I received this book for free from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Madame Presidentess
Author Nicole Evelina
Publisher Lawson Gartner Publishing
Publication Date July 25th 2016
Forty-eight years before women were granted the right to vote, one woman dared to run for President of the United States, yet her name has been virtually written out of the history books.
Rising from the shame of an abusive childhood, Victoria Woodhull, the daughter of a con-man and a religious zealot, vows to follow her destiny, one the spirits say will lead her out of poverty to “become ruler of her people.”
But the road to glory is far from easy. A nightmarish marriage teaches Victoria that women are stronger and deserve far more credit than society gives. Eschewing the conventions of her day, she strikes out on her own to improve herself and the lot of American women.
Over the next several years, she sets into motion plans that shatter the old boys club of Wall Street and defile even the sanctity of the halls of Congress. But it’s not just her ambition that threatens men of wealth and privilege; when she announces her candidacy for President in the 1872 election, they realize she may well usurp the power they’ve so long fought to protect.
Those who support her laud “Notorious Victoria” as a gifted spiritualist medium and healer, a talented financial mind, a fresh voice in the suffrage movement, and the radical idealist needed to move the nation forward. But those who dislike her see a dangerous force who is too willing to speak out when women are expected to be quiet. Ultimately, “Mrs. Satan’s” radical views on women’s rights, equality of the sexes, free love and the role of politics in private affairs collide with her tumultuous personal life to endanger all she has built and change how she is viewed by future generations.
This is the story of one woman who was ahead of her time – a woman who would make waves even in the 21st century – but who dared to speak out and challenge the conventions of post-Civil War America, setting a precedent that is still followed by female politicians today.
Winner of the US Women's History category in the 2016 Chaucer Historical Fiction Awards
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It is hard to read Madame Presidentess by Nicole Evelina and not make comparisons to Hilary Clinton. Like Clinton, Victoria Woodhull has a fight song and in every aspect fought tooth and nail.
Madame Presidentess is beautifully told with the author showcasing Woodhull’s life in a highly readable fashion rather than just presenting the facts. I enjoyed seeing Victoria Woodhull outside of politics. Her time as a seer was very interesting and found her business ventures inspiring. Her pains, as well as her gains, were expertly shown and my heart went out to her during Victoria’s abusive marriage.
In the second part, the novel did become a little repetitive and gave a small sigh when I had to hear about free love again. However, as a whole, I found Victoria’s part in the women’s suffrage movement to be awe-inspiring. This was the highlight of Madame Presidentess, even above her running for office. This petition for rights showed the courage that strongly illuminates Victoria throughout the book. Her actions were a far cry from Meryl Streep’s appearance in the film Suffragette. It was something to admire.
A main staple of conversation for me is what are you reading. When embarking on this topic I would continuously get questioning stares upon mentioning Victoria Woodhull. Granted, I was ignorant of her existence as well, although the further I read the more frustrated I became that she was lost in history. The novel could not have come along at a better time and was very eye-opening to me.
Madame Presidentess by Nicole Evelina has created a vibrant story with a female lead who was ahead of her time. It was this that has the reader still believing in a place called hope.
About the Author
Nicole Evelina is an award-winning historical fiction and romantic comedy writer. Her most recent novel, Been Searching for You, a romantic comedy, won the 2015 Romance Writers of America (RWA) Great Expectations and Golden Rose contests.
She also writes historical fiction. Her debut novel, Daughter of Destiny, the first book of an Arthurian legend trilogy that tells Guinevere’s life story from her point of view, was named Book of the Year by Chanticleer Reviews, took the Grand Prize in the 2015 Chatelaine Awards for Women’s Fiction/Romance, won a Gold Medal in the fantasy category in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and was short-listed for the Chaucer Award for Historical Fiction. The sequel, Camelot’s Queen is out now.
Nicole is one of only six authors who completed a week-long writing intensive taught by #1 New York Times bestselling author Deborah Harkness. Nicole has traveled to England twice to research the Guinevere’s Tale trilogy, where she consulted with internationally acclaimed author and historian Geoffrey Ashe, as well as Arthurian/Glastonbury expert Jaime George, the man who helped Marion Zimmer Bradley research The Mists of Avalon.
Nicole is a member of and book reviewer for The Historical Novel Society, and Sirens (a group supporting female fantasy authors), as well as a member of the Historical Writers of America, Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Romance Writers of America, the St. Louis Writer’s Guild, Women Writing the West, Broad Universe (promoting women in fantasy, science fiction and horror), Alliance of Independent Authors and the Independent Book Publishers Association.
Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, July 25
Tour Kick Off at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, July 26
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter
Wednesday, July 27
Spotlight at Broken Teepee
Thursday, July 28
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books
Friday, July 29
Spotlight at A Bookaholic Swede
Monday, August 1
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective
Tuesday, August 2
Guest Post & Excerpt at The Silver Dagger Scriptorium
Wednesday, August 3
Review at The Book Junkie Reads
Thursday, August 4
Interview at The Maiden’s Court
Monday, August 8
Review at The Book Connection (First Chapter Review)
Tuesday, August 9
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews
Saturday, August 13
Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf
Tuesday, August 16
Review at First Impressions Reviews
Wednesday, August 17
Review at Creating Herstory
Friday, August 19
Review at Diana’s Book Reviews
Tuesday, August 23
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Thursday, August 25
Review at Bookramblings
Friday, August 26
Review at A Bookish Affair
To enter the Madame Presidentess Giveaway for a paperback of the book and/or Victoria Woodhull Bumper Sticker, please see the GLEAM form below. 3 winners will receive a copy of the book and a bumper sticker. 7 winners will receive the Victoria Woodhull Bumper Sticker.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on August 26th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
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– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.