Tag Archives: goddess

Wicked Wednesday – Guest Blog & Contest

TEMPTATION CALLS vampire romanceOur Danger Women Writing Guest Blogs and Contests continue today with my wonderful editor, Stacy Boyd! Stacy will be chatting about the Harlequin Desire line and one lucky commenter will win copies of some of the books in THE CALLING VAMPIRE novels that Stacy and I have worked on together, namely, DANGER CALLS, TEMPTATION CALLS and FURY CALLS!

Please stop by and say hello to Stacy, but before you go, here’s a little known piece of trivia about the cover for TEMPTATION CALLS. A decision was made for the heroine to have a tattoo on the cover even though I made no mention of it in the book. When asked what would be the most likely tattoo she would have, it occurred to me that since the heroine – Samantha Turner – runs a home for abused women called the Artemis Shelter, the tattoo should be a representation of the goddess Artemis (Diana in Roman mythology – yes like Diana Reyes). Artemis was the Goddess of the Hunt and often depicted with a bow and arrow and so voila – the tattoo on the heroine’s leg is that of a female archer.

Paranormal Romance AZTEC GOLD

AZTEC GOLD Paranormal Romance NovellaOn this very wet and cold Wednesday morning I have a little something to warm you up – an excerpt from AZTEC GOLD, my paranormal romance novella from Carina Press. As you may remember, this story was inspired by my trip to Mexico and an exciting journey up a Pre-Colombian pyramid.

I hope you enjoy this little excerpt. This scene is after archeologist Cynthia Guerrero arrives at a remote village in the Mexican jungle and discovers that her missing ex-lover, Rafe, is alive, but not necessarily well.

Aztec Gold Paranormal Romance Excerpt

Wicked Wednesday – Sexy Excerpt from AZTEC GOLD

AZTEC GOLD paranormal romanceIt’s wicked cold here in the Northeast, so I figured it’s time to offer up a sexy hot excerpt from AZTEC GOLD, my new release from Carina Press. I love that I had the opportunity to create a different kind of story, kind of like Indiana Jones meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer if I had to give you the two second elevator pitch. I hope you’ll like it as well.

The reviews are starting to come in for this novella and I’ve included them in this excerpt as well for you! If you can’t see the excerpt below, you can click on this link to read it.

AZTEC GOLD Paranormal Romance Excerpt

Wicked Wednesday – Visiting the Banditas and AZTEC GOLD

Today’s Wicked Wednesday is a busy one! I’m prepping to visit my Bandita friends over at Romance Bandits tomorrow and have some giveaways for you there. I want to thank all of you who have been busy following me all along the blogosphere and leaving your many comments and support for me and for STRONGER THAN SIN!

Many of you have asked along the way about the fate of THE CALLING. Well, there are two more which will come out in January and February 2012. But well before those, I’ll have another vampire treat for you: AZTEC GOLD, a novella from Carina Press. AZTEC GOLD is the story of a woman searching for her missing lover and fighting an unusual enemy: an Aztec vampire demi-goddess.

Warning, it’s a cliff hanger at the end of this little excerpt! I want to whet your appetite for more.

***Excerpt***

Chapter One

The feel of old papers called to Cynthia Guerrera the way a lover’s skin might.

Even with the gloves she wore to protect the fragile documents from the oils on her fingers, she sensed the raspy texture of the heavy parchment beneath her fingertips. Smelled the mustiness that hinted at the fact that it had been some time since these papers had seen the light of day.

At first she had been skeptical about the provenance of the documents. Missouri cornfields were not the place one expected to find a trunk filled with nearly five-hundred-year-old Spanish artifacts. But a Missouri cornfield was just where the trunk containing the papers, journal and maps had been discovered when a developer had begun excavations for a new strip mall.

Setting aside the missive—a letter from Coronado himself to one of his seconds in command—she turned her attention to the leather bound journal of Juan Domingo Cordero, one of the conquistadors who had accompanied Coronado on his adventures. Gingerly opening the cover, she traced her fingers over the sprawling script. The first entries in the journal had provided her with the identity of the author and the date of the documents thanks to Cordero’s meticulous notations.

With that information, she had been able to check a number of other sources to confirm that Cordero had indeed been one of Coronado’s lieutenants. When Coronado had left Mexico City in 1540 in search of the fabled Cities of Gold, Cordero had been at his side for the first leg of the journey. Coronado had eventually separated from Cordero and his contingent, ordering them to search in one direction while he went in another.

Cordero’s entries in the journal carefully detailed their travels throughout the south central portion of Mexico, before his band had turned northward until they crossed the Rio Grande. Eventually the group had drifted eastward and reached the Mississippi, hugging the fertile banks of the river until it landed them in the area that would become known as Missouri.

Tired of their journeys and with their group decimated by a number of incidents, the Spanish conquistadors had built a small settlement a short distance from the sluggish and fruitful waters of the Mississippi.

The notations in Cordero’s journal gradually diminished after the establishment of that settlement, with the conquistador’s adventures giving way to the routine of farming and family life. It seemed that Cordero had finally stopped writing at all.

Cynthia supposed that was when the conquistador had tucked the journals detailing his explorations into the small wood and leather trunk together with his other papers. The trunk in turn had been put in a cellar, and over time, the floods that often occurred in the area had covered Cordero’s home and the surrounding settlement with mud. Further flooding and natural events had added to the layers over the former community, hiding its existence from sight until the developer’s bulldozers had dug up the first hints of the earlier colonization and the trunk.

Cynthia picked up the report that had arrived that morning. The assorted laboratory tests she had requested absolutely confirmed the age of the documents.

With that endorsement came proof of one thing, while serious doubt remained about a series of entries in the journals—unusual and unbelievable tales.

She rose and walked over to the climate-controlled locker in her office and then removed a hand-wrought wood and metal tube from within. Returning to her worktable, she untied the laces holding the metal cap in place at one end of the cylinder and slipped out a pliant sheet of leather that bore a crudely drawn map identifying the sometimes circuitous route Cordero and his men had taken from Mexico City.

In the middle of the map, more carefully detailed than anything else, were the geographical features and path to what Cordero had believed to be one of the fabled Cities of Gold. A city supposedly inhabited by a demon goddess who had taken away and killed nearly half a dozen of his men. Cordero had decided after the incident that no amount of lucre was worth their lives and had chosen to leave the area in search of a safer existence.

Shortly thereafter, he and his men had traveled northward, reached the Rio Grande, and eventually built the small farming settlement near the banks of the Mississippi.

Cynthia could well understand the motivation for adopting a quieter life after such hardships. Her childhood had been a series of travails thanks to her anthropologist parents and their thirst for knowledge.

But unlike the entries detailing Cordero’s travels, the tale of a demon goddess was hard to believe. Yet everything else about the documents was genuine.

Worse, something about the map had troubled her from the moment she first unrolled it onto her workstation—its similarity to one she had seen a little over six months earlier. As she had compared the various features on the drawing to a copy of one given to her by her lover, Dr. Rafael Santiago, she realized there was too much coincidence to ignore.

So many months ago, Rafe had detailed to her the plans for his latest archaeological expedition—a trip to a previously unknown and unexplored Aztec temple located in south central Mexico. While on that trip, Rafe, his younger brother and a team of five other men had disappeared into the Mexican jungle.

For weeks rescuers had searched for them, but without luck. The guides assisting them had refused to enter the Devil’s Jungle and without their advice, finding Rafe’s exact trail toward the temple had been virtually impossible.

For months Cynthia had been reaching out to various contacts in the area, hoping for word of Rafe and his group and keeping faith in the belief that they were still alive. But with each month that passed and every clue that evaporated into nothingness, that hope was fading along with the prospect of discovering anything about her lover’s disappearance…until now.

Aztec Gold – A Paranormal Romance Novella

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ll have an e-novella paranormal romance from Carina Press – AZTEC GOLD – out in the Fall of 2010.

AZTEC GOLD is a story about two archaelogists – Cynthia Guerrero and Rafael Santiago – who are radically different people. Rafael, or Rafe as he is known to friends and Cynthia, is an adventurer in the line of Indiana Jones. Totally alpha and unafraid.

Cynthia, on the other hand, prefers to stay in the safety and quiet of her job in the museum where her expertise is used to review and document ancient discoveries. Cynthia has reason to like security — as a child her famous anthropoligist parents dragged her all around the world until their untimely deaths.

But when Rafe disappears on an expedition to find an ancient Aztec temple in the Mexican jungle, Cynthia will have to face her fears – and an Aztec vampire demi-goddess – in order to discover what happened to her lover.

The inspiration for the story came from a trip that I took to Mexico as part of my day job. I was attending a conference in Mexico City and on one of the days of the conference we were able to visit Teotihuacan, a pre-Colombian city about 40 kilometers outside of Mexico City.

During its peak, Teotihuacan was thought to have held as many as 200,000 residents, although the ethnicity of those inhabitants is up for grabs. However the name Teotihuacan was given to the city by the Nahuatl-speaking Aztec centuries after the city had fallen to attacks from an assortment of invaders.

It’s an amazing place with its two pyramids – one to the sun and the other to the moon – and its long central avenue – the Avenue of the Dead – which is lined by smaller structures which the Aztecs believed to be tombs, resulting in the name of the avenue.

This is a view of the avenue and the Pyramid of the Sun from the Pyramid of the Moon.

Mexican Pyramid of the Sun and Avenue of the Dead

This is a view of the avenue and the Pyramid of the Moon from the Pyramid of the Sun.

Mexican Pyramid of the Moon and Avenue of the Dead

Despite my fear of heights, I am happy to say that I overcame that fear – much like Cynthia will fight to overcome hers – and climbed to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun. It was quite a view from there and I’ll be scanning some photos for you so you can get some first hand views of the area and the culture.

I hope you liked that Behind the Scenes info and now . . . an excerpt from AZTEC GOLD which will be available in the Fall 2010.

*****
Chapter 1

The feel of old papers called to Cynthia Guerrera the way a lover’s skin might.

Even with the gloves she wore to protect the fragile documents from the oils on her fingers, she sensed the raspy texture of the heavy parchment beneath them. Smelled the mustiness that hinted at the fact that it had been some time since these papers had seen the light of day.

At first she had been skeptical of the provenance of the documents — Missouri cornfields were not the place one expected to find a trunk filled with nearly five hundred year old Spanish papers and journals. But a Missouri cornfield was just where the trunk containing the papers and maps had been discovered when a developer had begun excavations for a new strip mall.

Setting aside the missive — one from Coronado himself to one of his seconds in command — she turned her attention to the leather bound journal of one Juan Domingo Cordero. Gingerly opening the cover, she traced her fingers over the scrawling script. The first entries in the journal had provided her with the identity of the author and the date of the documents thanks to Cordero’s meticulous notations.

With that information, she had been able to check a number of other sources to confirm that Cordero had indeed been one of Coronado’s lieutenants. When Coronado had left Mexico City in 1540 in search of the fabled Cities of Gold, Cordero had been at his side. Coronado had eventually separated from Cordero and his contingent, ordering them to search in one direction while he went in another.

Cordero’s entries in the journal carefully detailed their travels throughout the south central portion of Mexico, before his band had turned northward until they crossed the Rio Grande. Eventually the group had turned eastward and reached the Mississippi, hugging the banks of the river until it landed them in what would one day become Missouri.

Tired of their journeys and with their group decimated by a number of incidents, the Spanish conquistadors had built a small settlement a short distance from the sluggish and fertile waters of the Mississippi.

The notations in Cordero’s journal gradually diminished after that, with the conquistador’s adventures giving way to the routine of farming and family life. Eventually Cordero had stopped writing and Cynthia supposed that was when he had tucked the journals into the small wood and leather trunk together with his other papers. The trunk in turn had been put in the cellar and over time, the floods that often occurred in the area had covered Cordero’s home and the surrounding settlement with mud. Further flooding and natural events had added to the layers over the former community, hiding it from sight until the developer’s bulldozers had dug up the first hints of the earlier civilization and the trunk.

Cynthia picked up the laboratory results that had arrived that morning and which just further confirmed the age of the documents.

With that endorsement came proof of one thing, while serious doubt remained about another.

She rose and walked over to the climate-controlled locker in her office, removed a handwrought leather tube from within. Returning to her work table, she untied one end of the cylinder and removed a pliant sheet of leather from inside the tube. On the soft leather was a crudely drawn map identifying the sometimes circuitous route Cordero and his men had taken from Mexico City.

In the middle of the map, more carefully detailed than anything else, were the geographical features and path to what Cordero had believed to be one of the fabled Cities of Gold. A city supposedly inhabited by a demon who had taken away and killed nearly half a dozen of his men before Cordero had decided that no amount of lucre was worth their lives.

A hard tale to believe and yet everything else about the documents was genuine.

Worse yet, something about the map had troubled her from the moment she unrolled it onto her work station. As she had compared the various features on the map to a copy of another she had seen six months earlier, she realized there was too much coincidence to ignore.

Six months ago her lover, Dr. Rafael Santiago, had detailed to her the plans for his latest archaeological expedition — a trip to a previously unknown and unexplored Aztec temple. While on that trip with his younger brother and a team of about a dozen men, Rafe and his team had disappeared into the Mexican jungle.

For months she had been hoping for word of them, keeping faith in the belief that they were still alive. But with each month that passed, that hope was fading along with the prospect of discovering anything about her lover’s disappearance . . . until now.