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Great character development, wonderful and professionally descriptive prose and several twists and turns kept me tuned in. Need more like this!! Before I knew it I was at the end. A good read for all. Jack Strandburg was born and raised in Cleveland Ohio. He is a degreed professional with a background in Accounting and Information Technology and recently retired after more than 33 years working for a Fortune company. He has been writing since his teenage years. Jack currently lives with his wife and two grown children, in Sugar Land, Texas.

He has three grandchildren.

Plantzos the Iconography of Assimilation Isis and Royal Imagery on Ptolemaic Seal Impressions

An Appointment With God. Hustle Henry and the Cue-Ball Kid. The Monogram Killer. John has written in a number of genres. Thank you for having me back, A. I appreciate the opportunity to discuss my latest book, When the Reaper Comes, and the issues it deals with. Homeland terror vs. But attacks in Europe is another story.

Europe, for most Americans, is the land of our ancestors. When Europeans become targeted by ISIS and its ilk, the question of America being next inevitably rises — especially when isolated instances of terrorism related to Islamic extremism have occurred here over recent years. After all, the precedent was established on September 11, Former Navy SEAL Adam Taylor, on a break between assignments for a global paramilitary security firm, is visiting his folks in his home town when he gets a new mission — provide security for a rock star who is in town for a St.

Unknown to Adam, a team of American ISIS soldiers will soon arrive with a plan to wreak havoc on the Jersey Shore, and Adam will get caught up in a deadly game of wits between the terrorist menace and those tasked to protect the citizens of the homeland. The first meeting between my protagonist, Adam Taylor, and my fictional rock star, Brian Callahan, was revealing, and it was one on my favorite scenes in the book. Callahan, like Bruce Springsteen, is noted for songs with patriotic themes. Pepper thing, but with various well-known enemies of the U.

Also included was an image of Muhammad, which according to Muslim edicts is punishable by death. An imam put out a fatwa on Callahan, and his record company was worried an assassination attempt would occur during a St. So they hired the paramilitary security firm Adam works for to protect their cash cow.

Since Adam happened to be in the area visiting his folks between assignments, he got the job. This issue between Muslims and non-Muslim Americans is also represented by two Muslim women characters in my story, each with differing viewpoints on what it means to be Muslim in America. Despite the real terror extant around the world in , fictionalizing it presents no problems for the thriller writer!

Though I have to admit, I was a little concerned while I was writing the novel that real events were mirroring my invented ones, possibly making me look like a copycat! There are numerous subgenres of the thriller genre — legal, medical, political, psychological, etc. And there remains plenty of fodder for new terrorism thrillers.

When the Reaper Comes is my first foray into this subgenre. Good guys vs. I have more than one bad guy in my book, but the main protagonist, Yusuf Khouri, is a Muslim man born to Muslim immigrants in New Jersey. He becomes radicalized, as the expression goes, in his youth, fueled by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and eventually becomes an ISIS fighter in Syria. This team is led by Khouri.

As Americans, they can blend in with the locals. As Angela closed the door behind him, Khouri quickly scanned the living room, on alert. He dropped his duffel bag on the floor, the jostling of its contents making a sound of metal on metal. He looked up. Khouri smiled. The sheikh brought us together.

Books Set In Turkey

Better to have no connections from the past. I have to go to work. Hadad laughed. They want boots on the ground.

See a Problem?

Makes it sound less scary. And it would mean our campaign is succeeding, right? One can never underestimate the macho jingoism of Americans. The two-pronged strategy will get them to fold. Okay to wave the flag and send troops into battle until the bodies start to pile up. Oh, dear. This has to stop. I was in Syria for six months before the sheikh sent me here. I flew into New York yesterday. And you? I came from Iraq through Canada. I, on the other hand, have attracted the attention of the NSA.

Khouri deflected the compliment by changing the subject. He was supposed to come yesterday, but he got detained at Orly because — get this — he had the same name as a suspected terrorist! From the point of view of the French is what I was referring to. He looked down at the table for a moment before his head came up. I have read the reviews of the Ben-Hur movie remake but have not seen the film.

But I understand that the new one adheres to the book by Lew Wallace more faithfully, in that forgiveness, rather than revenge, plays a more important role. Christ-like forgiveness for what Judah Ben-Hur and his family suffered is certainly admirable, but is, frankly, a difficult standard for most of us — including me! In my books, I focus on right vs. As I said, the good guys against the bad guys. Ambiguity is okay for characters, but not for my plot climaxes! In one of my books, the protagonist, while not actually forgiving the antagonist for almost doing him in, at least lets her go without retribution.

Adam Taylor is a hero in the classic sense. He had been a Navy SEAL involved in the raid that got Osama bin Laden, and when he became disillusioned because of publicity hunting by two of his comrades, he left the service. Then he traveled around the world protecting diplomats and other celebrities from harm. In my story he wins the battle of wits with Khouri and defeats him.

So he is a true-blue American hero. But if I could one day be included in a book of Famous Last Words, that would be cool. DeBoer, M. Army and then spent three years in the Medical Corps as a general surgeon. Thirty years of private practice later, he retired to begin a new career as a writer. A member of International Thriller Writers, Dr. DeBoer is the author of seven published novels. For the last twenty-eight years, he has called North Carolina home. E-mail: jdeboer nc. Faced with secrets, fraud, attempted murder, and blackmail, can Cydney come out of this unscathed? And, after four years, is she ready to let Steve go?

A brilliant plot that combines the heat of the business world with the secrecy of the Special Forces. In a genre of its own encompassing crime and mystery, this unique thriller is impossible to put down. Transported from the boardroom to war-torn Damascus, the suspense erupts with a background of romance and a hint of the paranormal. Rupert Van der Hausen — South African industrialist, whose fortune continues growing despite the circumstances. Steve Granger — Captain in the Special Forces. A born leader of men. Killed on a secret mission — but his body was never found. Craig Benton and Robert Crossley — accumulated their wealth through insider dealing and corruption.

Cydney has everything to the outside world but her feelings are kept firmly under wraps and nobody is allowed in especially as a result of her father dying in her childhood, and losing her husband, Steve. Can she release those shadows and learn to love again with George. The sequel, Where in The Dark, will be released towards the end of There will possibly be a third book in the series. I doubt I can let Cydney go now. We love the outdoor life with our three dogs. I love the interaction and groups on Facebook. I am still learning about Twitter but the social media scene helps you meet so many new people.

I have no actual method. I sit down and the story flows. After a few chapters I read through, maybe change things around, then carry on writing. Sometimes I would think of an amazing sentence or description and have to write it down to use when the occasion arises. Believe it or not, I read. I always have done from an early age, especially the classics. I go to the theatre and love musicals. I dance, particularly Ceroc and jive, and play tennis or table tennis. Continue my writing. Possible radio and TV interviews promoting my background in business, which are in the pipeline.

She was now alone and the thoughts of the man faded to be replaced by the nose-to-tail traffic as the taxi driver turned south off the Marylebone Road and into Park Crescent, a beautiful area of London with elegant stuccoed terraced houses forming a semi-circle, which linked to Regents Park opposite.

Driving through brought pictures to her mind of old English gentry and peers of the realm visiting in their private carriages. Turning her attention to the day ahead, Cydney took the opportunity to read through her papers once again. It was important nothing should go wrong and that the client maintained his faith in her. She took out her mobile and dialled her assistant. Cydney never tired of hearing the sound of the phone answered so professionally by the staff of her own company. Jenny was her right-hand woman and had started work the day she and Steve had established the company.

She had built up her own client base and always explained that she was learning from the master. Her father had been knighted several years ago for his contribution to industry and Cydney liked the fact she had such a good pedigree. With no time for small talk she got straight to the point.

Get Richard to help you. I want everything by the time I come into the office tomorrow morning. Cydney rang off. She knew they could trust Richard. Now she could sit back and relax a bit whilst they did their work. You can imagine the angst: leaving everything and everyone I knew. But at that time in my life I was ready for a new adventure. I remember the day I flew here to set up the new offices.

A major snow storm hit the East Coast early that morning, and the puddle jumper that carried me was delayed for hours oh, I just recalled a story to write about that flight. This is the kind of snow storm described in Magic of Murder. Funny, though. So different from the big city in which I grew up. Here folks have time for each other. And the landscape: when spring, that coy mistress, finally unpacked her bags and moved in I drove around. Some of the places I saw were so beautiful, I had pull to the side of the road and cry. I think this is what pushed me to at last begin writing.

It was then that I knew this was, and always would be my home. My snow plow is big, noisy, and wielded by a couple of good-looking hunks through my window, I get to watch then go at it—yum. One of those guys became the model for Roger Frey, the Police Detective in my novel. As to the roads…well, up here we know how to deal with the white stuff. When I presented an early draft to my writers group, someone suggested that if I wanted the story to ring true, I should research witchcraft and herbalism. So, I got a few books on the subject, then a few more.

In a matter of days I was hooked. Everything I read made sense to me. Within weeks, I decided I would become a Wicca and practice the craft. Researching another story that still sits someplace in my mind, I engaged in a past-life regression session. If what shocked me about that is true, I actually practiced the craft in the distant past—and paid the price for it in a prior life. Every once in a while during a time of a new moon… Uh, maybe this is a story better left untold. Ohhh, yes. A ghost definitely shares my home. And there are times things disappear and show up later somewhere else, or as something else.

As an example and only one of a number , one evening I was doing a crossword puzzle while watching TV. I remember clearly, I was using a green pen—not the ink, but the pen itself. I put the puzzle and pen down on my end table, and went to make a cup of tea. When I returned to my chair, the pen was gone. I moved tables. No pen.

Then, the next morning while straighten up my living room, I found a green plastic guitar pick on the carpet near the end table. I have no explanation for this—except Abigail. Years ago there was another far less friendly one that tossed eggs at me. Actually, I started out to write novels. The Niagara-on-the-lake house I mentioned earlier? You see, he wanted the local ghost tour people to stop by on Halloween night. I knew there really was a ghost in that house—friends and I had heard it roaming around—and had done research to learn who it was.

Now I had a short story in hand—my first short story. My first published piece of fiction—go figure. Often they result from a cue in an online journal I follow. I adore cats. Dogs, too. As to Elvira being hefty she hates being called fat and albino…well, that part I invented because it so fits the animal I envisioned for The Magic of Murder.

Law and Order? Being a writer, I lie for a living. And I know the channels on which every day reruns of these shows can be found. I love these episodes because so much about them rings true. On the other hand, in writing fiction leaps of logic—the things left unsaid—allow a reader to fill in the blanks, draw their own conclusions. This is part of what makes a story sing. It allows a story to ring true to different people, each in their own way. In a contract, leaving something to interpretation makes for disaster.

All this, while I continue to be in-house counsel to an efficiency consulting firm. Does this explain why my mind seems to have taken an extended vacation? The Magic of Murder is still in pre-release mode, by which, as you know A. Twittering would be an impossible medium for me since on twitter one is limited to about characters and, as you know, A. So, besides the wonderful blogs that have been done about my book, my social medium is Facebook. And when Anne Rice dove into witchcraft—ohhh!

Someone once said if you survive childhood you have enough to write about for the rest of your life. I believe we all have stories aching to be told, and I love hearing those stories. When his partner is discovered in a frozen alley with eight bullets in his chest, Niagara Falls Police Detective Roger Frey swears vengeance. Emlyn Goode knows Roger will disobey his boss, which will cost him his job and his freedom.

Desperate, she can think of but one way. She has a book filled with arcane recipes and chants passed down through her family. Also in the mix is a rather hefty albino cat Elvira detests being called fat. This book pulled me right in. I think it must have been the fact that Susan Lynn Solomon puts her characters first. The story revolves around the murder of a Niagara Falls Police officer… The adventure that ensues is absolutely entertaining and well-written.

It is funny, exciting, and fast-paced. Every character has depth and is…believable. The Magic of Murder is one fun read and is definitely worthy of all 5 stars. Suspense, humor, compelling characters, a dash of the supernatural dating back to Salem, a powerful sense of place, and Emlyn Goode, a passionate and determined woman new to witchcraft and murder. Susan Lynn Solomon captures both the city of Niagara Falls and its quirkiest resident, an unusual sleuth.

The magic of Murder is a winner and, we hope, only the first appearance of Emlyn Goode. Formerly a Manhattan entertainment attorney, and then a contributing editor to the quarterly art magazine SunStorm Fine Arts, Susan Lynn Solomon now lives in Niagara Falls, New York, where she is in charge of legal and financial affairs for a management consulting firm. March brought a worse storm than the one we were hit with in December. When it ended after four days, a reserve unit from the Niagara Falls Air Base declared war on the snow.

With military precision, the reservists piled the stuff into dump trucks and carted it to Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, and the Canal. When I gazed through the kitchen window at gray heaps so high my mailbox was buried, I was certain the dunes would still be there in July. In two days the streets had been plowed and salted, and cars crawled past. Thanks to my neighbor, Roger Frey, even my driveway had been cleared. In Western New York we know how to deal with the white stuff. My preferred way of dealing with it is to turn up the thermostat and remain inside, comfy and warm. At least until the sun pokes through the clouds.

I still wondered about the runes Grandma had sewn into the afghan. Maybe one day Rebecca Nurse would find a book to help me interpret them. From a corner of what had become her wingback chair, the hefty albino cat—Elvira detested it when I referred to her as fat—glared at me. She seemed annoyed I was wasting the morning on a made for TV movie.

I shifted on the sofa and bent toward her. At the very moment I realized the cat had again drawn me into an argument, I heard a knock on my front door. My face hot—from anger at Elvira or embarrassment at letting her get the better of the argument? On my door stoop stood a black quilted jacket, green rubber boots laced over baggy jeans, a flannel scarf wound around the little I could see of a face, and a knit cap pulled so low on a head the figure looked like a cartoon character with no ears. The man on the stoop might have been a predator who intended to break into my home, ravish my body, and make off with my treasures.

Besides, I knew who this was. On the frigid side of the storm door, Roger Frey swiveled his head from side-to-side, as if searching for who I hollered at. My neck gets as red as my hair, then the color dashes uphill past my face to my forehead. So, I knew what Roger saw when he looked at me. I looked behind me. Elvira had followed me to the door. She stared at us, head slightly tilted. My friend and neighbor had been alone since his wife took off for a warmer place three years ago.

Elvira sniffed once. Then she turned abruptly, wiggled her large derriere at me, and curled up on the floor at my feet. As if loosened by the laughter that exploded from deep inside him, a sheet of snow skidded off the roof. He must have heard the rumble, because he took a quick step backwards.

While half the snow thudded to the ground, the rest flattened his wool cap and spilled down his face. His hazel eyes rounded in surprise. Now I laughed. With snow all over his body, it looked as though Frosty the Snowman was on my stoop. I opened the storm door and brushed the snow from his cheek.

Roger moved faster than he had to avoid the snow drift from my roof. His arm shot out. The man is certainly strong. In a single motion, he lifted me from my feet then set me down. His arms still surrounded me. At last he released me, and bent to stroke the cat. When I glanced at Roger, his face was precariously close to mine. The look in his eyes told me he might not mind being nearer still.

His cheeks also a bit red—I told myself this was probably from the near-zero temperature outside—he straightened up, and unwound his scarf. His chin and upper lip were dark. The morning stubble enhanced rather than detracted from his chiseled cheekbones and slightly cleft chin. More than that, he was kind. He looked after his neighbors, and made sure we were safe. I looked down. I had nothing on but my pajamas and robe, and the robe had fallen loose when I nearly fell. Trying not to be obvious about it, I tied my robe closed.

He pulled off his gloves, unzipped his jacket, and took a cardboard box from a large inside pocket. The box was about nine inches wide, a foot long, and maybe two inches thick. I turned it over in my hands, examined the label. The return address said the package came from Naples, Florida. Plowed out your driveway while I was at it.

His black hooded sweatshirt barely made it to his hips. I yanked the wet knit cap from his head, and tossed it into the sink. Snow clinging to the fibers sprinkled onto his dark brown hair, and melted into the gray that had begun to invade his temples. He picked the box up and handed it to me.

I know you, Emlyn Goode. I was. But it was just so much fun to tease him.


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I turned my back, and refilled my mug then poured coffee into a second mug. He let out the laugh that never failed to disarm me. Snooping is what I do. Elvira seemed to grow impatient with my stalling. She leaped onto the counter and pawed at the package. How the devil did she manage to move her large body so lithely?

He tilted sideways in his chair and pulled a Swiss army knife from his pants pocket. Then she glared at me. I slit the tape and raised the cardboard flaps. Inside was what appeared to be a very old book. Without removing it from the box, I carefully lifted the leather cover. The words on the first page were faded.

Still I was able to make some of them out. Why would my mother send me something like this? Between the next two pages was an envelope addressed to me. Inside was a note. Please, Emlyn, try to make better use of this than some of our ancestors have. A guy like Roger—his life was built on the belief every mystery could be logically explained, and magic is nothing but sleight-of-hand. But our friendship would be over.

If he did, who would plow my driveway then knock on my door to share my morning coffee and help me with the Sunday crossword puzzle? Roger shoved her aside, and leaned over to see, I supposed, what caused my concern. A Book of Shadows is a diary of a sort. Witches record their herbal mixtures in it, and the words they chant to work their magic.

My friend, Rebecca Nurse, had explained that when she showed me hers. On your website I count three publishers plus self published titles. How do you keep it all straight? At one point there were four publishers, but one recently went out of business. Keeping them straight is probably easier than you think. Other than the Canadian historical novel, The Price of Honor , the work I submit to Solstice consists of short stories, although I do intend to write the sequel to the historical romance next year. For Anaiah Press, I have to keep the content squeaky clean.

Crimson Publishing offers everything from contemporary to historical romance. Which category best describes your work? I think the easiest way to accurately describe them would be suspense with a touch of romance, as if Criminal Minds met Castle. The books are considered sensual, since there are a few hot scenes, but not really spicy.

The story started in The White Carnation which is book one in the series. As the blurb puts it: The last person disgraced reporter Faye Lewis wants back in her life is Detective Rob Halliday, the man she blames for ruining her career and breaking her heart. For the past year, Rob and his team have been hunting the Harvester, a serial killer who ritualistically murders new mothers and vanishes with their infants.

Then Faye is assaulted, and Rob realizes the cases are connected. She may hold the answers he needs to find the elusive killer. But the more they investigate, the more complex the situation becomes. Can they set the past aside and work together, or will the Harvester and his followers reap another prize? In short, The Harvester is out there…watching, waiting, biding his time. FBI cult specialist Lilith Munroe lives in dread that one day the man who tortured her when a case went bad will find her again.

So leaving her sanctuary in Quantico to join the Harvester Task Force in Boston is her version of hell. Australian millionaire and former member of the New Horizon commune Jacob Andrews returns to the United States searching for his sister. Instead of the happy reunion he expects, he discovers she is dead and his twin brother may be responsible. He agrees to lend his law enforcement skills to help find his former cult leader before the man can implement his plan to kill millions.

Now uneasy partners, Jacob and Lilith must learn to trust each other even as they fight their growing attraction. You describe your evolution into a micro publishing house. I was unfortunate enough to be one of the authors sucked in by not one but two corrupt and deceitful women who set themselves up as publishers. As a new author, getting offered a contract for a book was amazing, and seeing the book published was really something. I was over the moon when Crimson published Fire Angel , and that was my impetus to keep writing.

I had other new author friends who encouraged me to send stuff to their publishers, and I did. In fact, over the course of a year, I sent her three of my own books and one I co-wrote with another author to Front Porch Romance, and another to Entranced. Then, people started quitting and she stopped paying royalties or paid for fewer books sold than Amazon said we had. She declared bankruptcy, never paid what we were owed, but she did revert the rights to my books, but not the edits. I was faced with a choice.

I was just coping with this when Entranced did the same thing, but because that book had never been published, I was able to send it to Crimson. Friends persuaded me to self-publish the others, and helped with editing, formatting, and covers. I edited all three books, got new covers for them, added significantly to the length of the Christmas ones and published them myself.

When Secret Cravings Publisher went under in August, the publisher returned our rights and allowed us to keep our edits. The other indie work I have consists of a sci-fi space opera called Eloisia, which comes out in monthly episodes, the way comic books used to when I was a kid. The story continues each month, the way television episodes do, building on the plot and adding new characters and new crises as needed. Each book ends on a cliff hanger. Writing for Anaiah Press is different because of the restrictions—no sex, no swearing, etc.

My Crimson books have a lot that in them too, but they are grittier, earthier, and somewhat darker. How many titles do you have to your credit? Give us your top three nearest and dearest. In addition to that I have four shorts, one of which is a new Christmas story with Solstice called Her Christmas Hero, coming out on November 30, I also have 2 pieces I co-wrote, Grand Slam a baseball novella is no longer available because my writing partner has decided not to republish it, and a full length novel, to which my writing partner has given me the rights, which edited, revised, and retitled will be released independently sometime next year.

Picking the top three is difficult. The Price of Honor is special because I based part of it on a romanticized view of my family history. The third is an 18 way tie. How does a mother pick her favorite? Keeping the characters true to themselves in each book was a challenge. My space opera is the fourth type of series, and in this one, existing characters will grow and evolve as the plot does. Do I use timelines? Sort of—scribbled pieces of paper to make sure I allow enough time to pass between scenes and keep events in order—but they get written down as they arise. How do I keep it all organized?

I have another Christmas story to finish, a YA I promised my granddaughter, a fantasy about angels I want to edit, and a whole slew of plots yet to be written. I think it works out to something like. I write because the stories are screaming to get out and be heard. It was her own fault that she was in this predicament. Grossed out at the thought of Rivers rutting with girls as young as fourteen, Lilith jumped the gun, approached the girl, and identified herself as a family friend sent to rescue her. Before Lilith could call in and report, two men stormed into her room, tore the place apart, and found the cell phone hidden under her mattress.

Her legs trembled and threatened to give way again. One mistake. One stupid mistake, but there might still be a chance for good to come from it. Kelly and the other women and children would be rescued, and Rivers and his sick cronies would pay for their crimes—crimes that would include multiple cases of statutory rape and the murder of two federal agents. Her arms ached; the open wounds from the lashes, cuts, abrasions, and burns stung. Her body was on fire, a seething mass of agony. She sighed. The secret panel opened, revealing her dungeon. It was over. Fingers on her throat checked for her pulse, and she fought to open her eyes.

Pain from the brightness of the LED flashlight tore through her head, forcing a groan from her parched throat. Did you get them all? Susanne Matthews was born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. In her imagination, she travelled to foreign lands, past and present, and soared into the future. A retired educator, Susanne spends her time writing and creating adventures for her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel.

As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love. The murder of a young prostitute followed by a police shootout on a cold, deserted beach on the eastern shore of Lake Ontario draws FBI Special Agent Ted Lansing into the most deadly case of his career,. Backed by a cabal of politically powerful men tied to the highest echelons of the United States government, the conspiracy reaches all the way into the halls of the U. First, allow me to say thank-you for the Forsyth comparison.

Some writers plot out their story before hand and stick to the outline. I dope out at least two scenarios and write them both. Subterfuge began as a standard terrorist plot with a hard-boiled FBI agent in pursuit. I doubt he even remembers making it now. I made a note in the margin of my manuscript. Not a bad way to go, I thought. Once the co conspirators were firm in my mind the story began to flow again. That is an interesting question. Over the years I visited Oswego many times. I was familiar with the lakeshore beachfront and how desolate it looked in winter. Researching Canadian nuclear facilities I discovered that Canada had a facility close to the lake, a short boat ride from the US side.

It made the perfect route to smuggle nuclear materials. I then allowed by protagonist Ted Lansing to uncover the plot one slow page at a time, always ending a chapter with a cliffhanger to bring the reader along. Hours, moments and seconds tick away, with millions of lives hanging in the balance.

FBI Special Agent Ted Lansing tries to make sense of who the real enemy is in one of the most diabolical plots ever conceived to subvert the United States government. Who can Lansing trust? Are Middle Eastern Jihadists really behind the plot, or is it far more sinister. Is Mills tied to a white supremacist army led by a disgraced ex military man, an avowed racist, Lt. Colonel Kyle Nugent and his right hand, Fargo Blake? Also ex military, Blake is a stone-cold killer who strikes without conscience, until a beautiful Parisian flight attendant makes him believe that a different life is possible — But Blake is trapped, he cannot get out.

High-ranking members of the United States Senate are plotting to overthrow a duly elected president. Two old friends facing off in one last confrontation from which only one will emerge alive. There were so many unanswered questions. I knew I was going to take my readers to locations I had never visited. For my writer colleagues, here is a secret. A Google search of Paris neighborhoods followed by Google Earth puts you on the street in front of your location and the ability to move up and down the street. You can see cars parked in front; does the bistro have a window facing the street?

What is on the menu and how are the tables arranged? It may all sound like unnecessary minutia but in my writing I create authenticity in my visuals. For me it is the plot, at least in this book. My latest project, almost , words now in first draft will be the other way around because Ted Lansing is my protagonist, but the book is not a sequel. Since his character qualities, warts and all, were developed in Subterfuge, I have a better framework to get him in and out of situations.

That being said, I always keep in mind the fact that most readers are meeting him for the first time and I cannot assume facts not in evidence. Admittedly, my first drafts lack much foreshadowing of plot line because I tend to write a linear story in that first draft. In second draft copies, knowing where I am going, I move entire chapters, add foreshadowing, and clean up plot holes my critique group uncovered. Once plot and character are finalized reconciled? A side note for my fellow writers still trying to get published: Do not skimp on professional editing.

Editors are worth their weight in gold. They can take a good manuscript and transform it into a smooth professional book. I have one that is a cautionary tale for would be writers. My first attempt at getting published, back when I knew nothing about it, was to scour the Internet for an agent. I found an intriguing ad from an agency, since discredited, that made it sound so easy.

I sent my query and waited. In a month came the response that I was so good they wanted me as a client and thought my book would sell. Only then did I search the web for other authors who used that agency. Fellow writers, if they ask for money, be skeptical. What did I leave out and how can I fix it. There is always doubt. Even now when I reread portions of Subterfuge I ask myself why I did it that way when I could have improved on it by doing it another way.

There is an adage from the Pennsylvanian Dutch, Too soon old…too late smart. In what begins as the murder of a Russian forensic archeologist at the Smithsonian, Lansing is drawn into a case of international intrigue taking him to Israel and the Sinai Peninsula in search of the Ten Commandments. Readers, who have read Subterfuge, will recognize the changes in Lansing, the developing new relationship with his wife and the renewed relationship with his son, now a junior at MIT and there in Israel to receive a prestigious award for a paper he wrote on drone technology. Maybe not so tongue and cheek.

My first published novel, Whisper in the Pines-Secrets of the Heart is so different from Subterfuge that a reader may not recognize it as my work until they see my name on the cover. His errant wife has returned to town followed by a sociopath she ripped off while on the run from her old life. Long forgotten family secrets are unearthed when a stranger, an elderly Jewish businessman from New York, arrives in Moultrie with answers and a promise, hope for Reggie to rebuild his life. Ryan is fiercely loyal with a tenacity that will not quit even under extreme duress. Lansing is often down and counted out, only to prevail in the end through sheer guts.

Like Ryan, Lansing can go from dealing with violence to tenderness in a heartbeat. Unlike jack Ryan, Lansing does all of this while dealing with the demon that neatly destroyed his life. Self-taught in Photoshop, he keeps his hand in the portrait business and still does restoration of heirloom photographs and portrait retouching. Now retired from teaching, he and his wife Fredda now live in Delray Beach, Florida.

They have two married sons, and three grandchildren. Writing fiction began after his retirement from teaching in , with a couple of successful short stories published before he turned his full attention to writing novels. There never have been, nor can there ever be. After the death of her husband in a plane crash, Emma McCoy, a single mom of three, has given up on love.

Emma tries to keep her distance, but Liam is determined to win her over. In the small town of Beckland, Ohio, danger is the last thing that Emma expects. See below for a taste…. Heidi Renee Mason always knew she would be an author. Heidi is passionate about writing with a flare for fiction, as well as poetry.

In her spare time, Heidi enjoys music, genealogy, all things Celtic, and chick flicks. A native of the Midwest, Heidi now resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and three daughters. In the spirit of our times, the author opens up about her new novel and the novel things that drive her…. I am definitely a fan of Casablanca. As a matter of fact, there is a scene in my book where Emma is watching that movie. I honestly tend to lean more toward your traditional sappy romances. But, I am a sucker for a love story in any form. I was planning a pretty traditional love story, but things took an unexpected turn pretty quickly.

I am definitely a reader. I have been from the time I learned how to string words together to make sentences. She said it was the only thing that had a significant impact on me…and she was right. I love Nicholas Sparks. He draws you in and makes you care about his characters. To make your readers feel something. I also have a special place in my heart for the Anne of Green Gables series. Those books were defining for me as a young girl. I love chick lit, and adore Elin Hilderbrand and Jodi Picoult.

I love historical novels as well, and enjoyed the Pillars of the Earth books by Ken Follett. Books are pretty much my escape from life, and always have been. I do enjoy TV and movies, though.

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I love the Outlander series on Starz. I am a little bit obsessed with it. While I like a good movie or television show, though, I always prefer a book. I need to be able to see the scene playing out in my head while I write it. My goal is to craft the story in a way that my readers can see it as well.

I really began to enjoy expressing myself with words when I was a teenager. I found that it was easier for me to put my emotions onto paper than to speak them.

Victorian Egyptomania: How a 19th Century fetish for Pharaohs turned seriously spooky

I wrote for the high school newspaper, then I worked for a time as a Staff Writer for a local newspaper after I graduated high school. Then, I began having children and I put it on the back burner for awhile. Anyone with small children knows that some days it is difficult to form a cohesive thought, let alone write something.

As the girls got older, I gradually began writing again, then earlier this year, I decided it was time to write my book. So I did…in four months. I tend to be very focused on things, and once I start something I feel an intense need to finish it. Yes, all of the above! I feel like it is all of those things, depending on the day. Most of the time, though, I feel like it really is my gift and calling. I feel very blessed that I get to do something that I love so much, and that people seem to enjoy what I write. My favorite part of writing is being able to take the story out of my head and put it into words.

I love the way that the characters speak to me and tell me how it is all going to go. I am not in control, really, and I enjoy the surprise. By the time of his death, in , von Bissing had followed the advice of his fellow Egyptologist C. There, they were kept in obscurity until R. Scheurleers grandson, realised that they were the other half of the Toronto seals and publicized their existence in See also Plantzos a, ; Connelly and Plantzos Specifically Hathors crown consisted of two vertical cow horns with the sun disc in the middle and two vertical fal- con tail feathers on top; a slightly modified version, from which the falcon feathers were omitted, was worn by Isis in some of her depictions, like the Philai reliefs see Fig.

Both versions of the crown were worn over a vulture headdress by goddesses on reliefs and stelai, but the vulture headdress was omitted when the horns-and-disc crown was worn by living queens. This of course was Egyptian canon, and the Greeks need not have followed it faithfully.

Indeed, the curious combination of traditional Egyptian imagery with the corkscrew hairstyle borrowed from Libya, a Greek divinity, betrays some departure from pharaonic iconography; traditionally, Hathor and Isis wore their distinctive crowns over the typical long-pleated wig normally worn by goddesses and queens. More often than not, the falcon feathers are omitted from the horns-and-disc crown on the sealings, though there are a few exceptions. This is also the case with a sizeable group of gem intaglios reproducing the type Benaki collection: Athens, National Museum Boussac , , fig.

From these, a chalcedony in Boston Fig. The type is slightly different from the rest, in that it employs a more elaborate hairstyle, similar to that seen on a limestone head in the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore Elsewhere, the same hairstyle, which is not quite the wig with Libyan locks as we see it on coins, may be found in miniature works like the bone ring from Cyprus today in the Museum of Nicosia in Cyprus Fig.

The best parallels to the type depicted on the sealings are provided by the rest of the extant intaglios, especially an example from Alexandria Fig. None of these include the upright feathers on top of the horns- and-disc crown, although this feature is regularly included in gems and metal rings depicting Isis next to Sarapis on which see below.

On the other hand, a gold ring depicting an Isis bust very close to the type seen on the sealings features the complete version of the crown An addi- tional attribute on the sealings, one or two ears of grain along with the horns-and-disc crown, seems to have been a Greek invention, perhaps a confused rendering of the long and twisted ram horns often added to the crown in Egyptian iconography.

Ears of grain are also worn by the Isis heads on the bronze coins issued by Ptolemies V and VI already mentioned, otherwise characterized solely by the womans corkscrew- locks hairdo. As noted above, their earlier association with Kleopatra I lacks any solid justification Isis busts with ears of grain are also found in sealings from outside the Edfu hoard Grain wreaths are worn by Isis in several of the intaglios mentioned above see Fig. In rings and gems alike the horns-and-disc crown has been reduced to a minute accessory on top of the figures head, rather decorative and flower-like.

As a matter of fact, modern scholars often confuse it with a lotus bud Only one or two of the sealings were certainly produced by convex gems, the rest being the products of flat all-metal rings. It seems, how- ever, that both the gems and the rings that produced the sealings refer to the same image of Hellenized Isis, probably created under Ptolemaic patronage. The diffusion of the type was wide, and indeed some of the intaglios were probably cut outside of Egypt The occurrence of the type at Edfu, however, suggests its significance for all Egyptians, whether of native or of Greek origin.

As to the Edfu type, can we be certain that it was used to represent the current queen, however vaguely, as it has been the working assump- tion in scholarship so far 43? The three Kleopatras I-III have received most attributions, on the basis of iconographical evidence whose impor- tance and reliability seem to have been overstressed. The case for any association of Kleopatra I and Isis rests solely on art historical evidence of rather vague significance. It is, first, reasonable to exclude any sculpture from our discussion, as no inscribed portraits of Kleopatra I survive, in any guise, and all attributions have been based on comparisons with miniature works like the Edfu sealings, which are also uninscribed, and often with other works of sculpture previously ascribed to the queen.

There is also coinage, but the only certain depiction of the queen, on the British Museum oktadrachm Fig. It is, therefore, the queens dynastic role that is being emphasized here rather than her personal deifi- cation It is also significant that on her two most certain representations from the hoard, on her own Fig.

The Isis D. Excluding the secular portraits of Kleopatra I and the doubtful Isis heads from coinage and sculpture, we are left with two images, a faience fragment which formed the basis of Thompsons discussion Fig. The oinochoe frag- ment preserves no inscription and its identification with Kleopatra I is speculative, based on the dubious secondary evidence available to Thompson mainly the Isis coin series and a few sculpture fragments.

Thompsons identification might still stand, and for the medallion in figure 12, as well, mainly because the figure has to be a queen, on the basis of her appearance on a vessel associated with dynastic cult of some sort, and because the portrait on the oinochoe does not clash severely with the portrait of Kleopatra as we know it from the gold oktadrachm Fig.


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The woman on the oinochoe is seen in the costume peculiar to Isis and her priestesses, as Thompson herself acknowledges, and, signifi- cantly, she does not wear any of the headgear horns-and-disc crown and so on we would expect from a full Isis representation In that, this representation differs from those in sculpture considered above Figs. It is pos- sible then that Kleopatras association with Isis on the oinochoai is under the capacity of priestess although not necessarily a formally recognized one. This would be compatible with all the representations of queens on the oinochoai of this type, shown pouring a libation over an altar belong- ing to them and their fellow altar-sharing symbomoi goddesses The seal impression, provided that it does in fact portray Kleopatra I next to her son as suggested by Marie-Franoise Boussac, would offer a serious indication for the queens deification before or after her death Kleopatra VII is shown with this distinctive crown in several examples, including a stele in Turin and scenes from the temple at Dendara: Quaegebeur , , no.

The sealing shows a female figure in veil, stephane, vulture head- dress, horns-and-disc crown resting on a pair of horizontal horns and a small ram horn round her ear in the fashion of Arsinoe Philadelphos on her posthumous coinage. Next to her, a king is shown wearing the pschent, the Egyptian double crown. This certainly is a deified queen, most likely a dead one. Although there are other suitable candidates for this joint depic- tion any of the later Kleopatras with their brother- or son-consorts Boussac argued that the case for Kleopatra I and Philometor is the strongest.

The Hathor crown the queen is shown wearing on the seal impres- sion complete with vertical falcon tail feathers was a crown associ- ated with queens in Egyptian iconography, as they nurtured the next king, who was seen as an incarnation of Horus This is not necessarily incompatible with a depiction of Kleopatra in this guise during her life- time although this was a rather big step for a regent queen who chose not to portray herself under a divine guise on her coinage.

According to a practice followed by most Ptolemies, Epiphanes and Kleopatra I were depicted receiving cult by their successors, in scenes commissioned by both their sons: by Philometor on the wall of the hypostyle hall at Kar- nak and Physkon on several scenes at Edfu In those scenes Kleopatra is shown wearing the Hathor crown horns-and-disc with vertical falcon tail feathers over a vulture headdress.

The latter is exclusive to god- desses and deified queens in Egyptian iconography 52 and must suggest that the figure on the seal impression is not a living queen, contrary to Boussacs conviction that the ring which produced the sealing dates from Kleopatras regency. Serious iconographical problems are posed, however, by the mixture of attributes borne by the queen on the seal impression.

Her Hathor crown rests on top of a pair of horizontal horns. The seal impression omits the Lower Egyptian crown, but the remain- ing attributes seem to point to an association with Arsinoe Philadelphos although the figure on the sealing may not be Arsinoe herself, as she would not be a suitable candidate for a representation where the queen is given precedence over the king.

This is confirmed by the presence of the horn over the queens ear, hitherto confined to the commemorative coin- age of Arsinoe Philadelphos. In fact this horn seems to have been the Greek translation of the horizontal ram horns borne by the queen in her Egyptian representations. But can we be sure that this image is a portrait, even a posthumous one, of Kleopatra I, who was only deified as a member of the dynasty and was never shown under such an elaborate guise in Egyptian art?

The Isis busts from Edfu have to be treated as mere depictions of the goddess, at least at a first stage in our study of them. Their preference for a horns-and-disc crown without falcon feathers is compatible with the way Isis was shown on the Philai reliefs Indeed, they include all the icono- graphical elements we would expect from a Hellenized image of the god- dess.

This is also confirmed by those depictions of an Isis bust next to Sarapis, in Edfu as well as on surviving Ptolemaic rings. A gold ring now in London Fig. Intrigu- ingly, the features of Isis show a good deal of individualization, thus encouraging speculation as to whether the bust is actually a portrait of a late Ptolemaic Kleopatra next to her divine consort. Similarly, the type is also present at Edfu see Fig. Admittedly, these heads resemble some of the Edfu queens see Fig.

This may be confirmed by the absence of any similar depictions of kings, such as a jugate depiction of a Ptolemy like those in Fig. On the other hand, some of the queens on the Edfu sealings, depicted next to their kings Fig. The Hathor crown was worn by goddesses over a vulture headdress and queens over the standard issue long tripartite wig , but hardly ever by Isis in Egyptian imagery of the Ptolemaic period It is perhaps pointless to expect rings and such objects produced away from the old centers of pharaonic tradition to conform entirely to its rules; it seems, however, that the seal impressions in figure 1a-l place more emphasis on the attributes of Isis rather than those of Hathor.

The latter were, per- haps understandably, more prominent in some of the jugate depictions of royal couples, where queens were associated with Hathor following the pharaonic tradition. Some of the Isis busts among the sealings shown in figure 1 do, tantalizingly, resemble portraits of queens from the hoard and elsewhere for example figure 1a, which may be com- pared to the portrait of Kleopatra I on the regency oktadrachm, while many of the sealings in figure 1a-l recall the features of the statuette in figure Kleopatra I, however, ought to be excluded from this discus- sion as there is no textual or other hard historical evidence for her direct deification or her veneration as other than one of the Theoi Epiphaneis.

Queens in vulture headdress? A number of Edfu sealings Fig. On the more detailed examples e. The vulture headdress type is shared by Hathor and Isis in D. AB, XXI. D Philai, Isis temple ; Quaegebeur , fig. Although the Edfu busts, and simi- lar representations on gems 61 , have been freely associated with Ptolemaic queens, the evidence of the architectural iconography from the Ptole- maic period suggests that this image was exclusive to goddesses. Deified queens were allowed to wear the vulture headdress only after their death, and then they were given the Hathor crown rather than the simpler Isis one featured in these sealings The vulture headdress type of the seal- ings is the one favored for Isis at Philai, the administrative centre from which many of the documents in the Edfu archive seem to have origi- nated.

It seems therefore preferable not to be hasty in recognizing royal portraits in the sealings, especially since our knowledge for the deifica- tion of most Ptolemaic queens is either contradictory to a direct identi- fication with Isis or inconclusive. Although the sealing in figure 2a has been recently, and quite implausibly, recognized as Kleopatra VII 63 , this cannot be so, as the image would have to be a posthumous representation of a deified queen in view of the vulture headdress she is wearing. That would be impos- sible for Kleopatra VII, as for most other Kleopatras, since to be frank most of them were not quite missed by those left behind.

Indeed, Kleopatra III, who completely identified herself with Isis see above , might have been a better candidate for some of these seals. The seal impression in figure 2a, in particular, has features which might be called individual and bears a significant resemblance to the types of queens of the jugate busts in the Edfu hoard see Fig. Kleopatra III is usually recognized as a woman with heavy, harsh facial features in sculpture, though no inscribed statuary of hers survives Typologically, the only objection against a bust like that in figure 2a being a seal portraying Kleopatra III must be that this was a type traditionally reserved for goddesses and dead and deified queens.

The seal could well have been designed posthumously, although one might find it difficult to explain why and for whom such a seal was needed in the years after Kleopatras murder in the hands of her successor and son Ptolemy Alexandros. To conclude: Isis acquired a renewed importance in the Hellenistic period, as she was associated with Ptolemaic dynastic cult.

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A new, Hel- lenized iconographic type was devised, based on traditional Egyptian imagery. Some seals Fig. The Ptolemies, follow- ing pharaonic practices, had, with just a few exceptions most notably that of Arsinoe Philadelphos and Kleopatra VII 66 , their queens shown with the crown peculiar to Hathor horns-and-disc, with vertical fal- con tail feathers. The busts depicted on the seals represented in Edfu, as well as those on the gems discussed above, present too general an image of Isis to be specifically associated with a queen, be she a ruling or a deceased one.

In particular, most seal impressions seem to repro- duce a specific Isiac model, as opposed to the Hathor associations evi- dent in the queens images from the architectural reliefs of Philai and Edfu, and on those sealings from the hoard where they are seen next to a king see Fig. It is possible that single images of Isis like these on the sealings bore a loose connection to some Ptolemaic queens especially those who directly associated themselves with the goddess ; they cannot be used to suggest, however, in the lack of other corrobo- ratory evidence, the patterns of association of specific Ptolemaic queens with Isis.

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Boussac, M. Cachets de la Collection Benaki. BCH Connelly, J. Stamp-seals from Geronisos and Their Contexts. RDAC: Damaskos, D. Me aform do neoapoktjqnta alezandrin glupt tou 2 ou ai. Mouseio Benaki 3: Fraser, P. Ptolemaic Alexandria. Hlbl, G. A History of the Ptolemaic Empire. Translated by T. Kamal, A. Stles ptolmaques et romaines. Catalogue gnral des anti- quits gyptiennes du Muse du Caire. Cairo: Cairo Museum. Kyrieleis, H. Bildnisse der Ptolemer. Berlin: Mann. Maddoli, G. Le cretule del Nomophylakion di Cirene. Marangou, L.

Ptolemaische Fingerringe aus Bein. AM Milne, J. Ptolemaic Seal Impressions. JHS Murray, M. Ptolemaic Clay Sealings. ZS Naville, E. London: Egypt Exploration Fund. Plantzos, D. Achaiognosia 7: Boussac and A. Invernizzi, BCH Suppl. Athens: cole Franaise dAthnes. OJA Hellenistic Engraved Gems. RBN Quaegebeur, J. JNES Reines ptolmaques et traditions gyptiennes. In Das ptolemische gypten, edited by H. Maehler and V. Strocka, Mainz: von Zabern.

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Arsino Philadelphe, reine, roi et desse Hildesheim. GM Ancient Egyptian Religion. London: Dover Publications. Reeder, E. Hellenistic Art in the Walters Art Gallery. Baltimore: Walters Art Gallery. Spier, J. A Group of Ptolemaic Engraved Garnets. JWAG Stanwick, P. Austin: University of Texas Press. Symes, R. Royal Portraits and the Hellenistic Kingdoms. London: Robin Symes Ltd. Thompson, D. Ptolemaic Oinochoai and Portraits in Faience. Vassilika, E.