Monday, May 30, 2016

Review and Interview: The Mystery of Ghost Dancer Ranch by Patrick E. Craig

I was very happy to get a chance to read another book by Patrick E. Craig.  This book was focused on teen readers and I believe it will be a good read for this age group.  Despite that fact, I found it intriguing and it held my attention throughout.  I love a good mystery and this also involved another topic I am most fond of, that of genealogy and family.  I loved it how it shared a family history that the two cousins in the book grasped and enjoyed.  History is fascinating and family history is wonderful.

The theme of the story brought in love of family, love of home and love of Christ.  There was a definite Christian theme and I liked seeing that as these days, so many influences are taking people in the other direction.  I believe books such as this one show that there is no shame in knowing what our beliefs are and that with Christ all things are possible.

The story theme of the Indian heritage of the family and the secrets that were hidden keep you turning pages till the end.  I enjoyed it very much and will definitely have my granddaughter read this.

You can get a copy of this book at the following link.

I received a paperback book copy from the author for my honest review.

And I am lucky enough to introduce you to the author, Patrick E. Craig.

Patrick, welcome to my blog.  We would love to find out a little bit about your book and about you. I am so happy that you have shared your thoughts!

What inspired you to write this book?

The two girls, Hannah and Jacie, are modeled after my two oldest granddaughters, Hannah and Jacie. We have called them Boo and Punkin since they were babies. The writing of The Mystery of Ghost Dancer Ranch came about through an interesting set of circumstances that i detail in the preface of the book. One night I had a dream in which a favorite Aunt who had always encouraged my writing appeared in my dream and, with that well-remembered stern look in her eye, pointed her finger at me and said, "You write!" The next morning, as I was reading the local paper, I noticed an ad in the classifieds: "For Sale, The Ghost Dancer Ranch." The whole story literally came to me in that moment and I set about to write it the next day. I have always been a fan of the Hardy Boy mysteries and in fact have sixty-eight of the Hardy Boy books in my library. As I cast about for a series title, The Adventures of Punkin and Boo popped into my head and so the series was born.

Will there be more Boo and Punkin mysteries?

Oh yes! The second book, The Lost Coast, is already written and I hope to have it out in time for Christmas. Following that will come many more; The Hidden Gate, The Chinese Grave, The Mystery of Spiderweb Canyon, The Lookout on Fire Mountain, and a whole bunch more that I have already put into my upcoming projects folder. In fact I have little scraps of paper stuck in my Bible and in my desk with notes on title ideas that I have to collect, thanks for reminding me.

I saw many scriptural references throughout this book.  Tell us about how that came to be.

I put the scriptures in because there is incredible wisdom in the Word of God and the Bible, whether people want to admit it or not, has the power to change people's lives. I became a Christian in 1984. Since then I have watched our world turn further and further away from the God who created us. Kids today live in a society that has no moral guidelines except to do what feels good and to accept everybody and everything, no matter how they live their lives. I hope that enough kids will read these books that even if they have no upbringing in Christianity, they might start asking the questions that will give them the kind of answers that will help them build a moral compass they can pin their lives on.

This was a very historical type of book.  Did it require lots of research?

Yes and thank goodness for Google! I've always been a history fan, especially American history so doing the research on this one was very interesting. I've always thought that the American Indians got a raw deal from the U.S. Government in many ways. The horse cultures of the great plains were magnificent in their simplicity and nobility and I hope I put some positive light on that for kids in this book. I'm currently writing a book set in Pennsylvania and the Ohio territory in the 1700s called The Amish Princess. In researching the book I found that William Penn was very honest with the Indians when he bought land from them in the late 1600s but his descendants were less than honorable when they took the historical homeland of the Delaware Indians away and drove them west. You can read about that when the book comes out in September.

What is your favorite genre to write about?

As you know, I am one of about seven men who write Amish fiction, but it is not necessarily a genre I would of chosen had it not been for a dare from Nick Harrison, my editor at Harvest House. I love writing about the Amish but I don't write light-hearted romances where everything turns out great just because the protagonist is Amish. I believe that everyone faces desperate situations in their life, even the Amish, and I write about those. My current editor, Lindsay Franklin, calls my books Amish Plus. And I am grateful for the opportunity to have been published by a wonderful company like Harvest House. The Apple Creek Dreams series helped me build a very loyal fan base that carried over into The Paradise Chronicles series, but I would definitely like to expand into Westerns, Suspense/Thrillers, more kids mysteries and even some Sci-fi. We'll see what the future brings.

What other things are you currently working on?

Well, I have The Amish Princess, book two in The Paradise Chronicles series coming out in the fall and I hope to release The Lost Coast, book two in The Adventures of Punkin and Boo by Christmas and a third one, The Hidden Gate, is slated for next year. I have a non-fiction book coming out called "Cracking The Indie Egg - Five Steps to Publishing Your Own Book" that I'm working on right now that will be an online course for ACFW in June, and then I have a series of vignettes from my life in the roaring 60s that I'm also writing as posts on Throw-Back Thursday on Facebook. And there are several more in my folder. So I'm a busy guy.
Thanks so much for sharing your time with us, Patrick.  It was a pleasure to feature you on my blog!  I am sure my readers are happy that they have gotten to know you better!

Author bio:

Patrick E. Craig is a lifelong writer and musician who left a successful songwriting and performance career in the music industry to follow Christ in 1984.  He spent the next 26 years as a worship leader, seminar speaker, and pastor in churches, and at retreats, seminars and conferences all across the western United States.  He is also the author of a Quilt For Jenna, The Road Home, Jenny's Choice and The Amish Heiress.  Patrick is represented by the Steve Laube Agency.  He and his wife Judy make their home in Idaho and are the parents of two adult children and have five grandchildren.

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