Monday, July 1, 2013

Treasure Among the Shadows by Marie Romero Cash: Interview and Excerpt


Treasure Among the Shadows

by Marie Romero Cash

on Tour July - August 2013

How did you start your writing career? I graduated from high school in 1959; thirty-seven years later, I began my higher education, earning a BA in Southwest Studies. During that time I had to write many papers (all of which I never thought I could do) and I realized there was a lot I had so say, about many subjects. After writing a number of books on the history and culture of the Southwest, I wrote my first mystery.

Tell us about a favorite character from a book. Lindsay Boxer, the detective from the James Patterson series about the Women’s Murder Club. She dives into cases and her personal life with the same intensity.

Tell us about your current release. Treasure Among the Shadows is loosely based on a million-dollar real treasure hunt introduced to the public and the media sometime last year by Forrest Fenn, a local antiquities dealer and gallery owner. Forrest is a long-time acquaintance, and one of the main characters, Tim McCabe, is patterned after him and my brother-in-law, who was a lawman in Idaho.

What is the hardest part of writing your books? As a pretty much full-time folk artist/woodcarver/painter (which pays the bills), the hardest part about writing is finding the time to give it more than lip service.  Having supported myself with my art for many years (thirty-eight to be exact), I feel a strong need to continue creating, but the writing gets shoved into the corner until I have time to devote to it.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books? That I could take a random idea and coerce it into a 250 page mystery.

Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they? Keep reaching for the brass ring; don’t give up your dreams. Keep writing even if you’re the only person reading it, your chance will come.  Mine did. 

Have you attended a high school reunion? What did you learn? No, but in my short story book, Lowrider Blues, I wrote about what I thought it would be like, resurrecting schoolmates whom I thought were most memorable (in more ways than one) and how they had fared through life. I skipped a grade in elementary school, so I was more than a year younger than everyone else. Consequently I didn’t have the same interests, then or now.

Describe what it’s like to be an author in three words. Awesome, fulfilling, challenging. 
You just won a huge lottery. What is the first thing you’ll buy?  A big warehouse so I can convert it into cubbyholes where writers can work on their projects without interruption.


Book Details:

Genre:  Mystery
Published by: Camel Press
Publication Date: June 1, 2013
Number of Pages: 310
ISBN: 978-1603819077
Purchase Links:

NOTE: This book is the third in a series but is completely stand alone.


A woman is strangled and shot. She was last seen alive at a casino near Santa Fe. Forensic Psychologist Jemimah Hodge is on the case, as is her new boyfriend, Sheriff Rick Romero. The trail has already grown cold when another woman is murdered under similar circumstances. The first dead woman left behind a disgruntled ex-spouse but no other obvious suspects. Gilda Humphreys, the second victim, is another story. First there is her househusband, then there are all her co-workers … It seems no one is shedding a tear for Gilda.

While going through Gilda's field notes, Jemimah discovers that the woman was experiencing a sexual renaissance. Could one of her lovers have killed her? Then there is Tim McCabe's treasure hunt. A wealthy gallery owner and collector, McCabe has buried a chest filled with valuable coins and jewelry and challenged the public to find it. When Gilda wasn't dressing down her co-workers or dallying with lovers, she was searching for McCabe's treasure.

Was it greed that killed Gilda? A scorned lover or vengeful co-worker? With so many suspects and so few clues, Rick and Jemimah face one of the most challenging cases of their careers.

Treasure Among the Shadows is the third book in Jemimah Hodge Murder Mystery series.

It was a typical February Day. Locals referred to the month as Febrero Loco, crazy February, because the daily weather was as unpredictable as a roulette wheel. It was unseasonably warm and just to be on the safe side, the air conditioning at Buffalo Thunder Casino, north of Santa Fe, was cranked up.
The casino was gearing up for the upcoming Valentine’s Day, pulling out all the stops with promotions geared toward attracting patrons with the cherry red Toyota Camry give-away. Blackjack modules formed a large circle around the Craps and Texas Hold’em tables. The electromagnetic field and the thousand flashing lights could easily illuminate an entire city. Waitresses attired in short frilly skirts and low cut tank-tops stopped at each console to offer cold sodas, water and coffee, and friendly smiles to encourage tips.

She walked through the automatic doors, the strong odor of cigarette smoke assaulting her senses. Vanity precluded her from wearing sorely needed eyeglasses and she squinted her eyes in hopes of seeing a familiar face, preferably male and old enough to buy her a drink. She navigated her world in a blur, peering out of heavily made-up brown eyes and beneath thin, perfectly arched eyebrows. Dark red lipstick and a heart-shaped face framed by recently touched-up auburn hair completed the picture. She was dressed in black pants, a sparkly jacket and stiletto heels. The first was to hide the extra ten pounds she carried and the second was to give her four-eleven height a boost.

She found her favorite slot machine in a corner next to the lounge, where she could sometimes score a few drinks and maybe a place to stay for the night. Of late, she frequented the casinos on Highway 85staying until closing and hitching a ride back to Santa Fe, where she hung out in the laundry rooms of motels on Cerrillos Road. She was not a hooker. She was a forty-year-old woman down on her luck, having burned all the bridges behind her. She was desperate to win a jackpot to get her back on her feet.

She glanced through the corner of her eye at the man playing next to her. He was exactly her type—brown-skinned, tall, sleeveless t-shirt to show off bulging biceps, tattooed arms, long hair and a neatly trimmed goatee. Before the night was over, they were snuggled in a corner of the lounge, sipping rum and Cokes. If she played her cards right, she had a good idea where the evening was going to end up.

MARIE ROMERO CASH was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to a family that would eventually number seven children, and has lived there most of her life. After graduating from Santa Fe High School, she took a job as a legal secretary, a field that would provide a lifetime of employment. But then, in her mid-thirties, she discovered the traditional arts of northern New Mexico. After twenty years of creating award-winning art, she began to write about it, but decided she needed a higher education to do so. At fifty she enrolled in college and, five years later, graduated with a degree in Southwest Studies. In 1998, she received the prestigious Javits Fellowship to pursue her education. Since then Marie has written several books about the art and culture of the southwest, including a memoir about growing up in Santa Fe. Treasure among the Shadows is the third book in the Jemimah Hodge Mystery Series, which began with Shadows among the Ruins and Deadly Deception.

Catch Up With the Author:

Tour Participants

To Sign up either complete the linky above or email gina at Thank you for your interest in this tour.


CMash said...

Great interview!! I really enjoyed this post. Thank you for sharing, this book is going on my TBR list!

Jack said...

I love the way Marie Romero Cash writes and I'm not afraid to say so.
Good answers to good questions.

Marie said...

Lots of great comments on Facebook. Thank you for such a great blogging experience!