In the first century A.D., Mayan astronomers predicted the world would end on December 21, 2012. Modern scientists say dire solar flames and magnetic fluctuations will all occur on that exact day. In these final years before the End Times, demon creatures of the Mayan underworld—The Makols—have come to earth to trigger the apocalypse. But the Chajinal, descendants of the Mayan warrior-priests, have decided to fight back.
In Nightkeepers, a Makol uses a lost rite known as The Godkeeper to call a demon to earth. During the ritual, a sky god attempts to possess the demon’s human sacrifice, a narcotics detective named Leah Ann Daniels. The rite is unsuccessful, but gives Leah magical powers, and strands the god between planes. Warned by a cryptic message from an ally, King Jaguar Striker arrives just in time to save Leah…but is exiled when he breaks Chajinal law. Leah and Striker must bond together to defeat the embodied demon and gain support of the Chajinal army—all before the next solstice, when another demon will try to pass through.
Nightkeepers combines Mayan astronomy and lore with modern, sexy characters for a gripping read. Fans of paranormal romance and urban fantasy will not want to miss Jessica Andersen’s The Final Prophecy series!
I’m proud to be a nerd. Does anyone even still use that word? Probably not, but that’s what I was and am. I love words and language, history and science, pretty much information in all its forms (well, not so much math and geography…but I digress).
As a kid I attended a really good public school, with teachers who did their best to keep me busy. Looking back, I have a feeling I was pretty disruptive when I got bored, which was often. So let’s just say the school system didn’t put up a fight when my parents used to pull me out of school and take me to Mexico for a week or so of ruin-crawling at off-peak rates. Most of the time my teachers just said, “Keep a journal and do a presentation when you get back.” And then, I suspect, breathed a sigh of relief.
This was back when Cancun was just starting to become Americanized. My parents and I stayed at small local hotels and took rattling bus tours to Mayan ruins across the Yucatan. I soaked up enough Spanish to ask where the bathroom was, and order a burger and Coke. I learned about Mayan astronomy, and about the winner-loses-head ball game played in huge, open-ended ball courts. I discovered flan (and subsequently Montezuma’s revenge), haggled at open-air markets, and learned some of the differences between the modern-day Mayan and Mexican people, and how the coming of the Conquistadors had forever changed southern Mexico and Central America.
Eventually, my interests shifted, my parents’ lives changed, and those trips stopped. Their memory, though, remains vivid.
I can close my eyes and feel the damp chill of the narrow stone stairway inside the great pyramid at Chichen Itza, or remember the squirrelly feeling at the pit of my stomach as I stood at the edge of the Cenote Sacrada- a water-filled sinkhole hundreds of feet across and down, that the ancient Mayans had used for ceremonies and sacrifice. It’s those images, those memories of history and grandeur and a deep sense of otherness, that grabbed me by the throat and dragged me along for the ride when I started working on the concept for Nightkeepers.
The ancient Mayans worshipped time and lived by their three interconnected, prophetic calendars. Although the Nightkeeper warrior-priests are not descended from the ancient Mayans, they lived alongside them, teaching them and learning from them, and each of the cultures shaped the other. Driven from the Yucatan peninsula in the 1500s by the Spanish missionaries and their bloody efforts to ‘cleanse’ the native populations of their polytheistic beliefs, the Nightkeepers survived as best they could, passing on their beliefs and magic with the aim of being ready to fight in the years leading up to the end-date of December 21, 2012.
On this day, the ancient Mayan calendar will come full-circle to its endpoint, and a rare astronomical conjunction threatens to bring sunspots, magnetic reversal, and global cataclysm. Behind these known facts lies the unknown: that the psi barrier separating the earth and Mayan underworld will fall, and the lords of Xibalba will be freed, precipitating the apocalypse.
The Nightkeepers are sworn to protect mankind from the 2012 doomsday, but as the summer solstice of 2008 approaches, the warrior-priests number only a handful and their powers no longer work. Will they be able to rediscover themselves and forge a new, modern identity in time to save mankind? Will their magic, which is based on sex, blood sacrifice, and the power of love, be enough to hold back the lords of Xibalba?
I hope you’ll join me as the story unfolds, and visit me at www.jessicaandersen.com for bonus reads and other fun stuff.