Why I Ventured into the Jungle

Marilyn, Thank you for allowing me to bring my blog tour to you today! I’m giving away a $5 egift card to a commenter today 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: http://www.patyjager.blogspot.com or my website: http://www.patyjager.net

It was a mixture of things that prompted me to write Secrets of a Mayan Moon. First I’d read a book that was dubbed “action adventure” and I was less than impressed. Second, I mentioned this to a writer friend on the way to a writer’s retreat.  She then asked, “How would you write an action adventure?”

And we spent the rest of the drive over and back brainstorming the characters, the setting, and the tone. But I have to admit the tone ended up darker than I’d first imagined. Once the characters started to develop and show their inner demons and wants to me, I could no longer write the heroine in the comedic way I’d first portrayed her in my brainstorming.

This is the beginning of the conversation between my friend and I when this book started forming in my head.

Julie: Why don’t you write one?

Me: I can’t write action adventure and I’ve worked hard at branding myself. I write western or Native American.

Julie: So make the heroine have something to do with Native American studies.

Me: I guess that would work. (here my brain started kicking into overdrive)

Julie: Where would you set this story?

Me: South or Central America.

Julie: Why?

Me: I could use the heroine’s studies of Native American Indians as her reason for traveling to countries with drug problems.

Julie: Why?

Me: Because the hero would be with the DEA.

Julie: What kind of heroine will she be?

Me: Scholarly…genius level having graduated with her doctorate at 20 or22.(a light bulb clicked in my head as a slender girl with glasses wearing a long broomstick skirt, tank top, and sandals formed in my mind) Her name is Isabella Mumphrey.

Julie: (laughing) That’s a great name! Tell me more about her.

I went on to describe Isabella and as soon as I returned home, I began gathering the information and doing the research to write her book.


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.


Isabella climbed out of the boat, keeping as much distance between her and Tino as possible. He’d humiliated her, and she couldn’t get away from him. They were stuck together tonight and all of tomorrow until he delivered her to the dig. His taunting her with a kiss and then drawing away as if she were some vile creature hurt as deeply as the things Darrell Rutley had said to her face in grad school.

She walked into the forest, hunting for a place to have a few moments to herself.

“Do not go far,” Tino called in his seductive Latin accent.

She cursed her reaction to his voice, raised a hand acknowledging his order, and tromped deeper into the trees. The murmur of the river faded away in the steady drone of mosquitoes. She slapped at the leaves on the plants and wandered deeper. Rustling in the underbrush shot her heart into her throat. Jaguars were nocturnal weren’t they? A small, furry, pig-like animal trotted across her path, followed by five smaller versions.

She giggled at her jumpy nerves and the animals’ comical parade as she watched the last one disappear through the greenery. The waning light enlarged the shadows. Reluctance played war with her logical self. She should return to the boat before darkness descended and she couldn’t find her way back. But her pride, something she usually didn’t consider, wouldn’t let her face Tino.

Not yet.

It was stupid to believe he wanted to kiss her. Tino was handsome, virile, and so unlike any of the men she’d met during her college days or professionally. Exactly the type who toy with women like me. His chivalry and her attraction to him made her feel attractive, something she rarely experienced. But the way he brushed her off after he’d initiated the kiss... He’d only proved he could kiss her and not that he wanted her. She mentally slapped herself at her stupidity and virginal cravings.

The walk hadn’t settled her anger. Reliving the event only escalated her rage.

How could one be a genius yet stupid about life lessons?

She pulled out what she now considered her knife and hacked at the plants along the way. With each swing she lopped off something of Tino’s. Blue penetrating eyes. Devastating smile. A hand, so good at soothing her. The other hand. Her smile grew, and her frustration turned to the healthy exhaustion of an extensive taekwondo class.

Isabella wiped a sleeve across her sweaty brow and heaved a sigh of contentment. The vigorous exercise worked wonders on her disposition.

A fierce roar vibrated through the trees.

Secrets of a Mayan Moon is available at Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords

Paty Jager and friend


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; www.patyjager.blogspot.com  her website; http://www.patyjager.net or on Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/#!/paty.jager and twitter;  @patyjag.


Paty Jager said…
Thank you for having me here today, Marilyn! Everyone remember to leave an e-mail so I have a way of contacting you if you are the winner of my egift certificate.

Christine Young said…
Loved the excerpt and your picture with the horse. Looking forward to reading this book.
Unknown said…
Great story, one I've enjoyed immensely. It is fun to get the extra insights into what makes the characters tick.

Thanks to Marilyn for hosting!

Laurel N
Paty Jager said…
Hi Chris! Thank you! My daughter took that photo. I hope you enjoy the book.

Hi Laurel! I'm glad you enjoyed the story and my posts.
Hi, Paty! Love the way this story developed! A writer's mind is a wonderful thing. :)
Paty, good gor you. I don't think I could write an action adventure, but it is good to stretch ourselves occasionally, isn't it? I'm eager to read this book.
msspencerauthor said…
Book sounds like great fun Paty--you are so versatile (I admit it the fact that Isabella is an anthropologist like me caught my eye!) Meredith
Paty Jager said…
Hi Genene, It is funny how I think my best books come from dares.

Hi Caroline, I think by taking on hew things it makes my writing fresher and I'm more excited about the story and project.

Meredith, Thanks! I hope if you read it you are gentle on me. I've never been an anthropologist but I used what I could garner from reading to hopefully make her realistic.
Anonymous said…
Great post, and excerpt. Anthropology? Very interesting choice! :)
Paty Jager said…
Thanks Kitty. It was an area I knew nothing about but did a lot of research.
tahir sumar said…
Free Bollywood hot News, Bollywood Top Hot Actress and Hot Desi Girls Beautiful hot Pictures.
Paty Jager said…
Kitty is my egift certificate winner. You'll be receiving that later today. Thank you for having me Meredith!

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