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Monday, August 21, 2017

Here are Betty and Veronica from the Archie Comic book series. The engines on the "Deuce", a Lockheed Lodestar featured in the popular action novels CHASING DRAGONS and THE LAST RAJAH , were named after these two ladies. Betty was on the right wing. Veronica, the troublemaker, was on the left. If you'd like a fun read check out either on Amazon. If nothing else, stop by and check out the reviews. All those folks can't be wrong!!!

Friday, August 11, 2017

One of the greats of aviation history and the role model for Edwina "Eddie " Watt in CHASING DRAGONS and THE LAST RAJAH. She disappeared July 2, 1937 in the South Pacific. Recent claims of her survival have been debunked. She was the ultimate feminist by example.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Great Books at a Great Price! 

Don't miss this opportunity!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

It's here, May 27, 2017!!!

In the post-war South Pacific, pilot Duke Kellogg, co-pilot, Edwina “Eddie” Watt, and flight mechanic Nick Minetti, once again, find themselves up to their necks in mystery and intrigue. A harrowing emergency landing on a search and rescue mission leaves the crew of “The Deuce” stranded in a remote rain forest in central Borneo. There they must contend with treachery, headhunters, and a rogue Japanese patrol. Will they find the missing heir to the Rajah’s throne? Will they solve the mystery of the blue diamond? Will they escape with their lives? With time running out and the odds stacked against them, the crew must use all their skills to survive their search for The Last Rajah

Thursday, June 29, 2017

This is a picture of a reticulated python similar to the one Eddie has an encounter with in THE LAST RAJAHThe inspiration for that episode came from my experience with “Pete” at U-Tapao Airfield, Thailand in 1972. Pete was kept in a 15’ x 15’ screened enclosure adjacent to the “Grunts Grove” snack bar where crews would go to get a bite after a flight. Despite the size of the cage, he was too large to uncoil completely. His head was the size of a saucer and his girth was the size of a football.  Pete was periodically fed a live chicken. The process was fascinating. On the first day, the chicken was oblivious to the danger. It would walk all over the snake, even perching on its head. The snake never moved…it just stared straight ahead with cold, dead eyes. When you came back the second day, something had changed. Although the snake still hadn’t moved, the chicken was now in the corner trembling with fear. On the third day…no chicken! How did the chicken know on day two that the jig was up? When the war ended, Pete was transported to the Omaha Zoo. He weighed in at 300 pounds. Oh…it turned out Pete was a she!

P.S. The woman pictured below hasn’t been seen recently…coincidence?

Sunday, June 18, 2017

This is what Duke and Eddie had to work with in CHASING DRAGONS and THE LAST RAJAH. It’s probably hard for modern pilots to imagine climbing into an aircraft like the Lockheed Lodestar with its primitive navigation capabilities and setting out on a 2,000-mile journey over open ocean for a remote island destination. But thousands of missions were flown just like that.  

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Vintage Terry and the Pirates comic featuring Captain Terry Lee, his co-pilot Hotshot and the Dragon Lady. She served as an inspiration for the Madam Zhang character in THE LAST RAJAH. I had to age her a bit and move her from Shanghai to Borneo. Terry and the Pirates was created as a comic strip by Milton Caniff. It was subsequently adapted into a radio serial, a movie serial, and a TV show. The retro feel of the series was what I was going for in CHASING DRAGONS and THE LAST RAJAH

Monday, June 5, 2017

James Brooke, the first "White Rajah of Sarawak, Borneo. His family's 100-year reign is the basis for the plot of The Last Rajah. Here's some background info:

If you go the page listed above, you will also see a picture of a proboscis monkey similar to the ones that warned the Deuce's radio team of an approaching Japanese patrol.

Friday, May 26, 2017

  In the aftermath of World War II, recently discharged Army Air Force pilot Duke Kellogg and his fledgling airline find themselves embroiled an adventure involving intrigue and missing treasure. The legend of the Golden Dragons has been debated from bar stools throughout the South Pacific for years, but most believe it to be nothing more than a good yarn.  When a mysterious woman enters the Coral Pacific offices and claims to be the fiancĂ©e of a missing courier on a secret mission carrying gold to Chiang Kai-Shek, she sets in motion a series of events involving, deception, mystery and hair raising exploits.  Through it all Duke, his copilot, Edwina Watt and flight mechanic Nick Minetti struggle to uncover the truth and survive while Chasing Dragons.

Check out the rave reviews on Amazon.

You can purchase a paperback or Kindle edition here.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


This is a Lockheed Lodestar similar to the one flown by Duke Kellogg and his copilot Edwina "Eddie" Watt while Chasing Dragons.

The Lockheed 18 Lodestar was the last twin-engine transport designed by Lockheed. The prototype, a Lockheed 14 Super Electra lengthened by five feet, flew on the 21st of September, 1939. Designed for the commercial market, Lockheed found domestic sales slow due to previous commitments by airlines to buy the DC-3. A total of 96 were ordered by foreign airlines in Canada, Africa, Brazil, France, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, the UK and Venezuela.

The first military orders for the Lodestar came from the US Navy. In 1940, the Navy ordered three variants, an executive transport carrying seven, a personnel transport carrying 14, and a paratroop transport carrying 18. In 1941, the US Army Air Corps had 13 Lodestars built and designated them the C-57. In addition, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, a number of civilian Lodestars were requisitioned and designated the C-56. Between 1942 and 1943, the USAAC acquired 324 C-60As, 18-seat paratroop transports. Some of these aircraft were passed on to the UK. RAF versions were known as the Lodestar I (C-56), Lodestar IA (C-59), and Lodestar II (C-60), and most were operated as medium-range transports. After the war, some Lodestars were converted into executive aircraft, while others went to work for small freight operators. Less than 20 Lodestars are still airworthy in the USA today.

Ceiling 20,000 ft
Max Speed: 218 mph
Range: 1800 miles
Number Built: 500

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Fate is the Hunter by Ernest K.Gann

If you have any interest in commercial aviation and haven't read this book, do yourself a favor and run out and get yourself a copy. This masterpiece of aviation lore is part memoir, part historical journal and part philosophical treatise.

The early days of commercial aviation were marred by many fatal accidents. The author's accounts of these disasters are interesting in their own right...we're all fascinated with the why of an accident... but nuts and bolts are not the major theme of this book. That is a larger issue: Why does one pilot survive and another does not? Sure, some accidents can be traced to pilot error, but others seem to be a matter of luck. Pilot A was there, pilot B was not. One survives and one does not. Why? The book postulates that there is no rational answer to this. It is random...fate.

This masterful work is both interesting and thought provoking. It is one of my favorites.  Five props!