The Exploration of what is today known as the White Nile and Lake Victoria,
and the Blue Nile flowing down from the Ethiopian Highlands.
Today, we know that 80% of the water flowing into Egypt comes from the Blue Nile out of Lake Tana in Ethiopia. At the end of this tape, the Egyptians still feel safe and proclaim that "there are no project at this time to dam the Blue Nile...."
They have been proven wrong. The construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (said to go online in 2017) in south-western Ethiopia, close to the Sudanese border, is a rude awakening for downstream countries as it will drastically decrease the flow of the Blue Nile for Sudan and Egypt.
It’s World War II and Ludwika Gierz, a young Polish woman, is forced to leave her family and go to Nazi Germany to work for an SS officer. There, she must walk a tightrope, learning to live as a second-class citizen in a world where one wrong word could spell disaster and every day could be her last. Based on real events, this is a story of hope amid despair, of love amid loss . . . ultimately, it’s one woman’s story of survival.
other day, I received a pre-publication paperback copy of
Endangered Edens by
The tactile and visual presentation alone of his new book with its
180 stunning color photographs is a treat indeed.
Dr. M. Sanjayan, Senior
Scientist at Conservation International, describes it as:
“A magical, fun journey
through some of the world’s hidden and not so hidden Edens…”
read Marty’s first book,
“Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven
another amazing journey into the leaf litter world of the tiniest—and often
deadly—creatures), I was already familiar with Marty’s fluid and humorous writing;
and he lived up to my expectations. Of course, from this new title, I knew he
would also rattle my lethargic cage (as he fully intends, always without being
preachy) as to what travesties Man keeps inflicting on this precious Earth of
Marty and Deb Essen possess the courage and conviction “to do something,” they allowed
me (a mere armchair traveler these days) to journey with them from the Arctic to Costa Rica,
the Everglades, and Puerto Rico.
It reawakened a sense of wonder for our world
in me, as well as a sense of renewed responsibility to leave a smaller
you, Marty Essen, for your beautiful second book.
Endangered Edens is scheduled to be released on January 8, 2016 –
The Nile Conspiracy Book 5 - Legends of the Winged Scarab What is this new novel about - other than the obvious?
Imagine the mighty Nile running dry. Not because of climate change, but due to human interference. Impossible? One day soon, this very threat will become a devastating reality.
Riveting adventure and international intrigue find Naunet and Jonathan Wilkins back in Egypt where the construction of The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam portends a catastrophe of biblical proportions.
Amidst their archaeological struggle to save ancient artifacts, the couple is caught up in a dangerous conspiracy. Along with Jabari El-Masri, their scientific research becomes a death trap when the desperate Egyptians decide to turn a secret underground maze into an emergency reservoir and further, to eliminate the source of their threatening nightmare.
If the Ethiopian monster dam is allowed to be brought online, Egypt may cease to exist. Will a daring conspiracy save these ancient lands from another of Man’s folly? Or will it explode in warfare and annihilation?
* * * *
Image Excerpted from
an Original Photograph by
Jim Bennett (with Permission from the Photographer) * * * * *
I always had my eye on Jim Bennett's fabulous photo and dreamed of using it for one of my covers. Check out the original photo on his website - because I may not be doing it justice. http://jim-bennett.ca/ Jim Bennett is the Author of a thought-provoking five-book Poetry Series. The depth and visualizations in his poems are awe inspiring.
Watch my Author Pages for the Publication of The Nile Conspiracy: Amazon-US and Amazon-UK This announcement should give you time to read the preceding volumes. (While each novel can stand alone, you'd be missing a lot of the story though.)
I just completed a great Blog Hop initiated by the inimitable Helen Hollick. Through it, I came to know that many of their ladies were aboard ship at one time or another, loving a rogue pirate, or trying to regain a tropical inheritance.
(In case you missed those delightful glimpses into their fascinating books, check them out a couple of posts back under "Shining Light On Our Ladies").
Because of all those stories, I'd like to post this little tribute to the many courageous sailors out there.
Don’t be like me!
Don’t waste your life in wishful
Last night, I met the sailor
who dared to live my dream.
This Don Giovanni of the Sea,
having beguiled a hundred women
and who would love a dozen more,
has sailed the Seven Oceans, instead
He’s listened to the tenor of his
and matched the joyous basso-buffo
of his anchor chain,
while harmonizing with his latest
in the duets of love.
Quaintly sequestered coves on lushly verdant
replenished his bruised sailor’s soul.
Forgetting Neptune’s battering, it was
replaced by new-inspired quest for yet
He’s haggled with a multitude of
and laughed with many-peopled hosts.
Traversing fatal shipping lanes and
he’s fended off the beckoning of
unforgiving water ghosts.
It is just a novella but, boy, is it giving me headaches
– and I do so like my Monika Lenz as she struggles to find herself (and that hunky pilot
she’s fantasizing about).
It's an interesting story (if I say so myself) but somehow, readers are not giving it the love it deserves.
I've tried several titles, several covers. So, once again, here is the latest:
The idea for this
novella has rattled around my head for so many years, that my now long-departed
mother once cried aloud: "Oh, child. This is you!" It was an assumption I
fervently denied. Granted, the protagonist is Austrian (like me), she is
attractive and successful (no problem there). However, she does drink a little—and
that's where I drew the line. But in order for the story to work, I had
to burden the lady with a grip on the nip.
There is also a connection
to my other novels—the charming Edward, Con Extraordinaire-although in Shadow
Love, he appears only in Monika Lenz's regretting memory.
(As an aside, Edward turns out not quite so charming anymore in the modern-day adventure/thriller sequels to Khamsin,
The Devil Wind of the Nile. We meet him first in Sirocco, Storm over Land and Sea, where he turns slightly murderous. Then, in After the Cataclysm, things seem to go from bad to worse for our protagonists. And you'll just have to read what goes on in The Crystal Curse.)
* * *
What did I learn while writing this novella? Well, for one thing, you can't drink and write. The only road to success (whenever that may come, if at all) is a little bit of talent, an
excellent grasp of a language, good research, an even better imagination and, above all,
tenacity. Keeping at it until your fingers bleed, your brain goes foggy, and your
eyes cross, is a given. And then: EDIT, EDIT, EDIT.
And if you
must, don't be too lazy to republish; even one detected typo after the book has been foisted onto your readers is
worth the effort.
What else did I learn from all my books? That this writing-thing has turned into an all-consuming passion.
The reward is when readers do that they do best: Reading my stories. Second best is, when they leave reviews letting us writers know how our stories affected them. Of course, if they liked them, that's pure gravy.
Men! She was glad
that she had decided to be through with them. At least for a while. Monika
stretched. It was going to be a long trip and already her back felt stiff.
sobbed through the stereo speakers. After stabbing her powerful tormentor, she
wills him to die. E morto. A wronged
woman’s vendetta justly meted out. At least, according to Puccini.
“Damn,” she said through her teeth. “Fifty, and giving up on life. And sex.
Bummer.” She glanced at the rock-jumbled hills, their wasted slopes echoing her
pressing on for several more hours, Route 203 finally led her toward Mammoth
Bandito.” She stuck her finger into the carrier again and scratched her cat’s
velvety nose. He may be just a cat but Monika knew having him there with
her could mean the difference between sanity and despair.
“Let’s just hope you don’t live up to your name,” she
I started thinking about some of the Bad
Boys in my novels.
What fascinates us so about them? What makes us even
root for them? More often than not, they aren’t the main protagonist but his
It keeps happening to me. These sideliners weasel
themselves into the action when I simply needed someone for a scene. Then,
later on—holla!--there they are again, sprouting up like a weed.
Of course, Ebu
al-Saqqara, the vile vizier in Khamsin
is – well, vile without redemption. I didn’t like him one bit.
However, I did take to
Saad, King Aha’s royal steward (see him, on the left, all humble and servile) until
he turned on me and my sweet girl, the Princess Nefret. I was so mad I wanted to kill him. Oh, yeah…
Five-thousand years later, there is the ubiquitous
Edward, the dapper conman—destined
for a mere dalliance with Naunet in Sirocco, Storm over Land and Sea. Suddenly, he turns kidnapper
and an accomplice to murder. Still, I couldn't quite bring myself to killing him off, so he remains my
leading lady’s nemesis throughout the series. He was one charming devil. While I
don’t like him any longer, his ability to “go with the flow” still astounds me.
Princess Nefret, King Aha’s Royal Daughter and Heiress, was still so young, but her
eternal soul was already old for it was a reawakened Ba.
This essence, having lived through paradise and cataclysms, was
destined yet to live through many other storms for it was a sinner’s soul which had still not found atonement on this earth. She
is just a girl, precocious and full of mischief. But for
her first sixteen years, King Aha all but ignores his lively daughter leaving her
upbringing mostly to Amma, her nurse-maid from the day she was born to her dying mother.
education is guided by Ramose, the munificent High Priest of Ptah, a powerful
force among the temples along the Nile. Still there are rumors from those who
wish him toppled.
”Why, in a world of dark looks, do his eyes blaze like the
daytime sky?” And Nefret’s own blue gaze adds fodder to the gristmills of suspicion.
clouds gather over Nefret’s head as the
gentle dew of the girl's awakening into a woman brings dark shadows when her forbidden
love for the young surgeon priest Tasar drives her to unspeakable deeds. Not even Ramose dares to save her from this
trespass against the laws of Ma’at.
Young Tasar must grapple with his conscience over the innocence he blemished so heedlessly. He has to choose between his priestly calling
or whether he should flee from his ancient land with the young princess he has come to cherish.
A fledgling khamsin grows into adolescence over the
desolate sandy expanses of the great desert. When
at last the Devil Wind’s hot fury is spent, all life among the dunes seems to have
vanished - or has it?
Five thousand years later, Nefret's golden death mask is exhibited at the Cairo Museum.
Will this old soul, this sinner's Ba, be reawakened to brave as yet another storm? Find out in Sirocco, Storm over Land and Sea (2), After the Cataclysm (3), and The Crystal Curse (4). Look for Book 5 later this Fall.
* * * * *
During this hopping about with our Shining Ladies some wear hooped skirts while others have donned a toga, a pleated linen sheath, or even swashbuckling pirates' boots. On this, our first Tuesday, I am partnered with Helen Hollick and Patricia Bracewell. Both are shining their light on Emma of Normandy - from different viewpoints.
* * * * *
Helen lives on a thirteen-acre farm in Devon, England. Born in
London, Helen wrote pony stories as a teenager, moved to science-fiction and
fantasy, and then discovered historical fiction.
Published for over twenty
years with her Arthurian Trilogy, and the 1066 era, she became a ‘USA Today’
bestseller with Forever Queen. She also writes the Sea Witch Voyages,
pirate-based fantasy adventures.
As a supporter of Indie Authors she is Managing Editor for the
Historical Novel Society Indie Reviews, and inaugurated the HNS Indie Award.
Helen’s view of Emma…
A woman married at the age of thirteen to a
man she despised; when he died the only way to survive and retain her status
was to marry the man who had been her enemy.
Patricia taught high school English before pursuing a writing
career. The Price of Blood, is the second book in her trilogy about the 11th
century queen of England, Emma of Normandy. Her first book, Shadow on the
Crown, has been published in the UK, Australia, Italy, Germany, Russia and
Brazil as well as in the U.S and Canada. She continues to travel extensively
for research, and in the fall of 2014 she served as Writer-in-Residence at
Gladstone’s Library, Wales. She is currently at work on the final novel of her
Emma of Normandy trilogy. She lives in Oakland, California.
Meet Patricia's Emma
The Price of Blood
Emma of Normandy lived in an age ruled
by the sword – an age when even women’s hearts had to be forged from steel.
Warrior’s daughter, bride of kings, mother and peace-weaver, she was England’s
only twice-crowned queen whose strength of spirit would bind the wounds of a