Monday, June 2, 2008

The Hunted

MY THOUGHTS:I haven't been able to start this book yet, but now that school is out it is first on my list. I'll post about The Hunted again on June 19, so come back for my review!


A town’s deadly secret will drive one man to the edge of his faith…
Debut novelist Mike Dellosso delivers a spine-tingling drama in the style of Frank Peretti and Stephen King

Novelist Mike Dellosso offers a bone-chilling mystery about the town of Dark Hills and the deadly secrets it holds, in his first novel, The Hunted, to be released June 3, 2008.

Joe Saunders is determined to unravel the mystery surrounding the brutal mauling of his nephew.

Police Chief Maggie Gill is determined to protect the mystery surrounding her family’s deadly secret.

But neither is prepared for the truth when the mystery revealed uncovers the horror that is lurking in the shadows of Dark Hills.

After learning of the disappearance of his nephew, Joe Saunders returns to his childhood home of Dark Hills to aid in the search effort. When Caleb is found, badly mauled and clinging to life, Joe embarks on a mission to find the beast responsible. But the more Joe delves into the fabric of his old hometown, the more he realizes Dark Hills has a dark secret, shrouded for three generations in a deadly code of silence. As Joe unravels the truth behind a series of unexplained animal attacks, murder, and corruption at the highest level of law enforcement, he is led to a final showdown where he must entrust his very life into God’s hands.

You can read the first chapter of this book here, but be warned, you'll want to finish it! You can buy it here.
Praise for The Hunted:
A great first book from an exciting new author! A vicious enemy, a family secret, a thirst for revenge, and a need for reconciliation all drive The Hunted from intriguing beginning to thrilling conclusion. Skillful prose and great storytelling make Mike Dellosso a writer to watch. I can’t wait for his next book!
—Kathryn Mackel, author of Vanished

Mike Dellosso delivers a spine-tingling tale of hidden secrets, buried hopes and second chances. Interwoven through page-turning drama is the truth about vengeance and the triumph of God’s mysterious ways. The Hunted is a story best read with all the lights on and an extra flashlight handy–just in case!
—Amy Wallace, author of Ransomed Dreams

Something’s coming for you… and you might not be able to stop it. Read this someplace safe as you experience the incredibly descriptive world of The Hunted through the vivid writing and spine-tingling imagination of Mike Dellosso. And sleep with the lights on.
—Austin Boyd, author of the Mars Hill Classified trilogy

With hints of Frank Peretti and Stephen King, The Hunted is a chilling debut. Author Mike Dellosso is certain to make his mark in Christian fiction.
—Creston Mapes, author of Nobody

Mike Dellosso’s pins and needles thriller hurtles the reader down a dark and twisted path. Flickers of faith light the way, and fateful decisions determine the outcome of a horrifying climax. I dare you to take this one home!
—Jill Elizabeth Nelson, author of the To Catch a Thief suspense series

From page one The Hunted grabbed me by the collar and wouldn’t let go. Full of intrigue, supernatural undertones, and true to life characters, I highly recommend this superb debut novel. —C.J. Darlington, Co-founder & Book Editor,

. . . The Hunted places Dellosso on the list of authors to keep your eye on.
—Vannessa Ng, Aotearoa Editorial Service

Author: Mike Dellosso
Title: The Hunted
Publisher: Realms Fiction (Strang Book Group)

ISBN: 978-1-59979-296-5
BISAC: FICTION / Christian / Suspense
Retail Price: $13.99


Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Mike now lives in Hanover, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Jen, and their three daughters. He writes a monthly column for Writer . . .Interrupted, was a newspaper correspondent/columnist for over three years, has published several articles for The Candle of Prayer inspirational booklets, and has edited and contributed to numerous Christian-themed Web sites and e-newsletters. Mike is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, the Relief Writer’s Network, and International Thriller Writers. He received his BA degree in sports exercise and medicine from Messiah College and his MBS degree in theology from Master’s Graduate School of Divinity.

To read more about Mike’s journey into writing, visit here.

Where did you get your idea for The Hunted?
The idea for The Hunted came from the internet. I was surfing one day just looking for ideas or something to spark my imagination and get the wheel churning when I came across this story of a small town in Indiana that reported lion sightings back in the 1920’s. Several of the townsfolk said they saw an African lion in the fields surrounding the town. A couple cows were mauled and eaten. Then the sightings just stopped. No one knows where the lion came from or where it went. I thought it was a pretty neat idea and ran with it. Story born. Happy birthday!

What are some of the underlying themes in The Hunted?
Themes are something else, aren’t they? An author can write a story expecting to convey one message and then, when the book’s done, look back and find he’s actually conveyed several messages and none are the one he intended. And then someone can read the book and get something out of it totally different from what the author thought he conveyed.

Okay, so what themes were you thinking about when you wrote the book?
So, here’s what I think the themes are, what I wanted the themes to be when I wrote the book (whether anyone actually finds these themes is another story entirely, and I’m okay with that, really I am, as long as they get something meaningful out of it). One theme is the idea of not putting God in a box, of letting Him be God, letting Him work in your life and do some miraculous things. I think too often we put a leash on God and tell Him what He’s allowed and not allowed to do. That’s not our place. God can do anything He wants to do. He’s the one in charge, remember?

Okay, enough of that. The second theme is the danger of a vengeful heart. Vengeance is a powerful thing; I think that’s why God said He’d take care of it. In the hands of mere mortals, it’s a deadly poison, able to consume a man and turn him into a monster. Revenge is not something we should try to harness. We have no business playing with that fire. In The Hunted we see the end result of a vengeful heart unbound.

Lastly, there’s the theme of forgiveness and acceptance and redemption. Beautiful things we experience from the heart our Heavenly Father and pass on to others.

Why did you choose to write supernatural suspense?
Because I’m weird. No, not really . . . well, maybe. Plenty of people think I am weird after reading my stories. It was a natural gravitation for me. I grew up loving The Twilight Zone and The X-files and any kind of monster movie. I’ve always been intrigued by legends like Big Foot and the Loch Ness monster. The unexplained has always fascinated me. I honestly can’t see myself writing anything else. I have so many ideas now, but maybe when I exhaust them I’ll try my hand at something else . . . maybe westerns.

With which character do you identify most and why?
Boy, that’s a tough question. I think each of my characters have a bit of me in them; I’m a composite of each of their personalities. Yes, that means there’s even a little of me in the psychopath bent on revenge—and that really scares my wife. I think the character with whom I identify the most, though, is Joe Saunders, the agonist. Joe is complex and real in that he struggles on a daily basis with his faith and how God works. He’s got God in a box and has set neat little boundaries and guidelines for what God can and can’t do and how He can and can’t work. And if I’m not careful I can fall into that same trap. When I put God in a box I miss out on witnessing those strange and mysterious ways He works. During his journey, Joe has to learn to let God loose and trust Him to take care of things in His way, not ours. That’s a lesson I need to review every day. Now, that’s not to say I identify with Joe in every way. He’s much braver than me. There’s no way you’d get me to go hunting a man-eater in a fog-blinded woods. I’m too much of a fraidy-cat.

How much research did you do for The Hunted?
I have to admit, I’m not a research-aholic like some authors are. I honestly don’t like it. One well-known author once suggested to do enough research to make the story believable. Readers want a good story, not a textbook or how-to book. I try to keep that in mind. Are all the details of everything in my story right on? Probably not. Is it a good, entertaining story with a solid moral message? I sure hope so!

I’m not a hunter and don’t own any guns so I did research on different weapons and how they work. I did a fair amount of research on lions and their behavior and on man-eating lions. I also read up on schizophrenia and the common behavior of schizophrenics. Then there was the normal research on the fauna and flora of central Pennsylvania, sunrise/sunset, moonrise/moonset, that sort of thing. The research I enjoyed the most was that on lions. Did you know a lion’s roar can be heard up to five miles away? Or that lions are lazy beasts and really don’t want a fight so they go for the back of the neck first to paralyze their victim? And then there were stories of man-eating lions in Africa—just creepy stuff.

You can purchase the book on Amazon.

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