Hello everyone! For some reason, it feels like it’s been forever since I did a Book Review! And I’m so excited to share this one with you! I recently borrowed this book from the library and let me tell you, it was a bumpy ride!
Sophia's War: A Tale of the Revolution
(From the Back Cover)
Lives hang in the balance in this gripping Revolutionary War adventure from a beloved Newbery Medalist.
In 1776, young Sophia Calderwood witnesses the execution of Nathan Hale in New York City, which is newly occupied by the British army. Sophia is horrified by the event and resolves to do all she can to help the American cause. Recruited as a spy, she becomes a maid in the home of General Clinton, the supreme commander of the British forces in America. Through her work she becomes aware that someone in the American army might be switching sides, and she uncovers a plot that will grievously damage the Americans if it succeeds. But the identity of the would-be traitor is so shocking that no one believes her, and so Sophia decides to stop the treacherous plot herself, at great personal peril: She’s young, she’s a girl, and she’s running out of time. And if she fails, she’s facing an execution of her own.
Master storyteller Avi shows exactly how personal politics can be in this “nail-biting thriller” (Publishers Weekly) that is rich in historical detail and rife with action.
In case you haven’t figured it out, I am intrigued by war time espionage, especially if it’s from the War Between the States, the Revolution or World War Two. Would I want to be a spy? Absolutely not! 😉 now if I had been a man, definitely! (Thank God He created me to be a woman!) This story covers the tale of Sophia Calderwood a young lady growing up in Colonial New York. It was an enthralling read! Seeing her be instrumental in capturing one of my least favorite villains in history was satisfying and while she is the heroine, I didn’t feel that this story undermined men like most female protagonists do. I didn’t like the way she thought of one of the final proponents of the historic event, but even so, she handled herself as a lady and didn’t sass him, even though she was concerned.
Things to keep in mind:
Sophia is 12 at the beginning of the story and 15 at it’s end. Today, her actions are unthinkable for a child of that age, but at this time, she is considered nearly an adult and as an adult, respectively.
There is a mention of her liking Major John Andre. What I liked about this is how her mother wisely warns her about him and how she herself asserts that she was too young and extremely foolish to let her head run away with her. And while she has to live with the mistake of giving away a peace of her heart, this book is not a romance in the least! I was pleasantly surprised at how the story was handled.
My main problem with this story is deception. I understand that she is a spy, and some deem it necessary to lie. I personally felt much of it wasn’t and do not condone lying under any circumstances. It is still a sin.
The historical detail was amazing! And the historical note in the back proved the perfect ending to this story told in first person Point of View (POV). And just warning you, for the first part of the story, if you are easily touched by the plights of POWs…you will need tissues. It is heart-wrenching, but brings to life the often forgotten victims of the Revolution, the POW and the citizen living in an occupied city. Life has to go on, but how does a Patriot pick up the pieces when their home is in the hands of the enemy? Read this book to find out.
This was a library book and if it were mine, I believe there were 2 or 3 words I would have marked. I would recommend this story for ages 14+.
Have a Blessed Day!
Hello! So hard to believe it’s May already! May is my favorite Month of the year for a few reasons. It’s my birth month 😉 and it contains two of my favorite holidays, Confederate Memorial Day (May 10th) and Memorial Day (May 27th). But we’re not here to talk about that 😊 We are here to talk about April!
My April Favorites…
Event: Revival in Maryland (more on that below) and Youth Marathon at Morning Star Baptist Church! This is an amazing, family friendly two-day event that we attend every year! My sister and her family come up for it and we have a great time! The sermons are amazing and soul-searching. God never fails to teach me something here and it’s an event I look forward to every year!
Song: Well, I’m still pretty stuck on Only One! But another song I’ve been enjoying is Complete in Thee by Aaron Wolfe and James Martin. It’s an old song, and the words are so worshipful!
Verse: But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; (2 Timothy 3:14; King James Bible)
This is so true today. We must never shake off the old paths the Bible has laid out for us to follow! We must stand strong and continue!
Book of the Month: I would have to say my favorite was A Question of Courage by Jesseca Wheaton. It’s probably my favorite in her series! If you like WWII, Navy/Pilots/Nursing, you’ll enjoy this heart-warming story. I will warn you, at the very beginning and the very end there is an engaged couple together in the story. For the most part, the characters act mature about it, but there is some hand holding and I think one kiss. I mark that content out of my books, but like I said, it’s not much at all.
Ministry: Earlier this month, we went to Maryland for a week-long revival! It was a blessing, meeting with the people, getting to know them and having a week of services! The preaching was great (I’m not biased at all 😉) and I think me and my siblings sang every song we know, lol! I certainly hope to go back again if the Lord wills it!
Writing Update: Mom and I are officially team editing! She has read over 15 chapters of it and making rapid progress! I can’t wait to share this book with y’all, but it’s still got a ways to go 😉
A Book I am Anticipating for May: Unbroken by Laura Hildebrand. I have been forewarned that it needs some content edits, but also told that it is worth every bit of it. So, this is my non-fiction pic for this month. I am also looking forward to reading Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. I’ve heard it’s good, but also a hard read, since it deals with the Holocaust. So, yes, WWII seems to be an underlying theme for me this month, lol! I’ll let you know how they turn out! I’d also like to push through and finish The Hiding Place. We’ll see if that happens or not!
And Now for your Story Prompts!
Hope you all have a lovely week and I hope to return to regular posting soon! Things have been busy, but amazing at the same time!
Hello and welcome back to Life of Heritage Corner! Is it just me or did March fly by? Today, I’d like to share with you some of my March favorites. Let’s go!
My March Favorites…
Event: Capitol Connection! Once a year, me, my dad and my sister take part in Awake America’s Capitol Connection where preachers from around the country meet in Washington D.C. to pray with our Senators and Congressmen! We met with Rep. Ted Budd, our representative. He’s a blessing! Another great memory was having my picture made with Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas)! He’s a former Navy SEAL and SOOOOOOO nice! We also visited Late Rep. Walter Jones’ office, taking a look at two posters he had hanging outside the office. They were servicemen from eastern North Carolina and those stationed in eastern North Carolina who have died in the service of our Country. Such a moving moment!
Song: Only One by Adam Morgan. Oh, this song was so powerful! We sang with the Capital Connection choir and this was one of the songs. Jonathan Hamilton (aka P.J. Pirate) sang the solo part and it sounded amazing. It can be found on The Incredible Race CD and the Hamilton Family CD, God of Wonders.
Verse: O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. (Psalm 139:1-6; King James Bible)
This whole chapter was such a blessing to me! I call it the Pro-Life Psalm 😉 Knowing that God knows me better than anyone else (including myself) is such a comfort to me, especially since I sometimes have trouble expressing myself to others. (I know, I’m a writer and I should be able to articulate the proper words in every situation, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen, lol!) And lets just take a moment and appreciate the lovely old English prose of these verses…I can’t get enough of it! The Bible is so poetic!
Book of the Month: I didn’t read very much this month, we've been so busy and I've been working on book edits, so I don’t have a book to recommend here! Oh, unless my devotion book counts! Revival Today by John Goetsch and Nathan Birt is so good! Everyday, they take a preacher from history, well known or not, and tell something that happened in their lives on or near that day in history. God used each of these men in shaking a nation and bringing revival. It’s amazing to read testimonies of men like Gypsy Smith, Billy Sunday, Shubal Stearns and Charles Fuller. And you learn a lot of interesting facts about these men as well. For example, did you know that the main reason prohibition happened in the United States was because of Billy Sunday? Or that Preachers preached against using the radio to reach souls for Christ? Charles Fuller was the first to use radio to broadcast the Gospel! In fact, we play his program (Old-Fashioned Revival Hour) on FBN Radio at 2:05 p.m. on Sundays! Definitely check this program and book out!
Ministry: FBN Share-a-thon went wonderful! Thank you to everyone who tuned in, donated and prayed that God would bless! Over the course of the week, 588 people gave to the Share-a-thon, with 123 first-time givers! The LORD allowed the Share-a-thon to raise $229,648.00. The Share-a-thon ended while raising support for October 9. We'd like to thank each and every one of you who prayerfully and financially support FBN. This ministry is blessed with faithful listeners, and we are so grateful for you! God is so good!
Writing Update: I am almost done with my self-edits! Next week should wrap it up, Lord Willing! Ministry has kept us hopping, but I wouldn’t trade this past month’s experiences for anything! I am currently working on the Missouri Campaign and the Georgia Campaign. Pray for me, as both are difficult to write! I want them just right!
A Book I am Anticipating for April: It’s still The Hiding Place, as I only started the book this month. It’s a little slow for me, because the first two chapters don’t really make sense to me yet…I can’t see how they tie in with the story I’m familiar with. Hopefully that will change soon!
And Now for your Story Prompts!
That’s all for now! Lord Willing, I’ll be back next month!
Good morning, afternoon or evening, where ever you are and whenever you’re reading this! I’m thrilled to have you back here at Life of Heritage Corner! This post was originally supposed to be put up next month, but on a whim, I decided to do it now. It has been requested that I share some of the books that I get my information from, specifically for my series, The Battle for Heritage, set during the War Between the States. 📚 So today, I’m going to share 6 of the books that really helped me get my series together, specifically for The Land of Cotton!
Very early on in my work, a dear man gave me over a dozen books from his personal collection. These books have helped me a lot! In fact, three of them made this list! So, here are my top six research books.📝
1. The Civil War by Bruce Caton ©1988 by American Heritage Inc. edition.
Now, I disagree with Mr. Caton on his view of the War Between the States, but the main thing I used this book for (which was very well researched; he’s known as the Civil War Authority of his day) was the special bonuses at the end of the book. Part 1 is a Chronology of the Civil War, dividing the events up by year, month and day. I relied heavily on this while plotting my series and still refer to it constantly. Part II is the Index to the Chronology. This listed all the battles alphabetically, then in small print listed the month, day and year it took place, so you could look it up in the chronology. Very helpful! Part III is The Leading Participants. Alphabetically, the political and military leaders of both sides are listed, with a paragraph telling who they are, what they did in the war, when they did it, if they were wounded and when, what battles they fought in, what command position they held and when, and when they died (if applicable). It is a gold mine! To be honest, I’ve yet to actually read the book…I’ve only used the bonus indexes!😆
2. The Time-Life History of the Civil War (I don’t have my copy down right now, so I’m not sure what edition it is, but click here to see it.)
I read parts of this book, depending on what battle I was currently working on. It gave quotes from soldiers as well as times and places when things happened. But mostly, I used it for the pictures. There were drawings✏, photos📸 , and paintings🖌, some more modern and some made during the war. I used these for inspiration for characters, activities and battle sequences.
3. A Civil War Treasury of Tales, Legends and Folklore, Edited, with an Introduction by B.A. Botkin ©1960 by B.A. Botkin, 1993 Promontory Press Edition
Warning: It does need some editing…there are a few bad words and a few stories that need to be taken out!
This book is exactly what it sounds like, Tales, legends, folklore, letters and journals written by the people who actually experienced the war! Now, the title insinuates that not everything in the book is 100% accurate, which is true, but there really isn’t a lot of “Tall-Tales”. Most of the content is history written down by the multiple authors. You get a great look at what the men fought for, what camp life was like, what it was like back home and what was going on in the officers and politicians’ heads. There are news articles as well. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the time period, the language and the mindset of the people. You hear from both the famous and the unheard of, and that’s one of the reasons I enjoy it!
4. Beloved Bride by Bill Potter ©2002-2012 by Vision Forum (Read a full review here!)
This book is beautiful! 😍 It’s one of the books that made me fall in love with General Stonewall Jackson. And yes, most of what I wrote about Stonewall came from reading this book (his dialogue is based off his actual patterns of speech, things he really said and the way he responded to situations.) It’s one of my very favorite non-fictions! Read it, just go read it! ❤
5. A Pocket History of the Civil War by Martin F. Graham ©2011 by Martin F. Graham Osprey Publishing Edition
Oh, wow! I found this book at Ollie’s on sale and it was truly my pocket guide! Again, I didn’t agree with this author’s take on the war, but I found for the most part, it seemed pretty neutral. The statistics were very helpful as well as the breakdown of how to load a rifle. If you read The Land of Cotton, the scene where the boys are going through the process of joining up and the scene where one of the boys is loading his gun, both came from this book. It’s a very comprehensive guide. I also got a lot of information for my Soldier Life // Privates post from this book! Definitely a book to pick up if you are writing about the War Between the States or if you want a little more than a basic overview of the war. My only hang up with this story is that they say the only reason the South went to war was over slavery, which wasn’t a reason at all. Otherwise, I can’t think of anything…
6.The Civil War for Kids by Janis Herbert ©1999 by Janis Herbert, Chicago Review Press 1st Edition
This book gave me the idea to include loading the rifle in my book, though I used #5 to get a clearer understanding. It also inspired me to include espionage in my book. Even though it’s biased for the Union, you’ll find it jammed packed with information and activities. 📒There’s also fun bonus facts about the war, like what names of places mean, who named what battles, biography sketches, etc. If you’ve read Our Heritage to Save, you may remember the scene where Titus dives into the breakdown of the army’s companies, regiments, etc. I got all that from this book. I highly recommend it!
So that’s it for now! Hope this has given you something to springboard off of. In the future I hope to tell you about some of my Confederate resources, more histories and even some documentaries that help me! If you have any questions about these books, please let me know and someone from my team (aka me or my family!) will answer them for you!
The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.
II Timothy 4:12
(King James Bible)
Until Next Time,
*Emoji provided by Emoji One
Hello and welcome back to Life of Heritage Corner! It’s hard to believe February is already over! Today, I’d like to share with you some of my February favorites. Let’s Dive in!
My February Favorites…
Event: Going ice skating with my family for the very first time! Banged up my elbow and my knee, but it was still an exciting experience!
Song: I have been listening to a lot of Patch the Pirate this month! I must say my favorite song so far is God of Wonders from Time Twisters (2017). It covers the wonders of God from the Bible, like Creation, The Flood, Egypt’s Plagues and the Lions’ Den to name a few. The orchestration adds so much to the song and truly allows you to get lost in the Greatness of our God!
Snack: Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies! We love these and my siblings enjoy making them with me when they can. Their favorite part is sifting the flour. (I like that part too 😉)
Verse: Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. (Hosea 6:1, King James Bible) I love Jude 22, but this month, this verse really stood out to me. It was the heading verse from a devotional book, Revival Time by John Goetsch and Nathan Birt. (It’s a great book, btw!) It’s so encouraging to know that God is standing by, ready to forgive when we fail Him, ready to heal our wounds and get us back on the right path. And what a joy to know that this promise holds true for our nation as well! We can have revival, if only the people of God will humble ourselves, and pray, seeking His face and turn from our wicked ways! There is hope! (II Chronicles 7:14)
Book of the Month: The Swamp Fox of the Revolution by Stewart H. Holbrook. It was a very interesting book about one of my favorite Patriot Heroes! I came across it at our local library, and loving older books, I had to check it out 😉 So glad I did!
Now, for those of you who don’t know, my family represents the Fundamental Broadcasting Network (FBN Radio). We are an Independent Baptist ministry out of Grace Baptist Church in Newport, N.C. (click here to see our website!) We have over 40 stations around the country, in addition to 12 overseas stations (including Bagdad, Iraq)! By way of app and Internet, we have heard from 225 countries and territories to date! There are still about 13 places we haven’t been able to reach yet, but we are praying that will change soon.
Why am I telling you this?
Well, I don’t know the names of all the countries we haven’t reached, but I do know one of them: North Korea. Currently, it is impossible to reach them with FBN, because they have a closed server that is closely monitored.
I want to encourage you to join me in praying for this nation to be reached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, if not through FBN (which would be great!), then through some other outlet. This has been a burden on my heart for the last couple of years. They need the gospel and the Christians in their country need encouragement. Will you pray for them today?
I have completed my physical round of edits and am currently making all those changes on my digital copy! It’s coming together quite nicely, and I appreciate your prayers and encouragement! It means a lot to me! Hopefully, I’ll be able to start team-edits with my mom this month!
A Book I am Anticipating for March:
The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom. I know…I love WWII and it’s embarrassing to say I have yet to read this book. But I finally have decided to read it. I know it’s going to be a hard read, but I look forward to hearing Corrie and Betsie’s story in full. (Today is the 75th Anniversary of their arrest.)
And Now for your Story Prompts!
I’ll see you next month! God Bless!
Christian. American. Southern. Author.