Top Facts about My Newest Novel…
The Maynwarings: A Game of Chance
It’s a western—That’s right, a western. I’ve always been a fan of TV westerns—Bonanza,
Gunsmoke, The Big Valley—and the old western movies—The Magnificent Seven and The
Good The Bad, & The Ugly—so I decided to write one. They’re not really in style anymore, and
honestly I don’t know of any author that still actively writes westerns or even when the last
western novel was published. I’ve tried to craft my own unique mystery/thriller element to this
western, so it’s not as simple as the gunslinger rides into town, there’s a shootout in the street,
and so on. No, there’s much more to this western than that, and there’s much more than meets
The Maynwarings—The book is called The Maynwarings: A Game of Chance and centers around
the Maynwaring family—Barron and his wife Eleanor and their children, Mary Catherine,
Breckenridge, Houston, and Stokes. It just so happens that the Maynwarings have a massive
ranch (some say the biggest in the entire west) and pretty much have business interests in
everything—timber, mining, hotels, mills, banking. Of course, they’re also very influential in the
political realm as well.
The Greenbrier—The Maynwarings make their home at The Greenbrier Ranch. The Greenbrier
mansion is a twenty thousand square foot complex built of sandstone mined from their own
quarries. The mansion is three stories tall with an intricately-carved, white columned porch on
the front, high arches and windows to each side, and columned balconies along the second and
third floors. A massive silver dome and cupola adorn the roof and sparkle brilliantly even under
overcast skies. The road leading to the mansion is paved with cobblestones and lined with gas
lamps and white oak trees imported from the Appalachian Mountains. It truly is a magnificent
place befitting the family and their massive empire.
Carson City, Nevada—The story takes place in Carson City, the capital of the state of Nevada
which became the 36th state on October 31, 1864 during the Civil War. Nevada joined the
Union to help Lincoln’s re-election just days later though many Nevadans were torn between
supporting the Confederacy or joining the Union. The massive wealth created by the discovery
of the Comstock Lode, the first major US discovery of silver ore, near Carson City in 1859 was
actively sought by the Confederacy, which hoped it would help turn the tide of the war. Carson
City was established in 1858 after a group of settlers led by Abraham Curry sought to break from
the Utah Territory and the Mormon influence of the territorial government in Salt Lake City.
Carson City ultimately became the commercial center as a result of the Comstock Lode and the
influx of miners and speculators to the area.
Barron Maynwaring, United States Senator—Barron never wanted to be Senator for the battle
born state of Nevada, hoping the territory could keep out of the Civil War. He had, in fact,
supported the state joining the Confederacy, as he believed in states’ rights and limiting the
intrusiveness of the federal government. When many of his friends from the newly formed
state legislature approached him about representing Nevada in the United States’ Senate, he
had initially been reluctant to get involved in the political system. Ultimately, however, he
decided that he had too much at stake financially to let someone else dictate their future. He
had helped to shape the territory and Carson City, and he felt it was his obligation to help shape
the future of the state as well as protect his family’s interests. So, he traded part of his duties as
rancher for those as Senator.
Mary Catherine Maynwaring, Carson City Solicitor—Mary Catherine is Barron’s outspoken,
cunning, highly intelligent, and controversial yet charming daughter. Despite the overwhelming
odds against a woman attending college then law school, Mary Catherine successfully graduated
at the top of her class from a prestigious university, a feat almost impossible for a woman in the
1850s. After returning to Carson City, she worked for the circuit court for two years and was
then appointed district attorney for Carson City by the territorial governor. She has a passion
for the law and wants to see justice done at all costs. She doesn’t take no for an answer and
isn’t afraid to challenge the status quo or go against powerful interests when someone has been
wronged or someone has broken the law or when corruption needs purged.
You will have to wait until the end of the summer of 2012 to read it.