Mystery Short Story Contest
2nd Place Winner
I'm so excited that my mystery, Dirty Blonde, won 2nd place at the 2017 Ozark Creative Writers Conference! What an honor! Thank you OCW!
I'm thrilled to have been chosen for a feature interview in the August 2017 edition of The Big Thrill Magazine!
Praise for The Woods
"The Woods is a sexy, small town murder mystery thats guaranteed to resonate with fans of Nora Roberts and Karin Slaughter." BEST THRILLERS
"The rustic charm of Berry Spring, Arkansas’s dense forests, mountains and small town living is a powerful draw. But like all tiny Ozark towns, it can also be suffocating and secretive, and that’s precisely what makes it a perfect setting for Amanda McKinney’s debut erotic thriller.
When local reporter Amy Duncan needs information, she turns to police officer Carl Winters for an illicit news briefing and a sweaty shag. But when Amy turns up dead with a mysterious symbol branded on her flesh, the sleepy town becomes awash in gossip and accusations.
Enter McKinney’s heroine, archeologist Dr. Katie Somers, who flies back home to sell her childhood home a year after her sister’s death. While there, the New Yorker has a chance encounter with local stud Jake Thomas, who just relocated from Montana. Katie’s attraction to the former Army Ranger who’s angling for an FBI career is immediate and intense. But when they stumble on a body during a hike in the woods, their lives change forever.
McKinney’s debut Berry Springs novel is an impressive one. Within the requisite small town tropes (the rugged, handsome stranger; the small town psycho; the single out-of-towner that’s just passing through), McKinney has accomplished something that is easier said than done – created an alluring sense of place in Berry Springs that crackles with energy. Adding to the intrigue are titillating sex scenes that may make some J.D. Robb fans blush, but ultimately serve to distinguish her on bookshelves." - BEST THRILLERS
Praise for The Woods
"Amanda McKinney wrote a dark, ominous thrilling tale spiked with a dash of romance and mystery that captivated me from start to finish . . ." The Coffeeholic Book Worm
"Despite of my love for New Adult genre nowadays, I still couldn’t let go of my fascination with murder/thriller mysteries. When I read the blurb for The Woods, I hoped to read it one day soon, and that one day happened last week. I can’t believe I wasn’t able to read this immediately. I should have met Army Ranger turned FBI Agent Jake Thomas earlier because now I’m swooning head over heels about him!
It’s been ten long years since Archaeologist Dr. Katie Somers left Berry Springs, and soon she came back to help her sister Jenny who was recently divorced to her cheating husband. But their reunion was cut short when she mysteriously fell down to her death on a cliff. A year later, Katie was back to sell their childhood home but was surprised when this sleepy town of Arkansas was awaken by two gruesome murders and terrorist suspicions.
And then there’s the inexplicable appearance of ruggedly good-looking Army ranger who not only held guns but also discovered two dead bodies within a week. He definitely wasn’t the kind of man Katie expected to meet when she returned to Berry Springs.
Not to go into any great detail, this book was quite easy to read and follow. The pacing is slow but rewarding in the end, the plot thickens by the minute and the characters were a motley crew of personalities. Amanda McKinney wrote a dark, ominous thrilling tale spiked with a dash of romance and mystery that captivated me from start to finish. A preview of the next book in the series (The Lake) is quite promising and exciting and just made my night! Definitely fascinating!" - The Coffeeholic Book Worm
Praise for The Lake
"McKinney does a good job of keeping the reader guessing throughout the novel, with some genuine surprises. The Lake is a solidly entertaining mystery, especially for those who like their mysteries with a dash of romance, and readers will want to pick up other books in the series." - SPR
Interview with Liz Wilkins, Liz Loves Books - Getting To Know You With Amanda McKinney
Interview with Book Blogger, Mandy Anderson - Interview with Amanda McKinney