Sharon Buchbinder’s latest paranormal romantic suspense, OBSESSION, is out now from The Wild Rose Press. She’s here today to talk about the Sierra Madre and its people – the setting for this fascinating story.
Sharon: When I began researching Chihuahua, Mexico for a setting for my new paranormal romantic suspense, Obsession, my primary intent was to find a location to build my villain’s refuge. Lucky for me, the rugged terrain of the Sierra Madre, and specifically, Copper Canyon, were perfect for a hidden compound for a crazed cult leader, Zeke Edmonds, who kidnaps his grandson whom Zeke believes is the Chosen One. Copper Canyon is remote, rugged, breathtakingly beautiful, and sparsely populated. The cult leader believes he has it all: isolation, control of a thousand loyal-to-the-death followers, paid off politicians and the Chosen One. Life is looking good for his evil plans. We first learn about the hidden people of Mexico when Zeke’s right hand man tells him about how the cult followers have been living off the land.
“We’ve been living off our own plantings for the last six months.” He held his hands a foot apart. “Brother Nathan grew the biggest butternut squash I’ve ever seen.”
“What’s the secret?”
“Goat manure” Aaron grinned. “We use portable corrals, pasture them where we plan to plant and let them fertilize plots of land.”
Zeke guffawed. “Where’d did you get a notion like that?”
“From the Indians.” Aaron loved to play practical jokes on new recruits. Did he have the balls to try to put one over on his spiritual leader?
“Indians? You pulling my leg?”
“Nope. They’re around, but you won’t see them much. They’re not fond of outsiders, chabochis in their tongue.” He waved his hand toward the panoramic view. “Some live in caves without electricity or running water.”
Surprise crossed Aaron’s face. “They’re shy. Call themselves the Rarámuri—the runners. I’ve been told they can chase a deer to death.”
Zeke unclenched his fist and smirked. “We ain’t fawns and we ain’t running away.”
Zeke’s lack of insight into the Tarahumaran people leads, in part, to his downfall. Here’s some of the facts he fails to comprehend.
- The Tarahumaran people, also known as the Rarámuri , have lived in Mexico for thousands of years, yet few people outside Mexico know of their existence.
- Due to politics, deforestation, and grinding poverty, the Tarahumarans have been forced into increasingly harsh, high altitude geographic locales.
- They are marathon runners, so hardy they can run for days without stopping—at high altitudes.
While Zeke plots to rule the world in End Days, his wife works to use young Tarahumaran women to achieve the cult’s goals. Neither Zeke nor Miriam count on the fact that the Tarahumara are loyal to the death to their families and communities. No spoilers here, but let’s just say, the Tarahumara get their revenge!
Out now from the Wild Rose Press: OBSESSION
A year after a barbaric childbirth, complete with a near-death experience and an encounter with her guardian angel, Angie Edmonds is just happy she and her son, Jake, are alive. She’s finally in a good place: clean, sober, and employed as a defense attorney. But at the end of a long work day, she finds herself in a parent’s worst nightmare: Jake has been kidnapped and taken across the Mexican border by a cult leader who believes the child is the “Chosen One.”
Stymied by the US and Mexican legal systems, Angie is forced to ask the head of a Mexican crime syndicate for help. Much to her chagrin, she must work with Alejandro Torres, a dangerously attractive criminal and the drug lord’s right-hand man. Little does she know Alejandro is an undercover federal agent, equally terrified of blowing his cover—and falling in love with her.
Buy OBSESSION at: Amazon
If you are interested in more information on Copper Canyon, Sierra Madre and the Tarahumara people here are some additional resources:
Anderson, A.E. (1994). Ethnic Tourism in the Sierra Tarahumara: A Comparison of Two Raramuri Ejidos. (Thesis). University of Texas at Austin.
Biggers, J. (2006). In the Sierra Madre. Urbana & Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press.
Font, K. (2008, October 17). Tarahumara. National Geographic.
Gorney, C. (2008, November). A People Apart. National Geographic.
The California Native. (2003). Copper Canyon Companion. Los Angeles, CA: The California Native.
After working in health care delivery for years, Sharon Buchbinder became an association executive, a health care researcher, and an academic in higher education. She had it all–a terrific, supportive husband, an amazing son and a wonderful job. But that itch to write (some call it an obsession) kept beckoning her to “come on back” to writing fiction. Thanks to the kindness of family, friends, critique partners, Romance Writers of America, and Maryland Romance Writers, she is now an award-winning author published in contemporary, erotic, paranormal and romantic suspense. When not attempting to make students, colleagues, and babies laugh, she can be found herding cats, waiting on a large gray dog, fishing, dining with good friends, or writing.
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