Saturday, September 30, 2017

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, “Smart romance with an 'Indiana Jones' feel,” is currently free at all e-book retailers.

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. “Counterfeits is the kind of romantic suspense novel I have enjoyed since I first read Mary Stewart’s Moonspinners.” 5 Stars – Roberta at Sensuous Reviews blog


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.


Friday, September 29, 2017

Meet #Romance Author Melanie Robertson-King for #BookHugs of YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS

YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS

Will a reckless moment from her past come back to haunt her?

Devastated by the death of her husband, Colin, in the London bombings on July 7, 2005, Katherine Murphy-Whithorn builds a wall around her heart determined to never let anyone in again. Settling in to a comfortable routine, her life becomes mundane, until five years later when someone from her rebellious past returns to the city and begins stalking her.

As the curtain falls on 2010 her first love, Jared Martin, walks back into Katherine´s life. Despite him being her first love, he must tear down the barrier she´s created to protect herself. Finally seeing a second chance of a life with him, Katherine couldn´t be happier until another cruel twist of fate strikes. The helicopter returning from the Alpha Ecosse platform, on which Jared is a passenger, ditches in the North Sea. Can he survive the ordeal? Will they get their chance for happiness? Or is fate still not done its dirty deeds? Katherine’s stalker may have his own agenda.

Prologue
1st December 2010

The ScotRail service to Aberdeen pulled away from the platform at Stonehaven. The next stop would be his destination. As the train accelerated, the carriage swayed from side to side. The action reminded him of his mum rocking him after a bad dream. He drifted into a light slumber. When the compartment he was in crossed through a switch, it lurched waking him.

Less than thirty minutes to go. He settled back but was too excited to relax. When the Girdle Ness Lighthouse came into view, he knew he was almost back to the place he was born.

New, to him, construction dotted the landscape. Fresh graffiti adorned the stone parapets of the bridge over the River Dee. The Mitchell Tower at Marischal College, the clock tower of the Aberdeen Town House and the Salvation Army Citadel, vied for attention over the tops of the cluster of newer buildings.

He fooled the medical staff at the secure forensic unit in the south of England. After feigning rehabilitation, they released him into the community but he didn’t stay there long. He did a runner. He had unfinished business in the north east of Scotland.

Adrenalin coursed through him. Giddy with excitement, it was hard for him to remain calm. He shook his hands to try to stem some of the fidgetiness. Now, he was back in Aberdeen where it all began. How much of the city would he recognize? What changed since his departure?

Were the authorities looking for him yet? He would have to act normal so as not to attract attention. Stepping off, he adjusted his Fedora and strode across the concourse to the exit. Diesel fumes hung in the air and caught in the back of his throat. He coughed.

With the exception of the Union Square shopping complex adjacent to the railway station, Guild Street stayed more or less unchanged. Some of the storefronts in the granite buildings transformed, but overall, not a huge difference since he left.

The pavement ended at Market Street forcing him to cross over the road. He continued eastward. The location he sought should be nearby. He stopped for a breather – pressed his back against the building. The ships that supplied and supported the offshore oil industry occupied the available berths on this side of the harbour. Through a gap, the ferry to Lerwick and the terminal were visible on the far side.

The familiar Maritime Museum dominated the head of Shore Brae. Beyond that, the artery curved and became Shiprow. The cobbled road surface and pavement were difficult to traverse. Even the larger stones nearer the buildings were uneven. When he rounded the corner at Provost Ross’s House, another well-known building peeked out. He had come so far now, he couldn’t go back. He strode with purpose up the hill.

The Aberdeen Town House clock tower stretched above the roofline but that was the place he sought. Nestled between Henry’s Bar and the pedestrianized portion of Shiprow stood the As the Pages Turn bookshop.

When a customer exited holding a carrier bag emblazoned with the same signage as over the door, his heart skipped a beat. He hoped the establishment’s ownership hadn’t changed. That would defeat the purpose of his returning to Aberdeen.

The voices in his head only told him to come back. He had unfinished business with the woman with ginger hair – the one with no soul – who ran the retail outlet in front of him.

Now, to find a suitable place to wait and watch and bide his time until the moment was right.


YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS is available at amazon for pre-order for the kindle at myBook.to/yesterday-today-always

“Don’t let the fear of success hold you back...”

Melanie Robertson-King has always been a fan of the written word. Growing up as an only child, her face was almost always buried in a book from the time she could read. Her father was one of the thousands of Home Children sent to Canada through the auspices of The Orphan Homes of Scotland, and she has been fortunate to be able to visit her father’s homeland many times and even met the Princess Royal (Princess Anne) at the orphanage where he was raised.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Writing and Running: 6 Lessons Learned from Jogging #NWHFD #fitnessday

In March of 2011 I started jogging. Despite the occasional illness, injury, and ‘I don’t wanna,’ I’m still getting out regularly. On one long and rather tedious solo run, I started making connections between jogging and writing and life. I'm sharing them in honor of National Women's Health & Fitness Day.

Get Some Running Buddies

It helps to have inspiration. I started jogging with a Couch to 5K group that met twice a week. Having the regular schedule kept us on track. The program helped us pace ourselves, starting with short runs and frequent walks, and working up to a 45 minute run. We also had an experienced leader to offer advice.

Several of us continued running together after the program ended. I wouldn’t get out there as often if people weren’t waiting for me. I’d be tempted to stop early, if I didn’t have the encouragement of the group. Hey, peer pressure is powerful! You might as well make it work for you. Plus, it’s more fun to run with other people.

For writers, it’s important to find the right peer group for your needs. For many, this is a critique group. They may be large or small, meet in person or online, have open or closed membership, get together weekly or monthly or as needed. Finding a group that suits your needs is invaluable.

Other writers share goals and deadlines, checking in with a friend daily or weekly to report progress. There’s that peer pressure again! Even a non-writing friend can help hold you accountable. (But choose carefully. You don't need someone pressuring you to finish your novel in six months or run a seven-minute mile.)

Finally, social groups can provide camaraderie and networking. I live in a small town with a science and engineering college; I know far more computer geeks than writers. But by making monthly trips to Albuquerque to attend a writing meeting, I’ve made many friends who understand what I do. I’ve also made connections by teaching workshops and guest speaking for groups like Sisters in Crime. For those who can’t attend in person, online discussion boards, listserves, and online classes offer information and a sense of connection. 

It’s Distance, Not Speed

It really is about the journey, not how fast you get there. Pace yourself, and enjoy the journey, or you might burn out along the way. If you can see the end, or at least imagine the cheering crowds and free food, it might give you the extra boost you need to keep going. But take time to enjoy the sights, and the experience will be a lot more fun.

As a writer, don’t focus so much on the response to your query letters. Sure, celebrate successes, and try to learn from disappointments, but put most of your energy into enjoying the journey. (That works for the rest of life, too.)

But Keep Moving

A slow pace may get you there, but if you have a long way to go, you might as well do it running. A marathon will take a lot longer at a stroll than at a jog, even a slow jog. Run when you can, walk when you need a rest, but keep moving. That’s the only way to reach the end.

Take the time you need to learn and practice your writing craft. Do as many drafts as you need to polish your novel. Don’t rush, but do keep working. Write a page a day, and you’ll have a complete draft in a year. It may not be perfect, but it will be more than what you started with.

Practice Makes Perfect, or At Least Lessens the Pain

If you’re training, you need to get out regularly. Running once a month will just leave you sore and frustrated each time, and you won’t see any progress in your fitness.

It’s the same with writing. Establishing habits and sticking to them will keep your mind fit. Writing several times a week will hone your skills and make it easier to get started next time.

Beware of Shortcuts

If I map out a 5K run, but take every shortcut, that could cut the distance down to 3 ½K. Easier, sure, but that won’t prepare me for running a 10K. It’s the same with life. Whether you’re trying to switch careers, meet the right partner, or finish a novel, some shortcuts may help, but others may do more harm than good.

I work with a lot of writing students. The beginners want to know if they’ll get published after taking one course. Nobody wants to spend 10 years learning how to write, but you need to do the work in order to earn the reward at the end. If you beg your friend to send your rough draft to her editor, you’ll blow your chance to make the best use of that connection. If you self publish your work before it’s ready, you’ll waste time that could be better spent working on your craft.

Sometimes the long, hard path is the only one that gets you where you want to go.

Push Yourself Sometimes

With enough practice, you should get better. When I started jogging, it was a struggle to go for 10 minutes without a break. Six months later, I could make it through 45 minutes without stopping.

And then I plateaued. Jogging had become comfortable, if not easy. Why cause more pain by trying to go farther or faster?

Because that’s the only way to get better. And most likely, it’s the only way to stay interested. Fortunately, one of my jogging partners is great about coming up with new workouts. We add in some sprints one day, do hills another day. We choose different routes on different terrains. Variety keeps it interesting, which makes it easier to work hard.

With my writing, I find that I get bored if I become too comfortable with something. After publishing a dozen children’s books as Chris Eboch, I wanted a change. I started writing romantic suspense for adults, using the name Kris Bock. This brought new challenges – writing books two or three times as long as what I was used to, exploring romantic subplots, delving deeper into character. I didn’t always get things right the first time, but I became a better writer – and I renewed my interest in writing.

Are you a writer who runs? Join the Writers Who Run Facebook Group to meet up with like-minded folks and learn about events.

Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance with outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. 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.

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. Read excerpts at www.krisbock.com or visit her Amazon page

Monday, September 25, 2017

Meet #Romance Author Tina Gayle for #BookHugs of Summer’s Growth

Inspiration – Write like only you will read it, if you cry, laugh or enjoy it, it’ll be your secret passion until you introduce it to the world. (Just love what you do no matter what it is)

Summer’s Growth

In the spirit-haunted Winston estate in Ohio, rooted in time and occupied by the lingering ghosts of a great family, the torch is about to pass...

Mattie Winston, sober, sensible, and steady, has served as Keeper to the family for decades. Amber Harrison, hovering on the edge of flunking out of college, unsure what she wants out of life, has barely even heard of the Winston estate. The family, however, has decided that it's time for the changing of the guard. These two exceptional women soon find themselves dealing with violence, murder attempts, and old family mysteries while each finding the love of her life. Two romances and a growing friendship, all twined around a brooding family tragedy, make for an outstanding paranormal mystery offering depth and charm beyond the commonplace. The growing love of Amber and Carter and of Mattie and Quincy offer readers a tender and engaging first novel in a winning new paranormal series.

Excerpt

Stifling humidity greeted her when she opened the door to the main section of the basement. She eyed the man seated behind a long oak table. The air conditioner hummed. The soothing whine didn’t calm her fears or cool the subterranean room.
     Dressed in an eighteenth century colonial suit and stuck at the perpetual age of thirty, Jonathan resembled George Washington ready to command his troops. His eagle-eye glare nailed her.
     A drop of sweat trickled down her back. Apprehension raised goose bumps. She shivered.
     “I press earnestly for you to take a seat, Mattie, so we can start.” In a regal colonial voice, Jonathan’s words thundered off the walls.
     Mattie walked to the end of the table and sat across from him. Dread threatened like a storm on the horizon. She surveyed both sides of the table. None of the other council members were in attendance.
     Mattie wiped her sweaty palms along the length of her thighs. What did he want? Jonathan didn’t usually hold a one-on-one meeting in this setting. Normally, they met in her office upstairs.
     The muscles in her stomach jerked.
     “In a concise statement of the facts as I see them,” Jonathan spoke without preamble. “We have found your replacement, and we need to address the issue of your future.”
     Her fears were relieved as to the topic of today’s meeting. She decided to address a number of other issues that should be discussed before her future. “Shouldn’t we wait until Amber Harrison accepts the job?”
     “No.”
     Startled, Mattie blinked. “Why?”
     “Because no matter the outcome, you will still be replaced,” Jonathan declared.
     “Yes, but what if Amber doesn’t work out?” For days, she’d speculated on how to approach this subject. “My nephew, Josh Clarkston is a lawyer. He’d make an excellent keeper.”
     “No,” Jonathan’s rough voice commanded. “The wisest council will not be misled into offering such an important post to such an unworthy candidate. His character lacks the necessary virtues to accomplish the tasks we require of our keeper.
     “As for your sister, Cynthia Clarkston, she never speaks of us without evidence of malice. We find no cause to reward her for her gum and insolence.” The rigid set of Jonathan’s jaw indicated he refused to budge on the matter. “Like a Redcoat, she only wants what she can get from us. Her son has grown into a bad egg.”
     “But...” Her stomach grumbled, mirroring her distress.
     “Mattie.” His tone lower, he shook his head. “Many hours have been spent debating the matter. You’ve been a loyal subject since the age of fifteen, and you’ve paid your dues to your family. We hornswoggled you out of your youth. It’s time for you to relinquish control.” An indulging note bled through his words. “No one will ever be good enough to replace you.”
    

Buy Link -

Tina Gayle grew up a dreamer and loved to escape into the world of books. After a number of different jobs, she decided to try her hand at writing. Her romantic novels touch the heart and explore the heartaches of falling in love and being a woman.
Married thirty years, she and her husband love to travel and play golf.  If you’d like to read the 1st chapter of her books visit her website.

Find Tina Gayle everywhere

Home - www.tinagayle.net
Blog - www.tinagayle.blogspot.com
Twitter - https://twitter.com/#!/AuthorTinaGayle
GoodReads - http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1641826.Tina_Gayle
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/tina.gayle
Google + - https://plus.google.com
Linkin - http://www.linkedin.com/pub/tina-gayle/11/689/759

Friday, September 22, 2017

Meet #hot #romance Daryl Devoré for #BookHugs

Between Despair and Ecstasy by Daryl Devoré

The finale of Erika and Darien's epic rollercoaster romance.

How can Erika prove to herself and Darien that she loves and trusts him? Simple. All she has to do is jump out of a plane.

Concerned for his fiancée, Erika Bailey’s safety, rock star Darien Scott races to Bangkok to protect her, only to discover his brother is missing. Fearing the worse, he contacts his nemesis, Gan, and makes a repulsive deal that will free his brother and protect Erika’s club, The Pink Flamingo. Or so he thought. When a python and Gan are involved, things go sour, and Darien sinks into a deep depression.

Erika is disheartened by the betrayal of her parents. Her father's destruction of her club, and the humiliation of her mother’s drunken behavior have her feeling down, but those are the least of her worries. She has a wedding to plan, but won’t. Having been betrayed too often, she’s scared to trust Darien.

How can Erika prove to herself and Darien that she loves and trusts him? Simple. All she has to do is jump out of a plane.

Preorder at eXtasybooks

Excerpt:

Sweat streamed off Darien’s brow. Some dripped into his eyes. It stung. His heart throbbed against his ribs. Fire inched down his throat. Every muscle in his body ached. His head pounded from the pandemonium. The explosions. The screams. The pain threatening to split his skull. Dropping his head back, he closed his eyes. His chest heaved as he gulped air. He needed a moment. Get some strength back.
     The screams grew louder.
     Damn.
     He inhaled and released a long breath.
     They wanted him. He had to continue. To perform. Like a trained monkey. Do people even do that anymore? Train monkeys? He peeled his eyes open. The glare of the overhead lights blazed down at him. He lifted his head. The screams grew louder.
     “Oh. So, you want more?”
     But what if I don’t have any more? What if I just can’t continue? Twelve weeks. Four shows a week. I’m beat.
     The roar from eighty thousand Parisians was tumultuous. Fans yelled at the top of their lungs. They pounded their feet on the floor, raising their hands in the air, clapping. Glow sticks, cell phones, and lighters swayed like flowers in a breeze.
     He grinned. Eighty thousand Parisians and one fiancée. He glanced to his left. Seated on the top stage step was Erika. She’d arrived just minutes before the show started. Just enough time for a passionate, but quick, hello kiss. He needed more. He needed her, and he knew it. She smiled at him. He loved that smile. He could stare at it all day. The way her soft lips curved up. A hint of sassiness in her expression.
     Just finish the show. Grab Erika and run. Dodge the fans. Just get out of here.
     He looked out over the crowd. “But what if I’m too tired to continue?”
     “No,” the crowd wailed.
     He grinned. “Well, maybe I could go on if you told me you loved me.”
     The cacophony of sounds was deafening. “Je t’aime. Love you.”
     He lifted his hands. “Do you love me?”
     “Oui. Yes.”
     He ripped his black t-shirt over his head and threw it into the fans. “Do. You. Love. Me?” He yelled out as he glanced at Erika.
     She jumped up and down, screaming with the crowd.
     “I can’t hear you.”
     The building shook with the fans’ frenzy.
     “Five. Six. Five. Six. Seven. Eight.”
     Fireworks exploded. Lasers shot around the stadium. Cass, the drummer, crashed the symbols as Darien spun, posed then inhaled a deep breath and opened his mouth to sing. 


Daryl Devoré lives in an old farmhouse in Ontario, Canada, with her husband, a black cat named Licorice and some house ghosts. Daryl loves to take long walks up her quiet country road or snowshoe across the back acres, and in the summer, kayak along the St. Lawrence River. She's touched a moon rock, a mammoth and a meteorite. She's been deep in the ocean in a submarine, flown high over Niagara Falls in a helicopter and used the ladies room in a royal palace. Life's an adventure and Daryl's having fun living it.

Where to find Daryl Devoré

Friendships are important. How do they start? CS Lewis knows:
Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought that no one but myself…"

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

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

Rebecca’s hand shook as she reached for the box. It was a metal candy tin for peppermint bark. Maybe Grandpa had a sweet tooth? Or was this some random trash left by a tourist too lazy to bring it back to his car? She straightened and gazed down at the box. It had to hold the next clue. It would be too much of a coincidence – and too heartbreaking – if it were anything else.

She glanced at Sam and he nodded in encouragement, drawing close to her side. She swung open the lid. Several folded pieces of paper lay inside. A strip of masking tape on the inside lid had words in marker: “Take one and leave the others unless you are the last.”

Rebecca pulled out the top piece of paper and unfolded it.

Are they witches in disguise
Or prophets of the future?
The men who came here didn’t know.
They had destruction on their minds.
And they changed the world.
They ate of the flesh among bombers and bullets.
And so should you!
Then past the dead soldiers you’ll find a dead end.
One is the loneliest number
Walled off from its fellows.
Pay your respects and do not forget.

Another baffling poem. Rebecca wrinkled her nose. “This one’s kind of gruesome.” She closed the box and stood.

For a moment, the world spun. She took a quick breath.

Sam’s arm came around her. “Okay?”

Two more deep breaths and she could answer. “Fine now, thanks. Just a little lightheaded.” She was tempted to lean into him, to relax against his shoulder. She resisted the urge. “I know, I know, drink water. Let me put this back.”

She returned the box to its hiding place, picked up the bottle she’d set down while looking at the clue, and finished the water. Sam hovered closely, as if to support her if she needed help. She couldn’t quite decide if she wished she needed help or was glad she didn’t. She wouldn’t fake helplessness, though, and the weakness had passed.

She gave Sam a bright smile. “All better now. I just stood up too fast.”

He studied her intently. She hadn’t realized how green his eyes were, or how the tiny laugh lines around them made him both sexy and approachable. Her heart thudded in her chest. You keep looking at me like that, and I won’t be fine.


The Dead Man’s Treasure

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. See the DMT page of Kris Bock’s website for a printable list of the clues and recipes from the book.

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 sweet romance. The stories explore the Southwest, especially New Mexico.

Publishers Weekly BookLife says, “… 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.” 

Reviewer Amy Brantley says, "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."


Visit Kris's Amazon page.

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.

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

Monday, September 18, 2017

#Hiking Deer Trap Mesa Trail, Los Alamos, New Mexico

It's time for another visit to Los Alamos, New Mexico. While most famous as the birthplace of the atomic bomb, Los Alamos is also a hiking paradise, with hundreds of trails near town. This is Deer Trap Mesa Trail, which starts from a trailhead at the edge of town. At the start, signs talk about homesteading in the area. Then you head down a steep, narrow stairway cut into the stone. The stairway is hundreds of years old.

At the bottom of the stairway is the deer trap (bottom of picture). It's a shallow pit designed to trap game driven from Barrancas Canyon. It's not deep now, but perhaps it would be deeper with the debris cleared out. 

From there the trail flattens out. There is very little shade, and hiking on top of the mesa would not be pleasant in heavy wind. This would be a great trail for sunny fall afternoons or mild spring days. While most of the trail is pretty flat, the beginning is steep and a bit tricky. The views are great the entire time. I don't know this officially, but we're guessing the early people of the region lived in some of the mini caves in the next mesa (the dark spots dotting the cliff wall).

Officially the trail is three miles, but my GPS tracked us at about four miles. If you want to stick to three miles, be sure to carefully read the trail instructions. Otherwise there are several side trails and viewpoints. 

Info on Deer Trap Mesa Trails, including a map, from the city of Los Alamos.
More on the trail from The Los Alamos Nature Center.
A more detailed map.

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.

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

Friday, September 15, 2017

Meet Valerie Ullmer and her #BookHugs for #Unexpected

On Sale for .99¢ - September 15th – September 30th

Unexpected (A Unexpected Novel Book One)
Valerie Ullmer

Genre:  Contemporary M/M Romance

A chance meeting will change their lives forever…


From the moment he entered the dark taproom, Caleb Hunt found himself drawn to the handsome man who sat alone at the end of the bar, away from the crowd. His interest in the dark-haired, muscled adonis took him by surprise, not remembering when he’d felt such hunger from a simple glimpse. Unable to stay away, he quickly found an open seat next to him and slid into it. When Ronan turned his ice-blue eyes to Caleb and introduced himself, his warm hand sent shivers of desire through his body and he was enthralled.

Ronan Scott’s boring Friday night had taken a turn for the better when Caleb took the seat next to him. Over the next few hours, he found Caleb easy to talk to and at the same time, he found that he couldn’t tear his gaze away from the beautiful man. Caleb captured his attention in a way that no other had for as long as he could remember. Taking a chance, he leaned forward and captured Caleb’s lips with his. And with the simple kiss, Ronan understood that Caleb would become an essential part of his life.  

As Ronan and Caleb explore their new relationship and integrate their lives together, they realize that not everything will be so seamless…

Buy Links:

Excerpt

That’s when he spotted him and everything stopped.
His breathing hitched in his chest and his heart thudded once, hard, and even the music seemed to fade as his gaze landed on a dark-haired man who sat by himself at the bar.  As Caleb’s eyes slid down the man’s body of their own accord, he noted the fitted black tee that emphasized the muscles of his arms, back, and shoulders, before his gaze dropped lower to his legs encased in denim.
When he lifted a beer to his mouth and swallowed, Caleb felt his own throat tighten.  A shiver of desire passed over him.  Never had he felt this way about a man or woman in his life.
Before he could analyze his actions or talk himself out of his stupid plan, he walked toward the man.  Part of him wanted to see if the man was as stunning as he believed from across the bar or if he’d been alone for so long that his mind had conjured the perfect man.
Before Caleb could reach the stool next to him, a beautiful blonde glided up to him, running her hand down his chest.  Her smile flirty and sensual.  Although Caleb had never been propositioned in any way close to resembling what he witnessed, he knew that she offered the man a brazen invitation to get to know her better.
Disappointment flooded Caleb’s chest.
In the next moment, however, she frowned and backed away from him as quickly as she arrived, leaving an empty chair.
Not questioning his good luck, Caleb hurried over and shed his coat, dropping it over the back.  He flagged down the bartender and indicated the beer he wanted.
He sensed the man’s eyes on him, but for the moment, he wasn’t brave enough to turn and catch his gaze.  Not when his breath had stuck in his throat, and he didn’t know if he could speak without sounding choked.
As soon as the bartender handed him his mug, the man turned his body toward him and leaned over to speak, close to his ear.
“Are you here alone?”
Caleb had to bite the inside of his lip in order not to moan out loud at the sexy, deep voice.  Remembering the question, he shook his head and pointed toward Dylan and Garrett across the room.  Dylan, of course, had a woman on his lap and was tracing a finger down her neck, before he leaned toward her and his mouth followed the same trail.
Garrett was looking down at his phone.  The shy woman he’d been talking to had disappeared, much to Caleb’s disappointment, and another was trying, unsuccessfully, to get his attention.  She looked drunk and very loud by the way he flinched every time she spoke.
“Dylan, the one on the right with a woman on his lap, is the biggest flirt in the world.  He’s never serious about any woman he takes home.  Garrett is his best friend, the complete opposite of Dylan, but he’s loyal.”
The man laughed and Caleb couldn’t help the lift of his lips at the sound.  It was deep, rich, and addictive.  But when the man turned his ice-blue eyes on him, something unidentifiable swelled in his chest.  He could sense that he should speak, to keep this gorgeous man talking for as long as possible.  “Are you here alone?”
Smart, Caleb.  Just parrot the same question back.
The man smiled before he nodded over to his group of friends.  Some were flirting, but others were enjoying the company of their friends on a Friday night.
“The ginger is Hawk; he’s a divorce lawyer who is handling Ryan’s divorce.  That’s why they’re hunched over their beers.  Ryan’s wife apparently hadn’t been faithful during their entire four-year marriage, and he found out when he came home early from a business trip.  Jack is the one who is flirting with the group of women; he’s like Dylan in that way, never serious.  He’s a CEO of a tech company and he could have any woman with his looks and the power he exudes, but he’s never been in a serious relationship.  Sam is my second-in-command, the one who looks faintly sick, because Adam is a forensic scientist who loves talking about his work.”
Caleb found himself smiling at the group of friends.  When he glanced at the man, who had turned back to Caleb after pointing out his friends, he snagged Caleb’s gaze.  “So, do you have a girlfriend at home?”
“No.  I can’t remember the last time I had a date, much less a successful one.  You?”
Caleb breathed a sigh of relief when he shook his head.
“I’m Ronan Scott.”  He held his hand out. 
Even the man’s name is sexy.
He had to clear his throat before he reached out and grasped Ronan’s large, warm hand in his.  “Caleb Hunt.”
Something inside Caleb warmed in increments until fireworks exploded behind his skin, all from a simple touch.

About Valerie

Valerie writes paranormal and contemporary romances with strong alpha males and brilliant, beautiful heroines. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her wonderfully supportive husband and their funny and wise black lab. She's addicted to coffee, crime shows, and reading and writing character driven romances.

Social Media


#BookHugs

I believe that Love is Love, no matter what race, religion, color, or gender.  Love is Love.