Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Mystery of Egypt

My guest is award winning author who describes herself as a woman with a varied and checkered past. And boy, oh boy, she has. Nina Bruhns writes about dangerous passions whether it is in her romantic thriller trilogy Passion For Danger series (Berkley Sensation), Nocturne, or romance for Silhouette and Harlequin. It’s her trademark or brand, if you will. She does an excellent job with it.

Nina admits, “…I like to push the envelope in my stories. I think much of the appeal of romance is the seductive fantasy it allows women to indulge in safely. A woman whose days are filled with diapers or spreadsheets, PTA or sales meetings, wants to be swept away in a romantic fantasy for a few hours, into a world where she can quench her thirst for love and romantic adventure, and fulfill her dreams of a man who instinctively satisfies her deepest yearnings. I love writing about feisty heroines who do things I would never dare to do in real life. My heroes are dark and dangerous men who ooze sensuality–but who know how to treat a lady.”

I had the opportunity to attend a workshop she was part of about writing danger. It was a lot of fun and I learned so much. Applying the knowledge is a bit more difficult, but I’m getting it down. I had the opportunity to meet Nina. She has a lovely smile, a savvy knowledge of writing and the market. Nina is also a fun person to talk to with a great sense of humor—which is also reflected in her writing.

Nina says the trilogy she’s written for Nocturne is one she’s wanted to write for sometime. And by the way, she really is an archaeologist (an Egyptologist).

Thank you so much to Sia for having me as a guest here at Over Coffee!

Many of my readers don’t know that I am an Egyptologist—-I’d say in real life, except that it’s kind of the other way around. Writing novels is my real life these days, and despite the three college degrees, traveling around Egypt doing archaeological digs and surveys has been relegated to the realm of my imagination. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing...

This week the second book in my IMMORTAL SHEIKHS trilogy, SHADOW OF THE SHEIKH, was released by Harlequin Nocturne (book 1, LORD OF THE DESERT, came out in August).

The series takes place in modern Egypt, in a setting filled with all sorts of fun mythological and paranormal elements. These are truly books of my heart. You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to write these stories! But when I first started writing romance my editor would not even look at ideas with exotic settings, let alone ancient gods, immortals, and shape-shifters. Wow, how things have changed!

In this series, I have absolutely loved being able to use my knowledge of this amazing ancient culture to bring it back to life for my readers...with a cool twist. It is all still happening today. My strong, independent heroines, three American sisters, become immersed in the mysterious world of the last surviving Egyptian demigods. And boy, do they find things they never imagined existed. Including, of course, love.

Did I mention the vampire?

When I was on my first archaeological expedition to northern Sudan (which was part of Egypt in ancient times) we stayed in a tiny village on the Nile. The area around this village was supposed to have the most vampires in all of Africa. Okay, then. Freaked out? Me? Just a little.

Trust me, I’m no vampire expert. But when my editor suggested I make one of my lead characters a vampire (the hero of book 3, VAMPIRE SHEIKH, coming in February, who appears in all three books), I remembered that village (who could forget!), and thought how interesting it would be to incorporate the incredibly sexy archetype of the vampire lord into the ancient Egyptian pantheon. So I took the few references I found to vampirism in Pharaonic times and shaped them into a plausible addition to the existing mythology, which I then used to build the paranormal world in the trilogy.

The result is a blend of vamp and Egyptian mystery which I think make the stories really unusual and interesting. When you combine that with three hunky shape-shifting sheikhs and three sizzling hot romances, I think my readers will really enjoy this trilogy!

I hope you’ll let me know what you think!

Series Premise: The Immortal Sheikhs…

The three Haliday sisters are not afraid of mummies. Nor of silly ancient Egyptian curses. Get real. This is the twenty-first century! Besides, anthropologist Gemma, historian Gillian, and archaeologist Josslyn Haliday spent their childhoods sharing their sleeping tent with mummies and telling each other stories of fantastic shapeshifters and vampires, as they accompanied their Egyptologist father on his digs…ever since the fateful day their mother mysteriously disappeared into the sands of Egypt twenty years ago.

Brave, modern women all three, it would never occur to any of them to fear the dead…or the living dead.

But that is all about to change…

Shadow Of The Sheikh Back Cover Blurb:

Sheikh Shahin Aswadi—the harbinger of death, a ghostly figure who rides the wind in the form of a powerful black hawk. No mortal has dared approach his hidden oasis encampment for nearly a century. They are all terrified by the ruthless legend of al Shahin.

All but intrepid anthropologist Gemma Haliday. Determined to find her missing sister, Gemma has foolishly disregarded the dire warnings of local villagers…and walks straight into a trap Shahin has laid for her.

He takes the beautiful mortal captive, determined to use her, then gift her to his vampire lord, Seth-Aziz, as a blood sacrifice.

But one taste of Gemma’s lips and he knows he must possess her for fully and for all time. And he wants her to burn for him as he burns for her, with a desire as hot and vast as his desert home. Excerpt  TRAILER

Buy: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Chapters

Is an avid world traveler and adventurer with two graduate degrees in archaeology -- all great fodder for her stories, giving them broad dimension, vivid settings and characters that are out of the ordinary. Her novels have earned two RITA nominations, and won numerous other awards, including three prestigious Daphne du Maurier Awards of Excellence for Overall Best Mystery Suspense Novel of the Year, five Dorothy Parker Awards, several RT BookClub Awards and a National Readers Choice Award.

A native of Canada, Nina grew up in California and currently resides in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina.


~Sia McKye~ said...

Nina, welcome to Over Coffee. I'm so glad you're visiting.

Grab a cup of coffee from the coffee bar--no wimpy coffee served here. I have some fresh scones and other goodies.

I'm looking forward to reading this trilogy. I've read one of the three of Passion For Danger.

I doubt I'll have much time to read this month as I'm doing NaNo.

Tonya Kappes said...

Hi Nina and Sia!! I'm so excited to see Nina here. She is as amazing as her books!! I had the honor of staying with Nina in a MANSION in South Carolina for a week long writer's retreat and she was a wonderful host and a FANTASTIC writer.

Mason Canyon said...

Nina, I love what you said about women wanting to get lost in fantasy and take a break from their real world. Books are a great way to escape and your series sounds like it would be an intriguing adventure all the way. Best of luck.

Sia, you know the most interesting people. Thanks for introducing me to another great author.

Thoughts in Progress

Jo said...

Yes, Sia, nice to meet a different author. I have always felt a bit guilty about reading romances, but today reading about Nina, has blown the guilt away. If an archeologist can write 'em I sure can read 'em. Nina, I lived in North Carolina for a number of years, and have been to Charleston a few times too. Last time we stayed in West Ashley and practically lived in the Crab Shack. Will look forward to trying your books.

VA said...

Ooohhh...very tempting excerpt, Nina. Nothing like a bad boy to get the blood pumping first thing in the morning.

Ancient Egypt is fertile ground for storytelling. I loved studying it, even read some hieroglyphics--which after many years I've completely forgotten. Took this caffeine deprived brain forever to recall the hawk-headed deity I presume your referring to in the blurb. More coffee.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Jo, I NEVER feel guilty, lol! But Nina writes some very enjoyable stories.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Mason, I liked that as well. No, I can't see myself doing much of what these heroines do but it sure is fun to imagine it.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Tonya, she is a fun person and darn your eyes for getting to stay with her. Jealous? Me? Yep. lololol!

aries18 said...

Hi Nina and Sia,

Now this sounds right up my alley. I love all things Egyptian and while I'm not a big romance reader these sound like something I'd like. So, Nina, I'm putting you at the top of my TBR list!

I'm really looking forward to learning more about ancient Egypt as well as modern Egypt while going on great adventures with the three sisters.

Thanks Sia, once again for bringing a new, exciting author to us here at your place.

Olivia Cunning said...

I love unique settings! Sounds fab!

Nina Bruhns said...

Thanks Sia!

And thanks everyone for all your sweet comments! I hope you all enjoy the books. Please email me and let me know what you thought! :D

Tonya, it was so fun that year you stayed with us. What a great group, eh? :D

Hi Mason! Yep, women work so hard taking care of everyone, I think we all deserve a good adventure and a bit of fantasy when we sit down to read! That's what's so fab about romance. So many little time!

Jo, ooooh, the Crab Shack. Love it!!!

Great to meet you all!


Nina Bruhns said...

Oh, Jo!!! No guilt, ever! Not about romance. It's the only genre out there that is written by women, for women, about women, and address women's fantasies. Ever wonder why the male critics make fun of us...? They're intimidated as hell! :)

No guilt!


Nina Bruhns said...

Thanks VA! I do love me some bad boys ...

The hawk-headed deity you're probably thinking of is Horus, or Ra. In the trilogy, he's the bad guy :D. Shahin actually works for Seth! A bit of a twist :)


Nina Bruhns said...

Hi Aries and Olivia! Thanks so much! Egypt is definitely one of the most fascinating places on earth. Hope you love the trilogy!!! :D Drop me an email and let me know what you think!


~Sia McKye~ said...

Nina, I'm jealous of you being able to do a writer's retreat. Thanks for checking in while being there.

Sorry to hear about your computer woes, that sucks, been there and done that. No fun.

I will try to insert the trailer link near the excerpt. Love the music!

~Sia McKye~ said...

OKAY then. The blog gods were kind and I inserted the trailer without problems, yay!

I have a question. The third book in this series is featuring the boss, Seth? The one that's the rumored *god*?

Nina Bruhns said...

Hi Sia! Thanks for posting the book trailer for me! A friend did it for me and I think it turned out really fun :D.

About Seth. Well, it's a bit complicated, but since I wanted the books to be somewhat reality based (!), the actual ancient gods are now gone. What remains is their "house" or per netjer, where the ways of Set-Sutekh, god of darkness, are kept alive by a high priest demigod and a group of immortal followers. The hero of book 3, the vampire Seth-Aziz, is that demigod. He is probably one of the most interesting characters I've ever written. And as I said, he appears in all 3 books, as do all the characters, so we get to know them all really well. SHADOW OF THE SHEIKH, the book out this week, features Seth's captain of the palace guard. He is one very sexy guy, and he has a unique relationship with Seth. Super loyal. I really love him, too. :D

Hope you agree!

~Sia McKye~ said...

I'll be letting you know as soon as I read them.

Right now, I'm trying to apply all that good insight you gave on dangerous passions and writing danger. We'll see if it all took, eh? lolol! I'm having fun with my story.

I'm so glad you came to visit. Looking forward to a future visit and more hot books.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sia and Nina .. good to meet you: I love the interview and hearing about your background - because it will give the book so much authenticity .. sounds really interesting on a number of levels - writing skills, romance, archaeology and travel .. thanks Sia .. I shall keep my eyes open for Nina's books .. Hilary