Monthly Archives: January 2015

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold – 

By Iain Reading


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.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new young adult series of adventure mystery stories by Iain Reading. This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations.

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. As the plot continues to unfold, this spirited story will have readers 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.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves.

There are currently four books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (book 1), Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost (book 2), Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue (book 3), and Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic (book 4). Each book can be read as a standalone.

“In the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series the heroine finds herself in a new geographic location in each book. The series will eventually have a total of 13 books in it (maybe more) and her flight around the world will be completed in the end,” says Iain. “The books are sequential but one could definitely read any of the later ones before reading the earlier ones.”

About the Author:

Iain Reading is passionate about Root Beer, music, and writing. He is Canadian, but currently resides in the Netherlands working for the United Nations.

Iain has published 4 books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series (Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold, Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost, Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue, and Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic). He is currently working on the 5th book in the series. For more information, go to

Iain is also the author of The Wizards of Waterfire Series. The first book in the series The Guild of the Wizards of Waterfire was published in April 2014.

Connect with Iain on Twitter and Goodreads.

Kill Daddy

You can travel the world, but if you cannot let go of the past, you will never be able to move on.

What Is Life?

Are we all completely separate beings instinctively driven by an innate need to survive, randomly colliding with each other as we fervently make our way through life? Or is it wrong to think of ourselves as separate entities, if in fact, we are not individual wholes but unique pieces, which make up the whole?

I believe it is this insistence on being separate, which is impeding the evolution of the world on all levels and making our journey much longer and more difficult than it need be. Until we realise the incredible oneness of the world and come together and start working towards a common goal of love and respect for all that exists on our planet Earth, conflict and abuse will thrive.

Compassion, love and respect will make us all richer than we can imagine in our wildest dreams.

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Grace Revealed – Trailer

Last post I showcased Grace Revealed by Greg Archer and today you can check out his book trailer… so what are you waiting for get the popcorn and get watching!


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Grace Revealed

Take a look at this exclusive article about Grace Revealed: A Memoir by Greg Archer

Seventy-five years after Joseph Stalin’s reign of terror across Eastern Europe, author and entertainment journalist Greg Archer takes a step back from Hollywood and examines his Polish family’s mind-bending odyssey of the 1940s. In the process, he exposes one of the most under-reported events of the 20th Century: Stalin’s mass deportation of nearly two million Polish citizens to the Siberian Gulags and the life-and-death events that followed.

But the author’s quest takes a dramatic turn. As he walks an emotional tightrope between the past and the present, can a serendipitous overseas adventure become a saving grace, heal the ancestral soul and bring justice to his family and their forgotten Polish comrades?

In a tale that goes from glitz to Gulags, Grace Revealed

boldly strips away the sunny disposition of celebrity obsession and uncovers a part of history that was nearly swept under the rugs. It also reminds us all that Hitler was not the only monster from World War II and that many of Stalin’s atrocities remain overlooked. What is revealed, too, perhaps, is the true gifts that can be found in exploring ancestry and the uncharted waters from the past.


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Promotion time. Stone Guardian by Paulina Woods is on sale for 0.99 for this weekend only. We are nearly out of time on this one so GO GO GO and get it now!!!! DOWNLOAD HERE

Element – Fire (Healer/Destroyer)
Royal House – Purple

Milcah was born to rule along side an evil mother. Milcah’s father was taken against his will and forced to give up his seed to produce a child with unimaginable powers. At a young age she was taken away from the only home she knows and forced to forget, again and again.

Raised by a detached stepmother, Milcah learned to depend on herself and her best friend, Mary for support. When Mary suggest a vacation, with a scenic route, to the Grand Canyon Milcah believes she is finally getting the chance to see outside her small town. Packing a few things and climbing into her old beat up car, she never imagined she would find a new side of herself.

Lost on a back road, Milcah meets her destiny in a small town named Beacon. When her mind is unlocked, she finds she has a past that will lead to the salvation or damnation of the world.

This is book one in The Witches Amulet series.



Check this interview with Rachel Cotterill who is here to talk about her book Watersmeet.

— Today we are talking about Watersmeet your new book. Can you tell us a bit about this story?

Thanks Lynzie. Watersmeet follows the story of Ailith, a young woman who has grown up in a large family and works in her father’s pottery workshop. Her parents would like to see her marry up, but she’s reluctant to settle for a life with someone she doesn’t love. And then she discovers she’s a mage, and has the opportunity to travel across the country by herself, and suddenly everything changes for her.

Watersmeet is the first in a new epic fantasy series – it has castles and intrigue, magic and mysterious strangers, and other elements that will be familiar to readers of the genre – but at heart it’s also a romance. I do enjoy a bleak, grim fantasy as much as the next person – but I wanted to write something with a more optimistic outlook this time.

— What kind of place is Watersmeet? Can you tell us more about your fantasy world?

Watersmeet itself is a huge, imposing fortress that sits at the confluence of two rivers (hence the name). The area known as the Twelve Baronies is dominated by a dozen major castles, each with its own ruler and accompanying legal system. And as the river valleys are the most fertile areas for crops, Watersmeet is one of the wealthiest.

The power of the Lords Barons isn’t absolute, though: a few generations back, an accord between the temples and the nobility led to the adoption of the Temple Law, which lays out harsh penalties for the worst kinds of heresy.


— Your leading character is Ailith, who discovers that she’s a mage – what is Ailith like and how does she cope with finding out she’s a mage?

As the story begins, Ailith’s family is entirely preoccupied with preparations for her twin sister’s wedding. It’s obviously a time of celebration, but as twins, the girls had always assumed they’d get married on the same day, so Ailith is feeling a little left out and concerned for her future.

And then this stranger turns up, tests her, and tells her she can do magic: it’s a total shock. At first she’s inclined to ignore it and hope it will go away, but curiosity gets the better of her, and she can’t help experimenting. Ultimately she’s a scientist, but the world of the Twelve Baronies is just on the edge of its industrial revolution, so there isn’t an obvious place for her.


— What about the Lord Baron of Watersmeet, can you tell us a bit about him?

Leofwin has lived alone for years, dedicating his life to alchemical studies, and pottering in his rooftop garden for relaxation. The last thing he wants is a young apprentice to train, but there’s something about Ailith that captures his attention. And once she’s through the door, he really doesn’t want her to leave.


— Can you share with us your favourite passage from the book?

I’m happy to share an excerpt, but I should warn you, it’s a bit of a spoiler! This was definitely my favourite scene to write, though.

Ailith didn’t stop to think, she just bolted through the servants’ door into the kitchens, running away almost as soon as Garrick and his retinue had left the Great Hall. Ymma was overseeing a couple of young boys as they wiped down the prep table, while at the end of the table she arranged garnishes on the platters that would have been going out next, had the feast not been interrupted in such a final manner. The boys both stopped to stare, and Ymma scolded them back to work before she even glanced up to see what had caused the interruption.

“Saaluk’s hands,” she said, taking in Ailith’s fine clothes and tear-stained face. “What happened?”

The day had already been so topsy-turvy that collapsing into a kitchen chair in a silk gown seemed almost normal by comparison.

“I said I didn’t want to go,” Ailith said. “I told Frida. I knew I’d muck it up somehow.”

“You were brilliant.” Lufe had followed her in from the hall, and crouched at her side, pulling her into a hug. “Gods, I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“And you should’ve seen his lordship’s face,” Nia added. “He’s never looked so pleased as when you smacked that boy.”

“‘That boy’ is heir to Highfort,” Ailith said morosely. “And I’ve ruined everything.”

Ymma set down the mop and bucket. “Let me get this straight,” she said, leaning on the table and staring hard at Ailith. “Little miss not-a-lady, all dressed up in silks and diamonds, just smacked some lordling?”

“And his lordship was pleased as anything,” Nia said.

“Ha!” Ymma clapped her hands together. “You are most definitely not a lady.”

But she said it like it was the best compliment in all the Twelve Baronies, and Ailith couldn’t help but smile.

— What kind of audience will enjoy this story?

I hope it will appeal to anyone who enjoys reading fantasy, but particularly readers who enjoy romantic elements and happy endings. Based on my own reading habits, I suspect fans of Maria V. Snyder and Deborah Harkness should find something here to enjoy.

— Is there another character or setting that you can tell us about?

One of my favourite characters is Frida: she’s worked at Watersmeet since she was very young, and when Ailith arrives at the castle she’s assigned to attend to her. They’ve had very different backgrounds, Frida was orphaned as a child, while Ailith has grown up surrounded by a huge family, but they get along well and have a lot in common. Frida is incredibly smart, but more than that, she’s got a common sense that Ailith sometimes lacks. Their developing friendship is one of the highlights of the book, for me, and Frida will have her own chance to star in a future novel.

— Can you tell us about the other books you have written?

I have two other novels previously published: Rebellion and Revolution (Chronicles of Charanthe 1 & 2), which are adventure stories set in an alternative, dystopian world.

— And finally what is next for Rachel Cotterill?

I have two books in the pipeline right now.

I’m working on the second Twelve Baronies novel at the moment. Originally I thought that Watersmeet would be a stand-alone story but having created the world, I discovered that there was a lot more to say. The second volume will centre on Yutta, the heir to Wulfsberg, a mother of two who’s scarily competent with a sword.

And Reformation, the third and final novel in the Chronicles of Charanthe series, has been underway for some time and will hopefully see publication this year.

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You can read more from Rachel Cotterill here



FIVE PILLARS OF GREAT CHARACTER (Character Development Book 1)

There are many pillars that display great character. These are five of the most powerful pillars of great character that helped me to rise above the rest.


About the Author – Curtis W Florence

I was born in New York City and moved to North Carolina as a teenager. I have always loved writing and reading since about the age of seven. I began writing poetry and ventured in to Hip Hop music and then in to writing short stories and essays. My passion is writing children’s books and self help books for adults. My goal is for my literature to be embraced by people all over the world.


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THE ROAD TO PURIFICATION: Hustlers, Hassles & Hash

THE ROAD TO PURIFICATION: Hustlers, Hassles & Hash

When Mad Harry spontaneously books a flight for Egypt, he doesn’t know that he’s about to embark on a fate given pilgrimage. In fact, he’s not even sure why he’s going, or what he’s going to do when he gets there. All he knows is he’s got to get away. Guided by signs in numbers, names and otherworldly encounters, Mad Harry’s trip often seems to be a magical manifestation of his mind. A crazy headed, hassle driven, sleep deprived, dope smoking journey with non-stop tests of trust and temptation. A holiday this is not. This good humoured true story is told in a frank, rhythmic and playful voice. Set in 2010, shortly before the revolution, it’s a backpacking odyssey through tremendous temples, towering pyramids, chaotic cities, small villages and dirty beaches, with a backdrop of ancient spiritual gnosis! A post-modern, pot smoking Egyptian pilgrimage…


About the Author

Harry Whitewolf has always lived in two worlds. In the real world, he’s a writer and a traveller – with a background in visual art, performance poetry and workshop tuition. In the ethereal world, he’s a spiritual warrior. He lives life by following signs, following dreams and following his heart. But he’s not ashamed of admitting that he often screws it all up. His writing has a distinctive style all of its own, but its beat driven prose is certainly inspired by those tea toking cheap trick beatnik geniuses of bygone bebop days, combining metaphysical meanderings with sex, drugs and travel. Harry’s been experiencing The 11:11 Phenomenon for the past decade. An experience shared by thousands upon thousands of people around the world. And like Harry, most thought they were the only ones seeing 11:11 all the time, until they found out they certainly were not alone. Harry Whitewolf, contrary to popular belief, is actually just a bloke and not of a canine species. He was born in 1976 and lives in England. He hopes to see world peace in his lifetime, and yes, he believes miracles are possible. Find Harry Whitewolf, his writing, his books and his blog over at


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The Legend of Water Hole Branch

Keep It Stupid, Simple

The Legend of Waterhole Branch - Copy (1)

Guest post by author, Lucas Wright

Certain questions are continually asked by people that have read my novel The Legend of Waterhole Branch, but one above all – how did you come up with this story and the characters?

As an aside, I almost hesitate to call it a novel. If we’re being honest, I just want to call it a story. My story The Legend of Waterhole Branch sounds better to me. Technically, I met the definition of a novel when I put this story on paper, but I am not a professional writer. I don’t make my living writing books. I didn’t major in journalism or take creative writing classes. I haven’t spent the last twenty years refining my craft and developing my skills, so keep that in mind when reading my answers to the standard question that I am always asked by readers of my story.

It’s a good question. No one that reads The Legend of Waterhole Branch is going to be blown away by the technical writing or the creative use of certain literary techniques that a more polished or seasoned author might incorporate, but if they are taking the time to talk about it, then let’s assume they liked something about it. That something, for my story, will almost always be the characters or the plot.

When I sat down to put words on paper, the only thing I focused on was the characters and the plot. I was convinced that if the story was strong and that the characters were dynamic then the reader would be entertained. I wrote every bit of this story with the reader in mind. How would the reader feel about this conflict and this action? How would the reader feel if this happened or if that happened? I ultimately decided that if the reader was happy with all the decisions I made with respect to the plot and the characters, then he or she would likely be entertained.

This may sound obvious, but I think many writers get caught up in their writing instead of their story. There is nothing wrong with this and if you are a great writer, then more power to you. If you can make sentences dance across the page with flare and big words, then that is great. I chose to tell my story using simple sentences and phrases. I wanted to get from point A to point B as simply as possible and wow the reader with the action not the style. I kept it stupid.

Have you ever watched a basketball game and a player made an incredible move, eluded three defenders, rose high above the rim, double pumped, and then finished with an incredible highlight reel dunk? Then some dweeb next you says, “That was pretty, but it’s still only two points.”

You ignore such a boring statement because good lord, that was incredible! I do it all the time, but that doofus has a point. It was only two points, and in the game of basketball, a boring post move coupled with a lay in accounts for the same amount of points as that high flying dunk. Likewise, a lay in ultimately measures the same towards the common goal of winning that game. That is how I write.

That is how I wrote The Legend of Waterhole Branch. I strung together a lot of narrative with simple sentences that were designed to take you through a really interesting story about lost treasure, hidden clues, kidnappers, guns, and murder. Now, the high flying dunkers of the writing community might scoff at my approach, but I promise that the story won’t let you down. There are no wasted movements in my story. Every chapter has a purpose and provides the reader with more knowledge about the characters, their past or present conflicts, and pushes towards a resolution. My story is 392 pages, but you can read it in a day. It’s fast paced, action packed, and a nine year old could read it. Just the way I like it.


More information on Lucas’s book, please visit him online: Goodreads: Official Website: Facebook: Twitter @LucasRWright – Amazon – Barnes & Noble –

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The Return of the Key

So to start the year here’s The Return of the Key from Alisha Nurse

16 year old Eliza Aurelio grapples with her mixed race identity amid rising racial tensions on her little island. For their safety, Eliza’s grandfather sends her and her grandmother to a quiet town in Southwest England to stay with a relative. But this otherwise quiet town has been turned upside down by people mysteriously disappearing. Eliza eventually encounters a magical but dangerous realm accessible through a doorway in the town, and sees its connection to the abductions. She intends to put things right, only wanting to protect her family. To do this, she must return a stolen key to lock the open doorway. But Eliza has to overcome her own inner conflicts if she is to stand any chance of being successful and leaving the other realm alive.

Suspenseful and enchanting, The Return of the Key explores the power of love, sacrifice and the journey to self acceptance.

Find out more about Alisha Nurse here: