The Boxcar Baby
by J.L. Mulvihill
Born in a boxcar on a train bound for Georgia. At least that is what Papa Steel always told AB’Gale. But now, fifteen years later, the man who adopted and raised her as his own is missing and it’s up to AB’Gale to find him. Aided only by a motley gang of friends, AB’Gale train hops her way across the United States in a desperate attempt to find her papa and put her life and family back the way it was. Her only guide is a map given to her by a mysterious hobo, with hand written clues she found hidden in her papa’s spyglass. Here is the Great American Adventure in an alternate steampunk dystopian world, where fifteen-year-old AB’Gale Steel learns that nothing is as it seems, but instead is shrouded in secrets and mysteries … and that monsters come in all shapes and forms.
The Boxcar Baby is the first book of the Steel Roots series.
Praise for The Boxcar Baby
“Miss AB’Gale Steel, is a pure spitfire girl, full of strong-minded grit, who draws strength out of adversity, and endures hardship by bracing herself against self-pity.” – Jorie Loves a Story
“One thing I really loved about this one was it was fast paced and moved quickly. Mulvihill did an amazing job making realistic characters.” – Bee’s Knees Reviews
“J.L. Mulvihill is quite a talented writer and I think she has such a creative mind to come up with this Steampunk Southern American Adventure.” – Book and Movie Dimension
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The Boxcar Baby Excerpt
I have always loved the sound of the train whistle, especially when I hear it from far away; the moaning echo across the valley gives it a sorrowful sound like a Piper bird calling for its mate. Sometimes I can imagine the sound is a mournful spirit seeking its long lost love. Sad as it may sound, it calms me when I hear it at night and lulls me to sleep, or wakes me peacefully in the early morning. Every two weeks when I hear the train, I know it’s time for Papa to come home. But one morning about five weeks ago, Papa didn’t come home.
I’m pretty sure my Granny is going to ask me to go to New Joplan to look for Papa. I don’t really mind going to New Joplan, the city is way jigin’, but I’ve never gone to the city alone before, and I’m sure there’s creepers there. Of course Granny will have it all worked out for me to stay with a friend of hers, but I will still have to go it alone. I need to go, though, because I have to find out what happened to my Papa. We ain’t heard from him or the railroad since Papa left for work last; he usually works a few weeks on and a couple weeks off, but this time he’s been gone longer than ever.
If Papa doesn’t come back, I can’t say what will happen to Granny and me. Granny and I waited four weeks for Papa but when he still hadn’t come home we got worried. Granny decided maybe we should go on into Jasper and sell the eggs and milk like we usually do when Papa comes home. So we hitched up the ponies and loaded the cart up and head into town.
About the Author
Born in Hollywood and raised in San Diego, CA, J.L. Mulvihill has made Mississippi her home for the past fifteen years. Her debut novel was the young adult title The Lost Daughter of Easa, an engaing fantasy novel bordering on science-fiction with a dash of steampunk, published through Kerlak Publishing. The Boxcar Baby, the first novel of her Steel Roots Series, was released by Seventh Star Press in the summer of 2013.
J.L. also has several short fiction pieces in publication, among them “Chilled Meat”, a steampunk thriller found in the Dreams of Steam II-Of Bolts and Brass, anthology (Kerlak Publishing) and “The Leprechaun’s Story”, a steampunk urban Fantasy found in the anthology, Clockwork, Spells, & Magical Bells (Kerlak Publishing)
J.L. is very active with the writing community, and is the events coordinator for the Mississippi Chapter of Imagicopter known as the Magnolia-Tower. She is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Gulf Coast Writers Association (GCWA), The Mississippi Writers Guild (MWG), as well as the Arts Council of Clinton, and the Clinton Ink-Slingers Writing Group.
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