Mummies, Curses & Forbidden Romance (Post by Anna)
Ancient Egypt had it all—romance, scandal, murder, magic. The Egyptians believed magic was real and could affect their lives, thus their idea of medicine revolved around spells, though they also gave us the first known discussion of the brain. When it comes to writing a paranormal romance with ancient Egypt as the core of the story, this mysterious civilization provides plenty of fodder.
Currently, I’m writing the final installment in the Reborn series, Reborn to Conquer. For this novella, I delved deep into ancient Egyptian history and beliefs for flashback scenes set in ancient times. The hero, Jake Maxwell, shares a mystical and passionate connection with his now-wife, Dawn, having been reincarnated thanks to a curse laid down by their enemy over three thousand years ago. The flashback scenes, in which Jake finally regains some of his past-life memories, gave me a wonderful opportunity to share my passion for ancient Egypt by re-creating an ancient palace, among other things (I won’t spoil the surprise by telling you what else I re-create!).
I rely on books and websites dedicated to Egypt, all created by professional Egyptologists, to guide me in my descriptions. For this story, I combined information from the University of Pennsylvania’ Penn Museum and its pages about their Egyptian collection with the totally cool virtual atlas of the Valley of the Kings from the Theban Mapping Project, along with the Amarna Project’s model of Akhetaten, the one-time capital of Egypt. My favorite book about these monuments is Valley of the Kings by Kent Weeks, which includes vivid reconstructions. Though we’re used to seeing stone-colored monuments in Egypt, during ancient times they would’ve been whitewashed and painted in bright colors.
Egyptian religious beliefs also play a vital role in the Reborn series, as my heroine was murdered and mummified, only to be resurrected by modern-day scientists. She remembers her previous life, and Egyptian magic exerts an all-too-real power over her new life. The Egyptian belief that souls need a mummified body to return to each night, after wandering among the living in the daytime, inspired many elements in the series.
And yes, a forbidden romance is the lynchpin of the series. The Egyptians had no problem with premarital sex, but some liaisons would never have been accepted. Like a soldier and the pharaoh’s daughter falling in love… But you’ll have to wait for Reborn to Conquer to find out if true love conquers an ages-old curse.