Archaeology and Intrigue #Travel
I live in New Mexico, where I enjoy hiking and watching the sunset from the patio. The Southwest inspires my novels, as I bring suspense with a dose of romance to the land I love. Here are some of my favorite spots in and around “The Land of Enchantment.”
Hovenweep National Monument: These ruins, located on the southern border between Colorado and Utah, housed 2500 people between A.D. 1200 and 1300. It’s one of many sites left behind by the ancestral Puebloans, or Anasazi. It’s a small site – less well-known and popular than Chaco Canyon or Mesa Verde – but that’s part of its charm, as you can hike and camp without crowds.
In my romantic suspense Whispers in the Dark, Kylie is an archaeology grad student working at a fictional ruins site closely based on Hovenweep. The lonely location allows for an almost Gothic atmosphere – mysterious lights in the canyon, spooky moaning sounds, and plenty of people hiding secrets.
Whispers in the Dark on Kindle is on sale today, November 24, for 99 cents!
Socorro, New Mexico: Unless you are a student at the science and engineering college here, this town is mainly a rest stop between Albuquerque and El Paso. There’s one exception – in November, huge flocks of cranes and snow geese fly break their migration at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Even the flocks of tourists who come to watch and photograph them can’t match the 20,000+ birds.
As a local, I know other special sites near Socorro. I’ve hiked in the desert and up in the mountains, visited native petroglyphs and hunted for fossils. Wildlife even passes by my house, from roadrunners to foxes to great horned owls.
In The Mad Monk’s Treasure, the heroine Erin and her best friend Camie hunt for the lost Victorio Peak treasure. This is a real Southwest legend that combines a heretic Spanish priest’s gold mine with the spoils of bandits and an Apache raider. I drew on personal experiences hiking in the desert for Erin and Camie’s adventures – though fortunately I’ve never stumbled on a rattlesnake nest or gotten caught in a flash flood!
The Mad Monk’s Treasure, “Smart romance with an ‘Indiana Jones’ feel,” is currently free at all e-book retailers.
Ruidoso, New Mexico: The setting in What We Found is based on the mountain resort town of Ruidoso. At nearly 7000 feet elevation, with plenty of forests and a ski resort, this may not be what most people imagine when they think of New Mexico. Yet it seemed like the perfect place for the story of Audra, a young woman who stumbles on a dead body in the woods. More than one person isn’t happy about her revealing the murder, and in a small town, it’s hard to avoid people who wish you ill.
What We Found was inspired by the true experience of finding a body, as I described in this blog post. I also spent time with a man who raises falcons and hawks, which comes into play in the story. It’s real-life adventures like these, both good and bad, that make New Mexico a great place for a writer!
Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance with outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. Fans of Mary Stewart, Barbara Michaels, and Terry Odell will want to check out Kris Bock’s romantic adventures. Learn more at www.krisbock.com or visit her Amazon page.
“Counterfeits is the kind of romantic suspense novel I have enjoyed since I first read Mary Stewart’s Moonspinners.” 5 Stars – Roberta at Sensuous Reviews blog
Whispers in the Dark
There was a time I considered becoming an archaeologist. I even went to an archaeology summer camp in junior high. But over time I realized I'm a generalist, not a specialist - I like to learn a little about a lot of things, but I can't see devoting decades of my life to one narrow study. Fortunately, I have writing. I wrote a novel for kids set in 19th-century Mayan Guatemala and another set in ancient Egypt (The Well of Sacrifice and The Eyes of Pharaoh, both written under the name Chris Eboch). My first book for adults, Rattled, involved hunting for a long-lost treasure in the New Mexico desert. These projects allowed me to explore history and culture.
Whispers in the Dark was my chance to be an archaeologist, at least for the length of the book. The heroine, Kylie, is working on her Master's thesis, doing research at an ancient Ancestral Puebloan site in the Four Corners area of the American Southwest. She finds more than she bargains for, of course - including mystery, danger, and new love. She also falls in love with the Southwest, as I did after moving to New Mexico a decade ago. I'm grateful for the chance to share my passions with readers.
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