The Getaway Girls by Dee MacDonald ~ FeelGood #Fiction @DMacDonaldAuth #Humour @bookouture

Author: Dee MacDonald

Published: July 2018 by Bookouture

Category: Humour, Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Book Review

Connie McColl is finally free to make her own decisions for the first time in decades. And when she meets glamorous Gill and downtrodden Maggie, at a rather dull flower arranging class, it seems that she’s not the only one dreaming of adventure. The three very different women all agree it’s about time they had a holiday to remember.

After reading The Runaway Wife, I was looking forward to Connie McColl’s next adventure very much. And I wasn’t disappointed.

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BlogTour #BookReview ~ Akea: The Power of Destiny by @AkeaWolfStories #AnimalAdventure @rararesources #TuesdayBookBlog

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Akea: The Power of Destiny by Elizabeth Jade and organised by Rachel’s Random Resources. Here’s the book info….

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#GuestPost by Paul T.H. Mitchener #Author of Between Darkness and the Light #YA #BDATL @fayerogersuk @authoright

I’m delighted to join the blog tour for Between Darkness and the Light and welcome Paul Mitchener with a guest post. Before I hand you over to Paul here’s the book info. It’s a young adult adventure published on the 14th March 2018 by Brown Dog Books. I love the cover!

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Cash Valley by Ryan K Nelson ~ A story set in 1950s Utah #BookReview for #RBRT #HistFic #Romance

Author: Ryan K. Nelson

Published: December 2016 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Category: Historical, Fiction, Romance, Action, Adventure, Book Review

When FBI Agent Alex Travis receives an anonymous phone call on a September morning in 1954 with a tip concerning the now cold case of the Cache County Bank robbery, it has his undivided attention. The tip leads Travis to the top of the secluded Green canyon in Logan, Utah, where a young man named Jack Pepper proceeds to tell a story spanning the two years from the time of the robbery, when he and his girlfriend, Kate Austin, stumbled upon the crime of the century for the Cache Valley.

Set in 1950s Utah, FBI Agent Alex Travis is assigned to the Cache County bank robbery case. The distinction of hopefully solving a robbery that had eluded his predecessors appeals to him very much. He decides to make the most of the opportunity, especially when he receives an anonymous phone call from someone, on behalf of another party, who apparently has information about the robbery. He’s in two minds whether to believe it but nevertheless the following day he drives to Green Canyon in Logan, the specified meeting place. There he meets Jack Pepper and hears his story. 

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The Last Flight: A Novel by Gregory P Liefer #AudiobookReview #Survival #Suspense

  • Audiobook Review
  • Author: Gregory P Liefer
  • Performed by RC Bray
  • Released: June 2017 by Brilliance Audio
  • Category: Survival, Suspense, Audiobook, Review, Action, Adventure, Reading, Books

Set against the harsh beauty of Alaska, a veteran helicopter pilot is torn between ending his own embattled life and rescuing survivors from a mountain plane crash.

The Last Flight is the story of Gil Connor, a middle-aged Vietnam veteran and Army helicopter pilot. His exploits are almost legendary amongst his peers but Gil is now fighting a losing battle against terminal cancer. His dreams are haunted by the horrors he’s witnessed and friends lost in battle, not to mention coming to terms with the loss of both his children. Gil has decided to die as he has lived, on his own terms, and takes a helicopter out for a last flight. Continue reading

Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart #YA #Audiobook # Review @DanGemeinhart

Jonathan Grisby is the newest arrival at the Slabhenge Reformatory School for Troubled Boys–an ancient, crumbling fortress of gray stone rising up from the ocean. It is dark, damp, and dismal. And it is just the place Jonathan figures he deserves.

When twelve year old Jonathan Grisby arrives at Slabhenge, hungry, cold and tormented, he faces at least ten weeks in the forbidding and Dickensian-like reform school. Run by The Admiral and his staff, who take pleasure from making life as difficult and uncomfortable as possible for the unfortunates who have been sent there. Slabhenge has had several incarnations, including a facility for the mentally ill, but to the boys it seems more like a prison with it’s many corridors, staircases and stone-walled, dank rooms. Continue reading

Outlaws of Time: The Legend of Sam Miracle by N.D. Wilson ~ #Audiobook narrated by @MacLeodAndrews #YA

A new fantasy-adventure trilogy about a misfit twelve-year-old with a dangerous destiny to fulfill, a mystical time walker who is sent to protect him, and a maniacal villain with a deadly vendetta that began two hundred years ago in the heart of the Old West.

Outlaws of Time is a mix of adventure, legend and fantasy, set in the Arizona desert where twelve year old Sam Miracle is in foster care at the St Anthony of the Desert Destitute Youth Ranch (SADDYR) run by the Spaldings, who agreed ‘to guardian absolutely any boy the state of Arizona might be willing to send them (along with a check.)’ According to the Spaldings, Sam was the worst boy they’d ever fostered. Firstly because Sam got totally lost in powerful and detailed waking dreams. Dreams that seem so real they’re like recollections from his past, which confuses Sam no end. Added to that, the bones in Sam’s arms have been so damaged that they are incapable of movement, fused at the elbow, and sometimes very painful. Continue reading

Chakana – Encounter in the Sacred Valley by W.E. Lawrence ~ Excerpt @BookPubServices #Historical #Romance

W. E. Lawrence’s latest historical romance novel Chakana is filled with action, adventure, suspense, and intrigue.

ChakanaSynopsis

In 1940, before the start of World War II, James Fleming, the original British secret agent, races on a high-stakes chase to track down the ancient lost treasure of King Huascar of the Incas. He must recover it before the Nazis do or the whole world will be in imminent danger.

But this is no ordinary treasure hunt. The Incas have proven their cunning and intellect in not only how they hid their treasure, but how they protected it. Fleming joins forces in the remote ruins of Peru, South America with Kate Rhodes, a policewoman on leave from the United States, her archaeologist brother, Nick, and their college professor, Dr. Charlie. Together, they must decode, interpret the clues, and face the challenges of the Chakana on their hunt for the treasure.

If this wasn’t difficult enough, the group is hounded throughout their search of the ancient Sacred Valley by international artifact smugglers, familiar with the Chakana and working with the Nazis, who are determined to acquire the treasure to help finance their war effort.  Intrigue, danger, suspense, action, adventure, and even romance abound in this brave band’s quest to save the free world.  Continue reading

The Dragon of the Month Club ~ Young Adult Fantasy by Iain Reading.

Dragon book coverThe Dragon Of The Month Club, by Iain Reading, was published in February 2015 and is available for sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Genres: Young Adult / Fantasy / Adventure

Synopsis:

The Dragon Of The Month Club is the exciting first installment in a new book series that tells the story of Ayana Fall and Tyler Travers, two best friends who stumble across an extraordinarily magical book and soon find themselves enrolled as members of a very special and exclusive club – The Dragon of the Month Club. 

On the thirteenth of every month a new dragon conjuring spell is revealed and the two friends attempt to summon the latest Dragon of the Month. The varieties are almost endless: Air Dragons, Paper Dragons, Fog Dragons, Waterfall Dragons, Rock Dragons, Tree Dragons – not to mention special bonus dragons for all the major holidays, including a particularly prickly Holly Dragon for Christmas.  Continue reading

Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces ~ Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #5

  • KittyHawk5Author: Iain Reading
  • Published: February 2015 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Category: Young Adult, Adventure, Mystery
  • four-half-stars

Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces is the eagerly anticipated fifth instalment of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency book series. This series features the intrepid teenage seaplane pilot and amateur detective Kitty Hawk as she continues in the footsteps of Nancy Drew and Amelia Earhart on her epic flight around the world.

As with the previous books in the series, this new installment is perfect for firing the imaginations of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history, this exhilarating adventure will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they attempt to help Kitty Hawk try and solve the extraordinarily bizarre Mystery of the Masterpieces.

After her adventures in London and Ireland Kitty is on her way to Rome to meet Charlie, the friend she made during her escapade in the Yukon. No sooner is Kitty on Italian soil than she and Charlie find themselves involved in a very mysterious and alarming set of circumstances. Enjoying an after dinner ice cream they are swept up in a chase to apprehend a pickpocket, and literally run into Matteo and Vega, upsetting Matteo’s cart full of walnuts.

Charlie’s scraped and bloodied knee necessitates them going to Matteo and Vega’s house where the mystery of the masterpieces begins. Kitty discovers a painting by Van Gogh, which has been hanging on the wall for years, unknown as such to Matteo and his sisters and the first of many with questionable ownership and/or stolen by the Nazis during WW2. 

The painting showed a view from the sand dunes out towards a turbulent scene of high winds and rough seas. Along the shoreline, a scattered group of bystanders watched as a sailing ship was pulled ashore through a violent surf of crashing waves.

Events spiral as Kitty, Charlie and their new friends are startled by an intruder, find a secret room with a radio receiver and discover there is an unbelievable amount of stolen artwork worth millions. Trying to break seemingly impossible codes and follow the clues takes them all over Europe by way of Salzburg, Vienna, Munich, Bolzano and Nuremberg. 

As always, Iain Reading describes the countries and places vividly and interestingly. Kitty and Charlie’s visit to the site which once housed the Nazi Concentration Camp of Dachau gave me chills. The lingering atmosphere of horror and sadness is tangible. The story is complemented and strengthened with the addition of lots of information woven into the narrative, and the threads of historical facts in the basis of the plot. The ‘Some Further Reading’ section at the end of the book is full of documentation relevant to places, occurrences and events in the book, with links for further exploration.

Another captivating and entertaining adventure, rich in details and fascinating facts, with a friendly and enthusiastic heroine. Kitty’s character is evolving, the more she learns of the world and people, from both a good and bad perspective. I enjoyed Charlie’s return as a main character and the relationship between him and Kitty, considering their initial introduction at the beginning of the series. The ending leaves some unanswered questions and unsolved mysteries which adds to Kitty’s credibility. Maybe they will be resolved as Kitty continues on her round the world trip… or possibly not. Awaiting Kitty’s next adventure…..  

Book links ~ Amazon UK Amazon US

My thanks to Kelsey McBride from Book Publicity Services for sending me a copy of the book for review.

About the author

IainReadingIain Reading is passionate about Root Beer, music, and writing. He is Canadian, but currently resides in the Netherlands working for the United Nations. He has published 5 books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series.

Don’t forget to check out the latest happenings in the world of Kitty Hawk at http://www.kittyhawkworld.com and it you’re interested also head over to www.secretworldonline.com and check out some of the songs that I write and record in my spare time in an effort to try and convince people that I am much busier than I actually am.

For more information, go to http://www.kittyhawkworld.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kittyhawkworld

Excerpt from Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces

PROLOGUE 

There Has To Be A Rationale Explanation… 

It was the creepiest thing I’ve ever heard in my entire life. 

With my skin crawling with goose bumps, I listened as the psychopathic tinkling song of a child’s music box quickly faded into the high-pitch hiss of static and was quickly replaced by a sound that brought new meaning to the phrase of having one’s blood run cold. My knees literally went weak at just the sound of it, threatening to collapse under me like watery rubber. 

Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God, I thought to myself over and over again as my mind raced to find some explanation for the completely bizarre and otherworldly sounds that I was hearing. There has to be a rational explanation for this. This is real life, not a horror movie. There has to be something that somehow explains this! 

These were all reasonable assumptions, of course, but what I was hearing was so completely fantastical that it seemed to defy all attempts at finding a sensible or logical explanation. 

I closed my eyes for an instant as the room began to swim dizzily out of focus around me. My heart was beating so fast that my brain was simply overwhelmed by sensory input and it took me a second or two to recover from the wave of sudden lightheaded vertigo that had washed over me. 

This can’t be happening, I told myself. Of course it was happening, but my brain simply refused to accept that it was real and the resulting disorientation made me feel like my entire world had suddenly been turned upside down, leaving me confused and struggling to find solid ground. 

But I was determined to find my feet again. 

Just breathe, I told myself as I took a very deep breath, which instantly began to make me feel a little bit more in control. I slowly exhaled and opened my eyes again, repeating this thought over and over like a mantra until I finally began to get a hold of myself. 

Already feeling much better, I forced myself to take another breath and concentrate on exactly what it was that I was hearing. It was a voice–a woman’s voice that was supposed to sound human but there was actually nothing human about it. The voice was also speaking English, but what it was saying made absolutely no sense whatsoever and the effect of it was fiendishly unnerving. 

There has to be a rational explanation for this, I told myself again as I glanced over at the others and forced myself to stand my ground. Of course, in the end there was a completely rational explanation for all of it. But little did I know how far I would have to go to try and find it or how many answers would still be left unsolved once I did. 

Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the R.M.S. Titanic (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #4)

  • KittyHawk4Author: Iain Reading
  • Published: February 2014 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Category: Adventure, Young Adult
  • five-stars

Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic is the thrillingly cryptic fourth installment of the exciting Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series featuring the intrepid teenage seaplane pilot Kitty Hawk and her various adventures of mystery and intrigue as she follows in the footsteps of Amelia Earhart on an epic flight around the world……..Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history the reader will find themselves immersed in brand new worlds that are brought to life before their very eyes as Kitty Hawk experiences the stories and history of a doomed ocean liner and unravels the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic. 

This is definitely my favourite Kitty Hawk adventure up to date, although I’ve enjoyed all Kitty’s adventures and the places she has visited so far on her round the world flight. This story begins in Dublin where Kitty is helping to promote the opening the new branch of Wasabi Willy’s, the company that, thanks to Kitty’s friend Charlie, is funding her trip.

Kitty is soon involved in a race to help her new friend Andrew, whose great-uncle was First Officer William McMaster Murdoch aboard the Titanic, unravel the mystery that has been baffling his family for generations. Travelling from Ireland to London and back again they hope to solve confusing clues and a puzzling code that Andrew’s family received in the 1930s in the form of a newspaper clipping and a postcard. Andrew is desperate to clear his Great Uncle’s name which was dishonoured in the accounts following the tragedy.

The account of the sinking of the Titanic, even though events have been well documented, is written in such a way as to bring renewed feelings of poignancy. There’s a huge amount of information woven into the story and highlights just how many circumstances seem to have conspired against the ship that momentous night. The weather conditions, the sea state and extremely dark night and especially the seeming ineptitude of the captain of the Californian. The story of the Titanic will always be fascinating and catastrophic.

For a moment, the lights of the ship blazed brightly before flickering into darkness. A terrible roar arose from deep inside the Titanic as the entire contents of the enormous ship broke free-everything from gigantic boilers to tiny teaspoons. High in the air the ship’s stern seemed to hang motionless for an eternity before finally plummeting down into the icy black abyss.

The evocative descriptions of London and Ireland are rich and distinct giving a complete sense of place and local colour. Initially, I wasn’t too sure about the graphic accounts of Jack the Ripper’s victims being suitable for the target age range, but I did find myself engrossed even though it’s very gruesome and chilling. As with all the stories in this series, the wonderful accounts of the different countries and areas make me desperately want to visit. Newgrange and Brú na Bóinne is an intriguing sounding place and amazing to think was constructed around 3200 BC!

Kitty’s character is developing nicely and her adventures continue to be exciting and very entertaining for readers of any age. 

Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #3)

  • KittyHawk3Author: Iain Reading
  • Published: April 2013 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Category: Young Adult, Adventure
  • four-half-stars

Following in the footsteps of her hero Amelia Earhart, Kitty Hawk sets off on an epic flight around the world and arrives in Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik where she finds herself immersed in a beautiful alien world of volcanoes, Vikings, elves and trolls. Before she knows it Kitty is plunged head first into an amazing adventure that sweeps her across a rugged landscape where humans and nature exist in side-by-side in an uneasy truce and magical realms seem to lie just out of sight beneath the surface. 

I received a free copy from Book Publicity Services in return for an honest review.

Kitty’s third stop on her round the world flight takes her to Iceland via short stopovers in a little town called Kitty Hawk (yes, really!) in North Carolina and Halifax, Nova Scotia with its very sad link to the Titanic. 

This girl is an adventure magnet and, being avidly curious and a keen amateur sleuth, finds herself caught up in an escalating and dangerous situation involving sabotaging environmentalists, corrupt officials and Russian criminals. Not to mention an erupting volcano and escaping a raging torrent.

As I passed over the Eastern coastline of Greenland, I was dazzled by the millions of white-blue icebergs littering the inlets and waters below me. In the bright sun, they sparkled like tiny diamonds and sapphires floating on the water. It was such an astonishingly beautiful sight that I couldn’t resist taking my trusty De Havilland Beaver down to a lower altitude for a closer look.

As with all of Kitty’s travels the description and sense of place is incredibly evocative. Iceland is an intriguing destination with it’s amazing surroundings and atmosphere. What I like so much about this series is that the actual places figure as much in the story as the characters. Especially with the wealth of knowledge that’s incorporated into the story, in a good way, as part of the whole. Who knew Iceland had a naming committee? Or that said (very long) names, and pronunciations in general, were so complicated and unlike anything you could imagine. Iceland is full of legend too, about elves, trolls and hidden people. Fascinating! I wasn’t so crazy about the Puffin hunting and the local delicacy of rotted shark meat though…ew. 

Incorporating the Icelandic culture, environmental issues and history and weaving it into the story is extremely absorbing and entertaining. It’s a fun way to interest younger (and older) readers in the history of places in an anecdotal and less formal way. 

The Kitty Hawk books may be found on Amazon UK and Amazon US

Red Moon/Sorcerer

Jake Stanton, FBI Agent and former member of the U.S. Army’s elite Omega force, is dispatched to Virginia to find the murderer known only as the Red Moon Killer. Together with Silvanus Merlin, a man with extraordinary talents, they track the elusive killer who attacks only on nights of the full moon. They must hurry, for soon the moon will be full once more, and the killer will strike again.

‘The moon is rising, and a killer prowls the night.’

After reading the wonderful Swan Loch I wanted to follow Jake Stanton’s story. Before Sorcerer comes a short story, Red Moon, in which we’re introduced to Silvanus Merlin and his daughter, Keira. Jake and Merlin solve a series of gruesome murders which only occur during nights of the full moon. Merlin has an uncanny capability and is able to solve seemingly impossible cases. He is sometimes brought in by the FBI and he and Jake are assigned to the Red Moon case. They are in a race against time to find the murderer before the effects of the next full moon have more horrific consequences. A really good lead in to Sorcerer.

 

  • SorcererAuthor: Randy Mixter
  • Published: April 2013 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Category: Mystery/Suspense, Adventure, Fantasy
  • four-half-stars

FBI agent Jake Stanton is a wanted man. He is wanted by the same individuals who search for Keira’s father, Silvanus Merlin, his partner in a previous case, and the man who once saved his life. Together, Stanton and Keira will journey to a place dark and dangerous, a place where an amazing discovery awaits and a secret that may change the world as we know it.

Keira hasn’t seen her father since the Red Moon case but they communicate regularly through dreams. Merlin is in danger and wants Keira to find Jake and ask for his help. 

The danger involves an artefact Keira uncovered at a dig in Egypt. An artefact that could, and probably would, catastrophically change the world if it fell into the wrong hands. Even as Keira and Jake race to find Merlin, men with evil on their minds are on Merlin’s trail and they will stop at nothing to get what they want.

From a cave deep in the forests of the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina to the heat and dust of Egypt, a trip undertaken by extraordinarily unconventional means, a very descriptive tale of adventure, action and mystery, with a sci-fi twist, pulled me along on a tide of suspense. Whatever thought I had of what was about to happen was turned on it’s head as something completely different transpired.

Great character development, and especially interesting is getting a little more of Merlin’s backstory and a slight insight into his amazing powers. 

He leaned on the railing and closed his eyes. He set his mind free to see what it would find. When he oped his eyes an hour had passed and he had found things hidden in the dark, things born in fire, with sharp teeth and claws, crouched and ready to spring. He had been wrong, but there was still time to make the necessary changes. At least he hoped so.

I love how Randy Mixter stretches the bounds of possibility, in different ways in each novel, and compels the reader to consider unimagined concepts. The quote in the front of the book is very apt.

‘The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious’ ~ Albert Einstein

The epilogue is bittersweet. Will Jake and Emma meet again? I hope so.

Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #2)

  • KittyHawk2Author: Iain Reading
  • Published: September 2013 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Category: Young Adult, Mystery, Adventure
  • four-stars

Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost is the exciting second installment in a new series of adventure mystery stories that are one part travel, one part history and five parts adventure. This second book in the series continues the adventures of Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot who has decided to follow in the footsteps of her hero Amelia Earhart and make an epic flight around the entire world. After flying across North America Kitty’s journey takes her down south to Florida where she plans to get a bit of rest and relaxation before continuing on with the rest of her long and grueling flight. As Kitty explores the strange and magical water world of the Florida Keys her knack for getting herself into precarious situations sweeps her headlong into the adventure of a lifetime involving mysterious lights, ancient shipwrecks, razor-toothed barracudas and even a sighting of the great Ernest Hemingway himself. This exhilarating story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept across the landscape and history of the Florida Keys all the way from Key West to the strange and remarkable world of Fort Jefferson and the Dry Tortugas.

I received a copy from Book Publicity Services in return for an honest review.

Kitty Hawk is flying south to the Florida Keys for a little R&R before continuing her epic round the world flight. The story is a wonderful mixture of adventure, travel and historical information, told in such a way as to make it fun as well as extremely interesting. I loved reading about Hemingway and visiting his house, courtesy of Kitty’s tour. The anecdotes about the six toed cats and Hemingway’s last penny are very entertaining and add to the feel and sense of place, which actually is there throughout.

Mr Reading’s impressive visual descriptions of the Dry Tortugas, Fort Jefferson and the Florida Keys are superb and just makes me want to visit and see it for myself. Crystal clear waters, lying on the beach, star-gazing, sounds perfect!

The sunset was amazing, but the stars that came out afterward were even more beautiful, and I must have spent half the night lying out on the sand watching them sparkle and shine through the inky black canopy of the night sky.

The wonderfully intriguing Chapter Eighteen header ‘The Tuna Witch Wahoo Wacker’ had me speculating wildly…and I would definitely never have guessed what it was. Kitty’s new friends, Jack and Jodi, explain all. 

Trouble seems to find our young heroine wherever she goes and the Dry Tortugas is no exception. Kitty’s curiosity gets her into more challenging situations and among other things she learns about Spanish ships, the transporting of their cargoes and how they came to grief on the reefs. Which in turn involves treasure hunts and a daring sea rescue. The fact that Kitty’s adventures are built around actual historical occurrences adds immensely to the mood of the story.

Kitty, and her escapades, are truly engaging for a reader of any age and I look forward to seeing what she gets up to next! And I hope at some point Kitty gets to meet again at least some of the friends she makes during her travels. 

The Some Further Reading section at the end of the book was a very interesting addition. Nice touch!

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #1)

  • KittyHawkAuthor: Iain Reading
  • Published: December 2012 by CreateSpace
  • Independent Publishing Platform
  • Category: Young Adult/
  • Mystery/Adventure
  • four-stars

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty’s adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada and as the plot continues to unfold this spirited story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada’s Yukon, the harsh land made famous in the stories and poems of such writers as Jack London, Robert Service and Pierre Berton. It is a riveting tale that brings to glorious life the landscape and history of Alaska’s inside passage and Canada’s Yukon, as Kitty is caught up in an epic mystery set against the backdrop of the scenery of the Klondike Gold Rush.

I received a copy of the book in return for an honest review

This is the first instalment in the Kitty Hawk young adult series and centres around Kitty, a very independent and exceptional teenage pilot with her own seaplane, a De Havilland Beaver. She definitely has ‘a nose for mystery and intrigue and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations.’
The prologue seems to be introducing the subsequent books as the story doesn’t refer back to the fact that Kitty is in serious trouble.

“Mayday, mayday, mayday,” I said, keying my radio transmitter as I leveled my flight path out again. “This is aircraft Charlie Foxtrot Kilo Tango Yankee, calling any ground station or vessel hearing this message, over.”
I keyed the mic off and listened intently for a reply. Any reply. Please? But there was nothing. There was barely even static. My radio was definitely fried.
It was hard to believe that it would all come down to this. After the months of preparation and training. After all the adventures that I’d had, the friends I’d made, the beauty I’d experienced, the differences and similarities I’d discovered from one culture to the next and from one human being to the next. All of this in the course of my epic flight around the entire world.

So this story chronicles Kitty’s adventures leading up to her taking the decision to fly round the world. And what adventures she has! From her experiences and research studying Humpback whales (which was fascinating) to being kidnapped and hunting down stolen gold.

Kitty’s first stop on her whale journey is her best friend Skeena’s house in Juneau. Skeena is a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation tribe and her grandfather, Joseph, is a tribe elder. I liked his philosophy a lot…

“Sky, water, land,” he said, holding his palm flat out, high, low, middle as he spoke.” Wherever we are in this world we are not alone. We are not the only creatures who find life in the sky and water and land. We are not the only creatures who need it.And we cannot just take and take and take. We have to give. And we have to respect.”

I enjoyed very much reading about the detailed history of the Klondike, the Yukon and the gold rush era. The narrative is entertaining and descriptive, giving a good mental image of places and scenery. Jack London’s White Fang is a favourite of mine so it was interesting to learn more of his life too.

The illustrations were a nice touch and gave a sense of where Kitty actually was.

The passages relating to the hike up the mountain, the Chilkoot Trail and the ruins of the old settlement were very expressive and revealed such a lot about the hardships of the day.

I wasn’t too sure about the capture/bonding thing going on at first but it smoothed out as the story progressed. The only little niggle I have is the ‘conversations’ Kitty has with herself. Personally, I’d prefer just thoughts.

That said the mixture of action, adventure, information and history is a really good combination and make for a very pleasing story. I will definitely follow Kitty’s adventures.

tt10407952flttAmazon US Amazon UK

About Iain Reading
IainPhotoIain Reading is passionate about Root Beer, music, and writing. He is Canadian, but currently resides in the Netherlands working for the United Nations. He has published 4 books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series.

(That little pup has stolen my heart!)

For more information, go to http://www.kittyhawkworld.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kittyhawkworld

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7276101.Iain_Reading

Excerpt from Kitty Hawk

Prologue

Back Where The Entire Adventure Began

As soon as the engine began to sputter, I knew that I was in real trouble. Up until then, I had somehow managed to convince myself that there was just something wrong with the fuel gauges. After all, how could I possibly have burnt through my remaining fuel as quickly as the gauges seemed to indicate? It simply wasn’t possible. But with the engine choking and gasping, clinging to life on the last fumes of aviation fuel, it was clear that when the fuel gauges read, “Empty,” they weren’t kidding around.
The lightning strike that took out my radio and direction-finding gear hadn’t worried me all that much. (Okay, I admit it worried me a little bit.) It wasn’t the first time that this had happened to me, and besides, I still had my compasses to direct me to where I was going. But I did get a little bit concerned when I found nothing but open ocean as far my eyes could see at precisely the location where I fully expected to find tiny Howland Island—and its supply of fuel for the next leg of my journey—waiting for me. The rapidly descending needles on my fuel gauges made me even more nervous as I continued to scout for the island, but only when the engine began to die did I realize that I really had a serious problem on my hands.
The mystery of the disappearing fuel.
The enigma of the missing island.
The conundrum of what do I do now?
“Exactly,” the little voice inside my head said to me in one of those annoying ‘I-told-you-so’ kind of voices. “What do you do now?”
“First, I am going to stay calm,” I replied. “And think this through.”
“You’d better think fast,” the little voice said, and I could almost hear it tapping on the face of a tiny wristwatch somewhere up there in my psyche. “If you want to make it to your twentieth birthday, that is. Don’t forget that you’re almost out of fuel.”
“Thanks a lot,” I replied. “You’re a big help.”
Easing forward with the control wheel I pushed my trusty De Havilland Beaver into a nosedive. Residual fuel from the custom-made fuel tanks at the back of the passenger cabin dutifully followed the laws of gravity and spilled forward, accumulating at the front and allowing the fuel pumps to transfer the last remaining drops of fuel into the main forward belly tank. This maneuver breathed life back into the engine and bought me a few more precious minutes to ponder my situation.
“Mayday, mayday, mayday,” I said, keying my radio transmitter as I leveled my flight path out again. “This is aircraft Charlie Foxtrot Kilo Tango Yankee, calling any ground station or vessel hearing this message, over.”
I keyed the mic off and listened intently for a reply. Any reply. Please? But there was nothing. There was barely even static. My radio was definitely fried.
It was hard to believe that it would all come down to this. After the months of preparation and training. After all the adventures that I’d had, the friends I’d made, the beauty I’d experienced, the differences and similarities I’d discovered from one culture to the next and from one human being to the next. All of this in the course of my epic flight around the entire world.
Or I should say, “my epic flight almost around the entire world,” in light of my current situation.
And the irony of it was absolutely incredible. Three-quarters of a century earlier the most famous female pilot of them all had disappeared over this exact same endless patch of Pacific Ocean on her own quest to circle the globe. And she had disappeared while searching for precisely the same island that was also eluding me as I scanned the horizon with increasing desperation.

“Okay,” I thought to myself. “Just be cool and take this one step at a time to think the situation through.” I closed my eyes and focused on my breathing, slowing it down and reining in the impulse to panic. Inside my head, I quickly and methodically replayed every flight that I’d ever flown. Every emergency I’d ever faced. Every grain of experience that I had accumulated along the long road that had led me to this very moment. Somewhere in there was a detail that was the solution to my current predicament. I was sure of it. And all I had to do was find it.

Maybe the answer to my current situation lay somewhere among the ancient temples of Angkor in Cambodia? Or in the steamy jungles of east Africa? Or inside the towering pyramids of Giza? Or among the soaring minarets of Sarajevo? Or on the emerald rolling hills and cliffs of western Ireland? Or on the harsh and rocky lava fields of Iceland?
Wherever the answer was, it was going to have to materialize quickly, or another female pilot (me) would run the risk of being as well-known throughout the world as Amelia Earhart. And for exactly the same reason.
“It’s been a good run at least,” the little voice inside my head observed, turning oddly philosophical as the fuel supplies ran critically low. “You’ve had more experiences on this journey around the world than some people do in their entire lifetime.”
“That’s it!” I thought.
Maybe the answer to all this lies even further back in time? All the way back to the summer that had inspired me to undertake this epic journey in the first place. All the way back to where North America meets the Pacific Ocean—the islands and glaciers and whales of Alaska.
All the way back to where this entire adventure began.