City of Gold
Matthew Connor Adventure Series, Book 1
by Carolyn Arnold
Genre: Action, Adventure
Finding the Incas' lost City of Gold would be the discovery of a lifetime. But failing could mean her death…
Archaeologist Matthew Connor and his friends Cal and Robyn are finally home after a dangerous retrieval expedition in India. While they succeeded in obtaining the priceless Pandu artifact they sought, it almost cost them their lives. Still, Matthew is ready for the next adventure. Yet when new intel surfaces indicating the possible location of the legendary City of Gold, Matthew is hesitant to embark on the quest.
Not only is the evidence questionable but it means looking for the lost city of Paititi far away from where other explorers have concentrated their efforts. As appealing as making the discovery would be, it’s just too risky. But when Cal’s girlfriend, Sophie, is abducted by Matthew’s old nemesis who is dead-set on acquiring the Pandu statue, Matthew may be forced into action. Saving Sophie’s life means either breaking into the Royal Ontario Museum to steal the relic or offering up something no one in his or her right mind would refuse—the City of Gold.
Now Matthew and his two closest friends have to find a city and a treasure that have been lost for centuries. And they only have seven days to do it. As they race against the clock, they quickly discover that the streets they seek aren’t actually paved with gold, but with blood.
What to expect from the Matthew Connor Adventure series:
Action-adventure books for the mystery lover. Does treasure hunting excite you? What about the thought of traveling the globe and exploring remote regions to uncover legends that the world has all but forgotten? If so, strap yourself in for an adventure with modern-day archaeologist Matthew Connor and his two closest friends. Indiana Jones meets the twenty-first century.
This is the perfect book series for fans of Indiana Jones, Lara Croft, National Treasure, and The Relic Hunter.
Read in any order or follow the series from the beginning.
Excerpt from chapter 4 of City of Gold (Matthew Connor Adventure series)
IAN BRIDGES USUALLY TOOK PLEASURE in knowing what most others did not. In this case, he knew that the famous treasure hunter, Gideon Barnes, was none other than the mayor’s son. And it wasn’t welcome news. An interested third-party had hired Ian to get the Pandu statue back at any cost, but with it now secured behind bulletproof glass and the high-profile identity of its discoverer, the situation had escalated, leaving him with limited options for the object’s retrieval. Sadly, murder, although it was his gifted skillset, wasn’t a service required by this employer. And bribery presented too much risk and was certain to attract undesired media attention. The crowd at the exhibit had thinned, leaving behind those who didn’t rank high enough in society to secure an invitation to the Connor mansion. Ian made his way toward the statue, his confidence building with each step. Yes, the situation certainly posed a challenge, but he had faith in his abilities. He wasn’t familiar with failing, and he wasn’t about to learn the lesson now. The statue was enclosed in a glass cube atop a four-foot-tall pedestal. A red rope with brass hardware surrounded it, encouraging people to stand a couple feet out of its reach. The area was obviously off-limits. But he still considered stretching out to touch the glass. He’d love to smear his fingerprints all over it simply because its contents were so highly esteemed. It was treated more regally than some people were, and yet when he looked at it, he saw nothing more than an ugly man in a dress. Clearly burying an item in the sand for thousands of years transformed even worthless idols into sought-after treasures. What his employer saw in it or why it was sought after in the first place wasn’t information Ian required to do his job. Whether it was to provide bragging rights to its owner or to sell it or something else, he didn’t care. “It’s beautiful,” a woman said. He turned in the direction of the sound and a woman in a black evening dress sidled up next to him. Her hair was a rich red and fell over her shoulders in flowing curls. Her fingers were long and adorned with rings, her wrists were slender and wrapped in silver bracelets. She also wore a silver cuff on her upper arm. Now this woman had a brand of beauty he could appreciate. She seemed to assess him as he did her. “Where are my manners?” She positioned her purse under an arm and extended her hand. “My name is Veronica Vincent.” “Ian.” He took her hand and was certain to make eye contact as he shook it. While some women might find the move too familiar and bold, this was the territory upon which he loved to tread. Eyes truly were the windows to the soul. “Just Ian? Or do you have a last name, too?” Her seductive smile curved one side of her mouth slightly higher than the other. With it, her eyes narrowed marginally. Oh yes. This woman welcomed the attention and reciprocated his attraction. “My friends just call me Ian.” He had to keep some anonymity. His line of work didn’t afford him the luxury of screwing up because he wanted to get laid. “All right. Mysterious. I like it.” She slipped her arm through his. They stood like that for a while, him watching her, her watching the statue. “You think that thing is beautiful?” He’d come to learn that women found a controversial subject more entertaining than one that had him acting the yes-man. “Absolutely.” She pried her eyes from the robed sculpture, letting them drift to meet his. “I take it you do not?” There was a small hitch in her eyebrows, and he knew he was in. He shook his head. “Not in the least. They do say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course, but I am starting to wonder if we’re looking at the same thing.” She pouted. He was scoring gold here. “And while this statue is the most hideous thing I’ve ever seen, you, on the other hand, are very stunning.” He threw her an arrogant smile. He was due for a night of blowing off steam, and there was no better place to clear the mind than between the legs of a beautiful woman.
The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh
Matthew Connor Adventure Series, Book 2
In Egypt’s Western Desert lies the tomb of an unnamed pharaoh that hides a secret so powerful, it could destroy the world as we know it.
Archaeologist and adventurer Matthew Connor has made a career of finding legends the world has all but forgotten. Though there’s one in particular that has fascinated him for years—the Emerald Tablets. Myth says that they possess the knowledge of the universe, allowing humankind to traverse Heaven and Earth, and have the power to bestow wealth and wisdom upon whoever possesses them. But if they fall into evil hands, it could cause a global disaster.
So when a former colleague stumbles across an ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic map that promises to lead to a pharaoh’s tomb and the Emerald Tablets, there’s no way he’s turning down her invitation to join the dig. He only has one stipulation: his best friends Robyn Garcia and Cal Myers come with him.
The road ahead isn’t going to be an easy one, and their shared dream of recovering the Emerald Tablets is being crushed at every turn. And just when they think it’s all over, they learn there are a few clues they have overlooked. But they’re no longer the only ones searching for the Tablets. Now, the fate of the world hangs in the balance, and soon they’ll find out that when it comes to hunting legends, they can’t trust anyone.
Excerpt from chapter 3 of The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh (Matthew Connor Adventure series)
“I received a call from Egypt and…” Matthew continued to talk, but she was stuck on Egypt. Because the child in her, the one whose life plan was to work as a curator in a museum, also had grandiose dreams of visiting Egypt before she died. But it hadn’t happened yet. “…So we’re all vouched for.” He stopped talking, and his serious expression gave way to a smile that touched his eyes. “Were you listening to anything I said?” “I heard ‘Egypt,’” she confessed with a wince. “And women say men don’t listen,” he teased. “Alex has found evidence that’s led her to believe that she and her team are on the verge of finding the Tablets.” “And this evidence?” The pitch of her voice carried a plea. “You still haven’t said what it is exactly.” “Well, I did, but apparently, you tuned me out completely.” He tsked. “She found hieroglyphics that mentioned the Tablets.” He paused, seeming to notice her confusion. “You didn’t hear that, either?” “Sorry.” She winced again. He smirked, not seeming to take the fact that she’d zoned out on him personally. “You’ve always wanted to go to Egypt. Now’s your chance.” “Let me think about it.” The words sank in her gut. Maybe this was her once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Matthew laughed. “You really didn’t hear a thing I said, did you? If you had, you probably wouldn’t have anything to think over. There’s also an indication that a son of Khufu might be buried in the Western Desert, over one hundred and fifty miles from the Great Pyramid.” How in the world had she missed that? “A son of Khufu?” She leaned forward, perching on the edge of the couch cushion. “History indicates that two of his nine sons served as pharaoh: Djedfera and Khafre. But their tombs have already been found. That leaves Kawab, Djedfhor, Baufra, Babaef, Khufukhaf, Minkhaf, and Horbear. Of these, Baufra has never been archaeologically attested to. He was only mentioned in a couple of unverified documents.” Matthew leaned back in his chair. “No one can say you don’t know your Egyptian history. You’d be perfect to have on this trip.” She was too concentrated on Khufu’s family line to fall victim to his flattery. “Two of Khufu’s sons proceeded him on the throne but not his eldest. Kawab died before the end of Khufu’s reign.” She paused, meeting his eyes, and they were sparkling. She was certain they were mirroring her own excitement. “I don’t understand why a son of Khufu would be buried so far away from the Great Pyramid…” “Exactly. And there’s only one way to find out for sure.” Matthew’s hook was baited again, and she was circling. Damn him. She was intrigued by the mystery, and mysteries needed to be solved. “Don’t take too long to mull this over,” he said. “Why?” “The plane leaves tomorrow morning at eight.” “Tomorrow?” Anxiety ratcheted up in her chest.
CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.
Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.
Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.
She currently lives in London, Ontario with her husband and beagles and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime.
Where Mystery Meets Action Adventure
One Author’s Inspiration for Stepping Outside Her Comfort Zone
by Carolyn Arnold
“A must-read for those who love mystery, history, thrilling story lines, with a touch of Indiana Jones/Ben Gates feel!”
–Lynchburg Mama on City of Gold
I admit that I’m not a history major, and there are times when the subject comes up that my eyes glaze over. So what drew me to write an action-adventure novel when they are usually steeped in history from hundreds—if not thousands—of years ago? Because myths and legends are fascinating! And as I’m getting older, somehow history has become more interesting to me, too. (Maybe it’s because I’m on the way to becoming a relic!)
Given that, I wanted to write action adventure because I saw a place in the market for a fresh take on the genre. I approached it from the standpoint of a modern-day Indiana Jones, and, come on, who doesn’t like the Indiana Jones movies? They play with your sense of adventure, of possibility. They take you around the world to captivating and exotic locales in search of some long-lost artifact that has been mostly relegated to myth, and they sweep you into the action right from the moment you hit “Play.”
That’s what I wanted with City of Gold, the first book in my Matthew Connor Adventure series, which has been called “a nonstop, pulse-pounding ride” (I Read What You Write!). With a background in writing mysteries, I also wanted to ensure my story was grounded in the modern-day world. There had to be believability in what I presented on the page. No aliens, no supernatural guardians, or powers for me! Heck, I went so far as to include a police investigation to keep things relatable and realistic. What can I say? I can’t get away from law enforcement, no matter what I do. But that’s fine by me!
If the thought of treasure hunting or traveling the globe and exploring remote regions excites you, then I encourage you to check out both books in Matthew Connor series, City of Gold and The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh. Really, what are you waiting for? You don’t even need to deal with flight delays, packing, or obtaining a passport. Strap yourself in for an adventure today!
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