Donna Everhart

First Sentence Friday and Free Book Friday!

Hello Readers!

Welcome to this week’s installment of First Sentence Friday and Free Book Friday! For the foreseeable future, the free book is a signed Advance Reader Copy (ARC) of When the Jessamine Grows.

Special Note If you comment (the way to win a book) please be sure to add your name at the bottom of your comment because some of them are showing up as anonymous. ????

Joetta McBride has very few people on her side though the rationale for taking a neutral stance is solid. Despite these practical reasons, her father-in-law, Rudean McBride, as mentioned in an earlier post, is and has always been a staunch Confederate – even as the common saying goes, “he doesn’t have a dog in the hunt.”

In his case, his beliefs side with a popular view upheld by many white southerners of the time. There’s a scene at the beginning of the book where Mr. McBride tells Henry about this view, much to the consternation of his mother and father. These teachings came from the churches in the South, where, as the region became more isolated, they were able to preach without any countering arguments.

From the American Battlefield Trust, here is a quote that captures part of Mr. McBride’s opinion, “if Lincoln were elected, ‘every Negro in South Carolina and every other Southern state will be his own master; nay, more than that, will be the equal of every one of you.  If you are tame enough to submit, abolition preachers will be at hand to consummate the marriage of your daughters to black husbands.'”

In other words, there was a fear of the blending of races. If you click on the link and read in more depth, you’ll get a sense of the politics of the day, which also had to do with new states being added to the Union as non-slaveholding states for example, which, according to southern states would have caused favorability to abolitionist states. In their words on this site, “If new states could not be slave states, went the argument, then it was only a matter of time before the South’s clout in Congress would fade, abolitionists would be ascendant, and the South’s “peculiar institution” – the right to own human beings as property – would be in peril.”

If you scroll down to “WHAT THE CHURCHES WERE SAYING,” this is where you’ll read about people like Mr. McBride, and how they were thinking.

As the story progresses, the McBrides will eventually encounter soldiers from both sides. As is common with him, Mr. McBride wants to be sure EVERYONE knows who he supports, always speaking without any forethought to what might happen to those around him.



Chapter 21

Mr. McBride distanced himself from Joetta and raised his hands in supplication toward the lieutenant.



For this week’s chance to win a signed ARC of When the Jessamine Grows, consider that Joetta’s primary role is to keep her family together, and the family’s farm going. How do you think you would have coped under these circumstances, while feeling alienated and like an outsider? How would you have handled someone like Mr. McBride?



Pre-orders gauge the interest and signal to the publisher readers are eager for an author’s work! Please consider pre-ordering because it really does help! If you’re holding out because you might win an ARC or a finished copy, remember you can always give away the extra as a gift to one of your reader friends. ????

Pre-order links for your convenience:

Kensington Publishing Corporation

Barnes & Noble




Last, but not least, don’t forget to:


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