Some of you may know from following the blog that I have a fear of heights. Not a little fear, a great big one. Standing on the edge of the subway platform or even at the top of a two step stepstool have me feeling queasy. Airplanes? A major challenge. Those glass elevators? Find me in one at a conference and I’ll be the one tucked by the nice solid door, looking away from all that glass.
So what did I do when I was in Mexico many years ago and presented with the opportunity to climb the Pyramid of the Sun? By the way, this pyramid is the third tallest pyramid in the world! Well, I decided I could miss this unique and possibly once-in-a-lifetime experience or I could suck it up and climb.
Climb I did all the way to top to snap that photo of the Avenue of the Dead and the Pyramid of the moon in the distance. It was truly amazing. Then came the hard part again: getting down. The steps were quite narrow and steep so I had a constant sensation of falling. Half way down I decided I was going to do this on my butt. I sat and went the rest of the way to the ground on my butt. No excuses for that one since I’d conquered my fear to go up the pyramid.
What about you? Have you ever had to face a fear like this?
Years ago I was lucky enough to be at a legal conference where they took us to visit the archaeological site of Teotihuacan which is just north of Mexico City. This site was the location for one of the largest pre-Columbian cities in the Americas. It is thought to have been destroyed in either 5 or 6 A.D., possibly from internal strife or climate change due to meteor strikes and/or a volcanic eruption.
Now, for the regulars, you know how I hate heights, but I refused to let that fear keep me from getting to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun. Here are some photos from my trek. You can see how far up it really is! The first photo is of the Avenue of the Dead which is actually a series of multi-family dwellings.
This is me on my way up the pyramid. Going down was a lot harder due to the steepness of the grade.
I recently got to visit Mexico City again and go to the Anthropological Museum where I saw lots of artifacts and this recreation of what Teotihuacan may have looked like at one time. It was awesome to see all this history up close and personal because I had included a lot of it in AZTEC GOLD and THE FIFTH KINGDOM, my two novels with Aztec themes.
I hope you enjoyed this Throwback Thursday look at my visits to Mexico.
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Today I’m sharing with you one of my favorites: THE FIFTH KINGDOM, a romantic suspense I did for Carina Press early last year. Why is it one of my favorites? Both the heroine and hero, Bill and Deanna, are wounded characters who need love to help heal the wounds of the past.
I loved bringing them together as well as something very shocking in the middle of the book. I can’t say what and spoil it, but it involves Bill and it’s a biggie. A life-threatening biggie.
I hope you like this excerpt. Please note that it is for mature audiences.
One of my favorite books that I’ve written is THE FIFTH KINGDOM, a romantic suspense story that I did for Carina Press. There was something about the hero, CIA Agent Bill Santana, that hooked me from the moment he showed up on the pages. Add to that a heroine who is so not ready for love much less adventure, toss in some ancient ruins and a kidnapping and the story just came alive for me.
RT Book Reviews: 4.5 Stars, ““This story is an Indiana Jones-style thrill ride infused with just the right amount of romance and sexual tension…The mystery, the family dynamic and the love story all blend together perfectly in this delightful adventure. Who needs Harrison Ford when you’ve got a tale like this?”
For now, I’ll leave you with this free read. This scene is just after someone has tried to grab the heroine, Deanna, from in front of the prep school where she teaches. Bill has taken her to a safe house, but was injured during the kidnapping attempt when he was shot. Luckily his vest stopped the bullet, but he is still feeling the impact of it. In this scene, Bill and Deanna start to feel attraction growing between them.
By now you know that I’ve got two releases coming up, THE FIFTH KINGDOM a romantic suspense, and THE LOST, a paranormal romance.
Now I don’t want to give too much away about either of them, but after considering it for some time, it occurred to me that they have something in common that has really grabbed my attention: Magical and mystical energies.
In THE FIFTH KINGDOM, the energy comes from an ancient relic discovered in what could be Montezuma’s tomb. The relic is a copy of the Aztec Sun Stone sitting the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. The original sun stone is about 12 feet in diameter and weighs about 24 metric tons. You can read more about the original here.
The relic in the book is similar in terms of its look, but it is small enough to hold in your hands and made of obsidian and silver on stone. It is very different in one important way: It has mystical powers which are released once it comes in contact with something very sacred.
What can be so sacred? What about blood?
Now I won’t spill about whose blood awakens the energy in the relic or what it is because I don’t want to spoil the story for you.
Those energies, whether in relics, nature or in people, are all around us I think. As I said, that’s what inspired me for the two stories.
For THE LOST it was my visits down to the shore and the power I’d feel in nature, but also in the people gathered on Sunday mornings for Pavilion Praise in Ocean Grove. The gathering of that many people focused on one thing creates almost palpable energy to me.
It made me remember that I had felt something similar on a Palm Sunday many years back when my family and I went to Rome for Holy Week. Walking into St. Peter’s Square when it was filled with thousands of people joined together was seriously an amazing experience.
Those energies in us and around us is what inspired the SIN HUNTERS, a race of people capable of harnessing and using those energies for all kinds of cool things.
In the next few weeks, I’d like to explore with you those LOST energies. Find out if you believe or not in whether such powers can exist in nature, people or things.
For today, I’ll leave you with the Aztec Sun Stone and it’s supposed abilities to predict the end of THE FIFTH KINGDOM and also, the video premiere for the novel.
I’d love to hear from you as to whether you believe in THE LOST energies as we explore some other relics, people who see auras and sense energies, and all other kinds of cool things!
Don’t forget that on Thursday I’ll be having a live video event with Jeaniene Frost where we’ll be chatting about sexy urban fantasy and its heroes and heroines. If you can’t see the widget below, you can go to this link: http://t.wbx.me/fbam1 for the live video event.
Photo Credit for Aztec Sun Stone in Blog: Rosemania@wikipedia.com
Good morning! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I spent mine down the shore doing more research for the SIN HUNTER paranormal romance series and snapping off photos of the various locations which I will share with you later.
So who is today’s Guilty Pleasure?
When I first thought of the hero in my new romantic suspense novel, THE FIFTH KINGDOM, there was no doubt in my mind who Bill Santana would look like: Eddie Cibrian.
This picture of him looking all dark and dangerous was shot at Vandenberg Air Force during an FBI and U.S. Air Force explanation of how intelligence is gathered for bomb explosions. The info was being used for a television show in which Eddie was participating.
Hope you enjoyed today’s Guilty Pleasure.
Photo Credit: Air Force Shot is in the public domain.