Wednesday, July 11, 2018

#MFRWHooks The Skeleton Canyon Treasure: #Romance and #Suspense

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. These novels are part of my Southwest Treasure Hunters collection. Each novel stands alone in this series mixing action and adventure with romance. Today’s excerpt is from the third book:

Last time I shared the opening of Chapter One of The Skeleton Canyon Treasure. Here's a bit more from the beginning.

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?”

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.

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


  1. Snarky much? LOL The Indiana Jones movie comment had me rolling. ;)

  2. Great bit. She's being cautious and hopefully he'll be one of the good guys.

  3. I love Indiana Jones and this book sounds intersting. Tweeted.