Well, here I am slacking again, but I wanted to make sure I knew what would come next for my books. Booktrope, my publisher went out of business as of May 31, 2016; however, I re-released Digging Up the Past on June 1, 2016 independently. This is a new experience for me, and I like to consider all new experiences as adventures. Whether it is traveling alone to a new place, learning a new skill, or just learning a new way to do something I’ve done before, I think the best way to approach it is as something to look forward to.
Change is not easy, and very few people like even the idea of getting outside their comfort zone, but firmly believe the only way we can continue to grow is to leave the comfort zone and try something new. As a result, I have decided to be an indie author, at least for this book, and probably the next one, so I’m looking forward to this new adventure, and I hope you will all join me on the adventure.
Digging Up the Past has a new cover. My friend Doug Myerscough did the front cover, and I did the back one. While I love the cover that I had when it was published with Booktrope, I want to save that cover for a later book, and use the new one to celebrate the new publication.
Isn’t it awesome!
The ancient artifacts really bring out the spirit of the book since the mystery surrounds an artifact missing from an archaeological dig. When magic returned to the world, with the uprooting of the stones of the Bimini Road, those artifacts that used to be just curiosities, once again became instruments of power, and a spade that grants immortality and the ability to raise the dead is just too great a prize for someone.
Immortality? Now that’s tempting. Throw in an army of the dead, and hey, any evil overlord would kill for that package.
When the Homeland Security Service’s Department of Unusual Events, or DUE, assigned my partner, Jason, and me to this case, the file said the spade we were looking for was valued at eighteen million dollars and belonged to the Peruvian government. Stolen during shipment from Peru to the local university, the spade, along with a number of the other artifacts uncovered on a dig site in Peru, was scheduled for study here. According to our file, the HSS believed it had been stolen for financial gain or, perhaps, to cause an international incident. Not our usual type of case, but not unheard of either.
What the file didn’t mention was that this wasn’t just any gold spade. This was the Spade of Apocatequil. Peruvian legend has it that where ever Apocatequil stuck this spade in the ground, people sprang up. Now, the spade is believed to grant the holder immortality and the power to raise the dead. Minor omission.
My cover on this assignment was that of a college student. I also worked as a dog walker for the Bradens, who were our primary suspects, so every afternoon, Angel, the Bradens’ German shepherd, and I made the two-block walk to the dog park near the Bradens’ house.
When I pulled in at the house, I could tell no one was home. The Bradens would be at the local dig site until at least dark, getting set for the summer dig, and it wasn’t unusual for Keesha, the Bradens’ daughter, and Mena, the operative from Cerberus Security who’s been acting as her nanny, to be out in the early afternoon. I clipped the leash on Angel and we headed for the park.
Oh, as for why they should be our primary suspects, that’s the easy part. John Braden was the American archaeologist on the Peruvian dig. His wife, Sonya, was the lead anthropologist on that same dig, and that put them at the top of the list of suspects. That placement was further supported by the fact that someone else believed they had the spade. Our file also indicated that things had been stolen from other dig sites when they were in charge. The hard part was that there was no evidence, solid or otherwise, that they took the spade, or that they were involved in any of the other thefts.
I’d gotten to know the Bradens and Mena fairly well, and as an empath, I could tell you that the Bradens were definitely anxious, scared even. The catch is that even with my empathic skill, it’s hard to tell one anxiety from another, and they had a legitimate reason to be anxious. Someone was threatening to kidnap their daughter.