When the committee chairman picked up my book and held it up, he said he had to apologize to the author. He was every bit a cowboy, wearing jeans, a plaid shirt, a white stetson, and a large silver belt buckle. The cover had a girl on the front standing in front of the mission in Golden, New Mexico. Her face was framed by a white, lacy parasol she was holding.
He said he hadn't wanted to read the book. He was going to let the rest of the committee judge it. Then he knew that because he was the chairman, he knew he should at least read the first chapter to see if the author could write well and if there was a good story.
"Darn good story." He sounded surprised. Then he added, "Darn good writing."
That book is now out of print, and the publishing rights reverted to me. I knew there were people who hadn't been able to afford the book. The publisher didn't put it on sale very much. And I wanted to do an edition that is more affordable. Also, I did some revising, but not a lot.
So now we have The Gold Digger. In addition to the print and ebook editions of the book. I've had an audio edition made. It released just last week.
It's available on iTunes. Here's the buy link:
It's available on Amazon. Here's the buy link:
It's available on Audible.com. Here's the buy link:
Here are some reviews:
This is a very good book by Lena Nelson Dooley. I especially liked the tough life lessons in it.
I love stories about the Old West. In this book, the setting is primarily the Old West but part of the story occurs in New England. An old retired miner decides to get him a mail-order bride. The story of how he selects her and of the circumstances that prompt her to leave Boston to go to Golden, New Mexico is very interesting. However, that is only the beginning of the story. Intertwined with the suspense and romance are lessons about true forgiveness and selfless love. You may have been through some very difficult times and circumstances and feel there is no way you can ever forgive. Read and see how it works. Some may question if they can really learn important lessons about living the Christian life from a fiction story set in the Old West. I am one who believes it is entirely possible. The characters in the story are very believable. You may even know people in real life who have exemplified exactly what these characters portray. I encourage you to read this book. Besides the lessons that can be learned or reinforced, the story is a very interesting read. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. Reviewed by Edward Arrington.
A Rare and Beautiful Love Story
Once again, Ms. Dooley lives up to her by-line, "Characters who grip your heart." She writes as if she knows these people. And when I read her books, I know that either every detail has been carefully researched, or else she's about 200 years old and is just remembering how it was. Very few writers today balance characters and plot so well. "The Gold Digger" is a great story, full of emotion and surprises. The story stayed with me for a long time, and the characters even longer. An orphaned baby, a damsel in distress, a neat old codger who ordered a bride, and a recalcitrant miner cowboy. Oh, yes, and all that gold! This story will propel the reader straight into the McKenna's Daughters trilogy. Reviewed by Lee Carver
A sweet, safe, satisfying read
I love stories with memorable characters, and The Gold Digger made me smile. I wanted to jump into the page and hug old Philip; his interactions with the other two main characters always made me chuckle. Jeremiah's internal struggle felt very real, and Maddie is a strong woman. And I appreciate the story's illustration of integrity, forgiveness, and compassion. Reviewed by Julie Marx
Here is the first of the story:
Early spring, 1890
"Are you plumb crazy?" Jeremiah Dennison's loud retort bounced around the main room of the adobe house and returned to mock him. "Where did you get such a harebrained idea?"
Trying to control his anger, he shoved his clenched fists into his denim trousers' pockets, paced to the window, and stared out, paying scant attention to the piñon trees bending in the wind. He loved Philip Smith like a father, but the man could vex the weather. And this latest idea was the most farfetched yet.
Philip gave a snort. "Harebrained?" He put his rocking chair into motion that sent out a rhythmic squeaking. "Why'd ya say that? It's worked fer other men."
Jeremiah tried to calm down. He wanted to measure his words, season them with wisdom that would awaken his elderly friend to all the pitfalls he would face. "What would you do with a mail-order bride?"
The old miner stilled the chair and stared at Jeremiah, obsidian eyes piercing under his bushy white brows. "Somethin""—he smothered a hacking cough with his fist, then swiped a clean handkerchief across his face—"has a deadly grip on me."
"I know you're sick. I take care of you, don't I?" Jeremiah resented the fact that what he'd done wasn't enough. Otherwise, Philip wouldn't even consider such a preposterous proposition.
His old friend reached up to scratch the scraggly beard he'd worn all the years he was a miner, but it no longer covered his clean-shaven chin. Old habits died hard. "Jerry, I don't wanna be a burden on ya."
"You'd rather be a burden to a woman you don't even know?" Jeremiah regretted his cynical tone the moment the words flew from his lips. He softened his tone. "I've never considered you a burden any more than you thought I was a burden when I came to the gold fields as a greenhorn."
Philip clutched the arms of the rocking chair and slowly rose. He took a moment to steady himself before he ambled toward Jeremiah. "I ain't come to this decision easy." He squinted up into Jeremiah's face. "I done studied on it fer a while."
Jeremiah straightened the fingers he'd gripped into fists and relaxed his stiff spine. "What do you mean, 'studied'?"
"Well, I figure a woman who'd answer them ads in the newspaper must be purty needy, maybe even desperate to get out of a particular bad situation." He gave a vigorous nod that riffled his snowy hair. "Made me a fortune when I sold my mine. More money than any man can spend in his lifetime. What good is a fortune to an old-timer like me? Won't never have a family of my own. Maybe I'll git me a woman with children. She can take care a me, and my money can take care a her." Another nod punctuated his last statement. "And her young'uns, if she has any."
How could Jeremiah deny his mentor's request? Philip never asked for much. If he didn't do this, the stubborn old man would look for help from someone else. A lesser friend might have a wagging tongue and spread the story all around Golden. Philip didn't need people gossiping about him sending for a bride. And other miners might try to nab her for themselves when she arrived. If Jeremiah had his way, it would be fine with him if they did, but his friend would be too disappointed. He didn't want to break Philip's heart, just talk him out of making this mistake.
"Jerry, ya ain't mad 'cause I'm plannin' to give my money to someone else, are ya?"
The words stabbed Jeremiah's heart. How could Philip believe that about him? "I don't need your money. I have more than enough of my own, thanks to selling my own mine and starting the ranch like you told me to."
The hoary head nodded. "That's what I figured."
"Where you going to send the ad?" Jeremiah couldn't believe he was considering being a part of this crazy scheme. But what else could he do?
If you sign up for a free membership in Audible.com and my book is the first you download, I'll receive a bonus.
I'll be giving away a free print copy, a Kindle ebook, and an Audible.com audio copy.
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