Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Book 1) by Iain Reading
Published: November 30th 2012 by Amazon Digital Services
Genre: Mystery, Adventure, YA
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.
Some Postcards And A Good Meal
It was a Thursday in June when “the letter” arrived. I had just walked in the front door after getting home from school and saw it there, propped up on the pottery vase in the center of our wooden kitchen table. A simple white envelope addressed to me with a return address that read Alex Tilley, Tilley Endurables, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
It was the response to my letter asking for money for my crazy summer project to go to Alaska to study humpback whales. I knew it was a crazy idea, but I had tortured myself over that letter for days. Writing and rewriting it. Discarding drafts and starting over time after time. I was convinced that I sounded too desperate, and of course I was, but crazy idea or not, studying the whales was something I wanted to do more than anything. But the question was, why would some company that had no idea who I was just send me some money? Who was I, after all? I wasn’t some world-famous animal researcher or something. I was just a teenager.
I walked over to the table and looked at the envelope for a moment. I was scared to pick it up. And when I finally got up the courage to do so, my heart sank down into my already heavy stomach. The letter was awfully thin. That was a bad sign.
“Oh well,” the little voice inside my head told me. “It was worth a try. You knew that it was a long shot.”
With a resigned sigh I tore the envelope open and pulled the letter out. With another sigh I read, my eyes darting from line to line.
My summer adventure was on.
My crazy idea wasn’t so crazy after all.
Maybe I convinced them that I wasn’t just a kid. Maybe it was my carefully thought-out research plans that I attached to the letter that convinced them that I was worth supporting. Maybe it was the clever diagrams and photographs of the ingenious camera mounts I had designed to mount on the outside of my floatplane that would allow me to extensively document the activities of the whales as I flew above them. Or maybe it was that I had clearly thought of every possible way to minimize the cost of the entire expedition— by arranging to stay with Skeena’s relatives in Juneau and eliminating the expense of room and board, by begging and borrowing all the photographic and technical equipment that I needed, and by saving up for my own share of the cost by working part-time over the winter and picking up extra money working odd jobs whenever possible.
Or maybe it was just that I was a kid, after all. And they simply felt sorry for me.
Whatever it was, it must have worked because the thin envelope contained a brief but encouraging letter from Alex Tilley, a gift certificate from the Tilley online store (in case I needed “any additional outfitting for my expedition”), and a check! I couldn’t believe it! A check covering all of my additional expenses plus “a little extra for some postcards and a good meal,” Alex Tilley had written.
The ecstatic scream that I let out upon seeing that check sent the crows flying off in all directions from the fir trees surrounding my house. Exploding out of the back door, I ran and ran and ran, screaming all the while and waving the check over my head like a prized trophy. I was halfway down the beach to the ocean before it occurred to me how easily a gust of wind could tear the check from my hands and send me on a fruitless chase down the endless beach trying to recapture my prize. I shuddered at the thought of writing back to Tilley to ask for a replacement check. They would definitely realize then that I was just some stupid kid, and they would call the whole thing off.
Safely tucking the precious slip of paper into my zippered jacket pocket, I continued my crazed run down the beach, waving my arms madly and doing a little end-zone celebration dance at the edge of the water, like a football player who’d just scored a touchdown.
Somewhere behind me a dog barked, and I looked up to see our neighbor, old Mrs. McCready and her ancient yellow Labrador, Wilson, walking past.
“Hi, Mrs. McCready,” I called out to her, blushing and waving sheepishly. “I’m going to Alaska.”
“I never doubted it, Ms Hawk,” she replied, looking at me over the lenses of her half glasses. Some of the money I’d saved up to pay for my expedition came from doing various cleaning jobs around the McCready property, just up the beach from our house. “I hope that doesn’t mean you’re too rich to come over this week and clear the branches from the roof and yard,” she said in her endearing, stern, old-lady kind of way.
“No, Mrs. McCready,” I replied. She gave me a nod and continued down the beach with Wilson walking stiffly at her heels.
For a while I just stood there, closing my eyes and turning my face to bask in the warm June sunshine and feel the cool breeze racing in off the Pacific Ocean. Without even thinking about it, the pilot inside me instinctually gauged the direction and speed of the wind, making mental adjustments as though I were preparing for takeoff.
But in a way I was preparing to take off, wasn’t I? I was going to Alaska.
An Adventure Beyond Words
The next few weeks were a complete blur. Somehow I managed to organize all my equipment and provisions, finalize flight plans, buy new clothes, arrange my accommodations in Alaska, reassure my mother that I was going to be fine (this took a little bit of help from Dad, of course), pack and load everything aboard my floatplane, and of course write a heartfelt thank-you letter to Alex Tilley.
Oh right, and somewhere in there I also found the time to write my school exams and somehow graduate from high school. I have no idea how I did it, but before I knew it, I was sitting in the cockpit of my trusty De Havilland Beaver out on the waters of Clayquot Sound, about to push the throttle forward to bring the
engine to life and head for Alaska.
“This is it,” I said to myself. “This is where my adventure begins.”
There are currently five books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series:
Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue (book 3),
Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic (book 4), and
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.”
For more information, go to http://www.kittyhawkworld.com/
Check out the book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxboPL0ge3Q
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.
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Happy Reading! 🙂