Wednesday, April 28, 2021


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions

Ellie Beals will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

See below or Click on "read more" to sign up for the Giveaway.   

It starts with Just Watching. But danger emerges when Just Watching ends.

When the "wild child" Xavier ¬ first encounters Cass Hardwood and her dogs in the woods of West Quebec, he is enthralled. Unknown to them, he Just Watches them in a lengthy ongoing surveillance, before ¬ finally staging a meeting. His motives are uncertain—even to him.

The intersection of the lives of Cass, a competitive dog handler; her dogs; her cousin Lori; and the complex and enigmatic Xavier leads them all into a spiral of danger. It starts when Just Watching ends—when Cass and her crew encounter tragedy in the bush. Xavier's involvement in the tragedy, unknown to Cass, sets off a chain of potentially lethal events that begin in the dark woods of Lac Rouge, when hiking, skiing, hunting, trapping, marijuana grow-ops, and pedophilia collide. It matures in the suburbs of both Ottawa and Baltimore, and culminates back in Lac Rouge, when Lori's spurned and abusive lover arrives uninvited at Cass' isolated cabin in the woods. In the night. In the cold. In the heavily falling snow. His arrival is observed by Xavier, whose motives are again uncertain, but whose propensity for action is not.

Join Xavier, Lori, Cass, and the realistic and compelling dogs that are essential players in this dark drama as their fates converge in a deadly loop of revenge, fear, guilt, and hope...

my review...

When I see the word “dogs” in a synopsis I am usually going to pick up a book and see what it might be about. I had no idea what I was going to experience.  What an interesting book. There’s a little of everything here. A thriller and yet parts that make you feel empathetic and parts that make you smile.

I’m not certain how to describe how this story is told. Some is by the main character Cass while another part is told by the boy, Xavier. It’s even as if the dogs tell a part of the story too. Nonetheless, sometimes when a book changes the POV it can be confusing. That wasn’t true here. Each character needed to tell a part of the story and it even came out more intense.

As far as I can tell, this is a debut book for Ellie Beals. Hope we see some more.

read an excerpt...


I had always liked the little bitch best, even before we met, while I was still Just Watching. The others were big, handsome dogs. She had a deep red, curly coat and was scrawny and scrappy, but she had a kind of beautiful crazy movement as if she was dancing through the woods. The others lived for the woman. The little one lived for herself.

about Ellie Beals...

Ellie Beals grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and moved to Canada when she was 20. She spent the majority of her professional career as a management consultant in Ottawa, Ontario. Plain language writing was one of her specialties.

Dogs have been a constant in Ellie's life from the time she was a child. In the mid-1990s, she started to train and compete in Obedience with Golden Retrievers, with considerable success. In 2014, she had the highest-rated Canadian obedience dog (Fracas—upon whom Chuff is modelled), and her husband David Skinner had the second-rated dog. During a ten-year period, both Ellie and David were regularly ranked among Canada's top ten Obedience competitors. They have an active obedience coaching practice in Ottawa, having retired from their previous professional careers in order to spend more time playing with their dogs and their students.

Like Cass and Noah Harwood, Ellie and David have a log cabin in the wilds of West Quebec, where Ellie is an avid wilderness recreationist, constantly accompanied by her dogs. As COVID-19 spread in March of 2020, she and David temporarily shut down their coaching practice and retreated to their cabin, where Emergence was written. Lac Rouge is not the real name of the lake on which they live. Everything else about the locale for Emergence is faithful to the character of the gentle Laurentian mountains of West Quebec.

Connect with Ellie Beals



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