Goldtown Book Update

It’s time for a Goldtown Adventures update. Book 5, Valley of Treasure, is actually progressing! Thank you, Jesus! I have completed just over 30,000 words, which leaves less than 10,000 to go to reach 40,000 and the end of this adventure. I even have a Contents page that lists the chapter titles. The checkmarks show the chapters I have finished.

  1. Celebration ✔️
  2. A Bear and a Bull ✔️
  3. No Escape ✔️
  4. Calamity ✔️
  5. Aftershocks ✔️
  6. Aunt Rose ✔️
  7. An Idea Is Born ✔️
  8. Who Will Go? ✔️
  9. Packing Up ✔️
  10. Gold Tales ✔️
  11. Cloudburst ✔️
  12. Dead End ✔️
  13. Gold Hunt ✔️
  14. Gold Map ✔️
  15. Night Terrors ✔️
  16. Crown Cliff ✔️
  17. Shaking Ground ✔️
  18. God Provides ✔️
    • Historical Note ✔️

Below are six pictures that I will ask the illustrator to render as pencil sketches (with modifications). I need seven in all for each book. Can you guess what might be happening in each picture? See Melissa’s illustrations for the other books here >>

A Fun Website!

When I write the Goldtown Adventures books, I also create language arts/history/hands on learning to go along with them. I created this Goldtown site so I can upload videos and other interesting learning activities that go along with the books. Check it out and see some of the fun things. It’s brand new, so there is not a lot of content here yet, but I wanted to get it ready. You can see some videos that go along with each of the books in print so far.

I’m already starting to think about book 6. I’ve come up with either Ocean of Trouble or Ocean of No Return. Which title do you like better (more dramatic/exciting sounding)? The quick summary. No one on the blog gave me this idea, but my daughter Kristel suggested it. And I liked it! Instead of creating yet another gold/mine story (4 out of 5 books revolve around something to do with gold. Only book 3, Canyon of Danger, takes a break from the subject of gold.

Book 6 will have the Coulter family traveling to San Francisco for Nathan’s upcoming procedure to straighten his legs (from a serious accident in book 5). Although book 5 is a story in itself and ends satisfactorily (because of course they bring home gold and Strike finally “strikes it rich” after all these years), I knew I could write another complete book about what happens after all the rejoicing about bringing home the gold to afford the expensive doctor. I could also end the series with book 5 since the reader can assume that all is well after they get the money/gold.

However, what if the family (and Strike) go along to the City to support Nathan, leaving Deputy Rafe (the Pony Express rider from Canyon of Danger is now a Goldtown deputy) in charge? San Francisco was notorious for it’s horrible practice of shanghaiing young men (and I figure young teens. Hey, why not?) to serve as a ship’s crew. Sailors and even cabin boys would have been jumping ship all the time to head to the gold fields, leaving empty merchant vessels (and whaling ships) in the harbor (true historical fact) with nowhere to go. So, somehow (I don’t quite know how yet. Feel free to suggest ideas) Jem ends up on one of these sailing ships as an unwilling deck worker/cabin boy because the previous cabin boy became deathly ill so they snatched the first victim they found, which is Jem, who is enjoying a nice afternoon walk along the Embarcadero.

Now, he’s at sea, bound for the Sandwich Islands (AKA Hawaii), and then to the Orient, with a hold full of products to trade in the east for tea and spices, etc. It looks like he will be stuck there for at least six months and maybe longer. He can have a lot of trouble/adventure aboard a merchant ship. In those days, many captains brought along their families, so Jem could meet the captain’s daughter, who becomes sympathetic to his story of being kidnapped. They could share stories (he gold stories; she sailing stories about close encounters with pirates, etc.) Jem could also be befriended by a young “powder monkey,” which is a boy who hauled the gun powder from below decks to the cannons, in order to thwart pirates boarding their ship and stealing their cargo. (I might have room for a close encounter with a pirate’s ship, but I’m not sure).

At any rate, there is no way Jem can jump ship (with the help of the captain’s daughter) in the Sandwich Islands. He would never get home. So . . . I thought perhaps the ship must stop in the port of San Diego (southern California) to restock fresh fruit, fresh water, and other supplies for the long trip to Hawaii. And they can catch the trade winds from there. Jem can sneak away via a rope lowered down from the daughter’s porthole. (He will have learned to swim in one of the very first chapters of the book, when the family take a day at the seashore and Pa insists Jem learn to swim (after his disaster aboard the steamboat the year before).

The rest of the book will be how Jem makes it home from San Diego back to Goldtown, a trip of over 400 miles. Maybe the daughter gives him money and he promises to repay her if she ever visits Goldtown. Her eyes light up. She would love to find gold like a real gold miner, etc. . . . So he could buy a horse and have some adventures on the way back to Goldtown. Maybe there is a telegraph office in the town of El Pueblo de los Angeles (L.A.), 4,500 people in 1865.

Any other ideas? Have at it. Thanks a bunch!

Published by Andi Carter

I'm the main character in the Circle C Adventures series. I live on a huge cattle ranch in 1880s California. These are my adventures.

43 thoughts on “Goldtown Book Update

  1. Congratulations on almost finishing the book, Mrs. M!! Jesus has definitely been right there with you, helping you, and giving you the strength you need to get the book done! It’s no easy task. You are an amazing writer and I can’t wait to read more of your books!!

    Ocean of No Return definitely sounds more dramatic and I think also goes better with the plot of the book! Though Ocean of Trouble is really good as well, and can definitely go with the plot of the book.

    Maybe how Jem gets kidnapped:

    Maybe one of the sailors tell Jem there are sharks (or something) he can see if he comes with him and that’s how he gets kidnapped. But I don’t know if that (over trusting, gullible, ect) fits Jem’s character.

    Maybe how pirates can be involved:

    Also I know you need them stopping at the other port for supplies, but why wouldn’t they pick up the supplies they need in the San Fransico? Maybe this could be where the pirates come in….maybe they could have a slight battle with pirates and some cargo is lost, or maybe a few pirates come abroad and steal some cargo (maybe Jem, and the captian’s family have to hide somewhere), or maybe they have to somehow give some cargo to the pirates to stop the battle, and so the pirates won’t come abroad.

    These were just some thoughts I had. I don’t know if these would work or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ocean of no return is definitely better, in my opinion. Since you are thinking of having him go to San Diego (below Fresno), maybe he could see/get some help from the Carters? Since Jem and Chad were friends, and Jem mentioned wanting to visit Chad, maybe they could see each other again in the goldtown books before Chad and Ellie marry?? That way the family would also be more familiar with them…

    Just some thoughts that I had as I was reading this!
    ~Anna Elizabeth

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fresno is nowhere near either San Francisco or San Diego. I had thought about that but it would be too unbelievable unless Jem saw them in San Diego after a cattle drive, or in LA. Take a look at a map of CA and you will see what I mean

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oooh, love it! I like the ocean of no return.

    Maybe the Carters are in San Fransico visiting Aunt Rebecca because she got badly sick and the doctors are sure if she’ll make it through. Mother brings the whole family thinking it might be the last chance to see her before her passing (obviously she doesn’t die because she is in later CC books). Jem visits Chad, excited to see his old friend. They want adventure, so they sneak out at night (Chad being the do first think later, person he is). They wander into the barbery shore because it’s dark and they think they’re going in the opposite direction. That’s when the both of them get shanghaied.

    I don’t know if that could realistically work, but that’s my thought!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh! That is an interesting idea! Hmmm… How would the Coulter family know about aunt Rebecca? And…. Ellie could meet and play with Katherine, her counter part (both the same age). I will give it some thought…..

      What an intriguing possibility!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow!! These are awesome!!! I love the new covers!! They look great!!
      When will you update the previous ones? 🙂 Just wondering lol
      Keep up the awesome work Mrs M!!!


      1. My publisher just told me she LOVES the new model and she is going to check on inventory. They will probably redo covers one book at a time as it goes into the next printing.


  4. I prefer Ocean of No Return. It is more dramatic and has a “final” sound that could work nicely since, if I understand correctly, it’s supposed to be the last book in the series.
    Plot idea, what if you bring Silas back in (since his whereabouts were left kind of open-ended) during Jem’s journey from San Diego to Goldtown? He could show up at just the right point to bail Jem out of whatever pickle he’s gotten into most recently, 😉 and there would be a lot of directions you could then take that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How do you know so much about all of these books? Have you read them? (You entered the character quiz last week and I think you got then all right. How did you know all the answers???


      1. Yes, I’ve read nearly everything you’ve published. Multiple times. 🙂 Silas stuck in my mind because he seemed like a character that had a lot of potential for more development/involvement in future books, and I remember being curious to know if you might bring him back in an upcoming story. As far as the answers on the character quiz, I remembered some and looked a lot of them up, so there were only a couple where I had to make an educated guess. The hardest one for me was what Mother called Father. I poked around in “The Last Ride” for a few minutes, but I had no idea what scene that detail was in, and I didn’t find it. So… I dug out “The Terrible Secret,” since I remembered it had a scene from Mother’s perspective. Bingo. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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