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REVIEW: Smoky Mist, by C.J. Baty

Smoky Mist - C.J. Baty

Title: Smoky Mist

Series: The Legend of the Ghost Train Book One

Author: C.J. Baty

Genre: Historical, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: MM Gay

Publisher: Self

Pages: 142

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

The Legend of the Ghost Train

Today, people say that on a quiet night in the mountains of Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky, you can hear the far off shriek of a locomotive whistle and the rumble of the train’s cars as they clamor across the tracks. The legend claims the train moves through the valleys and mountains searching for lost souls that need a lift to the other side. 

In the early Twentieth Century, railroads were not only a way to transport people, they also carried all types of goods across the country. Lumber from the forests of Tennessee, coal from the mines of Kentucky, and tobacco from the fields of Virginia were just a few of the industries that depended heavily on the railroad system. Even the Vanderbilt’s built a train system to carry the products needed to construct the great Biltmore Estate. 

The Legend of the Ghost Train series will carry you off to a simpler time before WWII and the Great Depression. It’s about the love between two men that wasn’t spoken of and ghosts of past loves that still linger in the mountains. Some haunt the living looking for a loved one. Some want revenge for wrong doings. And, others are evil and will stop at nothing to repeat the past and kill again.

Jesse Lawson was never afraid of the strange and unusual dreams he had. But lately, they were becoming darker leaving him with a need to discover why he was having them. He believed he would find answers at the site of logging camps in The Great Smoky Mountains. His great grandfather had lived and died there, and Jesse was sure it was Jackson Douglas haunting him.

Carter Thompson never knew his great great uncle George Thompson, but he inherited his land, home, and money. George had come here to America to find work in the lumber camps. Meeting Jesse Lawson was about to turn his world upside down. Jesse’s dreams somehow involved Carter, and the more they searched the closer they became.
George left journals that could clear up many mysteries, including Jackson Douglas’s death. Now it seemed that something was trying to destroy Carter and Jesse’s growing attraction to each other. Whoever it is will stop at nothing to keep them apart, even if they have to repeat the past to do it.

There will be three books in this series. Each is a stand alone and can be read by itself.

The Review

CJ Baty creates quite an eerie tale for the first installment of “The Legend of the Ghost Train” series.  This story is built on a legend passed down through generations of the Thompson and Douglas’ families.

George Thompson worked in the hills of Tennessee in Townsend Valley as a lumberjack  in the 1920’s.  Even though the life of a lumberjack was very lonely, George had a friend in Jackson Douglas.  Jackson not only worked alongside George but they lived together and became very close.  As the story is passed on through generations it reveals:  decisions made, hurt feelings, jealousy and tragic endings.

Jesse Lawson, great-grandson to Jackson Douglas, has been having strange dreams about the past, which leads him to search out information from “Little River Railroad Company Museum”.  Not getting an answer he decides to visit Townsend, Tennessee.  One thing Jesse can’t do is ignore his haunted dreams.

Carter Thompson stayed true to Townsend, Tennessee.  With his inheritance and knowledge, he restored and built places that created a town that was just right for the people who lived there.  Tourist came and went but what mattered was keeping the town serene.  Carter volunteers at the museum in Townsend and has tried to ignore a letter from Jesse Lawson.  When Jesse arrives at the museum Carter is more than surprised.  As Carter and Jesse gradually make a connection, they find themselves caught up in some very ghostly situations that lead them into the midst of danger and evil.

CJ Baty did an outstanding job with her new endeavor in the historical/paranormal genre.  “Smoky Mist” has a very well constructed plot that makes the storyline flow easily.   The story consists of just the right amount of eerie happenings, with mystery, danger, evil and romance both past and current.  She provides an in-depth look at two very likable characters: Carter and Jesse.  Plus, a very clear understanding of tragedy and love in the 1920’s between George and Jackson.  CJ Baty did her homework, which makes “Smoky Mist” an interesting read.  She provides readers not only with “The Legend of the Ghost Train” but “Family Lineages” for both the Thompson’s and Douglas’.  The most important information is the historical facts and references provided in “Author’s Note and Acknowledgement”.

This was a page-turner for me and I highly recommend “Smoky Mist” for readers who enjoy romance and historical/paranormal or anyone who likes a good story.   I’m excited to hear that there are several more stories to come, “Cannon Fire”, is up next.  

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors. My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book!

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me.  But if a blurb peaks my interest I will read the book. My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading. I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.

One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. 

Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.  But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.


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