Thursday, November 19, 2020

 Hi everyone!  Today I have an awesome post by Jayna Baas, author of Preacher on the Run!  She wrote a super interesting guest post (I never even learned about this stuff in school!) and I've also got a review and some excerpts for you -- and don't forget to check out the giveaway at the end of the post!  Without further ado, here's Ms. Baas' guest post!

GUEST POST - The Inspiration Behind Preacher on the Run by Jayna Baas

Imagine a place where you’re free to believe whatever you want—as long as it doesn’t oppose the established religion. Up the street is the local clergyman’s lavish property, which he can afford because you are taxed to support him. A nearby sect has bargained for special privileges to avoid the restrictions, but your own growing church has no such recourse. You want to get married, but your pastor has just been arrested for preaching without a license, plus it’s illegal for a dissenting preacher to perform marriages. You’ll have to hire the established clergy to officiate, but even if you wanted to pay the hefty fee, you can’t—your land will be auctioned off next week if you can’t pay your taxes. You’ve already paid those taxes once, but the sheriff insists otherwise. You don’t dare go to court; everyone knows the courts are nests of extortion. 

Eighteenth-century North Carolina was just such a place. The Carolinas’ role in the American Revolution first drew my attention, but I found the Revolution’s prequel in the decades before, when the Church of England’s hierarchical system translated to secular affairs: If no one but the clergy could interpret the word of God, then no one but the government could interpret the law. The most targeted communities were the Baptists, because everything they believed directly opposed this ideology. When I began writing Preacher on the Run, the story of those persecuted Baptists was uppermost in my mind (and still forms the backbone of the story). But as I went on, I couldn’t help thinking that it really wasn’t about the Baptists at all. It was about people being hunted and harassed simply for following God as best they knew how. That could be any of us. 

Freedom is risky. If you allow people to make up their own minds, they might discover you’re wrong. They might find out that Jesus, not the state church, is the only way to God. They might learn that all men actually are created equal, and that they have as much right to understand the law as you do. So if you’re the power-hungry type, you had better put a stop to that. Pass a riot act or two. Maybe even call out the militia, if the people need to be reminded who’s in charge. 

That is the setting behind Preacher on the Run. It’s a setting that triggered all sorts of alerts in my story-loving brain. The men and women of the Regulator Uprising dreamed of a place where truth could square off with lies, where iron could sharpen iron, where tyrants didn’t tell people what to believe. As Thomas Jefferson said, “It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.” Or as Robert Boothe says in Preacher on the Run, “The truth will hold its own.” If you can imagine a place like that, thank God for those who imagined it long before it ever came to be.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Jayna!  

Doesn't that sound interesting?  I don't think there have been many books at all written about this time period -- just on the cusp of the Revolutionary War.  That's one reason why I enjoyed this book so much.

Before I get into my review, here's some information about the book and Jayna Baas! 

Preacher on the Run - For Liberty & Conscience #1 

North Carolina, 1771 

Robert Boothe has spent the last four years leading the tyrant-hating Regulators in standing against North  Carolina’s corrupt British government. Just being an unlicensed dissenter preacher is enough to make Robert a  target, but he refuses to back down from his conscience. Aside from a sympathetic court justice, the village of  Ayen Ford has no other champion for its poor and defenseless.  

Then Charles Drake, emissary of His Excellency William Tryon, comes to town with one ambition: winning the  governor’s favor, no matter what it takes. And Robert Boothe just might be his last chance. 

All Robert wants is a safe place for his little Baptist church to live and worship God. But the established church  wants him to shut up. The governor’s men want him dead. And that safe place is farther and farther away. 

You can run, but you can’t hide . . . 



Preacher on the Run is the first book (hopefully!) of the For Liberty & Conscience trilogy, which combines North  Carolina Revolution-era history with Christ-centered fiction: page-turning stories of Christian people living  Christian lives in the daring era of America’s beginnings.


Jayna Baas (pronounced as in “baa, baa, black sheep”) lives in northern Michigan with a great family of real  people and the family of pretend people who live in her head. (Yes, she does know her characters are not real.  No, she does not want you to tell them she said so.) She is notorious for working on several projects at once  and writing her series in the wrong order. She hones her craft amid loud southern gospel music and an embarrassing number of composition books, and is convinced God wired her to write—she can’t not write, even  though she believes German writer Thomas Mann was correct in saying, “A writer is someone for whom  writing is more difficult than for other people.” She enjoys writing and reading in a wide range of genres, but  her favorite story is this: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever  believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)



I have to give this book a solid 4.5/5 - I could tell that this book was extremely well-researched.  It's accurate to the time period, combines the reality of America in 1771 with a smidge of fiction, and it's informative as well as interesting to read.  The characters were easy to empathize with -- I especially enjoyed reading about Robert's brother, even though he wasn't the main character.  While it took me a few chapters to get into the swing of the book, the book definitely picked up with time, and it was easy to keep reading.  Baas' ability to weave a lot of historical fact in amongst her fictitious plot line was really interesting and masterful. I found myself chuckling with some of the characters' quips and wit, and other times, I was biting my nails wondering how certain situations would pan out.  Lots of good messages and themes within the book as well; ones that can still apply to the world today.  I'm a little bit obsessed with the Revolutionary era, so reading a little bit about America just before the war was just my cup of tea...and I hope Baas writes more books about this time period!  If you're a fan of historical/Revolutionary (or pre-Revolutionary) fiction, you'll definitely find it worthwhile to pick this book up.  


Robert turned away from the stream and said, “Here’s the plan, boys. We get back to Ayen Ford, we don’t go in quietly. We ride in on the main road in broad daylight, and we let Drake see every move we make. It may be risky, but he can’t arrest all of us at once, and it’s time we showed him what he’s up against.” 

Saul McBraden said, “Now you’re talking my language.” 

Robert smiled. Saul’s bravado was sometimes dangerous, but at the right time it became an asset. This  was about to be one of those times. “Then all we’ll do is keep Drake on edge. Watch him every minute we  can, and let him know it. You boys can do that on your own even if they shore up the jail, lock me up  again, and throw away the key.” 

“Out of curiosity,” Alec Perry drawled, “what did they lock you up for this time?” “Preaching without a license. Officially, that is.” 

“Officially is never the real reason,” Alec said. 

“Unofficially, they were making a point. I say that because there was no other cause for Drake to make  the arrest in front of my church on a Sunday morning.” 

“I’m not saying I’m much for one set of doctrine over another,” Alec said, “but that sticks in my craw.  Didn’t his mama teach him any reverence a’tall?” 

“A man like Drake don’t have a mama,” Ethan Hardy said. “He just sorta crawls out of a dark hole  somewhere and there he is.” 

“I’m going to enjoy making this gent nervous,” Alec said. 

One glance at Alec’s slitted eyes and Robert believed him.

- Preacher on the Run, chapter 12, by Jayna Baas.

AND I did mention a giveaway, didn't I?  One U.S. winner will receive...
1 signed copy of Preacher on the Run
1 necklace hand-stamped with "In God I Trust" 
1 bookmark with a Bible verse and cover art from Preacher on the Run!

ALL entrants will receive free recipes from the colonial era! 

Enter below! 

  a Rafflecopter giveaway   

Make sure to stop by Jayna's website TOMORROW to see who the giveaway winner is!

What did you think of the guest post?  How about that excerpt?!  Do you plan on reading Preacher on the Run?  Sound off in the comments!