Tuesday, January 6, 2009

'Blue Gold' out today

My historical adventure Blue Gold is released today!


Here's a summary, followed by a scene to give you a taste of it:

Ancient Egypt, 1560 B.C.

Ruling Upper Egypt from Thebes, Pharaoh Sekenenre has many enemies. Aweserre, whose grandfather seized the crown of Lower Egypt. Kamose and Ahhotpe, his son and daughter, who plot to rule in his place. And, most dangerous, the storm-god Set.

It is a time of famine. To prosper a man must be civilized and ruthless. Ramose, priest and Vizier, is all of these. Kasa, a farmer, must learn to be like him to survive. Neith, wife of Ramose, is driven, first to drink, then to courage. Hathor, who killed her son, finds love, desertion, then a second chance at love. Tiyi, the gentle masseuse, is desired by many, but desires only one.

Watched by the gods of Egypt, the conflict reaches its climax in war. The pyramids, a thousand years old when the story begins, play a crucial part.

Behind all is the God Set, with his question: 'What am I?'

The God Set or Seth in ancient Egyptian mythology is a mystery, represented by a strange animal. In 'Blue Gold' I set out to explore this mystery in the most direct and exciting way I could. And I've always loved the pyramids! ~ Lindsay



"What a man, my father! He has the speed of a leopard."

"My boy, son of my great wife! What a son for a warrior-Pharaoh!"

Sekenenre and Kamose toasted each other again, and the nobles lifted their own tall goblets and drank, pledging allegiance to both. Torches blazed throughout the banqueting hall as men and women dropped off their wigs and entertainers practiced final flourishes in the odd dark corners. Ahhotpe kissed the cheek of the slave-girl who had brought her another perfume-cone and, with a sigh of pleasure and relief, shook off her own wig.

"Allow me." The Pyramid loomed at her elbow. He placed the cooling cone of perfumed grease on her hair. Ahhotpe shivered as the perfume-cone melted and ran in a delicious fine rain down her face.

"Thank you, my lord." She glanced from Zoser to Sekenenre. Her father and younger brother were very drunk. She was very drunk. She looked again at the Pyramid.

He took her practiced smile as an invitation to join her on the couch. Kamose saw but did nothing. And how could she resist a man so much bigger and stronger than herself? Alive with the wine, Ahhotpe was in a mood to enjoy.

"My arms are full of flowers, and my hair is weighed down with perfumes."

She waited for him to complete the verse, as her father would have done, or to lay his broad head in her lap and have her say the rest of the poem, as Kamose did. The Pyramid merely grunted and tugged on her anklet bangle.

"We're betrothed, little bird. I don't want you to keep staring at Kamose."

"I'll gaze only at you, my lord." His face in the torches seemed sleeker, his dark eyes, lined with malachite, lustrous as the beads of his arm-bracelets. Ahhotpe saw new possibilities for Zoser. Being engaged to the man had its advantages.

Two nobles, shouting and throwing bones at each other in an argument over a Senet game, gave Ahhotpe and the Pyramid their opportunity.

"It's getting to be a real riot."

"Father's drunk. Everyone takes their cue from him." Ahhotpe pushed aside a tipsy slave, who fell giggling against her couch. "Why not come and study the paintings in my room? They're by a Keftian artist, and very fine."

The Pyramid cupped her breasts and licked his lips. "Let's go to my room instead, and trade parts."

"Such a coarse expression for love." Ahhotpe, with a drunken little smile, held up her arms to Zoser. He scooped her from the couch like a barbarian, throwing her over one shoulder.

Raising her jiggling head and squinting back into the hall, Ahhotpe noticed Kamose sprawled on purple cushions, ponderously explaining how he had saved Pharaoh's life. Her father, fondling the Pyramid's mother, smiling at everything Kamose said, talked earnestly to a drunken acrobat. None of them saw her undignified exit.

Ahhotpe lowered her head, feeling the broad flanks rub against her face, and ran her thumbs between the Pyramid's legs.


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