Monday, October 22, 2012


By Guest Author Suzie Grant

Thank you to the ladies of the Sweethearts of the West blog for asking me to join them today. Being here with like-minded western lovers is a real pleasure.

My kids and I are planning our bucket list trip to find buried treasure. We’ve listed all the important things we’ll need for our trip, a list of possible places to go, and now all we need to do is make a decision. What brought all this on? Well, we were discussing past vacations to ho-hum places like the beach or the mountains, and we decided that next year we’re totally going to blow the lid off our vacation and do something incredibly crazy: like search for buried treasure. How cool is that? I mean how many people can say they’ve done that?

Forget the fact that we’ve never done anything remotely exciting before in our lives, other than camping for boy scouts, and forget the fact that we have no clue what we’re searching for, we’re going for it.

Luckily, we have at least one of us who has done some kind of survival training in their lives. Hubby is ex Cavalry in the military and I love his military speak. I mean how sexy is it when he answers me with a “negative,” or even when he’s spelling something out using the military phonetic alphabet. I love it. But I digress.

He’s trained in special operations stuff…mumbo jumbo…and luckily has taken control of the “what-we-need-to-survive-in-the-wilds list” because obviously the hair dryer I decided to bring doesn’t quite fit with his idea of “roughing it.” Sigh. I’m not sure I like this idea anymore, but I’m trying to stay optimistic here.

Do keep in mind I’ve only been out of my home state of NC a handful of times so any trip is an adventure for me. My kids are 20, 16, and 4 yrs old. All boys. So needless to say they’re all for the “roughing it” mantra that has sprung up in our conversations as of late. Me…not so much. I like to write about epic cowboy adventures but I don’t like to live them. So I’m letting you all know beforehand if I happen to keel over during next year’s vacation, you’ll all know exactly who to blame. *Points finger at the military drill sergeant who lives in my house.*

So where are we going? Well, I just released my new book THE DEVIL’S DEFIANCE, book two in the Devil Ryder series, and it’s an Indiana Jones meets the Wild, Wild West story. I researched and fell in love with the legend of the “San Saba Mines.” So we’re discussing a trip to San Antonio. We’re definitely going to see the river walk, the Alamo, and while we’re there we’re going to search for buried treasure in Meynard county near the San Saba river. Of course, we really don’t expect to find anything but it’ll be fun just to go hiking near the river and pretend. I do have a fairly vivid imagination if I do say so myself.

What is the San Saba mine? A military expedition from Spain headed by one Lieutenant-General Don Bernado de Miranda was sent north from San Fernando (now known as San Antonio) to search for minerals and assess the strength of the local tribes. The slow moving expedition set up camp near Honey Creek and several of his men found a natural cave and cavern, discovering several thick veins of silver inside. While Miranda sent samples back to his superiors in San Fernando, the Presidio was built, as well as a mission, although Miranda was sent off to another military expedition before he could see his venture to fruition.

Though it has never been confirmed, legend has it that the Spanish missionaries started the extracting and smelting of the ore without Spain’s approval, and so, the legend begins. On the morning of March 16th, 1758 the mission was attacked by a large force of Comanche Indians, burning it to the ground. The Presidio was manned by only a small number of men and was incapable of sending help to the missionaries. So the secrets of the San Saba mine are forever lost. There are more rumors that the cave has been found over the years, once in the 1830’s, again in 1878 by a drifter named Medlin, and once more in 1887 as you can read here in a New York Times article written in June 18th 1887.

The history is fascinating behind this little mystery and hundreds, perhaps thousands of treasure hunters, geologists, prospectors, and adventurers have searched for the lost mine. So you can imagine that little old me, three rowdy boys, one drill sergeant, and a tiny three-legged Shih-tzhu will likely never find the cave. But! We’re happy to go exploring, camping, and just plain searching out the wonders of history while we try. As of now we’re still in the planning stages of our trip and the drill sergeant has a heck of a fight if he thinks for one rotten, stinkin’ second that I am not going to find somewhere to camp where I can at least have a decent shower! ☺

Here’s a blurb of THE DEVIL’S DEFIANCE and I hope you enjoy my ragged, hair pulling, planning of a future-trip that is looking less and less likely as a go. So tell me what is the most unusual family trip you’ve ever taken?

                                                        THE DEVIL’S DEFIANCE

New York City Lawyer Garret Ryder takes the law into his own hands when a vicious killer gets away with murdering his family. Nothing will stop him from delivering the justice denied him by the law he vowed to uphold. But when the killer kidnaps a judge’s daughter, his childhood sweetheart, he must decide if any price is too high to exact revenge.

San Antonio socialite Sophia Maria Osbourne doesn’t trust easily. With a dirty politician and a blackmailing judge for a father, she learned not to rely on anyone but herself. But when her father’s shady dealings lead to her kidnapping, she must place her faith in the man who stole her heart long ago, if she hopes to survive.

Suzie’s life has been one big adventure. Her childhood was full of reading the classics like TREASURE ISLAND, ROBINSON CRUSOE, and THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON tales. In fact her mother has another word for her “stories” but to this day, Suzie continues to dream up adventures of her own.

As a pregnant teen her adventure became a life-defining moment as she struggled to survive and raise a child on her own. During those rocky years writing became an emotional outlet. After a very long divorce she again found herself climbing that rocky path of life and learned to live by a single quote: “Obstacles are placed in our path to determine whether we really wanted something, or just thought we did.” By Dr. Harold Smith. Suzie looks forward to each new obstacle.

Taking life by the proverbial horns, Suzie now lives happily ever after with her husband, three boys and one little Shih tzu named Peppy Le’Pew in NC. One day she plans to retire and sail along the east coast, an adventurer to the end.


  1. Suzie, welcome to Sweethearts. Love your book cover. Love the legend of the San Saba cache, too. Great post.

  2. Thanks for having me today, ladies. I'm so glad to be here! And thank you Carolyn for the compliment on my book cover. It was done by the very talented Heather Boyd who's business link is located on my blog. History really is so full of little tidbits and I think many of them just beg for someone with a large imagination to write a story about them. Thanks again for stopping today!

  3. Nice to meet you today, Suzie. It sounds like you are going to have quite an adventure searching for the mine. I wish you luck. I live in the California Sierra Mountains and am surrounded with the gold tunnels and stories of the 49er gold rush. It is quite exciting to find the treasure. Good luck with living without your hair dryer. I grew up camping and now prefer the hotel stay. ;)

  4. Welcome to our little ranch, Suzie. What a terrific book cover and legend. I visited San Antonio not long ago and loved every square inch, but admit I didn't too anything too adventurous. I did just visit the Holcomb Valley near Big Bear Lake, California...the site of Southern California's biggest gold strike in the 1860's. The mother lode has never been found LOL. There's still hobbyists trying to find it. Lucky Baldwin himself tried with no luck. Have fun on your adventures.

  5. Paiseley, btw what an incredible name lol. I'll bet you have a ton of really interesting caves and historic places to visit around your area. It sounds awesome. I too, prefer the hotel stay but I am a little outnumbered in a houseful of adventurous boys lol. It definitely keeps life interesting to say the least. Thanks for having me here and stopping in to share your experiences in the Sierra Mountains.

    Tanya, thanks for having me. I would love to visit that side of the world actually and it's on to my bucket list. The mother lode would definitely be welcome right about now lol. Thanks for dropping in!

  6. Suzie--welcome to Sweethearts of the West. I love your post! Love it. I am a life-long Texan, have lived in several places in Texas, study the history of Texas, everything I write is...yes, all Texas...and I have never heard of the San Saba Mine! I wish you good luck--at least you'll have fun along the way. If you're traveling now, you're wise to do so. Just don't come to Texas in the summer, especially July and August. I'd love to hear a follow-up on this trip. Take notes, phots, etc., and if you can twist Caroline's me, she's easy..maybe you can come back and give us a run-down.
    And congratulations on your book! Great cover, by the way.
    Thanks for sharing your story with us.

  7. Celia! I'm like you, I love Texas! Sadly I've never lived there but I've visited there and I've had a certain fascination with the state since I was very young. There is so much history and so many hidden stories there. It's full of heroes, villains, and everything in between. I don't strictly write about Texas but so far all of my western novels have had Texan origins.

    As far as the trip goes we're planning an entire year in advance and I would love to return to tell you all about it. However, I am sad to say that my husband was just laid off for the second time in three years this past Friday after I wrote this post and so we may be putting this trip off another year. But I have high hopes that things will right themselves and I plan to keep this trip on the burner for now. I really, really want this to happen, and I'm not quite ready to give this up. But I will be glad to return and let you all know how it goes. Sometimes life throws you lemons and you have to make lemonade and that's what I plan to do. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my bucket list trip is a go for next year. Thanks again ladies for having me here, this was great fun. I'm taking a short break from writing to get my real life in order but I plan to return to writing a.s.a.p. Thank you again.

  8. Your next vacation sounds like it's going to be wonderful, Suzie. Thanks for sharing it and best wishes on many, many sales!

    I have three boys, too. (Now all grown and married) About fifteen or so years ago went 'ghost town hunting' in Colorado. We all still claim that as the best family vacation ever.


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