Just in time for Christmas ...

My long awaited Isaac's House is ready for purchase at the publisher, iUniverse; at Barnes&Noble.com; and at other online bookstores around the world. You'll need a cozy corner, a comfy chair and a good cup of coffee. It's a book for all seasons, but especially for this time of year—autumn and winter. Spend some time with my fictional family, the Paynes of Sarepta and Slate Springs, Mississippi. You'll be friends for life.

The story takes place in a trying time for our country. An era called Reconstruction, when the South struggles to return to a degree of normalcy after the War, with the realization that nothing will ever be the same.

This is an adult historical fiction, but one that our children should read. I've tried to give a southern view of the War and its aftermath in an inoffensive way but with a strong slant toward my beloved South. Scarcely do you get the viewpoint of the losers! It's much easier to write about the winners, I suppose. But I had an edge on storytellers who attempted to write from hearsay or from the history books. I had poignant letters that my forefathers wrote home. Granted, I only had one side of the conversation—theirs, for the letters they carried around from one battle to the next were likely strewn over the fields of Gettysburg. However, my great-great grandmother kept those letters they wrote to her until they abruptly stopped two weeks before that wicked battle.The letters are preserved and archived at The University of Mississippi. I have read every one of them many times. I've read between the lines. I've imagined. I've pondered. I've cried a lot. And from those letters and tears, I wrote The Mississippi Boys and Isaac's House. There's one more to go—Joab. I've already started the research. And that will complete the trilogy of Faithful Sons.

An Excerpt from Isaac's House—

Rachel made coffee with rich cream. She stirred it until it was frothy and poured it in the crock kettle that hung over the coals. More cream than coffee and two spoons of sugar. The way she and Isaac loved it. She handed a cup to her son and sat down beside him on the cold swing, once again to discuss the overwhelming power of the North. Washington was relentless. They would succeed in whipping the South into shape if it was the last thing they did.

"It looks hopeless that Washington can come to any decision at all—not just about Reconstruction and amnesty for southerners who are left outside the Union still, but in all situations. That's what happens when stubborn politicians get their minds made up. Johnson continues to make major decisions on his own without consulting anyone. He's intolerant of the views of other people. No compromises with him. He touted his stand on justice to the colored race, but when he announced his Reconstruction strategy, it was a horse of a different color . . . "

Jane Bennett Gaddy

Memphis, Tennessee


  1. Oh Jane, this sounds wonderful. Just reading about the letters....It gave me goosebumps...Oh my goodness. Congratulations!

    I appreciate you Jane, I hope you are having a sweet and peaceful Holy season. Merry Christmas Dear Friend!

    Love to you and prayers for a great New year, ~Amelia

  2. Amelia, I have thought so much about you and your family these past few days, pondering how it might have been at your house celebrating the birth of our Savior. I have to go to your blog and hopefully catch a glimpse. Spent Christmas at my son's for the first time in many years. Such a blessing. We went to Christmas Eve candlelight at his church and celebrated quietly with him and my grandson in the Bluff City. Took a long Christmas Day walk in familiar city streets early that morning. Brought back memories. Lord bless you now and in the coming New Year. "Jesus may come today! Glad day, glad day!" Love that song. Keep looking up.
    Love and New Year blessings!
    Jane BG

  3. Hello Jane! Oh you are so sweet, that just blesses my heart that we were on your mind, there have been a couple of trying instances, nothing serious at all, just guy stuff that affects this Mama. When things affect our girls it affects us too. (You know how it is) With four girls can you imagine? ; ) Oh we girls could have so much fun talking about it all!: ) It's been a really sweet Christmas though so no complaints thank the Lord! I really tried to keep things Jesus focused and spent time outside praying and contemplating the greatest gift of all, Jesus. : ) It was such a blessing, a dream come true. Thank you Jesus.

    It sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas Jane and please know you are on my heart as well many, many times. Your Christmas walk and Candlelight walk sounds wonderful, and I know it must have been a treat to be with your son and grandson too. I bet there is nothing like it. : )

    We have been so blessed lately occasionally going to an old church...The church bells ringing after service gives me goosebumps. I think of you when I attend this church. I can so see you there.

    Thanks so much for being such a sweet friend.

    Love to you and a blessed, peaceful and joy-filled New Year! A (((hug)))


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