Author of Fortune’s Frenzy: A California Gold Rush Odyssey

Eilene Lyon is a writer of historical nonfiction. She will be launching her first book in September 2023. Her current work-in-progress features people buried in Colorado’s pioneer cemeteries. You can read her stories about family history, travel, memoir, and nature at her blog:

Coming September 2023

Click on cover to pre-order a signed copy.

Don’t miss this true story about desperately poor Indiana farmers using shady financing to make their way to California during the gold rush, and the devastating impacts to their families and their futures.

Fortune’s Frenzy relates previously untold aspects of the gold rush: how the wealthy took advantage of gold fever by offering usurious loans, and how the cold calculus of transporting people to California became a deadly game for profit.

Fortune’s Frenzy is a romping good read from start to finish. The historical actors are compelling, the writing is crisp, and the storyline is beautifully conceived and skillfully developed. Anyone who enjoys a good, fast-paced historical adventure will find it difficult to put down. More serious readers of the Gold Rush era will also find much to like about this book. Seldom have the human relations of this turbulent time been portrayed so vividly and realistically. College and high school teachers looking to liven up their reading lists for California and U.S. history courses would do well to consider this book.

David Vaught, Professor of History, Texas A&M University, and author of “After the Gold Rush: Tarnished Dreams in the Sacramento Valley”

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