Why I do what I do


If you’re into railroads and their histories, then this might be for you.

Originally posted on J.E. Dyer's Official Blog:

I’ve been fascinated with history, the railroad, and more importantly writing since I was very young.  Growing up in rural West Virginia, the railroads played an integral role in both the local and state economies. The one nearest to my old homestead would gather coal mined from the seams just over the hills in its massive steel cars and carry it off around the bend to destinations unknown to me. Other lines farther out toted long lines of freshly cut timber off of the steep mountains to the east, bound for the paper mills in Keyser. From here, my interest in the rails expanded to the historical importance of the steam lines and their uses for both industrial and transportation purposes.

Nowadays, I’m married to a wonderful wife and am the father of three wonderful children. I channel my passion for history, the railroad, and adventure into my published works…

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It sounds lofty, right? To an outsider, it is. We insiders to the Order of Dad know full well what the truth really is, though. Below are the list of lab items required to conduct your own version of the experiment as well as its procedures.


  1. A light source: lamp, the sun, a TV, you get the picture.
  2. A comfortable working surface. I prefer my sofa.
  3. Yourself.

The Experiment

The purpose of this dad experiment is to study the effects of photon diffusion across the optical epidermal layers. You may want to block out a few hours to conduct a thorough experiment. Situate yourself on your work surface until comfortable. Lower your optical epidermal layers down over your eyes. Examine and note the effects of photon diffusion for as long as necessary.

I’m still gathering evidence for my findings, so I’ll have to post them at a later date.

Originally posted on A Day In The Life:

castle old cover

A small fortune, unknown until now, remains hidden on a small estate in Buckhannon, WV known by its residents as the Castle. Local legends tell of angered spirits, a curse and even a series of underground catacombs associated with the estate. Greed is a powerful drug. One that binds people to their most prized possessions all throughout life and even afterward.


The Castle’s ethereal master still stands watch over the property from the tower’s second level preying on those who would be tempted by the treasure.  Lift the curse. Go where I could not, and release the tormented spirits from their prison.

Get a free copy of my investigation today.


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The Shutdown Sandwich

Originally posted on A Day In The Life:

Okay. So, it has happened. The world hasn’t come to an end by any means, but for millions of Americans life will get more difficult. It is with you in mind that the following recipe is offered up for a few bites (and laughs):

•Start with two slices of your favorite bread. You’ll want them toasted, so really hold them over the coals and grill them.

(to view the full article, go to http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1042375.)

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The old hillbilly town of Lost Creek, WV gets its big debut in this little story.

Originally posted on A Day In The Life:

My new book is free  from Sept. 18 – 22. Shootouts, love, gambling, zombies and mayhem… Enjoy.

Axe and Emerald cover silver

Rhone McLean can only watch his entire world burn as his wife’s lifeless body
disappears into the raging inferno. A mysterious cowboy in black emerges from
the ashes of Rhone’s home with a message of hope. His words push McLean into a
quest to free Clara, but how much of himself is he ready to sacrifice?

As the nation heals from the deep wounds of a bloody Civil War, McLean ventures
into the underbelly of the Western frontier. Here Rhone must confront his worst
fear if he is to lower the veil and cross the fog in to the macabre world where
Clara is imprisoned.

The Forces of Creation and Destruction position their
pieces as their eternal conflict nears its boiling point. With the help of the
Pegasus, Bellerophon, Rhone attempts to liberate the seven Towers…

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The Boys of Summer

With summer in America, baseball is sure to follow. Any more, the major leagues get the limelight and dominate the coverage in nearly every market. To a point, they should. It is important to remember, though, that the other tiers of the sport are just as important, if not more so to the future and growth of baseball. All of the great young draftees and trades get the first shot at any given position, but where do the pros turn when their starters are forced onto the DL list? You’ve got it — Minor League Baseball. This is a level of a great sport that fields a team in just about every major city in the U.S. It’s easier to access, the prices are more affordable and sadly — they’re practically forgotten in today’s bustling societies. You can spend upward of fifty dollars for you and a date to go to a Major League game, and that’s just for the seats. Once you throw in some snacks and souvenirs, the damage to your pocket book is likely to top $100 in a hurry. If you’re attempting to take a family of four out for a day at the old ballpark, it will be five times as much money.

For a fraction of that same level of family funds you could take our family or date out to a local Minor League ballgame and enjoy the sport on more of a pure level. It can be argued that juicing and illegal enhancers will find their way into any level of any sport, but the majority of the players on the Minor League rosters and those of the Class-D farm teams in particular are playing for the love of the game. There are scores of teams to choose from and follow these days, and with the improvements in modern technology you can have your teams at your fingertips.

This is merely an example of what I am referring to: I follow the Martinsburg Bluesox in the Class-D semi-pro Blue Ridge League. You can go to any of their home games for free. Yup, absolutely free. In Class Single-A, I follow the WV Power. Again, you could go to one of their home games with drinks, hats, and snacks included for under $30. In Class Double-A, I’m a fan of the Tennessee Smokies. Their tickets are $8 for adults, and $6.50 for kids. Their gift shop prices are a little steeper, but a day at their park for a family of four would still be well under $50. If you plan your trip right, you can stay at the Hilton Inn and Suites on the hill behind the park. Then you can walk out to the front hill on any home game night and watch the game for free. The last tip that you can use to follow the majority of these teams is to download a free app to your device or phone called ‘Tune-In Radio’. From there, you can search up your favorite team, and then listen to their radio stream live on game nights. Tonight, for example, the Smokies try to even their series with the Huntsville Stars at 7:46 PM. The bottom line, our favorite pastime doesn’t have to drain your bank account , nor is it limited to the big boys under the bright lights.

A Sweet Treat

Queen City Creamery. Courtesy of Queen City Creamery.

Queen City Creamery. Courtesy of Queen City Creamery.



Nestled in the Appalachians in the city of Cumberland, MD is one of the region’s hidden gems: the Queen City Creamery. Located at 108 Harrison Street, this little restaurant offers quite a big surprise. This establishment makes chocolate, vanilla and strawberry custards from scratch every day. This is why you’ll only find the big three flavors at Queen City. Not to say that their custards are out of this world, but they won blue ribbons for both their chocolate and vanilla custards  at the National Ice Cream Retailers Association convention this year. Yeah, they’re REAL good.

Their menu offers everything from sundaes to floats and milkshakes. If you’re watching your waistline you can opt to indulge in one of Queen City’s many fruit smoothies. Aside from their well-known frozen treats, Queen City Creamery also has a nice menu for both breakfast and lunch. They offer an assortment of eggs, French toast, sausages and coffees. For lunch the restaurant serves up pitas, wraps and an array of sandwiches, soups and  salads. Take a blast to the past with their old fashioned 1940s styled soda fountain atmosphere. It’s a short hop off of I-68, and is a stop well worth it.


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