Born of Gilded Mountains features a complex story with multiple characters that bring a small community to life.


The Description

Publication Date: June 18, 2024

A lost treasure. A riddled quest. The healing power of friendship.

Legends are tucked into every fold of the Colorado mountains surrounding the quaint town of Mercy Peak, where residents are the stuff of tall tales, the peaks are taller still, and a lost treasure has etched mystery into the very terrain.

In 1948, when outsider Mercy Windsor arrives after a scandal shatters her gilded world as Hollywood’s beloved leading lady, she is determined to forge a new life in obscurity in this time-forgotten Colorado haven. She purchases Wildwood, an abandoned estate with a haunting history, and begins to restore it to its former glory.

But as she does, her every move tugs at the threads of the mountain’s lore, unearthing what became of her long-lost pen pal Rusty Bright, and the whereabouts of the infamous Galloping Goose Railcar No. 8, which vanished years ago—along with the mailbag it carried, whose contents could change the course of countless lives. Not to mention the fabled treasure that—if found—could right so many wrongs.

Among the towering mountains that stand as silent witnesses, the ghosts of the past entangle with the courage of the present to find a place where healing, friendship, and hope can abide amid a world forever changed.

The Review

When her Hollywood dream implodes, Marybeth Spatts heads to Mercy Peak, Colorado, as a refuge. The community had been brought to life by her childhood pen pal, Ruby.

Born of Gilded Mountains shifts between two decades, 1928 and 1948. Author Amanda Dykes meticulously sets the backdrop for the story with newspaper accounts, snippets of a screenplay, and other tools.

The childhood letters between Ruby and Marybeth serve as a gateway to new worlds for both girls. However, when Marybeth finally arrives in Mercy Peak, there seems to be a missing element. Once that is resolved, Marybeth and Rusty team up to solve a riddle leading to a gold mine.

Aside from a fabled mystery and a childhood friendship hatched as pen pals, the story features multiple characters whose lives started out in one direction but drastically changed course. How they adapted to change serves as an important component.

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About The AuthorAmanda Dykes’s debut novel, Whose Waves These Are, is the winner of the prestigious 2020 Christy Award Book of the Year, a Booklist 2019 Top Ten Romance debut, and the winner of an INSPY Award. She’s also the author of All the Lost Places and Christy Award finalists Yours Is the Night and Set the Stars Alight.



Amy Wilson
Amy Wilson
My name is Amy W., and I am a book addict. I will never forget the day I came home from junior high school to find my mom waiting for me with one of the Harlequin novels from my stash. As she was gearing up for the "you shouldn't be reading this" lecture, I told her the characters get married in the end. I'm just glad she didn't find the Bertrice Small book hidden in my closet. I have diverse reading tastes, evident by the wide array of genres on my Kindle. As I made the transition to an e-reader, I found myself worrying that something could happen to it. As a result, I am now the proud owner of four Kindles -- all different kinds, but plenty of back-ups! "Fifty Shades of Grey" gets high marks on my favorites list -- not for character development or dialogue (definitely not!), but because it blazed new ground for those of us who believe provocative fiction is more than just an explicit cover. Sylvia Day, Lexie Blake, and Kristin Hannah are some of my favorite authors. Speaking of diverse tastes, I also enjoy Dean Koontz, Iris Johansen, and J.A. Konrath. I’m always ready to discover new-to-me authors, especially when I toss in a palate cleanser that is much different than what I would normally read. Give me something with a well-defined storyline, add some suspense (or spice), and I am a happy reader. Give me a happily ever after, and I am downright giddy.


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Born of Gilded Mountains features a complex story with multiple characters that bring a small community to life.4.5-STAR REVIEW: BORN OF GILDED MOUNTAINS by Amanda Dykes