A Historical Novel by R. Reed Johnson




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by Steve Voynick,
Colorado Central Magazine

   Reed and TeeAt the onset of my writing, in compliance with the wishes of my lovely wife, Tee, I fully intended this to be an autobiography - and for a short period of time that is just what it was. However, I soon became bored describing the humdrum happenings of my own life. At that same time, I was reading Bayou Salado, a book given to me by my good friend, Doctor Dick Hawes. It was written by Virginia McConnell Simons and contained a fascinating account of the early history of Colorado’s South Park, and a number of the factual events recounted by Ms. Simmons stimulated my interest. 

    After I finished reading Bayou Salado, I resolved to change course somewhat and write a novel in which I combine some of my personal experiences in the 1930’s with several lesser-known historical events that span parts of three centuries of Colorado, New Mexico and Texas history. These I hoped to weave into a novel, the fabric of which is stitched together by a fabulously rich, but regrettably fictitious, bonanza --- hence the title, A Thread of Gold.

   I am writing to recommend the book by R. Reed Johnson called 
A Thread of Gold
.  I have read the manuscript and believe that this work could be a valuable addition to the literature about Western history, Colorado history in particular.
   The book incorporates a lot of solid, well-researched history into an intriguing mystery.  I believe that the format will appeal to readers from the middle grade level through adult.
   I have a background in both education and library science, with a Bachelor's degree in Secondary Education, a Master's in Educational Psychology, and a Master's in Library and Information Science.  I also read widely in the subject of Colorado history as part of my profession as a librarian, so am confident that Dr. Johnson's book is both unique in its approach to the subject and competent in its historical context.
       Rebecca Lintz, Historical Librarian

   By writing it I hoped also to ignite in the reader's mind an avid interest in the remarkable early day history of this part of the American West as well as an appreciation of the hardships our forbearers endured with such great fortitude. The result of my effort is what you will read in this book. If you are interested after you finish reading it, you might enjoy reading the "Fact or Fiction" remarks following the epilogue in which I differentiate some of the facts in the story from fiction. Also included is a bibliography from which I gleaned a great deal of fascinating and invaluable information. 

   A Thread of Gold - An engrossing tale in which Dr. Johnson relates some of his personal experiences on a farm near Littleton, Colorado in the early 1930’s. He carefully weaves them into a fabric of lesser known historical events that span three centuries of Colorado, Texas and New Mexico history. The thread he uses to bind this fabric together is the search for a fabulously rich, but regrettably fictitious, golden bonanza – a crackerjack novel that will keep you reading well past your bedtime.     
       Dr. Thomas  Noel, “Doc. Colorado”
       Professor of History, University of Colorado at
       Denver, Department of  History

   I sincerely hope that all those who read this novel will enjoy reading it even half as much as I have enjoyed writing it. 

   R. Reed Johnson

      A Thread of Gold is available now.   Ordering information can be found here!             

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