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Laura Pauling | Tag Archive | Pugalicious Press
Tag Archives | Pugalicious Press

‘Tis the season!

Thanks to everyone who participated, supported, tweeted, and encouraged me during the blog tour of How To Survive Ancient Spells and Crazy Kings. Big hugs for everyone. I love that story, so it’s been really neat to see it out in the world.

I have another big surprise too. (Okay, well not a total surprise.)

On December 26th and the 27th – the two days after Christmas – HTS Ancient Spells and Crazy Kings Kindle version will be FREE on Amazon.

If you’d like to read it, or if you know of any kids, nieces, nephews, or neighbors who enjoy adventure stories, then please pass on the word!

If you’d like more information on the end-of-the-world Maya prophecy then  here’s a fantastic article on it from J&P Voelkel, authors of The Jaguar Stones, who focus solely on the Maya in their books.

Hope you’ve all had a terrific year! I’ll be back in January! ((Hugs))

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The official blog tour! Prize packages galore!

Welcome! Welcome! Welcome! Woo hoo!

 

On this tour, you’ll find out the behind-the-scenes journey with this story, my decision to go with a small press, weaving mythology into writing, writing craft tidbits exemplified with a unique teaser. Lots of good stuff. And don’t forget the incredible prize packages!

When Bianca and Melvin brave the jungle to rescue their grandfather, they stumble upon the ancient Maya city of Etza, where the people haven’t aged in 2,000 years. They must learn to work together as they face loincloth-wearing skeletons from the underworld, a backstabbing princess, and an ancient prophecy that says in three days the city will be destroyed.

No problem. They’ll find Zeb and zip right out of there. The fact that a crazy king wants to serve Bianca up to the gods as an appetizer is just a minor technicality. But this ancient evil dude has finally met his match.

Here are the blog tour stops.

 

 

Prize Package One! (signed paperbacks)

 

Prize Package Two! (signed paperbacks)

Prize Package Three!

If you can’t see the Rafflecopter form just refresh the page and it should appear!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Thanks, everyone, for your support! 🙂


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Exciting new releases! A middle grade and a young adult!

So many changes in a year. I can say that compared to last year at this time, self publishing is more accepted, is thriving, and…

I don’t regret my decision for a second.

Everyday writers are added to the list, who are considering self-publishing, or who have taken the plunge.

 I’m happy to officially announce the release of two books within days of each other.


Published by Pugalicious Press

Convinced that her grandfather, Zeb, needs help, twelve-year-old Bianca persuades her family to fly to the Mayan ruins of Tikal on a search and rescue mission. Impatient, she and her brainy cousin, Melvin, sneak out in the middle of the night and follow the clues to the ancient Maya city of Etza, where the people haven’t aged in 2,000 years. The cousins must learn to work together as they face loincloth-wearing skeletons from the underworld, a backstabbing princess, and an ancient prophecy—one that says in three days the city will be destroyed. They’ll find Zeb and zip right out of there. No problem.

Except, Bianca starts to care for her new friends, and Zeb does not want to be rescued. The fact that a crazy king wants to serve Bianca up to the gods as an appetizer is just a minor technicality. But this ancient evil dude has finally met his match. 

The blog tour starts next Monday with prize packages! Stay tuned!

Amazon ~ Read Chapter One

 

And the sequel to A SPY LIKE ME

Love can be dangerous. Games can be deadly.

Savvy finally reunites with Malcolm, the hot assassin she fell for in Paris.
But when an ancient enemy threatens their lives, Savvy and Malcolm must convince their families to work together, or their future together could be erased.
Permanently

Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Read Chapter One

 

I’ll tell you a secret. I love publishing and getting my work out there. After my week hiatus in which I worked on formatting and the publishing aspect, I’m looking forward to diving back into my works-in-progress.

What are you working on? Tell me about your stories. Or tell me a favorite book you’ve read recently.

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How to survive ancient Maya battle.

When plotting How To Survive Ancient Spells and Crazy Kings, I knew I had to include a battle scene. Here’s how I learned to survive their battles. If I were to ever time travel back.

1. Dig up some of the nastiest names you can find.

The Ancient Maya were similar to other ancient cultures. They lined up on their perspective sides of the fields and then attacked. But before they attacked they shouted insults at each other.

At first I found this kind of humorous because I thought about first graders out at recess calling each other out on cheating during a kickball game.

But the more I researched I realized it was a ritual with a purpose. To get pumped. Similar to athletic teams before a big game.

2. Try to hide the fact that you’re a king or a noble.

Of course, the Ancient Maya didn’t do that. The kings and the nobles would have the most decorated headdresses, the fanciest quilted armor, and the most tattoos. But they were also the most prized reward in a battle.

My impression is that to hide their kingship or nobility would be shaming themselves.

Yeah, not very smart.

3. Carry a longer, bigger club than your enemy. Or have bigger muscles.

The Maya fought with a club embedded with pieces of sharp obsidian. Ouch!

Battle came down to fighting one on one. It was a pride thing. All the warriors wanted to walk away victorious with an enemy bound and demoralized.

4. Pray that you sacrificed enough blood the day before!

Before the battle, the Maya sacrificed blood to their gods, hoping for their blessing during battle. No surprise there. The Maya sacrificed blood for just about any reason.

If all these don’t work, then be prepared for the worst. You’ll be lucky to be a slave. Most likely, you’ll get your heart ripped out and decapitated.

Before revising the battle scene, I wrote out a battle with Chak Tok (shortened name) as the main character. He ruled Tikal from 360 AD to 378 AD. Below is just a portion. But it really helped set the mood before writing my own battle scene.

 The mass of decorated warriors stood at the edge of a field. Beating war drums matched the king’s heart in anticipation of the fight. For a short while the only sounds were the roar of the howler monkeys and calls of macaws and toucans sounding from the jungle.

 A voice broke the silence, then another. Warriors called out insulting names to their enemies. The hatred and anger behind the name calling filled hearts and the shouting intensified. Adrenaline pumped through bodies that minutes before were still and silent. Sweat beaded on foreheads, muscles twitched and trembled, ready for a fight. Clubs imbedded with sharp obsidian shook in the air and wooden bows stretched with sharpened arrows ready to be released. Restless feet shifted side to side and faces contorted with emotion.

The name-calling climaxed, breaking into a war cry. Both sides thundered across the field, trampling any long grass or bushes in the way. Chak Tok surged across the field. Clashing in the middle, each warrior fought with all his strength. The goal was not to kill the enemy, but the greater honor was to capture a noble or maybe even the king, to return to Tikal and offer up in sacrifice. 

 As the first wave of adrenaline ended the warriors retreated to their side. Any captives were stripped of their war costume and bound.

 The name-calling resumed and soon the warriors were at it once again. Chak Tok wrestled with his opponent. Each man taking and giving blows. Finally his enemy bowed under the Tikal’s king’s might and will. Each side retreated for the last time. Chak Tok considered it a victory. They tended wounds, bound prisoners and headed for home.

Many battles between the same two city-states could be fought and it did not always result in a winner and a loser. Sometimes the battles went on for years, resulting in the capture of elite nobles to be sacrificed and farmers to become slaves.

What about you? What time period are you glad weren’t around for? Or that you’d love to go back to?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Seeing past the stereotypes.

Stereotypes.

We all have them. I know I do and I hate catching myself judging a person or place by their typical stereotype. I think of Texas and I see cactus and tumbleweeds. I think Dallas and I see big hair and lots of make up. Living in northern New England, I see the stereotype of New Englanders in action.

Sarcasm, fast-talking, aloof, educated…etc. And to some degree those are true. But beyond the stereotype are really nice people full of compassion. No, we don’t wear our emotions on our sleeves or chat up every single person we run into, like Southerners do. (Stereotype.) I swear I went into McDonald’s in the South and the girl behind the counter took five minutes to list the salad dressings.

But these stereotypes reach into fiction too.

I cringe when I read books where the churchgoers or the cheerleaders or the jocks are branded by the actions of just a few people, and I’m on the receiving end of that stereotype. These stereotypes usually create a villain where there isn’t one in real life.

These stereotypes appeared in ancient history too.

Medieval Europe was considered the center of the world. That was the happening place to be. Even though the commoners lived with their animals, and streams of sewage ran through their homes and in the streets and they rarely showered.

But over in Central America…who were these native people running around in nothing but loincloths? They must be backwards, not very smart, and just brutal to tear out the hearts of their sacrifices.

photo credit

Come to find out they charted the stars, made room in their calendars for leap year, knew to shower daily and keep clean and kept recorded histories of their people. They built awesome temples without cranes or beasts of burden. While people were dropping like flies from the bubonic plague over in Europe, the natives on this other continent were thriving.

I find this completely ironic and amusing. Facts like this only made researching the Maya that much more fascinating.

Of course, now I need to cleanse myself of the stereotypes I have of medieval Europe. J

In How To Survive Ancient Spells and Crazy Kings, I worked hard to build a believable world of the Ancient Maya, weaving in their culture and their way of life through the eyes of a girl on an adventure to rescue her grandfather.

What’s the stereotype of where you live and how is it wrong? Or right?

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