Master Cat Audiobook Coming Soon!

August 19th, 2015

 

Thank you to everyone who donated! We reached our goal!

 

Once again Matt Finch has outdone himself with his narration. The Master Cat audiobook is, perhaps, the best one yet and I can’t wait to release it to all you wonderful readers. It’s because of you, that this adventure is possible. ACX has approved the quality of the audiobook and will be making it available on Audible, iTunes and Amazon soon. If you want to be the first to know when this awesome third book in the series is available, sign up for my monthly newsletter.

Listen to this sample to see just what you’ll be getting:

 

Thank you to everyone who donated! We made our goal!

Master Cat will be released to the public soon. Sign up for my newsletter to be the first to find out when this awesome audiobook is available.

Want to know more about this book about a talking magical cat? Here’s the description:

Toby, a magical talking cat, has cut ties with the Office of Kingdom Guardianship, intent on finding his long-lost father and avenging his mother’s murder. He thought he left everyone behind, but someone from his past is stalking him. Now he must avoid this strange new menace while he seeks the truth about his family’s dark history, a history that threatens to unravel his sanity and cause the rest of the world to descend into madness.

Can Toby reconcile himself with the past or will his inner turmoil allow his enemy to plunge humanity into chaos once and for all?

 

If you’ve read Master Cat and enjoyed it, consider leaving a review.

 

Get your copy of Master Cat at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Scribd and Inktera .

Buy the .mobi, .epub or .pdf version now 

Related Posts

  • 72
    Coming Soon... Just two more weeks! The release of my newest novella in the Malkin series, Treasure of the Malkin, is almost here! I am so excited to share this brand new story with you that I just couldn't wait to release the book trailer. So, without further ado, here is the…
    Tags: book, magical, sign, cat, talking, christian, fantasy, ripple, virginia, fiction
  • 72
    It's Almost Time... I can hardly believe it's almost here: the release of my newest novella in the Malkin series, Treasure of the Malkin! I am so excited to share this brand new story with you that I just couldn't wait to reveal the cover. So, without further ado, here…
    Tags: magical, sign, cat, talking, christian, fantasy, ripple, virginia, fiction, writer
  • 68
    Hi friends. I need your help. Get a free copy of my book at Story Cartel before 6/27/13 in exchange for your honest review. The humans want to kill all cats, be they ordinary or magical. The magic cats, as well as the normals, want to escape somewhere far from humans.…
    Tags: cats, cat, magical, magic, will, book, talking, fantasy, christian, ripple
  • 64
    I have 1 Signed Set of the Master Cat Paperback Books to offer in this awesome Signed Edition Book Giveaway (June 17-July 8). As an added bonus get a cool Malkin Series water bottle---just in time for the hot summer. Enter as many times as you like, but do it before 11:59 p.m. CST,…
    Tags: cat, toby, master, magical, talking, book, christian, virginia, ripple, writer
  • 58
    He'll protect his partner's dream --until someone he loves is murdered... Despite the war, despite that everyone else says he’s dead, Journeyman Toby continues to search for his father with the help of his human partner. When what promised to be another dead-end lead turns into something more, Toby pounces…
    Tags: cat, toby, talking, virginia, master, magic, cats, mystery, fantasy, magical

Master Cat Poll And Thank You Gift

August 13th, 2014

I’m so excited. Master Cat is nearly ready to be released (scheduled for October). To celebrate I’d love some help choosing a cover design. As a thank you for your vote, download the first chapter from the upcoming release, Master Cat, FREE! (scroll down to download)

In case you’re unfamiliar with the book’s concept, here is the back cover blurb: Toby, a magical talking cat, has cut ties with the Office of Kingdom Guardianship, intent on finding his long-lost father and avenging his mother’s murder. He thought he left everyone behind, but someone from his past is stalking him. Now he must avoid this strange new menace while he seeks the truth about his family’s dark history, a history that threatens to unravel his sanity and cause the rest of the world to descend into madness. Can Toby reconcile himself with the past or will his inner turmoil allow his enemy to plunge humanity into chaos once and for all?

Here are the three covers to choose from. I need your help because I just can’t decide which one I like better. Here are the choices (scroll down to vote):

Master-Cat-Cover-mockup Cover #1 Master-Cat-Cover-mockup2 Cover #2 Master-Cat-mockup3 Cover #3

The poll is now closed. Sign up for my newsletter to be the first to find out which is the winning cover. Mass audience cover reveal will be Sept. 24, 2014.

***

Catch up on the adventure with other books in the Malkin series.

Apprentice Cat CoverApprentice Cat available in paperback and for KindleNookKoboScribd and iTunes.

Buy the .pdf now 

Also available as an audiobook on AudibleAmazon and iTunes.

 

 

Journeyman-Cat15percentJourneyman Cat available in paperback and KindleNookScribdiTunes and Kobo.

Buy the .pdf now 

Audiobook coming soon.

 

 

Secrets-of-the-Malkin-sidebar-newsletterSecrets of the Malkin ebook version available for KindleNookiTunes and Kobo.

Buy the .pdf now 

 

 

 

Huntress of the MalkinHuntress of the Malkin ebook version available for KindleNookKobo and iTunes.

Buy the .pdf now 

Upon Review: Phoenix Feather by Angela Wallace

November 12th, 2013

I love to curl up with a nice, steaming cup of tea and a free book to review. In fact I subscribe to three book review sites: Book CrashBook Rooster and The Bookplex just so I can indulge in my favorite leisure activity. What’s even better is when an author contacts me for a review. If you’re an author looking for someone to review your book or short story, check out my Request a Review page.

Because I like to share the great reads I’ve found (and warn readers of the not-so-great finds), I developed a system:

  • One cup — worse than a cup of luke warm black pekoe
  • Two cups — it may be hot, but you’ll need plenty of sweetener just to tolerate it
  • Three cups — it’s not my favorite, but it beats going without
  • Four cups — nice and hot and only needs a smidge of sweetener to be perfect
  • Five cups — loose leaf vanilla Earl Grey, yummy

Sometimes a book or story doesn’t warrant a five cup rating, but it’s so good it can’t be missed. For those I include the “Must Read” starburst in front of the cup rating. You’ll find my cup rating above the picture of the cover. Enjoy!

Phoenix Feather by Angela Wallace

Four Cup

 

 

 Here is the description that caught my attention:

Aidan Quinn is not entirely human. Every hundred years, she bursts into flame and is reborn from the ashes. Now she’s a grad student in Seattle, weary of these repetitious life cycles and grieving a lost love.

An obsession is born. Detective Bryan McCain is trying to solve the serial murders of young women with red hair. When his brother, Trent, starts dating a potential victim, Bryan has to pour everything he has into catching the killer, without losing himself in the process.

Aidan’s heart has been broken many times, but she just might have a little left for dashing fireman Trent McCain. Little does she know, the killer is on the hunt for a phoenix, and he’s getting closer.

The Good…

This was quite possibly Angela Wallace’s best book yet. I loved the murder mystery parts. Her use of details concerning how an investigation proceeds, as well as what happens in a fire department, showed a mastery of balance between the amount of research done and what actually gets used in the story.

I also enjoyed the way she treated the characters’ feelings regarding Chris’s illness. It was an honest view of different people’s reaction to a loved one living with stage four cancer. Many scenes brought me to tears, and, as I’ve said in other reviews, that is difficult to do.

Not only did she treat each character with dignity and fashion them into believable people, she gave us an ending full of surprises and unexpected twists that is very satisfying.

The Not-so-good…

While the characters and situations were as believable as any writer can create, I was a bit disappointed that the mystery almost completely disappears near the middle of the book. I would have liked more tension brought out with reminders that there is a serial killer on the loose throughout the entire story, instead of just at the beginning and near the end.

The book meandered into romance genre territory more than I prefer about one-third of the way into the story. However, by the two-thirds mark, the mystery was back in full swing and continued to rivet me through the rest of the pages.

The Overall…

I think Phoenix Feather would appeal to mystery lovers and romance readers alike and I would highly recommend it. You can find it on Amazone, Barnes & Noble and Kobo.

Upon Review: Hera, Queen of Gods (Goddess Unbound) by T.D. Thomas

July 24th, 2013

I love to curl up with a nice, steaming cup of tea and a free book to review. In fact I subscribe to three book review sites: Book CrashBook Rooster and The Bookplex just so I can indulge in my favorite leisure activity. What’s even better is when an author contacts me for a review. If you’re an author looking for someone to review your book or short story, check out my Request a Review page.

Because I like to share the great reads I’ve found (and warn readers of the not-so-great finds), I developed a system:

  • One cup — worse than a cup of luke warm black pekoe
  • Two cups — it may be hot, but you’ll need plenty of sweetener just to tolerate it
  • Three cups — it’s not my favorite, but it beats going without
  • Four cups — nice and hot and only needs a smidge of sweetener to be perfect
  • Five cups — loose leaf vanilla Earl Grey, yummy

Sometimes a book or story doesn’t warrant a five cup rating, but it’s so good it can’t be missed. For those I include the “Must Read” starburst in front of the cup rating. You’ll find my cup rating above the picture of the cover. Enjoy!

 

Hera, Queen of Gods (Goddess Unbound) by T.D. Thomas

Five Cup Must Read

 

 

 Here is the description that caught my attention:

The Fates are missing. Hera has no choice but to lead a handful of gods to the human world to search for the missing goddesses, even though it means giving up her powers and temporarily becoming mortal. But mortality begins to change Hera in unexpected ways, and it gets much worse after she meets Justin, a boy who defies every prejudice she once had about mortals. Torn between who she’s becoming and who she needs to be in order to fulfill her duty, Hera must survive a horde of murderous creatures sent to exploit her new weakness. In the end, only she can stop a traitorous plot conceived by a secret alliance of ancient and new enemies, a plot that threatens to destroy not only the order Hera is sworn to protect, but all of existence itself.

The Good…

I could not put this book down. I loved the fast-paced action and the constant wondering about what would happen next. I started out believing the main characters would all make it to the end, but Thomas took that safety away early on, making it clear that death could snatch any of them at any moment. Talk about adding tension.

Perhaps the best part was the mystery behind who took the Fates. Like my favorites, this book kept me guessing. In fact, I never figured out who was responsible for capturing the Fates until it was revealed and that rarely happens.

I also loved the epilogue. Like prologues, I often skip epilogues because they rarely add anything to the story. Not so for this book. The epilogue gives a nice conclusion while still leaving you on the cliff.

The Not-so-good…

There were a couple places during their rituals that I couldn’t suspend my disbelief. For instance, it’s difficult for me to believe that pricking the finger of four people would create enough blood to create a circle if you poured it on the ground. Thankfully those details are not integral to the plot, so they weren’t make-it-or-break-it for enjoying the story as a whole.

The Overall…

Hera, Queen of Gods (Goddess Unbound) by T.D. Thomas is a roller-coaster ride that mystery and fantasy fans alike will enjoy. Make sure you clear your schedule when you pick up this book, because you won’t be able to put it down.

Upon Review: The Caves of Etretat, Book Four of Four by Matt Chatelain

March 4th, 2013

I love to curl up with a nice, steaming cup of tea and a free book to review. In fact I subscribe to three book review sites: Book CrashBook Rooster and The Bookplex just so I can indulge in my favorite leisure activity. What’s even better is when an author contacts me for a review. If you’re an author looking for someone to review your book or short story, check out my Request a Review page.

Because I like to share the great reads I’ve found (and warn readers of the not-so-great finds), I developed a system:

  • One cup — worse than a cup of luke warm black pekoe
  • Two cups — it may be hot, but you’ll need plenty of sweetener just to tolerate it
  • Three cups — it’s not my favorite, but it beats going without
  • Four cups — nice and hot and only needs a smidge of sweetener to be perfect
  • Five cups — loose leaf vanilla Earl Grey, yummy

Sometimes a book or story doesn’t warrant a five cup rating, but it’s so good it can’t be missed. For those I include the “Must Read” starburst in front of the cup rating. You’ll find my cup rating above the picture of the cover. Enjoy!

 

The One Book of Etretat (The Sirenne Saga)The Greyman (The Sirenne Saga) by Matt Chatelain

Three Cup

 

 

I usually do not agree to read an entire series, but the sample I read of The Caves of Etretat, Book One of Four (The Sirenne Saga) made me decide to give this entire four book series a chance. Here is the description of Book Four:

Ultimate Confrontation, Ultimate Answers In the previous books of the series, Paul Sirenne was changed into a fledgling immortal in the caves of Etretat, France. Based in the caves, Sirenne was preparing for an ultimate confrontation against the Greyman, the oldest immortal on earth. With countless disasters occurring everywhere and a pandemic disease killing all children in the womb, all events were converging on Sirenne. To make matters worse, Weissmuller, the immortal serial killer was continually dogging his steps. In the fourth and final novel of the series, Sirenne learns he has been selected to find the Other, the only being strong enough to defeat the Greyman. Sirenne has mastered electromagnetic flight and the ability to manifest objects and manipulate matter. Weissmuller has revealed himself and an uneasy alliance has been made. Armageddon is fast approaching, with people dying by the millions, as Sirenne tries to understand what is really going on. The unstoppable Greyman is drawing near and an ultimate confrontation seems inevitable. Everything rests on Sirenne’s final decision. Will he be able to accept the real answers behind everything? ‘The Greyman’ ends the four-book epic adventure following Paul Sirenne, an average man unknowingly manipulated into becoming the key in the final phase of a complex conspiracy spanning millennia. Inextricably woven into history, the series re-writes everything we know in a non-stop rollercoaster of a ride where nothing is ever as it seems. The Saga’s Phenomenal Conclusion

The Good…

The first part of The Caves of Etretat, Book Four of Four: The Greyman was as exciting as book three. This one had me turning pages quickly to find out what would happen next. There were quite a few surprises, especially concerning the Abbey’s involvement in the entire mystery.

The Not-so-good…

Again, while I’m sure it wasn’t intended, the Americans in the story made me laugh. They were more or less caricatures of every movie I’ve seen where the military decides to go in with guns blazing because their motto seems to be “Shoot first. Ask questions later.” There were no redeeming qualities to these characters, no reason to feel they were in any way justified in their thinking. In fact, when they are wiped off the planet, I didn’t care. Not sure if that was how I was supposed to react or not.

The beginning of the book was very exciting, though there were a few parts that seemed unbelievable even given that we’ve been alerted to why certain things are able to happen.

However, I scanned most of the last of the book from the Original Dream to about halfway through Growth because the story slowed down to less than a crawl at that point. We’ve already figured out that Paul has jumped to the next level and we’ve already learned what that next level is about, so re-living the entire thing wasn’t all that interesting. I wish the author had condensed the entire last bit into one section instead of three.

The Overall…

If you’ve read the first three books, then it’s almost a given that you’ll want to read The Greyman (The Sirenne Saga) by Matt Chatelain. However, beware that the entire story comes to a screeching halt near the end and continues on at a rate that mirrors those dreams we have where we run hard, but get nowhere.

Upon Review: The Caves of Etretat, Book Three of Four by Matt Chatelain

February 25th, 2013

I love to curl up with a nice, steaming cup of tea and a free book to review. In fact I subscribe to three book review sites: Book CrashBook Rooster and The Bookplex just so I can indulge in my favorite leisure activity. What’s even better is when an author contacts me for a review. If you’re an author looking for someone to review your book or short story, check out my Request a Review page.

Because I like to share the great reads I’ve found (and warn readers of the not-so-great finds), I developed a system:

  • One cup — worse than a cup of luke warm black pekoe
  • Two cups — it may be hot, but you’ll need plenty of sweetener just to tolerate it
  • Three cups — it’s not my favorite, but it beats going without
  • Four cups — nice and hot and only needs a smidge of sweetener to be perfect
  • Five cups — loose leaf vanilla Earl Grey, yummy

Sometimes a book or story doesn’t warrant a five cup rating, but it’s so good it can’t be missed. For those I include the “Must Read” starburst in front of the cup rating. You’ll find my cup rating above the picture of the cover. Enjoy!

 

The One Book of Etretat (The Sirenne Saga) by Matt Chatelain

Four Cup

 

 

I usually do not agree to read an entire series, but the sample I read of The Caves of Etretat, Book One of Four (The Sirenne Saga) made me decide to give this entire four book series a chance. Here is the description of Book Three:

The World on the Brink of Disaster

In the previous books of the series, Paul Sirenne discovered a complex of hidden caves in the cliffs of Etretat, France. Chased by an immortal serial killer, and assisted by the Abbey, a thousand-year old organization, Sirenne, becoming an immortal himself, was given control of the caves, to prepare for an ultimate confrontation against the Greyman, the oldest immortal on earth. Taken by surprise, Sirenne and the complex of caves barely survived an attack by American mercenaries. 

In Book Three, the world is in chaos. Countless disasters are occurring everywhere and a pandemic disease is killing all children in the womb. People and countries, desperate for a solution, are demanding Sirenne’s immortality cure. Sirenne knows it’s not the true answer. He must find the One Book by solving the clues laid out by Maurice Leblanc and the Abbey. Changed by his immortality, he develops new senses which give him an increasingly different perspective on everything he sees. At the same time, all events are converging on him. Weissmuller, the immortal serial killer, is circling closer and closer.

‘The One Book of Etretat’ is the third in a four-book epic adventure following Paul Sirenne, an average man unknowingly manipulated into becoming the key in the final phase of a complex conspiracy spanning millennia. Inextricably woven into history, the series re-writes everything we know in a non-stop rollercoaster of a ride where nothing is ever as it seems.

The Sirenne Saga Continues

The Good…

The Caves of Etretat, Book Three of Four: The One Book of Etretat was by far the most exciting of the four books. This one had me turning pages quickly to find out what would happen next.

The Weismuller Recollections make much more sense in this story and add a wonderful bit of tension. It was also interesting to see how Weismuller was able to be a step ahead of Paul Sirenne and keep out of reach of the Abbey, not to mention making me wonder at some of the coincidences that helped this character achieve his goals.

The Not-so-good…

Like the Weismuller Recollections in book two, the Greyman Chronicles do not seem to make sense in this part of the story. Also, if you figured out what was going on with Inspector Norton in book one, most of the recollections in this book will feel unnecessary. They are interesting, but I felt they could have been skipped altogether without harming the story.

Unfortunately, the author runs afoul of one of my pet peeves in this book. He puts in the mouth of Father Plantagenet a saying many people attribute to the Bible: God saves them who save themselves. While this saying works well with the entirety of the Caves of Etretat books, it is not a quote from the Bible and is, in fact, a quote most often attributed to Benjamin Franklin. Someone as well versed in theology as Father Plantagenet supposedly is, would be unlikely to say something like this when his entire vocation rests upon the belief that God saves those who cannot save themselves.

Again, while I’m sure it wasn’t intended, the Americans in the story made me laugh. They were more or less caricatures of every movie I’ve seen where the military decides to go in with guns blazing because their motto seems to be “Shoot first. Ask questions later.” There were no redeeming qualities to these characters, no reason to feel they were in any way justified in their thinking.

The Overall…

While this book was a page turner, I would only recommend The One Book of Etretat (The Sirenne Saga) by Matt Chatelain if you plan to finish the entire series because it will be necessary to understand book four.

Upon Review: The Caves of Etretat, Book Two of Four by Matt Chatelain

February 18th, 2013

I love to curl up with a nice, steaming cup of tea and a free book to review. In fact I subscribe to three book review sites: Book CrashBook Rooster and The Bookplex just so I can indulge in my favorite leisure activity. What’s even better is when an author contacts me for a review. If you’re an author looking for someone to review your book or short story, check out my Request a Review page.

Because I like to share the great reads I’ve found (and warn readers of the not-so-great finds), I developed a system:

  • One cup — worse than a cup of luke warm black pekoe
  • Two cups — it may be hot, but you’ll need plenty of sweetener just to tolerate it
  • Three cups — it’s not my favorite, but it beats going without
  • Four cups — nice and hot and only needs a smidge of sweetener to be perfect
  • Five cups — loose leaf vanilla Earl Grey, yummy

Sometimes a book or story doesn’t warrant a five cup rating, but it’s so good it can’t be missed. For those I include the “Must Read” starburst in front of the cup rating. You’ll find my cup rating above the picture of the cover. Enjoy!

 

The Four Books of Etretat: Book Two of Four (Volume 2) by Matt Chatelain

Three Cup

 

 

I usually do not agree to read an entire series, but the sample I read of The Caves of Etretat, Book One of Four (The Sirenne Saga) made me decide to give this entire four book series a chance. Here is the description of Book Two:

THE SECRET OF IMMORTALITY REVEALED In ‘The Caves of Etretat’, Canadian bookstore owner Paul Sirenne was thrust into a quest for answers in the town of Etretat, France, on the trail of a hundred year old mystery hidden in the pages of ‘The Hollow Needle’, by Maurice Leblanc. Together with Leblanc’s great-granddaughter, Sirenne unearthed puzzles, codes and historical mysteries, exposing a secret war for control of a cave fortress in Etretat’s chalk cliffs. In Book Two, ‘The Four Books of Etretat’, Sirenne discovers the reason for the hidden war: the secret of immortality. The Abbey, a thousand-year old organization, dedicated to chasing the oldest immortal on earth, known as the Greyman, has given Sirenne control of the caves and its secrets, apparently preparing him for a confrontation with the Greyman. Unfortunately, the serial killer who killed Sirenne’s father, Weissmuller, has discovered this knowledge before Sirenne. Now an immortal and constantly dogging Sirenne’s steps, Weissmuller seems to be playing a game of his own. ‘THE FOUR BOOKS OF ETRETAT’ is the second in a four-book epic adventure following Paul Sirenne, an average man unknowingly manipulated into becoming the key in the final phase of a complex conspiracy spanning millennia. Inextricably woven into history, the series re-writes everything we know in a non-stop rollercoaster of a ride where nothing is ever as it seems. THE SAGA CONTINUES

The Good…

The Caves of Etretat, Book Two of Four: The Four Books of Etretat was more exciting than book one and many of the dialogue issues I had with book one have been worked out in this book. I was also intrigued by the unfolding mystery of the caves.

I enjoyed the use of dream imagery to aid Paul Sirenne in his unraveling of the clues LeBlanc left for him to solve and I thought adding the monks and the various Watcher groups into the story added a great bit of intrigue.

The Not-so-good…

Although there was plenty of action in this book, there was also still a lot of tedious information to go through.

The biggest problem I had with the mystery of locating the books was the number of specific chess references. I suppose if you enjoy, or at least understand the game of chess, these parts would be easily absorbed, but for me, someone who knows very little about the nuances of the game, I found it difficult to wade through. In fact, it threw me out of the story and made it too easy to put the book down.

I was also a bit irked by Paul Sirenne’s alternating reticence and seeming egotism. Granted, the hero has been pushed into a role he doesn’t really want, so his reticence is understandable. However, there are moments when he throws of his usual persona of working with his team and begins ordering people around like some kind of “lone cowboy.” The change was confusing because it felt like he was going against his nature.

While I’m sure it wasn’t intended, the Americans in the story made me laugh. They were more or less caricatures of every movie I’ve seen where the military decides to go in with guns blazing because their motto seems to be “Shoot first. Ask questions later.” There were no redeeming qualities to these characters, no reason to feel they were in any way justified in their thinking.

I also found the Weismuller Recollections unnecessary to the story being told. They were very interesting, but they seem to have little bearing on the present day action of the main story.

The Overall…

While there is a lot more action and believable dialogue, I would only recommend The Four Books of Etretat: Book Two of Four (Volume 2) by Matt Chatelain if you plan to finish the entire series because it will be necessary to understand books three and four.

Upon Review: The Caves of Etretat, Book One of Four by Matt Chatelain

November 24th, 2012

I love to curl up with a nice, steaming cup of tea and a free book to review. In fact I subscribe to three book review sites: Book CrashBook Rooster and The Bookplex just so I can indulge in my favorite leisure activity. What’s even better is when an author contacts me for a review. If you’re an author looking for someone to review your book or short story, check out my Request a Review page.

Because I like to share the great reads I’ve found (and warn readers of the not-so-great finds), I developed a system:

  • One cup — worse than a cup of luke warm black pekoe
  • Two cups — it may be hot, but you’ll need plenty of sweetener just to tolerate it
  • Three cups — it’s not my favorite, but it beats going without
  • Four cups — nice and hot and only needs a smidge of sweetener to be perfect
  • Five cups — loose leaf vanilla Earl Grey, yummy

Sometimes a book or story doesn’t warrant a five cup rating, but it’s so good it can’t be missed. For those I include the “Must Read” starburst in front of the cup rating. You’ll find my cup rating above the picture of the cover. Enjoy!

 

The Caves of Etretat, Book One of Four (The Sirenne Saga) by Matt Chatelain

 

 

Here is the description that made me want to write this book review:

Canadian bookstore owner Paul Sirenne is thrust into a quest for answers when his parents are found murdered, their bodies cut up into the letters H.N. A note sent before his father’s murder drives Sirenne to seek out the roots of a long-forgotten family secret.
He heads to the town of Etretat, France, on the trail of a hundred year old mystery hidden in the pages of ‘The Hollow Needle’, by Maurice Leblanc. Together with Leblanc’s great-granddaughter, Sirenne unearths puzzles, codes and historical mysteries, exposing a secret war for control of a cave fortress in Etretat’s chalk cliffs.

‘THE CAVES OF ETRETAT’ is the first in a four-book epic adventure following Paul Sirenne, an average man unknowingly manipulated into becoming the key in the final phase of a complex conspiracy spanning millennia. Inextricably woven into history, the series re-writes everything we know in a non-stop rollercoaster of a ride where nothing is ever as it seems.

The Good…

This story starts with a bang. The first chapter pulled me in and I couldn’t wait to read the rest of the story. The mystery of the caves is interesting and often begs to be solved throughout the book.

The Not-so-good…

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not interested in romance novels and this book is a good example of why. Not only do the main characters fall in love extremely fast, but it’s mushy, as in Romeo-and-Juliet-can’t-live-without-each-other mushy. These are two adults on a quest to beat a killer to the answer about a mysterious cave. Falling in love isn’t what’s bad it’s that it’s awkward and rushed.

Which brings me to another flaw: for a man who just lost his father and step-mother, Paul seems rather pulled together. In fact, the whole serial killer angle seems to be a McGuffin that’s dropped less than half-way through. Sorry, but if I just lost my folks in such a horrendous way I doubt I’d easily forget it. It would be front and center in my mind and I have a feeling it would often get in the way of solving the mystery.

Last of all is the often awkward dialogue. I don’t know many people who use their friends names so often in a brief conversation. Nor do people generally speak in such stilted language. Cliche characterizations aside, there is very little delineation between each character’s way of speaking. I was also a bit put off by the large amount of info dumping monologues. I realize there was a need for the information to be revealed and only certain characters had that information, but it might have made for a more intense reading if those characters were more reticent about giving their information.

The Overall…

Despite the rushed romance, awkward dialogue and McGuffin-like murders, the mystery was enough for me to continue reading and even enjoy the story. So long as the price remains low, I would recommend The Caves of Etretat, Book One of Four (The Sirenne Saga) by Matt Chatelain to anyone wanting a light adventure to escape into.