Ironic that I said this week would be the first appearance of Lady Tiya in the eight sentence excerpts from WARRIOR OF THE NILE because Carina Press just sent me the final cover art this past week. And the cover is all about Khenet LOL. If you missed the official reveal, I’ve put the cover on this post too. (The book is out September 16th, but is available for preorder on Amazon.)
There’s all kinds of action between last week’s excerpt and the first time Khenet sees Tiya but briefly, he’s gone to the temple of Nephthys to watch the selection of the woman who is to accompany him down the Nile to certain death. Three cousins were identified as candidates but one was too young and is dismissed by the high priest. He’s preparing to cast the omens to pick between the remaining noblewomen.
I’m doing some creative punctuation and editing to fit our eight sentence constraint, although it kinda ends up as nine (but the last few are short…):
The woman who’d caught Khenet’s eye glanced at her trembling companion on the dais, took a deep breath and spoke up. “No need for omens. I, Tiya-ami-kitara, will gladly carry out the task for the Great One Nephthys, whatever she desires.”
There were a few gasps in the chamber, but for the most part shocked silence met her offer. Standing off to the side with her father and stepmother, the man whose embrace she’d resisted earlier cursed, choking off the words as the nearest priests glared at him.
Now why is she volunteering? Khenet eyed the lady with interest. To escape the suitor? Out of the hippo’s mouth into the crocodile’s teeth, girl, if only you knew.
VS NOTE: The cursing man is a very unwelcome suitor, which is made plain in the scene before the candidate selection begins.
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Next week I’ll probably keep going with Khenet and Tiya together, maybe show a bit with the goddess Nephthys.
And the blurb for WARRIOR OF THE NILE:
Egypt, 1500 BCE
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?