Sunday, April 13, 2014

Happy Birthday Jefferson! #Giveaway and Interview with Murray Pura

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary...

Rembrandt's Thomas Jefferson
The man that penned these infamous words and put freedom in writing for Americans was born on this very day, 271 years ago. To commemorate the birthday of this American Hero, I've invited friend and fellow author Murray Pura to share some interesting facts about this Virginian. He's written a best selling short story on him that released in February!


In celebration of Jefferson's Birthday, we're giving away a kindle copy of BOTH volumes of the Declaration of Independence series on Thomas Jefferson and Samuel Adams!

Murray, thank you for being with us. we're honored to have you here today! I loved the part of your story discussing Jefferson's original wording in the declaration. Is it true that some of the founding fathers wanted to outlaw slavery right off?

 Jefferson owned slaves but it seems to me he wanted to be done with it personally as well as give America a clean start that was void of such an abuse of human rights. All the delegates agreed with his original draft where he abolished slavery EXCEPT South Carolina and Georgia and it was to appease them and remain united in the face of the British army that Jefferson's section on abolition was deleted. He was incensed.

 What made congress choose Jefferson to pen the Declaration?

That was the influence of John Adams and Ben Franklin, particularly Adams. He knew Jefferson had a lively mind, was well-read, and wrote with eloquence and passion. He persuaded Congress to let Jefferson write the first draft which would then be subject to Congress approval - and edit.

 What was Jefferson's personality like?

 More of an introvert. Didn't like crowded social occasions. Didn't like the city. Not one for speaking a lot, he preferred to talk via his quill and writings. A quick wit and a nimble mind, highly intelligent, fluent in a number of languages, always inventing something (like the lap desk he wrote a great deal of the Declaration on), exploring the natural world and recording his observations (thanks to him we know what the weather was like on July 4th), or reading a book. He was warm to his wife and family, less so to others in the sense he was not a hugger and kisser, yet he was not an icy man, just  more subdued and withdrawn than friends like the Adams brothers or Ben Franklin.

 As you've studied Thomas, what is it you like most about him?

His energy and passion for all of life, God included, that makes him seem to me to be as fresh and curious and energetic as a man who possesses eternal youth.

 Jefferson was a lawyer, was the profession in any way different than it is today?

In Colonial America there was little in the way of cross-examination allowed, little in the way of the defense calling witnesses in support of its case, little in the way of trial by jury. Often enough the prosecuting attorney and the judge were the same person so, as you can imagine, the defendants were inevitably found guilty. Any hope of success could only lie in a defense attorney's ability to sway the judge or judges with his powers of logic and oratory.

Wow. Sounds like Jefferson had his work cut out for him. Thank you so much for joining us today, Murray! 

 Murray Pura was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, just north of the Dakotas and Minnesota. His first novel was released in Toronto in 1988 and was a finalist for the Dartmouth Book Award. Since that time he has published ten more novels, two collections of short stories, and several nonfiction titles including the Zondervan books Rooted and Streams and the Baker devotional Majestic & Wild. He has been a finalist for several awards in the US and Canada and in 2012 won the Word Award of Toronto for Best Historical Novel. Murray lives and writes in southwestern Alberta and is currently published by Barbour, Baker, Harper One, Zondervan, and Harvest House as well as several other publishing houses – he works with publishers in Canada, America, the UK, and Holland. His releases for 2013 include the novels: Ashton Park, The Rose of Lancaster County, A Road Called Love, Seven Oaks, The Painted Sky, Whispers of a New Dawn, Beneath the Dover Sky, The Name of the Hawk, and An Amish Family Christmas. His diverse writing spans many genres including: historical fiction, contemporary fiction, literary fiction, romance, adventure, western, suspense, fantasy, Amish, and inspirational. Most of his work is available in ebook format for Kindle, Kobo, and Nook as well as in paperback.

View the DOI Series on Amazon! 
 Thomas Jefferson by Murray Pura
Samuel Adams by Amber Schamel
Next installment coming soon!

We're giving away a free copy of Thomas Jefferson by Murray Pura AND Samuel Adams by Amber Schamel to one lucky winner!  Enter Below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I did not enjoy history in school but really enjoy reading it now. Is this an historical fiction read or straight biography? I enjoy your books, Murray. sm wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

  2. Hello Sharon! Thanks for stopping by! The Declaration of Independence series are historical fiction shorts that give us a glimpse into the incredible lives of the signers. It's been a fun series so far, and more stories are on their way.

  3. So, is it really true that Jefferson wasn't the one who deleted the part to not free the slaves? One of my daughters was here just the other day and was fussing that Pre. Jefferson could have freed the slaves way back then and didn't. I too love reading about our history from our authors and didn't in school. BUT, how do readers know which parts are real and which are fiction? Maxie

    1. I agree with you, Maxie! That's one of the reasons I love historical. It inspires me to read more history. lol.

      That's a great question. How does the reader know which parts are real, and which are not? That question has crossed my mind many times, which is one of the reasons in my biblical novella The Swaddling Clothes I put footnotes as well as a glossary at the back so my readers could see which characters and parts were fictional. But it's hard to do that on everything. So I guess the reader would just have to research their questions on their own. Or, you can always ask the author. :)

  4. Hey Amber just had to stop in you know I love history and I love Murray so these sounds so promising to read. So glad to learn more about both thomas jefferson and Murray Pura.
    Thank you for sharing with us.
    Linda Marie Finn
    Faithful Acres Books

    1. Hi Linda! Thanks so much for stopping by! It's good to see you again. Always enjoy seeing you at the Thirsty Thursday parties. :) Good luck in the drawing!

  5. Fingers crossed I win. My kids and in-laws will love these.

  6. Love Murray's writings! Thanx for the giveaway!

    1. You're welcome Jennifer! Thanks for stopping by, and good luck in the drawing!