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Newbie linguistics professor Mackenzie Campbell longs for love and success but works all the time, can’t connect with her students, and is afraid she’s a second-rate teacher. When she receives a phone call from her ex-boyfriend, Charlie, begging her to join him in the remote Lake Powell canyons to authenticate an ancient Aztec codex, she balks. Discovering an authentic codex would stun the linguistics world—but her department head will fire her if she leaves.
But after she discovers that Charlie is lost and feared dead, Mac manipulates her way onto an archaeological expedition to find him. There, she meets Sullivan, the expedition’s brash, insensitive guide who thinks she needs babysitting. His goading incenses her, but as they battle their way through unrelenting canyons, she’s forced to acknowledge her growing respect for him.
It takes all of Mac’s linguistics chops to decipher obscure clues, outwit devious expedition mates, and battle hazards that would unhinge even the bravest linguist. In the end, she realizes her most difficult task will be deciding between a known love and a new one. If she makes it out alive, that is.
A fast-paced, vividly realistic adventure story that tests character connections, motivations, choices, and chance. It's never a good idea to go into the canyons alone. But Mackenzie has an entire support group behind her: J. Reed Rich's readers of MOKI STEPS.
Midwest Book Review
J. Reed Rich worked in nonfiction publishing for twenty years as an editor, book designer, production coordinator, and website manager. When she’s not writing, she’s hiking with her dogs or gallivanting with her husband in their teardrop trailer.