Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for the historical fiction novel The Prophetic Mayan Queen: K'Inuuw Mat of Palenque (The Mists of Palenque Book 4) by Leonide Martin. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt as well as a guest post about the author's favorite time period for you. There's also a tour wide giveaway at the end of this post. Be sure to visit the rest of the blogs here for more exclusive content. Enjoy!
Title: The Prophetic Mayan Queen: K'Inuuw Mat of Palenque
(The Mists of Palenque Book 4)
Author: Leonide Martin
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: November 15th, 2018
Publisher: Made for Wonder
She was born to serve the Goddess Ix Chel. But K'inuuw Mat is destined to continue the Palenque (Lakam Ha) dynasty by marriage to Tiwol, fourth son of famous ruler Pakal. Trained in prophetic arts, she uses scrying to foresee the face of the man with whom she will bear the dynastic heir—but it is not her husband's image. She is shocked upon arriving at Palenque to recognize that face as her husband's older brother, Kan Bahlam. They are immediately attracted, sharing deep interest in astronomy. Though she resists, the magnetic force of their attraction propels them into forbidden embraces, until Kan Bahlam designs a bold plan that would solve his inability to produce a son—if he can gain his brother's cooperation.
Set in the splendor of Lakam Ha's artistic and scientific zenith, royal family conflicts and ambitions play out in a tapestry of brilliant Mayan accomplishments in calendars, astronomy, architecture, arts, and secret language codes that will astound people centuries later. As K'inuuw Mat contends with explosive emotions, she must answer the Goddess' mandate to preserve Mayan culture for future generations. Her passion with Kan Bahlam leads to a pale daughter and bold son who carry this out as their civilization begins the decline and eventual collapse her prophetic vision foresees.
One great cycle rolls into the next . . .
Contemporary Mexican archeologist Francesca and her partner Charlie, a British linguist, venture into Chiapas jungles to a remote Maya village, seeking to unravel her grandmother's secrets. The hostile village shaman holds the key, but refuses to share with outsiders the scandal that leads to foreign blood and ancient Palenque lineages. Only by re-claiming her own shamanic heritage can Francesca learn the truth of who she is, and bring her dynasty into the present.
After several rounds of dancing, Tiwol took K'inuuw Mat's hand and they returned to their mat. Her fingers entwined with his; she liked the warmth of his grasp. She felt happy and content, thinking that the Goddess' intentions were surely coming to pass. Tiwol turned to talk with two young men who stood by the mat. Still standing, K'inuuw Mat looked across the patio to watch the more vigorous dancing that had started. She patted one foot in rhythm to the music, until suddenly she caught view of the man who had just entered from the far veranda.
Her heart did a flip-flop and began pounding, while her stomach clenched into a tight knot. Eyes wide in disbelief, she stared at the tall man slowly weaving his way between dancers. Torchlight caught his face and brought his features into sharp focus—the face she had seen in her scrying bowl.
No-nooo! Her mind screamed silently. This could not be happening. The exact face, every feature she had so carefully memorized, of the man who would be her husband. Just when she accepted that her scrying was inaccurate, he appeared precisely as she had been shown. A wave of nausea swept over her and she clutched her stomach, dropping her gaze and collapsing onto the mat.
About the Author:
Leonide (Lennie) Martin: Retired California State University professor, former Family Nurse Practitioner, Author and Maya researcher, Research Member Maya Exploration Center.
My books bring ancient Maya culture and civilization to life in stories about both actual historical Mayans and fictional characters. I've studied Maya archeology, anthropology, and history from the scientific and indigenous viewpoints. While living for five years in Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico, I apprenticed with Maya Elder Hunbatz Men, becoming a Solar Initiate and Maya Fire Women in the Itzá Maya tradition. I've studied with other indigenous teachers in Guatemala, including Maya Priestess-Daykeeper Aum Rak Sapper and Maya elder Tata Pedro. The ancient Mayas created the most highly advanced civilization in the Western hemisphere, and my work is dedicated to their wisdom, spirituality, scientific, and cultural accomplishments through compelling historical novels.
My interest in ancient Mayan women led to writing the Mayan Queens' series called Mists of Palenque. This 4-book series tells the stories of powerful women who shaped the destinies of their people as rulers themselves, or wives of rulers. These remarkable Mayan women are unknown to most people. Using extensive research and field study, I aspire to depict ancient Palenque authentically and make these amazing Mayan Queens accessible to a wide readership.
My writing has won awards from Writer's Digest for short fiction, and The Visionary Mayan Queen: Yohl Ik'nal of Palenque (Mists of Palenque Series Book 1) received the Writer's Digest 2nd Annual Self-Published eBook award in 2015. The Controversial Mayan Queen: Sak K'uk of Palenque (Book 2) published in 2015. The Mayan Red Queen: Tz'aakb'u Ahau of Palenque (Book 3) received a Silver Medal in Dan Poynter's Global eBook Awards for 2016. The Prophetic Mayan Queen: K'inuuw Mat of Palenque (Book 4) is the final in the series, published in November 2018.
I live with my husband David Gortner and two white cats in Oregon's Willamette Valley wine country, where I enjoy gardening, hiking, and wine tasting.
What is your favorite time period in history and why?
That's hard to answer simply. Choosing my favorite time period in history depends on the time period in my life that you asked the question. When I was 7-10 years old, I loved stories set in the 1800s American West. In my early teens I was captivated by ancient Greece and Rome. I've gone through Egyptian phases, from pharaoh times to the turn of the 20th Century with excavations and explorations. I had flings with European and Italian Renaissance, Plantagenet and Tudor England, revolutionary France, and early Polynesian cultures. At times I've traveled into the future with space fiction. I was drawn to British Raj times and India's struggles for independence, to American revolutionary and early settler times, and to plantation settings in the U.S. South.
More recently, my favorite time period shifted to a new region and era. I became fascinated with ancient Mayan culture and the changes that took place after contact with the Spaniards. This interest continues into colonial, Mexican revolutionary, and contemporary times in Mexico and Central America. My current books are set in the Sixth to Eighth Centuries CE at the Mayan site called Palenque, located in Chiapas, Mexico.
The Mayas appeared around 3000 BCE in lowlands of Guatemala and Belize. By 1000 BCE they built huge cities with towering pyramids, broad plazas, and straight raised roadways running between cities. Evidence of Mayan writing, a system of hieroglyphic signs, appeared around that time. They had interconnected urban settlements, extensive infrastructure, defensive systems, and sophisticated water management. Governance included ruling lineages and stratified societies. They had advanced building techniques using plaster and cement, the world's most accurate calendars, highly developed astronomy that predicted lunar and solar eclipses, a tradition of literary and visual arts, and widespread trade networks.
The time period in which my novels are set was the height of Mayan civilization. Population could have reached 15-20 million. There was continual friction among dominant cities, such as Palenque and Kalakmul, the main rival. Rulers vied for prestige through expanded construction and raids to capture enemy nobles or rulers. High court intrigues, competition for status, luxurious lifestyles, extravagant ceremonies, plots and betrayals could rival those of European kingdoms. At its height 1200 years ago, Maya civilization was comparable to ancient Greece or China.
This culture and time period offer writers a rich palate from which to paint a story. The Mayas had a shamanic, mystical spirituality with fluidity between dimensions. This gave me opportunities for hair-raising scenes pitting protagonists against Death Lords of the Underworld, or sending them on shamanic journeys to seek assistance from Gods and Ancestors of the Upperworld. The protagonist of my current book is gifted with prophecy, and uses scrying to foresee the future and gain knowledge. She gets some disturbing information about her future husband when scrying, and this drives much of the plot. She's also given a mandate by the Great Mother Goddess to preserve Mayan culture, as it begins the decline that her prophesying foresees.
I've enjoyed blending historical facts with mysticism. It took a lot of research to learn the history and archeology of the Mayas, and a lot of apprenticeship to understand their spirituality. One reason why I love this time period and culture is the opportunity it gives for moving between levels of reality, and creating stories where beings from multiple dimensions can interact. It's magical, eerie, thrilling, frightening, and full of inspiring possibilities. I hope you will find it so, and invite you to enter the exotic world of the ancient Mayas.
Leonide Martin will be awarding a $20 Amazon or a Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter after the tour. Be sure to leave a comment at a different blog stop each day to increase your chance of winning. You can find a list of participating blogs here. Good luck!