The West in the late 1880s was more than outlaws and cattle rustlers. It was a place and time of economic growth, scientific discoveries and inventions, and unregulated and often unethical business practices by corporations determined to stake out a claim as key players in a new frontier. Against this backdrop, John Barringer, an uneducated carpenter living a simple life, discovers a mother lode of rare earth minerals in his newly acquired property—Barringer Hill. These minerals include gadolinite, a highly sought-after substance used in “glowers” for electric streetlamps and worth seven times the price of gold.
This discovery attracts the interest of many, including George Westinghouse and Thomas Edison, giants in the growing electric lamp industry. As multiple forces compete for Barringer’s discovery, schoolteacher Fannie May Henderson steps in to help protect her soon-to-be husband’s interests. Inspired by the game Rock-Paper-Scissors, she anticipates each of their opponents’ moves and pits them against each other. But increasingly, she and her fiancée find themselves questioning who is friend and who is foe—including a mysterious Japanese man named Chico, who somehow seems to be at the center of everything.
Rock is an exciting and action-packed historical novel set in Llano County, Texas in 1886. While mostly fictional, the story is set against a backdrop of real historic players and events that will give readers insight into the forces that helped shape the West.