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Authors: Chanta Rand

Pharaoh's Desire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pharaoh’s Desire

By

Chanta Jefferson Rand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acknowledgements

I know I got on a lot of people’s nerves while I was writing this book.
 
And I know I wasn’t the easiest person to deal with when I was trying to meet deadlines.
 
I’m sorry for all the times I told folks not to call me (because I was busy writing) and I apologize for all the headaches I caused and all the shoulders I cried on in my quest toward becoming published.
 
But it was all worth it—and don’t think I wouldn’t do it all again!

 

 

 

I’d like to thank all of my family and friends for their love and support.
 
A special thanks goes to the following individuals: My husband, Kerry (for listening to all of my complaining, my crazy plot ideas, and my endless discussions on Egypt and Nubia); my parents, Ann & Larry Jefferson (for instilling a love of reading in me from an early age, and making me take Typing as an elective in high school—instead of Home Ec like all of my other friends!); my mother-in-law, Jannette Rand (for her friendship and encouragement—and for joining me on a wild adventure to Cairo, Egypt); Jaci Kenney (for being an awesome critique partner);
 
Linda Broday (for all of her invaluable advice); Bill Bolen (for giving me the gentle kick I needed to start writing again); and Carole Ritter at Romance Writers of America (for helping me learn about eContracts).
 

 

 

 

To the readers who purchased this book, I hope you have as much fun reading about Amonmose and Kama as I had writing about them.
 
Ciao for now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. 

Pharaoh’s Desire
by Chanta Jefferson Rand

 

 

Red Rose™ Publishing

Publishing with a touch of Class! ™

The symbol of the Red Rose and Red Rose is a trademark of Red Rose™ Publishing

 

Red Rose™ Publishing

Copyright© 2010
Chanta Jefferson Rand

ISBN: 978-1-60435-717-2

Cover Artist: Nika Dixon

Editor: Lora F

 
 
Line Editor:
Red Rose Publishing

 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced electronically or in print without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews. Due to copyright laws you cannot trade, sell or give any ebooks away.

This is a work of fiction. All references to real places, people, or events are coincidental, and if not coincidental, are used fictitiously. All trademarks, service marks, registered trademarks, and registered service marks are the property of their respective owners and are used herein for identification purposes only.

 

 

Red Rose™ Publishing

www.redrosepublishing.com

Forestport, NY 13338

 

Thank you for purchasing a book from Red Rose™ Publishing where publishing

comes with a touch of Class!

 

 

 

 

 

Pharaoh’s Desire

By

Chanta Jefferson Rand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter One

Lower Nubia, Aswan—1600 B.C.
 

 

 

It was the dead of night. While everyone else slept soundly, Kama’s stomach awakened her with its soft growling. No matter how much she ate, her belly never seemed satisfied. She sat up and rubbed the sleep from her eyes before peering at her cousin, Satati, who was snoring softly on the straw-filled bed beside her. At last, the poor girl was finally getting some sleep. They’d both endured the daylong boat ride from Kerma to Aswan, the home of Satati’s betrothed, Zetran. Satati’s father, Akahmen, had piled her bride-vessel high with stacks of fresh fruit and succulent honeycomb, large crates of smoked fish and meat, baskets of bread loaves, sweet-smelling perfume cones, spices, cosmetics, jewelry, and ornately carved bronze mirrors. He’d spared no expense in pledging his daughter to her betrothed.

Arranged marriages were commonplace, but Kama thought the entire concept cold and calculating. The only benefit she saw was to the greedy father of the groom, who often demanded far too steep a dowry in exchange for a bride. But, shy and quiet Satati did not share Kama’s gloomy outlook on marriage. She was content to become a wife and lead a boring life of domestication.
 
Kama had no such aspirations. Since birth, she had been wild spirited and outspoken. Her mother often joked that even her newborn cry was louder than most babes’. And now, at age twenty, she was a headstrong and opinionated young lady—although some men might not consider her so young.

Not that she cared much for the opinions of men. Indeed, the more she learned about them, the more convinced she was of their uselessness. Uncle Akahmen was one of the few males she could tolerate. He’d
been husband to her mother’s sister before she died. Since then, Kama and her mother had shared his home, along with Satati.
Now with Satati getting married on the morrow, Kama wondered how long it would be before Akahmen finally insisted that she, too, be wed.

Thus far, she had successfully resisted all attempts. Each time some hopeful suitor approached, Kama always found some monumental fault. Akahmen usually bit his tongue, but she could tell that he was becoming increasingly frustrated with her. She knew it was only a matter of time before he found a husband for her. It had been the same for Kama’s own mother and her ancestors before her. Everything in life was planned and arranged. Just like wars and harvests.

In the morning, the marriage contracts would be signed, followed by a wedding feast of roasted duck, sun-dried fish, curried goat, boiled cabbage, cucumbers served in oil and vinegar, and warm bread and beer. Kama’s mouth watered just thinking about it.

She lay down and tried to forget her hunger. The soft chirping of the crickets usually relaxed her, but tonight, there was only silence. She held her breath and listened carefully. In the distance, she heard a shrill cry that made chills run up her spine. It was like a battle call piercing the dark air. Moments later, she smelled smoke.
Fire!

Kama sprang out of bed. “Satati, get up!” she screamed in her cousin’s ear, and pulled the sleepy girl to her feet, shaking her. “The house is on fire. We must get out!”

Satati’s eyes immediately filled with tears. “…Must find Father… Zetran,” she rasped, her voice anchored by the heavy weight of sleep
.

Even as Kama shouted her agreement, a line of golden-hot flames began dancing up the side of one wall, leaving a cloud of black smoke in its wake. The two women choked, gasping and coughing in the foul air as they ran through the corridors of Zetran’s home. Everything was aflame, burning brightly and throwing off a fierce heat. Brittle fragments of the mud brick walls began breaking off and flying in all directions. A large piece hit Satati on the head, and she fell, crumbling to the ground. Her flailing arm sent a tall oil lamp toppling, and the scented oil inside quickly caught fire. The flames quickly snaked a path from the oil to Satati. Instantly, the girl’s clothing was engulfed in the blaze. Her piercing scream penetrated the loud crackle of the flames.

“Satati!” Kama yelled. All common sense deserted her as she grabbed frantically at her cousin’s body, trying to beat the fire out with her own hands. She succeeded only in burning her fingers and palms. “No! No!” she cried, feeling hot tears streaming down her face. She was forced back by the roaring fire and watch helplessly as Satati’s body flailed violently before being consumed by the hot flames.

Kama staggered away, blinded by her tears and suffocating from the heat. Satati was lost to her; she must at least find her uncle. She choked back her sobs and ran through the main house, loudly calling Akahmen’s name. She brushed wildly at the dense smoke that attacked her eyes. Unable to see or hear, she instinctively dropped to her knees and crawled along the floor. Immediately, she smelled the pungent odor of red onions and she knew she was in the kitchen.

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