Monday, July 6, 2020

NBtM Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway - The Cabinet:George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution by Lindsay M. Chervinsky

Welcome to my stop on the NBtM virtual book tour for The Cabinet by Lindsay M. Chervinsky. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt for you as well as a guest post. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution
Author: Lindsay M. Chervinsky
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication Date: April 7th 2020
Print Length: 418 pages
Genres: American History, Non-Fiction
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The US Constitution never established a presidential cabinet―the delegates to the Constitutional Convention explicitly rejected the idea. So how did George Washington create one of the most powerful bodies in the federal government?

On November 26, 1791, George Washington convened his department secretaries―Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Henry Knox, and Edmund Randolph―for the first cabinet meeting. Why did he wait two and a half years into his presidency to call his cabinet? Because the US Constitution did not create or provide for such a body. Washington was on his own.

Faced with diplomatic crises, domestic insurrections, and constitutional challenges―and finding congressional help lacking―Washington decided he needed a group of advisors he could turn to. He modeled his new cabinet on the councils of war he had led as commander of the Continental Army. In the early days, the cabinet served at the president’s pleasure. Washington tinkered with its structure throughout his administration, at times calling regular meetings, at other times preferring written advice and individual discussions.

Lindsay M. Chervinsky reveals the far-reaching consequences of Washington’s choice. The tensions in the cabinet between Hamilton and Jefferson heightened partisanship and contributed to the development of the first party system. And as Washington faced an increasingly recalcitrant Congress, he came to treat the cabinet as a private advisory body to summon as needed, greatly expanding the role of the president and the executive branch.

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EXCERPT:
When Washington and Knox arrived at Federal Hall at 11:30 a.m., the doorkeeper announced their arrival. Washington sat at the front of the chamber, and Knox took the chair to his right. Washington handed his remarks to Knox, who in turn handed them to Vice President John Adams. Adams read the statement, but as Senator William Maclay from Pennsylvania recalled, the senators could “not master . . . one Sentence of it.” Adams wasn’t known for his public speaking skills, but the senators’ struggles weren’t entirely his fault. The Senate gathered for their work in the large chambers that occupied the first floor of Federal Hall. Because of the August heat in New York City, the doorkeeper had opened the windows in search of a cooling breeze. But along with fresh air, noise from Wall Street’s pedestrians, carriages, peddlers, and horses flowed into the Senate chambers. The clamor overpowered Adams’s voice, so few senators could make out the words that Washington had carefully crafted. After a few complaints, Adams repeated the speech from the beginning. Washington’s remarks offered a brief synopsis of the current diplomatic state between the United States and the Southern Indians, and posed seven questions for the Senate to answer with an aye or a no.

Adams finished his recitation and sat. The seconds ticked by as the senators remained in awkward silence. A few shuffled papers or cleared their throats. Maclay speculated in his diary that his colleagues were so intimidated by Washington’s presence in the Senate chamber that they cowered in shameful silence. Eager to show that they could be active participants in the creation of foreign policy, Maclay stood up and suggested referring Washington’s seven questions to committee for discussion in detail. Washington lost his temper, stood up, and shouted, “This defeats every purpose of my coming here!” The senators fell into a stunned hush before Washington acquiesced to Maclay’s suggestion and offered to return to the Senate a few days later. Although he did return the following Monday, his first visit to the Senate was an inauspicious start to the executive-legislative relationship. As he returned to his carriage, Washington muttered under his breath that he would never return for advice. He kept his word—August 22, 1789, was the first and last time he visited the Senate to request guidance on foreign affairs. Unfortunately, the diplomatic challenges facing the United States during the Washington presidency were just beginning...
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lindsay M. Chervinsky, Ph.D. a historian of Early America, the presidency, and the government – especially the president’s cabinet. She shares her research by writing everything from op-eds to books, speaking on podcasts and other media, and teaching every kind of audience. She is Scholar-in-Residence at the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies and Senior Fellow at the International Center for Jefferson Studies. Previously, she worked as a historian at the White House Historical Association. She received her B.A. in history and political science from the George Washington University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis. She has been featured in the Law and History Review, the Journal of the Early Republic, TIME, and the Washington Post. Her new book, The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution, was published by the Belknap Imprint of Harvard University Press on April 7, 2020.

The New Criterion recently said of her book, “Fantastic…Unlike many works of popular history, The Cabinet never feels like hagiography. It lacks the reverence of works like Joseph J. Ellis’ Founder Brothers or the revisionist obsequiousness that now greets Alexander Hamilton’s name on stage…Chervinsky exemplifies the public-history ethos in her new book. The writing is clear and concise…She takes what could have been a dry institutional and political history of the Early Republic and transforms it into a compelling story of people and places.”

When she isn’t writing, researching, or talking about history, she can be found hiking with her husband and American Foxhound, John Quincy Dog Adams (Quincy for short).

Readers can request a personalized book plate by clicking here.

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GUEST POST:
- What historical event do you find most interesting and why?

There are so many to choose from! I’ve always been really fascinated by the American Revolution (obviously, given my work), the Civil War, and Tudor England. But recently, I’ve been really hooked on World War II. I think my interest is inspired by the incredible outpouring of historical fiction on the subject—in the last couple of years I’ve read and loved Sarah’s Key, All the Light They Cannot See, The Alice Network, The Nightingale, and The Paris Architect.

So I’ve been doing a lot more research on the resistance in France, the French experience under Nazi occupation, and British spy craft during World War II. I’ve also been really fascinated by the similar methods in World War I and World War II. Next on my list is D-Day Girls by Sarah Rose about the women that parachuted into France to supply and manage the resistance efforts behind Nazi lines.

There are a couple aspects of this period of history that really captures my attention. First, Great Britain and France in the 1940s feel like an entirely different world—medicine, clothing, automobiles, food, social constraints, gender norms, etc. all feel so foreign. Not to mention the horrors of the war and the Nazi regime. The world depicted in these novels feel impossible to imagine and yet so relevant today. The history is also not that distant; World War II vets are still alive and attend anniversary celebrations. In fact, my dad was born as World War II was coming to an end, so it’s crazy for me to think how much the world has changed in his life time.

Second, I’m fascinated by the extraordinary impact of individuals at moments of real crisis. Women who were able to shepherd stranded pilots to safety, women who ran spy rings behind enemy lines, men who constructed hiding spaces for Jewish refugees. These stories were all fiction, but based on real stories and extraordinary people.

If you have recommendations, send them my way! Can’t wait to learn more, and thank you!
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GIVEAWAY:
Lindsay M. Chervinsky will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter after the tour. To increase your chance of winning, leave a  comment at a different stop on the tour each day. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

176 comments:

  1. Sounds intriguing and educational.. Awesome. I would love to read this!!

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  2. Have you started to write your next book yet?

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    1. Yes I have! I'm comparing John Adams and Thomas Jefferson's cabinets - they were one of the worst and one of the best! But really it's a story about power, ego, and ambition in the presidency. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Thanks for sharing your great  book and for the giveaway too.

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  4. The book sounds and looks terrific, Thanks for your great generosity.

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  5. What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing? And the most rewarding?

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    1. The hardest part is conveying the ideas that are in my head in a clear way that people will understand that's also interesting and exciting! But that's also the most rewarding part, because when you get it right, it's like unlocking a puzzle!

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  6. I really loved reading about this one!

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  7. The book sounds really great.

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  8. Fitting cover art! I'm excited to read this book and get an American History lesson!

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  9. Really neat tour, a good history element.

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  10. I love learning more about American history!

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  11. It sounds like an interesting book. Thank you for sharing.

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  12. It sounds like a very informative read. Thanks for sharing it.

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  13. What I like the most about this post is making me aware of how interesting American history is.. I have forgotten that and this book is renewing that interest....

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  14. Love history! Glad you're educating the masses, since our public school system isn't anymore.

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  15. History was my favorite subject in school and I still enjoy learning as much as I can. This is a must read for me

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  16. the excerpt sounds pretty interesting, thanks

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  17. I like the subject of the book in this post. I like to read about U.S. history.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  18. i love all the eductational points you have shown

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  19. this looks like a great book!

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  20. I like historical books sounds like a great read.

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  21. Sounds very educational i like books like this

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  22. the excerpt is good i feel like i learn so much about the characters and etc

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  23. How long did it take you to write this?

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  24. happy monday whats your fave thing about reading

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  25. happy hump day i hope it goes well

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  26. HAPPY THURSDAY THANKS FOR HOSTING

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  27. happpy friday thanks for hosting . :)

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  28. happy saturday thank you for tjis

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  29. happy monday thank you for thiss

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  30. I like the info on this book. I love historical reads.

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  31. Thanks for the opportunity to win! Outstanding.

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  32. I like the cover. It has very nice artwork.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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  33. Have a terrific Tuesday! The cover graphics are awesome.

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  34. I enjoyed the excerpt from the post.

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  35. I'd like to win this. I'm a history buff.

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  36. I like that this book is about American History - a passion of mine.
    Thank you for sharing the review.

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  37. I like learning more about the history of this country and how George Washington decided how to slowly choose his cabinet members.

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  38. Hope your Wednesday is wicked! Thank you for the opportunity to win.

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  39. happy thursday loving the cover thank you

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  40. Hope you had a thrilling Thursday!

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  41. I think that the author's answer to the question:What historical event do you find most interesting and why? was very interesting in today's post.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  42. Hope you have a fantastic Friday! I found the Guest post most interesting.

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  43. happy saturday love your books and cannot wait to see what else you have in store

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  44. happy sunday thanks for this cannot waitb to see future books

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  45. i love everything about this thank you for hosting

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  46. Everything about this post is awesome!

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  47. happy tuesday i am really enjoying this and your books thanks

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  48. happy wednesday any good news for the week ?

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  49. Hope you are having a wonderful Wednesday!

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  50. looks like a great book and i canot wait to see more

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  51. like the giveaway part of the post

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  52. happy monday hope it is great one for and keep on writing

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  53. Hope you've had a terrific Tuesday!

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  54. happy wednesday thank you for all you been doing

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  55. happy thursday hope to see good news in your writings to come.

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  56. happy friday you rock and thanks for being great writer

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  57. happy saturday loving your writing thaks

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  58. i like that you give us somuch information about your book and you are doing so well with your writng thank you

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  59. i am really enjoying the book cover and excerpt . than you

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  60. happy tuesday thank you for your amazing writings

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  61. happy wed thanks for kdeepin me reading

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  62. happy thursday whats your fave author and why ?

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  63. happy friday hope the weekend goes well and you are writing on

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  64. happy sunday thank you for this new writing

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  65. HAPPY MONDAY AND ;OVE THE COVER, O\KI HOPE YOUR WEEK GOES WELL

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  66. i love rerading your books thank you for this

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  67. happy wednesday and thank you for tthis. your new book looks so good.

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  68. happy thursday hope to see new things

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  69. happy friday thanks again for hhosting

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  70. i love saturdays hope your weekend goes well.

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  71. HAPPPY SUNDAY AND HAPPYH READING

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  72. happy monday thanks for this and hosting

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  73. haPPY TIESDAY FAVE TV SHOW AS OF RIGHT NOW ?

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  74. who wpould youc collab with an wgvgy

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  75. happy thursday thanks for being amazing author

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  76. happy saturdAy thank you for hosting and jhoope weekend goes well

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  77. HAPPY MONDAY HOPE YOUR WEEKEND WENT WELL

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  78. happy tuesday and you rock thanks

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  79. happy wednesday and happy humpsday read on

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  80. hppy thursday, you rock with hosting

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  81. happy friday thank you for always hosting and writing amazing books

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  82. HAPPY SATURDAY AND HAPPY LABOR DAY WEEKEND THANKS FOR HOSTING

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  83. happy sunday hope you are enjoying weekend and getting new boook stated

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  84. happy labor day , thanks for hosting

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  85. Happy labor day, a good book is always a good story

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  86. happy tuesday cannot wait to see the books of future.

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  87. HAPPY READING HUMP DAY WEDNESDAY !!

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  88. HAPPY THURSDAY THANKS FOR HOSTING SUCH AN AMAZING GIVEAWAY

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  89. Hppy friday thank you for being great author

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  90. happy gameday sunday ireally appreciate all you do

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  91. i enjoy your settings thanks for this

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  92. happy tuesday love the title of book and plot . thanks

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  93. hi happy hump day thanks for being amazing writer

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  94. happy thursday and happy reading day

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  95. I love history, so this book looks great to me.

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  96. What I liked best about today's post was the beautiful book cover. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  97. HAPPY SATURDAY THANKS FOR BEING AMAZING AUTHOR

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  98. The artwork on the cover is beautiful. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  99. happy sunday thank you for great writing

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  100. happy wednesday thanks for hosting this

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  101. happy thurday and thank you for all the amazing writings

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  102. happy saturdaY THANKS FOR THIS AND GREAT BOOKS

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  103. happy sundayt reading day you rock

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  104. happy monfay hope you have grest day

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  105. happy tuesday what genres would love to write that you have not yet ?

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  106. happy hump day hope your day is going well

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  107. happy thursday thanks for this and hostin

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  108. What did you find most intriguing about writing this book?

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  109. My favorite part of today's post was the interview with the author!

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  110. Honestly, I like the old school style of the cover.

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  111. happyy sunday thank you for hosting.

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  112. liked the description sounds interesting

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  113. What was your favourite book as a kid?

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  114. Great post.. Very intriguing. I really enjoy reading things like that. Thanks

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  115. I liked the excerpt. Thank you for the giveaway!

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  116. This book sounds like a great and interesting read!

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  117. I enjoyed hearing about the authors most interesting historical event

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  118. tHAN YOU FOR YOUR GIVEAWAYS I HOPE IM LUCKY

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  119. happy tuesdayq and happy reading

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  120. I liked the excerpt, and the book cover.

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  121. Thank you for sharing sounds great!

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  122. What is your five year plan for writing?

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