Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace


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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Guest Author, Jack Caldwell - LISTEN TO YOUR MUSE—AND YOUR WIFE

Today on History Undressed, I would like to welcome Jack Caldwell, author of Pemberly Ranch, which I just adored!  Click here for my review.  I hope you enjoy his post today as much as I did, and don't forget to leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of Pemberly Ranch -- 2 winners, US and CANADA only.


by Jack Caldwell

One day, my lovely wife and chief editor, Barbara, and I were talking about our backgrounds. I am a native of the state of Louisiana, born and bred in the swamps, of English / Scottish/ Irish/ French/ German/ Swedish heritage (I’m a mutt), while she is German/ Polish whose parents grew up around Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We were talking about how chance brought us together. As we are both world travelers and interested in both current events and history, it occurred to us that we were lucky to have found each other. As I thought about it, I realized that had we been living anywhere else, we wouldn’t have.

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.


When the smoke has cleared from the battlefields and the civil war has finally ended, fervent Union supporter Beth Bennet reluctantly moves with her family from their home in Meryton, Ohio, to the windswept plains of Rosings, Texas. Handsome, haughty Will Darcy, a Confederate officer back from the war, owns half the land around Rosings, and his even haughtier cousin, Cate Burroughs, owns the other half.

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.


Carol L. said...

Hello Jack,
It's great meeting you here and Congrats on the release of Pemberley Ranch . I'm looking forward to reading this very much.I'm off to your site and have to agree with one thing, yes, you should always listen to the wife. :)
Carol L

Rebecca Lynn said...

Oh wow. I have GOT to read this book. The P&P meets GWtW was the kicker for me! Two of my favorite books.

Thanks, Eliza!

And thanks, Jack, for coming to HU. Can't wait to read this book!


Unknown said...

Great post, Jack! Your books sounds terrific! I love the cover art a lot.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations Jack!
The theme of the book sounds interesting and one I'd like to read about.

Unknown said...

I love the premise of your book, Jack, and can't wait to get my hands on it. Listening to your wife was a really great idea! Best wishes for a huge hit!

Keena Kincaid said...

Congrats on your release, Jack. The book sounds fun, and I love that era of our country's history. And I've said for years that if men listened to women more often it would be a different world. ;-)

Chicks of Characterization said...

Wow, Pemberley Ranch sounds like a great read! I love the Civil war period, and have done extensive research into my geneaology of that time. I was able to find the tomb stones of those relatives who served which gave me their ranks, and everything!! Ok, I know, I know too much information! I just get so excited about this time period!!!!

Congratulations on your release Jack! Wishing you the best of luck!!

And you gave some excellent advice to other men out there! LISTEN TO YOUR WIVES!!

Wishing you many sales!
:O) Andrea

Susan Macatee said...

This sounds like a great read, Jack! I love books set in this time period, both during the war and after.

My husband had relatives--three sons from the same family living in Maryland--who fought on different sides.

Congratulations on the release and wishing you a ton of sales!