Tuesday 27 April 2021

A-Z Blogging Challenge - W is for Wasim

Late one night (because that’s when I often write!), I was up to Chapter 3 of my story set in Egypt. Ross has invited Neve to visit one of the Pharaohs’ tombs in the Valley of the Kings. I needed to get them across the Nile from where the cruise ships are moored at Luxor, and thought they would simply take one of the motorboats that go back and forth across the river, and off they’d go into the Valley.

Instead, I wrote this:

At the end of the gangplank, Ross turned and held out his hand to help her onto the uneven stone steps. His touch sent delicious tingles to her nerve-endings. Part of her wished she could leave her hand within his firm grasp. Instead, self-consciously, she withdrew it when they reached the quayside path.

“How are we getting across to the West Bank?” she asked.

“I always use the same private motorboat. Elvis should be moored along here.”

“Elvis? Is that the name of the boat?”

Ross laughed. “No, the boat owner. His real name’s Wasim, but he sings Elvis songs all the time—and I do mean all the time.”

When they reached the white motorboat with its green awning, Neve grinned at the name on the bow: Heartbreak Hotel.

Ross shook hands with a slim Egyptian whose dark hair was gelled into Elvis’s unmistakable quiff. “So what are you going to sing for Neve this afternoon, Elvis?”

The young man considered for a moment. “I think I have good song for Miss Neve.”

He helped her onto the boat, and she sat on the cushioned bench at one side, facing Ross. Wasim gunned the engine into life and turned the motorboat towards the West Bank. Then he started to sing Elvis’s “Teddy Bear”.

She smiled at Ross. “I’ve never been serenaded on a Nile crossing before.”

He grinned back. “There’s a first time for everything.”

Her heart raced, and she drew in a deep breath to steady herself. This was stupid. Just because he had a captivating smile was no reason for her to react like some love-struck teenager. She had to control her unwanted response to his male attractiveness before she made a complete fool of herself.

When Wasim finished the song, she applauded. “That was great. You really do sound like Elvis.”

Ross laughed. “Oh, now he’s your friend for life.”

Wasim brought the boat parallel to the stone quay on the West Bank. “Shukran, Miss Neve. I try to get job at hotel as Elvis singer but no one want me.” He turned to Ross. “What time for return, Mister Ross?”

“Five o’clock, Elvis, no later. Neve’s ship sails at six.”

“I be here.”

I think it was at this point that I stopped and blinked, and actually said out loud, “Where on earth has he come from?” I had no intention of creating a Nile boatman who sang Elvis songs, but there he was! He kept popping up in the story as a minor character, and in the end, I liked him so much, I decided to give him a larger role in solving the mystery that formed the main sub-plot – or maybe he’d already decided that, and was simply waiting for me to find out his later role in the story!


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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  1. Wasim is a brilliant character, loved him

    1. Thanks, Carol. He certainly played a bigger role than I originally anticipated!