Jeff Mariotte

Blood and Gold: The Legend of Joaquin Murrieta

Publisher: Sundown Press

Date: October 27, 2021

Pages: 580

ISBN: ‎ 978-0578989495


A collaboration between me and Peter Murrieta, a fifth-generation descendant of celebrated Gold Rush-era bandit Joaquin Murrieta, incorporating stories handed down through the family but never before seen in print!

When his brother and cousin head for the riches of the California gold fields, Joaquin Murrieta cannot resist following. He convinces Rosita, the woman he loves, to run away with him to the America, the land of dreams.

Instead of riches, they find deep prejudice and explosive violence leading to unspeakable tragedy. Forced into the role of a leader—first of a band of outlaws, and then an army of patriots, Murrieta becomes a threat the state’s authorities can’t ignore. With his brother murdered and his band of renegades on the run, Joaquin faces his nemesis—cruel California Ranger Harry Love—who has been given carte blanche to do whatever it takes to kill Murrieta and drive his followers out of California for good. In the final showdown between Murrieta and Love, it’s kill or be killed.

Only one of them can walk away from BLOOD AND GOLD…

(Available in trade paperback and ebook.)

Note: Two-time Emmy Award winner Peter Murrieta is the creator of the TV series Greetings from Tucson and has been a writer and producer on NBC’s Welcome to the Family, ABC’s Cristela, TV Land’s Lopez, Norman Lear’s Netflix reboot of One Day A Time, CBS’s Superior Donuts, and Netflix’s MR. IGLESIAS. He is a recipient of the Imagen Foundation’s Norman Lear Writer’s Award for his dedication to broadening the diversity of the entertainment industry.

Featuring cover art by Emmy Award-winning, Golden-Globe nominated filmmaker and animator Jorge Gutierrez (“The Book of Life”)

Blood and Gold was adapted into a podcast called Blood & Gold by Realm Media, starring actor Richard Cabral (Mayans) as Joaquin Murrieta. The podcast took the silver medal in the 2023 Signal Awards for cover art.

Blood and Gold: The Legend of Joaquin Murrieta was a finalist for the Peacemaker Award from the Western Fictioneers!


“”Blood and Gold: The Legend of Joaquin Murrieta” is a reimagining of the iconic gold miner-turned-desperado, whose pursuit by California law enforcement and grisly fate as a preserved head displayed to scare generations of Anglos has inspired multiple books, songs, dime-store novels, murals and movies. Author Jeffrey J. Mariotte is an experienced Western writer, and his co-writer Peter Murrieta is a renowned Hollywood showrunner, so their 600-page novel zips through its action-filled saga with the vigor of Louis L’Amour (and with a hell of a plot twist at the end).” — Los Angeles Times

“BLOOD AND GOLD: THE LEGEND OF JOAQUIN MURRIETA by Jeffrey J. Mariotte and Peter Murrieta is a contemporary epic. Sweeping in scope, full of adventure and thrills and drama, this book is the type of tome you lose yourself in. Bottom line: this is a quintessential novel of good versus evil.” — Montana Library Association Newsletter

This book is a lot to unpack. It’s brilliantly written and nonstop action. It is not my typical genre and I was hesitant to give it a go. I fell in love with Joaquin Murrieta from the first chapter and was rooting for him throughout his journey. This story is intense, violent, and TW for rape and racism. As much as I wanted to throw the book out of anger or grief at times, I couldn’t put it down. Highly recommend for anyone who loves some historical fiction mixed with legend. Give it a try even if it’s out of your genre preference. You may be surprised! Epic.” — Lisab_reads (

The legend of Joaquin Murrieta is the origin story of the Chicano identity. Before that there were just Mexicans and Americans. This novel crystalizes it for the 21st century, in a way that will satisfy both aficionados of gory shoot’em ups, and scholars of ethnic studies and California history. Going beyond the simple revenge story, it shows how being a messianic folks hero leads to a bloody sacrifice. And still, it somehow manages to pull off a happy ending. Amazing.” — Ernest Hogan ( Note: Ernest Hogan is an American author known as “the father of Chicano science fiction.”




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