Hearts Stolen by Caryl McAdoo will be available this September! Enjoy a sneak peak today!
Just thinking about him made Sassy want to stick her tongue out like she used to do to her father when he ordered her around. But Charles had married her, and she promised to love, honor, and obey him.
She loved the man alright, leastwise she guessed she did. If he’d only treat her like a wife, not a child… Of everyone, he should understand most that she was grown; coming on sixteen, as mature as she would ever get.
Rosaleen he’d called her. She hated her given name. Pshaw, she could do both, visit her mamma and have his ol’ supper ready. As the sun peeked over the treetops, Sassy leaned forward and tickled the mare’s ribs with her heels.
“Haw, pretty girl; we don’t have all day. He said he’ll be back by dark.”
Stretching her gait, the mare flew over the rolling terrain. The wind whipped Sassy’s hair behind her. Oh, how she loved riding, always had. In barely any time, she slowed the mare into a lope and topped the last hill before Kickapoo Creek.
That’s where she always let Bliss get a sweet drink, but not too much, from the easy flowing stream. With only another eight miles to her folks’ place, she might make it in time for some breakfast leftovers. She clicked her tongue.
Her mare cleared the far bank then her snort and shiver shifted Sassy’s attention to follow Bliss’ gaze. Two bare-chested Indians sat on painted ponies. The bigger one pointed a long handled club at her and whooped.
Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold be Iain Reading is available for purchase on Amazon.com. Do you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription? This book is available!
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.
Do you have a Kindle? Getting By is now available for a great price!
When Emma Anderson arrived at San Francisco International Airport, she regretted accepting the distinction of being the maid of honor to Gaby’s—her childhood friend—wedding. It had been years since the last time she set foot in Menlo Park, where her parents had been killed. The rug where she had been shoving her feelings since that day looked bumpier than a camel’s hump. Who could blame her; if she hadn’t been selfish they’d still be around. Ever since that fateful day, Emma has been perfecting the knack of Getting By.
Cade’s wedding in Menlo Park—a city close to San Francisco—might be the perfect place for Jake Knight to shake the memories of his ex, Emma Anderson for good. Single, available women galore for an entire week was the perfect medication, one he intended to take three times a day for an entire week to return to his player days. It was a plan the former spy thought flawless until he came face to face with the maid of honor. Jake’s perfect retreat turns into a flight, fight or hide week of celebrations.
Begin Reading Chapter One:
Nights meant sleep and dreams—my archenemies. The Crowley to my Dean Winchester, the Green Goblin to my Spider-man, the list of superheroes and their opposites was long, and so became the analogies I used on a daily basis. My lack of sleep began with Dad and his conditions for me to continue my art. Then came my parents’ deaths. Those took a toll on me because I mixed dreams with realities and hopes. Not once did I have a nightmare, all of them were sweet and real. Seeing Mom and Dad on those nights filled my gut with nails, and my head pounded with the reminder that they were gone the next morning. Those had been merely fantasies that would never become a reality.
For the past three months I had been evading sleep and working overtime, over the overtime. The dreams of elevators, trips to sophisticated-secluded spots after a week of work and delicious nights with a man who I was required to forget in order to move on, came daily—nightly. They not only hit me with vengeance, but they came tangled with what humans liked to call hope. The urge to crawl inside myself to avoid the need of his touch, kisses and whatever it was that we had not long ago, consumed me. If I had the powers to morph into an animal, it’d be a sea turtle and I’d stay inside my shell for the next hundred years. Past the stage of melancholy and into the real world, I pushed my body outside of the bed and into the shower, where I got ready to face the Clements and the house next door.
A Cozy Mystery
The knife dripped blood with each step that Grace Cassidy ran. A man had screamed as she was slicing a lemon. The knife scored into the oak cutting board, and nicked her index finger. The voice, somewhere between a caterwaul and a screech, sounded like her boss, Wilbur Wimberly. Grace’s heart sank as she ran toward the shriek. The last time this boss-from-hell had screamed bloody murder, her cat Trouble had proudly presented him with a dead mouse. That gift had put her fur-baby in jeopardy.
On that occasion she’d found Wimberly threatening both cat and bounty with an iron poker. Instead of streaking away, Trouble darted about with his prey, just out of harm’s reach, taunting Wimberly. It might have been a fun game to watch, except Trouble was a daredevil and the fireplace tool was crashing dangerously close to his furry body. If Wimberly made contact, Grace would have had to kill the man. God knew that he needed killing, but inn-sitting was the only skill she possessed, and that recently acquired, so she had intervened.
It wasn’t hard to imagine someone wanting to murder Wilbur, but she didn’t want him slain on her watch—for sure she’d be the prime suspect—being as she had often threatened to kill him.
For the most part, things had gone well for her since the disappearance of her husband Charlie five months earlier. The guy wasn’t worth grieving over, she’d decided with her head, but she sure missed the family fortune. Charlie had liquidated and taken all of their assets with him, along with his glamorous secretary, Clover McBride.
Since then Grace had learned to live by her wits. She had made friends, found this job, and made plans for moving up the food chain. In fact, she’d just been musing that life was pretty darned good, or would be if only she could maintain her cool regarding her son Brand’s current love choice. At nineteen, his libido seemed to be in overdrive and the object of his affection was her ditzy maid, Sandy. The possibility of adding an innocent baby to her list of problems kept her awake nights.
A second ear-splitting yell vibrated through the air just as Grace reached the front hall.
“God in heaven!” Grace stopped dead in the foyer and the knife slipped through her fingers and fell silently to the carpeted floor. She blinked to clear her vision. “Am I seeing double?”
Wingsong: Book One is available for purchase at Amazon.com. If you have a Kindle, it is currently available for a great price. Happy reading!
After taking one last look toward her bedroom door, Lissy tucked her screwdriver into her pocket, slid the window open and stepped outside to freedom or at least temporary escape. Rays of sun warmed her as she maneuvered the bars back into place and worked the window pane down. Throwing her bag over her shoulder Lissy hurried through the yard, slipped over the neighbor’s fence, and ducked into the canopy of a weeping willow tree before stopping a moment. She scanned the area. When she was certain no one was following her, she hurried down the street.
“He wants me dead.” Lissy muttered under her breath as she took a furtive look behind then quickened her pace. “I know it.”
When she realized a man watched her through narrowed eyes, she abruptly turned down a sidewalk leading to a stranger’s home. She tugged at her hoodie, making sure her left eye was covered. Is he just watching me, or is he after me too? Lissy didn’t want to find out. She pretended to knock on the door. The man turned away to continue following his dog down the road.
Sprinting away from the house, she peeked around the hedgerow down the road. The man turned a corner. After waiting a few seconds, she shoved her arm through the other pack strap and dashed around the corner before slowing down, trying to look nonchalant.
The Splintered Paddle by Mark Troy is available on Amazon.com. Happy reading!
Norman Traxler entered his host’s kitchen and booted up his host’s computer. He stepped over the guy’s outstretched legs to reach the refrigerator.
“How ya doin’, Gerald? Got any beer in here?” He took a can of Budweiser and looked down at Gerald Tobin who stared up at him from the floor with frightened eyes.
“Good choice, Gerald. Had you pegged for a micro-brewery fag.” He opened the can and took a long swallow.
Gerald Tobin whimpered through the tape over his mouth. More tape bound his arms behind him and held his legs together. He sat on the floor, his back against the kitchen cabinets. A towel around his head turned pink with blood that seeped from a gash above his temple.
“Ever peep at your neighbors, Gerald? The twist across the way’s got some looks to her. Nice long legs. An ass I could wear like a catcher’s mask. But why’m I talkin’ to you about that?”
A Native’s Tongue by Michael D. Dennis is available on Amazon.com. Happy reading!
Jennifer Bannister’s footsteps echoed down the hall. The uniforms of the inmates dampened the sound. Her ears tried to follow the faint sound, if only to affirm that she was still moving forward. There wasn’t anyone to hold her hand. She just trusted that each sign would guide her in the right direction.
I’ll get there at some point, Jennifer thought, trying to convince herself that she was doing the right thing. You can’t get lost in here; they don’t let you go off course. Her words slipped away. She felt the cold air settle over her skin. She glanced at a placard marked Visitors Only.
In the cool air, her skin tightened. Jennifer shivered and wished she were somewhere warmer. Seeing Violet for the first time was going to be hard enough. She was going to look the woman she hated most in the world in the eye. She didn’t want to be shaking from the cold and covered in goose bumps.
Jennifer peered through the bulletproof glass at Violet. There were markings embedded in the glass, swirls that made it harder to look directly into Violet’s eyes. Jennifer picked up the phone and listened. Violet grabbed it and began to speak, “It was never you that he loved. You know that right?” Violet’s voice was raspy.