Salvation in the Sun (The Lost Pharaoh Chronicles, Book I)
Salvation in the Sun (The Lost Pharaoh Chronicles, Book I)
A Mad Pharaoh. A Resourceful Queen. A Failing Country. One Epic Struggle for Power.
This future she knows for certain—the great sun city will be her undoing.
Amidst a power struggle between Pharaoh and the priesthood of Amun, Queen Nefertiti helps the ill-prepared new Pharaoh, Amenhotep, enact his father's plan to regain power for the throne. But what seemed a difficult task only becomes more grueling when Amenhotep loses himself in his radical obsessions.
Standing alone to bear the burden of a failing country and stem the tide of a growing rebellion, Nefertiti must choose between her love for Pharaoh and her duty to Egypt in this dramatic retelling of a story forgotten by time.
Audiobook will be released in 2023.
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Main Tropes and Themes
- Power at a Price
- Forbidden Love
- Tragic Rose
- Family Disunion
Who is this story for?
Perfect for fans of Michelle Moran, Amy Tan, and Stephanie Dray.
Anyone who loves epic sagas, slow-burn closed-door romance, political intrigue, and Ancient Egyptian historical retellings, the series starter of The Lost Pharaoh Chronicles offers a compelling and imaginative take on the Amarna period of the 18th Dynasty.
With its richly detailed world-building and complex characters, Salvation in the Sun is a must-read for anyone who loves tales of love, loss, and rebellions.
Grab this gripping historical drama today.
A Look into Chapter One
The Time of Amun-Re (Click to Read)
Waset, 1365 B.C.
Outside, the rock’s ashes blew under the sun spells of the earth. The fiery winds whistled, carrying the cries of a newborn babe. Death crept and life blossomed. A mother whispered, “Her name shall mean ‘The beautiful one is come.’ ”
Stroking the baby’s buttery soft cheeks, Tey cradled the little girl, letting the mother hold the baby’s tiny hand. With a soft whisper, Tey crooned, “Your name shall be Nefertiti . . . the Beautiful One . . . a name worthy of your mother’s legacy.”
Temehu smiled in the last moment of her life. A midwife placed aside the statues of Bes and Tawaret and closed Temehu’s eyes, telling her to dream of life with Amun-Re.
Nefertiti let go of her mother’s hand, and it fell with a thud. As if sensing her mother’s passing, Nefertiti’s little brow furrowed, and cries came forth.
Tey hummed an enchanting melody, forcing a smile even as the midwives and servant girls in the room wailed in mourning. She carried Nefertiti from that room filled with death and with life, toward the master’s bedchambers; it was time for Nefertiti to be blessed by her father, Ay, brother of the Queen of Egypt. Tey slowed to a stop as Nefertiti fell asleep in her arms.
As she looked at the closed door to the bedchambers, that morning’s grain-rich breakfast grumbled in her stomach and bile rose in her throat.
Temehu, her master . . . so kind and loving . . . would be traveling to the Field of Reeds—the afterlife.
Tey had now inherited the duty to tell Temehu’s husband that he would never see his wife again in this life.
The servant boy opened the door for her. She swallowed to clear the lump in her throat before she walked inside Ay’s bedchambers.
“Ay,” Tey murmured as her tears finally fell.
Ay turned to scold her for not using his official title, but at the sight of her watery eyes, he held his breath, fearing the worst. “Temehu . . . or the child?” Ay asked, leaning the full weight of his body onto the table. His eyes scanned the baby bundle she held with sudden dread.
“Scribe of Pharaoh, Overseer of Pharaoh’s Horses . . . your chief wife,” Tey said as Ay closed his eyes, hating himself for wishing Tey’s next words regarded the baby instead. “Your Thousand Splendid Suns, your Temehu, has passed from this life and begun her journey to the West.”
Ay clenched his fists and blew out the air he held captive in his chest. Sliding his fist to his forehead to shield his tears’ escape, his strong shoulders slumped. His heart fell into his stomach as if someone had dealt him a fatal blow. He had but one wife, Temehu; he longed for no other woman. The other men of his stature could have had several wives with one chief wife, but he had only Temehu . . . his one, his cherished, his beloved.
Wanting no witnesses to his pain—his weakness—he bellowed, “Leave!” The blast of his yell defeated the candlelight on the table, and his servants scurried out of his bedchambers.
Tey made a bold decision and remained. The door closed behind her. She could understand his anger at the life he had been handed. She wanted to collapse to the floor as if it were her own; instead, she stood strong for her master’s husband.
Ay pulled off his wig and fell to his knees. He let out a guttural moan and slammed his hands onto the table, not noticing Tey still standing at his door. He examined his wig’s intricate human hair braids interwoven with golden beads as the sweet smell of susinum perfume reached his nostrils. His hand grazed his bald head as he threw the wig off to his side. Years of working to obtain an official’s wig meant nothing now.
“Scribe of Pha—”
“I said leave!” he spat through his teeth as he spun to face her. The light glistened on his tear-stained face. The shadows in the room hid the smudged kohl surrounding his eyes, but as he spoke, the same kohl revealed itself as it began to streak down his cheeks.
Tey took a step toward him.
“Leave, I said,” Ay entreated her once more.
Nefertiti awoke to her father’s yells. Tey held up the baby girl for Ay to see as if hoping her small cries would cast light into his heavy heart. “Temehu brought forth this new life before she left us.”
“Tey, why do you cause me so much inner turmoil?” Ay asked. “First news of Temehu’s journey to Re . . . and now of my newborn daughter?” He reached up to hold the baby’s fingers, his heart twisting in bittersweet agony.
“To lessen your sorrow,” Tey answered, her eyes downcast.
“It is great still.” He pulled back from the child and climbed to his feet. I cannot accept this child, not now. I need to see Temehu to know it is true, he thought. “Take me to Temehu.”
* * *
Ay stepped into the room where his wife’s body lay. The midwife and servants dabbed the sweat from her face and bosom with reverence. Their tears dampened their work.
“My dear Temehu,” Ay whispered to his wife’s lifeless body as he knelt beside her.
The maidservants heard the mournful whisper and stepped back, bowing their heads. Ay caressed his wife’s cheek. Wanting to melt into her and wail at his great loss, he only kissed her face and then her forehead. He examined her beauty, even in lifeless sleep, holding back his every cry, every tear, every tormenting ache.
Finally, he said, “Prepare the burial. We will send the best we have with her in the afterlife.” He wished the servants would leave so he could be with her alone.
As if reading his mind, Tey motioned for the others to leave. She placed a hand on Ay’s shoulder and whispered, “I will make the arrangements.”
She followed the servant boy out as he closed the door behind them. At its close, Tey could sense Ay’s pain through the walls. She held Nefertiti close to her heart and buried her head into the child’s wriggling warmth. With tears streaming down her face, she whispered, “Your mother was loved . . . and so you will be, the daughter of Ay.”
* * *
In the coming months, Ay buried his wife with honor and dignity. Because he blamed his newborn daughter for taking away his precious Temehu, he had only seen her the one time, not even looking at her since Tey first brought her to him. He did not even know her name.
Instead, he spent his days in his chair by the window, meditating on the past. His favorite recollection always came to mind: the lotus garden in the courtyard . . . Temehu, bent over with a sly smirk on her face . . . him, trying to balance himself on the balls of his feet but falling backward into the dirt. Her subsequent joyous, hearty laugh rang throughout his memory.
He and Temehu had tried for so long to have a living child, and the one living child they had together took her life away. And was the child worth it? he thought, wishing the child had traveled to Re instead, like all the others.
Queen Tiye, Ay’s older sister, always looked out for him, knowing when and how to comfort him in his days of sorrow. She had sent her regards to his now seemingly small household and had even come herself on the morning of Temehu’s entombment. Ay faintly smiled at that memory.
Tey interrupted his thoughts as she came and stood at a respectable distance from him. She held the cause of Temehu’s demise in her arms.
Ay sighed and turned his head away from her. “Leave me.”
“Scribe of Pharaoh,” Tey said, “your daughter needs you . . . just as you need her.”
Ay stood and pointed at the bundle Tey held. “I need Temehu! Not that girl!”
Tey persisted. “And Temehu is gone. Your daughter remains. Temehu journeyed west for this child. She wanted this child. Will you let her journey west be in vain?”
Ay went to slap her in an impulsive fit of anger, but at the moment he was to swing, he curled his fingers into a fist. Tey did not flinch or bat an eye. Her heart pulsed in her voice and behind her eyes. He clearly was not the only one hurting. She knew she was right, and now she knew he did too. He found his senses again, and his hand fell to his side.
They stood almost toe to toe, and finally, Ay found the strength to look upon his daughter for the second time in her short life.
“What is her name?” he asked.
“Temehu named her Nefertiti. The beautiful one is come,” Tey whispered, glancing down at the baby. “Her last moments were smiling because she recognized this child would be her legacy. She loved your child and had only met her for such a short time. Will you love her as Temehu would have wanted?”
As Tey spoke and Nefertiti cooed, Ay’s hatred for the girl melted. He reached for her face, but his daughter wrapped her small hand around his finger. Large, dark almond eyes beamed up at him. A perfect nose wrinkled at his touch. Tiny, cherry-rose lips parted into an open smile.
“It seems I was blind to what Temehu saw,” he said and smiled at this lovely creature, the last living memory of his chief wife. “The beautiful one is come . . . my Nefertiti.”
Tey brought the child closer to her father, and he took her in his arms. At that moment, she captured his aching heart. “Oh, Nefertiti,” he whispered. “My heart weighed heavy when Temehu traveled to the Field of Reeds, but now you have made it light once more. You will honor your mother with elegance and charm, and you will dignify her in the woman you will become.”
Tey smiled at the gentleness of Ay’s voice. She placed her hand on his forearm. “She will do much more than that.”
Ay smiled at his young daughter as he pondered those words. He appreciated the kind touch of his new daughter’s wet nurse. Not rebuking her for touching him, he instead looked at her with a warm smile on his face. Although he held back his words of gratitude for bridging his hate and love for Nefertiti, Ay realized it was the greatest joy he had felt since Temehu’s passing.
“She will do so much more,” Tey repeated in a whisper.
"If you're a fan of all things ancient Egyptian, from Nefertiti's bust to King Tut's tomb, this book is for you...engaging and suspenseful until the very end." - Readers' Favorite
"...a masterpiece recreation of the life and world surrounding Nefertiti that will thrill and amaze any reader!" - RedHeadedBookLover Blog
"A beautifully written story, and a compelling ride back in time to the world of Nefertiti. If you're into ancient Egyptian history, or if you know nothing about it, this is a great read" - Amazon Reviewer
BookCave Content Rating:
Moderate with Community Content Elements / Themes, including:
- disability (character with)
- child death due to accident or illness
- romance (in non-romance genres)
- sexually active underage teens or tweens (due to the time period)
- spousal or parental abuse
The author rated this book for ages 14+ for violence, closed-door romance, and adult themes.
eBook File Size: 1.4 MB
Paperback Size: 5" x 8"
Includes: Exclusive Cover and Interior Formatting
Printed on-demand by Lulu Direct
Publisher: LLMBooks Publishing
Published: May 2018
Genre: Historical Fiction
Narrated by: Josselyn Cambridge
Series: The Lost Pharaoh Chronicles, Book 1
Release date: TBD