The Slave-Trader’s Letter-Book by Jim Jordan ( University of Georgia Press)

n 1858 Savannah businessman Charles Lamar, in violation of U.S. law, organized the shipment of hundreds of Africans on the luxury yacht Wanderer to Jekyll Island, Georgia. The four hundred survivors of the Middle Passage were sold into bondage. This was the first successful documented slave landing in the United States in about four decades and shocked a nation already on the path to civil war.

In 1886 the North American Review published excerpts from thirty of Lamar’s letters from the 1850s, reportedly taken from his letter book, which describe his criminal activities. However, the authenticity of the letters was in doubt until very recently. In 2009, researcher Jim Jordan found a cache of private papers belonging to Charles Lamar’s father, stored for decades in an attic in New Jersey. Among the documents was Charles Lamar’s letter book, confirming him as the author.

This book has two parts. The first recounts the flamboyant and reckless life of Lamar himself, including Lamar’s involvement in southern secession, the slave trade, and a plot to overthrow the government of Cuba. A portrait emerges at odds with Lamar’s previous image as a savvy entrepreneur and principled rebel. Instead, we see a man who was often broke and whose volatility sabotaged him at every turn. His involvement in the slave trade was driven more by financial desperation than southern defiance. The second part presents the “Slave-Trader’s Letter-Book.” Together with annotations, these seventy long-lost letters shed light on the lead-up to the Civil War from the remarkable perspective of a troubled, and troubling, figure.

As a history buff and researcher, this title appealed to me right away. I am from the Brunswick/Jekyll Island area and my family has been there since before we were a country.

Lamar is a reckless and troubled man. Having his livelihood pretty much handed to him by his father, he proceeds to run every business he touches into the ground.

The book give the reader quite a bit of information that even I haven’t seen before. These letters are a valuable piece of history not only for Georgia but for the entire country. I would hope that this information would be widely spread in our schools.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone searching for answers about our beginnings and what almost tore our country apart.

Netgalley/University of Georgia Press  January Release.

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Monday Reading Plan

    A spellbinding debut novel about the trailblazing poet Forugh Farrokhzhad, who defied Iranian society to find her voice and her destiny

“Remember the flight, for the bird is mortal.”—Forugh Farrokhzad

 Bestselling, beloved author of The Charm Bracelet spins a tale about a lost young woman and the family recipe box that changes her life.

A task a day to cure a broken heart.

Esmé Peel is approaching thirty with some trepidation, but hope in her heart. If she can just get her long-term boyfriend Andrew to propose, she will have ticked everything off her ‘things to do by the time you’re 30’ list.

Books for the week. I was thrilled when I was contacted about doing  The Recipe Box. I adore this author!

What’s everyone else reading this week?

xx Patricia    Read a book.

 

Altered To Death by Christina Freeburn

Altered to Death (A Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery, #6)

Number 6 in the Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery Series

Even knee-deep in planning her wedding, Faith Hunter finds herself distracted by the town scrapbook she was commissioned to create. Eden’s oldest mystery, the founding family’s exodus nearly a hundred years ago, remains unsolved. When a search through the family’s abandoned mansion leads to the uncovering of bones on the property and ex-boyfriend Steve Davis announces a surprise heir has staked a claim, Faith is determined to dig up the truth left behind.

Meanwhile, family friend Wyatt Buford asks Faith to look into his deadbeat father’s disappearing act and his connection to the murder. Her quest for answers unearths secrets past and present that some would prefer stay buried at any cost. Faith’s resolve to present the facts and nothing but about Eden’s history could lead to her own future being cut short.

Faith has a lot on her mind. Planning a wedding, running Scrap This with her grandmother, deciding where to live when the groom comes complete with teen daughter. And yet she is determined to find out what happened to the Everton family and why they all left town never to return. Since she is already doing a scrapbook of the town’s history, she has a lot of material to go through and when she finds the oldest Everton girl’s diary, she sticks her pert little nose right in!

But a lot of people  have secrets hidden in Eden. And they aren’t above knocking off Faith or anyone else who gets in their way!

This was a book full of interesting and memorable characters. A mystery, a story of families and perceptions and long-held secrets.

Great Job!

Netgalley/Henery Press Mystery November 28, 2017

House Of Shadows by Nicola Cornick

House of Shadows

London, 1662:

There was something the Winter Queen needed to tell him. She fought for the strength to speak.
‘The crystal mirror is a danger. It must be destroyed – ‘
He replied instantly. ‘It will’.

Ashdown, Oxfordshire, present day: Ben Ansell is researching his family tree when he disappears. As his sister Holly begins a desperate search, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to an ornate antique mirror and to the diary of Lavinia, a 19th century courtesan who was living at Ashdown House when it burned to the ground over 200 years ago.

Intrigued, and determined to find out more about the tragedy at Ashdown, Holly’s only hope is that uncovering the truth about the past will lead her to Ben.

For fans of Barbara Erskine and Kate Morton comes an unforgettable novel about three women and the power one lie can have over history

Beginning in 1596, at the Palace of Holyrood House in Scotland, this wonderful historical fiction book, King James is looking at a black velvet box, sent from Queen Elizabeth as a gift at the christening of his daughter, named for Elizabeth even though she had brought about the death of his own mother, Mary Queen of Scots.

The box contains the Sistrin Pearl and a diamond encrusted hand mirror. The pearl, born of water, found in the oyster beds of the River Tay centuries before, a part of the collection of King Alexander I. The mirror, forged in fire by the glass blowers of Murano, encrusted with diamonds of the finest quality and given as a gift to King James’ mother, Mary Queen of Scots on her marriage. It was said to have powers of prophecy and destruction through fire and flood.

Following Elizabeth after she marries Frederick, an English princess marrying a German Prince, joining lands and armies. Frederick is easily seduced by the powers of the mirror and pearl. Away fighting wars to regain his lands, Elizabeth bears children and waits.

She is waiting more for her husband’s man, William Craven, than for her husband. As we easily go back and forth in the book to their story in the 1600’s to present day at Ashdown House, built by Craven for Elizabeth. It is also a story told through the eyes of the woman who did live in the house, Lavinia, a courtesan with a connection to both the past and the present.

I can imagine quite a few different readers for this book. The history buffs of course. The love stories, those interested in the Knights of the Rosy Cross.

I enjoyed this story very much.  It came out in 2015 and is now being released by Harlequin Books S.A. tomorrow.

 

 

Titles Released Today!

We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by [Coates, Ta-Nehisi]  Christmas at Two Love Lane by [Kramer, Kieran] The Dark Lake (Gemma Woodstock) by [Bailey, Sarah] The Ninja's Illusion (A Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Book 5) by [Pandian, Gigi] Mary Jane's Ghost: The Legacy of a Murder in Small Town America by [Gregory, Ted]

These are the books that were released today! And they are in the order in which I liked them.

The first one is powerful, raw, and one we should all read and think about. Number 2 is a charming Christmas story set in Charleston with the most lovable characters. Number 3 is scary as heck! Number 4 is set in Japan and is full of magic, illusion, murder and suspense! Number 5 was a story about a true murder, never solved however we didn’t hear as much about the murder and the people involved as we did about the author’s rambling drives through the countryside.

Pick up one on Amazon or try it out at your local library!

xx Patricia

The Ninja’s Illusion by Gigi Pandian Debuts on Tuesday!

Number Five in The Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Series published by Henery Press.

The Ninja's Illusion (Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery, #5)

A fabled illusion performed by a stage magician who claims to possess real supernatural powers. A treasure from the colonial era in India when international supremacies vied for power. A phantom trading ship lost over 200 years ago. And a ninja whose murderous intentions in present-day Japan connect the deeds of a long-dead trader who was much more than he seemed…

When Jaya travels from San Francisco to Japan with her stage magician best friend Sanjay—a.k.a. The Hindi Houdini—for his Japanese debut, she jumps at the chance to pursue her own research that could solve a tantalizing centuries-old mystery.

With the colorful autumn leaves of historic Kyoto falling around her, Jaya soon loses sight of what’s real and what’s a deception. A mysterious ninja attempts sabotage on Sanjay’s trick, along with Japan’s most controversial magician, Akira. Ancient folklore blurs the lines between illusion and reality when a magician’s assistant appears to be a kitsune, a mythical fox spirit. As tricks escalate to murder, Jaya and her friends must unravel secrets hidden in the ancient capital of Japan, before one of their own becomes the next victim.

In this the fifth installment of the Jaya Jones mysteries, Jaya is meeting her best bud Sanjay in Kyoto to see his act and the famed Akira do his impossible rope climbing illusion.

From the start things aren’t quite as they appear. Who is this mysterious Ninja they keep catching glimpses of? While tricks turn into murder Jaya turns to research and hidden secrets about a missing ship hundreds of years ago.

I enjoyed the mystery and the history of this clever book! Jaya and her friends are memorable and talented. A very entertaining and informative book. My favorite type!

Netgalley/Henery Press   Release Date is this Tuesday, October 3rd!

 

WE WERE EIGHT YEARS IN POWER: AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY BY TA-NEHISI COATES

We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy

This was a difficult book to review. It was also difficult to read and to know that what I was reading was truth. If you don’t know it as truth, you need to go way back and look at how we became America and who the people were that made up the rules that some people, based on their sex or skin color, were considered less than.

I’ve studied slavery and the Civil War for a long time. I worked with the Middle Passage Museum and met John Lewis, Coretta Scott King, and many other leaders of the rights movement and survivors of the what is still a racist South and North. Some people are just more blatant about it.

I along with a lot of other people expected Obama to stand up for race inequalities. But as it turned out he wasn’t going to rock the boat either way.

This journalist does. Here you get the unvarnished truth about all sides. In my humble opinion this should be a must read for all high school students. Especially places like Mississippi which in some towns have only in recent years, or make that year, have been forced to stop segregating blacks to the other side of the track schools.

There is no such thing as white supremacy. There are just insecure people who need to have someone to be better than so they aren’t the ones on the bottom.

Thank you for this book Netgalley and Random House! Due to release October 3, 2017