Sunday, May 17, 2009

Love, Lust and Skulduggery in the Coal Region

My novel, Watch The Hour, is now available from Whiskey Creek Press,, in both print and electronic forms.

Fleeing famine and brutal oppression, more than a million Irish refugees flocked to the United States between 1846-1855 in search of opportunity for a better life. They worked whatever jobs they could find and were routinely exploited.

Many found their way to Pennsylvania’s anthracite coal region where they encountered some of the worst exploitation and hatred.

By the 1870s, mine owners and their employees, particularly the Irish immigrants, were in conflict over working conditions.

Private police forces commissioned by the state but paid by the coal companies were sworn to protect property of the mine owners. The miners knew their real purpose was to spy upon targeted agitators and intimidate and break up strikers.

The Mollie Maguires—a secret society some see as working to improve the lot of the Irish and which others damn as a terrorist organization—were now seen as an increasing threat.

In this place and time, I've created one Benjamin Franklin Yeager, a coal company police officer. He does his best to follow orders while trying to be fair to the workers whose lot he sees as little different from his own. Despite his efforts at fairness, Yeager’s job makes him the enemy of the Irish.

And that’s the crux of his troubles.

For Ben has fallen in love with an Irish girl.

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