The year is 1797. John Chapman, an impulsive young man and a sexual outlaw, forsaken in the bitter winter of the Allegheny Plateau, clings to his one tenuous dream: to claim a future in the Western outpost. Unarmed and near death, Chapman is on the brink of giving up when an unexpected rescue changes his course in life forever, and he discovers the true meaning of survival.
The mysterious savior is Daniel McQuay, a loner whose overpowering bond with Chapman is as shifting as a shadow, as dark as the prairie tale he spins for the impressionable young man. For Chapman, McQuay's story of a deranged killer clings to his transient soul like a nightmare, tracking him further south and into the safe haven of a gentle Indian woman named Gwennie. His journey also takes him into the intimate deliverance of Palmer, a brash but irresistibly innocent seventeen-year-old settler.
As the three adventurers carve a new life out of the endless wilderness, they face the ultimate enemy man in a life-and-death struggle that unfolds in the shadow of a legendary and avenging evil.
|Product dimensions:||5.31(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Michael Jensen has worked as a bank teller, a wedding photographer, and a tour guide in Australia. He currently works as a flight attendant and lives in Seattle with his partner, Brent Hartinger. Frontiers is his first novel. Visit his Web site at www.frontiers-99.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I readily admit I have problems with gay historical novels. Of course there are exceptions, but most of these books tend to use contemporary language and slang, and are told from a modern point of view, leaving me feeling like I¿ve just attended a costume party instead of completing a work of viable fiction. I am thrilled to say that FRONTIERS by Michael Jensen is one of the previously mentioned exceptions. The painstaking research and the almost obsessive attention to detail are apparent from page one of this mesmerizing, and edge-of-your-seat-exciting story. I felt as if I had been transported to the harsh and unforgiving landscape of 1798 Western Pennsylvania, where I watched the life of protagonist, John Chapman, unfold. John Chapman, fleeing an impoverished childhood and an abusive father, has been running for his safety since he turned 14. His sexual passion for men makes his existence precarious at best. As the adventure begins John, living in Lower Canada, has been having a relationship with a Major in the British Army. The affair has been discovered by local authorities, and John and the Major are forced to make a dash for freedom. Unfortunately, the Major gets shot so John, on his own, heads for the Western frontier in hopes of staking a claim and starting his own farm. All he wants is a solitary life, far away from the troubles his sexuality has gotten him into. Winter is coming on and, John, with no frontier skills, wanders across the Allegheny Plateau in search of an outpost called Warren, where he has read, claims, and the supplies to work them, are being offered to settlers. Near starvation, our hero is discovered, and taken in for the winter, by a gruff and drunken woodsman. Discovering his benefactor has some deep and disturbing secrets, John once again flees at the first sign of spring. He heads for the small settlement known as Franklin. Once again on the brink of disaster, John is led by an Indian woman to an abandoned claim a days walk from the new town. Encouraged by the settlement leader to take over the claim, John decides to stay. Among the few settlers he meets, is Palmer Baxter, a brash but handsome, seventeen year old frontiersman. Desperate to keep his natural inclinations in check, John does his best to discourage young Palmer, but the boy has no intention of being kept at bay. Even though they are on the very outskirts of society, John and Palmer must still face the overly-suppressive circumstances of the day. Added to this pressure, is the re-emergence of an incredibly evil presence from John¿s past. This is the outside edge of the known civilized world, and wrong decisions can easily equal death. Can John and Palmer survive the tremendous odds stacked against them? Jensen is able to weave an incredibly romantic love story, despite the extremely cruel and prejudicial attitudes of this society, inside an outdoor adventure to rival anything ever written by Jack London. This wonderful novel hooked me and reeled me in faster than a trout in a shallow stream. Jensen¿s incredible sense of detail and his sharp writing style made for one heck of an entertaining read. The scenes painted here provide the reader with a very real sense of time and place; a repressive time in an incredibly beautiful but dangerous place. I understand there is to be a sequel, I for one can¿t wait. I HIGHLY recommend this book, especially for anyone with an interest in accurate historical fiction.