Friday, December 6, 2013

A Blogful of Awesomesauce

2013 has been one of those years.

A year that I still have trouble processing. Is this really happening to me? Did I really publish a book?  Do people really stand in line so that I can sign this book? (and some of them I'm not even related to!) Did I really just finish writing ANOTHER book? Are people actually excited about the release of said book?

What the hell is happening? I'd say I'm dreaming if it wasn't for the fact that my dream come true is sprinkled with just enough reality (laundry, bickering kids, sick dogs, chickens in my office...) to keep me rooted in reality. 

In celebration, let's review the highlights, shall we?

I had the privilege of holding my debut signing at one of the greatest book stores EVER, The Poisoned Pen.
yes, as a matter of fact, my face DID get stuck that way.

I had the pleasure of seeing my book cover on my publisher's catalog cover.

I would kill something small and furry for a copy of this catalog... kidding. But I really, really want it!
RT Book Reviews featured Carved as one of their May Mysteries:

Pitch Black? 
I went to Bouchercon... okay I didn't go to B-con but Carved did that's almost as awesome.

Do you see me? I'm right there!

I had the wonderful opportunity to go to Colorado and meet some of my fellow Inkers!
look at all this talent behind  and beside me!

And make some new friends!

say hi to Connie, the reason I was in Colorado!
And the chance to catch up with some "old" friends!
Holly and me at Barnes & Noble

And throughout the year, the rave reviews for Carved just kept coming...

available wherever books are sold
"Prepare to be overwhelmed by the the tension and moodiness that permeates this edgy thriller. Beaumont's ability to keep the twists coming, even when the answers seem obvious is quite potent." 
- Library Journal (starred review, debut of the month)

"... Long after you put it down, this story will resonate with you and it will be one of those rare novels you read again and again." - Les Edgerton, acclaimed author of The Perfect Crime and Just Like That

"... Beaumont knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat. Buckle up for the ride of a lifetime, this one is the roughest rollercoasters you ever had to endure." - Mark Sadler, Suspense Magazine 

A compelling psychological thriller with a satisfying conclusion. An excellent debut novel." 
- Jenny Hilborne, New York Journal of Books

"Carved in Darkness is a roller coaster ride of emotion with scary villains and realistic characters. Beaumont draws you into her words and doesn't let you go until the very last page." - RT Book Reviews

... And then this happened! Suspense Magazine named Carved in Darkness in their December issue... Best Debut of 2013. Page 50 if you want to check it out:

Okay, back to reality!

The first draft of Sabrina's next book was due Sept 1st... I missed my deadline. My editor promptly dispatched her minions and had me tarred and feathered. Okay, that's not true. She was understanding and encouraging because she's awesome like that and I got my manuscript turned in a few weeks later, no tar or feathers required. I am anxiously awaiting edits so that I can start making sense of the 100k words of ridiculousness I sent her. I have cover art... want to see?

The sequel to Carved in Darkness--available 
through Midnight Ink, July 2014

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cover Art for Sabrina's next book!

Well it's official!! Here's a sneak peak at Sabrina's next book...

we're slated for a spring/summer 2014 release... let me know what you think!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mail bag!

It’s official. I’m closing in on the last 10k words of Sabrina’s next book, a sequel to Carved in Darkness, so I finally have a few minutes to breath... although I'm pretty sure my editor would strongly disagree. Anyway, I wanted to take a few minutes to answer some readers’ questions about the new book and well… me.

Do you have a title and release date for the new book?
As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, Carved in Darkness was not my original title for Sabrina’s first book. That brilliant title 100% belongs to the creative genius that is Midnight Ink. The working title was, although appropriate, boring. Same goes for this one. The working title for book #2 is The Muse and I’ve got my fingers crossed for another spring/summer release, 2014.

Have you written any more books I can read to hold myself over until Sabrina’s next book comes out?
Nope. Carved in Darkness is my first book, written or published.

Will Michael be back in the next book?
Yes. I left things unresolved between them because quite frankly, there is no way I’d be able to resolve their issues/relationship in one book. Michael and Sabrina have a long, bumpy road ahead of them but they’ll get there in the end. I promise.

 Is the entire series going to be about Sabrina or are you going to bring secondary characters into the forefront?
Carved in Darkness was originally intended to be a standalone novel but as it usually happens after you spend years and years of your life with a group of people who live in your head, when it comes time to let them go, you just can’t do it. You find that they have more they want to say and do and you feel compelled to let them… I have 6-7 novels planned out in my head. Some of them feature Sabrina, some of them feature Michael… and some of them feature secondary characters. Let’s hope everyone gets a chance to have their stories told.

Do you have a twitter account?
Yes… you can find me on twitter @thrilllingwords. Or you can just go to my website and hit the button.

Where have you been hiding?
In the suburbs outside Phoenix, Arizona, buried under a pile of kids.

Seriously, I’m an Arizona native married to her high school sweetheart with 4 kids (two biological and two adopted). After a lot of soul searching and false starts I finally admitted that the only thing I ever really wanted to do in life was write… and be a criminologist. Oh, and Olivia Newton-John. I really, really wanted to be Olivia Newton-John when I was younger. The Olivia Newton-John thing never would’ve work (for obvious reasons) and while criminology fascinates me, school has never been my thang, so writing it is. This way I get to study what I love (crazy freaks!!) and do what I love (write about crazy freaks!!) all in one felled swoop. And I still occasionally watch Xanadu and pretend I’m Olivia.

Have a question? Hop on over to my website and drop me a line, I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The First Rule of Book Club...

is you do NOT about Book Club.

Come on, you didn't really think I'd talk about my first Book Club experience without referencing what is arguably the best Brad Pitt movie of all time (12 Monkeys is a very close second...)


I'll be the first to admit that CARVED IN DARKNESS isn't exactly what I'd deems as "book club" material. I never imagined a group of readers gathering in someone's home or in a restaurant to talk about my book.
I just never thought of CARVED as that kind of book.
Apparently, I was wrong (it does happen from time to time...).

A few weeks ago, I met with a group of women who not only chose CARVED as their book club monthly read but were thrilled at the opportunity to discuss it with me. I can tell you, they weren't half as thrilled as I was! What an honor to be able to sit and talk about my writing with such a wonderful bunch who listened with genuine interest and asked some very thought-provoking questions. One woman in particular had some pretty hard-hitting questions that I'd like to share as I imagine she isn't the only one who's read CARVED that has wondered the same thing...

How do you reconcile the role of mother to young children with the graphic violence you write about? How are you able to transitions between such extreme roles so easily?

Much like my protagonist, Sabrina Vaughn, I'm able to compartmentalize quite well. It's probably a skill I acquired during my days working in mental health. No matter what is going on around you or inside you, there is a job to do in front of you and you do it. And while you're doing it, everything else gets put in the box. In action, this looks like me spending hours dreaming up gruesomely horrible murder scenes and then when the bell rings (I have to set an alarm or I'll forget to pick up my kids from school... don't judge me.) I close down my computer and become a mom again. That doesn't mean the other stuff isn't there... it just means I've put it away for later.

How do you feel about your contribution to the culture of violence against women in society?

I can honestly say that while CARVED is violent and yes, that violence is centered around women, I never thought that I was contributing to a "culture of violence against women".
And I still don't.
What I did was give this world something it can never have too much of--a strong female protagonist who not only survives what what done to her, she perseveres. She fights and she wins.

Of all the questions though, this was by far my favorite...

I've read other books  featuring what was billed as strong, female protagonists but it seems like every other page someone is calling  her "baby" or "sweetie"--and she lets them without even batting an eye.  I read CARVED very carefully and didn't find one such instance. Did you find yourself ferreting those exchanges out in the editing process to make Sabrina more equal to her male counterparts?

No. No, I never went through the book to weed out what I thought were instances that would make Sabrina appear less than equal to her male counterparts. I never did that because I never wrote them. It honestly never even occurred to me to write them because Sabrina is equal and all the men in her life know it. They also know that if they ever called her "baby" or "sweetie" she'd go ten kinds of Tyler Durden all over them.

so, my question is: In your opinion, what makes for a great book club read? What books have been among your favorite and why?

"Prepare to be overwhelmed by the tension and moodiness that permeates this edgy thriller. Beaumont’s ability to keep the twists coming even when the answer seems obvious is quite potent."
--Library Journal (starred review, Debut of the Month)

Maegan Beaumont is the author of CARVED IN DARKNESS, the first book in the Sabrina Vaughn thriller series (Available through Midnight Ink, spring 2013). A native Phoenician, Maegan’s stories are meant to make you wonder what the guy standing in front of you in the Starbucks line has locked in his basement, and feel a strong desire to sleep with the light on. When she isn’t busy fulfilling her duties as Domestic Goddess for her high school sweetheart turned husband, Joe, and their four children, she is locked in her office with her computer, her coffee pot and her Rhodesian Ridgeback, and one true love, Jade

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Official Book Trailer for Carved in Darkness!

I've been on pins and needles for weeks now, waiting to see it and now that it's here, I can honestly say that it turned out better than I ever could have hoped for! Erin Kelly of Erin Kelly Designs did a sensational job!

Now, didn't that make you want to buy the book???

Monday, June 24, 2013

Plot Doc to the Rescue!

Holly says:

Maegan ~

I’ve done it this time. I’m my own protagonist. I’m up a tree. I’m in a corner. There is no way out. I’m screwed. Heeelllppp!!! Here’s my deal: I need to fix some stuff throughout my book, giving my protag a major case & having her comment/work on it throughout. I sort of alluded to that a while back, didn’t follow up so well. So how do I weave that in? Do I go back & write it in now, or just draw a line in the sand & tell people to pretend it’s there? 2) I left last time that Todd is on the way to Ollie’s. What the frick happens when Todd gets there? He’s got some ‘splainin’ to do as to why he ditched her for dinner, but we’re not going there yet, he’s going to dodge that & she’s going to leave it alone for now. Does he get derailed going over there? He gets called out on something? Or, he comes over? What did Araceli tell him? I’m thinking that perhaps she was dating a cop.  Araceli probably makes some snide comment about Todd being Ollie’s squeeze & how stupid it is to date cops or something, and Todd gleans from that. Or maybe not even that—just that she was dating someone right before this happened, and Todd thinks there might be something to it. Or… something else? Any ideas? As always, thank you in advance for your guidance. You are, quite simply, awesome! 

Hi, Holly!

Let me see if I can help... for those who are reading, I'm going to give a little plot synopsis to get them up to speed:

Ollie (our female protag) is an assistant DA and the daughter of a disgraced and disbarred lawyer... who just happens to be a register sex offender. When her father, with whom she hasn't had contact with in years, is viciously murdered and her estranged sister is arrested for the crime, Ollie wants to believe she's innocent. It's only when other defense attorneys, all of whom are were able to win high-profile cases, start turning up dead that she knows for sure. In order to save her sister, Ollie must find and stop a relentless killer who will stop at nothing to see that justice is served.

Okay. I'm going to address your questions/issues, point by point:

1) I think that giving Ollie s high-profile sex crime case is a great idea! It works for two reason: It will tie in with her issues with her father and if you play it right, will go a long way toward developing her story-worthy problem (coming to terms with what her father did). It will also give us a direct line to the killer... Ollie's opposing counsel could be on the killer's hit list. What if it happens to be a really good friend she met in college, or a former lover (this would be a GREAT complication)--that way the stakes are raised for her even higher. I'd go back and do an extensive re-write if I were you to add these things in--sooner is always better than later.

2) Todd (A cop and Ollie's long lost boyfriend who's made a very unexpected and unsettling re-appearance) will make a fantastic red herring! His sudden re-appearance in Ollie's life, in the mists of all these killings, should make her (and the reader) questions his motives and innocence. Thinking that Todd might be involved in some way (even if he's not) will up the stakes for Ollie even further, especially if she still has feelings for him. 

When he arrives at her house, there needs to be tension between them. His standing her up for dinner should bring all their old issues roaring to the surface for Ollie and she needs to hit him with some pretty hard questions (where have you been for the past five years? why did you come back? what do you want with me now? What did you talk with my sister about?) and his answers need to be vague enough to raise her, and our, suspicions... and then when the tension is at it's peak, he needs to get called away. If he leaves her house under murky circumstances, this will further our suspicions and his status as a possible suspect in Ollie's mind. Of course the questions pertaining to her sister and the case should take precedent over the one pertaining to their personal entanglement. Your story problem should always be the most important  thing on the page. Once it's established, nothing should derail your protag from solving it.

3) the idea of having Araceli (Ollie's sister) involved with a cop is a good one... just don't reveal which one just yet because this could potentially end up being a major clue into who your killer is and you want to save that revelation until the very last possible second. Reveal it in stages. When Todd asked her why she was in town the day of her father's murder, she could tell him that she was "visiting a friend" but she could say it in such a way that alluds to whatever is going on between her and her "friend" is more than just lunch and shopping. Then we can see Ollie pursue this angle... and then she's the one to discover Araceli's "friend" is a cop. Once you roll a "plot rock" down hill, it should never stop moving, gaining speed and mass until it's no longer a rock--it's a boulder and once we reach our climax, it slams into your protag with the force of wrecking ball. It destroys everything. Maybe even find out that Araceli is involved in her father's murder after all (either by choice, coercion or unwittingly). This would be a HUGE twist, finding out that after everything Ollie went through to prove her sister's innocence, that she actually was guilty to some degree. This would ultimately destroy Ollie... but in the aftermath, allow her the find the strength and resolve to finally achieve her story-worthy problem, which is forgiveness. Through forgiving her sister, she'll find the same for her father and finally be able to put her anger to rest and truly move on.

I really hope this helps, Holly! This sounds like a fantastic story you're telling! Keep me informed--I can't wait to see where your story take us.

Are you stuck on your plot? Don't know what your next story step should be? Got your protag backed into a corner with no way out? Give me a shout, I think I can help! Just go to my website: and click on the "CONTACT" icon. I'd be happy to answer your questions on my blog.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Guest Blog!

Today, I have the distinct pleasure of appearing over at Lois Winston's blog! I talk about where I got my inspiration for CARVED...

I hope you check it out!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Devil in the Details

By: Maegan Beaumont

He rolled up the make-shift tarp he’d laid out on the kitchen floor and placed it in a trash bag along with the dress. Undiluted, he poured the ammonia onto the kitchen floor and chair. While ammonia didn’t destroy DNA, any evidence gathered there would be corrupted by the chemical and rendered useless. The ammonia was strong-smelling, so he opened a few windows for ventilation. The early afternoon breeze made the chore of cleaning up his mess almost pleasant.

—Carved in Darkness

It took me nearly three weeks to write this paragraph. It wasn't writers’ block or a computer crash that bogged me down—it was my almost obsessive need for accuracy.

And it wasn't just this passage I nitpicked. It was the entire novel. I scoured the internet. I read books. I logged onto forensic forums. I emailed cops and asked them what I’m sure they thought were inane and possibly dangerous questions. I spent what felt like an entire summer in handcuffs because I was trying to teach myself how to pick my way out of them. After cutting myself in a kitchen mishap, I soaked the wound in salt water (If you've read CARVED, then you understand the significance). I've even gone so far as to have a very distraught friend of mine drive me around in the trunk of her car... all so I could be sure that what I was writing was as close to the truth as I could get it. Don’t get me wrong, I ask my readers to suspend disbelief on a regular basis but I can do so because I know one simple rule: 
The most effective lies are found buried in the truth.  

So, yes... I do lie. I do make stuff up, I write fiction, after all... but readers are smart.  They know things, because they read, and they don’t like it when a writer is too lazy to do their research. I know this because as a reader, I feel exactly the same way. I don’t mind being lied to as long as I know the writer took the time and made the effort to make me believe the lie.

The key to great fiction isn't writing what you know--it's writing what you can make others believe that you know, and that takes work. Hours of research. Reading and reaching out to people who can lend authenticity to my writing, but when a reader asks me if I've ever tortured someone (yes, someone really asked me that... and the answer is no) or a reviewer mentions how impressive my attention to detail is, I know it's worth it.

So, my question is: How important is accuracy in writing to you? How do you feel about shoddy research? How do you feel about writers who don't take their research seriously?

"Prepare to be overwhelmed by the tension and moodiness that permeates this edgy thriller. Beaumont’s ability to keep the twists coming even when the answer seems obvious is quite potent."
 ~ Library Journal

Maegan Beaumont is the author of Midnight Ink's Carved in Darkness, book one in the Sabrina Vaughn thriller series, on sale now.

Monday, May 27, 2013

I'm Famous!!

Okay... not really.

But I did have my debut signing for CARVED IN DARKNESS a few weeks ago...

We had such a great turn out at the Poisoned Pen! Thank you to Darrell James and Matt Coyle for allowing this newbie to tag along!

Here I am, signing books! That's my grandmother, right before she told Matt that the reason I was so brilliant is because she's French... she's right, BTW. ;)

Me, Matt and Darrell, after the smoke cleared.

I was also asked to be a guest on a local radio show. I had such a  great time and I really got a chance to reflect on the long, winding journey the road to publication has led me down. Take a listen:

I think I did pretty good considering the fact that I was sick with some crazy mystery illness.

and then the husband and I took a much needed, long over due vacation...

the house where we stayed...
the view from our balcony...
the husband and me...
the fantastic group of people we had the pleasure of spending our weekend with...

and proof that I actually got some work done!

Friday, May 3, 2013


This is my very first book giveaway and I'm beyond excited!!
Cath, book reviewer and blogger extraordinaire, over at My Book Chatter is hosting, so shuffle on over and enter to win a personally signed copy! 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

News & Updates

I've been neglectful again... but this time I have a pretty good reason--or should I say reasons. 

I'm roughly 1 week from my official release of my debut novel, CARVED IN DARKNESS and things are getting crazy! I mean one-armed-juggler-in-a-three-ring-circus kind of crazy. Between kids and husband, promoting the release while trying to write book #2 in the series (I'm approximately 60k words in!), I don't have time to breathe, much less blog, but I want to share my news so I've finally managed to grab a few minutes (It's 6am, I have school lunches to make and the kids are running around banshees, but whatever) to blog.

Over at Beth Groundwater's today! She's asked some fantastic questions about the book, my writing process and what keeps me sane. Beth writes the Claire Hanover gift basket designer series (A REAL BASKET CASE, 2007 Best First Novel Agatha Award finalist, TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET, 2009) and the RM Outdoor Adventures series starring river ranger Mandy Tanner (DEADLY CURRENTS, 2011, an Amazon bestseller, WICKED EDDIES, 2012). The 3rd book in both series will appear in 2013. 

Hit the link below to check it out:

And don't forget to drop me a comment to say "hi"!

In other exciting news, If you happened to order a trade paperback of CARVED IN DARKNESS from Amazon (they've already sold out once and looks like they're about to do it again!), chances are you've already received your copy. I hope you're as happy with the finished copy as I am... if so, I'd be thrilled of you took a few minutes to rate CARVED and leave me a brief review. I'll even make it easy and leave the links!

For Amazon:

For Barnes & Noble:

I also received a darn good review from Kirkus Review:

As busy as I am, I haven't forgotten that it's all of you who've made it possible. Thank you for supporting me as a writer!

And do forget, I still answer writing problems! If you're a writer and stuck on your plot, give me a shout at: 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Les Edgerton Guest Post: Dialogue!

Check out this great guest post, via Kristen Lamb's Blog by my mentor and friend, Les Edgerton, on how to write effective and believable dialogue. Great advice from an outstanding writer!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Reader Reviews: Carved in Darkness

Don't let me fool you--I really do care what people think. Probably a lot more than I should.

 I believe it goes hand-in-hand with my near paralyzing fear or failure, this worry that I might disappoint someone I care about, or someone I just met... or even a total stranger that I happen to make eye-contact with at the grocery store. Disappointment means failure and I'd rather eat glass than fail at anything, which makes my life as a writer challenging, to say the least.

When I see or hear someone post or say good things about my writing, I get giddy with success. I do my happy dance and grin like a simpleton. I twirl on mountaintops. I burst into song... of course all of this happens in my head. On the outside, I might shrug and say, "that's pretty cool." Which prompts people to think I'm either a) an emotionless cyborg, b) insane, or c) jaded beyond salvation.

None of which is true (I mean, option B is always up for debate...). I think, along with my failure phobia, I've developed this belief that if I celebrate my own success, I:

1) will jinx myself.

2) will look like a pretentious asshat. (because in my mind, this is what a pretentious asshat looks like)

3) will have farther to fall when I am inevitably shoved off the Cliffs of Success by my arch nemesis, Failure. That's Failure, on the right.

The sad thing is that I've had some pretty cool reviews. Great reviews. Reviews that if I were not me, would make me want to read the book I actually wrote. I should be sharing them, right? That's not douchy or pretentious, is it? I'm allowed to celebrate, aren't I? I can toot my own horn without fear of invoking the wrath of Failure and to prove it, I'm gonna start tooting...

This is a great review I received today from Blood Rose Books:

This is another from Mallory Heart Review:

This is another by Julie Beckett's Wicked Little Imp Review bog:


Last, but certainly not least, I received this review today by Cath on her wonderful blog, My Book Chatter Blog:

I am BLOWN AWAY by the level of support CARVED has garnered and am so giddy I might actually do my happy dance for reals! :)

I might have missed one or two but I want to thank these fantastic bloggers who took the time to read and blog about my novel, for nothing else but their own love of good books. I don't know who you guys (or gals) are but I owe you big! If you head over to their site to read their reviews of CARVED IN DARKNESS, stay awhile. Read what they have to say about other books as well. You won't be sorry.

my buy link:

official release: May 8th, 2013.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go hide under my desk until then...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What Hangs in the Balance

Like most things in writing, villains are a delicate balance. Not enough evil and you get this:

Too much evil and you get this:

The most effective villains are like this:

See what I mean? Delicate balance.

The weird thing is, though... true villains aren't balanced. They've leaned too far over the edge and lost their footing... or maybe they just swan-dived into the abyss. Either way, they're free-falling down a deep, dark hole. 

And they like it. 

They presents well. They look normal. They smile and talk. Give their seats up to little old ladies on the bus and rescue cats out of trees. They have children and drive minivans. And all the while, they harbor darkness.

Not that we don’t all harbor darkness—we do. We all have thoughts and desires we would never act on because not only do we know the difference between right and wrong, we respect it. 

We're balanced.

In order to write an effective villain, we have to knock ourselves off balance. We have to be willing to go there. You know, there. We have to be willing to search out the dark spots we keep hidden and poke at them until they bleed. To get the page a bit dirty, to scare ourselves silly. To dangle our toes over the abyss.

There have been times--many times--when I've written something and afterward wondered if there was something fundamentally wrong with me. My husband blames (for lack of a better word) my childhood. He's probably right.

Whatever the reason, I'm thankful for my keen sense of balance because no matter how many times I dangle my toes, I'm able to right myself without falling. 

And now, just for fun, some of my all-time favorite villains:

and last, but not least...

who's your favorite all time villain?

Maegan Beaumont is the author of  Carved in Darkness, available through Midnight Ink, May 8th, 2013