Bones, by K. J. Dahlen

K. J. Dahlen

  The Inspiration for Bones

Bones started out as a short story but I wasn't happy with it. So I took another stab at it and somehow it all came together.  I love this story, and this book was actually my first book to be published. Rogue Phoenix Press  agreed to reprint it and gave it a new life.

I love the way Max gets the ones responsible for the murders of eight women. He has to fight to get the persons responsible but he does get them. The twists and turns in this book leave a person wondering who the guilty one really is, at least for a little while. Max has to use his wits to bring the truth out and he does.
Joey does her best to bring the women back to life and that's the key to solving the case. Everybody plays his or her part and somehow all the loose ends are tied up. Hunter takes a heck of beating and gets shot but survives. He also gets a new respect for the people he works with. Max has some demons in his past he has to deal with.  

All of these things don’t really add to the story yet they make up parts of the characters and sometimes the characters have to have flaws. After all they are all human and like us we all have things in our past we have to deal with. If it doesn’t break us it makes us stronger and I’ve tried to show my characters having the same sort of flaws that we all do. 

I try to write my stories so the reader wants to turn the page and find out what’s coming next. If I can do that then I’ve done my job as an author. With each story I write I like to take my readers on an adventure at least for a little while. After all isn’t that the point of writing?

I live in a small Wisconsin town with hills on one side and the Mississippi River on the other. Marlboro could be the town I live in. I don’t think we have any bodies buried in caves but there’s a town 6 miles away that has an old abandoned tunnel system. The tunnels are cut into the hill the town is built on. They tell me the tunnels used to hold merchandize waiting to be transported up or down river and that they have been shut down for years but who really knows? There might be a ghost or two waiting there to be discovered… it could happen.

Bones Blurb:

When human bones are discovered in a cave just outside of town, it’s up to Sheriff Max Reardon to find out who the bones belonged to. But someone in town doesn’t want the bones identified and they go to great lengths to try and stop Max’s investigation.
They break into Max’s house and try and destroy the evidence and when that doesn’t work they frame Max for murder. Can Max clear his name and bring the murderer or murderers to justice?

Excerpt from Bones:

Max squatted near the opening in the rocky outcrop and took off his sunglasses. He was hot and tired and had just about given up finding this place. He wasn’t eager to go inside since the inside of the opening was dark and uninviting. But Max knew he had to go in there. The small hole in the side of the cliff was barely big enough for a child to scramble into let alone a full size man, but he knew he didn’t have a choice. God, I hate small places, he thought as he crawled inside. The hole was small and cramped and Max had to bend over to get through. I really hate small places, he emphasized as he struggled to get through the cramped opening. The hole in the cliff had been harder to find than he expected. The directions given to him by two young boys hadn’t been all that clear.
The boys said the opening was straight up from the dam below and a little left of the big oak tree. What they failed to tell him was which big oak tree. The whole hill was littered with oak trees right up to the base of the cliff.
It had taken him the better part of an hour to find the opening. There had been a lot of hillside to search. The boys had told him they left an old t-shirt to mark the opening, but Max hadn’t found the t-shirt. Some small animal or the wind must have carried it away. He hoped he had the right entrance this time.
He’d found a couple of other openings in the rock face that had led him nowhere. This opening appeared to be the one the boys had described. According to the boys, this small cave led to a cavern with the treasure. Max hoped it led somewhere.
His hands and face were scratched up from pushing brambles and brush out of his way. The thought had also occurred to him that the seldom visited, rocky part of the side of a cliff just a little ways north of the town Max was sheriff of, might be just the spot to run into a snoozing wolf or worse yet a rattlesnake. He heard something scramble out of his way a couple of times, but he hadn’t heard the symbolic rattle of the snake so whatever remained hidden from his sight wasn’t a snake. He’d tried to make enough noise to ward off unexpected company and hoped he hadn’t sounded like a complete idiot in the process. If anyone had spotted him, they would have thought he was drunk in the middle of the morning and that would never do for a sheriff.
The flashlight he held in his hand did little to penetrate the utter darkness that surrounded him. The cave walls and floor were slimy with what Max didn’t even want to hazard a guess and it smelled even worse. It smelled like something crawled in this narrow opening and died. The boys who found the cave might think this little venture was "neat", but Max didn’t. He’d lost his sense of adventure for little games like this a long time ago. He couldn’t believe he was here now.
The boys had been in this cave a couple of days before and had found what they thought was an Indian burial place. They had been reluctant at first to tell anyone of their find but eventually told their dads. As a result, Richard Crabtree had brought his son, Timmy, to see him. Max could tell that Timmy hadn’t wanted to tell anyone about his secret place and Max hadn’t been all that interested in the boy’s tale. Most of it was just the imagination of a ten year old. It wasn’t until Timmy mentioned the skeletons that Max became interested.
Max knew enough about the local tribes in Wisconsin to know they didn’t bury their dead above ground in forgotten caves. The boys told him that they hadn’t seen or found any other Indian artifacts and Timmy was positive someone else had robbed the cave of all its treasure. As sheriff, Max felt bound to check out their story. If there were skeletons in there, he had to find out why.


Kim lives in a small town (population495) 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 two grandchildren and for that fact she feels blessed. 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 and just sit back and let them do all the work. They surprise even her at times. They take on a life of their own and the twists and turns become a story. She found she liked mystery/thrillers the best. She likes to keep her readers guessing until the very end of the book.

I am on facebook and twitter as kjdahlen


Thank you for hosting K.J. today
marybelle said…
I do enjoy a story that leaves me guessing. I want the twists & turns to throw me off. BONES looks like a great read.

So, did I read correctly this is a re-release? If it is I think it's a great way to catch up on books I would otherwise have missed.

Christine Young said…
good luck on your tour, Kim.
Karen H in NC said…
You are a new-to-me author and I believe I will enjoy following you around on your blog book tour. I really like tours such as this because it allows me to become acquainted with authors I would never find otherwise.

I've heard it said so many times that the first line of a book must grab the reader's attention in order for the reader to continue. Is that all important first line actually the first line you write? Or do you get your story started and go back later to discover what will be the perfect first line?

kareninnc at gmail dot com
MomJane said…
I think it is great to know the characters really well as you read. I feel as though I am working through the problems with them. This story sounds awesome and full of exciting and unexpected events.
Catherine Lee said…
Thanks for the excerpt. The skull on the cover is quite intriguing.
great) liked everything very much) keep it up and dont stop)

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