Just a quick announcement to let you know that Dave Freer’s novella, Without a Trace ($2.99) is now available for purchase. It will also be available later this week from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. As with all our titles, there is NO DRM added.
In Without a Trace, Dave brings us the exciting new middle grade/early YA fantasy-adventure story of young Mike O’Hara and his quest to find out what happened to his grandfather.
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Mike O’Hara has spent his life defending the family honor. His grandfather, Cap’n Al O’Hara, has been called everything from smuggler to coward and it is said he abandoned his family rather than pay his debts. Mike knows better, but what’s a boy to do?
When his father is injured in an automobile accident and the authorities threaten to take Mike from the family farm, Mike knows he has to do something. Spurred on by a radio transmission that just might be from Cap’n Al, Mike and his best friend, Amos, start out on a mission to find his grandfather. His journey takes him to an alternate South Africa inhabited by pirates and worse. Mike quickly finds himself in a race against time to rescue his grandfather and return home – before it’s too late.
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You’ve heard of the Bermuda triangle? You know, where compasses suddenly start to spin wildly, with a sudden darkness at noon, where ships and planes sometimes just disappear. When they’re gone, they’re just… gone, and nothing ever comes back. There are other places where this is supposed to happen too. There’s a spot deep in the Gobi, and another above the Java Trench. And then… there’s the Wild Coast…. some very strange things have happened there. Over the years Portuguese Carracks, British East Indiamen, and, in 1908, the Wahratah have disappeared off that coast.
On the 27th of July in 1981 my granddad flew his Piper Cherokee out from the little bumpy airstrip on our farm, in the direction of Port St. Johns. He flew off to go and take a swarm of bees out of a friend’s holiday cottage. He flew out of our lives, and for all anyone knew out of this world. He and his plane were “missing”. They’d just disappeared, disappeared without a trace. No wreckage was ever found.
Then the problems started.
For starters he was in trouble with the security police. Politics, guns. They reckoned Granddad was a gun-runner. My old man says it was quite possible. He says his dad was up to anything, provided it was totally lunatic. Everyone had thought he was a rich man, but it seemed he owed a lot of money. There was very little money in his bank account.
Then the story came out. He’d drawn out twenty thousand Rand the day before he flew, and bought Krugerrands with it. He’d been buying gold for years, it seemed. Suddenly, nobody believed he’d crashed anymore. Everyone said he’d cut and run. Everyone but my dad.
“My father never ran away from anything in his life!” That’s what he said to the papers then. That’s what he said to me maybe a thousand times since. My dad was twenty three then, not even married a year, and still having a grand old time at University. Me, I was three months old.
Suddenly he wasn’t a rich man’s son anymore. Suddenly he didn’t have any friends. Three days later he didn’t have a wife either. She left him with a baby boy, a stack of debts and no future.
He’d lost everything but the farm. Fortunately, my grandmother had left that to Dad. Granddad couldn’t be proved to be dead, so my father never got to see Granddad’s will. Granddad was well insured, but Dad couldn’t claim anything because Granddad wasn’t legally dead. The plane was insured too, but it was just “missing”.
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