Perched on the cliffs overlooking the
picturesque village of Melk, Austria and the Danube River, sits the Melk Abbey.
This 900-year-old baroque masterpiece is fabulous inside and out, and the views
from its regal position aren’t bad either.
“Wilderness is an anchor to
windward. Knowing it is there, we can also know that we are still a rich
nation, tending our resources as we should—not a people in despair searching
every last nook and cranny of our land for a board of lumber, a barrel of oil,
a blade of grass, or a tank or water.”
I guess I
only had time to share three of my six Nativity scenes this year. This one is
the one my mom and I picked up while in Mexico many years ago on a volunteer
trip. I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas. Revel in the warm memories of
past holidays and cherish the new times together this year and in the future.
Grace Talbot gripped
the steering wheel of her white four-wheel-drive truck. Every muscle in her
body tensed as she leaned closer to the windshield, straining her eyes,
searching the blowing snow for the reflector poles, which lined the road, or
for any tire track, which would indicate someone else had driven through
Traveling the remote
rural Wyoming road in a blizzard was risky, and she would have avoided such a
stupid act if her Uncle Moss weren’t in the hospital fighting for his life and
Butch, his only hired ranch hand, weren’t dead.
scene and chapter from A Dose of Dangerwas based on an
early morning drive on the same mountain road, but thankfully the reason wasn’t
to respond to a tragedy, but to rendezvous with family for a Christmas morning
celebration. Where Grace is forced to chain up, we had snowmobiles waiting at
the road closure parking lot to enable us to snowmobile the rest of the way to
our destination shown in the accompanying photo. Remembering that morning drive enabled me to write
this chapter in a matter of minutes.
audiobooks, romantic suspense, and adventure? Three of my novels are now
available in audible audio edition on Amazon. I’ve posted the blurbs below and
just click on the title to go directly to each book’s page on Amazon. Enjoy!
A Dose of Danger: When researcher Grace Talbot and her team discover
a possible solution for weight loss they are targeted by 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?
Shrouded In Secrets: 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 terrorists. An international team led by the ruggedly handsome,
but emotionally scarred CIA agent, Cash Luker, scours the globe in an attempt
to keep ahead of those striving to bring thirteen mythical relics together. As
Cash’s team closes in on those responsible for the devastation he must conquer
past demons in order to save the woman who has captured his heart and prevent
destruction of legendary proportions.
Marked in Mexico: 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. After a daring escape the Senator’s daughter, Jessica, and
the ex-Ranger, Jack, must endure a terrifying manhunt and a desperate fight for
survival. While trying to stay alive in the unforgiving jungle they forge a
bond that will last a lifetime and find love neither wanted, but were unable to
considered myself a collector. In fact, I find myself trying to downsize at
every opportunity. But, my one exception, quite by accident, is Nativity
scenes. I’m now up to six and each one has a special meaning. The first year I
was married my mom got me the core group, Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus for
Christmas, and each year thereafter she got me another piece until the company discontinued
the line. My second set took me a week of negotiating while in Ecuador to get
the price of the hand-carved set down to an affordable price. The third was
passed down from my grandma and has extra special memories. I received a small
colorful set from a friend, another my husband found at a yard sale when I wasn’t
with him and he picked up knowing how much I love Nativity scenes, and another
my mom and I got in Mexico while on a volunteer work trip. So, this holiday
season, I’m sharing some of my cherished treasures, starting with the set that
always adorned my grandma’s house and brings back fond childhood Christmas
What better way to
celebrate the season than to step back into time with this collection of delightful
historical holiday romances. Download for
your kindle for only $0.99 each by clicking on the title below or to order the
trio, Love’s Christmas Past, from Amazon in one
paperback for $13.99 click here.
In the late 1800’s, Grant and Lily have established their
farm amongst the bluffs of western Wisconsin. As they anticipate the birth of
their first child, tragedy strikes. With shaken faith and grief driving a wedge
between them, is it possible for three orphans to heal Grant and Lily’s heart
Vivacious frontier widow Connie Rose Simonson
manages two cafés while dreaming of the perfect Christmas for her son Andrew,
but not everyone welcomes her success. A corrupt banker wants her properties
and will manipulate anyone in his way.
Dr. James Connor heals others while forsaking
his own needs. The town’s only doctor, an influenza outbreak, and the holiday
season leave him exhausted and discouraged.
It looks like another lonely holiday for the
Connor and the Simonsons until Andrew is injured and the doctor becomes
entranced by the attractive widow. But James has been hurt before and hesitates
to get involved, after all, a physician must always maintain a proper
relationship with his patients.
It’s up to angelic newcomer Diana to bring them
together creating new beginnings, new memories, and to hear Christmas bells
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. Niki hoped
his strength and endurance would last until they were safely away from the
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.
Niki felt as if they
were suspended in mid-air. She leaned back until her head nearly rested on
Storm’s rump and prayed his feet would soon touch solid ground. The first
contact with earth jolted her body, throwing her forward, jamming the horn into
her stomach and forcing the air from her lungs, but she hung on.
The horse didn’t slow
since any attempt to change momentum or direction would be impossible and would
send them tumbling to their deaths. She knew the descent from the ledge had
only taken seconds, but it felt as if they were moving in slow motion for an
eternity. The horse’s hooves barely touched the ground as he fled down the
slope. Nothing seemed real and the only sound she could hear was a faint
ringing in her ears and the heavy labored breathing of the determined horse.
Her knuckles were
white as she grasped the saddle horn with every ounce of strength she
possessed. By the time Storm finally came to a stop at the bottom of the cliff,
she wasn’t sure if she could let go without physically prying her fingers free.
Her fingernails dug into her palm on the hand holding the leather reins so
forcefully that blood trickled down her wrist, yet she didn’t feel the pain.
Niki took several
deep breaths to steady her nerves and gently guided Storm around to look back
at what they had just ridden down. Her
eyes followed the impossibly steep, treeless, rock-strewn slope until her gaze
rested on two men. They stood, stances wide, arms crossed, shaking their heads
in disbelief. Niki glared at them for only a moment before reining Storm toward
the trees and trotting out of their sight.
This scene from Big Horn Storm is a
supreme embellishment, but derived in part from a cattle drive I was on as a teenager
with my dad. We were taking the cattle to a high grazing lease for the summer.
By the time we reached the steepest, last big push, the cows were getting tired
and a few decided it would be easier to slide back down the mountain than to
keep climbing. My dad was on a green-broke colt which wasn’t as surefooted as
my palomino gelding, and getting a little tired herself with her heavier load.
Anyway, my dad told me to go after them. I looked at him like he was mad, but
nudged my horse, assuming he wouldn’t go if he thought it was too steep. He was
a good cow horse, so didn’t hesitate to launch himself over the edge and follow
the cattle. The slope was too steep and the dirt too loose to stop and I ended
up beating the cows to the bottom. I still occasionally have those, “Man From
Snowy River,” flashbacks, but the experience did help me write this scene in Big Horn Storm. My dad clearly had a lot more faith in the horse and my
ability than I did, and thankfully he was right.
I grew up in Wyoming, which is where I developed my sense of adventure and love of the outdoors. Since leaving Wyoming I have enjoyed many opportunities to see the world, and I've lived amid some of America’s most stunning landscapes. I started out writing non-fiction, but my passion for exotic world travel, outrageous adventures, and happily-ever-after endings soon drew me into a world of romantic suspense. Please follow me on twitter at https://twitter.com/KimMcMahill.com