All J.L. Fredrick titles are available at in paperback, and most are available as e-book versions, (search "Lovstad Publishing") or you can follow the links below to order right here. 

Legend Series Book 1
Across the Dead Line


ISBN-13: 978-0615748962

When ACROSS THE DEAD LINE was first published in 2002, I had no idea that it would someday evolve into a five book series.  It begins the saga with a 'now and then' format, telling two stories simultaneously in every other chapter.

   In 1967, a college student discovers the ghostly remains of a mining town, but is warned by new acquaintances of the dangers it holds.  A legend has kept people at bay for nearly seven decades, but Cory Brockway embraces the intriguing lore, and his curiosity draws him and his best friend, Buck Paxton into a collision course with the past.

   Clancy Crane is only ten years old when the second story begins in the late 1800s.  He is the orphaned brother of an entrepreneur who knows how to make a good living in the town without panning for gold in a muddy creek.  The older brother builds a luxury hotel, and the stage is set for a wild ride.


Legend Series Book 2
Across the Second Dead Line


ISBN-13: 978-0615747675


ACROSS THE SECOND DEAD LINE continues the story in a modern-day setting as three enterprising young boys discover a couple of old journals in Grandpa's attic.  The journals reveal clues to a treasure hidden somewhere in the nearby ghost town, Silver Spring, however, the ghostly legend that has protected it from treasure hunters for over a century must be taken into consideration--or ignored!  But secrecy is the key to success, and Robby, Grant and Keith become masters at guarding their discovery.  But their ploy for the treasure isn't without challenge.


Legend Series Book 3
The Private Journal of Clancy Crane


ISBN-13: 978-0615747774


For a close-up look at Silver Spring in its prime, Clancy's journal will fill in all the blanks.   He tells how life was there in the 1880s and '90s, and he even lets us in on a few secrets about the treasure!  His friends help generate the story, and provide plenty of exciting episodes among the rough and tumble lifestyle of a lawless settlement.


Legend Series Book 4
Unfinished Business


ISBN-13: 978-0615813080


UNFINISHED BUSINESS brings you back to present day at Silver Spring.  After their treasure hunt and then four years of college, Robby, Grant and Keith have acquired the land on which the old mining camp occupies.  Their love for the place prompted a business scheme that has enabled them to reconstruct the long ago destroyed town, replicating the buildings from only the descriptions in an old journal.  The pride and joy of the "new" town is the Crystal Palace Theater, where tourists and locals come from near and far to see live performances.

   But as they recreate the ghost town, mysterious visitors start showing up.  It's a ghost story you don't want to miss!





Legend Series Book 5

Piano Man


ISBN-13: 978-0692229095


Set in 1900 on the banks of enchanted Devil's Lake and in the streets of charming and pictruesque Baraboo, Wisconsin, this is the final episode of the Legend Series.

Living in the Cliff House resort hotel overlooking the lake, Christian Parker and Clay Edwards are in search of a piano player to satisfy the musical needs of their theatrical endeavors.  With the help of another new friend, they find him.  But when he mysteriously disappears, they find themselves on a quest that is more than just seeking a piano man.



The COMPLETE LEGEND SERIES is now available in these two volumes.

Inspired by actual events that occurred during the Gold Rush era, the Legend Series is a captivating saga of gold and silver miners basking in the prosperity of success, while fighting to survive in a wild and dangerous environment. 
   Nearly seven decades after the mining has played out, a remnant of a ghost town is discovered by a curious college student; he uncovers secrets that have been well-guarded by an unseen force known only as "Mack." The mystery grows into a tangled mind game. 
   Not until the 21st Century is the puzzle finally solved by three enterprising young adventurers who have only two old journals found in an attic to connect the past with the present, and to discover one secret much grander than anyone could imagine.





NEW 2020

Don't Shoot the Piano Player

ISBN: 979-8627377032

Clay Edwards and Roscoe Connor have traveled a long way to uncover a secret... lost gold that has escaped discovery by Arizona lawmen for nearly two decades. But for a couple of greenhorns in unsettled territory just after the turn of the Twentieth Century, their quest is not easy. With only a mysterious map and the desire for adventure, they find their way into a dangerous situation. . . a little more than they bargained for. 

Another Shade of Gray


ISBN-13: 978-0615813080

Set in the 1930s, Jesse, Will, and Luke are drawn together by fate and lured into a suspenseful adventure aboard a Mississippi riverboat that exposes them to the harsh reality of a tainted economy of the Great Depression years.  They rub elbows with gamblers, thugs, thieves, and even a river ghost.  Can they beat the odds as they struggle to survive love, hate, fear, challenging danger and the unknown?


(Another Shade of Gray) "... Reads almost like a Mark Twain Life on the Mississippi tale... unforgettable characters... this is a book not to be missed."

Sharon Katz  New York Review




The Gaslight Knights


ISBN-13: 978-0615747200



        (Another Shade of Gray sequel)


Is there life after the river for Will Madison and Andy Lorado?

Their riverboat, the Madison, is totally destroyed by fire in 1934 at the St. Louis levee.  Will and Andy continue their lives on solid ground while the entire country is still in the throes of the Great Depression.  Some of their new acquaintances spell trouble with a capital T, and some become their steadfast companions as they entertain new adventure that takes them back to where it all began



               together in one volume


Jesse 'n Will and the Gaslight Knights


This volume includes 2 original J.L. Fredrick novels: Another Shade of Gray; and the sequel, The Gaslight Knights. 

When the Mafia boss unknowingly provides a windfall during the hard times of the Great Depression years, the wheels start turning for Jesse Madison and his friends that he attracts along the way. The Mississippi River and a steamboat become their way of life as they rub elbows with all sorts of characters, and experience countless adventures that the river and the era have to offer.


The Other End of the Tunnel


ISBN-13: 978-0974905891


  Seventeen-year-old Shawn Kelly and his best friend Steve Allison share an obsession with the old Hawthorne house and the mysteries it entombs. They feel an unexplainable connection to it somehow, and their appetite for an experience with the supernatural escalates to more than simple observation.

  Late one stormy July night in 1965, they set out to explore the long-abandoned house that local legend has deemed haunted, and to perhaps catch a glimpse of the ghosts of Lizzy and Emma Hawthorne.  Discovering more than they bargained for, they learn the shocking truth that their quiet little town wasn’t always the complacent community it is today.  Facts behind the legend divulge hideous crimes that no one knows were committed.




(Kindle version)






ISBN-13: 978-0974905822


An exciting mystery set in a small Wisconsin town brings back the same characters from his first book, The Other End of the Tunnel.  Shawn Kelly and Steve Allison are off on another wild adventure when they are entrusted with a baffling artifact that keeps them on the treacherous edge of discovery.

 Vague instructions are uttered by the life-threatened victim of a mysterious accident.  Those instructions manifest a secretive pact to keep priceless artifacts from falling into the wrong hands. Deception breeds cloak-and-dagger pursuit. But can thieves, kidnappers, high-tech scientists, or even the FBI compete with the cunning antics of two clever teenagers?




AFTERMATH                     together in one volume


This volume includes 2 complete J.L. Fredrick novels:  

The Other End of the Tunnel; Obsessed with the possibility of a supernatural encounter, Shawn and Steve sneak into a forbidden haunted house one stormy night in 1965. They discover more than they bargained for, as the spooky old house is host to more than just ghosts. 

Aftermath; Shawn and Steve are on another wildly exciting adventure when they are entrusted with a mysterious artifact that possesses some rather peculiar qualities. But they must stay one step ahead of crooks, mad scientists, and even the FBI to protect the most incredible discovery of all times.


Cursed by the Wind



ISBN: 0-9749058-0-1


The dramatic Sea Wing disaster on the Mississippi River is captured in this gripping episode of early America.

  On Sunday July 13, 1890, the Sea Wing, piloted by Captain David Wethern, set out on an excursion from its homeport at Diamond Bluff, Wisconsin, boarded 200 passengers at Trenton, Wisconsin and Red Wing, Minnesota, and then steamed down the Mississippi River and Lake Pepin. Warnings of approaching dangerous weather offered by an itinerant preacher, and his persistence to convince the captain to cancel the voyage are ignored.  The Sea Wing sails on to meet its fate.

  Cursed by the Wind is a suspenseful, heartwarming story expertly added to the actual tragic event.

Cursed by the Wind

(Kindle Version)

September Ten


ISBN: 0-9749058-6-0


New York and the Pentagon aren’t the terrorists’ only planned targets. Passengers aboard an excursion boat and the residents of the entire Mississippi River valley are about to become victims of the Country’s worst disaster in history.

   In small Wisconsin towns on and near the Mississippi River, where they think they are unnoticed, terrorists are busy scheming a Midwest attack to coincide with the September 11th New York and Washington melee that will add to the mass confusion across the entire country, not to mention the vast amount of destruction and lives lost. But the terrorists have failed to safeguard themselves against an unlikely adversary, and their mission is challenged. However, the three young men who have discovered the activity run out of time to convince authorities that a serious attack is imminent.

Thunder in the Night


ISBN-13: 978-0615745787


Charlie Martin and “Frenchy” come from completely different cultures.  But they aren’t so different—they’re boys who seek adventure and sometimes find trouble without looking for it.

Their friendship grows in 1870s La Crosse, Wisconsin where logs, lumber, and steamboats on the Mississippi River are a way of life.

Based on the true historical account of one of those boats, the Bella Mac, these heroic boys bravely face disaster head-on.


(Charlie Martin, Frenchy, and most other characters in this story were real people.  The story is based on actual events.)

Mad City Bust


ISBN-13: 978-0615746999


    Diamonds, drugs and gun-running mixed together with jealousy and deception make a dangerous concoction.  In an attempt to repay an obligation to an old Army buddy, Mike Barnes arrives in Madison, Wisconsin as the result of a mysterious request from the indestructible Donovan Harlow.  But when the ex-Lieutenant is found sprawled in a pool of blood on his apartment floor, Mike’s promise to the dead man is hard to explain  to the police, and he is quickly included high on the long list of suspects.  Investigation uncovers Harlow’s connection with a drug ring, and his death triggers the arrest of a few of its operatives that will prove to be the biggest drug bust in Wisconsin history.   (Based on a true event)

Dance With a Tornado



ISBN-13: 978-0615747996


DANCE WITH A TORNADO is a collection of short stories with a variety of themes.  The first, "Dance With a Tornado" falls into J.L. Fredrick's favorite genre, Historical Fiction. The story was inspired by the  tornado that devastated the Southwestern WI village, Barneveld, in June 1984.

HOUSE OF MANY ROOMS captures your attention with a generous portion of fun as the narrator experiences a strange day investigating a strange old house that... well... I don't want to give away too much!

MISSISSIPPI PIRATES is based on a real historical event and given the J.L. Fredrick fiction treatment.  Yes, there really were pirates on the Mississippi River in the Nineteenth Century!

THE OTHER END OF THE TUNNEL, Fredrick's first published novella was included in this book after being out of print for a short time. (It is now back in print, but it still remains in this volume too.) You can find the details about this story elsewhere on this page.

BIGGER ROCKS is Fredrick's brief summation of the History of the World that might provide a chuckle or two.

Dance With a Tornado


(Kindle Version)

The Great Train Robbery of Monroe County


ISBN-13: 978-0615747996


A long lost Black Hills outlaw who has escaped Pinkerton Detective Agency pursuit for eight years brings Wild West color to the beautiful La Crosse River Valley in 1885.  He recruits a band of local talent to help him rob— Jesse James fashion—a Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul train carrying $75,000 of payroll money that belongs to a La Crosse lumber company.

When the would-be train robbers discover that someone has betrayed the gang, young Jackson Evans finds he is trapped in a deadly snare: the gang leaders will kill him if he walks out because he knows too much, and an overzealous county sheriff will gun him down if he stays.         



nEW 2020


Beyond the Horizon takes you on a captivating journey to interesting towns and other fascinating attractions throughout the states of Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kansas, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. From ghost towns to national monuments, you can experience the natural beauty and historical significance as J.L. Fredrick shares with you his travels during six years of rediscovering America.

Illustrated with full color photos by the author.

Travels with Captain Clark

I have spent several years living i n a 28-foot motor home that I affectionately call Captain Clark, followingthe  less-traveled roads of America, satisfying my dream of past years. I follow the sunshine, and I live  with nature. The nomadic lifestyle allows me to see places that so many people never have the opportunity to visit. That has inspired me to present this photo travel journal.

  the  contents of t his book is just a brief sampling of where my travels have taken me through portions of  the southern and  southwestern United States.



Bank robbers, Indians, and Civil War heroes are just samples from the many fascinating stories about Wisconsin's intriguing and colorful past. 
ETC, ETC, ETC... is a variety pack of historical subjects with informative aroma and entertaining flavor.




Remembering WIsconsin Ghost Towns


ISBN: 0692208372




Wisconsin has its share of ghost towns.  Villages grew from trading posts, lumber camps, and mining sites.  Many did not survive the catastrophes that befell them, but before they passed from existence, they wrote some colorful pages in Wisconsin's history.  Twenty-nine of these villages once again come to life on the pages of GHOSTVILLE ! (Three more have been added to the revised edition.)


New chapters have been added to include the history of Wisconsin's early logging and lumber industry, and the original Wisconsin Native tribes that were there long before the arrival of European explorers.

Rivers, Roads, & Rails

When the Midwest was still young…              


ISBN: 0-9749058-5-2




A captivating account of Midwest history, with focus on the ways people traveled during the pioneer days, when riverboats, stagecoaches, and steam locomotives whistled along streams and across the countryside.  It was a fascinating time.  Wisconsin was in its infancy, and although pioneer lifestyle seemed simpler, there was so much going on that shaped the coming years.  Our nation was growing at a rapid pace as the population pushed its horizons westward, seeking new land and resources.  New towns sprouted from logging camps and mining sites.  Some flourished, becoming focal points of society and centers of commerce.  Some sadly faded away, only to become forgotten and neglected memories.

  It’s the kind of reading that many historians have overlooked, like the story of a Norwegian blacksmith who “hi-jacked” a ferryboat on the Chippewa River; log pirates at Two Rivers; how Strawberry Point, Iowa got its name; how the only war ever fought in Baraboo – the “Whiskey War” – began and ended in just a few short hours; how a persistent young boy saved his family from starvation by building a raft; how railroad construction to Ashland nearly ended in a bloody riot; how a mudslide created new real estate for a Minnesota lumber town.  These and many other fascinating stories are sure to entertain any reader.

Stories and pictures from more than 260 Upper Midwest locations emerge as you journey through this formative period.  You might even want to use this book as a guide to visit many interesting historic places.


As I Recall...

Farm Kid Recollections from the 'Fifties 




ISBN-13: 978-0615787305


Growing up on a Wisconsin farm was, without a doubt, a little different for a youngster in the 1950s than it is today.  A trip to town could mean an adventure, and riding the train to Chicago seemed like the most incredible experience of a lifetime.

   From bringing in the hay before a summer thunderstorm, to bringing in the woodstove before the brutal winter; from planting a garden, to feeding the chickens; from exploring the wilderness to skating on an ice-covered creek; you’ll enjoy every story about growing with the changing seasons.

    Just 102 pages, but every word is from the heart. (Illustrated)




As I Recall...

  (Kindle edition)





The Wisconsin River, Paul Seifert, Bogus Bluff, Richland City, and the ancient cultures that once thrived there, all have something in common: mystery. For 10,000 years humans have occupied the delta at the confluence of the Wisconsin and the Pine Rivers; inhabitants of distinctly different eras have left behind clues to their existence. The most recent—the Native American Indians—have given us a bounty of lore and legend.A mysterious letter in the hands of German emigrant Paul Seifert in the Nineteenth Century helps set the scene for another one of the river valley’s most puzzling secrets. It has been the foundation of a 35-year-long search for a cave believed to be an Indian burial site containing vast treasures of ancient times.Treasure hunter/Researcher Ron Nagel has teamed with authors Dan Bomkamp and J.L. Fredrick to tell the story as it has developed through the ages. Together they unravel some of the mystery surrounding this enchanted valley.