About your Book:
Sirocco, Storm over Land and Sea, is a present-day thriller with tie-ins to the Author’s historical fiction saga Khamsin, The Devil Wind of The Nile (Book 1, Legends of the Winged Scarab).
Egyptologist Naunet Klein arrives in Cairo to assist museum director Dr. Jabari El-Masri in deciphering golden tablets inscribed with dire predictions from an unknown ancient culture predating the Egyptians.
She never dreamed that she would meet a handsome stranger. Nor had she and her two colleagues expected to be embroiled in Egypt’s current political upheaval, and an audacious theft that culminates in kidnapping and murder.
During a perilous sailing trip from the Red Sea to Crete, Naunet learns the truth about the ancient writings. Time is running out.
Targeted Age Group: General Adult
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Thriller
The Book Excerpt:
EXCERPT – Sirocco, Storm over Land and Sea (Inge H. Borg)
Naunet was furious with herself. What did she care! How ridiculous of him to sidle up to a plump local, with the black gap of a missing front tooth no less.
“Stop being so female,” she said out loud and fell onto the bed. “He no longer means anything to me!”
How could Edward’s newest conquest evoke such outrage in her? She hated to admit it to herself. But could there be just a tiny bit of jealousy? It was absurd. She certainly was no longer smitten by this… this… Naunet could not even think of a name vile enough for him. What confounded her was that she still felt something.
Love really is just a step away from hate. She breathed herself into regaining some semblance of calm. Then she settled on hate. Still, the thought of that exquisite strand of pearls on such a mediocre neck made her see red. Why would he do that? She was hard pressed to believe that his motivation was to get into the woman’s native bloomers. I bet he wants her to help him with something. Could he be planning to trick the Turk out of his share?
The thought reminded her that Karakurt had not shown his ugly face since he and Edward dragged the tablet up to her room. My room! By God, have I lost my mind? This is not my hotel room! They kidnapped me. They hold me prisoner. And once I finish the translation, then what? Fear struck her as hot as lightening. Yes, then what? They were going to get rid of her. How, hardly mattered.
She remembered from her previous visit that the island was full of deep craggy gorges. Most likely though, Karakurt would row her back out to the disabled boat and wrap an anchor chain around her neck. Involuntarily, her hand went to her throat so recently encircled by something much more beautiful—and much less lethal.
These gloomy thoughts were getting her nowhere and she decided to take a crack at the last few lines of the tablet. She had done the first third, and would do the second third later. Right now, she had to know how the story of these unknown people ended, if indeed the fiftieth tablet was the end of Ramose’s translation. She wiped more of the unguent away and noticed a curious seal in the middle and at the very end. It was the winged scarab again. Just like the ones stamped onto the rims of the tablet. Could they really be the ancient High Priest’s seal?
Naunet forgot her dilemma and bent over the tablet. Too fascinated to put her translation onto paper just yet she wanted to do a quick overview and finalize the text afterward. Following the cursive writing between the scarab signs with her index finger, she read out aloud:
* * *
I, Ramose, High Priest of Ptah, under Hor-Aha, the Falcon King of the Two Lands, tell you this. The squares on these golden tablets were copied under Rahetep, Chief Priest of the Temple of Horus in Nekhen. They had been woven into the ancient mats, found at Badari by the Venerable Badar, the one who preceded me, and my great mentor. The Goddess Isis, through her Oracle, handed me the key so I could read them. It is the story of an ancient unknown people. Their homeland was destroyed by fire spewing from their mountains and a great upheaval of the sea. After much suffering, they were washed up on the shores of our Great Desert. Back then, they say, it was green and fertile with a great river. They called it Sahari. After many years, the Great Wind of Fifty Days drove them toward the rising sun where they found our own Great River Hapi. They lived along its shores for many good years, prospered, and had many children.
Their first account is one of sorrow caused by the fiery cataclysm that drove them from their homeland. In the last story, the elders warn of such a terrifying future for their children’s children, that I dare not share these dire predictions with my own people. For I fear panic, strife and unrest might destroy us as well.
So I will consign these fifty Golden Tablets back to the sand where the Great Wind shall bury them forever. But to those, who may one day find them, I say: Take great heed, I beseech you. Let not avarice consume you. Give them back to the Khamsin—or you will be the cause of another great cataclysm on this earth.
But should it happen I, Ramose, have beseeched Ptah, and Isis and Ma’at, to save this earth. For I believe that the end is but a new beginning for the eternal soul.
* * *
“Wow,” Naunet breathed, borrowing Jonathan’s expression. She squinted at the text again and ran her fingers slowly over it. “Imagine! An ancient footnote.”
Unable to sit still any longer, she got up and paced back and forth in the small room which had become more stifling by the minute. It was imperceptible at first, but then the uneasy feeling crept up her spine and the tips of her fingers tingled. Her arms were suddenly covered in goose bumps. She shook herself like a dog after an unwanted bath.
“Good grief,” she said out loud. “After all the curses and supposed hauntings I have translated in my lifetime, I am spooked by this?” Was the sudden malaise caused by what she had been through lately? It could unnerve anyone. Still, reassuring herself did nothing to alleviate the gnawing dread deep in her soul. Or was it some sixth-sense premonition? She stomped her feet and shook herself once again.
“Oh,” she laughed half-heartedly, “and let’s not forget that this is, after all, 2012.” To free herself from the trance Ramose’s last words had brought on she re-read his words. After all, had not the high priest added hope for the world by beseeching his gods to save the world from another cataclysm? “Destruction and renewal,” she mused, “that’s the earth’s own way.” Still, she could not shake the clammy feeling of impending doom. Had she been chosen to avert the next wave of destruction by destroying the tablets? Naunet fled the stifling workspace and ran through the bathroom into the adjoining bedroom. Craving clean air, she headed for the open veranda.
Before she got outside, her bedroom door was unlocked. It creaked halfway open until Cassandra gave it a good shove with her ample bottom, stepping inside with a tray in her hands. Naunet sensed a change in the woman’s demeanor: Part sheepish, part embarrassed; with the rest of her attitude steeped in defiance. At least, she no longer wore the pearls.
“Edward says you must eat. The other one wants you to finish your project.”
“You need to behave yourself. I don’t want any trouble. I must go now.”
Before Naunet could say anything else, the woman had set down the tray and left the room. The key turned again in the old-fashioned lock. Through Edward, a hoped-for ally had become an enemy.
* * *