Wednesday Whimsy Vintage Ad Ancient Egypt Comes to Life

I think the picture says it all in this vintage 1956 print ad from COLE bathing suits:

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(I love the eye makeup!)

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O_o! Wonder what happened next???

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Weekend Writing Warriors Steal a Chariot in DANCER OF THE NILE

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Staying with my latest release, Dancer of the Nile, which takes us back to Ancient Egypt. This follows last week’s snippet where Nima warned Kamin not to eat the stew. Avoiding spoilers, I’ve moved ahead a little, skipped a bit,  as they’re trying to make their getaway from the enemy. A little creative editing to stay within the eight sentence rule. The story blurb is below the photo.

                She’d already gotten one horse hitched to a chariot. Kamin set the sword and shield in the vehicle and grabbed the halter of another horse. “Where did you learn to harness teams?”

                Nima was following the line now, loosening the straps holding the animals to the tether and flapping her arms in an attempt to make them shy and bolt. She frowned over her shoulder at him. “My family travels by oxcart – I figured ox, horse, four legs, not much difference.” Impatiently, she shoved at a horse nibbling her sleeve. “These damn animals won’t move.”

???????????????????????????????(The above action figures adorn my desk sometimes when I’m writing…)

I  love and appreciate your comments and feedback every week! Go here  to find all the other Weekend Writing Warriors and read  an amazing variety of  terrific excerpts…

Egypt, 1500 BCE

Nima’s beauty and skill as a dancer leads an infatuated enemy to kidnap her after destroying an Egyptian border town. However, she’s not the only hostage in the enemy camp: Kamin, an Egyptian soldier on a secret mission for Pharaoh, has been taken as well. Working together to escape, the two of them embark on a desperate quest across the desert to carry word of the enemy’s invasion plans to Pharaoh’s people.

As they flee for their lives, these two strangers thrown together by misfortune have to trust in each other to survive.  Nima suspects Kamin is more than the simple soldier he seems, but she finds it hard to resist the effect he has on her heart.  Kamin has a duty to his Pharaoh to see his mission completed, but this clever and courageous dancer is claiming more of his loyalty and love by the moment. Kamin starts to worry, if it comes to a choice between saving Egypt or saving Nima’s life…what will he do?

Aided by the Egyptian god Horus and the Snake Goddess Renenutet, beset by the enemy’s black magic, can Nima and Kamin evade the enemy and reach the safety of the Nile in time to foil the planned attack?

Can there ever be a happy future together for the humble dancer and the brave Egyptian soldier who is so much more than he seems?

DANCER OF THE NILE, an Amazon Best Seller, is AVAILABLE on Amazon   Barnes & Noble   All Romance eBooks iTunes   Smashwords

Did You Find My Dad? SFR Brigade Presents WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM

THE SFRB Presents (The link is here to find this week’s excerpts from novels or WIP written by Science Fiction Romance Brigade group members.)

I thought I’d keep going a bit longer with excerpts from my 2013 SFR Galaxy Award winning novel WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM, which is a loose retelling of the Titanic sinking, set in the far future on a spaceliner. Nick Jameson, Sector Special Forces operator, has been awakened  in the middle of the night, thrown from his bed by some violent maneuver of the SMT Nebula Dream, which now seems badly damaged. Crew members are nowhere to be seen. He’s gotten a lifeboat loaded with passengers…then he and fellow passengers Mara and Khevan have gone to see if they can rescue some children trapped in a cabin near Mara’s. She’s an interstellar businesswoman, shipping cargo on the Nebula Dream. Khevan is a D’nvannae Brother (think sexy assassin/bodyguard/serves an alien goddess) returning home from an assignment:

Nick and Khevan managed to move some of the lightweight panels out of the way, only to be faced with a tangled pile of circuitry, luggage, clothes and, finally, when they dug far enough, the door to the bathroom, which had been blown inward and warped to block the entrance to the children’s room.

“Paolo, are you okay?” Mara called, as Nick and Khevan took a break to assess the best way to proceed.

“Yes.” There was a pause. “But Mommy’s not awake yet. Gianna’s frightened.”

“Well, she’s a very little girl,” Mara reminded the boy soothingly, exchanging glances with Nick and Khevan. “She’s lucky to have a big brother like you.”

“Did you – did you see my dad anywhere?”

Mara sighed. Taking a deep breath, she answered cheerful­ly, even while making a sad-faced grimace to Nick. “No, sweetheart, I didn’t find him, but I’ve got the next best thing out here – a Special Forces captain and a D’nvannae Brother. Exactly like in an adventure holo, you know? They came for you and Gianna.”

“And Mommy.” The boy’s voice wavered.

Hand to her mouth, Mara nodded. “Yes, they’re here to help your mother, too.”

heart of rose nebula

Here’s the story:

Traveling unexpectedly aboard the luxury liner Nebula Dream on its maiden voyage across the galaxy, Sectors Special Forces Captain Nick Jameson is ready for ten relaxing days, and hoping to forget his last disastrous mission behind enemy lines. He figures he’ll gamble at the casino, take in the shows, maybe even have a shipboard fling with Mara Lyrae, the beautiful but reserved businesswoman he meets.  All his vaporize when the ship suffers a wreck of Titanic proportions. Captain and crew abandon ship, leaving the 8000 passengers stranded without enough lifeboats and drifting unarmed in enemy territory. Aided by Mara, Nick must find a way off the doomed ship for himself and several other innocent people before deadly enemy forces reach them or the ship’s malfunctioning engines finish ticking down to self destruction.

But can Nick conquer the demons from his past that tell him he’ll fail these innocent people just as he failed to save his Special Forces team? Will he outpace his own doubts to win this vital race against time?

This Best Selling Science Fiction Adventure is Available from  Smashwords ,  Amazon  Barnes & Noble  All Romance eBooks and iTunes  Also available from Amazon as trade paperback here

ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE Video Book Trailer Debut

Escape-from-Zulaire2HighResI’m always thrilled to have a new book trailer to debut and it’s such fun to work with the awesomely talented (and patient) Theresa McClinton of Making It Reel. Here’s the backstory of how we work on the trailers!

First I give her the book cover art, the blurb and any really quotable reviews there might be. Then we start by selecting the music – she sends me a set of suggestions, which I dutifully listen to and make notes about. Last time I even got brave and went questing on the soundtrack site for a few more choices (fast tempo, drums – that’s me LOL). Ultimately we went with her top choice but bookmarked my favorite for possible use on our next SFR trailer. It just wasn’t quite the right “feel” for ESCAPE.

Then it’s on to the images and video clips. She and I go back and forth on the stock photos as she has excellent instincts for what might work but ultimately it’s my book and my characters and we authors are funny about the little worlds we create. (Which Theresa totally gets as she is an author herself). We had an easier time of it collaborating on the video trailer for my “Gods of Egypt” paranormal series because there are wonderful stock photos and computer recreations to use, both of Egypt itself and of artifacts from the time period I set my novels in. Please feel free to judge that video for yourself on youtube!

A challenge I do run into on book trailers for the Gods of Egypt is that the models in stock photos (or their photographers) tend to think that old, hackneyed “walk like an Egyptian” dance craze is the pose to use (um no) AND/or they’re wearing what look like bad Halloween costumes. Not what you want for your serious, romantic book video! Someday maybe I’ll have the luxury and fun of doing my own photo shoot for the covers and videos. I have looked into the idea, for the future, but to do it right, since authentic-looking costumes, wigs and elaborate makeup would be required, I’d need a decent budget and right now, that much promo for any one book just isn’t in the (credit) cards.

For ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE, the requirements included the far future, an alien planet and alien sentients. Again, without a Star Trek or Star Wars-sized budget, I think Theresa was quite artistic in choosing the photos that made the final shoot. There is a whitewater rafting incident in the novel and my characters do visit a monastery high in the mountains seeking help along the way, so we could use some Earthly photos to suggest the feel of those episodes on Zulaire. After all, Zulaire has to be quite Earthlike for my characters to survive without life support or spacesuits.

Luckily for us, the female cover model had a variety of other poses available we could use in the video but the hero, much as we both liked him,  took all of nine photos in one session, once, as far as we can tell from searching the photo sites, and that was it. So we had something of a challenge in assembling a video that told the story effectively in about two minutes, using stock photos of the original book cover art models.

Once Theresa has assembled a rough cut of the video she sends it to me to review. First I’ll watch the trailer two or three times without analyzing or commenting, just to get an overall sense for the feel of it, does it convey the feel of the book to me, are any elements standing out – good or bad – on repeated viewings? I make detailed notes for her, with the exact spot in the video that is affected, down to the second. Some elements are only a few seconds long but they all add up to the experience of the  final product.  Sometimes I want the wording changed a bit and sometimes I’m not resonating with a particular photo or video clip. But we rapidly reach the point where I LOVE it and then the video goes live for everyone else to (hopefully) enjoy.

I hope our mini movie will please you (and the book of course, which so far has spent nearly two months on the Amazon Science Fiction Romance Best Seller lists…)

Weekend Writing Warriors Is there a plan? DANCER OF THE NILE

better wewriwaSwitching this week to my latest release, Dancer of the Nile, which takes us back to Ancient Egypt again. This is the second night, when Nima the Dancer has been forced to cook dinner yet again for the enemy soldiers. We’re in Kamin’s viewpoint. A little creative editing to stay within the eight sentence rule. The story blurb is below the photo.

                Tonight’s meal smelled even better than the stew the night before. Sundown breezes brought a whiff his way, causing painful cramps in his gut, which grumbled.

                Finally, after the officers and the soldiers had been fed, she scooped a bowl full of stew from the kettle and sauntered in his direction, her walk unhurried. Kamin enjoyed the view, realizing with a little jolt of dismay how eagerly he was anticipating even the most fleeting contact with her.

                She set the bowl in his outstretched palms and looked him straight in the eyes, her own gaze intense. “Don’t eat it,” she said in a barely audible whisper, before walking away without a backward glance.

              The guards watched him so he made a show of fumbling with the bowl, as if trying to get a better grip. He allowed it to slip from his fingers, struggling against the ropes in a convincing show of desperation, attempting to catch the rim as it rolled off his fingertips, shattering on a rock, splattering him with stew.  

I  love and appreciate your comments and feedback every week! Go here  to find all the other Weekend Writing Warriors and read  an amazing variety of  terrific excerpts…

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Egypt, 1500 BCE

Nima’s beauty and skill as a dancer leads an infatuated enemy to kidnap her after destroying an Egyptian border town. However, she’s not the only hostage in the enemy camp: Kamin, an Egyptian soldier on a secret mission for Pharaoh, has been taken as well. Working together to escape, the two of them embark on a desperate quest across the desert to carry word of the enemy’s invasion plans to Pharaoh’s people.

As they flee for their lives, these two strangers thrown together by misfortune have to trust in each other to survive.  Nima suspects Kamin is more than the simple soldier he seems, but she finds it hard to resist the effect he has on her heart.  Kamin has a duty to his Pharaoh to see his mission completed, but this clever and courageous dancer is claiming more of his loyalty and love by the moment. Kamin starts to worry, if it comes to a choice between saving Egypt or saving Nima’s life…what will he do?

Aided by the Egyptian god Horus and the Snake Goddess Renenutet, beset by the enemy’s black magic, can Nima and Kamin evade the enemy and reach the safety of the Nile in time to foil the planned attack?

Can there ever be a happy future together for the humble dancer and the brave Egyptian soldier who is so much more than he seems?

DANCER OF THE NILE is AVAILABLE on Amazon   Barnes & Noble   All Romance eBooks iTunes   Smashwords

A Rescue Attempt SFR Brigade Presents WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM

THE SFRB Presents (The link is here to find other excerpts from novels or WIP written by Science Fiction Romance Brigade group members.)

I thought I’d keep going a bit longer with excerpts from my 2013 SFR Galaxy Award winning novel WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM, which is a loose retelling of the Titanic sinking, set in the far future on a spaceliner. Nick Jameson, Sector Special Forces operator, has been awakened  in the middle of the night, thrown from his bed by some violent maneuver of the SMT Nebula Dream, which now seems badly damaged. Crew members are nowhere to be seen. He’s gotten a lifeboat loaded with passengers…but he’s had something else on his mind….Mara Lyrae is a woman he met earlier on the cruise and is more than slightly interested in.

Here’s the 200 word excerpt and the story blurb is below the picture:

“Help! I need help – there are people trapped in a cabin on the next level.”

Mara!

Hoping he was right, Nick craned to see who it was. Sure enough, to his great relief, Mara Lyrae came running up to the ring of volunteers at the LB portal. He’d been prepared to search the entire ship for her if necessary, but now here she was.

Sensibly dressed but disheveled, her hair loose around her shoulders, Mara worked her way through the rapidly thinning crowd, gaze locking onto him. “Please, I need someone to come to Level Two.” His men let her through the cordon and she grabbed at Nick’s arm. “I’m so glad you’re still aboard. It’s the family who was on the shuttle with us? I can hear the children crying in their cabin, but I can’t get the door to open far enough to get in. The boy says his mother is trapped under something.” Mara bit her lip, shoving her hair away from her face. “And they can’t get out of the back bedroom, or won’t try.”

After hearing about trapped children, Nick knew he’d stay on board as long as it took to free them. But first, she needs to be safe. “Tell me exactly where on the Second Level and I’ll go. You get in this LB.” Nick reached out to take her by the arm, intending to guide her through the portal.

“No,” She took a hasty step away from Nick, shak­ing her head vehemently. “I promised that little boy I’d come for them myself, as soon as I found their father, or someone. If you’re going to help me with this, then we have to hurry.”

whirligig nebula

 

 

Here’s the story:

 

Traveling unexpectedly aboard the luxury liner Nebula Dream on its maiden voyage across the galaxy, Sectors Special Forces Captain Nick Jameson is ready for ten relaxing days, and hoping to forget his last disastrous mission behind enemy lines. He figures he’ll gamble at the casino, take in the shows, maybe even have a shipboard fling with Mara Lyrae, the beautiful but reserved businesswoman he meets.

 

Wreck-of-the-Nebula-DreamFinalMed All his plans vaporize when the ship suffers a wreck of Titanic proportions. Captain and crew abandon ship, leaving the 8000 passengers stranded without enough lifeboats and drifting unarmed in enemy territory. Aided by Mara, Nick must find a way off the doomed ship for himself and several other innocent people before deadly enemy forces reach them or the ship’s malfunctioning engines finish ticking down to self destruction.

 

But can Nick conquer the demons from his past that tell him he’ll fail these innocent people just as he failed to save his Special Forces team? Will he outpace his own doubts to win this vital race against time?

 

This Best Selling Science Fiction Adventure is Available from  Smashwords ,  Amazon  Barnes & Noble  All Romance eBooks and iTunes  Also available from Amazon as trade paperback here

 

Audiobook, narrated by Actor Michael Riffle – Available Now at Amazon and iTunes

 

AudioBook Panel at CoyoteCon Transcript

Wreck-of-the-Nebula-DreamFinalMedThis past weekend I had the pleasure of moderating a workshop on audiobooks as part of the online CoyoteCon, which has been occurring during October weekends. Participating in the panel were my friend and fellow Carina Press Author Dee J. Adams, who is also an Actress and has narrated her own audiobooks. We were also privileged to have my friend and collaborator Actor/Narrator Michael Riffle as a member of the panel. Michael narrated my science fiction adventure WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM, as well as a number of other audiobooks.

Our discussion was wide ranging and fun (if I do say so myself) and if you missed it, the transcript of our remarks can be found right here.

Here’s a snippet of what Dee had to say on the subject of narrating her own books:

“There is nothing better than being able to tell your story the way you want people to hear it. There is no error in interpreting a character’s tone or meaning in a certain or sentence. The reader gets to hear it the way I intended them too. There’s nothing better than that. And as a (former) actor it’s a way to keep that love of mine alive. “

michaelAnd Michael shared these thoughts about bringing a book to life:

“Characters! I think my favorite part of recording audiobooks is giving each character (no matter how small) their own voice. It’s probably the most challenging part, too, because you want everyone to sound unique, but you don’t want to make them unrealistically different! If there are two male characters with similar backgrounds talking to each other they have to sound completely different, but also very similar. It’s a fun challenge. “

For more of the discussion follow the link to the transcript!

deejYou can find Dee at her Amazon Author Page …dees book

 

 

 

And all the CoyoteCon transcripts are located on this page.

coyotecon

Weekend Writing Warriors DANCER OF THE NILE

better wewriwaSwitching this week to my latest release, Dancer of the Nile, which takes us back to Ancient Egypt again. The story blurb is below the photo. This is from the beginning of the story, as Nima the Dancer tries to help another prisoner who has been denied water.

  “Here,” she whispered, holding the mug out to him. “Drink quickly.”

                When he raised his head, she recoiled from the intensity in his eyes. However defeated he may appear, this man isn’t giving up. Unsmiling, the warrior glanced at her bound wrists then at her face, saying nothing.

                Why doesn’t he trust me, can’t he see I’m a prisoner here, too? Nima placed the mug against his swollen, split lips and tipped it up. Swallowing in greedy gulps, he kept his eyes focused on her face.

I  love and appreciate your comments and feedback every week! Go here  to find all the other Weekend Writing Warriors and read  an amazing variety of  terrific excerpts…

egyptian patterns copy

Egypt, 1500 BCE

Nima’s beauty and skill as a dancer leads an infatuated enemy to kidnap her after destroying an Egyptian border town. However, she’s not the only hostage in the enemy camp: Kamin, an Egyptian soldier on a secret mission for Pharaoh, has been taken as well. Working together to escape, the two of them embark on a desperate quest across the desert to carry word of the enemy’s invasion plans to Pharaoh’s people.

As they flee for their lives, these two strangers thrown together by misfortune have to trust in each other to survive.  Nima suspects Kamin is more than the simple soldier he seems, but she finds it hard to resist the effect he has on her heart.  Kamin has a duty to his Pharaoh to see his mission completed, but this clever and courageous dancer is claiming more of his loyalty and love by the moment. Kamin starts to worry, if it comes to a choice between saving Egypt or saving Nima’s life…what will he do?

Aided by the Egyptian god Horus and the Snake Goddess Renenutet, beset by the enemy’s black magic, can Nima and Kamin evade the enemy and reach the safety of the Nile in time to foil the planned attack?

Can there ever be a happy future together for the humble dancer and the brave Egyptian soldier who is so much more than he seems?

I’m ecstatic to say DANCER OF THE NILE hit the Amazon Best Seller list the first day, in the Romance=>Ancient World category. Thank you to everyone who purchased the book, giving it such a terrific head start,  and I hope you’ll enjoy the story!

DANCER OF THE NILE is AVAILABLE on Amazon   Barnes & Noble   All Romance eBooks  iTunes

 

SFR Brigade Presents WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM Lifeboats

THE SFRB Presents (The link is here to find other excerpts from novels or WIP written by Science Fiction Romance Brigade group members.)

I thought I’d keep going a bit longer with excerpts from my 2013 SFR Galaxy Award winning novel WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM, which is a loose retelling of the Titanic sinking, set in the far future on a spaceliner. Nick Jameson, Sector Special Forces operator, has been awakened  in the middle of the night, thrown from his bed by some violent maneuver of the SMT Nebula Dream. He’s ventured into the corridor, to find panic raging. (I’ve done a little editing today to fit the word requirement.)

Here’s the 200 word excerpt and the story blurb is below the picture:

The blaring sirens and recorded emergency warnings cut out, resumed briefly and then died away in a slowly fading gibber­ish. The lights in the corridor flickered, causing gasps here and there in the crowd.

“Are there any SMT officers or crew here?” Nick said.

Desperation, fear, and puzzlement on the faces in front of him. Many sidelong glances, mute head shakes.

Silence.

“All right, then. I’m Captain Jameson, Sectors Special Forces. I’m taking charge of this lifeboat portal. You can’t all get into this LB. No one’s going to make it off unless you keep your heads and we go about this calmly and quickly.” He pointed at some likely candidates. “You gentlemen form a ring. No one gets by until I say so. Watch my back while I open this damn portal.”

The men linked arms and established a peri­meter. Nick gave his attention to the locked access. Damn, there should have been at least one SMT crew person at each LB by now, with the unlock code, getting the civilians safely off the ship as fast as possible. Lucky for all these nice people I know how to open the thing.

Nick scanned the portal info display. “Capacity one hundred sentients,” the label declared in Basic and the other five languages. Okay, Jameson, quick, calculate what the limit really means, what the margin of design safety probably was. How many extra oxygen-breathers can I shove onto the thing without killing them all?

WitchesBroomNebulaHere’s the story:

Traveling unexpectedly aboard the luxury liner Nebula Dream on its maiden voyage across the galaxy, Sectors Special Forces Captain Nick

Wreck-of-the-Nebula-DreamFinalMedJameson is ready for ten relaxing days, and hoping to forget his last disastrous mission behind enemy lines. He figures he’ll gamble at the casino, take in the shows, maybe even have a shipboard fling with Mara Lyrae, the beautiful but reserved businesswoman he meets.

 

All his plans vaporize when the ship suffers a wreck of Titanic proportions. Captain and crew abandon ship, leaving the 8000 passengers stranded without enough lifeboats and drifting unarmed in enemy territory. Aided by Mara, Nick must find a way off the doomed ship for himself and several other innocent people before deadly enemy forces reach them or the ship’s malfunctioning engines finish ticking down to self destruction.

 

But can Nick conquer the demons from his past that tell him he’ll fail these innocent people just as he failed to save his Special Forces team? Will he outpace his own doubts to win this vital race against time?

This Best Selling Science Fiction Adventure is Available from  Smashwords ,  Amazon  Barnes & Noble  All Romance eBooks and iTunes  Also available from Amazon as trade paperback here

Audiobook, narrated by Actor Michael Riffle – Available Now at Amazon and iTunes

Release Week DANCER OF THE NILE

DancerOfTheNile_1600x2400

 

I’m very excited to be releasing my third book in the Gods of Egypt series – DANCER OF THE NILE!

They always say you should write the book you can’t find enough of on the shelf and for me, that would be romances set in Ancient Egypt, with the gods actively taking part in events. I write in the 1550 BCE time frame, a period of great change for the Egyptians as they threw off a foreign invader. The true events of history create many plot opportunities. I do tons of research in order to put my characters in a setting which feels real and evocative of the time but I also take some deliberate liberties with history.

One of the best things about employing the Egyptian gods as characters is that there were many varying legends and beliefs about each deity, so I can pick and choose the aspects that work best for my story. For DANCER OF THE NILE, I really enjoyed working Renenutet the Snake Goddess into the story, to help my heroine, Nima the dancer.  Renenutet was particularly involved with the harvest in Egypt but as a woman with the head of a cobra, she has her deadlier aspects, believe me.

Kamin, the Egyptian soldier who stands beside  Nima as they fight for Egypt, is sworn to Horus the Falcon, so he plays a role in events too. Here’s the story:

Ancient Egypt:

Nima’s beauty and skill as a dancer leads an infatuated enemy to kidnap her after destroying an Egyptian border town. However, she’s not the only hostage in the enemy camp: Kamin, an Egyptian soldier on a secret mission for Pharaoh, has been taken as well. Working together to escape, the two of them embark on a desperate quest across the desert to carry word of the enemy’s invasion plans to Pharaoh’s people.

As they flee for their lives, these two strangers thrown together by misfortune have to trust in each other to survive.  Nima suspects Kamin is more than the simple soldier he seems, but she finds it hard to resist the effect he has on her heart.  Kamin has a duty to his Pharaoh to see his mission completed, but this clever and courageous dancer is claiming more of his loyalty and love by the moment. Kamin starts to worry, if it comes to a choice between saving Egypt or saving Nima’s life…what will he do?

Aided by the Egyptian god Horus and the Snake Goddess Renenutet, beset by the enemy’s black magic, can Nima and Kamin evade the enemy and reach the safety of the Nile in time to foil the planned attack?

Can there ever be a happy future together for the humble dancer and the brave Egyptian soldier who is so much more than he seems?

****************************************************************************************************************

I’m proud to say DANCER OF THE NILE hit the Amazon Best Seller list the first day, in the Romance=>Ancient World category. Thank you to everyone who purchased the book, giving it such a terrific head start,  and I hope you’ll enjoy the story!

DANCER OF THE NILE is AVAILABLE on Amazon   Barnes & Noble   All Romance eBooks  iTunes

All the other outlets will be coming SOON!