Things aren’t always what they seem…
THURSDAY 1ST DECEMBER 2011
Today I am launching my new look blog and, to coincide with this, I am launching my self published book ‘The Ruby of Egypt’, which is now available to buy from Lulu.com in time for Christmas.
This is a Children’s book, an adventure yarn of approx 105 pages.
Ruby finds herself being dragged by her over excited and rather embarrassing parents on a sight-seeing holiday to Egypt. Viewing the pyramids is the last thing a fourteen year old girl wants to be doing when she could be basking in the glorious sunshine by the pool instead.
Her disappointment soon turns to delight when she curiously follows a black cat inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, where upon entering she is mysteriously transported back in time to Ancient Egypt.
Aided by a talking feline.
Guided by a dragonfly.
Protected by a Falcon headed God.
Ruby must embrace an important mission that will not only challenge her ability to amend her stroppy attitude, but will change the purpose of her life forever.
In the meantime, please find below a Chapter Teaser for my Littlewolves:
The rickety old bus rattled along the sandy road, rocking from side to side occasionally, causing the tourists to sway in their seats to an unheard tune.
Ruby let out a huge sigh as she bumped her head off the window for the umpteenth time that day. The heat was starting to get unbearable and she started using her leaflet on ‘Discovering Egypt’ as a fan, wafting it around in front of her. The conversations taking place on the bus were in a variety of different languages incomprehensible to Ruby, so she stuffed her iPod speakers further into her ears to drown out the unfamiliar chatter.
Her father, sitting in the seat in front, turned and offered her a friendly smile. She just rolled her eyes. Why did her parents insist on bringing her on a sight-seeing holiday to Egypt? Ruby thought she had made her intentions clear; holidays were for lying by a pool and sunbathing. They would never understand, they were old and boring and knew nothing.
Her mother, squashed into the seat next to her, was frantically searching for something in her rucksack. A rucksack of all things! No self-respecting fourteen-year-old girl would be seen dead with one of those. Ruby quietly cringed with embarrassment as she gazed out the window, twiddling her gold key chain necklace that she had inherited from her grandmother.
The bus stopped suddenly, jolting Ruby from her thoughts. Her father promptly stood up and her mother elbowed her, mouthing something.
“What?” Ruby demanded, taking out her left earphone.
“I said we’re here dear! Oh do take those headphones off love; you won’t get the full benefit of the experience walking around listening to that rubbish.”
“It’s not rubbish, it’s Rihanna,” Ruby sulked, reluctantly pulling them out of her ears, “And they are earphones mum, not headphones. It’s not the eighties!”
Her mother chose to ignore her as she swung her rucksack onto her back, nearly knocking over the tourist behind her. Ruby shook her head; God they were so embarrassing!
She followed her parents off the bus, fighting their way past the other tourists. Not only had her parents dragged her on this trip, but they had also opted to use the local tour bus, occupied with people from all around the world, rather than taking the trip offered by their English Tour Operator. They said it added a more ‘authentic feel’ to the trip. Yeah right, nothing authentic about being sandwiched in a rusty old bus with no air conditioner, surrounded by people who you can’t understand, Ruby had thought as she managed to squeeze her way past a French family. Now that was one language she kind of understood, being in her first year of studying French at school.
Ruby stepped off the bus and took in her surroundings. She watched as the local Egyptian Tour Guides helped a family onto camels and started leading them up the sand dunes. Ruby’s gaze followed them and rested just beyond the dunes. Despite not really wanting to be there, she couldn’t help being overwhelmed and impressed by what lay before her eyes.
Three huge pyramids, which Ruby overhead an English couple name as ‘The Great Pyramids of Giza’, were protruding from the sand, stretching high up into the sky. Behind them lay the famous Sphinx, a statue of a lion with a man’s face carved out of limestone bedrock; a fact that had been spouted to Ruby earlier that day by her mother.
Her father had already started taking pictures, “Ruby, go and stand over there with your mother, I can get a great picture of you both with the pyramids in the background.”
Ruby rolled her eyes. How embarrassing was her father and his camera! He took it everywhere with him and was forever trying to take a picture of something. She thought back to an occasion when he had been really excited over a robin that had landed on their birds’ table in the garden. He had spent a good few minutes crawling on the grass to get closer to it and, just as he was about to take the photo, the robin flew off. Ruby had laughed at the sight of her father lying there in the grass on his back, his face frowning disappointedly. He always managed to get himself into the most ridiculous of positions to take photos. Her father called it artistic, Ruby called him weird.
“Smile Ruby, you don’t want me to try and swap you for a camel now do you?” he joked.
“Come on Rubes, you will learn lots of things today,” her mother chattered on, putting her arm around Ruby and posing for the photo, “Isn’t it fantastic how these pyramids were built? All man made you know, none of these heavy machines used. Some people believe they were actually built and raised by aliens you know.”
I think I was raised by aliens; Ruby thought as she pulled a sarcastic smile as her father almost buried himself in the sand to take the picture.
“Marvellous!” he said excitedly, raising his thumb to them as he admired the photo he had just taken.
Ruby pulled herself away from her mother and started shaking her feet, annoyed that the sand was getting into her brand new gladiator sandals and scuffing them. Her mother shook her head at her, “You knew fine well there would be sand in the desert Rubes. I don’t know why you wore those shoes, they aren’t practical enough. You should have put your trainers on like your father and I.”
Ruby scowled at her mother, what did she know? She had never been young and wouldn’t know what fashion was if it hit her in the face.
Her father clasped his hands together, “Right gang, let’s go and explore the Great Pyramid!”
Ruby reluctantly followed her parents as they power marched towards the Great pyramid. The heat was still unbearable and she stopped to get a hair bobble out of her handbag. She tipped her head upside and scooped her long blonde hair back into a ponytail. When she stood up, her parents were disappearing out of sight. She started to pick up her pace, when a slim black cat scuttled across her path, nearly tripping her over.
Great, she thought, its bad luck for a black cat to cross your path. Or did it not count as she was on sand?
She was about to scowl at it and shoo it away when she stopped in her tracks. The cat was stood right in front of her, gazing up. Ruby felt frozen to the spot and, for a moment, the cat’s facial expression appeared almost human. It had its head cocked to one side, looking at her inquisitively. It was as if the cat recognised her face and was trying to work out where it had seen her before.
It was one of the most bizarre looking cats Ruby had ever seen. It hardly had any fur covering its long slender body and it had the slimmest, most defined facial features. It was almost as if it had a pointy face. Its ears stood very prominent on the top of its head and it had an unusually long, thin black tail; which also lacked any fur.
The cat had distinct green eyes, which seemed to cast over every inch of Ruby’s face, analysing and studying her. She could have sworn that she saw a flash of realisation in them, as if it had dawned on the animal how it recognised her. The cat’s expression then seemed to change and soften into a satisfactory smile.
Ruby shook her head. Stupid heat, she thought, it was making her start to see things. Cats pulling faces and smiling of all things! Whatever next, a talking cat?
The feline animal suddenly turned on its heels and started tiptoeing softly on its long slender legs, like a ballerina across a theatre stage, from Ruby and in the direction of the Great Pyramid.
It stopped at one point and turned to look back at Ruby, as if it was beckoning her to follow. The cat took a few more steps and again stopped to stare back at her. Ruby was transfixed; she couldn’t seem to tear her gaze from the animal. She had never in her life seen such a beautiful cat and for some strange reason, she had the strongest of urges to follow it.
She took a few steps forward, her curiosity getting the better of her. The cat was heading in the direction her parents took anyway, she thought, so what the heck.
Suddenly, the cat picked up pace once it approached the Great Pyramid, before quickly bolting around the corner out of sight.
Ruby ran after it, turning the same corner in time to see the cat run into a side entrance to the pyramid. Without thinking about what she was doing, Ruby ran into the entrance after it.
As she did so, an enormous flash of white light met her. It engulfed her entire body and she had to put her arms up to shield her eyes. There was an almighty roaring noise and the ground seemed to shake beneath her.
Ruby could feel the walls closing in on her but she couldn’t move; her feet were rooted to the spot. Oh God, she thought, the Pyramid’s collapsing and I’m going to get trapped in here. Panic set in, her breaths becoming shorter which made her struggle for air. There was a gust of wind that sent sand whispering all around her as the light got brighter and brighter. She was trying to keep her balance as the ground continued to shake, trying to grasp anything to hold onto but having to quickly pull her arms back to shield her eyes.
The roaring noise grew louder and louder, making her want to curl her arms around her head to protect her ears. She became dizzy, feeling like the room had started to spin and the last thing she thought of before she passed out was how annoyed her parents were going to be.
The Ruby of Egypt – AVAILABLE NOW AT Lulu.com
Love Missuswolf xx