I’m happy to report that I have (finally) started book 6, Valley of Treasure, for the Goldtown Adventures. Where is book 5, you may ask? Well, since I had enough ideas for this final book in the series I decided to work backwards. There is no law that says I must go in order, right?
These last two books are a struggle. Every day I must pray for daily “words,” like the manna the Israelis received in the desert every morning for forty years. I have to say that my heart is not in these books and I am only writing them in obedience to the Lord’s calling. I hope they turn out all right. I have printed out everyone’s suggestions and I hope I will get inspiration from some of the ideas you have suggested. I have finished writing chapter one and am well into chapter two.
I have been trying to find a word counter/progress bar widget to post on the blog so you can watch my weekly progress, but alas, I can’t find anything similar to what I had years ago. If anybody can find one, leave a link in the comments. I would love to have an easy (free) widget to add to the home page.
6-Valley of Treasure
Here is the general plot I finally came up with. If anyone has any other ideas to add to this particular plot that would go along with it, feel free to comment.
April 1865 – The War Between the States is finally over. The whole town is celebrating, and Jem, his cousin Nathan, and his chums are right in the middle of things. During the course of watching a bear versus bull exhibition, the bull goes wild and breaks out, causing havoc throughout the town. Back at the arena, the bull has destroyed the raised seating on which Jem, Nathan, and their friends were seated, plunging the boys to the ground. Nathan is injured the worst–unconscious and a broken leg in two places. It doesn’t take the doctor long to realize that Nathan will never walk properly again unless he sees a specialist in San Francisco, who can manipulate the broken pieces of bone and straighten his leg. Problem: it is a costly procedure that has only a slim chance of success, and the Coulter family does not have the money for such a treatment plus a prolonged stay in the city.
Aunt Rose is beside herself with grief, and Strike-it-rich Sam (who is sweet on Rose) is determined to get the money to pay for Nathan’s treatment. Jem is desperate to help too. He knows he and Nathan never should have gone to the gruesome exhibition in the first place. (Jem had plunged headlong into attending after being mocked and prodded into it by Will Sterling). So, Jem feels Nathan’s injuries are his fault.
While the family watches Nathan waste away in bed and in tremendous pain, Strikes comes up with the idea of going after the sacks of gold he and Jem lost five years, when they had struck it rich during a two-week prospecting trip the two had been on for Jem’s eighth birthday. Strike sets his mind on going after that lost gold. He knows within a few miles where the sacks would have landed 1,000 feet below the path. Jem insists on accompanying Strike. Then Ellie reminds Jem of his promise that when she was “big enough” she could go on a prospecting trip, and the more eyes looking the better. So the three pack up Canary, grab Nugget, and head out.
The trip is full of danger, stories of lost gold mines, disappointments, and unexpected surprises (the bulk of the book). In the end, they never recover their lost gold. Only tattered burlap shreds remain from the sacks, along with evidence of many spring floods. Strike pulls out his faded map of the Crown Peaks, the original destination five years ago, and the little group heads there. After other adventures, they find the “lost gold” from the miner Strike had saved so many years ago (and who had given Strike the map in the first place).
The group returns home in victory. Strike has finally lived up to his name, Strike-it-rich Sam (Anderson). He accompanies Rose and Nathan to San Francisco for the needed treatment. Three months later they return: Nathan is walking with crutches but is on the mend. Strike (Sam) and Rose come back married (that’s my little twist). THE END.
Note: Any and all of these plot events may change significantly as I write. I might have too much material for one book, so I would have to cut some things out. But, we shall see.