A. K. Taylor

A. K. Taylor is an award winning YA fantasy/science fiction adventure writer who has been writing novels since age 16. Taylor also draws her characters and maps of the worlds she created sense then. Before this she began loving writing at age 8 and a natural world builder.

She grew up in the backwoods of Georgia where she learned about nature. She enjoys hunting and fishing, beekeeping, gardening, archery, shooting, hiking, and has various collections.

She also has interest in music, Native American history and heritage, Egyptian history, and the natural sciences. A.K. Taylor has been writing and drawing since the age of 16. A.K. Taylor has graduated from the University of Georgia with a biology degree, and she shares an interest in herpetology with her husband.

Now she is a compulsive blogger and a genre hopper, but her first love will always be fantasy!

In 2013 she founded Soaring Eagle Publicity. Visit www.soaringeaglepublicity.com to see what it’s all about.

Connect with her on her author site and blog at www.backwoodsauthor.com

Occupations: MG/YA fantasy/sci-fi author (now award winning), beekeeper, amateur herpetologist, scientist, artist, marksman, blogger, outdoor sportsman, and animal lover. Musician and instrumentalist who played the French horn since middle school.

Interesting facts: I love the animals that most people hate. I LOVE snakes. Snakes need love too, but I don’t cuddle with the venomous ones, BTW, so you won’t see my life story on “Fatal Attractions”. Most people hate bees (not the same thing as wasps and hornets), but they aren’t as easy to hold and pet since they are too easy to squash and they sting.  I love them enough so that they will make honey.

Chocoholic and action addict. Big Vin Diesel fan. I have a lot of favorite movies: Star Wars, Dirty Harry, Legend…I’ll stop there. Did I mention I was an action addict? I don’t like being bored.

I began my writing career young at sweet 16 that began with my debut novel Neiko’s Five Land Adventure. Instead of a car, I wanted my own computer, but didn’t happen till I bought my own about five years later. I started out on my parents’ ancient slow computer. I received my first rejection slip when I was 21, but it was a blessing in disguise. I chose the indie way instead!

Graduate of UGA with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. Total science nerd. I love all science besides biology; chemistry is my fave. I hate political science, but that’s not science–I don’t even think it’s a pseudoscience.

  • Owner and CEO of Soaring Eagle Publications LLC
  • Blog Coordinator for YAPC
  • Owner and Publicist at Soaring Eagle Publicity
  • CEO and Publisher at Soaring Eagle Books
  • For savvy tips, tools, and resources for new and aspiring (sometimes established) authors, check out my other blog Newbie Authors Guide
  • Blog Coordinator at Booklover’s Heaven
  • PT Book Reviewer and avid reader when I have time to read between it all. Not a fan of Romance but I love action!

Why is it called this? There is more than one AK Taylor out there, but as far as she knows she’s the only one from the backwoods, and the backwoods makes up her life!

These Three Books Could Easily Be Screenplay Worthy.

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Bloody Klondike Gold: A Randi Braveheart Mystery Short Story by A. K. Taylor

A summer trip to the Klondike can be deadly…

Randi and her friend go to the Mineral Creek mining claim in the Klondike to visit her father during the mining season. Sabotage, theft, and a death threat turn wilderness summer fun and normal mining operations into a fight for survival…

Bloody Klondike Gold is an introductory short story to the new Randi Braveheart Mystery Series by award winning Teen/YA author A.K. Taylor! Stay tuned for the first installment To Catch a Catfish coming in 2017.

Lovers of Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys mysteries will enjoy this new series with a gutsy, tomboy heroine from the bayous of Lousiana!

Book Review: Short stories are to an avid reader like chocolate to sweet tooth. Bloody Klondike Gold by A. K. Taylor is a short Story introduction to the Randi Braveheart action suspense mystery thriller series.

Two teenage friends, Randi and Brittany drive the long 2, 700 mile trek from San Francisco to southeast Alaska. Randi’s father, William Wallace Braveheart was already on location as his reputation for finding gold at any location made him a valuable asset.

Mining communities are tight knit as the environment, equipment and the mining processes inherit dangers make mining for Gold a driving force with the claim crews but also a draw for the darker side of human nature.

The summer starts out as an adventurous vacation with Randi dreaming of fishing in cool streams to a mining community’s worst nightmare.

If you enjoyed Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys mysteries then I invite you to read ‘Bloody Klondike Gold’ to prepare for ‘To Catch A Catfish’ scheduled for release in 2017. If this short story is any indication of what is to come with ‘To Catch A Catfish’ then prepare yourself for an action packed, suspense mystery thriller.

I, Theodocia McLean (Cold Coffee Press) endorse Bloody Klondike Gold: A Randi Braveheart Mystery Short Story as the introduction to A. K. Taylor’s new action suspense mystery thriller series coming soon. I bought this book in a Kindle and the review was completed on September 23, 2016.

Genre: Teen & Young Adult, Action & Adventure, Survival Stories, Fantasy

Kindle

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Escape From Ancient Egypt (The Neiko Adventure Saga Book 2) by A. K. Taylor

Overview:

When being stuck in the past has a whole new meaning…

What if your worst enemy sent you on a one-way ticket to the past? Worse, later he shows up and tries to play match-maker with a dominant historical figure while all of history and the future on the line? Survival is just one problem, but then add your friends into the mix…

Following an intense battle between the Indians and the Crackedskulls, Neiko and her comrades enjoy victory while her enemies suffer a crushing defeat. Victory is short lived for Neiko when Francesco pays her a visit at her home and sends her away in order to collect on his threat of revenge. She is banished into the ancient world of ancient Egypt during the reign of Ramesses II the Great on a one way ticket.

Lost and trapped in this ancient world, it doesn’t take very long for trouble to find her. Taken by a rich man, she is reunited with three her friends that had been missing, and an eleven-year-old mystery is finally solved, but one of Neiko’s friends is still unaccounted for. After escaping from the rich man and journeying to Thebes, Neiko and her comrades have actually jumped from the pan and into the fire.

Things go horribly awry when Pharaoh finds out about Neiko and becomes infatuated with her. Francesco comes to Egypt on orders to bring her back, but he has other plans. Can Neiko and her friends thwart Francesco, return to the 21st century, and escape from the past and one of the greatest kings that ever lived?

If you love the action, adventure, and time travel intrigue of Back to the Future and Time Machine (except without the time machine) and modern Native Americans in ancient Egypt, but the story of the Ten Commandments and the Prince of Egypt in reverse with a battle of wills and the motives of passion from Pharaoh, you’ll love Escape from Ancient Egypt!

Genre: Fiction

Awards:

  • Finalist: Wisebear Digital Book Awards
  • Winner of the Bronze Medal Award and Best in YA Historical Fantasy in the 2013 Wisebear Book Awards!
  • Winner of the UP Authors Approved Award for the 2013 Fiction Challenge!

Praise for Escape from Ancient Egypt:

“Neiko has the potential for becoming a literary role model for young girls. The Escape From Ancient Egypt storyline is good conceptually with lots of action and we did find ourselves anxiously wanting to know how the author resolved Neiko’s dilemna. Taylor also does a nice job of drawing the reader into the fictional world of ancient Egypt literally with her fantastic artwork interspersed throughout the novel.” By Wisebear Books

“An exciting and action packed book from start to finish. This is the story of a young girl who travels between different times and places, and leads a life in each. Neiko finds herself in some scary and challenging situations in each place, and the book has a good amount of suspense as the reader awaits her next move. The writing is fantastical and highly imaginative, without being too far-fetched that the reader will lose interest.” By Biblio Phanatic 5 Stars

“There is never a dull moment, and the book is punctuated with wonderful illustrations which break up the chapters. It reminds me of those books you read as a kid where you had to choose the ending and second guess what was coming.”  By N Bookwitch 5 Stars

Book Review: Escape From Ancient Egypt by A. K. Taylor is book two in the Neiko Adventure series. Although penned as a series, each book stands alone with action adventure all its own.  ‘Escape From Ancient Egypt’ is for those young adult readers who enjoy time travel to ancient Egypt with a Native American Indian twist.

The book starts out with a wonderful map drawing of Egypt Ca 1300 BC drawn by author. The seven photo illustrations were produced by a separate artist. Her book cover design is by Mallory Rock.

In chapter one, Neiko (main character) emerges from a portal and makes a log entry concerning Hawote, a “hidden land that coexisted with the United States, Canada, and Mexico”.

Forty-three chapters reveal realistic characters, imaginative fantasy with action suspense drama, easy to follow dialog that will keep the reader engaged anticipating the next carefully placed photo that brings visual enhancement to the story.

In order to give you the reader a feel for the author’s writing style, I quote a passage from chapter three and share a description of the illustration photo in this chapter.

“Neiko’s vision turned from the green light to the world spinning around her in dizzying speed. Neiko wasn’t moving, but she felt like she was in freefall—like someone had cut the cable from an elevator, and she was plummeting with it. Descending in what—space and time? The evergreen and colorful deciduous vegetation of the Hawote woodlands changed to a desert with a river with some greenery and palms nearby. The cool autumn air of Hawote in October transformed into stifling, searing, dry heat. Pyramids, sphinxes, and strange statues spun around her after her house, porch, and front yard disappeared within the vortex. It was nighttime in Hawote, but the sun rose and set as time flew by— from west to east—backwards. Beneath her bare feet the wood from her front porch turned to nothing then into hot, soft sand.

Neiko’s world stopped spinning, and the sun was high in the sky. Neiko watched the sun to be sure it didn’t move again. Wherever she ended up, she guessed the time must be about high noon there judging by the sun’s position in the sky after a few moments of observation. The heat was intense, and she discovered she must be somewhere far from home. “Where?” was the ultimate question.”

There is a photo of an Indian within this script. “The man chattered in a language she didn’t understand—God knows what he was saying to her. He thrust at her a fine scarab necklace. Neiko looked at him puzzled with her right eyebrow raised. The language didn’t sound like Arabic since she watched a lot of action movies. Neiko put up her hands and shook her head and signed “map” and “phone” and spoke the words in every language that she knew of but got nowhere.”

As you can see Neiko is far from home. You must become a detective yourself and read this book to find out how and why Neiko travels through time? What mystery involves Neiko and some of her friends? How does a Native American girl fit into ancient Egypt culture and what is a girl to do when the Pharaoh takes a romantic interest? What will it take to get Neiko out of the past and back home?

‘Escape From Ancient Egypt’ was the finalist in the ‘Wisebear Digital Book Awards’, winner of the ‘Bronze Medal Award’,  ‘Best in YA Historical Fantasy in the 2013 Wisebear Book Awards’ and Winner of the ‘UP Authors Approved Award for the 2013 Fiction Challenge’.

I invite you to read the first book in this series titled ‘Neiko’s Five Land Adventure’ and ‘Escape From Ancient Egypt’ as both books stand alone with their own adventure.

I, Theodocia Mclean (Cold Coffee Press) endorse Escape From Ancient Egypt (The Neiko Adventure Saga Book 2) by A. K. Taylor. I purchased and reviewed this book from Kindle. The review was completed on September 8, 2016.

Genre: Teen & Young Adult, Action & Adventure, Survival Stories, Fantasy

Hard Cover Print
Soft Cover Print
Kindle

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Neiko’s Five Land Adventure (The Neiko Adventure Saga Book 1) by A. K. Taylor

Overview:

What if the fate of two worlds were in the hands of one person: you?

The childhood secret of a troubled teen warrior is used against her by her enemies. It turns out what Neiko imagined is real, and she becomes trapped in the same world she imagined by an otherworldly evil that is worse than the devil. Getting home is the least of her problems.

The Indians and the Cracked skulls are locked in the turmoil of a war that has raged for centuries, and it is presently in a stalemate. Her enemies, Raven and Bloodhawk, have come up with a scheme to take her down, but in doing so they inadvertently open the door to another universe and to an otherworldly evil. Neiko later finds out that a land she thought she had only imagined is actually real and the dark being is not a figment of her childhood imagination-he is terrifyingly real and she faces him for the first time. To make matters worse, it is now in her world and he has evil plans especially for her.

After several standoffs with the malevolent Ramses the Dark Pharaoh in Hawote, she is trapped in Qari by his strange and powerful magic. Trapped in another universe in a place that is not exactly the way she imagined it, and she must somehow find a way to teleport home. That is easier said than done; the odds are overwhelmingly against her and her scorpion-cobra companion as they must travel to find the answer and help but at the same time avoid Ramses’ allies, traps, and tricks. Can she come back home and turn the tables on her enemies?

If you love the hidden worlds and magic of Percy Jackson and Harry Potter, travel to other worlds like Warriors of Virtue and The Never-ending Story, and a strong female protagonist with a bow (only that she’s Native American and a nerd at heart who doesn’t want to completely grow up!) like the Hunger Games, you will love Neiko’s Five Land Adventure!

Genre: Fiction

Awards:

  • Winner of the 2012 Indie Reader Approved Award
  • Nominated as “A Great Book for Kids” by fantasy and science fiction reviewer CC Cole

Praise for Neiko’s Five Land Adventure:

“Plenty of action and inspired imagination.” By Wulfstan Top 100 Reviewer

“From the first word, Taylor delivers a fresh, vibrant tale of two different worlds.” By Steven Knight Book review and author of “Born of Blood”

“An imaginative journey that is that is much of an adventure for the reader as it is for Neiko.” By CC Cole Book Reviewer and author of the Gastar Series

“A great middle school or read to me book with tons of adventure and characters.” By Paper Mustang Book Reviewer

“A fantastical twist to the childhood game of Cowboys and Indians and a wonderful coming of age story.” By Indie Reader Reviewer

“Neiko’s five land adventure is a gripping young adult fantasy tale. You get an exceptional feel for the protagonist, Neiko, as you travel through the rich worlds between reality and imaginary (well not really imaginary as Neiko soon finds out!) alongside her and her cohorts (I particularly liked Quickstrike)” by Michael Dadich, Award Winning Author of the Silver Sphere

Genre: Teen & Young Adult, Action & Adventure, Survival Stories, Fantasy

Hard Cover Print
Soft Cover Print
Kindle
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Amazon Author’s Page
Professional Website
Professional Blog
Professional Backwoods Blog
Soaring Eagle Books.org
Cold Coffee Press
Cold Coffee Café

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Here Are Some Posted Amazon Reviews:

Amazon Reviews For Escape From Ancient Egypt (The Neiko Adventure Saga Book 2) by A. K. Taylor

0 out of 5 starsNeiko is loved by many and has the support and loyalty of …
By S. J. Mainon November 23, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Neiko is an Indian Admiral and a strong warrior girl of Hawote, the hidden land that coexisted with the United States, Canada, and Mexico. There are seven tribes in this story. Neiko is loved by many and has the support and loyalty of her own tribe, and her allies are willing to die for her. The Crackedskulls, Prince Bloodhawk, Raven, and Francesco are all enemies of the Hawote. Many wars have been fought between them for the right to rule the land.

Francesco has visions of becoming the Pharoah of Hawote. His plan entails changing the timeline by eliminating Neiko from the present and poisoning the Bloodhawks and the Ravens. He obtains a crystal stone that gives him the ability to go anywhere he desires or to send someone else to the past, present, or the future. Francesco finds an opportunity to confront Neiko and sends her to Egypt, about three thousand years in the past, during the reign of Ramesses the Great.

What intrigues me is that once Neiko finds herself in this ordeal, she does not panic at all. In fact, she continues along on her merry way and tries to find her friends who have been missing for the past eleven years. She and her friends have to find a way to return to the year 2001 and set things straight for the last time. On their journey, they are captured, enslaved, forced to fight, to marry, and many more wondrous things.

I like the plot of the story and all the action that went with it. The pace was good enough to carry the reader into wanting to know more. It is an excellent choice for kids to read and to enjoy. The way the warrior men supported and protected Neiko after being abandoned for eleven years was admirable. Their bond was unyielding, and Neiko was never treated differently for being a woman. They saw her as a warrior and loved her for who she was.

This book was very hard for me to review as I really do not like to address the hard work of an author in such a way. However, since I have promised myself to be sincere and truthful, I would like to also mention the parts that I did not enjoy.

There is an overwhelming load of characters and names in this book. So many, that I was beginning to wonder how many more are going to be introduced? Having not read book one also did not help. There was a severe lack of backstory and that is a great weakness for this book.

I can’t remember the last time I saw picture illustrations in a novel. A note to authors, if you plan to do such a thing, then make the images big enough to see. In this book they were small, and I could barely understand what it was supposed to display.

This story, in my opinion, is a good young adult book but not a good historical fiction book. There are tiny ancient facts, references, and back-story and in fact, what did exist was quite comical. If you are buying this for a kid, then it is okay, but anyone that has some knowledge on Ancient Egypt will find this book lacking many basic details.

In summary, I would recommend this book for children and young adults only. It has just enough excitement and action to keep the young mind wondering and wanting to know more.

Written by Jeyran Main

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Fun and engaging adventure
By TFL Reader TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 19, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

I love this book for its portrayal of strong female characters. The book draws on some historical facts and information, so we encourage our young readers to continue learning as they engage in a real fun way of doing so. Any intrigue to entice further knowledge and understanding is a good thing. That being said, the story is original and bound to impress. The main character Neiko is transported from her home in a native American tribe, to the distant past in Ancient Egypt. Here she fights against the repressions of society at the time, and we see how she overcomes some dangerous situations. The book is exciting and packed with a vernacular that will appeal to older teens.

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Back to the Future with Indiana Jones and the Prince of Egypt meets young Native American Indian girl named Neiko
By Cold Coffee on September 8, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Escape From Ancient Egypt by A. K. Taylor is book two in the Neiko Adventure series. Although penned as a series, each book stands alone with action adventure all its own. ‘Escape From Ancient Egypt’ is for those young adult readers who enjoy time travel to ancient Egypt with a Native American Indian twist.

The book starts out with a wonderful map drawing of Egypt Ca 1300 BC drawn by author. The seven photo illustrations were produced by a separate artist. Her book cover design is by Mallory Rock.

In chapter one, Neiko (main character) emerges from a portal and makes a log entry concerning Hawote, a “hidden land that coexisted with the United States, Canada, and Mexico”.

Forty-three chapters reveal realistic characters, imaginative fantasy with action suspense drama, easy to follow dialog that will keep the reader engaged anticipating the next carefully placed photo that brings visual enhancement to the story.

In order to give you the reader a feel for the author’s writing style, I quote a passage from chapter three and share a description of the illustration photo in this chapter.

“Neiko’s vision turned from the green light to the world spinning around her in dizzying speed. Neiko wasn’t moving, but she felt like she was in freefall—like someone had cut the cable from an elevator, and she was plummeting with it. Descending in what—space and time? The evergreen and colorful deciduous vegetation of the Hawote woodlands changed to a desert with a river with some greenery and palms nearby. The cool autumn air of Hawote in October transformed into stifling, searing, dry heat. Pyramids, sphinxes, and strange statues spun around her after her house, porch, and front yard disappeared within the vortex. It was nighttime in Hawote, but the sun rose and set as time flew by— from west to east—backwards. Beneath her bare feet the wood from her front porch turned to nothing then into hot, soft sand.

Neiko’s world stopped spinning, and the sun was high in the sky. Neiko watched the sun to be sure it didn’t move again. Wherever she ended up, she guessed the time must be about high noon there judging by the sun’s position in the sky after a few moments of observation. The heat was intense, and she discovered she must be somewhere far from home. “Where?” was the ultimate question.”

There is a photo of an Indian within this script. “The man chattered in a language she didn’t understand—God knows what he was saying to her. He thrust at her a fine scarab necklace. Neiko looked at him puzzled with her right eyebrow raised. The language didn’t sound like Arabic since she watched a lot of action movies. Neiko put up her hands and shook her head and signed “map” and “phone” and spoke the words in every language that she knew of but got nowhere.”

As you can see Neiko is far from home. You must become a detective yourself and read this book to find out how and why Neiko travels through time? What mystery involves Neiko and some of her friends? How does a Native American girl fit into ancient Egypt culture and what is a girl to do when the Pharaoh takes a romantic interest? What will it take to get Neiko out of the past and back home?

‘Escape From Ancient Egypt’ was the finalist in the ‘Wisebear Digital Book Awards’, winner of the ‘Bronze Medal Award’, ‘Best in YA Historical Fantasy in the 2013 Wisebear Book Awards’ and Winner of the ‘UP Authors Approved Award for the 2013 Fiction Challenge’.

I invite you to read the first book in this series titled ‘Neiko’s Five Land Adventure’ and ‘Escape From Ancient Egypt’ as both books stand alone with their own adventure.

Cold Coffee Press/Cafe endorses Escape From Ancient Egypt (The Neiko Adventure Saga Book 2) by A. K. Taylor. I reviewed this book from Kindle/PDF format. The review was completed on September 8, 2016.

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Enjoyable book.
By Emma on September 11, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Escape from Ancient Egypt is probably best suited for the young adult and teenager audience, but I still really enjoyed it from start to finish. It wasn’t just a great fantasy novel, it also taught me things I didn’t know before, about the Ancient Egyptian way of life, and the Pharaoh Ramesses II. The writing style was simple, but still had plenty of impact, with scenes and moods being well described, and the characters are 3-dimensional. I also really appreciated the illustrations in the book, as it really helped stir up the imagination, as well as visualizing the plot and characters.

The plot of a Native American girl being sent back in time to Ancient Egypt, might seem a little bit out there, but, it really did make for an exciting and unique novel, with a final conclusion that definitely makes you wanting more. I will be eagerly waiting for future books in the series by A.K. Taylor.

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5.0 out of 5 starsA thoroughly enjoyable read
By Michelle Geist on April 23, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

This book has a really original plot idea. It uses the concept of time travel to transport the main character, Neiko, through different lands. Her life gets turned upside down by an evil and intricate story surrounding a powerful Pharaoh. Neikos is a strong and interesting leading character that I think young girls will be able to relate to. Some of the content is better suited to older teens and young adults. The use of illustrations, and facts about historical figures help to support the believability of the plot, and I hope this style of writing is carried on in further adventures with Neiko. A thoroughly enjoyable read.

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Indians in Egypt?
By lynne on March 1, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

I had not read the first book in this series, but it didn’t take me long to feel comfortable with the story and the characters. The idea of Native American Indians running around ancient Egypt, in the time of Ramses II, was a little hard to accept, but if you’re going to accept the idea of time travel, these things happen. I found the writing was exciting and captured my imagination, and the characters were sympathetic and well portrayed. I especially liked the character of Ramsses, and found his pride and belief in his own invincibility to be quite amusing. The outcome of the book was thrillingly written, and leaves one wanting more.

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2.0 out of 5 starsDon’t waste your money or your time on this one.
By NfRtB on November 28, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Part of the rambling description states “If you love the action, adventure, and time travel intrigue of Back to the Future and Time Machine (except without the time machine) and modern 21st century Native Americans in ancient Egypt, but the story of the Ten Commandments and the Prince of Egypt in reverse with a battle of wills and the motives of passion from Pharaoh, and the comic relief of The Big Bang Theory, you’ll love Escape from Ancient Egypt!”

Paragraph-long sentences aside, “Escape From Ancient Egypt” was none of the things to which it was compared. The synopsis and cover of this book made me nostalgic for the adventure stories I read as a kid. I went into this with a great deal of excitement expecting grand escapades, dastardly villains, and maybe a little romance for good measure.

Five pages in and I was so turned off by the stilted voice, typos, and run-on sentences that it was a struggle to choke down the rest of the novel. This may be brutal, but I find myself seriously wondering how Ms. Taylor is an “award-winning author” with work like this. There were even typos in the description and author bio on Amazon.

In addition to the editorial problems, it was painfully clear that Ms. Taylor knew nothing about ancient Egyptian or Native American history, culture, etc. Her characters are inconsistent, flat, and quite honestly, boring. There were issues with plot flow that added to the struggle of reading “Escape From Ancient Egypt”.

A last, and perhaps somewhat minor, note: the concept of love was presented in such a way that I would be VERY reluctant to let any young adult I know read this book. Obsession and control do not equal love in any healthy capacity!

Bottom line: Just pick a different book.

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2.0 out of 5 starsI really excited to review this book but after reading it was really disappointed. It was clear that the author know nothing …
By Darlene Holt on September 27, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition

I received an electronic copy of “Escape from Ancient Egypt” by A.K. Taylor in exchange for an honest review. I really excited to review this book but after reading it was really disappointed. It was clear that the author know nothing about ancient Egyptian culture, history, society, biography, etc. She didn’t seem to have a particularly good grasp on Native American cultures either, perhaps the first book is better in that regard but I haven’t read it, nor have interest too after reading this one. There were just too many inaccuracies for the story to be believable. Perhaps someone without a cultural studies background could enjoy it more. The book also had some consistency issues and some character flaws that hindered the flow and believability. The references to “love” were disturbing. The reading level appeared geared to the YA crowd but calling obsession and control love is potentially dangerous for that age level.

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Wise Bear Books Reviews Escape From Ancient Egypt by A.K. Taylor — 3.5 Paws!
By WiseBearMedia on April 18, 2013

Format: Kindle Edition

Escape From Ancient Egypt by A.K. Taylor is an ambitious book with some important messages, but also some structure challenges. It’s important to note we are evaluating Escape From Ancient Egypt as a stand-alone novel, despite it being the second book in the Neiko Adventure Series, as we have not read the series’ first installment. However, we have some basic knowledge of the first book as well as a cursory understanding of the plot and characters.

The author attempts to bring readers up to speed in the first chapter as Neiko updates her personal journal–we read as she writes. This is a good idea in theory, but there is a level of complexity to the author’s fantasy which makes this background information difficult to fully comprehend in a few digital pages. This makes the novel’s beginning a little confusing as there are a lot of characters and plot lines to explain. It takes a few chapters for readers to get their bearings, but stick with it as it does get easier.

While this book is written for young teens and up, the subject matter at times is far too mature for its intended audience. There is also an imbalance between the youthful tone of the writing and the seriousness of the content. Readers observe Neiko experience a range of emotions as she is transported back in time against her will to Egypt during the reign of Ramasses.

The novel’s villain, Francesco, has schemed to remove Neiko from her position of power and authority within the hidden Hawote tribal community by secretly sending her to ancient Egypt using a magic crystal. When other leaders within the community discover where Neiko is, Francesco is commanded to bring her back. He returns to ancient Egypt not to rescue Neiko and her warrior buddies, but to ensure her permanent place 3,000 years in the past as an Egyptian slave. He also aims to become Ramasses’ advisor and confidant. Francesco’s goal is to learn from the great Pharaoh and then return to his own time to gain control of the seven tribes, and that can’t happen if Neiko is around.

Francesco’s plan seems to be going well–almost too well as Ramasses becomes obsessed with 21-year-old Neiko. The Pharaoh is determined to not only marry Neiko, but also to appoint her to be his Great Wife ahead of Nefeteri and other unnamed wives. The “great honor” brings with it the threat of immediate death to her in the event of Ramasses’ own untimely passing. Apparently it was common in Egyptian culture for a great wife to be either buried alive or killed once her husband had gone the way of all the earth–a sobering thought at any age.

To say that Neiko is resistant to all that is going on around her without her knowledge or consent is a gross understatement, and yet many of her efforts to change her circumstances don’t seem logical and perhaps a bit immature and repetitive. Neiko is essentially being abused mentally and emotionally by her fictional captor husband whose primary goal in the context of this storyline is to make Neiko love him. This doesn’t seem to be appropriate subject matter for a young teen girl audience, given the adult ages of Neiko and we assume the much older Ramasses.

While Neiko won’t give Ramasses the time of day despite their shotgun wedding of sorts, an odd union between her and Nefeteri develops. Neiko’s de facto sister wife is sympathetic toward her. The women are more comrades than rivals. This is a nice surprise and effective as it would have been easier to pit the two women against each other, but then again, our protagonist has enough on her plate with Ramasses.

The Escape From Ancient Egypt storyline is good conceptually with lots of action and we did find ourselves anxiously wanting to know how the author resolved Neiko’s dilemna. Taylor also does a nice job of drawing the reader into the fictional world of ancient Egypt literally with her fantastic artwork interspersed throughout the novel.

Our recommendation for this book would be for an older teen audience. That said, there is a fair amount of slang and unorthodox dialog that is better suited for a middle school or elementary age audience, hence the structure and balance issues we referenced at the beginning of this review.

As a digital work, this book exceeds all primary requirements for a good reader experience. What’s great about digital publishing is the opportunity to resolve editing, dialog, and character issues for subsequent book release updates.

Neiko has tremendous potential as a literary role model for young girls as she can teach through her fictional examples how to take control of their own lives, but it has to be in context with the appropriate story for the right age group. In that respect, we look forward to future installments of the Neiko Adventure Series.

This book was reviewed as part of the Wise Bear Digital Book Awards competition. Entry fees associated with the contest are administrative in nature and do not influence our honest, unbiased book reviews.

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4.0 out of 5 starsGood But Can Be Better
By Quality Reads UK Book Club on April 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition

Did the book description relate to the story? Not really. This book is part of series and the description doesn’t provide as much information as I would have liked.

How did you feel about the opening / ending sequences of the book? I liked the opening sequence. But overall both opening and sequences appeared cluttered. It’s as if the author tried to do too much with too many characters all at the same time.

Who was your favourite character and why? Neiko, I guess. As much as I appreciated the insight into the first book in the series, I think Neiko’s character development was a little too weak. It was expected that you know her. If you haven’t read the first book, you don’t know her and it’s hard to connect with the main character in this book.

What were the main relationships explored in this book? I think it was Neiko relationships with the people around her. It must be noted, the writing style seems fresh and young but the topic and situation seems well beyond Neiko’s years. It worked in some sections and it didn’t in other bits.

Was this book worth reading? I think if the structure is polished a bit more, I would definitely recommend this book to my other book club members.

Disclosure – I received a complimentary copy from the author which did not affect my honest opinion.

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Amazon Reviews For Neiko’s Five Land Adventure (The Neiko Adventure Saga Book 1) by A. K. Taylor

Imaginary Worlds Collide With Reality
By Cold Coffee on October 20, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

I can’t begin to imagine A. K. Taylor as a young girl writing fascinating fantasy tales like Neiko’s Five Land Adventure (Neiko Adventure Saga Book One). Granted as an adult the author has revised this teen writing project and added the wisdom and balance of being a grown, educated and married woman.

Take a moment and think back to your childhood bedroom. Recall your favorite toys, the ones you played with the most and the ones that caused you some discomfort in the dark. Now imagine your bedroom transformed into a fantasy land were you were called upon to battle for the good and defeat evil between reality and imaginary. What if you found out those imaginary worlds and the people/creatures in it were real and you became trapped there? Some things you imagined were incorrect. What would you do?

Neiko’s has one foot in reality and the other where she is Captain Neiko Kidd, commanding officer of the Desert Storm Falcons a hidden world that coexists with the known one. These woodland warriors battle with the Crackedskulls and it has to be done before supper.

I always like to share a quote from each book that I review, not to spoil, but to engage. Now imagine yourself back as a teen trying to communicate with your mom and see if it would go something like this:

“Well, here goes nothing,” said Neiko as she walked down the hall. She was trying to measure up what to say to her mother about what happened. She sat down at the table and waited for her mom to hand her dinner. They prayed, and after they finished, Neiko began eating.
“I wonder where your daddy is,” her mom said, trying to break the silence.
“I don’t know, probably got held up at LP again,” Neiko replied with a mouth full of cabbage.
“Is there something on your mind? You’re awfully quiet.”
“Yeah, um—did you hear anything strange—like in my room… like metal hitting the wall or something?”
“No, why?”
“I was just wondering because a couple of strange things happened a few minutes ago.”
“Like what?”
“Well—like…um—I was playing with Ramses, and when he hit the wall he clanged, and then I tried to bring him in the toy box; I missed, and he hit the side and said ‘Ow’.”
“Who is Ramses?”
“One of my toys—the guy with the shiny armor.”
“Amanda,” she groaned in an aggravated manner, then said gently, “Oh—yeah— well… that’s nice, dear.”
“Mom, I ain’t makin’ this up. It really happened.”
“That’s really using your imagination. Did this happen during a battle?”
“No! This wasn’t pretend—this was real. Like in real life,” Neiko stammered.
“Oh, well, that’s a really nice joke—”
“I’m not joking—and I haven’t even laughed about it. If I was joking, then I would be laughing my head off.”
“Has he ever done this before?” “No.”
“Did he come with any special real-life sounds or anything?”
“No, he was just a plain toy. I’ve had him for a long time, and I’ve played with him a million times, and it’s never happened before—never mind, let’s talk about something else.”
The question begs to be answered, would your Mom believe you? What if your real or imaginary friends reveled in the fact that your Mom just didn’t understand.

I encourage teens and young adults to read ‘Neiko’s Five Land Adventure’ and learn from a peer that you must have courage and the strength to face the odds and fight for what you believe. Teens will enjoy this book and perhaps it will encourage them to write about their toys and action figures that seem to at times, take on a life of their own.

This book was winner of the ‘2012 Indie Reader Approved Award’ and this book was nominated as “A Great Book for Kids” by fantasy and science fiction reviewer CC Cole

Author A. K. Taylor created the Map of Hawote/Georgia and the Map of Qari and has been writing and drawing since the age of sixteen. She worked with another artist to create the 23 black and white photos that help bring the story to life IN THE Sixty-five chapters. There are also letters and an amazing log titled “Neiko’s Log” at the end of this book which details, people, places and events. This log will help young readers as this series continues.

For parents: The author grew up in the backwoods of Georgia where she learned hunting and fishing, beekeeping, gardening, archery, shooting, hiking, and has various collections. She has her degree from University of Georgia with a biology degree. I think she is a good role model for teens and young adults.

Theodocia McLean endorses Neiko’s Five Land Adventure (The Neiko Adventure Saga Book 1) by A. K. Taylor and encourage teens and young adults to read Neiko’s Five Land Adventure (Book One), Escape from Ancient Egypt (Book Two), The Newbie Author’s Survival Guide and her latest book title Bloody Klondike Gold. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on October 20, 2016.

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a true adventure!
By Michael reviews on August 15, 2011
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase

Neiko’s five land adventure is a gripping young adult fantasy tale. You get an exceptional feel for the protagonist, Neiko, as you travel through the rich worlds between reality and imaginary(well not really imaginary as Neiko soon finds out!) alongside her and her cohorts(I particulary liked Quickstrike). The Attack Pack are a colorful and heroic band of super warriors that are enjoyable to learn about as the saga unfolds. The antagonists, from Raven, Bloodhawk, and Franceso to the otherworldly and sinister Ramses Sisper-Bijou are fierce and well thought out adversaries. As the story travels from the world of Hawote to Quari, the author strikes an excellent balance between fear, ferocious battles and humour and the book is full of action. The ending leaves you wanting more and I am looking forward to the next Neiko adventure. If you enjoy young adult fantasy, give this book a read!

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Interesting fantasy from a young writers viewpoint
By Wulfstan TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 3, 2011
Format: Paperback

Amanda (A.K.) Taylor was 16 when she started writing this fascinating fantasy. Today she’s a little older, but she went back, polished it up and got it published. It’s amazing. It is exactly the sort of fantasy that I would have written when I was about that age- with my favorite toys (those with real character!) coming to life and there also being an exciting secret hidden life for me.

I had toys, much like the protagonist does, which I had imbued with much backstory and character. I imagined a secret life for myself (where I was the hero of course) parallel to my real life (which wasn’t very exciting, although honestly not at all bad).

Now, in this present case our hero is a teenaged girl “Captain Neiko Kidd” but she’s pretty much a tomboy. It’s a real blast from the past, and I imagine if any of my teenaged fantasy-world scribbles had survived, they’d read quite a bit like this.

It’s not great literature or even great fantasy (remember, she was only 16!). But it’s not supposed to be. It’s a fun fantasy that tweens and younger teens (who don’t like all that “mushy stuff”) will enjoy, and one that adult readers can look back on with quite a bit of Proustian remembrances.

Plenty of action, and an inspired imagination, indeed.

I rcvd a copy for review.

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Neiko’s Five Land Adventure is an interesting fantasy about strength, courage and the will to always fight for what you believe
By Children’s Book Reviewer on October 4, 2011
Format: Paperback

Amanda Katherine Hawk is no ordinary teenager. In fact, there is nothing ordinary about her at all. She lives a double life that no one suspects. To her friends at school and even to her parents, she is just a high school senior ready to get out and go to college, playing in the band, hanging out with friends and going to church. However, the other life she leads is in no way that simple.

She is Captain Neiko Kidd, the commanding officer of the Desert Storm Falcons, an organization of woodland warriors. She is friends with most of the other Indian tribes who were on the same side. There biggest enemy was with the Crackedskulls, a band of bloodthirsty savages ruled by Raven and his son, Bloodhawk, who are half bird. What makes things worse is Bloodhawk’s obsession to have Neiko as his wife. Many attempts had been made to capture her, but each one failed. Neiko is a target that is hard to defeat.

Becoming more powerful within the Desert Storm Falcons, being promoted to Admiral, Neiko was becoming almost invincible. But Raven finds a mole in the tight knit group who would gladly betray her so Raven and Bloodhawk could defeat the seven tribes and rule everything.

But to find Neiko’s weakness was going to be tough, but then it was remembered that Neiko still liked to play with toys–plastic toy Egyptian pharaohs, to be more precise. She had created her own world with her toy soldiers. Being well versed in dark magic, Raven put a spell on Neiko’s favorite toy, Ramses. But just like all magic, it can backfire. It does when several of Neiko’s toys grow and become real, kidnapping her and taking her into her own imaginary world with their own take over agenda. What will happen to Neiko during her travels in finding salvation?

This story has many different twists and turns that will capture the reader’s attention. Children who love reading fantasy will love the adventure and the world A.K. Taylor creates using powerful Egyptian Pharoahs, half bird creatures, and battles. What is most interesting is how she created a world for an ordinary teenager with Indian background to fight in, learn from, and come into her own.

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First rate fantasy
By Alice M. Dinizo on April 4, 2011
Format: Paperback

With a brisk, appealing, organized style of writing, author Taylor gives readers from fifth grade up to adulthood a fabulous, well-paced fastasy set in the state of Georgia, which, in this story, is actually part of a hidden world called Hawote. Eighteen years old Amanda Hawke has a secret life. Her mother accuses her of playing with toys, but Amanda has a purpose in her collection of action figures. She is Captain Neiko Kidd who fights with her Desert Storm Falcons against the dreaded Crackedskulls. Fighting off dangerous opposing forces, Neiko and her sidekick Quickstrike the scorpion go on a quest into a parallel world to save her hidden world and its Native American tribes, the Black Antlers. Neiko and Quickstrike meet up with figures from ancient history and mythology such as Ajax, Genghis Khan, Hannibal and ultimately long ago Egyptian royalty in the form of brothers Mense, Tut, Ru, and the all-powerful Ramses who has his own plans for Neiko. Wonderful full page black and white illustrations accompany the text. Neiko is a wonderful, outspoken teenage protagonist who holds her own as a character throughout the book. This is a wonderful addition to any fantasy collection and its price makes it very affordable and appealing to readers..

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A journey into a new adventure awaits you.
By Steven Knight on August 19, 2011
Format: Paperback

Do you remember as a child playing hide and seek with a group of friends? It’s a fun and exciting game with simple, easy to follow rules. It is this simplistic form of entertainment that the younger generation craves. It is this style of entertainment that new author A.K. Taylor has captured in her debut novel “Neiko’s Five Land Adventure.”

A teenage girl from Loganville, Georgia is known as Amanda Hawk. In this world that is; in Qari she is known as Captain Neiko Kidd. Her and her group, the Desert Storm Falcons, battle against their archenemies – the Crackedskulls. The feud runs deep as these two tribes battle. Raven and Bloodhawk, the leaders of the Crackskulls, are determined to eliminate Neiko. With her out of the way they can rule the remaining lands.

What do they have in store for Neiko? How will she defeat their evil plan? Who can she trust?
From the first word, A.K. Taylor delivers a fresh, vibrant tale of two different worlds. With each passing page, it is virtually impossible not to be absorbed into Neiko’s trials and adventures. The more you read the further you get sucked into the Five Land.

The strength of “Neiko’s Five Land Adventure” lies in the simplistic approach and ease of storytelling. The characters are endearing, easy to connect with, and can be related too. This novel is for those who enjoy the smooth pace, action and thrills of a fantasy adventure.

Author A.K. Taylor’s debut novel is sure to capture the imagination of young readers. This is an ideal book to ignite a pre-teen or teenager’s passion for reading.

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IndieReader Review
By Amy Edelman on June 15, 2012
Format: Kindle Editio

Author A.K Taylor paints a vivid and intricate picture of a world in which young girls are empowered and able to meet the challenges that life throws at them.

Amanda Hawk is an eighteen year old girl from Loganville, Georgia who becomes brave warrior Captain Neiko Kidd in the make-believe land of Quari, where she leads her action figures against the evil Crackedskulls. Amanda takes on the mission of saving her hidden world despite meeting opposition from Raven and Bloodhawk, her mortal enemies.

a girl who lives, the world of average people and the world of native inhabitants of the American continent, Indians.

The dialogue between the characters is quite believable, and the descriptions of the two worlds in which Amanda inhabits–Loganville and Quari–are quite detailed. While Neiko’s Five Land Adventure is classified in the YA genre, the introduction of mythical and historical characters–including Genghis Khan and Ramses–add more edge to the plot, making it an interesting read for adults.

Taylor weaves a great tale of honor, strength and how belief in one’s self will pull you through. Neiko’s Five Land Adventure is a wonderful coming of age story and a fantastical twist to the childhood game of Cowboys and Indians.

Reviewed by Juliet C. Obodo for IndieReader

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Are you into fantasy?
By Indie Frei on April 5, 2011
Format: Paperback

Are you into fantasy?
Then this book is a must for you! Amanda, a shy young teenage girl, is living her secret life as Neiko in Hawote, a hidden dangerous world. Neiko is responsible to protect Hawote and as a warrior she goes through risky fights and is confronted with various enemies until she learns …
I will not give more details!
A.K. Taylor did something extraordinary with writing this story: Neiko’s Five Land Adventure is a book which can encourage teenage girls to take their lives in their hands. This book can help them to try things which they usually wouldn’t dare to think about. Neiko is a model of courage and power and she can easily be a model for all shy young teenage girls.
Accurate and precise descriptions of the main characters, the different lands, the landscapes, the tribes etc. and lively dialogues make it to a pleasure to follow the author through the story. In addition the book is provided with beautiful black and white illustrations; the reader is missing nothing.
This book has the power to transport you to another world!

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Great middle school read
By Sue Owen on October 26, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition

This is a great middle school or read to me book with tons of adventure and lots of characters to associate with. I loved the story line and I think for the most part the author handled the different worlds that Neiko was a part of pretty well. I did find myself lost a few times but the fact that the author used different names for the two worlds helped a lot.

However, that also led to some confusion trying to keep the characters identified. For a middle school book, there seemed to be a lot of `main’ characters and it was hard sometimes to keep them straight.

I loved the pictures and the illustrator should get extra kudos for the portrayal of the author’s vision. I read the descriptions of the characters and saw the pictures were so exact they almost leapt out of the pages. Great job.

My recommendation on this book would be to cut down a bit on the host of main characters. If I, as an adult, got confused, I can’t imagine how a 12 or 15 year old would be able to keep track of who was whom. I did love the story line and once I stopped trying to memorize the names of those not specifically interacting with Neiko I got along better with the cast.

The story line was easy to follow, however and the adventure definitely worth the read. I look forward to reading other books by this author and in this series

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Neiko’s Five Land Adventure By A.K. Taylor
By Martha Bryce on January 29, 2012
Format: Paperback

Neiko’s Five Land Adventure By A.K. Taylor was an adequate book. The start was weak and a bit confusing as we try to sort out exactly who the characters are and what their roles are. It’s rather implausible that a 16 year old young woman would still be so deeply entrenched in the life and fantasy of her toys. This book would appeal to a 4-6 grade range but there are so many wonderful books for this group that I believe that Neiko’s Five Land Adventure would be overlooked. It is wonderful to have a book for this age group with a very strong female protagonist and the drawings are quite good. Once the characters were established and we could distinguish between the real world of Amanda Hawk and the fantasy adventure world of Captain Neiko Kidd, the story line and action were better but to compare this book to Harry Potter, or even the Indian in the Cupboard is a bad idea. I will read the next book or two to see if the author continues to develop her talent and writing skill.

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Drawn in to Neiko’s Great Adventure
By Timothy M. Holland on April 29, 2011
Format: Paperback

Not knowing what to expect from “Neiko’s Five Land Adventure” I was very pleasantly surprised. Author A.K Taylor does a tremendous job of drawing the reader into the fantasy world of Amanda Hawk aka Captain Neiko Kidd. Follow our heroine Neiko as she fights enemies from other lands and another world. Be taken in by the good and evil forces of Hawote and Qari. See how Neiko and her comrades The Desert Storm Falcons fight off the evil Crackedskulls. And experience the wrath and terror of Ramses the Dark Pharaoh.
Full of plot twists and turns Neiko’s Five Land Adventure” will keep you riveted throughout. It will have you rooting for Neiko and wondering what will happen to her next. And how she will conquer it.
A great read for children and adults. And Taylor’s illustrations help to enhance the story immensely.
“Neiko’s Five Land Adventure” is imagination at it’s best.

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Imaginative Journey
By C.C.Cole on June 19, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition

“Neiko’s Five Land Adventure” is an imaginative journey that is as much of an adventure for the reader as it is for the lead character, Neiko. Imagination leads to reality as Neiko transcends from playing a game with action figures to a world where the figures come to life. The author entwines the story with Native American and Egyptian historical elements adding amazing creativity to Neiko’s journey. While the story is light, danger still exists, which make this story an excellent read for young audiences. I highly recommend this story to anyone who pretended to be in alternative worlds as kids. Though the large cast of characters makes for a bit of confusion, this does not take away from this excellent, well-written story. Congratulations, four stars!

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Fun Fantasy for Tweens
By ParaYourNormal on August 9, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition

Reviewed by Gabryyl Pierce, PYN Team

Amanda Taylor was 16 when she started writing this fun fantasy that tweens will enjoy. The start was a bit confusing but overall the story contained plenty of action and imagination.

Featuring a strong female protagonist (the Real World Amanda Hawk who becomes the Fantasy World Captain Neiko Kidd) who fights enemies from other lands and even another world, “Neiko’s Five Land Adventure” is full of plot twists that will keep you riveted throughout.

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AK Taylor writes unique stories with perfect character interaction and a plot that drives forward to …
By Ron Knight on July 16, 2014
Format: Paperback

“AK Taylor writes unique stories with perfect character interaction and a plot that drives forward to a terrific ending in which the reader won’t ever forget.” ~ MCS Film Review Team