Friday, May 20, 2016

Aloha to Katie Ruggle and FAN THE FLAMES (Search and Rescue No. 2)


Reminder: I have a special giveaway for Military Appreciation Month at this link.

In the remote Rocky Mountains, lives depend on the Search & Rescue brotherhood. But in a place this far off the map, trust is hard to come by and secrets can be murder…

As a Motorcycle Club member and firefighter, Ian Walsh is used to riding the line between the good guys and the bad. He may owe the Club his life, but his heart rests with his fire station brothers…and with the girl he’s loved since they were kids, Rory Sorenson. Ian would do anything for Rory. He’d die for her. Kill for her. Defend her to his last breath—and he may just have to.

Every con in the Rockies knows Rory is the go-to girl for less-than-legal firearms, and for the past few years, she’s managed to keep the peace between dangerous factions by remaining strictly neutral. But when she defends herself against a brutal attack, Rory finds herself catapulted into the center of a Motorcycle Club war—with only Ian standing between her and a threat greater than either of them could have imagined.

FAN THE FLAMES is available from Sourcebooks on June 7 at these outlets:

When she’s not writing, Katie Ruggle rides horses, shoots guns, and travels to warm places where she can SCUBA dive. Graduating from the Police Academy, Katie received her ice-rescue certification and can attest that the reservoirs in the Colorado mountains really are that cold. While she still misses her off-grid, solar- and wind-powered house in the Rocky Mountains, she now lives in Rochester, Minnesota near her family.

Learn more about Katie and her books at

Public Domain (link)

Katie joins me for a cozy chat ...

Kim: Good for you in being green! What were the challenges and rewards of living off the grid? 

Katie: Thank you! I loved just about everything about my house in the Rockies, although it did require a few adjustments. The hardest thing for me was that my mechanical skills were limited to what I could learn from Google, so if something broke while all the roads to my house were buried in snow, I was in trouble. One wickedly cold December, I’d been snowed in for a week when my wind turbine died. Just two days later, my propane generator gave a sad wheeze and went belly up. All I had left for power were my solar (PV) panels, and the following days were short and cloudy. At night, I’d unplug everything except the refrigerator and the pumps that ran hot water through the floor. The wind howling outside provided excellent inspiration for my Search and Rescue series, so I’d write on my charged laptop in the evenings. When my computer warned me of a low-battery, I’d finish work for the night and use candles and my smart-phone screen to help guide me to bed. One positive was that I managed to get a lot of writing done that winter. It was a huge timesaver (as well as an energy saver) to not watch TV. Later that year, I got a new wind turbine, fixed the first generator and installed a second, larger propane generator. I’m a big believer in back-up plans (and back-up generators!).

The rewards were many: no utility bills, the satisfaction of using energy made from the sun and wind (with the occasional help from propane), the reassuring knowledge that, if a black-out occurred, I’d still have power. The idea for Rory’s character (Fan the Flames) came partially from my descent into mild Prepper-dom. I didn’t mean to start stocking up on necessities…a lot of necessities. It was just so reassuring to have a year’s worth of toilet paper on hand. I mean, during a zombie apocalypse, I’ll still need toilet paper.

Kim: What was your favorite sight, sound, and smell in the Rockies?

Katie: My favorite sight was the Pronghorn (antelope) that roamed close to my home. My favorite sound was the yipping of the coyotes in the distance as the sun started to set, and my favorite smell was wood smoke from my outdoor wood boiler on a crisp fall day.

Kim: How much of you is in your characters (given all your bad-ass-talents)? 

Katie: My characters have bits and pieces of me. I have Lou’s smart-ass voice in my head as my internal monologue, I can appreciate Callum’s love of a symmetrical snowman, and I’m a total gun nerd like Rory (although she’s a better shot than I am). The hard part is to separate myself from my characters. If I have them react how I would, it takes away all of their individuality, and then I’m just writing the same character over and over. I force myself to think, “How would Rory respond to that?” and write the scene in a way that fits her character, her history and her personality. Sometimes it’s hard, though, not to be bossy and take over the decision-making, especially when my characters make…well, questionable choices. I take comfort in the knowledge that it’ll all turn out well in the end. There’s nothing better than a happy ending.

United States Air Force Academy
Public Domain (link)

Mahalo, Katie, for sharing your happy ending!  I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash to one randomly selected commenter. To enter the giveaway,

1. Leave a comment about Colorado - what do you know about the Centennial State?  I have visited the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) outside Colorado Springs.

2. Comments are open through Saturday, May 21, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I'll post the winner on Sunday, May 22.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Book 1 in the series ...


  1. I don't know anything about Colorado

  2. Marijuana is legal there :) and it's great skiing weather.

  3. Colorado is known for its beautiful scenery in the Rockies. I have never been to Colorado, but I would love to visit the Mesa Verde National Park to see the cliff dwellings and the Dinosaur Center to see the dinosaur collection.

  4. The Rocky Mountains are amazingly beautiful. My mother was born there and my grandmother lived there till I was a senior in high school One summer I spent a month and a half living with her in Idaho Springs outside of Denver. I've been back a few times and will be visiting Boulder several times in the next 6 years since my son will be working on his post graduate degrees at UC Boulder.

  5. I've never been to Colorado, but now I have cousins who live there - maybe I'll get to visit one of these days!

  6. I know about the Rocky Mountains and that the NHL team (the Avalanche) is based out of Denver :)

  7. I know so very little about Colorado. The Rocky Mountains.

  8. Not a state I wish to visit really.

  9. I lived in Colorado when I was young and have been back several times since. It is a beautiful state.

  10. It is beautiful. Our son lives in Col Springs. His home has a beautiful views of the mountains from several windows. Temperaure can fluctuate from morning to afternoon - bid change.

  11. Colorado is the only state to turn down the Olympics. In 1976 the winter Olympics were planned to be held in Denver. 62% of the voters choose at almost the last minute.not to host the Olympics. Because of cost pollution and population boom it would have on the state of Colorado and the city of Denver.

  12. It is a beautiful state. I love the mountains.

  13. I've been there a few times because my sister and two of my brothers live there. It's a beautiful place.

  14. I know nothing about Colorado I've never been there

  15. We lived in Colorado Springs for 3 years. My husband was stationed at Cheyenne Mountain. We loved the area and consider it our best assignment. Our son was born at the Air Force Academy. The football games between the service academies were great fun. We had a wonderful view of Pikes Peak from our deck. We have been back several times since leaving and the town has grown too much. I love the area, but the traffic and development has changed the town so much.

  16. We went river rafting on the Arkansas River in Colorado. It was fun....crazy, but fun. And beautiful scenery.

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