It has been four years since ex-Navy SEAL Jack Haliday, had an explosive run-in with a biker gang, wounding their leader, Gunner. During those years, Jack had acquired everything he ever wanted: a beautiful wife, daughter, and a lovely home in the suburbs–everything was just about as perfect as it could get, until Gunner returned to twist Jack’s world inside-out with a vengeance that he could never have prepared for.
Now Jack has a score to settle and he’s got some friends to help him do it.
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)
Starting from the end of chapter three, Into the Crossfire was non-stop action. There were kidnappings, gun battles, a knife fight, and a house fire. Basically, Cindy McDonald threw everything at us but the kitchen sink and that’s a good thing.
Honestly, there wasn’t too much I would change. I adored Lil, the 4-year-old cutie pie. Every time she entered a scene she cut the tension drastically and this book definitely needed it. It was an intense read.
Other positive things to note:
Cindy McDonald integrated the flashbacks moments featuring Dr. Rayne Lee very nicely into the storyline. She also didn’t overwhelm us with a bunch of team members. She introduced us to only a handful, which means many more books in the series. All in all, a good read.
For 26 years Cindy’s life whirled around a song and a dance–she was a professional choreographer. She taught ballet, jazz, and tap. During that time she choreographed many musicals and an opera for the Pittsburgh Savoyards. Most recently, she has retired to write her novels. She resides with her husband and Cocker Spaniel, Allister, on their Thoroughbred farm know as Fly By Night Stables near Pittsburgh.
You can also find out about her cozy mystery series, Fiona Quinn Mysteries, and her children’s books under her pen name, C.S. McDonald.
For those who might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the readers a little about yourself? How did you get your start in the writing business?
(Ernest)Hi Kameron and thank you so much for this opportunity! A little bit about myself? I’m not sure where to start. On a daily basis I am a Professor of Special Education and Literacy at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland. As far as how I got started in the writing business, I think I have always been a writer. Growing up I had a severe speech impediment, which made it difficult for me to talk. So I turned to writing. As a kid I read so many comic books and I would often take stories from the comics I read and re-write the story but with my own characters. I would then share the stories with my mom. From there I think my passion for writing and telling stories just grew.
As the years went by I submitted short stories and received many rejection letters. When I started my Master’s program and then my Ph.D. program in special education I put my creative writing on hold. For obvious reasons. During those programs I learned how to become a more efficient and confident writer. I also started to receive acceptance letters for my academic writing in professional journals. Once I completed my Ph.D. and had some free time on my hands I started submitting my creative pieces once again and started to find some success.
It wasn’t until recently did I discover that I tell a lot of stories. As an educator, I teach by sharing personal stories and experiences I had in the classroom when I was a special education teacher. I believe this helps my students connect the content of the classroom to real-world experiences.
(KAM) Before I became a writer, I too worked in the special education field. It was one of the best jobs I ever had.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, please share how you handle it.
(Ernest) I think all writers suffer from some form of writer’s block. However, the writing block manifests itself in different ways. For me my writer’s block is time. As a full-time professor, husband, father of five, and helping with the care of my elderly parents I’m surprised I find time to sleep; let alone write. Therefore, when I do sit down and write it is important for me to be efficient in order to get my thoughts and ideas down. I also think when I am away from the keyboard I am always thinking of my stories or manuscripts that I am writing so when I do sit down to write I already know what I want to say or have worked out the scene in my head and have just been impatiently waiting to get it down on paper. I also have journal notes, post-it notes, draft emails with thoughts and ideas that I want to add to my stories. Sometimes I often wonder how much writing I could get done if I actually had six hours of uninterrupted time to write? But honestly, how I write now works for me.
(KAM) Wow, you are a busy man! And, your creative process sounds like mine. I have notes everywhere. 😀
Will you please share with the visitors what genre(s) you write? Also, when you’re not writing, how to do you spend your time?
(Ernest) What genre I write? That is a really good question. In many ways I am still trying to figure that out myself. I like to tell people I write realistic fiction. Then I get a funny look and they ask me, “You mean you believe in Bigfoot?” Yes, of course I do, that’s why I wrote Spirit of Sasquatch. Maybe a lot of authors don’t admit this (or maybe they do), but we often pull from our own experiences. Most of my stories have some element that happened to me or someone close to me. With that definition I could probably argue my writing is creative nonfiction. However, because my stories contain elements related to the paranormal or cryptid animals most people would have a hard time accepting my stories as creative nonfiction. If you want a technical boring answer, I suppose I write science fiction and paranormal fiction.
When I am not writing, how do I spend my time? I spend a lot of time with my family. My wife and I love to go hiking and camping. We spend a lot of time in the woods. My time in the woods also includes searching for Bigfoot or any other cryptid creature or mystery. I also study mindfulness meditation. Through mindfulness my connection to nature and the world around me has grown deeper over the years. Lastly, I love to read. I’ll read anything. And I love to research ideas and thoughts and learn new things.
I know many writers, such as myself, keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?
(Ernest) Oh I’m an open book! Everyone I know, knows I write. Knows I search for Bigfoot. Knows that I am believe in aliens and that a ghost, named Julie, lives in our house, and that I meditate daily. Even my students know that I write, meditate, and search for the unknown. It’s just who I am. I have nothing to hide.
Granted it took me a few years to get to this point. When I first got into the paranormal and searching for Bigfoot only my close friends and family knew. I never really shared my writing with anyone, except for my wife, Christine. And then one day it all switched. This is who I am. Why hide it? In many ways I think my mindfulness (and Christine) helped me with this switch. To be authentic. To be genuine. To be open. It is honestly a liberating feeling.
(KAM) That’s fantastic news. A good support team is always appreciated in whatever path we choose for ourselves.
Will you share with us your all time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.
(Ernest) Great question! And it is honestly, an unfair question. However, my list, in no particular order:
If you could choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love see casted in the parts?
(Ernest) I believe it is every author’s dream to have their book or books optioned to be a movie. As much as I would love to pick one of my own books I am actually going to pick an obscure book. The book is titled, Voices in the Wilderness by Ron Morehead. This is the true story of how Ron Morehead and some of his friends “captured” the sound of Bigfoot in the Sierra Nevada mountain range back in the 1970’s. The story is captivating and the evidence is intriguing. However, I would want the movie made with a serious intention. Not a half-hearted, half-joke mentality. As far as an actor goes, not sure. I’m not up to speed on current actors and Hollywood stars. It’s been a few years since I watched TV or the movies.
Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now? That is if it’s not top-secret information. If so, just whisper it in my ear. I swear it’ll go no further.
(Ernest) Nothing is top secret. However, I won’t tell you the story because I would then lose the motivation behind writing the story. I am working on a novel that takes place in the world of Spirit of Sasquatch. I always liked how Robert Heinlein and Stephen King have their novels set in the same world and sometimes characters and places bleed over to other stories. In Spirit of Sasquatch there were a couple characters I wanted to develop further. In truth, they were knocking around in my head and wanted me to expand their stories further after I finished Spirit of Sasquatch. So with this new writing project I am doing just that. They will be stand-alone stories, but could be read in sequence.
Where can we find your stories and is there a particular reading order?
(Ernest) There is no particular reading order for any of the stories I currently have out on the market. Spirit of Sasquatch is available as an ebook for Kindle and print. The ebook can be found on Amazon.com and the print book can be located with any of the booksellers. Readers can also contact me through my Spirit of Sasquatch Facebook page if they want to purchase a signed copy.
The Well Houseis a different kind of ghost story and is currently only available as an ebook for Kindle. A print version will be released later this year at the annual Mothman Festival in Point Pleasant, West Virginia.
Lucy is a young girl who loves her Pa, their cow, and the little farmhouse she calls home. She also loves the red bicycle that Harvey gave her as a present. But not all is idyllic, and she struggles to steer clear of the local transient, Joe-Michael.
Gannon and Farrah move to Lucy’s family farm many years after Joe-Michael became Lucy’s father’s farmhand. Together, Gannon and Farrah hear Lucy’s voice for the first time on an audio recorder hidden in the woods near the old family homestead. Even though their lives are separated by decades, they intersect at the pond where the secrets have been submerged by Joe-Michael.
Blurring the lines between time and space, Lucy shares her tale with Gannon and Farrah in an unconventional turn of events.
And sadly, Two Moons Rising is currently out of print. However, I do have limited copies. I’m hoping to bring Two Moons Rising back on the market by September of 2019.
Would you please share how your present and future fans can contact you?
(Ernest) Ha ha! Fans. That makes me smile. I’m just thrilled when someone reads my stuff. Honestly, I love chatting with my fans about writing and books in general. To talk about my own work is still unbelievable to me. I can be reached through my Spirit of Sasquatch Facebook page or on Goodreads.com. But let’s be honest, my name is pretty unique and a Google search will probably lead them to my teaching position at the Mount. Either way works for me.
Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours.
(Ernest) Thank you Kameron for taking the time to ask these wonderful questions and giving me a stage to share a small part of my story. I am truly grateful for your love of books and wanting to help authors gain a wider audience.
(KAM) Now that you’ve read Ernest Solar’s interview, we ask that you stick around to read my review of Spirit of Sasquatch and to learn details on how you can WINASIGNED PAPERBACK.
~~ PRIZE ~~
Trevor Blackwood lost his wife to the mythical creature known as Bigfoot and never came to terms with her disappearance. It’s been over a decade since she vanished, but time hasn’t stopped Trevor and his sons Darius and Brock from searching for her and the creatures responsible for her disappearance. In fact, their adamant hunting has given the Blackwood trio a reputation – one that’s caught the attention of government forces with ulterior motives.
After the youngest Blackwood goes missing, like his mother, the line between myth and reality is quickly blurred. Brock soon discovers the secrets that shroud the feared beast. Hunted by the government and sought by his father, the young boy discovers the truth behind his mother’s disappearance at the hands of a menacing Sasquatch. The true nature of the Blackwood family legacy is revealed when the threads of Brock’s life crashes together in a devastating confrontation with the government and the legendary creature known as Bigfoot.
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)
There are a multitude of individuals who believe Sasquatch is real. Teams hunt for the elusive creature. People share captured images of the mysterious beast. However, there’s no solid proof it exists……yet.
Whether you believe in the legend of Bigfoot or not, I think you’ll enjoy reading Spirit of Sasquatch.
There were some interesting theories regarding their classification and abilities. We also learned how the “hairy giants” were feared and respected by all Native American tribes.
Despite the fact I found the story drab at times, one thing I did appreciate regarding Spirit of Sasquatch was some of the humans were the real beasts of the story and the Sasquatch were the loving protectors of the forest.
Now, time for a few of my favorite moments.
Sookum (Bigfoot) skipping rocks with Brock (human). Sookum tossed a boulder though. 😀
Numyc versus the bear.
“Next time be a damn tree!”
You’ll understand #3 once you’ve read the book.
With that said… Don’t be a tree, leave and go get this book.
Ernest will be gifting ONE SIGNED COPY to a lucky person who comments on his interview. Say HI, tell us if you believe in Bigfoot or not, or tell us if you have every encountered the mysterious creature.
One entry per person.
Due to shipping costs, this contest is only available to those living in the continental United States.
Contest ends: May 23rd, midnight (central time)
Winner selected: May 24th via a comment from me on this the comment thread.
If you are not comfortable giving out your mailing address, you can always choose a kindle copy instead.
Now, whatcha waiting for…. LEAVE US A COMMENT. Tell your family and friends to enter. And, GOOD LUCK to you all!
Elusive billionaire and sea dragon shifter, Murdoch Rudraige lives in the shadow of his successful twin and is tired of not being taken seriously within the Clan’s international shipping conglomerate.
Until Annalisa Bartello, an employee from California, crashes into the front gate of his seaside estate and assumes Murdoch is his twin brother. She is risking her life to bring them proof of a corporate traitor and he is lying to her.
Murdoch knows immediately that she’s his mate – but how can she love him after she learns he’s the screw-up twin and a sea dragon?
Until it’s settled, Murdoch isn’t willing to let her out of his sight. Not until he’s certain she is safe, and he has had time to figure out how to explain dragon shifters to the curvy human.
Devlin’s predictable life was about to implode… Thanks in part to a mystery woman’s New Year’s Eve kiss. And a competitor’s unprecedented appeal for help.
Sea Dragon shifter Devlin was comfortable with the routine of his Tokyo-based shipping executive job and his solo existence. Until the unexpected events of New Year’s Eve tipped his entire life on edge. Was he ready for the challenges? Was a crash course in drastic change a bad thing?
Like discovering the feisty human female is his fated mate?
And working with her, a virtual stranger, to track down a bomb toting madman?
You’ll love this book because everyone enjoys watching an odd couple become a team and work through their issues together.
Whenever his Sea Dragon chieftain called, Liam’s life went to shitte…
Hunters attacking the Druid’s secret island?
No sweat. Call a Zodiac Shifter Guardian.
Just not him…
Sea Dragon shifter Liam Rudraige was up to his eyeballs managing Muirdris’s shipping business at the Port of Dublin, plus the Port of Cork expansion, and all the while dodging stalker salesmen.
Until the boss called…and Liam was forced to swim the fastest undersea route to the Druid’s magical island sanctuary.
NY public relations guru, Heather Daniels, despises belligerent sales reps. Seriously, what could be worse?
Transferring to Ireland to discover she’s expected to clean up after her stalker-zilla predecessor. The aggressive jerk left a real mess. And the first executive listed on her make-amends-inventory, Liam Rudraige, has disappeared.
The Tarka chuckled and shoved her away. She stumbled a few steps, dropped the sticks and unsheathed her blades. Her fingers gripped the smooth leather wound around the hilts. The power vibrated against her skin. The electrifying blue energy danced along the shafts and whined, begging for blood. She whirled around and her hood fell back. The wind pushed her hair across her face.
The Tarka remained expressionless and drew his second sword. He now wielded two blades like her. “Ah. Now we see the true you.”
She lunged. He parried. The power of the swords pulled at her. She fused with them, merging into one, as if the blades became extensions of her arms as she danced. The light reflected off the metal and she became a flurry of sharp edges. Each slash propelled her faster and she spun, transforming into a whirlwind of blades.
~~ Excerpt 2 ~~
The Tarka held perfectly still, gray gaze flashing, white-blond hair shining under the setting sun. He looked like a warrior angel sent to Earth to smite the pest-like humans.
She clutched her staff and brought it up with numb fingers.
He raised a dark eyebrow. “You plan to fight me with a stick?”
“I can hand it over and tell you what to do with it, if you promise to follow directions.” She moved the stick slowly. Not fast enough to give away her skill, but enough to warm her wrists and get blood flowing back into her limbs.
“I’ll take option number one, thank you,” he said.
“Fine with me. I’d prefer anything to becoming your next sacrifice.” They’d never confirmed the Arkavians were responsible for the bloody sacrifice they’d stumbled on, but no crazy magical beasts had roamed the forest since the portal opened, so they made an assumption. She glanced behind her at the trees and George’s exposed foot. What the hell had the Tarka done to him?
“He’s incapacitated. You won’t find any help from him.”
Taya snarled while her mind raced. The man hadn’t used any magic yet. Maybe he didn’t have any. Maybe only some of the blondes had power. Could she outrun him? She wasn’t fast, but he was bulky with muscle, and wore lightweight armour and a heavy cloak to stave off the damp cold.
Where would she run to? She couldn’t lead him to the others, and she couldn’t survive long in the woods without supplies.
The man cocked his head, studying her and probably reading every thought screaming through her head. “Sacrifice? Exactly what kind of fantasies have your kind concocted about us?”
“I would hardly call them fantasies.”
“What would you call them, then?”
He nodded. “Is this where you tell me my evil ways are done?”
“I’m not sure. Is this where you make some grand speech about ridding the world of my kind or do you plan to preach about the superiority of your race and how you deserve to leach off our planet?”
“I’m waiting for you to finish warming up so we can get on with it.”
J.C. McKenzie is a book-loving, gumboot-wearing, unapologetic science geek. She’s the author of the Carus Series, an urban fantasy five-book saga published by the Wild Rose Press. Born and raised on the West Coast, J. C. sets the majority of her books in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada. She writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance with sassy heroines and brutish, alpha-type men.
WHEN GAELAN KELLY RETURNS FROM WAR, physically and emotionally scarred, he tries to piece a normal life back together. But the horrors of war couldn’t prepare him for the terror he discovers, thrust into a world he never knew existed. Dealing with the trauma of combat and plagued by nightmares of a monster that shouldn’t exist, Gaelan finds himself embroiled in a battle to protect humanity even as he struggles to preserve his own.
He fought a war of men. Now he fights a war for mankind. But Gaelan’s greatest war will be within.
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)
Hunters love the thrill of the chase but what if the hunter suddenly becomes the hunted. In the introduction, a deer hunter finds himself in this very predicament. He suddenly understands the fear animals face in the wild and the pain of dying that follows. As I read the gory scene in “Hunting Grounds,” I knew this book was going to be highly descriptive in future encounters with various monsters. As a reader, I love when an author holds nothing back. In Gaelan’s War, Thaddeus McGrath pulled no punches in delivering many gruesome, finely detailed battle scenes.
Gaelan, a Marine, faced many horrors on the battlefield and more when he retuned home. In the Middle East, he watched many comrades die in battle. At home, he witnessed his parents savagely killed by a beast. At the time, he had no idea it was a werewolf or that he was about to become one. With the assistance of Father Denny and Master Oonishi, he had a second chance at life. Instead of dying, he trained to control his beast and fight the monsters feasting on mortals.
Every battle scene was exceptionally written. Gaelan’s most memorable supernatural fight scenes involved him battling a vampire, cobalus, and a pack of wolves.
Gaelan was no ordinary werewolf. He wasn’t a complete monster. He can do something extraordinary…. He can control the beast instead of the beast controlling him.
No one can truly understand why and how Gaelan is different than other werewolves. Maybe he carried over some of the traits he had as a mortal man: strength, honor, loyalty, and compassion. He was a respected soldier; a man his fellow soldiers could rely on during battle. As a werewolf, nothing’s changed. He’s still a fierce warrior.
I recommend anyone who loves supernatural/horror stories to read Gaelan’s War.
Thaddeus McGrath is a former U.S. Marine Corps fighter/attack pilot, a veteran of the War on Terror and a graduate of the United States Naval Academy. He has loved writing since he was a boy. His debut novel, Gaelan’s War, was inspired by a desire to continue the discussion about PTSD, and a love of all things supernatural. In his world, werewolves aren’t big dogs and vampires definitely don’t sparkle! He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, kids, and oversized dogs.