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