Christian Themes and Edge-Of-Your-Seat Suspense Make Up Book One In ‘The Earth Hunters’ Series By Janice Boekhoff
Desperate to save her family’s struggling gold mine, Elery Hearst orders her crew to dig a new tunnel in a last-ditch effort to intersect the original gold vein. Rather than saving her legacy, however, the tunnel collapses, killing one of her men. Initial reports blame the tragedy on faulty equipment—an old machine Elery should have replaced.
Before she can come to terms with the guilt and regret consuming her, Elery’s brother disappears in search of the Lost Dutchman, a legendary mine of vast riches, and what he believes to be the solution to his family’s grave financial situation. To find her brother, Elery must now ask for help from the one man she’d rather avoid—Lucan Milner, the twin brother of the miner who died in the collapse.
Still struggling with the loss of his only brother, rescue tracker Lucan Milner reluctantly agrees to help with the search. But when Elery insists on coming along, her presence forces his emotions to the surface. How can God expect him to forgive her?
Then, Lucan’s tracking dog is injured, bringing the search to a halt. Lucan and Elery realize the only way to find her brother is to find the Lost Dutchman Mine. And Lucan holds the secret that can help—journal pages written by the Dutchman himself.
But sharing them with Elery not only rips open his grief-stricken heart, it puts both of them in the path of a killer. In these deserted mountains, they aren’t the only ones desperate to find the lost mine.
From the Author:
Since childhood, I’ve been hooked on Indiana Jones movies. I would binge watch them with my family on the weekends. For many years, I wanted to be an archaeologist myself. But that dream fell away when I realized most archaeologists classify clay pot shards for a living. So, I replaced that dream with the dream of becoming a geologist. In my mind, rocks were better than pots.
Although I gave up archaeology, I never lost my love for a great treasure hunt. Then, one day a TV show I was watching had a segment on the Lost Dutchman mine. The myriad of legends reached out with their tantalizing clues and drew me in. Which ones were real? Which were fantasy? Only the Dutchman knew for sure.
The entire golden mystery swirled around one man, Jacob Waltz—the Dutchman—who wasn’t even Dutch. Not much is known about his life, but what is known intrigued me. Waltz passed through the Arizona Territory, spent a few years in California, and then returned to Arizona. Eventually, he settled into a humble existence on a farm near the Salt River (modern day Phoenix, AZ), and yet he died with a box of rich gold ore under his bed. Where did he get access to such wealth, and why didn’t he flaunt it?
In Crevice, I’ve come up with a creative explanation, but the truth remains a mystery. Sadly, the details of the enigmatic Dutchman’s life died with him in 1891.
This February, my husband and I hiked in the Superstition Mountains. Not really a hardship since Iowa is still a land of frozen tundra at that time. We walked the terrain that would have challenged the early settlers of the area. We experienced the isolation and the vastness of the mountains. It was like traveling back in time. We didn’t find any gold, but if cactus were made of gold we would have hit the mother lode.
And as for the legend of the lost mine? Scientists have tested the gold found under Waltz’s bed. The chemical signature of the Dutchman’s gold is unique. Despite extensive testing from mines in the Superstition Mountain area, no match has been found.
This means the source of the Dutchman’s gold is still out there, waiting to be discovered. If you happen to stumble across it, feel free to send a few chunks of gold ore my way.
From The Book:
Lucan focused on the sheriff. “Since it hasn’t rained, we have a good chance of tracking Garrick and Angela’s movements. You know how spotty cell phone coverage is out here, but I’ll report back every four hours if I can get reception.”
Bending over slightly, he circled his fingers to Sienna, a signal for her to pick up a scent. The dog took off for the car, snuffling and snorting by the driver’s side door.
Elery moved to block Lucan’s path. “I’d like to come with you.”
Frowning, he shook his head. “I don’t usually work that way.” The look on her face said she wasn’t convinced. He needed a better reason. But nothing came. He glanced at the sheriff, who merely nodded. If Lucan refused to allow the family member of a missing person to accompany him, it could affect his working relationship with the sheriff. This assignment just got a lot harder. He glanced at her jeans and boots. “Do you have a coat?”
Lucan took a deep breath, then blew it out. “Okay. Here are the rules. First, never interfere with Sienna when she’s working on a scent. Don’t talk to her. Don’t pet her. Don’t even make eye contact. Second, never leave my side. As we walk, we’ll make our own trail. Too many will confuse her.”
“Only two rules?” The question came out rude and Elery’s surprised expression said she knew it.
Lucan gave her a sharp glance, but otherwise ignored her comment. He would act professional, no matter what, but still he couldn’t escape the tragic irony. Three days after burying his own brother, he was looking for hers.
What Others Are Saying About CREVICE:
“In Crevice, Janice Boekhoff weaves an intriguing and modern tale around the legend of the Lost Dutchman Mine. This debut novel has adventure, romance, and an insightful spiritual thread that readers will enjoy.”—Marissa Shrock, author of The First Principle and The Liberation
“Vivid geological details and over a hundred-year-old legacy of heartache tie together two wounded souls on a rescue mission through the treacherous beauty of the Arizona desert. A scavenger hunt of clues leads the unlikely pair on a journey of faith, forgiveness, and love all infinitely more valuable than the fabled gold mine they seek. Refreshingly original, Boekhoff’s treasure hunt of legends and intrigue will leave you tantalizingly infected with gold fever! An adventure not to be missed!”—Amy Leigh Simpson, author of the Girl Next Door Series
“Get ready for an emotional, action-packed adventure through the Arizona desert. Part rescue mission, part treasure hunt, Crevice weaves local legend with modern day greed in this story of forgiveness and redemption. Boekhoff keeps the tension high until the nail-biting ending. A stunning debut!”—Jill Kemerer, author of Her Small-Town Romance and Unexpected Family
“Mystery, adventure, and suspense all wrapped up into one! Fans of suspense will love this fresh, new voice in Christian fiction!”—Katie Ganshert, award-winning author of The Art of Losing Yourself