Friday, October 28, 2011

An Egyptologist, a female Mossad agent and a night on a Lake Nasser cruise

Archaeologist Anson Hunter had gone to bed with Intelligence agencies before, but never quite like this

“Good night,” she said.
“I can’t sleep. Know any good Gentile jokes?”
“There’s something I have to ask you, Zara Margolin. Do you feel any love for Mother Nile? I know this is a lake we’re on, but navigators follow the old basin of the Nile for safety, so I feel we’re still cruising the past.”
“Of course I love Egypt. I was born in Alexandria.”
“Yes, but beyond the accident of your birthplace. Think of the story of Israel in the Torah. The land of the Nile gave succour to your people throughout history, feeding you in periods of famine. Think of the sons of Jacob sent to Egypt for food, of Joseph sold into slavery and favoured by pharaoh. And then there is Moses, drawn out of the Nile by pharaoh’s daughter. You could say that Mother Nile gave birth to Israel, complete with labour pains courtesy of Rameses.”
“Your point?”
“You’re spiritually linked with Egypt. Like me.”
“I’m happy to say I am not like you, spiritually or in any other way.” She sat up and fluffed up her pillow, finally punching the ends together vigorously. “I’m more focused than you and I don’t sit on the fence,” she said. “You claim to be one who takes ancient beliefs seriously. But then you pursue this quest, regardless, and you look down on academics and call them dispassionate people who don’t engage experientially with such matters.”
She turned away, dark hair cascading on the pillow.
He was spending the night in a cabin with an unfathomable daughter of Israel who was as remote and somehow familiar as any ancient Egyptian beauty who’d ever looked at him sideways from a painted wall of a tomb. What had happened to the girl who’d brightened his day in a London bookshop?
Zara, Zara, Zara.

From The Ibis Apocalypse, 3rd in the Egypt adventure fiction trilogy - (Amazon Kindle)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sealed inside the heart of Egypt’s lost labyrinth… scene from ‘The Smiting Texts’

Lost beneath the sands... a maze with 1500 underground chambers - a structure once said to be more impressive than the pyramids

When the underground stopped shaking, they shone their flashlights around the heart-shaped chamber. They were trapped inside a sealed vault, with no way back or forward.
Our hearts have failed the test. We have been found sinful, the thought hit Anson Hunter. We’re stuck in the heart of the tomb.
"I think we've just had a coronary shut down," he informed them. He looked at Kalila, Daniel and his nephews. “Any ideas?”
"There must be some mechanism that opens it again," the Coptic monk Daniel said. "We must find it! Start looking, I suggest.”
They all joined in a search of the walls and floors, as they hunted for hidden levers or mechanisms that might open the doors, pressing individual blocks of stone, running fingers between cracks.
Sound above their heads put a stop to their efforts. Something was happening in the ceiling. Anson listened. Hissing sounds. Small apertures had opened in the roof. Red streams ran softly into the chamber.
"Not blood, after three thousand years." Daniel bent and scooped up a handful. He sniffed it. "Red clay dust," he muttered.
It wasn't blood, but it could kill them just as surely as any liquid.
"It's symbolic blood, dry red clay from Elephantine,” Anson said. “The red is haematite, iron oxide. In ancient legends red clay often took the place of blood when mixed with wine or water. I think this dust represents the blood of Osiris."
"If we don't get out of here soon, it will choke us," Kalila said, giving voice to their fears.
They redoubled their efforts to find a lever. They ran their hands like nervous spiders over the walls.
The powder-blood flowing into the heart gathered in piles around their feet. The streams were running faster.
Kalila coughed. Fine dust filled the air. It would suffocate them long before it covered their heads…

#1 in Egypt adventure series - Here

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

"The ancients, royalty, used to adorn their bodies with gold before they took their pleasure,” she said.

Bodies adorned with gold

He wondered what she would look like wearing the jewels.
“I believe the ancients, royalty, used to adorn their bodies with gold before they took their pleasure,” she said.
She was a mind reader. There was definitely something of the gypsy about this girl.
“You’d like me to model the pieces for you,” she said. Her eyes sparkled with daring. “Go into the bedroom. Wait in there and I may surprise you.”
Surprise him? What was the worst that she could do? Disappear? Take the jewels and run? Why? Maybe she planned to open the apartment door and call in an accomplice - a sociopathic Greek-Egyptian boyfriend who would knife him now that he’d served his usefulness.
Too much speculation. It was an occupational risk. He got up, went through to the bedroom and sat on the bed. He’d always prided himself on his flexibility.
It felt as if thousands of years elapsed before she arrived and appeared like a vision in the bedroom doorway.

From 'The Hathor Holocaust', 2nd in the Egypt archaeology adventure trilogy, available in Kindle format.

"Which side of the bed will be mine?" he said to her. (The Ibis Apocalypse)

An archaeologist and theorist just can't help speculating

Afterwards, they climbed aboard an antique elevator to ride up to their room on the second floor. He closed the wooden and glass doors and then clanged a metal concertina gate shut. She pressed the button for their floor.
The lift cage gave a judder and started creeping up, the machinery humming busily, like his mind at that moment. This was going to be their first night together.
She caught him staring and wondering.
“What?” she said.
“Speculating is my business. Just speculating."
“I’ll bet you are.”
“I’m wondering which side of the bed will be mine.”
“The side of caution, I’d advise.”
“Unless you want to re-enact Death on the Nile.”
“Now you’re scaring me.”
“This was not in the brochure, Zara. False advertising.
“False something.”
Hopes? Oh well, he thought, shrugging. Best to establish the ground rules so there’d be no misunderstandings. It was early days. And nights. They were going to be cabin mates for a whole Lake Nasser cruise.
Was Zara Margolin going to be all business, all of the time?
He’d acted as a consultant for Intelligence before, but he’d never exactly jumped into bed with them. What was the best way to go about this?
She’d been in the Israeli military before and so she was probably inured to the situation of living with men at close quarters.

From The Ibis Apocalypse - 3rd in the Egypt archaeological adventure trilogy, available in Kindle format

"Do you find the art of ancient Egypt seductive?" she said.

Grasped possessively by a dark-eyed goddess

THEY WALKED back through the valley in dazzling light.
“Could anything my father found rival these underworlds? They make a deep impression.”
“There’s no civilization so seductive,” Kalila said.
“Seductive is the word. I find the graphics of ancient Egypt pretty ravishing, I must admit,” he said.
She smiled.
“You find them erotic?”
“Hell yes. I can easily imagine myself being grasped possessively by one of those dark-eyed goddesses in the frescoes and reliefs. The art of ancient Egypt ensnares you with its atmosphere of pervasive mystery.”
“Yet there is rarely any lewdness portrayed in Egyptian art,” she commented. “Except for a few scurrilous doodles on ostraca. The Egyptians achieved a sense of sexual tension in far more subtle ways, in the ladies with their diaphanous gowns, painted eyes and gala wigs that sent an erotic signal. Then there were the other coded symbols, the scented delta of a lotus blossom held under a nose, the ducks and geese, or a monkey playing under a chair, the possessive arm slung around the waist of a husband, the intent, very-interested eyes of a goddess taking the pharaoh by the hand. It’s all there, but in the oblique Nilotic way. There is a love poem where the girl bathes in the stream with her beloved and says: ‘I'll go into the water at your bidding and come up with a red fish who will quiver with happiness in my fingers.’”
“I don’t get it,” he said, putting an expression of puzzlement on his face. “I hope you’re going to explain it to me.”
“I’ll do nothing of the sort...”

 ('The Smiting Texts' - first in an ancient Egypt adventure series, available in paperback and on Amazon Kindle)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Indiana Jones meets House? Stargate meets Wilbur Smith? Rider Haggard meets X-Files?

How do you compare?

The brutal Hollywood synthesis of a story is so-and-so meets so-and so.
How would I apply the formula to my Egypt adventure trilogy?
How would I sell my Egypt adventure thriller trilogy as a Hollywood ‘high concept’ pitch? 

Indiana Jones meets House?

Stargate meets Wilbur Smith?

Rider Haggard meets X-Files? 

I have heard all of these descriptions and find it hard to reconcile them all.

Wilbur Smith? I must admit I'm not a fan of large, roaring, two-fisted heroes.

Dr House? My archaeologist character Anson Hunter is a renegade and although sardonic at times is apparently immensely likeable to readers. 

Indiana Jones? Anson Hunter is more cerebral and he has far more human flaws. (His ex-wife described him as having the burning eyes of a fanatic). 

Stargate? There are elements of fantasy in my novels, but I am not a fan of the Egypt and aliens combination. I am an amateur Egyptologist, so I like to ground my stories in substantive fact.

Rider Haggard? I love the lost race idea (think 'She'), but I don't have to invent lost races. The Egyptians will do for me.

X-Files? I love to leave the question of the supranormal hanging and have a certain belief in unseen realities , but I also like a real world plot.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My Egyptology fiction hero grants value to the sacred and to unseen realities

Feeling the ancient Egypt experience

Archaeologist Anson Hunter believes in experiencing the sacred in my trilogy of adventure novels about dangers from the ancient past - and modern conspiracies.