Wednesday, March 7, 2018

My #MFRWHooks for The Skeleton Canyon Treasure: #Romance and #Suspense in the Southwest

Last week I shared the opening of The Skeleton Canyon Treasure. Here's more of chapter 1:

He took a step toward her. “OK, I’m looking for someone.”

“A minute ago you were looking for me.”

He blew out a breath. “My uncle. He’s missing and I’m worried something happened to him. The trail led me here. I wasn’t sure at first which side you were on, and that’s why I wanted to look around before talking to you. But now that I see you, I can tell you wouldn’t have had anything to do with his disappearance.” His blue eyes twinkled, and the confident smile gave him a certain appeal. But if he thought she’d fall for shallow flattery, he was much mistaken. Even assuming one could consider it flattering to be told, “You’re probably too harmless to have kidnapped my uncle.”

She was sure he was lying about something, and probably about everything. His appearance shortly after the theft of her invention, a machine that might be worth millions, could not be a coincidence. One chance in 10,000 maybe. He, or his uncle if he really had an uncle, had to be connected somehow.

If she could figure out how, she might get her invention back. Let him keep underestimating her, as most men did. Camie turned on her own charm. She flashed a smile that had him blinking as if the light were too bright. “Let’s get that cup of coffee, and you can tell me about it.” That would get him out of her shop, and into a public place where it would be easier to get help if needed.

He nodded. “Lead the way.”

She led the way to the student center. The spot provided plenty of privacy without the isolation of her building. She gestured to the man as he sat across from her. “Explain. You might start with your name.”

“Ah, didn’t we get to that? I’m Ryan MacAllister.” He grinned. “Age 32. Occupation, mining geologist. Currently between contract jobs. References available upon request.”

She almost asked to see a driver’s license and those references. But that could wait. Better to let him think she trusted everything he said for the moment. “Tell me about your uncle, Ryan.”

He hesitated, but this time she didn’t get the impression he was stalling or making up lies. Rather, he didn’t seem to know how to start. Finally he said, “He’s brilliant. A genius. But, well, he doesn’t quite fit in with normal society.”

Camie nodded. A few of her geek friends fit that profile. Some people would say she did as well. She didn’t consider it a bad thing, since “normal society” tended to suck.

“His hobby is treasure hunting.”

Camie tensed slightly, but she thought she hid her reaction well enough. Things were beginning to make sense.

“He’s always chasing after some treasure or another, trying to put together clues from old manuscripts, sort out rumors from facts, and so on. Once in a while, rarely, he’s actually found something.”

“What has he been working on lately?”

“The Skeleton Canyon treasure.” He snapped the phrase and stared at her, as if expecting to surprise her into some kind of admission. When she simply gazed back, he added, “Heard of it?”

She shook her head. Her friend Erin was the expert when it came to history and legend. Camie was in charge of the technology, and she had wilderness experience that came in handy. Together they’d found one long-lost treasure several years before and gotten some fame for their success, but since then they’d done no more than offer occasional advice on treasure hunting. It wasn’t a vocation, or even a serious hobby.

He watched her for several more seconds, eyes narrowed in suspicion, before he went on. “Skeleton Canyon isn’t too far from here. Southeastern Arizona, near the New Mexico border. But no one knows where exactly the treasure is, of course. My uncle was trying to piece together some clues. He kept a journal. A few days ago, I received the journal in the mail. No explanation except for a note that said to hold onto it for him.”

She raised an eyebrow. “Wasn’t that the plot of the third Indiana Jones movie?”

The Skeleton Canyon Treasure

When Camille Dagneau surprises a strange man in the college machine shop she runs, she is ready for battle. Ryan MacAllister seems equally suspicious of her, but he insists he’s merely looking for his missing uncle, who has disappeared while hunting for a lost treasure. He believes Camie is the key to finding the treasure, and his uncle. But Camie – beautiful, brilliant, and prickly – isn’t about to trust this oversized geologist, or the attraction she feels.

Following the clues in the missing man’s journal will take Camie, Ryan, and the cat Tiger on a trail through New Mexico and Arizona. They’ll visit the Tombstone graveyard at night, uncover clues in museums, and ultimately wind up in Skeleton Canyon, where rumor says nineteenth-century cowboy bandits secreted their treasure in a cave. To rescue Ryan’s uncle, they’ll face steep cliffs, twisty tunnels, and worse dangers in human form, but trusting each other may be the biggest challenge. And they’re running out of time ….

If you love suspense and romance, don’t miss this gripping adventure! The Southwest Treasure Hunters novels include The Mad Monk’s Treasure and The Dead Man’s Treasure. Each novel stands alone in this series mixing action and adventure with light romance. I’ve previously shared part of the first chapter from The Mad Monk’s Treasure, as well as the opening and a later excerpt from The Dead Man’s Treasure

“The Skeleton Canyon Treasure is a light, breezy action/adventure/romance that's perfect for summer reading.”

"A great mystery, love story, and search for a treasure.”


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.

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.