Monday, April 23, 2012

Virtual Book Review Tour and Giveaway: The Caves of Etretat by Matt Chatelain

(A full length action/thriller, self-published)

This review is done in conjunction with the author's virtual tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. Matt is giving away a $20 Amazon GC to one lucky commenter during his tour, so comment today AND follow the tour (if you click on the tour banner above, it'll take you to a list of his tour stops) -- the more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a GC!

In 2007, Canadian bookstore owner Paul Sirenne is suddenly thrust into a quest for answers, when his parents are found brutally murdered, their bodies cut up and shaped into the letters H.N. Finding a note inside his father's copy of 'The Hollow Needle', by Maurice Leblanc, Sirenne is determined to uncover the roots of his 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'. Falling in love with Leblanc's great-granddaughter, he deals with puzzles, theories, codes and historical mysteries, leading him to believe that Leblanc held a secret war against Adolf Hitler, fighting for the control of an incredible complex of caves hidden 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.

This story is absolutely riveting from the very first page when Paul Sirenne's father and stepmother are found brutally murdered and their bodies cut up to form the letters "HN". 

This story becomes akin to a 5,000 piece puzzle for the somewhat naïve, but very intelligent Paul, to solve.  He must start looking answers, not only for the murders, but for other things his father has left him to discover.  As he starts his hunt, I keep wanting to shout, “Don’t do that!” or “Don’t go there!”  This is how deeply involved I became in the story.
The mystery of The Caves of Etretat actually started before World War II, and involves Nazi’s, Germans, spies, murder, terror and many secrets.
While he searches for answers, he meets and becomes involved with the granddaughter of the man who started the puzzle.  Together they are shot at, chased, discover many secrets, and become deeply involved.  Piece by piece the puzzle begins to come together, and slowly Paul becomes sharper and more able to cope with all the dangers they are encountering.
Who is the shadow killer?  Why is he killing these people?  How was Hitler involved in it all?  It became more and more complex as more and more of the puzzle pieces were found.  Some bad guys are good guys, and some good guys are bad.  As they learn, Paul not only grows in strength, but in knowing himself.
One statement in the story says it all.  True destiny is foisted on the average man, despite what he wants.  This story is so believable that it will change the way you look at history.  This is the first of a series of four books, and if they are all as riveting as this one, you will not be able to put any of them down.  It is an outstanding mystery, with every page an attention grabber.  I recommend it highly to anyone who loves mystery suspense stories, but make sure you set aside plenty of time to read, because you won't want to set this one down.  I can't wait for the next book!
5/5 Flowers

 Born in Ottawa, fifty-two years ago, I have been the owner of a used bookstore I opened in Ontario, since 1990. I have been writing since I was ten. Beginning with poetry, I quickly moved on to short stories and non-fiction pieces. I stayed in that format for many years, eventually self-publishing a franchise manual (How to Open Your Own Used Bookstore), as well as a variety of booklets, such as 'How to Save Money at Home', 'Build a Greenhouse with Style' and the ten booklet series of Eddy Brock, Brockville Detective.

Having semi-retired from the bookstore, I embarked on the project of writing my first serious novel, which I expanded to a four book series after discovering an incredible mystery hidden within Maurice Leblanc's books.

My interests are eclectic. I like Quantum Physics, Cosmology, history, archaeology, science in general, mechanics, free power, recycling and re-use. I'm a good handyman and can usually fix just about anything. I'm good with computers. I love movies, both good and bad, preferring action and war movies. I can draw and paint fairly well but am so obsessed with perspective and light that I cannot think of much else. I am too detail oriented. Takes too long to finish anything.

Facebook page:!/profile.php?id=100003486781507
FTC Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book from Goddess Fish Promotions and the author in exchange for my honest opinion.


  1. I was reading the blurb & the post & I just kept saying OH WOW!! - always a good sign.


    1. Matt Chatelain AuthorApril 23, 2012 at 4:57 PM

      Hi Marybelle:
      Thanks for the interest. I know you won't be disappointed reading my story. It has some meat on its bones. It also has some humor in it, which is something I don't often mention. Situational stuff but still good enough to give you a chuckle. Drop in to my website and sign up to win a book. You might not have to buy it.

  2. Matt Chatelain, AuthorApril 23, 2012 at 8:37 AM

    Hi folks
    I wanted to say thanks for the great review. Many of your comments were insightful, seeing deep into the story. I am wondering where you think the story might go?
    I can say that book one is the slowest of the series, weighed down as it is by it's multiple levels. Book Four, the Greyman, finishes at the beginning of book one, turning book one into book five. So get ready for a rollercoaster of a ride.
    So what was your fav character? How do you think is the main antagonist in the series? Have you figured out some of the secrets left unsolved? By the by, Maurice Leblanc, in his journal, finishes with a code. That code is real and available for you to try and solve. You can find it at my website, in PDF format. If anyone solves it before book two comes out (about two-three weeks max), I'll send them a signed copy of my series. Good luck on that, it won't be easy. OR, you can just sign up to win signed copies in my monthly contest.

    Thanks again. I'll check in again around noon to answer any questions.

  3. Matt Chatelain, AuthorApril 23, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    Twelve noon and no questions. Too bad. I'll check again around five PM. If you'd like to hear audio excerpts from the Caves of Etretat, check my website. Talk to you soon.

  4. Okay ... I'd love to get this in eBook, only I have a Nook and I can't find it on BN. Is it available on Smashwords or someplace other than Amazon for digital format? If not, I'm very sad...

    mnark111 AT

    1. Matt Chatelain AuthorApril 23, 2012 at 5:01 PM

      Hi M:
      I recently learned about Smashwords. I knew I had to get my books in there too but have not gotten to it yet. You are the spur under my .... that will get me doing it. Go to my site, check out the stuff there, and sign up for my contest, and leave me a note about smashwords. I'll let you know when it's out at BN.
      Thanks for the push.

    2. Matt, I went to your site and clicked on the contest link and it gave me an error:

      (The page cannot be displayed The page you are looking for is currently unavailable.)


  5. HOLY COW ... sounds amazing! This is the first I've heard of the book and I'm so glad I did. Will go check out your website for more information.

    I can only imagine how much time you spent on research for a novel that sounds very complex. Of course, your bio indicates you have very diverse interests, which probably helps. It sounds like you love to learn.

    1. Matt Chatelain AuthorApril 23, 2012 at 5:09 PM

      Hi Mysti:
      I grew as I wrote. I received some ultimate life lessons while sitting at a computer, supposedly removed from the world. The story is indeed complex. Each subsequent book of the series goes up one level, encompassing more history and increasing the pace. It's sort of a Da Vinci Code meets Celestine Prophecies on steroids.
      I was seeking answers to real life questions, in particular is the world real or illusion? Paul Sirenne is the one who went out there to find the answers.
      OR, you can just read it as an action/adventure and enjoy it for that.
      Thanks for the nice comments. You'll find lots of audio stuff on my website (old radio plays I did, etc.), if that's your thing.

  6. Matt, about your questions:

    I am wondering where you think the story might go?

    I have no idea! This story was so complex and fascinating I sometimes struggled to keep up.

    So what was your fav character?

    Definitely Paul. It was so interesting to see his growth as a character. You wrote that amazingly well.

    Who do you think is the main antagonist in the series?

    I don't think it's just one person, but a conglomerate of bad guys.

    Have you figured out some of the secrets left unsolved?

    HA! No ... not even close. I've tried. I'll keep trying. But it's not simple by any means.

    Can't wait for the next book!

    1. Matt Chatelain AuthorApril 23, 2012 at 5:18 PM

      I truly enjoyed your comments about Paul. Although the first book is full of storylines, you saw to the center of things. It is really about Paul's growth. When Paul decides to head the Net, near the end of the story, it's the first time he truly commits to anything and look at what it took to get him there. Don't worry about not figuring it out. I never figured it out and I wrote the darn thing... However, if you want to review the next one, let me know. It is coming out in about two weeks. Book One is nothing. It just whets the appetite.You mustn't forget that for me, this series is done. I will publish all four books this year as my first release. So you won't have too long to wait.

      Thanks again for all your great comments.

  7. Matt Chatelain AuthorApril 23, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    Thanks everyone for your comments so far. I will check this page several times tonight, so if you have any questions, let me know.

  8. This book sounds exciting. I'm heading off to your site to check out the code.. I love codes :-)

    Also, I noticed you said there are audios on your the book available in audio format? I always listen to audio books while I'm in the car driving back and forth to work.

    Jenny Shepherd

    1. Matt Chatelain AuthorApril 23, 2012 at 8:17 PM

      Hi Ano:
      I made two audio excerpts,of 'the Caves of Etretat' about five minutes each. I had lots of fun making them. There is an audio interview of Liam O'Flanahan, a story character. The book is not an audio book, sorry. Perhaps one day.
      There are several old radio plays I did about thirty years ago. Found them, cleaned 'em up and put them on the website.

  9. I enjoyed the review. The book sounds very intriguing.


    1. Matt Chatelain AuthorApril 23, 2012 at 9:09 PM

      Thanks for your nice comment, Bn. Check out my website. There is an essay on how I wrote the series. It has a few spoilers but it helps understand a bit more where the series goes.

  10. MJ...What a good review. I was intrigued from the initial blurb that I read.

    Matt...Happy National Poetry Month. Do you still write poetry?
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

    1. Matt Chatelain AuthorApril 23, 2012 at 9:20 PM

      I do not, Catherine. Recently I went back through all the poetry I wrote and selected the best stuff. I will assemble it into an Ebook. My problem was, even back then, a tendency to complexify stuff. My poems became 8-15 pages long, stories with a moral or meaning, The one on the website, 'The Staff of Souls' is probably the last one I completed. After that I was planning something about Gabriel going to hell to save his winged horse, Pegasus... It was too much, back then...
      Still, some of it was good stuff. There's a 25 page poem/play with five characters about the importance of man vs mankind. I remember basing that loosely on Michael Moorcock's books about the Eternal Champion and his companion. That stuff is all thirty years ago. Today, after writing the Sirenne Sage, I am eager to write the ultimate action adventure. No poetry there, I'm afraid. It will, on the other hand, be as fast as greased lightning and it will make solid comments on economic issues to boot. It won't be a series like this one but a second book is planned. I'm hoping to write both this year. We'll see if I succeed.

  11. Really complex! I love finding new stories with a little "meat" in them! Congrats on the release!

    1. Matt Chatelain AuthorApril 23, 2012 at 11:33 PM

      Hi Juliana:

      It was so complex, I could never hold all of it in my head at one time. It helped me see that there is no big picture. It's all small pieces.

      Thanks for the nice comments. Check out the website if you get the chance.

  12. Wonderful interview ,sounds like a great read.

    1. Matt Chatelain AuthorApril 23, 2012 at 11:36 PM

      If you want, you can go to the Kindle and read some brief section. My website has a few audio excerpts as well. There are also several articles about related topics. Lots of material to check out.



So... inquiring minds want to know: what do you think?