Madame Presidentess Cover Reveal & Pre-order Info

Today is the day I get to show you what my next baby is going to look like. Here’s the cover for Madame Presidentess, which comes out July 25.

Madame Presidentess eBook Cover No Quote Large

Here’s the back cover copy:

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.

You can pre-order the ebook here:

amazon-logo-icon book-button-smashwords-icon  goodreads

Paperback will be out on July 25, 2016, along with all other ebook formats. I’m not sure about audio yet.

What do you think about this book? Are you excited to read it? What do you think of the cover?

PS – If you want a good short summary of Victoria’s life I recommend The Highest Glass Ceiling: Women’s Quest for the American Presidency by Ellen Fitzpatrick. There is so much it leaves out, but it’s a nice primer. If you want a longer biography, my favorites are Notorious Victoria: The Life of Victoria Woodhull, Uncensored by Mary Gabriel, The Woman Who Ran for President by Lois Beechy Underhill and Other Powers: The Age of Suffrage, Spiritualism, and the Scandalous Victoria Woodhull by Barbara Goldsmith (this book is LONG but fabulous)!

March 6 – Politician: Belva Lockwood

March 6-PoliticianBelva Ann Lockwood was a suffragist and one of the first female lawyers in the United States.

Belva believed she should have the same right to practice law as her male counterparts, so she drafted an anti-discrimination bill that would give her  the same access to the bar as male colleagues. She spent five years lobbying Congress in favor of this bill. It was passed in 1879 and signed into law by President Hayes. Because it allowed all qualified women attorneys to practice in any federal court, Belva was sworn in as the first woman member of the U.S. Supreme Court bar.

Following in Victoria Woodhull’s footsteps, Belva ran for president in 1884 and 1888 on the ticket of the National Equal Rights Party (founded by Victoria) and was the first woman to appear on official ballots (Victoria’s votes were write-ins and cannot be traced). she is thought to have received around 4,100 votes.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belva_Ann_Lockwood 

March 1 – Trailblazer: Victoria Woodhull

Victoria WoodhullYou knew I had to start with her, right?

In case you don’t remember, Victoria, the poor daughter of a con-man and a religious zealot, was a suffragist in the mid-1800s. She was the:

  • First woman to run a stock brokerage on Wall Street
  • First woman to testify before Congress
  • One of the first women to run a weekly newspaper
  • First female presidential candidate (1872)

Why isn’t she in our history books? Three main reasons I can tell:

  1. She royally angered her former friends Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. They literally wrote the 900+ page book on the women’s suffrage movement, reducing Victoria’s role to an actual footnote. This, then, undermined her importance to future historians.
  2. Not long after her death, a woman named Emanie Sachs published a scathing biography of Victoria that painted her as a harlot and trickster – not the kind of woman anyone would want in the historical record.
  3. She was a woman. (Look at our history. That had to be part of it.)

Victoria Woodhull is the subject of my novel Madame Presidentess, which will be published July 25.

Hillary Isn’t the 1st: Meet Victoria Woodhull, America’s 1st Female Presidential Candidate

Victoria C. Woodhull, first American to run for President. Ran against Grant and Greeley, 1872.

Victoria C. Woodhull, first American woman to run for President. Ran against Grant and Greeley, 1872.

After keeping this under my hat for almost a year, I’m very excited to announce the main character of my next historical fiction novel is none other than Victoria C. Woodhull, the first woman to run for president, in 1872. I chose today to finally reveal who I was writing about since Hillary Clinton made her candidacy announcement yesterday and my book is out in the world (not published, but it’s circulating, trying to get published).

Over the next several weeks, I’ll share information with you on this fascinating woman, who was born the dirt-poor daughter of a con-man and an insane Spiritualist, but by the age of 33, was a self-made millionaire and had racked up an impressive list of “firsts:”

  • First woman to run a stock brokerage on Wall Street
  • First woman to testify before Congress
  • One of the first women to run a weekly newspaper
  • First female presidential candidate

She is quite a character, and so is her family. Seriously, they could have been on Jerry Springer. Maybe next week I’ll introduce you to the whole cast of characters in  Victoria’s life – they made for interesting writing. She is one of those cases that proves you couldn’t make up a story as juicy as the truth history gives you. Like Hillary, she had her fair share of detractors, and also her fair share of qualities we wouldn’t think would make the ideal Presidential candidate. But on the balance, I think she was a good person who really did want to change the country for the better.

Why haven’t you heard of her? Good question. I hadn’t either until one day my friend Liv Raincourt pinned a picture of her on Pinterest. The caption, “Known by her detractors as ‘Mrs. Satan,’ Victoria Claflin Woodhull, born in 1838, married at age fifteen to an alcoholic and womanizer. She became the first woman to establish a brokerage firm on Wall Street and played an active role in the woman’s suffrage movement. She became the first woman to run for President of the United States in 1872. Her name is largely lost in history. Few recognize her name and accomplishments.” captured my imagination, and as I began to research this fascinating woman, I knew I had the subject of my next book.

No one knows for certain why she has been lost to the pages of history. But two things are likely to blame: 1) the first “biography” published about her shortly after her death in 1927 painted her as a brazen, manipulative whore, so no one wanted her held up as an example of feminine capabilities and 2) she really pissed off Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the ladies who literally wrote the 900+ page book on the history of the suffrage movement. In revenge, they relegated her to a literal footnote. What did she do to make them so angry? The short answer is what didn’t she do, but that’s the subject of another week’s post…

Are you interested in learning more about her? Have you heard of Victoria Woodhull before now? If so, how/where? If not, what do you want to know about her? Let me know and I’ll make sure to answer you over the next few weeks as we dive deeper into this fascinating woman’s story.