A.S. Fenichel’s new book, MAYAN CRAVING, releases this May. When she first contacted me about doing a guest blog post in connection with her new Romantica book from Ellora’s Cave (for more on the Romantica line of erotic romance novels published exclusively by Ellora’s Cave click here), she told me a little bit about it. Because I’ve used various mythologies as inspiration in my own writing, I was curious about her process. She agreed to write a post about how she used Mayan and Aztec mythology in her work. A.S. is also giving us a sneak peek at MAYAN CRAVING with an excerpt from Chapter One below.
The Mythological Mictlantecuhtli
Thank you for having me here, Jill. I’m so happy to have this opportunity to share details about my May 4th release of Mayan Craving, my second book with Ellora’s Cave Publishing. This has been such a wonderful, crazy ride for me. From getting “the call” last Spring to having not one, but two books published. It’s a dream come true.
I’m thrilled that you asked me to share a little of my Maya research with you today. It’s rare for an author to have that opportunity. For the most part, we try not to let it show that we’ve researched and studied. After all, when you read a book, you don’t want to think about the research behind it. You just want to get lost in a story. Right?
I struggled for a long time, trying to decide what bit to tell you all about, and settled on the BIG BAD in my stories, Mictlantecuhtli. I like to call him Mictlan for short. I’m not ashamed to tell you that although my books are titled “Mayan” I plucked Mictlantecuhtli from Aztec mythology. I have taken a little “writer’s license” as far as that goes. He was a principal god to the Aztecs and often referred to as the Lord of the Dead. He is depicted as a blood splattered skeleton or a large head with big teeth and no eyes in his sockets. In some descriptions he wore a necklace made from human eyeballs. Pretty yucky stuff. As I said, I call him Mictlan, but if you look it up, that was actually the name of the level of the underworld, which he ruled over. Again, a little license. 🙂 The truth is, I didn’t want to distract the reader with trying to pronounce meek-tlahn-tay-COO-tlee every time it appeared.
He has his horrifying moments in my book, but for the most part, in both Mayan Afterglow and Mayan Craving, Mictlan appears as an extremely good looking man of about thirty. In fact he’s so perfectly handsome, he’s an abomination, and the characters find him hard to look at. When he loses his temper…well that’s another story.
Mythological Mictlantecuhtli was the ruler of the lowest level of the underworld, the northern realm of the dead. In my books, he is taking advantage of the End of Days in order to take over the realm of humans. He goes through ritual after ritual in an attempt to enter our world and end the reign of humankind. Our hero (Asher) and heroine (Nancy) have their work cut out for them. They have to defeat Mictlan, save Nancy’s sister from Mictlan’s harem, and deal with their own issues of falling in love.
And you thought it was easy, being the star of a romance novel.
The Aztecs worshiped and feared Mictlantecuhtli but in my post-apocalyptic world, Mictlan is the devil. Only those he has turned to the other side worship him and they are cursed.
I know this all sounds a little gory for a romance novel, but trust me, it works.
Thanks for taking the time to visit with me today. You can find more information about Mayan Craving on my website. If you would like to buy the book, it will be available on May 4th here. One more thing, I’m giving away a free E-copy on May 4th, so visit my blog and leave a comment on the 4th to be eligible to win.
More About Mayan Craving
Surviving the End of Days was only the beginning of the journey for Nancy. After years of searching, she’s finally found her missing sister, but when she attempts to rescue Robyn, she enters her worst nightmare. Captured by demons and about to be sacrificed, Asher is her unexpected hero. Asher’s kindness and bravery arouse her lust, and leave her wanting much more than just his friendship.
Asher has been in love with Nancy since he first laid eyes on her, but her infatuation with another man always left him standing in the background. Her sudden craving for him couldn’t turn him on more. He can’t help finding rapture with Nancy, but the attraction could only be fleeting.
While danger and passion pull them together, doubt may rip them apart. They’ll need more than a carnal connection if they’re to survive.
“Damn her,” Asher Dove muttered over the droning Cessna’s engines.
“What was she thinking, going out here all alone?” He’d asked himself the same question over and over since setting out to find Nancy.
The closer to the Yucatan peninsula Asher flew, the more the sky blossomed with familiar dark-red clouds, just as it had five years earlier after the End of Days. The sky had clouded over, leaving most of the Earth in shadow. Some said that the heavens had burned. Once the Lord of the Dead, Mictlantecuhtli, or Mictlan, as they called him, was defeated, those red, ominous clouds had parted and slowly disappeared, allowing the land to live again.
Mictlan had nearly conquered the Earth. If he had succeeded, everyone who Asher loved would be a servant to Mictlan. However, humans had banded together to defeat the Lord of the Dead all those years ago. Unfortunately, it looked as if they had not done enough.
He prayed thatNancyhadn’t been picked up by any demon patrols. Asher focused his attention on the single-lane highway below, searching for any sign of her. The roads she’d have to have taken stretched over eight hundred miles, a lot of ground to cover. A glint of metal caught his attention and he circled back for another look. He spotted a Jeep parked on the road about twenty miles west of Acayucan. His heart leaped.Nancy.
From the air it looked intact, but he could see no sign of the young woman driver. Before he could land and investigate further, something else caught his eye. Coming toward him from the south, a massive beast loomed dark against the red clouds.
“Shit,” Asher swore. “Dragon.”
An attempt to veer off to the right failed as the dragon moved too fast and slammed into the front of the plane. The impact rammed Asher back against his seat, but by some miracle, he managed to keep his hands on the yoke. The Cessna bucked against the added weight and plummeted toward the Earth.
“Not good.” Pulling back to keep the plane’s front end up, his heart leaped into his throat as the desert grew larger in the window.
The dragon’s blood-red eyes stared back at him while the black, snake-like body clung to the nose of the plane. Twenty feet of leathery wings beat against the wind-shear, creating a tug of war between Asher and the yoke. Even over the wind and engine noise, those tremendous wings battered the air like thunder. Asher ignored the cacophony of noise pummeling his eardrums and the strain on his muscles.
As the land grew closer, Asher pulled back, hoping to glide in rather than collide with the ground. His shoulders and arms screamed with pain as the dragon’s weight made controlling the descent nearly impossible.
“You are going to die now, little pilot. Join me and I will spare your life.”
More About the Author
A.S. Fenichel adores writing stories filled with love, passion, desire, magic and maybe a little mayhem tossed in for good measure. Books have always been her perfect escape and she still relishes diving into one and staying up all night to finish a good story. Originally from New York, she grew up in New Jersey. She now lives in the southwest with her real life hero, her wonderful husband. When she is not reading or writing she enjoys cooking, travel, history and puttering in her garden.
Readers, do you like stories that incorporate details from various real world mythologies? Do you mind when authors take poetic license with these elements if the end result is a more entertaining story? Writers, have you ever been inspired by real world legends or myths when writing your stories? Which ones have you written about? How closely do you stick to your inspirational material?