Friday, February 2, 2018

The Mad Monk’s Treasure: A #Freebie Novel of #Suspense and #Romance

The Mad Monk’s Treasure is FREE, Friday 2/2 - Sunday 2/5

I love the Southwest, and I love the romance and mystery behind tales of buried treasure. When researching lost treasures of the American Southwest, I came across the story of the Victorio Peak treasure, which had a heretic Spanish priest, bandits, an Apache raider, and of course lots of gold. The Mad Monk’s Treasure was inspired by this tale.

In my book, quiet history professor Erin uncovers a clue to a lost treasure cave, but minutes after her discovery, a hit and run driver leaves her for dead. Drew, a handsome helicopter pilot, finds her bleeding in a ditch. Attracted to  her rescuer, Erin wants to open up about the treasure and more, but can she trust him? The “accident” seems an unlikely coincidence, especially when followed by a series of break-ins and attacks. She’s certain she’s not the only one after the treasure. Is Drew a hero, or her enemy?

Erin won’t give up an important historical find without a fight. She and her gorgeous and brainy best friend Camie head into the New Mexico wilderness to track the treasure. The wilderness holds its own dangers, from wild animals to even wilder weather. The pair races to find the treasure as sinister men hunt them. Erin must go forward no matter where the twisted trail leads, even if it means asking Drew for help and endangering her heart.

Excerpt

Among all the legends, all the fact and fiction, one story stood out. The Victorio Peak legend had it all. A Franciscan priest and a swindler. Torture, murder, a government cover-up. Where was the truth, among all the stories? Erin wanted to find out. Over time, and with Camie’s encouragement, she’d started to take the treasure hunt more seriously. It wasn’t so much for the treasure itself—that would most likely belong to the government or the landowners. But it would make her reputation, open up new job opportunities—change her life in ways she hardly dared dream.

New Mexico petroglyphs
She touched the book gently. The pages were falling out; she didn’t want to risk carrying it around. Instead, Erin snapped a picture of the petroglyphs with her phone. That would be enough to show Camie for now.

The timing was perfect; she just had to turn in grades and field a few tearful last-minute requests for extensions, and she’d be done for the semester. What better way to spend the summer, than hunting for buried treasure?

Erin shook her head. Who would’ve thought that she, the quiet, studious girl who’d spent her entire adult life in academia in one way or another, would be planning such an adventure?

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.


Reader Feedback

All free with Kindle Unlimited
“Great balance of history, romance, and adventure. Smart romance with an “Indiana Jones” feel.” – Jules

“Fast, fun, romance and adventure, What more can you ask for” – Niki 

“Kept me on the edge of my chair. It’s one of those books I couldn’t put down.” – Barb

“Oh my wow! The story is worth the read (not a page turner, but a page burner) and the characters are awesome! Can’t wait to read more from this author!” – Kathia