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!
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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
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.
AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER EXCERPT
Testifying in a Murder Trial
The Cumberland Courthouse was packed, cheek to jowl, between old wooden walls. “Jefferson’s daughter,” someone said as I entered, and the courtroom erupted, every gawker and gossip-monger in the county craning their necks to get a better look. “Mrs. Randolph!” someone else cried, but beneath the white satin bow and broad rim of my fashionable hat, I kept my eyes on the magistrates—sixteen men in powdered wigs in whose hands the fate of my family’s reputation now resided.
I made my way through the crowd with the gliding gait I had learned at the Court of Versailles, my skirts swishing, white lace upon blue-ruffled petticoat, while whispers flew from one row of wooden benches to the next.
Is her gown from Paris?
She’s wearing a revolutionary cockade!
What will she say?
I knew the lawyers for the defense. The fire-breathing Patrick Henry and the grim-faced John Marshall. Federalists. Both men nodded to me respectfully, as if they thought I didn’t know them to be my father’s enemies. As if those glory-seeking creatures thought to convince me, for even one moment, that they wouldn’t use whatever happened in the trial to tarnish my father in the papers if they could.
I smiled serenely as I was called to stand beneath the drape of red, white, and blue—the colors of both beloved flags I’d seen waved to champion the cause of freedom. Pushing artfully coiffed copper ringlets of hair from my face, I looked out into a crowd of old Virginia gentry in fine coats and breeches, frontier planters wearing hunting shirts and homespun, and housewives in mobcaps and bonnets.
Some were friendly. Others were eager to see the Randolphs fall.
Offered a leather-bound Bible on which to swear, I was informed that the charge was murder. A fact I knew all too well. Murder of an infant, punishable by death. As my hand hovered above the Bible, I glanced at the accused. My sister-in-law and her vile seducer. Richard looked smug, but Nancy trembled.
Beneath my gloved hand I felt the warmth of the leather. If ever there was a time to repair my breach with God, I thought, it was now. So I swore my sacred and solemn oath to tell the truth.
Then I thought of the promise I had made to my mother to care for my father always. I thought of the sacrifices I’d made toward that end. A stain on Tom would be a stain on my father’s name, too. A stain on all of us.
“It was gum guaiacum,” I said, when put to question, my hand still upon the leather Bible. “That’s what Nancy Randolph had been taking in her tea.”
At the table for the defense, John Marshall didn’t look up; he merely continued to scribble notes of the proceedings. His co-counsel, Patrick Henry, however, threw me a look that blazed with surprise. Coming closer, Mr. Henry asked, “How could you possibly know this, Miss Jefferson?”
“Mrs. Randolph,” I corrected. “I’m a married woman now.” He hadn’t called me to testify at this hearing, after all, because he suspected I knew anything material. I hadn’t been anywhere near the Harrison place when the wicked deed was allegedly done. I’d already told him this before the hearing, but he’d insisted on calling me anyway. These two Federalist lawyers had called me to perform at this spectacle for one reason, and one reason only—to embarrass my father. To connect the Jefferson name to this scandal by whatever means necessary, even while arguing on behalf of my Randolph kin.
They thought they were so clever. They thought they knew my father’s weak spots. Maybe they did. But they didn’t know me or mine. “You’re asking how I know Nancy Randolph took gum guaiacum?”
I let my eyes slide past the old firebrand to settle upon my pale and trembling sister-in-law and the devil that brought us all to this state. Not Richard—though he, too, was a villain—but Colonel Randolph, whose indifference to his children had sent them fleeing his house. There the old buzzard stood, gouty and in ill health, doing nothing whatsoever to save his own daughter’s life.
And standing next to him was Gabriella Harvie, with a sweet smile on her face, as if she weren’t half to blame for driving her stepdaughter to such peril. Richard stood accused, but Nancy’s life was at stake, too. Popular sentiment ran so strongly against them that the prisoner had to be taken to the jail under heavy guard. If this hearing went badly, he’d face the gallows, because murder was a capital offense. Adultery, fornication, incest, and bastardy were crimes, too, but I doubted anyone could remember the last time someone was prosecuted for those, even here in Virginia. No, it was the death of the baby that’d put Richard in his grave, and Nancy thereafter—for she’d be charged with infanticide, the only crime for which women were legally presumed guilty, rather than innocent.
Knowing this, I steeled myself. I made sure not to look at my tall, beautiful, but temperamental husband. And though each false word bit at the edge of my tongue with the sharp conviction of the guillotine, I let the blade fly.
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.
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.