The Jolie Ville hotel, Luxor (setting for 3 of my books)

The Jolie Ville hotel is a perfect place to unwind and relax.  It’s set on its own island in the Nile – King’s Island – a ten minute drive from central Luxor.  Currently ranked 9th of 63 hotels in Luxor on TripAdvisor.

Sadly right now it’s off limits and unable to welcome holidaymakers drawn by its fabulous botanical-like gardens, vast swimming pools and dreamy view of the Nile.  So while the Coronavirus lockdown is in place in so much of the world, those of you who, like me, love to travel in your imagination, might like a little look at where my central character Meredith Pink was staying when she embarked on her adventures in Egypt.

The Jolie Ville hotel really is the most magical place to stay.  These photographs bring it all flooding back, and remind me to book to go back just as soon as I possibly can.

Merry is on a “time out” holiday after taking voluntary redundancy from her job when she stays there. She couldn’t have imagined the thrilling escapades she was about to embark upon, unlocking mysteries from ancient Egypt.

Here are links (just click the picture) to the first three books, all based at this wonderful hotel – although Merry’s adventures take her all over Egypt.

 

 

Another Merry Adventure

There’s nothing quite like a new Amazon review to help one get the writing mojo back:
L. Sheppard reviewed Carter’s Conundrums – Book 1 of Meredith Pink’s adventures in Egypt: a mystery of modern and ancient Egypt

 

Provocative 
Fiona, I was captivated, romanticised, inspired, thrilled and enlightened by the first instalment of Meredith Pink’s adventures. I read it during the first week of the UK’s coronavirus lockdown and can wholeheartedly say that you’re writing enabled me to disassociate from the stark reality and uncertainties that we as a world are currently facing. For this I am truly grateful – thank you.

So, thank you L. Sheppard, whoever you are. I am now determined to get back into the groove… and if it helps people escape the current awfulness, so much the better…

 

It’s been almost two years since my last published book – Ramses Riches – in the series following Merry’s adventures in Egypt.

 

I took on a whole new area of responsibility at work, which meant a very steep learning curve, and also embarked on a new personal relationship.  All of which rather shoved Merry into the background.

But she has more adventures in Egypt to share, and I am now ready to get going again…

There are nine books so far in the series following Merry’s adventures along the Nile.  I started writing them exactly eight years ago, just after Easter 2012.   So it is definitely time to get going again …

If you’re new to the series, here they are.  They are all available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle versions.

    

 

Tourism in Egypt takes a hit

All Giza Pyramids in one shot. Русский: Все пи...

All Giza Pyramids in one shot. Русский: Все пирамиды Гизы на изображении. Español: Las Pirámides de Guiza (Egipto). Français : Les Pyramides de Gizeh (Egypte). Català: Les Piràmides de Giza, a Egipte. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During these troubled times in Egypt it’s impossible not to spare a thought for all those whose livelihood depends on a thriving tourist industry.

Since President Morsi was ousted last month most Western governments have issued a travel warning against travel to Egypt and asked their citizens there to depart.  Pre-revolution 12% of Egypt’s workforce was employed in the tourism sector.  In 2011 visitors decreased by 37%.  I haven’t seen figures for 2012 or this year but on my last trip to Luxor in April the historical sites remained uncrowded and there were more cruise boats moored six-or-seven-deep along the riverbank than sailing up and down the Nile.

English: Temple of Hatshepsut, Luxor, Egypt

English: Temple of Hatshepsut, Luxor, Egypt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those of us for whom Egypt is a favourite holiday destination can only hope for a swift resolution to the current political turmoil and spare a thought for all those people who contribute to making our visits so memorable and who must now be going through such tough times.

Great Temple at Abu Simbel, Egypt

Great Temple at Abu Simbel, Egypt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Egypt has a unique and awe-inspiring cultural heritage.  Having been preserved for all these millennia it would be a tragedy to watch it to crumble beneath the weight of political chaos now. I can only hope the reports that some of Egypt’s ancient sites are unprotected and vulnerable to thieves are exaggerated.  So my wish today is for a speedy return to calm so that Egypt may once again welcome foreign visitors so we can marvel at her monumental history and help preserve it for future generations.  And, if you’d like to go there in your imagination since you can’t go there for real right now, you may wish to sample my trilogy of novels set in Luxor…

Fiona Deal

Book 1 of Meredith Pink's Adventures in Egypt

Book 1 of Meredith Pink’s Adventures in Egypt

Book 2 of Meredith Pink's adventures in Egypt

Book 2 of Meredith Pink’s adventures in Egypt

Author of Carter’s Conundrums, Tutankhamun’s Triumph and Hatshepsut’s Hideaway – following Meredith Pink’s Adventures in Egypt – all available in Kindle or paperback on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

Hatshepsut's_Hideawa_Cover_for_Kindle

Hatshepsut’s thwarted dream

So, was Hatshepsut’s great dream to have her burial chamber directly underneath her mortuary temple at Djeser Djeseru i.e. her wonderful temple, now known as Deir el Bahri?

527990_4920798412461_1938065574_nThis aerial shot shows Hatshepsut’s temple nestled against the cliff-face, with the Valley of the Kings directly behind it on the other side of the mountain.  You an also see the ancient pathways across the clifftop.

Her tomb, KV20, has its entrance at the end of a branch leading from the main Valley stem.  Had it been dug in a straight line, many believe the burial chamber would have been excavated directly beneath the temple.  But sadly the quality of the bedrock was poor.  It seems the ancient tomb-builders were forced to spiral away from their original plan.

Hatshepsut’s magnificent temple features prominently in all three of my books following Meredith Pink’s Adventures in Egypt.  It’s where Merry and Adam first strike up a conversation, and she enlists his help to solve the mysterious puzzle she’s stumbled across in Howard Carter’s house.

Howard Carter’s association with Queen-Pharaoh Hatshepsut was a close one.  As a young man working for the Egypt Exploration Society, Carter spent five years as an artist recording the wall reliefs in watercolour paintings.  Later, as an archaeologist, he was responsible for excavating her tomb, KV20.  This was an unenviable task: so hot his wax candles melted and with an atmosphere thick and redolent with centuries of bat droppings.  All this provides great material for a writer, and I made good use of it in Carter’s Conundrums.

Whether or not Hatshepsut’s temple stands as one of her great triumphs or a thwarted dream, I rate it as possibly the most beautiful of all the ancient Egyptian temples.

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