Tag Archives: Magical Realism

Author Showcase / Interview / Review of “Spirit of Sasquatch” – Ernest Solar (CONTEST INCLUDED)

Howdy and welcome to Kam’s Place, Ernest Solar! 

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:

Ray Bradbury

Robert Heinlein

Neil Gaiman

Robert Kirkman

Gary Paulsen

Phillip Pullman

Diana Gabaldon

Troy Denning

Brian Vaughan

Erin Morgenstern

 

 

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.

Kindle Purchase Link (US)

Print Purchase Link (US)

Kindle Purchase Link (UK)

Print Purchase Link (UK)

 

 

The Well House is 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. 

Inspired by true events. 

Some voices are never silenced. 

Kindle Purchase Link (US)

Kindle Purchase Link (UK)

 

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.

Amazon Author Page Link / Twitter Link  / Facebook Link

Goodreads Author Page Link / Instagram Link

 

 

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 WIN A SIGNED 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.

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤

Kindle Purchase Link (US)

Print Purchase Link (US)

Kindle Purchase Link (UK)

Print Purchase Link (UK)

 

 

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! 

 

 

 

 

 

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Review of “Between The Shadows (Lake Lanier Mysteries)” – Casi McLean

She never expected to confront deadly villains…let alone fall in love with one… 

After her friend, York, encounters the ghostly image of a young woman, Mackenzie Reynolds seizes the opportunity to initiate a time jump, thrusting them back to 1865 Georgia. Resolved to thwart the girl’s untimely fate, Kenzi stumbles into a deadly conflict over a stockpile of stolen Confederate gold. 

An injured Civil War survivor, James Adams departs for home with a war-fatigued companion he’s determined to help. After pilfering a horse and kidnaping a woman, he never dreamed his hostage would steal his heart. 

Kenzi and James must unravel a deadly plot, while helping York save his ghost woman from a brutal death. But can she leave York in a violent past to save James’s life? 

 

Kindle Purchase Link (US)

Print Purchase Link (US)

Kindle Purchase Link (UK)

Print Purchase Link (UK)

 

Confederate States of America currency circa 1865

 

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

Time travel stories and movies capture viewers’ interest because many of us have pondered when and where we would go, if given the opportunity. I myself have considered, many times over, whom I would like to meet.

In Between The Shadows, Casi McLean takes us back in time to the Civil War era. There, readers are thrust into one suspenseful moment after another while York and Kenzi attempt to save a woman’s life without altering the present.

That’s the real issue with time traveling… you can’t alter history. York took steps to make sure history was left intact. (For you history buffs, you’ll be pleased to know the missing Confederate gold is the main focal point in the plot and Casi addresses it again before we reach The End.)

Whether you are traveling to the past or coming to the present, the experience can be overwhelming. On the trip to the present, this is where Casi does a fantastic job of showing how our simple luxuries can be confusing to a person.

Suspense, love, bit of history, couple surprise moments, and a HEA……. All of these combine to make a story readers will want to relive time and time again.

 

Heart Rating System 

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤1/2

Kindle Purchase Link (US)

Print Purchase Link (US)

Kindle Purchase Link (UK)

Print Purchase Link (UK)

 

 

~~ CHECK THESE OUT! ~~

BUY NOW AT AMAZON: KINDLE / PAPERBACK 
or at these other fine locations: Barnes and Noble / Kobo / iTunes
 
 
 

 

 
 

Award winning author, Casi McLean, pens novels to stir the soul with romance, suspense, and a sprinkle of magic. Her writing crosses genres from ethereal, captivating shorts with eerie twist endings to believable time slips, mystical plots, and sensual romantic suspense, like Beneath The Lake, WINNER: 2016 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for BEST Romantic Suspense.

Casi’s powerful memoir, Wingless Butterfly: Healing The Broken Child Within, shares an inspirational message of courage, tenacity, and hope, and displays her unique ability to excel in nonfiction and self-help as well as fiction. Known for enchanting stories with magical description, McLean entices readers in nonfiction as well with fascinating hooks to hold them captive in storylines they can’t put down.

Her romance entwines strong, believable heroines with delicious hot heroes to tempt the deepest desires then fans the flames, sweeping readers into their innermost romantic fantasies. Ms. McLean weaves exceptional romantic mystery with suspenseful settings and lovable characters you’ll devour. You’ll see, hear, and feel the magical eeriness of one fateful night. You’ll swear her time travel could happen, be mystified by her other worldly images, and feel heat of romantic suspense, but most of all you’ll want more.

 

Website  Twitter  Facebook  Goodreads   Amazon Author Page  Blog  Pinterest  Instagram

 

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Review of “Destiny Series: Five Novelettes With A Twist” – Casi McLean

FREE TODAY!!
GET IT WHILE THE OFFER LASTS!! 
—–> KINDLE LINK <—–
 
 

A note from the author:

I designed The Destiny Series to give readers a taste of my writing and leave them wanting more. Five short stories that capture the essence of my genre and style: ethereal, supernatural, romantic, paranormal, heartwarming, all rolled into one book, sprinkled with a touch of magic. I hope my shorts entice you into my novels.

Allow me to introduce you to:

Self-reliant Reagan Nichols is no stranger to challenges, but ever since twilight fell over Spirit Lake and that murky mist oozed inland, everything felt surreal. When she finds a little girl wandering through the eerie fog, Reagan vows to save the child’s father from the bowels of a ghostly vessel adrift on the lake. Will the three survive a confrontation with pure evil in order to meet their Destiny?

Savanna Bradford’s impulsive reaction to her boyfriend Ryan’s proposal spirals her into a rendezvous with fate and a mystical gift that could alter her future. Will the timeless struggle between dreams and passion bait her into repeating history, or will a simple gift from her bizarre encounter steer Savannah toward her true destiny before it’s too late?

Sabrina Wentworth’s bewildering gift swept her into the sensuous arms of a dream lover. Every night, sometime after midnight, she slips into an illusory world drenched in passion. But the sands of time run out tonight. Can Brie find the key to her fantasy world before the reality of her ex boyfriend’s deadly plot plays through or will she be destined to death after midnight?

Prominent heart surgeon, Sierra Norton, performs minor miracles on a daily basis, but never in her wildest dreams did she imagine she would live one. When lightning strikes her flight the aircraft plunges, swirls through turbulence, and catapults Sierra into a treacherous past––the attack on Pearl Harbor. In a whirlwind blur, Sierra’s courage, skill, and passion challenges her sanity. Can the convergence of three strong women reset history to fulfill her destiny?

When New York Time’s best selling author, Katlyn Harris, discovers a timeworn painting in the attic of the isolated home she mysteriously inherits, she feels a surge of déjà vu that spins her into a mysterious fantasy. Can dreams pierce the realm of reality or is Katlyn’s mystic connection to the antique painting the fulfillment of a promise torn from the pages of history?

Just when you think you’ve got the story figured out, BOOM. Romance, suspense, time-slips, mystery and a touch of paranormal, all wrapped into one book.

 
 
 
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

1) Destiny: This supernatural short story wasn’t exactly spooky but it had a very precious ending. 
 
2) The Gift: I concur with the message in this tale – “It’s the people in life that matter, not the things.” No truer words have ever been spoken.
 
3) After Midnight: I don’t blame Sabrina for wanting to stay in her “dream world”. Aidan (dream guy) was a million times more the man than Derek (real world man). Aidan was loving, sweet, a true doll. Derek, on the other hand, was a despicable man who lied, cheated, and threatened her life. Dream vs reality —> Pretty easy choice!!
 
4) Convergent: This tale would’ve made an excellent episode for the Twilight Zone!!
 
5) The Pegasus Chronicle: Another quick, magical read about lovers overcoming unworldly obstacles and finding each other again. 
 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤


—–> KINDLE LINK <—–

 

 

Casi McLean’s fascination with writing flourished even before she learned to read. At three she beamed with anecdotes entertaining family and friends and, at eight years old, had published her first short story, The Apron String Captain. But when her fourth grade teacher read aloud Madeleine L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle In Time” Casi’s creativity spun into high gear and she knew she was destined to pen novels of her own.
 
Casi grew up in McLean, Virginia, a suburban Washington DC. After graduating from the University of Georgia, with a major in design and a minor in education, she returned to Virginia to teach English and creative writing. Now the mother of two adult sons, Casi lives in Atlanta. where she writes stories to stir the soul with mystery, fantasy, and romance.
 
Beneath The Lake, her debut novel and the first book of a time travel trilogy, follows her five mystical novelettes released in 2014 and reveals the quintessential manifestation of Casi’s imagination sparked by her childhood dreams.

Website: casimclean.com
Twitter: @casimclean
Facebook: Casi McLean
FB Author Page: Casi McLean-Author
Goodreads: Casi McLean
Amazon Author Page: Casi McLean
 

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Review of “Beneath the Lake” – Casi McLean

 

 

A ghost town submerged beneath Atlanta’s famous man-made Lake Lanier reportedly lures victims to a watery grave. But when Lacey Montgomery’s car spins out of control and hurtles into the depths of the icy, black water, she awakens in the arms of a handsome stranger, in a place she’s never heard of — 34 years before she was born.
 
When the 2012 lawyer tangles with the 1949 hunk, fire and ice swirl into a stream of sweltering desire. BobbyReynolds is smitten the moment the storm-ravaged woman opens her eyes. Learning the truth about her origins does nothing to stop the passion from taking root in his heart, and leaves him torn between finding a way to help Lacey return to 2012 or convincing her stay with him.
 
The desperation to find her way home dissolves as Lacey falls in love with a town destined to be erased from the face of the Earth, and the man who vows to protect it. Will the couple discover the key to the mysterious portal before time rips them apart? Or will their star-crossed spirits wander forever through a ghost town buried beneath the lake?

 

 

BUY NOW AT AMAZON: KINDLE / PAPERBACK
 
 
 
 
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

If you enjoyed the movie The Lake House (starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, 2006) then you’ll absolutely adore this novel. Two destined souls, from two different time periods, united (or reunited in their case) through a chain of events. Like the movie, it was sweet, romantic, and had a HEA. 
 
But the story doesn’t end when the soul mates find their way back to each. No, Casi had a couple more surprises up her sleeve which kept me engaged to the very end. I truly believe it’ll have the same effect on you. 
 
Great story and a true delight to read. 
 
 
Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
 Score: ❤❤❤❤
 
 
BUY NOW AT AMAZON: KINDLE / PAPERBACK 
or at these other fine locations: Barnes and Noble / Kobo /
 
 

Casi McLean’s fascination with writing flourished even before she learned to read. At three she beamed with anecdotes entertaining family and friends and, at eight years old, had published her first short story, The Apron String Captain. But when her fourth grade teacher read aloud Madeleine L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle In Time” Casi’s creativity spun into high gear and she knew she was destined to pen novels of her own.

Casi grew up in McLean, Virginia, a suburban Washington DC. After graduating from the University of Georgia, with a major in design and a minor in education, she returned to Virginia to teach English and creative writing. Now the mother of two adult sons, Casi lives in Atlanta. where she writes stories to stir the soul with mystery, fantasy, and romance.

Beneath The Lake, her debut novel and the first book of a time travel trilogy, follows her five mystical novelettes released in 2014 and reveals the quintessential manifestation of Casi’s imagination sparked by her childhood dreams.

 

Email: casi.mclean@gmail.com
Twitter: @casimclean
Facebook: Casi McLean
FB Author Page: Casi McLean-Author
Goodreads: Casi McLean
Amazon Author Page: Casi McLean
 

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