Daughter of Liberty (The American Patriot Series, Book 1)

Daughter of Liberty (The American Patriot Series, Book 1)

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by J. M. Hochstetler
     
 

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It's Eastertide, April 1775, and in Boston, circumstances are escalating toward a fateful confrontation between the British Regulars and the Sons of Liberty. Caught in the rift between Whig and Tory, Elizabeth Howard is torn between her love for her prominent parents, who have strong ties with the British, and her secret opposition—as the infamous courier

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Overview

It's Eastertide, April 1775, and in Boston, circumstances are escalating toward a fateful confrontation between the British Regulars and the Sons of Liberty. Caught in the rift between Whig and Tory, Elizabeth Howard is torn between her love for her prominent parents, who have strong ties with the British, and her secret opposition—as the infamous courier Oriole—to England.

Elizabeth must learn when the Regulars plan to seize a critical store of munitions. But she hasn't counted on the arrival of Jonathan Carleton, a captain in the Seventeenth Light Dragoons. To Elizabeth's dismay, the attraction between them is immediate, powerful—and fought on both sides in a war of wits and words. As Carleton quickly wins General Thomas Gage's confidence and the assignment to ferret out Oriole, Elizabeth realizes he is her most dangerous foe—and the possessor of her heart.

As the first blood is spilled at Lexington and Concord, Carleton fights his own private battle of faith. And the headstrong Elizabeth must learn to follow God's leading as her dangerous role thrusts her ever closer to the carnage of Bunker Hill.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780310252566
Publisher:
Zondervan
Publication date:
05/01/2004
Series:
American Patriot Series
Edition description:
Book 1
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
5.44(w) x 8.42(h) x 0.99(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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Daughter of Liberty Copyright © 2004 by J. M. Hochstetler

Requests for information should be addressed to: Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Hochstetler, J. M. Daughter of liberty / J. M. Hochstetler. P. cm.-(The American Patriot series; bk. 1) ISBN 0-310-25256-3 1. United States - History - Revolution, 1775-1783 - Fiction. 2. Boston (Mass.) - History - Revolution, 1775-1783 - Ficiton. 3. Young women - Fiction. I. Title. PS3608.O28 D38 2004 813'.6 - dc22 2003024160

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means - electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other - except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher.

Published in association with Hartline Literary Agency, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 15235.

Interior design by Michelle Espinoza Printed in the United States of America

04 05 06 07 08 /. DC/ 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Chapter 1
The crack of the pistol's report came from directly behind the courier. Sizzling past so close to his ear he could feel the heat of it, the musket ball whined off into the windy night.
He brought his head close to his mount's straining neck. "Go! Go!"
The mare responded with a burst of speed, stretching the distance between her and the pursuing British patrol. Flying strands of mane whipped tears to the courier's eyes as he fumbled beneath his cloak for the handle of the pistol shoved into the waistband of his breeches. His hand shaking, he tore the weapon free and cocked it with his thumb.
"Hold!Pull up and surrender, you blasted rebel!"
The shouted command reached him faintly above rushing wind and pounding hoofbeats. Mouth dry, stomach knotted with fear and exhilaration, he searched the shadowy landscape for an escape route.
In the darkness off to his right beyond a high stone wall, wooded hills loomed up. Inside the line of trees the woodland dropped to a winding creek, then rose again into the hills, the courier knew. Reining his mare hard right, his breath coming in sharp pants, he glanced over his shoulder as the wind shredded the clouds high overhead.
Shards of moonlight rippled across hill and hollow, gleaming on icy remnants of a late snow that still clung in sheltered areas. Touching the irregular stone walls that wound through the rolling farmland, the light glimmered across the blood-red uniforms of the soldiers stampeding after him through the murky Massachusetts countryside.
There were three in the patrol. The soldier who had fired had dropped back, and the officer now held the lead. He hung stubbornly close, trying to aim his pistol while he swung wide in the attempt to cut his quarry off.
The dim bulk of the stone wall raced toward the courier. A tangled growth of brambles topped the wall on the far side, reaching thorny fingers well above the stones. With reckless determination, he urged his mount on, rising in the stirrups at the exact instant the mare gathered her haunches under her and took flight.
She skimmed over the seemingly impossible height as effortlessly as a gull and lit softly on the other side. Hardly breaking stride, she fled toward the line of trees. A crashing sound reached the courier, and he threw a swift glance back.
The officer had angled his mount off to a partial break in the wall some yards down. One of the two soldiers was riding hard toward the wall's far end.
The other had tried the wall at the same point as the courier, but had miscalculated the jump. The courier caught a glimpse of dislodged stone slabs spilled across the ground and the thrashing legs of the fallen horse before his mare swept around a bend that for the moment cut him off from the patrol's sight.
He urged his mount between the trees. A dozen strides into the woods he pulled up hard behind a head-high outcropping of rock screened by slender saplings and dense undergrowth. Shoulders hunched, head bent so the wide brim of his hat shaded his face, he sat motionless, calculating that his black cloak and the midnight black of his mare would render them all but invisible in the shadows.
The mare stood silent, head down, lathered sides heaving. Gripping the reins tight with one hand, the courier aimed his pistol with the other, holding it steady with difficulty. His heart beat so hard he was overwhelmed by the irrational fear that his pursuer must hear it.
He could hear the sharp crackle of fallen branches and rustle of dry leaves underfoot as the officer fought his way through the dense growth, cursing in frustration. The creak of leather and jingle of metal drew steadily closer.
The courier became aware of the stinging tickle of perspiration that wound past the corner of his eye onto his cheek. He could make out the dim shape of a horseman riding toward him between the ghostly trunks of the trees. The thud of hoofbeats slowed, then for long, heartstopping moments paused within eight feet of his hiding place.
He held his breath, his pistol aimed at the rider's breast at pointblank range, his hand of a sudden grown steady, finger tightening over the trigger. The mare's ears pricked, but she made no sound. When the tension reached the point at which the courier feared he must snap, the sound of other hoofbeats approached from the left.
"Captain, Scott's horse fell on him," a hoarse voice called out. "He's in a bad way."
Muttering an oath, the rider reined his horse around and moved past the courier's hiding place, fighting through the low-hanging branches. Within seconds he vanished into the night as completely as though the earth had swallowed him up.
For some minutes longer the courier waited, every sense strained to the breaking point. But no sound reached him except for the moan of the wind through the bare limbs of the trees and the creak of interlaced branches high overhead.
When he was certain the patrol was well out of sight and sound, he spurred the mare out of their hiding place, urged her down the slope and across the shallow creek. Silent as a specter, they moved up the flank of the hill on the other side and slipped over the summit.
Thus unnoticed, the courier - known to General Thomas Gage and the British garrison in Boston only by the name "Oriole" for the whistled notes of his characteristic signal - melted into the impenetrable cloak of the forest beyond.
It was a quarter of midnight that Friday, April 14, 1775, when the courier reached the nondescript tavern on the outskirts of Lincoln. The building faced the dusty road that pointed through the hamlet toward the village of Concord some six miles northwest.
In spite of the late hour, the flicker of candle and lamplight illuminated the lower windows of the tavern and the one-story addition at its rear. Half a dozen horses still switched their tails patiently at the hitching rail along the building's side.
The courier took the precaution of scouting the area before approaching the tavern. The road was deserted in both directions, the windows of the houses visible along the road, blank and black. Reassured, he dismounted and found a place for his mare at the hitching rail.
Slim and straight in stature, the courier had regular features markedly more handsome than those of the average farm boy and a pale complexion that had been reddened by the fast ride in the icy wind. His sole concession to the April chill was a frayed black cloak, beneath which he wore the loose tan frock and brown breeches common to the region's farmers. Straight brown hair pulled back and tied with a black ribbon was visible under the drooping brim of his dusty, sweat-stained hat.
As he unbuckled the leather pouch behind the saddle, the door of the tavern's rear addition creaked open. A lanky figure slouched in the doorway, outlined black against the candlelight.
"Will, tell Pa he can quit worrying," said a terse voice.
"Hey, Levi," the courier greeted his cousin wearily.
Slinging the pouch over his arm, he strode to the door beneath the peeling paint of a worn wooden sign that proclaimed the establishment to be simply "Stern's." The tow-haired youth who held the door open with one spare, sinewy arm was about the courier's age. He moved out of the way to allow the courier to step into the passage between the kitchen of the main building and the enclosed lean-to at its rear.
Once inside, the courier pulled off his hat and wiped the clammy sweat off his brow with the back of his hand. Levi scrutinized him, his pale blue eyes growing keen.
"You're more'n an hour late. Any problems gettin' through?"
"You could say that, Cuz."
To his left, through the door of the tavern's kitchen, the courier could see into the taproom. The long, narrow room was crowded, the atmosphere thick with the yeasty aroma of ale and the blue tobacco smoke that gathered in a dense haze against the blackened beams supporting the low ceiling. The grim-faced patrons who bent their heads together over their pints were all members of the local militia.
Farmers, merchants, and tradesmen, they sported clothing that showed varying degrees of prosperity. Most were dressed, as was the courier, in simple homespun, a necessity for the vast majority of colonists because of the despised taxes Britain had imposed on imported goods. Even the more prosperous members of the group were soberly suited in a reflection of their Puritan stock as well as the temper of the times.
"Was Uncle Josh expecting trouble tonight?"
"Naw." Levi shrugged. "Will dismissed the company a couple hours ago, but most of 'em decided to hang around a while. I guess we're all thinkin' trouble's bound to come right soon."
The courier's nod was rueful. "I got a taste of it tonight."
Before Levi could question him, a tall man stepped out from behind the door to their right. About thirty years of age, he was lean and tanned as a hunter, though spotless white linen, a waistcoat of dove-grey silk, breeches of fine black wool, and the silver buckles of his shoes marked him as a member of some profession.
The courier grinned at his oldest cousin in grudging admiration. A lawyer who was gaining some reputation in the area, William Stern was also captain of the Lincoln militia and chairman of the local Committee of Correspondence, which was responsible for distributing information about the activities of the British to other committees throughout the thirteen colonies.
He was, as well, a delegate to the illegal Provincial Congress currently convened in Concord under the direction of thirty-four-year old Dr. Joseph Warren. Samuel Adams's right-hand man, Warren was considered to be the most personable incendiary in the colonies, reluctantly admired by his enemies even while they despised his politics. "You'd better get in here," Will said with a relieved grin. "Pa's been fretting. He's about worried himself sick."

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Meet the Author

J.M. Hochstetler is an author, an editor with Abingdon Press, and a historian. Her interest in the American colonial and Revolutionary War eras grew out of the experiences of her Anabaptist ancestors who immigrated to America from Europe seeking religious freedom. For more information about the author and the American Patriot Series, visit www.jmhjochstetler.com.

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Daughter of Liberty 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
You can't help but love Elizabeth for her bravery and strong spirit. She is a character that makes me wait anxiously for book three in this series. I appreciate the insight into American History that this book brings along with the fantastic story telling. I'm considering adding it to our American History home school curriculum because of the incredible detail included in the engaging story. Great book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm incredibly impressed with the quality of this book and this author. Picture something between John Jakes and Diana Gabaldon, and you have Daughter of Liberty - a sweeping story of the beginning of the American Revolution AND the satisfying growth of a relationship that is fraught with impossibilities...and danger.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For someone like me who is not a fan of historic fiction and who honestly believed I had already read more than enough accounts of our country¿s revolutionary period, I was pleasantly surprised to discover The American Patriot Series by J. M. Hochstetler. The first book in this excellent series, Daughter of Liberty, was also the first book I had read by this particular author, but I knew right away it would not be the last. Within moments of turning to the opening page, I was captivated by this story of the brave and daring Oriole, a spy for the American Revolutionaries with a secret that could change the course of a nation, and Patriot, another spy with a most amazing secret of his own. Hochstetler not only weaves a suspenseful tale of courage, intrigue, and romance, but also decorates the pages of this exquisite novel with some of the best writing I¿ve come across in years. This book was well worth the read, and served to push me on to the second book in the series.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rushing ahead to act without thought to God¿s will has consequences. Most often, negative, painful, and life-scarring. Yet we¿ve all done it. This is what connects a reader¿s heart to Elizabeth Howard, the main character in Daughter of Liberty, the first in The American Patriot Series, masterfully written by J. M. Hochstetler. Elizabeth portrays the essence of innocent and faithful daughter to an established Boston family stalwartly supporting the Whig party. All the while, she is passionate for the patriot cause and dons the role of Oriole¿elusive rebel spy. Life takes an unexpected turn with the arrival of Captain Jonathan Carleton. He¿s magnetic, handsome, and a Redcoat. Elizabeth¿s traitorous heart is completely captured¿ a complication she hadn¿t counted on, especially when the first shots ring out in Lexington and Concord. More than just her heart is at stake during the first skirmish of the Revolutionary War. The lives of many depend on Elizabeth. But has she truly learned to wait on God¿s will, or rush ahead in her own power to save the day? J. M. Hochstetler¿s story delivers to the reader not only a page turner, but a wealth of education about the beginnings of the War for Independence.
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿The crack of the pistol¿s report came from directly behind the courier. Sizzling past so close to his ear he could feel the heat of it.¿ With these words, and the impact of a rebel fieldpiece, J. M. Hochstetler¿s Daughter of Liberty bursts onto the historical fiction scene. Twenty-year-old Bostonian Elizabeth Howard sympathizes with the patriots¿ struggle for freedom from English oppression. Her convictions set her at odds with her parents¿ pro-British sympathies, and force her to live a life of lies and deception. By day she is a debutante, by night she is a spy. Ruggedly handsome Jonathan Carleton was born in England, but is now a wealthy Virginian landowner. He¿s committed to serving his country, but to which does he owe his allegiance? As a member of the British regulars he stands for everything Elizabeth despises. From the moment these two meet, their attraction is fiery and dangerous, and neither Jonathan nor Elizabeth suspects the other¿s true allegiance. Are they destined to remain enemies forever? Add to this conflict a villain out to get both the hero and heroine, and a final plot twist that will delight fans of the Jane Seymore version of The Scarlet Pimpernel, and you¿ve got a truly interesting read. The Revolutionary War makes a great setting for the realistic plot and action Hochstetler incorporates. Fans of American history will appreciate this novel as a painless way to learn more about the lives of such famous historical figures as General Thomas Gage, General John Pitcairn, Paul Revere, and Dr. Joseph Warren. Although I am a fan of historical fiction, I was a little overwhelmed with the depth of history included in this book. The emotion of ¿disgust¿ was also used too frequently in the prose for my taste. However, the plot, the lively dialogue, and the character interaction¿especially the romantic development¿are fabulous, so don¿t let the historical details stop you.
MichelleSutton More than 1 year ago
This awesome lovestory compels you to read it all the way to the end without stopping. My heart ached at the battle scenes where often people knew each other on opposing sides. They fought for what they believed in and were willing to die for freedom. Americans have lost their sense of patriotism. The heroine in the book is torn between her family and her beliefs about liberty and oppression and is willing to risk everything to see that happen. The love which develops between her and a British officer is compelling and well done. The suspense keeps you sitting on the edge of your seat. I cried when it seemed like all was lost. I admired the heroine's faith in God. I can't wait for the sequel to come out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
J. M. Hochstetler has written an exciting, informative story about what our founding mothers and fathers endured so that we might live in a free country. The early days of the American Revolution are brought to life through the eyes of patriot spy Elizabeth Howard and the man she must not love, Captain Jonathan Carleton of the British Light Dragoons. As both face life and death situations, their courage is tested time and again. Choosing love of country over their own hearts¿ longings, each faces an even more powerful, more personal struggle to find God¿s will in the midst of the escalating war. This is an exceptional book. I read the last 150 pages in one sitting. Heart racing, tears falling, I suffered the anguish and indecision that Elizabeth and Jonathan experienced. Hochstetler has created a magnificent, well-crafted story that will endure with the classics because she did not fall into the weak folly of so many modern writers ¿ that of forcing today¿s values and ideas into a time in which they did not exist. To read Daughter of Liberty is to live in 1775 and to experience the spirit that made our country great. Read this book for pleasure, but don¿t be surprised when you receive an awesome history lesson that brings you an appreciation of the United States of America in a deep, new way.
Guest More than 1 year ago
J. M. Hochstetler¿s Daughter of Liberty ushers us back to 1775 and surrounds us with the unsettled essence of that troubled time in American history. As Elizabeth Howard continues her dangerous mission as the elusive courier ¿Oriole,¿ she¿s torn between her family¿s ties to England and her own hidden devotion to the Regulars. Rubbing elbows with key players on both sides of the war, Elizabeth encounters risk at every turn, but never more so than when she meets Jonathan Carleton, a charming captain in the Seventeenth Light Dragoons. Fighting her attraction to the British officer, Elizabeth must keep her composure and remain focused on her secretive work. But love and war are fickle companions, often blurring the lines drawn in the sand. Hochstetler¿s research is impeccable, woven through a compelling love story that keeps us guessing to the final page. Her extreme talents as a gifted story teller shine on every page, drawing us in deeper and deeper until we can almost smell the smoke of gunpowder and hear the echo of battle cries. A great read, leaving us wanting more! Looking forward to the sequel in this American Patriot Series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very good book the Author is wonderful her writing is engaging! Her stories are accurate in time period in which they are set in. I personally love this book and the rest of the series! J. M. Writes the best historical romances!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WindsongBT More than 1 year ago
In "Daughter of Liberty," J/M/ Hochstetler brings to life that unique period of history when Americans won their independence from the British. In 1775, the English king has enslaved his colonies with such excessive taxation on imported goods they can't earn decent livings to support themselves. Though the puritanical Loyalists follow scripture by submitting what they demand to the king and his governors, a growing number of colonists believe the tyrant king has forfeited his right to rule, also according to God's directions in scripture, and they band in rising rebellion against their British masters. Central to the success of this resistance movement is Boston's Elizabeth Howard, a stunning beauty who, by day, tantalizes British officers to charm them into revealing military plans and then, by night, transforms into the boy courier, Oriole, who delivers secret intelligence to the leader of the American troops. There is a high price on Oriole's head, but no one suspects "he" is a woman whose parents are prominent supporters of the British Tories. Politics and adventure. Conflict and terror. All ingredients of the same conditions we face today. Living by wit and her feisty nature, Elizabeth meets the newly appointed British officer of the Seventh Light Dragoons, Jonathan Carleton, and loses her heart to him, only to face the hopelessness of their love because of their opposing loyalties. When the British capture the notorious spy, Patriot, Elizabeth discovers it's actually Jonathan and devises a plan for his escape. Together at last, they think they are free to wed and can openly work for the rebel cause. J.M. Hochstetler takes us in her time machine and transforms poster-stamp names in history, such as George Washington, John Hancock or Samuel Adams, into real characters we can see, hear and at times even smell, like or dislike depending on their moods or deeds. She helps readers reconnect to the "pluck" that built her nation's love of freedom and independent enterprise. In these difficult economic times, Americans need to be reminded of the resourcefulness and courage of their forebears, of the united spirit that rescued them from poverty and tyranny, and to show them that once again they can rise to overcome oppressive conditions. This fictional trilogy set in the American Revolution is not only a thoroughly entertaining Five-Star read but also belongs in every library across the country, especially from middle schools to universities. As required reading, it would certainly make history the exciting study it truly is and give back to Americans pride in their heritage.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The novel was exceptionally written. It came with a guarantee that if you read it you would love it or the store would give you your money back. So I got it and I have throughly enjoyed reading it. It left you wondering what was going to happen next. It had a plot of a love story mixed with adventure that would satisfy any reader's palate.