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About the Author
J. M. Hochstetler is the daughter of Mennonite farmers. A graduate of Indiana University, she is the author of the American Patriot Series set during the American Revolution. Her contemporary novel One Holy Night was the Christian Small Publishers 2009 Book of the Year and finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Book of the Year. Formerly an associate editor with Abingdon Press, she is the publisher and editorial director of Sheaf House Publishers.
Read an Excerpt
“No chance to get away to see Beth tonight either, I take it,” Major Charles Andrews ventured.
Brigadier General Jonathan Carleton threw his aide a brooding look as he urged his bay stallion forward, farther out of earshot of the riders trailing down the road behind them. It was nearing two o’clock, Sunday, July 2, 1775. Pulling off his wide-brimmed slouch hat, he wiped his brow with the back of his gloved hand before settling it back on his head with a jerk.
“We’ll undoubtedly be tied up with the generals until late.”
Andrews pulled his mount alongside Carleton’s. “I thought you’d break away yesterday when we stopped at Watertown to meet with the Provincial Congress.”
Carleton shook his head in frustration. “The General insisted I attend him. But I mean to see Beth tonight, even if it’s past midnight before we get there.”
“Washington has kept you on a short rein ever since we met him in New York.”
“All to your credit, Charles. If you hadn’t felt obliged to share every minute detail of my arrest and imminent hanging, we’d have been in Roxbury days ago.”
“It’s a good thing the General is being cautious,” Andrews countered. “If Isaiah hadn’t been on the alert on the road to New York, Gage’s agents would have us aboard ship to England by now, trussed up like a covey of Christmas geese.”
“And thank you for contributing a report on that little incident too,” Carleton returned sourly. “You managed to persuade Washington that the price Gage has put on my headand on yourswill prove too tempting for someone whose need for cold coin is greater than his allegiance to the cause of liberty.”
Andrews returned a grin. “I’m a small fish. It’s you Gage wants. Considering the reward he’s offering, he obviously means to exact revenge for his humiliation at your hands. After all, you did pluck him clean of all the intelligence the Committee of Safety could have hoped forwhile nestled sweetly in the general’s bosom.”
Carleton’s face clouded. “That’s what I despise about this. I should never have allowed myself to be persuaded to take on such a dishonorable role.”
“But spying in time of war is an ancient and necessary professioneven a biblical one. Don’t forget the twelve Hebrews who spied out the land of Canaan for Moses.”
“Yes, and because they listened to the ten who had no faith instead of the two who trusted God, the children of Israel wandered in the desert for the next forty years,” Carleton responded with a short laugh. “May our country not be so unfortunate.”
With each step, the horses’ hooves plopped deep into the muddy road. The day was hot and humid following an early morning rain, and thunderclouds were again building overhead. At ground level, the rising wind stirred the trees that shouldered each other along the road’s edge and drove patches of shadow and sun across the low, wooded hills four miles from Boston Harbor.
“I hate to admit it, but in this beastly heat and humidity these buckskins are not as comfortable as our new uniforms would have been. And it occurs to metoo late, as usualthat we’d make a better impression on Ward and his staff in full regalia than in Indian dress.”
Andrews surveyed Carleton’s leather hunting shirt, leggings, and moccasins that matched his own. “I’m surprised to hear you say it,” he retorted with a smile. “I’ve not observed that you’re often overly concerned about making an impression, favorable or not.”
Carleton struggled to adopt a wounded expression. “Now, Charles, you hardly know me at all if you can say such a thing. Besides, the New Englanders are already suspicious enough of us Southerners being foisted on them without their having any say in the matter. And you know full well how reluctant I always am to add fuel to a fire.”
Andrews snorted. “I can imagine what they’ll think if your former connection to the Shawnee comes out. But, at any rate, it’s a tad late to transform ourselves into proper officers now. We’ll have to bear their disapprobation with fortitude.”
“I’d as soon arrive in war paint with my head shaved,” Carleton growled, turning serious. “Let them think we’re true savages, and maybe they’ll mend their ways. But then, I’ve never been renowned for being exceptionally politic.”
“That’s an understatement, my friend. And speaking of diplomacy, how much have you told the General about you and Beth?”
Carleton grimaced. “Too deuced much, I fear. He seemed extraordinarily interested in Beth’s role as spy and smuggler for the Sons of Liberty. But when I mentioned our intent to marry, he changed the subject rather abruptly.”
Andrews raised an eyebrow. “You think he opposes your plans?”
His mouth tightening, Carleton turned in the saddle to measure the distance to the officers who rode at a leisurely pace behind them. All except their commander appeared too involved in conversation to pay him and Andrews much attention. As Carleton’s glance met his, however, Washington spurred his stallion forward.
“I suspect I’ll soon find out,” Carleton said in an undertone as Washington closed the distance between them.
What People are Saying About This
“J. M. Hochstetler strikes again! Native Son picks up where Daughter of Liberty left off and doesn’t let go of the reader even beyond the last word on the last page. Ms. Hochstetler has crafted a story full of intrigue, romance, and heart-racing action, all woven around the most accurately portrayed historical events and settings this reader has ever seen. Her charactersmain and secondarycome alive on the page and stay with the reader long after the book is over. The spiritual conflict is both touching and challenging. J. M. Hochstetler is a skilled author whose style engages and allows the reader to get lost in 1775 . . . and makes me want to beg for more! I can’t wait to read the next installment.” Kaye Dacus, author of The Ransome Trilogy “I read Daughter of Liberty a year ago and thought J. M. Hochstetler brought American history to life in that book. I hoped at the time she’d write a novel about every major battle in the American Revolution. I got my wish in Native Son, but not quite the way I expected. Hochstetler introduced me to a fascinating aspect of the revolution here, and I’d say more except I don’t want to give away too much of the first book. If you haven’t read that book, I highly recommend you read the series in order. I loved the glimpse into the lives of George Washington as he built his guerrilla forces into a fighting army, and the names and actions of the factual British Generals, intermixed with the fictionalized daring of our heroes. Fiction like this is a great, fun way to teach history.” Mary Connealy, author of the Kincaid Brides Series “Native Son is an amazing and intricately woven sequel to Daughter of Liberty. . . . The author sucked me right into 1775 and I felt like I was living in a dangerous worlda cross between The Patriot and The Last of the Mohicans. Unlike many historicals, this one doesn’t gloss over the elements of the era, and feels authentic right down to the horrors of war. Temptations experienced by characters are not smoothed over and, in fact, add to the tension and beauty of the story. The different cultures are expertly contrasted, and you feel Carleton’s pain over having to choose, especially being a wanted man on all sides. This well-written novel had me up late and sitting on the edge of my seat, plucked at my heartstrings, then held me captive standing at the finish line, begging for more. This author is changing the face of historical fiction!” Michelle Sutton, author of Letting Go