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Saturday, 19 May 2012

Guest Post: J.D. Revezzo

Lionesses and felines in Egypt and how a cat’s crime evolved
Thanks for having me here, Cherry.

A little over two years ago, a friend of mine, author and editor Patty G. Henderson (best known for her Brenda Strange Supernatural Mysteries) announced she’d released a charity anthology of cat stories. I’d always adored Edgar Allan Poe’s The Black Cat so I thought the idea of wicked little felines intriguing, so I started working on it. The cat suggested my main character might do well to be a werecat of some sort, so I looked into mythology (as I’m wont to do now and then) and found the Egyptian cat Bast. But somehow, she didn’t seem dark enough for the Dark Things II anthology. I kept looking. Then I found the goddess Sekhmet, who took the lion’s form.

Why not, I thought? As a cat stalks an unsuspecting mouse (or whatever catches its fancy), the lioness could stalk a stray Egyptian should he or she become lost within the lioness’ territory. Lions roamed the outlying areas of the desert, and it is said they charged with the pharaohs into battle. (1) The Egyptians thought the animals so fierce, the weather might shy away. Lion sculptures were even set at the pinnacle of temples, gargoyle-like, to guard against lightning.

In their pantheon, the lion was a protector and companion to the god Ra. She accompanied him on his daily journey across the sky in his sun chariot. So, it was to Sekhmet Ra turned when he needed to teach humanity a lesson. In turn, she went on a rampage that nearly annihilated civilization. Ra mixed with pomegranate juice, and tricked his daughter into drinking. Whatever the recipe, the drink did the trick, and calmed her wrath.(2) To this day, festivals are performed in summer to—hopefully—keep the ;) kitty satisfied. Revelries filled with laughter, with dancing, and . . . beer.

This is the basis for my story presented in Dark Things II: Cat Crimes,

And don’t forget, all proceeds from Dark Things II: Cat Crimes will be donated to
The Cat House on The Kings, a no-kill cat shelter in California. For more information, see their website at:
http://www.cathouseonthekings.com/

How about some info on the anthology?
Dark Things II: Cat Crimes
A collection of tales featuring feline mayhem, murder and dastardly deeds. Vampire cats. Scoundrel cats. Daring cats. Killer cats. Cats you don't want in your worst nightmares and cats you might want on your side against evil. Authors include Mary V. Welk, Patty G. Henderson, Patricia Harrington, Jim Silvestri, Ken Goldman, Shanna Germain, Anna Sykora and dozens more. Intro by Robert W. Walker. All proceeds from sales go to several cat sanctuaries across the USA. Enjoy over twenty-one cat tails and support a cat charity!

Buy link:
Amazon for Kindle and paperback http://tinyurl.com/7u3uzmo
Lulu (for Epub version): http://www.lulu.com/shop/compiled-by-patty-g-henderson/dark-things-ii-cat-crimes/ebook/product-18787458.html

And about my story,

“What Sekhmet Keeps.”
by J.D.Revezzo
Betrayed by a false lover, cat shifter priestess Onfalia Mau lost her lioness soul and freedom to her lover’s treachery and Sekhmet’s wrath. Now, after three thousand years, Donquar has returned with one thing in mind: to steal the goddess’s scepter. Onfalia knows that to do so means to unleash Sekhmet’s unholy, bloody Slaughter on the world and she’ll stop at nothing to foil Donquar’s plans.

Excerpt:
Claws dimpled his skin, as if she sought attention. She nuzzled her head into his hand, and purred. Chibale tapped her on the nose. “Now, don’t try to charm me, kitty. I can’t keep you. Out.”

She purred louder and nuzzled his chest.

“Oh, hell.” He carried the cat into the kitchen and poured her the last of his milk. “I don’t mind black coffee, anyway. But tomorrow, we’re finding your owner.”

He dropped his jacket onto the chair, then set down before his computer. The cat leapt onto the desk as he went to work. When he misspelled the goddess’ name, the cat reached out a paw and hit the delete key back to the S-e-k. Chibale stared at her. “Did you belong to an English teacher?”

The search engine suggested Sekhmet, and he carried on with his work. The cat slipped into his lap as he read the first promising page.

Goddess of Lions. A daughter of Ra; represented the scorching power of the sun. “Lion. Sun.” He shook his head. “Never did understand these stupid stories. ‘When mankind rebelled against Ra’s domain, Sekhmet attacked, slaughtering thousands and drinking their blood.’ Sounds like a nice wholesome girl.” The cat shifted in his lap and stretched up, resting her paws against the edge of the keyboard. “You’re so interested in mythology, should I give you to Onfalia?” She looked at him, and he scratched her ears as he returned to his search.

Scepter, Sekhmet. “How does this tie into the stolen scepter? Any idea, kit?”

Two hours into his search, a headline caught his attention: Slaying uptown. Occult in Nature?

“So obvious.” The cat meowed and Chibale looked down at her, meeting her tawny eyes. “Oh, you think so too, do you?”

Festival to appease Sekhmet’s slaughter.

“Hopefully they won’t do the opposite, eh kitty?”

There you are. The birth of a little cat-like mischief.

About J.D. Revezzo
J.D. Revezzo has long been in love with writing, a love built by devouring everything from the Arthurian legends, to the works of Michael Moorcock, and the classics. Her short fiction has been published in Dark Things II: Cat Crimes, The Scribing Ibis, Eternal Haunted Summer, Twisted Dreams Magazine and Luna Station Quarterly.

You can learn more about her works at:

Her site: http://harshadpassion.wordpress.com/

or if you wish, follow her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/JD-Revezzo/233193150037011

Or on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/juliannewrites/

I hope you will enjoy “What Sekhmet Keeps”, and all the tales in Dark Things II: Cat Crimes, and remember all the proceeds go to Cat House on the Kings, no-kill cat shelter. So, you’ll not only gain fuel for a few good, *ahem* nightmares, maybe you’ll help a kitty in need, too. Enjoy! And thank you, Cherry, for hosting my mischief today!
Sources:
1. Tour Egypt.com: http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/lions.htm
2. http://www.orderwhitemoon.org/goddess/Sekhmet.htm

9 comments:

J.D. said...

Thanks for having me here today, Cherry!

Cherry said...

Thank you for dropping by, J.D.!! :)

roro said...

sounds awesome

wickedromance said...

JD,

Now, you know how much I love Egyptian mythology :-) This is so up my alley. Can't wait to read the collection of cat tales. What a great cause, too.

Jean Murray
www.keytothecursed.com

Marsha A. Moore said...

Interesting background on your story! Sounds great!

J.D. said...

Roro, thanks. I hope you enjoy the stories. :)

Jean and Marsha, thank you ladies for stopping by. And to Cherry, again, thanks for hosting me and the kitties this weekend. You rock! *hugs*

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Oh this is interesting! And so neat to learn. Thanks for sharing this and letting us know about the new book too.

I have to say I always remember cats as stealing childrens, and even adults at times, breathe while they sleep. I think it was an old show like Twilight Zone or something. lol.

Thank you!

J.D. said...

What an interesting idea, Melissa. I didn't run across that one in my research, but I must say, it would be a neat story idea! Thanks for stopping by (sorry it took me so long to find your comment!)

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

J.D.

No worries about how long it took to comment. :) Glad you did! And since you hadn't heard about that with the cats in your research, I might have to snag that idea and use it. ;D LOL.

Thank you!

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