Kim McDougall
Some readers have asked about my experiences in animal rescue because it is a big inspiration for Kyra and her critter wrangling. As I set up my farm in the hopes of accepting some new rescues in the near future, I've been reminiscing about some of the amazing times I had caring for animals. Here's the story about the time I wrestled an angry llama.

For several years, I volunteered at a wonderful small and large animal rescue in Pennsylvania called The Gress Mountain Ranch. They took in horses, goats, pigs, alpacas, donkeys, llamas and many small critters too. Most of these animals were unwanted for various reasons (often health related) and they lived out wonderful lives at the ranch. I spent many happy mornings feeding the large animals and cleaning pens. There is something invigorating about mucking out a stall. I'd much rather get my exercise in this constructive way than on a treadmill.

The only animal on the farm that scared me was Stanley, the llama. He'd been bred to be a guard llama for sheep or goats, but he became too aggressive. The farmer's vet wouldn't get near him. And I could see why. He now guarded the ranch's little herd of alpacas like a crazed vigilante. He rarely let anyone into his pen. They had to blindfold him to shear him in the spring, and the poor shearer was covered in green spit by the time he was done. And llamas don't just spit saliva. They spit up a bit of stomach acid with each hork. Fun stuff. Imagine being covered head to toe in llama stomach acid and chewed up grass.

Luckily, we had a very brave young vet who offered to take on Stanley and give him his yearly shots. I offered to help wrangle him (Kyra would be proud). We managed to tackle the stubborn llama, but then realized that the halter we'd brought for him didn't fit. The proper halter was hanging in the barn a good five minute jog away.

The two of us were barely hanging onto the thrashing beast, and I knew that if we let go, we'd never, ever catch him again. So I sent a young volunteer up to the barn while the vet and I just hung on for our dear lives.

We did finally get Stanley his shots. And yes, he peppered us with acid spit for the favor. A few months later I had to have tendon surgery on my elbow. It had been bothering me for a while, but that day was the straw that broke the llama's back, so to speak. So not only did I wrestle and angry llama, I have the scars to prove it.

What do you think? Good story or not? I'd love to know if you'd like to hear more true adventures in animal rescue. Just reply right in the comments below. And maybe you'll find Stanley in the pages of the Valkyrie Bestiary one day.

Book News

The critters are gathering!  The Valkyrie Boxed Set, Volume 2 is now available! Get 3 books for the price of 2. Includes books 4-6.

Grimalkins Don’t Purr: Kyra Greene is out of this world—literally. Her fire dervish has been lost in the Nether for weeks. Only Kyra can save him, but not without help from her estranged father. The problem is, Daddy’s dead. 

Kelpies Don’t Fly: For ten years, Kyra Greene thought she was the only Valkyrie this side of the rainbow bridge. Until she gets a stunning request for help from her cousin. But facing the ghosts of her past isn’t on Kyra’s to-do list. All she wants is to settle into her new home with Mason and her menagerie of furred, feathered and scaled rescues. Instead, her cousin’s plea sets a new Inbetween adventure in motion. Kyra and her crew will find themselves on the wrong side of the law and going to war with a herd of murderous kelpies. But this time, Kyra might finally set past wrongs to right. 

Ghouls Don’t Scamper: Kyra Greene, exiled Valkyrie, never thought she’d return to Asgard. Not after she burned the only bridge home. But now, with her unborn child’s life at stake, she must find a new route to the old world or die trying. 

If you like feisty female leads, laugh-out-loud humor, and romance that’s just right, then you’ll love the action-packed Valkyrie Bestiary Series!

Find Valkyrie Bestiary Boxed Sets Here

More Book news!

Grimalkins Don't Purr audiobook is on sale at Save 50% until March 10th. 

The Large Print paperback edition of Dervishes Don't Dance is now available at Amazon. Other retailers will follow soon. 

What is Kim Reading? 

This is the section where I let you know what books have caught my fancy in the last little while. And that's a two-way street. I'd love to hear about what you're reading. Feel free to let me know by replying right to this email. Follow me on Goodreads, to see all my recent reviews. So, here is my latest read. 
  By T. Kingfisher

A paladin, an assassin, a forger, and a scholar ride out of town. It's not the start of a joke, but rather an espionage mission with deadly serious stakes. T. Kingfisher's new novel begins the tale of a murderous band of criminals (and a scholar), thrown together in an attempt to unravel the secret of the Clockwork Boys, mechanical soldiers from a neighboring kingdom that promise ruin to the Dowager's city.

If they succeed, rewards and pardons await, but that requires a long journey through enemy territory, directly into the capital. It also requires them to refrain from killing each other along the way! At turns darkly comic and touching, Clockwork Boys puts together a broken group of people trying to make the most of the rest of their lives as they drive forward on their suicide mission.

Kim's Review: 

This is the book I didn't know I was looking for! It's the first half of the Clocktaur War Duology (along with The Wonder Engine). Really, this is a review for both books, as they read like one novel. I suggest you start reading them with that in mind and expect to pick up #2 right after finishing #1.

Why did I like this book so much? It's epic fantasy with a touch of steampunk and gas lamp, but it reads like an Urban Fantasy. It has that modern sensibility that I'm familiar with. There were no fainting ladies or men in tight cravats like you see in a lot of this kind of gothic setting fantasy.

What it did have was a kick-a$$ female hero, a flawed but lovable male hero, a quirky best friend and some cute and scary critters (you know I love the critters!). I think I highlighted more terrific one-liners in this book than any before. Some of those were witty banter, others were thought-provoking.

All in all, this is my new favorite series. I was only sad that it was so short.

Spotlight Books

Alien Selection
by Honey Phillips

No one has ever valued Lauren. Betrayed by both her father and her ex-husband, she has learned to keep her head down and live day to day. When she is saved from a vicious attack by a strange horned being, she wants to believe his promise of safety - but how can she?

T’saran’s once promising career in the Yehrin fleet was destroyed when he succumbed to the lures of a manipulative female. Now he is assisting with the preparations to invade Earth in the hope of regaining his lost honor. But instead of completing his mission, he is compelled to save a fragile human female. He wishes only to rescue her - but his commander has other plans.

Can T’saran give up everything for a chance at an uncertain future? Can Lauren find the inner strength to help them both? Can an alien warrior who's afraid to lose save a human woman who's afraid to trust?

Get your FREE copy of Alien Selection


Book Fairs

Below are the newest Book Fairs that I am taking part in, but there are many more on the Book Fairs Page. Click on the banners below for free books and great deals.

***Gotta love the honesty of a book fair called "Shifter Smut!"

Kim McDougall

P.S. Have you read the Valkyrie Bestiary prequels? Visit the BEFORE TIMES page to learn more.


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