Wednesday, November 14, 2012


by Paty Jager

Caroline, thank you for having me here today.

The Maya had an expressive script they used to record every nuance of sound, meaning, and grammatical structure in the writers’ language. It was calligraphic with the elegance of a free flowing line. Whether the scribes were carving limestone, engraving jade, inscribing on shell, or incising bone the grace of the writing stayed intact.

Besides the hard natural surfaces they carved on, they also had accordion-folded books made from beaten bark paper that was surfaced with a thin layer of plaster. Four of these books survived time, elements, and the Spaniards. They are calendar almanacs for rituals.

While the world has lost the other books that were written, it can be presumed that they were about the same things as have been witnessed on the monuments and carved tablets: genealogy, history, learning, tribute, trade, mythology, views of the world and history.

A lot of valuable information has been lost and only a few scholars are able to decipher the writing system of the Maya though many present day Maya speak languages descended from the two written languages in the ancient texts. They are Yucatecan—spoken by the people living in the northern third and on the eastern edge of the peninsula of Central America, and Cholan—spoken at the base of the southern lowlands from Palenque in the west to Cop├ín in the east.

In SECRETS OF A MAYAN MOON, Isabella Mumphrey knows enough of the Cholan language to discover a piece of a tablet that plays a role in her deciphering a ritual that could bring about her death.

Child prodigy and now Doctor of Anthropology, Isabella Mumphrey, is about to lose her job at the university. In the world of publish or perish, her mentor’s request for her assistance on a dig is just the opportunity she’s been seeking. If she can decipher an ancient stone table—and she can—she’ll keep her department. She heads to Guatemala, but drug trafficking bad guys, artifact thieves, and her infatuation for her handsome guide wreak havoc on her scholarly intentions.

DEA agent Tino Kosta, is out to avenge the deaths of his family. He’s deep undercover as a jaguar tracker and sometimes jungle guide, but the appearance of a beautiful, brainy anthropologist heats his Latin blood, taking him on a dangerous detour that could leave them both casualties of the jungle.

Tino found a shady spot and two wood crates to sit on at the edge of the small gathering of adobe huts roofed with palm fronds. He placed a Gallo in front of himself and a can of soda water in front of Isabella. Digging into a side pocket of his bag, he pulled out fruit, rolls, and cheese. “It is not much, but it will sustain us for the trip.”

He handed the food to Isabella. Her gaze traveled over every inch of the community. Her desire to speak to the locals and gather more information was evident in her eyes. The few locals, watching them with curious stares, appeared harmless. If she could glean useful information without knowing their language, he wouldn’t stop her.

“After we eat, if you wish to try and visit with the locals, I do not mind waiting.”

She rewarded him with a wide, full smile and glittering eyes.
“Gracias. I would love to visit with them about their ancestors and way of life.” She ate with her usual vigor.

A grin tugged his lips when she pulled out the large knife she carried and cut more cheese, placing it inside another roll.

Isabella eased her backpack onto her shoulders and stood. He took that as a signal she was ready to visit with the locals. Tino put the remaining food into his pack and shouldered it.

“Let’s try the old man over there. He seems as curious about us as you are about them.” Tino headed toward the man, a friendly smile on his lips.

The man watched their approach, but his gaze remained on Isabella.

“May we speak with you?” Tino asked in Spanish, doubting the man would understand their request.

The man shook his head and chattered in a language unfamiliar to Tino.

Isabella stepped forward, her face glowed with excitement. She haltingly spoke back to the man.

Tino touched her arm, drawing her attention to him. “What is he speaking?”

“Cholan.” Her grin grew.

“You know this language?” Her intelligence surprised him once again.

“I know bits of it. Not enough to learn what I’d like to know, but enough to impress him to let me in his home.”

SECRETS OF A MAYAN MOON is available at Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords.


 I love to give and you could be the winner! I will be giving away a $5 egift card to a commenter at each blog stop and will give a bag full of goodies to the person who follows me to the most blogs and a gift to the host who gets the most commenters. You can find the blog tour hosts at my blog: or my website: 

Paty Jager, Author

Paty's Bio
Wife, mother, grandmother, and the one who cleans pens and delivers the hay; award winning author Paty Jager and her husband currently ranch 350 acres when not dashing around visiting their children and grandchildren. She not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.

Her contemporary Western, Perfectly Good Nanny won the 2008 Eppie for Best Contemporary Romance, Spirit of the Mountain, a historical paranormal set among the Nez Perce, garnered 1st place in the paranormal category of the Lories Best Published Book Contest, and Spirit of the Lake, the second book of the spirit trilogy, was a finalist in the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence.

You can learn more about Paty at her blog;  her website; or on Facebook;!/paty.jager and twitter;  @patyjag.

Thanks for stopping by!


Caroline Clemmons said...

Paty, thanks for sharing with this blog and readers for your blog tour. Best wishes for continued success.

Paty Jager said...

Caroline, Thank you for having me here. I'm looking forward to chatting with visitors. Everyone be sure to leave your email address so it's easy for me to contact you if you're the winner.

katsrus said...

Love your photo with your horse. Your book cover is really pretty. Enjoyed the excerpt. I think they were very interesting people.
Sue B

Anonymous said...

Think of the mindset needed to believe your words are important enough to inscribe on stone, and not just "cave graffiti" Same as the Egyptians who wrote on walls in their hieroglyphs but I'm thinking the Maya might have been more advanced, since they had moved on to actual letters. Fascinating thanks for sharing

Paty Jager said...

Sue B, thank you for the kind words about my horse and my cover, which my daughter designed. I did find the Maya to be an interesting culture.

Mona-karel, The Maya writing wasn't letters but images that were used like words.

Unknown said...

Love the premise of your book and the horse is beautiful. Congrats on the new release and enjoyed the excerpt.
Mayan were certainly interesting.

Lyn Horner said...

Paty, you've obviously done your research. Great excerpt and very interesting facts about Mayan writing. Lyn

Unknown said...

I have a book on the Maya Codex (actually more than one were found) and the scholars who worked to decipher them. Fascinating stuff. I love that you did such detailed research to write this book and that you're sharing what you learned with us.

Thank you! :)

Paty Jager said...

Hi Amber, Thank you for all the kind words.

Hi Lyn!Thank you. I do spend way too much time researching when I should be writing. ;0)

Paty Jager said...

Christy, There were more than one codex found. While I read a lot about them I only used bits and pieces of the info in the book. Just enough to make it sound like my heroine was an anthropologist. Heaven knows, I don't have a clue!

Greta said...

What an interesting concept. I might just have to pick up this book for a read - before the 21st December, though :)

Paty Jager said...

Great, Thanks! You do know they have unearthed a newer calendar. So the world isn't going to end.

Anonymous said...

Loved the information about the writing forms. It seems that most civilizations at this time used images for words. Would you happen to know if the images used by Mayans are at all similar to images used by other ancient cultures? I wonder if the evolution of the cultures were somewhat similar in terms of understanding their world.

Heather Redmond said...

It's amazing that any of the books survived! You must have had fun researching this one.

Paty Jager said...

Maggie, I don't know if the other cultures have the same type of images or not. I guess something else to research.

Hi Heather, I did have a lot of fun researching.

Robin Weaver, Author said...

Very interesting info on the Mayan writing. And your book cover is awesome!

Martha Lawson said...

I really enjoyed the Mayan article. They are a fascinating people! Your book sounds really great I will be putting it on the wish list. Thanks for the giveaway.

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Paty Jager said...

Hi Robin, Thanks! My daughter did a great job on the cover.

HI Martha, I'm glad this post intrigued you enough to add my book to your wish list. Thank you!

Unknown said...

Thank you for exposing me to a culture I knew nothing about. I have enjoyed this one very much.

Thanks to Caroline for inviting Paty to your blog and giving us an opportunity to learn more about Mayan culture.

Paty Jager said...

Unknown, I'm glad you enjoyed the post and excerpt.

Paty Jager said...

Martha is the winner of my egift giveaway. I'll be sending you an e-mail. Thank you everyone for stopping in and commenting.