- Sara is originally from Clarksville, TN where she currently resides with her family. Graduating with a B.S. in Biology, she first pursued a career in the field of Zoo Education. She also enjoyed a short stint working in the field of Sleep Medicine. However, her great love of the written word drew her to write. She is an avid reader and enjoys reading and writing Historical Fiction. Her travels have also served to inspire her writing. Sara is the author of The Lady Bornekova and a member of the ACFW.
Ismene, a beautiful, somewhat naïve, young noblewoman, is torn from her childhood home in Greece and her first love. Bound by honor and duty, she marries Pharaoh’s chief military commander, Alistair. Though determined to remain true to the man she left behind, her new husband stirs feelings in her she cannot ignore.
Attempting to accept this brazen new culture, it isn’t long before she discovers that the locals don’t like her. The Alexandrian mob starts making anonymous threats. This faceless group will stop at nothing to achieve its goal of driving out the unwelcome Greeks. In the midst of these heightening attacks, the general must leave for battle. Ismene fears that she is on her own.
Evidence of a spy within her own household arises. It soon becomes apparent that one of these Egyptian rebels wants her dead. The safety of Ismene, and possibly the entire ruling class of Egypt, hangs in the balance.
A frown was etched into Alistair’s features. The sight before him caused his whole body to tense up. It was a sight that had greeted his staff early that morning. Neterka had been the only one brave enough to bring him out there to see it.
“Get it off,” he said, each word enunciated and pushed out of his mouth with force. There were plenty of servants gathered around, but he spoke to no one in particular.
On the inner wall of their great garden two symbols, two words, were splayed across the wall in what could only be blood. The thick, red, viscous liquid had dried as it ran, in stripes reaching to the ground.
A din of whispered conversation among the servants could be heard, but only just. No one wanted to speak out for fear of enraging the general further. Many of the servants were unable to read Greek and had no idea what important message was scarred into their master’s most prized sanctuary. As if the vandalism alone wasn’t enough to evoke a great anger in him, the message itself had pushed him closer to the edge of violence. They had never seen their kind master in such a state.
“What is everybody…” Ismene’s voice interrupted their musings. No one, not even Alistair, had even noticed that she had arrived at the grand estate, least of all made it all the way out to the gardens. Her voice, which started light and happy, trailed off as she noticed the source of everyone’s fixation.
There were many audible gasps as the servants, like Alistair, turned and saw Ismene’s paled face, her mouth moving as if trying to form words, though none came forth.
Alistair rushed over to her, “Ismene, don’t look…it’s…” he said, trying to turn her away, to go back in direction she had just come.
It was only then that he realized—the message—it was for her. Ismene and Alonah came to the gardens each day to check on her tiger lilies. This wall faced the entrance into the gardens closest to her bedchambers, the entrance she came through every day. How did anyone outside of his house and Pharaoh’s know that? His heart sank. There was a leak in one of these houses.
Ismene stood her ground, refusing to let Alistair turn her away. She was shaking.
“Who…what…I don’t understand,” she managed after several seconds. As she glanced up at him, he could see tears in her dark eyes as she repeated the terrible words that were written there. “Go home?”
His heart ached for her.
“Who wants me to go home?” she asked, voice breaking, clearly injured by the implications.
He pulled her into his firm embrace.
She began to cry.
“Shh, shh.” He soothed her, rubbing her shoulders. “It’s all right. It doesn’t mean anything.”
He knew it wasn’t all right. She was in a foreign land, a place she was still having great difficulty adjusting to—a place where she was surrounded by people she didn’t know and who were so different from her. She was still adapting to these new people, a new culture, a new way of doing things, a new government…a new way of life. This must have been her worst fear confirmed. Not only did she not know these people, not only were they foreign in many ways, they did not want her here.
He kissed the top of her head. “Don’t give it any thought, Ismene. Remember last night. Remember how the people cheered for you. They loved you!”
Her crying stilled for a moment.
“This is the work of one person who is dissatisfied with me and is doing this to get back at me. This is not about you. I promise,” he lied. He was quite certain this was at least the truth in part. But he feared that it may be the work of the Alexandrian mob and it may well be aimed at her.
Ismene allowed him to comfort her a little longer, but before he was ready to let go, she started to pull away. With reluctance, he released his hold on her. He then tugged on her arm more firmly until she was facing the direction she had just come, her back to the wall and the horrible message.
“Alonah, please take the Lady Ismene to her bedchambers. I’ll have some refreshments brought for her.” He made sure that there was no room for argument in his voice.
Alonah took Ismene’s arm and led her back inside, away from the small crowd and the offensive markings.
Alistair watched them go. Once they were inside and a safe distance away, he spun back toward the small crowd of servants.
“Get. It. Off.” His voice sharp and his words heated; the words penetrated the air, thick with apprehension, before he stormed off.