Goldwater Ridge

~ An Old West Adventure for Middle Grade Readers ~

The West is a Lawless Place…

Arizona Territory, 1889

Billy Bob Clyde sets off West after receiving a cryptic message from his long-lost father. Although Clyde thinks Pa found the California gold he went searching for years ago, he also suspects Pa is in danger, and he’s determined to help.

But Clyde’s journey is waylaid in the ghost town of Cactus Poke when he gets arrested as a suspect in a recent robbery—the town’s claim to fame, a solid gold nugget known as the Goldwater Potato, has gone missing, and they think Clyde took it! Desperate to prove his innocence and get on to California, Clyde strikes a bargain for his freedom with the town’s crazy one-legged sheriff—if Clyde can recover the stolen Tater and track down the real thief, the notorious Outlaw Jack, the sheriff will let him go. Assisted by Sadie, a fearless young gunslinger with more than one trick up her sleeve, Clyde embarks on a mission to hunt down the gold nugget and clear his name.

But all is not as it seems in Cactus Poke…


Praise for Goldwater Ridge

As a classroom teacher, I would recommend this as a perfect class read aloud for middle grade students. I can see Goldwater Ridge having many applications for teaching figurative language, foreshadowing, and character development in an unforgettable and fun way.”

Laura, Goodreads Reviewer

Hannah Kaye takes you into the Wild West and on a mystery that will leave you on the edge of the seat … Definitely a five-star read that parents should be lining up to buy.”

Nikki, Goodreads Reviewer

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About the Book

Where did the idea for this book come from?

I grew up with three sisters, all of us close in age (think Little Women in real life) and we played a ton of crazy make-believe games. The main characters, setting, and basic plot points of “Goldwater Ridge” were borrowed almost entirely from one of those games. The book is peppered throughout with inside jokes, references, and funny little quips that hearken back to that goofy little game we played when we were little. “Goldwater Ridge” is essentially a love letter to my sisters, who were and still are my biggest sources of inspiration, and to our childhood, which I wouldn’t trade for all the gold in the West.

Why self-publish?

Even before I started writing this book, I knew I wanted to self-publish as opposed to pursuing traditional publishing routes. My goal for this book has always been to produce a final product that I can be proud of, not to write a million-copy bestseller. I wanted to make sure that the book I put out into the world was exactly the book I wanted it to be. I’ve also always been inclined toward self-taught, hands-on learning (once a homeschooler, always a homeschooler, I suppose.) Even though self-publishing comes with a steep learning curve, tons of independent research, and a bucketload of unforseen complications, I don’t regret it in the slightest. Over the last few months, I’ve learned so much about the publishing industry, grown as a writer, and produced a book that I can be proud of. I’m so thankful to all of the writers I’ve met on Instagram who give freely of their advice and experiences to help me along, and especially to my supportive friends and family who encouraged me along the way and donated to my self-pub fund. They made this whole thing possible.

What was the writing process like?

Most of it is a blur, but I do know it involved a lot of coffee. 🙂 I started writing Goldwater Ridge when my brother-in-law challenged me to participate in NaNoWriMo with him. If you’re unfamiliar with NaNo, it’s a challenge where writers from around the world write an entire new novel during the month of November. It’s a whirlwind! I’d like to think of myself as a well-organized planning writer, but the twists and turns in Goldwater Ridge surprised me as much as they surprise poor Clyde. Writing this book was a wild adventure!

Published by Jellysquid Books | Broken Arrow, OK

© Hannah Kaye 2020