Check out this fascinating Young Adult Historical Novel by fellow Clean Reads author, Brigid Amos. Tag line: If the West doesn’t kill you, it’ll make you stronger. Doesn’t this sound great?
A little about the book:
Travis Cooper was not meant to be a prospector. Small for his age, he has never been much help on the family farm in Missouri. How could he survive the journey west to take up such backbreaking work? But when he sees a copy of the California Star in the fall of 1848, everything changes. One shining word jumps off the page: GOLD! Now staying alive is a struggle. Keeping his partner from getting himself killed is even harder!
Brigid is giving away an ecopy of West From The Cradle from the retailer of your choice to one random commenter, so let us know what you think in the comments 🙂
Here’s an excerpt:
In the fall of 1848, Travis Cooper walked into Hillerman’s General Store for a quarter keg of nails and walked out with a dream.
When Travis pushed through the heavy wooden door into the well-ordered mercantile, Raymond Hillerman’s hefty frame rose up from behind the counter. The shopkeeper’s fleshy face, fringed by a scraggly red beard, was flushed from bending down and reaching up to stock the shelves. Rotund arms sprouted from an overstuffed plaid shirt and ended in massive hands with fat but dexterous fingers. Hillerman was nearing sixty, but Travis knew that under the aging paunch lay a veritable Samson. Once, when a tornado twirled through their little town of Larksville, Missouri, Raymond Hillerman saved a family of five by lifting up the pieces of their house that had landed on top of the root cellar where they had taken cover.
“What’ll it be?” Hillerman said.
“A quarter keg of nails,” Travis replied. “We’re going to do some repairs on the barn. It’s all chewed up from the winter.”
Hillerman scooped up the nails and poured them onto the scale with a loud clatter. “I hear your pa’s taking a stab at the cattle business.”
“That’s right,” Travis answered. “He and Mr. Ellerbee rode up to the auction in St. Joe yesterday. They’re coming home tonight.”
Hillerman sprinkled the nails into a wooden box, his actions slower than usual, as if he was thinking of something other than nails. “I know,” he said. “Melvin Ellerbee came by last week with some things I asked him to pick up for me the last time he was in St. Joe.” The expression on his face changed, as if he had remembered something that made him jumpy.
Travis paid for the nails and was almost out the door when Hillerman called to him and beckoned for him to come back to the counter. “Come here a second, son. I want to show you something.” Reaching down behind the counter, the shopkeeper pulled out a stack of newspapers. “Melvin Ellerbee brought me these newspapers from St. Joe. It’s this one I wanted you to see.” Hillerman handed Travis the newspaper on the top of the stack.
“California Star,” Travis murmured. “This newspaper’s from California?”
“It’s from San Francisco to be precise. That newspaper was sent out this way by the editor, a Mr. Brannan of San Francisco, to recruit new American Californians. Clever fellow, that Brannan. What I wanted you to see was this article by Victor something or other. His name’s French I guess. Here, look!” Hillerman pointed to an article on the front page.
As Travis skimmed the article, one shining word jumped right off the page. “Gold?” he asked, looking up at the shopkeeper for confirmation.
“Gold!” Hillerman said. “They found gold in the American River. I figure there’s more where that came from, and there must be plenty of other rivers and streams out there that have it in them.”
“Those folks are lucky, aren’t they? I’d call that being in the right place at the right time.”
“They’re lucky all right. But so will be those who emigrate out there this spring. It sounds like there’s plenty to go around.”
Travis put the newspaper down and searched Hillerman’s face. “Is that what you’re thinking of doing? Going out there to California?”
Hillerman shrugged his shoulders. “It’s a notion I’ve been tossing around in my head. I got my store here. Don’t know that I’d want to give all this up. Of course, I wouldn’t make the trip on my own. I’d be looking for a partner.”
To read more, you gotta buy the book… 😉
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/west-from-the-cradle-brigid-amos/1126943650?ean=2940158732119
Here’s a little about Brigid:
Brigid Amos’ young adult historical fiction has appeared in The MacGuffin, The Storyteller, Wilderness House Literary Review, and Words of Wisdom. Her first novel, A Fence Around Her, was published by Clean Reads in 2016. A produced playwright, she co-founded the Angels Playwriting Collective and serves on the boards of Angels Theatre Company and Women Writing the West. She is also an active member the Nebraska Writers Guild. Although Brigid left a nugget of her heart behind in the California Gold Country, most of it is in Lincoln, Nebraska where she currently lives with her husband.
She’d love to stay in touch with you. You can find her here:
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Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of West from the Cradle!