1860 – Palo Pinto, Texas: Under the spectacular glow of a Comanche moon, a family is slaughtered, their homestead torched.
Nineteen-year-old Barleigh Flanders survives the terrifying raid. Fiercely determined to rebuild, she seizes an opportunity meant for another. It’s a foolhardy, reckless scheme. Desperate, near penniless, it’s her only hope.
Her grueling physical journey stretches from Texas, to Missouri, and into the rugged Utah Territory. However, it’s her emotional journey that takes her to places of uncharted darkness, discovery, and redemption.
In Hughes Levesque, Barleigh gains an unsought ally with dark secrets of his own. A hired gun, it becomes his personal mission to keep Barleigh safe. Doing so may cost him his life, his job, and his heart, none of which he’s keen to lose.
Orphan Moon is a heart-wrenching saga of family love, loss, and betrayal. Both a gripping adventure and a timeless love story, it gallops across the bleeding edge of the western frontier.
75 years ago on March 18, 1937 around 3:17 pm, one of the most modern public school buildings in America exploded in a rural Texas community decimating the student population and destroying innocent lives. Considered the worst public school disaster in American history, controversial theories surrounding this tragedy are still debated to this day. The event sparked changes that soon reverberated around the world and continue to affect each of us in our homes, schools, businesses and places of worship. “An American Holocaust” is a story that begins with the giving of a child’s Christmas gift in 1936. The explosion took place at the London School in New London, Texas in 1937. The story relays more than simple facts. It is a personal account of unprepared loss and shattered dreams, followed by unfathomable grief. It describes the feelings of those who died in their innocence and of those who witnessed horror and lived through the aftermath. An unresolved silence persisted for forty years among the entire community of scarred survivors. For those who spoke out, their stories have been told and re-told for three quarters of a century, but most people have never heard them. Although the innocent still suffer from the ignorance and indifference of a few, especially those we should be able to trust with the lives and safety of our children, this is also a story of hope. Countless lives have been saved by bold actions that were taken in the wake of this unanticipated sacrifice of so many children who were literally consumed by fire. It was truly an American holocaust. The following is an editorial review by John E. Roper, The US Review of Books: “I remember being thrown up in the air like a toy… I keep turning and spinning. Then darkness.” The attack on the World Trade Center in New York claimed almost 3,000 lives and changed America forever. A little-remembered explosion of a school in the 1930s resulted in just over 300 deaths, yet it, too, had a tremendous impact on society. Barger revives the story of one of the nation’s most poignant tragedies in his highly-moving tale. The school in New London was considered one of the most modern facilities in the state for the time period, and the residents of the small East Texas town were extremely proud of it. Like in many of the small towns near the oil fields, school officials had decided to tap into the natural gas lines to cut heating costs at the facility. What they never realized was just how dangerous that practice could be. On March 18, 1937, a spark in the wood shop ignited the cloud of invisible and odorless gas that had slowly permeated the school. The resulting explosion killed children and teachers alike, littering the area with body parts and completely devastating a community. The catastrophe led Texas to mandate the inclusion of an additive to natural gas that would enable people to smell it. The nation and then much of the world soon followed suit. Barger’s book follows the lives of several families affected by the tragedy, including his own. By giving the reader glimpses into the hopes and dreams of individuals like his cousin, Lataine, he builds a literary memorial to those who lost so much to make others safe in the future… it stands as a much-needed reminder of an event that should never be forgotten.
Frederick Douglass was born in slavery as Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey near Easton in Talbot County, Maryland. He was not sure of the exact year of his birth, but he knew that it was 1817 or 1818. As a young boy he was sent to Baltimore, to be a house servant, where he learned to read and write, with the assistance of his master’s wife. In 1838 he escaped from slavery and went to New York City, where he married Anna Murray, a free colored woman whom he had met in Baltimore. Soon thereafter he changed his name to Frederick Douglass. In 1841 he addressed a convention of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society in Nantucket and so greatly impressed the group that they immediately employed him as an agent. He was such an impressive orator that numerous persons doubted if he had ever been a slave, so he wrote NARRATIVE OF THE LIFE OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS. During the Civil War he assisted in the recruiting of colored men for the 54th and 55th Massachusetts Regiments and consistently argued for the emancipation of slaves. After the war he was active in securing and protecting the rights of the freemen. In his later years, at different times, he was secretary of the Santo Domingo Commission, Marshall and recorder of deeds of the District of Columbia, and United States Minister to Haiti. His other autobiographical works are MY BONDAGE AND MY FREEDOM and LIFE AND TIMES OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS, published in 1855 and 1881 respectively. He died in 1895.
Mally searches for a better future.
A marriage arranged by a wagon train scout.
Once married, the man of her dreams rides by.
Before the Internet, Pursuing the Truth about Adolf Hitler and Mein Kampf In 1939, a 24-year old American journalist, recently returned to New York City from Europe, discovers that Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf—as published in the United States—is sanitized. Using Hitler’s own words from the original Nazi manifesto, he translates and writes an annotated condensed edition to expose the full measure of Hitler’s evil ideology, chilling anti-Semitism, and plans for world domination. The American publisher of Mein Kampf sues for copyright infringement. This short historical non-fiction book is about the people and events that shaped the young journalist’s life. It recounts his determined pursuit of the truth to alert Americans and the world to the danger six months before Hitler’s war machine invades Poland and begins the march toward WWII. The journalist was Alan Cranston, future Senator from California, a leader in the United States Senate, and candidate for President. Cranston dedicated his life to public service, nuclear arms reduction, and world peace.
Set in the Western theatre of the US Civil War during the crucial first 18 months, this first novel in the Longshot series introduces Rob Finn to Allan Pinkerton and others who will travel his journey.
Peopled with realistic characters and settings, the story, its plot, locations and cast are drawn from extensive original genealogical and historical research by the author. Introducing fictitious characters to the actual players of those tumultuous times, is both rewarding and challenging for reader and author alike.
Keith R. Baker enjoys genealogy and historical research as hobbies, and has long believed that the best historical fiction tales will always offer enough insight to the period being recorded to allow readers a learning opportunity. Coupled with mature story-telling skills, this makes a terrific and very readable book.