Monday, December 31, 2012

Free Books and Final Week in Review for 2012

Last week was a wonderful time with family. I hope everyone had a great Christmas holiday and will enjoy a new year filled with exciting adventures, whether actual experiences or virtual encounters through a good book.
Friday, December 28, Desperate Dreams was featured at Thank you to those who stopped by to check it out.  In other writing news, After the Storm is now available for free download at the Prism Book Group website. After the Storm is a romantic novella and a sequel to, Lightning Strikes, also available for free download.  What could be better?
Have a safe and happy 2013.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Desperate Dreams

Please stop by Blurbs in Bloom ( today, December 28, to explore Desperate Dreams.  Each Friday, Saturday and Sunday new books and authors are featured and it’s a great way to see what’s new in romantic fiction.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Thank You and Merry Christmas

Thank you to everyone who stopped by on December 22 and left a comment for a chance to win a digital copy of Big Horn Storm. This past week leading up to Christmas has been consumed with tying things up at work, trying to kick a stubborn cold and finishing that last minute shopping. Now it’s time to relax and enjoy time with family and friends while finding a few minutes to finish up the initial round of edits for my next novel.
I hope everyone has a Christmas filled with happiness, joy and love. Be safe!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Win a Free Digital Copy of Big Horn Storm

Please join me today at where I talk about how the unpredictable elements of nature and the diverse, and often unforgiving, natural landscapes provide an extra layer of suspense to a story. A winner will be chosen at random from those who leave comments to receive a free digital copy of Big Horn Storm.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Love of Adventure Starts Young

I was asked recently why I write adventure stories. My initial response was, “it’s what I enjoy reading and watching at the movie theater.”  Many questions later I realized my bias toward the action-adventure genre goes deeper and developed at an early age.   I grew up with unlimited access to open spaces. I rode ponies, horses or dirt bikes from as far back as I can remember.  My dad’s idea of a family vacation involved a pack trip into rugged mountain country, and I was an avid downhill skier. I probably took those experiences for granted, but each one helped shape my perception of entertainment.  Even as my leisure-time exploits inevitably tame, I can always live vicariously through my stories and I hope everyone who picks up one of my books can escape into a world of action-packed adventure.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Week in Review December 9-15, 2012

It was bound to happen.  I was hoping this year would be different, but keeping true to form I’ve caught my Christmas cold. On the upside it’s a week earlier than usual so maybe I’ll feel human by the big day. 

I’ve begun round one of many of the edits for my international adventure thriller this week, which is due to be released in early 2013.  Edits are always a mixed bag for me. It’s exciting to see the final product take shape, but frustrating when I realize that perfect final manuscript I submitted to my editor isn’t so perfect after all.  

On December 22, I’ll be a guest blogger on Just Romantic Suspense. I’ll provide more details closer to time, but be sure to stop by and leave a comment for a chance to win a download of Big Horn Storm.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Free Downloads Through December 17

I wanted to share the following offer with everyone. I haven't read all of these books, but the ones I have were wonderful. Shelia has a special way of telling a story and I'm sure you will enjoy her work.

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all of you the special joys of the season.

As a special gift I am offering all four of my novels (eBooks) FREE to you and yours
now through midnight Sunday, December 17.

You may electronically download all of my novels for yourself and any individual on your Christmas list simply by clicking here:


And please, if you enjoy any of my novels, leave a review on Amazon.

TRANSMUTARE. A good girl gone bad. Erotic. Dark. Romantic. Redemptive.

 BAGGAGE. Modern-day Fairytale. Widowed mother, divorced father learn to cope with their teenage daughter’s chaos.

CHILD OF MY HEART. Childless pediatric nurse discovers atypical motherhood.

 AUSPICIOUS DREAMS. Three children come of age amidst discrimination in the great American frontier.

Thank you all and have a blessed holiday!

Shelia Bolt Rudesill
Engaging Literary Fiction

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Embrace Christmas Adventures

In keeping with the theme of this blog here’s an ode to Christmas Adventures. We’ll start with decorating, which often involves forays into those dark places most try to avoid—under the stairwell or house or in the attic, where dust, cobwebs and spiders make the jaunt feel like a Halloween dare rather than a Christmas ritual. Next, there’s shopping. Surviving the mobs, high-pressure sales tactics and parking lot demolition-derby is like preparing for battle—outline your objectives, don’t get distracted from the mission and if shopping as a team using the divide and conquer method, be sure to have a communication plan and an exit strategy.  After shopping you may look forward to a day at home with your holiday baking, but don’t get lulled into complacency. There are choppers, blenders, mixers, knives, scalding bubbling sugary mixtures, hot ovens and the ever present temptation to overindulge. So get a good night’s sleep, stay hydrated and keep the fire extinguisher handy. Finally the big day is near. Are you hosting or traveling? Both come with their own set of adventures. If you’re driving more than 30 miles, it will snow, unless you’re in Florida, so allow plenty of time and make sure to throw in your emergency survival gear. If you’re hosting, think of all possible scenarios, develop contingency plans, and stock plenty of food—a well-fed horde is a happy horde.
So far I’ve only outlined a fairly typical and smooth-flowing holiday season, and as many of us have experienced, Murphy exerts his laws in force during the holidays. Some of Murphy’s adventures, such as flights grounded by the storm of the century, devastate the occasion, but many if viewed from the proper perspective can create lasting memories. Trudging up hill in knee-deep snow in search of the perfect tree, only to later discover it’s too big to fit in the house; driving through a farmer’s field because grandma’s lane is drifted shut; burying a snowmobile on the pass in an attempt to make it in time for Christmas morning gifts; or hanging on for dear life while being pulled on a sled behind a galloping horse are just some of the adventures of Christmases past.
All of us have those unique stories forged in our memories and many of those tales developed from a good plan gone awry. So, keep your mind and heart open to all the possibilities surrounding the season and maybe those harrowing escapades can turn into unexpected treasures. As the countdown to Christmas continues, flexibility is key. Accept that the Christmas festivities will most likely not unfold as planned, keep your expectations realistic and always Embrace Adventure.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas Shopping

Yahoo! I’ve finished my Christmas shopping early this year and it wasn’t too painful. Though I’ve always been a fan of the tactile, touching before buying, I must admit I do understand why some prefer to shop online. And, if you’re one of those, don’t forget that Big Horn Storm, Desperate Dreams and Marked in Mexico are not just inexpensive ($2.99) eBooks available from your favorite online retailer, but all my books are also available in paperback and make great gifts. With my not-so-subtle plug out of the way, here’s the, “week in review.”  It’s finally starting to feel like Christmas. We still haven’t seen any of the white stuff, but the temperatures have dropped low enough to make it possible. On the writing front, not much to report, but I did get to see one of the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Regional Tournaments. The matches were exciting and the crowd was amazing. It was a great time, but I can’t help but feel bad for those eliminated after so much hard work. I’m not sure what adventures next week has in store, but please check back often and have a great week.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Hidden Gems

Every now and then I like to give a shout out to an artist, singer or author who surprises me and who isn’t widely recognized for their talent or potential. So rather than jump on the bandwagon and downloading the latest sensation, I recently put a couple I-Tunes votes behind Colby Yates. This former professional bull rider turned country singer is an unexpected surprise and anyone who loves traditional country music might just find what they’re looking for in Colby.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Three Gifts

Three Gifts by Claire Sanders is not only a great holiday read, but this inspirational novella has particular relevance during these difficult economic times our country is facing.  The main characters, Molly and Jack, seem like a perfect couple, completely in love, dedicated to family and sharing common goals and beliefs.  So what could be holding up a long-awaited wedding?  Jack wants to start his life with Molly on solid financial ground, but even with a college degree finding a good-paying job is proving elusive. He is also driven by the need to care for his grandmother, who raised him after the death of his parents, making relocation a less than attractive option.
On the cusp of losing the love of his life, Jack receives three Christmas gifts which open his eyes and his heart to the blessings of true love. Three Gifts is a heartwarming story of hope, love, and keeping one’s faith when facing the inevitable curveballs life throws.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Week in Review November 26 – December 2

I can’t believe it’s already December. To get into the holiday spirit I’ve been reading Christmas novellas (see post below and stay tuned for my review of Three Gifts). We dug out the Christmas decorations from under the stairwell and spent the day decorating. I’m exhausted, but the house really looks festive. In continuing with the theme of getting into the holiday mood, I spent a day at a local artists’ Christmas open house signing books. It’s always fun to get out and talk to readers about my work and learn more about other crafts such as glass blowing, painting, sculpting, weaving, metal work, wood carving, etc.  The weather continues to be too mild to feel like Christmas, but I’ve experienced enough white Christmases to last a lifetime, so I won’t complain and I’ll continue to enjoy the temperatures while they last. Have a great week.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Free, Cheap and Just in Time for the Holiday Season

Lightening Strikes, a romance novella collaboration by Prism Book Group authors (including me), has been available for free download directly from the publisher’s website at, but now it is also available for free kindle download at
Just in time for the Holiday season, Prism Book group has three Christmas novellas available for just .99 downloads through your favorite online retailer. More on The Christmas Answer in my last post below. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Great Holiday Novella

The Christmas Answer is an inspirational novella about Donna Dubois, a successful gospel singer, who finds herself questioning the strength of her marriage and her faith as she struggles with depression and loneliness.  A spur-of-the moment decision to accompany her best friend on a missionary trip to the Appalachian Mountains places her in the midst of a very special family.  Witnessing the strength, love and generosity of the widowed mother of four, forces Donna to reexamine her life and trust in God’s plan.  Kimberly B. Jackson’s, The Christmas Answer, is a must read for the holiday season, but keep the tissue’s handy. For more information visit Prism Book Group. Downloads of the book are available for just .99 through your favorite online retailer.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Week in Review

This post is actually two weeks in review since last week was usurped by “The Next Big Thing,” a blog circle where authors have a chance to discuss their current works in progress. See the blog post on November 19 below for more and be sure to check out the authors I have tagged for November 26.

I came across a great website to help readers find low cost eBooks called, Addicted to eBooks. Marked in Mexico ($2.99) is currently on their homepage. All books listed on the site are priced at $5.99 or less and must have at least five book reviews, so for great eBooks at great prices check out
In case you missed it, please visit Jacqueline Hopper's Blog for her Promotion Monday Trivia extravaganza from November 19 where Prism Book Group authors offered up bits of trivia about their work and I discussed the difference between grizzly and black bears – good information to know for the characters in Big Horn Storm. As always, I can’t say enough about Jacqueline and her awesome blog. I was also interviewed at Roller Coaster Suspense on November 22.  Marcy Dyer posed great questions and put together a wonderful interview. Thank you, Marcy.
And, last but most importantly, I had the opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family over the holiday weekend and I’m very thankful for all of them.  I hope you all had a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Free Kindle Download

Hard day of Christmas shopping? Curl up with a regency romance tonight! Download your copy FREE from Amazon 11/23 & 11/24 only!

Do people prove their self-worth by strength, or by character?
A Romany leader confronts the English heritage he has denied when he lands, beaten and powerless, in the path of a high-spirited young widow. Will the prim countess agree to hide the charismatic rogue in her home and jeopardize her safety while her stepson accuses her of murdering her elderly husband?
Patience Blakwell is not beautiful. As a dutiful young countess in Regency England, she endures her husband’s cruelty. She struggles with her faith, trying to understand why God is not following the plan she had for her life—to be loved and cherished by her husband. After her husband’s unexpected death, her grown stepson charges her with her late husband’s murder.
Luca Boldor, more Gypsy than English, is determined to prove that he is strong and capable and doesn’t need anyone. But once he is forced to depend on Lady Patience Blakwell, a woman who represents all he loathes, he must decide whether he should turn away when she needs him, or risk his most vulnerable, forgiving self to keep her safe. By denying his English heritage, has he denied a part of himself?
Be sure to download your copy while it’s free!

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing: What I'm Working On Now

By Kim McMahill – November 19, 2012

Author Judy Baker was kind enough to tag me in an ongoing game of The Next Big Thing, a blog circle where authors have a chance to discuss their current works in progress, giving everyone a sneak peek into, “The Next Big Thing.”


What is your working title of your book?

Guardians of the Sacred Relics

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I was watching a program on the Travel Channel counting down the twelve greatest mysteries. One of the mysteries focused on a group of legendary crystal skulls. It was fascinating and the short tidbit on the many different theories surrounding the skulls sent my mind whirling with all the wonderful possibilities.

What genre does your book fall under?

Adventure/Suspense, International Thriller

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

There’s almost no role I wouldn’t like to see Hugh Jackman in, so I guess he would have to play Cash. I haven’t put much thought into all the characters, but Scarlett Johansson would make a great Marjorie.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

The massacre of an unarmed South American village, destruction of one of the greatest manmade wonders of the world, and multiple museum thefts ignite a desperate scramble to locate a deadly group of terrorist before they amass the mythical relics capable of legendary destruction.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I’ve signed with Prism Book Group to publish Guardians of the Sacred Relics. No release date has been set, but I imagine it will be in early 2013.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

This book probably took me longer to write than any other because I did a lot of research in order to make it as believable as possible.  The first draft was finished at a bad time, so I put the manuscript aside for several years. After signing with Prism Book Group to publish Marked in Mexico, my enthusiasm returned and I dusted the manuscript off and gave it a final polish.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I was going for a Clive Cussler type of book, but with a bit more romance. I love the way his books hop around the world and follow different characters’ storylines until eventually they all converge. When I start one of his books I often wonder how all the storylines can possibly tie together, but in the end they always do.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I love action adventure stories and, as mentioned above, a short program on the Travel Channel planted the seed and once I started the novel I had to find out how it ended.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Anyone who loves international thrillers will enjoy following the characters as they embark on deadly adventures in Egypt, Peru, Argentina, Mexico, the Bahamas and multiple locations in the United States.

 I’ve tagged these writers to join in the game! Please tune into these blogs the week of November 26 to check out their posts!

Message for the tagged authors and interested others:

Rules of the Next Big Thing
***Use this format for your post
***Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (work in progress)
***Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:
What is your working title of your book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.

While you’re waiting for those new posts next week, be sure to visit Judy at, as well as any other participants in The Next Big Thing.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Big Horn Storm Blurb in Bloom

Please check out Blurbs in Bloom starting tomorrow afternoon, November 17, where Big Horn Storm will be featured.  Each Friday, Saturday and Sunday different books and authors are showcased and it’s a great way to see what’s new in romantic fiction.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Week in Review, November 5 – 11

With today being Veterans Day, I would like to begin by extending my deepest gratitude to all those who have, and currently serve our country. I would also like to thank all the emergency services workers and volunteers who have responded to the devastation created by Hurricane Sandy. These selfless and amazing people are what make America Great.  

This past week also saw the close to a very contentious campaign season. My house has seemed unnaturally quiet in the aftermath, making me check the phone and answering machine to make certain both are still in working order. 

On November 8, Victoria Pitts-Caine welcomed me to her Blog and posted a thorough review of Marked in Mexico. If you haven’t seen it, please check it out. 

Next week looks to be a quiet week, which I hope is the case since Thanksgiving week promises to be a bit hectic with family and writing. Stay tuned next week for a schedule of upcoming events.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Inspiration from Nature

Every author finds inspiration in different ways. Some observe, watching life unfold around them, absorbing the possibilities and twisting reality into fiction; others feed off emotions, using the writing process as an outlet for grief or dealing with life changes, or accepting blessings; and many embrace the simple joys of nature, allowing it to soothe the soul and encourage artistic endeavors. I accept inspiration whenever and wherever it presents itself, but the natural world is my greatest muse. Not only does the solace of empty spaces incite creativity, but the places I visit often capture my attention and imagination, compelling me to write a story befitting the scene.  

I’m sure those who follow my work have noticed that I’ve set multiple stories in Mexico or have at least maintained a strong tie.  Though I haven’t been to Mexico in a few years, I have spent considerable time exploring its Mayan ruins, enjoying pristine beaches on both coasts and I’ve done volunteer work in the rural interior. The country is amazing and, like the United States, the diversity represented in its geography, geology, flora, fauna and cultural history is vast and varied.  While listening to a guide expound upon the practice of human sacrifice at the Sacred Well at the edge of Chichén Itzá my eyes darted around the perimeter searching for any hint of danger and my imagination ran amok (Marked in Mexico). I found it impossible to wander through the far reaches of Cobá on a morning devoid of visitors, cautiously peering behind a mysterious ruin abutting the dark dense jungle and listening to the insects and hidden creatures without needing to take the adventure much further (Deadly Ruins). And, Big Bend National Park—anyone who has been there has surely stood on the banks of the Rio Grande looking across its muddy waters into Mexico, wondering about life on the other side and if there is anything that could make an American risk everything to swim for another life south of the border (Desperate Dreams). 

But, there is too much stimulus in the world for me to focus only on Mexico and my latest novel, Big Horn Storm, stays a little closer to home and it wouldn’t have been possible without the powerful influences of nature and the extreme actions that sometimes transpire when encountering challenges. The story is set in the Bighorn National Forest, which is located in north central Wyoming and encompasses over one million acres. Its abundant wildlife, evergreen forests, grass prairies, mountain meadows, rugged peaks, dramatic canyons, cascading waterfalls and dramatic geology make the area breathtakingly beautiful and the perfect setting for an action packed adventure. I’ve experienced the Big Horn Mountains in the winter on snowmobile, but mostly I’ve enjoyed the scenery and wildlife during the summer months on horseback and four-wheeler. It’s possible to quickly leave civilization behind and absorb the tranquil majesty of this special place. On one such trip we came across a sheepherder’s wagon. Its owner was absent, likely out with his sheep, but the image stayed with me, tucked into my mental file for years until I found the perfect place for the sheepherder to resurface in one of my stories.  

All writers admit to being avid people-watchers, which is essential for realistic character development, but don’t forget about nature and the experiences we encounter within its broad embrace. Not only can we find inspiration in its varied landscapes and the creatures which inhabit the diverse and unique environments, but we can also find the solitude to hear our creative voice in a world filled with distractions, so be sure to listen, learn and embrace the natural world.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Week in Review

I’ve been thinking about doing a “week in review” blog every Sunday, and what a time to start. Last week will always be remembered as the week Hurricane Sandy hit leaving a massive path of devastation across sixteen states. The amount of destruction and suffering is beyond comprehension and all those affected continue to remain in my thoughts and prayers.
Halloween came and went with less fanfare than usual. Despite the natural disaster hitting the East Coast, it seems like the campaign advertisements and phone calls never waned.  I must admit I won’t miss those next week.   

On the writing front, the free Kindle down load promotion for Marked in Mexico on October 26 and 27 was a huge success. Thank you to everyone who participated and to those who have followed up with reviews and interest in my other books.  Big Horn Storm was featured on The Logline Blog. It will be on the main page until November 15. The Logline Blog hosts a monthly contest for those who comment on loglines and is also celebrating is one-year anniversary this month with more giveaways. 

And last but not least, I hope everyone remembered to set their clocks back an hour last night or this morning.  Enjoy the extra hour of your weekend.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


The story below is from Carlene Havel's Blog on October 31, 2012. When I read it I was transported back to my childhood and all the wonderful, interesting, and sometimes, sad stories passed down from my parents and grandparents.  Carlene’s reminiscence made me smile, so I wanted to share it with my readers and followers. I hope it takes you on a nice trip down memory lane too.

My grandparents were common folk. Yet their ordinary lives made for some wonderfully entertaining stories. My great-grandfather claimed the automobile put him out of business. What business was that? He would laugh, slap his knee, and reply, "I was a horse thief." Stories of Model A Fords, switchboard telephones, and chopping cotton put life into bygone days. Watching Grandpa roll his own cigarette, sharpen his razor on a leather "strop", milk the cow, and slop (feed) the hogs are precious memories. But the best times were after dinner, nestled in someone's lap, hearing a story that began, "Now back in '32 I tell you times was hard..." No doubt living through the Great Depression was tough, but hearing it retold was sheer delight.

Carlene Havel is the author of " A Hero's Homecoming"

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Logline Blog

I’m always excited when I find a new way to learn about new books and authors. My latest discovery is The Log Line Blog. Check it out for the low-down on Big Horn Storm and other great reads from a variety of fantastic authors. Readers are eligible for a chance at an Amazon gift certificate monthly, and the winner is announced on the first Wednesday of each month.
Also, I’d like to extend a very sincere thank you to everyone who took advantage of the free Kindle download promotion for Marked in Mexico on Amazon October 26 and 27. I truly hope you enjoy the story and want to check out Big Horn Storm or another of my adventures.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Free Kindle Download October 26 and 27

Marked in Mexico can be downloaded for free on Amazon this Friday and Saturday— a perfect time to find out if a deadly manhunt will lead to love.

An idyllic Caribbean vacation turns deadly when hostages are taken at one of Mexico’s most popular Mayan ruins. The kidnappers believe the abduction will be a simple way to negotiate the release of a colleague from a Texas prison, but matters become complicated and the stakes much higher when they realize one of their hostages is the daughter of a powerful U.S. Senator and another is an ex-Army Ranger who has no intention of playing by the rules.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


October has been a busy month as far as my books showing up around the Web. Check out C.R. Richards’ 2012 Halloween edition of Books and BanterTopics in this issue include a recap of Killercon, featured authors, including my latest novel, Big Horn Storm, and news and issues from the publishing industry.  

This past Friday, Marked in Mexico, was featured at Blurbs in Bloom. It’s still there, but you’ll need to scroll down a bit since Saturday and Sunday’s blurbs are now listed above it. Jacqueline Hopper dedicated the October 8th Promotion Monday to Marked in Mexico. She’s a very prolific blogger so you’ll have to search a bit since it’s long buried with other interesting and exciting promotions, reviews, advice and information on submitting a manuscript to Prism Book Group, which you don’t want to miss. And, on October 15, part two of my interview with Anna Sugg posted at Canyonland Press.  And, it’s not over yet. Stay tuned for a very exciting opportunity coming October 26 and 27.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Blurbs in Bloom

I recently came across a great blog with a catchy name, Blurbs in Bloom, which features short blurbs and book covers every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It’s a great way to sample new authors. Today my novel, Marked in Mexico, will be featured, so stop on by, have a look, leave a comment, and maybe discover a new read for the Fall season

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Blogfest fun

Thank you to Ciara Knight and Ninja Captain Alex for organizing this fun blog-hopping event and all those who stopped by to comment. Sorry to say, so far Beth hasn’t found her book.  I am challenged as far as social media goes, but I had fun participating. If I’m wrapping up early, please continue to comment below, and maybe it isn’t too late for Wicked Eddies to be noticed by its creator.

Did I Notice Your Book Blogfest

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Blogfest – Did I Notice Your Book?

What makes a new book jump out and beg to be read even if you’ve never heard of the author?  A great cover or a catchy title can grab the attention of a potential reader, and Beth Groundwater’s Wicked Eddies did just that.  It’s difficult to ignore, Wicked Eddies, and not be just a bit intrigued. Did I notice your book? If so, please comment. If you’re just curious, here’s the blurb.

Fly fishing is dangerous?  River ranger Mandy Tanner had no idea until days before a huge tournament in Salida, Colorado. True, the Arkansas River can be a man-eater, but the rapids weren’t responsible for driving a hatchet into the neck of would-be competitor Howie Abbott—a secretive man who may have been cheating. While casting about for suspects, Mandy seeks clues from Abbott’s family members, including her best friend, bartender Cynthia Abbott. But when Cynthia becomes the prime suspect, Mandy realizes that trolling for the true killer has plunged her way too deep into wicked eddies.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Canyonland Press Interview – Part Two

Please join me today at Canyonland Press for part two of my interview with Anna Sugg on characterization and research.  Canyonland Press is an e- magazine for readers with inquiring minds, focused on bringing entertaining information to readers.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Research in Fiction

After writing research papers in college it was never a goal of mine to continue this practice, accept under duress, after graduation. But, in order to make fiction believable it is often necessary to learn more about places, cultures, technology, time periods and even science as is the case in a couple of my books in progress. When it comes to science I must confess I don’t always understand everything I read, but hopefully I grasp the general concepts enough to make the story realistic.

Some investigation is hands on. I’ve visited Mayan Ruins, national parks, and decommissioned missile silos all in the name of research. Observation is another key tool in order to develop realistic characters and scenes. Sometimes I come up with a concept I’d like to incorporate, but need to do a little digging to see if it’s feasible. In Marked in Mexico I wanted something to push the characters even closer to the edge, something beyond their control. I thought about malaria. I’ve seen the devastating effects of the disease up close on numerous occasions, but only after studying the dispersion map in an article in the July 2007 issue of National Geographic did I decide that, though not prevalent in most of Mexico, it’s not out of the realm of possibility where my book is set. I also study maps when creating a local for a new story. I don’t need an exact location, but I do need to make sure the fictional ranch I envision along the border of the Big Horn National Forest could exist or towns currently function where I need ghost towns in Desperate Dreams 

I enjoy reading and writing non-fiction, but my passion has always been adventure fiction. My primary goal is to entertain and offer escape, but in a way which encourages the reader to get involved with the characters and in the story and maybe even ask, “what if?” So, dog-ear the articles, clip the newspapers stories and surf the net. Sprinkle the facts throughout the story, mix well and you have a recipe for success and fiction that feels real.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Taste of Big Horn Storm

I hope this wets your appetite...

The sound of a man’s voice made Niki’s head whip around as she tried to bring Storm under control. The man was not speaking English and the insignia on his uniform did not belong to the United States military, nor did the uniform sport a maple leaf such as the one she had seen on the helicopter the previous day. Thoughts swirled through her head, making no sense at all, but the one thing she was certain of was that she was in deep trouble.

Niki reined Storm around, now surrounded by five more men. Her body went rigid as the horse’s legs suddenly stiffened. Storm snorted at the closest man and then pawed angrily at the ground. The men began advancing, smiling and laughing. Niki couldn’t understand what they were saying, but as she spied two more dead bodies on the ground, she felt certain they had no intention of helping her.

Her eyes darted from man to man. She scanned the area and noted that she was still very close to the edge of the ravine. Niki could feel the big horse quiver beneath her and tense, ready to spring at the slightest provocation. She gripped Storm’s sides with her legs and grasped the saddle horn. One man pulled a pistol out of its holster. She doubted he intended to shoot her yet—instant death would be too quick, easy and preferable. Niki feared he planned to take out her only mode of escape. She couldn’t allow her beloved horse to be shot at point blank range, but most importantly, she couldn’t be delayed too long or she doubted her grandfather would survive.

With a prayer and a swift kick, Niki informed Storm it was time to run for their lives. The horse sensed the danger and cleared the edge of the ravine before the men could react. Niki held on as tight as she could and leaned back to help the horse keep his balance as he lunged down the slope. Rocks dislodged under the fury of his churning hooves as he barreled down the embankment.

They had nearly reached the creek when the first series of shots rang out. Storm shied and turned to follow the creek downstream rather than plunging into the water with its slick bottom at an uncontrolled speed. Another barrage of gunfire pelted the ground, narrowly missing Niki, but hitting nearby rocks, spraying the horse with sharp stone fragments.

A slight bend in the ravine took them out of sight of the shooters and soon the slope was much less intimidating, making it easier for Storm to cross the creek and climb out of the ravine.  Niki released a sigh of relief and encouraged the horse to take it easy as he began his ascent. They had just reached the top when Niki heard the unmistakable sound of two dirt bikes’ engines firing up.

“I hope you have a little more left,” she whispered as she leaned over Storm’s neck, flattening herself against his steaming body.

Her position was all the encouragement the horse needed. Storm stretched out to a full run. His speed and endurance amazed her, but she knew they needed to reach the cover of the thick forest on the other side of the clearing as quickly as possible. Storm had already been galloping for hours before they had even reached the tower, so she doubted he would be able to outrun the dirt bikes for long or dodge the bullets that would come once the soldiers reached the flat meadow.

Niki stole a glance back. The bikes had cleared the ravine’s lip and were rapidly closing in. She looked ahead and estimated they were still a quarter of a mile from a dense stand of trees. Several bullets landed well to the right of Niki, doing no damage, but the noise spurred another burst of speed from the gelding. She fought the urge to look back again—it would serve no purpose. Instead, she kept herself low and her head down to help Storm as much as possible and to minimize the size of target her body presented.

The distance between her and the trees narrowed, but the bikes sounded closer. Another shot narrowly missed as Storm dove into the thin stand of pine. The horse slowed slightly, having to navigate through an old blow-down as if it were an obstacle course. She knew the fallen trees would slow the dirt bikes even more since they would have no choice but to find an alternate route around the jumble of timber, resembling a giant game of pick-up-sticks.

Niki remained low to the horse’s neck as he wove in and out of trees, branches slapping violently, threatening to dislodge her from Storm’s back. He stumbled several times as he maneuvered through the erratically strewn timber, but regained his footing and continued to run. She clung to the horn, hoping the horse knew what he was doing, doubting she still had the ability to think quickly or clearly enough to make a good decision, nor did she want to risk a look up for fear of being stabbed in the eye by a low-hanging branch.

Storm leapt over logs and wove his way around everything he couldn’t clear. His nose was stretched out as if reaching for the finish line at the Kentucky Derby. His breathing huffed above the pounding of his hooves and the breaking of branches and Niki hoped his strength and endurance would last until they were safely away from the armed men.

As the horse finally managed to put distance between them and the sound of the bikes, Niki took in a deep breath and slowly exhaled. The noise of the engines had all but faded when she dared her first glimpse up since entering the trees. The sight brought a gasp from her lips. The sheer drop off was the last thing she saw as Storm launched himself over the edge without hesitation.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Marked in Mexico Featured on Promotion Monday

Join me today on Jacqueline Hopper's Blog blog for Promotion Mondays where she will feature interviews, reviews and everything, “Marked in Mexico.”  Click on the arrow below for a preview.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Free Short Story Download

After a storm, a major power outage leaves two at-odds neighbors dependent on each other. Forced to unite, will their animosity for each other crash like thunder or will they discover love as lightning strikes?

Download Lightening Strikes, a collaboration by Prism Book Group authors, directly from  Prism Book Group. Formats for most e-readers are available.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

October's Book of the Month

Each month Prism Book Group features one of its e-books for 99 cents. The books can be downloaded directly through the Prism Book Group website in formats for nearly all e-readers. September’s “Book of the Month” was my romantic adventure, Desperate Dreams.  This month check out Trinity Hart’s, Accident Waiting to Happen.

Devastated to learn her fiancé is nothing more than a con artist after her inheritance, Hope Pearson is seeking refuge at the Circle C ranch when her brakes give out, sending her careening into a gully and Caleb McBryde’s life.

Though her lines don’t appear cut, the ex Texas Ranger finds the circumstances surrounding her crash landing in Serenity Cove, Texas highly suspicious. For calamity seems to shadow the woman… One might say she’s an Accident Waiting to Happen.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Cowboy Up!

This past weekend I went to a rodeo featuring the top professional cowboys in the nation. It brought back a lot of childhood memories, but I was also struck by the changes. Like so much anymore, it had turned into a Vegas-style spectacle complete with a laser light show, fireworks and overly loud rock and roll music playing as the cowboys performed. I wondered how our horses would have reacted. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy it, because I did, but I was a little stunned – this was definitely not my daddy’s rodeo.  

Growing up, my family spent nearly every weekend during the summer months at team roping and barrel racing events. The prize money was a division of all the participants’ entry fees, not the tens of thousands up for grabs at last weekend’s rodeo, and the stands were filled with families. The participants were dressed the same way they would be to bring in their own cattle from the range, without a sponsor logo in sight. The competition was tough, but it was also a family outing and community event held in rural towns with limited businesses, so picnic lunches or “tailgating” was the norm.  

During the week we watched my dad at the local nightly rodeo, which was geared more toward entertaining the tourists than the low-key weekend events. At the time I thought it was full of pageantry and excitement, but compared to the big rodeo production I recently witnessed, it was still pretty traditional.  I can’t help but miss the simplicity of the rodeos of my youth, where all that really mattered was the skill of the cowboy and the quality of his horse and the time spent with family and friends.

Friday, September 28, 2012


As the days grow shorter and the temperatures get cooler I can no longer live in denial – summer is over and winter is just around the corner. I love summer, always have, but there is something to be said for the seasons. Some traditions just aren’t the same without them. Apple cider is best enjoyed when steam rises from the cup cradled in your mitten-covered hands and the Thanksgiving table demands a centerpiece of brightly colored fall leaves, pumpkins and gourds, not a bouquet of tulips. And Christmas—I’ve spent a Christmas in the South Pacific and a couple in Hawaii and I missed the snow. Santa just looks wrong riding a surfboard in shorts. So, as I lament the end of long warm days, I know I wouldn’t enjoy the holidays or appreciate summer as much without the changing seasons.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Deadly Storm is Brewing…

Niki Garat tolerates her job and the city, but she lives for her summer vacation with her grandfather at his sheep camp in the stunning Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming—until this year. When the U.S. comes under attack, including an aggressive attempt by foreign invaders to locate nuclear missiles hidden throughout remote western lands, the serenity of her mountain refuge is shattered. As area ranches are commandeered, neighbors and friends, including Deuce, her childhood infatuation, band together. Throughout their struggle to stay alive, Niki begins to understand what came between her and Deuce, but before past mistakes can be corrected they must endure a terrifying manhunt and a desperate fight for survival. 

Big Horn Storm, Released August 2012, is currently available in trade paperback or e-book through your favorite on-line book retailer.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Great New Children's Book

I haven’t done a lot of book reviewing, but I thought I’d give it a shot. When I saw the cover for Brenna and the Horses of Lusayana, it caught my attention, reminding me of my great aunt’s art work, and I was further interested when I learned the author, Lee Landes, was a continent away in the United Kingdom.  

I was a little hesitant when I realized that Brenna and the Horses of Lusayana was a children’s book, thinking the plot would be overly simple. Not the case, in fact this book requires the reader’s full attention as the main character, a twelve-year old girl named Brenna, is drawn into a complex quest to learn about her past in the hopes of breaking a centuries-old family curse and saving her mother’s life.  

The story is a fantasy set in a rugged coastal landscape in the United Kingdom where Brenna is guided through a treacherous journey by the mystical White Horses of Lusayana. Throughout this amazing adventure she unlocks the family secrets her mother has tried desperately to hide and discovers true friendship she never imagined possible.  

The book is intended for 9-12 year olds, but I wouldn’t set a maximum age limit since the story has plenty of twists and turns to keep readers of all ages interested.  It will appeal to anyone who loves stories of courage and determination, and it provides an escape into a fantasy world of possibilities. To find out more about Brenna and the Horses of Lusayana or author, Lee Landes, visit

Friday, September 21, 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Interview on Canyonland Press

Please join me at for the first installment of a two part interview focusing on my inspiration for my romantic adventure novels, the writing process and upcoming projects (you’ll need to scroll down a bit). The second half of the interview is scheduled for October 1, 2012.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Birth of a Story Part Two of Two

Big Horn Storm is also a hodge-podge of experiences and ideas. I’ve always loved the Big Horn Mountains, so I wanted to set a story in that area and something involving horses made sense. Some of my favorite books and movies have those scenes in which you find yourself holding your breath until it’s over, such as when Nullah, in the movie Australia, stands at the cliff edge facing down a stampeding cattle herd or when the Man from Snowy River follows the brumbies over the edge. I wanted to write those scenes and I believe I have accomplished this, in part due to my own horseback experiences.

But what would force a person into daring actions far outside their comfort zone? It would have to be something extreme, a “do or die” situation, such as a widespread invasion by a foreign enemy. But, why would any foreign military care about a sparsely populated area in Wyoming? That answer came to me after taking public tours of decommissioned missile silos at the South Dakota Air and Space Museum at Ellsworth Air Force Base and Minute Man National Historic Site. Though most of the missile silos that once dotted the landscape of the West and Great Plains have been decommissioned, the possibility was all I needed to push forward (see blog post on 08/18/12, Missile Silos of the Great Plains, for more information). And, last but not least, there are few stronger catalysts for action than love. So, with all the pieces in hand I carefully assembled the puzzle to create an action-packed contemporary western romance intended to excite and entertain a host of readers. I hope you enjoy the ride!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Birth of a Story Part One of Two

Big Bend National Park
It seems logical that a storyline for a novel would follow a linear path, but that’s not always the case. Most of my ideas develop through a more haphazard route. Desperate Dreams was born from a snippet of a dream. I woke one morning and the only detail I could remember was of a small group of people huddled under the camper shell in the back of a small red pickup truck, trying to sneak into Mexico. I muddled this over for a while trying to decide what must America be like to encourage a reverse border run? It seemed like there was plenty of post-apocalyptic stories out there, so I eased back a bit and created an America where current technology had become mainstream. Most citizens embraced the safety and security of the new society while a few found the loss of privacy and freedom unbearable. But was this enough to make anyone challenge authority? Probably not, but what if men were being exterminated once their usefulness was over? For the men at risk and the women who loved them, this would be ample catalyst to push the characters to drastic measures.
Rio Grande on the U.S.-Mexico Border

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Once is Enough

Quote of the day. . .

“You only live once, but if you do it right once is enough” Mae West  

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Monday's Interview

This week I will be interviewed on  Jacqueline Hopper's blog for her weekly “Promotion Monday” feature. Please stop by on September 10 and every Monday for her fun and in-depth look at new authors and books.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Free Ebook and Book of the Month

For a free download of Lightening Strikes, a short-story collaboration by Prism Book Group authors, click here on Prism Book Group.

 Also, Prism Book Group offers a “Book of the Month.” September is my romantic suspense novel, Desperate Dreams, which you can download for just .99. Check back on the first of each month for the newest featured release.

Monday, September 3, 2012

New York City Calling

I just got back from my latest adventure, which was fun and exciting, but not as adventurous as I anticipated. Maybe I watch too many action flicks or police shows, because what I found in New York City wasn’t what I had expected. I’m sure an in depth probe of the city would turn up movie fodder and newscast footage, but the New York I encountered was fairly user-friendly and full of interesting opportunities, unique sites and a vibrant atmosphere. From the must-see sites of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the 9/11 Memorial, the Empire State Building and Times Square to the everyday experiences such as riding the subway, strolling through Central Park and enjoying great street-cart food in the wee-hours of the morning, New York surprised and awed me at every turn. Images of the city are everywhere and I feel it calling me back.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Review for Big Horn Storm

Authors have goals. For non-fiction it may be to enlighten or educate. For me, I strive to entertain and take readers on a new and exciting adventure.  I was very pleased with the following review of Big Horn Storm, feeling as if I may be accomplishing what I’ve set out to achieve in my writing. The review below was taken from Carlene Havel's blog.

August 29, 2012

What can make a book special? Lots of things for me. Good research skillfully woven into historical fiction, detailed biography, words that transport me from where I am into the story the book tells. Websites that sell books seem to operate on the premise they know what I like - they're always offering up recommendations for my reading pleasure. Generally, their selections do appeal to me. But now and then I step over the line to read something completely different from my list of "already read" books. Big Horn Storm is one such book. It's an adventure romance set in the Big Horn Mountains. I knew I was hooked when I had to read past midnight one night. Today I have my ereader at the ready so I don't waste a minute of free time not reading. A couple of times I've had to put the book away because I was so tensed up by the reality of the adventure. Had to stop and remind myself - it's fiction! It's imaginary! Calm down! Don't you love it when an author grabs you that way? Good show, Kim McMahill!