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Betsy Ross-Edison

The writer was born and raised in southeastern Virginia when there were still some working farms in Warwick County and always and forever the stately James River. As a melancholy teenager, I would of an evening walk the few blocks from my house to old Hilton Pier where the broad, majestic river splashed and drove its rollicking waves into shore, at high tide, and at ebb tide would send gently traveling waves to land like soft promises on the sand.
Some evenings when the sunset would sink toward  ...See more >

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"A fine wartime novel that avoids the common landmines of its genre."

Kirkus Reviews


Favorite author Marcel Proust

Favorite book Don Quixote de La Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes

Favorite line from a book "My sole consolation was when Mamma would come in and kiss me after I was in bed. But this goodnight lasted for so short a time and she went away so soon that the moment in which I heard her climb the stairs....was one of keenest sorrow." Proust

Unexpected skill or talent Singing

Passion in life My Mother gave to me a love of stories in the old 1950s orange Child Craft books, and reading stories to me at bedtime. Today as a grown-up I am still at it, reading stories, watching stories on PBS-BBC Masterpiece as plots unfold.


Pub Date:
ISBN: 978-1492108634
Page count: 488pp

In this debut novel, a young man from North Carolina enlists in the Confederate Army and finds himself fighting in critical battles of the Civil War.

Civil War novels often end up making the battles the main characters, as many of them were so horrific that they can’t help but dominate a story. Ross-Edison’s novel, however, avoids that pitfall by focusing on diverse personalities, giving the war a fascinating human element. Pinckney C. Johnson enlists in Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia in August 1862, just in time to participate in the war’s single bloodiest day—the Battle of Antietam on Sept. 17, which had more than 22,000 casualties. The author depicts the battle with a historian’s eye for detail, highlighting Union Gen. George McClellan’s caution, Lee’s gambling spirit and Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s cantankerousness. She doesn’t neglect the smaller personalities, however, such as the obstinate Union Gen. Edwin “Bull” Sumner and the pious Confederate Jubal Early. Although by necessity the book includes lots of regiment numbers, battle positions and other military details, Ross-Edison keeps the writing crisp and clear, never letting the minutiae interfere with the main narrative of Pinckney’s war experiences, from collecting bodies to becoming a sharpshooter. He remains with Lee’s army from Antietam through the final days in 1865 of trying to break the Union stranglehold on Petersburg. Pinckney’s story, with an unexpected twist, also focuses on how he meets and interacts with so many of the war’s major figures along the way. It’s refreshing to see President Abraham Lincoln, often treated in literature as insufferably wise and patient, being accused of “micro-managing” events and being a pain in the neck. There are also numerous subplots about ordinary people, such as slave boys Issac and Zeke, who are planning an escape from bondage. The book contains some other intriguing twists and surprises, as in a scene in which Pinckney meets with McClellan. Overall, this book successfully joins the ranks of good Civil War literature.

A fine wartime novel that avoids the common landmines of its genre.


Historical Fiction

Volume Two of Pinckney's General, A Novel of the Civil War Twice Told, picks up where Volume One left off. It is early summer of 1864. Pinckney's young slaves, Issac and Zeke, have run away and now wear the Union blue of freedmen fighting for the Union. But Zeke worries over Issac who complains of always being tired and shows little interest in combat. The boys and their Company stop to bivouac for the night on their way to join the freedman XXV Corps at Petersburg. Pinckney's Regiment, the 48th NC, are already there, defending Confederate Petersburg in a long line of trenches looping around Petersburg that Lee has devised. Issac and Zeke and Pinckney will meet inside The Crater after The Overland Campaign has inexorably led Grant's Federals right up to Richmond's door. After Petersburg falls, Lee and his Army escape capture and head toward Amelia and Appomattox. Grant's officers loot the McLean family parlor where the Surrender was signed. Meeting Lee cures Grant's headaches. Zeke hitches a wagon ride out West. Pinckney's wife, Evalina, waits for his return.

ISBN: 1492747459

History, Historical Fiction, Temples without Tombs

This book derives from a summer Study Abroad which I attended for five weeks at the University of Malta, The Mediterranean Institute, on the enchanting islands. This book presents an Introduction of archaeological evidence to support a scenario of what went on inside the megalithic structures built all over Malta and a gigantic stone structure on the near island of Gozo. No one can say how the 50 megalithic sites (and counting) found so far were used. For the stone structures are carbon dated to c. 3500 B.C. through 2,500 B.C. when there was no written word to explain how these standing stones placed in circles and half-circles were used, nor why, so many were built. Malta is only 27 miles long and 9 miles wide but 50 sites have been found so far, which means about 2 temples per mile over the lentgh of Malta and about 5 temples per mile across the width of the island, many sadly worn down to fields of ruins and rubble. But some majestic sites stand tall today and suggest a story which this book tells through the antics of two fictional characters from Norway who are college boys on a tour researching the sites for degree credit. To help explain the mystery of the standing stones, known as temples with decorated stone tables known as altars and little acoustic apses with windows carved in stone for an oracle, this book contains photographs and floor plans of temples showing starting from a single-oval hut as prototype of the first temple. As time went by, about a thousand years of it, a profusion of half-circle apse chambers opening off a central courtyard were built all by hand and lithic tools through the final days of temple building around 2,300 B.C. But how were so many temples used? Not for burials, for no evidence of burials have been found in any of the temple sites. What has been found is an abundance of pottery - most of it shattered into tantalizing fragments - pottery items for feasting, discovered in situ, such as cups, bowls, plates, jugs, jars, large shallow cooking pots on platforms in the inner temple courtyard, two of them at Tarxien temple, dated to 4th millenium periods in the Neolithic Maltese era, and even a flint knife was found stored in a handy cabinet atop an engraved stone table with spiral designs. Some fragments from plastered, walls have been found painted in red ocher, and, best of all, intriguing little figurines of a portly, kindly grandmother type, known popularly on Malta as the beloved 'Fat Lady' who was a major player in the temple scenario some 6,000 years ago. This book presents a story based on archaeological findings such as these and the temple structures themselves, a story of what went on inside the temple sites as seen through the eyes of two Norwegian college boys who are in pursuit of the Fat Lady on the winding streets of Valletta and through all seven of these UNESCO World Heritage sites. This book will be published in January 2016.