Book Spotlight: The God’s Wife by Lynn Voedisch
The women of ancient Egypt were the freest of any civilization on earth, until the modern era. In several dynasties of ancient Egypt the God’s Wives of Amun stood tall, priestesses of wealth and power, who represented the pinnacle of female power in the Egyptian state. Many called The God’s Wife of Amun second only to the Pharaoh in dominance. THE GOD’S WIFE follows the adventures of a 16-year-old girl, Neferet, who is thrust into the role of The Gods Wife of Amun without proper training. Surrounded by political intrigue and ensnared by sexual stalking, Neferet navigates the temple, doing her duties, while keeping her family name pristine and not ending up like her predecessor—dead. Meanwhile, a modern-day Chicago dancer, Rebecca, is rehearsing for a role in an ancient Egyptian production and finds herself blacking out and experiencing realistic dreams about life in Egypt. It’s as if she’s coming in contact with Neferet’s world. Are the two parallel worlds on a collision course? They seem to be, for Neferet has just used an old spell to bring protection to her world, and Rebecca meets a mysterious Egyptian man who says he’ll whisk her away to Alexandria. Magic and realism mix for a powerful ending in THE GOD’S WIFE.
“From the primeval nothingness, proceeded Amun,” was the chant. Fewer people waved them on this time, but she sat still, with her back erect on the unforgiving wood sedan chair, balancing the wig with expert grace. In her confusion, she hung on to what the priests had taught her over her weeks of training.
Door after door gave way to the procession until they faced a hut-sized entrance with a red door allowing passage for only one or two persons at a time. She and Nebhotep had permission to touch it. She descended from the litter, aided by the priests, and stood, legs quivering under her linen gown, before the portal. She pounded once upon the wood, and the priests all bent forward prostrate on the floor. The way opened. She drew herself up, steadied her breath and faced the blue icon of the god Amun. He sat, life-sized, on a granite pedestal. His eyes, of the most uncanny stones, followed her every movement, even the shift of her eyes.
As instructed, she placed an armful of flowers at the god’s feet. Priests, bent over and mumbling apologies to the great Amun, handed her food to lay at the icon’s pedestal. Then, at the door, they covered Neferet with a great, gold-flecked robe and crowned her wig with a diadem. They sang a song of matrimony, and Nebhotep joined her hand to that of the great statue. It was as cold as the night waters. The priest read a long statement, detailing the lands and properties that the temple afforded to her, now that she was the bride of Amun. Her mind swam. All through these declarations, the heady incense threatened to knock her out. The sacred drug didi had her head swimming, because now the room was full of blue – the same color as the faience beads on her full collar necklace. She relaxed and couldn’t take her eyes off the Amun effigy.
5 Things You Should Know About “The God’s Wife”
By Lynn Voedisch:
1. It’s both a historical fiction novel and urban fantasy. No one seems to have ever heard of this mix of genres before.
2. The two protagonists share a split-soul. (Miss this part and you miss the whole point of the book.)
3. I researched the parts on ancient Egypt so much that I went to Egypt and saw the carvings of the actual God’s Wife of Amun.
4. I used to be a dance critic, so that’s how I know about life in a dance company.
5. There once was gunplay and cops coming to the rescue in the original draft of the novel—until my writer’s group and a friendly veteran writer talked me out of it. I’m sure glad they did.
Lynn Voedisch is a Chicago journalist and fiction writer with many years experience working for newspapers and magazines. She is a member of the America Society of Journalists and Authors and the Society of Midland Authors, where she is one the board of directors. She started out as editor of her college newspaper at Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa, and went on to work for WBBM-TV, Chicago; Pioneer Press in suburban Chicago, the Los Angeles Times, and spent a 17-year stint at the Chicago Sun-Times. She was an entertainment reporter and technology reporter there and helped develop the newspaper’s fledgling Web site. The site and staff won Best Innovation from the Inland Daily Press Association and the Dvorak Award for Web content.
She has been on television (“Chicago Tonight”) and radio (WBEZ-FM) talk shows, discussing arts topics that affect the city. After leaving the Sun-Times, she pursued a freelance career where she was published in the Chicago Tribune and in the Industry Standard, Grok and Connect-Time (all technology magazines). She also did arts stories for Dance Magazine and the Tribune. A short story of hers, “Wili,” was published inFolio literary magazine in Winter, 2001. She is now working on fiction. Her first novel, “Excited Light” (ASJA Press, $14.95) is available at Amazon.com, bn.com,booksamillion.com and can be ordered at any Barnes & Noble store. Her current novel, “The God’s Wife” (Fiction Studio Books, $9.99 e-book, $16.95 paperback) goes on sale Aug. 9.
Visit her website at http://www.lynnvoedisch.com/TheGodsWife-LV.com/Welcome.html