LISTEN TO YOUR MUSE—AND YOUR WIFE
by Jack Caldwell
Let me explain. As I said, we are world travelers. We both have been struck how ancient animosities keep cropping up to disturb the peace. It’s as if many people in the world are prisoners of their past; they are held hostage to their history. But in America, we are not.
The US Civil War was the greatest cataclysm ever to occur on the North American continent. Six hundred thousand soldiers and countless civilians died the in conflict. I had ancestors who fought on either side. I was born and raised in the Deep South, while Barbara’s people came from the Upper Midwest. By rights, we should hate each other for what happened almost 150 years ago. But we don’t. In fact, it would be considered strange to the point of insanity in this country if we did. In comparison to the rest of the world, America has generally “gotten over” their civil war.
I pointed this out to Barbara, and she agreed. She remarked what a great country this was—that we can overcome our prejudices. That struck a chord with me.
As you might guess, I’m a huge fan of Jane Austen’s work, and have been writing Austen fan fiction for several years. Barbara’s comment triggered my muse, and I replied, “Yeah—talk about pride and prejudice! Think how much more Lizzy and Darcy would have to overcome if they lived here!”
“You should write that,” she said. Well, that’s all the encouragement my muse needed.
Pemberley Ranch is the story of Reconstruction in the South after the Civil War, a little-told tale in our nation today. Basically, it’s Pride & Prejudice on steroids—Elizabeth (Beth) is a Yankee farmer’s daughter recently relocated to Texas, and Darcy (Will) is a Confederate veteran and owner of the largest ranch in the county. And did I mention that Beth’s only brother was a casualty of the war? She would hate Southerners, right? Meanwhile, Yankee carpetbaggers are busy stealing land from the locals. Will would have a problem with that. How does our couple overcome those obstacles?
Really, it is the story of post-Civil War America. Because we did overcome all that. Just how Beth and Will overcome all that—well, you’ll just have to read Pemberley Ranch.
There is a moral to this posting: Thanks to my wife, I came up with the idea of Pemberley Ranch. It’s my first published novel. All because I listened to my wife.
Remember that, guys.
It takes a real man to write historical romance, so let me tell you a story.
PEMBERLEY RANCH BY JACK CALDWELL – IN STORES DECEMBER 2010
In a town as small as Rosings, Beth and Will inevitably cross paths. But as Will becomes enchanted with the fiery Yankee, Beth won’t allow herself to warm to the man who represents the one thing she hates most: the army that killed her only brother.
But when carpetbagger George Whitehead arrives in Rosings, all that Beth thought to be true is turned on its head, and the only man who can save her home is the one she swore she’d never trust…
“It’s Pride and Prejudice meets Gone with the Wind—with that kind of romance and excitement.” —Sharon Lathan, bestselling author of In the Arms of Mr. Darcy
About the Author
Jack Caldwell, a native of Louisiana living in Wisconsin, is an economic developer by trade. Mr. Caldwell has been an amateur history buff and a fan of Jane Austen for many years. Pemberley Ranch is his first published work. He lives with his wife and three sons in the Minnesota. For more information, please visit http://webpages.charter.net/jvcla25/ and on http://www.austenauthors.com/, where he regularly contributes.