Monday, March 24, 2014

Red Gold, a Mystery by Sandy Nadeau

Mandy Phillips loves her life running an adventure ranch in the Colorado mountains. When Mr. Shonee, their crotchety old neighbor, tries to stop them from building a kid size old west town up by the old mine on their property, their dreams of expansion are crushed. Unusual events begin to make a mess of the summer season. Is Shonee trying to sabotage all they have worked for? Or is something even more sinister going on? 

Things begin to break down when a young guest finds a beautiful red rock while exploring the grounds, which turns out to be a valuable stone called Rhodochrosite, Colorado’s State Mineral. Before they can investigate further, a young teenage guest that Mandy had befriended disappears and Mandy finds herself having to save the girl from old mine shafts, kidnappers, and mineral thieves. 

But who will save Mandy? Mandy must now rely on her faith in God to help her keep her guests safe, solve the mysteries surrounding her ranch, save her neighbor from himself, and discover the secrets of the Red Gold. 


     The stench of burning brush assaulted her.
     No! Mandy ran for the porch, grabbed the wand of the triangle suspended from the roof, and clanged the warning. Dread and panic crept up. Her heart raced.
     Smoke billowed over the ridge. She knew flames inched towards the dry brush that lay between them and the guest ranch.
     “Jon!” Mandy screamed for her husband as she clanged the triangle, and then dashed into the house.
     The screen door slammed shut.
     “Jon!” She grabbed the phone and ran back outside to the triangle. Visions of losing everything rose in her mind.
     Barney, their black and brown Australian Shepherd, stood outside the door flinging himself into the air and barking frantically.
     “What’s going on?” Jon’s thundering steps came from the house.
     She dialed 911 and clanged the triangle while waiting for the operator to answer. “Fire!” she yelled to Jon. “There’s smoke coming up from over the ridge to the south.” Beads of sweat ran down her forehead.
     “What’s your emergency?” The dispatcher’s voice came over the phone.
     Mandy stopped clanging. “Fire to the south of High Country Safaris off County Road Five. Hurry!”
     Jon sailed past her, not even touching the porch steps.
     Ranch hands ran from the barn and the bunkhouse, some men still pulling on boots.
     Mandy pointed to the smoke rising over the ridge.
     “I see it, Miss Mandy,” Mike hollered. His boots stirred up a cloud of dust as he changed direction. “I’ll get the water truck.” He ran towards the garage with George, another ranch hand, on his heels.
     Mike and George hopped in the passenger seat. They tore up the service road towards the rising smoke.
     The others grabbed shovels, picks and axes.
     Mandy threw the phone onto the porch chair and headed to her old Willy’s Jeep.
     Barney jumped off the porch ahead of her and ran in circles.
     She pointed a warning finger at his spot under a tree near the porch. “Go lay down, barney. You stay! I mean it.”
     Barney whined, sat back down, but his front paws bounced side to side. He obeyed, but panted heavily and watched after the crew going into the smoke. The dog let out an occasional bark as she left.
     “Lord, please, stop this fire…please.”
     A blaze could take off, especially after such a dry winter and all the dead trees from the beetle infestation. Spring rains had been sparse in the mountains of Colorado, and the sun was hot at their 7,900 foot elevation. 
     The vehicle bounced off every rock and pothole in the old dirt road, but she didn’t care about the jarring her body endured. Her knuckles grew white as she gripped the steering wheel.
     Over the ridge, Jon and the hands were flanking the fire.
     A deep chill ran up her spine, and her palms went cold.
     Shovels and pick axes flew up and down with rhythmic movement as the men worked to throw dirt onto the crawling flames.
     She scanned the potential route of the fire. It wasn’t that large, maybe over an acre, but as the wind picked up, it would only get worse. If the fire made it into the trees, there would be no way to stop the flames before they finished off the forest. And their ranch.
     Mandy pulled to a stop next ot the other vehicles.
     Mike had parked the water truck close and was hauling the hose towards the flames.
     She got out, found a shovel and ran. “Where do you want me?” She screamed over the motor on the water truck. Smoke drifted into her nostrils. Her eyes watered. The acrid smell caused her nose to scrunch up.
     “Right flank,” Jon yelled back.
     Mandy went to the end of the line and began to shovel away pine needles and other debris to get to the dirt to throw on the flames.
The fire had crawled its way through the dry winter remains at a steady rate. They had to get a line cut around the front.
     Mike sprayed water as a couple guys dug into the earth, revealing more embers, trying to get a handle on the battle.
     “How could this have started?” Mandy’s words huffed out with shortened breaths.

About The Author

Sandy Nadeau loves to go on adventures, photograph them, and equally loves to write about them. She and her husband do a lot of four-wheeling in the back country of Colorado and share those experiences with others by taking them up in the mountains. With a background in writing about her community for a local newspaper, she also has had several magazine articles published. She loves to write novels about adventure, mystery, romance, but most importantly sharing God’s love. She is currently a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and Vice President of the ACFW South Denver Chapter. Married for 37 years, she and her husband are loving life as grandparents to their nine month old grandson. Travel is their favorite thing to do and they don’t get to do it as often as they’d like. Adventure awaits around every corner, over every hill and mountain.

Purchase Red Gold at:

Sandy Nadeau is giving away a copy of Red Gold. To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice—once on each Spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.


Susan Johnson said...

Wow. This sounds like an exciting book. I would love to win a copy.
susanmsj at msn dot com

Anonymous said...

I love the sound of wandering through your book! :)


Jackie McNutt said...

love the excerpt!!
thank you for featuring Sandy and her book Red Gold

sm said...

Sounds like a great book on old Colorado. We're making a trip there in August and will see some of the old gold mines, trails and hotels, etc. sharon, wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Cindi A said...

The excerpt has me wanting to read more. Sounds like a very good book.


Anonymous said...

Count me in and I review all books I win

Caroline said...

I'm posting this for Kathy since she had trouble posting:

I would love a chance to win the Sandy Nadeau book Red Gold. Sandy and I attended many writers conferences together and encouraged each other in the journey to publication. I am so thrilled for Sandy's success, and for the release of her book; it truly is a labor of love!

Kathy Joy Hoffner
308 Poplar Street, Apartment E
Warren, PA 16365

Patricia Bradley said...

Great excerpt and enjoyed meeting Sandy. pat at ptbradley dot com

Sandy Nadeau said...

You have all touched my heart with your kind words. Thank you for blessing me today. Good luck on winning.

sm said...

RED GOLD sounds excellent! I think it'd be courageous to run an adventure B&B and keep all those patrons safe and entertained. Love to win your book. sharon, ca wileygreen1(at)

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