Enjoy this Saturday’s snippet from Egyptian Voyage which just hit the shelves in print. At the end you’ll find a lovely list of other best selling authors that have snippets waiting for you. Happy Saturday!
Now in Print
By TJ Michaels, Copyright 2007
Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc., All Rights Reserved
Eden sat in the dark in his favorite overstuffed chair in the living room. The local news droned on while a small blue ticker scrolled across the bottom of the screen. He usually watched the screen with more than a little interest in the latest mayhem plaguing whatever port the ship happened to dock at. Tonight, the words of the news anchor, spoken in perfect Portuguese, rolled off him as he idly stroked the smooth bald head of the woman sitting quietly in his lap. She was twenty-six inches of porcelain perfection, clothed in the regalia of ancient Egypt and her station. Today, he’d clothed her in the white fine linen of the traditional shendyt kilt, leaving her caramel brown breasts bare.
He’d had her created with the face of the noble pharaoh, Hatshepsut. Perfectly formed lips and cheeks were free of rouge or coloring. Almond-shaped dark eyes were adorned with even darker liner that brought her face to life. Yes, she was definitely his favorite, his harem master, responsible for keeping the males in his harem in line. Not only was she beautiful and damned good at her job, her ability to interpret the tarot made her beyond valuable. Perhaps he’d keep her long enough to give her a name of his choosing.
Tilting his head, he contemplated the large tarot cards spread out on the coffee table. The surface of each was an exquisite work of art and displayed majestic Egyptian symbols of men and women who’d once ruled the ancient world. Their noble profiles brought a sense of kingship and kinship to him. The background of each was a mix of bold gold, turquoise and lapis blues laid over woven papyrus and set against a midnight deep black. Eying the beautiful tarot, the man stretched out a single finger and stroked the intricate borders of two that were separate from the rest of the deck.
Today, he’d drawn Strength and Justice.
Yes, beloved, you are both.
He looked away from the cards and into the lovely face of the woman who’d spoken into his mind. He still hadn’t figured out how she managed to do that. He could only hear her when she was near, but none of the others before her had ever been able to do even that much. She spoke again, her voice as clear as a summer sky in his head.
The cards proclaim you to be Strength and Justice, to bring balance to this world.
Everything Eden did had the tarot at its center. He never made a move without consulting them. Today, he looked directly at the cards, saw what they were. But what did they mean? It seemed the interpretation of the cards was almost always different from what he intuitively thought it should be. But his Egyptian golden-skinned beauty always explained it all.
Justice, she began in her smooth, seductive voice, is represented by a woman clad in white, a sword in one hand and a balance in the other. She sits on a throne with two lions at her feet. Strength is shown by a woman with a winged golden headdress, clothed in a white robe trimmed with turquoise jewels. A lion stands before her with the headdress of a pharaoh on his head. Strength holds the beast’s mouth closed and he can go no further.
Okay, so what?
Strength, my beloved, is a card of success as long as you retain your instincts and exercise self-control. Justice indicates that all is going as it should. Even if you do not realize it, you’re operating according to a divine plan. This plan is in harmony with you, my love, as well as correctness in your relationships.
Placing a gentle kiss on the top of his harem mistress’s head, his mouth lifted in a wide satisfied smile. All of it sounded wonderful.
“So, who is my goal this time?” he queried, as the usual excitement kindled at the base of his gut. There was nothing like the anticipation of what was to come.
There is a woman who has unbalanced the life of an important male. Her hair is a burnished hue and…
When he’d memorized the description of the female, he rose, placed the harem mistress back on her shelf at the top of the beveled glass cabinet and left the ship. Now he could hunt with precision.
Later that night, as his prey screamed into a hand held firmly over her mouth, he did indeed feel the imbalance of the world shift and groan until it settled into its proper place. The specimen’s sticky blood ran out of a fat hole in her back. It soaked through his shirt and streamed hot and thick over the ridges of his stomach, down to his navel. Yes, all was as it should be.
In spite of his ruined clothes, his chest puffed out with pride when the female took her final breath. Yes, once again he’d brought balance to the world and exacted justice on behalf of all those who depended on him as the rightful protector of the faith.
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