Michael Ross

Michael began writing fiction at age 14, sold a few short stories, and then took a few decades off to write software and raise a family. Michael is a retired Christian software engineer, with four children and four grandchildren (to date!), recently moved to Kansas from Oregon.

His current novel series, "The Great Divide" explores the divisions in pre-Civil War society, and parallels them with today's deep divisions in our country. Set in Lexington, Kentucky beginning in 1859, it follows real life Will Crump through the Civil War, the Indian Wars in the West, and to the founding of Shallowater and Lubbock, Texas. 

In the first book, "The Clouds of War", he explores how an ordinary family could be drawn into the bloody conflict, with father and son on opposite sides. Fifteen year old Will Crump only wants peace and an education. John Hunt Morgan offers him a chance at his dreams - but what will it cost him? His family, his sweetheart, perhaps even his life? His honor binds him to Morgan, and he follows to imprisonment at Camp Douglas. Has he chosen the right side? Is his honor worth it?

Will's sisters, Albinia and Julia, strike blows for freedom against slavery. After helping one of the Clay slaves escape from Ashland, Albinia works on the Underground Railroad, helping slaves to escape to freedom. She is caught and imprisoned - will she lose everything? Patterned after real life Delia Webster, Albinia finds love and grief - will she find peace?

Julia wants a rich man, away from the drudgery of farm life. No country bumpkin for her! When she finds a rich Swedish steamboat company owner, will she find happiness? She uses the steamboat company and her mother-in-law's contacts to help Albinia rescue slaves, and spies for the Union. When she is captured and sentenced to hang, will it all be for nothing? Julia is modeled on the real life Pauline Cushman. 

Luther is a young slave, owned by the aristocratic Clay family of Lexington. When his mother and sisters are tortured on a neighboring plantation, he must help them escape. Aided by Albinia on the Underground Railroad, he finds the love of a free woman, and hope for a new life. But when the slave catchers come, will he be back in chains?

Luther's story is distilled from dozens of slave biographies, and most of the events depicted really did happen to someone.