A post-apocalyptic thriller with bite.
Safari business is booming. Inside the Dome, people feast, create, laze. Most are content in the self-contained ecosystem.
The builders of the Dome are long dead. Their great-great-grandchildren keep telling of the Wild alive, but stories have rotted to mystery, then to legend.
A few discontents walk the perimeter of the Dome gazing into the horizon. They know the wheat fields, forests and mountains are fake. They all know. The false vista is a comfort except to those who burn to know what truly lies beyond. Those find tiny holes, gaps in waste control and ventilation. Their defection endangers everyone and the Grand Duke vows to plug the holes with the bodies of deserters. Still the Wild calls. Includes 2 bonus tales: Luminari and Barbegazi.
“Soon the trees thinned. They stood in a vast desert of crumbled stone. Humidity blew in from the South, bringing scents of growing things.
“What’s that stench?” asked Mindy. “Smells like rot.”
Alex unbuttoned his shirt collar and wiped his face with a clean hankie.
“That must be the Santa Ana.” He thumbed through several screens on a Touch, looking for the entry. “Here it is. Santa Ana: a hot wind that emerges from the sun- baked Great Basin between the Sierras and the Rocky Mountains and pours into California.” He stumbled over an old tire, buried in the dirt. “Are we near California?”
“We’re in the Wild,” said Cross. “It’s all the same.”
“I bet it’s the Santa Ana. Look there are the mountains.” He pointed to a mound in the distance with the sun setting behind. A herd of sure-footed grazers clambered over the craggy mound, their awkward bodies silhouetted against the fading sky.
“Look!” Mindy gasped. “Beasts! Are they dangerous?”
“Only if you’re made of grass,” said Cross.
They stopped to watch the sun set. Arms linked, Mindy put her head on Alex’s shoulder.”
Between The Cracks by Kim McDougall
Once upon a time…
Four words that evoke memories of princesses and goblins, of fables and fairy-tales. They have become an archetype, harking back to a time when the word novel was synonymous with fantasy. In fact, English literature was forged in the fires of sorcery and unreality. Think Faerie Queen, Dr. Faustus, Gulliver’s Travels. Sound familiar? Where would you look for these stories in your local book store? Certainly not in the fantasy section. Back when Moby Dick was published there were no fantasy and sci-fi, no mystery or romance, only novels. Alexander Pope did not worry about cross-genres when he composed The Rape of the Lock. And Robert Louis Stevenson was not catering to horror fans when he wrote Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
When did literature become a slave to labels? Who else but marketing managers profit from categorizing literature? Certainly not the consumer. Fantasy buffs head straight for these shelves, but how many great fantasy stories are missed because they are classified as “literary” instead?
In this anthology of short and flash fiction, sprinkled with unnatural poetry, Kim McDougall reveals the grit, lust and beauty that goes on Between the Cracks. Enjoy 30 tales including, “Black Bet’s Home for Toothless Vampires,” “Set Another Place at the Table, I’m Bringing my Pimple,” “Worst Love Poem Ever” and the award winning “Jack Frost” among other irreverent, dark and quirky stories.
What comes from Between the Cracks? Fiction that ignores boundaries, mixes genres and confounds classification.
Genre: Anthology, Flash Fiction
This is not a romance. This is not the story of boy meets girl, boy wins girl. The Golden Hour goes beyond erotica and romance. Instead, it is an exploration of how sex defines us, particularly in those first years of sexual burgeoning when it is intoxicating and empowering. Sarah’s life has been defined by the men in it. Now she must learn to define herself or forever live in the past. The Golden Hour is a story of the greatest love of all.
Malek and Sarah have a passionate and destructive relationship. When fate and stubborn pride separates them for good, they promise to meet twenty years later in that exact hour at their favorite restaurant in Nice. At age 42, Sarah waits at the little cafe for her first love to appear in the falling afternoon light. Will Malek be the same mysterious man he was? Will he still want her? Will he even come? Her imagination is overwhelming as she remembers their dark and fiery past, and dreads the secret she must finally reveal.
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Reanie is a shy girl. She has a new step dad whose shoulders seem to fill their small house.
Afraid to disappoint him, she retreats to her room whenever Bill asks her to play. But when he invites her on a photo safari in the creek, Reanie can’t resist. As the father and daughter splash through the water, they encounter many creatures. Bill teaches Reanie how to handle a camera, and her new step-dad doesn’t seem so strange anymore.
Illustrated with Kim Chatel’s stunning photography, this is more than a story. It is a journey with Reanie as she finds her voice and her artistic talent. The back of the book includes 5 nonfiction pages about photography: a glossary of terms, tips on taking better pictures and historical tidbits about photography.
Kim Chatel is both Author and Photographer
Genre: Children’s Books, Fiction
Choose your own ending and help Burgher make the right decisions to bring sunshine back to Oxtail Orchard. Burgher is a gnome, which is just another name for an ugly elf. He lives in a grey orchard, among slugs and mushrooms and he likes it that way. A black cloud follows him around like a curse.
Samantha Bell (Illustrator)
Genre: Children’s Books, Fiction
Tap French Vocabulary On The Farm by Kim Chatel
Mini-moi is only six hands tall. He wants to work on the farm like the big horses, but he’s too small. When Mini-moi runs away he finds a whole menagerie of animals in need. Children will delight in the animal antics as Mini-moi discovers that even little ones can be big helpers. Along the way learn French vocabulary and phrases. Includes a glossary of terms. Suggested age range for readers: 4-9.
Kathleen Bullock (Illustrator)
Genre: Children’s Books, Fiction
Horse Camp by Kim Chatel
Follow a group of young horse enthusiasts through a week at horse camp. Learn about tacking and grooming. Enjoy a visit from the farrier and test your knowledge of breeds and markings. Illustrated with beautiful photography that is sure to delight all horse fans. Fifty percent of author royalties will be donated to animal rescue foundations. Suggested age range for readers: 7-12
Kim Chatel is both Author and Photographer
Genre: Children’s Books, Non-Fiction
Rainbow Sheep by Kim Chatel
Author Kim McDougall A. K. A Kim Chatel
Kim McDougall is an author, fiber artist and photographer with a BA in English Literature from Concordia University.
As co-founder of Castelane Inc, Kim has produced 400+ book trailer videos.
Kim writes for children under her married name, Kim Chatel. She has 6 children’s books in print, including the EPPIE Award-Winning, Rainbow Sheep.
Writing as Kim McDougall, her fiction crosses boundaries, from fantasy and romance into the literary. She draws from mythology, history and current events to build unique worlds and people them with characters she would love to know better. Sometimes, the bad guy steals the show.
What makes you proud to be a writer from Ontario, Canada? The writers’ community of Ontario is very active and I am proud to be a member of the Writers’ Community of York Region. From engaging workshops to book fairs and conventions, this community showcases some truly great Canadian talent and I am honored to be part of it.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? As a child, while my friends played Barbie, I was organizing my books with front plates and making a card catalogue. Books have always been my favorite escape. When my daughter was born, I discovered the wonder of picture books and fell in love all over again. Writing grew organically from this love of literature.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? I have always written. I still have a book of poetry I wrote when I was eight. “Cats have fur. They often purr…” It gets worse from there. In high school, I was chosen to attend a week long creative writing workshop. The best part of this was getting out of school for a week. In college, my fiction started getting noticed by professors and this planted the seed of desire to be published. But it wasn’t until I moved to the US in 2002 that I decided to take publishing seriously. I didn’t have a work visa and for the next five years, I would be a stay-at-home mom. I thought I’d have loads of time to write. Of course, anyone who has raised kids, knows it didn’t work out that way. Nonetheless, I managed to publish several picture books, novels and short stories during that time.
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Though I’m really an introvert and enjoy the solitude of writing, I thoroughly enjoyed bringing my picture books to schools and presenting them to gymnasiums full of kids. Once you’ve faced down three-hundred kindergartners, nothing will faze you. Part of the joy of sharing my books with kids came from having my daughter along for the ride too.
How many published books do you have? I have six children’s books in print under my married name, Kim Chatel. Writing as Kim McDougall, I have published adult fantasy and romances, including four novels and novellas and dozens of short stories.
A Talent For Quiet
Burgher and The Woebegone
Clip-Cop, Tippity-Tap: French Vocabulary On The Farm
Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript? Usually, I choose titles after the manuscript is done, but occasionally, a title will inspire a story. This was the case when I wrote “Burgher and the Woebegone.” The name came to me when I was making up stories for my daughter. The name invoked an angry little gnome and I had to know more about him.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I’ve never believed the old adage of write what you know. If every author went by that rule, we’d have very little fiction to choose from. Instead, I write what I like. And that’s urban fantasy. Though I read many genres, including mystery, suspense and literary, urban fantasy is my go-to genre when I want to be truly entertained. I feel it is important to write in a genre that I understand well. I know the trends, what’s hot and what has been done to death. This allows me to work within the readers’ expected parameters while offering up fresh twists on old mythologies.
What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book (one book) that you are seeking promotion for? I came across the concept of a hibernaculum while researching creatures for another story. The idea of a mass of snakes intrigued me and evoked a perfect backdrop for a dystopian adventure. I remember enjoying the creative process of that story immensely because it was the first time I set out to consciously plot a story. Up until that point, I had been a seat-of-the-pants writer. But with Hibernaculum I had the ending clear as day in my head. Plotting allowed me to work backwards to the beginning point. Now I am a devoted outliner and my stories have taken on a new depth.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Write, write, write. Write every day, if you can. It’s the only way to get better at what you do. Reading books on craft can help, but not if you don’t put them into practice. When I first began publishing, I wrote dozens of short stories. Finding publishers for them was an eye-opening experience. I learned much about the publishing industry along the way. In the end, I had a good resume of published works for when it came time to contact editors for my full-length works.
Who is your favorite author and why? My favorite author is Ilona Andrews, a husband and wife writing team of urban fantasy. Andrews has a flair for world-building and character creation that I haven’t found equaled in any other writer.
Which book title would you like featured in this interview? Hibernaculum