FUN EXTRAS

WERE-JAGUARS & EXTRAS


Due the incredible popularity of one of my first post about were-jaguars, I've decided to dedicate a page to it. I first came across were-jaguars when researching animals for my book. I had not yet determined which animal I was going to use or how. Then, and I can't remember exactly how, I came across a wikipedia page on were-jaguars and jaguars in ancient American mythology and began to read up about it. I found it fascinating and the wheels in my head began to turn and soon the story began to unfold. Here is some of the information I found on wikipedia. I'll also include the information I've created for my own jaguar hybrids.

Wikipedia:

"The Americas:
The foremost were-animal in pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures was the were-jaguar. It was associated with the veneration of the jaguar, with priests and shamans among the various peoples who followed this tradition wearing the skins of jaguars to "become" a were-jaguar. Among the Aztecs, an entire class of specialized warriors who dressed in the jaguar skins were called "jaguar warriors" or "jaguar knights". Depictions of the jaguar and the were-jaguar are among the most coommon motifs among the artifacts of the ancient Mesoamerican civilizations. The balams (magicians) of Yucat√°n were said to guard the maize fields in animal form. In the US, urban legends tell of encounters with feline bipeds; beings similar to the Bigfoot having cat heads, tails, and paws. Feline bipeds are sometimes classified as part of cryptozoology, but more often they are interpreted as werecats."

"The Olmec civilization was first defined as a distinctive art style at the turn of the nineteenth century. The various sculpture, figurines, and celts from what now is recognized as the Olmec heartland on the southern Gulf Coast, reveal that these people knew their jungle companions well and incorporated them into their mythology.

In the surviving Olmec archaeological record, jaguars are rarely portrayed naturalistically, but rather with a combination of feline and human characteristics. These feline anthropomorphic figures may range from a human figure with slight jaguar characteristics to depictions of shamanistic transformations in the so-called transformative pose, kneeling with hands on knees, to figures that are nearly completely feline.

One of the most prominent, distinctive, and enigmatic Olmec designs to appear in the archaeological record has been the "were-jaguar". Seen not only in figurines, the motif also may be found carved into jade “votive axes” and celts, engraved onto various portable figurines of jade, and depicted on several "altars", such as those at La Venta. Were-jaguar babies are often held by a stoic, seated adult male.

An Olmec transformation figure, thought to show the transformation of a shaman into a jaguar.
The were-jaguar figure is characterized by a distinctive down-turned mouth with fleshy lips, almond-shaped eyes, and a cleft head similar – it is said – to that of the male jaguar which has a cleft running vertically the length of its head.

It is not known what the were-jaguar represented to the Olmec, and it may well have represented different things at different times.

Jaguars and shamans:
The jaguar also is important for shamans who often associate the jaguar as a spirit companion or nagual, which will protect the shamans from evil spirits and while they move between the earth and the spirit realm. In order for the shamans to combat whatever evil forces may be threatening, or for those who rely on the shamans for protection, it is necessary for the shamans to transform and cross over to the spirit realm. The jaguar is often as a nagual because of its strength, for it is necessary that the shamans "dominate the spirits, in the same way as a predator dominates its prey" (Saunders 1998:30). The jaguar is said to possess the transient ability of moving between worlds because of its comfort both in the trees and the water, the ability to hunt as well in the nighttime as in the daytime, and the habit of sleeping in caves, places often associated with the deceased ancestors. The concept of the transformation of the shaman is well documented in Mesoamerica and South America and is in particular demonstrated in the various Olmec jaguar transformation figures (Diehl, p. 106)."


My hybrid jaguars:
I gathered all this information together, and perhaps more, and let my imagination run wild. I created and developed my own version of were-jaguars that I refer to as hybrids. I have several different "types" of hybrids in my books. The first is the natural hybrid, also called Jade Hybrids. These are people who are born with the ability to change form from human to jaguar. As a human, they are also gifted with jaguar abilities: incredible sight, hearing, reflexes, speed, strength, etc. Also, through practice, they can also camoflague their bodies, called cloaking. Super hybrids are another type. They are humans that are given a serum that causes them to have the ability to change. Christian Hunt is a super hybrid. Not only are super hybrids given the ability to shape-shift, they also are given another serum that gives them healing abilities, increased strength and endurance. The last type of hybrid I refer to in my book is a Blood Hybrid. These are natural hybrids that once belonged to the Jade Hybrid group but rebelled and left. They became dangerous, blood-thirsty assassins with a deep hatred for the Jade Hybrids. You read about them in book 2, Mark of the Jaguar.

Hybrid jaguar origins:
The original hybrid jaguar in my book is the great king, The Jade Jaguar. Born over a thousand years ago in the age of the Olmec people, before the Mayas and Aztecs. His powerful shaman created a potion that he took that changed him and gave him the hybrid abilities. That change was passed on genetically through his blood line. In Mark of the Jaguar, you find out about the small city of people that are his decendents. Christian Hunt is the only person that is given The Jade Jaguar's actual DNA.

Read more about hybrid jaguars in my books:


     




QUIZ - EXTRAS - EXCERPTS - PHOTOS - FUN FACTS
FUN TRIVIA QUIZ FOR "CURSE OF THE JAGUAR"

*If you haven't read the book this may contain spoilers*

There are 10 questions - you might want to write down your answers and check them at the end to see how much you really know about Curse of the Jaguar.


1. How old is Christian Hunt?     
        A. 25     C. 27
        B. 26     D. 28

2. What is the name of the man whose birthday party they sneak into - the one having an affair with Christian's client's wife?
       A. Harrison Burrows     C. Jacob Harrison
       B. Jack Keele               D. Ryan Call

3. What road does Kara FIRST take to get to Aspen?
       A. I-92     C. Highway 9
       B. I-70     D. I-89

4. What road does Ryan Call live off of in Aspen?
       A. Red Butte Road           C. Mountain Bluff Road
       B. Red Mountain Road     D. Aspen Grove

5. What two places would Kara rather be if it meant getting away from Damien Cutler?
       A. Bali & Hawaii     C. Bermuda & Tahiti
       B. Antarctica & Bali     D. France & London

6. What two card games are mentioned that they play while in hiding at the farm house?
       A. Slap Jack & Poker     C. Uno & Phase 10
       B. Poker & Phase 10      D. Spastic Uno & Nertz

7. Where is the farm house they stay in? 
       A. North of Longmont     C. South of Denver
       B. East of Aspen             D. North of Golden

8. What do they have for dinner the first night they are at the ranch house?
       A. Pizza         C. Spaghetti & Meatballs
       B. Burritos     D. Sandwiches

9. Name 4 animals that attack Christian in the Colosseum.
       A. Snake, crocodile, lion, wolf                     C. Komodo dragon, leopard, wolf, hyena
       B. Komodo dragon, lion, wolf, crocodile     D. Hyena, lion, snake, leopard

10. Name all 6 Jade Hybrids.
       A. Kellan, Alec, Miguel, Enrique, Dominic, Rafael
       B. Kellan, Alec, Ryan, Enrique, Dominic, Jack
       C. Alec, Miguel, Enrique, Dominic, Rafael, Christian
       D. Kellan, Alec, Rafael, Christian, Chase, Ryan




Scroll down for answers.
















Keep scrolling :)
















ANSWERS: 
1. D. 28
2. A. Harrison Burrows
3. B. I-70
4. B. Red Mountain Road
5. B. Antarctica & Bali
6. D. Spastic Uno & Nertz
7. A. North of Longmont
8. C. Spaghetti & Meatballs
9. C. Komodo dragon, leopard, wolf, hyena
10. A. Kellan, Alec, Miguel, Enrique, Dominic, Rafael




EXCERPT from Curse of the Jaguar

"Christian took a deep breath and clenched his jaws together. He concentrated on a vision of Kara’s exquisite face in his mind’s eye. He needed the strength he could only draw from her and their relationship that had grown remarkably close in such a short amount of time.
After he was locked into place, a doctor in a white lab coat came to stand in front of him. “This is a monumental moment, Mr. Hunt,” he informed Christian. “You will be the only one to receive the Jade Jaguar’s DNA as we have only one sample left in our possession. But the others will have a similar serum from another source. You will be the first of a new breed, a hybrid breed of humans and jaguars. The changes your body will make in the next twenty-four to thirty-six hours will be phenomenal. Your senses will heightened beyond measure, your strength and stamina, balance and coordination will increase significantly. You will be the perfect predator, the perfect soldier – the perfect killing-machine.”
Christian cast an angry glare at the two men before him. “I’m not doing this because I agree with your sick delusions, doctor.”
“Of course not,” Dr. Tanner said with a patronizing smile. “Well then…for science and the improvement of mankind.”
With that, Dr. Tanner pressed the needle of the syringe against Christian’s arm and inserted the sharp object beneath his skin. Christian tried not to tense as he watched the ominous opaque serum disappear from the syringe into his body. Then the doctor circled to Christian’s other arm and duplicated the procedure with another syringe of serum.
It was done. There was no turning back now. Christian tried to resign himself to his horrible fate. He had very little reason to trust that they would keep their end of the bargain and spare his father and Kara, but he had to do everything he could to try and keep them safe, even if it meant sacrificing himself.
The evil man stood by, an arrogant, confident smile on his face as he watched the procedure unfold. The doctor and lab workers closed the lid and secured it.
Christian wondered if he would survive the experiment, if he would ever hold and kiss Kara again, if he would ever see his father, Chase or Natalie again.
What had he agreed to?
As memories of wonderful moments with Kara flash before him, a white vapor filled the glass chamber encompassing him. Christian coughed as he breathed in the bitter fumes, gasping for oxygen. Heat filled the chamber and his body began to burn – not merely from the heat but from the pain surging through his core. His muscles began to seize. His pulse sped, doubling then tripling its speed. Pain seared through him. Every fiber of his being – every muscle, joint, tendon, and bone burned with a white hot, devouring pain.
Sweat poured from Christian’s temples, soaking every inch of his flesh. The heat and pain penetrated through his skin and into his bones. His vision swirled and blurred. His head began to pound with an intense, crippling pain.
His muscles flexed against the bands that held him and he screamed in devastating, crushing pain. Just when Christian knew he couldn’t take anymore, gracious darkness engulfed him and his mind finally slipped into unconsciousness."

EXCERPT 2:

"Fear is a crippling emotion, and one that Kara Nichols didn’t like to share company with. But being stranded in the heart of Denver on an unfamiliar street with meager lighting and endless hiding places for criminals was a recipe that would make any lone woman scared out of her mind.
An only child, Kara Nichols craved the warmth and life-giving association of people. Sure she needed time alone like everyone else, but never did those times include a dark street, suspicious shadows and startling sounds. In fact, if she were to make a list of the top ten places she wouldn’t want to be alone in, an abandoned neighborhood after dark would be in the top five. Maybe the top two.
And yet here she was, clenching the shoulder strap of her leather handbag with two white-knuckled fists as she speed-walked in four-inch designer heels through the dark side-streets that would, at some point, intersect with her apartment’s highway entrance.
A dog yelped nearby and she jumped, teetering on her unsteady stilettos and whipping her head around to try and find the perpetrator of the unnerving sound. But the long shadows of the houses blocked her view of anything beyond the grass around the sidewalk where an occasional lamp post flickered weakly nearby.
Swallowing hard and gathering her nerves, she plunged on with renewed vigor down the uneven slabs of sidewalk forcing herself not to break into an all-out sprint, though it wasn’t an option in these heels even if she’d been inclined to do so. Had she known she would have ended up being over-generous in her estimation of her Nissan Murano’s gas tank and its contents she would have worn more comfortable shoes and carried a flashlight.
Headlights from a car brightened the street behind her. Ignoring its presence, she continued on without turning her head. Only when the unsteady rumble of an older engine grumbled close behind her did she cast an anxious glance over her shoulder at the oncoming vehicle. The rust-eaten pick-up truck in an unidentifiable fading color swerved over to the side of the road towards where she stood coming dangerously close. As its front wheels plowed over the strip of yellowing grass separating the sidewalk from the street Kara gasped and stumbled back onto the lawn behind her, eyes wide.
The truck stopped just a few feet in front of her in a haphazard parking job covering the sidewalk, grass, and road. Her heart wrenched out painful frantic beats inside her chest. Clutching her purse and turning, she began an ungraceful sprint away from the truck.
It was the shout of her name that brought her to a halt. It was more of a slurred holler, but he had known her name and that surprised her enough to stop her retreat. Watching as he stumbled over the curb, advancing toward her with less grace than she had displayed running in high heels, the man called her name again.
“Kara!”
Racking her brain trying to attach a name to the voice, Kara came to a heart-stopping conclusion.
“Sam?” She spoke his name with trepidation and the urgent hope that she was mistaken.
His shaky laugh crushed that hope. Nope, she wasn’t mistaken."


*Like what you read? You can read the full first chapter here on my website or go to Amazon to order an ebook or printed book. Thanks! And Enjoy!


PICTURES:
  • Just for fun, I've posted pictures of who I'd cast as the actors for my book. Take a look: The hunky, Stephen Amell, as Christian Hunt. And the beautiful, Minka Kelly, as Kara Nichols.


                    


  • Kerry Washington would make a great Melanie Phillips, Kara's witty, hilarious friend.
  • Armie Hammer as Ryan Call




FUN FACTS ABOUT JAGUARS & MORE:
  • There used to be jaguars in the United States? They were spread across the southern part of the U.S. in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and even California. Though according to Wikipedia. org, "the jaguar's present range extends from Southern United States and Mexico across much of Central America and south to Paraguay and northern Argentina. Apart from a known and possibly breeding population in Arizona (southeast of Tuscon), the cat has largely been extipated from the United States since the early 20th century." (Wikipedia.org) 
  • The jaguar is the 3rd largest big cat in the world, preceded first by the tiger, then lion, and followed by the leopard, the fourth largest and a close cousin to the jaguar. 
  • How to tell a jaguar from a leopard - the difference is in the size and the spots. Leopards have smaller rosettes or groupings of spots without any spot in the middle. They have leaner bodies and weigh less. Jaguars' rosettes are larger and usually have 1 to 3 spots inside the dark spotted groupings. They are stockier, with broader heads and heavier bodies.
  • Jaguars are the only cat that kills its prey by crushing its skull with its jaws. Other big cats kill their prey usually with a bite to the neck.
  • Like the tiger, jaguars are one of the few cats that enjoy water and are excellent swimmers.
  • Jaguar's have some of the most powerful jaws in the cat family.
  • Jaguar's, like other big cats, are super carnivores - meaning they eat only meat and are unable to digest anything else, so fruit, vegetables and other plants are not an option for them. Their diet can include tapirs, wild pigs, dogs, foxes, fish, monkeys, and even anacondas, caimans, and turtles - whose shells are no match for their powerful jaws.
  • The Olmec people, who preceded the Maya and Aztec, worshiped the jaguar as a deity. The word Olmec means "rubber people" - a name given them because they played a game with a rubber ball. They actually called themselves Xi - pronounced "shi".
  • The jaguar is the only big cat in the America's that can roar. According to Wikipedia.org (love that site), there are "four members of the genus Panthera: the tiger, lion, jaguar, and leopard. Members of this genus are the only cats able to roar." Other big cats include "cougar, cheetah, snow leopard, and clouded leopard" - though they make other noises, they can't roar. And it is said that only small cats can purr.
  • Jaguars are the Endangered Species List.














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