Writing a book is a very private endeavor, and like walking a tree-lined trail not being able to see what lies ahead, or like seeing through a glass darkly, I only know in part, because the story comes to me as I write. However, one thing remains true in
the writing of any book, that is, for me.
I can hardly wait to share
it with someone, everyone.
And as usual, I've not 
given this latest work of mine
a title, this seventh book in my
novels of the War Between the States,
the aftermath, Reconstruction,
and the amazing years that followed
when the whole world began to change
as a result of that evil War.
For the time being, we'll call it
Inherited Courage
for that is truly the story of
Robert E. Lee Payne. It
seems this courageous lad
lived on the fringe of life
from the time he was born to
war hero, Albert Henry Payne,
and throughout the incredible
years that followed.
Here's a bit of the Prologue.
I'm now at 30,000 words—
and it's only April, 2017!

He wiped his face again as the sweat dripped to his arms. It was hot, but his thoughts were equally scorching. He was about to read the story once more, and then maybe, just maybe, he could put the journal away forever. Why had he tainted the last pages of this beautiful piece of leather with so disdainful a narrative—?

Dare he characterize it as such, and had not good come from evil? He thought of the Old Testament story of Joseph, how that his brothers, who cast him in the hole and left him for dead, had meant their wicked actions for evil, but God had meant them for good. If only he could think of it that way.
Lee Payne leaned back on the park bench with his face toward the sun, his journal clutched to his chest as if it were some treasured manuscript ready for the publisher's consent. It was his, part of a life story. The good, the bad, and everything in between. And the part he had not told Charlotte. It had happened several months before they were married, so why did it matter? It was simply a means to an end. And Charlotte was still in Chancellorsville with her mother at the time.

He closed his eyes and drifted, reflecting on the past. His written words were far from poetic, mostly harsh and colloquial. He read on, inhaling memories of Lower Manhattan, the stench of raw garbage in the Bowery and all over the East Side, Just thinking about the streets and late summer of 1883, he was reminded that familiarity breeds contempt, as surely as Aesops Fable, the story of The Fox and the Lion. He was the Fox and he had encountered the Lion that year.

Somehow reliving this was only momentarily re-casting his pearl before the swine, for after that imperative interval, he had an amazing life in a beautiful part of the City with the woman he loved and with another gift that God gave him out of the loathsome interim when he was like Jonah of old  briefly in the belly of the whale.

Jane Bennett Gaddy
from the hills of South Carolina
April, 2017.

Jane's Books
at Barnes&


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