Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Fighting the Promise by F. Allan Roth


F. Allan Roth likes to fly fish on the South Fork of the Snake River. He ties his own flies and builds his own bamboo fly rods and wooden boats. He also is an amateur mycologist, and enjoys hunting (and eating) wild mushrooms and berries.
As a graduate student, he taught English classes at Brigham Young University. After graduation, he moved to Ricks College (now called BYU-Idaho), where he taught for two years. After that, he moved to a nuclear research laboratory where he worked as a technical writer and editor for nearly thirty years. He and his wife, Jerelyn, live in Idaho. At last count, they have seven children, twenty-five grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.
Allan Roth is an American author who writes LDS fiction and fantasy novels. Other works include A Missionary’s Musings on the Book of Mormon, available exclusively from Amazon.
Book Blurb
When the Chinese conquered America, the government gave up without a fight—but the people didn’t. Church leaders had cautioned church members that the collapse of their nation was the fulfillment of an ancient prophetic promise from the Book of Mormon. Fighting against the occupation, the brethren warned, would be the same as fighting against God’s righteous judgment on a nation ripened in iniquity. But when war came to their home, Bishop Stuart Holliwell and his family found themselves Fighting the Promise. This story was a 2018 Whitney Award nominee.
The Inspiration Behind the Story
The story that grew into Fighting the Promise started more than twenty years ago in a Sunday-school class. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (better known as the “Mormons”), and I was teaching about a prophecy from the Book of Mormon that says if the people of America ever became “ripened in iniquity,” the Lord would sweep them off the face of the land and give this land to a different people.
One member of the class laughed at that and said that such an event might have been possible in ancient times, but in these modern days the USA was far too strong for God to destroy. I thought about his comment for a while and decided to write a story that showed just how fragile our nation could be if we faced God’s judgement. That story, which forms the introduction to Fighting the Promise, was originally intended to be a stand-alone short story called “And the Home of the Brave.”
I never published that original story, but as the years passed, I realized that there was more to the story than I had written. I thought about how life-changing the fulfillment of prophecy would be to the people and families who might someday have to live through it. Since I live in Idaho, I imagined an Idaho family living through the upheaval of seeing their beloved government overthrown and their people destroyed. That family became the Holliwell family, and their story became Fighting the Promise.
It is a family-friendly story. There is no sex. There’s no swearing in it other than two cases of the word hell (once in its religious sense, and once in a jocular oath by an old farmer). Since there is a war involved, there is some violence, but violence is never the focus of the story and is never glorified. In most cases, the violence occurs “off-screen” so the reader does not need to see the blood and gore. Violence is consistently portrayed as unnecessary, evil, and something that should be avoided.
Reviews
"I couldn’t put the book down. At times, the action took my breath away, I fevered for the characters to make the right choices, anguished over the heartbreaks, was infuriated at betrayals. I lived the story. I could picture the scenes in my mind. Families divided, obedience in trials, love and forgiveness—it’s all there. Definitely a must-read!"

"What if you believed your church leader was called of God and received direction from Him. What if the United States was taken over by a foreign power. Would you choose to act the patriot and fight back to drive the intruders out and restore the constitutional form of government? Or, would you follow the church leader who warned in order to live and prosper, for the time the people must submit and obey the new government? This story followed a family where half followed the church leader and half joined the resistance. To me, both groups felt like they did the right thing. It was interesting how the story played out, and how it worked out for the family. Great story that held my interest"
Links
Amazon Purchase Link
Author Website/Blog

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Romantic Cozy Mystery by Gail Pallotta


Gail Pallotta is giving away a Kindle copy of Hair Calamities and Hot Cash. A winner will be picked at random and Gail will get in touch with you. All you have to do is comment and leave your email.

To enter more contests, visit Best of 2019

The story behind Hair Calamities and Hot Cash, a 2019 Category Finalist in Humor / Comedy and a 2020 Book Awards Nominee by TopShelf Magazine, begins many years ago. It started in a small town at the foothills of the North Carolina Mountains, where my mother ran a beauty shop. Her salon doubled as a meeting place where customers who knew each other discussed how to make the latest recipe, what to do about world affairs and everything in between, including family relations, births, deaths and weddings. Clients planned showers, graduation parties and get-togethers for new neighbors while hair flew.

Mostly townspeople showed up, and the spirit of the community overflowed. The residents had disagreements, but they didn’t hate those who thought differently from them. They had close friends, acquaintances, people they tolerated and those they kept at a distance. As in most small environments, they gossiped and could be nosey. However, when someone grieved for a loved one, suffered from an illness or any other crisis, prayers went up and casseroles went out no matter whether the person was a best friend or someone held at a distance. They all were God’s children. The walls of Mother’s beauty shop echoed the spirit of the community, and I wanted to bring it back.

Book Blurb: “A comedic romp from small town to big city in search of missing money, hair catastrophes, and love. A truly fun read” --Cynthia Hickey, author of the Shady Acres Mystery series.

What happens when a New York stockbroker crashes his car into Eve Castleberry’s North Carolina beauty shop...on the same day the young widow’s defective hair products are causing wild hairdos? Soon Eve finds herself helping the handsome stranger hunt the thieves who stole his client’s cash...and hot on the trail of two of the F.B.I.’s most-wanted criminals! Romance blossoms amid danger, suspense and Eve’s hair-brained plan to get back the money.

Reviews:  

A Five-Star Amazon Review:
“Things aren’t going right for the widow, Eve. Her hair products are faulty, and her clients are getting some quirky hair-doo results. What else can go wrong? Well, how about a broker, named Phillip, from the Big Apple, smashing his vehicle right into her salon? After the initial shock, Eve regains her composer and offers him coffee. Phillip obligingly aids her in swabbing up an overspill of soapsuds. Who would think love would be the verdict of this ‘hairy’ chain of events? The two pull together to find a missing large sum of money, as well as why Eve got botched hair products to begin with. Comical chaos flows effortlessly in this starry-eyed, humorous tale of misfortune surprisingly turning to serendipity. ‘Hair Calamities and Hot Cash’ is a fresh, cozy, romantic mystery by Gail Pallotta...every bit brilliant and complete with charm, excitement and wit.” --RJS

A Five-Bone Review from Spatzle Speaks:
“My mom adores alliteration so the title of this book tickles her fancy no end. Hair Calamities and Hot Cash is...full of adventure, comedy and suspense. Poor Eve Castleberry runs a North Carolina beauty shop. For some reason, this widow is finding her hair products are not doing what they are supposed to do with strange results. To top it off a New York stockbroker crashes his car into her salon and he’s on the hunt for criminals wanted by the FBI whole stole his client’s cash. Merry mayhem ensues and this is one delightful romantic comedy as the two work together to get the money and solve the riddle of what’s going wrong at her store. Writing witty comedy is an art and Gail Pallotta has it mastered in this novel. No cats or dogs but any book that makes my mom giggle is worthy of five bones!” --Spatzle

Buy Links:
Kobo 

Bio: Award-winning author Gail Pallotta is a wife, mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. Gail is a 2013 Grace Awards finalist, a 2017 Reader’s Favorite Book Award winner and a 2019 TopShelf Magazine Award finalist winner in the Humor /Comedy category. She has published six books, poems, short stories and two hundred articles. Some of her articles appear in anthologies while two are in museums. To learn more about Gail and her books, visit her website at http//gailpallotta.com. 

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Cherished Romances by Colleen Reece


Best-selling Author Colleen L. Reece, 160+ published books with over six million copies sold, uses what she knows to lend authenticity to her novels. Her latest project is using her improved skills to revise out-of-print titles published more than thirty years ago.

Cherished Romances: Historical Series
Mystery, adventure, love, and inspiration

First two of six titles now available

In 1989, my novel, The Calling of Elizabeth Courtland, launched the Romance Reader flip book line. I later launched Barbour’s Heartsong Presents Book Club. Many award-winning titles followed. All are filled with excitement, suspense, laughter, and strong characters who face a multitude of challenges in order to find God, love, and happiness. They contain excitement, suspense, laughter, and tears. Characters learn that it is impossible to overcome adversity without God’s help.

Book #1, A Girl called Cricket. East is East and the West is Far Away. Haunted by tragedy and scandal, Charity Endicott and her millionaire grandfather leave Long Island in the 1920s. and search for peace on a Wyoming cattle/guest ranch. (Story based on author’s parents’ love and courtship.)

Book #2, Angel of the North. Can a life of service atone for a terrible wrong?
A remorseful young woman in the late 1890s seeks to overcome words spoken in a fit of anger. Words that drove away the man Evangeline Lawrence learned too late have captured her proud, rebellious heart. (Story based on true experiences of Colleen’s mother’s friend, who nursed in the Canadian wilderness decades ago).

#3, The Hills of Hope. World War I rages overseas and at home.  For Timothy Wainwright in the trenches. For Hope Farrell, facing banishment by a father obsessed with marrying her to a man she despises. A cry for help puts Timothy to the supreme test—and Spanish Influenza strikes fear into the hearts of those abroad and back home. Only God can heal bodies, minds, and souls. (True incidents from family members who lived during those heart-breaking days.)

#4, Legacy of Silver. War tears families apart. Silver Birches Plantation, Virginia, Civil War era. Silver Trevelyan firmly believes that God will drive the Northern aggressors from the South in short order. Zachary Stuart is a physician dedicated to saving lives. He refuses to join the Confederacy. Silver scorns him but when in danger, undertakes a tortuous journey seeking his protection. (Story includes incidents handed down by family members who served. Author’s father was from North Carolina.)

#5, Storm Clouds Over Chantel. Runaway bride seeks sanctuary in frontier Montana. Chantel Evans discovers her fiancé is a scoundrel plotting with her stepmother to put her in a mental institution in order to claim Chantel’s inheritance. She flees from Boston, needing refuge. “Firebrand” Morgan wonders what will become of the Evans ranch if left to Chantel. It takes tragedy to turn hearts to God. (Research and visits to the “Big Sky” were invaluable.)

#6, To Love and Cherish. An embittered 1800s doctor hopes for peace in an isolated hamlet. “Dr. Luke” vows to never again practice medicine after betrayal by his fiancée and best friend. Yet how can he turn his back on Cherish Hathaway, victim of prejudice and superstition, after the moonshiner’s daughter saves Dr. Luke’s life? (Dad was from North Carolina, in the vicinity of the fictional town Stump Hollow and my long-held interest in medicine served me



Colleen is featuring me on her blog, as well. You can check it out at: https://colleenreece.blogspot.com/2020/01/prolific-author-brings-olden-days-alive.html

Monday, January 6, 2020

A Real Fire-Breathing Dragon in Colorado?

When the questionable cellphone photo of a flying black reptile is splashed over the internet, online news reporter Crystal Logan ventures to the small town of Winchester to find out just how real this alleged sighting is. If her suspicions are right, this could lead to solving a heartbreaking nightmare that has plagued Cryss for over a decade.

* * *

In the Black Sky Mountains of Colorado, Sheriff Derek Reaves has worked hard to maintain peace in his quiet, rural town.  Now thanks to a paranoid tourist who swears he spotted a fairytale monster, hundreds of crazy supernatural and alien seekers are flooding Winchester for their own encounter of the bizarrest kind.

Unfortunately one beautiful news lady is a lot savvier, nosier and tenacious than all the others.  If Derek doesn’t find a way to get rid of this enticing woman, Cryss Logan may very well uncover the dangerous secret Winchester has hidden all these years.

Which includes its own mysterious sheriff.

Addison Carmichael writes Paranormal Romance. His books are consistently on Amazon’s Top 100 best sellers list for Clean/Wholesome subgenre.  Addison said that it’s all about the romance, suspense and the story! He will not “cross the line,” but writes family friendly stories. Way to go, Addison!



This book is on discounted pre-order until its official release date on Feb 1st.  This is the first book in a 4-book series.
 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

A Historical Mystery Romance Release


This new Historical Romance series is set in the 1800s. Each story has a mystery to solve and each book is family friendly. I have just released a new book in this series, which takes place in 1839 in the United States. This was a time of turmoil for many, especially for those who supported the abolitionist movement.

In A Pleasant Rivalry, Angelica Davis is surprised when she finds out that an old school chum has returned to Willow Valley to take over his grandfather’s business. Since she writes articles for the Chronicle and Simon Morgan owns the Willow Valley News, they just happen to be rivals. The competition is on. Who will be the first to discover the identity of the jewel thief or the arsonist? Will it be Angelica or Simon? Gradually the feelings she once had for him return as they both search for the same stories. To her surprise, Angelica realizes she is losing her heart to her rival. 

Sunnie Reviews wrote: “I loved this book!  It was a great historical read and full of surprises.  I totally didn't expect what happened… to happen.  The time period was an interesting one and I love how the author intertwines historical events into the story.  It was a new and refreshing tale.”
-->
You will learn about the Trail of Tears, the abolitionist movement that began in Illinois, the refugees that were kicked out of Missouri, and you will fall in love all over again as you see two classmates bond in a pleasant rivalry.

It has been thirteen years since Angelica saw her classmate. He left at the age of seventeen to join the Navy. Now he’s back to run his grandfather’s newspaper business. With Simon running the Willow Valley News and Angelica writing articles for the Chronicle, the competition is on. Who will get the story first? Angelica or her rival?

"What a delightful story! Clarke's characters just get better and better. They have always seemed like real people... partly, I guess, because many of them are. I loved how everything dove-tailed in this story. It flowed so perfectly." --Linda Badurek

Since this is book three in the series, you will meet a few of those from previous stories. You will see Nicholas and Felicity from book one and Emmeline and Lucas from book two. They were beloved characters that snuck back into this story and are even more enchanting. They add a bit of fun to this story.

The first book in the Willow Valley series is One Last Dance. Felicity Brooks is an artist but her career is cut short when her father passes away. When Felicity meets their new neighbor, a fine-looking bachelor, she soon discovers that he is hiding his true identity. Nicholas Adams is on a quest. But that is not all. When she finds out that someone is after a valuable heirloom…a precious treasure that her father had discovered in his attic, her life takes a new turn.

One Last Dance is a historical romance with a mystery to add to the tale. Felicity has always been a strong and independent woman. Amongst mystery, loss, paintings, and a career, she is going to have to decide if love has a place in her heart.” --Author Anna Del C Dye

The second book in the Willow Valley series is Angel’s Serenade.  Emmeline Scott is raising her sister’s two children and is surprised when she finds out the new doctor in town is helping her nephew adapt to his surroundings. It is not easy to be uprooted and have to start a new life. As Emmeline gets to know the charming doctor, Lucas Golden, they become intrigued by her neighbor’s mysterious behavior. Will they discover his secret? And who is the leader of the River Pirates, who is causing so much havoc?

Clarke has created a sweet romance that will warm the heart, and it’s wrapped up in fascinating yesteryear details of courting, medical practice and river pirates. I highly recommend the book to those who enjoy sweet romance with a bit of mystery.” –Author Gail Pallotta


Linda’s Website: www.lindaweaverclarke.com


-->

A Pleasant Rivalry is available at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Z49N2LJ

Angel’s Serenade is available at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RV79LDN

One Last Dance is available at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GVNWSP9 

About Author:
Linda Weaver Clarke was raised among the Rocky Mountains of southern Idaho and now lives among the red hills of southern Utah. She is the author of Historical Romance, Cozy Mysteries, Swashbuckling Romance, a Children’s Book, and Nonfiction. Linda teaches a class about writing your family history that is free to the public at the Family Search Center in Southern Utah. She is also a missionary at the Family Search Center where she helps people find their ancestors so they can learn about their heritage.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Mystery Suspense Audiobooks

This week I'm highlighting my new audio book series from The Adventures of John and Julia Evans. These books are full of adventure and mystery, with a touch of romance. Since this series is family friendly, these stories are labeled as cozy mysteries. I hope you enjoy them. There is a description of each audiobook, a review, and a sample audio to listen to.


Julia is a newspaper reporter and her husband is a professional knife maker. Because of her curiosity, John and Julia find themselves in trouble a few times. The Evans also have three college age daughters, which add a little spice to their life. She never realized that being a reporter could be so dangerous.

Anasazi Intrigue
 
When a devastating flood takes out several homes in a small town, residents are shocked by the news of also a possible poison spill that kills many of the fish and neighbor's pets. Julia, the town's newest reporter, begins her investigation but realizes the story is much bigger and more dangerous than she thought! Julia and her husband find themselves on the run trying to save their lives while finishing the story of a lifetime! She never realized that being a reporter could be so dangerous. With artifacts, dead fish, a devastating flood, and miscreants, John and Julia have their hands full.


“This is the first book I've read by Linda Weaver Clarke and I'm already hooked. The first pages grab you right in and grab at your heartstrings as you read about the destruction caused by the flood. When Julia and John fight for their lives, readers will be on the edge of their seats for this one.

“There's also romance in the mix. John and Julia's marriage is strong and they are quite supportive of each other. Even when they have their ups and downs, it's not for long and they get right back into each other's arms. It's nice to see a relationship portrayed this way. Very realistic and believable. In fact, all the characters are portrayed realistically including their three daughters.--Socrates Book Review
 
Mayan Intrigue

The discovery of a priceless artifact puts Julia's life in great danger. While on assignment for the newspaper, John and Julia Evans try to enjoy a romantic vacation among the Mayan ruins. When Julia sees a couple suspicious men exchanging an item, she quickly turns and leaves but it is too late. The men have seen her. Before John and Julia realize what is going on, they are both in danger and find themselves running for their lives through the jungles of the Yucatan.


“What starts out as a romantic trip quickly turns into a dangerous adventure among the Mayan ruins and jungles, and the vacationers are on the run from thieves--and wild animals! Excitement prevails! This book is full of mystery and suspense. Linda’s writing is lively and down-to-earth; she has the ability to make you feel as if you're in these stories, along with John and Julia, trying to decipher the truth and escape from harm.” --Susan Ortlieb, Suko’s Notebook Reviews
 
 

Montezuma Intrigue 

When a leather parchment of Montezuma's map is found in great-grandfather Evans' old chest, April and the twins know this summer is going to be a memorable one. The girls want to search for it but their father is against it for some mysterious reason. With Julia's help, she and the girls convince John to go on a treasure hunt. Is Montezuma's treasure a legend or reality? Whatever the case, John insists on keeping their little treasure hunt a secret. If certain people find out about it, the family could be in danger.


“I am charmed by Montezuma Intrigue. The mysteries continue as this author entrances us with life-like characters and electrifying adventures. The search for Montezuma's treasure is both exciting and memorable. There are also a few romances, and some surprises as well, which kept my reading pleasurable and lively. I enjoyed the adventure and suspense in her latest novel, which kept me reading well into the night.” --Susan Ortlieb, Suko’s Notebook

 

Desert Intrigue

 When Julia's brother announces that his dude ranch is haunted, she believes that someone is trying to sabotage his place and force him to sell. The mysterious happenings have to do with Superstition Mountain, the lost Dutchman's goldmine, and the great Thunder God. Is it possible that the legend of the Thunder God is actually true? After a terrible thunderstorm, everyone begins to wonder. John and Julia quickly head to Mesa, Arizona and discover a few mysterious events. Will they find out who is behind these disasters before Uncle Kelly's dude ranch is ruined?

“As a guy, it was really great to see a man, check that men, being shown as strong not only physically, but emotionally as well. I've read a lot of books where the guy in the book isn't shown as being connected to his wife/girlfriend through anything other than surface thoughts. With John and his brother-in-law Kelly, though, I saw them as ‘men's men’, and ones that also were invested in the life of the women around them. The story moved quick enough, there were plenty of red herrings to keep me guessing, right down to the ending of the book.” –Rick Estep, Reviews From A Man's Perspective

More Fun Reviews:

“I loved the first three books in this series, but I actually loved this one even more. I didn’t think that was possible. The characters are so well written and I absolutely adore each member of the Evans family. They grab at your heartstrings and won’t let go. As for the story, talk about fast-paced. Desert Intrigue is that and more! It’s a book that will leave you with that warm fuzzy feeling. Linda Weaver Clarke has outdone herself with this book! I'm sure it comes as no surprise that it's getting my Socrates' Great Book Alert.” –Socrates Book Reviews

“Desert Intrigue is an entertaining and joyful book, my favorite in this mystery series by Linda Weaver Clarke.  I love the sparks of romance in this adventure--they spice things up and add much interest to the story. The book has a handful of surprises that I did not anticipate, and the mystery fuels much of the action.” –Suko’s Notebook

“This book can be read safely by anyone, and the romance scenes are absolutely delectable! The mystery in the book is probably the best I have seen from Linda Weaver Clarke. She gave subtle details, but even I did not have it all figured out by the end.” My Devotional Thoughts
  
LEARN HOW TO GET A FREE AUDIO BOOK FROM AUDIBLE! Receive this audiobook free if you join audible.com. Membership includes two free audiobooks and you can choose from 150,000+ titles. Go to Linda Weaver Clarke’s Audible Page and find the book you’re interested in and sign up for some free audiobooks.

My Audible Page: https://www.audible.com/author/Linda-Weaver-Clarke/B004P47EWO

Monday, July 15, 2019

Inspriational Romance Book Release Celebration


Today we’re celebrating a Book Release for Regina Andrews’ new book: IN GOOD FAITH. She will be having a giveaway of two free ebooks to three readers who comment, chosen at random. They will receive an ebook of IN GOOD FAITH and their choice of any of the Sterling Lakes Series Books 1-4. 

Welcome, Regina, to my blog. Please tell us about your new Inspirational Romance.

Hello Linda. Thank you very much for hosting me on your blog. I am very excited because IN GOOD FAITH, my new inspirational romance novel, has just been released. It is the first book in my new series, the Dunbar Falls Series.

About IN GOOD FAITH: When Haley Hawthorne’s future is out at a crossroad and she can’t get air, what will she do? The Past is closing in on her. Faced with upheaval, will Haley choose the path God has set out for her, and what part in her future will Carrier play?


A Sampling of Amazon Reviews

“Haley has grown used to city life, but goes back to her hometown when her uncle passes. He has left her the use of his three-story mansion if she'll stay and run his company. She encounters Aaron, a boy she's known all of her life and discovers all the locals know how much he cares for her, even if she doesn't. She's been too caught up in city life and the hustle and bustle of it all to take the time to see people from her past or even to see what is right in front of her eyes...I highly recommend this book!” –B. J. Robinson


“This is a delightful story. I would describe Haley as a fashionable city girl in designer clothes. When she has to make the change from city girl to small town girl, it isn't easy...This is truly an adorable story.” –Linda Weaver Clarke

“I received a review copy of this book, and I couldn't put it down. This novel is an engaging Christian romance without being preachy. I love how the story reinforces the real-life challenges of choosing what is best for you while keeping others in mind.” –SB101

Questions for Regina!

Regina, does your faith affect your writing? How?
I’m so glad you asked me that question. Yes, in fact my faith is really the reason why I write. My inspirational romance deals with a hero and heroine, of course. But they also deal with God’s role in our lives. We may not have a lot of faith, we may be in trouble—no matter what the circumstances, God is always there for us. And in an inspirational romance, God‘s love is what brings the hero and heroine together.

What’s next in the Dunbar Falls Series?
I am working on the second book in the series and hope to have it finished by the end of this year. The title is ACT OF FAITH, and the heroine is a character, Alison, from IN GOOD FAITH.

Thank you for visiting my blog this week. I hope many people will learn about your book and check it out.

About the Author: Inspirational Author Regina Andrews grew up in the seaside village of Barrington, Rhode Island. She still loves visiting the beach, and her other hobbies include museums, travel, and music. After graduating from college she attended the University of Delaware and eventually earned her Master’s degree in American Studies from Brown University. She is the author of The Sterling Lakes Series, The Perfect Proposal, Spotlight on Love, and the award winning e-book of the year, Destiny’s Designs, which will be re-released in August 2019.

Link to Regina’s website: http://www.reginaandrews.com/

The winner will receive an ebook of IN GOOD FAITH and their choice of any of the Sterling Lakes Series Books 1-4. I have read all these Inspirational Romances and really enjoyed them.

 



-->

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Why Honor Our Flag?


When I see our beloved flag, I think of all the men who have fought for our freedom. The soldiers in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan have risked their lives so freedom could be preserved. We have troops in other areas, as well. These men have left their wives, children, and families to serve their country.

Freedom is the most precious gift given to man. It isn’t free, but it’s fought for. Why do we value our freedom and hold it so close to our hearts? When we pledge allegiance to our flag, what does that mean to us? Do we take our freedom for granted? Many countries have no rights and are not at liberty to say what they feel or to worship as they please. In some countries, Christianity cannot be preached among the people. Newspapers, media, and even the Internet are all government controlled. Do we understand the freedom we possess? Do you appreciate the patriots who fought for the liberty we enjoy?

On July 4, 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the “Declaration of Independence.” This document inspired every patriot to fight for his liberty. It read: “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

The Declaration of Independence was inspired of God. These brave patriots hungered for freedom of choice, for their rights, and to worship according to the dictates of their own conscience. The patriots fought with every fiber of strength they had, both bond and free.

Many of these patriots were willing to die for their freedom. Nathan Hale, a 23-year-old artist and schoolteacher, felt the conviction of his beliefs so strongly that he agreed to go on a dangerous mission for George Washington. He was caught with sketches of British gun emplacements and the penalty for being a spy was death. As he marched up the steps of the gallows, he held his head high. Nathan Hale faced the people and declared boldly, “I regret that I have but one life to give for my country.”

The patriots knew the value of freedom and were willing to pay the price. Most of the victories in the south came from Colonial Francis Marion and his men. Francis Marion knew how to deal with the enemy in his own homeland. He was known as the Swamp Fox and had the slyest fighting command in the whole revolution. He had trained his men to disappear into the thick forest and swamps of South Carolina without a sound. Hidden from sight, they would strike and then quickly move through the woods like silent shadows, fading into the forest and undergrowth. Francis Marion and his men tormented the British army with one ambush after another. This frustrated the British officers because they were helpless in the woods and swamps.

After eight long years, the Americans beat the greatest military power in the world. Many patriots paid for this freedom with their lives and we should be grateful to those who fought for this liberty. We are a great nation with ancestors who fought to be free.

We should honor those who have served and fought to preserve our liberty! Take time to thank a soldier for his service!