We'd like to welcome author Veronica Scott to the Dark Nest today.
It’s a pleasure to be here today as a guest!
Here’s what my paranormal romance is about:
Egypt, 1500 BC
Drawn to his abandoned temple on the banks of the Nile by an enchanting song, Sobek the Crocodile God is even more captivated by the sight of the singer herself. Appearing to her as a man, he learns she is Merys, a descendant of his last priestess. Though filled with lust, Sobek believes Merys deserves to be more than just his mistress. But the rules that govern the Egyptian pantheon forbid anything beyond a physical joining of a Great One and a human.
Merys is attracted to the handsome stranger, who arouses passions in her that no man ever has. But with no dowry and no hope of ever leaving her village, she dares not dream of the future—or love.
Sobek takes every opportunity to visit Merys, taxing his resolve to leave her pure. When he saves her life, their mutual desire must be sated. But can a love between a human and an immortal survive the ultimate test of the gods?
Merys, the Priestess of the title, did her best to keep the abandoned temple of Sobek in some kind of repair, which is part of what attracted him to her but what actually sparked their first meeting was her beautiful voice, singing one of the ancient songs. Crocodiles have very sensitive hearing, so it made sense to me that if the Crocodile God was going to fall in love with a human, she’d need to have a wonderful voice.
Not much is known about the actual duties of priestesses in Ancient Egypt; however, much of their time seems to have revolved around honoring their deity with singing and dancing. In at least some temples there existed a musical troupe, responsible for dancing, singing and music making. The woman in charge of the troupe would have ranked high in the temple hierarchy, as being in charge of the quality and training of the priestess performers. She might even have had authority over male musicians.
Merys never had that opportunity since the temple had been abandoned by her townspeople in favor of another deity. Here’s an excerpt where she explains to Sobek what happened to his temple (although at this point she doesn’t yet realize who he is):
She hummed another old song, breaking into an unexpected little dance. After one intricate pattern ended in a twirl, Merys gave him a wide smile. “This is my own secret place. Most people don’t want to come anywhere near the abandoned temple. They fear the wrath of the Crocodile God. But the women of my family were priestesses here until the temple closed. I
don’t fear him.”
Bek craned his head to study the ruins on the bluff across the beach from where he sat. He was mildly curious now that she’d raised the topic. “What led to the temple’s abandonment?”
“Two generations ago the headman of the villagedied with no heirs and no clear successor. The nomarch who rules this territory finally sent in his own man.” Merys regarded the temple ruins for a moment, then sighed. “The new official favored the gods of his home city and cut off the tribute and the support to this temple. The new headman’s brother was a priest of Horus.” She tilted her head and winked broadly at Bek. “The village has an impressive temple to Horus now.”
Bek threw back his head and guffawed. “So the Crocodile has been replaced by the Falcon. As if they were one and the same. Interchangeable. The Falcon wouldn’t enjoy hearing such news.”
Merys moved toward him, still dancing. “But in my maternal line we passed down the songs and the incantations.” She swept a hand to gesture at her feet. “The sacred dances.” She went on tiptoe and executed a series of graceful twirls coming across to him at the end. “I light the lamps in the god’s honor on the altar, every year on his Name Day. I keep the main sanctuary as clean as I can.”
“I’m sure your efforts are appreciated.” He tried to keep the smile off his face, biting his cheek.
The girl frowned at him and shook one finger. “The god protects us even now.” Her tone was cold, her eyes narrowed. “We have had only one ox and two cows seized by crocodiles in the past year, and no small children.” She furrowed her brow as some memory surfaced. “Well, one man was taken, but he was suspected of being a thief so no one mourned him. And the flooding of the Nile has been generous in bringing us fertile fields.”
Her intensity on behalf of the forsaken Crocodile God is amusing. Bek found it warming as well as gratifying. “Your loyalty is commendable. “
And the story flows from there….
About the Author:
Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library full of books as its heart, and when she ran out of things to read, she started writing her own stories. Married young to her high school sweetheart then widowed, Veronica has two grown daughters, one young grandson and cats.
Veronica's life has taken many twists and turns, but she always makes time to keep reading and writing. Everything is good source material for the next novel or the one after that anyway, right? She's been through earthquakes, tornadoes and near death experiences, although nothing is as stressful as meeting a book deadline. Always more stories to tell, new adventures to experience--Veronica's personal motto is, "Never boring."
You can find Veronica Scott here: