Patriot Apprentice (2nd Novel in the Hollister Series)

ABOUT Patriot Apprentice

Patriot Apprentice, Modlin’s second American Revolutionary War thriller in the Hollister series, recounts the continued adventures of Jack Hollister. Promoted by George Washington to rank of midshipman, Jack joins real and fictitious patriots in their high seas exploits and their quest for independence. Convinced and reassured by his friend Nathan Hale that his decision to remain in the colonies is courageous and honorable, Jack accepts an assignment on the Piper, one of the first ships of war in George Washington’s fledgling navy.

Danger and adventure await as he sets sail aboard this armed schooner. Though jeopardized by Redcoats, renegades, true and despicable loyalists, Jack finds dauntless courage and unfaltering camaraderie among his peers.

Richard Modlin continues to highlight the lesser-known battles of the American Revolution and events of early American history. The settings and times for this fast-paced, historically accurate tale are the days following the bombardment of the coastal village of Falmouth, presently known as Portland, Maine.

ISBN-13:  978-0-9800473-8-7

Available from Amazon  as a trade paperback. Please visit:

Available as download from Amazon Kindle. Please visit:


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Newfound Freedom Selected as Finalist for BOTYA

Newfound Freedom, my recent novel has been selected as a Finalist for the 2013 ForeWord Review‘s Book of the Year Award in General Fiction.  Newfound Freedom is available from Amazon in electronic and all book formats.  Please check it out.

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Birth of Newfound Freedom: A New Novel

My novel, Newfound Freedomis live and available as a trade paperback from  A review of the book is below.  Be the first to get a copy.  Visit

Newfound Freedom is Richard Modlin’s well-crafted, historically accurate, epic tome that will thrill readers interested in the genre of American colonial and nautical adventure. It’s a coming-of-age, plot-driven novel filled with camaraderie that’s comparable to the works of Patrick O’Brien.

Survival, adaptation, and self-reliance are the dominant themes as two English brothers experience a perilous Atlantic crossing and unexpectedly become embroiled in the beginnings of the American Revolution. Newfound Freedom finds some of its best moments via the ideological turmoil between main characters, Jack and Ian Hollister, yet the treasures to be found in its pages are almost without limits as the author brandishes his skills as a world-class writer and historian. Modlin served as a senior research associate with the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of Natural History.

Modlin’s inspiration for the novel found its genesis in the author’s love of history and an extended stay along the east coast in the vicinity of Machias, ME. There he learned of the Battle of Machias, which was the first naval battle of the American Revolution. After visiting the site of the battle and researching the events, people, and culture of late eighteenth century Machias, Newfound Freedom became not only possible, but also an actuality as a thrilling work of high adventure.

Indeed, using his superb writing skills, Modlin keeps the reader intimately engaged with the history of the time. In creating the dialogue, the author used only words and expressions that were common lexis in New England, Great Britain, and on the high seas during that epoch in time. The descriptions of the landmarks, events, terrain, and activities are also true to the time. Moreover, the fictional characters in Newfound Freedom interact with actual historical figures such as George Washington, Jeremiah O’Brien, Nathan Hale, Ichabod Jones, and many others.

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Newfound Freedom: a Synopsis

Jack and Ian Hollister cross the Atlantic in 1774 to carry on the family business in Boston. A storm forces their leaking vessel into Halifax. Securing passage on a coastal schooner, they continue the journey. Jack establishes camaraderie with the colonial crew. Ian considers them rebels. A hurricane forces the schooner onto the rocks off the coast of Maine.   

Jack and the schooner crew attempt salvage of the cargo, but a Royal Navy frigate uses the broken hull for target practice. Seeing survivors, the frigate captain plans their capture, but flamboyant Dunkin and his pirates whisk everyone to the temporary safety of their camp. Friendships are reestablished and new ones made. Jack and Ian meet Maire, the infamous female pirate leader and her sister. 

While Jack, Maire and Dunkin are away, the royal marines raid the pirate camp and impress Ian and other able-bodied men and women into naval service. Jack, concerned with the loss of his brother, escapes, with his friends, to Machias and becomes embroiled in the first naval battle of the American Revolution. Aiding the militia, the HMS Margaretta is captured and her captain is killed. After the battle Jack is transported to Beverly, Massachusetts, and then on to Cambridge.

Imprisoned aboard the frigate, Ian spends the winter in Halifax harbor, contending with the vagaries of naval service and trying to prove his British aristocracy. Identity verified in the spring of 1775, Ian is released to his relatives in Boston not knowing the fate of his brother.

Jack remains unaware of what has become of Ian. With the aid of George Washington, he is secreted into blockaded Boston, 

After a joyous reunion, the brothers learn that their father has terminated the Hollister business in Boston until colonial stability is reestablished. All are expected to return to England. Jack decides to remain. No amount of enticement changes his mind. To Ian’s dismay, Jack leaves Hollister House saying, “Tell Father I can be found in Cambridge—but not the one in England.”

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Be on the lookout for my novel, Newfound Freedom.  It will be available in bookstore in July.

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An Extraordinary Writing Conference

     Spring rains are dwindling—at least I hope they are, some of us have had more then we need. Leaves on trees are in full blown and trilliums have pretty much gone to seed. Spring will soon blend, or maybe snap, into summer—actually we’ll be there tomorrow—and, guess what? it will be July. So, it is almost upon us, the 2013 Alabama Writers’ Conclave.

     You don’t want to miss this year’s AWC. For one, it is being held in the very southern part of Alabama, in Fairhope, our state’s haven for writers and artists. A beautiful little town located on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay, where Alabama’s most well known writers live.  Have you heard of Rick Bragg,  Winston Groom, Sonny Brewer, Judith Richards, or Terry Cline? They live in Fairhope along with other noted writers and artists.

     State Poet Laureate Emerita and AWC Program Chair, Dr. Sue Brannan Walker has put together a very exciting and wonderful slate of poets and writers who will lead the workshops. She has also secured a very congenial and inspiring venue for the conference, the Fairhope Campus of the University of South Alabama. And in addition to the usual fiction, poetry, and non-fiction workshops, there will be, I believe for the first time, a workshop on screen writing. She is also trying to organize a panel of publishers to discuss the vagaries of the publishing world. So you don’t want to miss attending the AWC on July 12-14.  

     Check out the bios of the workshop faculty that are printed in this issue of the AWC newsletter. Then fill and send in the registration form to secure your place in one of America’s oldest, continuously operating writers’ conferences. For more detailed information please visit the AWC website,

     Hope to see you in Fairhope.

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Happy Fathers Day

Fathers Day is almost upon us.  Got a Dad, Step-dad, Granddad, or any dad who likes an adverturous read or one who enjoys birdwatching? Then think Fathers Day Gift and get them a copy of Malachite Lion and/or Chasing Wings. Check out information on both books by clicking on “Books.”  Both are available from Amazon and Kindle.

An Note about my Website:  As for now, my website is still in the process of being revised and tweaked.  However, do navigate about the site and learn more about Richard Modlin, his books and writings.

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Welcome to my New Site!

As for now, my website is still in the process of being revised and tweaked.  However, do navigate about the site and learn more about Richard Modlin, his books and writings.

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