Sunday, June 6, 2010

As Timeless as Stone


Though society stands in their way, can love transcend time with the aid of robotics and ritual?

In peril for her life, the Priestess Seshat turns herself to stone in ancient Egypt. Centuries later, Ricard, a dashing nineteenth century Frenchman, repairs a broken statue and reads its incantation--unprepared for the gorgeous flesh and blood woman who steps forth.

Seshat is drawn to the brass robots Ricard creates and the glamor of the Victorian age, and most of all to Ricard himself. But the society of his day cannot accept a woman like her. How far will Ricard go to secure her happiness? Is their love strong enough to transcend time itself?


Excerpt and trailer available at my website

Buy As Timeless As Stone


Ricard stepped back as his gaze devoured the entire woman, though stiff and lifeless. The stone looked like lush, sun-warmed skin. Her oval face was darkand delicate, with full, rosy lips. He admired her long lithe body, clad in asheer, white, sleeveless dress, held up only by two delicate linen shoulderstraps. He longed to roam his fingers and lips over her high perched breast andthe thin waist which flared into curved hips and lithe thighs. Then, down to her pretty legs and her slender feet garbed in white papyrus sandals, of the station she depicted, an Egyptian priestess of the Middle Kingdom. He drank in her beauty, then he noticed the ornament lying in the valley between her breasts, a thick ankh of gold hung from a chain. His fingers absently tried to grab hold of the necklace but it was only part of the statue, no matter how real it seemed.

"What is this?" He looked at the plaque in the statue's stone hands, heldbeneath the ankh. The last hieroglyphic depicted the symbol for life, an ankh,held up to the woman's nose. Ricard read it silently, sounding it out, Nce xarpwt pwwne Ab etoot abrem... Toujo Abrem etoot pwwne ab... xarp wt au ai ankh qe,and translated it under his breath. "God Horus, as you turned my flesh to stone... God Horus, save me, make me whole...change my stone to flesh...give me the nose breath of life, once more."

The room vibrated and an unnatural wind swirled within. Ricard's hair stood on end, but he could not tear his eyes away from the statue. He grabbed the ankh,and this time it gave way, lifting from the statue's chest. The curiosity that drove him as a scientist, as an Egyptologist, caught hold and as strange as this all seemed, he felt he had come this far, he had to see it through. Laying the ankh against the statue's small nose, Ricard acted out the last hieroglyphic on the plaque.He shuddered at the sound of a gush of breath. A flash of light struck inside the room. The shock knocked the breath out of him.

The statue moved, but she wasn't stone anymore. Jean Fran├žois gasped and stepped back. Ricard couldn't move. It's a living, breathing woman. He dropped the ankh and it fell against her chest, which now rose and fell with heaving breaths. Ricard managed to step back on shaky legs. He gaped at her, unable to think or speak. Alive. The priestess shrieked. Her brown eyes glowed with anger.

"Come near me you Hyksos cobra, and you will die!" she warned in Old Egyptian.


by Maeve Alpin

The latest cross genre of romance that’s all the rage is Steampunk. It’s a yummy genre and once you get a taste of it, you’ll be hooked. For those romance readers who are unfamiliar with it, I’ve noted some particulars.

You don't have to know what steampunk is at all to enjoy As Timeless As Stone, you can call it a time travel/romance and that would work just as well. For those who would like to know more about Steampunk, it’s a fantasy/sci-fi genre that is a type of alternate history based on the idea that the industrial age and the technological age happen together. It's written in the spirit of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne. If you ever watched the Wild Wild West TV show or the movie - that's steampunk. For the most part it's set during the Victorian Age, sometimes in the American west. You can have magic and paranormal elements and most of the Steampunk/Romances coming out do, but you don't have to. I find it an incredibly fun genre to write. Steampunk has also expIoded into our culture with fashion both clothes and jewelry. With gadgetry as many people love to build steampunk machines including cars. There is also steampunk music and movies. Simply Google, the word steampunk to glimpse the variety of items included in what has become for some people, a way of life.

But back to my favorite subject, books. One thing that stands out in Steampunk/Romances are fresh, settings and alternate history. Steampunk/Romances are usually set in Victorian England, especially London, some are in the Old West in the same time period, and As Timeless As Stone takes place in 1830 Paris France. As Timeless As Stone is also an example of Egyptian/Steampunk.

Steampunk/Romances usually have some type of scientist, often a good old- fashioned mad scientist. In As Timeless As Stone my hero is an unusual scientist for the genre, he’s an Egyptologist. He’s also the assistant of Jean Fran├žois Champollion, the man best known for deciphering the Rosetta Stone. Working for Jean Francois Champollion, the conservator of the Egyptian collection of the Louvre, Ricard uncovers a room full of artifacts Napoleon Bonaparte brought back from his Egyptian campaign and expedition. They have been hidden away from the English all this time.

This is the part of my story where magic and science combine as it does in most Steampunk/Romances. As Ricard examines these artifacts, he uncovers an ancient Egyptian statue with the head broken off. When he sets the head back in place and uses his linguistic skills to read the incantation she holds in her stone fingers, the statue comes to life. A gorgeous flesh and blood woman appears where a stone image stood just moments before. This is my heroine Seshat, who in peril for her life turned herself to stone thousands of years before.

There is often an environment of political chaos and discourse in Steampunk/Romance and As Timeless As Stone is no exception, set in 1830 Paris under the reign of Charles the tenth with pending mayhem and unrest around the corner as the king is overthrown that same year in the July revolution.

Another big part of Steampunk/Romances are the wonderful Victorian fashions. But in As Timeless As Stone, Seshat is not impressed with layers of confining clothing. As an Egyptian priestess it is a taboo for her to wear anything made from animals, such as wool, and this comes into play when the couturier is garbing her in the latest Paris fashions.

In Steampunk/Romances there is usually a steam driven machine. For example in As Timeless As Stone there is a sprinkling of brass robots. The ultimate mechanical wonder in As Timeless As Stone is the brass time-machine watch pictured on the cover.

Now that you are familiar with some of the elements of the genre, I hope you’ll give it a try and let a Steampunk/Romance sweep you away to another place and time for a fun adventure.


1 comment:

  1. *Schweee* I am now going to soooo read this story.. >_<! It has caught my attention. BIG TIME!