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Kim McDougall Author

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Win a Valkyrie Bestiary Audiobook

The first Valkyrie Bestiary audiobook will be launching April 27th! And bonus--it includes not only Book 1, Dragons Don't Eat Meat, but the prequel novelette, Three Half Goats Gruff, too. 

Visit the Valkyrie Bestiary Audiobooks page to hear a sample, narrated by Hollie Jackson and to reserve your pre-order now.

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter! I hope this lovely spring weekend finds you safe and well. We are about to go into lockdown again, so no Easter festivities for us. But that's okay. It just means I have more time to write.

I've been getting a lot of emails lately, asking when the next Valkyrie Bestiary book will be out. I love getting emails, btw, so keep them coming. But if you want the short answer, you can check out the Valkyrie Bestiary Publishing Schedule HERE.

I am currently working on a prequel novella tentatively titled, The Dragon and the Banshee. I hope to have a cover reveal soon! In the mean time, here is a tiny snippet:

The biggest grote slang pounced forward, displacing a wave of water. Liam and I backed up slowly, but I didn’t want to risk running and force it to chase. The grote slang opened its mouth wide enough to swallow my head and roared again, hissing out gobs of spit and pond scum. Yum.

“Enough of that!” A tiny, old woman dressed in black rags came out of the cave to stand between us and the beast. She swatted it on the nose with her bony hand. “Mind your manners.”

The grote slang grunted air out of his flared nostrils and sank back into the pond. His mate and pups followed, until only their eyes peeked above the waterline.

“You’ve got to show ‘em who’s boss, is all.” The woman sniffed back tear, Then turned the full force of her glare on us. “Now what do you want with me?”
She stood no taller than my shoulder. Her face was deeply lined and drab gray with green in the creases, like moss grew there. Hair like lank seaweed hung about her thin shoulders. But it was her eyes that captivated me. They were deep set, dark violet orbs that drew you in. I couldn’t look away, and immediately ramped up my psychic wards, suspecting witchcraft.

The banshee chuckled, but even as she smiled, her lips turned down at the corners. 

“No need for your protections, girlie. I won’t bewitch you.”

Interesting. The banshee had a bit of the keening too. 

Book 3 of the Valkyrie Bestiary is now available. Check out Hell Hounds Don't Heel.

What's your creature catastrophe score?

If you’ve been around this blog for a while, you know that I love animals of all kinds. Furred, feathered, scaled. It doesn’t matter. I even like the slimy ones, like frogs and snails, and the freaky ones like bats and octopuses. I’m betting that a lot of others like critters too. In fact, I bet my writing career on it because they are a major theme in my Valkyrie Bestiary books. And the reviews prove I was right.

But where do I get the ideas for all these critters and their antics? Well, some of it comes from research (Hunter the pygmy kraken is based on several articles about cephalopod antics at research aquariums). Some of it comes from personal experience. Over the years, I’ve volunteered at various animal shelters and zoos. I’ve also had just about every weird and whacky pet you can think of. And while these days, my pets have dwindled to the more traditional kind, they still get into trouble. Much trouble.

Last week, when I came down from writing at 5 p.m. to make dinner, I saw what I thought was a rat running across my kitchen floor. It turned out to be one of my daughter’s pet mice that had escaped her cage. Now queue the 7-month-old puppy and two cats. Needless to say, it was a free-for-all in my kitchen until I could wrangle the cats into the basement. By that time, the mouse had found a tiny hole in the baseboard and crawled under my kitchen cabinets. Maggie, my hell-hound-in-training, had to stay with me for reasons I’ll explain in a moment, so the two of us staked-out the hole until we could lure mousey out with peanut butter. Two hours later, all rodents were safely back in their cages. And we ordered pizza for dinner.

I give this one a 7 out of 10 on my creature catastrophe score. It would have been higher, but at least I got out of making dinner. 

Maggie had her own struggles this week. She was spayed and had to wear this drab onesie so she wouldn’t lick her incision. She hates it. What do you think? Does the outfit say nun’s habit or escaped mental patient? 

Three days after her operation, Maggie started crying for no reason, panting and fussing. Something was wrong. I thought for sure she’d popped her stitches. Of course, this was after hours on Friday night, so we made a mad dash to the ER vet where the doctor told me (in the nicest way) that there was nothing wrong and my hell-hound was just being a big wuss. Maggie was put on tranquilizers for the next three days and told “No running around!” Of course, all the doctor’s orders went out the window when a mouse got loose.

Maggie's late-night visit to the hospital gets an 9 out of 10 on the creature catastrophe scale because it's horrible to see your sweet puppy in distress.

So you can see that I don’t have to look far for inspiration for the critters in Dragons Don’t Eat Meat. Don’t be surprised if you find Kyra staking out her kitchen cabinets for a double-headed mole in her next book :) 

What kinds of creatures populate your world? What are your creature catastrophes? I’d love to hear about them. Feel free to leave a comment below and, who knows, maybe your creatures will make an appearance in the Valkyrie Bestiary series! 

Get caught up on all of Kyra’s critter escapades in Hell Hounds Don’t Heel, book 3 of the Valkyrie Bestiary Series. Read an excerpt now...


Help an Author Out

Recently, several people wrote to me to say that they had trouble leaving a comment on my blog. I’m hoping I fixed the issue, but I’d be grateful if you would try to leave a comment and let me know if it doesn't work. You can email me through the CONTACT page. And don’t forget to let me know what web browser you are using so I can track down the problem. Many thanks to anyone who takes to time to help!

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