NATE AND KELLY is a love story from a century ago, about today.

The novel has a strong, interesting narrative structure. It is an interesting combination of fiction and non-fiction that works well with both the broad subjects of historical significance and its very specific, illuminating love story. The novel reveals truths about our society that prevail especially today, truths about fear, racism, demagoguery, and attacks on the human spirit. It stands up and shouts that love can survive.

A century ago … after slavery, and in the middle of Jim Crow.

  • By Sarah: “first-rate job of weaving history into the story that was thoroughly enjoyable”
  • By Marsha: “Best Historical Book I’ve Read”
  • By Pamela: “..showing how life experience can change people and how hatred can make one take a stand against the haters”
  • By Grady Harp: “…this hypnotizing story NATE AND KELLY”
  • By wogan: “… worthwhile as an instructive tool and as a story to read”
  • By NaomiA: “…a well-written book”
  • By CurtisB: “…captured my interest from the very beginning!”
  • By Mouse: “A story of hope, betrayal, survival, and love…shocking truth about evil and prejudice.”
  • By Phyllis L. Hinkle: “So well penned…makes you ponder the problems of society we live in today.”

NATE AND KELLY is a striking story of the type that has waned from our memories, the type of story destined for a massive resurgence –- a new take on old stories.

Available as a paperback book and an ebook at

Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Smashwords – CreateSpace


This is the 100th anniversary of D.W. Griffith’s groundbreaking movie BIRTH OF A NATION,” which The Daily Beast calls, “The Racist Movie That Made Hollywood.”

Griffith anticipated, but was eventually shocked by, the public outcry, which included the new NAACP‘s attempt to get the movie censored or at least cut.

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100th Anniversary of the Panama Pacific International Exposition

100th Anniversary of the Panama Pacific International Exposition

The one hundredth anniversary of the Panama Pacific International Exposition is coming up. The Expo was the primary setting for NATE AND KELLY. The historically-accurate novel explores the Expo as it draws out a love story, and informs about American civilization regarding fear, tragedy, love and hate.

June 28, 2014 is the one hundredth anniversary of the event that ultimately led to THE GREAT WAR (we didn’t start numbering our world wars back, but now we call it WORLD WAR 1). It was on that day that Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was assassinated by Serbian terrorists. See the maps here: and the Serbian story here:

Next year, on February 20, 2015, will be the one hundredth anniversary of the great PANAMA-PACIFIC INTERNATIONAL EXPOSITION in San Francisco. See that history here:

Both of these important events that shaped how we live today are key settings for the novel NATE AND KELLY available here:

I took the Amtrak California Zephyr to the Sundance Film Festival 2014 in Park City, Utah. It was particularly fun because this train follows the basic route laid out in my novel NATE AND KELLY, an historical fiction love story about race relations in America a century ago, in 1915–in the heart of the Jim Crow era, that century between the abolition of slavery and the Civil Rights Movement.

Returning from Sundance, I had a lay-over in Sacramento, California, which is prominent in the story of NATE AND KELLY, and wandered around trying to find some of the landmarks in the story.

I was surprised that the Loew’s Empress theater at 1013 K Street, Sacramento, is still a theater! It was built for $150,000 in 1912 and opened in 1913. It is now the Crest Theater…although significantly remodeled several times over the past century.

Crest Theater, Sacramento (originally LOEW'S EMPRESS)

Crest Theater, Sacramento (originally LOEW’S EMPRESS)

originally LOEW'S EMPRESS

originally LOEW’S EMPRESS

Other landmarks, such as Hotel Land at K Street and 10th Street, and the Frank Enos Grocery Store and Bar at L Street and 4th Street, are long gone.

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“Best Historical Book I’ve Read”
Marsha Clark, August 28, 2012

Let me start off by saying I usually don’t like reading history books. I will say that this was one of the best history books that I’ve read, even though it was non-fictional. This book kept me interested all the way through, and that’s saying a lot for me since I’m not much of a reader. This book tells detail of the events that happened. It was a well-written book and I would recommend it to anyone.

Michael, you have a lot of talent as a writer. Keep up the good work.

This is a bit of historical background for my novel NATE AND KELLY, which is set in 1915 and deals with love, terror, hope and bigotry. The historical facts of American society in 1915 are mirrored by American society in 2012.

William Edward Burghardt “W.E.B.” DuBois was an educated and intelligent black man who is acknowledged as the father of Social Science because of his exhaustive endeavor published as “The Philadelphia Negro” at the beginning of the past century.

He was certain that the race problem was one of ignorance.

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4.0 out of 5 stars

Masterful weaving of history into a story, September 17, 2012
By Sarah Edwards
Michael has done a first-rate job of weaving history into the story that was thoroughly enjoyable and included historical photos that piqued our interest.

I think every writer needs validation.

I have some experience in the real world of writing. Those who know me have been exposed to some horrific self-published books that came across my desk seeking publicity when I worked at a top Los Angeles radio station (KKBT THE BEAT 92.3 in the 1990s) and other places. As an independent film producer and sometime worker at movie studios and agencies, I read many–way too many–terrible screenplays that came across my desk.

The process of media involves lots of bad reading.

Of course, every writer believes their writing is magic and needs reviews that discover and validate that magic.

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United States of America

faced incomprehensible horror one day shortly after the turn of the century.

The city in flames.

The city in flames.

There was shock, destruction, and death. War loomed. Americans veered toward either hopelessness, fear, and hate or toward vision, faith, and rebuilding. They asked, “Could life in America ever be great again?” Some said, “No, let’s retreat to the past.” Others said, “Yes, let’s move forward.”

Demagogues exploited fear, painting easy-to-identify groups as enemies to blame.

There was amazing technological progress in communication, commerce, industry, and travel that disturbed some people and thrilled others. There were drastic shifts in the way people earned their living.

In the midst of these distressing times, Nate started his career. He left his home in Baltimore, Maryland to become a manager of the Panama Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, California. It was there that criminals framed him for their theft of gold coins from the Expo.

Nate fled the criminals and the corrupt police. Kelly fled the people who murdered her mother.

When Nate and Kelly run into each other in a small town in Central California at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, their lives become entangled with each other and with the horrible realities of hatred and evil. They discover, as everyone does eventually, that the meaning of life is all about starting over.

Author Michael R. Barnard grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, then moved to Hollywood to write scripts for film and TV. He now lives in New York City. “NATE and KELLY” is his first novel. It is a love story intricately woven into historical facts.

Available as an eBook at:
AmazonBarnes & NobleSmashwordsCreateSpace


• Social Science > Violence in Society • Social Science > Discrimination & Race Relations • Drama > American • Fiction > Historical • Political Science > Civics & Citizenship