Coal Dust Book Cover Coal Dust
The Legend of the Ghost Train Book Three
C.J. Baty
MM Romance
Independently Published
October 26, 2020

The Legend of the Ghost Train continues:
1930’s Harlan County Kentucky

Boone Douglas and Tucker Winchester are from different worlds, both knew that being homosexual could be a death sentence in this backwoods hell. Their love blossomed in spite of everything.

Two men find love, during a difficult time for the Appalachian states, where many lived in poverty. They struggled, working long days in coal mines for pennies. There were also hostilities between mining companies and the unions who wanted to rally the mine workers. There’s a reason it’s called Bloody Harlan County.

A greedy man, a cave full of miners, and two lovers suffered the worst fate imaginable.

Craig Waterson, a descendant of Tucker, fell down an abandoned air shift leading to a caved in mine. He dreamed or walked through the past seeing Boone and Tucker fall in love, then lose everything. When he awoke, he discovered that Tucker’s ghost had followed him to the present with a request.

Craig, Tucker, and Doug Harper, Boone’s great nephew, work together to recover the remains of the miners who were killed in the Copperhead Mining Accident. Many secrets have to be uncovered before Boone and Tucker can find peace or Craig and Doug can find their own happily ever after.

Violence, homophobic slang terms

Reviewed by Linda Tonis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team

This book begins in the 1930’s in a mining town where life was a constant struggle. Miner’s barely make ends meet working long hours just to be able to put food on the table while everyday in the mine puts their lives in danger. Boone Douglas is one of the men working the mines but in addition to his risking his life daily at work he is gay and that is another death sentence if anyone discovered it.


A visit to Molly’s Place, a whorehouse to see Lucas proved how dangerous being gay was because after leaving he was severely attacked and poor Lucas was hung just because he was gay. Of course times have changed and gays can marry and live in the open but there are still those who are not very accepting and their lives are still always in danger.


We return to the present where Craig Waterson and his friends decided to hike up to the old mine out of curiosity and with the intention of one day writing a book about Bloody Harlan County, Kentucky. In 1932 a mine collapse killed so many, not only adults but young boys between the ages of 8 and 11 who worked for pennies. When Craig falls into a mine shaft he finds himself viewing the life of Boone and the man he loved Tucker Winchester a descendant of Craig’s. Boone was a miner but Tucker came from money but his money would not save him if he was discovered to be gay.


Craig spent a long time in the hospital where he met Doug Harper, Boone’s great nephew. Unlike Boone and Tucker they did not have to hide their relationship and when Tucker’s ghost decided to pay Craig a visit it set him and Doug on a mission to retrieve the bodies of those who died in the mine collapse giving them a proper burial and giving them a chance to hear the legendary ghost train coming to take them to the other side. What caused the collapse is a mystery that Craig and Doug are determined to solve.


This was not a happy story, it was filled with violence, greed that put men’s lives in danger daily and a story of men who were killed if they just mentioned the word “union”. Men and children who no one cared about except how much work they did. This book covered a very sad time in history but it was just one example of the cruelty one man can commit upon another.


Boone and Tucker were separated during the collapse, never saying the words I love you to each other and now Craig and Doug are determined to reunite them in death. A very emotional story but as I write this review we are living through a pandemic and political upheaval just proving that when one situation is made better another one appears.