GOING FOR THE GOLD is a reissued series of MMF westerns. I wrote them in 2010-2011 for Siren Publishing as Karen Mercury (real name!) and am re-releasing them now. WORKING THE LODE is the first in the series, a tale of three utterly different people who form a solid bond working against a common enemy.

Going to California. It's three thousand miles nearer to hell.

Mountain man Cormack Bowmaker meets up with Zelnora Sparks on the eve of California's great rush-the discovery of gold. Zelnora is fleeing from her mentor, the mighty businessman Brannagh. They are being shadowed by the most scandalous Spanish bandit in the frontier. Joaquin Valenzuela wants to rob them of their gold, but soon discovers a desire for much more.

Californians call for the pickled head of Valenzuela in a jar, but his passion for the two Americans overpowers his zeal for mayhem. They band together in their quest for riches, love, and the good life.

Bowmaker is a sharpshooter, his aim true. Valenzuela will slit the throat of anyone who wanders by. Zelnora knows where to find the gold. And Brannagh will do everything it takes to stop them.

They are about to discover the frontier—within themselves.



They would form no brotherhood of virtue until driven to it by a brotherhood of vice.

Lola Moreno has found a home at last, saved from destitution by businessman Gage Lassen.  Gage is a withdrawn bachelor, and the most intimate subject he’s discussed with Lola is his preference in tea.  Adventurer Harrison Bancroft arrives fresh from years on the Plains, living with Indians.  Gage can only admit affection for another man, and things heat up when Harrison paints his portrait. 

Harrison and Lola can find no way to allow Gage to participate in their love, until Harrison unlocks the pain from Gage’s past, allowing him to emerge from his prison of cold restraint.

 Corrupt enforcer Fowler threatens the trio with seeming knowledge of their private vices, harassing Harrison with his unwanted attentions, and a night of riots forces them to make a stand.


The story of one mining camp is the story of mankind.

Salvador Palomares, Don of a vast California rancho, saves the life of Ophir, a former slave pierced by an Indian arrow.  Sal has wasted years in drunken cattle driving and horse racing, and is surprised when Ophir tells him gold has been discovered, his land invaded by a gang of ruffians determined to banish all Spanish “foreigners.”

Sal and Ophir rescue Tamasin, a downtrodden Irish refugee raised in a convent.  Their passion for Tamasin creates rivalry between the two partners.  Tamasin loves them equally, so the decision to form a ménage cements their bond.

 But their empire is threatened by The League, lawless thieves closing in to starve them out of their own mines.  The trio’s goal is to live in peace.  And they fight to the bitter end to reclaim it.



They'll always have Yosemite.

The Sierras are ruled by a band of marauding Indians, and Major Huntley Ashbury is determined to corral them. Huntley's solitary existence as the biggest trader in the foothills is destroyed when he runs into Whitman Whitney, a half–breed physician with a talented knack for curing hysterical women—and men.

Together they rein in the most savage barbarian of them all. Belle Pennington emerges from the forest with nothing left to lose but her Chinese storybook of ribald encounters.

As Huntley and Whit clash impressing Belle with their skills, their Battalion ventures into the wild to discover the Indian's stronghold. Whit has only known the touch of men before, and his peculiar medical expertise astonishes and unites the three in their journey. But it is Belle's restless spirit the men must conquer in the deep grassy valley of the Yosemite.