Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Dead Man’s Treasure: #Romance and Suspense excerpt 2 #MFRWauthor


Excerpt from The Dead Man’s Treasure:

Rebecca’s hand shook as she reached for the box. It was a metal candy tin for peppermint bark. Maybe Grandpa had a sweet tooth? Or was this some random trash left by a tourist too lazy to bring it back to his car? She straightened and gazed down at the box. It had to hold the next clue. It would be too much of a coincidence – and too heartbreaking – if it were anything else.

She glanced at Sam and he nodded in encouragement, drawing close to her side. She swung open the lid. Several folded pieces of paper lay inside. A strip of masking tape on the inside lid had words in marker: “Take one and leave the others unless you are the last.”

Rebecca pulled out the top piece of paper and unfolded it.
Are they witches in disguise
Or prophets of the future?
The men who came here didn’t know.
They had destruction on their minds.
And they changed the world.
They ate of the flesh among bombers and bullets.
And so should you!
Then past the dead soldiers you’ll find a dead end.
One is the loneliest number
Walled off from its fellows.
Pay your respects and do not forget.

Another baffling poem. Rebecca wrinkled her nose. “This one’s kind of gruesome.” She closed the box and stood.

For a moment, the world spun. She took a quick breath.

Sam’s arm came around her. “Okay?”

Two more deep breaths and she could answer. “Fine now, thanks. Just a little lightheaded.” She was tempted to lean into him, to relax against his shoulder. She resisted the urge. “I know, I know, drink water. Let me put this back.”

She returned the box to its hiding place, picked up the bottle she’d set down while looking at the clue, and finished the water. Sam hovered closely, as if to support her if she needed help. She couldn’t quite decide if she wished she needed help or was glad she didn’t. She wouldn’t fake helplessness, though, and the weakness had passed.

She gave Sam a bright smile. “All better now. I just stood up too fast.”

He studied her intently. She hadn’t realized how green his eyes were, or how the tiny laugh lines around them made him both sexy and approachable. Her heart thudded in her chest. You keep looking at me like that, and I won’t be fine.

Browse all the quick peeks of my books.

The Dead Man’s Treasure

Rebecca Westin is shocked to learn the grandfather she never knew has left her a bona fide buried treasure – but only if she can decipher a complex series of clues leading to it. The hunt would be challenging enough without interference from her half-siblings, who are determined to find the treasure first and keep it for themselves. Good thing Rebecca has recruited some help.

Sam is determined to show Rebecca that a desert adventure can be sexy and fun. But there’s a treacherous wildcard in the mix, a man willing to do anything to get that treasure – and revenge.

Action and romance combine in this lively Southwestern adventure, complete with riddles the reader is invited to solve to identify historical and cultural sites around New Mexico.

Okay, first of all, I love that the author makes this book interactive – if the reader wants it to be. You can go online and download a printable copy of the treasure map and try to decipher the clues yourself. I found that it be a fun addition to the book, plus you'll also get awesome Southwestern recipes. … The Dead Man’s Treasure is fast-paced and a perfect read for the weekend. I highly recommend this one. - A. Brantley
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 pageSign up for the Kris Bock newsletter for announcements of new books, sales, and more.


Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The Dead Man’s Treasure: #Romance and #Suspense #MFRWauthor



Chapter 1


Rebecca peered through the small, cloudy window into the machine shop. Inside, someone held a flaming welding torch to an odd jumble of metal. She couldn’t see the person’s features beyond the face shield, but a glimpse of tousled, dark blond hair suggested it might be the woman from the article. The treasure hunter.

The woman who could help. If only she would.

Rebecca made sure her blouse was neatly tucked into her skirt and pushed through the door. A burning, metallic smell hit her. The new angle gave her a glimpse of the welder’s shoulders and she reversed her opinion. That was no woman.

He turned off the torch and removed the welding helmet. “Hey.” He was average height, with sun-streaked hair and a killer smile. Sweat glistened on his face and lean, muscular arms. He was sexy in an athletic way, though she preferred the work-obsessed brainiac type.

Rebecca gave a brief nod of greeting. In the clutter of odd machinery, it took her a moment to spot the woman leaning against a long metal table. Curly blonde hair, curvy figure in jeans and a tank top. That was whom she’d come to see. “Camille Dagneau?”

“Call me Camie.” The blue eyes studied her with open curiosity.

Rebecca forced a smile, hoping her fatigue and anxiety didn’t show. “I’m Rebecca Westin. Can we talk?”

“Sure, go ahead.”

Rebecca glanced at the man, but he was poking at his project, testing the weld or something, and it would be rude to insist he leave in the middle of his work. He was probably a student, though he looked close to thirty, and the metal thing looked more like an artistic sculpture than an engineering project.

She moved closer to Camie and spoke in a low voice. “I read about you in a National Geographic article. And when I found out you were here, in New Mexico…. Well, it seemed like too good a coincidence to pass up. I’m hoping I can convince you to help me find another treasure.”

Behind her, the man said, “Wait a minute, if this is a treasure hunt, I want in this time.”

Rebecca shot him a frosty look, but he kept smiling. He was probably used to getting whatever he wanted with that smile. But this wasn’t a game. Her future was at stake. She turned back to Camie, shifting slightly to block out the man, and waited for a response.

“You want to hire me as a treasure hunting guide?”

Here’s where things got tricky.


Stop by next week for another excerpt, or browse quick peeks of other books in this series.

The Dead Man’s Treasure

Rebecca Westin is shocked to learn the grandfather she never knew has left her a bona fide buried treasure – but only if she can decipher a complex series of clues leading to it. The hunt would be challenging enough without interference from her half-siblings, who are determined to find the treasure first and keep it for themselves. Good thing Rebecca has recruited some help.

Sam is determined to show Rebecca that a desert adventure can be sexy and fun. But there’s a treacherous wildcard in the mix, a man willing to do anything to get that treasure – and revenge.

Action and romance combine in this lively Southwestern adventure, complete with riddles the reader is invited to solve to identify historical and cultural sites around New Mexico.

“… it’s all good, suspenseful fun as Rebecca and Sam traipse the New Mexico desert, deciphering clues and trying to outwit Rebecca’s half siblings.” – Publishers Weekly BookLife

Okay, first of all, I love that the author makes this book interactive – if the reader wants it to be. You can go online and download a printable copy of the treasure map and try to decipher the clues yourself. I found that it be a fun addition to the book, plus you'll also get awesome Southwestern recipes. … The Dead Man’s Treasure is fast-paced and a perfect read for the weekend. I highly recommend this one. - A. Brantley

I would give this 10 stars if I could!! I can't say enough how much I LOVED this book! It has mystery, adventure, danger, romance, and above it all family remains a huge theme. … I was literally like a kid in a candy store turning page after page reading this story. - Jules-Mighty Tired Mom


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.

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

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

The Mad Monk’s Treasure, a Romantic Adventure #MFRWauthor

The lost Victorio Peak treasure is the stuff of legends – a heretic Spanish priest’s gold mine, made richer by the spoils of bandits and an Apache raider. When Erin, a quiet history professor, uncovers a clue that may pinpoint the lost treasure cave, she prepares for adventure. But when a hit and run driver nearly kills her, she realizes she’s not the only one after the treasure. And is Drew, the handsome helicopter pilot who found her bleeding in a ditch, really a hero, or one of the enemy?

Erin isn’t sure she can trust Drew with her heart, but she’ll need his help to track down the treasure. She heads into the New Mexico wilderness with her brainy best friend Camie and a feisty orange cat. The wilderness holds its own dangers, from wild animals to sudden storms. Plus, the sinister men hunting Erin are determined to follow her all the way to the treasure, no matter where the twisted trail leads. Erin won’t give up an important historical find without a fight, but is she ready to risk her life – and her heart?


“The story has it all - action, romance, danger, intrigue, lost treasure, not to mention a sizzling relationship....”

The Mad Monk’s Treasurea Romantic Adventure by Kris Bock

Last week I shared part of the opening chapter of The Mad Monk’s Treasure, a romantic adventure. Here’s the end of chapter 1:

She ate standing up in the kitchen while her mind raced through the planning of the treasure hunt. The timing was perfect; she’d made her students’ final papers due the previous week, before finals. 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?

   She checked that the front door was locked, a habit left over from living in bigger cities, grabbed her bike helmet, and went out the back.

   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.

Genre: Romantic Adventure/Romantic Suspense
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): PG13

Praise for The Mad Monk’s Treasure:

“The action never stopped .... It was adventure and romance at its best.”

“Great balance of history, romance, and adventure. Smart romance with an ‘Indiana Jones’ feel. Well-written with an attention to detail that allowed me to picture exactly in my head how a scene looked and played out.”

“I couldn’t put this book down. You’ll love it.”

Kris Bock at Amazon



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 www.krisbock.com 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.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

My #MFRWHooks for The Mad Monk’s Treasure - #Romance and #Suspense in New Mexico

The Mad Monk’s Treasure
by Kris Bock

   Chapter 1

   Erin could hardly believe what she was seeing. Could this be it? After all this time waiting, searching, had she finally, finally, found what she was looking for?

   She forced herself to sit back and take a deep breath. Don’t make assumptions. Don’t rush into things. She wanted to leap up and scream her excitement, but years of academic training held. Slow down, double-check everything, and make sure you are right!

   She leaned forward and ran her fingers over the grainy photograph. With that one image, everything seemed to fall into place. This was the clue. It had to be.

   She fumbled in her desk drawer for a magnifying glass and studied the symbols in the photo more closely. At a glance, they looked like your standard Indian petroglyphs. You could find them throughout the Southwest, tucked away in caves or scattered among boulder fields. She’d been on a hike just a few miles outside of town which took her past a wonderful series of handprints and spirals, and what looked strangely like a robot.

   But this was different.

   If she was right—and she had to be right—these symbols were a map. A map that could lead her to one of the greatest caches of buried treasure ever.

   Who would believe she’d found the clue to one of the most fabulous hidden treasures ever, in a battered old library book? The book must have been sitting there for years, quietly hoarding its secrets. But she had found it. Six months of research had led to this.


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


Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance with outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. 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 pageSign up for the Kris Bock newsletter for announcements of new books, sales, and more.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

2nd #MFRWHooks for What We Found #Romance and #Mystery

What We Found

Finding a dead body changes a person.

22-year-old Audra Needham is back in her small New Mexico hometown, ready to work hard, fit in, and help her younger brother. Going for a walk in the woods with her former crush, Jay, seems like a harmless distraction … until they stumble on a body.

Jay, who has secrets of his own to protect, insists they walk away and keep quiet. But Audra can't simply forget what she's seen. The woman needs to be found, and her story deserves to be told.


More than one person isn't happy about Audra bringing a crime to life. The dead woman was murdered, and Audra could be next on the vengeful killer's list. She’ll have to stand up for herself in order to stand up for the murder victim. It’s a risk, and so is reaching out to the mysterious young man who works with deadly birds of prey. With her 12-year-old brother Ricky determined to play detective, and romance budding in the last place she expected, Audra learns that some risks are worth taking – no matter the danger, to her body or her heart.

Last week I shared an excerpt from What We Found. Here's another, from a bit later in the book.


Drugs, abuse, religion. How did it all fit together? Or did they fit together? Were we missing something else much more important?

One thing was clear. Our pleasant visit had turned somber and edgy. This family had enough trouble without us making it worse. I needed time to think everything through, and Ricky seemed out of questions for the moment.

I rose. “We should get going. Thanks for the tour and the cookies.”

Ricky hesitated and then got up, too. I didn’t have to prod him to add his thanks. Mom had him well-trained in manners.

“Come back some time,” Nancy said. “Kyle can take you out on a falcon hunt.”

Ricky looked at me hopefully, so I nodded. “We’d both enjoy that, thanks.”

“Let me give you my number,” Kyle said. “Call or text me anytime. Nancy or I are out almost every day.”

By the time I’d programmed his number into my phone, Daniel had a baggie of cookies for us to take home. As we pulled out of the driveway, I said, “Those are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. One thing is certain, none of them had anything to do with the murder.” Something loosened in my chest as I said those words. Whatever the rumors about Kyle, I couldn’t believe he had intentionally hurt another person, let alone his sister.

 At the top of the hill, we headed into town. The first stoplight turned yellow ahead of me. I could almost make it, but to be safe I pressed on the brakes.

 The car didn’t slow.

 I pushed my foot to the floor. My heart stuttered as I clutched the steering wheel and pressed back into my seat. A big white truck sat at the crossroads, ready to pull out into the intersection. We slowed a little since I wasn’t on the gas, but the car wasn’t stopping.

 The light turned red as we hit the edge of the intersection. The white truck started forward.

 I jerked my hand from the steering wheel rim and slammed it hard against the center. The horn blared.

 The white truck loomed in the passenger-side window. Heading right for Ricky.

Praise for What We Found:
“Another action-packed suspense novel by Kris Bock, perhaps her best to-date. The author weaves an intriguing tale with appealing characters. Watching Audra, the main character, evolve into an emotionally-mature and independent young woman is gratifying.” – Ellen R.

“This book had me guessing to the end who was the murderer. Well written characters drive the story. Good romance. Exceptional and believable plot twists and turns. I loved it! I recommend this book highly.” – Suzanne B.

“This is a nonstop suspense. Love the characters and how real they seem with every episode played out. This is a love story and suspense all in one.” – Pam

Learn about the true experience that inspired What We Found.

Sample or buy What We Found on Amazon

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 www.krisbock.com 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, and Counterfeits, a suspense set near Jemez Springs.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

A #MFRWHooks for What We Found #Romance and #Mystery

What We Found

Finding a dead body changes a person.

22-year-old Audra Needham is back in her small New Mexico hometown, ready to work hard, fit in, and help her younger brother. Going for a walk in the woods with her former crush, Jay, seems like a harmless distraction … until they stumble on a body.

Jay, who has secrets of his own to protect, insists they walk away and keep quiet. But Audra can't simply forget what she's seen. The woman needs to be found, and her story deserves to be told.


More than one person isn't happy about Audra bringing a crime to life. The dead woman was murdered, and Audra could be next on the vengeful killer's list. She’ll have to stand up for herself in order to stand up for the murder victim. It’s a risk, and so is reaching out to the mysterious young man who works with deadly birds of prey. With her 12-year-old brother Ricky determined to play detective, and romance budding in the last place she expected, Audra learns that some risks are worth taking – no matter the danger, to her body or her heart.

Excerpt:

As I pushed through the door, something moved on my bed.

I gasped and jerked back, banging into the doorframe.

“Audra! It’s me.”

A whimper came from my throat. I clung to the doorframe as my legs threatened to collapse. My brain recognized the voice, but it couldn’t control my body’s reaction.

My bedside lamp flicked on. Ricky, sitting cross-legged near my pillow, grinned at me. “I’m sorry I scared you. I didn’t want Mom to know I was in here.”

I closed the door and staggered the three steps to the narrow bed. “Ricky. What are you doing here? Everything’s all right. Go to bed.”

“But I want to help!”

I rubbed my hands over my face. Half my brain was already asleep and the other half wanted to join it. “Help with what?”

“Help investigate! Help you find out what happened to that woman.”

“What?” I shook my head and sat on the end of the bed. “No. That’s the police’s job. I told them what I know. I’m done.”

“But they have a lot of cases, hundreds, probably. Those guys aren’t even local. They could use our help. They don’t know what’s really going on here, in our town.”

His words created an odd echo of something Jay had said. “What do you mean? What’s going on here?”

“I hear stuff in school, you know, who’s selling drugs or who got knocked around by her dad or whatever. Stuff the police don’t know.”

I remembered hearing rumors like that in school as well. I hadn’t always understood all the slang and innuendo, but Ricky, curious boy, would have figured it out. “But that stuff doesn’t have anything to do with this.”

“Maybe it does! You have to keep an open mind when you’re investigating. You have to look and listen. I can do that at school and around town. You can do that at the resort. Then we can put together what we learn and figure it out.”

It was too much. Too much pressure, too much risk, simply asking too much. “That’s crazy! I don’t know anything! I don’t know what I’m doing or—” I broke off, trying to hold back the tears.

Ricky got up. He stood beside the bed and smiled gently down at me. “You’re tired. We can talk about it tomorrow. You’ll see what a chance this is.”


Praise for What We Found:
“Another action-packed suspense novel by Kris Bock, perhaps her best to-date. The author weaves an intriguing tale with appealing characters. Watching Audra, the main character, evolve into an emotionally-mature and independent young woman is gratifying.” – Ellen R.

“This book had me guessing to the end who was the murderer. Well written characters drive the story. Good romance. Exceptional and believable plot twists and turns. I loved it! I recommend this book highly.” – Suzanne B.

“This is a nonstop suspense. Love the characters and how real they seem with every episode played out. This is a love story and suspense all in one.” – Pam

Learn about the true experience that inspired What We Found.

Sample or buy What We Found on Amazon

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 www.krisbock.com 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, and Counterfeits, a suspense set near Jemez Springs.


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

An #MFRWHooks for Counterfeits: An Art Theft #Romance & #Suspense in New Mexico

Last week I shared an excerpt from Chapter 1 of Counterfeits. It continues here:

Downstairs, a door closed. Jenny clutched the blanket. Imagination be damned. She was not alone.

For a long moment, she sat frozen. During her ten years in New York City, she had never been burglarized or mugged. It seemed impossible that such a thing should happen now, here, in an off-season art camp five miles outside of Jemez Springs, New Mexico.

Maybe it was someone her grandmother knew. But what were they doing there in the middle of the night? And if they’d come to see Jenny, they should have knocked, rung the bell. Waited for morning. Anyway, who knew she was there? Even Ms. Lucena didn’t know when she was supposed to arrive. She hadn’t told anyone her travel plans; she’d just gone.

She had to do something. Jenny rose and eased open the bedroom door, praying she had somehow been mistaken, that everything would make sense if… when…. She couldn’t imagine a benign explanation.

Battleship Rock, near Jemez Springs, NM
She stood with her ear to the crack and heard a low chuckle, and then a male voice. She couldn’t tell if the laugh and the voice were the same person. Either way, that suggested two or more people, at least one of them male.

Why would a man be laughing in her grandmother’s house, in the middle of the night, two days after her grandmother’s death? No good reason came to mind.

She fumbled for her phone on the bedside stand. But even before she activated the screen, she gave a frustrated grunt. She wouldn’t get reception here. The only place in camp that got cell phone reception was the southeast corner of the parking lot. The landline was downstairs, in the kitchen.

Something crashed in a room below. Jenny jumped and dropped her phone. It hit her thigh, then her foot, and went skittering under the bed with a faint scrape against the wood floor.

A man was swearing downstairs. Hopefully that had covered up any sound she’d made. Jenny clenched her hands to control the trembling. She couldn’t imagine her grandmother being friendly with anyone who swore like that.

She had to get out of the house. She wouldn’t wait upstairs for the burglars, if that’s what they were, to find her. If she could get to her car – damn. Her keys were in her purse, which was downstairs on the living room couch. So she couldn’t drive, but she could still go to the Lodge, break in if she had to. Use the phone in the office, call the police.

Still shaking, Jenny crouched and felt along the floor for her shoes. She was wearing flannel pajama bottoms and a tank top; no need to waste time putting on clothes. She was already cold, but her jacket was downstairs, lying over her purse on the couch. It didn’t matter. She just had to get out.


Counterfeits is available on Amazon and is free via KU.
Romantic Suspense
Heat level: PG
Violence level: PG (fights, no torture or murder)
212 pages/65,000 words

Jenny returns to her grandparents’ art camp in a remote New Mexico town after her grandmother’s sudden death. That night she wakes to the noise of intruders. What do the strangers want? As more bizarre events unfold, Jenny realizes the people she thought she knew are not what they seem – least of all Rob, an old friend whose past may be coming back to haunt them all.

Counterfeits is the kind of romantic suspense novel I have enjoyed since I first read Mary Stewart’s Moonspinners, and Kris Bock used all the things I love about this genre.  Appealing lead characters, careful development of the mysterious danger facing one or both of those characters, a great location that is virtually a character on its own, interesting secondary characters who might or might not be involved or threatened, and many surprises building up to the climax.” 5 Stars – Roberta at Sensuous Reviews blog

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 $3.99, or free with Kindle Unlimited. Read excerpts at www.krisbock.com 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, and What We Found, a murder mystery set in small-town New Mexico.

As Chris Eboch, she has published Advanced Plotting and You Can Write for Children: How to Write Great Stories, Articles, and Books for Kids and Teenagers.

Advanced Plotting is designed for the intermediate and advanced writer. If you struggle with plot or suspect your plotting needs work, this book can help. Use the Plot Outline Exercise to identify and fix plot weaknesses. Learn how to get off to a fast start, prop up a sagging middle, build to a climax, improve your pacing, and more.

You Can Write for Children: How to Write Great Stories, Articles, and Books for Kids and Teenagers is available for the Kindle, in paperback, or in Large Print paperback.


Wednesday, April 3, 2019

An #MFRWHooks for Counterfeits: An Art Theft #Romance & #Suspense

Jenny returns to her grandparents’ art camp in a remote New Mexico town after her grandmother’s sudden death. That night she wakes to the noise of intruders. What do the strangers want? As more bizarre events unfold, Jenny realizes the people she thought she knew are not what they seem – least of all Rob, an old friend whose past may be coming back to haunt them all.

Counterfeits is romantic suspense in the Southwest that will interest fans of Terry Odell, Mary Stewart, Lillian Stewart Carl, and Barbara Michaels.

Counterfeits is the kind of romantic suspense novel I have enjoyed since I first read Mary Stewart’s Moonspinners, and Kris Bock used all the things I love about this genre.  Appealing lead characters, careful development of the mysterious danger facing one or both of those characters, a great location that is virtually a character on its own, interesting secondary characters who might or might not be involved or threatened, and many surprises building up to the climax.” 5 Stars – Roberta at Sensuous Reviews blog

“Kris Bock is a mystery mastermind.” – Readers Favorite Reviews  https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/counterfeits

Available on Amazon. Free via KU.
Romantic Suspense
Heat level: PG (a few sensual scenes)
Violence level: PG (fights, no torture or murder)
212 pages/65,000 words

Jenny’s rolling suitcase bumped up the porch steps. Once, twice, three times, like a knock that would never be answered. Tears stung her eyes in the cold night air. How many times had she rushed to this door with a sense of coming home? Growing up, she had spent every summer at her grandparents’ art camp. She hadn’t been back as often in the last ten years, but it still felt more like home than any place else in the world. And now she couldn’t bring herself to reach for the doorknob.

She took a shuddering breath and turned away to gaze up at the dark sky. Stars splashed across the moonless night, so many stars she could hardly pick out the constellations. The band of the Milky Way sparkled like a streak of glitter paint on velvet paper. She had gazed up at that sky a million times, and yet it filled her with awe. After a decade living among the lights of New York City, it was easy to forget that nature had her own Great White Way.

She shivered. During her summers in the north-western New Mexico mountains, nights had typically been mild, even at over 6000 feet elevation. Now in early March, at nearly midnight, the temperature had to be dropping toward freezing. Maybe that was why the vast, chilled sky seemed so distant and lonely.

Jenny leaned back against the door and closed her eyes. She was so tired. The last two days had been a blur of grief, desperate planning, and travel across the country. But she’d been tired before that, for months, maybe even years. She couldn’t remember the last time she hadn’t felt exhausted, discouraged, hopeless. And now the person who could always make her feel better was gone.

She hadn’t made plans beyond getting here. Thank goodness for Ms. Lucena, the camp secretary, who was handling all the funeral arrangements. Jenny simply didn’t have it in her to tackle that as well.

Maybe she’d take a few extra days and rest. But she couldn’t bring herself to enter her grandparents’ house and go to bed, knowing she’d be alone. When her grandfather had died two years before, her heart had broken. Now her grandmother was gone as well.

Jenny tried not to imagine her grandmother’s last moments, when the car she was driving had skidded off the twisty mountain road two days before. She tried to blank out all thoughts, all grief. She took a ragged breath, the frigid air searing her lungs, and released it slowly, hoping to empty her mind as well.

Her thoughts refused to quiet, while her heart ached with emptiness, a dark hole as vast and cold as the night sky.
 ***
Jenny rose from sleep slowly, her body resisting. She could see nothing in the pitch black. Where was she? She blinked, trying to make sure her eyes were really open.

Memories broke through the fog. The phone call, the rush across country, the late arrival. Crawling into bed in her grandparents’ upstairs guest room. She groaned and pulled up the blanket. Morning must be hours away, given the darkness.

The old house creaked, but no sounds drifted in from outside. Maybe that’s what woke her; she was used to the murmur of city sounds all night long. Who’d have thought that would become normal?

Her head pounded. Probably dehydration from the high elevation and dry air. She should get up, drink a glass of water, take a couple of aspirin. Her head would thank her in the morning. If only she could make herself move.

The house creaked again, followed by a rhythmic sound – like footsteps. Jenny jerked upright, her ears straining. Had she heard a voice?

She shook her head. She must still be half asleep, dreaming. Imagining her grandparents were still here. Wishful thinking.

Downstairs, a door closed. Jenny clutched the blanket. Imagination be damned. She was not alone.


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