The Young Rebels

I’ve always loved history, and when I was a kid, I was enamored of the period surrounding America’s War of Independence.

It began, I think, when I read the children’s novel Johnny Tremain. It’s about a young teen in Boston who is caught up in the events that lead to the American Revolution.

My interest in that time period heightened when I began watching a TV show called The Young Rebels. It was about a group of four teens/young adults who single-handedly fought off the British Army’s attempts to infiltrate Philadelphia and its environs.

From time to time the Rebels had help from General the Marquis de Lafayette of France. I think my first crush was on Philippe Forquet, who played Lafayette in the show. I recall that he had a charming French accent and a pair of dimples that went on for days.

Actor Philippe Forquet in 1970 dressed as Lafayette on the set of The Young Rebels.

Rick Ely (whose brother Ron played Tarzan in his own TV show) starred as Jeremy, the leader of the merry band of patriots. Alex Henteloff played a brainy, Benjamin-Franklin-like character who was always inventing explosives or contraptions to harass the British army with. Louis Gossett, Jr. played a brave ex-slave, and in a few episodes Hilary Thompson played Jeremy’s sometime girlfriend.

Male members of the cast: Alex Henteloff, Rick Ely, Philippe Forquet, Louis Gossett, Jr. in a still from one of the show’s scenes.

Together, Lafayette and the Rebels blew up British munitions depots, blocked British cavalry troops from crossing rivers, thwarted the King’s messengers from reaching their commanders in time to summon help. By the time the show went off the air, I was convinced they had single-handedly won the War of Independence for all Americans (high school history classes subsequently corrected that belief).

It was a lot like The A-Team (a TV show that came along twelve years later) set during Colonial America, but with wigs and waistcoats.

I loved that show, and I especially loved the character of Lafayette.

The real Marquis de Lafayette.

But it should be known that I wasn’t the only one with a crush Lafayette. America love him, too . . . the real Lafayette, that is.

Lafayette’s image on an American cigar box.

And when Lafayette returned to the United States in 1824, American’s rolled out the red carpet for him.

Medal struck when Lafayette visited the United States in honor of the country’s 50th anniversary, 1826. From ForgottenDelights.com

Newspapers published adoring tributes to him.

“The National Guest” by Thomas Hope, published in a Wilmington Delaware newspaper on September 18, 1824.

Cities erected monuments in his honor.

A statue of Lafayette in Union Square, New York.

Banks printed his image on money.

A five pound bank note printed by the Bank of Manchester, Michigan.

Communities held banquets and balls and welcomed him to every event as if he were royalty.

Admission ticket to an 1824 fete to honor Lafayette

Lafayette’s image was everywhere, from playing cards to cigar boxes.

A deck of playing cards with Lafayette’s image.

But when I think of Lafayette, I don’t think of those images; I still think of the lasting impression a young actor named Philippe Forquette made on me when I was young. I still remember how a TV show helped ignite my love for our country’s history at the time we were fighting for our independence.

In fact, the show helped ignite my love for history of all eras, and I’m fortunate to be able to share some of the historical bits and bobs I’ve collected along the way in the blogs I write.

Tomorrow is America’s birthday, and in honor of the day, I think I’m going to reread the book that started it all, Johnny Tremain.

What about you? Was there a television show, book, or movie that made an impact on you when you were young? Please share your thoughts!

A Free Read for Your Week

We’re expecting snow in Denver tonight. You may think that’s not a remarkable occurrence in Denver at this time of year, and normally I’d agree with you.

But this winter has been unusually dry for us. We’ve had precious little rain or snowfall, here in Denver and up in the high country where ski resorts rely on fresh snowfall.

It’s such an unusual weather pattern for us; in fact, I’ve been doing my daily walks in 60 to 70 degree weather . . . in March! It’s a little crazy!

Tonight we’re expecting snow, and tomorrow I intend to enjoy all the things that naturally go with a wintry day. I’ve already promised myself that if I’m good and get all my chores done (that includes writing at least 500 words on my current work-in-progress), I get to do what I love to do most on a snow day:

Curl up on the couch with a good book.

Pinterest

Sounds good, right? I’ve already got my afternoon planned, and I know what I’ll need:

  • A soft blanket to cover my legs
  • A freshly brewed cup of cinnamon apple spice tea
  • A dog or two to cuddle with
  • A great read

Pinterest 02

And I’ve already selected the book I’m going to read: Promise of Peppermint by Valerie Comer.

Valerie is one of my favorite authors; I never miss her books. If you haven’t read any of Valerie’s novels, you’re in luck, because right now you can read Promise of Peppermint for free!

Free Read

All you have to do is click here or on the pink graphic above to go to Valerie’s website. Just sign-up for her monthly newsletter, and you’ll get a link to download Promise of Peppermint.

It’s a great way to read one of Valerie’s books for free and decide if she’s an author you’d like to read in the future. And if you decide her style of writing isn’t for you, just unsubscribe from the newsletter.

Easy-peasy.

I hope your Monday is a great one. Stay warm . . . and enjoy the book!

(P. S. I’m a fan of Valerie’s Christian romances, but I don’t know Valerie and I don’t get any compensation for recommending her books. I just like sharing my favorite authors and books with you.)

 

Showing Off My Fan-Girl Side

Today’s post is something of a continuation of my last post, but not by design. I originally intended to write about an entirely different topic, but I got side-tracked.

First, I’ll make a confession: I love writers. Whenever I get a chance to meet one—and I’ve met a good number of writers at book signings and conferences over the years—I get pretty giddy. Giddy in the same way some people get when they meet a Hollywood celebrity.

In my defense, I have shelves full of books that have earned the “keeper” designation. These are books I read and loved; most of them I’ve re-read several times; all of them touched me emotionally or conveyed a story that was so powerful I instantly wanted to run out and buy the author’s next book. Which brings me to author Lisa Wingate.

I’ll confess I’m a big fan of Lisa Wingate’s books. I read her novel Word Gets Around about seven years ago and enjoyed it so much I’ve been buying her books ever since. I never miss a new Lisa Wingate novel.

 

Word Gets Around

So I was glad to learn there are other Lisa Wingate fans out there just like me.

Today’s post on the Inspy Romance blog is all about Lisa Wingate and her books. In the post Lisa reveals a few hints about the novel she just finished writing (think World War I era), and she shares a link to her Pinterest site . . . plus many more little gems about her books and writing process.

I hope you’ll you’ll head over to the Inspy Romance blog and check out her interview. Maybe you’ll become a Lisa Wingate Fan-girl, too!

 

The book I’ll read this weekend is . . .

Don’t you love it when you learn one of your favorite authors has a new book available?

Regina Scott is one of my favorite authors. I first began reading her historical romances at least fifteen (or more!) years ago.

Some of her stories are light-hearted and fun; some have an element of suspense. No matter the plot or premise, I can always count on an entertaining read.

So I was pleased to learn Harlequin Love Inspired has published her latest novel, His Frontier Christmas Family.

Cover_His Frontier Christmas Family

It’s book seven in Regina’s Frontier Bachelor series, but it’s a great book that stands alone … no need to read previous books in the series to enjoy this one.

Britt Reads Fiction (my go-to site for book reviews) just posted a five-star review of His Frontier Christmas Family, and I’ve already pegged it as the book I plan to cozy up with this weekend to help get me in the Christmas spirit. I’m so looking forward to reading it!

I have a few more Christmas-themed novels to read in the days leading up to Christmas, but Regina Scott’s books stand out for me as some of my favorite all-time reads.

How about you? Is there an author whose books you never fail to read and enjoy?

 

Short Stories by Grace Livingston Hill

If you’re a fan of Grace Livingston Hill, you may know a lot about her life and her books. I thought I did; and I thought I’d read all her books. For proof I have a good collection of her vintage hard-backs on my bookshelves at home.

But something I didn’t realize until recently was how much Grace wrote for magazines and newspapers.

For years she wrote a weekly newspaper column dedicated to the Christian Endeavor movement.

Evening Star Jul 11 1903
Grace’s byline in 1903. From her regular column in the Washington, D.C. newspaper, Evening Star.

She also wrote short stories and serialized books for a number of different magazines.

I came across a couple of those old magazine issues not too long ago; and once I began to read Grace’s short stories, I knew I had to find more. I’ve been on a mission to find her stories ever since.

It’s tough going. Magazines from about 1900 to 1910 (when Grace was at the height of her short-story production) are hard to find. And some of the magazines she wrote for went out of business  long ago—their records ending up who-knows-where.

But I’ve been faithfully searching for those old magazines and I’ve had some success.

And each time I find a new story by Grace Livingston Hill, I realize what a gem it is and I have to share it!

I’ve reproduced some of her short stories on the Isabella Alden blog. You can click on the images to read the stories for free:

Beginning at Jerusalem Cover

Hazel Cunninghams Denial

You can also find a collection of some of Grace’s early short stories in Faith and Love. It’s a compilation of stories by Grace and by her mother, Marcia Livingston. The book is available on Amazon.com. You can click on the link to learn more and read an excerpt.

Cover_Story Collection

I hope you enjoy reading these hard-to-find gems as much I did!

Isabella Alden and the Pansy Books

Almost two years ago a friend and I were scouring used bookstores and the Internet, looking for books by our favorite Christian author, Isabella Alden. We’d been sharing her books for years, texting each other with “Guess what I just found?” whenever we came across a title we hadn’t read before.

The Randolphs
Original cover of The Randolphs by Isabella Alden

You may have heard of Isabella. She wrote hundreds of short stories and novels in the late 1800s and early 1900s, all centered around God’s message of salvation.

Sadly, her books fell out of fashion in the early 1920s and since then, she’s been known mostly as the favorite aunt of author Grace Livingston Hill.

Those readers who have heard of her often think she wrote only children’s stories. It’s true that she did write quite a few of those, but her novels for adults are the books my friend and I treasure.

Isabella Alden had a wonderful way of applying God’s word to the lives of her characters; and in each story , she demonstrated how relevant God’s word was then, and how relevant it is to me now. By the time I finish reading one of her books, I am amazed at the love God has for me; and I realize how my actions can influence someone else for Christ (a regular theme in Isabella’s books).

Original cover for Wise and Otherwise by Isabella Alden
Original cover for Wise and Otherwise by Isabella Alden

Isabella Alden’s books are thought provoking; they inspire me to consider my choices, think about my actions, and strive to be a better Christian.

By now you may be asking yourself: Can a book really do all those things or has Jenny gone just a wee bit over the deep end? My answer: Yes, a book can really do those things. Oh, yes. It can.

And Isabella’s books are proof of how inspiring a work of fiction can be.

That’s why it became important for us to find a way of preserving her books and making them available to today’s reader. My friend and I pooled our copies and started publishing Isabella Alden’s novels as e-books.

We started a website (www.IsabellaAlden.com) to share her books, and to chronicle Isabella’s life and the times. You can view the website by clicking here.

I hope you’ll take a few moments to visit the site. Check out the Free Reads tab where you’ll find a selection of Isabella’s books and short stories.

If you enjoy the stories you find there, please help us spread the word about Isabella Alden and her inspiring Christian books.