Spanning the days leading up to July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress prepares to debate the wisdom of seeking independence from their British masters. While most enlightened thinkers believe reconciliation will soon replace confrontation, negotiations between the two sides are continuing peacefully. On the surface the enlightened thinkers appear to be correct; however, both British and colonial leaders continue to make plans to the contrary.While the British continue to secretly assemble the largest naval armada in history, a shadowy plot has emerged from the highest levels of their government: an order to strike a decisive first blow and cut off the head of the snake.Patrick Rourke, a notorious and wealthy Philadelphia Tory, and his exotic mistress, Lydia Ames, are working with British agents on a sinister plot. Their goal is simple: to eliminate the leadership of the fledgling rebellion.In the meantime, members of the Second Continental Congress's Secret Committee have set in motion a bold plan to seek French military aid for the coming conflict. A ship full of gold is on its way to France to secure the deal. Unfortunately, the small committee has been compromised, and word of the shipment has fallen into the wrong hands.With the looming revolution in the background, we find our reluctant hero, Benjamin Cushman, thrust into the middle of the coming storm. Cushman decides to visit his best friend from childhood, Thomas Jefferson, only to be caught in the middle of the notorious British assassination plot.The assassination attempt is the springboard and culmination of various subplots set against the actual documented historical records of the weeks leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. This historical fiction novel allows the reader to follow our Founding Fathers during one of the most crucial weeks in our history, the week leading up to the Fourth of July. It will expose the reader to the process, pressure, and politics that led to the courageous signing of the Declaration of Independence and perhaps the greatest closing line in human history, as the signers pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor for a simple yet powerful idea—freedom.
-- Jim Bollenbacher