Cretaceous Dawn

A Novel by Lisa M. Graziano and Michael S.A. Graziano

"Cretaceous Dawn is a first-class adventure story, an effortless read as engaging as vintage Jules Verne."

--Natural History magazine

"The Grazianos, sibling scientists, combine speculation and science in a compulsively page-turning time-travel adventure...Details about plants, animals and insects in the distant past set the stage for a tight, scientifically plausible plot with a wholly unexpected twist that will keep readers guessing."

--Publishers Weekly

"I was blown away with this novel...Our two authors have written a tale so gripping with survival, adventure, romance, and thrills that you don't even realize you are also digesting scientific details of life from 65 million years ago. The description of each [creature encountered] left a very vivid image in the mind's eye. The idea that i learned a few things along the way is just an extra notch on my reading belt. All in all this is an exceptional read, one of a kind, and i give it my highest recommendation."

--Midwest Book Review

"Dinosaur buffs and action fans will enjoy this road trip. The authors do a fine job of imagining the terrain, climate, creatures, interactions — in short — the vivid details of daily life in this strange ecosystem. In addition, the authors throw in a couple of unexpected twists that ratchet up the mystery of the place and the speculative science. Romance, adventure and dinosaurs — a stay-up-late combination."

--Portsmouth Herald

"On the Upside - Exciting, engaging and hard to put down. The life and ecosystems described are scientifically accurate based upon modern paleontological studies.
On the Downside - Exciting, engaging and hard to put down. Don't start reading Cretaceous Dawn if you have to be somewhere in a few hours. You'll be late.
Overall Rating - Highly recommended fictional reading for lovers of our prehistoric past. An exciting page turner that will keep you riveted for hours."

--Jack's Stacks

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The Era of Jurassic Park Is Over.
It’s Time to Enter Cretaceous Dawn

New dinosaur thriller brings readers back in time to experience adventure and mystery in the Age of Dinosaurs.


When Michael Crichton brought dinosaurs into the future with JurassicPark, he invigorated our imaginations with larger-than-life creatures living in our world. Now sibling scientists and authors Lisa M. Graziano and Michael S. A. Graziano have penned a different kind of dinosaur thriller with Cretaceous Dawn (Leapfrog Press, $15.95, On Sale September 2008). Taking the reader back in time 65 million years to an accurate and evocative depiction of the North American Late Cretaceous Period, Cretaceous Dawn uses the latest discoveries in Montana’s Hell Creek Formation as its basis.

Woods Hole, Mass., oceanographer Lisa M. Graziano and Princeton University neuroscientist Michael S. A. Graziano teamed up for this novel. Both Ph.Ds with extensive publication records, they have received endorsements from paleontologists and fiction readers alike.

“Not only a gripping story, but filled with accurate and fascinating scientific details and wonderful images. I felt closer to the Cretaceous while reading this book than when digging up Cretaceous dinosaurs today,” writes Julia Sankey, Ph.D., vertebrate paleontologist at California State University.

Cretaceous Dawn uses time travel through a graviton vault in a particle physics lab to send its characters  — four people and a German shepherd — from modern-day Creekbend, S.D., to the same location 65 million years in the past. Beginning on the white sands of a too-idyllic beach, the characters, and the reader, embark on a thousand-mile trek from the Epicontinental Sea to the foothills of the infant Rocky Mountains. During two months of travel by river and over land, the survivors encounter a host of Cretaceous vegetation, dinosaurs, mammals, reptiles, and of course terrain, all vastly different from those of the modern South Dakota and Montana. And while they are struggling on in the past, present-day investigators, led by Creekbend’s female police chief, attempt to solve the mystery of an empty, damaged lab — empty, that is, except for the lower half of a human body.

CATEGORY: Fiction
PAGES: 304
TRIM: 6 x 9
ISBN: 978-0-9815148-3-3
PRICE: $15.95 / Paperback Original
Pub Date: September 2008 

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