Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Spotlight/Guest Post: Murder on the Horizon by M.L. Rowland (Release Day!)

About the Book

Genre: Mystery, #3 in A Search and Rescue Mystery Series
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Release Date: August 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads...

The Search and Rescue mystery series returns readers to Timber Creek, where the hot, dry Santa Ana winds are blowing. But more than just the threat of wildfire endangers the tiny mountain community...

Gracie and her Search and Rescue teammates are searching along the highway in the middle of the blisteringly hot Mojave Desert when they make a grisly discovery—a trash bag containing human body parts. Not long after, Gracie's growing friendship with a ten-year-old runaway draws her unwittingly into the secretive, hate-filled world of the boy's family—a group of gun-toting extremists. As a wildfire roars into Timber Creek, Gracie finds herself caught up in an explosive plot that, unless she stops it, will destroy countless innocent lives.

Author Guest Post

by M.L. Rowland

Keeping the adventure and excitement rolling throughout my Search and Rescue (SAR) mystery books depends as much on how I say what’s happening as on what’s actually happening.

One of best pieces advice I ever received for keeping a story moving along quickly was: “Jump in late. Jump out early.” In other words, start every scene or chapter with the action already in play and leave before the action is finished.

Using fewer words and shorter paragraphs and chapters also increases the pace, heightens the sense of urgency, the intensity, the excitement. Conversely, using more words and longer paragraphs and chapters slows the story down, making the read more leisurely and relaxed.

Even the words themselves play a role in pacing and mood. Clipped, terse, abrupt words can increase tension, build excitement or conflict, create a sense of danger. Gentle, fluid, melodious language conveys a softer, safer message.

Of course, it’s always a good idea to vary the pacing and mood. Too much break-neck action for too long and readers will close the book out of sheer exhaustion. Slow the action down for too long and they’ll will stop reading because they’re bored.

Finally, it helps that much of what I write about in my books—locations, technical SAR information, even quite a few of the incidents—is drawn from my own personal experience on a Search and Rescue team. This lends authenticity and an air of realism and adventure that helps ramp up the sense of danger, the excitement, the intensity. And keeps ‘em turning the pages!

Author's Website

Buy Links

Zero-Degree Murder - Amazon/Barnes and Noble
Murder Off the Beaten Path - Amazon/Barnes and Noble
Murder on the Horizon - Amazon/Barnes and Noble


  1. Wow, thanks for spotlighting this title. I read the first book recently, Zero Degree Murder, and really enjoyed it! I now will look out for book 2, Murder Off the Beaten Path. Can't wait!

  2. Another book to add to my list!

  3. Ooh! A new series for me. This sounds so good. Off to check out the author. Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. Sounds like a lot of action in this one. Thanks for the giveaway.

  5. Great guest post. I always hear writers saying they draw from their own personal experience and add it to their work.
    Sounds like a good series!


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