Where it all began…
In the summer of 2019, during one of my Alaskan adventures to visit my friends Tom & Barbara Miller,I met Jeannine Jabaay, owner of the fabulous Hope City restaurant—The Dirty Skillet.
During our conversation over wine and great food, Jeannine shared with me a history of Hope and how it got its name. Here is her tale:
“What I know for pretty sure: Even before the Yukon, Hope is the original place that gold was discovered in the north. More than 8,000 folks came to Hope with the dream of finding their fortune in the Six Mile and Resurrection Creeks. Hotels, social halls, banks, restaurants and brothels quickly dotted the small community, with new arrivals coming daily by boat, foot and wagon. But there was no town name. Some township leaders decided that the place would be named after next person off the boat. When Percy Hope stepped foot off the boat, he had no idea that he was about to leave his legacy. Hope, Alaska is named after a young man who wanted to stake his fortune in Alaska. Little else is known about Percy Hope. His name seems to practically disappear from the history books.” ”What I’m not quite as sure of but are gonna say as fact anyways: After landing in town, Percy Hope tried his luck for many months in the waters of the Resurrection Creek and Six Mile Creek. Although he managed to pan a few gold flakes, he never did strike it rich. He did, however, gather enough gold to purchase an old dirty skillet. With that skillet, Percy Hope made his name by providing hearty, heaping, home-style cooked foods for the other prospectors and their families. Percy Hope's legacy lives on here at Dirty Skillet.”
With that, an idea was born and I wrote Hope City - The Alaskan Adventures of Percy Hope - Book 1. Today, I am releasing Denali, book 3 in the Goldfield Trilogy.
I am grateful to Jeannine for the inspiration and excited to be signing books at her restaurant on July 23rd, 2022 at The Dirty Skillet in Hope Alaska.
Jeannine Jabaay & Tom Miller
The Alaskan Adventures of Percy Hope ~ The Goldfield Trilogy – Book 3 ~
Denali is the eagerly, anticipated conclusion to Neil Perry Gordon’s Goldfield Trilogy. This latest adventure begins in the autumn of 1901, when our protagonist—Percy Hope, ventures off to New York City’s Lower East Side in search for his six-month old son Walter, and his mother, the fugitive Peggy Greenburg, Percy’s love interest and antagonist from book two—Cape Nome.
Along the way, Percy stumbles upon an intriguing journal left behind by the late Magnus Vega, who had tragically drowned a year earlier in the Bering Sea. This detailed account chronicles Magnus’s adventure into Alaska’s unforgiving wilderness, along with a cryptic map, that sends Percy and his best friend Liam upon a whirlwind quest, where they must track down a lost fortune of gold, out maneuver notorious gangsters, and decipher metaphysical mysteries of what happened to Magnus within the glorious ice caverns dwelling under North America’s tallest peak—Denali mountain.
Denali is the solid conclusion to the Alaskan adventures of Percy Hope who meets an exciting cast of characters throughout the three novels, including the infamous lawman Wyatt Earp, and abides by the timeless advice of his mentor Jack London, who had proclaimed—You can't wait for inspiration. You must go after it with a club.
Who's the artist?
Meet Erica Miller The artist for the covers of Hope City, Cape Nome & Denali
I've been a frequent visitor to Hope, Alaska, thanks to my dear friends Tom and Barbara Miller and their wonderful sons, Sam and Jack. From the very first trip to the Alaskan wilderness, and for each one since, they brought me to the former mining town of Hope on the Kenai Peninsula, hugging the coast of Turnagain Arm.
Much of the joy of my visits have not only enjoying this incomparable natural world, but also the warm and friendly people. Besides the Millers, who have been my closest friends for two decades, I have met many residents of Hope who have graciously welcomed me year after year.
One in particular is Erica Miller, a local, talented artist whose work has been featured in art galleries in Hope. She's done gorgeous landscapes of her surroundings and portraits that capture the essence of her subjects.
When pondering ideas of the cover design for Hope City, I asked Erica if she would consider providing the artwork. To my great fortune, she agreed. So I provided an outline of the story and Percy Hope, my main character and left the creativity to her.
Since then, Erica has created the covers for all three books of the Goldfield Trilogy. I am grateful for her fabulous art and looking forward to future collaborations.
The Goldfield Trilogy
The Alaskan Adventures of Percy Hope ~ The Goldfield Trilogy – Book 1 ~
Hope City is the adventure story of Samuel Rothman and his best friend, Liam Kampen, two teenage boys from San Francisco who, in the summer of 1898, venture into the goldfields of the Alaskan wilderness.
Warned by his father to conceal his Jewish heritage from the ruffians he may encounter, Samuel changes his name to the less conspicuous Percy Hope. This fateful decision gives a yet-unnamed mining village a new identity and catapults Percy into a world where the good and the righteous must face greedy and ruthless adversaries.
Along a waterway known as Turnagain Arm, the newly named Hope City and the more established Sunrise are like opposite sisters. The good and virtuous Hope, with a Catholic church led by the influential Reverend O’Hara, admonishes residents against committing the seven deadly sins. In Sunrise, villainous saloon owner Magnus Vega tempts prospectors with whiskey, gambling, and women.
Hope City weaves the tale of a young man falling down a proverbial rabbit hole of unexpected toils and hardships and struggling to find his way back out, amid a wild and unforgiving environment where ambitious men and women seek their fortunes.
The Alaskan Adventures of Percy Hope ~ The Goldfield Trilogy – Book 2 ~
It’s 1898, and one of history’s most abundant gold discoveries has shaken awake the desolate city of Cape Nome, Alaska. This monumental find by John Brynteson, Jafet Lindeberg, and Erik Lindblom earns them the moniker of the Three Lucky Swedes.
News of their good fortune spreads swiftly, and by the summer of 1900, tens of thousands of dreamers trek over land and by sea to the mines surrounding Anvil Creek and upon the Bering Sea beaches, where gold deposits pepper the soft sands.
Cape Nome chronicles the continuing adventures of Percy Hope, following his exploits two years earlier in Hope City. Percy, now a journalist for William Randolph Hearst’s San Francisco Examiner, is sent on assignment to Nome to report on the next great stampede.
Along the way, Percy encounters and befriends the legendary gunman Wyatt Earp and his spirited wife, Josephine, as well as an assemblage of amusing, disarming, and sinister characters, including a sea monster known as the Qalupalik.
Cape Nome is a riveting story of betrayal, murder, kidnapping, and government conspiracies, all of which form the backdrop for Percy Hope’s struggle to uncover the truth in a world poisoned by greed, deceit, and lies.