Henderson Libraries 5th Annual Local Author Showcase

A month ago, I posted an announcement that I will participate in the Henderson Libraries 5th Annual Local Author Showcase on March 17, 2018. I will be able to autograph all three books in The Iron Horse Chronicles trilogy from 1 to 2:30 PM. The library has provided a copy of a poster they are using to advertise this great event. I share it with you here.

The Local Author Showcase allows patrons to: “Meet over 60 authors from the Vegas Valley who write in a variety of genres, from poetry and memoirs, to crime novels, inspirational stories, and everything in between.” This statement, and more, appears on the official website of the library: http://hendersonlibraries.com/local-author-showcase.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Posted in Bear Claws - Book Two, Book Signing, Eagle Talons - Book One, Golden Spike - Book Three, The Iron Horse Chronicles, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

History of the Horse in Western America

Readers of this blog know I periodically contribute to the blog, Mad About MG History. MG stands for Middle Grade, and the purpose of the blog is to provide information for teachers and librarians engaged in encouraging middle grade students to read history.

I reviewed several books suitable for middle grade students to learn about the history of the horse in western America. The readings cover the extinction of the original horse that was native to the Americas before the first humans arrived. The books continue with information on how Native Americans later captured the reintroduced horse brought by the invading Spanish Conquistadors.  The literature explains how the adoption of the horse changed the Indian’s culture, allowing them to become more effective hunters of large game and to evolve into one of the world’s most formidable light cavalry forces.

You can read that blog post here: http://madaboutmghistory.blogspot.com/

Posted in Bear Claws - Book Two, Eagle Talons - Book One, Geography, Golden Spike - Book Three, Indians, The Iron Horse Chronicles, Transcontinental Railroad, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Upcoming Local Author Showcase in Henderson, Nevada

I’m pleased to announce that the Henderson Libraries has extended an invitation to me to participate in the 5th Annual Local Author Showcase on March 17, 2018. This is the fourth time I will participate. It is particularly appropriate this year, because I will be able for the first time to offer all three books in The Iron Horse Chronicles trilogy to attendees. It is an honor to have all three books available for checkout at the Henderson Libraries.

The Local Author Showcase allows patrons to: “Meet over 60 authors from the Vegas Valley who write in a variety of genres, from poetry and memoirs, to crime novels, inspirational stories, and everything in between.” This statement appears on the official website of the library: http://hendersonlibraries.com/local-author-showcase. As the  website also points out: “This project is funded in part by a grant from the Nevada Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.”

The Vegas Valley has a wealth of talented authors, and in order to feature as many as possible, the showcase is divided into two sessions. I will participate in Session Two from 1:00 to 2:30 PM. Robynn Carr, acclaimed author with over 50 novels to her credit, will be a featured guest during the showcase.

Don’t miss this event if you live in or are visiting the Las Vegas area on March 17. What a great way for an author of Irish descent to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

Posted in Bear Claws - Book Two, Book Signing, Eagle Talons - Book One, Golden Spike - Book Three, The Iron Horse Chronicles, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Outstanding Book Signing Event at South Point Casino

On Saturday, December 9, 2017, from Noon until 4 PM, at South Point Hotel, Casino, & Spa, in Las Vegas, Nevada, I had the best book signing event ever. I had all three volumes of The Iron Horse Chronicles trilogy available, and most folks bought Eagle Talons, Bear Claws, and Golden Spike as a package to give to their reader friends and family as Christmas gifts. I was fortunate to have my wife, Barbara, assist me and to have my daughters, Beth and Stacy, hand out bookmarks and encourage shoppers to visit our table. Beth reprised her role portraying Jenny McNabb, the main female character in the novels. Stacy emulated the western garb worn by participants in the National Finals Rodeo, now underway in Las Vegas.

South Point produced the great poster shown here, set up and supported our requirements throughout the afternoon, and periodically announced my presence over their public address system. As the poster states, we were positioned adjacent to the famous Benny Binion equestrian statue in the main hallway leading to the arena. This was the fourth annual book signing at South Point. We look forward to next year. Thank you South Point!

Posted in Bear Claws - Book Two, Book Signing, Eagle Talons - Book One, Golden Spike - Book Three, The Iron Horse Chronicles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

New Post to “Mad About MG History”

Regular readers of this blog know that I periodically contribute to another blog, Mad About MG History. MG stands for Middle Grade, of course. The purpose of the blog is to provide information for teachers and librarians who are engaged in working with middle grade students.

Since today is Pearl Harbor Day, I devoted this particular blog post to: “December 7–A Day That Will Live in Infamy.” I reviewed recommended books for middle grade students to learn about the attack on Pear Harbor on December 7, 1941, and to study numerous other aspects of World War II that occurred in the Pacific. I point out in my post that many of the issues facing the world today are not new. Our nation and its citizens faced similar problems three-quarters of a century ago.

You can read that blog post here: http://madaboutmghistory.blogspot.com/2017/12/december-7a-day-that-will-live-in-infamy.html

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Winter Club Fair & Book Signing

On Saturday, December 2, 2017, during the annual Winter Club Fair at Sun City Anthem, Henderson, NV, I autographed copies of The Iron Horse Chronicles for folks shopping for nice Christmas gifts.

Just a reminder that on Saturday, December 9, 2017, from Noon to 4 PM, I will autograph my books at South Point Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. This event takes place during the annual National Finals Rodeo. I will be set up next to the Benny Binion equestrian statue, in the main hallway leading to the South Point Arena. My daughter Beth is coming from California and my daughter Stacy from Kentucky to help with this signing. My wife, Barbara, will be present, as well.

Posted in Bear Claws - Book Two, Book Signing, Eagle Talons - Book One, Golden Spike - Book Three, The Iron Horse Chronicles, Transcontinental Railroad | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Robert Lee Murphy Website Restored

Even with two computers it’s hard to keep everything up to date.

If you visited my website over the past few days, you probably noticed that it was discombobulated. An update provided by one of the plugins I use to produce the website did not take properly and caused several features to disappear. It took some time to restore everything, but I think the site is back to normal. If you spot an irregularity, please drop me a line using the Contact Form, so I can fix the problem.

Here is a reminder of two upcoming book signing events:

On Saturday, December 2, 2017, from 9 AM to 1 PM, I will join fellow members of Anthem Authors at the Sun City Anthem Recreation Center in Henderson, Nevada, when we participate in the annual Winter Crafts Fair and autograph our books.

On Saturday, December 9, 2017, from Noon to 4 PM, I will autograph my books at South Point Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. This event takes place mid-way through the two-week, annual National Finals Rodeo. I will be set up next to the Benny Binion equestrian statue, in the main hallway leading to the South Point Arena, where you can go to see some of the rodeo events. My daughter Beth is coming from California and my daughter Stacy from Kentucky to help with this signing. My wife, Barbara, will be present to keep all three of us in line. If you plan to be in the Vegas Valley that weekend, please stop by.

With all three books in The Iron Horse Chronicles trilogy now published, the set makes a perfect Christmas gift for your favorite younger readers, or your older ones, as well.

Posted in Bear Claws - Book Two, Book Signing, Eagle Talons - Book One, Golden Spike - Book Three, The Iron Horse Chronicles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Railroad History Reviews Golden Spike

Railroad History reviewed Golden Spike, The Iron Horse Chronicle–Book Three, in its Fall-Winter 2017 issue. Robert Butler wrote the review. Mr. Butler reviewed Eagle Talons and Bear Claws in previous issues of Railroad History. One of his closing sentences in this latest review states: “All three volumes maximize the number of Will’s [Braddock] adventures and maintain accuracy with respect to historical figures and places.” I am pleased that Railroad History has included my books in the prestigious publication of The Railway & Locomotive Historical Society, of which I am a proud member. I wish to express my thanks to Robert Butler for his reviews.

Posted in Bear Claws - Book Two, Book Review, Central Pacific, Eagle Talons - Book One, Golden Spike - Book Three, Iron Horse Chronicles' Characters, The Iron Horse Chronicles, Transcontinental Railroad, Union Pacific, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The First Intercontinental Railroad 150 Years Ago

The first Union Pacific Railroad train rolled into Cheyenne, Dakota Territory, on November 13, 1867. (Wyoming would not be designated a separate territory until July 25, 1868.) General Grenville M. Dodge, Chief Engineer of the Union Pacific, had selected the site for the town of Cheyenne on July 4, 1867, and bestowed the name of the dominant local Indian tribe on the place he selected to serve as a principal railroad depot and repair facility. When the UP’s construction activity of late 1867 brought the tracks forward from Julesburg, Colorado, Cheyenne became the latest iteration of Hell on Wheels, and its population shot up from 600 to 4,000 overnight. It immediately became the “Magic City of the Plains.”

Cheyenne, Dakota Territory

A few days later in California, on November 30, 1867, the Central Pacific Railroad finished the grading through Summit Tunnel, laid track, and drove their first locomotive across the highest point they would have to cross in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This longest of the CP’s 15 tunnels, known as No. 6, lay a few hundred feet south of the famous Donner Pass. The Chinese workforce labored for two years to blast and dig their way through solid granite for 1,659 feet. To complicate the tunneling effort, the work was started at both ends, with the gradient dropping 30 feet from the east to the west portal, and included a curve in the center. In the beginning, using black powder, they managed only 14 inches a day. With the introduction of more dangerous nitroglycerine, progress accelerated. When finished, the converging tunnels met almost perfectly. It was the largest project of its kind that had ever been attempted by that time in the U. S.

[/media-credit] Tunnel 6 is located a few yards to the right of this photo taken from Donner Pass Summit..

Winter was fast approaching, and both railroads would be limited in the work they could undertake until better weather arrived in the Spring of 1868. These two accomplishments in November 1867 represented significant moments for the competing companies who were building the first transcontinental railroad. I wrote about these and other exciting events in The Iron Horse Chronicles trilogy.

Posted in Bear Claws - Book Two, Central Pacific, Eagle Talons - Book One, Geography, Golden Spike - Book Three, The Iron Horse Chronicles, Transcontinental Railroad, Union Pacific | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Great Book Signing at SCA Fall Club Fair

On Saturday, October 21, 2017, I enjoyed a great book signing at the Sun City Anthem Fall Arts and Crafts Fair in Henderson, Nevada. Five other members of Anthem Authors joined me in offering our books for sale and autographing from 9 AM until 1 PM. It was particularly gratifying to me to be able to offer the complete published trilogy to readers.

Several residents who had heard my presentation to the Sun City Lifelong Learning Club earlier in the week stopped by to tell me they had enjoyed my talk about “Why and How I Wrote the Iron Horse Chronicles.”

 

Posted in Bear Claws - Book Two, Book Signing, Eagle Talons - Book One, Golden Spike - Book Three, The Iron Horse Chronicles, Transcontinental Railroad, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments