Friday, May 29, 2015

A Dose of Danger by Kim McMahill


“Until what?” Grace screamed into the receiver, which was now dead.

Blue bolted from his position curled up in front of the fire, teeth bared, hair standing on the back of his neck, a low growl resonating from deep in his chest. Aussie joined in, and the two dogs’ reactions sent terror through Grace’s mind.

Hanging up the phone, she raced to the window and froze at the sight of headlights approaching the house. She prayed it was Logan, but after Sheriff Harris’s call she knew it was only wishful thinking. Grace grabbed the shotgun, and pulling the curtain back just a fraction, she peeked outside and waited for what felt like an eternity.

With the headlights shining directly at the house, she couldn’t determine anything about the vehicle, its make, or the number and identity of its occupants.

Grace’s mind raced through the possibilities, trying to determine the smartest course of action. What could she do? No landline and no cell reception…she was on her own. She could try to text someone, but doubted she had the time or that her trembling fingers could navigate the tiny keyboard.

She had a double-barreled shotgun, but that gave her only two shots before she’d have to reload. Aussie and Blue were ready to battle, but they weren’t trained guard dogs, just loyal. She had no intention of putting them in danger. She tried to rationalize the situation and not overreact. The vehicle might belong to a neighbor, a scared and lost traveler, or as far as she could see from her location, Logan.

The engine was silenced, but the headlights remained on, shining in the window, nearly blinding her. Grace focused on the scene, and after several moments a person stumbled out of the vehicle, a parka’s hood covering all identifying features.

As the lone figure slowly approached, Grace decided the most prudent action would be to keep her visitor at a distance until she determined his or her intent. She ordered the dogs to stay, and cracked the door just enough to wedge half her body and the shotgun into view.

“Stop right there. Don’t take another step, or I’ll blow you back to where you came from!” She was surprised at how steady, strong, and convincing her voice sounded as her knees threatened to buckle.


Kim McMahill grew up in Wyoming, which is where she developed her sense of adventure and love of the outdoors. She started out writing non-fiction, but her passion for exotic world travel, outrageous adventures, stories of survival, and happily-ever-after endings soon drew her into a world of romantic suspense. Along with writing adventure novels Kim has also published over eighty travel and geographic articles, and contributed to a travel anthology and cookbook. When not writing, Kim enjoys gardening, travelling, and spending time with family.


When researcher Grace Talbot and her team discover a possible solution for weight loss they become targets of a group dedicated to controlling the multi-billion dollar a year diet-product industry. Her unsanctioned testing methods bring tragedy to the family ranch, and the attention of the local sheriff’s deputy. With her colleagues either dead, missing, or on the run she soon realizes she must trust the deputy with her life, but can she trust him with her heart?

Links Amazon Buy Link:
Twitter: (@kimmcmahill)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

There Are Places I Remember …

Many writers, especially mystery writers, start their writing with a character or a plot: the protagonist that readers will come to love and the storyline that will keep them enthralled.

Not me. I’ve always started with a place.

There’s a lot of interesting thought about how we’re connected to the spaces we inhabit, those we choose and those that are chosen for us, those we love and those we can’t wait to see the last of. I think it’s fascinating to consider those ideas.

There are places I’ve lived, or stayed, or even just visited, that will always be with me; there was something interesting or different or even mysterious about it that kept them tucked away in my brain, that caused me to love them.

And then there’s the contextual issue. I’m sure you’ve had the experience of going somewhere—entering a house, crossing a bridge, walking down a street, climbing a hill—and being suddenly and inexplicably overcome with some sort of sensation that’s related to where you are. The locale is sending you signals, sometimes wonderful, sometimes frightening, always interesting.

And the truth is that the feeling is rarely wrong: if a place starts tugging at me, even if I don’t immediately feel any attraction to it, a little work will reveal the jewels that are just waiting for a creative spirit to come along.

I got that feeling the first time I visited Montréal—decades ago—and it continued to reverberate over the years that I kept going back, until it was clear to me that I needed to respond. And so I started not just enjoying in a tourist kind of way, but really getting to know the city, which for me always involves starting with its past. And the more I read about that past, the more mysteries unfolded, a flower slowly unfurling its petals. There were a lot of reasons to keep exploring, explorations that led me to the story of the Duplessis orphans, the CIA’s MK-Ultra program, and the forbidding mansion known as Ravenscrag.

It’s not just me, and it’s not just Montréal. The next time you travel, take a trip into history as well, and see what mysteries you might discover!

About Asylum:

Women are being murdered in Montréal’s summer tourist season, and everything points to random acts of a serial killer—but it’s publicity director Martine LeDuc who discovers that the deaths reflect a darker past that someone wants desperately to keep hidden.

About the author:

Jeannette de Beauvoir grew up in Angers, France, but now lives on Cape Cod—as well as spending as much time as she can traveling and listening to the stories told by other places. Read more about her at

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Rock Star Round up

Been awhile since I've done on of these.

Never Complain, Never Explain—Craft Tuesday at Write on the River

Bob Mayer's blog Write on the River

I think Henry Ford uttered the famous line: Never complain, never explain. This applies in the writing world in several ways.

One thing I do when critiquing material is ask a lot of questions. I tell writers, ‘You don’t have to answer those questions to me’ (in fact I would prefer they don’t), but rather they are to get the writers to think. At my Write on the River workshop, it’s an exchange of ideas and a lot of questions; and a lot of contributing to answers from all participating.

Remember, you don’t get any opportunities to explain your book once it’s on the shelf in a store or downloaded. You also don’t get any opportunities to explain your submission when it’s sitting on an agent’s or editor’s desk. So if they don’t “get it” the first time around, they won’t get it. Get it? All your explanations and defenses mean nothing because you not only won’t get the chance to say them, you shouldn’t get the chance to say them.

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Hugh Howey posted 2015 Author Earnings