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When a mud marathon champion bites the dust, Meg Reed has to go the distance to make sure a killer comes clean . . .
Back home in Portland, Oregon, Meg is ready to take her career as an outdoor writer for Extreme magazine to the next level. Lesser journalists sling mud—Meg plans to run through it. To train hard for Mud, Sweat & Beers, an extreme 5K mud run, she’s signed on with the Mind Over Mudder team, run by ten-time mud marathon champ—and former drill sergeant—Billy the Tank. But when Meg finds her tenacious trainer dead in the locker room, she has a sinking feeling someone may have been pushed too far. Digging through the hidden secrets at Mind Over Mudder is a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it. Meg will have to tread carefully, though—or she may soon be running for her life . . .
Q: Meg, thanks for stopping by Island Confidential! To get started, can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself–maybe something they might not guess?
A: I’m Meg Reed, twenty-three and a bona fide journalist—finally. I always thought I would be a serious investigative reporter and planned on winning a Pulitzer before I turned thirty, but thanks to social media and the fact that everyone my age has a smartphone as an appendage newspapers have become dinosaurs. That meant that finding a job after college was much more difficult than I anticipated. In fact I was so desperate for a job I was about to take any job I could find. Fortunately a chance encounter with the dreamy editor of Northwest Extreme landed me a gig writing for the outdoor magazine. Sure I don’t have an athletic bone in my body and I’m a total klutz but I can write which is all that should matter, right? Maybe I wear a tad more pink than my colleagues and maybe I have a slight addiction to mochas, but as long as I get the job done that’s all that counts.
Q: Who’s the character you get along with the best?
A: My grandmother, Gam. She’s the wisest and most centered person I know. Sure she has a tendency to hug trees and ask strangers at the grocery store if she can put her hands on them and give them “a zap” of Reiki. Gam might be slightly quirky, but she’s a natural healer and my steadfast supporter. At her shop, Love and Light, she teaches classes on meditation, sells crystals and gems, and has an assortment of books on everything from how to connect with your spirit animal to learning the ancient practice of Qigong. It’s impossible to feel depressed when in Gam’s calming presence. She always know the perfect question to ask me that puts me back on my path of purpose, as she would say. And she also makes the most amazing cinnamon chip cookies that I’ve ever tasted.
Q: Which other character do you have a conflict with?
A: Will Barrington. My bestie Jill’s ex-boyfriend. Well at least I hope he’s still her ex. Will Barrington is the most pretentious person I’ve ever met. We call him “the suit” because unlike everyone else in Portland who comes to work in jeans and hiking boots Will wears a three-piece suit every day. And he uses an umbrella. That’s right an umbrella. No self-respecting Portlander would ever be caught dead with an umbrella. Umbrellas are for tourists and people who live in the Pearl—Will’s swanky neighborhood. Aside from the suit and umbrella issue Will is a first-class jerk who treats Jill like dirt. When she caught him cozying up with one of his co-workers last winter she dumped him. Thank goodness. But I’m not sure that she’s completely over him and am constantly worried he’s going to find a way to weasel back into her heart.
Q: Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author?
A: I think she’s much more serious. She wants me to grow up and make better choices, but I keep reminding her that I’m twenty-three. Does she even remember how hard it is to be in your early twenties? I feel like my entire world is firsts—my first job, my first apartment, my first love, my first time trying to be grown up and yet totally lost. It doesn’t help that I lost my father. He was my mentor, my idol, and my friend. I had always imagined that he would be around to help guide me and now I’m trying to find my way on my own. Plus there’s the whole issue of trying to find a job. Does she have any idea how competitive Portland has become? They don’t call it the place that millennials come to retire for nothing. If it weren’t for my position at Northwest Extreme I’d be scraping by on soup and grilled cheese and couch surfing. My author wants me to stop taking so many risks, but I don’t have a choice. If I want to keep my position as an extreme sports reporter I have to find a way to claw to the top of mountains and rappel down cliffs. It’s called job security. Oh and that whole thing about sticking my nose into murder investigations, I’d like to see how she would respond if a killer were chasing her through the forest.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: After I finish scrubbing mud from every inch of my body, I’m packing my suitcase—with plenty of pink of course—and heading for Oregon’s high desert where I’ll be spending a week spelunking deep underground in an ancient lava cave.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kate Dyer-Seeley writes the Pacific Northwest Mystery Series for Kensington Publishing, featuring a young journalist, Meg Reed, who bills herself as an intrepid adventurer in order to land a gig writing for Northwest Extreme. Only Meg’s idea of sport is climbing onto the couch without spilling her latte.
She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and son, where you can find her hitting the trail, at an artisan coffee shop, or at her favorite pub. Better yet—at all three.
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