Donna Everhart

First Sentence Fridays and Free Book Fridays!

Hello once again, readers!

Welcome to this week’s installment of First Sentence Friday and Free Book Friday!  You might be excited to know, I’m giving out an Advance Reader Copy (ARC) of When the Jessamine Grows this week. ????

It was interesting to learn about what started the Civil War in the first place, to a history that went back decades before 1861, to a few laws passed in Congress.

If you care to give this article a read, it was one of the very first bits of research I started with and I zoned in on it for the title alone, Everything You Know About the Civil War Is Wrong. Wow. Okay. That’s worthy of investigating. (*Note, you have to sign up to the site called “Medium” to read in it’s entirety, but, it’s free.)

One of the highlighted sentences in this article was, “The Civil War was decades in the making and the culmination of unresolved issues between the Northern and Southern states.” A lot of this had to do with taxation, and loss of revenue for the North from the Southern states.” The article is a fascinating (and a very long) piece. To my mind, one of the things it does is underscore the reluctance toward war on both sides with the back and forth between those making law, and the matters that were important to them in that time.

Eventually, after the war began, there were the neutral border states of Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland and Delaware. Virginia had its own issues with the war, and events surrounding those issues eventually had a section of it splitting off to become West VA, another border state. At some point, as I learned of this history, I began to think down to a micro level, to civilians who wanted no part in a war like Joetta and Ennis McBride, whose farm and their family is their main focus, and what they care about the most. To that end, neutrality isn’t a difficult choice for them because the reasons behind the war don’t concern them and the decisions made by either side, one way or the other, won’t either. For instance, at the very beginning of that article, it talks about North Carolina as a state back then, and how it was so vastly different from what it is today. The point being, the culture, the setting, and people’s views were too.

As time goes on, more is at stake for Joetta and her neutrality. There are consequences for those marching to the beat of a different drum; what can only be perceived as disloyal. A traitor.



She walked up and down the trampled rows, picking up a crushed ear of corn here and there.



For a chance to win this first Advance Reader Copy of When the Jessamine Grows, how easily are you swayed once you have your mind made up about something you’re passionate about? Depending on the situation, are you as stubborn as the day is long – like me? ????



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:


31 thoughts on “First Sentence Fridays and Free Book Fridays!”

  1. I am a very stubborn person, so one has to make a good case with an opposing view to make me change my mind.

    1. Stephanie Belcher

      After I moved to NC I was a little shocked by the disdain still shown to anyone from the North. I asked my dad and was surprised by his response… We were wrong. We fought dirty and they had every right to be angry. I have been told that when I get something in my head I can’t be swayed, so I guess that’s the reason by folks still being upset still today. Sadly, if that is what is being taught and or repeated folks will carry that with no matter how much time passes.

      1. Wow – I think that’s the first time I’ve heard anyone say this. It was hard there to be any of that in my household. My dad was from NC, and Mom was from Maine. I grew up with a Southern Democrat and a Northern Republican. What I call a purple house – haha.

  2. Hello Donna. Interesting Civil War information. It seems as though money, in one form of another, always seems to be the crux of decision making. I have a friend that told me when needing to discuss a big issue, take the money out of the equation and then make your decisions. I find that so difficult as without financial stability so much of what is desired is impossible without funds. Anyway, in respect to your question; I’m pretty confident in my personal decisions and have found I’m rarely persuaded otherwise.

  3. Michelle Klinetobe

    I’m pretty stubborn and I’m always right. ???? I do try to listen to the facts but it is usually difficult to sway my opinion.

  4. Well. My Mama always said once I got something in my head, you couldn’t knock it out with a brick. So I suppose, yes…I am stubborn, LOL!

  5. For the most part I think I’m pretty open-minded and willing to listen to other people’s ideas and view points. If their comments come across as true and pan out after i research them, I may change may opinion.

    1. I agree – and feel the same way. If the facts are sound, and like you, I do my own research/investigation and find it holds up, I’ll accept I was wrong, or misinformed.

  6. I tend to be pretty set in my decisions, I guess its because I don’t make them too quickly. I like to try to sleep on major decisions, like a hiring decision. Impulsiveness is not a character trait of mine. Yes, I can be considered contrary. I will also listen to a voice of reason and have changed my mind about something once I can hear how others think about that topic.
    Can’t wait to read When the Jessamine Grows.

    1. It’s funny because there are some things where it’s like I’m flying by the seat of my pants, but I agree, the important ones I have to really, (REALLY) think long and hard about, AND make a list of pros/cons.

  7. Roxane Klepperich

    I am stubborn, but I’m willing to listen. Unless it’s my husband – he’s always wrong. Just kidding! And I’m so interested in this book! I love reading about the Civil War. My ManyGreats Grandfather was in the Indiana 42nd!

    1. ???????????? Mine is too!

      I’m happy to know you’re interested and wow, not many know about their ancestors in the Civil War. A distant family member of mine did some of genealogy work, and found out my dad’s side was related to Sam Davis, a young Confederate hung for not spilling the secrets of his commander. ????‍♀️

  8. Susan Omberg Carro

    I like to think I’m open to discussion, and to learning. I think I used to be quite adamant about most of my opinions, but as I get older I’m more interested in learning about what makes people think the way they do than in taking an immovable stand. Except on a very few issues – I don’t have any patience at all for people treating other people badly, for any reason.

    1. Amen, and amen! While I was responding to some of these comments, I kept trying to think of an instance where I was persuaded to think otherwise because I found out I had the wrong facts – or vice versa. I can’t at the moment, but this book – and these discussions – always make me look inward at myself, you know???

  9. Good afternoon, wow, this is so very , very interesting, thank you for sharing about it. Your book sounds and looks very intriguing, I love your book cover. I am a stubborn person, but I will listen if there is a reason for it. I will stick to my guns for when I know for a fact of whatever it is I am being stubborn about. Have a great weekend and Thank you for the chance.

    1. You’re welcome! I love that cover too.

      Likewise – I’m not unbendable in my opinions if something comes along to show me that my thoughts/way of thinking are off track.

  10. I’m pretty stubborn, and someone has to have a good argument to get me to change my mind. I’m reading my first book by you, “The Moonshiner’s Daughter, and excited to share it with my Book Club as we live in NC.

    1. Yes – I don’t fold like a lawn chair, but like I mentioned above, I’m not entirely unbendable. 😉

      Thank you so much for reading – I hope you enjoy it and when you share it with your book club, I hope they’ll want to read it too.

  11. Oh honey, everyone that knows me, knows I’m as stubborn as a bull. Yes Ma’am. I am a Taurus for sure. I would like the true story of the civil war to be taught in schools. Hopefully, your book will change the way people currently think. I would consider recommending to our Library. Thank you for the chance.

    1. Oh, I never tend or want to get people to change, but I do like to share about history that’s not familiar – and the story is mostly to share a very obscure and untold side – that of no sides! ????

    1. I am pretty set in what’s good for me. If the other person doesn’t see that is what I want to do and believe in it its their problem not mine. Thanks for the opportunity ????

      1. It’s kind of disconcerting at times when facts are staring RIGHT AT someone and they continue to act blind. ????‍♀️

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