Small Mountain Town Romance #Travel
In Counterfeits, 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 set in Jemez Springs, New Mexico. This small town in the mountains of northwestern New Mexico is known for its hot springs. You can also visit the ruins of an old Spanish church; Soda Dam, a cool rock formation formed from the mineralized water flowing in the river; and Battleship Rock, so named because it resembles the prow of a battleship. (More pictures on my Pinterest page for the book.)
I’ve attended many writing retreats at Hummingbird Music Camp north of the town, and those experiences inspired Counterfeits. Of course, in the book, the site isn’t quite so relaxing. When Jenny inherits a children’s art camp, she discovers that her grandmother’s death might not have been an accident after all. The men who killed her grandmother are searching for stolen paintings, and they think Jenny and her old friend Rob, the camp cook, are involved.
Doing research at a real camp tucked away in the woods, and hiking above Battleship Rock for a scene where Jenny gets lost, helped the setting feel realistic. Every time I visit, I take a trail from Battleship Rock to the top of the plateau. It passes McCauley Warm Springs, which is about bathwater temperature, and eventually to Jemez Falls, which has good views from the top of the waterfall. The trail can be hard to find at times, and I've gotten semi-lost once or twice when I've wandered off trail. Fortunately, if you get to a point where you have views, it's not hard to figure out the right direction to head!
This remote area, and a (fictional) children's art camp, might not seem like natural places for murder and mayhem. But I brought the bad guys in from Boston. Jenny's father has a past she doesn't know, and he also has a past connection to Rob, the sexy camp cook, handyman, and jack-of-all-trades. After all, even in small towns, some of us have mysterious and dramatic pasts!
Inspiration from Life
Real life experiences often give me ideas. What We Found was inspired by finding a dead body while hiking. It also includes falconry, based on experiences I’ve had with a falconer.
Whispers in the Dark follows a young archaeologist who stumbles into danger as mysteries unfold among ancient Southwest ruins. That was inspired by a trip to Hovenweep National Monument some years ago.
I had an idea for a series about treasure hunting adventures in the Southwest, so I read up on some lost treasures. In The Mad Monk’s Treasure – 99 cents or free with KU – two friends search for the Victorio Peak treasure, a “real” (or at least legendary) lost treasure. According to the story, the loot is from a heretic Spanish priest’s gold mine, made richer by the spoils of bandits and an Apache raider. In the book, the characters experiences in the desert are based on my experiences hiking in New Mexico, though they get more danger and drama.
I blogged about my Southwest travel and inspiration more here. Sure, I write fiction, but what is fiction besides potential reality made more exciting with creative imagination?
Counterfeits - An Art Theft Romantic Suspense Book 1
Counterfeits, an Art Theft Romantic Suspense
Painter Jenny Kinley has spent the last decade struggling in the New York art world. Her grandmother’s sudden death brings her home to New Mexico, but inheriting the children’s art camp her grandmother ran is more of a burden than a gift. How can she give up her lifelong dreams of showing her work in galleries and museums?
Rob Caruso, the camp cook and all-around handyman, would be happy to run the camp with Jenny. Dare he even dream of that, when his past holds dark secrets that he can never share? When Jenny’s father reappears after a decade-long absence, only Rob knows where he’s been and what danger he’s brought with him.
Jenny and Rob face midnight break-ins and make desperate escapes, but the biggest danger may come from the secrets that don’t want to stay buried. In the end, they must decide whether their dreams will bring them together or force them apart.
Ordinary women. Extraordinary adventures.
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Kris Bock lives in New Mexico, where she enjoys hiking, rock climbing, and watching the sunset from her patio. 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.
Kris 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. 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.
Fans of Mary Stewart, Barbara Michaels, and Terry Odell 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
Read excerpts at www.krisbock.com or visit her Amazon page. Sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter for announcements of new books, sales, and more.
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