So you can read my books

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Don't miss Wendy Morrell's fabulous post on my

Denise Covey has her WEP prompt this month as TAKING CHANCES.

My entry is from my WIP
Set in 1895 Egypt,
starring my undead hero, Samuel McCord

The snippet is entitled ...


          “One must have a mind of winter to behold the nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.”
- Wallace Stevens

Both Susy and Clara Clemens became little girls again as they gasped and pointed at the ornate buildings we soon passed on our way to the State Ball.  I wonder what their perspectives, their take on the world allowed them to see.  I saw … many things.

Cairo was a battleground.  First fought over by the French, now ruled pompously by the British.  It was even a retreat for former officers of the American Confederacy. 

The Cairo Susy and Clara wondered at was the city that Khedive Ismail built, with the help of his master builder and Minister of Public Works, Ali Mubarak … with the European money that would eventually steal the common Egyptian's freedom and give it to the great banking empires of the west.
The city’s buildings were built during this time when ruthless European powers vied for Egypt and won her from her people, but in the course of things, a grand city was laid out.

So while Susy and Clara saw a city of magic, I saw a city of foreign occupation, heartbreak, and harsh living for most of its peoples.  Stuffshirts like Lord Cromer thought he knew the Egyptian people. 

He only knew his prejudices.  He imposed them on the people here when he should have been deriving facts from them.  Life was induction not living out your prejudices on people too weak to fight back.

The people: merchant, farmer, beggar, child – they all lived in fear and anxiety.  If they offended the wrong tourist, failed to get out of the way in time, not have the increased taxes, birthed a beautiful daughter that those in power coveted, they were in danger of losing what little they had, including their lives. 

A lifetime of that kind of worry gnawed at their hearts, their sense of who they were.

It bred a seething anger – an anger they could not vent on the British who fueled it.  And the only thing they could do with all that anger was to vent it out on one another … usually over trivial things … because something had to matter in their lives.

If their lives were so impoverished that there were no things which were important, then things had to be assigned importance arbitrarily and defended at great risk. Because the risk validated the importance. 

Something, someone had to be important in their thread-bare lives – even if they had to blindly latch onto that something, that someone blindly and hopelessly.

Beside me, Meilori sighed, “Did ever any kingdom or state regain its liberty, when once it was invaded, without bloodshed? I cannot think of it without horror.”
Don't forget about
Available for pre-order:


  1. Roland, I feel such pity for those civilizations that have been used and abused by invaders, whether through colonisation by Western powers, or for greed for resources and land. Afghanistan comes to mind. That country, due to its unfortunate position, has never really know peace, no wonder the Afghans are such fierce warriors...they've had to be. Egypt, Africa...the list goes on.

    I like how you've communicated this injustice in your excerpt.

    Thank you for posting for WEP.


  2. Denise:
    Mankind is not very kind ... at least to those with lesser power!

    Afghanistan I do not believe has ever known lasting peace. As you say, no wonder they possess such fierce warriors.

    Even recovering from surgery, I had to be loyal to a friend. :-)

    I am glad you liked my snippet.

    1. I always appreciate your support Roland. Your writing is a delight.

  3. Loved that Jesse Cook youtube. It helped lift my spirits tonight. I could imagine whirling dervishes while listening to that.

    As for the excerpt from TSBAM, history shows us that what you have woven into your story repeats itself again and again. I see history too, when I look upon an old country, not the glamour of the modern.

    I signed up for Alex's blogfest today (it's far enough in advance). Hope you are taking care of yourself.

  4. You know your history and let it flow naturally with your tale. There is also wisdom in how people who have little or nothing must feel and act, and that can make for a dangerous setting.

    I didn't realize that some Confederate soldiers ended up in Cairo, though I'm not surprised. For many choosing exile in a such a very foreign spot (and where it was cheap to live) must have served as a kind of comfort for them.

    Thanks for the reflective read--I enjoyed it!

  5. Unfortunately, there will have to be bloodshed...

  6. D.G.:
    Wasn't that Jesse Cook vid great? THE STARS weaves ancient history with the modern (or at least modern in 1895!) I signed up for Alex's blogfeset, too. I want to sign up for Michael's and Melissa's, too, but with my best friend dying of cancer, I cannot think of any "fun" stories to tell of the disease. :-(

    Thanks for enjoying my snippet. Hopefully, I will spring back from this surgery soon and be back to visiting ... and working!

    Yes, history shows us that once a country is invaded, only bloodshed will loosen the fingers of the invaders. :-(

  7. What a great way to give a history lesson. There is so much we do not know and judge about other civilizations. We have no idea of the damage we can do. This was well told. Thank you...

  8. You are always thought provoking, Roland. Loved the Jesse Cooke video, never seen him before.

  9. Lisa:
    Blood is the ink with which history is written sadly. Our leaders take chances, but it is we who pay the price when they are wrong. Sigh. Thanks for the nice compliment!

    I'm glad I could introduce you to Jess Cook. I love his music. "Rattle and Burn" is another good tune of his. Victor Standish hears it in his head as the helicopter he is in fights a squadron of dragons in END OF DAYS!

  10. This is timely, Roland, in view of what's happening in the world today....Syria, Palestine, Israel, Iraq, and the list goes on. One can only hope it gets better. Can't help but wonder: do we humans not learn from our past?

  11. Denise;
    I always support my friends! And thank you for saying such a nice thing about my writing. :-)

    Thank you for seeing what I was trying to go for in my latest novel: the modern world is re-playing the tragedies of the past over and over. Sigh.

  12. Hi Roland
    Once again you've knocked it out of the park. Well written. Makes me wonder what will happen next.

  13. Nancy:
    What a nice thing to say. Actually, a State Ball that is a dance of death and mystery happens next! Never waltz when undead are on the dance floor! And beware switching partners!! :-)

  14. "It bred a seething anger – an anger they could not vent on the British who fueled it. And the only thing they could do with all that anger was to vent it out on one another … usually over trivial things … because something had to matter in their lives."

    Remove the word British, and add the word Congress and sadly this encompasses the underlying issues of today!

    Well said, and again, sadly, constantly repeated!

    Wishing you all the best on your journey to complete wellness!

  15. Yolanda:
    Thank you for seeing what I was trying to point out: the abused class and the abuser may change names but the tragic end result remains the same. :-(