Saturday, April 30, 2016

Adventure Scrapbook – Odd Top Tourist Site

Crowds gather on the beach at the end of the runway in St. Maarten to watch, and feel, incoming aircraft. No large jets came in during the short time we were there, but the sensation as the small aircraft skimmed the crowd was enough to be able to imagine the impact from the big jets. The activity is discouraged, yet the crowds descend on the beach daily and it’s one of the top tourist attractions on the island. I won’t judge since clearly I caved to temptation and made a brief stop.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Hooked on Risky Research

Welcome to this week’s Book Hooks blog hop. I’m pleased to provide a few sentences from my recently released romantic suspense novel, A Taste of Tragedy, which is the second novel in the Risky Research series.  A Taste of Tragedy and the first novel, A Dose of Danger, are currently just $0.99 on Amazon for your Kindle.  Enjoy!
Excerpt
Devyn scrambled out of the gully and cut across the raised ground above the bend in the creek. Inching out toward the edge, she peered over and spotted her target. His back was to her. She had a clean shot, but this time she was determined to get answers. Dead men couldn’t talk.
She quietly set her gun on a rock, where she knew she could find it quickly. Stepping closer, she leapt.
Blurb
Morgan Hunter sacrificed everything for her career. She had yet to encounter anything she wasn’t willing to do to succeed...until now. When she uncovers evidence that the healthy foods she’s been hired to promote may be dangerous, she must reevaluate her priorities. As questions mount and the body count rises, she finds herself caught in the crosshairs of an organization that will stop at nothing to hide its secrets and protect its profits. With no one else to trust, Morgan is forced to seek help from the man she drove away, but whom she never stopped loving.  
For information on all my adventure novels, including my newest release, A Taste of Tragedy, please follow me on twitter at https://twitter.com/kimmcmahill.  Click on each title to download A Tasteof Tragedy or a A Dose of Danger from Amazon.


For more book hooks from other great writers visit any of the blogs below or go to http://mfrwbookhooks.blogspot.com

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Journey to Publication of a Prolific Inspirational Series

I’ve had the privilege of getting to know Gay N. Lewis through our shared publisher. She is a talented writer who has created a series of inspirational and humorous stories about the exploits of a dyslexic angel, Sarah. Today, Gay has stopped by my blog to share her story of how she came to Prism Book Group, which launched the Sarah series. So, I’ll turn it over to Gay.

***
How I came to Prism Book Group, Gay N. Lewis
My journey to Prism Book Group was a God directed route.  I’m a member of Romance Writers of America and while scanning their magazine one day, I ran across an ad from Inspired Romance Novels.  Unfamiliar with the name but liking the ad, I checked their website. This publisher sounded like a perfect fit for me.
At the time, I was writing a fantasy about a rookie angel and her first trip to Earth. Her assignment was to help a certain bachelor find a mate by Valentine’s Day. This little spirit was making one blunder after another. She was a major goof up. Would this story fit the publisher’s submission requirements?
Deciding to check it out, I spent all of maybe five minutes on an email—it contained four sentences. Authors in my various professional groups give lectures on writing the perfect query letter, synopsis, and first chapter—items usually required by an agent or publisher.  These queries often receive no answer for six months—or longer. My short email didn’t fit the usual format an author sends to a publisher.
Imagine my surprise when Joan Alley, the editor-in-chief replied immediately. Her personable, warm and friendly response was remarkable, and she requested a full manuscript upon completion.
My reaction? “Wow! Here’s a publisher who is committed to service and cares about writers.”
After emailing the finished the manuscript, I told my husband a response would probably come in six weeks or so, and we left for a mini-vacation. This work break gave me the perfect time to languidly read a new novel. Just before setting the book aside to take a nap, I decided to check email from my iPhone.
Three days had gone by since I’d sent my manuscript, so no reply was expected. A moment of apprehension went through me when I saw a response from the publisher. Acceptance or rejection? Nothing to do but open the email and find out.
If my husband could have seen my face, he’d have glimpsed my huge smile and moist eyes. Trying to keep a level of decorum, and a quiver from my voice, I turned to him and said, “I sent that manuscript three days ago, and a contract just now came. I’ve sold my new book! 
This guy I married is a calm achiever—low on the emotional totem pole—always taking care of business. But after my announcement, I detected excitement in his voice when he said, “Congratulations.”
I wished I could tell my brother—still do.  He recently went to heaven and would have loved hearing the news—he’d always been such an encourager. But he knows.
I quickly emailed family and friends with the update. My professional experience includes many articles for churches—and several video presentations sold in the retail market, but this was my first venture into fiction. I was thrilled with the emails that came back, but it seems no one was surprised that my novel was accepted for publication—no one that is, except me.
Joan Alley has broadened the company since I first read that ad—it’s now more inclusive with three distinct lines. The Inspired line is inspirational Christian romance. Diamond is sweet romance, and Illuminate is inspirational fiction—heartwarming stories that may or may not include a love story. These extended lines required a name change. Prism Book Group is a better fit.
In past times, I’ve spent months—even years—trying to unbolt doors that God didn’t want me to open. The door at Prism Book Group unlocked quickly—an indication that I am where He wants me. 
Working with the publisher, authors, and editors at Prism Book Group is a positive experience. We are a group of people who take the Lord seriously and we treat each other with respect.

Sarah: A Mission of Lovewas the first book, and as of now, ten Sarah books bear my name, as well as another book in Women’s Fiction. Little Sarah will have many adventures—and heaps of bloopers as she plays matchmaker to unsuspecting humans.
***
Gay’s newest novel, Sarah and a Date for Mackenzie was published by Prism Book Group’s Inspired Line, is about a klutzy, bumbling angel who befriends a shy student at a high school. Mackenzie is beautiful, needs a date for prom, and Sarah helps her find one. Mackenzie’s mother teaches English at the same school, and Sarah decides the widowed mom also needs a romantic interest.
Lewis’ title character, Sarah, is dyslexic, can’t read maps, and is often lost. She bumbles her way around the huge high school with hilarious results. She assumes human disguises to achieve her goals but resorts to supernatural means to save Mackenzie from the school bully.
Lewis sat in on the prom committee meetings at a local high school and listened to plans for the 2015 prom. Several students advised her on “promposals.” She says, “The students have creative ways to ask for dates these days. They sent me pictures and told me stories, and many of their ideas made their way into my book. I’m grateful Katy, Texas has a superb group of young people, and they were gracious to me.”
Sarah and a Date for Mackenzie is available in eBook online through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and all fine book stores. A sequel is planned. When published, both books will be available in print.
Blurb

Merciful heavens! Getting acquainted with adult teachers in a high school is one challenge, but hang with the kids too? Sarah, heaven’s little love angel—known for bungles, has dealt with children and enjoyed them, but teenagers? My stars! They are a different ballgame. She doesn’t understand their jargon, clothes or hairdos. And mood swings? Forget it. She knew nothing about them—nada —zippo. She’d seen and heard them from above—even wondered at times why they existed on the same planet as adults. They were unique and interesting, but to mingle with them? Not a chance would she choose to do so—well, not until her latest assignment. Why would the Superiors send a bumbling angel like her to help a shy teenager find a date for a high school prom? Poopty doopty! A nightmare is about to happen.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Adventure Inspirations – Nature's Peace

“Camp out among the grass and gentians of glacier meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of Nature’s darlings. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” 

- John Muir, Yosemite Valley, 1898- 

Monday, April 18, 2016

You Gotta Love Cowboys

Join me today in welcoming Penny Estelle to Embrace Adventure. Her adventure novels span a wide variety of genres for all ages, but I’m particularly excited to learn more about her historical western romance series. Who doesn’t love cowboys? So, without further ado, here’s Penny.

Good morning everybody.  I’d like to thank Kim for allowing me to barge in on her blog today. I have a series I am working on called the Thornton Trilogy.  This is how it all started….

IN THE BEGINNING…..well, about 40 years ago, was when I actually started reading! I never read as a kid – had waaaaay better things to do! The big awakening came after I had my first baby and was up 24/7.  Picked up my first…what did they call them…”smut” novels.  I was hooked.  Who knew reading could transport you out of your own reality to someplace other than dirty diapers and bottles!  After reading that FIRST book, I told my hubby – “I can do that!” and started writing the Great American Novel.  Took me 5 years on my electric Brothers typewriter.  Almost 400 pages.  I was going to be so rich!  I wrote a few queries, sent them out and waited for all the offers to come in.

Reality hit as I ripped open the rejection letters.  I packed up my novel, put it in a box and it lived in my closet for over 40 years. 

Just before I retired from a school district, I wrote my very first tween fantasy and was thrilled when it was picked up.  After getting several other kid/YA stories accepted, I decided to try my hand at writing for the older crowd.  I was lucky enough to have a family drama and a few romances picked up by a few different publishing companies.

Then I figured the time had come.  With shaky fingers I pulled out the Great American Novel I had written so long ago. It was HORRIBLE writing.  Ugh! I practically rewrote the whole thing and gave it another shot!  WOOO HOOO – Rooster and Pig Publishing picked it up!  Revenge, the Cowboy Way was published.  This is a historical western romance that tells the love/hate relationship between Joanna Simmons and Brian Thornton.

Now, I’m only telling you about my gut-wrenching, disappointing, rip your heart out story of rejection……(do any of you have your hankies out yet – LOL) because the story I’m spotlighting today is Gabe, The Thornton Trilogy, Book 1.  Yep, you guessed it.  Gabe is the #1 son of Joanna and Brian. 

After all this – I hope you enjoy my blurb and excerpt from my newest book!

Blurb
Gabe Thornton inherits the Double Bar Ranch from good friend and neighbor Bill (Pappy) Thomas, but there are conditions.   Last Will and Testament states five hundred acres have been set aside for his only niece, or interested heirs.  The property must be lived on for a year or said acreage will revert back to Gabe.

Molly Blackburn shows up in Bastrop, Texas, to claim the land her great uncle has left her.  Though she knows nothing about cattle ranching, she has no other choice when her father passes away.
Gabe is sure she won’t last a month and he tells her so, but greenhorn or not, she swears she will be there till the bitter end, no matter what! 
Will she give up her land or will she find more than just a cattle ranch in Bastrop?


Excerpt
“I happen to also own a hand gun but..well I didn’t think to purchase bullets for it.”

“Perfect!” Gabe said, shaking his head.  “There’s also wood to be cut and hay and water to be hauled plus a million other things.”  He laid the gun against the wall, opening the door.  

“You won’t last the week and if you had half a brain you’d know it!”

“Get out of my house,” she hollered.  He walked out into the cold morning but she was right on his heels, taking his coat off.  “Wait!”  He turned and she threw his coat in his face.  

“Thank you for the use of your coat but I’ll thank you to stay off my property!”
Gabe advanced a step her way but a discreet cough stopped him.  There were his mother and sister, sitting on their horses.  He swung up on his horse, staring at his new neighbor.  

“See if you can’t talk some sense into her!” he ground out before riding away.

Bio
I write for all ages, from the early reader to adults.  My books range from pictures books for the little ones, to fantasy, time-travel adventures for ages 9 to 13. I also write adult stories, including a family drama and contemporary, paranormal and historical westerns romances, under P. A. Estelle.

I was a school secretary for 21 years.  My husband and I moved to our retirement home in Kingman, AZ, on very rural 54 acres, living on solar and wind only. 

For more information about me and my stories check out the following links:

I have a newsletter that goes out for new releases or sales.  If you would like to be notified, please sign up @ http://eepurl.com/388Xr

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Adventure Scrapbook - Castillo San Cristóbel

I took this photo of San Juan, Puerto Rico out of one of the cannon ports at Castillo San Cristóbel. This fortress is part of the San Juan National Historic Site. I’ve visited the historic site every time I’ve gone to Puerto Rico. The site contains two fortresses and both are so immense that I still haven’t seen it all, and it’s situated above old town San Juan, so everything is in walking distance. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Adventure Inspirations – Art of Adventure

“A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints.”

- Wildred Peterson- 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Teaser Tuesday - Excerpt from A Taste of Tragedy

A Taste of Tragedy was released April 8. Thank you to everyone for the immediate and overwhelming support. I also appreciate those who pre-ordered the book and read and reviewed the story so quickly. If you haven’t downloaded your copy yet from Amazon, here’s another teaser to whet your appetite.

Jiggling the mouse, Morgan brought her sleeping computer screen to life. A quick check of her e-mail verified there was nothing new that couldn’t wait until Monday. She opened her calendar for the next week and nearly groaned. Her second week on the job, and she had the Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) coming in for routine inspections, and a meeting with the sales and marketing team. On top of that, her new boss and president of the company, Preston Hoyle, wanted a report by week’s end on her observations and initial plan of attack for increasing profits and returning the line to its highest level of sales.
“You’re here late.”
Speak of the devil. Morgan looked up at Preston and smiled. “I’m just wrapping up a few things and wanted to take one last peek at next week’s schedule to make sure Aaron didn’t add anything new since the last time I checked.”
“He’ll definitely keep you organized, and don’t hesitate to utilize his skills. He’s a sharp young man.”
Morgan stood, feeling small and somewhat intimidated by the tall, handsome man towering over her. Even with heels on, she couldn’t quite look him in his pale blue eyes and had to tilt her chin up. He was closer than she had realized, invading her personal space. His gaze seemed fixed on her lips, so she took a quick step back and reached for Aaron’s resume to insert some distance without seeming too obvious.
“I gathered that from his resume, and I can’t help but wonder how long I’ll have him with his education and experience. He seems a bit overqualified for the job.”
“Don’t worry about Aaron. He isn’t going anywhere, but you should. It’s Friday night. You’re new on the job and new in town, and you’ve put in more hours than I expect, especially during your first week. I feel a little guilty about the lack of assistance with your transition, but hopefully, Aaron has ensured you have everything you need. If my in-laws weren’t in town, I’d love to take you to dinner and show you what our fine city has to offer.”
The only way Morgan could describe the smile that followed his last statement was “lecherous,” and warning bells resounded in her head.
“I appreciate the sentiment, Mr. Hoyle, but it has been a long week, and as soon as I can close up here, I’m heading up to Sedona to our family vacation home. I plan to relax with a glass of wine and one of the Healthy and Delicious Foods entrees I haven’t tried yet before I tackle a year’s worth of dust and cobwebs tomorrow.”
“Now that’s dedication, but don’t get too carried away with these products. Your figure is just fine the way it is,” he said, letting his eyes linger too long on her breasts. “And please, call me Preston. I’m sure we’ll be working very closely together, including plenty of late nights, so no need to be so formal.”
Morgan didn’t know how to respond to his last comment so returned her focus to an innocuous topic. “According to the promotional material supplied by the advertising team, the Healthy and Delicious Foods line isn’t just for weight loss. I must admit, I’m very impressed with the data on GCF’s revolutionary natural sweetener, MFHG3, derived primarily from the monk fruit and hoodia gordonii. Not only does it sweeten foods, but the steroidal glycosides found in the Hoodia plant are reported to curb the appetite. It sounds almost too good to be true.”
“Yes, MFHG3 took this company from a small local manufacturer to a national powerhouse, catering to the thin-obsessed and health-crazed society. MFHG3 has changed the playing field and has all the other companies scrambling to catch up, but enough shoptalk. You need to get out of here, and if I miss my dinner reservation, my mother-in-law will yap about it all weekend. I would like to hear more about this place in Sedona soon. Sounds like a perfect weekend getaway from the heat, the city, and the stress of the job. Maybe you’ll even give me a tour one of these days.”
Not in this lifetime. She bit her lip and didn’t respond.
The smile he flashed at Morgan as he departed her office made her shudder. He seemed perfectly professional during the interview process. She hadn’t been alone with him in the same room all week, but this brief exchange warned her to avoid one-on-one time with her boss as much as possible, especially after hours in an empty and dark building.
Morgan dropped into her desk chair, powered down her computer, and stowed the lightweight laptop in her briefcase along with several files she had procured from accounting. Grasping the knob on the lower side drawer of her desk to retrieve her purse, she was reminded of one more thing she had forgotten to do this week.
She had intended to have Aaron submit a work order to have someone fix the drawer. Since it didn’t completely close, she wasn’t able to lock up her purse when she was down in the ground floor factory—not that anyone could get into her office with the tenacious Aaron sitting just outside her door. Mostly, it was simply annoying. The drawer shut enough that she didn’t catch a shin, so she forgot about it until she was stowing or retrieving her purse.
“I can’t believe this little gap is bugging me so much. I must be turning into my ex,” Morgan huffed as she sat down on the floor and scooted under her desk with the small flashlight from her key chain, hoping her boss didn’t return and catch her with her skirt hiked up.
She ran her fingers along the track and felt something at the very back. Wriggling even further under the desk, she shined the small light in the area where she detected the obstruction. The item was affixed with tape, but it took little effort to pry it free.
Crawling back out into the light, Morgan examined the small item. No larger than a paperclip, its identity was clear. She held a tiny flash drive between her fingers.

Hmm, curious place to keep data. She pondered the matter while looking closely at her find. “Wish I wouldn’t have already powered down my computer,” Morgan muttered as she dropped the small device into her purse, flipped off the lights, and headed for the elevator.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Adventure Scrapbook – Old Town San Juan

Old town San Juan, Puerto Rico is brimming with history, beautiful architecture, and culture. I especially enjoyed the murals painted on buildings that we came across while wandering the streets of this historic city. 

Friday, April 8, 2016

Get a Taste of Tragedy Today!

It’s finally here! The second Risky Research Novel, A Taste of Tragedy, is now available in trade paperback and ebook format. With Coterie’s trail growing cold, can Devyn and Nick learn their true identity in time to stop the next tragedy? Will Devyn take a chance at a long distance relationship with the smoking hot Wyoming Sheriff, and as Nick’s private past is revealed will they get the break in the case they need?

BLURB:
Morgan Hunter sacrificed everything for her career. She had yet to encounter anything she wasn’t willing to do to succeed . . . until now. When she uncovers evidence that the healthy foods she’s been hired to promote may be dangerous, she must reevaluate her priorities. As questions mount and the body count rises, she finds herself caught in the crosshairs of an organization that will stop at nothing to hide its secrets and protect its profits. With no one else to trust, Morgan is forced to seek help from the man she drove away, but whom she never stopped loving.


I hope you enjoy the danger, suspense, and romance. Follow me on twitter at https://twitter.com/kimmcmahill, and join the conversation or ask questions with #RiskyResearch.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Teaser Tuesday – A Taste of Tragedy #3

Book two in the Risky Research Series, A Taste of Tragedy, will be released later this week. It is already available for pre-order on Amazon, so click here to order your copy now, and enjoy this Teaser Tuesday post.

Morgan woke to pitch black. Not only were her hands and ankles bound, and her mouth taped shut, but she was also cocooned in a thick wool blanket. The bouncing told her she was in a vehicle, but she was clearly no longer in the back of her car.
Fear coursed through her veins as she struggled to understand where she was and what had happened. She wanted to take a deep breath to help calm her nerves, but with one nostril filled with dried blood and her mouth taped, it was difficult to breathe at all.
Forcing herself not to panic, she sucked in tiny bursts of air through her one open nostril until she was confident she wouldn’t suffocate. She wiggled her toes and fingers to try and get the blood flowing and the tingling to subside.
As the fog slowly cleared from her mind, she wondered how long she had been out. The last thing she remembered was trying to stand and keep her balance, so that she wouldn’t fall on the floor of that filthy warehouse. Now, she was here, but where was here?
Morgan tried to unroll herself from the constricting blanket, but soon bumped into a cardboard box. Despite the aches and pains emanating throughout her body, she bounced her body back toward her starting place, trying not to rewrap herself in the blanket, which would negate any progress. She unrolled herself again and repeated the process until she was free from the blanket.
Her body throbbed nearly everywhere, but being free of the wrap felt liberating. She wasn’t sure what to do next. She didn’t know if the driver of the vehicle was working with the woman who abducted her, or if he or she would be surprised to find her in his or her truck.
Morgan wasn’t sure how long she lay there in the dark when the truck finally slowed. She listened to the loud staccato noise of its Jake brake, and eventually the rig came to a stop. It was now or never. When the truck got back on the road, the driver would not be able to hear her.
She scooted around until her back was braced solidly against a large cardboard box. Once the truck motor silenced and she heard the door slam shut, Morgan kicked at the back door with all her might.
After several moments, she heard the lock and then the latch being opened. Light flooded the interior, blinding her. As her eyes adjusted, she found herself staring into the startled eyes of a man in a faded t-shirt.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Adventure Inspirations – John Muir on Bears

“Bears are made of the same dust as we, and they breathe the same winds and drink of the same waters. A bear’s days are warmed by the same sun, his dwellings are overdomed by the same blue sky, and his life turns and ebbs with heart pulsing like ours. He was poured from the same first fountain. And whether he at last goes to our stingy Heaven or not, he has terrestrial immortality. His life, not long, not short, knows no beginning , no ending. To him life unstinted, unplanned, is above the accidents of time, and his years, markless and boundless, equal eternity.”


 - John Muir, 1838, Yosemite, California -

Friday, April 1, 2016

Adventure Scrapbook – Exclusive San Juan Cemetery

Hugging the coastline near El Morro at San Juan National Historic site is one of the most picturesque cemeteries I’ve ever seen. However, I understand you have to be rich, famous, or politically connected in order to make this lovely site your final resting place.