Tuesday, October 17, 2023

The Start…and the End of an Era by M.T. Bass, Author of Racing the Dream Release Blog Tour October 17, 2023 @Owlworks @GoddessFish

Racing the Dream

by M.T. Bass


Action and Adventure

About the Book:

“If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.” ~Mario Andretti

Strap down the 5-point harness in the cockpit of a Formula 1 air racing plane and join Hawk as he chases victory! First on their amateur make-shift course over Antelope Acres, then on the re-emerging pylon racing circuit in the early 1960s. And finally, as Hawk battles 7 other top-level pilots at the very first National Air Racing Championship event in Reno!

Abandoning the cloth and his African mission, Father Bob returns to his slide rule to design Hawk’s racer. Sparks, his loyal yet surly mechanic, built it and wrenching both on the engine—as well as on Hawk—keeps them at the front of the pack. Home again in Los Angeles from behind the stick of a T-6 Texan as a mercenary in the Congo civil war, air racing is a new aviation adventure for Hawk. Ride along as he tangles with fellow pilots in “uncooperative formation flying” at two-hundred miles per hour a mere fifty feet off the ground!

And then one day cruising home to Van Nuys airport, Hawk spies Allison, a beach-blonde surfer girl, insanely wing walking on the top wing of a Stearman PT-17 bi-plane. He quickly sets his sights on her.

Fly low…Fly fast…and Turn Left…

Read an Excerpt:

Chapter 1 — Antelope Acres

I chased Scotty down the long straightaway. Three hundred feet back. A hundred feet off the ground. One hundred seventy knots.

Quick looks at the panel: Thirty-six hundred RPM. Look: engine oil pressure—green. Look: oil temperature—green.

All good.

Banking hard into the “pylon” at W Avenue G and Myrick Canyon Road over the desert, a shadow on the ground to my left crawled toward my British Racing Green colored wing. He had to be outside. You can’t look to the right. It’s just not safe. But the sun was behind us…

I lofted a bit in the eighty-degree turn—climbed twenty feet or so—then quickly dove back down to close another hundred and fifty feet on Scotty, picking up a bit of his wake turbulence.

Rolling out and down the front straightaway, I found smooth air twenty-five feet above his hot red Jensen Cassutt.

We used the crossroads, a pile of rocks, a little hump in the desert sand, and a windmill water pump to set up our three-mile oval course. I knew Scotty from Van Nuys, but the other three guys were new, from other SoCal airports. We were all on “Company Frequency,” one-two-three point four-five. We joined up in a loose formation for a pace lap, then got down to business with a flying start.

Like Henry Ford said, racing began five minutes after the second airplane was built. And that’s where Father Bob came in. There were a ton of modified Cassutts out there. Anybody could buy the design for $20. But Father Bob used his engineering skills to develop and, with Sparks’ help, build White Hawk Redux, an 85 horsepower, Continental C-85 Goodyear racer that we were pushing over two hundred miles an hour.

It was all unofficial because, after fifty years of glorious history, airplane racing fell off the face of the earth for a while in the Sixties. There were no sanctioned races around anymore, so we made up our own course, kicking up dust devils and rooster tails over the desolation of Antelope Acres. Our version of California street drags.

Of course, I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I was learning fast.

Around the windmill and up to the forty-foot hump in the sand. I chased Scotty down foot by foot. I knew I could take him.

Only two laps left. It was now or never.

Banking hard into the crossroads, I juiced the power up near four thousand RPM and pulled back on the stick to take Scotty up and outside.

But dammit, I missed him—

In my peripheral vision, a Tweety-yellow racer on my right came toward me.

I flattened my wings and rolled off the power sweeping below him to keep from colliding. But I caught the tornado of his wingtip vortices and involuntarily flipped inverted.

A Joshua tree bloomed overhead in my canopy as I arced upside-down towards the ground at two-hundred-fifty feet. Gravity pulled my shoulders down against the straps of my five-point harness.

Without thinking, back pressure on the stick moved quickly forward to illogically raise the nose with a nudge of left rudder to roll level and maxing out the power…

Please welcome M.T. Bass to the blog today!

The Start…and the End of an Era


I began writing Racing the Dream in June of last year. The plot unfolds with Hawk strapping into a Formula 1 cockpit during the revival of pylon racing in the early Sixties and the climax of the book was always going to be the inaugural 1964 National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada. 

In March of this year, the organizers announced that the local airport authority would no longer approve holding the event at Reno-Stead Airport in the future. After sixty years, 2023 marked the end of an era. 

As I’ve written here before, my book covers are designed to be author-specific rather than created differently based on the genre of the novel. With the top and bottom borders and the cartoonish front image, just like on Kurt Vonnegut or Carl Hiaasen covers, I want readers to be able to identify that my Mysteries, Sci-fi stories, Men’s Adventure tales, and, yes, even Romances, were definitely mine. 

So, I followed the same format searching for photos of Formula 1 airplanes racing around pylons, until I heard the news that 2023 would be the final year of racing. Doing more research, I discovered a 1964 poster featuring the F-8F Bearcat and the Cosmic Wind Formula 1 plane, named Little Miss Reno, owned by Bill Stead, who founded the Reno Races. I had found the image for my cover. 

The only problem was getting permission to use the artwork, as  I had already set the publication date for August 28, right before the last races in September. When I contacted the folks in Reno in June they were busy running their Pylon Racing Seminar for competing pilots. And after that, they were slammed with organizing the final event. 

Getting a bit nervous about my cover, I needed an alternative, so I tried using Artificial Intelligence to come up with a cover image.  It was pretty much a disaster—so much for AI taking over the world.  I needed airplanes turning left, but half the time the AI images were banking right. And for some reason, it always put smoke behind the planes, which was unrealistic and unnecessary. 

I tried to recreate the basic layout of the poster with photoshopped Formula 1 racers. The image was okay, but not what I really wanted. Then, thankfully, at the beginning of August, Reno finally approved using their poster artwork and that is what ended up on the cover. 

I attended the final air race a couple of weeks ago and it was a bucket-list check-off. I finally met and thanked the great folks there who helped me honor the great history of the Reno Air Races.

Meet the Author:

M.T. Bass is a scribbler of fiction who holds fast to the notion that while victors may get to write history, novelists get to write/right reality. He lives, writes, flies and makes music in Mudcat Falls, USA.

Born in Athens, Ohio, M.T. Bass grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University, majoring in English and Philosophy, then worked in the private sector (where they expect “results”) mainly in the Aerospace & Defense manufacturing market. He is the author of twelve novels, two novellas, and a book of verse. His writing spans various genres, including Mystery, Adventure, Romance, Black Comedy and TechnoThrillers. A Commercial Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor, airplanes and pilots are featured in many of his stories. Bass currently lives on the shores of Lake Erie near Lorain, Ohio.

M.T. Bass Author Links:

Website: https://www.mtbass.net

Blog: https://www.owl-works.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/owlworks/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Owlworks

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/mtbass

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5270962.M_T_Bass

Racing the Dream Purchase Links:

Author Web Site Info Page: 


Stories by M.T. Bass:

White Hawk Aviation Adventure Stories

My Brother's Keeper


Racing the Dream


Murder by Munchausen Sci-Fi Thriller Series

Murder by Munchausen

The Darknet

The Invisible Mind

Motherless Children

Murder by Munchausen Trilogy: Books 1-3


Article 15

Somethin' for Nothin'

In the Black




Giveaway Details:

M.T. Bass will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Amazon links are affiliate links.


  1. Hi Amber--

    It's great to have Racing the Dream featured on your blog. If I can answer any questions for readers, have them drop them into a comment and I'll get back to them.



  2. Thank you for hosting "Racing the Dream" today!

  3. This look likeca captivating read. Thanks for hosting.