Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Secrets of a Mayan Moon by Paty Jager : Character Interview, Review, Excerpt


Today our interview is with  Isabella Mumphrey, main female protagonist in Secrets of a Mayan Moon
Today, I’m here to interview Dr. Isabella Mumphrey, an up-and-coming anthropologist, who received her doctorate at the age of twenty-two and has since become the head of her department at the University of Arizona. Her driving career goal is to link the people of Central America to the Native Americans within the United States.
Laurie: Dr. Mumphrey, when did you discover you had a genius IQ?
Isabella: My mother has high intelligence and when she became aware of my acute memory, she enrolled me in schools for the gifted. But I don’t like to talk about that. I’d rather discuss my work at the university.
Laurie: Dr. Mumphrey, we’re here to learn about you and not what you do at the university.  You know what they say about all work and no play? As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Isabella: Most of the time, I just wanted to be normal. To live with my parents and see them more than holidays and my birthday. To have friends. It’s hard to connect when you’re twelve and everyone else you see on a daily basis is a college student. They look at you as a freak. I just wanted to grow up and be normal.

Laurie: What are your favorite TV shows?
Isabella: I don’t watch TV but my favorite movies are Indiana Jones. The way he gets out of tight spots and uses his whip…I know it’s all make believe but to have that freedom…I guess in answer to your question above. I’d like to grow up to be Indiana Jones. (She smiles wistfully) I’ve had enough of the real world, I’d like to live in a make believe world for a while.

: What is your favorite meal?
Isabella: Any meal! I love food and have a high metabolism which makes it hard for me to keep any fat on my body.

Laurie: What are you passionate about these days?
Isabella, staring past the Lauries shoulder with a happy grin: I’m still passionate about my work and discovering where my roots are, but I’d have to say right now in this moment I’m most passionate about a Venezuelan man who has come into my life and shown me I’m not a freak and can be loved for exactly who I am.
Laurie: What do you do to unwind and relax?
Isabella: There is such a thing?(laughing) I like to chat with my cockatoo Alabaster, read about the Hopi culture, and spend time with my latest passion.

Laurie: Morning Person? Or Night Person? How do you know?
Isabella: Night person. If I’m working on a project I can stay up for days and nights on end. If a puzzle presents itself I can’t let it go until I’ve solved it. One of my greatest flaws I think.

Laurie: What would we find under your bed?
Isabella: A whip I bought trying to use it like Indiana Jones. (She blushes) the attempt didn’t turn out too well.

Laurie: What makes you happy?
Isabella: Discovering more and more connections between the people I study and the growing love and admiration I have for Augustino Konstantine. 

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.


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


   There they were. The symbols she’d tried to figure out the other day. They represented the name of a woman. She stared across the compound, unseeing. The woman who was sacrificed. Isabella’s stomach churned. The sacrifice of the virgin made the moon god cry. What about this particular woman left sorrow rather than hope? For the sacrifices were gifts to the gods to bring good weather and crops.

     Sadness for this woman wrapped around her heart. Clutching the book to her chest, Isabella returned to her tent and lay down. She needed to sleep. That had to be why this information caused her so much grief. She was tired.

     But sleep eluded her. Her mind spun with the drawings, the sadness, and restlessness. Finally, unable to shake the images and unease, Isabella rose, crossed the compound, and entered the dig site. Something compelled her to read the glyphs and look at the carvings in the altar chamber once more.

     The workers glanced up as she entered. Virgil eyed her and then the book clutched in her arms.

     “What are you doing?” he asked, stepping forward.

     “I need to see the carvings on the wall in the other chamber.” Without missing a step, she continued into the chamber. Virgil’s footsteps echoed behind her. Isabella placed the book, open to the pages she had read, on the sacrificial altar. She stepped to her left and studied the drawings on the wall with more interest than on the day before.

     The story made more sense after connecting the urn, the glyphs she didn’t know, and then this artwork. It played out in her head as if she stood watching the event.

     “What are you finding?” Virgil stood next to her.

    Her skin grew cold and her heart raced with fear. He means you harm. He brings evil. A voice in her head warned. The voice and her reactions to Virgil were illogical, but her intelligence knew there were some things that couldn’t be explained. Like her drive to learn all she could about the native people of the Americas.

     The urgent voice felt more a friend than Virgil at this moment. She shook her head. “Nothing. I thought I’d found something that connected, made sense of the stone and glyphs. I-I was wrong.”

     His eyebrows rose and he stared at her. Doubt shimmered in his eyes. He didn’t believe her. And why should he? She walked in here—the dampness of her clothes registered as her mind divorced itself from the story. She’d walked into the dig wet from rain pouring outside. Rain she hadn’t even noticed until now. She’d been in a trance, induced by her knowledge that the pieces put together would give her answers.

     A worker stuck his head into the chamber. “Señor, we leave for dinner.”

Virgil waved him away and took another step toward her. Instinct moved her feet back. His eyes widened then cloaked.

     “Are you coming to dinner?” The tone wasn’t an invitation but more an accusation.

     “No, I had a late lunch and want to remain here a while longer to see if I didn’t overlook something.” She didn’t really want to stay here alone, but she also didn’t want to be with Virgil. The whole trance-like episode, the voice, and her unease with a family friend left her unsure of anything at the moment. Least of all acting normal.

     “If you tell me what you’re looking for, I could help. We are in this together.”

     “That’s the crux. I don’t know what I’m looking for, but I’ll know it when I see it.” She offered a weak smile. “I think?”

     Virgil studied her a moment longer then pivoted on his heel and left the chamber.

     His departure lessened the tension in her shoulders and lightened the air. She walked over to the altar and ran her hands over the polished stone. Cold chilled her back. Her mind numbed as fear and regret entered her chest.


4 Stars
I loved the jungle setting where this book takes place through most of the story.  I felt the sticky humidity and envisioned the lush landscape.  Isabella, naïve and trusting, is thrilled to have been called to a new archeological dig at the bequest of her long-time mentor.  When she is attacked shortly after her arrival, her adventure gets off to a frightening and inexplicable start. Fortunately, her guide Tino takes on the role of protector.  Tino is actually a man of multiple disguises, and he is on a quest of his own.  As the story unfolds, Isabella and Tino begin working together to untangle a web of lies.   

Adrenalin-pumping adventure and danger are often present in this suspenseful and action-packed story.  The attraction between Isabella and Tino deepens with each dangerous encounter they survive.  I particularly liked that even though Isabella is naïve she most certainly is no shrinking violet. She is uncommonly intelligent and figures out solutions to problems in creative ways. The conspiracy ultimately revealed stretched my capacity to suspend disbelief, but I swallowed the possibility simply because I had so much fun being carried along for the ride. If you enjoy resourceful characters caught up in thrilling escapades in exotic locales then you most certainly should enjoy this novel. 

This book was given to me by the author in exchange for my honest review.  I have not received any additional compensation, and my thoughts are strictly my own.


Reviewed by Laurie-J

Comment on this post for a chance to win a $5 Amazon Giftcard.
Be sure to include your email addy in your comment.
The winner will be randomly chosen on December 29th.


Paty Jager said...

Thank you for having me on your blog, Laurie!

Joanne said...

Congrats on the release. This book sounds fantastic. Can't wait to read it. Thanks for the great interview and review.. I've never seen any of the Indiana Jones's movies. They sound intriguing. I wish I had Isabella's high metabolism. That would be nice.


Marian Lanouette said...

Great excerpt. Good luck with your book.

Sandy L. Rowland said...

What an in-depth post. Wow!character interview, excerpt, author info. I love how your main character is a prodigy. Smart, courageous women are worth reading.thanks for the entertainment and great success to you.

Paty Jager said...

Hi Joanne, Isabella is everything I'm not! So I wish I had her high metabolism too. ;0)

Thank you Marian!

Thanks, Sandy! Yes, Laurie has a great blog! Writing a smart person was a challenge.

Anonymous said...

Great character interview, Paty! It reminded me about one of the underlying themes with Isabella. That is her parents never being around. One of the many things I loved about this book was the depth of both Isabella and Augastino's characters. You did a great job with that and it makes the heart-pounding adventure and tension that much higher because I cared about Isabella so much.

Paty Jager said...

Hi Maggie! Thank you for stopping in! I had Isabella and Tino in my head for quite a while before I started writing their adventure. I have to know the characters well or I can't writer their story. I'm glad you cared about Isabella. She is one of my favorite characters.

Tanya Hanson said...

Paty, loved the excerpt and the interview! In fact, I'm starting interviews with characters over at my new blog which is still in labor pains, but I'll have to hit up Isabella to visit at Culdesac Corners.

Paty Jager said...

Hi Tanya! Thanks! Isabella would love to visit with you at Culdesac Corners.

pc said...

Great interview...this sounds like a must read! thanks for sharing, I'll check it out!
happy holidays!

Paty Jager said...

Hi PC! Thanks for stopping in and commenting! Happy Holiday to you too!

Lyn Horner said...

Oh dear, that last "comment" looks like spam. Too bad someone had to come along and dump it here. Oh well, let's ignore it.

Paty, I've read several excerpts from Secrets of a Mayan Moon and have enjoyed them all. This one is terrific! I'm looking forward to reading the book.

Paty Jager said...

Hi Lyn! I'm glad you've enjoyed the excerpts. Thanks!

becca fowler said...

GREAT interview! thanks for the giveaway!


Paty Jager said...

Thanks Becca! You're welcome!

Kirsten! said...

What a perfect time for a book titled after the Maya to come out :P

Great interview and thanks for the giveaway :)


Paty Jager said...

Hi Kristen! Thanks for stopping by and, yes, I thought it was good timing! ;0)

Jesse Kimmel-Freeman said...

Congrats on the release. Love the excerpt, and the cover! Thanks for the chance!

Zed... said...

Happy Holidays!

My email address is little_zainy@hotmail.com


Paty Jager said...

Hi Jesse, Thank you. My daughter did a nice job on my cover.

Zed, Thank you for commenting. Merry Christmas to you!

zapkode.marie said...

Thanks for this chance.


I hope you had a wonderful Holiday!

becca fowler said...

Thanks for the giveaway!

Beccaboo97200 at att dot net

Paty Jager said...

Thank you for dropping by, Marie and Becca.

Dovile said...

It's nice to see at least one book about Mayans that isn't about the end of the world:) Thanks for the interview and the chance!

spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com

Paty Jager said...

Dovile, I hadn't planned this book to coincide with all the hoopla it just happened that way. But it doesn't even talk about the calendar or end of the world. Thanks for stopping in a participating.

bn100 said...

Nice excerpt and review.


Farhana said...

Thank you for the giveaway!
keizoku_luffy at yahoo dot com

Amanda Rauch said...

Love you website-thanks for the in depth look
amandajoyrauch at yahoo dot com

Paty Jager said...

Hi Farhana, Thank you for stopping in and commenting.

Hi Amanda, Thank for commenting.

Laurie said...

Thanks for all the great comments. The randomly chosen winner of the Giftcard is Zapkode.Marie.