Amok on Monday with Paty Jager

paty jager and horseNote from Jessa: I’m so psyched to have author Paty Jager on my blog today. She’s perfect for an Amok post because she seems like such a nice, quiet lady, and then you find out she’s, like, actually a real-life rope-’em cowgirl! She has horses and cows and cute dogs and hay and other cowgirl things. A hat and boots even! Check out her blog and social media links at the end of this post to follow her and see all the amazing pictures of what life is like for a modern cowgirl. And then enjoy all her western-themed romances plus mysteries and adventures. Thanks for being with us, Paty!

  • Which is your favorite myth, legend, urban legend, Aesop fable, fairy tale, or superhero, and why?

I have always been interested in the story of the Wallowa Lake monster. This is the lake in the area where I grew up. As a child I stared at the lake and vowed I’d never go in. The story was told that a great antlered beast lived in the bottomless lake. Growing up and learning more about the area, I discovered the myth or legend started with the Nez Perce Indian band that lived in the Wallowa Valley in the summer time. One winter was so cold that when elk tried to swim across the lake they froze and their antlers remained above the ice’s surface, this is how the myth started of the antlered monster. The adults in the Nez Perce band used this as a means of keeping the children in line. It was their “boogie” man. They told the children if they weren’t good and didn’t listen to their elders, the antlered beast of the lake would come to their lodge at night and take them down into his watery home. I used this concept for one of the Nez Perce spirits on my Spirit Trilogy books. He is a shape shifter who lives in the form of an elk in Wallowa Lake.

  • Which Disney princess are you most like? Or least like? Personalities aside, whose hair would you want?

Disney princess…My favorite is Mulan. She pretended to be a male to keep her invalid father from having to go to war. I liked her spunk and showing the boys/men she could do everything they did. I was like that as a youth. I had to do everything my brothers did and better. As for hair… It’s a toss-up between Ariel’s thick, fiery locks and Rapunzel’s long, silky strands. At this point I like anything that isn’t silver. 😉

  • Which romantic lead tropes do you find yourself returning to in your stories?

My heroines have to be take charge women and my heroes have to have a sense of humor.

  • When did you realize you were a writer? What was your inciting incident?

My inciting incident for becoming a writer happened my senior year of high school. Our English teacher gave an assignment to research a person from history and write about an event that happened in their life from their point of view. I chose Joan of Arc burning at the stake. The teacher picked my story to read to the class. When she finished, no one, not even the class clown, made a sound. Having been an avid reader my whole life that was the first time I honestly realized the power of words.

  • If you weren’t a writer, what would you do with all that free time?

I’m a creative person. I’d be making quilts, decorating cakes, possibly painting. Instead I paint visions in reader’s minds with my words.

  • What is your personal theme song today?

Today- The day I answered all these questions my theme song is Celebrate! We (hubby and I) are building a house with the hopes of moving in before Christmas and today we passed all the inspections!! Now we can move forward and only have to worry about the final inspection.

  • Not including the obvious (guns, knives, etc.) which object nearest you would make a suitable weapon in the event of a zombie-ninja-robot invasion?

Probably my dog’s breath! Honestly, I don’t know how something so cute can put off such a pungent odor. All she’d have to do is pant and it would putrefy the zombie completely, weaken the ninja, and melt the robot’s metal.

  • What do you like best about your current work, published or not?

I am having the time of my life writing my new mystery series. The amateur sleuth is a potter who sells her wares as art. She is part Native American and her recently deceased grandmother comes to her in dreams revealing hints to the murderers.

  • Do you do anything special for your readers?

Paty Jager Western Duets ChristmasEvery year about this time I like to “give away” a book or story. This year it is Western Holiday Duets this is a novelette with two short historical western romances. You can find it for free at:

Barnes and Noble


This is Jessa again. Thanks, Paty, for sharing the holiday spirit with us! Want to read more from Paty Jager? You can find Double Duplicity: A Shandra Higheagle Mystery at Amazon for pre-order. Release date is Jan. 10, 2015.

Paty Jager Double DuplicityDouble Duplicity Blurb

On the eve of the biggest art event at Huckleberry Mountain Resort, potter Shandra Higheagle finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation. She’s ruled out as a suspect, but now it’s up to her to prove the friend she’d witnessed fleeing the scene was just as innocent. With help from her recently deceased Nez Perce grandmother, Shandra becomes more confused than ever, but just as determined to discover the truth.

Detective Ryan Greer prides himself on solving crimes and refuses to ignore a single clue, including Shandra Higheagle’s visions. While Shandra is hesitant to trust her dreams, Ryan believes in them and believes in her. Together they discover the gallery owner wasn’t the respectable woman she’d portrayed. Can the pair uncover enough clues for Ryan to make an arrest before one of them becomes the next victim?


“Paula?” A light shone around the edges of the partially open office door. Shandra pushed the door open. “Why aren’t you answer—”

Paula’s arms hung splayed away from her body that was cradled in her leather office chair. A large red patch spread across her body and lifeless eyes stared up at the ceiling.

Shandra backed out of the room. She couldn’t swallow for the lump of fear and vileness she’d just witnessed.

“Think… Call the police.” She punched in 9 as sirens shrieked and grew louder. “Maybe they’re coming here.” They had to be coming here. This town is too small for there to be two incidents where the cops are needed at the same time.

She put her phone in her bag and strode toward the front of the building. The door buzzed, and a young officer she’d never seen before burst into the building with his gun held in front of him.

“Stop! Put your hands in the air!” he shouted.

Shandra squeaked and raised her arms.

“Did you call the cops?”

“No. I—”

He advanced on her so fast she didn’t know what was happening until he wrenched her arm behind her back.

“What are you doing?”

“I’m detaining you until I can search the premises.” He cuffed her and started to haul her to the door.

“Oh, no, you don’t. I’m not going into a squad car and looking like a criminal when I’m not. I just arrived and found Paula in the office. I was starting to call nine-one-one when I heard the sirens.” Shandra dug in her boot heels. There was no way she’d have the whole town see her sitting in a cop car. She’d done nothing wrong.

“Who’s Paula?” He tugged on her, but she refused to be humiliated for nothing.

“The owner of the gallery. She’s in her chair in the office. Dead.” That stopped the zealous officer.

“We received a phone call of suspicious activity.” He changed course, pushing her ahead of him to the back of the building and the office.

Shandra complied. She’d rather stand by the office door while he did his thing than be seen in a cop car.

At the office, Blane, his name tag said, stood her next to the door. “Don’t move. You’re still a suspect.”

She nodded. She’d stay here all day if she didn’t have to look at Paula again.


Bio: Award-winning author Paty Jager and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon.  On her road to publication she wrote freelance articles for two local newspapers and enjoyed her job with the County Extension service as a 4-H Program Assistant. Raising hay and cattle, riding horses, and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.

All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Her penchant for research takes her on side trips that eventually turn into yet another story.

You can learn more about Paty at her blog Writing into the Sunset; her website; or on FacebookGoodreads and Twitter.

Resolve 2013: Priority organization

Note from Jessa: Today we have Paty Jager telling me how to GET ORGANIZED. Paty is an author of Western and paranormal romances AND she is a rancher in real life. So I figure she probably has some good words of wisdom on staying on top of things.

art-resolve2013GET ORGANIZED advice from:
Paty Jager
Author of Secrets of a Mayan Moon

Paty Jager portraitI have my own system of organization.  I’m not someone that has to have a pristine desk or sparkling house around me to be able to function. But I do need order. There may be three piles of items on my desk but those are piles that pertain to what I’m doing. One pile has research for the current book, another pile has marketing and promotion things I need to tend to, and one is my list of to do’s and calendar/date book.  Sometimes they get mixed together,  but that’s because I may be working on all of it at the same time, like now. ;0) Writing my latest work in progress, promoting the last book, formatting the next book, and keeping up with the places I’m blogging.

My house is the same. My closet holds the clean clothes, and the top of the trunk at the end of my bed may have a good pair of jeans draped over the top and my “town” sweatshirt.  My pjs are at the foot of the bed. Books I read in bed or when taking a bath are on my night stand.  My room doesn’t have to be immaculate …it needs to be functional. I don’t live in clutter, but I do leave things out that are used frequently. I like my house to be comfortable and have a lived in look.

I have a system that works for me. I believe that as long as you know where things are, what you need is within reach, and the rest is tucked away, life is good and stress free!

Places where you can connect with me:
Website  |  Blog  |  Goodreads  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest

Another Jessa note: This is such great, practical, no-nonsense advice, just as I’d expect from a lady rancher! Now, if I could just get Paty to train a herding dog to keep me in line on my organizing… Today I’m posting with Maggie Jaimeson on her resolution to take a vacation. This is one resolution I can totally support!

Stops on the “Resolve 2013” tour: January 1-9, 2013

Maggie Jaimeson – Take a Vacation
Jessa Slade – Get Organized
Paty Jager – Volunteerism
Linda Mercury – Creating a Literary (or Creative) Life
Jenna Bayley-Burke – Eat Healthier
Cassiel Knight – No More Procrastination
Cathryn Cade – Take Time for those OTHER Creative Passions
Su Lute – Reduce Stress: Find and Follow Your Bliss
Jamie Brazil – Shrink My Closet

Resolve 2013: Embrace My Organizational Style

A note from Jessa: Today author Maggie Jaimeson dives into the mess of my GET ORGANIZED resolution for 2013 and offers her insights. Let’s see how she does… Wait, in the first sentence, she is laughing at me!

art-resolve2013GET ORGANIZED advice from:
Maggie Jaimeson

Maggie JaimesonOrganizing the Office 

I have to tell you that I laughed uproariously at the idea of writing a post about getting organized.  Let me give you a description of how I work in my office (much to my husband’s chagrin).

One of the effects of being creative is that I tend to have a lot of ideas and interests. These often blossom into piles of books, papers and projects that build up around my office. Fortunately, they don’t escape from my office too often, because my husband is Mr. Uber-organized and a work-on-one-thing-at-a-time-until-it-is-finished processor. When my stuff occasionally escapes from the office to the dining room table I hear about it, and it is soon back in my office. To make matters worse, because all these ideas have multiple facets and various articles of research associated them, each one becomes it’s own “organized” (read pile) project. Of course, I have to leave everything out where it’s easily accessible because, if I put it away, I may forget about it and that would be horrendous.

When anyone asks how I can work like this, my response is: “This may appear like clutter, but really it is organized chaos. I know where everything is.” Okay you can stop laughing now. Really. The statement is true, at least in the beginning.

So, I admit that while I could never be my husband, at least once or twice a year I notice that my organized chaos has become a black hole and it begins sucking my attention and energy. That’s when I know I really do need to do something about it.  That’s when I take an entire day and go through everything, and put it into folders (usually I scan sticky notes, printed web pages, and hand-writte notes into my computer and then put them into folders). Whatever doesn’t get scanned ends up in the recycling bin. For at least a week following the aversion of black hole doom, everything thinks I’m Ms. Uber-organized. Honestly, that is the extent of my office organizing skills. I’ve learned to simply embrace my organizational style. J

Tracking Book Elements

Because I truly do have a problem with memory, and I’m a write-int-the-mist (panther) kind of writer, it is critical that I have an organized way to track everything I’ve created in a particular novel or series. I do this using a software product called Super Note Card.  I keep a deck of cards containing all my characters. Each card is a character and I record various things about them as I write them: physical characteristics, family and educational/career background, phrasing, GMC, love interest, etc. Another card deck is book chapters, and I include separate cards for 1st Turning Point, 2nd Turning Point, Black Moment. If I’m world building there are usually several decks including Geography, Mythology, Magic, whatever I need. The cool thing about this ver inexpensive software is that you can add or remove decks and cards at any time. You can also rearrange them. So, when I decide that Chapter 6 really needs to be Chapter 2 I simply drag and drop it to the right location.

Super Notecard has really helped with my continuity and, if I have to come up with a Synopsis, I can easily pull together the primary elements from the descriptions on these cards.  Previous to this software, I would take notes and save them in a folder with the book name. The problem is, because my thoughts are random, those files would end up being named note, note2, note3, etc.  And not easy to track or find things.  For me it works perfectly. Your mileage my vary.

Meeting and Event Scheduling/Organizing

Now one thing I am VERY organized about is time. That is because I have virtually no memory. I frequently forget even what day it is. Let’s not even talk about what time it is.  Thank the technology gods for smart phones and electronic calendars or I would be perpetually late or absent. I was an early adopter of the PDA and that has now morphed into the smart phone.

I put EVERY event, deadline, schedule, blog tour, trip, meeting, phone call, birthday, anniversary, holiday, etc. on to a Google calendar that is linked to my phone.  I do it immediately when I commit to whatever the date/time/deadline is.  Depending on the event, I put in various alerts—usually at least two deep. For example, for a meeting that takes me half an hour to drive there, I put an alert two hours before and another one 45 minutes before. The two hours is to make sure I’m awake. The 45 minutes is to make sure I’m actually getting in the car.  Electronic calendaring is an amazing invention and I can count on my cell phone always being wherever I am.  Now, if I could only find a way to remind me I need to charge it before I’m somewhere without an outlet. Hmm…I’m sure I can set up a daily alert for that.

Contact MaggieWebsite | GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter | Blog

Another Jessa note: Clearly, getting advice from writers on organizing is going to be like getting advice on dieting from chocoholics. Codependence, anyone? Still, I like the idea of making technology work FOR me for a change. I should make better use of my Google Calendar. Hey, I could start with scheduling this tour! Today (according to my Google Calendar) I’m posting with Paty Jager regarding her resolution on volunteering.

Stops on the “Resolve 2013” tour: January 1-9, 2013

Maggie Jaimeson – Take a Vacation
Jessa Slade – Get Organized
Paty Jager – Volunteerism
Linda Mercury – Creating a Literary (or Creative) Life
Jenna Bayley-Burke – Eat Healthier
Cassiel Knight – No More Procrastination
Cathryn Cade – Take Time for those OTHER Creative Passions
Su Lute – Reduce Stress: Find and Follow Your Bliss
Jamie Brazil – Shrink My Closet

Amok on Mondays: Paty Jager

amok monday guest authors[Note from Jessa: Amok on Mondays is my semi-regular visit with writer friends. Paty Jager interests me because she seems like a nice lady, and then you find out she runs a ranch and studies varmint killing and has a secret fantastical side. I love when that happens. Read on to learn more about Paty and her stories.]

Which is your favorite myth, legend, urban legend, Aesop fable, fairy tale, or superhero, and why?

My favorite legend is one I heard while growing up about the lake over the ravine from where we lived. Wallowa Lake was one of the summer camps of the Wallowa band of the Nez Perce. The legend has been told to anyone visiting the lake that an antlered or horned beast lived in the lake. This always intrigued me and also hearing that there was a spot in the lake that had no bottom gave a young mind many scary scenarios. As an adult, I used my curiosity about this legend and learned that the Nez Perce believed an antlered creature lived in the lake. Someone one winter, witnessed antlers sticking through the ice(which was probably a poor elk who wandered onto the ice and fell through) and the legend began about an antlered creature who lived in the lake and when a child was bad the creature would come out during the night and take the child from their bed, never to be seen again. It was one of the legends the Nez Perce used to keep their children well- behaved. I think the reason it’s my favorite comes partly because it is about the area where I grew up and being a Nez Perce legend more mystery and intrigue surround it for me than with superheroes and the usual fable or fairy tale.

Which Disney princess are you most like? Or least like? Personalities aside, whose hair would you want?

I would say I’m most like Belle. I love to read, don’t care for fancy stuff, and I married a beast. ;0) Kidding, though he is getting hairier and hairier as he ages… It’s a tossup between Ariel’s wavy red locks and Pocahontas’ long, straight, black strands.

Which romantic lead tropes do you find yourself returning to in your stories?

The hero has to have a sense of humor and be humble, yet strong of character. I’ve never liked the cocky, think their “God’s gift” type of guy. And the heroine is always emotionally strong and independent. Someone who can survive on her own if she wanted.
When did you realize you were a writer? What was your inciting incident?
In high school. We had an assignment to write about a character in history from their point of view. I wrote about Joan of Arc burning at the stake. How she believed in what she was doing to the end. The teacher read my story to the class. When she finished there wasn’t a sound in the room. Not even the class clown made a sound. That’s when I realized I had the power to capture people with my writing.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you do with all that free time?

Paint or make crafts to sell.

Not including the obvious (guns, knives, etc.) which object nearest you would make a suitable weapon in the event of a zombie-ninja-robot invasion?

My pointed, acrylic EPPIE award on my desk. If it’s not heavy enough to knock them upside the head, I can try to poke an eye out with the point, or throw it like a spear and hope it travels straight.
What do you like best about your current work, published or not?
I love my characters, Doctor Isabella Mumphrey and DEA agent Augustino Konstantine. They are so different yet complement each other so well and they find the most interesting adventures.

Paty JagerMore about Paty

Wife, mother, grandmother, and the one who cleans pens and delivers the hay; award winning author Paty Jager and her husband currently ranch 350 acres when not dashing around visiting their children and grandchildren. She not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.
You can learn more about Paty at her blog,; her website,; or on Facebook,!/paty.jager and Twitter, @patyjag.


An Isabella Mumphrey Adventure

Paty Jager

Child prodigy and now Doctor of Anthropology, Isabella Mumphrey, is about to lose her job at the university. In the world of publish or perish, her mentor’s request for her assistance on a dig is just the opportunity she’s been seeking. If she can decipher an ancient stone table—and she can—she’ll keep her department. She heads to Guatemala, but drug trafficking bad guys, artifact thieves, and her infatuation for her handsome guide wreak havoc on her scholarly intentions.

DEA agent Tino Kosta is out to avenge the deaths of his family. He’s deep undercover as a jaguar tracker and sometimes jungle guide, but the appearance of a beautiful, brainy anthropologist heats his Latin blood taking him on a dangerous detour that could leave them both casualties of the jungle…

*     *     *

She deposited her backpack on the floor at her feet. The horn handle of a twelve inch Guatemalan blade protruded from the side pocket. Tino’s curiosity spiked another notch.

“I have a reservation. Dr. Isabella Mumphrey.”

Tino snapped the paper down and stared even harder at the woman. This was the frumpy, old anthropologist he was to guide? His gaze scanned the length of her one more time while tuning in the conversation.

“Ahh, Dr. Mumphrey, Dr. Martin said you were to get the finest room, no?” The clerk acted like a simpering fool giving the doctor her key and expounding on all the wonders of the hotel.

“Gracias. May I borrow a paper and pencil? I need to make a list for the taxi driver.”

The clerk handed her the items. She stepped to the side of the counter and began writing.

Why would she make a list for a taxi driver? Curious, Tino folded the paper and strolled to a spot beside her. So intent on her list, she didn’t even acknowledge his presence as he leaned, reading the items. Army knife, candle, braided fishing line, hooks, swivels, 24 gauge snare wire…

“You are planning a trip into the jungle, no?”

She started at his voice. Deep green eyes rimmed in gold stared at him from behind wire-rimmed lenses. She blinked, focused on him, and narrowed her eyes.

“Didn’t your mother teach you manners? You don’t look over people’s shoulders to see what they’re doing.” She picked up her list and held it to her damp shirt.

“Mi mamá did teach me manners, no? I am Tino Kosta, your guide to the dig at Ch’ujuña.” He held out his hand waiting for her to shake.
Her gaze traveled from his extended hand up his arm to his face. She squinted her eyes and glared at him.

“You’re not of Mesoamerican descent, so you can’t possibly be my guide. Are you in cahoots with the disgusting little man who stole my property?” She bent toward her backpack, giving him a good view down the front of her blouse.

Si, she didn’t wear a bra. The nipples peaking through her clingy shirt sat atop a palm-sized mound. Now, being a man who liked his hands filled to overflowing when it came to handling a woman—

“¡Carajo!” The pointed end of the large knife that had been tucked in the doctor’s backpack waved inches from his nose. “What is this about?” A woman who ran around without undergarments shouldn’t be offended by a man viewing her body.

SECRETS OF A MAYAN MOON is available at Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords.