Author Veronica Blake joins us to share the story behind her novel Superstition
After writing eleven historical romances, I was ready to try something different. I love paranormal as much as I love history, so I knew my next writing venture was going to involve vampires. Ever since I was a little girl and watched my first Dracula movie with my mom and aunt I’ve been a fan of the Prince of Darkness and everything related. I imagined my vamps living in a secluded and mysterious locale, so my original plan was to set this book in some exotic place like a Greek island. But then, I started thinking about all the places I had already studied while doing research for my other books, or the places I had actually visited in the past.
The most extensive research trip that I’ve ever taken was when I was writing my third and fourth books, Savage Dreams and Apache Tigress. Those books were about the Jicarilla Apache who lived in Eastern Arizona. I was fortunate at the time to know a wonderful lady who had once been a teacher at the school on The White Mountain Reservation, and she offered to show me around. She took me to places on the reservation I’m sure most tourists never have a chance to see up close. We explored everything from remote desert rock formations covered in shiny black stones called ‘Apache Tears’ to ancient ruins that can only be seen from a certain spot on the reservation. It was an amazing adventure.
During one of our tours, we stopped for lunch at a McDonalds in the town of Apache Junction, about 35 miles from Phoenix. I was looking out the window when a rugged mountain range caught my attention. I asked my friend about them and she told me they were the Superstitions. Even in the midday sun the craggy peaks looked mysterious and menacing to me. I told myself someday I was going to write a book about those spooky mountains. I just never imagined it would be over two decades later before I would finally follow through with that plan.
When my friend reminded they were also the location of the Lost Dutchman Goldmine, I was completely captivated. I’ve always been fascinated with the history of the Old West, so I had definitely heard of the Lost Dutchman Goldmine. However, I didn’t know a lot of the details regarding the mine. Even from a distance, though, just looking at those spooky mountains fueled my imagination. But, at the time I was consumed with writing my two historical Apache romances, which took place on the reservation and in Mexico.
Seven more Historical Romances followed my two book Apache series, and truthfully, I sort of forgot about using the Superstitions as the setting in one of my books. Occasionally, I would come across an article, or see something on TV about unexplained deaths and disappearances, or someone who believed they had found new evidence leading to the location of the legendary goldmine. Since the 1880s gold seekers have been trying to decipher the clues left by Jabob Waltz—a gold miner who claimed he had actually found the mine. He kept the location a secret, but left cryptic clues to its whereabouts. Whenever I would see or hear about one of these new theories or discoveries, I would remember my plan to write those enigmatic mountains into a story.
When I started working on my first paranormal romance I began to research the Superstitions with renewed interest. They weren’t in some exotic location, but I remembered how menacing those mountains had seemed to me all those years ago. Even more intriguing to me was how fact and fiction have woven together numerous eerie accounts of the goldmine or treasure that is supposedly hidden somewhere in those mountains. Is there a rich cache of gold hidden there by early Spanish conquistadors or is there truly a priceless vein of gold ore concealed somewhere in the stone interior? The Apaches believe in the mine’s existence. They are certain anyone who finds it will die. And, countless lives have been lost in the harsh mountain range. The exact number is not even known. Many gold seekers just disappeared without a trace. Some think the goldmine is haunted by ghosts. Others think demonic entities protect the entrance to the treasure. The one thing everyone does agree with—anyone who ventures too close will pay the ultimate price.
So, I started thinking what if it weren’t ghosts or demons guarding the treasure? What if it’s vampires? That’s when I knew I had found the perfect location and back story for my new book. Best of all, I was able to combine my love of history with my love of the paranormal. Those scary mountains also provided me with the perfect title…Superstition.
Someday I hope to return to the Superstitions and actually hike on some of the trails I researched for my book. Of course, I won’t be staying up there overnight. Once the sun goes down the vampires leave the hidden caves at the top of the mountain and roam around looking for curious gold seekers who might get too close to the vast treasure they have guarded for the past two centuries.
Treasure lies deep in the Superstition Mountains, but is it worth the price…
Mateo Two Moons’ family has guarded dark secrets and unspeakable horrors for centuries. His Apache Blood Clan is dhampyre—half human, half vampire. But he will risk revealing the truth concealed in The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine, exposing his entire family, and even his own existence to claim his human mate and change the perilous fate of his clan.
Dawn Malone’s move to Arizona to teach middle school has expanded her horizons. Meeting new people, hiking the desert wilderness, and the lure of gold fever in the old mine is exactly what she needs. The handsome Apache she encounters seems almost too good to be true. Mateo’s sexy, dangerous air draws her in, seducing her heart and soul. But her intrigue concerning the secrets he keeps turns to confusion and horror as she begins to realize the man she’s falling for could be something she didn’t even believe existed.
The scene behind the story
“I was really sure we would find something new today. I have those old clues left by Jacob Waltz memorized and I’ve studied that area so carefully; I just don’t know what I could be missing.” Chloe shook her head and added, “Maybe old man Waltz was just a crazy old fart, after all.”
She stood up and stared out toward the distant horizon as she repeated the clues for at least the tenth time today. “You have to crawl through a hole in the rock. From here you can see the Old Military Trail. You can’t see the mine from the trail. If you climb up a short distance you can see Weaver’s Needle. The setting sun shines on the gold in my mine. A rock face looks at my mine.”
Dawn forced herself up from the ground and stood beside Chloe and stared in the same direction where her friend’s attention was focused. Off in the distance the sun was nearly gone from the westerly sky as her gaze settled on the ominous shape of Weaver’s Needle. The protruding column of massive rock glowed in deep shades of orange and was surrounded by a shadowy purplish haze making it appear almost spiritual.
Today, they had been on the most treacherous trails she ever hiked, crawled through a hole in a huge rock shaped like a natural arch in one of the most rugged and remote places Dawn had ever been; Chloe led them to the barely visible path called the Old Military Trail, and they stared at the huge rock formation called Weaver’s Needle from the top of a jagged range of rocks for what seemed hours. But as hard as they tried, they could not find anything resembling a face in any of the surrounding cliffs or rocks.
Chloe continued to gaze off into the distance as frustration and disappointment became evident on her tired face. Dawn felt at a loss for words. She kept thinking about all the research she had done about this area in the past few days, especially the parts about the curse of the Lost Dutchman Mine, and how it was allegedly guarded by unfathomable evil forces that would never allow anyone to live if they should ever find it.
It creeped her out to think of how many lives had been lost in these mountains looking for a goldmine that might be no more than someone’s wild imagination. The exact number of missing or dead was not even known for sure, since many explorers and hopeful gold seekers just disappeared without a trace.
Being here in the heart of these hidden recesses and rugged terrain, however, Dawn could definitely understand how someone might easily become lost or fall into one of the deep caverns and never find their way out of this dangerous rock maze again.
Where To Purchase
Veronica’s Online Playground
Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/104302.Veronica_Blake
I’ve spent my entire life in a small town in the Colorado Rockies. Outdoor activities such as hiking, riding my ATV and camping are my favorite things to do. I’m a proud mother of three gorgeous adults, and grandmother to four amazing grandchildren. Hopefully, no matter how old I get, I will always consider myself to be a hopeless romantic and a seeker of endless adventure. Life, family, friends and music are my inspirations.
My published books include: Texas Rose, Desperado Desire, Savage Bite; Apache Tigress, Texas Princess, Cheyenne Temptress, Colorado Passion, Yukon Love Song, Black Horse, White Owl and Superstition.
I’m working on the second book in a Paranormal Romance Series, entitled The Blood Clan. Superstition, the first book in this series was a June 9, 2017 release by The Wild Rose Press.