A Love of War
A Novel  Set in Gettysburg
 at the Time of The American Civil War
Available in Paperback and E-Book
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A Love of War
Louise Ripley
January 2017
60,000 Words
LGBTQ - Sweet Romance
Historical Fiction
Military - American Civil War
Paperback and E-Book
MLR Press, Albion N.Y.
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About the Author

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Story Summary

At fifteen, Liam Ashley joins the Confederate Army in the American Civil War to prove his manhood and forget a terrible childhood filled with abuse and punishment. He is unaware of his sexual orientation, or of his early suffering, but he knows he is different from the boys with whom he grew up. Liam joins J.E.B.Stuart's cavalry and Stuart becomes his commanding officer and Liam’s role model for what men ought to be. He admires Stuart’s manliness, his confident attitude and demeanor, and covets his long elegant boots and cavalry coat. Stuart is bewildered by Liam’s behaviour as Liam tries to provoke Stuart into the only kind of relationship with a man that Liam understands. Liam’s admiration for Stuart turns to a fierce desire for which he has no understanding or control.
Louise at Desk and Harp

This is a picture of me at my writing desk, beside my harp which I am finding more time to practice, now that I am retired
About The Author and the Book

I am not a Southern sympathizer; I was born a Yankee and remained one, despite moving to the south as a child (and living in a place where Jeb Stuart had actually camped), until I emigrated to Canada. My hero, Liam, comes from an Irish family who never owned slaves. Even Jeb Stuart had freed his slaves some years before the war began. This novel is an exploration of what it might have been like for a young gay man to serve during the American Civil War.

I am a retired Canadian Professor of Business and of Women’s Studies, and an avid American Civil War buff, and I firmly believe that prose can be like poetry where one word or one phrase or one story can stand for another that cannot be written (I also write poetry). Most of my academic writing can serve as an excellent source of a cure for insomnia, perhaps except for my final piece before retiring – a study of humour in dog ads.

I wrote A Love of War out of experiences on strike with my faculty union at York University. Being on strike is like a milder version of being in a war, especially on the picket lines. Despite its trauma, I count as one of my favourite times at York the fifty-five-day strike in the winter/spring of 1997. It was on the picket lines that I discovered my "inner guy", who happens to be gay.

I told it as the story of a young gay man who finds himself in the war, experiencing great difficulty in adjusting to the world around him. I set it in the South partly because it would have been even harder to have been a gay soldier in that army than it might perhaps have been in the North, due to Southern strictures about who belonged and who did not, in their antiquated society. The novel uses the passions and emotions of the strike to explore how those of us who are different survive when we do not fit in. It works with themes from my academic teaching and research both in Business, and in the School of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies. It was published in January 2017, by MLR Press of Albion, New York. That's not a vanity press; I sent it to MLR Press first from the list of LGBTQ publishers because their initials are the same as mine. I took it as a good omen and indeed it was! A Love of War iin both paperback and e-book is AVAILABLE THROUGH MLRPress and Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.

© 2019 M Louise Ripley