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Release of Napoleon’s Gold – Upstate Novel by Thomas Pullyblank

July 4, 2011

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Napoleon’s Gold
Cornflower’s Ghost

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We are very excited to announce the release of Napoleon’s Gold, Thomas Pullyblank’s sequel to Cornflower’s Ghost. Read on to learn more.
Napoleon’s Gold: A Legend of the Saint Lawrence River
Napoleon's Gold - book cover
by Thomas Pullyblank

ISBN: 978-0-9833897-0-5

362 pages, softcover



Release date: July 4

Launch event: July 9
French Festival
Cape Vincent, NY

SUNY Professor’s second novel explores

legend of the Saint Lawrence River

Thousand Islands is fictional setting for Napoleon’s Gold

When historian Tom Flanagan returns to his family’s cottage in the Thousand Islands to confront his grief over the loss of his parents and brother, his pursuit to learn more about their accidental deaths leads readers into a tale of international intrigue, spiritual wonder, and a quest for a legendary treasure said to have been lost in the turbulent waters of the Saint Lawrence River. Based on 200 years of upstate New York history, Napoleon’s Gold: A Legend of the Saint Lawrence River, is the second novel by Thomas Pullyblank, and has just been released by Square Circle Press. A book launch event is scheduled for July 9 during the French Festival in Cape Vincent, New York.

Set in the beautiful Thousand Islands region of upstate New York, the action-packed mystery is based on actual locations across the region. Pullyblank, a professor of history at the State University College at Oneonta and an Ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church, based his novel on his own personal experience of summer vacations spent among the islands scattered across the Saint Lawrence Seaway. "The characters, locales, and power of the river will be recognizable to anyone who lives there or who has ever visited the area," Pullyblank stated.

Besides Tom Flanagan, two of the major characters from Cornflower’s Ghost, the author’s debut novel, again play prominent roles in the sequel. They are joined by a group of Flanagan’s father’s old drinking buddies, each of whom holds a clue to his father’s quest for Napoleon’s gold. Pullyblank, a lifelong resident of upstate, finds it natural to write about the people and places he knows. "Upstate New York is one of those places that deserves to be written about because of our unique and interesting heritage, and because of the fascinating characteristics of its people." The novel also contains opening scenes set during the events of 9/11, which has a profound effect on the young historian.

The book contains supplemental information atypical of a novel and includes an afterword, an annotated bibliography, and a playlist of songs to accompany the story. "Listening to music on the radio was an important aspect of relaxing with my family on the Saint Lawrence," Pullyblank added. "Readers can gain a better feel for the time period of the story and the region itself by listening to the songs included in the playlist and by reading some of the books and web sites in the bibliography." In addition to the supplemental features of the book, the publisher has added links to the songs on iTunes and some book club discussion notes to the book’s web page.

A book launch signing is planned for July 9, 2011 in Cape Vincent, New York, home of the French Festival, an event Pullyblank says is "one of the best small-town parades you’ll ever see." Napoleon Bonaparte himself leads the parade through the streets of Cape Vincent. The book signing will take place before and after the French Festival parade at the Buccaneer Motel, 230 North Point Street, in Cape Vincent. In the Thousand Islands region the book can be found at Corbin’s River Heritage bookstore in Clayton, New York. The book is also available online through the publisher and other retailers, such as and Barnes & Noble.

The book has received excellent advance reviews from academic and cultural historians alike. More details about the novel and where it can be purchased are available through the link below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Thomas Pullyblank was born and raised in rural upstate New York. Having earned degrees in history at the University at Albany and a Master of Divinity degree from the Boston University School of Theology, Pullyblank now teaches history at the SUNY College at Oneonta and serves as a United Methodist pastor near Cooperstown, New York. He lives on a small working farm with his wife and son. This is his second novel. He is currently working on a third upstate New York historical mystery featuring Tom Flanagan.

Order online, read advance reviews & chapter previews

Cornflower’s Ghost: An Historical Mystery
Cornflower's Ghost cover by Thomas Pullyblank

ISBN: 978-0-9789066-5-8

232 pages, softcover



After grieving the loss of his parents and brother, graduate student Tom Flanagan returns from a lengthy sabbatical to his winter-locked SUNY upstate campus to begin life anew in the spring semester, only to learn of the "accidental" death of his history professor, Peter Langley. Puzzled by the accounts of the accident, Tom is driven to pursue the facts of the case — and is immediately drawn into the intrigue surrounding another death — that of the Revolutionary War hero Theodorick Crane — Langley’s obsession throughout his entire academic career. Putting his historical research skills to work, Tom pursues the two mysteries and soon becomes intimately involved with Crane’s descendants: a manipulative college administrator, her even more manipulative Congressman husband, and their captivating niece — all of whom have vague former connections to Langley. Standing in the shadows behind it all is the ghost of Cornflower, an Iroquois woman executed for treason by Crane, who seems to be the key to unlocking the secrets of the past. But as the semester progresses and Tom delves deeper into Langley’s life and death, he and those close to him become tangled in a dangerous web of political ambition and academic deceit, the unraveling of which threatens to disrupt the lives of all involved.

Learn more, read reviews, or download a preview

Fun with History

One thing we love about Tom Pullyblank’s novels is that they make Upstate New York’s unique history fun to learn. Who knew that Napoleon’s brother built a house for him in Cape Vincent in expectation of the General’s planned escape from exile? (Well, you probably did because you’re one of our well-informed readers, but I sure didn’t …) These novels are not only fun to read, but they provide a glimpse into upstate life that makes us want to be there, on location, participating in the story. We know Pullyblank’s characters; we see them on the streets of our communities, and we’ve known them for years. But what we don’t know about them is the fun part.

If you can, please try to join us up in Cape Vincent for the French Festival. I, for one, am looking forward to meeting the great general himself. If you can’t make it, look for photos on our Facebook page from the parade and the event.

Enjoy, and thanks, as always, for your support.

Richard Vang
Square Circle Press LLC


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