Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island, by C.K. Volnek (Review and eBook giveaway!)

5 STARS!!!!!
ABOUT THE BOOK - In 1587, 117 colonists disappeared from Roanoke Island, NC, leaving behind not only unanswered questions, but a terrifying evil.

Now, it's up to twelve year-old Jack Dahlgren to unravel the age-old mystery and save his family from the hateful beast haunting his home.

With the help of newfound friend, Manny, a Native American shaman, and an elusive Giant Mastiff, Jack must piece together the clues to the disappearance of the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island to uncover what really happened. Shrouded in ancient Native American folklore, it's up to Jack to discover what the evil is and why it haunts his island in a horrifying campaign of revenge. But can Jack stop the beast...before it destroys him?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - I grew up in the great upper plains, enjoying life in small-town USA; riding horses in summer and sledding the ginormous hills in winter. I was the official story-teller when I was kid, family and friends planted around the campfire, waiting for me to share my latest ghost story. I am married to my best friend and together we have three children and four Papillon fur-kids. What can I say...Papillons are like potato chips, you can't stop at one. I like to write, hike, watch movies, and dream about the 'what ifs' in life, thus spawning the many stories my muse wants to share.

MY REVIEW - Excellent weaving of present and past! I have always wanted to read about the "Lost Colony of Roanoke" but of course the Author had no way of knowing this, LOL. I was so glad to have had the opportunity to read this and even more glad that I enjoyed it so much!
The character development was excellent. I loved Jack, what an amazing and brave kid! The scene description was also excellent. I could picture very clearly every tree in the woods, the house, and especially the "monster", but what thrilled me the most was the historical part of this book. She did a great job of taking us back to that early colony and really gave you the feeling of what it must have been like for them.
This book was riveting. I was on the edge of my seat on every page. I was even scared in parts! Oh  my goodness this would make a great movie! This was written for young readers (I think middle school) but I enjoyed it very much, certainly enough to keep my attention all through.

"The Secret of the Stones" (A Merlin-loving tween is thrust into magic mayhem when the gift he’s been entrusted to protect turns out to be the enchanted object detailed in a mysterious prophecy.) is a new book she has coming up in 2012 and I am certain I will be reading this one too! I can't wait.

Hi Wendy, Thanks for inviting me here today. I’m so honored to be among the wonderful guests you’ve showcased here.

What made you decide to write for younger readers instead of Adults? And will you ever write an Adult book?

I was an avid reader when I was a kid, jumping from one adventure to another, seeing the world and enjoying the multitude of stories through the eyes of my new friends, the main characters. To a child, the world is new and exciting and alive. There are secrets just waiting to be revealed around every corner and mysteries ready to be solved. I love the younger mind…they’re so open to what is happening around them rather than being totally focused on what is happening to them.
And so I choose to write to them, to give them stories to entertain and amuse, as well as inspire, encourage and motivate them to grab the world and make it a better place. If we can arouse the desires in the youth of today, no telling where they will go when they become an adult.     

This book (about Roanoke Island) and The Secret of the Stones (about Merlin) are both Historical fiction. Is this going to be something you will continue to do? PS - I love Historical Fiction!

It’s funny you’ve picked up on my tendency to write historical fiction. I HATED history in school. LOL. It was all I could do to memorize the dates and places, let alone try and figure out who all the players in history were. Besides, I never understood what history has to do with today. Why did I need to learn about something that happened in the past? What was it going to do for me today?
As I’ve matured, I’ve come to realize history has EVERYTHING to do with what happens today. It’s all cause and effect. Just as in Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island, if the Lost Colony had arrived on Roanoke Island earlier in the spring, they might have been able to plant and store food instead of sending their ship back to England for more supplies. If the Spanish Armada had not sailed against England, John White might have been able to return directly to Roanoke Island with the much needed provisions, instead of arriving three years later to a deserted colony.
I hope, that even though my story of Ghost Dog revolves around a fictional character and ghost, the historical facts shine through to inform and educate my reader as to the way these people lived, the injustices done and how certain prejudices could have been avoided.

The Secret of the Stone is a bit of a different story. It’s based on the historical legend of Merlin and King Arthur. A much lighter historical flavor and one my reader can enjoy a laugh or two with.
I looked up some of the facts in your book and they were all true. What kind of research did you do for this book?
The history behind the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island is fascinating. My muse couldn’t get enough, trying to sort out and solve what happened to the missing colonists. As I dove into this mystery, I found myself getting deeper and deeper, and loving every minute of it…the vision of Sir Walter Raleigh, the failed first attempt of colonization by Ralph Lane, his disgraceful retaliation against the Native Americans after the disappearance of a silver cup, the arrival of the new colony and the birth of Virginia Dare, the first English maiden born in the New World. Fascinating jewels of history. I researched the people of this time and even found the list of the original colonists’ names. I included several of these characters in my book, though they are clearly speculative. Even the ghost dog was researched. I discovered there was evidence of an English Mastiff coming over on the Mayflower so I envisioned a dog such as this accompanying the first colony, therefore creating my character, Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island.

Is there an Author who inspired you?

It’s hard for me to choose just one author who has inspired me. I try to glean something from every author I read. If I had to go back to my younger years, I would have to say it was after reading Black Beauty that I was inspired to be an author. I was determined to be the next Anna Sewell. I adore her vision to create such an eloquent story through the eyes of the grandest horse of all times. I can only hope that some child will enjoy my stories as much as I enjoyed hers.

When not in Author mode - what do you and your family like to do for fun?

I have so many things I like to do when I’m not writing. Family always comes first and I enjoy making a big dinner so we can all sit around and talk. I’m a crafter so I make jewelry, quilts, tole paint and crochet. I also love the outdoors and can be found hiking or walking my four Papillon pups around town. And yes, I did say four. They’re like potato chips, I couldn’t stop at one.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to read your wonderful book! I enjoyed it so much and learned a lot!

Thanks again for having me on your blog today. It’s been a joy for me to meet so many new friends. If anyone would like to contact me, they can contact me at ckvolnek (at) yahoo (dot) com.

They can join me on my web page:, or visit me at my blog:
They can also find me on Facebook (C.K. Volnek) or Twitter (CKVolnek), Good Reads and Jacket Flap.
My book trailers are on youtube - HERE

My books are available at the MuseItUp Book Store: HERE
and many other fine book locations on-line.

THE GIVEAWAY - The Author is giving away one eBook  copy of "The Ghost of Roanoke Island"! The eBook can be used on any e-reader or computer (when the winner is chosen, let the Author know which form you would like).
* Please either comment here or email me at (forevereading at gmail dot com) with your email address!!
* If you are not a follower, please become one (but not necessary to win).
* Winner will be chosen and announced via on Nov. 18th.
* Winner will then have 48 hrs to respond with their mailing address before a new winner is chosen.

**Please be aware that I do not have any rules on how many of my contests you enter or how many times you win! So good luck everyone!


  1. Thanks so much for hosting Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island on your review blog! I'm so honored to be here. And I'm excited to hand out a FREE e-copy! Good luck everyone!
    C.K. Volnek

  2. Wonderful interview, CK! And a fantastic book. I'd enter the giveaway if I didn't already have it on my Kindle. :)

  3. This sounds like a really compelling read, and I bet it would be great to share with my daughter as well. I don't know much about Roanoke Island, but it sounds like this book can help remedy that. And I agree with the author. History used to be my least favorite subject in school, but now I am a huge lover of historical fiction. Go figure! Great interview today! I would love the chance to be entered in this giveaway as well! Thanks so much for hosting it!


  4. Great interview. I love historical fiction. I also hated history but as I got older I wanted to know more about the why where and hows....
    Love the cute!

  5. Wow, this sounds really good! I've always been curious about Roanoke too. No need to enter me, I don't have an e-reader! Good luck to the entrants!

  6. Sounds like a must read. Bet I'll have to leave the lights on!!!!!

    Suzanne Borovich

  7. Vicki, you're such a dear for buying it already. Yay. Thanks.
    Zibilee, the history is so interesting. I found myself so engrossed in the mystery it was hard to pull away to make dinner.
    RJB - Thanks for the note. My Paps are fun little furballs. Except I got potato chip syndrome with them...couldn't stop at one and ended up with four. :-)
    Carrie, Keep checking back with me. As soon as I get the print books, I'll be offering a contest for a print version.
    Suzanne, such a dear to stop by. Hope you can get a chance to read Ghost Dog sometime. Would love to know what Jake would think of it. :-)
    Thanks to you all for stopping by and making my day. God Bless.
    C.K. Volnek

  8. I loved your interview and I love this book, even though I haven't read it! I have always been fascinated with Roanoke Island and the lost settlement. I would love to read this

  9. I am curious to read this as The Bluebloods YA series often mentions the island colony as being vampires. As with this book, all disappeared without a trace or explanation.

  10. Hi Patsy and Deanna,
    Thanks for stopping by. The mystery of the Roanoke Island is very intriguing and I can tell you the characters in my book aren't vampires...though there's another good creepy monster from Native American folklore. Good luck with the contest.

  11. I awarded your blog the 'Tell Me About Yourself' blog award!

  12. Hi Melanie,
    I'm so excited you gave Wendy this award! She definitely deserves it. What a great job she does. She's so great! Thanks for stopping by.
    C.K. Volnek

  13. This book sounds very good and I want it!

    clenna at aol dot com

  14. Hi Clenna. Thanks for stopping by. Appreciate your comments and glad you like the sound of my book. :-) Good luck!
    C.K. Volnek

  15. This looks like an awesome book, although I'm more of a fantasy fiction freak myself. LOL!

    Truth be told, I'm not much into historical fiction, even if it does have some fantasy elements in it.

  16. Although I have missed the giveaway (by a long shot) I still thoroughly enjoyed the interview and appreciate what C.K. is doing for history.

    I, too, wasn't interested in the topic as it was all dry facts and dates. History, like science, can be interesting and worthwhile and teenagers especially need to realize that.

    I'm jealous about all the time you have to be creative in the kitchen and other crafts though!


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