Blog Tour and Giveaway#TheFirstLadyandtheRebel #SusanHigginbotham #HFVBTBlogTour

The First Lady and the Rebel
by Susan Higginbotham

Publication Date: October 1, 2019
Sourcebooks Landmark
eBook & Paperback; 400 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

From the celebrated author Susan Higginbotham

comes the incredible story of Lincoln’s First Lady

A Union’s First Lady
As the Civil War cracks the country in two, Mary Lincoln stands beside her husband praying for a swift Northern victory. But as the body count rises, Mary can’t help but fear each bloody gain. Because her beloved sister Emily is across party lines, fighting for the South, and Mary is at risk of losing both her country and her family in the tides of a brutal war.

A Confederate Rebel’s Wife
Emily Todd Helm has married the love of her life. But when her husband’s southern ties pull them into a war neither want to join, she must make a choice. Abandon the family she has built in the South or fight against the sister she has always loved best.

With a country’s legacy at stake, how will two sisters shape history?

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Chapters | IndieBound


“Historical fiction at it best: A unique, intimate view of a character we thought we knew. The Civil War comes to life through two sisters on opposite sides, one the first lady of the not-so United States. And through it all, a fascinating family saga. I learned a lot and loved this book.” – Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author of American Duchess

“Susan Higginbotham’s The First Lady and the Rebel is a meticulously researched and powerfully written account of the complicated and compelling relationship between the Todd sisters. Higginbotham’s two female protagonists are bonded by blood and love, but pulled apart by war. Set against the sweeping backdrop of our nation’s Civil War, this is the tragic and true story of human hearts both fierce and fallible, of deeply mixed loyalties, and of the imperfect but inspiring individuals who were asked to do the unimaginable. Moving and enlightening.” – Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author of The Accidental Empress

“Susan Higginbotham has done it again-crafted a richly detailed novel that immerses readers in America’s Civil War. The First Lady and the Rebel explores the tragic story of a family and a nation torn apart, while shedding light on rarely reported events in the personal life of Abraham Lincoln. Mary Todd Lincoln, the President’s wife, and her sister, Emily Todd Helm, are devoted to their husbands and to each other, yet find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict as they face overwhelming grief and loss. The novel presents a devastating time and place rendered so vividly you’ll feel as if you’d lived through the war yourself. Higginbotham’s painstaking and extensive research is evident from the engaging first chapter to the novel’s moving conclusion. For those who like their historical novels based on real people, this book is a must-read.” – Amy Belding Brown, author of Flight of the Sparrow

This book was received as an ARC from the Author, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own

Thank you to Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Sourcebooks And the Author.

@S_Higginbotham @hfvbt @ Sourcebooks

The First Lady and the Rebel is award-winning author Susan Higginbotham’s, latest novel. A captivating and powerful book that captures the sisterly relationship of Mary Todd Lincoln and her sister, Emily Todd Helm, wife of a Confederate general.

The author has created a compelling dual narration, that gives us an intimate look into the lives of two of the most notable woman in civil war history.

1839, Mary Todd travels from her home in Lexington, Ky., for an extended visit with her married sister, Elizabeth Edwards, in Springfield, Ill. Elizabeth’s house drew everyone of of importance in Springfield. A luxurious mansion, that held Sunday parties where the best educated society of Springfield gathered.

A chance encounter with a quiet and reserved gentlemen Mr Abraham Lincoln, He captures Mary’s attention right from the start with his intellectual face. Mary’s passion for politics and her unladylike ways of saying what she thought. Seeks every opportunity to engage Mr Lincoln. After the on again off again dramatics the two eventually do marry.

Soon after Mr. Abraham Lincoln is elected president, The election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 caused seven southern states to secede and form the Confederate States of America. With impending war just on the horizon Mr Lincoln extends an offer of Union Army Paymaster to his brother-in-law, Hardin Helm, who is married to Mary’s younger sister, Emily. Hardin declines the job and offers his services to Jefferson Davis and the Confederate States, where he was initially a colonel and later promoted to brigadier general. Helm commanded the 1st Kentucky Brigade.

Like so many torn families during The Civil War the Todd sisters were divided my family and state-loyalties along with moral and politics beliefs. Steadfast in their loyalty to their husbands, who both become tragic victims to the war. The once close relationship the sisters shared is shattered and broken as War rages through the country. This immensely character driven book, I enjoyed every page in this richly detailed period piece of historical fiction . The author skillfully leads the reader right from the first page all the way through to end heart rendering ending.

Emily Todd Hardin along with her children, like so many dedicated woman, became nomadic, moving from one encampment to another in constant fear that her husband would be wounded or killed in battle.

This was a perfect read for me. Both historical true and well researched. Higginbotham, once again delivers in immersive and deeply moving novel.

Mary Todd Lincoln

Emily Todd Hardin

About the Author

Susan Higginbotham is the author of seven historical novels, including Hanging Mary, The Stolen Crown, and The Queen of Last Hopes. The Traitor’s Wife, her first novel, was the winner of ForeWord Magazine’s 2005 Silver Award for historical fiction and was a Gold Medalist, Historical/Military Fiction, 2008 Independent Publisher Book wards. She writes her own historical fiction blog, History Refreshed. Higginbotham has worked as an editor and an attorney, and lives in Maryland with her family.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, October 1
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Wednesday, October 2
Review at Faery Tales Are Real
Review & Guest Post at Clarissa Reads it All

Thursday, October 3
Review at Broken Teepee
Review at Stephanie’s Novel Fiction

Friday, October 4
Review at Donna’s Book Blog

Saturday, October 5
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Monday, October 7
Review at Hooked on Books
Interview at Reading the Past

Tuesday, October 8
Review at The Lit Bitch

Wednesday, October 9
Review at Just One More Chapter

Thursday, October 10
Review at Unabridged Chick

Friday, October 11
Interview at Unabridged Chick
Review at View from the Birdhouse

Saturday, October 12
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Monday, October 14
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Tuesday, October 15
Review at Passages to the Past


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of The First Lady and the Rebel! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on October 15th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

The First Lady and the Rebel

2 Comments on “The First Lady and the Rebel by Susan Higginbotham

  1. What a great review, Gwendalyn! Thank you so much for kicking off Susan’s blog tour!

    HF Virtual Book Tours


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