Blog Tour Guest Post: Ticket to Ride by White Gold Author, David Barker @BlueGold201 @UrbaneBooks @lovebooksgroup



Sim Atkins, Overseas Division agent, returns to Earth, having saved the Moon base from a deadly terrorist plot (see Rose Gold). All Sim can think about is finding the criminals responsible.

But his fury and lust for revenge are put on hold when a nuclear warhead is stolen by Terra Former leader Matthias Larsson. Can Sim and his colleagues track down the terrorist cell and disarm the device in time?

White Gold is the gripping finale in the compellingly original Gaia Trilogy, page-turning thrillers that provoke as well as excite.

Guest Post: Ticket to Ride

I love a board game, me. Been collecting them for about forty years and with a reluctance to throw the old ones out, I’m struggling to find room for all the boxes. I occasionally back campaigns on Kickstarter, which makes me feel good about supporting new designers and budding publishers in this market but, really, it’s just an excuse to add to my collection.

Some of you will have heard of, or played, Ticket To Ride. You collect different coloured trains and use them to claim routes between stations, gaining points in proportion to the length of the route. There is a Nordic version designed just for 2-3 players which we have at home. The map features two stations in the Northwest corner – Narvik and Kiruna – that I happen to know a fair bit about from the research for my new novel, White Gold.
Narvik, in Norway, was founded at the start of the 20th century and has always been linked to Kiruna, in Sweden, because the Swedes needed a port from which to ship the iron ore out of Kiruna’s mine (more on this later). Narvik is much more suited than any of Sweden’s ports because it is closer and, more importantly, ice free all year round thanks to the warming effects of the Gulf Stream. The port played a vital role in getting iron ore from Sweden to Germany’s factories during WWII and was the scene of several attacks and counter-attacks between the Allies and Nazis in 1940.

Kiruna is the northernmost town in Sweden and is home to a beautiful church and bell tower whose wooden red structures shine out from the snow. But the town is on the move: the centre will be relocated 3km to the east because subsidence from mining activity has rendered the settlement unsafe. This is no ordinary mine. Since operations began at the site over 100 years ago, it has produced more than 950 million tonnes of ore and that’s thought to be only half of what’s down there. The operation is so huge and has been going on for so long that the mountain now has a big gouge taken out of its profile (see picture below).

In White Gold, the latest adventure in the Gaia series, British agents Sim and Freda track the head of the Terror Formers to a Bond-like lair near Kiruna and Freda is threatened with a lethal introduction to the mining operations. As for Narvik’s relevance, well you’ll just have to read the story and find out…

About David Barker:

David was born in Cheshire but now lives in Berkshire. His working life has been spent in the City, first for the Bank of England and now as Chief Economist for an international fund. So his job entails trying to predict the future all the time. David attended the Faber Academy course and he still meets up with his inspirational fellow students.

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