Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Check out #MFRWHooks for The Skeleton Canyon Treasure: #Romance and #Suspense

In honor of Halloween, a little "Skeleton" seemed appropriate!

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….

Excerpt: In this scene, the team discusses the legendary treasure:

Ryan held a small, leather-bound notebook, turning it over and over in his hands. “Does anyone here know anything about the Skeleton Canyon treasure?” he asked.
“I looked it up as soon as Camie told us the name,” Erin said. She grabbed a book from the coffee table and flipped through it as she spoke. “Skeleton Canyon is in southeastern Arizona, near the New Mexico border. But the treasure came from Mexico.” She frowned. “Lost treasure stories usually involve some pain and death, but this one seems excessive.”
“No honor among thieves,” Ryan said.
“Right,” Erin agreed. “It started with Mexican bandits, the Estrada gang, who looted banks and churches in Monterey, Mexico. Gold bars, diamonds, gold statues – millions in treasure according to some stories. Other researchers say no way, there’s no record of that kind of heist in Monterey. Whatever they got, the gang tried to smuggle it into the U.S. through Skeleton Canyon, loaded on mules.”
Ryan nodded. “But a gang of Arizona bandits, weird name–”
Erin glanced at the book. “The Curly Bill Brocious Gang.”
“Yep. One of them heard about the Mexican gang’s plan. They set up an ambush.”
Rebecca murmured, “I take it these weren’t good guys playing Robin Hood.”
“No way,” Erin said. “Not good guys, and not an especially good plan either. They shot the Mexicans off their horses. Horses and mules scattered. To stop the mules from running away with the treasure, the Americans shot the mules.”
“During that fiasco, some of the treasure got scattered around the canyon,” Ryan commented. “That’s probably why a few random coins have been found.”
Camie wondered if he was annoyed by Erin taking over some of the explanation. Apparently the treasure part of his story was true – or at least as true as any of these legends. If he’d planned to fudge the details, Erin’s quick research had killed that option. But if he’d planned to fake things, he’d have been better off faking the whole treasure, not using one that had been reported in books and on the Internet.
He seemed relaxed enough as he went on. “The American bandits now have the treasure, but no mules to transport it. So they bury it.”
“Most of it,” Erin corrected. “They allegedly divided up some of it and took it with them.”
“And never got around to coming back for the rest?” Sam asked.
Erin gave a sly smile. “It’s much more dramatic than that. Two members of the gang–” She glanced down at her book. “Zwing Hunt and Billy Grounds – decided to double-cross the others. They hired a Mexican who had a team of horses, went back to the canyon and moved the treasure, and then killed the Mexican.”
“Wait, so the treasure isn’t even in Skeleton Canyon anymore?” Camie asked. “Assuming it ever existed?”
“They moved it to another spot in the canyon, or at least nearby.” Ryan met her gaze and smiled. “Assuming it ever existed. Some self-proclaimed experts claim it must be within a day’s ride of the original ambush spot. Hunt and Grounds hid out in a cave in the canyon for months, but eventually they were killed by a sheriff’s posse.”
When Erin opened her mouth, Ryan held up a hand to forestall her. “Fine, one of them was killed right away and one was badly wounded, if that matters. The injured one supposedly made a map before he died.”
“Which of course disappeared, if it ever existed,” Erin said. “The treasure itself may not even be real. Or it could’ve been small enough that they divided it up at the beginning without burying anything.”
“Hunting it seems like a waste of time,” Camie said.         
Ryan shrugged. “That’s not really my concern. “I’m not trying to find the treasure, I’m trying to find my uncle.”
Was he protesting too much? Something about buried treasure gave even the mildest people – of whom Ryan was certainly not one – dreams of swashbuckling adventures. For some it was the fortune, for others the idea of being the one to solve a century-old mystery. Ryan’s ambivalence was in itself suspicious.
Camie leaned forward. “So what exactly do you want from us?”
Ryan held up the notebook. “This is what my uncle sent me. It has the list of clues and notes that got me this far. I’m sharing it in a gesture of good faith. I want to follow his trail and find him.” He grimaced, as if he didn’t like what was coming. “And I need help.” 

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, adventure, and romance.

“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.”

Visit all the Book Hooks from #MFRWHooks - You might find your next great read!

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. Each book stands alone, with no cliffhangers.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Meet guest author Mary Marvella and her new romantic suspense @mmarvellab

Meet guest author Mary Marvella and Her Deception. Her Deception is up for preorder and will go live October 30. It will be 99 cents until November 3.

The day Patrice heard her husband order a hit to be done quickly or his ass wouldn't be worth anything she knew she had to leave him. The only way she knew to investigate him and his people was by returning to stripping where she would meet the people who dealt in death, drugs, and prostitution. When she worked her way through college she learned more about crime than she ever wanted to know.

Why would anyone believe Hugh, the man who played golf with the mayor of the a small town on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia, who socialized with the chief of police in that town and respected business owner, had a second life one involving crimes? Who would believe a former stripper over this man?

Through breakfast she had to make small talk since her attentive husband didn't spend this time reading his newspaper or business papers. He was once again the soft-spoken Hugh she knew, attentive and interested in her plans. How could two such different people live in one man's body? Would he one day order her death? Yesterday she would have said no way. 
            She struggled to bring her thoughts back. She cleared her dry throat and looked across the table at the man speaking to her. "Yes, dear?" She couldn’t make herself look into the blue eyes that had always seemed warm and caring. What would she see in them this morning?
"Patrice, I really think you should consider some other form of exercise. Kick-boxing is so unladylike."
So is stripping, but it paid for my degree in accounting.
His baritone voice slid over her like sand-covered velvet. She'd always thought he had a nice voice. This morning, though, it made her skin crawl.
She tried to hide the revulsion building. "It helps me let off steam. Spending hours bent over a computer, filling in spreadsheets builds stress." It keeps me fit and ready to defend myself, if I need to. After years of living in situations unsafe for a defenseless person, she'd never let herself get soft.
            "There are better ways to let off steam, darling." The man across from her waggled graying eyebrows and leered.         
"You showed me plenty of them."
            "It's not the same." She tried to give him the coy smile he'd expect. Shut up and eat. 
            "Consider letting me hire a trainer for you, please." He finished the last of his poached eggs and wheat toast. 
            "If I want a personal trainer, I'll hire one." She hadn't meant to sound snippy. How much longer? She fought the urge to glance at her watch. She watched him fold his napkin and place it on his plate. Meticulous and civilized, as usual.
            "Of course, but I like spoiling you."
            She speared a bite of cold omelet to avoid responding. It went down like a rock, tasted like dirt.
            "You're awfully quiet this morning, Pat. Maybe you should take the day off."
            "Just a headache." What a way to start a week and end a way of life. Any other time she'd have appreciated his concern. "I can't stay home. I have appointments with clients all day."
            When Hugh stood she noticed his squint lines. He'd aged little during the four years of their marriage. He was handsome, the way mature men are when they take care of themselves and wear expensive tailored suits. He'd had his bi-monthly hair trim and regular exfoliating treatment earlier in the week.
            He looks harmless, so civilized.
            On auto-pilot, she rose to accept the usual good-bye kiss on her cheek, soft to avoid mussing her make-up. The last kiss I'll have from this man?
            "Darling," he asked, "shall I arrange for pickup at the airport when I get back? Or will you be there to meet me?"
            Patrice swallowed the bile of betrayal and regret. "What time Wednesday?"
            "Around six-thirty should work."
            "I'll be there," she lied. "Sorry I can't take you this morning, I have a meeting with a client. I could try to change it?" Please say no. Hell, I won’t be there anyway.
            "Of course not, Bill will take me. I pay him well to take me places." He strode to the front door and opened it. "He's here already, right on time."
            She followed him but stopped half a room away, holding her breath, waiting for him to grasp the handle of his black Louis Vuitton suitcase and pull it to the car and driver waiting in the circular drive. He paused in the doorway, neither inside nor outside the house, then turned back to face her, smiling. 
            "Have a good trip," she said, her insides churning. Please don’t let him hear anything different in my voice.  She forced a smile and a flirty wave.
            When he rushed to her side and took her in his arms panic cramped her stomach. His spicy smelling cologne pleased her when she bought it for him. This morning it made her ill.
"I'll miss you." His voice was deep.
            "Miss you, too." She forced the words through stiff lips. If he doesn't leave soon I'll lose my breakfast.

Mary Marvella has been a storyteller for as long as she can remember. The arrival of the book mobile was as exciting as hearing the music of the ice cream truck.

Retired from teaching classic works of the masters, Mary plays let’s pretend with her characters. She presents editing workshops, edits, coaches writers, and tutors one-on-one

Mary has published novels, novellas, and short stories.  Her genres include paranormal romance, romantic suspense, women’s fiction, and sweet romance.

Georgia raised, she writes stories with a Southern flair.  Author page
Follow Mary Marvella on Twitter @mmarvellab

Sunday, October 28, 2018

A Spooky Tale from the Wild West for #Halloween

The Old West is full of true stories of bandits, shootouts, and lost treasures. Many people attempt to divide historical figures into heroes and villains, lawman and outlaws. In reality, most people are more complex than that, and few famous people from the Old West led blameless lives.

Wyatt Earp is often regarded as a heroic lawman. However, he spent only six years in law enforcement. He also worked as a gambler, buffalo hunter, stagecoach guard, and Teamster, among other jobs. He was arrested for stealing a horse, but he escaped from jail.

Like many famous Western figures, Wyatt Earp wound up in the famous town of Tombstone, Arizona. Wyatt Earp and Ike Clanton allied to find a group of cowboys who had robbed a stagecoach, but the alliance fell apart – possibly because the Clantons were involved in the robberies. This led to the famous shootout at the OK Corral and the deaths of Billy Clanton and the two McLaury brothers, known cattle rustlers. Soon after, Wyatt’s brother Virgil was seriously wounded in a shooting, and their brother Morgan was killed in a shootout. The attackers were unknown, but Wyatt and his gang killed several suspects. He fled town to avoid prosecution.

Many movies have been made featuring Wyatt Earp, most of them romanticizing his life. The truth is more complex.

A Deadly Killer

Curly Bill Brosius, on the other hand, was pure outlaw and a close friend of the Clantons. He was supposedly a crack shot who could hit running jackrabbits and shoot out candle flames without breaking the candles. His idea of a practical joke was to make a preacher dance during a sermon by shooting at his feet. He forced Mexicans at a community dance to take off their clothes and dance naked. He killed at least one man in a robbery, escaped from prison, and led a gang of rustlers in Arizona Territory.

In 1880, in Tombstone, Curly Bill killed popular Marshal Fred White. The Marshal was trying to take Bill’s gun and it went off, hitting White in the groin. Wyatt Earp then knocked Bill unconscious with his gun. White said he didn’t think Curly Bill was trying to kill him, but he died from his wound the next day. Curly Bill was also implicated in some revenge killings and at least one death during a bar fight. He was implicated in the murder of Morgan Earp, but without proof he wasn’t charged.

Violence in the Desert

Curly Bill also might have been involved in the Skeleton Canyon Massacre. Here history and legend get muddled. Some people claim that Mexican bandits looted Monterrey, Mexico, and escaped across the border with a treasure worth $75,000, or $2 million, or $8 million. Others claim there is no evidence of such a heist in Monterrey, and that it’s doubtful such a treasure ever existed in the first place.

Regardless, violence came to Skeleton Canyon, a shallow canyon in southeastern Arizona, not far from the Mexico border. An American gang ambushed a group of Mexicans – possibly the bandits, or else merely vaqueros (cowboys). One story says Curly Bill’s gang shot the Mexicans out of their saddles, which caused their mules to stampede. The bandits then shot the mules to keep them from running away with the treasure, but with the mules dead, the men had no way to transport the loot. Two men from the gang, Zwing Hunt and Billy Grounds, hid the treasure somewhere in the canyon. When they were killed, the location of the hidden treasure was lost. 

Curly Bill had been wounded six weeks before the Skeleton Canyon Massacre and was supposedly still recovering. Was he involved or not? Was the violence over a treasure that would be worth millions today, or merely over some cattle? The debates continue, and some people still hunt for the treasure.

What is most likely true, but is still challenged by some people, is that Wyatt Earp killed Curly Bill in a shootout in 1882. Bill was in his thirties, which considering his lifestyle was a surprisingly long life.

Unsolved Mysteries took a look at the Skeleton Canyon Treasure.

History (and Legend) As Inspiration

My adventure novel, The Skeleton Canyon Treasure, was inspired by the legendary treasure. In the novel, set today, Camie and Ryan are hunting for Ryan’s uncle, who disappeared while hunting for the historical treasure. The clues take Camie, Ryan, and the feisty cat Tiger on a trail through the Southwest. Their quest takes them to historic sites such as Tombstone and eventually into the remote canyon, where danger awaits.

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

If you love suspense and romance, try this gripping adventure!

The Mad Monk’s Treasure is the first of the Southwest Treasure Hunters novels. The Dead Man’s Treasure is book 2 and The Skeleton Canyon Treasure is book 3. Each novel stands alone and is complete, with no cliffhangers. This series mixes action and adventure with light romance. The stories explore the Southwest, especially New Mexico.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Crescent Roll Baked Chile Relleno #Recipe – a #Southwest Variation

A well-made chile relleno is an amazing treat. Unfortunately, they can be a bit of a hassle. No doubt some people keep a pot of oil on hand for deep frying the battered, cheese-stuffed New Mexico green chiles, but I don't normally deep fry. This recipe turned out to be an excellent substitution! 

Instead of batter, it uses refrigerator crescent rolls. The chiles are laid out on the crescent squares. They can be whole, but don't need to be. I like to use a Monterey Jack string cheese plus some extra cheddar, but I have used whatever I had on hand. Then they're folded and baked. Yummy! 

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.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Snatching Dianna: Romantic Suspense by Seelie Kay @SeelieKay #Romance

An Interview with Seelie Kay:

Q.  Why do you write romance?

Because I am fascinated by the games people play to find and secure a lasting relationship, which is not always love. There’s the chase, the courtship, the falling, the surrender. That’s what I try to capture in my stories.

Q.  Do you prefer a certain type of romantic hero?

I adore smart, dashing gentlemen who aren’t afraid to live on the edge. They can be a bad boy, a billionaire, a prince, or a secret agent. That hint of danger just hooks me!

Q.  Why did you write “Snatching Dianna?”

Actually, for two reasons.  First, when writing the Kinky Briefs series, there were certain couples I fell in love with:  The Sheikh and his American lawyer wife who sue terrorists on behalf of their victims, the police chief (with a preference for handcuffs) and his criminal defense attorney wife who seek to right wrongs, and the covert agent and his law professor wife, who are smart, funny, and incredibly hot! Each of these couples have wonderful relationships and incredible lives. And each and every one of them is dedicated to preserving justice.

I wanted their stories to continue. So, I created the Feisty Lawyers series. Second, “Snatching Dianna” deals with a law student who is kidnapped by a slave trafficking cartel. This plot permitted me to focus not only on the continuing problem of slave trafficking, but also on the investigative issues behind finding a missing adult. In this story, there is no evidence and no witnesses. It’s takes a lot of investigative savvy to piece together seemingly unrelated clues. I love complex puzzles and this story lets me go wild!

Q.  Why slave trafficking? That seems like such an uncomfortable subject.

My book ends with this statement:  Experts say that more than 3,000 people around the world are sold, kidnapped, or forced into slavery each day, many of them children. Even in the United States, men, woman, and children are snatched off the streets for the purpose of human slavery. Slave traffickers do not discriminate by race, gender, religion, education, or socio-economic status. Victims of slave trafficking come from all walks of life, as do those who traffic in humans. It is a crime of international proportions and one that requires committed international cooperation.

As a lawyer and a human being, I think it is a topic worth calling attention to.

Q.   How does your former profession as a lawyer impact your writing?

After 30 years, the law and the legal world are so firmly embedded in my brain that I can’t flush them out. That has become the lens through which I view the world and that naturally guides my characters and plots. Little peculiarities that I have witnessed in lawyers and the law always work their way into my stories.

Q.   The cover of the book clearly says “Snatching Dianna” is part one in the Feisty Lawyers Series.  How many more books can we look forward to?

At this point, I’m not sure. In each book, I introduce new characters with compelling stories, so it is difficult to predict how and when their stories will be brought to a satisfactory conclusion.  However, the second book, “Infamy,” is in the queue, and I have a good start on the third, “Cult.” There should be at least one more after that.

About Snatching Dianna

The hours are counting down as investigators try to prove that Dianna Murphy has been snatched. Unfortunately, without witnesses and solid evidence, all the police really know is that she is missing.

When suburban Milwaukee law student Dianna Murphy fails to connect with her roommate, there is no real evidence that she has been snatched. Until Law Professor Janet MacLachlan, a former covert secret agent, discovers a single clue, one that points to a taking by a slave trafficking cartel. In a race against time, Janet recruits her husband, secret agent Cade Matthews, small-town Police Chief David Manders and his wife, criminal defense attorney Julianna Constant, and other law students to uncover the truth. Can they prove she has been taken, before Dianna disappears without a trace?

Romantic Suspense (Three Flames)


After what seemed like hours in the sweltering van, it lurched to a stop.

Dianna heard a man bark orders. A door to the van opened and someone pulled the rope from her feet, then removed her hood. She took a deep breath.  A man grabbed her by the arm, forced to her feet, and pulled from the van. Dianna stumbled when she hit the ground. The stones were hot and her feet were covered by athletic socks, no shoes. Show no weakness.

Dianna immediately surveyed her surroundings. It was still night, but she was in a well-lit courtyard. A large stone mansion stood in front of her. She looked to her right, then her left. The courtyard was enclosed by a large stone fence, at least eight feet high. A fortress. Fortunately, Dianna was a rock-climber. She could rappel over the fence with the right equipment. All she would need was something to serve as a pick, maybe a rope. A knife, a screwdriver, even a fork. Keep your eyes and ears open. Be ready.

A large black man, dressed in a white suit and a maroon turban, walked out of the front door and down the stairs. He stopped and flashed a malevolent smile. He flung his arms wide and in a cultured baritone boomed, “Welcome to paradise, ladies. I hope you enjoy your stay.”

Some of the guards laughed.

“Crikey,” Tillie muttered. “Sounds like a blasted genie.”

Dianna glanced sideways and for the first time, got a look at her new friend. She was tall and thin, her body well defined. She looked strong and aware, almost fierce. Her eyes seemed to be studying the place, taking everything in. She showed no fear. Instead, she seemed interested. Something was off. Tillie did not act like a victim as the others did. She was not cowed. Was she a cop? Or like Dianna, someone who would not permit themselves to be broken?

There was only one thing of which Dianna was certain. She had found a friend. A useful one.

Seelie Kay is a nom de plume for a writer, editor, and author with more than 30 years of experience in law, journalism, marketing, and public relations. When she writes about love and lust in the legal world, something kinky is bound to happen!  In possession of a wicked pen and an overly inquisitive mind, Ms. Kay is the author of multiple works of fiction, including the Kinky Briefs series, The Garage Dweller, A Touchdown to Remember, and The President’s Wife. 

When not spinning her kinky tales, Ms. Kay ghostwrites nonfiction for lawyers and other professionals. She resides in a bucolic exurb outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she shares a home with her son and enjoys opera, gourmet cooking, organic gardening, and an occasional bottle of red wine.

Ms. Kay is an MS warrior and ruthlessly battles the disease on a daily basis. Her message to those diagnosed with MS:  Never give up. You define MS, it does not define you!

Find Seelie Kay Online:

Twitter: @SeelieKay

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

#MFRWHooks for Whispers in the Dark: #Romance and #Suspense at an Archaeology Dig

Whispers in the Dark:

Archaeology student Kylie Hafford craves adventure when she heads to the remote Puebloan ruins of Lost Valley, Colorado, to excavate. Romance isn’t in her plans, but she soon meets two sexy men: Danesh looks like a warrior from the Pueblo’s ancient past, and Sean is a charming, playful tourist. The summer heats up as Kylie uncovers mysteries, secrets, and terrors in the dark. She’ll need all her strength and wits to survive—and to save the man she’s come to love. 

“This book was a delight from start to finish!”

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. It has 4.2 star-average with 55 reviews.
Last week I shared an excerpt from Chapter 1 of Whispers in the Dark. Here's another excerpt from a little later in the book:
Hovenweep Castle by Greg Willis 
Creative Commons license 
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.
“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!”

Visit all the Book Hooks from #MFRWHooks - You might find your next great read!

Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance featuring outdoor adventures in Southwestern landscapes. E-books are available from $.99 to $2.99, or free with Kindle Unlimited. Read excerpts at or visit her Amazon page. The Southwest Treasure Hunter novels feature feisty heroines and supportive heroes tracking down mysterious treasures in New Mexico and Arizona. Each book stands alone, starting with The Mad Monk’s Treasure. Kris’s other titles include What We Found, a murder mystery set in small-town New Mexico, and Counterfeits, a suspense set near Jemez Springs.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Ready for some spooky reads for #Halloween? Check out these #KidLit #Ghosts!

The Haunted series is perfect for young readers who want some chills and thrills without gore or true horror. (Adults can enjoy the fun as well!)

“Haunted is a fun read with some thrills and chills and has the added bonus of some genuine, compassionate personalities.” - School Library Journal

“I LOVED this book. My daughter who is 11 could not put this book down. She read it so quickly and is asking for more!”

“My 10 year old daughter HATES to read. These books kept her interested and wanting to read more. I downloaded all 4 in this series. THANK YOU!!”

“What I loved most of all, was the way my 4th grade daughter got sucked into the story. She's a reluctant reader so it was a joy to see her completely absorbed in a book; she immediately started the second book in the series when she finished, and can't wait for more.” – Amazon readers

Get all four books in the series from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or other retailers.


Thirteen-year-old Jon and his eleven-year-old sister, Tania, are typical kids – except for the fact that Tania can communicate with ghosts. Their mom and stepdad are producers of a ghost-hunter reality television show, but they don’t know about Tania’s gift, and Tania wants to keep it that way.

Jon can't see ghosts and didn't believe in them, but things are getting too crazy for any other explanation. And if softhearted Tania wants to help the ghosts, Jon will have to protect her and try to keep them both out of trouble.

First the siblings have to find out what happened to keep each ghost trapped in this world. Then they need to help the ghosts move on—sometimes by letting them take over Tania’s body. All this while dealing with their overprotective mother, a stepfather who’d want to exploit Tania’s gift, and a changing assortment of human troublemakers.

Life gets interesting when your sister sees ghosts. And the TV show’s shooting season is just beginning....

Chris Eboch is the author of over 60 books for children, including nonfiction and fiction, early reader through teen. Her novels for ages nine and up include The Eyes of Pharaoh, a mystery in ancient Egypt; The Well of Sacrifice, a Mayan adventure; The Genie’s Gift, a middle eastern fantasy; and the Haunted series, about kids who travel with a ghost hunter TV show, which starts with The Ghost on the Stairs. Her writing craft books include You Can Write for Children: How to Write Great Stories, Articles, and Books for Kids and Teenagers, and Advanced Plotting.

Learn more at or her Amazon page, or check out her writing tips at her Write Like a Pro! blog.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Check out a #MFRWHooks for Whispers in the Dark: #Romance and #Suspense at an Archaeology Dig

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. It has 4.2 star-average with 55 reviews.


I hurried along the trail until I reached the canyon rim, where I stopped and grinned. The canyon cut across the land in front of me—maybe more of a ravine, really, several miles long but only a quarter-mile across and a few hundred feet deep. The bottom looked shady and cool, while the sun lit up the small ruin to my right. ...

I couldn’t wait to explore further. Of course, regular tourists weren’t allowed to leave the trail, but one of the perks of being an archaeologist was special access. For the next few weeks, this would be my playground.

Hovenweep Castle by Greg Willis 
Creative Commons license 
The next site on the map was just a vandalized rock shelter, and the trail guide complained that people had torn down the walls before it could be excavated. Only part of one wall and a jumble of stones remained. But the guide also mentioned that the site might have yielded storage jars or food remains, had it been left for archaeologists. Since my interest was ancient food, I decided to creep down for a closer look.

I moved carefully, so as not to disturb the loose rocks, and squatted near the biggest pile of rubble. I gently lifted a few broken pieces, putting them back in exactly the same place after I’d examined them. I couldn’t do much with the fragments, but as always, I marveled over touching something from the ancient past.

Tomorrow would be soon enough for scientific method, for testing and hypothesizing. Tonight I only wanted to touch the magic of this ancient world. I closed my eyes and tried to feel some ancient presence, to hear whispers from the past.

The air seemed to tremble with possibilities. If only I believed in magic—

A shout slashed the air. I twisted so fast I tumbled onto my backside.

I gaped up at the man towering over me. Bare chest, muscular and bronzed. Black hair pulled back from a face full of sharp planes and angles. Dark eyes fierce under scowling brows.

My heart jolted painfully. I’d come face to face with an ancient warrior. He was gorgeous.

And furious.

At me.

“Don’t you read signs?”

I blinked at the apparition. “Uh....”

He gestured back at the main path. “The signs at every turn saying ‘Stay on the path’? The notice at the entrance telling you to leave artifacts alone? I could have you arrested and fined.”

Oh. I felt color flooding my cheeks. My pounding heart refused to slow yet, and the rush of adrenaline turned my arms and legs to jelly, but I rose steadily enough. I tried to ignore the heat in my face and the queasy feeling of panic in my stomach, which hadn’t yet accepted the message that I wasn’t in danger. “I’m Kylie Hafford,” I said coolly. “The archaeologist. Are you Danesh?”

I saw a satisfying flash of surprise and then guilt. Or maybe I had just imagined it, as his face settled immediately into a neutral mask. “Yes, I’m Danesh.” He hesitated before adding stiffly, “It’s nice to meet you.”

“The pleasure’s all mine.”

He must have caught my irony, because he almost smiled—I think. He said, “I’m sorry I startled you. I wasn’t expecting you yet, and....” He shrugged. “I’ve been noticing scuff marks in the ground, off the trail where tourists aren’t supposed to go. I figured someone was poking around, maybe looking for treasure.”

“And you assumed I was your treasure hunter?”

Whispers in the Dark: Archaeology student Kylie Hafford craves adventure when she heads to the remote Puebloan ruins of Lost Valley, Colorado, to excavate. Romance isn’t in her plans, but she soon meets two sexy men: Danesh looks like a warrior from the Pueblo’s ancient past, and Sean is a charming, playful tourist. The summer heats up as Kylie uncovers mysteries, secrets, and terrors in the dark. She’ll need all her strength and wits to survive—and to save the man she’s come to love. 

“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!”

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Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance featuring outdoor adventures in Southwestern landscapes. E-books are available from $.99 to $2.99, or free with Kindle Unlimited. Read excerpts at or visit her Amazon page. The Southwest Treasure Hunter novels feature feisty heroines and supportive heroes tracking down mysterious treasures in New Mexico and Arizona. Each book stands alone, starting with The Mad Monk’s Treasure. Kris’s other titles include Whispers in the Dark, a gothic drama at an archaeology dig in the Four Corners area, What We Found, a murder mystery set in small-town New Mexico, and Counterfeits, a suspense set near Jemez Springs.

Kris lives in New Mexico, where she enjoys hiking, watching the sunset from her patio, and hanging out with her husband and their ferrets. Her home office looks out on nature, complete with distracting wildlife such as roadrunners and foxes. Her BFA in photography is used mainly to show Facebook friends how lovely the Southwest is.