~Barnes’s Novel “Mingo” Shines A Spotlight on the Little-Known West Virginia Coal Wars and the Battle of Blair Mountain~

I’m excited to partner with Allen Media Strategies as we introduce my thrilling work of historical fiction, “Mingo” and the history of the West Virginia mine wars to readers everywhere.”

— Author W. Jeff Barnes

WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES, February 27, 2023 / — Allen Media Strategies is proud to announce the signing of novelist W. Jeff Barnes to their roster of best-selling authors, entertainers, and subject matter experts.

Barnes’s debut novel “Mingo” was recently named the 2022 Readers Favorite International Book Contest Gold Medal Winner for Southern Fiction and has received dozens of five-star reviews.

“We’re beyond excited to help bring Jeff’s book to a wider audience,” said Allen Media Strategies CEO and Director of Fun Burke Allen. “I grew up just a few miles from where the story that serves as the basis for Mingo took place, so I have a real personal interest in helping make sure this significant event in American history finally gets the historical recognition it deserves.”

I’ve heard it said that “if you want to learn history, read a history text. If you want to learn history, read historical fiction.” My goal in writing “Mingo” was to do just that: expose readers to an important piece of American history they likely know nothing about in a compelling and entertaining way. For that reason, I’m excited to partner with Allen Media Strategies as we introduce “Mingo” and the history of the West Virginia mine wars to readers everywhere.

A thrilling work of historical fiction, Mingo (Little Star Books) is set against the backdrop of the coal-rich, hard-scrabble breakaway state of West Virginia and the more “civilized,” segregated Virginia. The novel pits brother against brother amidst the deadly struggle to unionize America’s coalfields in the early 1920s, weaving together authentic true-to-life fictional characters with real people and situations from the era. Mingo paints a rich and textured narrative tapestry that is so compelling, readers are often surprised to learn that the bloody battle the story is based around actually happened.

Mingo (named for one of the southernmost counties in the West Virginia coalfields) highlights/brings to life the almost-forgotten Battle of Blair Mountain, the largest labor uprising in United States history, and the deadliest armed uprising since the Civil War. The battle at the center of the West Virginia Coal Wars arose between miners and mine operators over the right to unionize and improve their often-deadly working conditions and low wages (which frequently were paid not with real currency, but instead with ‘scrip’, which was redeemable only at company-owned stores). In August of 1921, thousands of miners, dubbed “rednecks” because of the red bandanas they tied around their necks, marched to Blair Mountain in Logan County in an attempt to free their fellow union members from the Logan County jail.

Risking a war with his own citizens, President Harding sent the U.S. Army to suppress the armed uprising. The deadly battle lasted for several days, resulting in an unknown number of casualties, and helped pave the way for safer conditions for miners and future labor rights movements.

David L. Robbins, the New York Times bestselling author of War of the Rats and Isaac’s Beacon says that “Mingo is like the mining of coal itself, explosive and powerful, darkness emerging into light. Barnes has found a rich seam.” Kelly Corrigan, the New York Times bestselling author of The Middle Place and Glitter and Glue calls Mingo “An unforgettable coming of age story that sets brother against brother in the 20th-century coal wars. Jeff Barnes is a natural storyteller.”

“Mingo” is available now at all major bookstores, independent booksellers, and online retailers. For more information about the book or to schedule an interview or book signing appearance with author W. Jeff Barnes, please contact Allen Media Strategies Shaili Priya at (703) 589-8960 or

About the Author:

W. Jeff Barnes was born and raised in Tazewell, Virginia, in the heart of southern Virginia’s coalfields, and just across the state line from West Virginia. “Mingo” was inspired by his fascination with the Battle of Matewan (the pre-cursor to the Battle of Blair Mountain and the subject of the critically acclaimed John Sayles film Matewan starring James Earl Jones and Chris Cooper) and also by the many years his father spent mining coal. Jeff graduated from the College of William and Mary with undergraduate and law degrees. He lives and practices law in Richmond, Virginia. “Mingo” is his first novel.

About the Book:

In his debut novel Mingo, author W. Jeff Barnes reveals the deep divide between corporate might and those who are willing to fight and risk their lives to earn a fair wage for an honest day’s work.

The young Matney brothers are tragically fated to divergent paths: fourteen-year-old Bascom to the coal mines with his father, and younger Durwood to the care of distant family in far-off Richmond. Bascom is resolved to a life underground as a coal miner, but dreams of escape and a reunion with his brother; Durwood thrives in a life cushioned by wealth in Richmond but is disciplined by the promise of returning home as soon as things “settle down.”

It’s not long before the Matney brothers find themselves separated by more than the Appalachian Mountains, when outspoken labor organizer Mother Jones, “the most dangerous woman in America,” begins stirring up the coalfields with ideas about the collective good. Shaped by different circumstances and the passage of time, the brothers reunite only to find themselves on opposite sides of the bloody conflict, one pitting coal miners and their families against the notorious Baldwin-Felts armed thugs, and tragically, brother against brother.

Thoughtfully researched, beautifully written, and culminating in the historic Battle of Blair Mountain in the summer of 1921, Mingo delivers unforgettable characters while exploring themes of class struggle and racial division that continue to roil America.

Landau and Voices of Classic Soul Collaborate for Beaufort, SC show

Notes: An Evening of Musical Storytelling & Casual Conversation is an amazing concert event benefitting the Northern Beaufort County Boys & Girls Clubs.
Back by popular demand!
Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., winner of America’s Got Talent, and special guests The Voices of Classic Soul (Lead singers from The Temptations, Four Tops, The Platters, and The Drifters) will be the featured performers. Guests can expect an exciting evening filled with music, dancing, delicious complimentary hors d’oeuvres, and beverages.
The Voices of Classic Soul will headline the performance on January 12th while Landau will headline the final performance on the 13th.
Mark your calendars and secure your seats today! All donations support the programs and services for the Northern Beaufort County Boys & Girls Clubs.
Sponsorships are available now and seating is limited. For ticket and sponsorship information call the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Lowcountry office at 843-379-5430, or email

Richard Battle on The Buff Show

Matt Buff Show Christmas Book Tour – Richard Battle is a business consultant, speaker and the award-winning author of six books including his latest, Made in America by AmeriCANS not AmeriCANTS

Visit the site here

Homer Hickam commentating on NASA’s SLS Artemis 1 Rocket Launch

Monday morning’s launch of NASA’s SLS Artemis 1 Rocket 🚀 has Homer Hickam, a former NASA engineer & author of best sellers Rocket Boys, Back To The Moon & his latest Don’t Blow Yourself Up, offering live commentary of the launch on FOX Weather channel.


Singer-songwriter Kate Boytek has made the list of

“The Top 10 Independent Female Country Artists Right Now”.

The list is compiled by the influential “Boots and Whiskey” podcast, YouTube channel and “Beats/Beers/Bonfires” lifestyle blog at

“It is always an honor to be recognized for your hard work and passion, and to be included in that list with those other amazing women,” said Boytek, currently in the studio working with producer Britton Cameron on tracks from her debut CD.

Boytek has had a busy summer, with opening stints for Easton Corbin, LoCash, Drew Parker, The Davisson Brothers Band and Little Texas, a string of headlining theater, festival, and club dates across the Mid Atlantic and several writer’s rounds in Nashville.

In naming Kate to their top 10, “Boots and Whiskey” says of the West Virginia born-and-bred artist “if you don’t know about her, what the hell are you doing?  She has quite the voice and a hell of a personality that really comes out…check out Kate you won’t be disappointed.”

Boytek is managed by Burke Allen with Allen Artists and has been signed to an artist development deal with Bernard Porter’s PCG Universal Nashville.

For a full list of upcoming appearances and more information on Kate Boytek, visit

Charl Brown speaks with Mass Appeal

A show honoring the legacy of “Motown: The Musical” mastermind Smokey Robinson is coming to the Colonial Theater in Pittsfield. The tribute show is called “Smokey & Me: A Celebration of Smokey Robinson,” and it all comes together because of one personal relationship. Here to talk about that is Tony-Nominated Broadway Star Charl Brown.

Read the full article here