I finished the loop well before dark, cleaned up in the restroom, and sat at my picnic table to eat the second half of the sandwich I’d been keeping in a cooler since lunch. The block of dry ice would keep my yogurt and cheese sticks cool for a couple more days. Then I’d be stuck with dried and canned food until I made a trip into town, something I didn’t relish given that my compact car obviously wasn’t designed for the rough roads. Well, I hadn’t expected luxury.
I had expected quiet, though. Yet the night filled with sounds as dusk fell. Birds, insects, and rustling in the dark. I strained my ears and tried to identify the sounds. Bird calls were easy enough. That low buzz had to be some kind of insect, and I convinced myself it was only creepy because I wasn’t used to it. Rustling in the bushes was harder to dismiss. I forced myself to breathe deeply and repeated in my mind, Just animals. Just animals. You’re safe here.
A squirrel scurried up a tree nearby, proving my point, and I let out a burst of nervous laughter.
I went back to my deep breathing. I didn’t want to crawl into my tent until I felt comfortable there, or I knew I’d spend the night imagining monsters sneaking around the thin protection of my nylon walls. I could sleep in my car, as I had done several times on the drive out, when I wasn’t sure of my security. But this campground would be my home for weeks. I had to get used to it, face my fears until they disappeared. I closed my eyes and concentrated on the cool air on my skin, the soft breeze.
I heard voices in the distance and a thump like something being dropped. I told myself it was good to know others were within hailing distance. I breathed, and listened, and finally felt my heart slow and my muscles relax. I thought I might be able to sleep.
A new sound drifted through the air, and my breath caught in my throat. I heard a soft sobbing, like a woman crying.
Should I check it out, see if someone needed help? But no one was calling for help, and I couldn’t target the sound.
It was probably some animal or bird, but still, I felt goosebumps prickle my skin. I went to my car for a sweater, trying to blame the drop in temperature for my chills.
When I opened the car door, the overhead light came on, shockingly bright. I jumped and glanced around, feeling oddly guilty, as if I’d insulted the night. I grabbed my sweater, closed the door quickly, and stood for a minute waiting for my eyes to readjust as the darkness pressed around me.
The crying seemed to ripple in the air, coming from nowhere and everywhere.
And then it faded, leaving only the echo of its memory in the dark, and a great sadness.
Whispers in the Dark
Young archeologist Kylie Hafford heads to the remote Puebloan ruins of Lost Valley, Colorado, to excavate. Her first exploration of the crumbling ruins ends in a confrontation with a gorgeous, angry man who looks like a warrior from the Pueblo’s ancient past. If only Danesh weren’t so aggravating… and fascinating. Then she literally stumbles across Sean, a charming, playful tourist. His attentions feel safer, until she glimpses secrets he’d rather keep hidden.
The summer heats up as two sexy men pursue her. She finds mysteries – and surprising friendships – among the other campground residents. Could the wide-eyed woman and her silent children be in the kind of danger all too familiar to Kylie?
Mysterious lights, murmuring voices, and equipment gone missing plague her dig. A midnight encounter sends Kylie plummeting into a deep canyon. She’ll need all her strength and wits to survive. Everything becomes clear – if she wants to save the man she’s come to love and see the villains brought to justice, she must face her demons and fight.
Whispers in the Dark, romantic suspense set in the Four Corners region of the Southwest, will appeal to fans of Mary Stewart, Barbara Michaels, and Terry Odell. This title stands alone and is not part of a series.
“This book kept me turning pages until the end. The plot was full of twists and turns, always keeping the reader rooting for the heroine. Excellent read!” Reader Suzanne B.
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 page. Sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter for announcements of new books, sales, and more.
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