Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Just a quick update about life and holidays. The entire Lewis tribe made it home for Thanksgiving this year. We're a small tribe compared to most of my friends--fifteen souls--but we're raucous and loud and the exhausting chaos was wonderful.

I'm a bit bummed today. The last little Lew departed and that always makes me sad. Most live far, far away. I'm washing linens, doing dishes, finding things in unusual places, and putting away Thanksgiving decorations while pulling out Christmas boxes. It's more manic than usual because I leave Maryland 0n Thursday and head to Utah for my book signings for "In God Is Our Trust," so I'm trying to clean, decorate, pack, and prepare for a two-week departure at the busiest time of the year.

Here's my signing schedule. If you're in the area, please stop by and say "hi." These signings can be a bit lonely and a friendly face from a familiar friend or Facebook buddy is a sweet gift.

Enjoy your own holiday preparations!


December 2nd
Seagull Centerville store from 5 - 7pm
The Book Table; Logan, Utah, 8:30-Midnight

December 3rd
Seagull Redwood store from 10am - 12pm
Deseret Books Layton store from 2 - 3:30pm
Seagull Family Center from 5 - 7pm

December 9th
Seagull West Jordan store from 5 - 7pm

December 10th
Seagull South Jordan store from 10am - 12pm
Deseret Books Ft. Union store from 2 - 3:30pm

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation

It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the LORD.

We know that by His divine law, nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world. May we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people?

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.

But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.

--Abraham Lincoln - October 3, 1863

Thursday, November 24, 2011


As pressure mounts for jailed Iranian minister, Youcef Nadarkhani, to renounce his Christian faith and avoid the death penalty, some Christian ministries across the globe view this case as a bellwether moment for all middle-eastern Christians.

Nadarkhani’s conviction caused an international outcry over Iran’s 2009 decision: "Mr. Youcef Nadarkhani, son of Byrom, 32-years old, married, born in Rasht in the state of Gilan is convicted of turning his back on Islam, the greatest religion, the prophesy of Mohammad, at the age of 19."

Under Sharia law, Youcef Nadarkhani is charged with heresy, and sentenced to death by hanging because he became a Christian, and for founding a small Christian church.

A nonpracticing Muslim, Nadarkhani converted from Islam to Protestant Evangelical Christianity at the age of nineteen. Now in his thirties, Nadarkhani founded a small Christian church he named, "The Church of Iran." He first came under scrutiny in 2006 after attempting to register his church with the state. Though he was arrested, he was subsequently released. Nadarkhani again approached officials in 2009 to stop the forced teaching of Islam to his children at school. This objection led to his arrest on heresy charges.

This case has placed the Iranian court system in a precarious situation. They cannot release Nadarkhani without offending the tenets of Sharia law, and they face an angry international community if they carry out the sentence of death.

This international pressure is credited for the delay in Nadarkhani’s execution. More than that, when worldwide religious, civil, and political leaders condemned Iran’s actions toward Nadarkhani, the charges suddenly changed.

"His crime is not, as some claim, converting others to Christianity," said Gholomali Rezvani, deputy governor of of Iran's Gilan province where the pastor was convicted. "He is guilty of security-related crimes."

Charges of violence and rape were leveled at the pastor next, followed quickly by charges of spying for Israel. Rezvani quickly rushed in to explain that any misunderstanding over the charges was the result of the western press. "No one is executed in Iran for their choice of religion," Rezvani added. "[Nadarkhani] is a Zionist and has committed security-related crimes."

In an effort to pass the decision on, the Iranian court system has asked the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to decide the fate of Nadarkhani. In the interim, the pastor has been issued pro-Islamic reading material that attacks the validity of Christianity, in the hopes Nadarkhani will renounce his Christian faith and return to Islam. Family and friends of the pastor believe the court’s real hope is that when questioned, his answers will be seen as challenges to the documents, in which case new charges of heresy could be raised. Ironically, the strategy is one Christ's oppressors are recorded to have attempted to similarly convict Him.

Nadarkhani's status as a nonpracticing Muslim adds another element of controversy to his arrest and conviction. Generally, the charge of apostasy can only be leveled on a practicing Muslim adult who disavows the religion. Nadarkhani never meet that standard, but the courts ruled that Muslim ancestry alone was sufficient cause to find this pastor of a series of small house churches guilty of heresy.

Supporters from every corner of the globe rallied to the pastor’s cause. Speaker of the House John Boehner was the first U.S. official to issue a public outcry regarding this case, while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the White House have since issued strong statements to the Iranian government, decrying their actions and calling for Nadarkhani’s release.

America's leaders and citizens should raise their voices on this issue. It hits close to home. As Thanksgiving approaches we are reminded that four hundred years ago similar religious freedom-seekers found themselves worshipping under penalty of imprisonment for daring to question the Church of England. Since the King of England was regarded as both the Britain's political leader and the conduit to heaven, rebellion against the church was also considered treason, punishable by imprisonment or death. Many of these religious rebels, left their homeland as banished exiles, arriving in America.

One such dissident was John Lathrop who, in 1607, was ordained a deacon for the Church of England and placed in charge of the prestigious Egerton Church in Kent where he served for 14 years. In 1623, doctrinal questions put him at odds with church doctrine and he renounced his ecclesiastical orders to secretly lead an illegal independent church. In 1632, the group was discovered and 24 members were arrested, including Lathrop. By 1634, all those arrested had been released on bail except for Lathrop. During his imprisonment his wife, Hannah House, died, and his six surviving children were found begging for bread on the streets of London. Lathrop was finally offered the option of banishment from England. He and his remaining children, and exiled members of his congregation, arrived in Boston in September of 1634. Lathrop remarried and has many notable Americans among his descendants — Joseph and Hyrum Smith, Parley P. Pratt, Oliver Cowdery, and U.S. Presidents Ulysses S. Grant, Franklin D. Roosevelt, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush and Governor Mitt Romney.

We still have our own struggles with the issue of religious tolerance. Remember John F, Kennedy's need to delineate his faith from his governance? Centuries later, in 2009, John Lathrop's descendant Mitt Romney issued this statement when the former Massachusetts governor felt a need to assure America that if elected president, he would serve "no one religion, no one group, no one cause and no one interest. . . . I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and the Savior of mankind . . . My church's beliefs about Christ may not all be the same as those of other faiths. … These are not bases for criticism, but rather a test of our tolerance."

We still struggle with religious tolerance at times, and Iran's intolerance should make us vigilant in defending the rights of religious freedom. Religious expression needs freedom to flourish. Perhaps that underlying theme of liberty, prevalent throughout God's inspired word, is what terrifies tyrants.

The Koran itself teaches of religious freedom. “The Truth is from your Lord, whoever wills let him believe and whoever wills let him disbelieve” [Chapter 18: verse 29].

These passages from the Old and New Testament, the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants reaffirm the divine right of freedom and liberty.

Galatians 5:1 — Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Alma 46:12 — And it came to pass that [Moroni] rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it — In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children — and he fastened it upon the end of a pole.

Isaiah 61:1 — The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

Doctrine and Covenants 98:5 — And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me.

Alma 61:14-15 — Therefore, my beloved brother, Moroni, let us resist evil, and whatsoever evil we cannot resist with our words, yea, such as rebellions and dissensions, let us resist them with our swords, that we may retain our freedom, that we may rejoice in the great privilege of our church, and in the cause of our Redeemer and our God . . . according to the Spirit of God, which is also the spirit of freedom which is in them.

"...the Spirit of God, which is also the spirit of freedom which is in each of His children."

May God bless you, Mr. Nadarkhani. We are praying for you.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Yesterday was the official launch of IN GOD IS OUR TRUST held at This is the Place Bookstore in Kensington, MD, near DC.

This sweet face belongs toVicki Allgaier. Vicki and her husband, Dr. Wayne, (the photographer) have been advisors/beta-readers/cheerleaders on my last four books. Wayne is my medical advisor, and Vicki provides great editing advice, cozy hugs, and rah-rahs as needed. Authors need a lot of those from time to time. Great couple!

I gave away lots of great books, chocolate, a bicentennial flag, and copies of the Charters of Freedom yesterday. I'm bringing some more great items out for my Utah signings.

I pausing momentarily to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with my family. (The entire tribe is flocking home!!!!) Then two days after the last chick departs, I fly west to Utah to begin the string of signings out there. Fun, right?

Here's my current signing schedule. I hope to see many of you as we launch IN GOD IS OUR TRUST.

December 2nd Seagull Centerville store from 5 - 7pm

The Book Table; Logan, Utah, 9-Midnight

December 3rd Seagull Redwood store from 10am - 12pm

Deseret Books Layton store from 2 - 3:30pm

Seagull Family Center from 5 - 7pm

December 9th Seagull West Jordan store from 5 - 7pm
December 10th Seagull South Jordan store from 10am - 12pm

Deseret Books Ft. Union store from 2 - 3:30pm

Friday, November 18, 2011


We're kicking off the release of


which is in stores now!!!

I'll be signing copies of all my books on
Saturday, November 19th, at


in Kensington, MD, from 10 until 3.

Unfortunately, it appears this will be my only signing in the DC area before Christmas.

If you can't make it to the signing, you can call the store at (800) 924-2665 and reserve an autographed copy.

Utah signings will begin in early December. Please check my web site at http://www.laurielclewis.com/ for dates and locations.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011



Thank you to Kathy at I AM A READER NOT A WRITER, and All-Consuming Books for sponsoring this Gratitude Hop.

The purpose of this hop is to thank our followers for the great support you've given each of us this year. So . . . THANK YOU for popping by, for coming back and reading posts, for making great comments and supporting my work. I really appreciate it!

We're making this an easy-entry hop--only one required entry per person. Just become or be a follower of this blog. That's it!

And the prize? I'm putting together a nice package--your choice of any volume of my FREE MEN and DREAMERS books, another new book from my shelf, and a gently read book I've enjoyed this year. How's that sound? Thanks again for coming by, and here's my wish for you to enjoy a blessed Thanksgiving.

Now pop on by these other grateful bloggers:

Monday, November 14, 2011


With the holidays drawing close, hearts seek books that uplift and build faith. Joan Sowards' The Star Prophecy" is just such a read that would make a great family Christmas tradition.

From the back cover:

"You are crazy. No Nephite has ever returned."

Most people laugh when they hear of Enoch's dream of returning to Jerusalem to find the infant Messiah. Even Enoch's future father-in-law mocks him when he asks for a postponement of his long-awaited wedding to his beloved Rebekah. A few take Enoch seriously--the shipbuilder Omnihah, Enoch's teacher David, and the prophet Nephi.

Five Years before, a Lamanite named Samuel had stood on the wall of Zarahemla and prophesied that "five years more cometh" and the Christ would be born in Jerusalem. Time is running out! Enoch knows he must set sail across the great water in search of his dream--to see the face of the Messiah.

The Star Prophecy is a surprising story of courage and love, faith and fortitude. Sail with Enoch and his friends across the sea through hardship and adventure in search of the Christ child.

"I love Joan Sowards' inventive mind. She begins this adventurous tale with "what if?' and tells it so well that the reader closes the book thinking 'why not?' The Star Prophecy adds a surprising new dimension to the Christmas story." -Liz Adair, author of Counting the Cost

"Action-adventure, romance, inspirational, and historical fiction all rolled into one make the Star Prophecy an exciting page turner." -Margaret L Turley, author of Save the Child

Friday, November 11, 2011

My "THANK YOU" to our Veterans

Happy Veterans' Day!

My "thank you" to our veterans appears in the Deseret News today. It recaps a marvelous glimpse I was privileged to catch of these heroes.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


The demonic expression on my face belies the sweet enthusiasm of the moment when I opened the box and held a copy of "In God Is Our Trust" in my hands. It's volume five of Free Men and Dreamers, and my seventh published novel, but the thrill of seeing your words and thoughts in published format is still the same.

Signings are being scheduled in DC and Utah, and hopefully in L.A. as well. If you're a FM&D fan, please come by and say hi.

If you've never read a volume, please jump on board and catch some great American history wrapped around a tender story of family, God, and country.

I've gotta go and stare at the books again. Thanks for stopping by!




Thanks to Kathy, at "I'M A Reader Not a Writer," and to Tristi Pinkston, for sponsoring this hop. It opens at 12:01 a.m. on November 8th and ends at midnight on November 11th.

Once again over 400 sites are offering up great bookish prizes, so enjoy!

This month marks a huge professional milestone for me. After eight years of research and writing I've launched In God Is Our Trust, the concluding volume in my FREE MEN and DREAMERS historical fiction saga. I could use some help spreading the word.

Here's what I'm offering on my patriotic stop along the hop: a copy of "George Washington: The Founding Father," and an autographed copy of any one of my books listed on my web site.

Here's how you enter. Each entry must be posted separately to be considered in the drawing.

1. You must be, or become, a follower of this blog, preferably by email.

2. Become my friend on Face Book

3. Copy the above pic of the Star-Spangled Banner and my books to your blog, Face Book page, or Twitter with this caption:
"One Nation Under God" It was not left to chance! Read L.C. Lewis's Free Men and Dreamers.

Report each posting separately. You can earn one entry per posting.

That's it! Thanks so much! Now stop by these other amazing blogs on the tour.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Veterans' Day is drawing close and I wanted to share a glimpse of some senior soldiers I've been privileged to share the past few years.

The last few Septembers I've headed down to Quantico Marine Base with Tom for some fund raisers for The Wounded Warrior Foundation, and a massive Marine expo. A friend of Tom's, a great patriot named Pete, organizes a golf tournament/auction to raise scholarship funds for for a foundation called "The Young Marines." I had never heard of this group before, but like the ROTC, it teaches military discipline and service the marine way, preparing future officers and leaders.

The experience was moving. I was surrounded by officers in all their variety, from generals on down, with post commanders and retirees proudly wearing their caps and shouting "Ourah!!!" at any mention of the corps. These men are proud Marines, and proud of their Marine heritage which dates back to 1775, and rightly so. Even in my research on the War of 1812, the toughest fighting squad, next to Joshua Barney's Flotillamen, was a group known simply as "Miller's Marines."

As the golfers moseyed in off the greens, the older soldiers posted their golf scores on the board and then gathered around a table to talk, and there was no shortage of opinions or wisdom reflected there. And the topics on these veterans' minds? It wasn't sports scores or movies or popular media darlings. They were doing what they had done for a lifetime--assessing the news, reading between the lines, gathering intel and discussing strategic political and military options some of them no longer had the power to implement. I was a fly on the wall, and the conversations were fascinating as they discussed places that still seem to strange to most of us but places that had clearly been on their radar for many years--Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Israel.

Their faces were emotion-filled. They were deeply invested in these corners of the world where their young comrades-in-arms were serving or might serve one day. Some had sons and grandsons deployed here, and clearly, they were on their minds.

They talked about God, and about country as if they were unseverable appendages to one another. They knew the Bible, and saw a clear connection between events written there and our circumstances today. These men of different colors, different nationalities, and likely of many different faiths, see their service as an extension of their personal faith, and they see their defense of America as a defense of Christianity in a world becoming increasingly negative towards Christians.

A highlight of one day ocurred when three sisters of a Marine killed at the 1983 bombing in Beirut came to participate in the launch of a scholarship named for their slain brother. Several were also Marines themselves, and they wept over the ache of their loss as well as the pride that his memory would be honored in such a manner. It was an honor to be there, and to see steeled, battle-scarred brothers-in-arms from every branch of the service shed a tear or two as well. It reminded me of something Colin Powell once said about how no one works harder for peace than a soldier.

Hug a soldier today. Better yet, thank one.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

CONTEST QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Who Has The Greatest Influence On a Nation?

God or Government---

Who Has The Greatest Influence On a Nation?

This is a fundamental theme behind all the Free Men and Dreamers books, but it is the primary force behind volume five, the concluding volume of the series, "IN GOD IS OUR TRUST," and the question you'll have to comment on in order to enter this week's giveaway. I'm offering a winner's choice of 3 great patriotic prizes.

Did, or even could, the Founding Fathers have realized the religious fallout that would occur following the break with Britain. They had calculated the political, military, social and economical concussions, but could they foresee how being cut off from the king, the supposed conduit to God, would affect the faith and worship of the fledgling nation?

And how would America bridge that break? Who would be their advocate to God? And how? It left a spiritual vacuum.

Would they model their new churches on the model of the Church of England many thought was corrupt? And what of the immigrants from foreign lands with their different religions, different views of deity?

One of the first great tests of the freedom to worship began immediately.

In the interim, they sought stability through government, but the Founders were aging and dying, and a new generation of visionaries was needed.

America remained a weak confederation of states, having never achieved the vision of "one nation under God."

Citizens' loyalties were to their states, not their country.

Some states threatened secession.

The years preceding the Revolution churned with political tumult that did not settle with the end of the fighting. Even the signing of the Constitution did not lift Europe's boot from America's throat, until a strangling America was forced to go to war again to end Europe's oppression once and for all.

The War of 1812. It cost both nations dearly in blood and treasure, and secured no great concessions of land or rights for either side.

Some call it a nothing war, but historians agree it changed America forever--

It produced a new generation of leaders just as the last of the Founders were passing away.

It produced national pride that relaxxed attachments to individual states. We were no longer just Virginians or Marylanders or identified by our state. . . We were Americans.

It unified a weak confederation into The United States of America.

It produced the first icons of America--a victory flag lovingly titled the Star-Spangled Banner, and the song that heralded its appearance over an embattled fort.

It catapulted a respected America onto the world stage.

It opened trade doors that had previously been blocked.

What else did it do? Let IN GOD IS OUR TRUST show you.

An American Renaissance began.

Immigration increased.

Westward expansion increased.

A decade of peace and prosperity ensued between 1816 and 1826. With our energies no longer focused on war and defense, religious debate began anew, spawning a new religious reformation. In the middle of that decade of peace and spiritual searching a boy emerged, claiming to have spoken to God and His Son, and America's claim of religious tolerance was put to the ultimate test.

Within the pages of IN GOD IS OUR TRUST, Jed and Hannah Pearson experience each of these changes in America, alongside the people whose lives have intersected with theirs during the war. Like Jed, many believe America's strength lies in strong government. Hannah and others believe God holds the answers to America's future. When tragedy again strikes the Pearsons, Hannah is reacquainted with a young man named Joseph Smith, whose tales of visions and gold plates divide families, and test the mettle of the Constitution.


The prize this week is one I'm very excited about. The bicentennial of the War of 1812 begins in a few months, launching a two-year celebration of wonderful American history. In 1814 we will celebrate the two-hundredth anniversary of our national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner, and the flag it commemorates. For this week's prize, I'm offering a winner's choice of one of the following:

1. A replica of the fifteen-starred flag that became known as the Star-Spangled Banner.

2. An unframed, parchment-printed version of the U.S. Constitution, suitable for framing. (See what this document looks like if you choose to mat and frame it)

3. Your choice of any volume of Free Men and Dreamers, autographed and personalized for the recipient of your choice.

HOW TO ENTER You can enter up to FIVE times, but each entry MUST be posted separately to be considered.

1.You must be, or become, a follower of this blog, by GFC or by email, to be considered.

2. Post your comment on the question above. I'm anxious to hear what you think.

3. Copy and paste the following graphic and caption for IN God is OUR TRUST onto your blog, Twitter, or Face Book page. Yuo'll get one entry for each posting.

"One Nation Under God Wasn't Left To Chance."

Thanks! Good luck!