Kim and me

Kim and me

Friday, March 2, 2018

Managed to salvage a couple of my days of vacation by taking Kim to Montego Bay, Jamaica!!! Had a great time with my young bride.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

It's been a really long time since I did any type of promotion for my four novels. Because it's been so long, I decided to write this entry with an explanation of each of them.

All of my stories have two main characters, Daniel Richards and his daughter Kylee. Every year, the two of them go on a daddy/daughter trip to different places in the world. It is while on these trips they truly have some pretty cool adventures.

The first story, called 'Whispers from the Past' takes place in the Netherlands. Here is a small blurb for this story.

Daniel Richards and his eleven-year-old daughter Kylee travel to the Netherlands on a daddy/daughter vacation. While enjoying the usual sights around the country, they also witness several things that are terribly out of place: things that should have only been seen decades before. While attempting to piece the strange puzzle together, they are mysteriously transported back in time to Nazi-occupied Holland. As they attempt to survive their dangerous surroundings, they are sheltered by members of the Dutch resistance who are fighting to liberate their country from the grasp of the German occupying force. Kylee quickly befriends a mute Dutch girl, and Daniel shares his expertise in aviation with her freedom-fighting brother. Although they become separated, they work independently to preserve the textbook history of the days leading up to World War II.

My second story, entitled 'The Inca Prophecy' takes place in the country of Peru. I'm personally proud of this one because it was my father's favorite of the first three. Unfortunately he didn't live long enough to see the fourth book come out. Here is a blurb for this one.

After arriving in South America, twelve year old Kylee Richards and her father Daniel notice that they are the subject of unexpected attention from many of the people they come into contact with. Little do they know that Kylee is the spitting image of a young peasant girl who was sacrificed to the Inca gods over three hundred years earlier setting off 100 years of prosperity and peace. Kylee finds herself in danger because of a rival tribe’s determination to regain the ancient favor of the gods. Now Kylee and Daniel must struggle to survive in the mystical country of Peru.

I hope the reader likes ghost stories!

My third novel is entitled 'The Kiwi Conspiracy' and takes place in New Zealand. Perhaps this story is a little darker but it's still written for tween aged children. It does contain a story of murder and is pretty intense.

And last, but not least by any means, is my favorite book entitled 'The Eye of Magog' which is another ghost story that takes place in Ireland. This book is for lovers of animals as well as Celtic lore.

My stories are all family friendly and exemplify the relationship I personally had with my daughters as they were growing up. Travel was always a very large part of their existence and personal one on one travel with me and incredible, and hopefully valued, experience.

Currently I am working on my first work of non-fiction, which I've been working on for over four years. It's the story of Weldon Mellody, a US Army Air Corp sergeant shot down over France during World War 2 and Robert Mourand, a French citizen who salutes him during their brief encounter.

Thank you for visiting my page. All of my books are available on, or for the kindle and nook libraries. Please let me know what you think.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

I really miss sharing my travel experiences in the travel section of the Deseret News. Since they did away with that section, I no longer have a medium to express my love for traveling and the places I've had the opportunity to explore and experience.

This last week, my wife Kim, my son Logan, and I visited Quito Ecuador. Talk about an amazing place and travel destination. I can honestly express it was one of the best places I've ever been.

On day one we went to Termas de Papallacta Spa which is about a ninety minute drive from Quito. Although not as big as the Tabacon Hot Springs in Costa Rica, Papallacta was really cool. There were several thermal pools with varying temperatures that were awesomely relaxing and therapeutic.
The facilities were clean and the grounds beautiful, again not as plush as Costa Rica but there is a huge difference in elevation and the ability to grow things at the vast difference in altitudes.

And the water was perfect for aches and pains, including Logan's broken foot he sustained at wrestling practice within a week before heading to Ecuador. It was a fantastic experience and shouldn't be missed if traveling to Quito.

On day two, the most amazing of our days, we did something I've wanted to do for more than a decade. I actually planned on taking my daughter Heather to Ecuador that long ago and riding on the horses of the Green Horse Ranch through the dormant crater of Vulcan Pululahua.

We mounted our Ecuadorian bread horses, and with our fabulous guide Sarah, went on a ride that will never be forgotten.
Since the ranch is located on the equator, actually termed middle earth, all the horses are named after Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. This picture is of me and my mount Samwise. (He was really shy about letting me take the selfie.
This picture is not perfectly clear but you can see how he was leaning away from me and the camera.

On the ride we experienced everything from different eco-systems to sunshine and fog. The rain started right at the end of the ride as the horses were being take care of. The entire ride was amazing. There is nothing like riding horses through the crater of a volcano. I really wish I had been able to pull this trip off earlier for Heather but eventually she got married. I am grateful Logan and Kim were there to experience it with me.

Thank you Sarah for an incredible day and good luck in your adventures! Also thanks to Astrid, the owner of the ranch, for working with our uncertain travel schedule as standby travelers. Also thank you to Sam (Nitrus), Gimly, and Mithril.

Day 3 was spent on a fantastic organized tour to Otavalo by Quito Bus Tours. This trip included stops at the Quitsato solar clock, Penuche Waterfall, a cruise on Cuicoha Lake, and the market at Otavalo.

The Quitsato solar clock was really interesting. The guides there gave us a whole different perspective on how the world should be mapped, with the equator running north and south. Here we could actually stand in both hemispheres at the same time while surrounded by active volcanoes. (no eruptions while we were there though thankfully)

Penuche Waterfall was a short walk/hike through some beautiful surrounding but a little difficult for Logan on his broke foot. He managed like a trooper and we enjoyed the falls a lot. The one thing I didn't appreciate was all the bites I got on my lower legs by some small bugs that believed me to be their next meal. I'm still itching 4 days later.
The Quitsato Market was cool and also where we stopped for lunch for two hours and shopping. It was fun to see the indigenous market, the largest in South America as well as to eat authentic Ecuadorian food in a number of possible surrounding restaurants.

The boat ride around the Cuicocha crater lake was pretty fascinating. The volcano is still active and you can see bubbles coming to the surface which prove it. I don't think I have the words in my vocabulary that would come close to explaining how beautiful and magical it was. Actually, looking around the lake for me was spiritual. Hopefully some of my photos will do a better job of displaying how I actually felt while there or maybe it wasn't the scenery but something more unexplainable. God does exist!

Ecuador is an amazing land! There are over 40 volcanos and 30 of them on the mainland. Several of them active and there are daily earthquakes. It is truly beautiful and awe inspiring to be there.

Day 4 was spent with us just traveling around Quito on the hop on - hop off tour provided by Quito Bus Tours and a taxi or two.

We were able to visit Teleferico which is a cable car that takes you way up on a mountain, providing beautiful views of Quito below.

We also saw the Basilica del voto Nacional, an amazing gothic inspired church that looks a lot like Notre Dame in Paris. Kim was fascinated the gargoyles on the church were actually animals from the Galapagos Islands.

We were also able to see the statue of the Virgin Mary of Quito which provided even more spectacular views of Quito.

We also were allowed into the an old Jesuit Church known as Compania De Jesus which had an incredible display of gold throughout.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

This fantastic picture was taken during World War II in Elisabethville, France. Two things are going on in the picture of great importance. First, Sgt. James Weldon Mellody has just been captured by six German soldiers and is being marched through the town square to be questioned. He ended up spending almost a year in a prisoner of war camp in Poland. Second, Robert Mourand, a Frenchman, is saluting the captured American who had just parachuted into a tree after his B-26. This picture is the basis of my next book; one I've been working on for 4 years up to this point. The good news is I'm half way through with my first re-write with the goal of having it ready by the end of the year for my editor. I'm really stoked for this story and the opportunity for me to write it. Thank to James for letting me know about his grandfather's story and also thanks to Philippe for letting me know about his grandfather. Please check back often for more updates about this story and my other books, both written and still in my head.   Chris A Hale.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

So it's been forever since I've really written anything. The last article I had published was a year ago in the Deseret News and was the depiction of our experience on the North Texas Pioneer Trek over spring break. I have not finished a novel in over three years or really anything else. Well, I do have an accepted submission for the LDS magazine 'The Ensign' which will hopefully come out before too long. The actual submission was eighteen months ago. Anyway, this blog post is for me and not you. I'm striving to get back to my writing; even though the Deseret News has done away with their travel articles. I am working on the second draft of my book based on a true story and I just need to buckle down and do it. Thanks for your patience.

Oh, BTW, this picture is my family 7 1/2 years ago on the night of Kim's and my wedding reception at the Riverside Mission Inn. Just wanted to have some eye candy for the reader.  :)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

I'm excited to announce the completion of my 4th novel 'The Eye of Magog'. It is now available from or from me personally. 

It is the completion of the series involving Daniel and Kylee Richards and has taken two years to produce. I hope you like it.

Very soon, it will also be available for both the Nook and the Kindle.

If you would like a signed copy of the 'Eye' or any other of my books, simply ask and I'll put one in the mail. Each of them costs $10.00 and I'll take care of the shipping within the United States.

Also look for these titles to complete the series.


Sunday, August 3, 2014

July 1, 1690

            Edward walked into the cold and dimly lit dining hall of Malahide Castle and strained to recognize any of the three faces that glanced up to see who had joined them. Realizing none of the faces belonged to his father, and not in the mood to talk to any of his relatives, he spotted an empty table, walked across the room and sat down quietly on the vacant handcrafted oak bench. The only illumination in the chamber was provided by six wax candles held in place on the walls by intricately caste iron sconces: three on one side of the room and three more on the opposite wall. He brushed his blonde hair away from his light grey eyes and stared at his folded hands, trying to keep to himself.
            Although he had spent hundreds of mornings in that very room, Edward could not remember any other time when he had felt so much dread and foreboding. The negative energy was as thick as a moonless night and seemed to emanate not only from the men seated in the room but also from the castle walls themselves. He wished his father would arrive soon to eat breakfast. At least his father would try brightening the mood even though the prospects for the outcome of the day were not all that good. He tried to concentrate on lighter things, but his mind continually returned to thoughts of the imminent battle looming before him and how it was interfering with what he really wanted to do and who he wanted to be with.
            How had he come to this point in his life? He had asked himself the same question several times over the course of the last month but an acceptable answer continued to evade

him. He was simply unlucky. If things had worked out in his favor, if luck had been on his side instead of against him, he would have been in Kilkenny with Claire instead of at Malahide preparing for battle. At this point there was no option; he needed to be with the men of his family who supported the deposed King James II against the invading Protestant forces of King William of Orange. His courtship of the beautiful daughter of Richard Butler would need to wait until after the battle was won. He was young and had plenty of time. What his family didn’t know yet was that the two had already expressed their love and commitment in a very sacred and binding ceremony; one which neither of their parents would approve of had they known.
            Edward looked up as two more men slowly walked into the oppressive room. He lowered his gaze back to folded hands after seeing that neither of them was his father. He knew he needed to control his thoughts and steer them away from Claire Butler. If he became distracted or daydreamed about the girl after the battle started, then it could prove to be not only dangerous to him but to those fighting around him.
            The thought that he could die later that day never entered his mind, primarily because of his age. At only sixteen, he had previously been instructed by his father that he was to stay off the front line of the battle and only assist the commander as a courier. He wasn’t happy about not taking part in the actual fighting but had long since given up on trying to talk his father into allowing him to fight by his side; he was simply too young and inexperienced he had been told. He never dared to ask why some of his friends of the same age were preparing to fight with their fathers.
            Three more Talbot men laboriously entered the room and sat down across from Edward. Looking up this time, he was relieved to see the bright blue eyes of his father looking back at him. John Talbot recognized his son’s anxiety and smiled warmly. He reached a muscled arm across the table and clapped his son on the shoulder. Immediately Edward felt bolstered and more confident than he had for some time. He didn’t understand the political difference between King James and King William. He really didn’t grasp why it was important that William was a Protestant. What he did know was his father was a good man, endowed with thoughtful judgment, and he would gladly lend his support to anything his father felt strongly about.
            “Edward!” his father said loudly. “Have you had your morning meal yet?”
            “No Father, I was waiting for you.” He answered half as loudly as the question had been asked.
            His father smiled again and brushed a strand of long red hair out of his eyes. He looked at the prepared fruits and breads on the table and grabbed a dark loaf of something the baker had made that morning. He broke off a third and handed the remaining portion to his son. “Eat, Edward. You’ll need nourishment to sustain you though the day. I’m afraid it may be many hours before you have the chance to eat again.”
            Edward took the bread and broke off a smaller portion for himself. “Yes Father.” He handed what remained of the bread to his father’s older brother Bartley, one of the other two men sitting across from him.
            He felt his father’s piercing eyes focus on him as he swallowed the first piece. He looked up and asked, “What is it Father? Are you not well?”
            John Talbot sighed heavily. “Edward, where have the years gone? Just yesterday I was bouncing you on my knee and now, what seems only a day later, you’ll go with me into battle.” He chuckled before adding, “And, you are even old enough to attract the attention of the redheaded daughter of Richard Butler.”
            Edward came close to choking on the bread he had just swallowed. “Father, you know?” He was so surprised by the comment it was all he could do to utter the question.
            “Aye Edward, your mother and I have known for quite some time.” He smiled again, trying to set his son at ease. “You could do far worse lad. Claire is a beautiful girl from a good family and you’d be very lucky if you won her hand.”
            Edward was simply stunned. Up until that moment he believed that the budding relationship between him and Claire had been a well-kept secret between the two of them. Had Claire said something to someone? He didn’t believe so but how else could their love have been discovered? He knew he hadn’t said anything to anyone.
            They had shared three short days together during the spring festival in Kilkenny. It was then that everything had happened between them. What started as a mutual attraction rapidly became true love within just a few short hours. It was the only time in their lives they had been together.
            “Father, you approve?” Edward asked tentatively.
            “Aye my son, as I said, you could do far worse. I happen to know she comes from a good Catholic family too.” He winked and placed some berries into his mouth. “However Edward, you do need to keep thoughts of the girl from your mind today. It will be dangerous if you are distracted from the task at hand, that of repelling King William and his men.”
            “Father, I know this and I will not disappoint you. I give you my promise.”
            John Talbot nodded his head approvingly. “I know you will son. I have not found you lacking in any way since you were a small lad and dropped my best knife-sharpening stone into the garderobe.” He chuckled as he reflected on their years together. “I’m proud to be your father. You represent the Talbot name well.”
            “Thank you Father.” Edward lowered his gaze back to his hands, a little embarrassed by the praise and knowing his father’s voice had been loud enough for all in the room to hear what he said. There was no animosity or jealousy between cousins, uncles, and brothers but praise was something generally reserved for private moments in the Talbot family and not just for anyone’s ears.
            The next time Edward looked up there were a dozen male family members in the dining hall. Each one of them ate the remainder of their meal in eerie silence. Even though there was plenty of time for the men to eat, very little bread and fruit passed their lips that morning compared to most.
            The sun was starting to make its customary appearance in the eastern sky, lighting the room beyond what the six candles could provide. Edward knew, as did the rest of the family, the time for leaving the safe confines of the castle was soon approaching. Edward noticed his rather robust father was not eating much either, signaling that he was worried.
            Bartley Talbot, the oldest of Edward’s uncles, placed his hands heavily on the table and raised himself into a standing position. He looked around the room appraising the family’s mood before speaking in a subdued but patriarchal tone. “It’s time my brothers. We need to make our way to the river.”
            Edward and his father stood up simultaneously along with everyone else in the room. As they made their way to the dining hall door, John Talbot placed a strong arm around his son’s shoulder and gave it a squeeze, pulling him closer as he did so. In a hushed tone that Edward didn’t know his father possessed, he said, “Edward, you keep to the rear and do only what is asked of you. Do not think of engaging any of the enemy in battle yourself.”
            “Yes Father.”
            John Talbot looked at his son closely and seconds later nodded his head, content in the belief that his son was listening and would make it through the day.
            The Talbot men emerged from the castle and gathered outside the front entrance. There they were met by several of the Talbot women as well as a local priest who offered a blessing in behalf of the family.
            Edward looked across the expanse of the grounds and appreciated the beauty of the trees reaching into the sky. The grass was as green as he could ever remember it, and it was obvious the gardeners had been doing their best to take care of the entire property. Flowers of different varieties seemed to be without end wherever he looked.
            The women hugged and kissed their husbands, sons, and brothers after which the men mounted their horses that had been led to the castle from the stable some time earlier. Everyone present noticed how regal and noble they all looked atop their mounts, muskets held in one hand and the reins of each ride held in the other.
            Despite their formidable appearance, Edward noticed the mood of the men had not changed. Looking into their faces he could tell most were not optimistic and actually quite grim. He thought what a contradiction everything was. The beauty of Ireland normally uplifted his heart and overwhelmed his spirit; but on this day, the opulent surroundings could not break through the encompassing blackness.
            The ladies stepped away from their men and watched as they trotted away in the direction of the river. The journey wouldn’t take long since they were fortunate enough to have horses. For most of the soldiers in the Jacobite army, the luxury of owning a horse was way beyond their financial means. The Talbots, however, had the wealth and importance to warrant owning several of the creatures and they were not embarrassed to indulge themselves. With their affluence came respect, something that had not gone unnoticed by the Talbots, and they hoped their arrival at the battle ground would inspire those fighting on their side.
            The sun had not been above the horizon an hour when the river came into view and already John Talbot saw there would be confusion. Both armies were dressed in red which made it almost impossible to distinguish who the enemy was, especially since both sides were positioned along the banks of the river. He turned in the saddle to face his son. “Edward, you station yourself up on the hill to the west and wait for further instructions.”
            “Yes Father.” He looked in the direction where his father was pointing and noticed a small knoll that appeared to be well out of danger. He kicked the flanks of his brown mare and rode toward where he was assigned to wait.                                    He covered half the distance in relative quiet when the stillness was shattered by the loud crack of musket fire. He reigned in his horse and turned the mare in time to see his father fall from the saddle and lie still on the ground, his horse stepping nervously around him. More loud cracks and two more men from his family fell to the earth while another listed to one side in the saddle as his horse ran off in the opposite direction.
            Edward was unsure what to do. From his elevated position he could see several enemy soldiers lined up in two rows approximately thirty yards from the clearing. The front row was reloading their muskets while the back row was stepping forward to fire again. His family had not been expecting the attack and was just now scrambling to react.
            He kicked his heels and guided his horse back toward the clearing at a full run. He could see Bartley dismount and bend over his father who, as far as Edward could tell, had not moved since striking the ground. Other family members jumped off their horses and prepared their own matchlock muskets to return fire.
            Disobedience did not come easily to Edward and he hoped his father would understand why he didn’t stay on the hill.
            As he sped to where his family was now firing back at the enemy, a single soldier saw his approach out of the corner of his eye and leveled his flintlock musket as he rode from right to left. He led him perfectly and pulled the trigger.
            Edward never knew he had been hit. He thought he heard a bird of prey screech in the sky somewhere overhead but was unable to tilt his head to look up. He saw Claire, a look of horror on her face, materialize right in front of him only to disappear again. Then, along with all his hopes and dreams, Edward died before he fell off his horse.
            Three significant things happened that day on the banks of the River Boyne. First, every male member of the Talbot family who ate breakfast together in the dining hall that morning was killed during the battle. Second, and perhaps of more importance, the deposed King James II would finally give up his ambition of retaking the throne of England that he had lost two years before. Third, the wheels that had already been put in motion to assure Edward and Claire’s union were abruptly halted. Nobody could possibly know, at the time, what harm or consequence would be the result.

It's getting so close I can almost taste it! This week I will receive two proof copies of my new work of fiction 'The Eye of Magog'. This novel has been two years in the making and I'm so excited to finally get it here. 

Once the proofs are read (and errors marked in red) by two friends corrections will quickly be made. Soon after, and I'm talking very soon, the book will be available for everyone else. 

This book marks the final in the Daniel and Kylee Richards series of four. It is also my personal favorite and the one I'm most proud of.

Just because it's the end of this series, doesn't mean it is the end of my fictional writing. I am contemplating new characters and new stories every day.

In between ending this series and starting a new one, I'm still working on my first non-fictional story about World War II. Currently, I'm 25,000 words into it and I honestly have no idea how many it will end with. I am motivated and excited to tell this story in the best possible way my talents will let me.

I hope The Eye of Magog excites you as readers as much as it exited me to write.

Chris A Hale


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The fourth book in this series will be in print very soon!  Please stay tuned for the release of 'The Eye of Magog' sometime this late spring or early summer!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Just had an extraordinary time with my wife Kim in San Jose, California. She had always wanted to see the Winchester Mystery House so I took her to celebrate her birthday. The house was amazing and so was our hotel, the 99 year old Claremont Hotel and Resort in Berkley where we could see San Francisco across the bay. Even though it was just one night, we had an amazing time!

Still working on my non fiction story from World War II. Honestly, it is taking much longer than I anticipated to write. I think my problem is that because it's non fiction, I'm trying to be as historically accurate as possible. I've also had so many distractions. Between traveling, moving into a new home, the holidays, and having some weird physical things happen the last few months, I've been pretty busy. 

Rest assured however, I still am writing and thinking all the time about the best way to proceed. Maybe I need to set some goals to help me achieve writing this monumental story of courage, dedication, and patriotism. James and Philippe....I promise I am still working!

The fourth book in the Kylee/Daniel series is almost complete. Kim is going over it one more time and I'll make the final changes before printing. Honestly, of the four, it is my favorite story.

I didn't write much about Romania in my blog but here is the link to the story I wrote in the Deseret News. I think the next international travel will be Switzerland/Austria with Kim and Connor this May.

I will try to be more diligent in updating my blog. Thanks for reading!