Monday, May 20, 2019

HAPPINESS – What Does it Mean to Live a Happy Life

Article written by Ari Yeganeh

We live in a happy-obsessed society, constantly bombarded with happy smiling faces on TV or billboard ads telling us their version of happiness. Even worse than this, we see our own friends on social media posting photos of their ridiculously happy lives; but never sharing any raw feelings of what’s really going on in their lives.

It is an unspoken law that we all want to be happy but the reality is that most of us have not thought about what happiness means for ourselves. I used to think, if only I had the right kind of job, the right group of friends and the right partner, then I would be happy. I worked so hard chasing these goals. I saw happiness like reaching the peak of a mountain… All I had to do was work really hard, achieve all my goals and then I’ll be happy. And that’s exactly what I did. I worked really hard and got to the top of the mountain. But at the top, I didn’t find what I was looking for.

What I actually found at the top of the mountain was disappointment. I had worked so hard to conquer my goals, and the realization that I still wasn’t happy made me even more unhappy. But little did I know, I had no idea what happiness was.

There are probably as many definitions of happiness as there are humans on the planet but broadly speaking, modern psychology categorizes happiness in two parts:

Experiencing positive emotions like joy, pleasure and excitement
We are all familiar with this type of happiness – good food, new clothes, walks on the beach, hot oil massages and puppies… lots of puppies. This is what’s constantly advertised to us and what we think of when we see our happy smiling friends on Facebook.

Living with a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment with life
We are less familiar with this type of happiness, as it is not as straightforward as getting a massage or hugging a warm puppy. Rather it involves a deliberate process of self-discovery and cultivating the right mental attitudes to live a happy life, despite the ups and downs of everyday emotions.

Let’s explore these… HAPPINESS AS AN EMOTION


Imagine if there was a machine you could plug yourself into that made you feel pleasure and joy 100% of the time. Better yet, you wouldn’t know you were plugged in so you would have no feelings of guilt. Would you plug in or stay in your current life? The answer you give this question can reveal a lot about how you feel about happiness as an emotion.

If you asked me this question shortly after I had finished climbing my mountain of happiness, I would have almost certainly said yes. This is because I saw happiness only as an emotion that I had to feel on a regular basis. If I was not experiencing emotional happiness in the form of pleasure or joy regularly, my conclusion was that I’m not happy and that something is wrong.

This is why I chased goal after goal, mountain after mountain, pursuing the good feelings a new job or new travel destination gave me. But the good feelings didn’t last. Before long, the emotions of joy and excitement would dissipate and I was back to where I started, looking at an even bigger mountain to experience more joy in my life.

This is a common path to happiness for many people. “If only I have *fill in the blank*, then I’ll be happy.”

The obvious problem with this approach is what psychologists call hedonic adaptation – the idea that no matter how good something makes us feel, “most of the time, we drift back to where we started, emotionally-speaking. One often-cited study famously showed that despite their initial euphoria, lottery winners were no happier than non-winners eighteen months later. The same tendency to return to “baseline” has been shown to occur after marriage, voluntary job changes, and promotions—the kinds of things we usually expect to change our happiness and well-being for the better in a permanent way.” (Heidi Grant Halvorson Ph.D.)

This is not to say we shouldn’t enjoy the pleasures of life. We absolutely should celebrate getting that new job and we should cherish every moment of the honey-moon period of a new relationship. However, we should be conscious that experiencing these short-term emotional highs does not equate to long-term happiness.


Another unfortunate consequence of seeing happiness only as a positive emotional state is that we ignore or suppress any other emotions that don’t make us feel good. We all want to feel joy and avoid pain. This is normal. What is not normal, and is rather unhealthy, is persistently avoiding or suppressing difficult or negative emotions.

The reality of life is that we all experience difficult emotions and circumstances. People get sick, we lose our jobs, relationships fall apart, things break, shit happens. Put more elegantly by Murphy’s Law “whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.”

In his book, The Happiness Trap, Russ Harris writes: “The more we try to avoid the basic reality that all human life involves pain, the more we are likely to struggle with that pain when it arises, thereby creating even more suffering.” – Russ Harriss

Ultimately each one of us is responsible for making our own happiness cake; one filled with ingredients that gives us true satisfaction and contentment. But even with this perfect life satisfaction cake, we are bound to experience sadness and pain in our life. This is part of the human experience. Equally, we are bound to experience immense joy and pleasure in our life. True happiness is not about being caught up in these emotional highs and lows of life. Rather it’s learning to enjoy the highs with gratitude and accept the lows with self-compassion.

Most important of all let’s not forget to share the love with one other.

Thank you, Ari, for this insightful article.

Everyone is seeking true happiness in their lives. It’s the most sought-after subject on earth. To be truly happy is a great mystery to many, as they search for joy in everyday life. When we’re feeling discontent, we tend to think a change in our lives is the answer to our restlessness. After making that change, we find that it was not the answer we hoped for after all. The fact is, I never find the joy I’m seeking, if I’m looking for it. There is much more to finding happiness than we think.

In my book, Searching For True Happiness, you will be assigned a few tasks to do, things that are uplifting and will bring you great joy. They are simple tasks, but yet very important for true happiness. Joy in one’s life does not come without a bit of work.

Author Brooke Williams wrote: “If more people took the advice from this book and used it to its fullest, the world would be a different place. Some of the ideas are rather simple but the overall message is profound. Happiness isn't sitting where you'd think. But it's easy enough to find with a little work and a few extra steps. I hope many, not only read this book, but also take it to heart.”

There are several things mentioned in this booklet. Acts of kindness and serving others is one of them. The joy one feels when helping those in need is indescribable. Why are we here on earth if not to serve our friends and loved ones, or even those strangers who need help? How about music? Does it affect our lives?

Inishowen Cailín, from Ireland, wrote: “At the beginning of the book, the author gives us a few tasks to complete in order to kick start our journey to personal happiness. One of her assignments is to greet someone each day. I live in a town where it is a normal everyday practice to greet every single person you meet, whether you know them or not... so this was an easy one for me. Her other tasks are also simple, fun and rewarding to complete: show love to others, give hugs, etc. I really enjoyed reading all the stories the author researched for her book, as well as all the stories from her own family. I think when I reread this book I will be inspired by something different each time. It is a simple guide to put you on the right path to feeling happy and optimistic. A worthwhile read.” 

This book is available at Amazon. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Research is Fun and Educational When Writing a Novel

Writing Historical Fiction is such fun. If you do good research, it helps you to understand how the people of that century lived. Even if the country or area is fictional, you need to do research. When writing historical fiction, research is imperative so the story is believable. I wanted to write a series that had mystery, adventure, and romance set during the late 1700s. Even though I created a small country that had its own problems, I needed to research that era.

As I developed The Rebel Series, I wanted the time period to be authentic, so I researched the type of clothing that was popular during the late 1700s. But that was not all. How did the people live during this time? Did they have a stove? What type of lanterns did they use? Oil or gas?

I love a rogue who fights for justice. It was a bunch of rebels who fought for their freedom during the American Revolution. Robin Hood and his rebels fought against the injustice of a wicked king. Liberty is something that I dearly cherish. As I pondered what kind of story I wanted to write, I decided upon a small country that struggles to be free. The people finally refuse to be ruled by a monarchy any longer. In this Period Romance, The Rebels of Cordovia, I decided to have a strong woman character who happens to be the leader of a rebel group. This book has clean romance for both young and old alike.

As I wrote the second book in The Rebel Series, I found there were several women journalists in history. Since my heroine in The Highwayman of Cordovia was a journalist, I needed to research the subject. In France, Anne-Marguerite Petit du Noyer (1663-1719) was the most famous female journalist. In fact, her articles were read all over Europe. She wrote about the negotiations that led up to a series of peace treaties and she also reported on scandal and gossip.

In this same story, I wanted to have a ball. What dances were popular in the late 1700s? When I did some research about the “waltz,” I was surprised at what I found. The peasants were the first to dance the waltz. It was such fun that bored noblemen would sneak out and go to the country-dances. The Oxford English Dictionary back then called the waltz “riotous and indecent.”

In a 1771 German novel, someone complains about the “newly-introduced waltz” among the aristocrats. He wrote: “When he put his arm around her, pressed her to his breast, cavorted with her in the shameless, indecent whirling-dance of the Germans and engaged in a familiarity that broke all the bounds of good breeding—then my silent misery turned into burning rage.” I was so intrigued by this description. The waltz finally became fashionable when the wife of a Russian ambassador endorsed it.

As I wrote the third book, The Fox of Cordovia, I discovered some interesting facts about lamplighters. They were a faithful lot, lighting the lamps every evening at dusk. Many a young man applied for the job because it suited their schedule, but the city was careful whom they hired because lamplighters also acted as night watchmen and needed to be trustworthy. In fact, the job was usually handed down from father to son and kept within the family.

During the American Revolution, there was a man known as the Swamp Fox and he influenced my story quite a bit. His tales were ones of courage and valor, so I named this novel after the Swamp Fox. In The Fox of Cordovia, I found that it was common practice for the king’s ranking officer to kick a family out of their home so he could house his soldiers and officers. No one had a say. No wonder the patriots decided to fight for their rights. They had had enough!

The inspiration for this series came from the stories of the patriots. Each book in The Rebel Series has its own plot, but the story continues on, giving a satisfying ending to this trilogy. This series has become so “well loved” that I finally had a narrator narrate all three books for Audible. Below is a sample of each audiobook.   

Learn more at my website:

Rebels of Cordovia Audiobook
Highwayman of Cordovia Audiobook
Fox of Cordovia Audiobook

LEARN HOW TO GET A FREE AUDIO BOOK FROM AUDIBLE! Receive this audiobook free if you join Membership includes two free audiobooks and you can choose from 150,000+ titles. Go to Linda Weaver Clarke’s Audible Page and find the book you’re interested in and sign up for some free audiobooks.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Adventure, Mystery, and Romance

Chivalry, Romance, and Adventure! Historical romance is about the adventure of living in a different time period. It’s during a time period when men defended a lady’s honor. The women, on the other hand, were not frail by any means. During the late 1600s, Dorothea Scott, a lady of royalty, stood up for what she believed and spoke her mind. She stood on a tub and preached the gospel to the people, hoping to make a difference. I love strong women characters who fight for what they believe in. A story with a mixture of romance and adventure is intriguing and holds my interest. My favorite kind of love stories are about a couple who know they are meant for one another.

The Rebel Series, a Historical Romance, has a mixture of adventure and mystery. Each book, set in the late 1700s, is a love story about a young couple as they strive to help their fellowman. For those who enjoy strong women characters, all three books have this in common. They are independent women who are not afraid to express their opinion. The heroes in this series are rebels with a sense of justice. Young and old alike will enjoy the romance.

The Rebels of Cordovia: Centuries after the legendary Robin Hood, a group of men and women find themselves fighting for the same cause. In this battle for freedom, a tender love story begins to blossom. Daniel, a rogue and a leader of the Freemen, doesn’t realize that the sweet feminine woman he has met and is falling for happens to be the leader of Robin’s Rebels. Realizing the importance of uniting all the rebel groups, Daniel tries to recruit Robin’s Rebels but they refuse. Now he has to find a way to convince them. When he finds out the leader is actually a woman, what will his reaction be?

“I so enjoyed this fun book!  It has adventure, romance, a little mystery, and action.  No boring moments here. Placed back in the days of wicked and oppressive kings, the rebels work together for the freedoms of the common people.  Will they succeed against the governing forces? The romance is sweet and the action is plenty.” --Sunnie Reivews

To listen to a sample from Audible, click HERE.

The Highwayman of Cordovia: With the help of a bold highwayman and a pastor’s daughter, they try to save their country from being taken over by a power-hungry leader. As they strive to stop the Kingmen and thwart their plans, Christine finds herself falling in love with Austin Knight. The only problem with their relationship is that she thinks he is her knight in shining armor instead of a highwayman. If she finds out his trade, what will her reaction be? As a pastor’s daughter, will love override her values?

“Christine and Austin’s story is truly amazing. When Austin and Christine meet again, the feelings they had as kids is still there. Christine is truly a remarkable person. When Austin starts to protect her, their relationship starts to grow. The characters in this book will have you on the edge of your seat, waiting to see what happens next.” --Debbie Jamieson

To listen to a sample from Audible, click HERE.

The Fox of Cordovia: In this swashbuckling romance, a sinister plot has just been uncovered and its up to a former patriot and a young nurse to discover who is behind it. Caroline is engaged to the future mayor of Laketown, a man of influence and greatly respected. But all that changes when she overhears a conspiracy behind closed doors. After being discovered, she runs for her life. Caroline needs to report her findings, but whom can she trust? When she asks Jesse Conover for help, the adventure begins.

I loved this book. It is full of adventure, drama, intrigue and suspense. We've got kidnapping plots, pirate ships, daring rescues and romance. The author weaves an exciting tale and a sweet romance together in a way that will appeal to all readers.” --Inishowen Cailín

To listen to a sample from Audible, click HERE.

LEARN HOW TO GET A FREE AUDIO BOOK FROM AUDIBLE! Receive this audiobook free if you join Membership includes two free audiobooks and you can choose from 150,000+ titles. Go to Linda Weaver Clarke’s Audible Page and find the book you’re interested in and sign up for some free audiobooks.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Fantasy Romance: A Royal Romance!

I would like to welcome Anna del C. Dye, an author of Romantic Fantasy. Her books are always full of intrigue and adventure. I love the cover of this book. It’s absolutely beautiful. The cover alone would draw me to this book.

Anna, please tell me a little about yourself.

I love medieval clothes and castles. I love lace in my clothes. I really like romantic music and caramels over chocolate. I am from Chile and English is my second language. I’ve been married for forty years, have four children and twelve grandchildren.

What is your greatest achievement to date?

My books. To be able to write, and in a language not of my own...I thought I couldn't do it. Then again, maybe I'm kidding myself.

What do you like to read?

I read different kind of books, YA, fantasy, murder mysteries, sci-fi and such.

What genre do you write and why?

I write Young Adult High Fantasy and Medieval Romance, because I love that era and the freedom that fantasy adds to my writings.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

Watch and enjoy my grandkids. They are full of life and energy. I keep thinking it may rub off on me, a little.

That’s how I feel, too. I wish I had the energy that children have. Tell me about your new Book.

Magnolia's Choice is the first book I ever wrote. It sits number five in my standalone Royal Romance Series. It started at Disney in Florida under the shade of the Magnolia trees. Thus, the main female characters have names of flowers. Princess Magnolia and her two attendants Margarete and Jasmine.

A Royal Romance! Anna, please give me a back-cover blurb.

Princess Magnolia refuses to be tied to her kingdom, Bellavista, at her father's decree. One night, she took charge and escaped to Grayville, a neighboring kingdom. However, it's one frightful escapade to the next until she meets Robin, the knight in shining armor, and the kingdom which stole her heart years ago.

Robin, the prince of Grayville, cannot forget the enchanting, yet distressed, girl who fell into his arms two years ago. He was disguised and exploring the city with his two best friends and she knew him not. Who is she and where did she go? Some say time makes everything better, but the hole in his heart grows ever painfully empty. Dare he dream of having her back in his arms?

To buy Magnolia’s Choice, click HERE.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Desert Intrigue – An Adventure At Superstition Mountain

In Desert Intrigue, we have the lost Dutchman’s goldmine, the great Thunder God, and mysterious events.

Mystery, romance, and humor! When Julia’s brother announces that his dude ranch is haunted, she believes that someone is trying to sabotage his place and force him to sell. The mysterious happenings have to do with Superstition Mountain, the lost Dutchman’s goldmine, and the great Thunder God. Is it possible that the legend of the Thunder God is actually true? After a terrible thunderstorm, everyone begins to wonder. John and Julia quickly head to Mesa, Arizona and discover a few mysterious events. Will they find out who is behind these disasters before Uncle Kelly’s dude ranch is ruined?

“Desert Intrigue is an entertaining and joyful book, my favorite in this mystery series by Linda Weaver Clarke. I love the sparks of romance in this adventure--they spice things up and add much interest to the story. The book has a handful of surprises that I did not anticipate, and the mystery fuels much of the action.” --Suko’s Notebook

Valuable treasure is hidden within Superstition Mountain and the Apache Indians once believed the Thunder God protected it from robbers and thieves. Each summer the great Thunder God roars his loudest, creating thunderstorms like no other, announcing his control over the mountain. Superstition Mountain is dangerous to hike and many adventurers never come back. Apparently, the treasure is well protected.

“I loved the first three books in this series, but I actually loved this one even more,” wrote Socrates Book Reviews. “I didn’t think that was possible. The characters are so well written and I absolutely adore each member of the Evans family. They grab at your heartstrings and won’t let go. As for the story, talk about a fast-paced story. Desert Intrigue is that and more! It’s a book that will leave you with that “warm fuzzy” feeling. Linda Weaver Clarke has outdone herself with this book! I'm sure it comes as no surprise that it's getting my Socrates' Great Book Alert.”

All my romances are Family Friendly. There is one question that I ask myself when I write romantic mysteries. Will it appeal to men as well as women? From a man’s viewpoint, Rick Estep wrote: “As a guy, it was really great to see a man, check that men, being shown as strong not only physically, but emotionally as well. I've read a lot of books where the guy in the book isn't shown as being connected to his wife/girlfriend through anything other than surface thoughts. With John and his brother-in-law Kelly, though, I saw them as "men's men", and ones that also were invested in the life of the women around them. The story moved quick enough, there were plenty of red herrings to keep me guessing, right down to the ending of the book.”

To get a review from a guy like this was awesome. Thank you, Rick Estep!

Desert Intrigue (ISBN: 978-1-47008-421-9, Red Mountain Shadows Publishing, 2012) can be found at local libraries or online bookstores. For more information, visit

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Mystery Behind Superstition Mountain

Superstition Mountain is believed to have great treasure hidden within. Many people have tried to find it but have never succeeded. It is difficult to explore because of its dangerous cliffs and plateaus. It’s a treacherous mountain and many adventurers never come back.

Superstition Mountain, located east of Phoenix, is famous for the Lost Dutchman’s Mine where millions of dollars worth of gold is hidden. The history of this mountain would astound you. Those who discovered the mine were in grave danger, especially if they took any gold from this spot. This is sacred ground. People disappear and mysterious deaths occur. That’s why it’s called Superstition Mountain.

Those who have discovered its whereabouts usually met with an accident. The people, who were able to get away safely, never returned. Just as the men were about to form a party and return, something always happened to them. They would get sick and die or get in a fight and get killed, or something mysterious would happen to them. Now you know how this mountain got its name.

It all started in 1540 when a conquistador by the name of Francisco Vasquez de Coronado went to southern Arizona, searching for the Seven Golden Cities of Cibola. When he asked the Apaches for help, they admitted that the mountain held an abundance of gold, but they refused to help because they feared the great Thunder God. This land was sacred ground.

As the Spaniards explored the mountain, looking for the gold, men began to vanish. No one knew where they had gone, but the Apaches told them the great Thunder God had destroyed them. At first they didn’t believe it until they found the bodies of a few men. They had mysteriously died. This frightened Coronado’s men and they refused to continue searching. When Coronado realized his men were right, he finally gave in and named it Superstition Mountain. It didn’t take long before word was passed from one generation to the next that it was an evil place. And the name stuck.

In 1845, Don Miguel Peralta went searching for the gold and discovered a large amount hidden in the mountain. He couldn’t believe his luck and named it Sombrero Mine. The area looked just like a sombrero. It had a point like a hat with a wide brim. But others thought the peak of the mountain looked more like an index finger pointing toward the sky, so they named it the Finger of God. But that’s not the name it goes by today. When an explorer named Paul Weaver scratched his name in the rock below the tall spire, its new name became Weaver’s Needle.

Don Miguel Peralta had discovered the richest gold mine in all Western history and began shipping it back home to Mexico. When the Apache noticed what was happening, they became angry because they had trespassed onto sacred ground and were stealing what was theirs. In 1848, they decided to drive the foreigners off their land. When Don Miguel found out they were preparing for a battle, he quickly concealed the mine and headed home with his mules and wagons packed to the brim with gold. But it was too late. The Apache warriors were ready for them. They massacred all the Spaniards.

What happened to the gold they were carrying in the wagons? It spilled all over the mountain. As time passed, different prospectors have found the remains of broken wheels and the bones of burros. In fact, in 1914 a man named Silverlocke discovered $18,000 worth of gold that was found in a rotted leather pack that had been on one of the burros.

Why is it called the Lost Dutchman Mine today? Jacob Waltz was born in Germany. In 1845 he came to America, searching for his fortune. Why did they call him the Dutchman if he wasn’t Dutch? His nickname was probably taken from the German word: Deutsch. Germany is called Deutschland. So people could have gotten confused and thought he was Dutch.

Many years passed when he finally settled in Arizona and worked for some miners. The Indians labeled him Snow Beard, because he grew a long white scraggly beard. Soon he began hearing stories about Superstition Mountain from the Indians. They told him about the great Thunder God who was protecting all the gold inside the mountain. This made him quite curious. When he asked about it, he found out that Don Miguel Peralta had discovered this gold mine years ago but covered it up so no one could find it. This intrigued him greatly.

In 1870 he became good friends with a real Dutchman named Jacob Weiser and they went in search of this lost gold mine together. One day they showed up in Phoenix, buying whiskey for everyone, celebrating their great fortune with golden nuggets. These men had struck it rich. No one knew where they’d gotten it. They wouldn’t reveal its whereabouts but many suspected they had found the Sombrero Mine. Some say that they stumbled upon it and others say a descendent of Don Miguel Peralta had a map and sold it to them. No one knows for sure. For the next ten years, they continued bringing in gold nuggets. When Jacob Weiser disappeared, Waltz became paranoid and took extra care to not allow anyone to follow him to the mine.

What happened to Jacob Weiser? No one knows for sure. It was either Apaches or gold seekers trying to get information out of him. In 1891, Waltz was finally going to show his girlfriend where the mine was but never had a chance. He died during the night and took the secret with him. That’s why it’s called the Lost Dutchman Mine.

The Apache Indians say a Thunder God protects the mountain. Each summer the great Thunder God roars his loudest, creating thunderstorms like no other, announcing his control over the mountain.

The mystery behind Superstition Mountain was the inspiration for a mystery novel: Desert Intrigue. This novel is the fourth book in a series of mysteries. The John and Julia Evans mystery series includes Anasazi Intrigue, Mayan Intrigue, Montezuma Intrigue, and Desert Intrigue.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Montezuma Intrigue – Finding Montezuma’s Treasure

In Montezuma Intrigue, there is the search for Montezuma’s treasure, a good-looking rogue, and family secrets!

When a leather parchment of Montezuma’s map is found in great-grandfather Evans’ old chest, April and the twins know this summer is going to be a memorable one. The girls want to search for it but their father is against it for some mysterious reason. With Julia’s help, she and the girls convince John to go on a treasure hunt. Is Montezuma’s treasure a legend or reality? Whatever the case, John insists on keeping their little treasure hunt a secret. If certain people find out about it, the family could be in danger.

 “I am charmed by her new book, Montezuma Intrigue. The mysteries continue as this author entrances us with life-like characters and electrifying adventures. The search for Montezuma's treasure is both exciting and memorable. There are also a few romances, and some surprises as well, which kept my reading pleasurable and lively. I enjoyed the adventure and suspense in her latest novel, which kept me reading well into the night.” --Susan Ortlieb, Suko’s Notebook

While searching for Montezuma’s treasure, Matthew is trying to get the courage to tell April how he feels about her. How does he tell his kindred friend that she means more to him than just a friend? Oblivious of Matthew’s feelings for her, April is gradually learning the importance of her heritage. Who were her ancestors and why has the family kept a certain “secret” all these years? Will learning about her parentage change her perspective about life?

“The whole Evans family is back for another wild and dangerous adventure,” wrote Socrates Book Review. “This time they have Grandpa along for the ride. As the search begins, Julia’s father tells the family of how he met their grandmother. A story he never told anyone before… not even Julia. The family is enraptured by his tale and eager to learn more about their family’s history, but the story comes to a crashing halt when their lives are threatened by treasure seekers. This story mixes adventure, suspense and romance into one captivating story.”

Montezuma Intrigue” (ISBN: 978-1481266925, 2nd edition, Red Mountain Shadows Publishing). For more information, visit

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Does Montezuma’s Treasure Really Exist?

Montezuma’s treasure has been on people’s minds for ages. The question is, does it really exist? When Cortez arrived in Mesoamerica in the early 1500s, Montezuma thought he was the Great White God Quetzalcoatl, who had promised to return one day. It didn’t take long for Montezuma to realize that he had made a mistake. Cortez was a cruel man and began treating the Aztecs abominably. The king, for his own reasons, refused to fight Cortez, but the people had had enough and decided to rebel.

After a great and terrible battle, the Spanish conquistadors were driven back, away from Tenochtitlan, Mexico. During this rebellion, Montezuma was killed, either by the Spaniards or his own people. No one knows for sure. While the Spaniards were taking care of their wounded, the Aztecs quickly bundled up their treasure and took off with it. They had to protect it with their lives because it was sacred. For years, they kept the treasure in honor of their god when he returned. It was a gift to Quetzalcoatl and was estimated at around $10,000,000 worth of gold and jewels.

Is this just a myth? A legend? Cortez actually left a record telling about the Aztec gold. In 1519, his chronicler, Bernal Diaz, recorded what he saw in the village: “All the riches of the world were in that room.” Diaz said that he saw a golden wheel in the form of a sun that was as big as a cartwheel with pictures engraved upon it. There was a silver one, which was an imitation of the moon, and golden statuettes in the shape of jaguars. When Cortez finally won the battle and entered the room where the treasure was kept, he found nothing. After searching the whole village, he found a few statues, which had been thrown in the lake. The Aztecs tried to hide what they didn’t take with them. They didn’t think he would look in a lake. The archeologists figured the rest had been transported to a faraway land where Cortez would never find the treasure.

The search for Montezuma’s treasure has intrigued many people. In 1914, an old prospector by the name of Freddy Crystal had a newspaper clipping of Anasazi art. It was a photograph of a petroglyph engraved on the side of a cliff located in Johnson Canyon, not far from Kanab, Utah. The petroglyph was similar to the etchings on a treasure map he had found years earlier. After searching the canyon for two long years, he left and returned in 1920 with another map he had obtained in Mexico. It was a copy of a four hundred-year-old maguey map that he found in a depository of a Mexican monastery.

Maguey is a fibrous plant that is cultivated in Mexico. Years ago they used it like paper and it lasted for centuries. Freddy said that he met a descendant of Montezuma who gave his interpretation of the second map. It showed a canyon with seven mountains: four mountains to the north, one on the east side, one on the west, and another on the south. That described the topography of Kanab to a tee. The petroglyphs matched his first map, but the topography matched his second map. The second one had more details. It showed steps on the side of a mountain and marshland below. White Mountain just happened to have steps carved into the sandstone that ascended more than one hundred feet. The only exception was the marshland, which didn’t exist. According to Freddy, marshlands dry up so he didn’t worry about it.

Freddy Crystal promised to share the treasure with all the townsfolk in Kanab if they helped him dig and search for it. For the next two years, at the bottom of White Mountain, a large tent city was erected and townsfolk went everyday to help Freddy search for the gold. All the stores and businesses shut down every day so they could dig. It was an exciting time for everyone.

The town of Kanab was unlike any other town in the United States. They had elected a mayor and a city council of all women, something unheard of in 1920. Women’s rights were not yet recognized in the East. It was the first petticoat government in all history. In fact, these good women made sure the county court opened and closed with prayer every time they met. Wow! A petticoat government! How awesome is that!

When the townsfolk agreed to help Freddy, Kanab’s city council voted to not have any publicity about the treasure because they didn’t want the word to get out. If that happened, people from all over the country would invade their little town and no one wanted that. They remembered what happened to California and the gold rush. So, if anyone uttered the word “treasure,” they were fined.

They dug and blasted until they found a cave with a series of rooms. They actually found tunnels with booby-traps, but no gold. Three boulders almost killed Freddy as they fell to the ground. He claimed they had been set on purpose by the Aztecs. When no gold was found, they figured the Aztecs had moved the treasure to another spot. After everyone gave up, Freddy left…disappeared…never to be seen again.

Every now and then, someone will find the “Aztec Treasure Sign” but no treasure. Many tribes believe that the treasure is protected. But protected by whom? Legend says that after hiding everything from Cortez, the tribe designated certain guardians to protect the treasure. If someone gets too close, they will do everything in their power to protect it and quickly move it to another spot. Some people believe their spirits still guard it today.

So where is Montezuma’s treasure? Does it still exist? Is it hidden among the Utah Mountains? It’s still a mystery to this day. The subject was so intriguing to me that I sat down and began writing my new mystery/adventure novel: Montezuma Intrigue. This book is about mysterious events, the search for Montezuma’s treasure, a good-looking rogue, and family secrets. How important is it to learn about the past? When a leather parchment of Montezuma’s map is found in great-grandfather Evans’ old chest, April and the twins know this summer is going to be a memorable one.

The John and Julia Evans mystery series includes Anasazi Intrigue, Mayan Intrigue, Montezuma Intrigue, and Desert Intrigue.