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!!!


26 comments on “Baby Shower Ancient Egypt Style Weekend Writing Warriors

  1. I love the level of details you have in these stories. It’s easy to skim on the historical facts and opt for creative licence (which often happens in story with cultures this old). You’ve clearly done your research with passion and dedication, and you weave the information into the narrative very smoothly. Thumbs up!

  2. Awww, bricks, how sweet! ;D As ever, Veronica, your attention to detail shines through in this wonderful scene.

  3. What a perfect snippet for mothers day! I love the portraits on the bricks. I’m also wondering if Paratiti can have someone bring me a basket of yummy treats right now also! Great visuals here, excellent snippet!!!

  4. I’m glad you are sharing another one of your Ancient Egyptian stories. Bricks seem odd in helping with birth, but they must have been common practice back then. Good snippet!

  5. Let’s just say the ancient Egyptian obstetrical practices were very different from how we do it today…the birthing bricks were a common element. Here’s a good NY Times article on some actual birthing bricks that were excavated, which had belonged to an Egyptian princess of about the time frame my story is set. In the novel, Tyema does have a baby but I don’t go into too much clinical detail. There’s much more magic involved in the book than in real life, although the Egyptians believed certain goddesses were involved. Said goddesses just might show up in the novel 😉

    Thanks for visiting and Happy Mother’s Day to all!

  6. This is a lovely, practical gift . . . but I think I’d want the Goddess of Epidurals on my bricks! 😀

    I read the article–fascinating!—but I have some questions. i assume that the mother stands on the bricks, but is the baby born on them or between them? Any idea?

    • I assumed the baby was born between the bricks. The way I wrote it in the novel, a close female relative caught the child. Made sense to me, as the mother of two myself.

  7. Great detail, very engrossing. and I love the fascinating lesson you’ve provided. Happy Mother’s Day.

  8. I love a good birthing scene, and am intrigued by the bricks. I haven’t had any kids yet, but there’s something so special about being brought to bed by one’s nearest and dearest, comforted by friends and relatives during such an uncertain time as birth.

  9. Well I learned something new today! I googled it to get some images. I can’t imagine. 😦 Wow… I’m with Sarah. I’d be praying to a different goddess. 🙂

    Great 8, Veronica! I’m so glad you like the rule change. 🙂 Reaction has been very positive.

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