The Jaguar and the Wolf

Tyrthbrand the Viking wears the band of Tyr on his sword arm, and has achieved much through the grace of his god. But Tyrthbrand wants to be his own man, completing deeds that he alone can claim. When he accidentally kills a man at Leif Erikson’s camp in Vineland, he flees south with his ship and crew, seeking a land free of skraelings and gods, where he can gain riches and fame.

Lady Two Bird, former Mayan high priestess of Ix Chebel, has watched her power fade with age. Forced into retirement, she is afraid of fading into the earth without seeing her name written on the temple stairs.

Thrown together into an unlikely alliance, Tyrthbrand and Lady Two Bird must save each other in the coming battles between the Itza city-states, as well as survive the collision of the Viking and Mayan gods that threatens both Heaven and earth.

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Read the prologue and the first chapter!

The Jaguar and the Wolf– Novel Notes

The inspiration for The Jaguar and the Wolf came at a dark period in my life. I had recently had an abnormal mammogram with an “area of concern.” After the doctor did a needle biopsy, they determined that the cells were benign. But it wasn’t a pleasant experience.

About that time, I was consciously trying to come up with the next novel idea. I was sitting at a bar in California (I had flown out there for work), and I asked myself what I was most concerned about, what concept consumed me. A single word came to me: sacrifice. I was afraid I was going to have to sacrifice one of my breasts. That got me thinking about other sacrifices, in terms of culture and mythology. I knew something of the Mayans, and how important they held sacrifice to be. I also knew the story of Tyr, and his sacrifice of his sword hand. The novel just flowed together from there, with all the characters exploring the theme, “For every loss there is a gain.”

Selected Bibliography

This is not a complete bibliography of all the sources I used for The Jaguar and the Wolf. It is a good starting point for those interested in either Mayan or Norse history or mythology.


Bergþósson, Páll. The Wineline Millennium: Saga and Evidence. Mál og mennig, 2000.

Björnsson, Árni. High Days and Holidays in Iceland. Mál og menning, 1995.

De Landa, Friar Diego, author, and Gates, William, ed. Yucatan Before and After the Conquest. Dover Publications, 1978.

Jones, Prudence, and Pennick, Nigel. A History of Pagan Europe. Routledge, 1995.

Prechtel, Martin. Secrets of the Talking Jaguar: Memoirs from the Living Heart of a Mayan Village. Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 1999.

Sabloff, Jeremy, and Andrews, E. Wyllys, ed. Late Lowland Maya Civilization: Classic to Postclassic. School of American Research, University of New Mexico Press, 1985.

Schele, Linda, and Freidel, David. The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya. William Morrow and Company, 1990.

Schele, Linda, and Freidel, David, and Parker, Joy. Maya Cosmos: Three Thousand Years on the Shaman’s Path. Quill, William Morrow, 1993.

Tedlock, Dennis. Popol Vuh: The Mayan Book of the Dawn of Life. Touchstone, 1996.

Thompson, Eric S. Maya History & Religion. University of Oklahoma Press, 1970.

Wahlgren, Erik. The Vikings and America. Thames and Hudson, 1985.

Wawn, Andrew, and Sigurdardóttir, þórunn. Approaches to Vínland. Sigurdur Nordal Institute, 2001.

Webster, David. The Fall of the Ancient Maya. Thames & Hudson, 2002.

Whitlock, Ralph. Everyday Life of the Maya. Dorset Press, 1976.


Sands, Marella. Sky Knife. Tor, 1997.

Tiptree, Jr., James. Tales of the Quintana Roo. Arkham House, 1986.


Magnusson, Magnus, and Hermann, Pálsson, trans. The Vinland Sagas. Penguin Books, 1965.

Sawyer-Lauçanno, Christopher, trans. The Destruction of the Jaguar: Poems of the Chilam Balam. City Lights Book, 1987.

Sturluson, Snorri. Edda. Everyman, 1987.

—., The Poetic Edda. Oxford University Press, 1996.


De Spain, Pleasant, ed., and Lamo-Jiménez, Mario, trans. The Emerald Lizard. August House, 1999.

Montejo, Victor, ed., and Kaufman, Wallace, trans. The Bird Who Cleans The World and other Mayan Fables. Curbstone Press, 1991.

Web Sources


Good general sources for myth:

Food timeline:

Native American technologies:

Iron working:

Medieval science:


General all around Mayan information:

Mayan astronomy:

Mayan stories:

Pictures from a Mayan trip:

Green iguana society:

Ceiba tree of the Mayans:

General Mayan information:


Translations of Eddas:

Germanic myths and legends:

Gullveig’s Confession:

Northvegr, the Northern Way:

Poetic Edda:

Prose Edda:…

Introduction to runes:

Viking archaeology:

Viking sword: