Kitty Hawk EXCERPT

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold
by Iain Reading 




Summary

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new series of adventure mystery stories that are one part travel, one part history and five parts adventure. 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 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.

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 as Kitty prepares for her next adventure - flying around the world!


 **EXCERPT**

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.

Comments