Brainstorming New Blog Topics & Posting Schedule

I’m also hugging the air conditioner and dreaming of a White Christmas and remembering my decades in Alaska with great fondness.


NEFERTITI by Michelle Moran


This is An Enduring Author post, though I never actually heard back from Michelle.  She’s an extremely busy mommy/author!  I reviewed this novel for her TEN years ago! Mind blown.  It was her first big book by a traditional publisher and she’s built quite a list since then.  I’ve read and reviewed Heretic Queen and Cleopatra’s Daughter too.  You can find those reviews at Enduring Romance, which I will link below.  In the meantime, here’s the link to Michelle’s booklist-

You’ll notice that Nefertiti had a different cover to begin with.  Here is the original book review from my old blog-

NEFERTITI A Novel by Michelle Moran

I first became aware of this debut novel a couple of months ago when I was Slashing & Burning one of my own into a comprehensible draft, COALESCENCE OF BENNU AND RA. Those of you familiar with Ancient Egypt may know that Ra is the name of the main god. Bennu is the Egyptian phoenix. I drew on Ancient Egypt and Ancient China for inspiration in creating the alien Menelaen culture, religion, and history. One of the things I searched for was a powerful queen and Nefertiti was all that.

I was totally floored when Michelle offered to have an advanced copy of NEFERTITI sent to me! Whoa, yes! This review is of that copy. The rest of you will have to wait until it comes out in hardcover on July 10th and, no, I will NOT be hawking mine on eBay!

NEFERTITI is told from the viewpoint of her younger sister, Mutnodjmet, also called ‘Mutny’ by her family. The story starts with the untimely death of Pharoah’s eldest and beloved son, Tuthmosis. Along with a few others, Mutny fears the death was hastened by the ambitious younger son, Amunhotep. Nefertiti isn’t too concerned with all this. Even at age 15, she has ambitions of her own. She’s beautiful, dazzlingly clevor, and the daughter of a princess. She’s in a good position to become queen. Two years younger and born of a different mother, Mutny is very close to her sister with just a few stabs of jealousy mixed in.


The marriage takes place and Nefertiti meets her first challenge head-on. Amunhotep has a first wife of whom he is fond. This threatens her elevation to queen. Ancient Egyptians afforded more rights and freedoms to women than other cultures of the time. Still, what Nefertiti does is rather audacious.

If you’re wary of historicals, let me reassure you that Michelle does an excellent job conveying the fact that human nature is timeless. Nefertiti is like a high school cheerleader going after the captain of the football team to raise her social status. The huge difference is that 17 year old Amunhotep will be king of one of the most powerful nations of his time.

Nefertiti does have a conscious and that is her family. They’re truly altruistic even when she gets carried away with the trappings of her position. From my point of view, it’s this consciousness and loyalty that enables Nefertiti to be the power behind the Throne by the end.

Nefertiti’s not an annoying witch. She is a beautifully flawed human being.

Amunhotep ascends the Throne a while after the wedding and his ambitions kick into full gear. To the shock of most, he does away with the traditional gods of Egypt and replaces them with the worship of one god, Aten, the image of the sun. He changes his name to Akhenaten and Nefertiti manages to keep him away from the other wife most of the time. Nevertheless, while Nefertiti proceeds to pop out one baby girl after the other, the other wife ends up with two sons. Meanwhile, Akhenaten’s impatient and obsessive building of his own monuments, palaces, and a new capital city saps the national treasury and takes the army away from defending the borders. Rebellion brews.

I totally got into Mutny’s heart. Power has a way of putting a person under threat, surrounded by people who can’t be trusted. Nefertiti knows that people talk to Mutny because she’s a good listener, and she’s loyal. Nefertiti clings to Mutny to the point of becoming possessive. Mutny’s no doormat though.

I wish I could tell you more, but then I’d ruin the suspense. The magic Michelle works with NEFERTITI is in the way she conveys the humanity we can all relate to. And she does it without falling back on the crutch of using a contemporary voice which ruins so many otherwise good historicals these days.

You don’t need to know anything about Ancient Egypt to enjoy this novel. Michelle does a wonderful job of transporting the reader back in time so you can see and smell everything, and without being too wordy about it.

NEFERTITI is historical fiction first, but it does have romance. Again, Michelle makes that all feel real. The focus is on the emotions and everything is well-developed and well-balanced.

NEFERTITI A Novel by Michelle Moran is due out July 10th, but you can pre-order it from Amazon. com right now.


Ah, such a lovely trip down memory lane.  😉

World War Z

I wrote a great book review for this one by Max Brooks, but I lost it.  Sorry.


Suffice it to say, this is a great book to read when watching the News makes you crazy.  When you’re finished, watch the movie version.  It bears little resemblance to the book, which is much better, of course.  However, Brad Pitt was awesome in this one and I was never a Brad Pitt fan before.

You should be thoroughly freaked out by that point.  So, get the ZOMBIE SURVIVAL GUIDE, which preceded WORLD WAR Z.


After you’ve dug your bunker, watch ZOMBIELAND to have a good laugh about it all.


Then, put all that aside and watch something which makes you happy, like MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL does for me.  ‘Cause you’re really gonna need it by then.


Much love.

Went Camping in the New RV

813dhnmqlflI’ll have to snap some pictures for you.  Suffice it to say, it was a test run for the family unit and I think we did all right.  We need to organize better.  Here is an RV tour for a family who lives in their RV, so they really know what they’re talking about-

The above book can be found at-

Comparing Ashton Drake’s Claire & Bunny Hugs


My husband is surprising me with a new Ashton Drake doll for Christmas!  (Marriage Tip #1: Just tell your spouse what you want ;))  Buying a collectable doll is not an impulsive decision.  They are not cheap and I keep mine forever.  I never trade or sell my dolls.  I cuddle them, change them into pretty often heirloom clothes, and get emotionally attached.

I originally wanted the Bunny Hugs doll, which is pictured above and linked here-

Two-dimensional pictures do not show the realism and details, so check out this YouTube box opening for that-

But, then, I noticed how much she resembles the doll, Claire.  This was because they are both Linda Murray dolls.  I wanted my new doll to have the same artist as my Evangeline, so they look like sisters-



My Evangeline is the one with the yellow bow.  The one in purple is Serena, my daughter’s doll and another Ashton Drake.

The other two dolls are from JC Toys.

So here is Claire, a partial silicone doll.  Note the resemblance?


And here is her YouTube box opening-

It’s a long decision process for me.  I’m very emotional about my dolls.  There’s another one I love called Penelope, but she has closed eyes.  I can’t own closed-eyed dolls.  They make think of deceased infants.

Dolls are meant to bring joy, so I’d better stick with that. 😉

At the moment, I’m leaning towards Claire, because she seems so cuddly.  🙂

My Kuspuk & My Dolls

I finally own my first Kuspuk, the traditional Alaska Native dress.  My beautifully talented stepmother made it for me.  Besides that, my husband brought down a lot of stuff we left in storage when we moved down to the Lower 48 years ago.

MyKuspuk2If you look to the right, you can see Evangeline, my Ashton Drake doll, and if you look to the left you can see my little barn chicken coop.

Here is Evangeline (yellow bow) with my daughter’s new doll, Serena (purple bow), from Ashton Drake.  She’s the one with black hair.


The other two are from JC Toys.  My mother gave me the little one, Leia (yep, we do Star Wars here) and the church ladies gave me the big one, Annabelle (white bow), when we were going through financial troubles years ago.

My husband brought down the baby buggy I pushed all my four real babies through the Alaska snow in.  One day, it will carry my grandchildren.  For now, it holds my doll collection.  P.S. That’s a real pacifier in Annabelle’s mouth. I simply cut it to fit.  Other doll collectors use magnets or the sticky goo meant for hanging posters without damaging the wall.


I made the dresses hanging on the wall and my grandmother (in Heaven now) made the blankets.  All of my daughters wore the yellow jumper to their first birthday parties and the very long gown was for my eldest daughter’s church dedication ceremony.  The little brown dress was handed down in my family since I can’t remember when, but it’s much older than me.  You can’t see it well, but there’s a black-lidded bottle in the diaper bag pocket.  It’s real glass, the kind used decades ago.  I don’t know how old it is.  I love antique children’s things.  It’s wonderful to imagine our grandparents as babies.


I’ve had a wonderful week tripping down memory lane.  🙂