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.
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.
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!!!