Cheat a Cheater? DANCER OF THE NILE Weekend Writing Warriors

better wewriwaContinuing on with my paranormal romance set in ancient Egypt…Nima and Kamin have been captured by a caravan master who plans to sell them to the pursuing enemy. Nima challenges the man to a game of senet, with her life and Kamin’s as the stakes and a blood oath between herself and the caravan master that they’ll each honor the outcome. Needless to say, Kamin isn’t too happy and pulls her aside (creative punctuation and a tiny bit of editing to get you the entire exchange):

“What in the seven hells are you doing? “

               Leaning close, she whispered, “Trust me, please, Kamin, if he swears a blood oath—”

                “And if you win,” he said furiously, “The throwing sticks are bound to be false-weighted somehow – it won’t be a fair game, not some friendly match in the tavern for mugs of beer.”

                “I’m hoping the sticks are false.” She smiled mischievously, letting her smile fade as he continued to glare at her. “I know the stakes are high, but we’re not getting out of here otherwise -you’re one man surrounded by dozens, and he sees profit in selling us. This is the only way we stand a chance of escaping.”

                “You’re asking me to risk the success of my mission for Pharaoh, for Egypt, on how well you can cheat a cheater?”


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The story:

Egypt, 1500 BCE

Nima’s beauty and skill as a dancer leads an infatuated enemy to kidnap her after destroying an Egyptian border town. However, she’s not the only hostage in the enemy camp: Kamin, an Egyptian soldier on a secret mission for Pharaoh, has been taken as well. Working together to escape, the two of them embark on a desperate quest across the desert to carry word of the enemy’s invasion plans to Pharaoh’s people.

As they flee for their lives, these two strangers thrown together by misfortune have to trust in each other to survive.  Nima suspects Kamin is more than the simple soldier he seems, but she finds it hard to resist the effect he has on her heart.  Kamin has a duty to his Pharaoh to see his mission completed, but this clever and courageous dancer is claiming more of his loyalty and love by the moment. Kamin starts to worry, if it comes to a choice between saving Egypt or saving Nima’s life…what will he do?

Aided by the Egyptian god Horus and the Snake Goddess Renenutet, beset by the enemy’s black magic, can Nima and Kamin evade the enemy and reach the safety of the Nile in time to foil the planned attack?

Can there ever be a happy future together for the humble dancer and the brave Egyptian soldier who is so much more than he seems?

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33 comments on “Cheat a Cheater? DANCER OF THE NILE Weekend Writing Warriors

  1. Interesting tidbit, he wants to trust and yet his hesitation seems to cause her a little bit of doubt. A question, as I am not familiar with ancient Egypt terms and such, the comment about taverns and beer seems a little out of place?

    • The Egyptians were very fond of beer, which was a staple drink and some workers were even paid in wages of beer. There are many tomb paintings depicting the beer making process…as far as the term tavern, here’s one quote from an ancient papyrus: “Do not drink in the taverns………for fear that people repeat words which may have gone out of your mouth without you being aware of having uttered them.” Descriptions of taverns in ancient Egypt exist….so that’s where Nima danced and learned to cheat at games of chance LOL.

      Glad you enjoyed the excerpt!

  2. This might be my favourite excerpt from this story yet! Love the dialogue, especially the last line! I’m on the edge of my seat and I need to know what happens next! 😀

  3. Awesome piece. On one hand, I always expect characters in ancient times to use the sort of language that really existed (why do I expect that??) but the way your people speak makes more sense. They’re sympathetic and very relatable 🙂

    • TYVM for the kind words! Well, this is one reason I don’t write straight historicals – I Iike to be able to take limited liberties, including not trying to recreate ancient Egyptian speech patterns. How could we ever be sure anyway, with no time machines, right? I strive for what *feels* to me like a natural way for the characters to talk in 1550 BCE, while incorporating phrases and concepts they did use (as translated from papyri of the time). Nima has several places in this long scene where she uses terms straight from ancient texts, just not in this excerpt!

  4. Please forgive me if I’m getting long winded on the ancient Egypt details – I just love it all so much…I always feel we’re engaged in a fun conversation together on these Weekend Writing Warrior comment hops :-). Thanks for stopping by! (Off to read more excerpts…)

  5. Ohhhhh Veronica — I LOVE this snippet! You really put us in the character’s angst-filled minds .. so much to risk!! I love it!! Is this novel available yet? Your research and passion for the period is obvious and REALLY makes for a great story <3

  6. Oh, Kamin. When will you learn to trust Nima’s impeccable judgment? Seriously, I love Nima. Such an intriguing character, and I’m sure her contrast to Kamin will make sparks fly in all sorts of venues. 😉 Wonderful eight!

  7. That’s not a situation to take chances on getting out of alive! Given the ancient world setting, it reminded me a bit of the dramatic game of dice between the Pandavas brothers and their evil Kaurava cousins in ancient Indian mythohistory.

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