Hello everyone! I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I was in school, I loved starting school. As a homeschooler, member of a large family, and serving in our family ministry, each day was an adventure! Would I be doing school in my room or the kitchen table, or would we be balancing our books on our laps as we drove out of town for a meeting? Or would today be an out of book school day, taking a field trip to Ft. Macon, the Zoo or volunteering at a special event at a church?
Something I enjoyed doing when we were traveling was to double up. To those who don’t know what that means, doubling up is simply doing two or more days’ worth of school in one day. Since we have less distractions learning at home than in a class room, we were able to finish our school earlier in the day, which allowed us the time to double up. The reason I would double up was because…I am a lover of books and never go on trips without bringing a stack along. While I do write up the road as well, reading is still a favorite pastime on hours’ long trips. With the school year upon us, I thought it would be fun to give you a few musts for your reading list 😉 I hope you enjoy!
1. Autumn with the Moodys and Autumn Days with the Moodys by Sarah Maxwell
Yes, I will count this as one, since they are book in the same series 😊 Part of a 10-book set (plus 2 amazing Christmas novellas!) book #2 and #6 give readers a nice peek into the lives of a homeschooled family during the beginning of the school season. Add in the wonders of Autumn, my favorite season, and you have a pleasant read, for any time of year, really. I recommend the whole series! Please note that this is a story of one family’s homeschooling experience. Every family is different, and every method doesn’t work for every family. But Ms. Maxwell paints a beautiful picture of a family perusing home education. Click here for more information!
2. Where was Patrick Henry on the 29th of May? by Jean Fritz
Ah…my favorite founding father and protector of religious Liberty! Who can forget his marvelous “Give me Liberty or Give me Death!” speech? He was truly a Patriot to be admired…but what else is there to know about him? This book answers that questions, sharing his highs and lows, his greatest moments and a few things that remind us that we are all human and make mistakes. Regardless of age, this book is a must read! No school reading list should be complete without a book about our Nation’s founding! Pick up this one today! Click here for more information!
3. The Willow Valley Kids Book #1: The Treasure Hunt by Jean Pennington
Any Patch the Pirate fans out there? How about Patch the Pirate Club members? What does this have to do with this book? Mrs. Pennington for years now has dedicated hours of work, creating material for the Patch club literature. And as of the last few years, she has started righting these amazing series of children’s mysteries. Remember how I told you we got to see a Patch the Pirate play last month? Well, we took a chance and purchased this book and the next two in the series. We were a little nervous…but we needn’t have been. These stories are so sweet, mysterious and filled with biblical lessons for the children. These are probably supposed to be for 8-12-year-olds. Ignore that! I loved them, and I’m an adult! My mom just read this book out loud to the family and we all loved it!
This first book is set on the first day of school and continues through the entire school year! It all starts with five kids hearing about Redcoat treasure buried in the valley where they live. Can they do what no one has been able to do in over 300 years? What is at stake if they can’t find the treasure? Is it even still there? The clock is ticking…and that’s all I’m going to tell you 😊 Click here for more information!
4. A Dozen of Them by Isabella Alden
If you’ve never read Mrs. Alden, you must start today! She’s that good! This book is part of her darling Golden Text Series. Each chapter begins with four or five scriptures. One of the scriptures will be used in the story. Our family likes to assign a verse to each person and wait to see who got the “Chosen Verse”. These stories encourage Bible memory, Character building and scriptural application. This particular story is about a young man named Joseph and how the verses that he selected, one for every month, changed his life. Click here for more information! *Note, this link will show you a three book set. We recommend all three!
5. Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee by Robert Edward Lee Jr.
If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed that I really enjoy the 1860s-time period. The War Between the States has always fascinated me, and I know write books on that topic. I read this book last year, a gift from my uncle (who is an Air Force and Police Force Veteran! Love you, Uncle Paul!). He had no idea how much I would enjoy this book. Who better to write a book about Gen. Lee, beloved to the South and the North alike, than his own son? This book is recommended for older readers, simply because it’s written on a higher reading level. Oh. Please, no matter where you are from, no matter what side of the war you side with, please, pick up a copy of this book. It will get you acquainted with this dear, Christian man on a personal level. The author even gives us a peek into his own life in one chapter, which is quite entertaining to say the least! Click here for more information!
So, these are my Back to School Recommendations! Hope you enjoy these books as much as I have! Something to think about. What are you favorite Autumn reads? Share your reading list with others and encourage them to try out a book they’ve never read. Speaking as an avid book worm, you can never have too many book recommendations!
Have a blessed day and keep reading!
If you’ve read my newest book, The Rivers of Sorrow, then you know that a major part of the story is centered around the Battle of Gettysburg. July 1-3 is the 155th Anniversary of that horrific fight. In memory of those who lost their lives there, I present to you 10 totally random facts about this small, Pennsylvania town. (I actually used to live about 20 minutes from there!)
1. The roads leading into Gettysburg form the shape of wagon wheel spokes. With the town at the very center, it is very easy to spot the fun shape of the landscape. This feature attributed to the armies meeting and fighting at Gettysburg.
2. Col. Rufus Dawes, a Union soldier commanding one of the Iron Brigade regiments, was a descendant of William Dawes. In case this name does not ring a bell, William Dawes is one of our Patriot forefathers who rode the midnight ride with Paul Revere 😊 One can’t help but wonder what William would have thought about Rufus fighting his fellow countrymen…
3. John Wesley Culp died on his relative’s land. John was a member of the 2nd Virginia Regiment, Stonewall Brigade, and was killed on Culp’s Hill on July 3rd, 1863. It is believed that the hill was named after an uncle of John’s.
4. At Gettysburg, the Wheatfield proved dangerous for a Sickle. Union General Daniel Sickle, after disobeying orders and moving his men into the field, was shot in the Wheatfield and lost his leg as a result. He survived to become the military dictator of North Carolina following the war.
5. Prior to the battle, when the Confederate troops marched through town for the first time, some girls met them with flowers and pieces of cake. If circumstances were reversed, I don’t think I could have done that 😊
6. At least one black Confederate was at the Battle of Gettysburg! According to the book, The South Was Right! by Walter and James Kennedy, a black soldier marched a yankee prisoner down the streets of Gettysburg, much to the surprise of the population. Seems this man didn’t buy into the Emancipation Proclamation propaganda 😊
7. Pickett’s Charge took place on Cemetery Ridge. What a chillingly accurate name for the location of such a brutal fight. Nearly 7,000 men on both sides were killed, wounded or captured during this fight alone. Between 46,000-51,000 men made up the casualties of the three-day battle at Gettysburg.
8. Pickett’s Charge might deserve a different name. While Pickett did send in a large force of fresh troops (three brigades) the other two divisions were led by men serving under A.P. Hill. The attack was coordinated by Gen. Longstreet. So, rightfully the battle should be called Hill’s Charge or Longstreet’s Charge. Perhaps it is named for Pickett because he is the one who conveyed the order to commence the attack.
9. C.S. Gen. Garnett was killed in Picket’s Charge. His body was never recovered, but he was last seen riding towards a cannon right before it went off. Many believe he was trying to restore his honor following his causing Stonewall to lose the battle of Kernstown in 1862. Even though Stonewall wanted him court-martialed, Garnett respected Stonewall to his death.
10. Following Pickett’s Charge, Lee declared it was all his fault that the attack had failed. The men declared that it wasn’t and begged him to send them back. While he appreciated their loyalty and drive, Lee wisely refused and began organizing the withdrawal of the army.
Well, that’s all for now. Know some interesting facts about the Battle of Gettysburg? Why not share them with a friend and take a moment to appreciate the heroes of the past?
Have a Blessed Day!
That's right! I'm not only posting three posts in one week (click here and here to read them :)) but I'm also doing two posts in one day! Let me explain why...
For the last few posts, I've been scheduling them to go up ahead of time, just in case I can't make it to WiFi...this is not one such post :) Yesterday, I got a phone call from my local printer and they told me...
"The Rivers of Sorrow is ready for pick up! Here is your total..."
That's right! As of right now, The Rivers of Sorrow is available for purchase! For $14.00+ $3.00 s/h, the 3rd installment of The Battle for Heritage Series could be yours! I can hardly believe it! I've literally been working on this book for five years! Five! And to finally be able to hold it in my hands...unless you've published a book, you've know idea what that feels like :)
To celebrate the release, I've got a few goodies for you! An excerpt from the story, and some of my favorite quotes from the book! Enjoy!
From Chapter 1
January 4th, 1863
“Now, march right over to that tree, Yank. Keep them hands where I can see them!”
Confederate Lieutenant Richard Mason rubbed his eyes. “What now?” he mumbled as the shouting continued. He glanced at his pocket watch: 3:46 A.M. January 4th, 1863, was already upon them.
Groaning, Richard kicked off his blanket and stepped out into the cold Virginia night. “What’s going on out here?” he demanded, not at all happy to be losing sleep because of a troublesome federal prisoner.
Sgt. Tyler Nace turned and saluted his lieutenant and friend. “Sorry to disturb you, Lt. Mason. This yank tried to escape. Cpl. Calling sounded the alarm and we cornered him here. Calling had to shoot before he would surrender, sir.”
Richard frowned as blood dripped from the federal soldier’s left arm. “Sgt. Mason is on duty. Have him see to the fed’s arm. I want the prisoner secured for the night. Double the guard.”
“Yes, sir,” Tyler and Cpl. Jeremiah Calling said in unison, saluting. They led the prisoner to the infirmary. Sgt. Seth Mason moved from tent to tent, treating the wounded as needed. He too was aggravated with the escapee.
Richard’s younger brother checked over the wound. “Clean through. Jeremy, you saved his arm.”
The prisoner remained silent. Tyler studied him, noting the flash in the middle-aged man’s eyes. He’s probably pretty upset about being held prisoner by boys, Tyler thought. He’s old enough to be our father!
Seth finished tying off the bandage. “There, that’ll do it.” Seth winced and held his head. “Do I ever have a headache!”
“You need to get some sleep,” Jeremy stated in his to-the-point way. “You work too hard and too late. Go get some sleep.”
“Later. I’ve still got two tents to check. And after that I need to get these shoes to Eddie,” he said, jerking his thumb towards a pair of used brogans sitting on the desk.
“He could sure use them,” Tyler remarked. “He hasn’t complained, but I know his feet are about froze. He’s been walking around in his socks the last few days.”
Jeremy shook his head and pushed the prisoner toward the tent opening. Tyler joined them outside and the trio made their way back to the prisoners’ hold. Tyler nodded to the guards as they climbed the steps and opened the door.
“I tried,” the prisoner told his groaning comrades. Tyler pushed him past the group and led him to a separate room. They couldn’t risk the prisoner causing an uprising.
Titus Mallory, a Confederate sergeant, arrived to help guard. He walked among the soldiers keeping a sharp eye on them. There wouldn’t be trouble on his watch.
Morning light found the soldiers no warmer than the night before. Winter camp had been made around Moss Neck at Camp Winder following bloody fighting at Fredericksburg on December 13th, 1862.
Richard put on his hat and mounted his horse, Champion. He urged the handsome stallion into a run as they headed for his commander’s headquarters.
Major Alexander “Sandie” Pendleton looked up as Richard entered. “Morning, Lt. Mason. Gen. Jackson’s been waiting for you.”
Richard doffed his hat and nodded as Pendleton checked to see if the General was ready for him. “You may go on in, Lieutenant,” Pendleton said.
Richard saluted Lt. Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson as he entered the room. Jackson returned his salute. “Do have a seat, Lieutenant.” Richard fought the desire to rake his fingers through his dark auburn hair. When Stonewall stared at him like he was now, Richard imagined the general could see right through him.
Stonewall sifted through his papers. “I hear you and your command had a bit of excitement during the late fighting.”
Richard took a deep breath and replied, “Yes, sir. Two brigades were divided, but God pieced us all back together.”
Something of a smile hinted at the older man’s lips. “Indeed, He did. Our ever-kind Heavenly Father smiled on us during this campaign.” He shuffled through the papers and laid them aside. “Your Capt. Baines is up for a promotion to Major, Lt. Mason.”
He watched Richard’s expression. Noticing a slight change of his countenance, he asked, “Are you disappointed? Perhaps you believe your captain unworthy of the honor to be bestowed upon him.”
“Oh, no, sir!” Richard assured him. “I only feel sorry for our company. Capt. Baines is an inspiring leader, and I wish he could remain in its command. But I do not begrudge him the honor. I suppose to wish him back is selfishness on my part.”
Jackson nodded slowly. “It is. But hardly to be unexpected.” Silence stole over them. Jackson leaned forward and clasped his hands. “Have you a suggestion for company commander?”
Richard thought a moment. “Lt. Tucker would do well, sir…the campaigns of last year were unkind to our officers, sir. There were many wounded or killed, and others had to take spots in other companies.”
“Is Tucker a trustworthy man?” the general inquired.
“To the utmost, sir. By seniority it belongs to him.”
The general nodded again. “The men have elected you.”
Curious yet? Hop on over to my contacts page to place your order today!
And now for some quotes...
Well, that's all for now! Hope you have a fantastic weekend and please, tell your friends about The Rivers of Sorrow!
Writing for Him,
Memorial Day. They day we have set aside to remember all those who have gone on before us to protect and defend our great nation...everyone of them, regardless of background, native state or political view point. May we never forget them...
I wish I had time to list all the men who have given their lives in defense of our great nation, but there just isn't time. So instead, I have two special groups of people I would like to recognize by the war they served in and I will wrap the post up with a few from other wars.
Nathan Hale // America's first spy; captured an hanged by the British.
Gabriel Marion // Nephew to Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox; Brutally killed in battle.
Benjamin Merrill // American Patriot and North Carolinian; Hanged at the order of Gov. Tryon after the Battle of Alamance.
James Few // Fellow soldier of Ben. Merrill; Hanged following the Battle of Alamance.
Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson // Confederate general and strong Christian; Died May 10th, 1863 after being wounded at Chancellorsville, Va.
Gen. A.P. Hill // Confederate general; Killed in the 3rd Battle of Petersburg (April 2nd, 1865)
Sam Davis // Confederate scout and Christian; Hanged by Union soldiers in November of 1863.
Keith Boswell // Aide to Gen. Jackson; Shot and killed May 2nd, 1863.
Joshua Bowman // Confederate soldier and North Carolinian; My Great-great-great-great-grandfather, murdered April 2nd, 1865. (He was not killed in battle and was shot without a trial, but that's a story for another time.)
Gen. J.E.B. Stuart // Confederate Cavalry officer; killed in May of 1864 at Yellow Tavern, Va.
Gen. Lewis Armistead // Confederate general; Killed at Pickett's Charge, July 3rd, 1863.
D. B. Little // North Carolina soldier; died April 2nd, 1865 at Petersburg,Va.
Also, representing WWII, the five Sullivan brothers who died on the same ship in the Pacific; Harlan Block, Mike Strank, Frank Sousley and Harold Shultz, flag raisers of Iwo Jima; Skipping forward to the current wars being fought in Afghanistan and Iraq, USMC Leon Lucas, who was killed by an enemy grenade while on deployment.
To these men and the hundreds of thousands more who willingly gave everything for us, Thank you for your service.
Hey, Y’all! Today I have a fun post for you, comparing two grand armies to each other. Though from two different centuries and fighting two different foes, they couldn’t be more alike. Enjoy!
American Patriots & American Confederates
Well, that’s all for now. There are more similarities I’m sure, but this is a good overview I think. Why not study out these armies and try to spot some more for yourself?
Have a Blessed Day!
Having Compassion. Making a Difference.