The Mad Monk’s Treasure
a 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
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Erin floated in darkness. Where was she? What was happening? Why did she feel like she would throw up if she tried to move?
Something was tugging at her waist. Hands? A vague thought floated through her consciousness – don’t move an accident victim. She tried to speak, though she wasn’t sure what she wanted to say. Call 911? Help? Maybe the hands were help. Somebody was there, anyway. She wasn’t alone. She tried to open her eyes, tried to ask what had happened.
The tugging at her waist stopped. She thought she heard a murmur of voices. The slam of a car door jolted her so she flinched. She only noticed the car engine when it revved up and moved away.
Silence. The air lay hot and heavy over her. The pain started to fragment into specific sensations – pounding in her head, a shooting pain in her neck, burning in her hands, knees, and one elbow, grass prickling her left cheek. She remembered the accident. She could hear the faint murmur of traffic on the highway, on the other side of the cement divider. But that was all.
What had happened to the person trying to help her? Had she imagined it?
Blackness threatened to draw her in. She had to resist it. Erin sucked in a breath and tried to focus through the pain. She’d had an accident. She was alone in a ditch. It could be hours before someone found her. She had to move, get up to the road at least. She shouldn’t move, but she had to.
She opened her eyes and saw a haze of yellow slashes. She blinked and tried to focus. The colors shimmered and would not turn into solid shapes. She blinked rapidly, tears threatening to blur her vision more. What was wrong with her eyes?
Finally she understood. Weeds were growing inches from her eyes, too close for her to focus. She lay on her stomach, head turned to the side. If she concentrated, she could feel the ground despite all the aches.
Erin flexed her right hand until she felt the ground beneath her. She waited until her brain understood where her arm was. She took a deep breath and gritted her teeth. With a groan, she pushed with her hand and rolled over. She lay gasping.
Had she said that? She didn’t think so. She forced her eyes open. She gazed up into a face, almost close enough to kiss. Blue eyes stared down at her. They seem to grow larger, filling her vision like the sky, drawing her in like a pool of cool water.
“Hold on,” a man’s voice said. “Don’t try to move. I’m calling for help.”
Help. Yes, help would be good. She closed her eyes with a sigh.
“Stay with me,” the voice demanded. Annoying. She wanted to sleep.
She heard more words, something about an accident, but didn’t try to make sense of them. Her head pounded.
A hand grabbed her wrist. “Don’t move.” Had she? She must have, her arm was in the air, her fingers brushing her head, although it felt strange, wrong, swollen and stiff and distant. Oh, right – she was wearing her bike helmet. She always wore her helmet. You never knew when you might have an accident.
The strange hand gently guided her arm down until it lay alongside her again. Erin whimpered. Rough fingertips brushed her cheek. “You’ll be all right,” the voice said. “Everything is going to be okay.”
Oh, good, Erin thought. That was all right then.
“Look at me. Stay with me.”
Erin blinked against the brightness until the blur above her resolved into those blue eyes. She could get lost in those eyes. She wanted to get lost and let everything else slip away.
The pain in her head started to shriek. No, it was something outside. A siren, wailing ever louder as it drew closer. Lights flashed in the corner of her vision. She moaned and closed her eyes against the pain.
The voice whispered over her, husky and gentle. “You’re all right now. You’ll be all right.”
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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.