Thursday, July 5, 2007

CYBER-LAUNCH BOOK PARTY!!!

The glorious day has arrived, Blog Buddies! This is the Cyber-Launch Book Party for Michelle Moran's debut novel, NEFERTITI, which I was lucky enough to get an ARC of. Remember my review of it? It was the May 16th entry on this blog, if you want to go check it out. NEFERTITI hits the bookshelves this coming Tuesday, July 10th. However, if you participate in the party by leaving a comment for this blog entry, you will have the chance to win a gold-wrapped and autographed copy! The drawing will be held at the end of the party tomorrow night. Here's the important thing: Your comment must have your username which will lead me to info about how to contact you, whether through your blog, an email, or whatever. Otherwise, I can't enter you in the drawing. The other prize is a gold Nefertiti charm!

Now, read the interview. When you're finished, click on 'comments' at the bottom and you will be taken to my party room where the natural laws of time and space do not apply. Watch your step though. The mummies don't get out much, so they're a little rowdy.

I emailed some questions to Michelle and she was kind enough to send these answers back:

1) Can you share the journey you took in creating NEFERTITI? What first
inspired you?
The inspiration to write Nefertiti inadvertently happened while I was on an archaeological dig in Israel. During my sophomore year in college, I found myself sitting in Anthropology 101, and when the professor mentioned that she was looking for volunteers who would like to join a dig in Israel, I was one of the first students to sign up. When I got to Israel, however, all of my archaeological dreams were dashed (probably because they centered around Indiana Jones). There were no fedora wearing men, no cities carved into rock, and certainly no Ark of the Covenant. I was very disappointed. Not only would a fedora have seemed out of place, but I couldn’t even use the tiny brushes I had packed. Apparently, archaeology is more about digging big ditches with pickaxes rather than dusting off artifacts. And it had never occurred to me until then that in order to get to those artifacts, one had to dig deep into the earth. Volunteering on an archaeological dig was hot, it was sweaty, it was incredibly dirty, and when I look back on the experience through the rose-tinged glasses of time, I think, Wow, was it fantastic! Especially when our team discovered an Egyptian scarab that proved the ancient Israelites had once traded with the Egyptians. Looking at that scarab in the dirt, I began to wonder who had owned it, and what had possessed them to undertake the long journey from their homeland to the fledgling country of Israel.

On my flight back to America I stopped in Berlin, and with a newfound appreciation for Egyptology, I visited the museum where Nefertiti’s limestone bust was being housed. The graceful curve of Nefertiti’s neck, her arched brows, and the faintest hint of a smile were captivating to me. Who was this woman with her self-possessed gaze and stunning features? I wanted to know more about Nefertiti’s story, but when I began the research into her life, it proved incredibly difficult. She’d been a woman who’d inspired powerful emotions when she lived over three thousand years ago, and those who had despised her had attempted to erase her name from history. Yet even in the face of such ancient vengeance, some clues remained.

As a young girl Nefertiti had married a Pharaoh who was determined to erase the gods of Egypt and replace them with a sun-god he called Aten. It seemed that Nefertiti’s family allowed her to marry this impetuous king in the hopes that she would tame his wild ambitions. What happened instead, however, was that Nefertiti joined him in building his own capital of Amarna where they ruled together as god and goddess. But the alluring Nefertiti had a sister who seemed to keep her grounded, and in an image of her found in Amarna, the sister is standing off to one side, her arms down while everyone else is enthusiastically praising the royal couple. From this image, and a wealth of other evidence, I tried to recreate the epic life of an Egyptian queen whose husband was to become known as the Heretic King.

Writing the novel took years of research. I wanted to be sure that when I wrote Nefertiti I was extremely accurate, down to the color of the palace tiles and shape of the women’s beads. At the same time, however, I wanted to be careful not to weigh the story down in too much detail. There needed to be the same sense of urgency, danger, and passion as filled Nefertiti’s world.

2) Some of our guests are writers. Can you share your process for
taking a story from rough draft to submission-ready manuscript? What's your
best advice on how they can improve the craft of writing to meet publication
standards?
Nefertiti isn’t my first novel. In fact, it’s not even my second. The process of submitting a manuscript, finding an agent, then reaching publication didn’t happen overnight for me. Actually, it took fifteen years. My first attempt at getting published was in seventh grade, when I was twelve. I had written a full length book that was certainly pathetic but everyone praised it and my father hailed it as the next Great American Novel. My father was very good at ego-boosting. But no one knew how to go about getting published, so I went to my local Barnes and Nobles and asked them how. And instead of laughing, the bookseller took me to the writing section and I purchased the current edition of Writer's Market. From then on, no agent or publishing house was safe. I learned how to write query letters and regaled them all. And some of them sent personal letters back too, probably because I had included my age in the query letter and they either thought a) this kid has potential or b) this is sad and deserves at least a kind note.

Then, after going on an archaeological dig in my second year of college, I changed my genre from literary to historical fiction and found my calling. That summer I wrote a novel called Jezebel, and signed on with a prominent agent. His foreign rights department sold it successfully to Bertelsmann in Germany, and I had my first publishing credit with the company that owns Random House. But my agent in NY had a difficult time selling the novel, and when it was clear that he had done what he could for Jezebel and that there would be no sale in the US, I saw the writing on the wall. I would have to write another book.

So I began my research, and over the next few years I came to a slow and eye-opening realization. No mater how many times or how nicely I wrote, my agent never answered my emails. Even after I had finished the book on the subject that he’d suggested, he never took my phone calls. Did this mean I didn’t have an agent? Had I been dumped because Jezebel hadn’t sold? Did agents do that without telling their clients? Apparently, he did, and apparently, some do. So I took the high road and wrote a letter thanking him for what he had done for me (he did get my foot in the door), and I asked to be released from our contract. I sent the letter by certified mail and promptly never heard from him again.

But publishing isn’t personal, and neither is rejection, so I began sending query letters out the next month, mentioning that my agent and I had recently parted ways and that I was searching for new representation. It was a matter of weeks before I had a new agent, the wonderful Anna Ghosh at Scovil Chichak Galen, and she took on the task of submitting the novel that my precious agent had suggested I write. But my heart hadn’t been in the book. It was set in the 20th century, and my specialty – what I studied in college and what I’ve since become an amateur historian on – is ancient Egypt and the Middle Ages. We had quite a few near misses with the novel, where editors wanted to purchase the book but were told no by the acquisitions committee, since all sales have to be approved by a committee. After Anna sent the novel to all the major houses, I began to panic that I’d be dropped as a client for a second time, and that is when I started Nefertiti, a project I was extremely passionate about. Anna waited for two years while I wrote the book, and eventually she sold the book and its stand-alone sequel for six-figures to Crown. After that, her foreign rights agent Danny Baror (who happened to be the same foreign rights agent who sold Jezebel) sold Nefertiti and The Heretic Queen to more than fifteen countries.

I do believe there is a moral to this story, which is to be persistent and not to be afraid of starting a new project. I have thirteen books that I’ve written, and just because they’re not published doesn’t mean I didn’t learn from them, or that I can’t publish them in the future (although I probably won’t). I think what aspiring writers need to understand is that if something isn’t right for the current market, that doesn’t mean they should simply give up. With each book you’ll get better as a writer, and eventually you will strike gold!

3) What experience do you hope readers will take away from reading
NEFERTITI?
I hope that readers will come away having felt as if they’d spent time in the ancient Egypt of 1350 BC. Nefertiti was the step-mother of Tut, the wife of the Heretic King Akhenaten, and a precursor to Ramesses the Great. She lived during a time of great wealth and power for Egyptian Pharaohs, and I believe that her story is one of the most fascinating ever to have come out of Egypt.

4) Can you tell us a little bit about your next novel? What's the
title? When is it due out?
Currently, I’m finishing the stand-alone sequel to Nefertiti. It will be in bookstores July 2008 and will probably be titled The Heretic Queen. It follows the destiny of Mutny’s daughter, Nefertari, and traces her transformation from a wild palace child to the strikingly beautiful and intelligent queen of Ramesses II.
Very cool, Michelle! Can't wait. (((Kimber hears the mummies chanting, 'Party! Party! Party!' again.))) Gotta go!

73 comments:

Kimber An said...

KIMBER AN’S PARTY ROOM

A red-haired girl steps out of the Interdimensional Transport Chamber, sees four mummies seated at the bar, and giggles. She reaches back into the Chamber. “Come on, Dad.”

“No! I’m not wearing this!”

“Aw, c’mon, Dad! It’s a party for Michelle Moran’s first novel, NEFERTITI. She wrote all those great holographic novels that Mom loves. C’mon!” Junior yanks her towering father, Delano, out of the Chamber. “Oh, I just love time travel!”

A scantily clad Egyptian princess sees him and leans back on the bar, looks him up and down, a smirk on her face. “This has got to be the Afterlife and I must have been a very good girl.”

Delano blushes. “You’re mother’s going to kill me. Let’s go.”

Junior glances at her father who wears a white Ancient Egyptian kilt and a wide gold collar, but nothing else. Propping a hand on her hip, she faces the lusty princess. “Lady, you’d better stick your eyeballs back in their sockets or my mother is going to eat them for dinner.”

Delano grips his Irish Gallowglass sword, Aodhan, sheathed at his side. “We’d better leave before she gets here.”

Delano & Daughter turn to leave, but the Chamber flashes.

Olivia leaps out, plasma-rifle leveled. She draws back the launching chamber and narrows her glare on target. “I don’t share.”

The Egyptian princess screams and dives behind the bar.

Olivia looks at her husband. “Oh, no, you are not wearing that here,” she growls. Grabbing his elbow, she drags back him into the Chamber.

Junior starts to follow them, but Kimber stops her.

“Uh, I don’t think that would be a good idea.”

Junior frowns at her. “Why not?”

Kimber’s brow rises. She pats the teenager’s shoulder. “Does the phrase ‘Wedded Bliss’ mean anything to you?”

Junior’s eyes widen. “Oooh, that’s disgusting! They’re too old for that!”

“You’re never too old for love. Just ask your honorary grandparents. Come on.” Kimber guides her towards the bar. “I’ll get you a mug of cocoa and some chocolate chip cookies.” She walks around the bar, gesturing to the four mummies. “These guys are waiting for Michelle’s party to start. That’s Curly, Mo, Larry, and Melmin. They’ve been dead so long they can’t remember their real names.”

Larry bangs his tankard on the bar. “Vodka!”

“I told you, no alcoholic beverages served here while under-aged persons are present!” Kimber looks around her clean party room and checks her watch. “Just a few more minutes…”

ORION said...

I am like SO TIRED!
I set my alarm for 3 am.
Oh wow. A mummy.
I think I'll sit down on this sarcophagus and rest...OOPS!
WHUMP!
OH no! I can't push the top up from the inside.
It's dark in here. Hey! Can somebody let me out?
HELLOOOO!!!!
Rap. Rap. Rap.
Hello? Anybody?

Kimber An said...

Junior sucks the last of her root beer float with her straw. She gives Kimber a funny look. "Do you hear something?"

Kimber looks around. "Probably just the radiator." She pours Melmin another mug of hot cocoa with marshmellows in it.

Melmin takes a sip. "I can't believe I drowned in a barrel of beer."

Kimber rolls her eyes. "These four are really dragging down the party mood here."

"Maybe you should fire up the Interdimensional Transport Chamber!" Junior's face lights up.

"Oh, no! I just got that bucket of bolts put back together."

Ardyth said...

I glance around nerviously, having missed the last cyber-party... and hope my shyness doesn't get the better of me. Good thing I brought some characters to keep me company.

Kolken scowls at me. "This is lame. I don't drink and I'm not interested in loose women. I want to get back to killing trolls."

"Shut up." Suddenly bringing him along doesn't seem that smart. I glance at Maka, who, looking properly trollish with green skin, a bulldog nose, claws, fangs, and tail, is on my other side.

He bares his fangs at me. "This place is full of humans. What's the point of dragging me here?"

Zincu peeks around the side of me, looking as shy as I feel, and jams his wizard hat down farther on his head.

"Look," I say, pointing at Junior. "Another kid. You at least should feel welcome here."

Zincu rolls his eyes. "This is a historical fiction book party, you ought to have brought historical fiction characters, not fantasy ones."

I sigh. "But I haven't written a historical fiction book yet! I've only written fantasy!"

Zincu looks at me like I'm stupid. "Doesn't mean you don't have the characters. I know you're contemplating writing one." He gestures at the room. "We look out of place here."

My fondness for the kid drops rapidly. Trouble is, he has a point... standing here with an eight-year-old bossy wizard genius, an insane and foul mouthed revenge fanatic, and a troll, doesn't look so good for my image.

At least I came this time, I tell myself, and grin half-heartedly at the room, seeing if there's a copy of the book lying around, so I can escape into oblivion reading it, and prompty ignore the social hoopla.

Kimber An said...

Junior leaps up when she sees Ardyth. "Hey! Hi there! I'm Junior. Want to light firecrackers under the mummies with me?"

Gwyneth Bolton said...

Congrats, Michelle! Your road to publication is inspiring. I love that you were so determined as a kid that you queried agents. Your parents must have known you'd be published one day. I can't wait to read the book.

Kimber An, great party as usual.

Gwyneth

Michelle Moran said...

Nefertiti strolls into the party, darting her arrogant gaze about her as she looks for recognizable faces. Where is she? Who are all these people? "Mutny! Mutny!" she snaps.

Her sister appears and looks nervously around her. The people are all dressed in kilts and collars, but they don't have the mannerisms of Egyptians, and it's almost as if they've come from another time, another planet even ;]

"Mutny, these people aren't bowing. Why aren't they bowing? I am the Queen of Egypt. They must bow!"

Mutny eyes a woman with a strange looking weapon and frowns. "I'm not sure I'd ask these people to bow, Nefertiti."

"Why not? They are my people aren't they? Stand up there where everyone appears to be getting drinks. Announce that I am here!"

Mutny walks uneasily to the front of the bar and clears her throat. An expectant hush falls over the room, and she announces bravely, "Nefertiti of Egypt, daughter of Ay and wife of the Pharaoh Akhenaten the Great, has arrived! You may make obeisance."

Lisa Shearin said...

Another author who refused to give up! Congratulations, Michelle -- both on your book and for finding a great agent! Mine's worth her weight in Egyptian gold. : )

Kimber An said...

Kimber An is dancing to 'Walk Like an Egyptian' which is being belted out by the band from the Star Wars cantina.

Junior and her wary accomplice, Ardyth, light firecrackers under the morose mummies at the bar.

The morose mummies leap up, screaming with their bottoms on fire. They run and leap around the room.

Kimber notices the royal entourage. "Oh, hi! Hey, everybody, Nefertiti and Mutny are here!" She dances over, still like a supposed Egyptian. "You both look totally fantastic, by the way. Have either of you seen your official transcriber, Michelle Moran?"

Junior gallops up. "Hey, Kimber, what does 'obesiance' mean?"

Kimber shrugs, dancing away. "Beats the jeebers outta me!"

Kimber An said...

"Hey, Lisa!" Kimber tosses her a brownie. "Welcome to the party." She hears a thump and notices a sarcofagus rattling across the floor. "Oooh, good grief." Hand go to her hips. "All right, who left their coffin laying around? This isn't Transylvania, you know!" She throws open her lid and helps Patricia Wood climb out. "Sorry about that."

Michelle Moran said...

Nefertiti stares aghast at Mutny. "What does she mean she doesn't know what obeisance is? Has she been raised on a different planet?"

Michelle Moran said...

Thank you Lisa and Gwyneth for the congratulations! And to Kimberley, who is hosting such a wonderful party!

Kimber An said...

Kimber waves to Gwyneth who accepts a lemonade from a waiter with the head of a jackel.

Kimber An said...

Kimber shoves the flaming mummies into a horse trough. "All right, there you go. Sorry about that. Just kids having fun, yanno." She spots Michelle while hoisting them out. "Hi, Michelle!"

Michelle Moran said...

Michelle slinks around Nefertiti, trying not to draw attention to herself lest the queen demand to know what's going on why no one is bowing and making obeisance to her. She whispers to Kimberley, "Great party. I saw Junior and Delano at the bar a few seconds ago. And where did you get that gold and turquoise collar? It looks lovely on you. I especially like your wig. Real human hair? All the good ones are around here. Ooops, I hear Mutny's daughter calling. What's that? It's time to finish up book 2? Shoot! Gotta go Kimber, or Nefertiti will have my head for this! After all, it's her neice i'm writing about next, and she woon't stand for shoddy work." Michelle's voice drops even lower. "I'll pop in later to see that Nefertiti hasn't sent everyone to the quarries for disobedience. That would be rather inconvenient. If she starts with her outrageous Everyone must bow, just tell Munty. She'll know what to do."

Kimber An said...

"Will do." Kimber tosses a couple of chocolate brownies to Michelle. "I know how incredibly bossy characters can be."

Mystery Robin said...

Michelle - thank you for sharing all of that with us. You had an awful lot of persistence to get where you are!! It's inspiring to hear about!

Kimber An said...

"Hi, Mystery Robin! Nice of you to pop in." Kimber hands her raspberry ice tea.

Just then, George of the Jungle swings by, slams into the wall and falls to the floor.

"Hmm, I wonder if he's Junior's twin brother seperated at birth?" Kimber walks over and offers a hand up.

George stands, shakes his eyeballs back into place and looks around.

"Hey, wait a minute." Kimber props on hand on a hip. "I wanted Branden Frasure as Rick from the MUMMY movie. Not as George of the Jungle."

The jilted Egyptian princess saunters over and takes George's arm. "I like this one better." She leads George away.

"Oh, well." Kimber shrugs. "Branden Frasure isn't real here anyway. Only the characters he portrayed are. I'll try again." She turns back to the Interdimensional Transport Chamber.

Michelle Moran said...

Wow, Robin, beautiful blog! What nice graphics!

Marva said...

"Eyaa" Marva screamed to get Kimber's attention. "Be sure to sign me up for that book and get me an Aldebaran ale while you're at it."

I love Michelle's History Buff blog. It's always fascinating. Hubby and I will spend a day in a museum anytime over some hot, icky beach.

Congrats to Michelle on the release of NEFERTITI. I was always fascinated by the bust of her. Aloof, elegant. What was she really like? I'll bet Michelle's book will give me a clue.

Marva said...

Oops. I forgot to bow to Nefertiti. I didn't see her over there. Hit the bar too fast, I guess. Okay, no aldebaran ale this time. Just what do Egyptians get snockered on?

LadyBronco said...

*LadyB sticks her head in for a moment*

"Hey Kimber - only have a sec. Michelle - looking forward to the book!"

She sees a mummy sitting at the bar, Patricia laughing at a joke it's telling her.

"Oh, I'll be back later for this party!"

Michelle Moran said...

Hi Marva,

Thanks for dropping by. And Nefertiti is very pleased by the bow ;] I based her character on the archaeological evidence left behind during her reign. From what I can gather, she was quite something!

And what do Egyptians get plastered on? Definitely Sermet beer. A sweet barely beer. Or perhaps if they're feeling like splashing out they might try red or white wine, both of which would have been aged to perfection in Pharaoh's many vineyards. Or how about date wine???

Michelle Moran said...

Hi LadyB.

Lovely to see you!

Kimber An said...

Kimber An peers over the top of a book and pushes her glasses back up her nose. She's buried in books where they fell on her. Too engrossed to notice the pain of avalanche, she's torn between reading and hosting her party. In the end, loyalty to Michelle wins out. She snaps the book shut and crawls out. "Hi, everybody. Sorry, I got a little distracted. My library books fell over and, well, you all know how it is."

In a terrible flashing, a Stargate appears and four Egyptian warriors with jackel heads charge out with spears raised.

The four morose mummies with singed bottoms scream and scramble over the bar.

The jackel warriors hurl their spears.

Kimber dodges a spear, sighs, and says, "Wouldn't you know it? I finally get the Chamber fixed and a Stargate shows up."

Kimber An said...

Kimber pauses to dust the Stargate and notices new arrivals. "Hi, Marva! Hi, Lady B!"

Tia Nevitt said...

What a great interview. I spotted this novel a while back and it is quite tempting. (After all, I don't only read fantasy.)

Anyway, congratulations Michelle, on what is sure to be a successful novel!

Marg said...

I am sooo looking forward to reading this! Congratulations Michelle. You deserve the rewards after all that perserverance and hard work!

Michelle Moran said...

Thank you Tia and Marg for your very kind words! It was hard work indeed, and many years in the making. It's difficult to believe, but all of those years will finally pay off on Tuesday!

Kimber An said...

The jackel-headed warriors level their spears on the morose mummies. "You were cursed for 9,000 years!"

Kimber ducks under a spear, a tray in her hand. "Yeah, but I invited them here and I live in Aviation Time Warp, which means everything is multiplied by three here. Anyone want a cookie?"

The first jackal-headed warrior tilts his head. "I'd love a cookie."

The jackel-headed warriors gather around the cookie platter and Junior brings over mugs of milk for dunking.

"Thanks." Kimber hands some to the morose mummies too. "As soon as we're finished with our little snack, we'll all hold hands and sing 'Kum-ba-yah' around a campfire, okay?"

"Good cookies!"

Kimber notices all her human guests looking at her funny. "What?" She glances around. "I got more in the oven." She waves at Marge and Tia. "Hi!"

Ardyth said...

Ardyth, finally returning from work, is interested in either blowing something else up, or stabbing something... she eyes the jackel headed warriors with real possibilty.

"I could get used to being perpetually twelve or so," she mutters.

Marva said...

Okay, I'm back. It's happy hour. Give me a Sermet beer and put it in that big glass. Yeah, the one shaped like a sarcophagus. Cute decorations, Kimber!

Kimber An said...

Kimber is holding hands with the morose mummies and the jackel-headed warriors around a campfire singing 'Kum-ba-yah.'

Fed up, Junior grabs one of their spears and busts open the closet, releasing the Old Hag (Kimber's muse.)

The Old Hag runs out, sees all the I-Love-You-Man crap going on. "Now you see why I don't let her write the novels all by herself!"

Junior makes punching moves at the air. "Go get her, Gramma!"

Grabbing some pies set out to cool, the Old Hag runs out, cackling, and smashes them into the jackel-headed warriors and points at the mummies.

Seeing the fun, Junior does the same thing.

Kimber backs against the wall as the jackel-headed warriors grab their spears and chase the morose mummies again.

Meanwhile, Junior runs over to recruit Ardyth for a run on the kitchen while the Old Hag grabs a chair and slams it into the control console of the Interdimensional Transport Chamber.

Wide-eyed, Kimber says, "Oh, crap," and wipes some pie off her face. Her eyes light up. "Cheesecake!" She waves to Tia, Marva, and Marg, and hopes they understand.

Laurie said...

Laurie arrives, still in her suit, and spies an empty spot at the bar. Sliding onto an ebony and gold inlaid barstool, she glances around. "What a day. Did I make it in time for happy hour?"

Four short, dusty and slightly scorched mummies nod in unison.

"Great!" She waves at the bartender. "I'll have a Billins, please."

Surveying the rowdy buzzard-and-cobra festooned crowd, complete with jackal-headed waiters, she grins at the hostess. "Fun party, Kimber. Can't wait for my copy of NEFERTITI to arrive. Excellent interview, by the way."

LadyBronco said...

*LadyB rushes through the door after a long, long day and walks directly to the bar, pulling herself onto a bar stool*

"Hey Kimber - how goes the party? Oh, man, it's good to finally get here. Work is too depressing. Me leaving has everyone sad and teary-eyed (myself included) so I need a beer. Got any Guinness?"

She watches Junior and an Old Hag emerge from the kitchen with a fresh plate of cookies.

"Been crazy around here today, huh?"

Lisa Shearin said...

It was a great interview! I always love to hear how other writers got their start and how they write, work and research. NEFERTITI is definitely on my book-to-buy list. I love history -- especially history involving strong, take-charge women.

Kimber An said...

"I'm tellin' ya, they're ganging up on me." Kimber shoots a glare at Junior and the Old Hag. She grabs a dusty bottle. "This here is Sermet Bear straight from Ancient Egypt." She smashes the top on the edge of the counter and pours tankards for Laurie and Lady B.

The Stargate flashes and Obi Wan Kenobi leaps through, a little smokey from chucking Anikin into the flaming tar pit.

Nefertiti turns to him, sipping red wine. She looks him up and down, lips curling.

"Ut-oh." Kimber looks around for Michelle. Or Mutny. She gestures to Obi Wan who walks disorientedly over. She hands him a beer. "Stay away from that one. She just sent Atilla the Hun to the quarries for looking funny at her."

Obi Wan sips his beer. "I'll watch my step."

Kimber An said...

Lisa, that's how I stumbled on NEFERTITI. I was looking through history for inspiration for a powerful woman ruler. After Empress Theodora, I Googled Nefertiti and found Michelle's book, then her website and blog. I mentioned all that on my Star Captains' Daughter blog and, lo and behold, Michelle popped in for a visit.

Anissa said...

Michelle,

What an inspiring story! Thank you so much for sharing. I can't wait to read about the lovely Nefertiti.

Great party as always, Kimber.

Now I think I'll get myself a drink. :)

Kimber An said...

Kimber hands Anissa a Sermet Beer. "Yeah, you're gonna love it." She looks down the bar at the jackel-headed warriors. "Hey, do you guys have a Designated Charioteer tonight?"

"Huh?"

Kimber groans, and then she notices the morose mummies are gone.

Michelle Moran said...

Hi Anissa,

Thanks for dropping by, and I hope you're enjoying your Sermet beer (made of barely, dates and honey). Of course, there's a wide variety at the bar if that's not to your liking - pomegranate wine, barely beer, Shedeh, which happens to be Nefertiti's favorite...

Lisa Shearin said...

Lisa stumbles up to the bar, leans over and looks behind it. No Kimber An. No coffee. Oh no.

She takes a sniff, then another. There's definitely coffee brewing somewhere -- and muffins baking.

"Kimber An, you're a goddess."

Lisa pulls up a barstool, sits down and plunks her forehead on the bar to wait for coffee and muffins.

Kimber An said...

Kimber slams a frying pan down on the bar next to Obi Wan's head. "Don't you just hate morning people?" She throws her head back in a wicked laugh as he groans into his hands. "Breakfast!" She reaches over and takes an enormous tray of muffins. The Super-Turbo Coffee Pot rises up and starts chugging away.

Anissa said...

Anissa staggers in, arm around a mummy. "Did someone say coffee?"

Lisa Shearin said...

"Kimber An brews the best. Anybody seen Her Majesty this morning? She was up late last night."

Kimber An said...

"Hmm, I haven't seen Nefertiti yet this morning." Kimber waves the coffee pot at Obi Wan. "Well, at least he's still in one peice." She notices Junior waltzing with King Akmun Ra from NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM. "Don't they make a cute couple?" She smiles and sighs. "I love a man in a kilt."

Suddenly, the Interdimensional Transport flashes and the Star Captains Edward and Olivia Delano and crew leap through.

Whipping his sword around, Delano wipes out all the mummies and jackel-headed waiters in the room and brings the blade to Akmun's throat. "Get your grubby hands off my little girl!"

Kicking over a chair, Olivia shoves her plasma-rifle into Akmun's gut. "Mommy's here and she's really ticked."

"Oh, I can't believe this!" Enraged, Junior throws up her hands and brings them to her waist.

Delano spins her around to his back and clamps her to his spine. "Secure the perimeter!"

"Daaad!" Junior watches two more sword-warriors spread out in standard pattern. "You brought the Kaiya-bennu too?"

"Let's move," orders Olivia. "This place will be crawling with the Premerean Guard in two minutes."

Commander Satchi Owada appears at her side, also with plasma-rifle leveled. "I've commadeered suitable transport, Captain."

"Understood. Withdraw!" Olivia backs towards the Chamber.

"Withdraw!" Delano orders, as well, shoving Junior towards the Chamber.

"You're not going to do this Prom Night, are you?" Junior complains as she's shoved into the Chamber.

Kimber watches the group vanish into the Chamber. "Game night with the Delano family. Darth Vader only wished he had it so good." She pours more coffee for Anissa and Lisa.

Michelle Moran said...

Nefertiti wrinkles her nose and snaps loudly, "Mutny! Mutny, what is that smell? Do something about it!"

Mutny looks over at a woman pouring dark, steaming liquid into several cups. It has a pungent smell, maybe an earthy smell, and Mutny kind of likes it. She quietly goes over to one of the women at the bar and asks, "What is it?"

Kimber and Anissa reply in joyful unison, "COFFEE!"

Kimber An said...

Kimber, Anissa, and all the others break into a new kind of drinking song.

"I'm a little coffee pot, short and stout. Here is my handle. Here is my spout. When I get all steamed up, hear me shout (they raise their fists and pound the air in unison), "GIVE ME COFFEE OR I WILL POUT!"

Lisa Shearin said...

And brownies!!

Anissa said...

Anissa eyes Obi Wan's light saber. "Now where's that Junior when you need her? I could use a good distraction while I try to borrow myself a toy."

Kimber An said...

Kimber helps up the mummies and jackel-headed warriors Delano wiped out. "You guys sure are lucky to already be dead."

A roaring rattles the brains of all the party-goers. Obi Wan jumps up, his barstool slamming into the floor behind him, just as Junior bursts forth from the the Chamber in her brand new red single-seater hovercraft. She spins a brodie, laughing hysterically while people run screaming away.

Obi Wan's Jedi cloak flies off, leaving his lightsaber plainly visible for Anissa to swipe.

Anissa said...

Success!!! Anissa pumps her arm, grinning widely.

"Hey!" The lightsaber flies back into Obi Wan's hand. "How'd you do that?"

Darn force...

Kimber An said...

Junior pulls out a bullwhip and snaps it. The whip grabs the lightsaber and slings it back to her hand, but it hits her in the forehead instead.

Obi Wan stands there, rather annoyed, watching as his lightsaber knocks over a vat of Sermet Beer.

The beer splashes down on Nefertiti who shrieks as Mutny leaps out of the way.

Obi Wan summons the Force, drawing the lightsaber back into his hand. Groaning, he says, "Why do I keep coming here?"

Kimber lifts a mug. "Free beer."

"Oh, right." Obi Wan picks up his stool and sits down, accepting the new mug.

LadyBronco said...

*peeking in the door*

Hey guys ~ sorry it took so long to get here ~ traffic was awful!

Kimber An said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kimber An said...

Indiana Jones leaps out of the Chamber, winks at Lady Bronco and Anissa at the bar. He swaggers over to Junior sitting on her flashy red futuristic motorcycle.

Junior sheepishly hands back the bullwhip.

Indiana tips his hat to Lady B and Anissa, then disappears into the Chamber with a flash.

Anissa said...

Anissa leaps from her stool. "Hey Jones! Wait up!"

Michelle Moran said...

Nefertiti looks around and wonders what happened to the dashing man with the whip and the fedora. She rather fancies men with whips, and the bare chest doesn't hurt. But where did he go?

LadyBronco said...

*sigh*

"I feel a swoon coming on.
Kimber, you think we could persuade Mr. Jones to come back? He just made my week."

Anissa said...

"Got him!"

Anissa drags a struggling Jones back into the room.

"Crazy man tried to run away..."

Kimber An said...

Chuckling, Kimber pulls out her remote and summons Indiana Jones back through the Chamber.

Instantaneously, every woman over thirty runs squeeling to his side.

Junior leans back on her motorcycle, props up her knee, and folds her arms. "This is so weird." She spies King Akmun, glances cautiously around for her neurotically over-protective star captain parents and gives him the nod.

Akmun runs and leaps on the back of the motorcycle and Junior speeds away with him.

Meanwhile, all the women lead Indiana to the bar.

Kimber pours him a mug of hot cocoa with marshmellows and sets a plate with five chocolate cookies on it before him.

"I'm Indiana Jones."

Kimber sighs. "I'm married."

Kimber An said...

"It's okay, Anissa. I think we got him. Cookies always work, yanno."

Laurie said...

Laurie stumbles into the door, sprawls in a chair and sighs. "T...G...I...F!" She waves at the barkeep. "Cold Billins please, and start a tab for me, would ya?"

Glancing around, she spies the hostess. "Hiya Kimber. Hi all. OMG, is that Han Solo?" She jumps to her feet and runs toward Indiana, sliding to a stop as his bevy of adoring females scatter. "Oh...no...my apologies. You look just like one of my regulars over at Spacefreighters Lounge. Hmm. The clothes are all wrong, but the resemblance is uncanny."

Kimber An said...

"Actually, I think Han Solo is Indiana's great-great-great-great-grandson. Isn't that right?" Kimber pours him another mug of cocoa.

***FYI: The drawing for an autographed copy of NEFERTITI by Michelle Moran and the gold Nefertiti pendent happens at 7 p.m. Alaska Time. That's two hours from this writing. If you want to enter, you must leave a comment with a username which will lead me to contact info, like a blog, website, or email. Otherwise, I have no way of letting you know if you win before it's announced. I don't like to announce until after the winner and the author knows, just in case of a mix-up. Thanks. I now return you to your regularly scheduled lunacy.***

Lisa Shearin said...

Oooo, Han Solo. I never understood it when my friends in high school lusted after Luke Skywalker. Jeez. Give me a bad boy space smuggler any day. ; )

Kimber An said...

Luke was a whiner, though I must confess to having more in common with him than Han. (cue rolling of eyes here) Leia totally whooped butkis. I always resented that she didn't get her own lightsaber in the movies. Timothy Zahn vendicated her so well in the Thrawn Trilogy though!

Michelle Moran said...

Nefertiti crosses the bar and the room grows silent. Indiana Jones sits taller in his chair as she approaches him, then scrambles from his seat and makes a hasty bow. "Your Majesty."

Nefertiti smiles. "I don't believe we've met." She is a stunning woman, and there is no one in the bar who isn't watching her. A high crown sweeps from her brow, and her dark eyes are rimmed with black kohl. She fixes her gaze on Indiana, who fumbles for his words.

"I, I am Indiana. A pleasure to meet you."

"And from what kingdom do you hail, Indiana?" She steps closer, and Indiana Jones can smell the scent of her perfume.

He grins. "The kingdom of America, Your Highness."

Nefertiti arches her brows. "America. Is that a new kingdom?" She eyes his fedora and wonders if it's some sort of symbol of power. "And are you its king?"

LadyBronco said...

*staring at Indiana Jones like a swooning teenager*

"I'm just going to sit here quietly and stare for a while at the view, okay Kimber?"

*sigh*

Kimber An said...

"Yep, this is this is the 'Happily Married, Staring, Swooning, and Sighing' section, Lady B." Kimber elbows Obi Wan. "Do you think we should warn Indiana about her?

Kimber An said...

This party is now closed for entries into the drawing. Thanks to everybody who participated! It was a blast!

Michelle Moran said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle Moran said...

Thank you to everyone who stopped by!!

Kimberley, you were a magnificent host. Even Nefertiti had a great time, and that's saying a lot ;] Of course, Mutny had a fabulous time as well, even if Indiana Jones paid more attention to Nefertiti than her!

Kimber An said...

You're welcome, Michelle! I think Indiana was just being respectful of Mutny. Nefertiti may be queenly, but Mutny is a lady who commands respect.
;)

NEFERTITI hits the bookshelves Tuesday, July 10th, for those of you poor souls who didn't win the gold-wrapped, autographed copy!