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Rattled Paperback – March 15, 2011

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From the Author

Rattled: Chapter One
 
            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.
            Erin flipped back a few pages, to the first photograph, the one that showed an overview of the boulder field. She confirmed that it had numbers identifying the specific rocks that the book then showed in detail. She could see a few outcroppings that would help orient anyone searching for those petroglyphs. The book also had a map of the area, and clear directions. She would be able to find the carved map. If the landscape hadn't changed too much the last century, anyway.
            She pushed that thought aside, jumped up, and did a little dance.
            She reached for the phone. In a few seconds a voice said, "Yeah." Erin could hear the sound of some tool on metal in the background.
            "Camie? I found it!"
            The working sounds stopped. Camie said, "You'd better not be talking about that sweater you lost."
            Erin laughed. "No, I found the clue! I know where the treasure is--well, at least, I think I've found the first clue that will--"
            Camie cut her off. "Forget the disclaimers. You really found something? You mean, we might actually do this?"
            The two women screamed into the phone at each other.
            Erin collapsed into her desk chair, her cheeks sore from smiling. "I'm so excited I can hardly breathe. Look, are you at work? I'll come by. I can get out of here in, oh, fifteen minutes, so I'll see you in half an hour?" She leaned over her desk and gazed down at the photo in the battered old book. "I want to show you where we're going. We need to make plans."
            "I'll be here waiting." Camie's voice purred, with a touch of twang. "Honey, we're going places."
            Erin hung up and gazed at the book a moment longer. 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.
            In the beginning, it had been a whim. Something to distract her from the tedium of teaching history classes at a small science college where students didn't value history. Researching lost treasures was fun, and she'd written a few articles about it for magazines. Reading the books on lost mines and buried treasures, you'd think the entire country was covered with them. The Southwest had more than its fair share, from miners who lost track of their remote gold mines, to prospectors who had buried bags of gold and never returned to retrieve them, to bandits who had hidden stolen loot and been killed.
            But 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 from the start, she'd recognized the potential, should she ever unearth new information. Forget academic publications; this was the kind of story which could capture the general imagination and catapult her into success as a writer of popular nonfiction. 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 put the book back on her shelf among the hundreds of others she either owned or had borrowed from various libraries. Then she flipped through her stack of topographic maps and found the right one in southern New Mexico. She tucked the phone and the map into the small waist pack she used when biking around town.
            Her stomach rumbled, a reminder that she'd been so caught up in her work she'd skipped lunch. She forced herself to stop and have a bowl of cereal. 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.

About the Author

Kris Bock  writes action-packed romantic suspense, often involving outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. Her hobbies include hiking, rock climbing, and photography. To learn more about Kris and her latest work, visit krisbock.com. 
Ms. Bock also writes for young people under the name Chris Eboch. The Eyes of Pharaoh is an action-packed mystery set in ancient Egypt. In The Well of Sacrifice, a Mayan girl in ninth-century Guatemala rebels against the High Priest who sacrifices anyone challenging his power.
 
The Haunted series follows a brother and sister who travel with their parents' ghost hunter TV show and try to help the ghosts. In The Ghost on the Stairs, an 1880s ghost bride haunts a Colorado hotel, waiting for her missing husband to return. The Riverboat Phantom features a steamboat pilot still trying to prevent a long-ago disaster. In The Knight in the Shadows, a Renaissance French squire protects a sword on display at a New York City museum. During The Ghost Miner's Treasure, Jon and Tania help a dead man find his lost gold mine--but they're not the only ones looking for it.
 
Read excerpts at chriseboch.com.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Pig River Press (March 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615462472
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615462479
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,086,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance involving outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. The Mad Monk's Treasure follows the hunt for a long-lost treasure in the New Mexico desert. Counterfeits starts a new series about art theft. 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. Read excerpts at www.krisbock.com, visit her Amazon page, or sign up for her newsletter: http://eepurl.com/5Dd_f. She blogs at The Southwest Armchair Traveler: http://swarmchairtraveler.blogspot.com/

The Mad Monk's Treasure (Southwest Treasure Hunters series #1): 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 the handsome pilot who found her bleeding in a ditch really a hero, or one of the enemy?

The Dead Man's Treasure (Southwest Treasure Hunters series #2): Rebecca Westin's grandfather left a buried treasure, and a complex series of clues. Her half-siblings are determined to reach the treasure first. Good thing Rebecca has Sam, making their desert adventure sexy and fun. But a treacherous enemy also wants that treasure - and revenge.

Whispers in the Dark: 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 night. She'll need all her strength and wits to survive--and to save the man she's come to love.

Counterfeits: After a decade struggling in the New York art world, Jenny Kinley discovers more danger, excitement, romance, and success at the New Mexico art camp she inherits. But her ex-con father has found his way home, too, with ruthless criminals following close behind. Will hidden paintings and past secrets prevent Jenny from building a better life?

What We Found: When Audra stumbles on a murdered woman in the woods, more than one person isn't happy about her bringing the crime to light. 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. But with danger all around, some risks are worth taking.

Kris Bock has lived in 10 states and one foreign country. She started school in Saudi Arabia and lived in an American camp there for six years. Family vacations took her around the world, from African safaris to Austrian ski trips to Grandpa's farm in Nebraska. This early exposure to other people and cultures may be the seed of her life as a writer, as she learned to observe, understand, and respect people of all types.

Life eventually took her to New Mexico, where she has lived since 2002. She works from home office with a view of the beautiful New Mexican landscape and the pleasant distraction of birds, lizards, and occasionally a fox parading past her window. New Mexico's sunshine and temperate weather let her hike year-round in the mountains, deserts, and canyons. She also enjoys rock climbing.

Kris also writes for young people under the name Chris Eboch. The Eyes of Pharaoh is an action-packed mystery set in ancient Egypt. The Genie's Gift is an Arabian Nights-inspired fantasy adventure. In The Well of Sacrifice, a Mayan girl in ninth-century Guatemala rebels against the High Priest who sacrifices anyone challenging his power. The Haunted series, which starts with The Ghost on the Stairs, follows a brother and sister who travel with their parents' ghost hunter TV show and try to help the ghosts while keeping their activities secret from meddling grownups. Learn more at www.chriseboch.com or her Amazon page.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By barb on March 30, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Rattled kept me on the edge of my chair. It's one of those books I couldn't put down. Author's description of action promises a good read, and it is.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. McQueen on April 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
This was a fantastic read! The camaraderie between the main character and her sister-in-crime starts out on page one, and takes off running! The author did a great job of integrating local flavor into the plot, and painting a realistic Southwestern backdrop. Erin and Camie together are a force to be reckoned with - three cheers for intelligent, driven, no-nonsense women! Looking forward to more adventures with these two!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ae on April 5, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Loved it. The friendship and support between Erin and Camie put me in mind of my own best friends (and I love Camie's spunk and independence!); I enjoyed tumbling along with them on their quest. The beautiful setting makes me ache with longing for the desert skies and crisp air they see, and for the surprising characters they meet. Sure wish I had a cat like Tiger, too...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne Borchers on April 6, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
This book kept me turning its pages until I finished it. The action never stopped and I just had to know what happened next. I really cared what happened to the heroine. I loved the sexy helicopter pilot and enjoyed the romance even when I was on the edge of my chair with the action. It was adventure and romance at its best. You HAVE to read this!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lorelai Graham on January 25, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wanted to like this book. It started out great, but so many things were left unexplained in the storyline and other situations were just plain improbable that I could not overcome them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Book Diva on August 28, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
WOW! This was an exciting book and kept me turning the pages. The story has it all - action, romance, danger, intrigue, lost treasure, not to mention a sizzling relationship between Erin and a handsome man who rescues her from a ditch, after an attempt by a mysterious SUV that tried to run her over while she was biking. Erin, a history teacher at college and her friend, Cammie who teaches at the same college, both plan to locate a historic treasure in the New Mexico desert. The two hike in the desert and run into plenty of encounters from heat while hiking the desert following an old map Erin found, snakes, storms, and unknown "villans." All in all, this book was well written, entertaining, with excellent clear descriptions of the desert surroundings. This was a totally believable story from a talented author from whom I am looking forward to reading another winning book! A great read for the money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sandi Wallace on October 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Here is one tough young woman that goes through more in two weeks than she probably has all the rest of her life and she still comes off sounding vulnerable, weak, and/or not brave enough. Some of those things could have been saved for another story maybe. The writing was good, lots of dialogue that is easy to follow, and believable characters. There is a thoroughly described sex scene between a man and woman who hardly know each other (so not much romance), and a couple of vehicle chase scenes that are easy to skim over. About half way through the book I was looking for the end as it got a bit boring and predictable. I received a complimentary copy of this book for a review. I wish there was more about the actual treasure and how that was resolved as well as how Camie fared with her invention rather than vehicles chasing around wasting those pages.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By chick35 on November 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Professor Erin, seems to have found the map to a treasure. Now she and her friend (who invented a tool that finds treasure...she hopes) are on their way to the supposed treasure.
There are some unsavory men after the treasure also, they will do anything to follow, find and possibly harm Erin and her friends.
A den of rattlesnakes plays a bg role in this story. It is fast moving, interesting and quite a page turner.
This book is a really good read.
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