Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Guest Author: Veronica Scott

Using the Gods Of Egypt As Characters

They always say you should write the book you can’t find enough of on the shelf and for me, that would be romances set in Ancient Egypt, with the gods actively taking part in events. I write in the 1550 BCE time frame, a period of great change for the Egyptians as they threw off a foreign invader. The true events of history create many plot opportunities. I do tons of research in order to put my characters in a setting which feels real and evocative of the time but I also take some deliberate liberties with history. My Pharaoh is a composite of several men who sat the throne at this time, for example.

One of the best things about employing the Egyptian gods as characters is that there were many varying legends and beliefs about each deity, so I can pick and choose the aspects that work best for my story. A true lightbulb moment for me was when I was studying a statue of Sobek, the Crocodile God, in his half human form and realized I was looking at a shifter. While the Egyptians never depicted him in full human guise, what if that was just because they never happened to see him that way? And what if he enjoyed walking as a human on his favorite part of the Nile’s riverbank at twilight and happened to hear a priestess singing one of his favorite paeans? (Crocodiles have very sensitive hearing as it turns out.) Romance ensues…that was the beginning of my debut novella, Priestess of the Nile from Carina Press. Sobek has his challenges, understanding the human heart and what it means to truly love.

For my current release, Warrior of the Nile, I started with opposing sister goddesses, Isis and Nephthys.  What if Nephthys was trying to solve a problem and needed humans to assist her? She’s a goddess of death, a fierce deity with the power to incinerate enemies of Pharaoh, one who can wield significant magic.  In my world, she’ll do anything to protect Egypt from a black magic threat, but she’s not very sympathetic to individual men and women. “Humans are but tools to accomplish the goal, pawns to play in the game,” the goddess said (in my novel). Isis, on the other hand, is willing to intervene on occasion.  She was regarded by the Egyptians as the ideal mother and wife and everyone felt they could ask her to help them with their individual problems, despite her lofty role in the pantheon of gods. (Did I mention she appears in Priestess of the Nile as well?). Here’s what she had to say in my novel, in part: “Perhaps I believe there can be an even better outcome. Perhaps I argued with my sister to no avail about the deliberate sacrifice of human lives and immortal souls, no matter how noble the cause. Such actions are the start of a slippery path. Perhaps I think oaths shouldn’t be sworn for all time, levied on innocent descendants of the oath giver.”

And finally, in Dancer of the Nile, which comes out October 15th, I had great fun with Renenutet the Snake Goddess.  She was particularly involved with the harvest but as a woman with the head of a cobra, she has her deadlier aspects, believe me. Some Egyptian myths designated her as the wife of Sobek, but I chose to go with the idea they’d been lovers at some point, not married. As Sobek says, “Snakes and crocodiles, we’re among the oldest creatures. We took pleasure together from time to time. “  Yes, I’ve made Renenutet the ex girlfriend in effect.

Here’s the story for Warrior of the Nile:

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?

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

You can find Veronica Scott: Blog  @vscotttheauthor   Facebook  Amazon Author Page

Veronica is giving away an Amazon gift card to one commenter!



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