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Shadow of the Thunderbird

Book 1 of The Cryptids Trilogy

For the past 160 years, giant birds have been reported in the skies above the Black Forest region of Northern Pennsylvania. Now, it's up to one man and one woman to find out where they came from and where they've gone. With lightning in their eyes and thunder in their wings, who will control the fate and destiny of these magnificent birds?




Failed Ph.D. candidate and erstwhile assistant museum curator Ian McQuade is rescued by cartographer Alma Del Nephites, after an ill-fated expedition into the Amazon Basin. They travel to meet the enigmatic CEO of a secretive organization, where the two are given the opportunity to seek out proof of the existence of thunderbirds.

A madman's journal will lead them into the heart of a 700 year-old mystery, where cutting edge technology designed to locate and identify such creatures will collide with an ancient power that has hidden and protected them for centuries. Ian must face his past, in order to believe in a future that couldn't possibly exist.



Sam clasped Edger's shoulder, pulling a fist full of material. "It's just a lousy bird, Paulie. Get a grip." Paulie wasn't listening. Instead, he spun on his grounded foot and stepped out from under the eave of the cabin. He walked stiffly out toward the center of the clearing, pointing and muttering incoherently. Carter put his hands on his hips and looked at the darkened doorway, before turning away in disgust. "Of all the thickheaded, cowardly…"

spacer.gif (78 bytes)He followed Paulie's stricken gaze and shaking finger. In the gloom, it was difficult to make out. A darker shade separated itself from the low-flung clouds. It turned toward them in a wheeling movement, before disappearing below the level of the trees. The cry came again, much closer this time.

spacer.gif (78 bytes)The clouds shredded beneath the growing sound of a gathering wind. The rising moon stood in full relief against a smattering of stars, accentuated by the flicker of lightning and the roll of distant thunder. The mist at their feet was disturbed at the far edge of the clearing. Something was approaching, something huge, and it had them cut off from their truck.

spacer.gif (78 bytes)Rain was coming, but whatever preceded it was far worse.

spacer.gif (78 bytes)It was then that they saw the outspread wings, wide and fixed as a small airplane, black and unmoving as it glided toward them. Beneath, massive talons as large as bicycle wheels flexed and readied. A large, ugly beak nearly a yard long opened and gave forth a primeval cry that echoed loud and piercing. It was crossing the open field, and lowering directly toward them.

spacer.gif (78 bytes)"Shoot it, Paulie. Now!"

spacer.gif (78 bytes)Edger couldn't move. The .38 caliber Webley hung limp in his other hand, its owner paralyzed with fear. Sam looked from the monster, to his terrified partner, and back again. He could now see the fathomless depths of its eyes, reflecting the ghost of an unforgiving moon.

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Customer comments (Source: Amazon)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Good first effort  By A Customer

This is a fascinating story with a strong Native American myth storyline. The chapters flow well and keep you wanting to continue with the story. The characters are interesting and the creatures are fully explained as to why they might exist. I am looking forward to reading the second installment in the trilogy.

This series is exciting and entertaining for even the uninformed in cryptozoology.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Really good read  By Dave Caldwell (SC)  

I read this book over a long weekend and couldn't put it down. This is a good read. It's an exciting story about an under-utilized area of fiction(?). The facts were detailed and obviously well researched. I now know more than I thought there was to know about thunderbirds. I've contacted Mr. Tanner and the minor editing problems he had will be fixed in the edition coming out this spring. I attended his SCCS Conference in November and was impressed with the width and breath of his knowledge. I look forward to his next book about bigfoot.

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Cryptozoology Tour De' Force By Fred Scheeren

I have been a student of cryptozoology for over 35 years. My collection of books on this subject by diverse authors is quite extensive. The greatest challenge these writers face is to make what can be a daunting intellectual journey interesting and enjoyable to long time students as well as to those new to the field.

D. L. Tanner has accomplished this in spades with "Shadow of The Thunderbird." In this book he has taken most all of the reliable reports of these creatures from years past and woven them into a novel. Since I have studied this subject in the past it was very nice to have so many disparate facts gathered in one place. Mr. Tanner could have obviously written a dry textbook or doctoral dissertation on this subject, but has done us a far greater service by putting forth his case in this book.

I wholeheartedly recommend this fine work of cryptozoology research to anyone with an interest in the field.

I also recommend it without reservation to anyone who is interested in an interesting and well written adventure novel.

Finally, it is my hope that we see many more good things from Mr. Tanner over the years to come.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
High tech detective work By Eugene A. Kennedy (Mauldin, SC United States)

This novel introduced me to the field of cryptozoology. There is something for everyone in this book. If you enjoy exotic and mysterious creatures or beyond cutting edge technology you will find plenty. It took me a little while, 4 or 5 chapters to get to know and like the title character and begin really pulling for him to be successful. I enjoyed the book and found it hard to put down. It is an excellent book, especially for a first effort from a new author.

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful:
Science and Magic By Robert W Coppen         (Syracuse, NY United States)

Native American myth and cutting-edge technology, all wrapped up in a cryptozoological mystery that reads like a detective story. Throw in some well-researched paleontological info and a lovable, Walter Mittyish hero, and you've got yourself a story that's gosh-darned difficult to put down. I know I couldn't do it.

Oughta be a movie.

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
A pleasant read!! By John Murphy (USA)

I enjoyed this book and it's a pleasure to see an author writing on the subject of unknown animals and take this science seriously

the subject matter is very interesting and opens my mind to the possiblities of the existence of large thunderbirds still living today. I look foward to future novels written by D.L. Tanner.

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Cryptofiction at its best--D. L. Tanner's "Shadow"
By Ella "Reese Ella Howard" (Wharton County, Texas)

If you want everything an adventure novel can offer--fast-packed action, chilly suspense, a lovable hero you can identify with, beautiful, heartfelt prose, and a blockbuster ending, then "Shadow of the Thunderbird" is the literary adventure for you. Mr. Tanner's novel of the search for the Ultimate Big Bird fulfills all those criteria and more. But let me warn you: Once you start, you'll have extreme difficulty putting it down and it's not short! Give yourself an all-nighter and into the next day. I wouldn't advise starting it if you have to get up and go to work the next morning. You won't function well without any sleep. I'm already looking forward to the next book in the series which the author is working on as we speak. Hope it won't take him too long!

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Thunder and Lightning By Billye McCarty (Coleman, Oklahoma United States)

D.L.Tanner weaves a wonderfully appealing story around characters that you can love, hate, pity, and understand.The interplay of characters, especially Ian, Alma, and the controlling powers of the mission, keeps your imagination soaring like the cryptid thunderbird.
Whether you are a believer, skeptic, or complete disbeliever in the legend of the thunderbird, you come away from the book with a warm feeling that Ian and Alma are two people you would really love to know better.
This is a book that, as a retired teacher ,I could recommend to students with the knowledge that it is exciting and that there would be no need to apologize for profanity and vulgarity.There is plenty of action and far-out technology, as well as a foundation well rooted in the ancient world.

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
I loved it! By Bailey Quillon (Virginia Beach, VA USA)

I can't remember having such a great time reading a book. The main character is humanly flawed, allowing the readers to identify with him. The humor is witty and on target. D.L Tanner has taken a Native American legend and turned it into a believable reality. The journey he takes you on is well thought out and wonderfully vivid in detail. I felt like I was making the trek right along side Ian and Alma. I was deeply moved by the ending and the characters I have grown to love.

How refreshing to pick up a book that is not inundated with sex, violence and bad language. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well-researched adventure. Kudos, D.L.Tanner!!

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
What a Ride! By Stacy (Idaho)

Finally an author who not only knows his subject, but who writes beautifully! This story takes you on an amazing journey of discovery. Not just of Thunderbirds or their possible exsistence, but of personal discovery. You watch as Ian the main character, stretches and grows. If you're looking for sex, violence or bad language, thankfully this book is not for you. It's about time someone wrote a story with real human characters, warts and all, to let us know not everyone is Rambo! I can't wait for the next story to come out.
WELL DONE D.L. Tanner!!

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
The Thunderbird Legend By Billye McCarty (Coleman, Oklahoma United States)

Never having heard the thunderbird legend before, I feel D.L.Tanner weaves a story of human shortcomings,passions,and intrigue which will keep anyone on the edge of his seat, usually wishing he could be there and help.

His characters interplay with each other, and you love, hate, and pity almost each one in turn. The magnificent birds inspire wonder as well.

A well written and inspiring story for people who may be jaded in their outlook on the world.

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
By Lee Murphy (Reseda, CA United States)

There is a new phenomenon going on among writers of cryptoficiton-- that which deals with the subject of unknown animals. No longer are writers subjecting us to the "monsters on the loose" killing innocent victims who haplessly encroach upon their secret domains. No longer are we being made to endure the "whimsical" tales of the mis-understood monster and its lonely outcast human friend.

D.L. Tanner is one of this new breed of author who has taken the legend of the Thunderbird and painted for us a vivid and believable portrait of real animals that have continued to exist beyond the point of their supposed extinction in the fossil record. He has tailored his story with very human, very sympathetic human beings who face all forms of danger to be rewarded not only with the discovery of the legendary creatures in the flesh, but also with the discovery of a relic population of long-thought extinct peoples (I will not risk spoiling the adventure for you, but trust me, it is well worth reading.)

To sum it up, you will believe the Thunderbirds are real. You will feel as though you are as much a part of this novel as the characters who take you there.


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