Archive | The Maya RSS feed for this section

How To Survive Ancient Spells and Crazy Kings is FREE!


Yes! That’s right. HTS Ancient Spells and Crazy Kings is free today and tomorrow (Dec. 26th and 27th).

Click here to purchase!

I’d so appreciate it if you could tweet this post and share it on your social media outlets! Thank you so much.

Here are some ready made tweets!

Time travel, ancient Maya and mystery. HTS Ancient Spells & Crazy King is #FREE

#FREE #Kindle Middle grade mystery with a kick-butt heroine! HTS Ancient Spells&Crazy Kings.


See you in 2013!



Comments are closed

‘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))

Comments { 2 }

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! 🙂

Comments { 29 }

How to survive a traditional thanksgiving.

I’m a fan of parties. I love parties. I love hanging out with my friends.

I especially love them when someone else is hosting the party!

Well, no more.

My dearest husband who I adore has wanted to throw a traditional Thanksgiving for years. And I’m usually like, seriously?

I guess this year he’s serious. It’s actually happening.

**Laura breathes into a brown paper bag**

The invites were sent out and they were hilarious. I keep trying to convince him to write middle grade nonfiction…maybe someday.

He’s all romanticizing the whole ordeal.

I’m like how do we feed forty people? You know how much turkey that is? Have you thought about details? Like drinks? And the fact that it might be snowing? Or raining?

He’s like no problem.

Well, everyone we invited responded enthusiastically. Some will be trying out recipes from the Plimouth Plantation cookbook. That got my husband excited.

I’m thinking. What if we run out of food? Should I have the Chinese Take out on speed dial? How do we keep food warm? I only have so many outlets for crock pots.

**Laura grabs the brown paper bag again.**

So what’s on the menu?

  • Turkey cooked over a fire hanging from a string. (Yeah, we tried it today and only the bottom half cooked. Thankfully I’m the detail person and told him to experiment! So on the big day it will be two small chickens cooked over the fire from a string.)
  • Turkey on the rotisserie.
  • Fish.
  • Venison.
  • Clams/mussels.
  • Butternut squash and apples – my one addition besides cleaning the entire house.
  • Sweet breads.
  • Baked Beans.
  • Clam chowder.
  • Pies/cookies.

Thankfully, we’re not providing it all. Just the turkey, chicken and venison.

I’m not freaking out yet because I’m in denial. I’m pretending it’s not really happening. And I told my husband that he’s in charge.

I’ll let you know how it goes after this weekend!

And in other news, have you signed up for the INDIE-giving blogfest? You do not need to be a published author or self published to participate. It’s for anyone.

And in other other news, How To Survive Ancient Spells and Crazy Kings is releasing next Wednesday! Eek. And the blog tour starts December 3rd.

So does anyone know of any pilgrim Thanksgiving games to keep the kids from tearing my house apart. Specifically outdoor games?

Comments { 17 }

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?







Comments { 20 }