Sunday, October 26, 2008

"Cleopatra herself is rumored to have purchased emeralds"


Today we welcome Melody Knight, author of the newly released Emerald City. Emerald City is published by Red Rose, and is Melody's third book with them.
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Click here to buy the book now, without reading anything about it. Come on, be spontaneous!)


Q. What inspired you to write Emerald City, Melody?
A. I've been studying archeology for several years now. My goal is to eventually become a contract archeologist - that is, I'll go to sites and explore the archeological ramifications of construction, and whether building will damage our cultural heritage. As for Emerald City? It combined my love of the paranormal with Egypt, artifacts, and a heated romance. It's difficult to go wrong with those elements!


Q. Is this your first erotic romance? Do you feel the eroticism overshadows the rest of the story?
A. Until two years ago, I'd never written a romance novel. Oh, I'd penned a number of action/SF/fantasy works, but nothing in the romance genre. Last year I attempted my first erotic novella, and quite enjoyed it. Writing erotica makes me feel just a little decadent and unexpected. As for overshadowing the rest of the story? No. I merely heat up the love scenes, making them more explicit. After all, sex is the culmination of a romance. Why shouldn't we write about it?


Q. Tell us a little more about Emerald City. Why that name?
A. Berenike is the Emerald City of the ancients. It was a port and a trading center. At that time, most of the world's emeralds were found within several hundred miles of Berenike, and Cleopatra herself is rumored to have purchased emeralds to give as gifts to foreign dignitaries, often with her face inscribed on the stone surface. The Berenike region is where the story is set, and it's all about Claudia, an archeologist fairly new to dig sites. She has come to Egypt to learn, to be the resident expert on trade networks, and to rid herself of her past life, which includes Nigel. Nigel is her lover, only she has never known him "in the flesh". When she meets CT, another archeologist on the dig, she has to decide between her love for these two men: one living, and the other, dead.


Q. And now, an excerpt from Emerald City...
A. First, Yvonne, I'd just like to thank you for hosting me on your blog!

From Emerald City:


It was midday on the second day when it happened. According to her map, and her sources, there was a small town a mile or so off-road, which the mine workers had once inhabited. No one had done much more than note its existence, and Claudia felt the thrill of discovery. Who knew what a place like that might hold? Other Mons Smaragdus towns had yielded pottery and metals, low grade gemstones, and a variety of other, more homely items. There were sure to be buildings, if the place had been impressive enough to be noted on the map. Gooseflesh danced down her back. The wadi region was laden with small piles of rubble -- the remnants of ancient huts. This township held the promise of oh, so much more.


She readjusted her hat, conscious of her thirst. It seemed she was always conscious of her thirst in this wretched heat! She sucked on her canteen then mustered ahead. No track, so she'd just have to make her way. A couple of times she glanced back at the truck, even climbing one of the little hills to make sure it was still within sight. It was only on the last check that she saw it had disappeared, but that was what she expected. This was hilly country, after all, and the town should be just ahead.


Only, it wasn't, nor could she find the truck. She tried tracing her own footsteps, but this area was rock, rather than sand, and it was no use. Her compass was erratic, due to magnetic deposits, leading her nowhere. Two hours later, dragging her body through the heat, Claudia had to admit it -- I'm lost. Lost in the damned desert. Her water bottle was dry, but she refused to panic. If I don't check in, they'll come looking.


The sun had never been so hot, and Claudia knew she should have been resting midday away instead of hiking. But it was too late -- too late for anything. She rooted around in one of those piles of rocky debris, picking up rocks that burned her hands to pile them into a wall that might offer her partial shade -- if it didn't fall on her head first. She didn't possess the building secrets of the ancient Romans or the Bedouin. And her blistered hands were shaking so badly she didn't know how she'd survive the next few hours.


It was then an icy chill came on her, colder than death.Nigel!


She didn't speak -- she didn't have to. He was there…for her.




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