Skip to main content

Swift Synopsis

     Now that the book has been out for a year, well it is old news. For those who never heard of the book or thought they might be interested in purchasing their own copy, I thought I would use this post to give blog readers a brief overview of the book.
    First, let me say the book is a historic fiction. It is however, based on historical events and places as well as famous pioneers of Kentucky. It is also based on perhaps the most famous and oldest legend of Kentucky often called "The Lost Silver Mines of John Swift."  This legend has been around since even before Kentucky official became the fourteenth state in 1792.  The Swift mine workings were mentioned in land grants as early as 1788.
     Since the legend claims that John Swift was in the wilds of what might now be Eastern Kentucky in 1769 and Daniel Boone was making his second exploratory trip that same year the two concepts come together nicely. So from the outset of my writing adventure I wanted to be central to the overall story was this important fact. Boone and others never mention searching for silver. John Filson does file the land claim in 1788 and specifically states that a man by the name of Swift worked the mines seventeen years earlier.
    The book is set in modern day and follows the adventures, discoveries and heartbreak of three pals, well a couple and a pal. Will, Jennifer and Ray are the three main characters and by chance make an archaeological discovery that leads to other clues and set them on a race to solve a mystery they are not sure of what it is to begin with.  At the same time this treasure hunt is going on a parallel story is being told about historic events unfolding that left the clues in the first place. Although it appears as a flashback, this book is actually two complete stories being told at the same time. Either story could stand on its own without one word from the other. I had both a lot of pleasure and frustration in compiling this tale under those conditions but believe it is the very best way to tell the story in a novel form.
    The first part of the book is devoted to introducing all the characters and offering explanation of the early days of pioneer Kentucky and how John Swift made his way into the region. The Swift legend is explained and coincides with the early activities of Daniel Boone and John Finley, both recorded in early Kentucky history.
     I did not make up the history nor the legend information. Both have been around for hundreds of years now and much has been written about both. I did imagine, if you will, verbal exchanges, chance meetings and  the assumption the Swift legend has some validity.
    At the same time throughout the book, the main story is being told which features our modern day characters and the hero of the story. In their blunder efforts they begin to uncover clues that they feel compelled to follow up on.  The whole adventure begins with the discovery of a map carved into the rock wall of a sandstone shelter at a well known Kentucky landmark. Containing carvings not unlike many found today put there by early explorers and Indians three friends set out on a quest to understand what the carvings mean. After some efforts in research and inquisition on their part they come to the revelation that the carving represents a map with key markings that can be found actually on the ground if searched out.
    As noted Boone, Finley and others were historically noted to be in Kentucky in 1769. The legend of John Swift also places Swift in Kentucky the same year. Though just a legend this bit of information provided the backdrop for the fiction interface on history. Here is were I take great artistic license if you will.
    In my version of the Swift legend I place Finley as a new found partner to Swift after Swift looses his old friend George Mundy. By the time that Finley arrived on the scene meeting up with Swift on a raft trip down the Ohio River, Swift and Mundy had already hidden their treasure. Will, Jennifer and Ray follow clues and figure out that the map seems to match the Warriors Path. They then learn of Shawnee Town and John Finley. There efforts really pay off when they discover more information in a mysterious cave in Lexington, Ky.
    The whole time the trio are on their grand treasure hunt adventure, Roger Hampton follows causing them much irritation. Being more careful they try to elude his inquires. As the tale unfolds our hero's solve questions that have plagued  treasure hunters for the past two centuries. Eventually the tale and history unravel at a fast pace resulting in mistakes being made by everyone involved and ultimately serious consequences.
    The ending is a surprise and will certainly not be what the reader expected. Now the book relies upon just about every version of the Swift Journal. Some of Kentucky's most interesting early history is included as well. The whole premise of the book really is a "what if" scenario. What if things had happened this way or that way. Swift, is an adventure into our past history and lore.
   You can review and purchase my book  here. Thank you for stopping by and reading my blog. Comments are always welcome so, please, share your thoughts below.. 


Popular posts from this blog

Flint Types of Eastern Kentucky

For those folks interested in archaeology and/or geology you no doubt have considered the flint (called chert by geologists) that all those arrowheads you've seen or in your collection are made from.  The colors, textures and behavior of the amazing substance various greatly and for many years, in fact up until the early 70's only the major identified primitive quarries type of flint were recognized in archaeological research. Little effort or attention was paid toward the raw material of those beautiful and finely crafted tools. Geologist performed little better simply noting in their field work that some beds of lime stones contained chert though sometimes the chert was described in detail.
    That all changed in the early 70's as the result of pioneering work on flint classification for sources found in the eastern part of Kentucky. This undertaking was done by Larry Meadows, Garland Dever and Ed Henson. Yes, yours truly was fortunate enough to know these two very …

The High Rock Petroglyph

What do you think the strange symbols carved on this sandstone boulder represent? The High Rock Carving is certainly one of the most mysterious antiquity found in the Red River Gorge country.  We did a previous post  about this strange rock in August, 2012. Discovered underneath a small rock shelter near the High Rock fire tower, the carvings were discovered on one loose boulder in the shelter. In the late 70's the boulder was removed from the rock shelter by the Red River Museum and Historical Society placed at the museum in Clay City, Kentucky. It was felt that vandals and artifact collectors would soon end up destroying the unusual carved stone. In fact some of the surface appears to have been chipped away, perhaps portions already removed by vandals.    The carvings have many varied, curved shapes including concentric circles and shapes that may represent animals. Additionally, there are numerous holes and other features. Some of the rock has been lost likely by the weathering …

Broke Leg Falls

For sure one old landmark in eastern Menifee County Kentucky is Broke Leg Falls. The Falls has been a tourist stop along US Hwy 460 since the 1940's and before. It was a place for picnics and adventures into the rough rocky terrain the likes of the Red River Gorge. It's location on once a major highway along with the pristine beauty of the box canyon that the stream formed no doubt contributed to the popularity of the Falls.
    The Falls is about 80 feet in height but much of the year has a small water flow. But over eons of time the Falls and stream have carved out a magnificent canyon retreating nearly to the crest of the ridge.
    Located in Menifee County Kentucky, Broke Leg Falls has been a popular tourist spot for travelers of the US Highway which is located only a few yards from the falls. A popular landmark since the 1940's, the Falls was privately owned. Visitors could pay a dime and get to hike the short distance down into the box canyon to view the Falls…