This post appeared previously on Regan Walker’s Best of the Regency.
In my short seven years of writing fiction, I have written a variety of genres/settings: retellings, sequels, Regencies, paranormal, cozy mysteries, vagaries, contemporaries, and inspirational. I will admit many of my 27 novels fall under the big “umbrella” of Regencies, and even the latest one is Georgian, but it is set in the Georgian period on the American frontier after the Revolutionary War. The Road to Understanding is set upon the Great Valley Road between what is current day Roanoke, Virginia, and Johnson City, Tennessee. The time is 1787, and the five counties that now form part of eastern Tennessee had joined together as a new state: the state of Franklin, named after Benjamin Franklin. Early reviews say…
“… the chemistry between our hero and heroine was such that this reader felt like I was watching a John Wayne/Maureen O’Hara flick. The dialogue was so sharp and the misunderstandings proved quite diverting and frustrating at the same time.”
The characters are NOT Austen’s most famous couple placed in a new setting, but you will recognize the pair, nonetheless. I am one who believes that although Austen writes memorable characters, her plots are masterful and easily translated into new situations. For example, Pride and Prejudice can be found in Bridget Jones’s Diary, You’ve Got Mail, North and South (from Gaskell), Bride and Prejudice, and any other book or film featuring an uptight censorious man and a “free spirited,” independent female. So, why not an American version of my favorite book?
The Great Valley Road began as a buffalo trail, used later by Indians as the Great Warrior Path from New York to the Carolinas. At Salisbury, North Carolina, it joined what was known as the Great Trading Path. The road held many names. As it passed through the Shenandoah Valley, it came to be called both the Great Valley Road and the Shenandoah Valley Road. The connection called the Philadelphia Wagon Road laced its way through Pennsylvania. This portion was also referred to as the Lancaster Pike, and its 63 miles was the most heavily traveled portion of the entire road. The section of the Great Valley Road near Fincastle (Virginia) and present-day Roanoke, Virginia, was known locally as the Harshbarger Road. The southwestern end of the road at Big Lick (Roanoke) was extended. Travelers could continue south into North Carolina or head southwest into eastern Tennessee.
In August 1784, four counties of western North Carolina declared their independence and formed the state of Franklin. In April of that same year, North Carolina had ceded the land between the Allegheny Mountains and the Mississippi River to the U. S. Congress. The settlers in the area worried that Congress would sell the territory to France or Spain to pay off war debts. As a result, North Carolina retracted its cession and organized a “governing” body for the territory. Simultaneously, the counties petitioned Congress to form a separate state of “Frankland.” The majority of the states agreed, but the proposition did not receive a 2/3 majority required by Congress.
Franklin survived but four years for it could never achieve a strong enough economy. John Sevier, its governor, approached the Spanish for aid. North Carolina feared the Spanish claim to land within its control and had Sevier arrested. The territory returned to North Carolina’s protection in 1788 because the Cherokee, Chickamauga, and Chickasaw Indians increased their attacks in the area.
The Road to Understanding: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary
DARIUS FITZWILLIAM’s life is planned down to who he will marry and where he will live, but life has a way of saying, “You don’t get to choose.” When his marriage to his long-time betrothed Caroline Brad
ford falls through, Darius is forced to take a step back and to look upon a woman who enflames his blood with desire, but also engenders disbelief. Eliza Harris is everything that Darius never realized he wanted.
ELIZA HARRIS is accustomed to doing as she pleases. Yet, despite being infuriated by his authoritative manner, when she meets the staunchly disciplined Captain Fitzwilliam, she wishes for more. She instinctively knows he is “home,” but Eliza possesses no skills in achieving her aspirations.
Plagued with misunderstandings, manipulations, and peril upon the Great Valley Road between eastern Virginia and western Tennessee in the years following the Revolutionary War, Darius and Eliza claim a strong allegiance before love finds its way into their hearts.
This is a faith-based tale based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
Regina Jeffers, an award-winning author of historical cozy mysteries, Austenesque sequels and retellings, as well as Regency era romances, has worn many hats over her lifetime: daughter, student, military brat, wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, tax preparer, journalist, choreographer, Broadway dancer, theatre director, history buff, grant writer, media literacy consultant, and author. Living outside of Charlotte, NC, Jeffers writes novels that take the ordinary and adds a bit of mayhem.
Other Novels by Regina Jeffers:
Jane Austen-Inspired Novels:
Darcy’s Passions: Pride and Prejudice Retold through His Eyes
Darcy’s Temptation: A Pride and Prejudice Sequel
Captain Wentworth’s Persuasion: Austen’s Classic Retold through His Eyes
Christmas at Pemberley: A Pride and Prejudice Holiday Sequel
The Phantom of Pemberley: A Pride and Prejudice Mystery
The Mysterious Death of Mr. Darcy: A Pride and Prejudice Mystery
The Disappearance of Georgiana Darcy: A Pride and Prejudice Mystery
The Prosecution of Mr. Darcy’s Cousin: A Pride and Prejudice Mystery
Vampire Darcy’s Desire: A Pride and Prejudice Paranormal
The Pemberley Ball: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary Novella
Mr. Darcy’s Fault: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary Novella
Elizabeth Bennet’s Excellent Adventure: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary
Elizabeth Bennet’s Deception: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary
The Road to Understanding: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary
The Scandal of Lady Eleanor: Book 1 of the Realm (aka A Touch of Scandal)
A Touch of Velvet: Book 2 of the Realm
A Touch of Cashmere: Book 3 of the Realm
A Touch of Grace: Book 4 of the Realm
A Touch of Mercy: Book 5 of the Realm
A Touch of Love: Book 6 of the Realm
A Touch of Honor: Book 7 of the Realm
A Touch of Emerald: The Conclusion of the Realm
His American Heartsong: A Companion Novel to the Realm
His Irish Eve
The First Wives’ Club
Honor and Hope
Second Chances: The Courtship Wars
“One Minute Past Christmas: A Holiday Short Story”
Angel Comes to the Devil’s Keep: Book 1 of The Twins Trilogy
Earl Finds His Comfort: Book 2 of The Twins Trilogy
Mr. Darcy’s Bargain: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary
You may find Regina at…
Regina Jeffers’s Website (excerpts, news and events, reviews, etc.)