Theodosia and the Last Pharaoh Sneak Peek Part Two

As promised, a second sneak peek at THEODOSIA AND THE LAST PHARAOH! (The book itself will be out in April.) Enjoy!

Chapter One: THE WRETCHED RETICULE (continued)

Mr. Bing deposited me next to Mother, then braved the crowd once more to oversee our luggage.

Outside the train station, the smell of old magic was stronger and mixed with the heat and the dust and something a little bit . . . gamey. I turned to find a small herd of donkeys and donkey boys waiting nearby. That was it; the smell of donkey.

Finally all of our belongings were duly collected and we loaded ourselves and our luggage into the conveyance. The driver slapped the reins and the carriage moved forward.

The streets of Cairo still looked the same as they had on my first trip. Mostly. They were lined on either side by high narrow houses with second and third stories that jutted out over the street. Windows were covered with elaborate latticework that looked like exotic lace. And the colors! Violet, mulberry, olive, peach, and crimson, with the occasional flash of silver or brass. It was as though someone had spilled a paint box in the sand. Even so, it seemed to me that the shadows were darker, deeper and more threatening than on my last visit.

I kept a careful eye on the men in the street—barefoot Egyptians in tattered cotton, Bedouin in long billowing robes, effendis in their red fez’s—looking for any sign of the Serpents of Chaos, but everyone seemed as he should.

When at last the hotel came into view, my sigh of relief was cut short when a swarm of vendors and street sellers descended upon our carriage like one of the Ten Plagues of Egypt. They pressed around on all sides, trying to sell whips, fly swatters, cork-lined hats, or locally crafted fans. One man carried an enormous stick covered with dangling shoes and nearly beaned us with it as he tried to show us his wares.

The hotel doorman—a giant, burly fellow—waded through the bodies, shooing them aside as if he were brushing crumbs from a table. He reached our carriage and cleared enough space for us to get out. Then he planted himself on one side of us and Mr. Bing took up the other as we made our way to the safety of the hotel lobby. The cool quiet was like a balm to our battered souls after the pandemonium of the morning.

Porters were sent to fetch our trunks and we were quickly shown to our rooms. Mr. Bing offered to wait downstairs while we freshened up, then escort us to the Antiquities Service.

“Don’t dawdle, Theodosia,” Mother said, when we reached our suite. “We’ve got to meet Mr. Bing in a quarter of an hour. I don’t want to keep Monsieur Maspero waiting any longer than necessary.”

“Yes, Mother,” I said, then thump-bumped my way into the room where the porter had set my trunks. I nudged the door closed with the toe of my boot, then set my satchel and basket on the floor. I knelt down to open the wicker basket. “We’re here,” I told Isis. “You can come out now.”

As soon as I lifted the lid, she shot out of the basket like a black lightning bolt. She stalked around the room, stopping to sniff here and there, trying to determine if the room met with her approval.

While she was deciding, I rifled through my trunk looking for the least-wrinkled frock I could find. The butterscotch-colored taffeta seemed to have traveled the best, so I took it out and shook the wrinkles from it. By that time, Isis returned to me and bumped her head against my ankle. “Is everything all right, then?” I asked her.

She meowed, and I bent to scratch her behind the ears. She ducked away from my hand and meowed again, this time prancing over to the window.

“Of course!” I said, horrified that I hadn’t thought of it first. “You must be desperate to go out.” I hurried over and opened the window, happy to see it overlooked a garden of some sort. “But do hurry back,” I told her. “I’ll need you to stand guard while I’m out with Mother.”

Isis gave a short warble of consent, then leaped outside and disappeared among the bushes.

I stepped out of my travel-stained gown and went to wash the travel dust from my face, neck, and arms. Scrubbed clean, I stared at myself in the mirror, looking for any sign that my eyes might be beginning to turn brown like Mother’s. But, no luck. They hadn’t gotten more blue like Father’s, either. They were still the color of swamp mud and unlike anyone elses in my family.

Answers, I promised myself. I would find answers on this trip. That was the other reason I had agreed to keep my promise to Awi Bubu.

I went back to the bed and slipped into my clean frock. I wished desperately that there was some way to carry a five pound stone tablet on my person, but there simply wasn’t. I would have to leave the Emerald Tablet where it was. I was very careful to not let myself think of the hiding place in case someone skilled in Egyptian magic could snatch it from my mind.

Just as I’d finished brushing my hair, Isis appeared on the windowsill. “Perfect timing—oh, what have you got?” Something small and wriggly dangled from her jaws. I hurried over to shut the window and lock it tightly behind her.

“Theo? Are you ready?” Mother called out.

“Coming!” I called back. I turned to Isis. “Don’t let anyone near our treasure. I’m counting on you.”

She gave a low-throated growl, then stalked back to her basket, climbed in, and began to make crunching sounds.

“Er, enjoy your dinner.” I glanced at the reticule on the bed. I thought briefly of putting it in one of the drawers, but a reticule was the first thing even a common thief would look for. No, it seemed best to bring it with me. Sighing, I slipped the wretched reticule onto my wrist and went to find my mother and Mr. Bing.

42 Responses to “Theodosia and the Last Pharaoh Sneak Peek Part Two”

  1. Bryn Says:

    Wow sooo good!! post another one please! as soon as you can. Hey, did i get the first post?

  2. Bryn Says:

    Oh look, i DID get first post! Yay! I love the theodosia series, i can’t wait for the next book in april!

  3. R.L. Says:

    So glad you liked it Bryn!

  4. Alex Says:

    I love it!!! Can you post chapter two?! Wait…never m d! I want to be surprised! But on the other hand, I might explode if I don’t know know what happens next…

  5. Alex Says:

    Oops!! Sorry! I’m writing this on an iPhone and it corrects things for no reason! I meant never mind!

  6. Bryn Says:

    I’m so happy youre posting more chapters! Do you have any writing types for future (hopefully) writer?? I love mythology and i’m trying to write a book about immortals; Im a couple chapters in and it’s already looking good thanks to repeated editing.

  7. Kate Says:

    Hi!
    I, like everyone else, am SO excited about this book. I was wondering how you got started writing these books. Where did you get the idea? Also, will you post the next chapter soon? I can’t wait until April.
    Bye!

  8. R.L. Says:

    Hi Kate!

    I may post another chapter excerpt in a week or two. Stay tuned!

  9. Bryn Says:

    Grrr….. Another week or two??? *eyes fill with tears* NOO!!! …. Sorry, I’m not the most patient person in the world. Please post again soon!!

  10. Ducky Says:

    More! More! More!

  11. Ducky Says:

    It’s SOOOOOO good!!

  12. R.L. Says:

    Bryn, Theo would be proud of your drama. :-)
    And Ducky, so glad you liked it so much!

  13. J-cat Says:

    When is the next chapter coming out I love this series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Bryn Says:

    Come on!!!! It’s been week upon weeks and april isn’t fair away!!! Please post another chapter! (thanks, but i prefer the term “passionate” to “dramatic”)

  15. R.L. Says:

    (thanks, but i prefer the term “passionate” to “dramatic”)

    Proof, Bryn, that you have the makings of a writer. :-) I stand corrected.

    Another excerpt coming within the next week! Pinkie swear!

  16. Bryn Says:

    Thanks!! Cannot wait!

  17. Bryn Says:

    *impatience clawing at insides* HAS IT BEEN A WEEK YET???

  18. Halee Says:

    Has it been a week yet? I read all the books in three weeks and when I read this I was like where is the next page?!?!
    Halee

  19. Halee Says:

    If Theo was going to Albuquerque, NM what would she pack? Besides Isis.

  20. Ducky Says:

    Yea!!! More Theodosia!!

  21. Halee Says:

    Is this the last book in the series ’cause that would totally stink.

  22. Ducky Says:

    **RANDOM QUESTION!** What state do you live in, R.L.? I live in CA.

  23. Halee Says:

    Is there any contests for 2011??

  24. cosete Says:

    hey i love the books i read them all and i need the next post of the book I NEED TO READ I HAVE NOTHING TO READ AHAHAHAHAHAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

  25. Kate Says:

    Hi!
    Does this mean one will be posted tomorrow(today is Sunday 2/27)? I can hardly wait!
    Bye!

  26. Bryn Says:

    CA, like California??? I’m from Wisconsin!!! We’re the state with all the protests going on down at the capitol. I’ve been down there to protest like, five times!!!! SO COOL!! Anyway, how do you know R.L. lives in America at all? There are a lot of authors from the UK.

  27. Bryn Says:

    Arrggg!! When’s the next chapter post???

  28. Alex Says:

    Alex sat down and got her iPod Touch out. She went to the Internet and typed, “theodosiathrockmorton.com”. Finally, the page loaded and she eagerly looked at it, expecting to see another excerpt.
    “Noooo!” she yelled, then smashed her iPod.
    ——
    And that was what just happened to me.
    (JK! none of that really happened, of course…)

  29. Bryn Says:

    (+,+) Look!! It’s a little person! n And that’s an owl!! Do you see it?
    (0)
    m
    The top part is the head and (0) that is the body. m is the feet. Cool, right? I just learned how to do it. (*~*) That’s a little smiley face!
    I know, I know, it has nothing to do with Theodosia and the books but it looks cool right?

  30. Bryn Says:

    Grrr….. The owl turned out wrong. It was supposed to look like this…
    n
    (0)
    m

  31. Ducky Says:

    Is the next one out yet? *impatience, impatience, IMPATIENCE*

  32. Kate Says:

    When will the next post come?????
    Now I definitely can’t wait!!!!

  33. Kate Says:

    The week’s almost over!
    13 and a half hours left!
    Post soon!

  34. Bryn Says:

    WILL THE NEXT POSTING NEVER COME!!!???!!!??!!!

  35. Bryn Says:

    HAHAHA *que the evil laughter* IT IS HERE and I am so joyious! I love this series so much and the beginning of the second chapter is so good! But why…. And I repeat, WHY did you end it so suspensefully?? Did you really think that we would be HAPPY with a suspenseful end to the chapter? Because now I want to read the rest *dramatic pouting* You are a cruel, cruel author. But at least you’re not as egotistical as some of the other authors whose blogs I devour. (Really. Derek Landy, the author of Skulduggery Pleasant forces all of his Minions (aka his READERS!!) to call him the Golden god. But it doesn’t matter because the minions still love their god. No matter HOW egotistical he is) Thank you, for not being egotistical.

  36. Strawberry Says:

    This is positively wonderful! I really love the Theodosia books, and I admire her cleverness and knowledge of Egyptian myths and gods/goddesses. Theo is so much like me! It’s like we share the same mind at times. You simply must continue to write her books and continue her adventures.

  37. R.L. Says:

    I’m so glad you all enjoyed the chapter! And Bryn, of course I ended it on a suspenseful note! How else could I be certain you all would pick up the book to find out what happened next??

    And yes, I will be announcing a NEW CONTEST this week! I have had reports of people seeing Theodosia and the Last Pharaoh in stores, and some online retailers are shipping now. To celebrate, we will have a new contest. Keep your eyes peeled (and isn’t that just the grossest saying?) for the announcement in the next couple of days!

  38. Strawberry Says:

    When exactly does the book come out?

  39. Strawberry Says:

    Oh! I can’t wait! I’m positively bursting with excitement!

  40. R.L. Says:

    Today! The book comes out TODAY! ::tosses confetti::

  41. hathor.A Says:

    Hey, great books. I love the series.
    Is “The Last Pharaoh” your last Theodosia book? Please say it is not!

  42. R.L. Says:

    No, no! It is NOT the last Theodosia book!