Temples and Demons and Heights, Oh My!


AZTEC GOLD Paranormal Romance by Caridad PineiroSometimes it’s hard to say what inspires a story, but I have no doubts about what inspired AZTEC GOLD: A temple, a demon and my fear of heights!

Several years ago, I was lucky enough to be able to visit Teotihuacan, a pre-Columbian city which boasts some of the tallest pyramids in the world, the Avenue of the Dead and beautiful murals. At its zenith, Teotihuacan may have been home to as many as 200,000 inhabitants who one day just disappeared.

Did I mention that there is also evidence that the citizens of the city sacrificed humans and animals?

Pyramid of the SunYou can imagine that my writer’s mind was churning as I walked the long Avenue of the Dead, strolling from the Pyramid of the Moon to the Pyramid of the Sun. Where had these people gone? Why had they made the sacrifices and was it possible that the wrath of the gods had caused the collapse of the city and disappearance of its inhabitants?

Pyramid of the MoonYears later as I tried to conjure up a story with a different demon, those pyramids came to mind and after doing some digging around, I discovered the dreaded Itzapapalotl – the Clawed Butterfly.

Perfect, I thought. A pissed off demon running wild in a pyramid would make a perfect demon, but just to make it a little better, the demon is actually the daughter of the dreaded Itzapapalotl!


A temple and a demon. But what about the fear of heights? Well, here is where it gets a little more personal and a bit of the author works its way into a story.

You see the heroine in the novel, Cynthia Guerrero, isn’t afraid of heights, but she is fearful. She watched her parents die many years earlier and since then, she’s buried herself in the museum in which she works. For Cynthia to leave the safety of that place will take a lot. It’ll take Cynthia wanting to find out what happened to her lover.

That takes courage, but if Cynthia couldn’t go on that journey, she would be missing so much in life and she would never find her former lover, Rafael Santiago, who disappeared into the Mexican jungle and a temple much like the ones in Teotihuacan.

Caridad on her way up the pyramid stepsLike Cynthia, I had to face my own fear that day at the pyramids. You see, I am very afraid of heights, as well as airplanes and flying. A bummer since I love to travel and am therefore waiting for the day when I can say “Beam me up, Scotty.”

But I can’t just beam from place to place, so I had a tough choice to make. Sit at ground level and not feel the power at the top of that pyramid where the ancient Teotihuacanos believed their gods could best be felt, or push past my fear and make the climb.

Like Cynthia, I somehow overcame my fear and made the climb and it was breathtaking at the top of the pyramid where I could see for miles and miles and gaze down on a remarkable ancient city and wonder at how its people had lived and died.

Pyramid of the Sun

I hope you enjoyed this journey with me and will take the time to share Cynthia’s journey in AZTEC GOLD. Maybe you’ve had a similar journey, either to a place that you could not forget or to overcome a fear in order to experience something new. Now that I’ve shared this journey with you, why not share one with us?

Video Premiere for AZTEC GOLD, a paranormal novella

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yW7WznE62fs

11 thoughts on “Temples and Demons and Heights, Oh My!”

  1. Keri Stevens says:

    Oh, I’m with you on acrophobia! God made feet and gravity for a reason, dangit!

    But I’m also sneaking peeks at skydiving and parasailing videos on YouTube. I’m a big proponent of running towards what you fear.

    Unless it’s a clawed butterfly.

  2. Me, too, Keri, although I can’t imagine skydiving or parasailing. I tried a ski lift once and it was really bad. Like embarrassing bad. But I couldn’t miss this opportunity. The view was amazing and so was the feel of standing up there. It totally left a lasting impression on me.

  3. I’m an avid skydiver and have met countless people who are afraid of heights and have used this as a way of getting over their fears.
    As you mention Keri, no better way to get over something you fear is to go right through it.

    This is not to say I am without fear. Mine are spiders and I still haven’t found a way to get over them.

  4. Lois Winston says:

    I’m fine with heights. I actually love being way up high and experiencing vast panoramas. Creepy crawlies and other four-legged vermin on the other hand? Ugh! Gives me nightmares.

    Great post, Caridad! And I’m glad you were able to overcome your fear to experience such an awesome sight.

  5. Netti says:

    ohhh; gorgeous photos & YOU GO GIRL!! I have a horrible fear of spiders. More than just a phobia. My grandmother lost a breast because a spider bite became infected… this was before the reconstructive surgery they have now. I grew up seeing the horrible job they did on her breast and I become completely terrified of spiders. Can’t forsee that ever going away *shudder*

  6. KM Fawcett says:

    I love that you faced your fear and climbed the pyramid. My new motto lately is “You have to want it more than you fear it.” I use that mantra for my writing, but can be applied to anything.

    Can’t wait to read Aztec Gold. Your book trailer was great too.

  7. Thank you all for dropping by. Amazingly, bugs only bother me if they are on my dinner plate. Kid you not. My friends in Mexico are always trying to get me to try the ant eggs or crickets. Blech! I did taste the corn fungus, however. Look for that in FIFTH KINGDOM, a romantic suspense which comes out later this year from Carina.

  8. Kiersten says:

    I’m not afraid of heights, per se, but I am the child who actually has to burn herself before she’ll accept that a stove/pot is hot. Sometimes I’ll look down a great height and think “really? a person wouldn’t survive that? Huh.” and sometimes I look down and think “oh holy crap”. I guess it depends just what I’m looking down from – Irish castle=Really? Top of World Trade Center=oh holy crap.

    Snakes however – oh heck no. ;-)

    Congrats Caridad! Can’t wait to read the newbie. I love me a good adventure.

  9. The clawed butterfly demon sounds awesome.

    Congrats on the release of Aztec Gold, Caridad :)

  10. Thank you guys for dropping by! I really loved doing all the research for AZTEC GOLD and including some of the real life places I’ve been lucky enough to visit. I hope you’ll enjoy the novella as well. I’ll be having a very special contest starting soon. One of the prizes is a golden Aztec-style butterfly charm. I’ll post a link as soon as the contest starts!

  11. Anne W. says:

    I bought a bracelet on top of the Pyramid to the Moon when I was 18. No problem with acrophobia then. That struck many years later at the Grand Canyon! AZTEC GOLD tops my TBR pile.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *