Free historical fiction Kindle books for 06 Aug 17

Better Angels: A Retelling of Bayard Taylor’s Joseph and His Friend: A Pennsylvania Story

by Wayne Goodman

Joseph Asten, a handsome, 23-year-old farmer living in the Allegheny River Valley shortly after the Civil War, secretly longed for intimacy and love with other men. He devised a misguided plan to marry a woman who knew of his “dual nature” then his life took some unexpected, fateful turns.

Bayard Taylor’s Joseph and His Friend: A Pennsylvania Story is considered the first American Gay novel. Originally published in 1869 as a serial in The Atlantic, the author could not relate the story openly and had to use suggestive ways to describe his characters’ activities and motivations. In Better Angels, Goodman retells the tale frankly and candidly, free from antiquated 19th Century cultural restraints. This is the author’s second book revivifying forgotten, historically-significant Queer stories. Previously, in Vanya Says, “Go!,” Goodman updated the first Russian-language Gay novel Wings, by Silver-Age poet Mikhail Kuzmin.



Purgatory on the Potomac: A Story of Survival

by T.R. Lewis

“As the smoke on the horizon continued to consume his home, and possibly its occupants as well, Myles made note of the contrast that the black smoke made against the clear, blue sky. He would have loved to see the children that he and Mary would have raised together. He imagined how they would have looked, and even considered what their professions may have been, once they had grown. Still picturing the children that he would never know, Myles Bell closed his eyes for the last time.” (Chapter 10)

In 1768 the edge of British expansion, and the very first Western Frontier, was the north-western mountains of Virginia. This frontier was occupied by the brave men and women who dared to carve out a new home for themselves and their families. They carved these homes out of an unforgiving forest, and did so at the risk of hostile Indians and corrupt British Officials. They were immigrants from too many countries to name, but they were heartier than their fellow British citizens and aptly suited for the wilds that they found themselves living in. The sacrifices that they made were not for themselves, but for their children, in the belief that they would one day have a better life than themselves.
This story is a fictional account of these pioneers, but inspired by real people. This is the story of a small group of settlers, living along the Potomac Valley, and their struggle to survive. Through the main character, William Lowery, the reader experiences the hopes and dreams, as well as the hardships and dangers, that all of these brave families shared.
Thrown into this epic battle, of life and death, is Jeb Hayes. A white man who was captured and raised by the Indians, before he was forced to leave their world and return to his own. Now, shunned by whites and natives alike, he finds himself trying to keep his sister safe, in the midst of a large scale Indian attack.
This is not only a story of settlers attempting to make a home in a world governed by Indians, but it is also about one man’s struggle to discover his place in the world. Caught between the demons of the spirit world, and the people who seek his death in this one, Jeb Hayes is in a constant struggle to understand the purpose of his own existence. The reader will have to decide if the demons that Jeb Hayes sees are real, or if they are simply his attempt to transfer his own guilt onto others.
While much has been written about pioneers who settled the plain states, the American Revolution would overshadow the same acts of heroism and courage that was shown by these first settlers. There is very little documentation on their experiences. Most of these people were ridiculed and ignored by the British Colonies that surrounded them. They were simply รข??hillbillies’, who offered little in the way of sellable goods, and contributed nothing to the sophisticated life in the colonies.
The more infamous characters in this story are period-authentic for the era that the story is written. These characters carry the real names, of their real-life counterparts. The Governor of Virginia, Chief Cornstalk, Blue Jacket, and John Logan, all had their role to play in history just as they do in this fictional story.
The title of the story is reflective of the fact that many of these settlers, no doubt, felt that they were living in a type of purgatory. Their faith was tested every day of their lives, and the Promised Land was the future that they saw for their children and their children’s children.



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