Wednesday, May 23, 2018

My #MFRWHooks for The Mad Monk’s Treasure - #Romance and #Suspense in New Mexico


Last week I shared part of the opening chapter of The Mad Monk’s Treasure, a romantic adventure. Here’s the end of chapter 1:

 Erin wheeled the bike around the front of her house and mounted. At the corner, she paused and looked both ways. The long frontage road was dangerously narrow, with a cement wall on one side and a ditch on the other. Fortunately, traffic was normally light, and at this time of day the road lay empty. Erin pushed off, still grinning from her find. She rode on the right side, by the ditch, instead of facing traffic, because it was just too frightening to ride alongside the wall when a car passed.

 She’d gone a block when she heard the hum of a car engine as it pulled out from a side street behind her. She rode along the very edge of the pavement, even though the car would have plenty of room to pass her without oncoming traffic.

 Erin glanced over her shoulder. The black SUV 20 feet behind her hadn’t bothered to pull out into the road at all. Jerk. When would drivers learn to share the road with bicyclists? Erin pulled onto the two-foot wide gravel strip between the pavement and the ditch. She couldn’t stop without risking a skid, but she slowed so the SUV could pass.

 The engine roared. Erin glanced back again.

 Black metal bore down on her. Her heart lurched and the bike wobbled. This guy was crazy! She whipped her gaze forward, rose up in the seat, and pumped the pedals with all her power, skimming along inches from the ditch. He was just trying to scare her. She’d get his license plate and—

 She felt the bumper hit her back tire. The bike seemed to leap into the air, and she went flying. The dried mud and weeds of the ditch seemed to rise up to meet her.

 She didn’t even have time to scream.

The Mad Monk’s Treasurea Romantic Adventure by Kris Bock:

The lost Victorio Peak treasure is the stuff of legends – a heretic Spanish priest’s gold mine, made richer by the spoils of bandits and an Apache raider. When Erin, a quiet history professor, uncovers a clue that may pinpoint the lost treasure cave, she prepares for adventure. But when a hit and run driver nearly kills her, she realizes she’s not the only one after the treasure. And is Drew, the handsome helicopter pilot who found her bleeding in a ditch, really a hero, or one of the enemy?

Erin isn’t sure she can trust Drew with her heart, but she’ll need his help to track down the treasure. She heads into the New Mexico wilderness with her brainy best friend Camie and a feisty orange cat. The wilderness holds its own dangers, from wild animals to sudden storms. Plus, the sinister men hunting Erin are determined to follow her all the way to the treasure, no matter where the twisted trail leads. Erin won’t give up an important historical find without a fight, but is she ready to risk her life – and her heart?

“The story has it all - action, romance, danger, intrigue, lost treasure, not to mention a sizzling relationship....”

“Great balance of history, romance, and adventure. Smart romance with an ‘Indiana Jones’ feel. Well-written with an attention to detail that allowed me to picture exactly in my head how a scene looked and played out.”

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): PG13

Kris Bock writes romantic suspense novels set in dramatic Southwestern landscapes. Whispers in the Dark brings a gothic drama to an archaeology dig at ancient Southwest ruins. In What We Found, a young woman’s life swiftly changes when she finds a murder victim in the woods. In Counterfeits, an artist heads back to the children’s art camp she once knew well – but danger awaits.

The Mad Monk’s Treasure follows the hunt for a legendary treasure in the New Mexico desert. In The Dead Man’s Treasure, estranged relatives must follow a series of complex clues in a competition to locate a buried treasure. In The Skeleton Canyon Treasure, reader favorites Camie and Tiger the cat help a mysterious man track down his missing uncle. Each book stands alone, with no cliffhangers.


Read excerpts at www.krisbock.com or visit her Amazon pageSign up for the Kris Bock newsletter for announcements of new books, sales, and more.

Friday, May 18, 2018

#historical and #paranormal novelist @DianaLRubino on Eliza Jumel Burr

Welcome back,  Diana Rubino! Today she's sharing another book based on a real person.

ELIZA JUMEL BURR, VICE QUEEN OF AMERICA

By Diana Rubino

A true rags-to-riches story: how “Bouncin’ Bet Bowen” George Washington’s daughter, became Eliza Jumel Burr, wife of Vice President Aaron Burr 
and New York City’s wealthiest woman


My passion for history and travel has taken me to every locale of my books and short stories, set in Medieval and Renaissance England, Paris, Egypt, the Mediterranean, colonial Virginia, New England, Washington D.C. and New York. My urban fantasy romance, FAKIN’ IT, won a Top Pick award from Romantic Times. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, the Richard III Society and the Aaron Burr Association. My husband Chris and I own CostPro, an engineering firm based in Boston. In my spare time, I bicycle, golf, play my piano, devour books of any genre, and spend as much time as possible living the dream on my beloved Cape Cod.

While researching Hamilton, I became fascinated with his political nemesis Aaron Burr, which led to Aaron's last wife Eliza Bowen Jumel. Only a handful of biographies of her exist, so I learned as much as possible about her from these books and other sources I found.

She came from the filthy streets of Providence and wound up owning to the grandest mansion in New York City, which has been Washington’s headquarters during the Revolutionary War and is open to the public. The urchin Betsy Bowen used her street smarts and business acumen to become Madame Eliza Jumel Burr, Vice Queen of America. Her legacy lives on—in the Morris Jumel Mansion of Washington Heights, where her spirit still lingers, 147 years later.

During her ninety-one years, she begged on the streets, sold her body, married a rich man, married a former Vice President, and as New York City’s grand dame, traveled Manhattan in the coach Napoleon Bonaparte gave her.

Throughout her adventurous and unconventional life, Eliza’s one regret was that she could not publicly announce that George Washington was her father. When Eliza was ten years old, her mother told her of Washington’s visit to Providence. They spent one night together at the home of Freelove Ballou, an aunt who later adopted Eliza. She was born nine months later. Her many attempts to reach her father gained her an invitation to Mount Vernon weeks before his death.

Eliza’s love of make-believe brought her to Manhattan’s John Street Theatre, where she played many leading roles. When the theatre was bought by a speculator and torn down, she “made a living how I could” – at the brothel of Manhattan madam Sally Marshall, whose ladies entertained senators and other prominent figures.

Eliza met the charismatic Aaron Burr when he became New York’s Attorney General. While standing outside Federal Hall after President Washington’s inauguration with her best friend Susannah Shippen, she caught a flash of dark eyes that sparkled and caught the sunlight like jewels. Susannah innocently introduced them, unaware of their instant attraction.

Deeply in love, Eliza wrote: “Colonel Aaron Burr appeared to me the perfection of manhood personified. Wherever he went he was petted and caressed by our sex. And yet, he never took advantage of his position.”

Eliza named her only son George Washington Bowen, believing Aaron was the father.

While Aaron climbed the political ladder on his way to the Vice Presidency, Eliza met wealthy wine merchant Stephen Jumel, a native Frenchman. Knowing Eliza’s heart belonged only to Aaron, he wooed her and trusted her to invest his capital in Manhattan real estate. With her shrewd negotiating skills and street smarts, they amassed an empire.

On Eliza and Stephen’s first trip to France together, the fallen and beaten Napoleon Bonaparte boarded Stephen’s brig the Eliza, seeking an American vessel to ensure his escape from the British. Stephen, in all seriousness, offered the Emperor a wine barrel to stow away in. The Emperor, haughtily put out when he realized Stephen wasn’t joking, accepted Eliza’s invitation to hide in their New York home, but never made it to the new world. However, he did give Eliza his yellow coach and other costly gifts, now on display in the Jumel Mansion. Stephen’s business connections afforded him and Eliza introduction to the upper echelons of  Paris society. She met King Louis XVIII, but he shunned her begging to let Stephen join court circles.

Back home, she resumed her love affair with Aaron, whose wife Theodosia had died of cancer. He was now Vice President, having lost the presidency to Thomas Jefferson. Eliza asked him to marry her, but he turned down her proposal. He just wasn’t ready for remarriage.

After the most famous duel in American history, Aaron fled New York City while Alexander Hamilton lay dying. When Hamilton died the next day, Aaron was indicted for murder. After four frantic months, Eliza finally received a letter from him, under an assumed name, R. King.

Financed by his son-in-law Joseph, he’d bought the rights to a half million acres in the South. He planned to make it into a new state, settle it with adventurous pioneer men, attract a slew of colonists and settlers, and make himself Governor.

His next hurried missive told her that he’d abandoned the entire plan. Why? He didn’t say. But President Jefferson had filed a formal charge of treason against Aaron. He was brought to Richmond, Virginia for trial.

He’d gathered so much support and adoration from Richmond, he was wined, dined and acquitted, with his daughter at his side.

The author on the steps
of the Morris-Jumel Mansion
He finally returned to Eliza after finishing out his term as Vice President, but soon sailed for England. Believing her life with him was over, she dragged herself back to Stephen and proposed marriage to him—only to be turned down once again. Determined to become Mrs. Jumel, she faked her impending death with the help of a loyal servant, a bottle of hot water to raise her temperature, and white powder to mimic deathly pallor. She called her doctor and had a stable hand inform Stephen that she was dying. When he rushed to her bedside, she begged him, “Before I leave this world, it would mean so much to me if I could leave as Mrs. Jumel.” He summoned a priest and they were wed even before she received last rites. But of course she made a miraculous ‘recovery’ and once again, returned to her wheeling and dealing.

While tending to his farmlands, Stephen fell from a cart and died in Eliza’s arms two days later. She was brought up on murder charges which were dropped. A despondent Eliza once again turned to her true love, Aaron, back in New York at his law practice.

One evening, Aaron showed up at her doorstep with a minister in tow, the same Reverend Bogart who’d married him to his first wife Theodosia fifty years before. He proposed to Eliza on bended knee: “I give you my hand, Madame; my heart has long been yours.”

She finally became Mrs. Burr at age 56. Aaron was a robust and youthful 78.

He began to spend Eliza’s money recklessly, plowing through $13,000 within a few months. The bickering became grounds for divorce when a maid caught him in a compromising position with another woman. Brokenhearted, Eliza hired a lawyer Who handled family matters—including divorces. Who was this lawyer? Alexander Hamilton Jr.

Aaron received the final papers on September 14, 1836, and died later that day.

Eliza returned home to her family and lived another 29 years as Mrs. Burr, the name she’d always longed for.

The Morris-Jumel Mansion still stands in Harlem, New York City and is open to the public.


Purchase Eliza Jumel Burr, Vice Queen of the United States
**** 
An excerpt from Eliza Jumel Burr, Vice Queen of the United States:

July 11, 1804, a day I’ll never forget, a Wednesday, I rose early from fitful sleep. Two of my servants huddled in the kitchen, murmuring instead of cooking. They held the newspaper wide open.

When I walked in, they froze as if turned to stone, and held the paper out to me.

“What is it?” Without fresh coffee I was half-awake. But seeing the paper, I trembled. My mouth dried up. “Oh, no …” I hid my eyes with my hands, I couldn’t bear to look.

“M-Miss Eliza …” Mary stammered. “Vice President Burr shot General Hamilton in a duel.”

Too weak to stand, I grabbed a chair and sank into it. “He … shot Hamilton?” My head spun, dizzy with relief. But I still didn’t know about Aaron. “Is he all right? The vice president?”

“We don’t know, ma’am. It just says General Hamilton was mortally wounded.”

Without another word, I ran down the hall, threw open the front door, not closing it behind me, and raced to Gold Street in the gathering morning heat. Humidity soaked my clothes. I mopped sweat from my face.

I banged on his door. No answer. “Aaron, open the door, it’s me, please, we need to talk!” I banged again. Echoes answered me. I stepped back and squinted into the sunlight, shading my eyes to see the upper windows. Nothing stirred. The house was shut tight. He’d fled. But where? When would I see my beloved again?

Hamilton died the next day, and the city fell to its knees in mourning. It was even more pronounced than when Papa passed – because Hamilton was one of New York’s own.

Public grief over Hamilton paled beside the anger at Aaron. As I approached Trinity Church for the funeral, Gertrude’s father Gouverneur Morris greeted me. “I’m to deliver the eulogy. But indignation mounts to a frenzy already,” he cautioned me, eyeing the mob.

The tolling church bells and muffled drumbeats echoed through the sweltering city air. I thought of every place Aaron could be. I knew he hadn’t meant for this to happen. It was a tragic twist of fate. I also knew Aaron’s political career was over. He’d never be president.

“Oh, Aaron,” I wailed, “Where are you, my love?”

****

I heard nothing from him as each empty day slipped away. Desperate, I wrote to his daughter Theodosia but received no reply. I contacted his friends, but no one knew his whereabouts.

I saw Mrs Hamilton on Broad Way, head to toe in widow’s weeds. I wanted to approach her and offer my condolences, but she knew I was intimate with the vice president, so I kept my distance. Their country home, The Grange, was not far from the Morris mansion I planned to buy. We’d be neighbors someday.
****
Read about my ‘ghostly’ visit to the Morris-Jumel Mansion on my blog.

Contact me at:

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

My #MFRWHooks for The Mad Monk’s Treasure - #Romance and #Suspense in New Mexico

Erin could hardly believe what she was seeing. Could this be it? After all this time waiting, searching, had she finally, finally, found what she was looking for?

She forced herself to sit back and take a deep breath. Don’t make assumptions. Don’t rush into things. She wanted to leap up and scream her excitement, but years of academic training held. Slow down, double-check everything, and make sure you are right!

She leaned forward and ran her fingers over the grainy photograph. With that one image, everything seemed to fall into place. This was the clue. It had to be.

She fumbled in her desk drawer for a magnifying glass and studied the symbols in the photo more closely. At a glance, they looked like your standard Indian petroglyphs. You could find them throughout the Southwest, tucked away in caves or scattered among boulder fields. She’d been on a hike just a few miles outside of town which took her past a wonderful series of handprints and spirals, and what looked strangely like a robot.

But this was different.

If she was right—and she had to be right—these symbols were a map. A map that could lead her to one of the greatest caches of buried treasure ever.


The Mad Monk’s Treasurea Romantic Adventure by Kris Bock

The lost Victorio Peak treasure is the stuff of legends – a heretic Spanish priest’s gold mine, made richer by the spoils of bandits and an Apache raider. When Erin, a quiet history professor, uncovers a clue that may pinpoint the lost treasure cave, she prepares for adventure. But when a hit and run driver nearly kills her, she realizes she’s not the only one after the treasure. And is Drew, the handsome helicopter pilot who found her bleeding in a ditch, really a hero, or one of the enemy?

Erin isn’t sure she can trust Drew with her heart, but she’ll need his help to track down the treasure. She heads into the New Mexico wilderness with her brainy best friend Camie and a feisty orange cat. The wilderness holds its own dangers, from wild animals to sudden storms. Plus, the sinister men hunting Erin are determined to follow her all the way to the treasure, no matter where the twisted trail leads. Erin won’t give up an important historical find without a fight, but is she ready to risk her life – and her heart?

“The story has it all - action, romance, danger, intrigue, lost treasure, not to mention a sizzling relationship....”

“Great balance of history, romance, and adventure. Smart romance with an ‘Indiana Jones’ feel. Well-written with an attention to detail that allowed me to picture exactly in my head how a scene looked and played out.”

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): PG13

Praise for The Mad Monk’s Treasure:

“The action never stopped .... It was adventure and romance at its best.”

“The story has it all – action, romance, danger, intrigue, lost treasure, not to mention a sizzling relationship....”

“I couldn’t put this book down. You’ll love it.”


Visit all the Book Hooks author blogs. You might find your next great read
Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance with outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. Whispers in the Dark features archaeology and intrigue among ancient Southwest ruins. What We Found is a mystery with strong romantic elements about a young woman who finds a murder victim in the woods. In Counterfeits, stolen Rembrandt paintings bring danger to a small New Mexico town.

In The Dead Man’s Treasure, estranged relatives compete to reach a buried treasure by following a series of complex clues. In The Skeleton Canyon Treasure, sparks fly when reader favorites Camie and Tiger help a mysterious man track down his missing uncle.

Read excerpts at www.krisbock.com or visit her Amazon pageSign up for the Kris Bock newsletter for announcements of new books, sales, and more.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

A Mother & Daughter say Happy #MothersDay with a free #romance & a 99-cent #mystery


Mother's Day is a time to think about all the ways you treasure your mother. What do you have in common with your mother? Physical features, interests, ethics? I’m lucky to have a mother who is creative, a world traveler, and a bit of a rebel. It’s possible I inherited some or all of those traits from her.

We are also both writers. I came to writing early, with my parents’ support – I’ve been a professional working writer for twenty years. Mom wrote an occasional article, along with business documents and a PhD thesis, before turning to fiction after she retired. As a fan of mysteries, she decided to write her own. She set it in Juneau, Alaska, where we lived while I was in high school. (I’m not featured in the book, but our former dog Bandit is.)

Today we both live in the Southwest – she’s in Arizona and I’m in New Mexico. I write romantic suspense novels set in this region, including my Southwest Treasure Hunters books. These are action-packed adventures with a touch of humor, featuring quests for treasure – whether long-lost, recently hidden, or in human form.

To celebrate this Mother’s Day, I have a romantic suspense novel available for free, while Mom’s cozy mystery is on sale for $.99.

The Dead Man’s Treasure by Kris Bock is FREE May 10-14.

“The Dead Man’s Treasure is fast-paced and a perfect read for the weekend. I highly recommend this one.”

Rebecca Westin is shocked to learn the grandfather she never knew has left her a bona fide buried treasure – but only if she can decipher a complex series of clues leading to it. The hunt would be challenging enough without interference from her half-siblings, who are determined to find the treasure first and keep it for themselves.

Good thing Rebecca has recruited some help. Sam is determined to show Rebecca that a desert adventure can be sexy and fun. But there’s a treacherous wildcard in the mix, a man willing to do anything to get that treasure – and revenge.

Action and romance combine in this lively Southwestern adventure, complete with riddles the reader is invited to solve to identify historical and cultural sites around New Mexico.

“I can’t say enough how much I loved this book! It has mystery, adventure, danger, romance, and above it all family remains a huge theme.”

The DeadMan’s Treasure is book 2 of the Southwest Treasure Hunters novels. Each book features a different hero and heroine, and stands alone with a happy ending. The first novel, The Mad Monk’s Treasure, is $.99 or free with Kindle Unlimited. The Mad Monk’s Treasure, “Smart romance with an ‘Indiana Jones’ feel,” has 4.7 out of 5 stars with 50 reviews.

Murder on the West Glacier Trail by Sharon Eboch is on sale for 99 cents – a 67% discount! – from May 10-16!

“This is a fast-paced mystery that keeps you guessing. It has good locale and character descriptions.”

If Kate Foland had known how her bed and breakfast guest would change her life, she might have left her at the airport.

When Kate’s guest is shot to death while hiking in the Alaskan woods, Kate feels compelled to investigate. Sandra Allison seemed like a perfectly nice young woman. So who would want her dead?

Sandra’s archeology work often caused construction delays while Native artifacts were removed. Did a Juneau builder follow up a threat with a gunshot? Or was Kate the intended victim, since Sandra was wearing Kate’s coat and walking her dog? And why is the dog suddenly acting like a scaredy-cat?

“... a fun story with a great sense of local flavor.”

“...hard to put down!”

“Knowledge of the Juneau area was evident, and at least a couple of the recipes included appear as must tries.”



About the Authors


In case you’re wondering why we have similar but different last names, Kris Bock is my pen name for writing adult romantic adventures and mysteries. I write for children under the name Chris Eboch.


As Kris Bock, I write novels of adventure and romance involving outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. Whispers in the Dark features archaeology and intrigue among ancient Southwest ruins. In Counterfeits, stolen Rembrandt paintings bring danger to a small New Mexico town. What We Found is a mystery with strong romantic elements about a young woman who finds a murder victim in the woods.

Each of the Southwest Treasure Hunters books stands alone in a series mixing action and adventure with romance. The Mad Monk’s Treasure follows the hunt for a long-lost treasure in the New Mexico desert. In The Dead Man’s Treasure, estranged relatives compete to reach a buried treasure by following a series of complex clues. In The Skeleton Canyon Treasure, sparks fly when reader favorites Camie and Tiger help a mysterious man track down his missing uncle.

Read excerpts at my Amazon page or website. Sign up for Kris Bock newsletter.

Sharon Eboch lives in Tempe, Arizona, where she enjoys reading, quilting, and occasional social activism. Murder on the West Glacier Trail was inspired by her love of cozy mysteries and her years living in Juneau, Alaska, with her family and a dog named Bandit (featured in the book). Originally from Nebraska, she has also lived in Saudi Arabia, San Francisco, and the Seattle area. She has a PhD in Human Development and the Family, which she now mostly uses to attempt to understand her two adult children.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

A free #romance & a 99-cent #mystery for #MothersDay



The Dead Man's Treasure by Kris Bock with 4.8 out of 5 stars - is FREE May 10-14.  

Rebecca Westin’s grandfather left her a buried treasure – if she can decipher a complex series of clues leading to it. Her half-siblings are determined to reach the treasure first. Good thing Rebecca has help, in the form of a green-eyed charmer determined to make their desert adventure sexy and fun. But a treacherous enemy will do anything to get that treasure – and revenge.

Action and romance combine in this lively Southwestern adventure, complete with riddles the reader is invited to solve. The Dead Man’s Treasure is book 2 of the Southwest Treasure Hunters novels. Each book features a different hero and heroine, and stands alone, with a happy ending.

The Mad Monk’s Treasure is the first of the Southwest Treasure Hunters novels. The Dead Man’s Treasure is book 2 and The Skeleton Canyon Treasure is book 3. Each novel stands alone and is complete, with no cliffhangers. This series mixes action and adventure with romance. The stories explore the Southwest, especially New Mexico.

Each of the Southwest Treasure Hunters novels stands alone and is complete, with no cliffhangers. This series mixes action and adventure with romance. The stories explore the Southwest, especially New Mexico.

Murder on the West Glacier Trail by Sharon Eboch is on sale for 99 cents - a 67% discount! - May 10-16.


If Kate Foland had known how her bed and breakfast guest would change her life, she might have left her at the airport. 


When Kate’s guest is shot to death while hiking in the Alaskan woods, Kate feels compelled to investigate. Sandra Allison seemed like a perfectly nice young woman. So who would want her dead?

Sandra’s archeology work often caused construction delays while Native artifacts were removed. Did a Juneau builder follow up a threat with a gunshot? Or was Kate the intended victim, since Sandra was wearing Kate’s coat and walking her dog? And why is the dog suddenly acting like a scaredy-cat?

Kate’s investigation leads her through Juneau’s construction sites, Native community, and tourist attractions. But when the killer turns his sights on Kate’s family, Kate must do more than solve a murder—she must save her son.

A cozy mystery full of the local flavor of Juneau, Alaska, including the scenery, the culture, and some tasty recipes.

Praise for Murder on the West Glacier Trail:

“... a fun story with a great sense of local flavor.”

“...hard to put down!”

“This is a fast-paced mystery that keeps you guessing. It has good locale and character descriptions.”

“Knowledge of the Juneau area was evident, and at least a couple of the recipes included appear as must tries.”

Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance featuring outdoor adventures in Southwestern landscapes. E-books are available from $.99 to $3.99, or free with Kindle Unlimited. Read excerpts at www.krisbock.com or visit her Amazon page. The Southwest Treasure Hunter novels feature feisty heroines and supportive heroes tracking down mysterious treasures in New Mexico and Arizona. Each book stands alone, starting with The Mad Monk’s Treasure. Kris’s other titles include Whispers in the Dark, a gothic drama at an archaeology dig in the Four Corners area, What We Found, a murder mystery set in small-town New Mexico, and Counterfeits, a suspense set near Jemez Springs.

Sharon Eboch lives in Tempe, Arizona, where she enjoys reading, quilting, and occasional social activism. Murder on the West Glacier Trail was inspired by her love of cozy mysteries and her years living in Juneau, Alaska, with her family and a dog named Bandit (featured in the book). Originally from Nebraska, she has also lived in Saudi Arabia, San Francisco, and the Seattle area. She has a PhD in Human Development and the Family, which she now mostly uses to attempt to understand her two adult children.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Check out #MFRWHooks for The Dead Man’s Treasure: #Romance and Suspense #Sale


Rebecca Westin is shocked to learn the grandfather she never knew has left her a bona fide buried treasure – but only if she can decipher a complex series of clues leading to it. The hunt would be challenging enough without interference from her half-siblings, who are determined to find the treasure first and keep it for themselves. Good thing Rebecca has recruited some help.

Sam is determined to show Rebecca that a desert adventure can be sexy and fun. But there’s a treacherous wildcard in the mix, a man willing to do anything to get that treasure – and revenge.

Action and romance combine in this lively Southwestern adventure, complete with riddles the reader is invited to solve to identify historical and cultural sites around New Mexico.

“… it’s all good, suspenseful fun as Rebecca and Sam traipse the New Mexico desert, deciphering clues and trying to outwit Rebecca’s half siblings.” – Publishers Weekly BookLife

Okay, first of all, I love that the author makes this book interactive – if the reader wants it to be. You can go online and download a printable copy of the treasure map and try to decipher the clues yourself. I found that it be a fun addition to the book, plus you'll also get awesome Southwestern recipes. … The Dead Man’s Treasure is fast-paced and a perfect read for the weekend. I highly recommend this one. - A. Brantley

I would give this 10 stars if I could!! I can't say enough how much I LOVED this book! It has mystery, adventure, danger, romance, and above it all family remains a huge theme. … I was literally like a kid in a candy store turning page after page reading this story. - Jules-Mighty Tired Mom

Chapter 1

Rebecca peered through the small, cloudy window into the machine shop. Inside, someone held a flaming welding torch to an odd jumble of metal. She couldn’t see the person’s features beyond the face shield, but a glimpse of tousled, dark blond hair suggested it might be the woman from the article. The treasure hunter.

The woman who could help. If only she would.

Rebecca made sure her blouse was neatly tucked into her skirt and pushed through the door. A burning, metallic smell hit her. The new angle gave her a glimpse of the welder’s shoulders and she reversed her opinion. That was no woman.

He turned off the torch and removed the welding helmet. “Hey.” He was average height, with sun-streaked hair and a killer smile. Sweat glistened on his face and lean, muscular arms. He was sexy in an athletic way, though she preferred the work-obsessed brainiac type.

Rebecca gave a brief nod of greeting. In the clutter of odd machinery, it took her a moment to spot the woman leaning against a long metal table. Curly blonde hair, curvy figure in jeans and a tank top. That was whom she’d come to see. “Camille Dagneau?”

“Call me Camie.” The blue eyes studied her with open curiosity.

Rebecca forced a smile, hoping her fatigue and anxiety didn’t show. “I’m Rebecca Westin. Can we talk?”

“Sure, go ahead.”

Rebecca glanced at the man, but he was poking at his project, testing the weld or something, and it would be rude to insist he leave in the middle of his work. He was probably a student, though he looked close to thirty, and the metal thing looked more like an artistic sculpture than an engineering project.

She moved closer to Camie and spoke in a low voice. “I read about you in a National Geographic article. And when I found out you were here, in New Mexico…. Well, it seemed like too good a coincidence to pass up. I’m hoping I can convince you to help me find another treasure.”

Behind her, the man said, “Wait a minute, if this is a treasure hunt, I want in this time.”

Rebecca shot him a frosty look, but he kept smiling. He was probably used to getting whatever he wanted with that smile. But this wasn’t a game. Her future was at stake. She turned back to Camie, shifting slightly to block out the man, and waited for a response.

“You want to hire me as a treasure hunting guide?”

Here’s where things got tricky.

The Dead Man'sTreasure is free May 10-14Rebecca and Sam are racing a treacherous enemy to find a buried treasure. Action and romance combine in this lively Southwestern adventure, “fast-paced and a perfect read for the weekend.” 

The Mad Monk's Treasure, “Smart romance with an 'Indiana Jones' feel,” is always 99 cents or FREE with Kindle Unlimited! It has 4.7 out of 5 stars with 50 reviews.

Visit all the Book Hooks from #MFRWHooks - You might find your next great read! 
Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance featuring outdoor adventures in Southwestern landscapes. E-books are available from $.99 to $3.99, or free with Kindle Unlimited. Read excerpts at www.krisbock.com or visit her Amazon page. The Southwest Treasure Hunter novels feature feisty heroines and supportive heroes tracking down mysterious treasures in New Mexico and Arizona. Each book stands alone, starting with The Mad Monk’s Treasure. Kris’s other titles include Whispers in the Dark, a gothic drama at an archaeology dig in the Four Corners area, What We Found, a murder mystery set in small-town New Mexico, and Counterfeits, a suspense set near Jemez Springs.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Kris Bock's Southwest Inspiration for #Romance and #Suspense Novels

I’ve lived in 10 states (from Alaska to Rhode Island) and one foreign country (Saudi Arabia, as a child), so I always had trouble answering “Where are you from?” But when I moved to New Mexico, it felt like home. I’ve now been here twice as long as I’ve lived anywhere else. The desert Southwest inspires my work, as I bring suspense with a dose of romance to the land I love. Here are some of my favorite spots in New Mexico - heavy on the adventure. (Place names link to websites about that location.)


Socorro: For most people, this town in the middle of the state is mainly a rest stop between Albuquerque and El Paso, except in October/November when huge flocks of cranes and snow geese fly in to the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. But as a local, I know the special sites nearby. Hikes can take you out in the desert or up to the mountains, visiting native petroglyphs or hunting for fossils. Hundreds of rock climbing routes provide adventures for anyone willing to hit the rocks, beginners to experts. Plus, you have a good chance of seeing unusual wildlife, from roadrunners to foxes to great horned owls.

In my treasure hunting adventure, The Mad Monk's Treasure, the heroine and her best friend live in a fictionalized version of Socorro. They hunt for the lost Victorio Peak treasure, a real Southwest legend about a heretic Spanish priest’s gold mine, made richer by the spoils of bandits and an Apache raider. I drew on personal experiences hiking in the desert for Erin and Camie’s adventures – though fortunately I’ve never stumbled on a rattlesnake nest or gotten caught in a flash flood! The Mad Monk's Treasure is “Smart romance with an 'Indiana Jones' feel.” Two other books in the Southwest Treasure Hunters group also take place partly in Socorro. In The Dead Man’s Treasure, estranged relatives must follow a series of complex clues in a competition to locate a buried treasure. In The Skeleton Canyon Treasure, reader favorites Camie and Tiger the cat help a mysterious man track down his missing uncle. Each book stands alone, with no cliffhangers.

Jemez Springs: This small town in the mountains of northwestern New Mexico is known for its hot springs. You can also visit the ruins of an old Spanish church; Soda Dam, a cool rock formation formed from the mineralized water flowing in the river; and Battleship Rock, so named because it resembles the prow of a battleship. (Pictures on my Pinterest page.)

I’ve attended many writing retreats at a camp north of the town, and those experiences inspired Counterfeits, my latest romantic suspense novel. Of course, in the book, the site isn’t quite so relaxing. When Jenny inherits a children’s art camp, she discovers that her grandmother’s death might not have been an accident after all. The men who killed her grandmother are searching for stolen paintings, and they think Jenny and her old friend Rob, the camp cook, are involved. Doing research at a real camp tucked away in the woods, and hiking above Battleship Rock for a scene where Jenny gets lost, helped the setting feel realistic.



Hovenweep National Monument: All right, this one is not actually in New Mexico, but it’s close. Located on the southern border between Colorado and Utah, these ruins once housed 2500 people between A.D. 1200 and 1300. It’s one of many sites left behind by the ancestral Puebloans, also known as the Anasazi. It’s a smaller site than some, but that’s part of its charm. You can hike and camp without crowds.

In my romantic suspense Whispers in the Dark, my heroine is an archaeology Masters student working at the fictional “Lost Valley” monument, which is closely based on Hovenweep. The lonely location allows for an almost Gothic atmosphere – mysterious lights in the canyon, spooky moaning sounds, and plenty of people hiding secrets.


Lincoln County: What We Found is the most mysterious of my novels, and that’s true for the setting as well. I loosely based the mountain resort town in my book on Ruidoso, but more for the general location than the town itself. The forested town at nearly 7000 feet elevation is not what most people probably imagine when they think of New Mexico. Yet it seemed like the perfect place for the story of Audra, a young woman who stumbles on a dead body in the woods. More than one person isn’t happy about her bringing the murder to light, and in a small town, it’s hard to avoid people who wish you ill.

This novel was inspired by the true experience of finding a body, as I described in this blog post. I also spent time with a man who raises falcons and hawks (photos on my Pinterest page), and that comes into play in the story. It’s real-life adventures like these, both good and bad, that make New Mexico a great place for a writer!

I’ve left out many wonderful sights, but these are some of my personal special spots. If you make it to the Southwestern United States, maybe you’ll enjoy them as well. Otherwise, you can visit in books. Either way, we’ll be glad to have you!

Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance with outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. Fans of Mary Stewart, Barbara Michaels, and Terry Odell will want to check out Kris Bock’s romantic adventures. Learn more or at www.krisbock.com or visit her Amazon page. Sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter for announcements of new books, sales, and more.