to her heart – but a key player in the shaping of our nation’s legacy. And her story is one seldom told, until now. Make sure you grab your copy today!
About AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER:
In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph—a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy.
From her earliest days, Patsy Jefferson knows that though her father loves his family dearly, his devotion to his country runs deeper still. As Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, she becomes his helpmate, protector, and constant companion in the wake of her mother’s death, traveling with him when he becomes American minister to France.
It is in Paris, at the glittering court and among the first tumultuous days of revolution, that fifteen-year-old Patsy learns about her father’s troubling liaison with Sally Hemings, a slave girl her own age. Meanwhile, Patsy has fallen in love—with her father’s protégé William Short, a staunch abolitionist and ambitious diplomat. Torn between love, principles, and the bonds of family, Patsy questions whether she can choose a life as William’s wife and still be a devoted daughter.
Her choice will follow her in the years to come, to Virginia farmland, Monticello, and even the White House. And as scandal, tragedy, and poverty threaten her family, Patsy must decide how much she will sacrifice to protect her father’s reputation, in the process defining not just his political legacy, but that of the nation he founded.
Needless to say, this book is very different from the books I’ve read from Ms. Kamoie’s Laura Kaye persona, and it’s my first from Ms. Dray, though we have a few of her books over here in the never-ending, towering TBR (and signed too! We met both authors at the Baltimore Book Festival). There’s no excuse, really, because I do enjoy historical fiction–so now I’m definitely going to have to pick one up more sooner than later.
As in, as soon as I can find one of them in the disaster area Mini Moe #2 calls her room. But I digress…
I didn’t know a whole lot about Patsy Jefferson going in. Several years ago I’d read Cokie Roberts’ Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation , which she was featured in, along with a dozen or so other women, but the details are pretty fuzzy. What I know about Thomas Jefferson mainly comes from studying and teaching American history and reading books like Joseph J. Ellis’s Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation and American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies at the Founding of the Republic . My views now of both of them are even more torn than they were going in! Such a contradictory pair…there were times in the novel that I really wasn’t sure I even liked them at that point, yet I couldn’t put it down.
History always looks so much cozier–and cleaner–from 200+ years in the future, doesn’t it? It’s hard to remember that things were so up in the air for so many years for our country…and hearing Patsy talk about the tumultuous elections she lived through really puts our current craziness into perspective. I have all kinds of respect for Patsy; even though I don’t agree with every decision and choice that she made, the authors definitely made me see why she might have gone that route. The poor woman, she was practically pregnant her entire adult life (until blessed menopause, anyway), and she stilll got so much done. There were always so many demands on her time–from her father, her husband, her children, Washington society…
And on top of all that, until both her father and her husband died, her life truly wasn’t her own. Once again I am so glad to not have lived in that time period, because slaves weren’t the only ones considered property. When her eldest daughter’s husband snarled that he’d beat his wife until she remembered her place? I got chills. And I lost track of how many times the last few chapters had me tearing up as I read–really, so, so good.
But now I’m dying to go visit Monticello. And D.C. again–but mostly Monticello 🙂
The authors’ notes and discussion at the end were just as interesting, and they give an extensive bibliography at the end that has caused my TBR to grow yet again. Barbara Chase-Riboud’s Sally Hemings is definitely up near the top…
Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review–but then went out and about the audio version (nicely done) and the paperback version too, just because.
About Stephanie Dray:
STEPHANIE DRAY is an award-winning, bestselling and two-time RITA award nominated author of historical women’s fiction. Her critically acclaimed series about Cleopatra’s daughter has been translated into eight different languages and won NJRW’s Golden Leaf. As Stephanie Draven, she is a national bestselling author of genre fiction and American-set historical women’s fiction. She is a frequent panelist and presenter at national writing conventions and lives near the nation’s capital. Before she became a novelist, she was a lawyer, a game designer, and a teacher. Now she uses the stories of women in history to inspire the young women of today.
About Laura Kamoie:
Laura Kamoie has always been fascinated by the people, stories, and physical presence of the past, which led her to a lifetime of historical and archaeological study and training. She holds a doctoral degree in early American history from The College of William and Mary, published two non-fiction books on early America, and most recently held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before transitioning to a full-time career writing genre fiction as the New York Times bestselling author of over twenty books, Laura Kaye. Her debut historical novel, America’s First Daughter, co-authored with Stephanie Dray, allowed her the exciting opportunity to combine her love of history with her passion for storytelling. Laura lives among the colonial charm of Annapolis, Maryland with her husband and two daughters.
Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie’s AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER Blog Tour Schedule:
What Is That Book About – Guest Post
Only One More Page – Review
A Fortress of Books – Excerpt
For the Love of Books & Alcohol – Review
My Girlfriends Nook Korner – Review
Talking Books Blog – Excerpt
Smexy& Fabulous – Excerpt
Ramblings From This Chick – Excerpt
Maari Loves Her Indies – Excerpt
This Wacky Momma Reads – Review
Roxy’s Reviews – Excerpt
Brooke Blogs – Excerpt
A Diary of a Book Addict – Review
E-Reading After Midnight – Guest Post
Small Review – Guest Post
Sassy Moms Say Read Romance – 2 Reviews
Leeanna.me – Review
Creative Madness Mama – Excerpt
A Dream Within A Dream – Guest Post
Chick with Books – Review
Vagabonda Reads – Review
Mama Reads Hazel Sleeps – Review
Movies, Shows & Books – Excerpt
I Read Indie – Excerpt
No BS Book Reviews – Interview
My fictional escape – Review
Words with Sarah – Review
The Maiden’s Court – Review
Unabridged Chick – Review
The Book Cellar – Interview
Becky on Books – Review
Sofia Loves Books – Review
A Soccer Mom’s Book Blog – Review
One Book At A Time – Review
Curling Up by the Fire – Review
A Bookish Affair – Interview
Curled Up and Cozy – Review
Into the Hall of Books – Review
Margie’s Must Reads – Review
Book Talk – Review
JB’s Book Obsession – Excerpt
Genre Queen – Review
Leigh Anderson Romance – Interview