Monday, September 17, 2012

Blood Memories

Today's special guest is KJ Dahlen. Kim lives in a small town (population 495) in Wisconsin. From her deck she can see the Mississippi River on one side and the bluffs, where eagles live and nest on the other side. She lives with her husband Dave and dog Sammy. Her two children are grown and she has two grandchildren. She loves to watch people and that has helped her with her writing. She loves to create characters and put them in a troubling situation then sit back and let them do all the work. Her characters surprise even her at times. At some point in the book they take on a life of their own and the twists and turns become the story. Of all the stories she could write she found she liked mystery/thrillers the best. She likes to keep her readers guessing until the very end of the book.


Kim answered some questions for Book 'Em North Carolina about her writing and herself, which you'll find interesting!

When and how did you become interested in writing?
I read a lot, always have all my life, so when the books I read became predictable I decided to see if I could write one.  I started when my children were young and life interrupted so I had to put my writing on the back burner for a while. Then when I was free to start up again, there has been no holding back. I still enjoy reading and now that I am an author myself I have been introduced to so many new authors and friends.
How did you select the genre you write in?
I chose suspense because I sucked at writing romance. My first attempt was a romance but I couldn’t make it come out the way I wanted, so I turned to suspense and was happy with the results
What books do you read for relaxation? Who are your favorite authors and why? 
I don’t have just one or two favorites, I have several in every genre. Most of them are new writers or writers I have just discovered.
How do you develop your characters?
I make my characters as real as possible in my mind before I commit them to paper. Each one has a little bit of myself.
Where do you get ideas for your plots? 
I get my ideas from everywhere, from Television to overheard conversations. It can be as little as a group of words and once the idea is born I develop it into a plausible story line. I wrote a book, called The Prophet from the simple question, “Has he asked you to convert yet?”
What are you working on next? 

I have two books waiting to be edited by my fifth publisher, Xchyler Publishing, but I am working on a sequel to one of my Solstice books and reworking a book I wrote earlier this year. I also have several more books going and a new serial book started, called Ripples in Time. I also have three dozen books outlined and ten started that I have to finish. Looks like I’m going to be busy for at least a little while.


When an accident turns out to be not an accident but murder Savannah must solve a double murder that happened over twenty years ago to find the truth. She was the only witness to her parent’s murder and now their killer is after her. She puts her trust into a man her aunt has known and all these years but evidence soon points to him being involved with the man she thinks killed her parents. Will she prove him innocent or fall prey to his intent? Her life and over two million dollars in diamonds is at stake.


Savannah  was about to walk down the hill to her car when she saw him. He was leaning against a tree not too far from where she stood.

She was sure she didn't know him yet he seemed very familiar to her. She tilted her head and studied him for a moment. Bits and pieces from her past flashed through her mind as she tried to place him, but it wasn't until he smiled she remembered where she'd seen him before. A few years ago when she was coming home from school, he was leaving her aunt's house. His smile was as warm then as it was now. He pushed away from the tree and began walking toward her.

Savannah waited until he reached her to hold out her hand. When he took her hand in his, she had to say, "I don't think we've met before, but I've seen you somewhere."

He smiled. "I've known you most of your life. I was a friend of your aunt's." He shifted his gaze to the disturbed ground of Donna's grave. "I'm sorry I didn't get here in time. I only arrived this morning. When I read the paper, I found her obituary. I had to come, at least to say good-bye.

Savannah smiled. "I remember you. I'd see you leaving as I was coming home. I asked her about you, but she wouldn't tell me who you were."

He smiled. "I'm sorry, my name is Charlie Manning."

Savannah shook his hand. "I'm Savannah George."

Charlie glanced away for a moment then looked back at her. "If Donna didn't tell you who I was, then she wouldn't have told you what I am."

"Excuse me?" Savannah said. "I don't understand. What should she have told me about you?" Savannah was intrigued now. She was finding her aunt had kept a number of secrets over the years.

Charlie leaned back on his heels. "You may not remember me, but I'm a cop from Chicago. We met once when you were three years old."

Savannah felt a chill run down her spine. She lived in the Chicago area with her parents until she was three years old. Taking a deep breath, "I think we should talk, but not here. Let's go back to my aunt's house. I have some questions for you. I think it’s time for me to know the truth."

Charlie stepped back and allowed her to lead the way down the hill. He got into his car and followed her back to Donna's house. The drive only took minutes but seemed longer.

Savannah glanced at the package sitting on the passenger seat. Whatever her past was, maybe the answers she'd sought all these years would finally be revealed. She checked her rear view mirror as Charlie Manning pulled in the space behind her.

Grabbing the package, she opened her door and walked to the front door. Once they were inside Savannah made a pot of coffee. A few minutes later she sat down at the kitchen table and stared at Charlie.

"Ok, mister policeman from Chicago, tell me what happened twenty two years ago that caused my aunt to take me and run." Savannah said.

Charlie studied her for a moment then decided to tell her the truth. "There is no easy way to say what I came here to say."

"Just spit it out then."

"How about the fact that at three years old, you might have been the only witness to the brutal double murders of your parents?" Charlie finally told her.

Kim will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:

Kim's web site:
She is on facebook and twitter as kjdahlen
Her blog is on facebook at K.J.’s blog