Title: To Breathe the Breath of Isis
Author: Elizabeth Marx
Genre: Historical Romance/Time Travel
Tour Host: Lady Amber's Tours
One woman. One man. An eternity of love hammered into twenty-one pieces of silver.
Marguerite is a victim of a vicious attack. The resulting brain damage causes amnesia and when she inexplicably appears in a tomb in Thebes, she insists she was coming to meet Robert Bruton. Disorientated, destitute, and alone, she senses that her necklace has led her to this familiar swashbuckler who takes her breath away; however, he claims he does not know her.
Lord Robert Bruton, eminent Egyptologist, and possible spy for the crown, has never discovered anything as captivating as the young woman he recovers unconscious on his dig. He has staked his career on finding the final resting place of Queen Tiye and wonders why Marguerite possesses a piece of jewelry belonging to the Eighteenth Dynasty queen. She could be a tomb robber, an American spy, or a madwoman spouting fantastical stories.
As the necklace’s curse is revealed, the fire of Marguerite’s and Bruton’s ancient bond burns between them. But when Marguerite disappears, Bruton fears that the wings of Isis have carried away the true treasure he has been seeking his entire life.
For to breathe the breath of Isis is to be reborn.
What inspired you to write this book?
I guess it started with my love of Egyptian history. I’ve loved Egypt since King Tut came to Chicago when I was a girl. When I decided to write a book with threads woven from the ancient past I knew I wanted a strong Queen to be the centerpiece of my story. While searching Egyptian queens I came across the artwork of Winifred Burton and in particular a lithograph of Queen Tiye, these little drawings were included in a book her husband wrote. I tracked down an original copy of the book that I got as a birthday present and then I set about weaving a story that interwove ancient Egypt, Egyptian exploration at the time that the book was written and then modern day Chicago. I linked these ideas together by a necklace, that’s curse is so powerful that it follows its mistress through time.
Where did the title come from?
To Breathe the Breath of Isis is to be Reborn is a phrase from the book of the Dead. Isis as the mother goddess protects and gives rebirth, she appears at the beginning of the book as the dispenser of justice.
If TO BREATHE THE BREATH OF ISIS was turned into a movie who would you see playing the characters?
Serinda Swan as Marguerite
Josh Bernsteinne as Lord Robert Bruton
What makes this book different from others in this genre?
I think the main difference was I picked a more unknown queen to portray, most everyone knows about Cleopatra and Neferrati but I chose Queen Tiye because she was less known and in actually she reigned for a long period of time and was a very important and powerful force in the 18th Dynasty. Did I mention she was a commoner? I like that a woman who had no designs on a throne or a pharaoh’s love get’s it anyway.
Are any of the characters like you?
All the characters are like me in some way. Marguerite is stubborn and relentless. Guy is a workaholic and very determined. Even Hassan the foreman is like me in that he sits back and lays in wait and when you least expect anything from him he’ll lay a zinger down.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I’m of the theory that you’re born a writer. I’ve always loved books and writing so I’ve always felt it was in my blood. I can still remember the exact layout of my grade school library. I still dream about that small room because of the power of words could take me to so many places I never expected to go. I think you have to have this living passion to write and to tell stories.
If you were stuck on a deserted island which of your characters would you want with you?
Duh, Lord Robert Bruton. He’s an archaeologist for one, a spy for another, he’s resourceful and the most determined man I’ve ever written. Did I mention that he’s super sexy, can speak foreign languages and likes to take charge? Who else would I be able to spar with, if not Lord Bruton?
Did you learn anything from writing you book and what was it?
I learned so much about Egypt, Egyptology, Queen Tiye, Akenaten her son, known as the heretic king. He gave humanity the first taste of a monotheistic religion.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write, just sit down and right. Don’t worry if it’s right, wrong or indifferent, just get it out in the first draft. Then go back and layer it with the details and emotion it need to come to life. Then proofread and edit and edit some more, then polish it until you’re sure it’s worth pimping.
What is the first book you remember reading?
Frog & Toad.
Marguerite had spent two weeks in the desert with her task master. He was quiet except for his constant examination of her knowledge of Egyptian history. Lord Bruton had a rugged swagger and raw strength that probably frightened most of the damsels of the day, but because he seemed familiar to Marguerite she ignored his bravado.
They dined alone under the stars most evenings, a fire mingling between their piecemeal conversation. Bruton spent most of his nights playing records on his phonograph and studying her under hooded eyes that revealed nothing of his thoughts. He tried to convince her to sleep in one of the tombs to avoid the cool nights, but the thought of the confinement was more than she could bear, so she slept on a pallet across the tent from him.
She woke early this morning to find him gone. It wasn’t the first time she’d awoken to his empty pallet, but he usually snuck away in the darkest part of night. Marguerite tore her covers off, dressed and went to work, telling herself that who he was with was none of her concern.
Marguerite’s work table was positioned so that the shaft of daylight fell over the surface, and she could read the papyrus document. The stagnant air dancing with dust motes moved, and a shadow fluttered down the stairs of the tomb. Down one step at a time, over the surface of her sheltered respite, the silhouette bringing the dry scorch of the desert. Marguerite stopped dabbing the hanky across her upper lip to glance up from her transcription to stare at the figure whose features were hidden under the brim of his hat.
Bruton put his hands on his hips. “What on earth are you doing now?”
“I’m working.” She brought a hanky to her brow, but it was dry, like the fine filament of a shroud. She considered the rest of the tabletop, wondering about the location of her water canister.
“Is there a particular reason for your state of undress?”
Marguerite imagined the exasperated look on his face, happy that she couldn’t see it because after fifteen days, it was losing its desired effect. “I’m only partially unclothed. I came down expecting to remain alone. You went roaming the desert without me, again, remember?”
“Why?” She refused to look away from the papyrus, drawing a magnifying glass over the textured surface, forgetting the heat and the water canister. “Because you enjoy keeping me up to my elbows in work while you traipse off into the luxuries of Luxor.”
“Why are you partially unclothed?” He took the last of the stairs moving behind her, gazing over her shoulder. “What is this?” he asked, snatching her corset, which was dangling off the snout of a dog-headed ceramic figurine.
She eyed him from the corner of her eye, pretending to squint from the reinfusion of light. “That would be the most preposterous women’s undergarment. I plan on sacrificing it over the spit at dinner.” She made another note in the margin.
“I believe that this is a necessary woman’s undergarment for a woman with your kind of figure.”
Marguerite looked up with narrowed her eyes. “I am too busy to care about your insults right now.”
“Knickers, you confuse insult with observation.”
“Yes a very keen one,” she started fanning herself with her sketch-pad, since the temperature seemed to suddenly rise.
“Do you really have time for a break when there is so much copying to be done?”
“Do the papers strewn everywhere indicate inactivity?” She huffed. “Anyway, I’ve copied everything that you asked for, Herr Kommandant.” She extended her makeshift fan and was sorry for its loss.
Bruton opened the pad, amazed at the accuracy in all the tomb drawings, which were beautifully rendered. She had gone so far as to color in a section of each wall so that he had a feeling of the overall color scheme.
It was more than he expected, and he continued paging through the drawings until he came to a sketch of Zita, it was detailed, capturing her sweet disposition in the thoughtful strokes around her eyes. Dr. Beshwani was on the next page, and she had drawn his austere manner in a handsome fashion. Agnes followed, without her habit, her hair down around her elbows, and the overall effect was quite seductive.
He turned the next page and stared at his own reflection. She had gotten him precisely right, down to the fine lines just starting to form around his eyes. The only thing missing was his goatee. “You must not care much for my facial hair,” he said rubbing his jaw thoughtfully.
Marguerite turned away from her work to wrangle the portfolio away from him. All her jostling drew his attention to her shirtwaist which was partially unbuttoned, exposing the lace of her chemise. She cleared her throat, trying to get him to look at her face again, but when he didn’t, she said, “I don’t think the absence of the corset bothers you as much as you let on.”
He gave her a wry twist of his lips. “I never said I minded it at all, Knickers.” He winked as he released the book, taking her in leisurely.
She turned back to her work. “You know if I didn’t know better, I’d think you’ve been watching me.”
He couldn’t contain himself; a broad smile erupted, exposing his teeth. “You are the most intriguing thing I have to ponder.”
Windy City writer, Elizabeth Marx, brings cosmopolitan life alive in her fiction—a blend of romance, fast-paced Chicago living, and a sprinkle of magical realism. Elizabeth resides with her husband, girls, and two cats who’ve spelled everyone into believing they’re really dogs. She grew up in the city, has traveled extensively, and still says there’s no town like Chi-Town.
Facebook author page http://www.facebook.com/AuthorElizabethMarx
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.amazon.com/author/elizabethmarxbooks
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-breathe-the-breath-of-isis-a-time-travel-historical-romance-elizabeth-marx/1107766656?ean=2940032889014&itm=3&usri=elizabeth+marx
Kobo : http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/To-Breathe-Breath-Isis-Time/book-hSE2O55WwUSU0j_6lf3EnA/page1.html?s=dO8K-d1SX0mi32iH43wfdw&r=3
I would like to thank Lady Amber's Tours and Elizabeth Marx for letting me be a part of this tour.