The Olmec exhibit at San Francisco's De Young Museum was lauded for the enormous heads transported from Mexico, but I found the smaller figurines much more interesting (details on this group below).
Given that the giant carvings are relatively realistic, the wild heads on these guys intrigued me. Are they aliens or the mad imaginings of some ancient shaman on peyote? In any event, it's a great photo for a story prompt! Offering 4 (group of standing figures and celts), Mexico, Tabasco, La Venta, 900–400 BC, Jadeite, serpentine, and an atypical stone (possibly granite). Sixteen figurines, height: 6–7 7/8 in.; six celts, height: 9 3/8–10 in. Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Mexico City. Photo: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes–Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia–Mexico–Javier Hinojosa
WORSE THAN WICKED (published)
A young woman succumbs to the thrall of magic meant to free her mother from a supernatural prison.
JEWEL OF THE GODS (forthcoming)
A novice sworn to vengeance struggles to honor her vows when she's thrust into an immortal world of intrigue and treachery.