Action & Adventure Writer



Kathryn Bek gets the chance of a lifetime: a job offer right out of college, and in New York City, where adventure abounds.

Working with a team tasked with watching out for the downtrodden is all she knows about the job, but that alone deeply intrigues her. With both parents dead and no real family to speak of, she has nothing to lose.  

As a young girl, she watched as her father disappeared into a black vortex, never to be seen again. As a young woman, she seeks to be the selfless leader she believes the world needs. She has the desire to make the world a better place, but how? To top things off, her new boss knows more about her and her fellow team members than any of them are aware. She is in over her head, yet she feels a strong sense that there is something her new boss hasn’t revealed. Lies? Not really. Lies of omission? Perhaps.

In the end, there is really only one question: Will Kathryn endure? Insurmountable odds make it seem like she can’t possibly survive. 


1st place in Mystery, 1st Place in Urban Fantasy & 1st Place in Best Cover Design

5 Star Readers Favorite Award

Finalist in the American Bookfest Best Book Awards 2022

Literary Titan Gold Award 2023

Wild Women Who Write Take Flight

The Wild Women (Podcast) welcome McKinley Aspen, author of Praesidium, an action adventure thriller with an underlying theme of the importance of finding family. Celebrate strong women on and off the page.


November 17, 2022

5:30pm - 8:00pm

Join me for a Wine & Sign at Morrison House in Alexandria, Virginia. 

November 15, 2022

5:30pm - 8:00pm

Join me at The Ven At Embassy Row
2015 Massachusetts Ave NW,
Washington, DC 20036

October 2022

Stop by Time Square in NY and see my billboard! 

November 4-5, 2022

Join me at the 27th Atlanta Writers Conference, in Atlanta.

October 28, 2022

Join me at The Strand Bookstore: 828 Broadway, New York City, NY.

October 11-13, 2022

Sept/October, 2022

Praesidium was featured in the LUX Magazine. 


McKinley Aspen's official bio.
A few of my favorite things

McKinley Aspen is a writer who lives in the United States. In addition to the normal family shenanigans, McKinley has a busy schedule as “Chief Dog Walker” to Otis the puppy dog.

A graduate of both University of Chicago and Elmhurst University, McKinley enjoys exploring the world through family road trips, meals featuring Portillo’s Beef with mozz, and St. Louis Cardinals baseball.

A graduate of both the University of Chicago and Elmhurst University, McKinley Aspen writes action-packed mysteries with fearless and clever characters.

All the best conversations seem to begin over a beverage… soda pop, tea, lemonade, you name it.

So, a little about me: I am an Author.  

I believe that rhinos and elephants are the best animals ever, with a quick runner-up shout-out to giraffes. If you can’t be yourself, be a rhino (or elephant or giraffe) they say! 

In my opinion, the St. Louis Cardinals are the best baseball team (sorry Cubs fans). 

It is true that if you are having an argument, bad luck, or just a bad day, a Portillo’s Beef with Mozz can fix almost any of those things. 

I think NCAA March Madness is super fun. 

I am a theater lover, a book lover, and a dog lover. 

I watch Star Wars every holiday season with my family. 

I love the word shenanigans. 

I do not like broccoli or cauliflower (I know, I know – cooked, mashed, baked, doesn’t matter – ick).

I’ve taken road trips across the USA multiple times. I’ve slept in a tent under the stars at the Grand Canyon. I’ve been on a glacier in Alaska. 

And I do not know how to cook German potato salad, but I do know that they sell it in a can in some geographical locations so if you REALLY want some there are ways to get some.

Wanna connect with me?

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My list of “must read” books.

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