Thursday, September 29, 2011

'Enthralling Egypt' Ancient Egypt Fiction Collection at AMAZON Kindle and paperback

YouTube





Browse the collection here

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

THE END. How many novels do you actually finish on your iPad?




"Lives with you long after you turn 
the last page..."

(Reviewer - "The Smiting Texts" - #1 in my Egypt trilogy of adventure thrillers.)

It's so easy to buy a novel to read on your iPad, and it's also so easy and enjoyable to read.
But...
I sometimes wonder - is it also easy to forget to read on to the end, with all the other distractions on your iPad?
It's not as if you have a bulky paperback sitting there accusingly on your bedside table with a bookmark pulling a tongue at you.
Out of sight, out of mind?
I think we need a new iPad app. 
Every now and then it flashes up an image of your partly read novel and a bookmark jutting out to show how far you've come.
Either that or make sure the books you read drag you inexorably to the last page... and beyond.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

LOOK INSIDE! Browse 3 opening scenes of my Egypt trilogy of adventure thrillers

Look inside all 3 novels in the Egypt trilogy



Browse 3 opening scenes of my Egypt trilogy of adventure thrillers ... right here.


(Opening - The Smiting Texts)

 
Chapter 1
THEY INTERCEPTED him as he came out of Baltimore-Washington Airport, two men wearing suits and an air of officialdom like a brisk cologne.
“Mr Anson Hunter, the British Egyptologist?”
Egyptologist? That sounded good. Very establishment. Anson stood a bit taller, which placed his beanstalk elevation a few inches above theirs. The man could have said independent, renegade Egyptologist and phenomenologist, lecturer at out-of-town halls and auditoriums, writer, blogger and alternative theorist as well as leader of occasional, fringe tour groups to Egypt. But instead the man had said ‘Egyptologist’.
“Who wants to know?”
“You are invited to Johns Hopkins University. They want to hear you speak.”
Anson goggled just a little. Johns Hopkins and Anson Hunter? His moment of elation quickly faded. They didn’t belong in the same sentence.
“A nice thought, gentlemen, but venerable institutions like Johns Hopkins don’t want people like me to speak. They would prefer us not to breathe.”
Anson had arrived to give a lecture on ancient Egyptian ritual smiting power and execration texts at a hired Masonic hall that evening.
He tried to move past, but the men blocked his way, smiling with steely politeness.
“Please come with us, Sir.”
“There must be some mistake.”
The spokesman frowned and reached inside his coat. Hell, Anson thought, what is this? Has mainstream Egyptology finally sent a hit squad? The hand came out of the coat. Anson resumed the business of breathing. The man flipped open a wallet, by way of introduction. Anson glimpsed a crest – an eagle inside a circle and the words: US Homeland Security.



(Opening - The Hathor Holocaust)


 











Chapter 1



AN EMAIL arrived at his hotel, giving him an address in South Kensington and a caution:
‘Come alone. Take care you are not followed. Change trains or taxis.’
It was a message from a mysterious young woman who had ambushed him on a train to London.
Satisfied with the evasive manoeuvres he had taken, he arrived at mid morning at a block of apartments and went up a chequered path to a black door with flaking paint.
Was it a trap?
He found the right number on a rusted panel and pressed a buzzer. While he heard no sound beyond, he felt an answering buzz and tingle run through his body as if he had touched a naked wire.
She had offered herself to him like a baited hook, using the lure of an Egyptian antiquity. The circumstances were suspicious, but there had been nothing suspect about the antiquity on her arm. For Anson Hunter, alternative Egyptologist, theorist and expert on the esoteric beliefs of the ancient Egyptians, there was an invisible ‘maker’s mark’ on the real thing that he could not mistake.
The door clicked open.
Should he go through with this? He shrugged. He liked to be flexible. He went inside and climbed a flight of carpeted stairs to be met at a door by the Egyptian-born Greek, Alexia, dressed in black, but wearing a smile that was bright and daring.
He went past her, caught a whiff of perfume.
She locked and chained the door. He saw that she was still wearing the Egyptian bracelet. Gold, turquoise and carnelian in an archaic design winked on her wrist.
“We can do this two ways,” she said. “Agreeably - or we can do it in a cold, business- like manner. I say agreeably. A good coffee, first. There’s an espresso machine here.”
“You say that as if this is not your permanent address. Why doesn’t that surprise me?”
She smiled.
“Don’t let’s get all suspicious, Anson. May I call you that?” She took his coat and hung it behind the door.
It had the look of a furnished apartment. He noticed a forced assimilation rather than a blend of furnishings, a modern couch and dingy chairs in the sitting room. A bizarre piece of ornamentation caught his eye. It was an unpainted white porcelain cobra. A snake, here? It was sitting - or rearing - on the top of a television set as if to remind him that he had walked into danger.
“Where is it?”
“Sit, relax. What difference will a few more minutes make after thousands of years?”
Anson stretched out his long-boned frame in a chair and waited while she went to work in the adjoining kitchen area. He could view her from here.
A thousand years elapsed while she made coffee at a stainless steel espresso machine. The aroma of ground coffee wafted out and surrounded him, snugly enveloping, cosying up to his nerves. Maybe he could enjoy this.
She brought out his coffee and put one on a table for herself.
Then she vanished into a bedroom. What now?
He heard a squeaking sound. She came out again dragging a black leather suitcase on wheels.
“You’re walking out on us already?” he said.
She gave a small grunt as she swung the case onto a rectangular coffee table in front of him, unzipped its lid and swung it open. She lifted a towel from the top.
He bent over it and looked down into the heart of a golden cache of jewels floating in white clouds of cotton wool.
It was a hoard of relics dedicated to the goddess Sekhmet-Hathor, jewellery in the form of necklaces, menat collars, bracelets, golden and jewelled anklets, and small lioness statues and pendants of gold, silver, lapis lazuli, carnelian, turquoise and amethyst.



(Opening – The Ibis Apocalypse)

 

Prologue
Ibis catacomb, el-Ashmunein, Egypt

“SORRY, ANSON. Your search for the stela ends here!”
The voice of the woman funnelled down the underground passage, the echoes fluttering off the stone like startled bats.
Anson Hunter, alternative Egyptologist and theorist, felt a chill as the words reached his ears. It was caused as much by the emotional separation in her voice as by its distance. Her voice was startlingly removed. It was also hard and cold. A few minutes earlier she had been a companionable presence at his shoulder. Now this. She had deserted him, stealing back up the ramp of the passage.
Why?
A rumble of thunder came to deepen his puzzlement and then a screech, the sound of stone moving over stone, grinding, scouring. He felt a tremble under his feet. He spun his flashlight. The abrasion grew to a roar that made his eardrums cower.
A slab of darkness surged out of deeper darkness. His beam flared on a block of granite in a humanoid shape. A man-mountain. It was a stone block with a carved head on top… a colossal block-statue of a High Priest of Thoth, weighing tons.
The cubic man, with head, feet and hands protruding, squatted on a base with his knees raised and arms folded across them under a cloak to form a crushing volume in stone.
In the turmoil, the passage trembled and so did Anson.
The wigged and bearded face on top of the block wore a smile that belied the missile’s crushing intent as the statue shuddered over the floor. Hieroglyphs on the front of the block leapt into Anson’s vision like an execration hurled at him, a spell to obliterate an intruder.
The attack of the granite rockslide turned him to stone.
He had seen the block statue earlier, bulking at the head of the passage, and, fearing a trap, had urged his female companion to step over a granite flagstone in the floor, fearing it might trigger disaster.
But she had slipped back and deliberately set it off.
Now he understood the reason for the vast corridor and the ramped floor that plunged into the earth. It was built to speed the massive plug on its rush down the passage.
The cubic man gathered momentum and the sound of tortured stone assaulted his ears as he felt a blast of arriving air hit his body. It felt like a train coming down a tunnel.
He could never outrun it.
Then what?


Monday, September 26, 2011

Pre-video - #3 in my Egypt trilogy of adventure thrillers




The stone Book of Thoth... the destiny stela... did it affect the destiny of nations and could it unleash its malefic forces on the world once again?


This is the opening scene, my visualization or pre-video storyboard that I prepared before I sat down to write The Ibis Apocalypse. An odd way to plan novels, but it seems to be working, according to readers and reviewers who have hooked into The Smiting Texts quartet, all available on Kindle.


"An amazing read."(Amazon reader)  "Stays with you long after you turn the last page" (The Truth About Books)


See the Egypt quartet here

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Faster-than-light #neutrino time travel to ancient Egypt?

Could you live in the ancient past? My Egyptologist hero speculates...

"The first thing that strikes me, perversely, is a sense of profound deprivation, of being robbed of something that I’d always thought would be mine. My own life and times. I don’t really want to be stuck in history. At least not permanently. Not in an age before antibiotics, anaesthesia, modern dentistry and the Internet. Your own age is the oxygen you breathe, it suddenly hits me, and without it I am left gasping as I walk out of the building with my servant and into the daylight of an earlier age.
It’s so dammed quiet. No tourist buses on the roads, no aircraft flying overhead. Here, even the air is different. It feels younger and headier.
Maybe it’s the lack of pollution.
I know very surely in that moment that Egypt isn’t just a place for me. Egypt is first of all a concept. It’s the Egypt of the mind I love, self-contained and endlessly satisfying. I love to hanker after it, not live in it and die in it. So what do I do now? What would you do if you were an archaeologist stuck in 2,000 BC, knowing what you did about the greatest secrets of history?
Go out and hunt down Tutankhamun’s tomb before Howard Carter does? Tempting, but no, you wouldn’t.
How about cracking the tomb of great pharaohs like Seti or of Thutmosis? They’d be more rewarding than the boy king’s hole-in-the-wall..."
 Excerpt from The Hathor Holocaust (my renegade Egyptologist hero is also an avid blogger with a fondness for speculation)

Come on a journey across time to the dangers of the ancient past in my trilogy of Egypt adventure thrillers - click here

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Trilogy - 'The Girl with the Coptic Tattoo' appears in #1 mystery adventure thriller

 Crime, mystery and a global conspiracy plus a girl with a Coptic cross tattoo

In the first book in my Egypt trilogy of adventure thrillers, renegade archaeologist Anson Hunter works beside an intriguing young Egyptian Egyptologist, Kalila Nawal...


KALILA HAD BOOKED them into the Cairo Marriott, a palatial hotel set in gardens on the island of Zamalek, overlooking the Nile. It had been built by the Khedive Ismail at the time of the opening of the Suez Canal - a palace that formed the central building of the hotel, its antique-filled surroundings still recalling past glory.

 Darkness and a smoggy haze now hung like mystery over the six acres of formal gardens of the hotel and it made Anson feel as if he were trying to peer into the past through a powerful lens.

They had arrived back tired after a long day and since it was rather late to eat in one of the restaurants, they decided to order through room service. Kalila drew Anson aside in the lobby and the two went for a coffee in the coffee lounge.

As she sipped a macchiato in a small glass, a dark and strong coffee with just a stain of cream, he noticed a tiny stylised tattoo on the skin of her wrist. On such a young woman it might have appeared like punk ornamentation, but a cross on the wrist was a sign worn by many Coptic Christians.

“Abuna made it clear that we must tell nobody of his approach, or of our meeting tonight, so we’re going to have to be careful when we slip out later,” she said. Her eyes shone with intrigue. “I’m eager to hear what he has to tell us.”

“You knew this monk?”

“I was with your father when he drove to see him once. We met him at the Baramus monastery.”

“You know a great deal more about my father than I do.”

“Your father was very kind to young students and we enjoyed an odd relationship… intellectually speaking,” she added quickly. “I was a postgraduate student and I suppose I was one of his protégés, but no, that sounds too favoured. I was more of a Devil’s Advocate, except he liked to play the role of the devil himself. I was his East, you see, and I don’t mean the Middle East. I was his opposite, the East to his West, the fervent believer versus his secular man of science. He said he liked me for balance, but I think he needed me for the provocation he fed on.”

“He was certainly no believer.”

“Are you a man of beliefs?” she said.

“Tragically so. I believe in far too many things for most people’s comfort, mostly things that others don’t believe in. But if you’re talking about God, I like to keep an open mind.”

This answer did not seem to impress her as being a philosophy with particular virtue.  (Excerpt from The Smiting Texts).
 
Start the trilogy here


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"A museum is a dangerous place..."

British Museum scene from the Egypt adventure thriller 'The Hathor Holocaust' (2nd in the trilogy)



‘A MUSEUM is a dangerous place.’
Sir Flinders Petrie, pioneer British Egyptologist, first said those words, but today Anson was thinking them.
A man had followed him to the British Museum.
Who was he?
Petrie had been thinking about another kind of danger when he’d made his famous remark about the dangers of museums. The founder of modern scientific Egyptology had been alluding to the manner in which the early Cairo museum had dealt with a royal mummy fragment found at Abydos, a single, bandaged arm, covered in jewels, the only remains of First Dynasty king Zer.
The curators took the jewels and tossed the arm way, the earliest royal mummy remains ever to come to light. It was a mummy horror story to eclipse any devised by the most febrile imagination, Anson had always thought, but right at that moment his mind was on the other worry.
Anson went up the steps and between the Ionic-style columns into the building. He passed through a crowded reception hall to arrive in the Great Court beyond.
Above the court, a tessellated glass and steel roof spread out overhead like a vast, glowing net, catching clouds, blue sky and a spirit of illumination, while the round, central building swelled like an ivory tower of learning. He crossed the clean bright space before heading left to the door of the Egyptian section.
Inside the dimmer light of the hall, a group of school children crowded around the Rosetta Stone in its glass display case. Two little black girls peered inside, their heads close together as they examined the stone, their hair braided in cornrows. An African look, he thought. It linked his thoughts to Africa’s greatest river, the Nile, and to Egypt’s irrigated fields that bounded it and made Egypt the breadbasket of the ancient world.

Excerpt from 'The Hathor Holocaust.'

Monday, September 19, 2011

Break out from an Egyptian Museum!

Fantasy Egypt adventure for young readers

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Archaeologist hero of my ancient Egypt trilogy respects unseen dangers from the ancient past

Hidden dangers among the hidden secrets of ancient Egypt?


In my ancient Egypt trilogy of adventure thrillers, the renegade archaeologist hero Anson Hunter is something of a phenomenologist, one who believes you have to experience and give value to the sacred in order to deal with it.

As a mainstream Egyptologist, Dr Melinda Skilling, says to him in The Smiting Texts:

“You’re special, not only because of your grasp of arcane Egyptian knowledge and practice, but because of your standpoint. I must confess that mainstream academics, restrained by what has been termed the ‘agnostic reflex’, are somewhat in the position of outsiders looking in, careful to keep an objective distance from Egyptian religion, mystical texts and esoteric practices. You, on the other hand, are a phenomenologist, one who believes that you must grant value and credibility to the sacred and engage with it experientially in order to appreciate it fully. I have a certain sympathy for that position.”
 A certain sympathy. Was she trying to be nice? Perhaps. She’d certainly earned points from him for her candour.
But the blunt instrument in the big blue suit didn’t try for points. His words came down on Anson like a mallet.
“Frankly, to many people you’re just a wild theorist. And that gives you a lot more freedom to operate in. Nobody listens to you - and nobody watches you. We can hide behind you.”


The Smiting Texts is followed by The Hathor Holocaust and The Ibis Apocalypse (Kindle and paperback). See them here

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The many and varied races subjugated by Egypt under Rameses




Subjugated peoples under Rameses ll














At the base of the statues of Rameses the Great at Abu Simbel Temple we see the many and varied peoples/racial groups subjugated by Egypt during its imperial age.