Peter Kalin was born and raised at Beaux Arbres, his father’s plantation in the Northern Neck of the Commonwealth of Virginia. When it was discovered that Peter liked to sleep with men, a predilection frowned upon by elite society, Beauregard Michael Kalin had only one recourse. Disowned and banished, Peter Kalin purchased a small farm of his own and unwittingly became a stationmaster on the underground railroad system.
As any man, Peter could not predict where his road in life would lead, his path often determined by the decisions of others… the family patriarch, a man selling his farm, a rebellious slave, a parish minister… Robert E. Lee or President Lincoln. This is the story of Peter Kalin as he navigates his own road in 1850’s-60’s America.
How his farm had become a station, he didn’t know. Shortly after he bought the farm, just before dawn a woman knocked on his door. She asked for Mrs. Davenport and was shocked that she was no longer living there. She apologized for the intrusion and started to leave. But Peter did not return to his bed. Instead, he watched the woman sneak four people into his barn. He followed them, and when he entered, they were not to be seen. When he discovered a few bales of hay pushed aside in the rear of one of the stalls, he spied a trap door.
“Y’all better come on up out of there,” he shouted when he flipped it up. Slowly the woman and four strong ebony men emerged. They stood fearfully in a clump, not because Peter had caught them, but because his dog Rufus was at his heels and his teeth and fangs were bared. “Y’all are runaways, aren’t you,” he asked rhetorically. “You come a long way?” he inquired with a change in his tone.
“Yes, suh,” said the lady.
“Have you eaten?”
“Not since yesterday morning. Just some berries we found right before sunset.”
“I’ll be right back in a bit with some food for you.” He returned to the house and gathered some bowls, spoons, a large pot of freshly-made oatmeal, and some dried beef. “Here. You need some nourishment. Can’t have you on the run and starving.”
That was five years ago. Since then, many groups followed the drinking gourd to his farm. All Peter asked in return was that they dig out a little more of the underground hideaway. He added some rough beds so his guests didn’t have to sleep on the ground, and always kept enough food handy to make sandwiches for his over-day guests. At night he gave them the directions to Caleb Ross’s, the next station on their route north.
“Massuh Peter, Massuh Peter,” shouted a raspy voice as fists pounded on his door one September morning barely past sunup.
He opened the door to find Rastus, the Negro butler from his father’s plantation.
“My, you looking like a fine young man. Maryland doing you good, Sir.”
“Rastus, what are you doing here?”
“Delivering a present to you from yo’ daddy.” He stepped aside, and there was Bahu. “Seems your daddy just found out who it was that made you want to like men. He was going to cut his thing off, but I suggested he send Bahu to you instead. I mean, I may not have approved of what you guys did together, but I think yo’ daddy’s ideas of punishment are a little harsh for just wanting to find a little love.”
“How did Daddy find out?”
“Fortune in Men’s Eyes,” is an inspirational novel by Duncan More. This historical, interracial love story can be purchased from Amazon (ebook and print), B&N, Google Books, All Romance ebooks, Apple and Kobo.
J.D. didn’t miss what he didn’t have, including family. He barely remembered his mother and had never known his father. Following the death of his grandfather, he becomes the neighborhood pass-around-kid, raised by a group of caring church members.
When traveling evangelists Brother Bob and Sister Tina hear him play the piano, they quickly take him into their fold, where his talent and tragic story tear at the hearts of churchgoers across the Bible belt.
A hit on the revival circuit, J.D.’s talent and Bob and Tina’s showmanship soon turn their straw of a show into pure gold. Brother Bob and Sister Tina are becoming more than financially secure, but they need J.D.’s talent and story to keep their ministry going and their money growing.
When a clash between the old time religion and J.D.’s sexual orientation becomes a crisis, he runs to the military to hide, where he finds love with Ethan. But sweet, sexy Ethan, has a dark secret of his own, a secret that involves someone near and dear to J.D., which may keep the two men apart forever.
Ethan was a P.K., Preacher’s Kid, out of Tampa. I had been around other Preacher’s Kids, some of whom were so restricted they did nothing but rebel and lash out. Ethan was just the opposite. There was a goodness that came out of him naturally. He was as caring, honest, and kind as he was cute, and that guy was a whole bucket fulla cute. Ethan was quite the total package and made a damn fine looking soldier.
The beginning of fall had come to the southern base where we were stationed, and we could see that some leaves had begun to change as we walked slowly through the night together. In the darkness, we had not seen clouds gathering above us. The skies suddenly opened, a gusting wind pushing the falling rain over us in waves. I was content to cavort like a fool in the downpour, but Ethan, who was very good about letting me be silly, quickly pushed us off the sidewalk to a barracks we were near and into an open doorway. We stood looking at the rain for a moment, waiting for it to let up, with me grinning at Ethan.
“You are drunk. I shouldn’t have let you have that beer.”
“And you are cute,” I said, lightly pressing a forefinger into his chest.
“Stop, you’ll make me blush.”
“And nice, and kind, and..,”
Ethan cut me off while I was speaking. “Stop. You don’t know me, man.” Ethan was suddenly dead serious, his face tightening and going dark. “I’m not the good guy you all think I am.” There was a moment of silence between us as I took in this new side to my buddy that I had never seen. Then just as suddenly, the Ethan I knew came back to the surface, “Hey,” he said, his warm smile back on his face, “you’ve never told me about your life.”
“It’s a long story,” I said, wanting to get back on track with where my little engine was heading.
“We’ve got time,” he said, patting the concrete next to him.
I tried to change the subject, but Ethan was having none of that. So I talked, catching him up on the gory details of my life to date, everything but why Bob and Tina were going to send me to Costa Rica.
“You were the only guy in basic who didn’t talk about family, so I’ve kind of been figuring that you might have had it rough,” Ethan finally answered.
I just gave him a shrug. “It’s all I knew,” I said. “Besides, Bob and Tina weren’t all that bad. They were just doing what they knew.” We sat for a few more minutes before I found the courage to say what I had been waiting to say. “Ethan, I, I’m in love with you,” I finally stuttered out.
There was a long pause. Ethan stared blankly straight ahead into the rain before standing. We had been in the niche for about two hours by then, but it seemed only seconds because I was with him.
“We’d better get inside.”
“I just said I love you, man,” I gently chided, hoping for something that deep inside my heart I knew was not going to be returned.
“I know,” he said quietly, looking me in the face.
I could see tears welling up in his eyes and I wanted to reach up and stroke them away with my fingers.
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard,” he finally said in return, and a tear fell to trail down his cheek. “But that can’t ever happen,” he said, without looking at me or saying anything more as he stepped away from me and headed toward the barracks.
“Key Maneuvered” by James Brock, a gay romance novel set in the deeply religious, evangelical Bible belt, is available exclusively from Amazon. Click Here or on Cover Above to Purchase. Also available in print from Amazon. Cover art by Syneca Featherstone, http://www.syneca-originalsyn.com.
A rock star, David is torn between his public persona and the man he is at home. When on stage, he praises the Lord, as would a good Christian, while young women clamor for his attention, but behind the heavy gates that guard his home, he is a man with more than one secret. David is a Jew, not a Christian, and no woman will ever hold his heart. The one he hurries home to is Nathan, the quiet man who turned his life around. As his fame escalates, a secret from his past threatens everything he would willingly die to protect.
“And the Grammy goes to…” A hush fell over the crowd and David sat in the front row with his eyes closed. Let it be me, he repeated to himself several times. Then it happened. “Son Phoenix!” The audience went wild as the band made its way to the stage to accept the award for rock album of the year.
When David lifted the statue high above his head, the audience roared. They had all been contenders, but David was the best. He was the lead singer, the member of the band that made young women faint, but David Wassenstein was known as Blade to them. He crossed himself and thanked the Lord for the honor, as was expected of a good Christian.
Nathan Gelman sat in the back row and watched the hypocrisy. David, or Blade, clutched his chest as if he were touching a cross that hung from his neck, but Nathan knew the truth. The Star of David dangled from Blade’s neck. Nathan had given it to him six months ago on their two year anniversary. David said that Jewish men didn’t become rock stars, but that was exactly what David was…a rock star…and a Jew.
David didn’t look at Nathan when he accepted the award. He didn’t dare. He didn’t care if his fans thought or knew he was gay. Men and women pushed through the crowds to look at him, to touch him, to hear him speak a few words only to them. David didn’t look at Nathan because he knew what he would see in the eyes of his lover. He would see disappointment, betrayal, and hurt because he had denounced his faith, at least in public. When the two of them were together in their home, locked behind heavy gated walls, David was as true to the Jewish faith as Nathan.
David didn’t notice when Nathan quietly exited the theatre, but he had expected him to leave as soon as the winner was announced.
Nathan drove through the gate that closed behind him and turned on the lights inside the mansion they shared. He lit a fire in the fireplace and waited for the sound of the black limousine that would bring Blade home to him again. His fingertips lightly outlined the matching Star of David that clung to his chest as he thought about the separate lives they led.
David was running. He was running from his past, from his present, and what the future may hold for the two of them, but mostly, David was running from himself.
His star power had skyrocketed and he had no knowledge of his ex-wife’s whereabouts, but those were things he had come to terms with quite easily. David’s issues went far deeper than Nathan had realized. At the time of the divorce, he and his wife had a baby girl, but no marriage. He wrote to his ex often, as did she to him, but after a while, the correspondence ceased. They had nothing more to say to each other. David sent payments for the child he feared he would never know, but he never saw his daughter again.
That was a long time ago, but Nathan knew David was haunted by the fact that he had a child out there somewhere. In a sense, David was the father to a ghost. Nathan noticed how he scanned the packed audiences when he took the stage. Women of all ages thought he was looking only at them, but Nathan knew he was studying the faces hoping to find one with features that mirrored his own.
“Hallelujah,” a romance novel by B.K. Wright, is available from B&N, Amazon, All Romance ebooks, Kobo, Google Books, Apple, and Coffeetime Romance. Also available in print from Amazon. Our website is http://www.beautobeau.com.
For as long as he can remember, ballet has been Matt’s passion. As he walks along the street feeling rejuvenated and on a high from his first class and from having been admired by a much younger man, he thinks about the night he met Gabe. Gabe was the best thing that had ever happened to him. Their mutual attraction had been instantaneous. Gabe was a find and before Matt knew it they had become lovers. As he continues on his way home, Matt thinks about the man in his dance class and he wonders what the young man could possibly see in a man of his years. Perhaps in becoming a part of the young man’s future, Matt is trying to find redemption from his own past, a past which continues to haunt him.
As he watched Derek’s steps, Matt found the young man’s form sensually stirring. Singularly handsome in repose, Derek became electrifying when he flew across the floor in a series of grand jetes, then like a falcon coming to rest landing noiselessly in a deep plie, his smile radiant. Matt ached to be involved again in a love life more than in day dreams. Derek had assumed a featured role in his recurring sexual fantasies.
In their air-conditioned cabin at water’s edge, they lay naked on the bed with their fingertips idly tracing teasing patterns on each other. Turning on his side, Matt draped his leg over Derek’s stomach and followed the furrows of his ear with the tip of his tongue.
“I feel so relaxed. There’s nothing like a day in the sun and the sea.”
“And an afternoon of sex,” Derek said in a husky, put on voice.
“I don’t know exactly what you might see in an older man…or want for that matter. But whatever it is, I know you’ve done something for me.”
“You’ve stopped the clock…and I’ll do anything in the world for you.”
Derek didn’t respond as he leaned over and gazed into Matt’s eyes, and then without saying anything he kissed him gently on the lips.
“The Redeemer”, inspirational romantic fiction by Joseph Richards, is available in the Apple iBookstores, from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Bookstrand, Rainbow ebooks, All Romance ebooks, Kobo ebooks, and Coffeetime Romance. Also available in print from Amazon. Our website is http://www.beautobeau.com.
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