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The Caves of Etretat by Matt Chatelain *Leave a comment on this post to be entered to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!!! International Giveaway!*

Monday, April 23, 2012
*Leave a comment for a chance to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card-INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY*

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.
EXCERPTS (Please choose only ONE to use with your post):
Excerpt one
While I drove toward my father's place, my rear view mirror allowed me the occasional glimpse of a familiar vehicle and its driver, Norton. His companions were nowhere to be seen. Perhaps he was intent on protecting me but I doubted it. His comments had seemed disjointed to me, despite the circumstances. Everything he said had come across insincere, as if he were following another agenda. I resolved to ignore him for the time being. Let him do his watching.
To some, police protection might seem comforting. To me, it felt like an irritant. I preferred to mind my own business and for others to do the same, even in dire circumstances. That way I hurt no one and no one got hurt. I almost changed my opinion when I arrived at my father’s house. Even Norton's company would have been preferable to that of my own thoughts. I hurried up the entrance staircase and stopped in front of the door, taking a deep breath. I felt frozen in place, unable to open it.
Breaking the spell and forcing myself to move, I removed the police tape with a trembling hand and entered, closing the door behind me. I looked around the entrance hallway. Everything looked normal but it felt wrong, empty, too quiet. I walked into the living room and there it was: the bloody outline of the H and the N. I was horrified by the bloodstained dots after each gruesome letter, knowing what had left those imprints.
Seized by a sudden, irresistible impulse, I ran to the kitchen, filled a large bucket with hot water and picked up a heavy bristle brush.
Those stains had to go!
I returned to the living room, trying to stay calm, to think nothing about what the stains represented. I knelt down, splashed some water on the floor, and began scrubbing the dark stains. I didn’t care if I scratched the wood. At some point, I started crying in great, wracking sobs, the tears streaming down my cheeks, dripping onto the bloodstains on the floor.
By the time I was done, my tears had dried, evaporated by a burning resolve unlike any I had before. I did not know how, I did not know when, but I would catch that monstrous killer. He would pay for what he had done.

Excerpt Two
Entering my room, I approached the small shelf above my bed. I scanned the titles, finding the book easily, to my relief. Removing it from the shelf, I opened it from the back, finding my father’s original note, an old piece of Vellum paper. The tape holding it in place had dried out and yellowed, the glue having become crusty over time. I wondered why my father had done that, knowing we held the same reverence for books.
The thought slipped away when I read the note he had written so long ago:
Dear Paul:
 On the occasion of your ninth birthday, I give you the same book my father gave to me when I was nine. It’s a wonderful story but it is also so much more.
It is the beginning...
The beginning and the end,
Follow the circle, it bends.
The end and the beginning
The answer in the connecting
Your Father
A real story ends near Etretat
Lost until Paul infers new ideas subtly
You ought understand responsibility,
Necessarily after moiling Etretat
When I had read this note at age nine, I had not grasped my father’s true intent. Today, it seemed obvious that he was signalling the start of a hunt. Something was going on in the town of Etretat and it was connected with this book.

Excerpt three
The moment his eyes dropped, I took off running, knowing exactly where I was going thanks to Coulter’s map. I had never broken any speed records before but, at that moment, I felt as if I were moving like a train, barrelling non-stop across the landscape, increasing my momentum and distance with every second. His pistol's barrel was too short for any type of accuracy. If he wanted to shoot me, he would have to catch me and I wasn’t planning to give him the chance!
Coulter kept scrolling the map on the screen, showing me exactly where I had to go, cheering me on all the while. I heard Norton yelling and risked a single glance backwards. He was hobbling after me at a decent pace, using his cane to lop forward, his pistol waving around with every step.
He looked angry.
I heard some car doors slam and more screaming in the distance. The Vallin brothers were in the parking lot, running all out toward Norton. They were both brandishing bats and waving them madly. I kept running, aiming directly for the cleft. I headed down, mostly sliding on one foot, dangerously out of control. Norton was closer behind me than I would’ve liked.
“Watch it, you’re going to lose it, you’re going to lose it... No... You’re fine, doing good, now be careful, here’s the stairs...” Coulter yammered on in my ear, keeping up a running commentary. I had to slide to a desperate stop right above the rusty steps. They were clogged with silt and sand that had come down from the cleft. I saw signs warning tourists off and bars blocking the staircase. Coulter screamed:
“Just go for it, Norton’s right behind you.”
Incredibly, Norton was sliding down the cleft on his good foot, using his branch to balance himself. He was coming down fast, still holding his gun, determined to catch me.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
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


Looking for a good mystery?  Paul, a bookstore owner, has it rough right from the get-go.  His parents are murdered and etched into their skin are the mysterious letters H.N.  Paul isn't one to take things lying down and his parents' murders hit him hard.  When he stumbles upon some family secrets, he decides to try to solve the crime.

Paul's character was nice.  He wasn't particularly forceful or weak, the reader will probably like how much he seems to care for his family.  Paul will impress the reader with his ability to discover clues and uncover long-held secrets.  The other characters were interesting enough, they were all generally nice to meet (except the antagonist, of course!).  What was great about this book was that the antagonist, someone the reader may or may not guess, wasn't really likable at all...the reader will probably not feel too much sympathy. 

The plot itself was fast-paced, the reader will never have to wait too long for the scenes to fly by and evidence to mount up.  The ending will be somewhat of a surprise, which is always great with a mystery.  This book is recommended to adult readers.

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

Matt will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour as well as to the host whose post receives the most comments (excluding his or the host's) during the tour.

Follow the rest of the tour here!


  1. Shelby said...:

    Thanks for the interview and giveaway! =D

  1. Thanks for the interview and giveaway it was awesome.

  1. Julia said...:

    I do like a good mystery. I wonder how intense this would be for me to read. Thanks for sharing the info!

    JulsB20 at aol dot com

  1. Sounds like a good book! Thank you for doing this!

    Incandescent Enchantments

  1. Megan said...:

    Thanks for sharing these! I love it when mysteries have a surprise ending!

  1. Thank you for an interesting review.

  1. Julie S said...:

    Thanks for the post and giveaway. This sounds like a really interesting series :)

  1. It sounds like a really good book. -laura

  1. M.A.D. said...:

    Matt has a beautiful smile, and his series sounds terrific! Thank you for the sweet giveaway :)

    Mary DeBorde M.A.D.
    zenrei57 (at) hotmail dot com

  1. Misa G. said...:

    Thanks for sharing! I haven't heard of this book before, but it seems interesting enough. Thanks for the giveaway, too!

    The Magic Attic Book Blog

  1. Wow, this book sounds really interesting! Thanks for the interview!


  1. Well that does sound like the kind of read that has ones undivided attention :) Sounds great

  1. marybelle said...:

    I always do appreciate a surprise ending.


  1. Thank you for hosting Matt today.

  1. M. Narkis said...:

    I admit to wondering if the other reviews would be as positive as the first. So far, they are!

    Can't wait until this is available for me to get on the Nook.

    Will be waiting to see tomorrow's review :-)

  1. Matt Chatelain Author said...:

    Thanks for both the review and all comments. If any of you have any questions, let me know. I will check the site several times today.

    In the meantime I'd like to ask the reviewer a few questions of my own:

    What significance do you think the dreams have?

    Which was your fav character and why?

    I'd like to say hi again to those who followed my book review tour so far.

    Don't forget to check my site out for audio excerpts of 'The Caves of Etretat'. There is also a 2500 word article about how I wrote the series.
    Take care all and talk to you soon.

    Matt Chatelain Author

  1. wow, what an incredible story! Thanks so much for this giveaway!
    Lmackesy @

  1. Shy said...:

    Sounds like a good book. Thanks for the giveaway.

  1. Anne said...:

    The premise behind this series makes it sounds really exciting, a cross between a standard mystery and a book like the DaVinci Code.

  1. I love a good mystery and this one looks pretty intense! I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the great giveaway.

    Poisnivyred AT

  1. CakeLady said...:

    sounds like a great book!

  1. Rayray said...:

    Sounds awesome! I'll put it on my to-read.

  1. Matt Chatelain Author said...:

    Hi Folks, Thanks for the great review and the nice comments.

    M Narkis, thanks for following. Yes the book is good and it's the slowest of the series.

    Anne: Yes it's sort of a mix between da vinci code and the celestine prophecies on steroids. The pace is non-stop and the story covers everything, accross the whole series. The Caves of Etretat conceals multiple levels, revealed through the series. Book four ends at the beginning of book one, changing it into book five.

    To all others, check out my website. There is a free contest there to win signed copies of my books, as well as audio excerpts of the story.

    If you have any questions, please ask them. I will check the blog throughout the day.

  1. jwhitus said...:

    This looks like something my husband would like too. Thanks!

  1. MomJane said...:

    What a great review and I loved the excerpt I read (#2). It has me really curious to know more. Congratulations.

  1. Awesome interview! This book looks really good. Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  1. Matt Chatelain Author said...:

    Book two of the series will be out in less than one month. The rest will be out by the end of the year. No waiting to finish this series.

    I'd love to know what the reviewer thought of the dreams in the story. What do you think they mean?
    Also, where do you think the story will go in book two?

  1. As for what the dreams mean, I don't want to give too much away and, to be honest, I'm still a little confused on *some* of them! Hoping to see a little more resolved in the second.

    Where do I think the story is going? No idea! You surprised me a lot in this book, enough for me to realize I probably can't guess correctly...

  1. Matt Chatelain Author said...:

    Thanks for your answers Krystal. Book two answers some questions but the story widens out to cover more issues. The pace speeds up. We get introduced to one nasty serial killer.

    Thanks for your great responses, everyone. I will keep checking throughout the evening, if any of you have questions or comments


  1. Carol M said...:

    This sounds like a book I would enjoy! Thank you for the giveaway!
    mittens0831 at aol dot com

  1. Great interview! It sounds like a great story.

    mary_reiss @

  1. Anonymous said...:

    I am glad that we will not have to wait to find out what is happening in the next book. I hate being drawn into a story, falling in love with the characters, then having to wait a long time for the next book. Thank you for writing to quickly.

    Chelsea Carson

  1. Hi Matt! You know at this point that there will be 4 books in the series. Do you have them planned out enough already to know the basics of what will be happening in each? How much do you know about each volume at this point?

    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  1. bn100 said...:

    Great excerpts. The book sounds good.


  1. Jennifer said...:

    Thanks for posting this interview. I had not heard about this book or author! Like reading about new things.

    jlkalman26 at gmail dot com

  1. First time hearing about this book, but it seems amazing! Thanks :)

  1. Terri said...:

    Thanks! Love those surprise endings!

  1. Anonymous said...:

    It sounds great! I liked excerpt #3 the best.

    theangrypollo{ AT }yahoo{DOT }com

  1. Steph said...:

    Great excerpts!! The book sounds really interesting!


  1. Great review and I loved all the excerpts. I adore a good mystery:)

    bchild5 at aol dot com

  1. Stephanie said...:


  1. Wow! This sounds very interesting! I believe my dad would like this also. :-)
    Thank you for the giveaway!


  1. Christina K. said...:

    I love the excerpt!!

    It sounds so creepy, and I love that it's also part historical.

    ccfioriole at gmail dot com

  1. Sayomay said...:

    Love the historical part! :D

  1. Dynie said...:

    Great interview. I had no idea what this book was about. I'm so happy that I know about it now. Thanks. '-)

  1. Dynie said...:

    I had no idea what the book was about, now that I do I would like to read it. Thanks. ;-)

  1. Very interesting! i really enjoyed the excerpts

  1. This sounds very interesting! Thanks for the giveaway!

    llongi717 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  1. Margie said...:

    This looks like an intriguing mystery. Thanks for the giveaway.
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

  1. like the interview!! thanks for the chance to win!

  1. This sounds like a great, although pretty creepy (imagine finding anyone, ESPECIALLY your parents, mutilated and shaped into letters. Ugh. How traumatizing can you get?)novel. Thanks for the chance to win, but more importantly thanks for getting word out about this book. I hadn't heard of it until this post and it definitely looks like something I would enjoy reading!

  1. Rabid Fox said...:

    I've got this post cached to read over the weekend, but in the mean time, I'll throw my name in the hat for the gift card. Thanks.

    therabidfox at

  1. The author really is ecletic! That is fun that he used it in his writing!
    lexie.bookbug at gmail dot com

  1. Miss K said...:

    I love a good mystery and hope I win!

    go.megan.go(at) gmail (dot) com


  1. Unknown said...:

    i enjoyed the interview-this sounds like a good book for me

    catherine0807 at hotmail dot com

  1. Thank you for this great giveaway! Gale Nelson

  1. Matt Chatelain Author said...:

    Hi All

    Hey Catherine Lee, All four books are written and ready to go. I am publishing them all this year. If any of you go to, You'll be able to read a big excerpt from the story (I mean huge). As well, I've posted a few free stories. Thanks again


  1. Dovile said...:

    I never get tired of mysteries! Thanks for the chance!

    spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com

  1. Anonymous said...:

    I'm always intrigued by a bookstore owner's story...


  1. Lacey T said...:

    Great interview and thanks for the giveaway!

  1. G said...:

    this book is not in my usual genre for reading, but i'd be up for reading it now!

  1. Sounds interesting. Thanks for the review/interview.

    ladymagic0 at

  1. Laura said...:

    Thanks for the review...I love learning about new, interesting books.

    BookcaseLaura (at) gmail (dot) com

  1. tjmetz said...:

    Thanks so much for the review, this sounds like a very interesting book!
    draoi7383 @

  1. tfalick said...:

    Great Review! And thank you for the giveaway!
    tfalick at yahoo dot com

  1. Kim Reid said...:

    Thanks for the interview and giveaway!

    kimberlybreid at hotmail dot com

  1. Denise Z said...:

    When I began reading this post I first thought what? and then as I read the synopsis further I became intrigued. Thank you for sharing with us and I wish you well on your tour. I will definitely be looking up more about The Caves of Etretat :)