Welcome to my website!
I'm Richard Peake,
author of Moon's Black Gold, a revised and expanded version of Editor's Choice The Little Dog Laughed. If poetry rather than fiction appeals to you, you might enjoy my recent volume Birds and Other Beasts.
About the Author
Emeritus Professor at the University of Virginia's College at Wise, Peake has lived in the coalfields of Virginia for forty years. He participated in efforts to obtain legislation regulating surface mining in the 1960's and 1970's. He has published several volumes of poetry and an academic satire, Jack, Be Nimble.
About my latest book, Moon's Black Gold
Everett Adamo ("Moon") Lunamin returns from Vietnam battlefields determined to acquire wealth and social status by starting a surface mining company at the height of the coal boom in the late 1960's and 1970's.
Lunamin attempts to mine in an efficient, environmentally friendly way and runs afoul of competitors whose greed exceeds their business ability and ethics. He also comes into conflict with his cousins, George Landsetter, a reclamation officer, and Rod Mashburn, who runs a profitable marijuana growing operation.
Lunamin's business prospers beyond his expectations. After some missteps, he realizes his goal of marrying his high school sweetheart, Susan Stanard, whose family finds his newly acquired wealth compensates for his lack of social graces.
Moon enjoys their material comforts less than his wife. After the birth of a son, they drift apart and seek companionship outside their marriage. In love with another woman, Lunamin pleads for a divorce, but Susan refuses because she wants to keep the lifestyle Lunamin's fortune provides.
Quarrels with his wife, his competitors, his cousins, the IRS, and a district attorney bedevil Moon, who struggles to save his business, his reputation, and his life.