Finding Inspiration and Pyramids in Belize by Loucinda McGary (and a free book giveaway!) - J. Kenner

Finding Inspiration and Pyramids in Belize by Loucinda McGary (and a free book giveaway!)

Please welcome Loucinda McGary to the blog!

Where do you get your ideas? This is a question I’m asked quite often, and I always answer honestly, “Everywhere.” In truth, I never know what might turn into a story idea. I might be inspired by a piece of music, a picture, a scrap of conversation, just about anything. My latest release, New Year’s Endeavor was inspired by a pyramid.New Year's Endeavor by Loucinda McGary

In September, 2011 my hubby and I went on a seven day cruise out of New Orleans to Belize, Roatan, Honduras and Cozumel, Mexico. I’d never been to that part of the world before and I was anxious to see Mayan ruins ‘up close and personal.’

We booked an all-day excursion from Belize City to the ruins at Altun Ha. This site was occupied by the Mayans from 900 BC until about 1000 AD and at its peak, had a population of 10,000 inhabitants. Of course, the most impressive things about the site are the three enormous step-pyramids with a fourth still being excavated.

Ruins at Altun HaThreatening clouds and ominous thunder greeted us when we arrived. After a short hike through the trees, we emerged in a wide, grassy field ringed by these amazing stone pyramids, the tallest over fifty feet from top to bottom.  The guides tried to hurry our group along before the storm hit, but we were all so awe-struck that we had a hard time tearing ourselves away. Fat rain drops forced my hubby and me to run for our tour bus, and we arrived moments before the real downpour started.

As often happens, I found myself looking at those fantastic sights and thinking how much I’d love to include them in a story someday. Unfortunately, I always have many more ideas than I have time to write. However, when I sat down to write the third installment of my Adventure Cruise Line series, I knew the time was right for me to include the Mayan pyramids at Altun Ha.

I tried to include everything, even the torrential rain, so that my readers can experience this amazing place right along with my characters. Here’s a brief excerpt to pique your interest:

Josh and Mason caught up with the rest of the group as they left the marker and walked through a gate. Falling in step beside Tammy, they stopped short along with the rest of their group when the jungle opened into a football field sized clearing flanked by two enormous step pyramids. Mason gasped, and Josh could see that even Dillon looked awestruck. Their female tour guide gave a brief account of the Mayan culture and everything they knew about this particular site. A huge clap of thunder interrupted her explanation of the archeological activities still happening at another partially excavated pyramid on the far side of the larger of the other two. Tammy jumped at the unexpected loud noise, and the blonde twins squealed.

“I better let you explore the pyramids before it starts raining again.” The guide made a sweeping gesture. “Please don’t climb very high and be careful. The stones are wet and slippery….”

“C’mon, Dill!” Mason shouted as he dashed off in the opposite direction.

Josh saw his mother with her sketch pad and pencil, drawing like crazy and flipping pages…

New Year’s Endeavor is a novella and the third story in the Adventure Cruise Line series. A contemporary romance, it is currently available in ebook format on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. For more information please visit me on Facebook!

What are some awe-inspiring places you’ve visited? Are there any you’d like to read about?

Thanks so much for inviting me to blog with you today! I’ll give away a free download of New Year’s Endeavor to one randomly chosen commenter.

Thank you Loucinda! 

Don’t forget to answer Loucinda’s question: “What are some awe-inspiring places you’ve visited? Are there any you’d like to read about?” One lucky commenter will get a free download of New Year’s Endeavor!



Jo Robertson

Great article, Cindy! I know you have traveled widely both here and abroad. My little trips don’t compare. I did visit Scotland a few years ago, however, and would love to incorporate some of those lovely settings into a book.

Right now, I’m aiming for Paris!

I get most of my ideas from classes I take. An odd court case or an unusual psychopathy in a killer usually sparks an idea for a new story.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy

Thanks for dropping by, Jo!

You will LOVE Paris! It is one of my most favorite cities. I loved how you incorporated New York and New Jersey into your novella The Hitman’s Holiday. Keep up the great work!


Eric Zimmerman

Thanks for the great info! As a new writer I often wonder how other more successful authors get their ideas and go about practicing their trade. I can’t wait to travel to some far off fantastical land to draw inspiration from!!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy

Hi Eric!
Great to see you here! LOL! My current work-in-progress is set in the far off fantastical San Francisco, CA. 😉 You really can find inspiration in your (almost) backyard.


Diana McCollum

Hi, Cindy! Interesting blog post! I know your books always seem to have an adventurous setting. I haven’ t traveled out of the country much. Nothing as exciting as pyramids!

Loucinda McGary

Hi Diana!
Appreciate you taking the time to come by!

You’re right, I LURVE to travel, whether locally or far, far away. I’m still hoping to see the Egyptian pyramids in the not too distant future. Don’t know if I’ll ever set a story there… I never know when the inspiration will strike. 🙂


Helen Sibbritt

Hi Aunty Cindy

I loved this story and felt like I was visiting then Pyramids :). I have been on a few cruises and some of the places we have visited are really lovely on the Islands I couldn’t name just one there are way too many
Congrats on the release I highly recommend this one and the whole series I am loving it

Have Fun

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy

Can’t thank you enough! I’m so happy you enjoyed New Year’s Endeavor. This story was a bit of a departure for me, since it was a contemporary romance and not a romantic suspense.

I would LOVE to cruise to Fiji like you did last year!



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