My Thoughts - Where Treasure Lies Author: Amanda Tru
About the Book
Book: Where Treasure Lies
Author: Amanda Tru
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance
Release date: February 28, 2023
Two stories…thirty years apart. Will solving the mystery of the past provide the key to the present?
Scott Connelly arrives in the Suamalie Islands determined to acquire property for his father and leave as soon as possible. But he doesn’t count on the animosity of the residents, the fascinating local legend of a sunken Spanish treasure ship, or the highly unavailable waitress who comes to his rescue. The fabled treasure promises to buy his freedom, but even seeking it may be a dangerous risk.
News of her father’s death precedes Tavia Connelly’s arrival in the Suamalie Islands. Despite the hatred of the island residents, Tavia’s determined to settle her father’s affairs and return immediately to assume her role as head of the family company. But her father’s wishes require her to find out what happened long ago, given only Scott’s mumbled clues, crazy rumors, and a centuries-old fable.
Tavia should be safe after all those years, but her presence attracts a lot of resentment, and the ghosts of Scott’s enemies may still lie in wait for someone to come searching for a treasure that may have never existed.
But what if it did?
Take a trip to the Suamalie Islands where palm trees sway, the sand and sea pulse with life, and the people will steal your heart.
Amanda Tru is a best-selling author of over thirty Christian fiction books. She writes page-turning fiction to inspire real-life stories. In her own real story, she sheds her super-hero writing cape to be mommy to four kids in a small Idaho town.
More from Amanda
I love to mix truth with fiction. Sometimes I use my own experiences as inspiration for my stories, sometimes I use actual events, and sometimes I do both! When I started writing Where Treasure Lies, I wanted to anchor my fiction in truth. We’ve all read stories that featured a rather cheesy treasure hunt, and I wanted more than that. Besides the subject, the format of a dual time story made it even more difficult. However, a book isn’t worth writing if it isn’t a challenge.
What I found in my research thrilled me, driving my imagination to create a story even better than I thought possible. We’re all familiar with the fantastic tales of treasure ships in the Caribbean. But the story I wanted to tell was set on the fictional Suamalie Islands located a bit farther away—the Pacific. Was it even possible that a Spanish treasure ship could be in that area?
My initial research was discouraging. After all, the main age when Spanish galleons sailed the seas was from 1565 to 1815. The Suamalie Islands were supposedly not discovered until the early 1800s. And they were discovered by a French explorer, which didn’t quite fit my Spanish treasure ship idea. But the more research I did, the more it fascinated me. Starting in the late 1500s, Spain did run treasure ships to the Caribbean, but they also ran them the other direction, seeking the treasures of the New World from the western coast of the continents. Typically, they would set out from Manila in the Philippines, transporting spices, porcelain, and silk to Acapulco where they would trade them for New World silve, gold, gems, and other treasures. They would often make land in Oregon or California before following the coast south. Then they would turn around with their new load and take the treasure back to Manilla and then mainland Spain.
The exact trade route was kept secret. After all, if it were known, the treasure ships would be prime targets for pirates. To this day, the route of the Manilla galleons isn’t known. However, it is estimated that at least 30 Manilla galleons were wrecked, and not all of them have been found. There are even rumors that one of them was shipwrecked off the coast of Oregon!
With that information, I knew it was possible that one of these mysterious Spanish treasure ships could have passed by the fictional Suamalie Islands, even before it was officially discovered. And it would have been kept hush hush because of the secrecy of the trade route. And if one was passing by the island of Oli Oli when there happened to be a big storm… And if residents of the island of Oli Oli told a local legend about such a ship (similar to what is told today even in Oregon)… And if certain characters came to the island and heard the tale… Maybe, just maybe, they would go searching. Whether or not they found a treasure, that search could be a story. And if two different people were searching for the same treasure thirty years apart, maybe readers would want to go on the search with them!
I won’t reveal any spoilers. I won’t say if a Manilla galleon is found, or if four hundred years later such a ship would still contain treasure. However, I hope you will still find treasure as you read this book. In 2023, finding a wonderful story, filled with mystery, romance, and adventure with a few deeper truths mixed in is a wonderful treasure indeed.
Where Treasure Lies is book one in the Suamalie Islands series. This one is written by Amanda Tru. This book goes back and forth between Scott Connelly and Tavia his daughter. The stories are separated by thirty years. Scott was sent to Oli Oli to scout land out for development. He is met with a lot of resentment when the locals catch whiff of what he wants to do. He hears a story about a possible buried treasure and he is determined to try and find it. He meets local island girl, Kekoa who seems to be the only person that will talk to him. Kekoa unfortunately is under the control of a thug who likes to run the island by using violence.
Tavia is sent to Suamalie Islands to liquidate her dad's assets. She wants to get in and out - and as soon as she is picked up by the Uber driver she realizes that the Connelly name is not a welcomed one on the island. Her dad left her with little information on how to handle his business on the islands. She was told to ask for Keke and when she finds her - she is met with a brick wall. Everyone on the island thinks that her dad stole the treasure and left Kekoa behind.
I really enjoyed the dual stories. I felt that we really got to know the Connelly family. We were able to see how both despised being on the island at first but then soon realized there was more then meets the eye. The added mystery of the treasure was a fun mix in. I cannot wait until the next book in the series.
Thank you to the author, publisher and Celebrate Lit for allowing me to read a copy of this book - all thoughts are my own.