More Than Gold

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More Than Gold new cover 2017


In the relentless summer heat of 1897 Lars Niklasson is far too busy nursing a broken heart to pay much mind to the headlines of a gold strike in the North, or the accompanying gold rush “fever” igniting New York around him. It does give him an idea for a little white lie though; the only trouble with little white lies is they generally have a tendency to snowball. Before Lars knows it he is being bundled onto a train to shoot this spectacle for  his father’s photographic business. Alaska bound, the race is on to reach the Yukon before “freeze-up” and Lars is now a part of this surging mass migration north, even though he is wholly unprepared for the countless perils on the arduous journey ahead of him. Life and death situations soon become a daily occurrence on the trail to the newly established golden city of Dawson, but for those who manage to make it through the treacherous thousand miles to their destination the adventure has only just begun. Trapped on the rim of the Arctic Circle, all the gold in the world is completely worthless when there is nothing to buy, nothing to eat!

Klondike kings and queens, Vikings, adventure, love, enmity and murder quickly transform the “greenhorn” into a “sourdough” in a world where no one and nothing is what it seems – and where Lars finds himself on trial for his life…

Read the first chapter here More Than Gold First Chapter Sample pdf


“It is always a pleasure to read a book based in the Klondike during the gold rush that is rooted in realistic portrayals and the true conditions that existed. Usually, those interested in this time period, must study the diaries and documents of the time. Janis Pegrum Smith has done this for you and produced compelling characters and scenarios that will stay with you long after you’ve finished the book.”

Laura Mann Executive Director – Dawson City Museum

“I particularly enjoyed that the story focused on a Swedish immigrant, which added colour and cultural texture to the plot. Lars is a well-chosen protagonist with many unique characteristics that make it fascinating to follow his path. He is not the usual hero and macho you’d expect in a novel about Alaska and he is accompanied by a great set of supporting characters.

With careful detail and atmospheric writing, the author paints a great picture of the journey to Alaska and then the life in the hostile environment, which refers not just to the forces of nature but also to the natives and the life and attitudes of the explorers. The events that unfold during a hard winter are vividly shown and made for some fascinating and captivating reading. With a hint of Jack London’s adventure writing, realistic settings and characters and a great idea and a little love story at its heart, this is a very rewarding and gripping read in a wonderfully understated way. An adventure story, a coming of age story, a love story and great historical fiction.”

Historical Novel Society Review – Editor’s Choice 2013

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