Riders of the Wind is an epic novel of adventure and romance set in the scene of aviation during the turbulent times of the nineteen twenties and thirties. The book follows the lives of Charles and Doretta Cross through the era of the great depression, prohibition, the airmail, and the formation of the infant airlines. It graphically portrays the danger, excitement and romance of flight in the pioneering years before World War Two and takes the reader into the cockpit with the airmail pilots of the twenties and the airline route survey pilots flying the heart of the Amazon jungles. A “must read” for anyone interested in aviation or, for that matter, anyone who is merely interested in the history, dress and lifestyle of the pre-WWII era.
This story opens up with such a moving scene having to do with a young man's drive to fly an airplane. Already I can feel the passion the characters in this book and author has for the love of flying. Immediately the reader is being pulled into that passion with a one thrilling sensation after another.
"Riders of the Wind is a engaging story with a ton of adventure and just the right amount of romance. This book centers around airplane technology but there is so much more and I found this book to be written with heart and great sensitivity. I really got to know and fall for the characters. The feel of the times was clearly laid out by the author in vivid detail. It reminded me of some of the old time movies I used to watch with my dad when I was young. I could see the scenery all around me while I was reading. It was a great history lesson but at the same time an endearing love story.
"With the words still unspoken they walked arm and arm back to the hotel. Charlie was about to leave Doretta at the door of her room when she suddenly threw her arms about his neck and reached her soft red lips to touch his. Charlie's arms went around her waist and the kiss turned into a long, lingering embrace that shook both of them to their very souls. He felt the warm softness of her body the entire length of his and it seemed as if a wild hot wind was blowing through him."
Winds of Fate takes place during World War II, but you cannot call it a war story. It is the story of Charlie Cross and his wife Doretta, both civilians but ultimately tied to the military, Charlie as a Service Pilot with Air Transport Command and Doretta as an instructor with the Women Airforce Service Pilots.
Charlie flies the Hump from India to China, one of the most dangerous operations in World War II.
According to the author, “The Hump gobbled men and airplanes like a child would eat Christmas candy. This operation is little known and little publicized yet these men managed to bring into China all the supplies that were needed to continue the war against the Japanese. The lessons learned became the basis for the Berlin Airlift and modern day military transport.”
Doretta serves as a WASP, operating against male prejudice, difficult flying conditions and sometimes flying dangerous aircraft. The ladies who took on the duties of a WASP did an amazing job of flying military airplanes and doing many jobs male pilots did not want to do here in the US.
Winds of Fate is a fast paced well-written novel that everyone will enjoy reading. You do not need to be a fan of aviation or World War II stories to appreciate this book. The reader will be entranced by the action, brought to tears when someone is lost and filled with happiness when true love is found. Anyone who loves a great story will find it difficult to put this book down once you get started.
I found myself anxious to move onto book two in the series. I wanted to know what would become of Charlie and Doretta. The story of their relationship intrigued me and I couldn't wait to find out the map of their lives.
These books are easy to get into and I became absorbed right away. It is about so much more than airplanes. The historical moments alone make this book a worthwhile read while the inner story adds to the entertainment value. I could see these stories on the big scene. I hope the author has considered a screenplay in the not so distant future. His use of language, scene development and dialog are pure perfection.
This story is filled with adventure, drama, intrigue, mystique, and of love, lost and found. I was touched by the ability of a man to be able to share so much gut wrenching true emotion. By the end it had me thinking about so many things even about my own life but also inspired me.
"Night had fallen and the temperature had dropped severely so that the outside air at their altitude was below zero with little moisture content. The night was black dark with no moon and just a peppering of ground lights below them and the stars appeared as diamonds set against a background of black velvet."
Robert DeBurgh learned to fly at the age of fifteen and has over twenty thousand hours of flight time. He has been a flight instructor, cargo pilot, mail pilot, bush pilot, mercenary fighter pilot and has served as captain for three airlines.
As a professional pilot, DeBurgh has flown in the US, the Caribbean, Central and South America and Africa. He has served as captain for three overseas airlines and for seventeen years served his country in the capacity of a pilot examiner for the Federal Aviation Administration until his retirement.
As an author, he has written aviation articles and stories for various publications and has written many science fiction and fantasy short stories, was a columnist for two newspapers and associate editor for “American Roadracing Magazine.”
At the present time he writes articles for “Indian Aviation Magazine” and several US magazines and is the author of the widely acclaimed novels, Riders of the Wind and Winds of Fate. In each of these novels DeBurgh has woven a tale of high adventure set against an accurate background of actual historical events.
His new novel, The Winds of Kunlun Shan, due to be released in the autumn of 2014, is the third book in the Riders of the Wind series.
Riders of the Wind
Winds of Fate