Finding Freedom

Hey, guys! I want to give you an update on my exciting projects. As most of you know, I have been working as a playwright and enjoying every moment of it! It’s been such an answer to prayer as I am able to still do this when I am not feeling well.

A year ago, I was approached by the LEAH group in Pennsylvania and New York. They asked if I could write a play based around the founding of our nation and with the theme of freedom – both in life and in God. As an avid history buff, I was more than excited to jump in.

I was able to write the play and be part of an amazing experience. In November, I went to New York to help with the casting. It was so much fun to see these kids just jump in and become part of a world I had created in my head! So surreal.

Opening night was April 27, 2018 and I was not sure if I was going to make it. As you know, I haven’t been well and I was mostly confined to bed rest over the last 6 months. As always, God is good and I was able to get some answers and make it up there!

I decided to set the story in Boston as the tensions were rising. It centers around a group of friends as they make big life decisions. Which side is the right side and what are the reasons for choosing? What does God want? It was a tough time and I can’t even imagine going through it! It gave everyone a lot to think about – for sure!

I wanted to share some pics with you from my time up there! Hope you enjoy!!

Run-through and practice:

 

Opening Night:

 

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There are hundreds of pictures and I can’t possibly choose my favorites! I am just so proud of what they did. God used it in such an awesome way and I’m really thankful I was able to be a part of it.

I’m currently workin on their next project and can’t wait to share more with you! For now, here is a scene from Finding Freedom and I hope you enjoy it!


(Set: outside in a field as the boys are walking home from hunting together)

(All laughing)

Malachi: (laughing…) And did you see Titus tryin’ to chase that coon and fall flat on his ear?

Titus: Now hold on there a minute! ‘Twasn’t my fault there was a tree stump in the way! I reckon I gave that coon more than he bargained for though when I came flyin’ face first right at ‘im and even managed to get a shot off…

Adam: Truly? “Get a shot off’?” I am fairly certain you misfired and could have killed any one of us out there just because you fell on your face and lost all control! I sure wish Emeline could have seen you then!

(Laughter continues as they all speak over each other)

Malachi: (Malachi stops and puts his hands on his knees to catch his breath and they all stop) Look at us. (Pauses to look up with a crooked grin) I’m gonna miss this! Tomorrow, everything changes for us.

(The boys nod in agreement – still catching their breath. Malachi straightens back up.)

Malachi: Sure will be different…

Adam: Yeah, well you went and got yourself that fancy internship with none other than Mr. John Adams! You didn’t think that would be all coon hunts and dodging Titus’ bullets, did ya? (Said with a smirk)

Malachi: Blood and ‘ounds! I thought I might lose an eye today! ‘Tis best I be moving on to the law! (He tries not to grin and looks innocently up at Titus)

Titus: (Punches Malachi on the arm and starts for Adam as they are all laughing) I’ll have you know that I wouldn’t waste a bullet on either of you clods! I’m savin’ those for the redcoats.

Malachi: (gets serious) Alas, Titus, do tell us about this meeting you are attending tonight. I hear that Mr. Samuel Adams may be in attendance! Some say that he can be a dangerous fellow – always stirring up trouble.

Titus: (becomes more and more angry as he says) Dangerous? Do come on, Malachi. We live in dangerous times. Our own homes and shops are subject to the king’s royal army at their whim. What rights do we now have? ‘Tis as if we are the King George’s unwanted stepchildren and he hopes to punish us for the crimes of others.

Malachi: But we are only paying taxes to cover the war not long ago fought on our own soil. The king protected us from the French and the Indians and ‘twas a costly war.

Titus: (barely containing his anger) They invaded Boston, Malachi! ‘Tis not past wars I dwell on, but what is on our soil at this very moment! British soldiers are here, taking up residence and extending curfews as if we were their children! They tell us when we can eat and sleep and what we can buy! (He spits to the side)

Malachi: (Looks at Adam and asks) And are these your feelings as well? (Titus also looks up to see Adam’s response.)

Adam: (Adam is very uncomfortable and fidgeting) I thought I might tag along with him, Mal. It can’t hurt to see what they are saying. They call themselves the Sons of Liberty and believe that we should not be governed by a foreign power and that we should rule ourselves. (He kicks at the dirt seemingly lost in thought.)

Malachi: And where is this meeting?

Adam: Under the Liberty Tree.

Malachi: The Liberty Tree!

Titus: Nay, Adam. ‘Tis been moved to The Green Dragon Tavern as a storm looks to be a-brewin’.

Malachi: Aye! A storm is brewing, indeed! Did you not hear what the “Sons of Liberty” did to Mr. Andrew Oliver at that said “Liberty Tree”? They hung a man that was just doing his duty to King and country! They then proceeded to walk upon his dead carcass and burn him as if his body had been not defiled enough! (He pauses.) Are we, ourselves, not British citizens? (Malachi remains calm as if curious of his friends’ feelings on the subject, yet concerned for their welfare. Titus is visibly growing agitated and angry. Adam feels very uncomfortable.)

Adam: ’Tis just a meeting, Malachi. As Titus said, ‘tis not at the Liberty Tree, so you need have no fear on that account. I only wish to know what is being done in my own city. We have lost so many of our freedoms these weeks past. Julia says that soldiers come into Emeline’s family store and take what they please without regard to coin. How is it that she is to be paid when her employers are not compensated for their wares? ‘Tis a trying time, Malachi, and I, for one, shan’t turn a blind eye. I must at least have knowledge of what is taking place all around us.

Titus: (looked up when Adam mentioned Emeline and looks angrily at Malachi as if it is somehow his fault.)

Malachi: Can we not find a peaceful way to deal with the situation at hand? (He looks back and forth) Truly?

Titus: (Spits to the side) I’ll not stand idly by and let this happen in my own city. Sam says that all might be free if they valued freedom and defended it, as they ought. Shall I not defend my right to freedom?

Malachi: (eyes wide) Sam? I presume you are speaking of Mr. Adams? (Gives Titus a chastening look)

Titus: (rolling his eyes) If only I could be half as fastidious as you are, Malachi, I may not assume the world and these trying times shall trouble me either. However, I cannot. I shall not. I shall do my part.

Malachi: I did not intend to…

Titus: (waves him off) Say no more of it. I only pray that you shall not think less of me for doing what I must. We must each do as we believe is right in such a time.
Adam: He speaks the truth, Mal. We must look to ourselves to govern our actions.

Malachi: I believe not what I am hearing! (Voice raised) Can you truly say that you must look to your own selves for truth? If mankind is to look to self for truth, pray tell, what happens when we, each man, finds his own truth and such truth does not resemble the truth his neighbor has found? (Looking dumbfounded) We can only look to God for truth! Who’s to say that my truth is above your truth? Nay! I will not agree! For this very reason is why we have war and suffering!

(Titus begins to walk away while shaking his head.)

Malachi: Titus! (Runs to catch up) Do not walk away, brother. Indeed, you and Adam are my brothers in every way that can be – barring blood.

(They stop and pause in quiet. Malachi looks up at the sky and closes his eyes for a moment.)

Malachi: Today is the last of our childhood as we have come to know. No more coon hunts, late night fishing or even brawlin’ over who gets the biggest biscuit. I desire not to spoil such a day. So much of me wishes we could roam these woods with all of the innocence it has provided thus – to never face the injustices of this world and come face-to-face with the men we truly are. I, for one, fear to see my true reflection staring back at me. I know not what I shall find when I’ve the courage to look upon it. I do not think any less of you, Titus, or you, Adam, for being brave enough to gaze upon it and face the truth within.

(Titus visibly relaxes.)

Adam: You two are startin’ to act like a couple of women. I daresay ‘tis time for me to away! (He grins and punches his friends as they continue to pummel each other and walk off set)


* The issue of Andrew Oliver is cleared up later in the play. It was an effigy, not the real Andrew Oliver 😉

If you would like more info on Finding Freedom, please contact me at: aTransParentMom@gmail.com

The Mistress of Tall Acre

by Laura Frantz

Mercy Me. Another epic win for Laura Frantz. Is anyone surprised? I know I’m not!!

Seamus Ogilvy is a heralded war hero as a general in the Revolutionary War. Once it is over, he comes back to a broken home. His wife has died and his daughter is being cared for by his sister-in-law. Unwilling to give her back to her father, he is forced to take her, in the dead of night, back home to Tall Acres. His neighbor, Sophie, agrees to marry him to be a mother to Lily Cate. As their love grows and the past haunts them, they learn to trust God above all else. Only He can repair the damage the past has done.

I have nothing but wonderful things to say about Laura Frantz and every single one of her books. She never shies away from difficult subjects and this is no exception!! It is well written. In fact, Laura always hand writes he manuscripts before ever typing them up. They are a labor of love and it shines through. Spiritually full, deep characters, and beautiful writing make this a MUST BUY book!!!

Thank you, Bethany, for this wonderful read. As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

If you would like to see my fun face-off with Laura Frantz, just head on over here:

https://atransparentmom.com/2015/03/12/face-off-with-author-laura-frantz/

The Creole Princess

by Beth White

First of all, BEAUTIFUL COVER!!! That’s a huge part of my review right there!!! Simply gorgeous! Secondly, this is a fun book centering around the Revolutionary War. You had me at … Well, both of those things!!!

I’ll admit, the beginning was a bit confusing with all the names getting thrown at you. As the book goes on, you start to follow. Lyse, the main character, has a rich ethnic background and trying to follow her line is CRAZY!

That being said, it was a fun read! Pirates, the war, spies, and romance. All right up my alley!!! It was a book about accepting who you are without reservation, bringing God glory in it and showing His love. It seemed like it might have been written more towards a YA audience, but I am not sure if that was the intent.

Pick up a copy for yourself and a friend! The link is in the pic above!! Thanks, Revell, for this fun read! As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!


Some exciting news…balloons

Beth has offered to giveaway a copy of her NEW RELEASE!!! All you have to do is follow this: a Rafflecopter giveaway

*US Addresses Only

**Remember, all entries are checked and any that are falsified are disqualified!

For some more fun, check out our Face-Off!!!


Beth also gave me a copy of the back cover so you can read a little more about what the book is about! I never give much away in my reviews so that there aren’t any spoilers. Enjoy!!

The Creole Princess
A Novel
Beth White

BACK COVER

Torn between loyalties to family and flag, one young woman is about to discover that her most important allegiance is to her heart.

It is 1776 and all along the eastern seaboard, the American struggle for independence rages. But in the British-held southern port of Mobile, Alabama, the conflict brewing is much quieter—though no less deadly.

Lyse Lanier may be French in heritage, but she spends most of her time in the company of the ebullient daughter of the British commander of Mobile. When a charming young Spanish merchant docks in town, Lyse is immediately struck by his easy wit and flair for the dramatic.

But is he truly who he makes himself out to be? Spies abound, and Spain has yet to choose a side in the American conflict. Is Lyse simply an easy mark for Rafael Gonzalez to exploit? Or are his overtures of love as genuine as Spanish gold?

With spectacular detail that brings the cultural gumbo of the Colonial Gulf Coast alive, Beth White invites you to step into a world of intrigue and espionage from a little-known slice of the American Revolutionary War.

What critics are saying about the Gulf Coast Chronicles

“Duplicity, danger, political intrigue, and adventure.”—Booklist on The Pelican Bride

“New France comes alive thanks to intricate detail.”—Publishers Weekly review of The Pelican Bride

“The brutal New World [is] captured with distinct detail in this fast-paced romantic adventure.”—RT Book Reviews on The Pelican Bride

Beth White is the award-winning author of The Pelican Bride. A native Mississippian, she teaches music at an inner-city high school in historic Mobile, Alabama. Her novels have won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Carol Award, the RT Book Club Reviewers’ Choice Award, and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award. Learn more at www.bethwhite.net.

Face-Off with Beth White

Beth’s new book, The Creole Princess, releases TODAY, April 7th. Isn’t that such a beautiful cover??!! I love it! It takes place in 1776 down in Mobile, Alabama!! I think that’s pretty cool because my brother-in-law, and his wonderful family, is from there!

Review to follow later today. For now, WE PLAY!!


U5nnLBp84y9dXRPcVjMPMo2INtxBbJdNzUp-GkGr1YHTqLb5nvFjxWXB6IjitzauUW_gPNsiO_sfLjdUF23L42vHKV5XvwmrJsdQMwXimiQiAQWCvkxEtVtRSX3-pi1S3DpsNiWaD0fjFHHdsVUwJs1sXDdK7XhP5G9-f8D2_AP83kzKhma41Z8AKDif9tLsrkT_WGiAH5RZO27XertGNA3VkvbkQywdpI look like I mean BUSINESS!! (and like I have a fauxhawk…)

The rules are simple. I ask Beth some random questions. She replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!

1. Have you ever accidentally shoplifted?

Beth – I actually did, at TJ Maxx. I don’t remember what I’d bought, but something among several purchases didn’t get rung up. So the next day I brought it back and had them charge my credit card. The clerk looked at me like I was crazy. She said she’d never ever had anybody bring something back and ask to be charged for it! She even brought the manager over to make sure she was doing the right thing! haha!

Charity – Nice! I am a natural blond and a complete hot mess, so…I have done it more times than I care to admit!!! ha ha. I get so annoyed because I don’t feel well and then I have to drive back to the store…I am so happy that my son will have his driver’s license in a couple of months!!!!

— tie

2. Funniest Holiday mishap?

Beth – I don’t know if you’d call this a mishap, since it was done on purpose, but my husband talked me into letting him give our 5- and 6-year-old kids a go-kart for Christmas one year. Needless to say, they ran it into a fence on the second day and bent the axle, and it stayed in the shop for several months before we could afford to pay to get it out. Not one of our wiser parenting moves.

Charity – Oh my goodness! ha ha. That’s so funny. I would have LOVED to have a go-kart as a kid! I STILL WOULD!!

I was just going to say that we went to NY to spend Christmas with my parents and while we were opening our stockings, my 70+ year old mom and dad started spraying us with silly string. It was EVERYWHERE!!!! I was so grossed out. ha ha ha. At least I know where I got my fun streak from (:

— I think the go-kart to a preschooler wins! ha ha

Charity 0 / Beth 1

3. What is your favorite Yankee Candle scent?

Beth – Yankee?? Seriously? I live in Lower Alabama! Okay, just kidding. I’ll play. I’m not a big scented candle fan, except for a little bit of cinnamon around Christmas time (migraine odor sensitivities). The only Yankee Candle I own was given to me, and it sits in my kitchen window. It’s Maple Walnut. I lit it one time, and it smelled really nice, but it just made me hungry, so I doused it.

Charity – HA! I didn’t even think of that when I asked. Well, hmm…The South lives on!!!! So funny!!! I love, LOVE Yankee Candles!!! They do make me hungry though. You may be on to something though! My next diet may consist of dousing my candles!!

— Beth’s brilliant diet wins! ha ha (:

Charity 0 / Beth 2

4. Have you ever ridden a double seater bike? (Is that what they are even called???)

Beth – I have never actually ridden one, but one of my favorite childhood songs was “Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do. I’m half crazy, all for the love of you! It won’t be a stylish marriage, for I can’t afford a carriage. But you’ll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two!” So I guess that’s what you call it!

Charity – I ALWAYS sang that to my kids when they were little!!! Of course, I replaced “Daisy” with their names. I haven’t either. It reminds me of the turn of the century and all the beautiful dresses and boardwalks of the time… bw-resort-4-boardwalk

— Tie!

5. Do you like Disney World?

Beth – I really do. My first trip was shortly after it opened, when I was in the 9th grade in high school, and my church youth group piled in a bunch of vans and went. Naturally we had a break-down or two, which added to the adventure, and I had very little money to spend on souvenirs. But I did come back with a Mickey Mouse T-shirt which was a prized possession for years. I wonder what happened to it….

Many years later, my husband and I saved up to take our kids there. One of my favorite pictures is one I took of my then-5-year-old daughter Hannah watching the fireworks over Cinderella’s castle during the evening parade. Her mouth was literally hanging open in awe. Priceless.

Charity – So precious!!!! I love it too ❤ The first time I ever got to go was when I was 27 years old! It was so magical. I could go there every year!!! We went a couple of years in a row, but haven’t been back since I had my youngest son (who is almost 8). Someday…

— Tie!

6. Favorite TRUE story from the Revolutionary war?

Beth – In April, 1778, an obscure shopkeeper-turned-Patriot Captain James Willing sailed from Spanish New Orleans into nearby British-held Mobile to distribute copies of the Declaration of Independence. For his pains he was given guest quarters in the Fort Charlotte jail, until he was traded in a prisoner exchange.

Charity – Wow. It’s so hard to even imagine going through that and all they endured!! It really blows my mind that it wasn’t even that long ago.

Favorite story…It’s so hard to thing of just one!! I am such a American History buff. It’s annoying, I’m sure! ha. It would probably be a toss up between The Culpepper Spy Ring, Francis Marion (The “Swamp Fox”), or George Washington’s amazing attack on NY during New Year’s Eve.

— Another tie!! This isn’t good!!!

Charity 0 / Beth 2

7. Have you ever been in the cave that General Cornwallis hid in so he wouldn’t have to surrender to George Washington?

Beth – Didn’t know there was such a thing. Where is it?

Charity – At the battle of Yorktown, he knew that he was defeated, so he hid in a cave there by the water. He was planning on sneaking across the York River. The French showed up just in time to stop him. He wouldn’t come out of hiding, so he sent his second in command to surrender to George Washington. He was quickly found.

yorktown04

I live in the Historic Triangle area (Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Jamestown), so it is rich with history!

— I WIN ONE!!

Charity 1 / Beth 2

8. What’s the meal/dessert/appetizer that you are “known for” making?

Beth – Killer Banana Pudding, which involves Eagle Brand milk and Cool whip. I’m also known for blowing up everyone’s calorie allowance for the decade.

Charity – Lol! Sounds amazing!!! I love to make Pumpkin Whoopie Pies. 32

— Tie!! Good food ALWAYS WINS!!

9. Any secret recipes passed down from your parents that you would never give away?

Beth – My father would make milkshakes occasionally, and he never let us know he put raw eggs in them until we were old enough not to throw a fit. Oops, I just gave away that secret. Um, okay, there’s this beautiful cornbread our family makes, and I truly can’t tell the recipe because there aren’t any measurements. You just have to watch it being done and practice with somebody standing over you until you get it right.

Charity – Yum!! We have a similar thing. It’s the “Caldwell Fudge” (My mother’s maiden name). You just have to watch it and learn from one generation to the next.

Wow. I am getting HUNGRY!!!

— Tie again!!

10. How do you strive to bring God the most glory in your life?

Beth – Well, I used to consider myself a sort of chicken Christian. I was afraid to “witness” to others because I didn’t want to “get it wrong.” And I walked around feeling vaguely guilty all the time. Then, as I matured, I began to pray for God to take away my fear. I wanted to live bold, to truly risk my life for the sake of the gospel. A few years went by and I started to realize that real courage is acting in spite of fear. So when opportunities came for service that I was afraid of, I embraced the fear and sort of closed my eyes and leaped. Gradually I realized that my circle of influence has deepened and broadened until I hardly recognize myself as that scared teenager. It’s uncomfortable, but the more petrified I feel on the inside about whatever God commands me to do, the more glory He receives in the outcome.

In a similar way, I used to be a “hoarder” of my financial resources, because it seemed I really didn’t have much to give. But then I got a job teaching kids whose families are
way less advantaged than mine. It seems like the more I give (in secret, not expecting a return), the more joy I find in generosity. This is in no way a “health and wealth”
doctrine—it’s simply something that I’ve observed in my own life. And I’m trying to teach my students to be both grateful to God and generous to others.

Charity – Beautiful!! I just always want to bring Him glory in all things. Even the dumb things like a car breaking down or WHATEVER! Just try to get the focus off of myself and see how I can show God to the people I will come in contact with.

— GOD WINS!!

11. Favorite version of the Bible?

Beth – I enjoy the New Living Version. The Living Bible came out when I was in high school, and it radically changed the way all my peers and I read and understood the Bible. Of course we knew it’s a paraphrase, and we supplemented our studies with the Revised Standard Version and other good translations. I actually like to read several versions and compare for best meaning when I’m doing a deep study.

Charity – I love The Message and New American Standard. I had “Life Application Bible” when I was a teenager that did change how I saw it. Unfortunately, I didn’t care too much about God until I was well into my 20’s. booo!!!

Our house is funny because each of us like a different version. It’s awesome though (: I love that my kids care enough to be passionate about it!

— Girl! This is ridiculous!! We are tying on everything!!

Final:

Charity 1 / Beth 2

b3667-i_lost_the_game_button-p145927742900468090t5sj_400

— Now, I see that you have some questions for me!! Tricky!!!!

Ok, GO!! (:

Beth – What’s your worst/funniest parenting mistake, and what did you do to fix it?

CharityHA!!! HA HA HA HA!! Wow. I don’t even know. I just know that I desire to watch their eyes and their heart at all times so I know right away when I mess up. I am quick to apologize because I always want their hearts open to me.

We joke A LOT. I am the only girl of a house full of boys (I LOVE THAT!!). I always had boys for friends growing up because I love sports and bathroom humor. We are wild and crazy. Playing hide and seek in the middle of the night in the dark, shooting each other with airsoft guns, food fights, etc… So, probably hearing them say or do things that are ok in our home, but not so much elsewhere.. ha ha. Yikes!

Beth – What was your favorite youth group trip as a teenager?

Charity – We had a lot of fun weekend trips and lock-ins. Unfortunately, I only cared which boys would be there :-/ Like I said, God didn’t get ahold of my heart until I was in my 20’s.

Beth – What’s your favorite silly song?

Charity – Lol. Well, I don’t know about that… Besides “Mr Hanky the Christmas Poo”? See, I told you it’s a boys’ house here!!!!

Let me think…I love songs from Bye Bye Birdie, The Daisy, Daisy Song, Sippin’ Cider through a Straw, lots of fun songs from my youth (:


So much fun!! Thank you, Beth!! balloons

Now, onto the GREAT NEWS!!! Beth has offered to giveaway a copy of her NEW RELEASE!!! All you have to do is follow this: a Rafflecopter giveaway

*US Addresses Only

**Remember, all entries are checked and any that are falsified are disqualified!

Patriots, Redcoats & Spies — by Robert J. Skead w/Robert A. Skead

Part of the American Revolutionary War Adventures Series, this young adult book focuses on twin boys needing to deliver a message to George Washington. Their father was shot and it is up to John and Ambrose to get the job done.

This is a great book to get kids interested in history. It also includes some information on different historical figures and real letters written by George Washington. It’s fun, full of intrigue and well written. The characters really grow throughout the book and learn a lot about what’s important in life.

I highly recommend it! I’m guessing it’s intended for 7-13 years of age. If you would like to pick up a copy of Patriots, Redcoats & Spies, just click on the link.

Thanks, booklookbloggers, for giving me this book. As always, this is my honest review. Here’s to many more!!