Just in Time for the Holidays

My new Middle Reader story, “The Jaguar Drum” will be available as an Amazon Kindle e-book freebie from Dec. 19, 2020, through Dec 23, 2020. This would be a great Holiday season gift for a 10-14 year-old that likes to read and has an interest in history. It is also available in paperback from Amazon for $18.50. The high cost is because of the color pictures.

Happy Holidays everyone – I am trying to get “Bear Market” published before,the end of 2020. I will probably make it.

“The Jaguar Drum” is Published

The Jaguar Drum is now available on Amazon as either a paperback or a Kindle ebook. The Jaguar Drum is a Middle Reader-level book that is an easy read while presenting an aspect of history that is not often presented.

Meet Manik Balam, the Mayan boy overtaken by the Spanish conquest of Central America. Trained as a Jaguar Drummer in the temple, is captured by the Spanish when they conquer his village. He becomes a talented guitar player and plays for the king and queen of Spain. He leads a long and successful life in Spain, but never forgets his home or his background.

Freebies!

Nov 1 – 5, Le Cochon Volant: The Flying Pig is available free through Amazon. Nov 5 – 9, Chipmunk Jumped Over HIm is free though Amazon.

Here’s your chance to get a couple of good reads for free – but hurry off is for a limited time, then I need to start collecting my meager royalties again.

Eye of Newt,Skin of Toad

Why was a musician and part-time wiccan killed during a celebration at a Las Vegas park? Was it the shaman that blessed his bust? What did the musician’s death have to do with the execution of a casino owner that owed the musician money? What did all of this have to do with poison dart frogs in Peru?

The third book in the O’Flaithearta Biological Consultants Mysteries features TheHerbster, toads, poisons, and the Peruvian jungle. Just think about the witches in MacBeth.

Coming soon. Watch for it.

What Else is Coming!

The Jaguar Drum

The Jaguar Drum is a middle-reader novel about how a Mayan boy, Manik Balam – Deer Jaguar – adapts to the change of culture and religion brought by the Spanish conquest of the Mayan world. Manik was trained by the temple priests of Chan Chich to play the Jaguar Drum in temple ceremonies. The Jaguar Drum is used to call Bahlam, the Jaguar God. after three years of training, at 15, Manik is scheduled to perform in a ceremony to try to help the people of his village who are dying of a strange disease, smallpox. Before Manik can perform in his first ceremony the Spanish Conquistadores attack the temple and the village. Manik is captured and made to walk to a village far from his home. Despite a terrible journey and many of his people dying around him of smallpox, Manik makes it to the village. In the village, he and the other Mayans are treated as slaves and made to work for the Spanish. A Spanish soldier recognizes that Manik and some of the other boys from the temple have been trained to play instruments. The soldier gives Manik a guitar and teaches him to play. Manik is a natural on the guitar and quickly learns to play it well. Manik and several other young people that were also trained to play for temple ceremonies are trained to play and sing for the Spanish. As musicians for the Spanish troops, the young people find their lives much improved compared to their fellows. Manik and two of his friends, a flute player named Yaxkin, and a young woman singer named Nicte, get the opportunity to go to Spain and perform before the king. The story Chronicles their voyage, first seeing a Spanish city, a pirate attack on the ship,  and their lives in Spain.

 

A Few Words About ‘Chipmunk Jumped Over Him’

My YA novel, ‘Chipmunk Jumped Over Him’, is the result of a fascination with Native American tales and wisdom concerning the natural world. As a biologist, I have a deep personal interest in the natural world and how it operates. Watching things like a coyote trying to catch blackbirds in a Sierra Nevada meadow gives me great pleasure. Native Americans have lived on this part of the planet for thousands of years. During those millennia they watched and learned from the critters around them. Their worldview was and is framed in the interactions of things within the environment. Native Americans expressed and passed on their knowledge through storytelling. The Navajo (Diné) refer to such tales, at least in part, as Grandfather Stories.

After Reading many of the tales, especially coyote stories, and some of the tales from the Washoe people, especially the saga of the Weasel Brothers (which was the source of the concept for the book’s title), I decided that I would like to tell a story. I wanted to frame a story associated with current situations, but that used Native American tales, concepts, and characters. I hope that I have, with this book, succeeded in providing a  Grandfather Story of my own, but in the style and with the intent of the Native American storytellers whose stories I have read. 

For the benefit of readers who may want to explore the stories that inspired me, I have included a bibliography at the end of the book. The book is available on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback versions. You can find it, and my mystery novel, at amazon.com/author/fentonkay.

Goodreads Giveaway of “Chipmunk Jumped Over Him” is Done

371 folks signed up to try for 100 Kindle copies of “Chipmunk Jumped Over Him”. Well, 100 of those people now have their copies and, I hope, are reading them and enjoying the read. I truly enjoyed writing Chipmunk and I hope that the winners and others will enjoy reading the story. If you won a copy of Chipmunk, and enjoy the book, tell your friends about it. It is aimed at middle-readers and is intended to provide some guidelines for living a good life and to demonstrate the teaching ways used by Native Americans.

My next middle-reader story is in review mode with my esteemed experts and Beta Readers. I anticipate that it will be available in a very few months. It is a story framed in the Spanish conquest of Mesoamerica and the Mayan people. The story features a Mayan boy that was trained to play the Jaguar Drum for ceremonies in a Mayan Temple in what is now Belize. He is captured by the Spanish and goes on to become a talented guitarist in 16th Century Spain. I think it is going to be another great read.

Goodreads Give-Away of Chipmunk Jumped Over Him

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Chipmunk Jumped Over Him to be given away to 100 eager readers. The giveaway will start on Valentine’s Day and run for one month.

It is many years after the climate change catastrophe. The people that survive on the edge of the Great Basin Desert have adopted many Native American traditions; traditions that allow them to continue to live successfully in an arid and harsh land. Among those traditions is the coming of age journey. Boys, at 15 years of age, travel with Coyote, the Trickster, into the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Vincent, with Trickster, goes on his sojourn and deals with everyday issues of living in the wild. He is set the task of destroying an ancient monster. Vincent defeats an evil Shaman with help from Trickster, Chipmunk, and other creatures. He outsmarts another trickster, Raven, and returns to where his grandfather awaits him, a confident young man. 

This Native American-inspired YA coming of age story is worth reading and will inspire young readers.

Chipmunk Jumped Over Him by Fenton R Kay

Research Finds Unexpected and Interesting Things – Sometimes

In doing the research for “Eye of Newt, Skin of Toad”, I Googled Witch Covens in Las Vegas, Nevada. I expected to find nothing. Much to my surprise, I found more than one. I was raised in Las Vegas and had never even thought about covens there – or anywhere else, for that matter. Not only are there covens in Las Vegas, but there is also a temple just outside town somewhere – found a post of photos for that.

I also searched for info on ayahuasca ceremonies and found that there is a practitioner in Vegas. Hmmm! It seems like the fellow is maybe not entirely on the up-and-up. Hmmm, again.

“Eye of Newt, Skin of Toad” is going to be a fun write – and, of course, it will be a great read! 😏😁🐱

 

Le Cochon Sequels Coming – Jaguar Drum Almost Done

My plan is to feature different members of the team of ecologists from Le Cochon in each sequel. We’ll see how that works – so far, so good with respect to the writing – but the sequels aren’t out yet.

“Bear Market” is out for beta reading. “Bear Market” features Dirk Foster. Bear poaching in the Sierra Nevada’s of Nevada around Lake Tahoe. Bear parts such as claws,  gall bladders, and skins are the targets. An innocent old man gets murdered. If you’ve not read Le Cochon, you won’t know who Dirk Foster is  – hint, hint.😁👍 👀

I’ve started on “Eye of Newt, Skin of Toad”. This murder mystery will feature “The Herbster” – it should be fun. Witch covens, mysterious rites, and magical concoctions. If you haven’t read “Le Cochon Volant” you won’t know who “The Herbster” is either. Hint, hint, hint. 😉👌👀

I’ve finished the first and second drafts of Jaguar Drum. Looking for free Beta readers (at least one). Jaguar Drum is a historical YA-Middle Reader novel – Spanish Conquistadores capture a Mayan boy that was trained on the Mayan Jaguar Drum. The boy learns the guitar and goes to Sevilla, Spain where he plays for the King. 🎸🎵