Ignore the God of Fate? 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!)

I’ve switched to an excerpt from a brand new novella set in my version of ancient Egypt, working title Healer of the Nile, which is for a boxed set later this year.

Tadenhut, elder son of a noble house and heir to the Hunting Cat estate, has been gravely injured in a battle against Pharaoh’s enemies and brought home to die. Mehyta, a woman from the estate’s village who has skills as a healer, has been ordered to assist the physicians in his care.

Having used her healer’s magic to assess his injuries, she found herself dreaming of Tadenhut, who remains in a coma in the real world. Her dream took place on a battlefield, after the combat has ended. Now she’s back in the real world, pondering what to do. I’ve edited out some details here just to simplify.

As the first rays of sunlight lanced into the room and across the bed, she took her pouch of fortune-telling beads and sat outside, next to the fish pond. Closing her eyes, she repeated to herself the old proverb, “There is no one who can ignore Shai.” Yes, the god of Fate was the only one who could decide whether Tadenhut was to live or die. But at least Mehyta could ask for an indication of which it was to be and decide what to do accordingly.

She performed an act almost never done in fortune telling, except in an extreme situation—she spilled the entire contents of her pouch across the flat paving stones of the garden. Taking a deep breath, she opened her eyes to read the pattern. The black of death and the white of life lay together, surrounded by other omens speaking of struggle, danger, and hardship. Mehyta reached to touch the green malachite bead, symbolizing hope in this array. It sat by itself in a small indentation of the paving stone directly north of the black and white omens. 

As she gathered the stones to replace them in the pouch, she pondered the message from Shai. 

I’m not going to do any more excerpts from this story, or at least not until the anthology in which it’s included gets released. Thank you so much for all the comments – I’m really happy people have been enjoying the adventure.

GhostOfTheNile_1600x2400In the meantime, if you can’t wait, you can always read one of my other novels set in ancient Egypt LOL! Maybe Ghost of the Nile for Halloween.

As always, thanks for visiting!

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Thoughts on Episode One of Spike TV Tut

Tut posterKing Tut is probably one of the most well known Egyptian Pharaohs, not for anything he actually accomplished in his short reign, but for the magnificence of his golden death mask and the intrigue of his tomb, with its riches, possible curse and other mysteries. I think someone had an inspired idea at Spike TV to do a mini series based on the life of this boy king, since not much is truly known about him.

I love movies and TV shows about ancient times and especially ones set in the Egypt of thousands of years ago, so I was eager to view this program. I’ve seen a wide range of production values when filming ancient Egypt, from Katy Perry’s hiphop “Dark Horse” video to the recent blockbuster “Exodus” to one made-for-DVD movie that really looked like the members of the local church group had sewed their own costumes, hired two ‘real’ actors for the leads and proceeded to film their annual pageant. (DNF’ed that one but it had a certain fascination.) Spike’s Tut falls acceptably somewhere in the middle. I think they’re doing a pretty good job of portraying Egypt, not completely historically accurate but giving the impression we’re there if you don’t look too closely. Although there have been some pairs of earrings I totally covet!

I like their depiction of Tut the person, who came to the throne in 1333 BCE at the age of nine and died in 1323 BCE at the age of eighteen. Their Boy King is doing his best against a lot of opposition and he seems to have his heart in the right place, about Egypt and what would be best for the people and the country.

My own Gods of Egypt novels are set 500 years prior to this time frame, although Tut would have been a descendant of my Pharaoh’s family IF my Pharaoh was a real person. Since I write historical fantasy, with direct involvement by the gods, I loosely based my ruler on several real 18th Dynasty men who sat on the throne. (I have NO connection to the Spike TV program in any way although wow, I’d certainly love it if someone wanted to make MY books into movies LOL.)

This Tut is pretty active, not much slowed by his known physical challenges, and handsome. So far in Episode One he tends a bit toward the ‘Captain Kirk’ model as I always think of it – the leader who does all the important missions himself, survives major wounds that would kill anyone else with a minimum of downtime, romances the ladies, has mad fighting skillz….but it does make for enjoyable TV.

I seriously doubt he actually wandered around in Thebes at night in disguise, meeting his subjects. Or went behind the lines in Mitanni enemy territory with only a beautiful woman to guide him, in order to rescue the one soldier he could trust, per the TV plot.

I do think Spike TV captures the constant politics, infighting, betrayal and jockeying for position that undoubtedly was going on at Pharaoh’s court, especially in the time of Tut, where his father’s previous reign had upended the country. His father had tried to overturn the worship of the classical gods in favor of just one, Aten. And he’d built a new capital city from scratch (promptly abandoned after his death), besides ignoring the enemies all around Egypt, leaving a weakened and poorer country. So Tut wasn’t in the best situation as king. I liked the way he exerts his power and imposes his own  opinions in the TV show.

Judging from the previews, the soap opera aspects of the show are going to ramp up significantly tonight, when Tut returns home with the aforementioned beautiful woman who is not his Queen, and starts trying to really take charge and root out traitors.

There’s a certain bittersweet quality to watching this program, knowing the king only has till he’s 18, and then will die. Not to give spoilers some 3000 years later but in reality Grand Vizier Ay did come to the throne after Tut’s untimely death, marrying the poor young queen, who promptly disappears from recorded history. (But  not before she secretly begged the Hittite king to send her a prince to marry. Which the king did, but the the prince died on the journey. I wonder if Spike plans to show any of this?) Ay’s second wife Tey became the lady with all the power for a time. Now she’d make for fascinating TV!  And then General Horemheb took the throne after Ay but died childless. His chosen successor actually founded the famous Ramses’ family line.

I think Spike is shortchanging the glamour and glory of Pharaoh’s court. After all, he was counted as a living god. So far I don’t see much of that, not even among the everyday citizenry. Maybe tonight.

tut-spike-tv-avan-jogiaI have to admit I’m obsessed with chariots. My favorite part of the recent “Exodus” film was the behind the scenes featurette about the chariots!  I made the hero of my Magic of the Nile a charioteer, since I figured that was the coolest thing a warrior could be in that day and age. The fighter pilot of his times!  Tut appears to have only about five chariots to his name (a really small army but hey, TV budget!).

Bottom line: I’m enjoying the program, looking forward to seeing how they decide Tut meets his end, feel acceptably taken to a version of ancient Egypt and I appreciate the diversity of the cast.

The trailer:

Here’s the Spike TV Tut website: http://www.spike.com/shows/tut  for clips and more information on their production.

GhostOfTheNile_highresMy most recent novel set in ancient Egypt is the best selling Ghost of the Nile….

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The Great Estate of Heron Marsh 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. Jumping ahead, the goddess Ma’at has plunged Periseneb into a tense standoff between a young woman, her servant and a group of bullies.He intervenes of course! So now let’s meet the heroine of this tale:

            Apparently recalling she’d not introduced herself, she said, “I’m Neithamun, of Heron Marsh and this belligerent one is my chief cowherd.”

            “Lady Neithamun.” The boy’s reprimand was stern.

            She laughed, gesturing at her plain blue cotton dress and rude sandals. “Yes, although our visitor probably won’t believe such a lofty claim.”

           “I’ve heard of the great estate of Heron Marsh.” Periseneb stared toward the horizon, mixed emotions over her status churning in his gut. In his time, a daughter of the house wouldn’t lower herself to herding cows – why was she allowed or encouraged to do so?

            Spine straight, chin held high, Neithamun said, “Not such a great estate these days, but we do our best, land rich and deben poor – are you from this area then?”

            “I’ve some familiarity with the area.”

Two things – I’m in the middle of moving, so I won’t be making the rounds today but I promise to get to everyone else’s post during the week to come, if the cable guy shows up on time to reconnect my internet at the new location! And second, my new science fiction romance STAR CRUISE: MAROONED released on Friday, so I’ll probably put up excerpts from that for the next few weeks.

GhostOfTheNile_1600x2400Here’s the story for GHOST OF THE NILE:

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…

Amazon    Barnes & Noble    Kobo     iTunes

Act As Your Heart Dictates 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 has just told Periseneb she only wants him to complete his journey home…Periseneb is speaking:

“That’s all? Show up two-hundred years late and say, here I am? Who would know me now? Who would care? I have no place there, Great One.” His voice cracked a little on the last sentence and he clamped his lips closed, taking a deep breath. Thinking about the simple dreams he’d cherished as a man hurt like a knife to the heart. All gone, turned to dust.

            Leaving the chair, she walked to him and the scent of her blue lotus perfume was calming. “Complete the journey and act as your heart dictates.”

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…

Amazon    Barnes & Noble    Kobo     iTunes

Events Are In Motion 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, which hit two Amazon Romance Best Seller lists last week so my thanks to everyone who might have purchased it :-). I’ve skipped a bit since the place where last week’s excerpt ended. The goddess Ma’at is speaking. (The provinces of Egypt were known as nomes.)

“…. I need a champion to go to the Nome of the Shield…”

            “My home province,” he said, knowing his voice was unsteady. 

            Ma’at nodded. “Events are in motion there. I wish to influence the outcome, but it isn’t the kind of situation I can affect directly.” She tapped the table with her stylus, “Nor can I be absent from my duties here for so long as this task may require.”

            He found it hard to imagine a goddess walking in his home province for any time at all. Shield Nome was dry, dusty, and far removed from Thebes and the known places of power. “What do you need done?”

            Head tilted, smile on her ruby red lips, she said, “You to complete your interrupted journey home.”

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…

Amazon    Barnes & Noble    Kobo     iTunes

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…

Amazon    Barnes & Noble    Kobo

          

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…