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.
Read an excerpt...
Eyes closed, K’inuuw Mat breathed again on the stone and said her own prayer inwardly: Ix Chel, guide my vision, open my inner sight. All is done in your service.
Extending her arm over the bowl, she gently slipped the stone into the water and watched as it settled to the bottom. Rings of ripples spread quickly across the water’s surface, rebounded from the rim and crossed each other, creating a tiny jumble that soon dissipated. When the surface was again smooth, K’inuuw Mat stared fixedly at it, clearing her mind of all thoughts. She watched and waited for an image to appear. Her task was to read in the scrying water the image of the animal that the acolyte Olal held in mind.
At first the water only reflected clouds passing above and a corner of one building. Trying not to blink, K’inuuw Mat kept staring and intensified her focus.
Animal of the jungle, animal of the fields, animal of the plains, whoever you are, come to me now, she called mentally.
Slowly, tantalizing shapes began forming on the water’s surface. She could not make out a distinct feature that might reveal which animal was starting to appear. Breathing in deeply, she closed both eyes and intensified her intention. On the exhalation, she expanded her awareness and opened herself to receive.
Both eyelids flew up and she fixed her gaze upon the water. There, almost as clearly as if she was seeing it on a jungle path, was the face of a gray fox. Its dark nose quivered, sniffing for a scent; its sharp eyes with pale brows stared at her below large cupped ears. The image remained for a brief time on the surface, and then dissolved.
“A gray fox!” she exclaimed.
Olal, the acolyte holding the animal image in mind smiled and clapped her hands together.
“It is so!” she said. “You have seen truly.”
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:
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.
For more information about my writing and the Mayas, visit:
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