Monday, April 28, 2014

Paty Jager on her new book Secrets of a Hopi Blue Star

Writing to the Title

By Paty Jager

Deanna, thank you for having me on your blog.
My current release Secrets of a Hopi Blue Star was titled back in the beginning stages of my Isabella Mumphrey Adventure Series.
When I decided to do an Adventure series and an editor asked to see my ideas for the books, I had to scramble and come up with titles and the where the books would be set. At the onset of the idea, I knew Isabella would travel to countries that dealt with drug smuggling because the hero in the stories was a DEA agent. I had to have their paths cross. I’d also determined Isabella, as an anthropologist, specialized in Native American cultures.
With this in mind, I listed the different groups of Native Americans I could have her visit or study. Maya, Aztec, Inca, were the main large groups I thought of. While doing research to discover where I could set the stories, I came across references of these people being related to the Southwest Indians of the United States. And one of the oldest of those tribes was the Hopi.
I decided the three books would have to do with the Maya, the Aztec, and the Hopi. And Isabella was searching for substantiating evidence that the cultures had co-mingled. It also helped that Guatemala and Mexico City were the centers of the cultures I was interested in and they have a role in the smuggling of drugs and illegal items. Another small connection to help legitimatize using the Hopi came from making Isabella one-eighth Hopi.
Once the places were decided, I had to come up with titles. Again this is where research came in to play. I’d discovered a Maya story about a moon god and that translated into the title, Secrets of a Mayan Moon. Reading about the Aztecs and studying their temples, I discovered one in the heart of Mexico City, one of the worst cities for drug related crimes. That discovery came up with the next title, Secrets of an Aztec Temple. And the recent release and third book in the Isabella Mumphrey adventures, takes her to her roots. After reading up on the Hopi, I decided to use their Blue Star Prophecy as part of the story and that is where the title, Secrets of a Hopi Blue Star came from.
With the title decided on and announced, I had to then come up with a plausible story that was reflected in the title. When Isabella visits her aunt, she brings up the prophecy and how there are younger members of the tribe not heeding the ways of the people and the prophecy. This is one of the themes or issues I used when writing the story. And while this story deals with human trafficking, drug smuggling, and tunnels under the border, it also comes around to the prophecy and how there are many ways to construe the meaning.

Secrets of a Hopi Blue Star
Isabella Mumphrey stood in the threshold of her bedroom door.“How long will you be gone this time?” she asked, studying Tino Constantine’s bare, wide shoulders and narrow, firm backside.
He turned, giving her a full view of all his charming assets, including the smile that melted her like a pat of butter on a Phoenix sidewalk.
“Querida, you see me more now than when I was undercover for DEA.”
Her Venezuelan lover strode toward Isabella, embracing her to his hard chest. “I will only be gone two weeks. The Malo Perro, Bad Dog, gang that runs drugs for the Moreno Cartel have been bringing in large shipments across the border. We have to find out where and stop them.”
“I know.” Isabella inhaled his spicy masculine scent she fell in love with in Guatemala and thought she would never smell again during their missions in Mexico City. “I just don’t have any interesting projects to keep me busy while you’re gone. Which means I’ll miss you all the more.” She peered up into his dark chocolate eyes.
“Pichon, I’m sure you will dig up something. I am happy the World Intelligence Agency hasn’t called you in months.” He leaned down, kissed her sweetly. “I cannot concentrate on my work when I worry about you chasing after disreputable people.”
She sighed. It was true. Daddy hadn’t called her to go on a mission in months. That was part of her boredom. She loved her work as an anthropologist and until her escapade in Guatemala at the Ch’ujuña Dig, she was quite satisfied with her job. Now, every day that she worked in her office at the college writing grants to get more money for her department and the few requests for her help and knowledge, her life had become stale.
Tino kissed her again, this time with more passion. Her body hummed, and her mind took the challenge. This was the only part of her life that wasn’t stagnant. Since discovering their love in the Guatemalan jungle, they had yet to become tired of one another. At Christmas, Tino gave her an engagement ring, leaving it up to her to pick the wedding date. That was seven months ago. She loved him but was unsure about marriage given their occupations. Her parents made working as undercover operatives work, however, they were in the same organization. She and Tino were apart more than they were together.
Isabella maneuvered Tino against the bed. He tumbled onto the Mayan-print coverlet, dragging her down on top of him.
“When did you say you had to leave?” she asked, shoving his duffel bag closer to the edge to make more room for the antics she had in mind.
“Ten minutes ago. Ezzabella, you always make me late.” He cradled her head and pulled her lips to his.

Contest/Prize: If there are at least ten comments, Paty will give away one signed print copy of Secrets of a Hopi Blue Star
 one winner will take home a copy of her audio book
 Marshal in Petticoats

Buy Links: Available in print and ebook