Lifelong Learning Presentation

On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, I made a presentation to the Sun City Anthem Lifelong Learning Club in Henderson, Nevada. The subject was “Why and How I Wrote the Iron Horse Chronicles.” Following the one-hour talk, I autographed copies of all three books in my Iron Horse Chronicles trilogy.

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Rewarding Barnes & Noble Book Signing

The book signing at Barnes & Noble on Stephanie Street in Henderson, Nevada, on Saturday, October 14, 2017, was a rewarding experience. We sold out of Eagle Talons, The Iron Horse Chronicles–Book One. We made a solid dent in the stock of Bear Claws (Book Two) and also sold many copies of Golden Spike (Book Three). Visiting with lovers of books provided the most enjoyable moments during the four-hour period. Several younger readers went home with copies of autographed books. Some buyers gathered up all of the books in the completed trilogy.

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Numerous Upcoming Events

I will be involved in several special events between October 14 through October 21, 2017.

Barnes & Noble, Henderson, Nevada

If you are in the Las Vegas Valley on Saturday, October 14, please stop by Barnes & Noble on Stephanie Street in Henderson, Nevada, between noon and 4 PM. I will be autographing all three volumes of The Iron Horse Chronicles trilogy. This is the third book signing Barnes & Noble has sponsored for me. Don’t miss this opportunity for early Christmas shopping.

Sun City Anthem Recreation Center

On Tuesday, October 17, at 10 AM, I will make a presentation to the Sun City Anthem Life Long Learning Club on “Why and How I Wrote the Iron Horse Chronicles.” I will use a Power Point presentation to illustrate and support my talk. If you are not a resident of Sun City Anthem, grab a friend who is and come on down to the SCA Recreation Center. Guests are welcome with a resident.

The Sun City Anthem annual Fall Crafts Fair will be held at the SCA Recreation Center on Saturday, October 21, from 9 AM to 1 PM. I will join other members of Anthem Authors in offering our books for sale and autographing. This will be the second time this week to do some Christmas shopping for the young in age and the young at heart. All three volumes of The Iron Horse Chronicles will be available. They make perfect gifts.

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Back-to-School Limited Offer – 99 Cent Sale

For a limited time, as a Back-to-School special, Five Star Publishing is offering eBook versions of Eagle Talons, The Iron Horse Chronicles–Book One, and Bear Claws, The Iron Horse Chronicles–Book Two, for only 99 cents. Visit this site to download your copy: http://fivestarpublishing.papertrell.com/

After the link opens, hit the right arrow twice to scroll to the two books. Golden Spike, The Iron Horse Chronicles–Book Three, is not included in this special offer. These downloads, provided by Hummingbird, are compatible with mobile phones and tablets. This special offer does not extend to Amazon Kindle versions.

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Football History and the Railroads?

Football history may not appear to have anything to do with the railroad history that I write about in The Iron Horse Chronicles. However, two significant events affecting both football history and railroad history occurred in 1869. Tradition claims that on November 6, 1869, Rutgers and Princeton played the first football game in America. That game more closely resembled rugby, but the game soon evolved into what some believe should be called “gridiron” football. We know, of course, that the rest of the world uses the term football to refer to what Americans call soccer. We Americans know what real football is.

The important historical railroad event that occurred in 1869 was the driving of the golden spike at Promontory Summit in Utah on May 10 of that year. I write about how that momenteous event almost didn’t occur in Golden Spike, the final volume in The Iron Horse Chronicles.

Readers of this blog are aware that I am a regular contributor to Mad About MG History, a blog devoted to helping teachers and librarians identify books and information that will help middle grade students enjoy and appreciate history. My current posting to Mad About MG History presents excellent sources for studying the history of the uniquely American game–Football.

Read “Are You Ready for Some Football History” here: http://madaboutmghistory.blogspot.com/

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Historical Novel Society Reviews Golden Spike

The Historical Novel Society published a review this month of Golden Spike, The Iron Horse Chronicles–Book Three. Jess Westerhoff provided the review and states in part, “It’s well-researched and has an exciting conclusion.”

You can read the entire review here: https://historicalnovelsociety.org/reviews/golden-spike/.

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Return of the Original Header

Now that I had a little fun with the header depicting the driving of the golden spike, I’ve decided to return to the original header. The locomotive charging down the tracks better symbolizes the entire sweep of The Iron Horse Chronicles series. Click on the links in the sidebar to order your copies of the exciting trilogy about the building of the first transcontinental railroad.

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The Iron Horse Chronicles Trilogy Complete

The Iron Horse Chronicles trilogy is complete. I have received finished, hard-bound copies of the third book, Golden Spike. Five Star Publishing will release the book officially on July 19, 2017. As usual, they have produced a first-class product. I am proud to offer it to my reading public. Click on the sidebar selections for either Amazon or Barnes & Noble to obtain your copy.

With all three books of the trilogy available, and with the story of Will Braddock’s quest to determine his own destiny complete, I have changed the header of this website to reflect the joining of the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific at Promontory Summit, Utah.

 

I took my photograph during a visit to the Golden Spike National Historic Site in 2014 at the annual reenactment of the ceremony. My header photograph duplicates the original celebration documented on May 10, 1869, by the famous photographer Andrew J. Russell.

Union Pacific Railroad

Photo by Andrew J. Russell, May 10, 1969

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Union Pacific’s “Great Race to Promontory” Website

The Union Pacific Railroad has produced a website entitled “Great Race to Promontory” as part of their extensive celebration of the completion of the first transcontinental railroad nearly one hundred fifty years ago. Here is a link to the site: http://www.up.com/goldenspike/index.html.

On the website’s opening page you are offered a choice of starting points to begin your journey as you follow the construction of the first transcontinental railroad during the 1860s. It makes no difference which end you choose, you will end up at Promontory Summit, Utah, where the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific joined on May 10, 1869. After you reach the end of one journey be sure to go to the other starting point to make a complete tour. A master map appears at the top of the journey identifying each stop which contains photos and explanations. You can jump to any location along the route by clicking on a button on this map.

I noticed two errors in the text of the website, and I question the labeling of one photo.

In the introduction to the beginning of the Union Pacific half of the journey, the text states the Union Pacific as ” . . . crossing the continental divide at Sherman Summit on April 5, 1868.” Sherman Summit is not on the continental divide, but it is the highest point either of the railroads had to reach in their construction. Sherman Summit is at the crest of the Laramie Mountains. The Union Pacific does cross the continental divide in Wyoming–in fact crossing it twice because of the Great Divide Basin. One crossing is a few miles west of Rawlings, and the other is several miles east of Rock Springs (those being the two closest points to the divide crossings that are included in the website’s journey). Will Braddock makes all of this clear in Bear Claws, The Iron Horse Chronicles–Book Two.

In the Laramie, Wyoming, entry, the website states that Wyoming became a territory in 1869. In fact, Wyoming became a territory on July 25, 1868. Will Braddock discusses this important date with General Grenville Dodge in Bear Claws.

I question the caption for the photograph in the Elko, Nevada, entry. The photo is dated 1913, but the locomotive shown is not suitable for that late date. The engine appears to be a wood-burning, diamond-stacked, model that would have been phased out by 1913.

Never mind my nitpicking these minor points. The website is a fascinating way to follow the building of what is often called the greatest engineering feat of the nineteen century. Plan to spend an hour or so enjoying the journey. It is extensive and educational.

Of course, you can enjoy the thrill of being a part of this adventure by reading all three books in The Iron Horsed Chronicles. Eagle Talons and Bear Claws are currently available for purchase, and Golden Spike, the final book in the trilogy, which will be released by Five Star Publishing on July 19, 2017, can be preordered, by clicking on either the Robert Lee Murphy at Amazon or Barnes & Noble links in the sidebar.

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Goodreads Giveaway

Five Star Publishing, the publisher of my trilogy The Iron Horse Chronicles, is sponsoring a giveaway on Goodreads for copies of the ARC of Golden Spike. Golden Spike, the third book in the trilogy is scheduled for release on July 19, 2017. I thank Tiffany Schofield, Senior Editor at Five Star, for spearheading this effort and making the giveaway possible. Follow this link to Goodreads and click on the “Enter Giveaway” tab to participate in the contest to win one of the books: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/235173-golden-spike.

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