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Refuge from the World (The Beartooth Chronicles, Book 1) by Kim McMahill is a Summertime Books Event pick #dystopian #summertime #giveaway

Title: Refuge from the World (The Beartooth Chronicles, Book 1)


Author: Kim McMahill


Genre: Dystopian


Book Blurb:


Ashley McPhee arrived in Beartooth with her mom, Sara, when she was three years old. Ever since Ash can remember, life has been simple. She enjoyed a carefree childhood, tending honey bees with her mom and spending time with her best friend, Caleb Solomon. But, life in their isolated, mountaintop community is changing.


After learning of the government’s plan to use a geoengineering process to cool the planet, Ash and Caleb realize they need to take a more active role in the community. Along with fear for how the process will impact their food supply, Ash learns her mom’s health is failing.


Sara doesn’t want Ash to face an uncertain future alone, so nudges her and Caleb toward marriage, drastically changing their relationship in a very short period of time. They embrace the challenges of learning about love, dealing with tragedy and grief, protecting their community from deadly predators and ruthless neighbors, and experiencing epic adventures while trying to find solutions to a rapidly changing environment and deteriorating world.




Ashley fell into step next to Caleb without talking. They had known each other for so long that they could be together without saying a word, and it didn’t feel awkward. When they reached the lake, they sat down on one of the large boulders scattered around the shore and stared out at the water.


“The lake level goes down a little more each year,” Caleb said.


“I’ve noticed. It used to be up to that cluster of rocks over there when we would go fishing when we were younger.”


“Rain isn’t enough to keep it full. The last time I remember seeing snow up here was when I was seven, and it didn’t stick around. Seems kind of ironic that so much of the planet is flooded, yet many worry about having enough fresh water to drink and to irrigate crops.”


“Why did we stop fishing?” Ash asked.


“I didn’t stop fishing. I still go fishing at least once a week. When you started taking a more active role in the beekeeping and tree nursery, you were available less and less. I go first thing in the morning, and that’s when you and your mom do most of your work.”


“I miss going fishing with you. I’ll see if Mom cares if we change around the schedule a bit unless you don’t want me tagging along like I did when I was younger.”


“I miss it too. I would love for you to tag along even though you always out-fished me.”


He put his arm around her and pulled her close. Ash laid her head on his shoulder and stared out at the lake. They sat like this sometimes, not as much as they used to, and she missed this too. She loved the feel of his arm around her and the warmth of his body next to hers, but never read too much into the gesture. Today, especially, she was in no hurry to break the connection.


“Are you going to the community meeting tonight?” he asked, finally breaking the silence.


“Yes. I keep getting these unsettling feelings, and I hope to find out if it’s just my imagination or if there is something I should be worried about. First, I find out you’ve been tasked with building weapons, then I had an odd conversation with your dad, found out we’re having an off-cycle community meeting, and all of a sudden Mom is all over me about marrying Tyler Hewitt.”


“What!” Caleb shouted as he scooted away and turned his body to face her. “You’re not seriously considering marrying that old man, are you?”


“No, but apparently, they’ve talked about it. I pointed out to Mom that he’s eleven years younger than she, but eighteen years older than me. In Tyler’s defense, I can only think of a couple of other eligible women between his age and mine.”


“He has no defense. For him to even be thinking about it, is wrong. When he moved here, you were what? Three? Four? Why now?”


“I think Mom is worried about getting old and leaving me alone. I don’t think she’s been feeling well, but I don’t know if it’s anything serious.”


Caleb stood up and paced. Ash watched him, confused by his reaction.


“I don’t plan to marry Tyler or anyone else not of my choosing. But, I’m not sure why you would care anyway since you’ve got eyes on Evelyn.”


“Where’d you hear that?”


“Apparently, her mother has been telling people that you two have been spending time together.”


“That’s not true. She tagged along when I was delivering deer meat the other day to the storehouse, but that was it. I most certainly didn’t ask her to come with me, and all she did was ask me questions about Dillon. Besides, she’s just a girl.”


Ash chuckled. “If people are happy to pawn me off on a man eighteen years older, a mere four years between you and Evelyn is nothing.”


She watched as Caleb retreated to the water’s edge. He picked up a flat stone and skipped it across its glassy surface. Ash walked to his side and stood next to him.


“We’d better get back. The meeting starts in a couple of hours, and I should help Mom with dinner,” Ash said as she turned to leave.


Caleb grabbed her arm and pulled her back until she was facing him. “Let’s hear what they have to say tonight. If there is some reason why everyone needs to get married, you’re marrying me.”


“And, what if there is no need?” she asked softly.


“Well, maybe we should anyway.”


Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):


*Refuge from the World is currently on sale for $2.99. It is normally $5.99. I think the publisher is planning to leave it at $2.99 for a month or so.









What makes your featured book a must-read?


Refuge from the World is the first novel in a dystopian/adventure series. It follows the lives of Ashley, Caleb, and the residents of the small, isolated, mountain community of Beartooth, Wyoming. Each novel presents new challenges to their survival and how the residents deal with love, grief, tragedy, joy, and holding on to hope for the future amidst a rapidly changing environment and deteriorating world. I hope you enjoy this epic saga and will pick up the second novel in the series, Above the Abyss, which was just released. 


Giveaway –


Enter to win a $30 Amazon gift card:



Open Internationally.

Runs June 25 – July 4, 2024.

Winner will be drawn on July 5, 2024.


Author Biography:


Kim McMahill started out writing nonfiction, but her passion for adventure, stories of survival against the odds, and speculating about the future of humanity and our planet, soon turned her attention towards fiction. Along with her novels, she has published over eighty travel and human-interest articles, and contributed to a travel story anthology. Growing up in a beautiful mountain west community, traveling the world, and enjoying a rewarding career with the National Park Service has given her the opportunity to live in amazing places, experience incredible adventures, and witness many changes in our world, all of which have helped shape her stories.


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Jul 04

One of my fave summer books is Driven series by K Bromberg,


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Jun 26

Thank you, Kim, for sharing your book in our Summertime Books Bookish Event!

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