I’m beginning work on chapter twenty of my newest book. That leaves eight chapters to write and then I’ll have the first draft complete. Of course, then I’ll have more work to do on the second draft. My goal is to finish by the end of October or early November and then send it to my editor. If all goes well, I hope to publish it by the end of this year.

This book, tentatively titled Gold and Gunslingers: A Tangled Roots II Mystery, is planned as the first book in a spin-off series. It’ll have some of the same characters from my Tangled Roots series and a lot of new characters. Lucas Landry’s brother, Seth, is the protagonist, and I sure am throwing a lot of stuff at the guy. I feel a little guilty about that, but it’s necessary.

It will follow the same format as my Tangled Roots books and will be dual-timeline, but this book is intended to be able to stand alone, meaning you don’t have to read the other books to understand this one. It is set in modern times in Sacramento, CA and in the 1850’s in Nevada City, CA. I think it’s necessary that it be a spin-off series, since many readers of the first series might only be interested in the World War II-related stories, while others might only be interested in the Old West-related stories. Of course, readers might want both. I hope they will.

Sure is fun to research the Gold Rush era. I’ve known since the beginning of the Tangled Roots series that I would eventually write this book (and a few more to follow). The idea sprang from my interest in goldmining and the Gold Rush. No, I have never actually mined for gold and don’t expect to ever try, and as far as I know, I don’t have any ancestors who mined, but it’s exciting to learn about this major part of America’s history.

I guess my interest started when I began watching the reality television series, Gold Rush, back in 2010. The show follows several groups of modern-day miners on their quests for gold. Since the beginning of that show, I’ve read lots of books about gold mining and even toured an old silver mine and a copper mine, both in Arizona. I’ve also read some old diaries written by real gold miners from the past.

I hope that in my book, I am painting a true-to-life portrait of mining back in the day. That’s not an easy thing to do, and I definitely have more work ahead of me. Wish me luck!