ROBBING THE PILLARS
by Kalen Vaughan Johnson
James MacLaren, a fugitive from Scotland, embarks on a new life in California, escaping his secrets but not his hatred for the upper class. He is a man always on his guard, leery of the entitled and wary of his own temper. While raising a beautiful, headstrong daughter, and denying his love for a woman he cannot have, he champions miners in their fight against the Coleridge Sierra speculators seeking to maneuver a mining industry monopoly.
San Francisco Judge Dandridge sees himself as a man of vision. But when retributions fail in his courtroom, reparations are administered in the back rooms of vigilante justice. His venal and mercenary machinations tie him to the powerful Sam Brannan, the Chinese Tong and a shadowy control of the governorship of California.
Robbing the Pillars is a story of the working class fighting for legitimacy against a legacy of gold and all it seduces – a tale of hidden pasts, love and betrayal, and the fulfillment of dreams against incredible odds.
Robbing the Pillars is the first book in The Empire Barons series.
Editorial Reviews for Robbing the Pillars
“This is a powerful, American melodrama with strong, fearless characters willing to endure anything to realize their dream of striking it rich in California’s Gold Rush country in the 1860’s. In Robbing the Pillars, author Kalen Vaughan Johnson introduces readers to a gritty but admirable fugitive who has escaped Scotland to start life anew in the Sierra Foothills. On the other side of that lofty goal are political figures in San Francisco seeking to rid the land of independent miners and seize their riches. Robbing the Pillars is a story of hard-working men fighting for legitimacy against the power of gold and those it seduces. Vaughan Johnson’s prose is bold and the story she tells is compelling.”
True West Magazine
Chris Enss, New York Times Best Selling author
“This Chronicle of the relentless progress of a frontier community makes for compelling reading, providing a fascinating look at a unique place and time in the nation’s history.”