Sunday, July 15, 2012

Egypt and Greco-Roman Art, Mystery, Adventure and Romance

Years ago I traveled overseas for business and was gone for two weeks at a time. I traveled alone and kept my suitcase filled with paperback books. It was the perfect way to spend the evening after finishing up my reports and preparing for the next city.

On the long trip from New York to Egypt I consumed a romance mystery novel, The Mummy. It wasn't the classic story, definitely a romance. I wish I could remember the author. I do remember the story taking place in the 1920's. When I got to Cairo I stepped back in time. I walked through the Cairo Museum, a smallish building, that was filled to overflowing with mummies and sarcophagi. I took the obligatory trip to the Sphinx and Pyramids.

On a drive through the desert to Alexandria with my Egyptian colleague I saw sand dunes as large as mountains and in the distance large tanker ships that seemed to float through the desert. They were going through the Suez Canal. Business-wise the trip was a success. Personally, I reread my book as I experienced Egypt. It was more wonderful the second time.

When I returned home I once again scoured my local bookstore (we had them then) for something new. I found Elizabeth Peters. She's become one of my favorite authors. She writes about Amelia Peabody, a Victorian woman deeply in love with her husband, archaeologist Lord Radcliffe Emerson, her son, Ramses, and Egypt. The stories are filled with mystery, adventure, romance and Egypt.

You can find out more about Lady Amelia in a post by Shelley Noble as well as on Amelia Peabody's own website.

There is another author that writes along a similar vein, Tasha Alexander. Her Lady Emily series is also filled with mystery, adventure and romance but instead of Egypt, Lady Emily is enraptured with Greco-Roman antiquities. The series begins with Lady Emily trying to find out more about her late husband. A marriage of convenience, Lady Emily knew little about her archaeologist husband. By the end of several hundred pages Lady Emily solves the mystery and truly falls in love with her husband.

I'm excited that Tasha will be one of the speakers at this year's NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference October 12-13.

I know some of you write about Egypt, Greece and Rome. Tell me about them. Better yet, send me your covers with a link and I'll post them here.


  1. Love your post becayseb I'm besotted with Egypt. I'm blogging on History Undressed in a few daya about Egypt. I've written a time travel and am working on an historical trilogy.

  2. I eagerly await every new Amanda Peabody novel-- Amanda with her umbrella and her husband, "the Father of Curses." Great reads. Will check out Alexander...sounds like my cup of tea. I love reading the genre, but I don't write it. Too much research involved, maybe.

  3. How can I resist an invitation like that?

    Egypt has always been my passion. The Husband and I are both enthusiastic amateur Egyptologists who work very closely with the American Research Center in Egypt. We met through Egyptology and he even proposed to me in Egypt in a moonlit garden across the road from the Pyramids, no less.

    I have published two books about Egypt - PASSION'S CHOICE, a romantic time travel about a modern young woman who finds herself back in the time of woman pharaoh Hatshepsut. Not only that, she is immediately mistaken for a pleasure woman. Before long she is embroiled in politics and falling deeply in love. When the time comes that she can go home, she must make passion's choice whether to go or stay.

    The second book is a modern horror novella called LURE OF THE MUMMY, about a linguist loser in my beloved Cairo who acquires an ancient cat mummy, which may - or may not - be a simple votive mummy.

    One thing about which I am fanatic is historical accuracy. Nothing drives me more wild than seeing a novel set in Ancient Egypt where they talk about totally anachronistic things, such as cotton, lemons, rice or reference to dynasties. That makes the book an instant wallbanger.

  4. Thank you for the interesting post.
    I'm working on a series that focuses heavily on Greece,but the majority of the story is current with smatterings of the ancient.
    The Lady Emily books sound most enjoyable.
    Thank you for the tip.

  5. My Key to the Cursed Series, Dark Paranormal Romance, is based on Egyptian Mythos in modern day. The Egyptian gods have awakened from their slumber. Three sisters hold the key to Underworld gods salvation.

    The more I research the more facinated I become with the ancient religion.

    Although most Egyptian based books are historical, my modern twist has been well received.

    Soul Reborn was released last year and Soul Awakened is due out this year. I'm celebrating my one year anniversary- today is the last day of sale for $0.99 at ARe

    Can't wait to see the variation of books posted here. Will definitely check out the books listed thus far :-)

    You can find my cover and book here:

    Thank you for this lovely discussion.

    Jean Murray

  6. I enjoyed your blog very much. I still feel like I step back in time when I go there. Unfortunately I have that same feeling when dealing with their government branches as well. But for imspiration there is nothing like it.
    Kat Attalla

  7. @Jean Drew
    @Janis Susan May
    @S. L. Roland

    Thank you all for your wonderful comments.

    Jean D. - I'm looking forward to your blog at History Undressed.

    Sandy - Elizabeth Peters and Tasha Alexander stories are my classics. I read and reread them. I think I was born in the wrong time!

    Janis Susan May - What a wonderful love story of your own! Both of your books are now on my to-be-read list. Thanks!

    Sandy - Happy writing with your series in progress.

    Jean M. - Congrats on your anniversay - I'm on my way to ARe.

    Kat - The awesome history, beauty of the country, and, of course, romance of Egypt cannot be denied. It will always inspire.

    Thank you all for your wonderful comments and introduction to new books. I have a feeling my 'to-be-read' list will be getting much bigger.

    ... Ruth

  8. Ruth - I'm late joining in the fun, but I agree. I LOVE all things Greek and Roman - film and books, across the genres (mystery, romance, fantasy, etc.) My first novel, Medusa,A Love Story came out a few months ago. I'm very proud of it. If you're a fan of mythology, consider it for your TBR list. Here's the link to my website - with thebook blurb and the cover:
    Thank You!

  9. Hi Ruth!
    I agree. I'll read or watch anything that includes Greek or Egyptian history/myth!
    My first release is Medusa, A Love Story. It came out in May. The book explores what led to Medusa'a transformation and is a bit 'Galdiator-esque', but I like to think it's a solid read. :)
    Here's the link to my blog page with the book blurb and the cover.
    If you read it, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks so much - Sasha

  10. @Sasha Summers

    Congratulations on your debut novel!

    ... Ruth

  11. Just checking in here. Have many research books on Egypt in my library and I've used them in writing several of my stories. The Warrior of Bast and The Chosen of Horu are set in an alternate Egypt because while doing research I discovered camels weren't present during the time period I'd chosen, Love Elizabeth Peters, too.

  12. @JL Walters

    I love doing research. Sometimes I get lost in it and have a hard time remembering what I started looking for.

    Thanks for checking in,

    ... Ruth

  13. Enjoyed the post, I too love Elizabeth Peters! But Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw was my introduction to Ancient Egypt as fiction. My PRIESTESS OF THE NILE is the first book published so far in my Tales of the Nile series, have another in submission now and the 3rd in editing. Paranormal romances, set in about 1500BC - here's my website and thanks for the invitation!

  14. @Veronica Scott

    More great books ... yours included. Thanks.

    ... Ruth

  15. Not my usual read, but both authors and their stories sound interesting.

    What great experiences you must have had getting to travel that way.

  16. @Christina Wolfer

    My travels gave me a great appreciation for history. And ... since for the most part I traveled alone, a great appreciation for romance novels. They were my best companions far from home.

    ... Ruth

  17. Hi Ruth, Like many of those who posted, I love Elizabeth Peters and the Amelia Peabody series. More so, because a very dear older friend of mine could have served as a model for her. From the first moment Amelia came on the page, I thought, "Helen, to a 'T.'" She died recently, but I'll continue to read Amelia and think of her.

    All the lovely comments here have given me even more authors and books to check out. Certainly looking forward to yours.

    Thanks for the delightful post.

  18. Ruth, the more I learn about you, the more you amaze me. I love the mysteries of the Mediterranean countries. They're heaped with romance. I also appreciate connecting me to a new author (to me) to check out.

  19. @Barbara

    How wonderful to have a friend like Amelia Peabody. I can only imagine the wonderful stories and comfortable time you spent with each other.

    It's all about relationships with good friends as well as husbands/lovers.

    Enjoy the week and thank you for taking time to comment,

    ... Ruth

  20. @Joelene Coleman

    Stick around ... there is no much more to find out ;)


    ... Ruth