Feature Guest Post: The General’s Wife by Sara R. Turnquist
“Go home!” Ismene is speechless as she reads those words written in blood on the walls of her new home. The young, raven-haired Grecian beauty had traveled all the way from her homeland to marry the Pharaoh’s top general. But she never expected this. The hatred of the Alexandrian mob for their Greek rulers is right in front of her. It is the first of many threats she will receive.
Things are escalating out of control. Damaged crops and horses turned loose at night are one thing. But when Ismene receives a death threat, it becomes clear that there is a spy within her own household. She would turn to her husband to deal with this issue, except he left for battle by order of the Pharaoh. Not knowing whom to trust, she fears for her safety as well as the entire ruling class of Egypt.
“Can you please take this blindfold off?” Ismene loved surprises, but couldn’t stand the waiting. Alistair had risen early to prepare a special breakfast for them and served her in bed. Then he had told her that he had something special planned for them today—a special place for them to visit.
“Not yet,” Alistair said as he gripped her waist. Their chariot went over a bump which caused him to pull her to him even more tightly. She smiled at the feel of his secure embrace; even after this short time it still caused butterflies in her stomach.
She felt the chariot continue to move down the smooth path with a little rocking here and there as the wheels found imperfections in the road.
“We’re almost there, I promise,” he assured her. His voice was close to her ear and it gave her warm chills. She thought of the feel of those lips on her neck. There wasn’t much time to daydream, though, because, true to his word, it wasn’t much longer before she felt him slow the horses and still the chariot.
“Ready for your surprise?” he asked.
“Yes!” She feigned exasperation.
Only then did he reach up, untie her blindfold, and let it fall. “The great Library of Alexandria.”
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About the Author:
Sara is originally from middle TN. After a short stint in Memphis, where she earned a degree in Biology and began a career as both a Zoo Educator and a Sleep Technician, she then followed a dream to work for a large zoo in Orlando, FL as an Educator. Once she and her husband started their family, they moved back to Tennessee. Sara and her husband now enjoy a full life with their three beautiful and very active children. Sara enjoys many creative outlets – singing, piano, drawing, drama, and organizing anything. And even though she has enjoyed her career as a Zoo Educator, Sara’s great love of the written word continued to draw her to write. She has always been an avid reader and, for many years, has been what she terms a “closet writer”. Her travels and love of history have served to inspire her to write Historical Fiction. Sara has made several trips overseas to the Czech Republic. Her time among the Czech people and the landscapes of the country inspired her and greatly influenced her work on her debut novel, The Lady Bornekova, set in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic. Sara is also a member of the ACFW.
The General’s Wife by Sara R. Turnquist takes the romance reader to a rarely visited time and place in romance: Egypt in the time of the Ptolemaic Kingdom. The rich setting helped to carry the gentle love story between Ismene, a highborn Greek woman and Alastair, the Greek general awaiting her in Egypt. The reader is certainly immersed in the culture and details of that world while intrigue and court politics play out in Alastair and Ismene’s newlywed life.
This sweet romance had tender moments and is not a hot read. Heat level, or the lack of it, did not hinder the story. Yet, I didn’t experience much emotion from the characters. I witnessed it, but I didn’t feel it and take the journey to love with them. What made the book a slow read for me was pages of laborious narrative. It detracted rather than added to the story. Also with historical romance, I’m willing to give much leeway when it comes to terminology and diction. No one wants to be beaten over the head with excessive historic-speak. However, terms such as “boilerplate statement” and “topsy-turvy” and a character described as “winging it” put me in a present day state of mind.
The author has the framework to share great historical romances. Her writer’s voice has a gentle quality, and she obviously has a strong grasp on Egyptian and Greek culture. I hope to read future books from her featuring more of this time period.