Monday 26 April 2021

A-Z Blogging Challenge - V is for Valley of the Kings

 As a history teacher for over 25 years, I taught modules about Ancient Egypt to various age groups, and usually included the amazing discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb with all its treasures. In the early 1990s, I saw many of these in the museum in Cairo, but a visit to the famous Valley of the Kings remained on my bucket list for another twenty years. In the autumn of 2010 (only about 3 months before the ‘Arab Spring’ led to protests, unrest and violence in Egypt), a friend and I booked a Nile cruise from Luxor to Aswan.

On the first day, my dream of visiting the Valley of the Kings finally came true, and exceeded all my expectations (which were already pretty high!). Not only the amazing splendour of the tombs of the Pharaohs with all their wall paintings, but also walking down the steps into Tutankhamen’s tomb, and finally standing in the tomb itself.

I knew then that I would have to write a story set in Egypt. During the rest of the cruise, different ideas flitted through my mind. At the end of the week, I was relaxing on the sundeck of our cruise ship and idly wondering whether it would be possible to vault across the short gap between our ship and the one moored next to it. Not that I had any intention of trying, you understand! But what if my hero and heroine were on different cruise ships and first met by the rails of the sundecks? However, at the end of the 5 or 7 day cruise they would go home, so I needed find a way of basing them both in Egypt. In that case, how about a cruise ship tour guide, and an archaeologist working in the Valley of the Kings?

On a flight from Luxor to Cairo, I read an article in the flight magazine about an archaeologist who had explored a hidden tunnel leading from the burial chamber of one of the Pharaohs' tombs in the Valley – and decided something similar would be the perfect scenario for 'my' archaeologist.

Thus my novel was ‘born’ – but of course, that was only the beginning. A lot more thinking was necessary to sort out the complications and conflicts that would threaten to tear my characters apart!


Neve Dalton loves her job as a tour guide on a River Nile cruise ship as much as she values her independence. She isn’t ready to settle down with her Egyptian boyfriend, despite his repeated proposals and his father’s desire to see him married.

Nor is she ready to meet Ross McAllister, a compelling and fascinating archaeologist. She struggles against her growing attraction to him until she can no longer ignore what her heart is telling her.

When she starts receiving cryptic messages, and Ross’s work in the famous Valley of the Kings is threatened, Neve has to make a heart-breaking and life-changing decision which she feels is her only option.

Can they discover whose enmity is forcing them apart before it’s too late?

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