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HAND PRINTS ON THE WALL
BY MARY HAGEN
After her husband is killed in Afghanistan, Ella Pierce quits her job as an engineer and returns to school to earn her Ph.D. in archaeology. Her first assignment after graduation is at a Fremont Indian dig in San Rafael Utah under the direction of her former major professor, Dr. Zach Moore.
Excited about the prospect of spending three months in his company and with the hopes of finding a Fremont site for the following year, she takes solitary hikes in the slot canyons of the Swell. On one spur of the moment trip she discovers something horrifying — the body of the man who delivers supplies to her site. Her world is turned upside down. Her dreams for the future are lost. No one knows where she is. She faces dangers she never could have imagined and is not certain she will live if she cannot get out on her own.
Interview with Character, Ella Pierce
1. I’m amazed you would leave your position with a large company as an engineer and return to school to study archaeology. Why?
The memories I had of Jason were every where around me. I needed a change to help me adjust to his death.
2. Why archaeology?
As a young child, I loved to hunt for arrowheads wherever I went. I knew I could not keep them, but every arrowhead I located spiked my imagination about the person who made it, lost it, and where that person lived. Archaeology was a logical choice and it help me with closure over Jason’s death.
3. Your first job was under the direction of your former major professor. I would think you’d want to meet and work with others after your graduation.
I had a secret crush on him like many of my fellow women students. When he offered me the job, I was thrilled. I would learn through excavations under a master in the field and be with him. I do admit, at times I thought he was too concerned about all of us on the site for our safety.
4. Why would you hike alone?
I’ve always been a loner. Growing up, I usually hiked and rode my horse alone and I loved the solitude. I knew then and now it’s not a good idea but I’ll probably continue to do so. I’m confident in my abilities.
5. Your independence led you to a near death experience. Don’t you think you’d been better off with a fellow hiker?
Maybe. Maybe the person could have been a hinderance as well. I can take care of myself.
6. The slot canyons in Utah can be difficult to hike? Did you take that into consideration?
Yes and no, but my desire to find new sites to study overcame any reservations I had. I do realize, I could put myself in dangerous situations, but again, I’m very confident I can take care of myself.
7. Why did you decide to investigate the death of the man you found?
I didn’t intend to investigate his death. That was up to the sheriff. With the disappearance of his body, I wanted to find it and prove there was a body.
8. Did you find it?
I can’t say anymore. To do so, puts my professor, Dr. Zach Moore, and me in danger.
Mary Hagen uses the west for the background of her contemporary and western historical sweet romances. Most of her books include a mystery. Her background includes growing up on her parent’s ranch in Wyoming and her residence today is in Colorado not far from the Wyoming border.
Reading mysteries, researching history of the west, hiking skiing, and snowshoeing are her favorite activities.
Links to Mary’s website, blog, books, etc.
Thanks, Mary, for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!