Uuuuuh I love this series! A reviewer said for the first book that it’s a smart romance with an ‘Indiana Jones’ feel, and I really feel it works for the whole series. It puts together romance, a treasure hunt, and New Mexico, which is so far from what I’m used here in my corner of humid Florida paradise that it can only make me curious. Also, this trilogy (each made of stand alones) comes at 0.99 each, which is great! The Series is Southwest Treasure Hunters by Kris Brock and, clearly, it’s on my Kindle.
Kris came by to talk a little about herself and her (many) books.
Hi Kris, and thank you for being here! How did you come up with the ideas for your books?
Most of my novels include real places in the Southwestern United States, although I might fictionalize the names. For example, in my treasure hunting adventure, The Mad Monk’s Treasure, the heroine and her best friend live in a fictionalized version of Socorro, New Mexico. They hunt for the lost Victorio Peak treasure, a real Southwest legend about a heretic Spanish priest’s gold mine, made richer by 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! Another book, What We Found, was inspired by finding the body of a murder victim while hiking in the woods. This blog post shares more about my Southwest Inspiration.
Did you always have the reins of the story, or have the people in it tried to take over?
I tend to be strong with plot but struggle more with characterization. I’ve learned not to start writing until I really know the characters. When they start talking in my head, I’ve got it. Some characters are loosely based on real people, which helps. For example, in The Mad Monk’s Treasure, Erin is precise, cautious, and thoughtful, much as I was when younger (I’ve loosened up). Camie has a lot in common with a dear friend of mine, though I switched genders for the character. Even the cat, Tiger, is based on a cat I once had the privilege of knowing. I’d like to hang out with these people (and Tiger). I hope readers will feel the same way.
What’s a fun fact about writing your books?
I get some of my best ideas while jogging. I’ll get moving and then start thinking about a story problem. Maybe the adrenaline is inspiring – or maybe the feeling of running is reminiscent of being chased, which encourages exciting plot ideas! As a bonus, it makes the jogging time go more quickly.
What does your writing space look like?
I live in New Mexico with my husband and our ferrets, and I have a home office. My window looks out on nature, complete with distracting wildlife such as roadrunners, quail, hummingbirds, and foxes. My BFA in photography is used mainly to show Facebook friends how lovely the Southwest is.
Do you have a day job?
I am a full-time writer, working from home. Twenty years ago, I started writing for children, using the name Chris Eboch. I have eight middle-grade novels (for ages 9 to 12) published under that name. I also write a lot of educational nonfiction under the name MM Eboch, which is where most of my income comes from. I use the name Kris Bock for my adult romantic suspense. I’m up to six novels under that name. So I have over 50 published books now, but that includes fiction and nonfiction, for children and adults. The variety keeps me interested!
Who do you imagine is your ideal reader?
My romantic adventures should appeal to fans of “lighter” romantic suspense, along the lines of Mary Stewart, Barbara Michaels, and Nora Roberts. In fact, Roberta at Sensuous Reviews blog said, “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.”
You’ll find plenty of action and a sweet love story, but not the gritty violence and explicit erotica of some modern romantic suspense. I also tried to bring the New Mexico scenery to life – gorgeous sunsets, dangerous monsoon storms, and everywhere you turn a plant or animal that wants to scratch, bite, or sting you. Armchair adventure travelers are welcome!
Thank you so much, Kris!
All right, here’s the books of the Series.
The Mad Monk’s Treasure
A legendary treasure hunt in the dramatic – and deadly – New Mexico desert…. Reviewers give it a 4.7 star average. Get this romantic adventure for only 99 cents or FREE with Kindle Unlimited!
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….”
Among all the legends, all the fact and fiction, one story stood out. The Victorio Peak legend had it all. A Franciscan priest and a swindler. Torture, murder, a government cover-up. Where was the truth, among all the stories? Erin wanted to find out. Over time, and with Camie’s encouragement, she’d started to take the treasure hunt more seriously. It wasn’t so much for the treasure itself—that would most likely belong to the government or the landowners. But it would make her reputation, open up new job opportunities—change her life in ways she hardly dared dream.She touched the book gently. The pages were falling out; she didn’t want to risk carrying it around. Instead, Erin snapped a picture of the petroglyphs with her phone. That would be enough to show Camie for now.
She touched the book gently. The pages were falling out; she didn’t want to risk carrying it around. Instead, Erin snapped a picture of the petroglyphs with her phone. That would be enough to show Camie for now.
The timing was perfect; 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?
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?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.
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.
Get The Mad Monk’s Treasure on Amazon.
The Dead Man’s Treasure
“The Dead Man’s Treasure is fast-paced and a perfect read for the weekend. I highly recommend this one.”
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.
“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.”
Get The Dead Man’s Treasure on Amazon – free with KU.
The Skeleton Canyon Treasure
“A wonderfully suspenseful light romantic read filled with the old Southwest, treasure, characters you’ll love and an amazing cat.”
Camille Dagneau – beautiful, brilliant, and prickly – isn’t quick to trust, especially when a strange man has broken into her machine shop at night. But Ryan MacAllister 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. Camie can ignore the attraction she feels, but she won’t pass up the chance for an adventure.
The pair set off with Camie’s feisty cat Tiger to track down the clues in the missing man’s journal. Graveyards, steep cliffs, and creepy caves don’t intimidate Camie, but she’ll need to trust Ryan to overcome all the challenges that stand in their way. A man’s life is on the line and time is running out, but her heart may be the one thing Camie is not willing to risk.
“If you like strong women and adventure, you’re going to love this.”
“The Skeleton Canyon Treasure is a light, breezy action/adventure/romance that’s perfect for summer reading.”
Get The Skeleton Canyon Treasure on Amazon – free with KU.
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.
Fans of Mary Stewart and Barbara Michaels will want to check out Kris Bock’s romantic adventures. “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