Where Treasure Lies Blog Tour with Celebrate Lit (Interview with Amanda Tru)

About the Book

Book: Where Treasure Lies

Author: Amanda Tru

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: February 28, 2023

Two stories…thirty years apart. Will solving the mystery of the past provide the key to the present?

Scott Connelly arrives in the Suamalie Islands determined to acquire property for his father and leave as soon as possible. But he doesn’t count on the animosity of the residents, the fascinating local legend of a sunken Spanish treasure ship, or the highly unavailable waitress who comes to his rescue. The fabled treasure promises to buy his freedom, but even seeking it may be a dangerous risk.

News of her father’s death precedes Tavia Connelly’s arrival in the Suamalie Islands. Despite the hatred of the island residents, Tavia’s determined to settle her father’s affairs and return immediately to assume her role as head of the family company. But her father’s wishes require her to find out what happened long ago, given only Scott’s mumbled clues, crazy rumors, and a centuries-old fable.

Tavia should be safe after all those years, but her presence attracts a lot of resentment, and the ghosts of Scott’s enemies may still lie in wait for someone to come searching for a treasure that may have never existed.

But what if it did?

Take a trip to the Suamalie Islands where palm trees sway, the sand and sea pulse with life, and the people will steal your heart.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Amanda Tru is a best-selling author of over thirty Christian fiction books. She writes page-turning fiction to inspire real-life stories. In her own real story, she sheds her super-hero writing cape to be mommy to four kids in a small Idaho town.

More from Amanda

I love to mix truth with fiction. Sometimes I use my own experiences as inspiration for my stories, sometimes I use actual events, and sometimes I do both! When I started writing Where Treasure Lies, I wanted to anchor my fiction in truth. We’ve all read stories that featured a rather cheesy treasure hunt, and I wanted more than that. Besides the subject, the format of a dual time story made it even more difficult. However, a book isn’t worth writing if it isn’t a challenge.

What I found in my research thrilled me, driving my imagination to create a story even better than I thought possible. We’re all familiar with the fantastic tales of treasure ships in the Caribbean. But the story I wanted to tell was set on the fictional Suamalie Islands located a bit farther away—the Pacific. Was it even possible that a Spanish treasure ship could be in that area?

My initial research was discouraging. After all, the main age when Spanish galleons sailed the seas was from 1565 to 1815. The Suamalie Islands were supposedly not discovered until the early 1800s. And they were discovered by a French explorer, which didn’t quite fit my Spanish treasure ship idea. But the more research I did, the more it fascinated me. Starting in the late 1500s, Spain did run treasure ships to the Caribbean, but they also ran them the other direction, seeking the treasures of the New World from the western coast of the continents. Typically, they would set out from Manila in the Philippines, transporting spices, porcelain, and silk to Acapulco where they would trade them for New World silve, gold, gems, and other treasures. They would often make land in Oregon or California before following the coast south. Then they would turn around with their new load and take the treasure back to Manilla and then mainland Spain.

The exact trade route was kept secret. After all, if it were known, the treasure ships would be prime targets for pirates. To this day, the route of the Manilla galleons isn’t known. However, it is estimated that at least 30 Manilla galleons were wrecked, and not all of them have been found. There are even rumors that one of them was shipwrecked off the coast of Oregon!

With that information, I knew it was possible that one of these mysterious Spanish treasure ships could have passed by the fictional Suamalie Islands, even before it was officially discovered. And it would have been kept hush hush because of the secrecy of the trade route. And if one was passing by the island of Oli Oli when there happened to be a big storm… And if residents of the island of Oli Oli told a local legend about such a ship (similar to what is told today even in Oregon)… And if certain characters came to the island and heard the tale… Maybe, just maybe, they would go searching. Whether or not they found a treasure, that search could be a story. And if two different people were searching for the same treasure thirty years apart, maybe readers would want to go on the search with them!

I won’t reveal any spoilers. I won’t say if a Manilla galleon is found, or if four hundred years later such a ship would still contain treasure. However, I hope you will still find treasure as you read this book. In 2023, finding a wonderful story, filled with mystery, romance, and adventure with a few deeper truths mixed in is a wonderful treasure indeed.

Interview with Amanda

Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?

I think one thing that doesn’t come through in the blurb is the humor in this book. Yes, it has mystery, suspense, adventure, and romance, but it also has humor! One of the very first scenes is where Tavia is trying to draw her silent Uber driver into a conversation. Their humorous interaction then becomes almost a running joke through the rest of the book. This is a edge-of-your seat, touching, thoughtful, and mysterious book, but it will also make you laugh!

Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?

I love the character of Drew Dundee. She is a supporting character in this book who will be seen more in my upcoming books. She is spunky, fun, and more than a little strange. But the character who really stole my heart is Tatanko (aka Tank). He’s a scrawny spitfire as a child and in many ways becomes Scott’s sidekick. Tank’s confidence is admirable and amusing, but it lands him in situations way over his head. Everything he does is to care for his family and friends, showing that his heart is much bigger than his undersized frame. I love the relationships Tank has with both Kekoa and Scott, and how they strive to look out for each other. The story is all the sweeter when we get the satisfaction of seeing where Tank’s big heart has taken him as we find that same boy alive and well thirty years later.

What were the highlight or key challenges you faced when writing this book?

I’d never written a split-time plot before, and it freaked me out a bit! It’s a challenge to essentially write two different stories that tie together in a shared ending. The stories function like two different sides of the same coin. Trying to match the pace of the stories and tie them together so they told an over-arching story was like putting the pieces of a complicated puzzle together. I had to manage the events and clues of the mystery to keep the suspense at the same level through both stories until they both climaxed into a satisfying conclusion. I love the way the book turned out. Honestly, it is so much better than the original story in my head! But I  admit, it was so challenging that I’m not eager to write another split-time novel anytime soon!

What is the key theme and/or message in the book?

The key theme has to do with the title. I meant it to be a reference to the Bible verse Matthew 6:21: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” In the book, the characters make mistakes. Other issues steal their attention, and they lose sight of what matters most. The don’t trust God with their difficulties and put their energy into things that didn’t matter most. While the two stories thirty years apart often mirror each other, they beg the question of if Tavia will make the same choices her dad did. The book’s message encourages us all to let go of the “shoulds” and focus on what matters most, recognizing the people God gives us as earthly treasure while doing His work to store up the heavenly treasures.

Where can readers find out more about you and your books?

If readers only do one thing, sign up for my newsletter! It is so much more than a typical “buy my books” advertisement. I send it out about once a month, and it is filled with stories and inspiration from my personal life. With every newsletter, I hear from readers about how much they appreciate my honesty and how God uses the words of a simple newsletter in their lives. You can sign up for my newsletter on my website or at this link: https://amandatru.com/trustoriesnewsletter

I always respond personally to FB messages and emails. I love hearing from readers! All of my books (over 30) are available on Amazon.

You can also find me on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/amandatru.author

I also have a brand-new readers book where I will share more about me and my books with my reader friends! Please join and become my reader friend!


Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 9

Texas Book-aholic, March 10

Sara Beth Williams, March 10

deb’s Book Review, March 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 12

Stories By Gina, March 13 (Author Interview

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 13

Sylvan Musings, March 14

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, March 14

Aryn the Libraryan, March 15

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, March 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 17

She Lives To Read, March 18

For Him and My Family, March 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 19

Blogging With Carol, March 20

lakesidelivingsite, March 21

Mary Hake, March 21

Simple Harvest Reads, March 22 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)


To celebrate her tour, Amanda is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


4 thoughts on “Where Treasure Lies Blog Tour with Celebrate Lit (Interview with Amanda Tru)

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