Hello everyone! This past month was amazing! We were able to attend several special services, I celebrated my birthday, Memorial Day rolled around (my favorite holiday!) and the North Carolina Home Educators Book Fair closed out the month for us! Today, I’m gonna share some of my favorites from my favorite month of the year!
My May Favorites…
Event: Born Alive Survivor Protection Act Rally. This was my very first Pro-Life event and our family thoroughly enjoyed it! We were able to give our loads of FBN information (we gave some to our Lt. Governor, Dan Forrest!!!). It was wonderful to gather with hundreds of people from around the state of various ages and background, all to support the lives of our smallest, most vulnerable citizens. Currently, North Carolina Representatives are trying to pass a veto override to protect our unborn, but we have to wait until certain voters change their mind or decide not to show up for the vote. I thank God we have a Representative who is willing to hold out until we have the votes we need to protect our babies!
Song: Jesus Saves, as sung by Caleb and Katie Garraway. It’s so beautiful!
Verse: Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. Hosea 10:12
I’m reading through the minor prophets now and this verse jumped out at me on May 20th. It’s time to seek the Lord in our country in the day and age that we live in. And we all know that is change is to come to our country, it’s got to start with us, the Children of God!
Book of the Month: Lincoln Unmasked by Thomas DiLorenzo! 5 stars! It was sooooo good, y’all! One of the best nonfictions I have read this year! (Review coming soon!)
Ministry: The God Bless America Rally in Canton Ohio! Yes, I added another states to my growing list of states visited! 13! The meeting was wonderful as always and we were blessed to see over 200 saved during the door-knocking and services! Them we got to have Evangelist Byron Foxx with us on the way to services in Kentucky! So yes, that was my top ministry even for this month!
Writing Update: We are in the team edit stage! We are hoping to make some good progress in June, so stay tuned for that! Once we start meeting, rewrite get intense and wonderful and I love it!
A Book I am Anticipating for June: I Varina by Ruth Painter Randall! It’s the story of Varina Davis, First Lady of the Confederacy! I finally got this book this year after searching for it for years! So yes, this is a much anticipated read! I also have a few books that I’m waiting on from my library about D-Day, so I’m looking forward to that!
I’ll give you a quick recap on my anticipated reads for May. I am still reading Unbroken, but so far, I love it! There have been a few edits needed, and I anticipate that increasing as I get into the war, but so far, I really like it! Number the Stars wasn’t my favorite book on WWII, but it wasn’t bad either. I have a review coming soon, so watch for that for more details. And y’all. I finished The Hiding Place! At last! After being urged by friends and a few reading slumps, I finally finished that book! Review to come on that one as well!
And Now for your Story Prompts!
June Edition: Summer is here! Write about your favorite summer activity, but with a twist. Set the scene in 1932, during the Great Depression and make sure you include a train, a hobo and your favorite summer treat!
D-Day Edition: I shouldn’t be here! He thought desperately as the landing craft carried them closer and closer to the battle. I should have listened to Mama and waited until I was older to go! The 17-year-old soldier gritted his teeth as the craft ground to a stop, just shy of the French beach called Omaha. Lord, please let me live through this!
Father’s Day Edition: The young German soldier’s breath came in ragged gasps, frightening his little boy. The American medic gently pulled the toddler from his father’s arms and handed him to the private kneeling next to them. The boy whimpered, “You not hurt my daddy!” The medic smiled as the American private said, “He won’t. He’s going to make your daddy feel all better. Then, we’ll take you both somewhere safe.” The medic sighed. Judging by the looks of the exhausted prisoner, a prison camp would be an improvement indeed!
Until Next Time,
PS (Sorry there are no graphics for the story prompts! This week has been crazy, lol!)
Hello friends! Welcome back to another 10 Totally Random Facts post! In Honor of My dear Stonewall Jackson’s final victory, this month we are looking at 10 Totally Random Facts about the Battle of Chancellorsville. *sobs* Let’s see if I can get through this…
And now…an excerpt from “The Rivers of Sorrow”!!!
From Chapter 8: A Place Called Chancellorsville
“No talking whatsoever, don’t load your rifles and if you straggle, you’re getting a bayonet prod! Got it?”
“Yes, sir.” Richard was convinced his soldiers weren’t going to give him any problems. Seth glanced over his squad and was pleased to see them moving briskly, preparing to march.
The gray mist of dawn hung in the air. Seth shivered, partly from the cool morning, partly from anticipation of battle. Maybe they would whip the Yankees for good this time!
Richard trotted past his brother. “32:7-8!” he called to Seth. Seth saluted and grinned at his older brother. The camp verse flashed through his mind. ‘Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him: With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles…’
The 2nd Corps was soon on the march. Jackson’s men filed by in silence. No one was talking; all that could be heard was a muffled tramp, tramp, tramp of soldiers’ feet and the gentle clank of their gear.
Jackson allowed a smile to take to the corners of his lips. These were soldiers; real men. Veterans. Fearless. Hard-core men of war. They would take on anybody. They would follow only those whom they trusted and believed in. They were an Army. They were the best army the world had ever seen. They were men fighting for a cause with all their heart.
Lord, please give Thy divine guidance in this attack. It is only by Thy ever kind Providence that we can even hope to be successful...
Later that evening, the long column halted. They were tired, having just made a 12-mile trek, with only one water stop and no food stops. Part of the column had skirmished with Hooker’s men. Now the Yankees thought the Southerners were withdrawing from the area.
At 5:15 p.m., the attack began. There was only two hours of day light left, when C.S. Brig. Gen. Rodes was ordered to deploy his brigade. Raleigh Colston, Brigadier General, was right behind him.
Richard fell in step with Gen. Jackson and his aides. Champion tensed underneath Richard. He wanted to run; he always wanted to run. Richard patted him on the shoulder. It wouldn’t be long and he would be doing just that.
Excitement mounted inside Richard. Yes, they at last would push Hooker all the way across the river and personally escort them to Washington!
Meanwhile in the Yankee camp, the inexperienced German soldiers of the 11th Corps were talking and laughing while preparing their supper. They listened to music being played in a nearby pine grove.
A young drummer returned to the circle, carrying a bucket of water for a stew that was being made. The soldiers patted him on the back, thanking him for running the errand and promising him the first bowl of stew.
The boy turned to jot a letter to his mother while waiting on his food. He frowned; the ground under him vibrated. He gasped as a deer plowed through the camp, nearly tramping over him in the process.
“Hey, someone shoot some more meat for supper!”
“I’ve never seen so many rabbits or foxes in my life!”
“What I wouldn’t give for that deer there!”
The men laughed at the spectacle, casually wondering what had caused the animals to flee right through their camp.
The soldiers jumped and glanced at the knoll beyond them. There, cresting the hill above them was a line a mile long of Confederate soldiers!
“Get your guns!”
Orders were screamed to each other in a crazy mix of English and German. Everyone ran. Behind them, Confederates advanced.
Richard trotted along next to his commander’s column, waiting for orders and watching for any possible threat on Gen. Jackson’s life. Wounded soldiers still posed a threat and he constantly scanned the camp for such perils.
The Yankees gave up ground rapidly. Oh, they stopped and tried to hold the Confederates back, but their efforts were futile.
 He will finish as a Major General.
 Confederate Brigadier General, known for his hand in the Battle of Chancellorsville.
Until Next Time,
I can hardly believe it’s time for Part 3 of this series! (Click here for part 1 and part 2!) I’m so excited to share the books that helped me so much with my Battle for Heritage Series! If I can help even one author or History Buff in their search for answers, it will be worth it! So, without further ado, let’s jump in!
1.Will at the Battle of Gettysburg by Laurie Calkhoven ©2011 by the author, Dutton Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group.
Okay, so this isn’t a history. In fact, it is a children’s middle-grade fiction novel. But, hear me out 😉 This story is told in the perspective of Will, a 12-year-old Gettysburg native. Though this book is strongly biased and claims the South fought to keep their slaves, which is false, this book is eye-opening as to what civilians went through during the fighting, what it was like for a little boy to see war, and the confusing feeling of pity for the enemy. And of course Abel is my favorite character, a young Confederate, who, surprisingly given the stance of the author, educates Will on why the South is actually fighting. This is well worth reading. I made minor edits to my copy for historical inaccuracies (regarding the cause of the war) and a few minor swear words. Please proof it before handing it to a child under 10.
2.Gettysburg: The Confederate High Tide by Time Life Books ©1985 (again, my copy isn’t down, so I’m not sure of the specifics.)
This book for the most part focuses on the facts of the battle rather than the cause of the war, so it’s a pretty safe read. Very informative and a recommended read. There are a few words to mark out, due to historical quotes. In general, this is a good book on the history of the Battle of Gettysburg. Recommended for ages 16+ for understanding.
3.To Die in Chicago by George Levy ©1999 by the author. Pelican Publishing Company, Inc., 1999, Second Printing
This is not a book for Children. I highly recommend an adult read this book first if you plan to hand it over to someone younger than 16. Ever wondered what it could be like if America had concentration camps? Welcome to Camp Douglas. If anyone ever tries to tell you how terrible Andersonville in Georgia was (which was caused by tight spaces and national food shortages, not to mention the Union’s halt of prisoner exchange), remind them of Camp Douglas. Some of the worst War Crimes committed by the Union happened here in the systematic starvation, torture and degradation of Southern POWs. Recently, people have been talking about the confinement of Japanese Americans during WWII, referring to the camps as concentration camps. While there is no question that everything wasn’t up to scratch, it is disrespectful to Holocaust survivors and Confederate POWs to compare their comparative paradise with the genocide committed by the Nazis and Union soldiers. I’m sure either group would have gladly switched places. I am by no means trying to down play any wrong that may have been committed against our country’s citizens. I’m just saying that there are some unfair historical cover ups going on. I personally think this book should be read by 18+, given the sensitive subject matter.
4.Reccolections and Letters of Robert E. Lee compiled by Capt. Robert E. Lee Jr., C.S.A. (public domain) First published 1904. Mine is a Dover 2007 edition.
I’ve mentioned this book in a previous post, so I won’t spend too much time on it here, but this book is so good! Who better to write a book about the South’s beloved Marse Robert than himself and his son? A mixture of commentary from Rob and letters, journals and orders from Gen. Lee make this a must for every student of War Between the States History! Recommended for 14+ for understanding.
5.Civil War Period Cookery compiled by Robert W. Pelton ©2003 by the author. Infinity publishing, 2012 edition
This book is chock full of fun information about the food and drinks of days gone by. (Warning: some recipes call for alcoholic beverages, which I DO NOT condone. These are removed from my recipes.) Ever wondered what the bread of choice was from Stonewall’s army? How about the chicken and gravy Gen. Mosby grew up on? How about Clara Barton’s Mint Lemonade? Southerners and Northerners will be delighted by the storehouse of insider information about these famous family recipes and biographical sketches about the cooks and the eaters! I love this book and hope to cook from it soon. Though I probably will steer clear of U.S. Grant’s family recipe for laxative bread…
Well, that’s all for now! Thank you so much for stopping by today!
Hey there and welcome back to another Writer post! This time it’s all about Chapter Names. I may have mentioned this before, but one of my pet peeves is a book without Chapter titles! Don’t get me wrong, I still read books without them, but if you want to make me super happy 😉, TITLE YOUR CHAPTERS! But, I understand, this isn’t always easy. So today, I’m taking my book, The Land of Cotton and explaining how I came up with the titles for the chapters. (Ones marked Original are the titles I came up with in my first draft!) I hope this is helpful!
1.) “How’d This All Get Started?”- Michael asks this question, and it is the focus of the chapter, explaining the Southern Cause in simple terms. This is the very first title I ever came up with for this book. Old Faithful!
2.) The Move- Again, this is what the chapter focused around, a family moving to a new location.
3.) Agree to Disagree- This is a common enough phrase and fits perfectly with the story of this chapter. Sometimes, you’re just not going to agree with people, but try to do it peacefully. An Original Title.
4.) God Has a Plan- This was taken from a conversation in the chapter. Even when it doesn’t make sense, God has a plan for your life!
5.) Lighting the Fire- Before the War Between the States, people that were in agreement with secession and spoke out in its favor were labeled “Fire Eaters.” This fact and the fact that the desire to serve one's country is referred to as the Fire of Patriotism provided the perfect title.
6.) Confederate and Lady- Read the book, and you’ll understand 😉
7.) Something Worth Fighting For- Sometimes it takes time for a Cause’s righteousness to be realized by those it affects. That’s what this chapter explains.
8.) A Righteous Cause- Ditto 😉
9.) The First Good-Bye- That one is always the hardest ☹ I think the title is self-explanatory.
10.) The Awakening- This one was a revised title, originally called “The Bull Runners.” Without spoiling it for those who haven’t read that far, in every soldier’s life there is a time when he realizes War isn’t all glory…it isn’t a game; it’s for real.
11.) Reality of War- Ditto!
12.) “It Never Gets Easier”- Phrase taken from the story.
13.) Eternity- Serious topic common to war. Original Title!
14.) Surprised- Sometimes stating a simple fact is the best way to title a chapter…😉 or maybe that’s laziness…you decide.
15.) More Than One Way To Serve- Without giving you a spoiler, there were many ways to serve your country during war, not just fighting. This chapter covers that.
16.) Wrapping Up- A wound, a part of the story or both? This title came to me while trying to revamp some lousy titles, including “Moving On.”
17.) Home At Last- Self-explanatory.
18.) Prayer Works- This is an original. I liked the simplicity of this very true statement.
19.) Hide ‘n Seek and Nicodemus- This mixes two events in the story, with both a fun and serious edge.
20.) A Land of Cotton…and More Cotton- A spin off the title, theme song and the truth of the harvest season. We’re in the South, Y’all! Original title.
21.) Letters- Sometimes I’m too tired to think of something fresh. Old faithful’s are fine 😉
22.) Sharp Encounter- Read the Chapter, and it’ll make sense 😉 I drew the title from the story.
23.) Race Against Time- Another Original. Sometimes you are literally racing against the clock. It fit so well with the story, I couldn’t pass it up!
24.) That Time of Year- Christmas…This title just came to me one day after thinking of the song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”
25.) Christmas Apart- No one likes being away from loved ones at Christmas. This title expresses the mood for this chapter, a mix of hope and despair.
If this isn’t enough inspiration…refer back to my post on Book Titles…the concept is the same 😉
Have a blessed week!
Hello and here we go again with another bookish post! Today, I’m bringing you five more research books that were super useful to me while writing The Battle for Heritage Series! I hope you enjoy it! (Click here to read part 1!)
1. The South Was Right! By James and Walter Kennedy ©1991, 1994 by the Authors. 5th Edition, October 1996, Pelican Publishing Company, Inc., 1994
Don’t let the title frighten you! (I personally love it!) This book is not a bash against the people of the north, but rather a cultural, political and historical study of the South, from before the Revolution to the Reconstruction. It busts some of the myths about American Slavery, Abraham Lincoln and the 1800s Government as well as explaining where the Southern culture comes from. It covers race relationships in the South, war crimes and some problems that were handed down to us by our forefathers. 5 stars all the way! This book is cited in my book, Our Heritage to Save, and inspired a scene in my current WIP (Work in Progress), A Song of Home. Because this is a history book, there are some grim facts inside. Thus, I recommend this for readers 18+.
2.Stonewall Jackson by Charles Ludwig ©1989 by Mott Media
This was the first biography (and only biography!) I read about Stonewall Jackson (I have three on my to be read list). This book was amazing and gave me a great introduction to this American Hero’s life. Knowing about his family, how he met Anna, and about his conversion gave me more insight when I tried to portray him in my books. Another 5-star read. Recommended for ages 8 and up! (I was in high school when I read this)
3.The Blue and the Gray compiled by Henry Steele Commager ©1950 by the Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc.
This book is another compilation of soldiers’ letters, stories, and journal entries. I specifically used this book to research military punishments and treatment of prisoners in the Union Prison Camps. It wasn’t delightful reading, as such things are always sad, but this book is amazing! It gives song histories, little known stories of the war and a wonderful first-hand account of what it was like to live then, told by those who did. We’ve all heard of the Rebel Yell, but have you heard of the Yankee Yell? I hadn’t! But it was a real thing and is still used today…just not in the same way! Check out this book for the story, told by a southern soldier about his first encounter with the yell, what it sounded like and what he and his fellows thought of it. Very Interesting stuff. Because of potential language (I don’t remember any, but there may have been a word here and there I marked out), I would recommend this book for adults and older teens. Pre-teens will enjoy it if it has been edited.
4.Confederate Black Ops by Charles L. Tilton II ©2015 by the author, 1st Edition! Published by Blacksmith LLC, Fayetteville, N.C.
Oh…wow! This book was so good. I need to reread it! This book is written by an Army special ops guy, so he knows what he is talking about. This book covers so much about espionage and the techniques that the Southern forces utilized that are still used today! There were a couple things I marked out, but an older person could quickly fix this up for a young person to enjoy. If you are interested in learning more about the kinds of things certain of my characters might have gotten into, read this book. That being said, there are a few things in the book I disagree with, namely some of the things said about John Wilkes Booth and an assumption that a member of Lincoln’s cabinet was actually a Southern operative. I personally think there are a lot of holes in that argument, due to other research I have done. But please, read the book and draw your own conclusions. I am not an expert, lol! 😉
5. Christ in the Camp by J. William Jones © 1887, by B.F. Johnson & Co., © 1904 by The Martin & Hoyt Co. (I got mine from Vision Forum)
This was the second nonfiction book that I read about the War Between the States. I got this for my…14th birthday? Yes, 14th. It was soooo good, and at the time, it was the longest book I had ever read (400+!). This book was written by Robert E. Lee’s chaplain, a Baptist, who documented the revival that took place from 1862-1865. This was the last region-wide revival that took place in America and was solely located in the Southern Armies and surrounding towns. Unfortunately, it did not spread through the Federal armies, though if it had, I think more people would have been willing to take the war back to the table where it belonged.
Where was I…?
Anyway, this book is so good for those researching the spiritual ramifications of the War Between the states, regardless of where your loyalty lies. Honestly, this book isn’t even about the cause of the war; it barely mentions it maybe…twice? I can actually only think of one place where I read it, but I’m adding another, just to be on the safe side. It’s been a few years since I’ve read this book. Anyway, whether you are from the south or from the north, or not from America at all, this is a lovely study on the Hand of God in our Nations’ history. Fun Fact: Did you know that more Baptists fought in the Confederate Army than any other denomination? I didn’t until I read this book! It’s full of fun tidbits and heartwarming testimonies to the Power of God in War. Highly recommended. I would say High School and up for understanding, but there is nothing bad in this book 😉
So, those are my top Research Books for this post! Have you read any of these?
Have a Blessed Week!
Christian. American. Southern. Author.