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M.C. Hillegas is an Independent Publisher Book Award winning author with her first novel in The Canine Handler Series, Payback. The second novel in the series, Setback, has proven successful and picks right up where Payback left off. Comeback, the third book, is currently a work in progress. She has also been a finalist and placed in other organizations writing contests.

As a knowledgeable search and rescue K9 handler, with a background in human remains recovery, M.C. Hillegas gathered experiences along the way that ignited story ideas. Although fictional, the stories woven are based on real world search, rescue, and recovery work. Readers will come away with an understanding of how canines use their unique scenting abilities to seek out missing humans through air-scenting, tracking and trailing.

While M.C. Hillegas delights in writing dark fiction, she has had articles printed in equine related publications and additionally enjoys creating wholesome and educational children’s books. The Lonely Little Pony, a Purple Dragon Fly honorable mention, and The Lonely Little Puppy are published under Maria C. Hillegas.

Maria resides in Maryland on a small horse farm with her husband, horses, dogs, and cats. Still involved in search and rescue, she is a member of, a mounted resource that assists responding agencies in locating the lost and missing. She enjoys working with her dogs, trail riding and traveling with her husband.

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