Donna Everhart

First Sentence Friday and Free Book Friday!

Hello readers,

Welcome again to this week’s installment of First Sentence Friday and Free Book Friday! Due to the website misbehaving last week, I’m giving away TWO signed Advance Reader Copies, ARCs, of When the Jessamine Grows. ????????


NOTE: For website blog commenters only –>If you the answer the question in the comments area, (how you get the chance to win a book) be sure to add your name at the bottom because some of you are showing up as Anonymous.


I’ve talked about some of the hardships suffered during this period in our history. In one of the earlier posts, I wrote about the devastation to the countryside because most of the Civil War was fought in the South. This meant that while many of the cities were laid to waste, farmland and structures were as well. Per the National Humanities Center, “Farmland. Many battles took place on farms, and there, too, horrible destruction of both built and arranged landscapes transpired. Farmhouses, barns, and other outbuildings were blown up, burned (often intentionally), or, if left standing, stripped of boards by needy troops of both sides. Farm fences everywhere disappeared, because they were conveniently sized and aged for firewood. Too, crop fields, which sometimes represented hard elemental labor by generations of proprietors (or, more likely, slaves), were remodeled, in effect, with breastworks, trenches, tunnels, and compacted paths, then littered with the dead, the dead’s debris of belongings and equipment, and the wreckage of caissons, wagons, and other martial implements.”

“Fifty-nine horses attached to Bigelow’s Battery (9th Massachusetts) were killed in action at the Wheatfield in Gettysburg on July 2, 1863. (Photo by Timothy O’Sullivan)”
Farm, somewhere near Atlanta
Rural house in ruins


Chapter 25

Each day, starting with misty mornings and the hoarse caw of crows scavenging their ruined fields, they would crawl out of their beds, often accomplishing very little before the sun reluctantly relinquished its hold over a barren countryside.


Hardships – this is what can make a story so compelling, learning what people in the past experienced through fiction, or non-fiction books. I’m multitasking in my reading. The physical book I’m reading (it’s an early ARC, and I’m reading it for a possible blurb, meaning you won’t see it on Goodreads) the character is grappling with her self-esteem. That might not seem like a hardship, but it can be debilitating for some.

In the audiobook I’m listening to, Dear Edward, young Edward is grappling with the loss of his entire family after a plane crash where he’s the sole survivor.

For one of two chances this week, to win a signed copy of an ARC, what’s a hardship a character is suffering in your current read?


Sneak Peek!

Now you can read an excerpt of When the Jessamine Grows in this special Sneak Peek Kindle version! Hopefully, it will encourage your fingers (or legs!) to pre-order a copy. ????????


Unsure if you want to pre-order? Read the first 50 pages for free and find out! Go to one of these sites to download (in e-book formats only):


Barnes & Noble

Rakuten Kobo



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:


8 thoughts on “First Sentence Friday and Free Book Friday!”

  1. I just finished reading Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah. Dr. Julia Cates a psychiatrist is struggling to find out the truth about a girl named Alice who was abducted when she was very little. She grew up in the wild and has no language skills. Dr. Julia tries her level best to find out who this girl is and about her past. Meanwhile the little girl is struggling a lot too to fit in this new world.

    Reena Gilja

    1. I love stories that come from a different angle like this – and Kristin Hannah is a master at it.

  2. The male character is having a really hard time working with his dad and he goes on vacation falls in love and all of a sudden the dad calls him and tells him that his vacation is over, so he goes back home and leaves the woman he has fallen in love with. Another one of the male characters has cancer. The female character feels like she has worked hard and feels like she has lost out on having a family of her own. It is really a very good book. Thank you for the chance. My name is Alicia Haney

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