Friday, January 3, 2014

Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway for Becoming Josephine by Heather Webb

Join author Heather Webb on her Virtual Book Tour for Becoming Josephine, presented by France Book Tours, from January 2 – January 11, 2014.  Please leave a comment or question for Heather to let her know you stopped by.  I will be giving away one ebook/print copy of this book at this stop, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter.  You can also follow the rest of Heather’s tour here, the more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning a copy of Heather’s book.

Becoming Josphine
By Heather Webb

Publisher: Plume(Penquin)
Release Date: December 31, 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction/French
Length: 320 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-142180-65-5

Add to Goodreads

About the book: 

Rose Tascher sails from her Martinique plantation to Paris to trade her Creole black magic culture for love and adventure. She arrives exultant to follow her dreams of attending Court with Alexandre, her elegant aristocrat and soldier husband. But Alexandre dashes her hopes and abandons her amid the tumult of the French Revolution. 

Through her savoir faire, Rose secures her footing in high society, reveling in handsome men and glitzy balls—until the heads of her friends begin to roll. 

After narrowly escaping death in the blood-drenched cells of Les Carmes prison, she reinvents herself as Josephine, a socialite of status and power. Yet her youth is fading, and Josephine must choose between a precarious independence and the love of an awkward suitor. Little does she know, he would become the most powerful man of his century- Napoleon Bonaparte.

BECOMING JOSEPHINE is a novel of one woman’s journey to find eternal love and stability, and ultimately to find herself.

Author's bio:

Heather Webb grew up a military brat and naturally became obsessed with travel, culture, and languages. She put her degrees to good use teaching high school French for nearly a decade before turning to full time novel writing and freelance editing. Her debut, BECOMINGJOSEPHINE will release December 31, 2013 from Plume/Penguin.

When not writing, Heather flexes her foodie skills or looks for excuses to head to the other side of the world. She loves to chitchat on Twitter with new reader friends or writers (@msheatherwebb) or via her blog, Between the Sheets ( Stop on by!

While we often read about the exploits of the politically powerful men who rule the world, we seldom stop to think about the women behind them (or at least I do).  In Becoming Josephine, author Heather Webb skillfully blends fiction and fact drawing an engaging and captivating look at Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher de La Pagerie, the woman history would come to know as the Josephine, the Empress of France and Napoleon’s first wife.  While a student of history, I learned about Napoleon’s military successes and failures but I learned little to nothing about Josephine, the woman behind the man during the height of his rise to power. 

Born on the island of Martinique to a white Creole family, Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher de La Pagerie, “Rose Tascher”, was raised on a sugar plantation with her sisters.  Even though her family had financial difficulties due to losses suffered during a hurricane, and her father’s gambling habits, Rose was determined to marry for love.  She didn’t want a repeat of her parents love-less marriage.  When her aunt Edmee arranges for her younger sister Catherine’s marriage to the son of a French aristocrat, Rose finds herself on her way to Paris when Catherine dies of a fever before her ship was to sail to France. 

Upon her arrival in France, “Rose” realizes she’ll have to use all of her ingenuity to survive in the social and political climate she now lives in.  Especially since there’s no love lost between Rose and her new husband Alexander de Beauharnais, the man who would father her two children; their son Eugene and their daughter Hortense.  Always considering how a relationship could benefit their social position, Rose uses her charm and beauty to enthrall both men and women, something which will benefit her all of her life. 

Ms. Webb’s development of Rose’s character is superb; Rose is spirited, intelligent, and naturally ambitious.  She’s also exotic and willing to do whatever she thinks is necessary in order to be happy.  When her marriage to Alexander becomes too problematic, she petitions for dissolution.  When he is unable or unwilling to support her and their children, Rose uses her charm and social position, especially with men, to open her own business and provide for herself and her children.  In regards to self determination, Rose was clearly a woman ahead of her time. 

Ms. Webb also draws our attention to Rose’s strength; while she’s not a shinning moral example (she did have several affairs), she manages to survive the political upheaval taking place in France and even manages to survive a short stay in prison (courtesy of Alexander’s political problems).  Obtaining her freedom, Rose soon enters a relationship with Napoleon Bonaparte, the brother of her daughter Hortense’s husband.  A relationship which finally provides Rose with the love she’s been looking for all of her life, and which introduces us to “Josephine” (Napoleon preferred calling her Josephine instead of Rose), the woman all of Europe would know as an Empress.

Will Josephine and Napoleon’s relationship and marriage be everything she hoped it would be?  What happens to Josephine as Napoleon reaches the pinnacle of his power and desire to establish a dynasty of his own?  You’ll have to read Becoming Josephine to find out, I enjoyed Ms. Webb’s book and look forward to reading more of her work.

My Rating:  4.5 out of 5 Crowns

FTC Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Sounds like a great book. Thanks for your review. It's been added to my TBR stack and the other reviews speak highly of the book as well. I'm looking forward to reading it.
    Thanks :)

  2. thanks for your great review! reminder to your readers: only US/Canada winners have a choice of print or ebook. Overseas winners get an ecopy. Emma at FBT

  3. I really want to read this book! Sounds like a great read!

  4. It looks like a very interesting book

  5. Sounds like a great read!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!