Tag: Ellie Beals

REVIEW – The Eclectic Review

REVIEW – The Eclectic Review

Ms. Beals’ novel is both a lesson in the love of the Canadian wilderness and dog obedience training and a slow-building thriller that had this reader holding her breath.

Cass and Noah are private people with a few close friends and family. Their trips to Lac Rouge are always a welcome getaway that gives Cass time to train her obedience dogs for competition as well as enjoy her secluded cabin and the beautiful Canadian wilderness. Little does she know she’s being observed by a young boy with unknown intentions.

Told in Xavier and Cass’s points of view, the story gives off a creepy stalker vibe at first and turns into a lesson in friendship and protecting those you care about. It starts with a slow build of well-developed characters and underlying danger intertwined with new friendships and troubled relationships. I went into this story thinking it was a suspense thriller, but it is much, much more. It is has a twist that you don’t see coming with an antihero that earns the reader’s trust and acceptance.

I enjoy Cass’s closeness with her cousin, Lori, as they enjoy the outdoors together. However, Cass’s life with her husband is a bit strange. She treats him like one of her dogs. In fact, I just don’t see the attraction between them. As for the dogs, the training routines that Cass exercises seem authentic and very informative.

The author does a wonderful job inserting the reader into the physical and emotional developments of this story. Sometimes they are gratifying and playful, sometimes they are tense and unpredictable. I felt like I was right there in the midst of the Canadian wilderness as Ms. Beals drew me down a path of mystery and revenge with a bit of a letdown when it seemed to end abruptly.

I recommend this suspense-filled thriller for dog lovers and naturalists alike who enjoy compelling characters with a twist.

Thank you to Ms. Beals for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.

Read the full review on Sharon’s blog, here.

Interview with Straight from the Library

Interview with Straight from the Library

EXCLUSIVE! Read this exciting interview with Emergence star, Xavier – the Lac Rogue Wildchild!

Interviewer: For people who haven’t read Emergence, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Xavier: My name is Xavier. I pronounce it the same way my mother, who was French-speaking did: Za-vee-eh. But I don’t mind if people say it the Anglo way. I live in Lac Rouge with Stefan, who is my father. It’s just the two of us – my mom took off when I was eight, because she couldn’t take the isolation. At least, that’s why Stefan says she left. I suspect there was more to it than that, but that’s all Stefan is willing to say. I know some people think it’s weird that I call my father by his name, instead of something like Papa or Dad. But that’s how I’ve always referred to him. He says that because he’s an anarchist, he rejects the power dynamics built into names that indicate roles.

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Interview with New In Books

Interview with New In Books

By Grant
In Author Interviews, Mystery, News, Thriller

What can you tell us about your new release, Emergence?

Emergence is a novel of psychological suspense, that many readers report kept them reading long into the night. Great – that’s what these kinds of books are supposed to do. But you may encounter some genre-bending surprises along the way, beyond those woven into the plot. Like women strong enough to take care of themselves without angsting about their pasts, like dogs that are essential players in the story and who behave the way real dogs do, like intricate and unusual relationships, and like moral quandaries that may keep you mulling for quite a while and wanting someone to discuss them with. That’s what I worked to craft for my readers, and what many of them report they’ve experienced: a compelling read that transports them into the wilds of West Quebec, and a lasting and powerful memory of Lac Rouge and the wildchild Xavier they met there, in this dark, but occasionally sun-speckled drama.

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REVIEW – Long and Short Reviews

REVIEW – Long and Short Reviews

What an interesting book! What a talented author. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this…the blurb sounded intriguing, but it felt as if there would be some “gray area” here in terms of right and wrong. I was right, but I wasn’t as conflicted as I might have been…

The book starts slowly, but I was never bored. The author weaved her words carefully and well, with strong descriptions and solid “showing” and not telling. I learned about each character–even the dogs!–in significant detail cleverly shared. I went into this thinking it would be an edge-of-your-seat thriller and it was, but it wasn’t. Honestly, I loved this book and didn’t think writing a review for it would be difficult, but it kind of is because this book wasn’t like the usual “thriller” I’ve read. That was a good thing, and interesting and definitely set this book apart from many others.

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Guest Blog Post – Long and Short Reviews

Guest Blog Post – Long and Short Reviews

Proximity and Touch: In Life, In the Pandemic and In Emergence by Ellie Beals

I have a new puppy – he’s 15 weeks old now, and is doing a lovely job of taking brisk walks around the neighborhood on a loose leash. Many people we encounter on these walks get that soft, mushy “OMG, a puppy!” look on their faces when they see him, and I respond affirmatively when they ask if they can greet him. This is a pandemic puppy – he needs all the input and stimuli I can allow or provide. I keep him on a long leash, and step back and turn my face away, to allow appropriate distance between humans, while he moves forward to greet the new folks. As I watch puppy and humans interact, the way the humans revel in the physical contact seems more pronounced to me than what I’ve witnessed in the past with other puppies. Am I imagining this? I don’t think so. I think the hunger for the tactile exchanges that we used to take for granted are profound. We have all become, or are becoming, pandemic puppies ourselves – constantly attached to invisible leashes that prevent us from interacting with the world the way we want to. The way we need to.

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Interview with The Avid Reader

Interview with The Avid Reader

What made you want to become a writer?

I became a writer as soon as I learned to write, and in the process discovered that I could think better when I wrote. So it was my drive towards both complexity and clarity, the qualities that have always epitomized the fun of thinking for me, that drove me to become a life-long writer. I’m not saying I was a wunderkind, producing great philosophical treatises as a seven-year old. The complexity and clarity achieved were age-appropriate, but fun nonetheless.

I was a social kid, and enjoyed sharing my fun with others. So even though I did considerable introspective writing in my journals, I also wrote plays, poems, and short stories that my friends and I had fun with. Recently, I reunited with a couple of grade-school friends with whom I’d lost touch when we dispersed for 7th grade. I was amazed that in our reminiscing, they both quoted passages from an epic play about Andrew Jackson that I’d written for a school project. Though I remembered none of it, they had retained quite a few of my punchier lines: “Unhand him, you scurvy knave!” was a favorite.

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Interview with The Reading Addict

Interview with The Reading Addict

What inspired you to start writing?

Despite, or perhaps because I’m generally a highly focused human, I’ve always enjoyed the occasions when I allow my mind to wander.  I enjoy how my stream of consciousness meanders through concepts I didn’t know were related to one another until I found them intermingling in that stream.  But that stream is evanescent –  by the time I’ve followed it to its end, I’ve forgotten where it started and what twists and turns took me to where it ended. I remember being frustrated by that even as a very young child, before I learned to write, and how similar it was to being unable to remember a dream teasing on the far-side of memory, upon awakening.  From the time that I first learned to write, I recognized it as the tool I’d always longed for, to allow thought chains to be captured and enhanced.

It was that delight in playing inside my own head that first inspired me to write.  Which I did throughout my life, either as a method of self-discovery or artistic expression, or as the foundation of my professional success as a management consultant – a field I entered as a specialist in plain language.

But that’s not what inspired me to start writing Emergence.  The inspiration there was very concrete:  a flashing sign, as I approached my 70th birthday, saying:  NOW OR NEVER.  I knew that I was a technically accomplished writer.  But I didn’t know if I was capable of what for me, has always been the zenith of accomplishment for a writer:  producing a novel.  Could I prove to myself and whatever portion of the world had the slightest interest, that I could write the kind of book I most like to read? And so I embarked on a project to write a novel of psychological suspense, featuring powerful women, realistic dogs, and a sometimes lyrical voice. Emergence was the output of my Now or Never project.

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Guest Blog Post – All the Ups and Down

Guest Blog Post – All the Ups and Down

Me, OJ, & Psychological Suspense

I have had a love-ignorance relationship with football all my life. Despite having a father and husband (a former player himself) who were not only fans, but were extremely knowledgeable about the arcana of this complex sport, I never took the time to master that. Lazy Ellie! The rules still elude me, and I have only the broadest general understanding of the game. But that’s all I need. Because I LOVE watching football for completely different reasons. The extraordinary beauty and power of these athletes transfixed me from the time I was first exposed to them as a child. My abiding memory of how little Ellie perceived her first view of Jim Brown playing, only a day after my dad had introduced me to a wildlife special on the big cats of Africa, was “OMG – some rare humans can also effect the grace and power of wild animals”. (Not in those words of course. But that was the idea.)

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MEDIA COVERAGE – Ottawa Life Magazine

MEDIA COVERAGE – Ottawa Life Magazine

Local author’s debut thrills with dark backwoods drama

Grace Giesbrecht
Posted: March 31, 2021


After fleeing the city with her husband and dogs to their cabin in Quebec as the pandemic set in, Ellie Beals’ started writing. The result was her debut novel, Emergencea quirky Canadian backwoods thriller set in the wilds of the laurentian mountains.

“I wrote Emergence in just three months, after fleeing the pandemic in Ottawa to ride out the storm in our cabin in Quebec.” Beals’ said. Her love for and experience with the backcountry where she wrote her debut, set in the same corner of the wilderness, shines through. So too does her unique background.

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Guest Post Blog – Fabulous and Brunette

Guest Post Blog – Fabulous and Brunette

Fierce Women: Empathy Vs. Pity

When I was a little girl, my favorite game was Make Believe – essentially a child’s version of role-playing.  A persuasive child, I was able to convince my playmates that there was a better choice than those on the usual Make Believe menu of doctors and nurses, cowboys and Indians, or mommy, daddy & me.  My better choice was a family drama that featured one prominent character: the troubled teenaged daughter. I don’t know how I became aware of this stereotype when I was so young, but assume that I encountered it in television or movies, and as an emergent histrionic personality, was drawn to the dramatic possibilities written into this type of family drama.

So is it a surprise that years later, I became a legendarily Troubled Teenager?  I think not. This speaks to the power of archetypes, whether they’re drawn from real life or from any of the media with which we’re constantly bombarded.  For those of us who are readers, the archetypes we absorb unknowingly can have a tremendous influence on our identities – including, and perhaps most particularly about what makes for an appealing woman. Many writers over many decades have recognized this and shaped female protagonists from Jo March (Little Women) to Nancy Drew, to Hermoine (Harry Potter) to help girls recognize strength and independence as desirable qualities for girls. But I wonder to what extent that kind of early indoctrination stands up to a steady and very different archetype that may subtly invade and pervade our adult reading?

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