I’m inflating that balloon again! The ebook version of She Who Comes Forth launches on Wednesday, November 7th. That means there are only three more days to pre-order at the special price of $2.99.
Recently turned 21, France Leighton travels to Luxor, Egypt, taking with her two legacies—an antique cello and an emerald ring. Instead of the archaeological adventure she expects, she gets a lecherous dig director, hidden agendas, a risky balloon ride, and an enigmatic nuclear physicist. In the mysteries of the ancient tombs, France realizes she and her gifts may imperil the world—or save it.
Here is a tiny taste…
The Chapter of Experiencing Departure and Disappointment
Luxor, Egypt, September 27th, 1962
My hair flopped into my eyes—again. I tried to blow it out of the way, but that never works. I pushed it behind my ear for the hundredth time that day, my dirty hand adding to the accumulated grime on my face. Sighing, I turned back to the pile of rocks in front of me. Check for inscriptions. Check for chisel marks. Attempt to discern shape. Sort and classify.
The clink of tools on stone and the murmur of voices blurred into a distant hum, joined by the drowsy buzz of flies. Even in the shade of the tarp stretched over the sorting area, it was hot and getting hotter.
“Hello, Miss America!” The Grinner arrived with another basket of rocks. His thin body jiggled under his grey galabeya and his eyes squinted under his faded blue turban. “It is beautiful day! Very happy to see you!” He was smiling so hard I thought his face would split and the top of his head would fall off, turban and all.
“Hello,” I said. I couldn’t remember his name. Ali? Omar? I couldn’t keep them straight. To me, this one was “the Grinner,” and I couldn’t call him that to his face.
“Please put that here.” I pointed to a spot next to the basket I was working on. “Thank you. Very much.” I turned back to my current rock, hoping he would take the hint and leave.
“His name’s Mustafa,” Hank said from behind me. “It’s no hardship to remember the workers’ names, France. Just like I remember yours. They appreciate it.”
Great. Another mini-lecture from Hashish Hank. I squinted up at him, brushing the hair out of my eyes yet again. “But my name isn’t ‘Miss America.'”
Hank grinned. “That means he thinks you’re pretty.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.” Even my sarcasm-producer was weary.
“And you’d better step it up.” He gestured toward the new basket of stone fragments that had joined my half-full one. “The Boss wants us to get this section done today, so there’s lots more to come.”
“All right.” I blew a raspberry at his departing back and picked up a rock. Check for inscriptions. Check for chisel marks. Try to discern shape. Sort. Classify. Wipe sweat, push hair behind ear.
Shit, it’s hot!
Archaeology, Egyptian style.
If only I’d known.
Balloon image from Pixabay