Home Inspirational Stories Idaho Dreaming: Saddle Up for One Heck of a Ride as British Author Heads into the Idaho Mountains

Idaho Dreaming: Saddle Up for One Heck of a Ride as British Author Heads into the Idaho Mountains

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Seeking peace in Idaho after a brutal war, former SEAL Commander Ross McCallister is asked by his former Special Operations Agency to do one last job: derail a Democrat politician who is running for the Governorship of Idaho on an anti-nuclear waste ticket.

McCallister ends up switching sides and taking up the fight against the nuclear waste himself. Sometimes it’s dangerous to do the right thing. This is a story of betrayal, heroism and redemption – an environmental adventure and a love story.

This Country I Call My Own features an American officer who has served with distinction in the Middle East and then worked for various agencies in the region. Suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), he leaves the military and settles in the mountain country of the Idaho Panhandle, just below the Canadian border, to live off-grid in search of Eden and a nature cure. He builds a horse packing and hunting operation to sustain himself, but finds the ongoing interactions with members of the public troubling to his peace of mind.

He wins the love of two very unconventional women who share his love of horses and who are both prepared to join his fight to rid the state of toxic nuclear waste and the poisoning of the land and water table. The seemingly pristine Panhandle turns out to be an environmental disaster area and McCallister fights for his sanity, his community and his ranch.

The book revisits the literary landscapes of writers Jack London and Barry Lopez, exploring the desire of many people to opt out of our society to live a more secluded, off-grid life in nature. And it considers the power of nature and horses to cure mental illness. It explores the dynamics of loving relationships when there are no barriers or rules. And it unpacks what it means to be a good man.

This 72,000-word novel is by Julian Roup, author of five previous books published in the US, UK, and South Africa by Jacana Publishing and Blkdog Publishing. The themes of his books are about landscape, the environment, people, horses and politics, about a search for identity and a place to call home.

The book is available on Amazon Books and leading bookstores in paperback and Kindle formats.

In 1992, Roup found himself increasingly unhappy with his work life balance, commuting four hours a day from his home on Ashdown Forest in East Sussex to and from London, working in public relations.

His younger brother Herman had moved his family and his swimwear business from LA to the Idaho Panhandle and suggested that his brother and his young family join him. They visited and fell in love with the beauty of the place, just south of the Canadian border. Property was cheap in comparison to the UK and so an idea began to form to make the move to be close to his brother and his family. They had gone their separate ways when leaving South Africa, the land of their birth, more than a decade previously.

Sadly, the Idaho dream did not work out. The brutal winter of 1992–93 with minus 20-degree temperatures and 20 feet of snow made life difficult for two children under the age of three and they struggled through that bitter winter and came in the spring with no money, admitted defeat and returned to life in Sussex.

Thirty years later, thinking about that time made Roup wonder how someone else seeking sanctuary in those mountains might have fared. And so, this novel came into being.

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