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Schanilec to host book signing

Local author and former West Fargo resident Ernest Schanilec will be hosting a book signing for his latest novel "Gray Riders II" on Thursday, Dec. 13, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Red River Coffee, located in the Pioneer Center, 715 13th Ave. E.

Schanilec was born and raised in the Red River Valley of the North, near Forest River, Minto and Grafton, and attended a one-room schoolhouse for grades one through eight in Ops Township of Walsh County. He enrolled at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, eventually graduating from the University of Minnesota earning a doctoral degree. He practiced dentistry in West Fargo in the 1960s and 70s and also spent part of his career in Cavalier and Fargo, retiring in 1994. He now makes his home in Vergas, Minn.

Schanilec began writing novels at the conclusion of his dentistry career and has now amassed eight trade paperback novels.

Gray Riders II is eighth in a series of Hastings books that include: "Blue Darkness," "The Towers," "Danger in the Keys," "Purgatory Curve," "Gray Riders," "Sleep Six," and "Night Out in Fargo." He is presently working on his next novel "Ice Lord" to be released in 2008.

In Gray Riders II, the Gray Riders are in the saddle again, battling the Union in Western Missouri and protecting the residents of Tarrytown from ruthless jayhawkers.

Their biggest threat comes from within, when an albino mountain man named Bone Erloch, sets his sights on Tom Hastings's pregnant wife, Sarah. The Riders keep an eye on the family the best they can, but Bones and his boys catch Tom and Sarah along on a deserted stretch of road, and what ensues is a wagon chase that ends in a tumble of wagons and horses and Sarah pitched hard onto the ground.

The story takes place in the colorful Missouri countryside and brings back Grady, Justin Haggard, and all of his saddle mates.

There is no shortage of new arrivals to spice up life in Tarrytown. Collin, the greenhorn Irish rancher, is haunted by a murder from across the sea. The beautiful Rosemary Pikes has a passion for saloon life that is topped only by her love for the infamous outlaw Bob Younger. Cocky Pinkertown detective J.P. Weatherly thinks he can take down the James-Younger Gang single-handedly. And finally there is Bon Erloch, whose soul is as empty as his albino eyes.

Schanilec's novels can also be ordered online at