Interview with Djet the Cat From Warrior of the Nile

???????????????????????????????One of my author friends,  Jody Wallace & her cat Meankitty (don’t ask!) have interviewed the cat from my latest Ancient Egyptian paranormal romance, WARRIOR OF THE NILE.

Here’s the first question:

1) So, nameless cat in Warrior of the Nile (whom I’m going to call “Djet” because reasons…and because the author told me it’s your secret cat name as well as the name of an ancient Pharaoh), what do you look like?

I’m a one-eared black tomcat, proudly wearing my battle scars, won in fights up and down the Nile. No sissy harbor cat is going to beat me. I’ve got one green eye and one yellow eye, sharp teeth and claws like knives. No vermin on my ship!

For more of this catseye view of the action in the journey down the Nile segment of the book, please go visit Jody’s blog!

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Release Day Warrior of the Nile

Warrior_ofthe_Nile_finalI’m so happy to say that the Release Day has actually arrived for WARRIOR OF THE NILE, my paranormal novel set in Ancient Egypt. The events are set in  motion by the goddess Nephthys, sister to Isis. Khenet, the Warrior of the title, and Lady Tiya have to work really hard to accomplish the assigned task without dying and still satisfy the demands of the goddess.

Whenever twin goddesses are around, it’s tempting to assume one is Good and the other is Evil. But it’s not necessarily so! In Ancient Egypt Isis was the queen of the gods and represented motherhood, magic and fertility. Worship of this goddess endured for centuries and even spread through the Roman Empire. Wife of Osiris, ruler of the gods, her headdress was shaped like a throne and the pharaohs of Egypt were often depicted as being her children. She was associated with the rebirth that Egyptians expected in their afterlife. Pretty much the good stuff came to Isis.

Her twin sister Nephthys, although not depicted as evil, was associated with death, with battling demons, darkness and dangerous places like the edge of the desert. She and Isis were viewed by the Egyptians as different aspects of the same supernatural power.

One thing that is very useful to me in writing my paranormal novels of Ancient Egypt is the many varying interpretations and legends surrounding all their gods and goddesses, enabling me to pick and choose the aspects that work best with my worldbuilding and then I stay consistent in my choices. Nephthys  doesn’t get things all her own way in my novel – Isis takes a hand in how events turn out, not exactly as her sister had in mind.

Here’s the story overview:

Egypt, 1500 BCE

Lady Tiya is bound to the service of the goddess Nephthys, who plans to sacrifice Tiya’s body to protect Egypt from an ancient terror. She embarks to meet her grim fate alone but for the hardened warrior Khenet, who is fated to die at her side. Tiya’s dreams of love and family now seem impossible, and Khenet, who is the last of his line, knows his culture will die with him. Struggling with the high cost of Nephthys’s demands, both resolve to remain loyal.

Neither expects the passion that flowers when Tiya’s quiet courage and ethereal beauty meet Khenet’s firm strength and resolve. On a boat down the Nile, their two lonely souls find in each other a reason to live. But time is short and trust elusive.

Without the willing sacrifice of Tiya and Khenet, a great evil will return to Egypt. How could the gods demand their deaths when they’ve only just begun to live?

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The book has also been issued as an audiobook, which I LOVE…here are the buy links:

Amazon  for kindle and audiobook  Carina Press   AllRomance eBooks    Barnes & Noble

(And stay tuned for DANCER OF THE NILE, coming in late October, which I’ll be self publishing as a stand alone novel set in the same time frame.)

Weekend Writing Warriors Will They Ever See Each Other Again?

better wewriwaThe final excerpt from WARRIOR OF THE NILE, which is being released tomorrow, September 16th! Thanks for all the support along the way…the majority who voted wanted a cliffhanger so that’s more or less what I’m providing today (but remember this is a romance so HEA is guaranteed LOL). Next week I’ll start doing a few weeks from my best selling new SciFi Romance ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE and then we’ll go back to the Nile with the next book, DANCER.)

Khenet and the goddess Nephthys (hidden in Tiya’s body, while Tiya’s ka [soul] is temporarily banished) wait to enter the city that has been their destination. Nephthys is angry over several things Khenet and Tiya have done on the journey….

“While we wait, mortal, let me assure you, I’ll be allowing my daughter to waken as we share this body. I’ll let her ka watch all that is done to you, before she herself dies, ” Nephthys-Tiya said as she fanned herself with languid motions.

“Why do you hate us so? She’s your descendant and we’re both loyal Egyptians.”

“Appealing to my softer side, pleading for mercy at this late hour?” Nephthys-Tiya was contemptuous. 

Through clenched jaw, he made one more attempt to save Tiya,  “Not for myself, but surely you could spare her life!”

“Humans are but tools to accomplish the goal, pawns to play in the game,” the goddess said. 

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 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…

 

And the blurb for WARRIOR OF THE NILE:

 

Egypt, 1500 BCE

 

Lady Tiya is bound to the service of the goddess Nephthys, who plans to sacrifice Tiya’s body to protect Egypt from an ancient terror. She embarks to meet her grim fate alone but for the hardened warrior Khenet, who is fated to die at her side. Tiya’s dreams of love and family now seem impossible, and Khenet, who is the last of his line, knows his culture will die with him. Struggling with the high cost of Nephthys’s demands, both resolve to remain loyal.

 

Neither expects the passion that flowers when Tiya’s quiet courage and ethereal beauty meet Khenet’s firm strength and resolve. On a boat down the Nile, their two lonely souls find in each other a reason to live. But time is short and trust elusive.

 

Without the willing sacrifice of Tiya and Khenet, a great evil will return to Egypt. How could the gods demand their deaths when they’ve only just begun to live?

 

Weekend Writing Warriors Should We Have A Truce?

better wewriwaOnly one more excerpt after today from WARRIOR OF THE NILE because then the book will be released – WHEE!  Can’t decide whether to leave you all on a nonspoiler happy note or a cliffhanger next week for the last excerpt? Any preferences?  For today, here’s another snippet from the conversation Khenet and Tiya have been having, early in their voyage down the Nile:

“Let’s declare a truce. In fact, perhaps we can compare notes on this trip we’ve embarked upon,” Khenet said.

Tiya raised her eyebrows. “What do you mean?”

“I know what Pharaoh shared with me, and you know what Nephthys told you, alone in her sanctuary. It won’t surprise me if we each have some puzzle pieces the other hasn’t seen.”

Tiya bit her lip, as she said. “I can’t – Nephthys forbade me to discuss any details, even with you. Especially with you.”

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 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…

And the blurb for WARRIOR OF THE NILE (which is available on Netgalley now for reviewers BTW):

Egypt, 1500 BCE

Lady Tiya is bound to the service of the goddess Nephthys, who plans to sacrifice Tiya’s body to protect Egypt from an ancient terror. She embarks to meet her grim fate alone but for the hardened warrior Khenet, who is fated to die at her side. Tiya’s dreams of love and family now seem impossible, and Khenet, who is the last of his line, knows his culture will die with him. Struggling with the high cost of Nephthys’s demands, both resolve to remain loyal.

Neither expects the passion that flowers when Tiya’s quiet courage and ethereal beauty meet Khenet’s firm strength and resolve. On a boat down the Nile, their two lonely souls find in each other a reason to live. But time is short and trust elusive.

Without the willing sacrifice of Tiya and Khenet, a great evil will return to Egypt. How could the gods demand their deaths when they’ve only just begun to live?

Weekend Writing Warriors Lady Tiya Answers

better wewriwaStill counting down to the release date for “Warrior of the Nile” on September 16th…. the snippet below comes after Khenet is rather harsh in response to the heroine’s request for him to call her Tiya, as her family and friends do, instead of being so formal. Here’s her response  to him (creative punctuation reigns yet again to make 8 sentences LOL):

Resting her hands on her hips, fists clenched, she narrowed her eyes. Drawing herself to her full height, her voice was chill as she said, “I didn’t ask for this, not any of it. Yes, I volunteered to serve, but I had no idea what Nephthys was going to demand of me – I certainly didn’t request you as my guardian. But, like it or not, we’re in this together, at least until we reach the Viper Nome*, so we don’t need to be rude and angry with each other the whole trip. Common courtesy goes a long way.” She shook one finger in his face. “I understand Pharoah gave you a choice – Nephthys merely told me to ‘Go there and die at my command, girl ‘. “

He had to admire her determination, calling him to task for his rudeness.

*Nome = province of Ancient Egypt

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 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…

Oh and if I may SQUEE, the cover of ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE, my new self published SFR, was on the USA Today HEA blog homepage last week (tiny but still…I was thrilled) :-)

And the blurb for WARRIOR OF THE NILE (which is available on Netgalley now for reviewers BTW):

Egypt, 1500 BCE

Lady Tiya is bound to the service of the goddess Nephthys, who plans to sacrifice Tiya’s body to protect Egypt from an ancient terror. She embarks to meet her grim fate alone but for the hardened warrior Khenet, who is fated to die at her side. Tiya’s dreams of love and family now seem impossible, and Khenet, who is the last of his line, knows his culture will die with him. Struggling with the high cost of Nephthys’s demands, both resolve to remain loyal.

Neither expects the passion that flowers when Tiya’s quiet courage and ethereal beauty meet Khenet’s firm strength and resolve. On a boat down the Nile, their two lonely souls find in each other a reason to live. But time is short and trust elusive.

Without the willing sacrifice of Tiya and Khenet, a great evil will return to Egypt. How could the gods demand their deaths when they’ve only just begun to live?

Weekend Writing Warriors Is This A Trick?

better wewriwaStill counting down to the release date for “Warrior of the Nile”…. the snippet below comes after Khenet and Tiya have spent some time on deck, watching the scenery as they sail down the Nile…right before this starts, she asks him to call her Tiya, as her family and friends do, instead of being so formal. (A little creative editing and punctuation and it might have strayed over into 10 sentences):

Khenet wheeled, the artless invitation surprising him. A trick or test from Nephthys? Or is  this woman trying to get on my good side, seduce me in an attempt to avoid her fate? Unblinking, he stared at her for a long moment, frustration over this entire assignment making his words harsh. “We’re not family, we’re not friends, this isn’t a pleasure cruise down the Nile on any Pharaoh’s barge. My orders are to escort you to your death and to perish myself as a result. I’ll carry out my orders, Lady Tiya-ami-kitara, have no doubt. But honeyed words won’t sway me from my duty. So don’t waste your time. Or mine.”

Next week I’ll give you her answer….

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 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…

Oh and if I may SQUEE, ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE, my new SFR, became available yesterday. Doing the big announcement tomorrow 🙂

And the blurb for WARRIOR OF THE NILE (which is available on Netgalley now for reviewers BTW):

Egypt, 1500 BCE

Lady Tiya is bound to the service of the goddess Nephthys, who plans to sacrifice Tiya’s body to protect Egypt from an ancient terror. She embarks to meet her grim fate alone but for the hardened warrior Khenet, who is fated to die at her side. Tiya’s dreams of love and family now seem impossible, and Khenet, who is the last of his line, knows his culture will die with him. Struggling with the high cost of Nephthys’s demands, both resolve to remain loyal.

Neither expects the passion that flowers when Tiya’s quiet courage and ethereal beauty meet Khenet’s firm strength and resolve. On a boat down the Nile, their two lonely souls find in each other a reason to live. But time is short and trust elusive.

Without the willing sacrifice of Tiya and Khenet, a great evil will return to Egypt. How could the gods demand their deaths when they’ve only just begun to live?

Weekend Writing Warriors Lady Tiya Explains Herself

better wewriwaContinuing on with WARRIOR OF THE NILE, to be released on September 16th. Here’s an excerpt where Tiya is answering some questions about herself from Khenet, as they journey down the Nile. (A bit of creative editing and punctuation has occurred today to make this eight sentences LOL):

 “Unlike my older brother, the priest you met in Thebes, I didn’t receive the calling to serve in the temple. I don’t wear a ram’s wool garland, play a tambourine, or carry statues of the goddess through the street in processions during the high festivals.”

            “You sound relieved,” he said shrewdly.

             “I’m more interested in the life here, day to day, not the Afterlife or the doings of the Great Ones. I’d make a poor priestess, I fear.” Lady Tiya brushed the crumbs off her lap. “I was more intrigued by my father’s businesses, his farms, the granaries. I brought some papyrus and inks in my bag to sketch the scenery we’re sailing past – I always longed to travel, to see more than the area close by Thebes – be careful what you wish for, I guess.”

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 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…

And the blurb for WARRIOR OF THE NILE (which is available on Netgalley now for reviewers BTW):

Egypt, 1500 BCE

Lady Tiya is bound to the service of the goddess Nephthys, who plans to sacrifice Tiya’s body to protect Egypt from an ancient terror. She embarks to meet her grim fate alone but for the hardened warrior Khenet, who is fated to die at her side. Tiya’s dreams of love and family now seem impossible, and Khenet, who is the last of his line, knows his culture will die with him. Struggling with the high cost of Nephthys’s demands, both resolve to remain loyal.

Neither expects the passion that flowers when Tiya’s quiet courage and ethereal beauty meet Khenet’s firm strength and resolve. On a boat down the Nile, their two lonely souls find in each other a reason to live. But time is short and trust elusive.

Without the willing sacrifice of Tiya and Khenet, a great evil will return to Egypt. How could the gods demand their deaths when they’ve only just begun to live?

Weekend Writing Warriors Is Tiya the Right Person?

better wewriwa

Continuing on with WARRIOR OF THE NILE, to be released on September 16th, the goddess Nephthys has appeared to Khenet, Lady Tiya and the high priest. After a few preliminaries (including her answer to Khenet when he refused to kneel), she’s deciding whether Tiya is the right candidate for the mission. (Some creative editing and punctuation has occured LOL):

Smiling, Nephthys nodded, her unearthly beauty cold in the stark light as she said, “So far, acceptable.  Now the true test – I must hide myself in your form.”

Eyes wide, Tiya recoiled a step, the priest standing up unbidden to offer a steadying hand. Whatever she’d expected, this clearly wasn’t part of it. Khenet sympathized – he’d found the concept appalling when Pharaoh had explained it earlier. I need to watch this closely. If the goddess can become Tiya, I need to know the signs so I’m not taken unaware on the journey.

One minute Nephthys was there, towering over the humans in the chamber, the next minute there was a swath of sparkling black mist where she’d been, the motes drifting in a lazy cloud to surround Tiya. 

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 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…

I’m thinking next week I should jump ahead a bit, let Tiya say something! so far the excerpts have been all Pharaoh, Khenet and Nephthys.

And the blurb for WARRIOR OF THE NILE:

Egypt, 1500 BCE

Lady Tiya is bound to the service of the goddess Nephthys, who plans to sacrifice Tiya’s body to protect Egypt from an ancient terror. She embarks to meet her grim fate alone but for the hardened warrior Khenet, who is fated to die at her side. Tiya’s dreams of love and family now seem impossible, and Khenet, who is the last of his line, knows his culture will die with him. Struggling with the high cost of Nephthys’s demands, both resolve to remain loyal.

Neither expects the passion that flowers when Tiya’s quiet courage and ethereal beauty meet Khenet’s firm strength and resolve. On a boat down the Nile, their two lonely souls find in each other a reason to live. But time is short and trust elusive.

Without the willing sacrifice of Tiya and Khenet, a great evil will return to Egypt. How could the gods demand their deaths when they’ve only just begun to live?

Weekend Writing Warriors The Goddess Nephthys Appears

better wewriwaMore from WARRIOR OF THE NILE, due out September 16th…Tiya has said good-bye to her family and the angry, would-be suitor, and she, Khenet and the priest have entered the inner sanctum alone, to meet the goddess:

The strong scent of the lotus threatened to choke Khenet.

“The goddess is present,” whispered the priest, going to his knees, arms crossed over his chest, head down.

Tiya muttered a little prayer and knelt, copying the man’s pose.

Khenet planted his feet well apart, in a fighter’s stance, and remained standing. I’m here in Pharaoh’s place and he wouldn’t kneel to any goddess. Besides, I swear no fealty to Nephthys.

“Humility and obeisance are the safe choices in the presence of the Great Ones.” Where the statue had been, Nephthys herself now stood on the pedestal in front of them, taller than Khenet, wrapped in black robes and gray mist.

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 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…

Next week perhaps we’ll have some more conversation with Nephthys…..

And the blurb for WARRIOR OF THE NILE:

Egypt, 1500 BCE

Lady Tiya is bound to the service of the goddess Nephthys, who plans to sacrifice Tiya’s body to protect Egypt from an ancient terror. She embarks to meet her grim fate alone but for the hardened warrior Khenet, who is fated to die at her side. Tiya’s dreams of love and family now seem impossible, and Khenet, who is the last of his line, knows his culture will die with him. Struggling with the high cost of Nephthys’s demands, both resolve to remain loyal.

Neither expects the passion that flowers when Tiya’s quiet courage and ethereal beauty meet Khenet’s firm strength and resolve. On a boat down the Nile, their two lonely souls find in each other a reason to live. But time is short and trust elusive.

Without the willing sacrifice of Tiya and Khenet, a great evil will return to Egypt. How could the gods demand their deaths when they’ve only just begun to live?

Weekend Writing Warriors Lady Tiya Appears

better wewriwaWarrior_ofthe_Nile_finalIronic that I said this week would be the first appearance of Lady Tiya in the eight sentence excerpts from WARRIOR OF THE NILE because Carina Press just sent me the final cover art this past week. And the cover is all about Khenet LOL. If you missed the official reveal, I’ve put the cover on this post too. (The book is out September 16th, but is available for preorder on Amazon.)

There’s all kinds of action between last week’s excerpt and the first time Khenet sees Tiya but briefly, he’s gone to the temple of Nephthys to watch the selection of the woman who is to accompany him down the Nile to certain death. Three cousins were identified as candidates but one was too young and is dismissed by the high priest. He’s preparing to cast the omens to pick between the remaining noblewomen.

I’m doing some creative punctuation and editing to fit our eight sentence constraint, although it kinda ends up as nine (but the last few are short…):

The woman who’d caught Khenet’s eye glanced at her trembling companion on the dais, took a deep breath and spoke up. “No need for omens. I, Tiya-ami-kitara, will gladly carry out the task for  the Great One Nephthys, whatever she desires.”

There were a few gasps in the chamber, but for the most part shocked silence met her offer. Standing off to the side with her father and stepmother, the man whose embrace she’d resisted earlier cursed, choking off the words as the nearest priests glared at him.

Now why is she volunteering? Khenet eyed the lady with interest. To escape the suitor? Out of the hippo’s mouth into the crocodile’s teeth, girl, if only you knew.

VS NOTE:  The cursing man is a very unwelcome suitor, which is made plain in the scene before the candidate selection begins.

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 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…

Next week I’ll probably keep going with Khenet and Tiya together, maybe show a bit with the goddess Nephthys.

And the blurb for WARRIOR OF THE NILE:

Egypt, 1500 BCE

Lady Tiya is bound to the service of the goddess Nephthys, who plans to sacrifice Tiya’s body to protect Egypt from an ancient terror. She embarks to meet her grim fate alone but for the hardened warrior Khenet, who is fated to die at her side. Tiya’s dreams of love and family now seem impossible, and Khenet, who is the last of his line, knows his culture will die with him. Struggling with the high cost of Nephthys’s demands, both resolve to remain loyal.

Neither expects the passion that flowers when Tiya’s quiet courage and ethereal beauty meet Khenet’s firm strength and resolve. On a boat down the Nile, their two lonely souls find in each other a reason to live. But time is short and trust elusive.

Without the willing sacrifice of Tiya and Khenet, a great evil will return to Egypt. How could the gods demand their deaths when they’ve only just begun to live?