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! The free book is a signed Advance Reader Copy (ARC) of When the Jessamine Grows and an item or two of the story-related swag as pictured here! ????????



NOTE, for website blog commenters only: When you 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.


This week’s sentence features another flower, the jonquil, and it made me think about the jessamine, and the uniqueness of this flowering vine. I’m actually lifting some of this information out of the Book Club Kit my publicist has put together, and she uncovered some really interesting facts.

Carolina Jessamine near my house

The Jessamine was declared as South Carolina’s state flower in March 14, 1924, but the vine grows all over southeast and points beyond. It’s also called Carolina Jessamine, Evening Trumpet flower, Yellow Jasmine, Trumpet vine, Poor Man’s Rope, False Jasmine.

Here are some intriguing facts about it:

  • The vine’s fragrant flowers have a sweet, unmistakable scent that has confounded efforts to reproduce synthetically. Instead, the plant’s essential oils are extracted for use in the perfume industry.
  • All parts of the plant are toxic, containing an alkaloid similar to strychnine, and its nectar has proven lethal when ingested by humans and animals alike. Just touching the sap can cause skin irritation.
  • Pollinators are drawn to the fragrant, brightly-colored flowers, but jessamine nectar can even be toxic to honeybees if they consume too much. (! who knew???)
  • Jessamine has the power to heal as well as harm. Despite its toxicity, herbalists throughout history have used it to treat illnesses and ease pain.
    • The Algonquian-speaking Native American tribes created tinctures for malaria and other fever diseases, and its sedative properties made it a popular remedy throughout the 1800s for everything from vertigo to whooping cough.
    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle even experimented with it to treat his neuralgia.
  • Despite the fact that it’s commonly referred to as “yellow jasmine,” jessamine is not related to the jasmine plant species, which is edible and used in jasmine tea.
  • To this day, homeopathic practitioners use jessamine to treat anxiety and fear of public speaking.

And, there’s more . . .it’s truly a fascinating flowering vine, and gave me  the question of the week! But first, the sentence.


Chapter 30

Joetta desired to hear the latest news but could not merely walk into town, so it was like providence the day Mary Brown came down the path, holding a bunch of jonquils, the bright yellow like tiny bits of sunshine.



To win a signed copy of an ARC, and some story related swag, see if you remember this. I described the Jessamine flower as a good representation of Joetta because it was x and x. Hard? Too hard? ***Here’s a hint, the answer is in one of the first posts I did as I began to introduce my book. The answer is out here – or – on Google. ????



My publisher is having another giveaway on Goodreads – 100 copies available!


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 (or so) 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




Social Media

Last, but not least, don’t forget to:

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

  1. I like this week’s challenge. I’m unsure about the exact words to fill in the x’s but I’m sure it has to do with Joetta’s never ending patience.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top