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Backdoor Book Festival

Backdoor Survival has featured my books before.

This month, Backdoor Survival, one of the top survival and prepping websites, featured my latest novel, Braving the Storms, and they’ve highlighted my books before.

In early 2014, Through Many Fires had begun to sell and I knew that if I found bloggers and reviewers willing to read my book, I could reach an even wider audience. At the time I still taught in Alaska, and wrote in my spare time.

I sent an email to Gaye Levy, founder and editor of Backdoor Survival, and she agreed to read Through Many Fires. Gaye featured the novel in the Backdoor Survival Spring 2014 book festival. With help from her, Through Many Fires reached that wider audience. In 2015, Gaye featured my novel A Time to Endure, in another website book festival

Book Festival and Giveaway

My debt to Gaye continues to grow. Earlier this week in her eleventh online book festival, Backdoor Survival featured Braving the Storms. Along with the review there is an interview with me, and a chance to win one of ten copies of Braving the Storms. The winners can choose their format: print book, eBook, or audiobook.

So, click here to go straight to the Braving the Storms page at Backdoor Survival, read the interview, and enter.

Honey Harvest for 2015

The honey harvest this year was very good.

Kyle Pratt ready to harvest from one of his hives.

We have only two hives on our small farm, but even so, the harvest takes nearly all day. After breakfast we set up the equipment, including our honey extractor (basically a hand-crank centrifuge), stainless steel buckets, a couple of food-grade plastic pails, strainers and assorted tools.

Kyle Pratt harvesting honey.

Then we don all of our protective gear because the bees really don’t like what we are about to do. By nine in the morning we are at the apiary and I pulled off the lid of the first hive. The top of the frames in the honey super were covered with thousands of bees and more were inside. Every bee had to be brushed off before the honey frame could be taken. 

By the time my wife and I were done the bees were very mad. That’s why I do the harvest inside. If I harvested outside all those outraged bees would crawl over everything and try to sting me. After I removed the appropriate frames and brushed off the bees, I passed them to my wife. She took them to our garage, where we had everything ready for extraction.

Lorraine Pratt looks over twenty pounds of honey.

When I finished, and closed the hives, I joined my wife inside for the harvest. Using a long knife we cut the comb open and place the frames into the centrifuge. Then I cranked and cranked. It takes a lot of arm work, but the honey soon begins to flow and continues in a slow stream for hours. By the end of the day, my wife and I harvested 308 fluid ounces of honey or over twenty pounds.

Don’t worry about the bees. We take only the excess; most of the honey is left in the hive, so they can eat during the winter.

A Great Complement

The editor of Backdoor Survival compares A Time to Endure to Patriots.

It amazes me how often events in life come in pairs. A few days ago I discovered that New York Times best-selling author, and the editor of SurvivalBlog, James Wesley Rawles recommended my novel, Through Many Fires.

A Time to Endure, by Kyle Pratt and Patriots, by James Wesley Rawles

Then Gaye Levy, editor of Backdoor Survival, one of the top survival and preparedness websites, reviewed A Time to Endure, the sequel to Through Many Fires and compared it favorably to Patriots, the first of a five book series, by Rawles. While the series as a whole has been well received the first novel, Patriots, has achieved a cult-like following in the prepper community.

A Time to Endure Compares to Patriots

In the review she states, “Halfway through (A Time to Endure) a lightbulb went off in my head. The...lessons I was learning not only rivaled those in Rawles’ Patriots, but they were kinder, gentler and less militaristic, in nature.” She goes on to say, “Whether you are new to the genre and to prepping, or an old pro like me, consider adding this book to your collection. You will not be disappointed.”

I’m grateful for the review and humbled by the comparison. 

How Did I Miss This?

I regularly visit SurvivalBlog, but somehow I missed this.

For many years SurvivalBlog was the top site among preppers. While the blog has fallen to fourth place in the rankings recently, the editor, James Wesley Rawles, remains the best known writer in the prepping field. He is also the New York Times best-selling author of the Patriots Novels.

While I don’t visit the site every day, I do consider myself a regular reader. So, I don’t know how I missed it when Mr. Rawles recently recommended my book, Through Many Fires, Strengthen What Remains.

Thank you, Mr. Rawles!

Interview and Review

The editor of Backdoor Survival, Gaye Levy, recently interviewed me and reviewed my latest book, A Time to Endure.

Backdoor Survival is a top ranked survival and preparedness website.

The site provides lifestyle tools, tips, and resources to guide readers through the economic, political, environmental challenges we all face. Because of my own interest in survival and prepping, I’ve visited Backdoor Survival many times. Even before the release of my first survival themed book I was a regular visitor. However, when I released Through Many Fires, it seemed only natural to send a copy to Gaye.

She was kind enough to review the book and interview me. Then she made Through Many Fires part of the Backdoor Survival Book Festival for the Spring of 2014.

This year as part of the website’s Prepper Book Festival, the second book in the series, A Time to Endure, is featured. In the second book, A Time to Endure, the nation’s economy teeters on the verge of collapse. The dollar plunges, inflation runs rampant, and the next civil war threatens to decimate the wounded country. In the face of tyranny, panic, and growing hunger, Caden struggles to keep his family and town together and alive, but how can he when the nation is collapsing around them?

I found the comments below from Gaye’s recent review to be very kind and humbling.

“At some point you might be scratching your head and thinking, how the heck does Gaye read all of these books? One a week? Holy moly!

“The truth of the matter is that sometimes I read just a few chapters and other times I do a quick skim. After all, I do need to preview these books to ensure they are suitable to Backdoor Survival readers. A few, however, I read cover to cover, or if I can, listen via audiobook.

“Kyle’s books are the cover-to-cover type. I know you will enjoy both Through Many Fires and A Time to Endure. Just don’t blame me if you are sleepy the next the day for staying up to all hours reading! One other thing. Kyle’s books are some of the most reasonably priced books in the post-apocalyptic genre on Amazon.”

Thank you, Gaye.

Win A Time to Endure

As part of this year’s Prepper Book Festival  Gaye and I are conducting a book giveaway contest. Ten readers of Backdoor Survival will receive their choice of the paperback, ebook or audiobook of A Time to Endure.

There are still two days left on the contest so, go visit Backdoor Survival and, enter to win A Time to Endure.

Busy Bees & Keepers

Spring is a busy time for bees and beekeepers.

For most of the country this winter has snowy and cold, but in western Washington state the weather has been mild. As a beekeeper this is both a blessing and a problem.

If the winter is short and mild it is a blessing in that the bees use less food and plants bloom early. This gives the bees a longer period to build up supplies for the next winter. However, the weather is mild, but winter returns, the entire colony might starve because of the postponed spring. Right now it looks like winter will continue to fade away.

I have three hives (the boxes), but only keep two colonies of bees for to pollenate my garden and orchard. While I’ve done this for eight years, what I know I learned through trial and error (many errors) and by reading books. I’ve never taken a class—until now. I took this picture as the second session of the apprentice beekeeping class ended today. While I’m probably beyond the apprentice level, I’ve learned things during both sessions. The class has three more sessions.

The smiling woman, with lanyard, is Susanne Weil, one of the officers of our local beekeeping association. She is standing behind two hive boxes.

I have only one colony of bees, but I’ll be ordering a package of bees in a couple of days. A package consists of a queen and around 2000 bees in a box. While they arrive I’ll do a blogpost about it.  

Living What I Write

I don’t just write survival or prepper themed books, I live the life.

Kyle Pratt with a bee frame

Many of the people who aren’t involved in prepping think of those who are as crazy. I think of prepping as insurance against unforeseen problems. Where I live in Lewis county, Washington state, it can flood this time of year. During winter storms the power can go out. I like knowing that I’m prepared.

As part of my chosen lifestyle I live on a small farm. Most farm activities lend themselves naturally to a prepping lifestyle. One thing we do on the farm is raise bees. It’s a small operation, only two honey bee hives, but we usually harvest a nice amount of honey.

Lewis County Beekeepers Assn. meeting

I’ve been a member of the Lewis County Beekeepers’ Association for years. A few days ago I showed up for a meeting and noticed a sign by the door, “Capacity 82.” The room was nearly full when I showed up so, just to amuse myself, I counted heads. There were over seventy people in the room. It was nice to see that many people interested in bees from our rural county. Especially, this time of year when the bees are in their winter cluster in the hive.

Orchard Mason bee homes and supplies

The topic that night was the orchard mason bee, a native bee of North America that is also dormant this time of year. The speaker, Tim Weible shared some great information about how to build mason bee houses (they don’t live in hives), their biology, coping with mites and more.

I live close to nature and when the animals, insects and planets on the farm are doing well I know that I’m better prepared for whatever might come.

Preparedness Books Blog Tour

What would happen to you if a disaster were to strike tomorrow?

That is the opening question on the Survivor Jane website and it is a question all of us should be able to answer, but many of us can’t.

SurvivorJane.com was originally created for women or as Jane describes it, “girly-girls who were a lot like me not too long ago,” The site has since branched out to women in all walks of life as well as men, but Survivor Jane remains the number one survival preparedness website for women. Jane is also an author and appeared on Doomsday Preppers in season 4.

However, the reason I’m writing about the site is because my books have been featured on the website, both in December of last year and just days ago.

In December Through Many Fires was featured with a synopsis of the book and a bio on me. Then, this month, A Time to Endure received the same.

I’ve enjoyed working with Jane and look forward to doing so when the third book in the series is released.

More on Backdoor Survival

Through Many Fires is featured in Backdoor Survival’s fifth Book Festival

About two weeks ago the website Backdoor Survival, one of the top five survival and prepping websites, announced that Through Many Fires would was selected to be part of their Spring 2014 Book Festival. Today, as part of the ongoing event my novel was featured. The editor also interviewed me and asked about upcoming books.

I’m pleased to be a part of their survival book festival which, in the past, has featured a number of bestselling books in the post-apocalyptic genre including, Expatriates, by James Wesley Rawles, and Apocalypse Drift by Joe Nobody and The Long Road, by G. Michael Hopf.

As part of the book festival promotion I’m offering ten copies of Through Many Fires. Winners can choose either paperback, audiobook or ebook format.

I encourage everyone to peruse the site, read the interview, and if you don’t own a copy of Through Many Fires to register for a chance to win.

Backdoor Survival Book Festival

Through Many Fires is being featured in Backdoor Survival’s fifth Book Festival

I didn’t plan it this way, but for the second time this month Through Many Fires has been featured on a prepping and survival website. This time the novel is part of Backdoor Survival’s book festival. Backdoor Survival is one of the top five prepping and survival websites. I’m pleased to be a part of this ongoing survival book festival which, in the past, has featured a number of bestselling books in the post-apocalyptic genre including, Expatriates, by James Wesley Rawles, and Apocalypse Drift by Joe Nobody and The Long Road, by G. Michael Hopf.

As part of the book festival promotion I’m offering ten copies of Through Many Fires. Winners can choose either paperback, audiobook or ebook format.

Since the book festival is ongoing I don’t know all the details yet, but I encourage anyone interested in survival and prepping or who hasn’t yet bought Through Many Fires to visit BackdoorSurvival.com for a chance to win a copy. I’ll write more about the book festival as it goes on.  

Apartment Prepper Interview

Through Many Fires was featured on ApartmentPrepper.com, one of the top survival and readiness websites.

Over the last few years Apartment Prepper has featured significant books in the survival genre such as Expatriates, by James Wesley Rawles, and Apocalypse Drift by Joe Nobody. I’m pleased the editor, Bernie Carr, was willing to add Through Many Fires to that notable group.

Bernie and I both wanted to make this interview something special, so as part of the book feature I’m giving away ten copies of Through Many Fires. Winners can choose either paperback, audiobook or ebook format. If you want to read the interview or you haven’t yet bought a copy of Through Many Fires and would like to win one, go to ApartmentPrepper.com and enter a comment on the question at the end for a chance to win.