Goddess of Second Chances Weekend Writing Warriors

Warriors logo revisedHere’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! (Also welcome to the Sunday Snippet visitors!)

This week’s excerpt is from my newly released Ghost of the Nile! The goddess Ma’at is speaking to Periseneb, the hero.

“…I’m the goddess of second chances for the human race.” She raised her elegant eyebrows. “Although such chances are few and far between.”

            Despite the warmth of the brightly lit room, a shiver worked its way down Periseneb’s spine. “You wish to right the wrong of my murder? Bring my murderer to account for the crime?”

            She shook her head, the golden beads in her wig chiming like little bells. “Your death is done, past, woven into the fabric of life in the upper world these two-hundred years and more.”

            He staggered, locking one hand on the edge of the table to steady himself, “So long?”

GhostOfTheNile_1600x2400The Story:

1550 BCE

Betrayed, murdered, and buried without proper ceremony, Egyptian warrior Periseneb is doomed to roam the gray deserts of the dead as a ghost for all eternity.

But then the goddess of truth offers him a bargain: return to the world of the living as her champion for 30 days. If he completes his mission, he’ll be guaranteed entry into Paradise. Periseneb agrees to the bargain but, when he returns to the living world, two hundred years have passed and nothing is quite as he expected.

Neithamun is a woman fighting to hang onto her family’s estate against an unscrupulous nobleman who desires the land as well as the lady. All seems lost until a mysterious yet appealing ex-soldier, Periseneb, appears out of nowhere to help her fight off the noble’s repeated attacks.

Meanwhile, Periseneb’s thirty days are rushing by, and he’s powerless against the growing attraction between himself and Neithamun. But their love can never be. For his Fate is to return to the Afterlife, and Death cannot wed with Life…

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Guest Author Yolanda Sfetsos Talks AI in DASH Recast

Yolanda coverIt’s my pleasure to have fellow science fiction romance author Yolanda Sfetsos here today, talking about Artificial Intelligence, robots and romance! (Love her book’s cover…) Take it away, Yolanda!

Hi there! It’s great to be here today. I want to thank Veronica for giving me the chance to post a little something on her blog, while also helping me celebrate the release of my latest SFR book. DASH is the fourth book in my RECAST series and features an AI you might recognize from previous books. Walsh was introduced in CLASH (Book 2). He’s a Y-123 model that looks exactly the same as Young from WITHER (Book 1).

I knew early on that I would write a book featuring one of the Y-123 models. They were built for many reasons—mostly to satisfy human and alien desires—but were later outlawed and destroyed. At least, that’s what most people believe. Yet, Young was living in a scorching faraway planet and Walsh is living inside the Clash Arena. Both were seemingly used for selfish reasons, but each is a lot more than meets the eye.

Take Walsh for instance. He might be seen as the Enforcer in the arena dungeons, but he could also be playing two sides.

Most people in the galaxy might think of the Y-123 as dreadful machines, or not think of them at all, but these models were despised because they developed humanoid personalities and were often hard to spot. Which makes me wonder, how would our society feel about having robots integrate so seamlessly? Would we shun them and be suspicious of everyone just in case they weren’t entirely human? Or would we welcome them into society and not care?

I remember seeing a female robot on TV once. She looked so much like a woman that most called her creepy. But why is she creepy? Is it because she looks like she’s imitating a person or it because she looks so much like a person? It might sound like a strange question, but I think it’s important. Why are we so afraid of robots turning against us? I mean, if that’s our deep-rooted fear why spend time on robotics? What is it that scares us so much about our own creations? Do we secretly fear that everything we make can—and will—turn against us? Or is it because of the countless of stories we’ve read and watched?

Most people seem happy with the prospect of having a robot to help them in industry scenarios. Some would even love to have one to help take care of their house. Yet, these same people are probably the ones who wouldn’t want them to live freely amongst us. Why?

Personally, I don’t have that phobia. I find robots fascinating, and welcome equality in all forms. Besides, I don’t think the creation and introduction of robots would be as black and white as we try to make it. I think like people, they would each have their own quirks.

This leads me back to DASH. I took an AI who is mostly despised because of what he can become, and gave him a chance to tell his story. To show readers that although Walsh might have been created and engineered, it doesn’t mean he matters less. And hell, why shouldn’t he be treated like an individual?

So, do you like robots, or do they scare you? Are they scary or awesome? I think you already know my answer. 🙂

Thanks for reading,

Yolanda 

AUTHOR BIO:

Wife. Mother. Writer. Bibliophile. Dreamer. Animal lover. Intrigued by the supernatural. Horror freak. Zombie enthusiast. Movie & music fan. Slave to her muse.

Yolanda lives in Sydney, Australia with her awesome husband, lovely daughter, and cheeky cat. (Veronica sez: Is there any other kind of cat on the planet LOL?)

You can find Yolanda at:

Website: http://www.yolandasfetsos.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/yolandasfetsos

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/yolandasfetsos

The story for DASH Recast:

She escaped the arena of death, but trusting him might be the death of her. 

RECAST, Book 4

Taylor may be the Clash Arena’s most dominant—and only—female gladiator, but today she just can’t catch a break. After winning yet another brutal fight, with the arena inexplicably falling down around her ears, she jumps at the chance to escape the prison of her subterranean pit.

Instead, she finds herself knocked unconscious more times than she can count, and pursued over the edge of a sea cliff by an AI enforcer she can’t shake off her heels.

Walsh has been living a double life, masquerading as a tyrant’s enforcer while hiding his true agenda. When the despicable arena falls, there’s only one thing on his mind—saving the savage blonde who doesn’t trust him as far as she can throw him. Which is a considerable distance.

Once he convinces her he’s not out to kill her but help her survive, they form an uneasy alliance. But Taylor senses he’s keeping a secret, not just from her, but about her. And the truth will show them exactly what it is to be human.

Warning: This book contains some girl-on-girl action, a kick-ass gladiator who takes no crap, an AI who puts it all on the line, a band of misfits who aren’t as merry as they seem, cute

Cover Reveal Ghost of the Nile

USA Today Happily Ever After has my 24 hour exclusive cover reveal for my new book in the Gods of Egypt series:  GHOST OF THE NILE. Here’s a teaser of the cover, and you can hop over to USAT/HEA for the entire cover and the first 500 words or so of the book! I plan to have GHOST OF THE NILE on sale at all the usual ebook outlets in just a few days (and as a paperback from Amazon CreateSpace soon).

GhostOfTheNile_highresclipalt

Another beautiful cover from Frauke Spanuth of Croco Designs

Here’s the story:

1550 BCE

Betrayed, murdered, and buried without proper ceremony, Egyptian warrior Periseneb is doomed to roam the gray deserts of the dead as a ghost for all eternity.

But then the goddess of truth offers him a bargain: return to the world of the living as her champion for 30 days. If he completes his mission, he’ll be guaranteed entry into Paradise. Periseneb agrees to the bargain but, when he returns to the living world, two hundred years have passed and nothing is quite as he expected.

Neithamun is a woman fighting to hang onto her family’s estate against an unscrupulous nobleman who desires the land as well as the lady. All seems lost until a mysterious yet appealing ex-soldier, Periseneb, appears out of nowhere to help her fight off the noble’s repeated attacks.

Meanwhile, Periseneb’s thirty days are rushing by, and he’s powerless against the growing attraction between himself and Neithamun. But their love can never be. For his Fate is to return to the Afterlife, and Death cannot wed with Life…

Guest Author Siobhan Muir ORDER OF THE DRAGON Excerpt

ootd-1600x2400-webToday I have the pleasure of presenting an excerpt from Author Siobhan Muir’s newest ORDER OF THE DRAGON! We first met doing the weekly Sunday Snippets excerpt hop, always fun to read what she shares from her Works In Progress. Here’s the story for today’s book:

Drake MacGregor always adhered to the adage ‘let sleeping dragons lie’, until he slept with one.

In an effort to make up for his past as Vlad the Impaler, Drake has been living a small, quiet life in Three Lakes. As the town’s archivist, his knowledge of history and his place in it weigh on him. Drake has one desire—to rectify the atrocities committed in the name of his knightly order. Too bad he can’t keep his hands, or his fangs, off the local doctor, especially when he discovers she’s an actual dragon.

Aliandra Cantora del Viento is old enough and wise enough to ignore her attraction to the handsome historian, especially when her heart suggests he might be something more than he appears. Drake stokes her fires and curls her tail, and after a hot night in her clinic, the game is on. But he avoids her and nothing she tries breaks through his reserve, despite his obvious interest. He turns her on then apologizes for it, repeatedly. Not exactly the kind of relationship she’d hoped for yet she can’t walk away.

When a mysterious researcher arrives with his son, Drake becomes more edgy and irritable, and Aliandra must decide if she’s willing to fight for him. Especially when he might be her True Mate.

And the excerpt itself:

Aliandra couldn’t decide what she felt. Fury? Indignation? Lust? Arousal? Delight?

He bit me! He’s a vampire. Oh Goddess, he’s so sexy. Her thoughts cascaded rapid fire as she held her hand against her throat. The blood slowly stopped flowing beneath her talons, but her heartbeat only increased as her emotions banged around her skull like pinballs. She tried to take a few deep breaths to return to her human disguise, but her canines remained stubbornly long.

“I—I’m sorry, Dr. Cantora.” Drake MacGregor stared at her, dazed and unsteady. He covered his mouth with one shaky hand. “I’m just so hungry and if you hadn’t distracted me—”

“This is my fault?” She snarled and dug her claws into his lapels, jerking him nose to nose with her. “How is your biting me my fault?”

“If you hadn’t distracted me, I wouldn’t have forgotten to feed, and—”

“You haven’t fed?” Aliandra hissed with disgust. “What kind of a vampire forgets to feed? Hellwinds, man, that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.”

She swung him around, pinning one hand behind his back and propelled him across the room to one of the rolling doctor stools.

“Sit.”

“Please, Doctor—”

“Sit!”

He sank down onto the cracked leather seat and eyed her warily, color returning to his cheeks as the blood he’d stolen worked its magic on him. She crossed her arms over her chest and clenched her jaws together to keep from tackling him and biting him back. Her body raged with a combination of arousal and excitement. He’d bitten her after nuzzling her shoulder like a dragon lover and her body wanted more.

But he’s a vampire.

And she wanted more of him, more nuzzling, more biting. She scanned his body, belatedly realizing why he hadn’t healed. He hadn’t fed and all his energy had kept him upright, but he couldn’t spare anything for physical repair. Mr. MacGregor needed blood and she was the closest donor.

“You need blood, don’t you?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“That’s why you didn’t heal quickly tonight, right?”

He grimaced and nodded.

“Very well, Mr. MacGregor.” She removed her coat and scarf, draping it over the exam table as she gathered her courage. “You may feed from me to get your strength up.” She paused and looked over her shoulder at him. “You do know when to stop, correct?”

His mouth flattened with displeasure. “I am a mature sanguivore.”

Aliandra snorted. “A mature sanguivore wouldn’t let himself get in this position of being so weak.”

Drake drew himself up to his full height and his expression smoothed out into regal impassiveness. He looked like a king unimpressed with the pleas of his subjects despite having to look up at her while seated. But she wasn’t the one begging.

He’s not begging, either. Dammit.

“Now is not the time to sit on your high horse, Mr. MacGregor.” She tilted her head to hide the odd concern he’d decline to feed from her. “I’ve taken the Hippocratic Oath and you’re in need of medical attention, even if it’s to prevent starvation.”

Drake’s eyes flashed red and he unconsciously licked his lips, but he turned his face away as he shook his head.

“I can’t do that, Doctor.”

“You already have. I’m just giving you permission this time.”

“I’m fine. What little blood I took from you has already helped.”

His color did look better and he sat up straighter, but she suspected he was nowhere near satisfied. Me, either.

“It may have helped, but I can’t let you leave and attack some innocent passerby if your hunger gets out of control again. I just thank the Goddess you attacked me instead of a human.” She smiled at his look of shock. “What, did you think I was human?”

“Well…yes.”

Aliandra laughed. “You and Kate. Your expression is priceless. I’m not human, Mr. MacGregor, I’m a dragon.”

All the color he’d gained drained out of his face and he jerked to his feet, stumbling over the rolling stool in his haste. She reached for him, but he dodged clumsily in his attempt to get away. Unfortunately, his leg wouldn’t hold his weight and he lurched against the wall beside the metal shelves.

“Mr. MacGregor—”

“Dear Goddess, please forgive me.” His face morphed into a mask of horror. “I’m so sorry. I never meant any harm.”

“Easy, Mr. MacGregor.” Aliandra softened her voice, wondering where his panic came from. “It’s all right. No harm done and I’m offering you what you need. Let me help you sit down again.”

“No, no, I swore I’d never do anything like this again.” He tried to retreat, but the wall held him fast.

“I understand,” she crooned, her hands up in a calming gesture. “Come sit back down and we’ll find another solution. Please, Mr. MacGregor. You’re injuring yourself worse.”

He stared at her, his eyes glowing scarlet in the semi-darkness of the room, but he made no other move to retreat.

“Here, let me help you.”

“No…no thank you, I can do it myself.”

He rose painfully to full height and limped back to the stool. Aliandra’s heart bled for him, but she stepped out of the way to give him his space. When he teetered dangerously to one side, she grasped his arm and helped him sit down. He hissed in surprise, but she held him until he settled.

“Now, before we do anything else, perhaps you’ll let me look at your leg once more.” Aliandra didn’t want to spook him, but she needed to get her hands on his body again. “I want to be sure you haven’t done more damage in your, uh, retreat.”

Drake snorted with derision. “You mean my chicken-shit panic?”

“I would never say such things.” She shot him a prim look, but couldn’t hide her smile.

Buy Links:

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/543711

All Romance Ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-orderofthedragon-1810066-340.html

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Order-Dragon-Warbler-Peninsula-Book-ebook/dp/B00XV5QGDG/

Barnes&Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/order-of-the-dragon-siobhan-muir/1121971886

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/order-of-the-dragon-2

Three Lakes Books: http://www.siobhanmuir.com/store/p13/Order_of_the_Dragon.html

More About Siobhan:

Siobhan Muir lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming, with her husband, two daughters, and a vegetarian cat she swears is a shape-shifter, though he’s never shifted when she can see him. When not writing, she can be found looking down a microscope at fossil fox teeth, pursuing her other love, paleontology. An avid reader of science fiction/fantasy, her husband gave her a paranormal romance for Christmas one year, and she was hooked for good.

In previous lives, Siobhan has been an actor at the Colorado Renaissance Festival, a field geologist in the Aleutian Islands, and restored inter-planetary imagery at the USGS. She’s hiked to the top of Mount St. Helens and to the bottom of Meteor Crater.

Siobhan writes kick-ass adventure with hot sex for men and women to enjoy. She believes in happily ever after, redemption, and communication, all of which you will find in her paranormal romance stories.

Siobhan’s latest release, Order of the Dragon, is the first story in her new Warbler Peninsula series. She has published A Hell Hound’s Fire (a free read), The Beltane Witch, and Cloudburst Ice Magic in the Cloudburst Colorado series, and Take the Reins and A Centaur’s Solstice Wish in the Rifts series. Siobhan has also published Bronco’s Rough Ride and The Navy’s Ghost in the Bad Boys of Beta Squad series, Not a Dragon’s Standard Virgin and Queen Bitch of the Callowwood Pack through Siren Publishing, and Her Devoted Vampire through Evernight Publishing.

Connect With Siobhan:

Website: http://siobhanmuir.com

Blog: http://siobhanmuir.blogspot.com

Google Plus: http://plus.google.com/u/0/118081545120488658410/posts

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Official.Siobhan.Muir

Twitter: http://twitter.com/SiobhanMuir

Tsu.co: http://www.tsu.co/SiobhanMuir

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5760938.Siobhan_Muir

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/siobhanmuir35

All Romance: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html?searchBy=author&qString=Siobhan+Muir

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Siobhan-Muir/e/B007CRB2F6/

Bookstrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/siobhan-muir

One Pharaoh At A Time in Thebes Weekend Writing Warriors

Warriors logo revisedHere’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! (Also welcome to the Sunday Snippet visitors!)

While we’re waiting for my next two new books (one ancient Egypt – at the formatter –  and one science fiction romance – at the editor), here’s another snippet from Magic of the Nile.  At the command of Sobek the Crocodile God, Tyema has brought a special crocodile to Thebes and is about to show the beast to Pharaoh.

“…Sobek told me the keepers gave your beast the name ‘Pharaoh’.” He chuckled and there was a ripple of answering laughter from the courtiers in attendance. The guards maintained their stern mien and vigilant stance.

            “We meant no disrespect, sir,” Tyema said, feeling butterflies in her stomach. What seemed amusing in Ta’sobeksef might be deadly insult here – so many ways to put a foot wrong in Thebes.

            Nat-re-Akhte paced toward the crate and she followed, conscious of the entire group trailing behind her. “I’m sure there was no disrespect intended, although there can be only one ruler at a time in Egypt,” he said over his shoulder, “So long as your crocodile restricts his ambitions to the pond at the temple, the world can remain in harmony.” There was a definite twinkle in his eyes.

            Suddenly she felt at ease, even though her companion was Pharaoh himself, and said, “I think we can safely assume the limited scope of my crocodile’s ambitions, sir.”

Note: Ghost of the Nile should be released by next Sunday so I’ll do an excerpt from it!

MagicOfTheNile_600x900The story:

After a childhood spent scorned and ignored by her family because of her crippled foot, Tyema was magically healed then installed as the High Priestess of his temple by Sobek the Crocodile God. But Tyema is still haunted by her memories, scarred by the abuse she endured. Despite Sobek’s protection, as an adult she’s become a near recluse inside the temple grounds…

Until Captain Sahure arrives in her remote town, sent from Thebes on an urgent mission for Pharaoh, requiring High Priestess Tyema’s help. From that moment on, her quiet, safe life is upended in ways she never could have expected.

But after a whirlwind romance with Sahure, the two part as Pharaoh orders him to undertake another assignment on Egypt’s dangerous frontier, far from Tyema’s remote town.

Heart-broken, Tyema is ready to return to her life of loneliness, official duties and, now, regret. But the Crocodile God has other plans for his priestess: she must uncover the sorcerer who threatens Pharaoh’s life with black magic. Soon enough, Tyema finds herself thrown into the chaos of Pharoah’s court, neck deep in intrigue and danger. Just when she thinks she can’t take the pressures of a very public court life and her secret investigation for the Crocodile God any longer, Sahure re-enters the scene.

But is her former love there to help or to hinder? Can they resolve their differences and work together to find the dark sorcerer who threatens Pharaoh and Egypt?

May I Have This Dance for Wednesday Whimsy

035I’m in the mood to dance this week, between the “Dancing With the Stars” finale, and the new video mashup of “Just Shut Up and Dance”, plus a new tap dance video from Christopher Rice debuting today, so I picked these Victorian trade (advertising) cards with a dance theme to share. The cards also reminded me of my favorite Regency romances, especially the ones from Georgette Heyer.

DancerOfTheNile_600x900(Some of the most challenging scenes I’ve ever had to write were the dance scenes in Dancer of the Nile…)

To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in loveJane Austen

The dance can reveal everything mysterious that is hidden in music, and it has the additional merit of being human and palpable. Dancing is poetry with arms and legs.  Charles Baudelaire

One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. Friedrich Nietzsche

019Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancingWilliam James

013I have no desire to prove anything by dancing. I have never used it as an outlet or a means of expressing myself. I just dance. I just put my feet in the air and move them around. Fred Astaire (Not to argue with the guy but he did a LOT more than “just dance” IMHO.)

Dance is bigger than the physical body. When you extend your arm, it doesn’t stop at the end of your fingers, because you’re dancing bigger than that; you’re dancing spirit. Judith Jamison

All the ills of mankind, all the tragic misfortunes that fill the history books, all the political blunders, all the failures of the great leaders have arisen merely from a lack of skill at dancing.  Moliere

Part of the joy of dancing is conversation. Trouble is, some men can’t talk and dance at the same timeGinger Rogers014

I got started dancing because I knew it was one way to meet girlsGene Kelly

The main thing is dancing, and before it withers away from my body, I will keep dancing till the last moment, the last drop. Rudolf Nureyev

Dancing is a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire. George Bernard Shaw

Dancing is the poetry of the foot. John Dryden

031Talking about music is like dancing about architectureSteve Martin (I also found this quote attributed to Martin Mull.)

Dancing is my obsession. My life. Mikhail Baryshnikov

But in reality we are accompanied by the whole dancing universeRuth St. Denis

I’ve been known to have a good step or two. I’m half Samoan, you know, and part of our culture is singing and dancing daily. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson (I’d like to waltz with him. Just sayin’.)

I’ve always been good at picking up certain things, like sports and dancingChanning Tatum (Yeah, he’s a master of understatement!)

Custom has made dancing sometimes necessary for a young man; therefore mind it while you learn it, that you may learn 004to do it well, and not be ridiculous, though in a ridiculous act. Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

I’m proud of my Irish heritage and culture and this show will feature a lot of Irish dancing. Michael Flatley

People listen to music with cavemen ears: Is it a bird song or the call of a lion? The audience at a musical is dancing in their hearts. Marsha Norman

I can never stand in one place on stage for more than a minute and am always singing, dancing and jumpingSunidhi Chauhan

No one worries about genre when they’re dancing. They’re not asking themselves, ‘Is this song a dubstep song?’ Skrillex

And now, “Shut Up and Dance” (movie mashup):

Gods of Warfare? Weekend Writing Warriors

Warriors logo revisedHere’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…a fun way to sample new books and find new authors!

While we’re waiting for my next two new books (one ancient Egypt – at the formatter –  and one science fiction romance – at the editor), here’s another snippet from Magic of the Nile. Tyema has persuaded Captain Sahure to tell her a bit about past battles. He’s talking about the enemy. (Snippet is edited from the published version to provide a complete thought in just 10 sentences):

“They no doubt thought themselves to be gods of warfare, having placed three men in a chariot. The enemy that day had a driver, a shield bearer and a spearman in each vehicle.” Sahure laughed, as if the memory was a pleasing one. “Fools.”

Seeing his amusement, Tyema was puzzled. “Extra manpower and weapons must give an advantage, surely?”

“But consider the weight of three men such as myself in a chariot,” he said, “Requires the vehicle to be heavier and therefore slower. Ours turn in the wink of an eye, you’ve experienced that yourself when we’ve practiced driving.”

Tyema nodded agreement, remembering the excitement of the horses galloping full out and then wheeling in a great arc, dust flying, as she redirected them in a maneuver Sahure had assured her was typical on the battlefield. She tried to imagine hundreds of chariots coming together in combat, shivering at the mental picture.

I thought since we had a baby shower last week,  it might be good balance to share a different kind of scene today.

When I have to describe warfare or battles in my Egyptian  novels, I go directly to the 3000 year old descriptions the Pharaohs themselves recorded, and draw inspiration…drawing below was done in the 1800’s, based on tomb paintings.

047

MagicOfTheNile_600x900The story:

After a childhood spent scorned and ignored by her family because of her crippled foot, Tyema was magically healed then installed as the High Priestess of his temple by Sobek the Crocodile God. But Tyema is still haunted by her memories, scarred by the abuse she endured. Despite Sobek’s protection, as an adult she’s become a near recluse inside the temple grounds…

 Until Captain Sahure arrives in her remote town, sent from Thebes on an urgent mission for Pharaoh, requiring High Priestess Tyema’s help. From that moment on, her quiet, safe life is upended in ways she never could have expected.

 But after a whirlwind romance with Sahure, the two part as Pharaoh orders him to undertake another assignment on Egypt’s dangerous frontier, far from Tyema’s remote town.

 Heart-broken, Tyema is ready to return to her life of loneliness, official duties and, now, regret. But the Crocodile God has other plans for his priestess: she must uncover the sorcerer who threatens Pharaoh’s life with black magic. Soon enough, Tyema finds herself thrown into the chaos of Pharoah’s court, neck deep in intrigue and danger. Just when she thinks she can’t take the pressures of a very public court life and her secret investigation for the Crocodile God any longer, Sahure re-enters the scene.

 But is her former love there to help or to hinder? Can they resolve their differences and work together to find the dark sorcerer who threatens Pharaoh and Egypt?

Songs of My Life

I’ve read a number of posts and magazine sidebar stories lately where someone discusses songs that have meaning in their life, and why. Today as I was doing my morning walk, I decided to write my own musical-themed post.

007Song I Consider To Be Theme Song of My Life: The Beach Boys “Fun Fun Fun”. I did take my Daddy’s car – a white Malibu with red interior and V8 engine – and cruise through the hamburger stand when I was supposed to be at the library, studying. And visited my then-boyfriend (later my husband) when I was supposed to be elsewhere. With radio blasting…which is still my favorite way to cruise the freeway. I heard the reconstituted Beach Boys sing it once in person as an adult and that, my friends, was a thrill.

The photo is me, future husband and his jazzy red Karmann Ghia, and a little girl who lived next door to my family.

First song I ever remember hearing: “The Riff Song” from the operetta “Desert Song.” My Dad, who was a basso profundo singer, had been in the play in high school and he would sing me this anytime I requested it. The whole operetta is among my alltime favorites, although sadly out of favor in the world now. I have seen it performed three or four times at local theaters, once with a lead singer whose father had performed the same role on Broadway!

First rock n roll songs I ever heard: “Rock A Hula Baby” by Elvis Presley and “Monster Mash” by Bobby Pickett. We used to eat Sunday breakfast at a local 50’s cafe and being a kid, I’d always pick these two songs on the jukebox.

“Our” Song: “Inna Gadda Da Vida” by Iron Butterfly. OK, let me explain. My husband and I fell in love on the high school Science Club trip to Oak Ridge, and someone on the bus was playing this song on repeat the entire drive! So we kept it as our song as a private joke. No, we didn’t dance to it at our wedding!

Favorite Bagpipe Song: “Steam Train From Mallaig,”as played by the Brian Boru Irish Pipe Band of St. Paul, MN. No one else gets it quite right. I love the way the multiple bagpipes blend. This song is the inspiration for a book I have yet to write..

Songs I Used To Be Able to Play on the Piano: “Born Free,” “Exodus” and “Never On Sunday.” I can’t read music at all but I wanted to play the piano as a kid so I memorized the order of the keys. Yeah, I can’t play any of them nowadays.

Songs That Make Me Cry: “Amazing Grace,” especially played on a bagpipe. “Taps”.  “Red River Valley.”

Favorite Christmas Carol: “We Three Kings.”  I also love the Gatlin Brothers rendition of  “Joy To The World.” And the a capella group Straight No Chaser does a hilarious version of “Partridge In A Pear Tree.”

Favorite Back Street Boys Song: “Straight Through the Heart.”

Favorite Music Video of Ancient Egypt: Used to be Michael Jackson’s  “Remember the Time.” Now it’s Katy Perrys’ “Dark Horse” video.

XL5Old TV Theme Songs I Have Memorized: “Swamp Fox” and “Fireball XL-5”.

Favorite Hymn: an 1893 Shaker song “In My Father’s House”. Which also makes me cry…

Favorite Story About A Song and My Writing: The secondary character of Mitch in Escape From Zulaire came to me full fledged one night while listening to Clint Black’s “Nothin’ But The Taillights”. (I love that song.) Mitch was so tied to that song in my mind that when it came time to record the audiobook, I told my narrator, Michael Riffle, that I wanted the character to sound as much like the ‘voice’ of that song as possible. Southern, good old boy, deals with whatever happens and moves forward…. Later, when we ran an interview with Michael in USA Today/HEA about recording audiobooks, he happened to mention the Clint Black influence, and Mr. Black was kind enough to send me a lovely tweet in response. Color me thrilled. 

Favorite Opera Song: I’m not much of an opera fan, but my Dad sang opera as an amateur, and we heard the “Queen of the Night’s Aria” from Mozart’s The Magic Flute many a time. No, Dad wasn’t singing that – he was Pappageno in the opera, which is also a fun song, but for sheer vocal amazingness, give the Queen’s aria a listen.

Favorite Barbershop Quartet Song: “Lida Rose” from Music Man. This song is also tied to my memories of my Dad (who was a SPEBSQSA member). One day my daughters and I were at Disneyland, resting on the curb after a lot of walking. The park’s strolling Barbershop Quartet stopped right in front of us, took my request to sing “Lida Rose” and that’s one of my favorite Disneyland memories.

Favorite Lady GaGa Song: “Poker Face.”

Favorite Pussycat Dolls Song: “Buttons”, which my daughters won’t let me sing in their presence…

Favorite Song With A Good Beat: “Let There Be Drums”

Favorite Mariachi Song: “Jarabe Michoacono” by Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan…but really I love all mariachi bands and most of the music. I’d love to have a good party someday with live mariachi music.

Song I used To Know in Russian: “Moscow Nights”

Well this is getting long, so let me conclude with my most recent memory of a song. When my younger daughter was little, her favorite song was “Once Upon A Dream” from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. Her late father would waltz her around the room while I sang the song. (She wouldn’t ever let him sing the song, although he had a very nice voice, even putting her hands on his lips to stop him, with the ferocious frown of a toddler on her face). So at her recent wedding, she and her groom did their first dance to “Once Upon A Dream,” as her way of including her father’s memory in the ceremony. It was beautiful and yes, I cried.

Guest Author Charlee Allden STEALING MERCURY

StealingMercury450Veronica: I’ve really been looking forward to this new science fiction romance book Stealing Mercury from Charlee Allden, so it’s my pleasure to welcome her to the blog today.

She’s been ruminating about things she’d like to see in the future and has a guest post for us. More about the new book below! Take it away, Charlee:

Charlee: Top 5 Things I Look For In A Futuristic World:

It is probably no surprise that a SciFi romance author would love thinking about the future. I’ve been enthralled with possible versions of the future since I was a teenager and discovered all night marathons of “Space 1999” and “Red Dwarf”.  Can you imagine two more different version of the future? But I love them both. Just as I love the two very different versions of the future I’ve built in my first two indie books: Deadly Lover and Stealing Mercury. I do like variety, but when Veronica invited me to her blog I decided to come up with the top five things I look for in a futuristic world.

#5 Flying cars – I don’t normally get excited about cars, but put them in the air and I’m there!

#4 Cool guns – Sure, it would be nice to have a peaceful future, but it doesn’t seem to be in our nature and it would certainly make for dull books. So, I like to imagine crazy new weapons of all shapes and sizes and with more stopping power, but less lethal. Yeah, I like to be contrary.

#3 People with flaws – perfection is boring.

#2 M-O-U-Ss – Men of unusual size. If I’m dreaming, I have to be honest and say my fantasy life is full of men with big hearts and big…muscles.  But, I’ve been told they don’t really exist.

#1 Greater acceptance of our differences – sorry, I have to throw in a serious one here. Call me an idealist, but I want this more than anything.

I hope you enjoyed my list. I’d love to hear what is on yours!

Veronica: I like your list. I’d probably add that I want to see travel to far off places in the galaxy and a lot of adventures taking place there! Here’s the blurb for Stealing Mercury:

Born a slave, Mercury is an Arena Dog, genetically engineered to fight and die in the Arena for the entertainment of others. Trained as a gladiator from boyhood, he’s gathered and led one of the most successful teams in arena history. In their violent world, where men must form alliances and share what little bounty they have to survive, his only goal has been to keep his men alive. But two of his men are dead and he, Diablo and Carnage are condemned to be hunted down and killed in Arena’s newest inhuman sport. Worse, their demise will leave Carn’s mate, a woman Mercury has sworn to protect, alone and vulnerable. And then there is Samantha—a courageous human he has no right to claim. But she is his. He feels it deep in his soul and with an ache in his body he can’t deny.

Samantha Devlin is a down-on-her-luck indie-freight pilot, working in the belly of a corporate hauler until she can earn the credits for her own ship. When an old friend hires her as an emergency replacement to pilot a cargo carrier for the Roma Company, she’s shocked to learn her cargo is three, living, breathing, and dangerously sexy Arena Dogs. When Samantha learns she’s taking the men to their deaths, she must decide is she if willing to risking everything for a man whose customs require that he share her with one of his men and demands he return to Roma to protect another woman. Her heart tells her Mercury is worth any cost, but her head sees nothing ahead but disaster.

Caution: features two scorching hot heroes and one impossibly impulsive woman. Their story may just make you want to steal an Arena Dog or two of your own.

Content labels: romance, adventure, erotic, m/f/m, alpha males, strong heroine, full length novel

Currently on sale for .99 through May 14th.

Available now at AmazoniBooks and Kobo

Excerpt:

He pressed his lips to her forehead in a gesture both sweet and scorching. “I ache for you.” Lusty agony laced through the quietly spoken words.

She cursed low. “Damn it, I can’t think straight when you say things like that.”

A rough chuckle rumbled in his throat as he lifted her higher then licked a path down to her collar bone. “There’s no need to think right now, Samantha.”

He was seducing her. The man who’d known nothing but violence was seducing her and she had to acknowledge she wanted to give in, to be seduced. His hands skimmed her thighs on their way to her ass. He squeezed, urging her to wrap herself more tightly around him. His hands felt huge on her body as he held her close and headed toward the riverbank.

She stroked her palms over his shoulders and the bunching muscles of his arms as he carried her out of the water. The moment he stopped on the grassy bank, he leaned in to take her mouth. It wasn’t a light, easy, getting-to-know-you kiss. It was a kiss of pure possession. He licked her lips and pressed his tongue past them to stroke deep inside. She met the thrust of his tongue, needing everything he offered. He growled into her mouth and her stomach did a little flip in response.

Maybe he’d been right. Suddenly, thinking didn’t seem so important.

Author Bio:

Charlee Allden is a long time fan of love, adventure, and happily-ever-after. She grew up in Florida where a huge fallen oak tree in the swampy woods near her home served as her very own Star Ship Enterprise. Today, Charlee is a multi award winning author of sexy, intense, romantic adventure and suspense. She still lives in Florida across the street from a miniature version of the swamp she lived by as a child.

charleeallden@gmail.com
Twitter: @charleeallden
Website: www.charleeallden.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/CharleeAlldenAuthor

 

Baby Shower Ancient Egypt Style Weekend Writing Warriors

WeWriWa buttonHere’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…A fun way to sample new books and find new authors!

This week, in honor of Mother’s Day, I’m excerpting a scene from Magic of the Nile. We get up to 10 sentences to play with now – whee! The heroine, High Priestess Tyema, is being feted by her female relatives, close to the time of the birth. (I’ve edited out a few sentences in the middle so I can give you the most important points.). Paratiti is her aunt.

MagicOfTheNile_600x900Finally, as the temple servants brought plates of honeyed cakes and figs at the end of the meal, Paratiti gestured at the oversized basket, “Bring the gift now.”

Her daughters hauled the sturdy container to Tyema, setting it on the ground next to her. Smiling, she said, “I can’t imagine what this might be.” Lifting off the lid, she set it aside and removed the top layer of straw packing. Below the straw she found a fine pair of birthing bricks, smooth, freshly painted in white, with stunning portraits of the goddesses Hathor and Tawaret drawn on the sides in turquoise, gold and red. Protective spells were inked in black hieratic. Tyema sat with a brick in either hand, examining the art.

“I hope your god won’t mind, but birthing a child is a female mystery and he isn’t known for involvement with such things. His crocodiles come from eggs after all. We were afraid you wouldn’t have proper bricks here when the time comes.” Paratiti gestured at the temple behind the garden.

The story:

After a childhood spent scorned and ignored by her family because of her crippled foot, Tyema was magically healed then installed as the High Priestess of his temple by Sobek the Crocodile God. But Tyema is still haunted by her memories, scarred by the abuse she endured. Despite Sobek’s protection, as an adult she’s become a near recluse inside the temple grounds…

 Until Captain Sahure arrives in her remote town, sent from Thebes on an urgent mission for Pharaoh, requiring High Priestess Tyema’s help. From that moment on, her quiet, safe life is upended in ways she never could have expected.

 But after a whirlwind romance with Sahure, the two part as Pharaoh orders him to undertake another assignment on Egypt’s dangerous frontier, far from Tyema’s remote town.

 Heart-broken, Tyema is ready to return to her life of loneliness, official duties and, now, regret. But the Crocodile God has other plans for his priestess: she must uncover the sorcerer who threatens Pharaoh’s life with black magic. Soon enough, Tyema finds herself thrown into the chaos of Pharoah’s court, neck deep in intrigue and danger. Just when she thinks she can’t take the pressures of a very public court life and her secret investigation for the Crocodile God any longer, Sahure re-enters the scene.

 But is her former love there to help or to hinder? Can they resolve their differences and work together to find the dark sorcerer who threatens Pharaoh and Egypt?

Next week I’ll probably go back to excerpts from another science fiction WIP. Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms!!!