This Frog Is Not a Prince in Disguise

AZTEC GOLD paranormal romance novella Carina PressIf you’ve had a chance to drop by the Carina blog, you know a little bit about what inspired AZTEC GOLD as well as my romantic suspense novel from Carina Press, THE FIFTH KINGDOM, which will be out in July 2011 (more on that story next week!).

Here is a little something else about what inspired certain parts of AZTEC GOLD.

I collect frogs. I don’t know how that got started, but one day someone brought me a frog from a trip and then my sis brought me one made of some parasitic wood from Puerto Rico. Then I went to a conference and guess what they gave us? Frogs made from some kind of mineral that deposits on trees in the rainforest. From that day on, if I went somewhere new I collected a frog to commemorate the trip.

So there are these two frogs which inspired parts of AZTEC GOLD and trust me, these frogs have nothing to do with a prince in disguise.

The first frog is one I bought at those pyramids that I mentioned in the Carina Press Blog. It’s made from gold obsidian which is not a pure obsidian since it has strands of gold color through the midnight black stone. Pure obsidian was very rare and therefore highly prized by the Aztecs. It’s one of the reasons all their sacrificial knives were made from the stone.

An obsidian knife plays a big part in the novella, but I won’t say more and spoil it in case you haven’t read it yet.

The second frog I also bought during a different Mexican trip, this time to Guadalajara while I was on my way to the city of Tequila. The kind of craftsmanship in this frog is very common in Mexico and I love the bright colors, but there was something almost crazy about this frog. Something that inspired Eztli Etalpalli, the demon in the novella. Eztli Etalpalli, which means Blood Wing in Nahuatl, has “Jaguar claws and wings sharp as knives.” For some reason I could imagine this crazy-colored frog with sharp talons and long knives out of its back. Can you?

How did Eztli Etalpalli come to exist? Here’s a little blurb for you explaining how the Clawed Butterfly goddess, Izpapalotl gave birth to the demon.

Cynthia paused in front of one panel of drawings and inscriptions which explained how Izpapalotl had fallen in love with a nahual human and taken him as a lover while posing as a normal woman. The union had resulted in a child: Eztli Etalpalli. A panel a little further down detailed the demon demi-goddess’s birth and life up until the time of her banishment.

Unlike her full-blooded goddess mother, Eztli Etalpalli lacked the power to assume human shape, even though her father had been mortal and a nahual. Because of that, Izpapalotl had kept her far away from civilization, fearful of what others might do to the half-demon child.

When Eztli Etalpalli had grown enough to defend herself, coming into her own powers, Izpapalotl had demanded of her worshippers that they build this temple for her daughter. That they deliver their tributes there for safekeeping.

The rest of the story they already knew: Eztli Etalpalli’s dissatisfaction and greed had led to her exile deep in the jungle.

I hope you enjoyed today’s little behind the scenes look at the creation of AZTEC GOLD.

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