Deadly Twist bestselling survival romance by Kendall Talbot

Ancient Mayan temples inspired my bestseller

Uncovering the Mayan Mysteries that Inspired My Thrilling Novel

As I stood amidst the towering stone structures of Chichén Itzá, I was struck by a profound sense of curiosity. This UNESCO World Heritage site, with its 1,400-year-old Mayan ruins, had long been on my bucket list, and in 2015, I finally had the chance to explore this magnificent site.

The contrast between the jungle's relentless vegetation and the imposing, meticulously crafted stone structures was breathtaking. How had these ancient Mayan architects and engineers managed to create such a remarkable complex, only for it to be ultimately abandoned and reclaimed by nature?!

Below is a photo of the Temple of Kukulcan taken in 1892. Photo credit: Collection of Negatives and Prints, 1895-1908: Peabody Museum Archives, Harvard University. And the second photo is when I visited the same site in 2015. 

Mystery romantic thriller Deadly Twist inspiration

Deady Twist bestselling survival romance by Kendall Talbot

As I explored the site, I was captivated by the intricate details that told the story of this once-thriving civilization. The step pyramid, with its 365 steps representing the days of the year, was a testament to the Mayans' advanced astronomical knowledge. And the ingenious illusion of a snake's body, created by the play of light and shadow during the equinoxes, left me in awe.

The Temple of Warriors, with its rows of carved columns depicting warriors and astronomical symbols, was a particularly fascinating sight. I couldn't help but imagine the grand ceremonies and rituals that once took place within its walls, where human hearts were offered to the gods.

But the most intriguing aspect of Chichén Itzá's history was the demise of the city itself. Archaeologists believe that a severe drought may have led the king to order human sacrifices in an attempt to appease the gods and bring rain. Tragically, this decision only served to poison the city's main water source, the Sacred Cenote, hastening the downfall of the Mayan civilization. 

Kendall Talbot Inspiration for Deadly Twist Survival Romance
Deady Twist bestselling survival romance by Kendall Talbot

These captivating details and the sense of mystery surrounding Chichén Itzá have deeply influenced the creation of my thrilling action-adventure romance, "Deadly Twist," which is set in the Yucatán jungle. I hope that my readers will share in my fascination with this remarkable site and will be inspired to uncover the secrets of the ancient Mayan world, just as Lily and Carter do in this book.

Deadly Twist Best-selling survival Romance by Kendall Talbot


An ancient Mayan Temple. A dark family secret. A desperate fight for survival. And an unexpected love that's worth fighting for.

When her father suddenly dies, Lily uncovers a hidden journal that reveals his secret past. Determined to get answers for her grieving family, she travels to Mexico refusing to believe she’s out of her depth.

Reluctantly, she partners with Carter, an older, grouchy nature photographer hiding secrets of his own.

Searching for Agulinta, the mysterious Mayan temple, they head into the Yucatan jungle with their overweight guide and his prized pet rooster. Lily expects to encounter wild animals, intense humidity and a brutal hike. But she didn’t foresee Carter being such a pain in the butt, and she certainly didn't expect her guide to die.

Lost and alone, Lily and Carter stumble across something they should never have seen and with armed bandits chasing them, her quest for answers becomes a desperate fight for survival.

Will Agulinta be the key to their survival? Or will Carter and Liliana become victims to the cruel relentless jungle and the evil men hunting them down?

Deadly Twist is a gripping romantic thriller, featuring a feisty heroine who’s not afraid of anyone, a grumpy hero who doesn’t trust anyone, and a plucky rooster that tags along for the ride.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.