Book Title: Bones of the Redeemed (A Southwestern Mystery) by Kari Bovee
Category: Adult Fiction (18 + yrs), 298 pages
Genre: Historical Mystery (1952)
Publisher: Bosque Publishing
Release date: November 2020
Content Rating: R for abuse, does contain the f-word a few times,
A pit of corpses. An ancient cult. A quest for redemption that could leave her dead… New Mexico, 1952. Archaeology grad student Ruby Delgado is plagued by guilt after losing her son. So when her latest excavation drops her down a sinkhole filled with suspiciously mutilated bodies, she’s driven to bring the murderer to justice. But when digging deeper brings her dangerously close to a sinister religious sect, she could be their next sacrifice… Discovering some of the victims were crucified, Ruby pushes hard to give the evidence to the authorities. But when her trail crosses the path of a beaten man left for dead in the desert, she realizes she may be the only person who can save the community. Can Ruby stop the sacrifices and slay her inner demons, or will hers be the next body laid to rest? Bones of the Redeemed is a hair-raising standalone Southwestern mystery. If you like complex heroines, cult conflict, and hard-won redemption, then you’ll love Kari Bovee’s grisly tale.
When she’s not on a horse, or walking along the beautiful cottonwood-laden acequias of Corrales, New Mexico; or basking on white sand beaches under the Big Island Hawaiian sun, Kari Bovee is escaping into the past—scheming murder and mayhem for her characters both real and imagined, and helping them to find order in the chaos of her action-packed novels. Empowered women in history, horses, unconventional characters, and real-life historical events fill the pages of Kari Bovée’s articles and historical mystery musings and manuscripts. An award-winning author, Bovée was honored with the 2019 NM/AZ Book Awards Hillerman Award for Southwestern Fiction for her novel Girl with a Gun. The novel also received First Place in the 2019 NM/AZ Book Awards in the Mystery/Crime category, and is a Finalist in the 2019 International Chanticleer Murder & Mayhem Awards and the International Chanticleer Goethe Awards, as well as the Next Generation Indie Awards. Her novel Grace in the Wings is a Finalist for the 2019 International Chanticleer Chatelaine Awards and the International Chanticleer Goethe Awards. Her novel Peccadillo at the Palace is a Finalist in the 2019 International Chanticleer Murder & Mayhem Awards and the 2019 International Goethe Awards, as well as a Finalist in the 2019 Best Book Awards Historical Fiction category. Bovée has worked as a technical writer for a Fortune 500 Company, has written non-fiction for magazines and newsletters, and has worked in the education field as a teacher and educational consultant. She and her husband, Kevin, spend their time between their horse property in the beautiful Land of Enchantment, New Mexico, and their condo on the sunny shores of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
Connect with the author: Website ~ Goodreads ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram
Interview with Kari Bovee
First Thank you Ms. Bovee for allowing me to interview you for this spotlight stop! I so enjoyed reading your answers and look forward to more stops to see what you had to say!
- How does the writing process work for you? Do you schedule a time every day, work madly when inspiration hits or ?
- It varies with each book and also with what I have going on in my life. I find that when I first start to research a book, I work it fits and starts. Once I get the story solidified in my head, or on paper in the form of notes, and sketch out some of the characters, then I start to build momentum. I use a basic outline and map out the major plot points, but once I start writing and get into the story, then I find that all I want to do is spend time in that world, so everything else sort of falls away and I make it a priority. I wish I could say I write every day all the time, but that’s just not realistic for me. Sometimes I will write every day for a period of a few weeks or a month, but I find it unsustainable for longer than that. I need to take a break and walk away for a few days. I find that I miss working on it and come back refreshed and ready to go!
- Is there another profession you would like to try?
- I think it would be fun to be a creativity coach. There are so many people out there who feel like they aren’t creative, and we all are, it’s just that some of us are more in touch with our creative side than others. Allowing ourselves to “create” in whatever way speaks to us is just so freeing and empowering. I think if more people allowed themselves to be in touch with their “inner artist,” there would be a lot less angst in the world.
- How did you research your book?
- The research for this book started long ago. So long ago, I forgot where exactly I got some of the information. My late father, who was such an inspiration to me, told me about the Penitente Brotherhood, a lay confraternity of Spanish-American Roman Catholic men who are active in New Mexico and Colorado. Bones of the Redeemed is very loosely inspired by this brotherhood, but takes their practices quite a bit farther. My book poses the question of what might happen if leadership in one of these types of organizations went off the rails—which, as we know can happen in deeply religious communities.
- I did a lot of reading on the Brotherhood, and I also interviewed a couple of Catholic priests, one whose father and some of his brothers were members of the Penitente Brotherhood here in New Mexico.
- For the archaeology aspect of the book, I actually took some graduate courses in anthropology and archaeology at Millsap’s College in Jackson, Mississippi when I lived there. I had a very early draft of the novel and I asked my professor to read it. He helped me tweak where necessary. More recently, I have a friend who is a retired archaeologist and she reviewed the book for me as well.
- Hilary Mantel (Wolf Hall) says that a Catholic upbringing is the only qualification a writer requires. Can you relate to either of this ideas? Do you have any writing qualifications?
- I chuckled when I read Hilary Mantel’s idea of qualifications to be a writer. I was raised Catholic and can relate to that statement on many levels, both positive and negative. And, Bones of the Redeemed takes a look into how religious beliefs can have a positive, negative, and sometimes deadly effect on people.
- But, to the question, I think an insatiable curiosity about people and what motivates them – past, present, and future, and a deep empathy for others qualifies someone to be a writer. Sometimes I wish I had double-majored in English Literature and Psychology instead of just English Literature, because I find that in creating characters—and the stories I put them into, a better understanding of the human psyche would be so helpful. The ability to “put yourself in someone else’s shoes” no matter how wonderful or horrific, is essential to creating believable, sympathetic, and relatable characters and stories.
- What would you most like readers to know about you?
- I love hearing from readers! It’s so fun to know that I’ve touched someone through my work. It’s really the best part about being an author. I’m on all the social media platforms, and I also have a pretty robust website with a blog about empowered women in history. There you can learn about all of my books, and all about me and my horses. You can find my website at www.Karibovee.com While you are there, drop me a line on the contact page! I also have a show on Alexa called Where History Meets Mystery and each week I feature a woman in history and talk about what I have found interesting about her and her life. You can find the Alexa Flash Briefings at https://alexaguy.com/kari
- Where do you like to vacation?
- We have a condo in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii and pre-Covid we went about two to three times a year. We have plans to go again for the month of January, and possibly February. I love going there, but I’d really like to see more of Europe. I haven’t seen Germany, Austria, or Denmark (where I have some roots) and I would love to do that. We’ll see what the world looks like in a year or two!
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