Publicist Teri Hunter has her hands full promoting Professor Joshua Cain and his new non-fiction book, The Pharaoh’s Mummy. She’s not convinced it’s even possible to turn this absent-minded, modern-day, Indiana Jones into a best-selling author.
Dr. Cain’s PhDs in archaeology and art history have prepared him for almost anything on the lecture circuit and among ancient ruins. He’s just not sure about a book tour...or the sexy publicist sent to monitor his every professional move.
When an odd request falls in their laps while in New Orleans, Josh and Teri find themselves transported to 1920’s Egypt where they must resolve an ancient curse in order to be sent home. Will the dangers facing them hinder their success and threaten their very lives? Or will help from an ancient guardian keep them on-track and safe?
Wake up. Kick ass. Repeat.
Teri Hunter mouthed the motivational phrase she’d chosen for her personal mantra as she stepped across the threshold into the dark and musty storeroom.
A dim light shone from a glass-enclosed workroom in the far corner. Taking a tentative step forward, she faltered when the floorboards creaked beneath her feet. Something fast and furry brushed against her ankle. A shiver ran down her back, yet she fought the urge to retreat.
Do one thing every day that scares you.
This was obviously today’s obstacle. Were it not for her professional commitments and intricately organized schedule, she’d have no doubt bolted for the door and returned to the safety and illumination of the main building.
‘Sorry, but the storage area doesn’t have overhead lighting. Preservation of the antiquities. You understand.’ The dean’s words echoed in her head. To make matters worse, what little outside light there was had become nearly non-existent due to an impending thunderstorm.
Drawing a deep breath, she took a second step and then a third, winding her way past a half-dozen crates, some open, some not. To her left she heard a rustling of paper; to her right the distinct sound of footsteps.
Her apprehension grew, the hair on her forearms stood at attention. She’d barely made it halfway across the room before bumping into something large and solid. Reaching out, she laid her hand against the oversized object. Slowly, she raised her head and came face to face with the painted mask of an Egyptian noble. The chipped finish gave the death mask a deranged look.
“You come here often, big boy?”
Teri stared in amazement at the well-worn guest home Dr. Cain had chosen for their stay. In her mind’s eye, she could see the grand entranceway of the Marriott on Canal Street, feel the pampered luxury of the hotel spa. Instead, she got this . . . an early nineteenth-century home in obvious need of repair. Collingwood, apparently, had history. Of what, she wasn’t certain. From the road, it looked like something torn from the pages of a horror novel.
“This is where we’re staying?” she asked, unable to hide her surprise and disappointment.
“You’re welcome to go elsewhere, if you’d like. Personally, I prefer a room with some character.”
She choked back an outright laugh. “It’s certainly got character. As a matter of fact, Freddie Kruger comes to mind.”
He shot her a disapproving frown before taking his bags from the driver and starting up the front walkway. Teri had no choice but to follow. They’d barely made it to the porch when the huge oak door opened. A short, frail-looking woman stood in the entryway.
“Welcome back, Joshua,” the woman greeted.
“Thank you, Martha. It’s good to be here.” Glancing back to where Teri stood, he said, “This is Miss Hunter. She’s with me.”
“Oh,” the woman said simply. “Welcome, Miss Hunter. We trust your stay here at Collingwood will be enjoyable.”
Teri smiled faintly, but couldn’t muster up a ‘thank you’ to save her soul.
“One room or two, Joshua?”
In unison, they both answered, “Two.”
Martha responded with a minute bob of her graying head and then motioned toward the parlor with a sweep of her hand. “We were just about to have tea if you’d care to join us.”
“If you don’t mind,” Dr. Cain began, “we’d like to get situated in our rooms. We’ve got an event at the museum tonight and I, for one, would like a bit of down time to work on my lecture.”
“You’re in your usual room. I can give Miss Hunter the room next to yours, if you’d like.”
He shook his head. “Perhaps she would be more comfortable across the hall with the view of the garden.”
“As you wish, Joshua.”
Teri followed closely behind as they climbed the stairs to the second floor. She was about to turn toward the long hallway when she realized they were climbing yet another flight. What she wouldn’t give, she realized, for an elevator or even a bellman. Rather than voice her wishes, she hiked her carry-on higher up on her shoulder and tugged on the handle of her suitcase until the wheels gained purchase on the worn carpet. The next landing looked to be at least a half-mile away.
When they reached the third floor, Martha stopped outside the first room off the staircase and opened the door. “This is your room, Miss Hunter.”
Dr. Cain, Teri realized, had already crossed the hallway and opened the door to the room just opposite hers. Teri took a short step forward. “Thank you.”
“Bathroom is down the hall,” Martha told her, the woman’s simple statement stopping Teri dead in her tracks.
“Down the hall?” she asked. “You mean there’s no bathroom in my suite?”
Martha chuckled heartily, her wrinkled cheeks jiggling and sagging like warm Jell-O. “Child, there’s no suite in your suite, it’s just a room. And, everyone shares the facilities.” Nodding toward the end of the long hallway, she added, “The key hangs outside the door. You take it in with you, lock the door from the inside and try not to take longer than fifteen minutes.”
A cool breeze brushed across her skin, pulling her back toward wakefulness. She smoothed her hand across her forearm and felt tiny goose bumps beneath her fingertips. She turned her head from side to side and opened her eyes. The sight greeting her sent her heart rate into overdrive.
“Who are you?” the woman asked.
Teri pressed her eyes shut tight in an effort to dispel the vision, to wake up from what was obviously a dream. When she opened her eyes again, she could make out the faint image of a woman standing at the foot of her bed.
She should have been frightened, paralyzed with fear in fact. But wasn’t. Instead, she found herself struck by the woman’s classic beauty. Her jet-black hair hung in a straight frame around her face, falling just short of her waist. Her huge dark eyes were rimmed with black eyeliner. The flowing robe she wore was a plush cloth of deepest purple, trimmed in gold thread. The expensive garment hugged her ample curves.
“I’m Teri, Teri Hunter.”
“From where do you hail, Teri Hunter?”
“Excuse me?” The woman’s speech seemed stilted, as if she struggled with the English language. Rather than answer her question, Teri asked, “Who are you?”
“I am Anukahaten, guardian of the queen-Pharaoh’s tomb.”
“You’re the guardian of Hatshepsut’s tomb?” Teri asked. The urge to pinch herself awake was overwhelming, but not as tempting as the thought of asking a few more questions before she did.
“Yes. It is so. Many years ago, I failed my queen and now I struggle to make things right.”
“I know about the stone,” she admitted, “and the curse. Can you tell us where to find the statue?”
“I only know it is here, close to Cairo, but I know not where.”
“Can you at least tell me what it looks like, so we’ll know when we’ve found it?”
“It is barely as tall as the length of a man’s hand,” Anukahaten began, “no bigger than a . . .”
Anukahaten’s vision began to fade, her voice trailing off, interrupted by an insistent tapping, an intrusion Teri wanted desperately to ignore.
Buy Links: Amazon
Direct Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LY6GQX8
Fun Fact The idea for Eye of the Pharaoh came about following a trip to the Field Museum in Chicago. For the longest time afterward, I couldn’t get the images of ancient Egypt out of my head. Then, out of the blue, I received a gift from a relative who had passed...a gorgeous necklace fashioned like an Egyptian collar. The late relative had no way of knowing about my recent fascination with Egypt so I took it as a sign. There was obviously a story inside me begging to come out.
Like most authors, Nancy Fraser began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet, which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.
Published in multiple genres, Nancy currently writes for four publishers. She has published twenty-two books in both full-length and novella format. Nancy will release her 25th book in early 2017. She is currently working on her next Rock and Roll novella and two other equally exciting projects.
When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five wonderful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/nfraserauthor @nfraserauthor
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004AOL61Y