The Secret of Blackjack Woods


“…heart-felt and downright exciting novel.” – Lyle Blackburn, author of The Beast of Boggy Creek and Lizard Man. Full review can be viewed here.


Review by Bryan Impey of Monsters, Mysteries, & Mayhem:

During the first chapter or so, this story heads in the direction of a serious Bigfoot encounter that could shake up a family. Soon the scene transforms into an adventure of a lifetime. It also serves as a shining example of a family going through hardships, tough communications, and sticking together when it matters most.

Ashlen takes you on an up and down journey that explores the possibilities of Bigfoot. We have all heard about primates who can learn sign language and communicate to humans. In this story, let your imagination wander and how that communication might actually by possible between a Bigfoot and a human.

The descriptive way the 21 acres of property is presented is a testament to the details of the story. The 21 acres has thick woods, trails, wildlife, a lake, and hmmmm…a “Charlie”. As the story progresses, this area becomes as much a character as anyone.

The Cliffhanger will not disappoint, and if you get emotional sometimes, well, you might get at least one tissue ready. It’s all good. This story is exciting and suspenseful at times, but it can be read by anyone in your family.


The Secret of Blackjack Woods is a fun, fast paced book about a boy, his family, and a bigfoot they name Charlie. Ashlen Brown’s attention to detail and character development keep readers engaged and entertained. There is plenty of action, too! How could there not be when a bigfoot is involved? Jim and his family live near a lake in the forests of Southeast Texas. When Jim starts hearing and seeing strange things, he quickly learns the legendary creature known as bigfoot is real when the big guy himself helps Jim out of a bad situation. Soon, the two forge a friendship and Jim brings his little sister, Jilly, to meet Charlie. The three of them become fast friends and learn Charlie is young and has become separated from his other siblings. Charlie is a bit vulnerable and before long, he falls prey to the obnoxious neighbor boys–the Whittles–Dave, Sam and John, who see Charlie and know they can make some serious cash by handing him over to science. What happens next is scary, clever, and exhilarating! This is a great book and a lot of fun to read. Get it, you’ll fall in love with Jim, Jilly, and Charlie!

JM Bailey, Author of Eve and Iron Mountain Ridge


“Nice little Bigfoot book by Ashlen Brown and hopefully not the last. The story is perfect for the family to all read. There is nothing inappropriate. I read it while at the edge of the woods and it was great to have all the forest noises as I read this little page turner. I think taking it camping would be great. Kids will love this book and I plan on letting my ten year old daughter read it. Whimsical and fun.” – S. W. (Top Amazon Reviewer)


“I just read it and found it quite entertaining as did my kids. I enjoyed the story, the fact that it is an easy read and I could picture the characters and settings vividly in my mind. I would certainly recommend it!” – Trinetta J.


“This book is a pleasant read. Saw this post and decided to buy it… read it in an afternoon. The characters are well developed and the author does a great job of describing the settings. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a simple story about a rural family and their experiences with a hairy gus.” – Ben S.


Review by Eva, age 12:


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The Secret of Hoke Farm


The second in the series of Brown’s “Charlie Books” is a delightful read. In the first book, The Secret of Blackjack Woods, Jim Thomas meets and adopts a young male bigfoot who he names Charlie. They develop a deep friendship but Jim knows something is missing from Charlie’s life–his family. In this next installment, Jim and Charlie, along with Jim’s parents and little sister, embark on a journey to try and find more of Charlie’s kind. They hope to maybe find some of his lost family as well. Traveling to another location where sightings of bigfoot have occurred, Jim soon finds out they’ve stumbled upon more than they asked for. A TV crew is trying to film a show about the local sightings at Hoke Farm and before they all know it, they meet another bigfoot, Scar, who is protecting his family. Brown intricately weaves a good balance of intrigue, friendship, conflict and ultimately, understanding and respecting Charlie and Scar’s species. The ending leads up to a lot of excitement and has a great transition for more to come!

JM Bailey, Author of EVE and IRON MOUNTAIN RIDGE


Love this sequel to The Secret of Blackjack Woods. The Secret of Hoke Farm begins by smoothly picking up with the life of the Thomas family and their new friend, Charlie. Ashlen Brown has such a natural writing style making it a very easy read. If you read the first book and wondered if there was more to possibly come, you will not be disappointed. Ms. Brown’s imaginative plot seems so believable by the way she crafts her scenes and dialogue. I especially love the visit with grandma and the unexpected information discovered. I really enjoy her descriptions of everything….traveling in the RV, everyday life intertwined with fantastic events and all the relationships between family and new friends. Great read for all ages. Waiting on the next one!

Amazon Reviewer

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