Over the Memorial Day weekend I wanted to read a book for pleasure instead of all the other reasons I now read because I’m a writer. My Kindle was a great place to start, considering all the books I’ve downloaded –both free books and those I’ve purchased. I tried several titles hoping for that one that would draw me in. Don’t get me wrong—I’m a fan of giving a book a good hundred pages before I give up. Often those are the books that have the greatest emotional impact in the end. (Authors like Stephen Lawhead and Ken Follett come to mind.)
But life being what it is, I needed something to yank me from the distractions. I must have read the first few pages of five or more books before I ended on one of my favorite authors–Tracy Higley.
Why didn’t I look to her first?
Here’s the Amazon blurb for City of the Dead:
Up from the sands of Egypt rises the Great Pyramid, where Hemiunu, Pharaoh’s Grand Vizier, commands the historic building project as he orders his life—with justice, truth, and precision. But when a series of murders at the site threatens chaos, Hemi must abandon his legacy to hunt down the killer who may be closer than he would like to think. Can he restore justice to the city before his careful life and work are destroyed, or will a mysterious people and their strange God uncover the secret past that Hemi has tried to forget?
City of the Dead is written in first person through Hemi’s point of view. His character fascinated me from the beginning, immediately drawing me into his story, and the setting of ancient Egypt is no less captivating. A master at her craft and research, Higley is one of a few authors who actually travels to the places she writes about and you can read about her travels and research on her website. I’ve read many of her books in the Seven Wonders series and loved all of them.
Garden of Madness is her latest release. I can’t wait to dig into this one. Here’s the blurb.
For seven years the Babylonian princess Tiamat has waited for the mad king Nebuchadnezzar to return to his family and to his kingdom. Driven from his throne to live as a beast, he prowls his luxurious Hanging Gardens, secreted away from the world.
Since her treaty marriage at a young age, Tia has lived an opulent yet oppressive life in the palace. But her husband has since died and she relishes her newfound independence. When a nobleman is found murdered in the palace, Tia must discover who is responsible for the macabre death, even if her own freedom is threatened.
As the queen plans to wed Tia to yet another prince, the powerful mage Shadir plots to expose the family’s secret and set his own man on the throne. Tia enlists the help of a reluctant Jewish captive, her late husband’s brother Pedaiah, who challenges her notions of the gods even as he opens her heart to both truth and love.
In a time when few gave their hearts to Yahweh, Tia must decide if she is willing to risk everything-her possessions, her gods, and her very life-for the Israelites’ one God. Madness, sorcery, and sinister plots mingle like an alchemist’s deadly potion as Tia chooses whether to risk all to save the kingdom-and her family.