Today I have the pleasure of being joined by Ash Krafton, the author of Bleeding Hearts, which is going to be reviewed in May on this site. But to get your fix now check out this guest post, and go to the bottom of the post to WIN YOUR OWN COPY of Bleeding Hearts!
Ancient Egypt: The Origin of the Vampire?
BLEEDING HEARTS: BOOK ONE OF THE VAMPIRE contains one of my very guilty pleasures. And I'm not talking vampires.
Not exclusively, anyways.
I've always had a keen interest in ancient civilization. Rome and Greece, Persia, the Vikings and their promise of Valhalla…
Top of the list, though, has always been Egypt. I have an absolute obsession with Egypt—the pyramids, the inventions, the mummies…*sigh* I love mummies.
So it's no surprise that Egypt had sneaked its way into the heart of my story, eventually becoming the essence of the world of the Demivampire. In Bleeding Hearts, Marek, a Demivampire, has a keen interest in Ancient Egypt. In fact, our heroine Sophie first meets him in a museum exhibit of an Old Kingdom temple. (The scene was inspired by a visit to the Penn Museum of Archeology andAnthropology)
Ancient Egyptians worshipped many gods, each of whom had many qualities. People related to their strengths and flaws, and devoted themselves to the divinity of the gods. As a Christian, I believe we are made in God's image—and that reflection of Divinity within myself endears me to God. I suppose the Egyptians felt the same way, since their gods were depicted with human bodies. The animal heads were indicative of their divine aspect.
Horus is the son of Osirus and Isis and is one of my favorites. Horus is depicted as having the head of a falcon, usually a peregrine. Very appropriate for the God of the Sky.
In my research, I came across the description of Horus' eyes. That caught my interest, because the power of a demivamp had a great deal to do eyes and their color. The ancients said that, as God of the Sky, one eye of Horus was the sun and the other was the moon.
Hmm…sun and moon…vamps and werewolves…of course!
"There is a more practical reason why the Were are unwelcome in Demivamp feeding grounds," Marek said. "Granted, it's a reason based on legend rather than fact but no one is willing to test the theory."
"I'm getting to it." He took a deep breath, a sure sign of a long and detailed lecture. "I've told you a great deal of our Genesis lies in Egyptian mythology. We are descendants of Horus."
"Legends say Horus had several children. Burial practices describe the 'Four Sons of Horus' as gods who protected canopic jars. Not all of Horus' children were benevolent, however.
"Our legends focus on the eldest two, born as twins yet as different as night and day. One son was Vampire. The other, you can now guess, was Were. Horus' line combined the humanity he obtained from his mother, Isis, with the supernatural gifts of being god-begotten and magically conceived from the dead."
Marek's voice took on the cadence of chanted prayer. "Horus, our falcon-headed forefather, is a pillar of strength, a storm of revenge. His eyes are the sun and the moon, and his eyes follow his children everywhere.
"Horus bequest great gifts to his children but never intended for them to become stronger than he. The sun controls the Vampire, driving him into unconsciousness, destroying him should he grow defiant and challenge its power. The moon controls the Were, giving him power only at her command and whim. The gods may be forgotten in these times but Horus lives on. His eyes are watching and controlling his children's children. Although legend may have spawned it, for us it is no myth."
"So. The Werekind are your cousins?"
Marek's upper lip curled, as if he was repulsed by the suggestion. "Maybe centuries ago, when our lines were young. Certainly not now."
I leaned over and poked him. "You can't pick your family."
"No, but I can pick my next meal." His threat was disarmed as the corners of his mouth tugged upward in a grin. I laughed and looked out the window.
See how much my world had changed? Crap like that wasn't usually funny.
Wanting to change the subject, I remembered what we'd been talking about when the phone rang. "So, apart from all that, why are there No-Were rules?"
"Ah. I never finished. See, because of our origins, it is forbidden our bloods should be combined. If one fed upon the other, legend says it would manifest a phenomenon known as Horus United—both of his bloods co-mingled in a single vessel. The person would shape-shift, irreversibly but not into wolf. There's only one animal that person could become. Falcon."
Marek nodded, keeping his eyes on the road. "No one wants to volunteer for testing. Can you blame them? Who'd want to live as a bird? Tiny brain, weak, helpless..."
"Able to fly, living simply as nature intended, free from humanity and the pettiness and the ugliness."
He shrugged. "Still. No volunteers. Accidental transformation has never been formally documented. The rules are as old as tradition, and tradition is as old as our existence. Weres and DV do not share blood. Period."
The Horus Bird Phenomenon is a theme explored throughout the series because it's both a miracle and a tragedy—and an important aspect of Demivampire folklore. Although it is only referred to as a legend in this excerpt, the Horus Bird will not remain a legend for much longer. Sophias have a way of bringing out a Demivamp's full potential.
I love exploring the Horus connection to my Demivamps and Weres because it means I get to fill in all sorts of new details around the ancient ones. And, because I get to visit every single Ancient Egyptian exhibit we encounter when my family travels, it also ensures I get to indulge in my guilty pleasure often.
What can possibly be wrong with that?
MY OTHER GUILTY PLEASURE…WINNING!
You can win one of five print copies of BLEEDING HEARTS: BOOK ONE OF THE DEMIMONDE! Visit myGoodreads page for a look at Bleeding Hearts and your chance to enter the giveaway.
Need a more immediate fix? Comment below and tell me your guilty pleasure. You can win an eBook of Bleeding Hearts!
You are also invited to enter to win the Bleeding Hearts Blog Tour grand prize…the gift basket gets heavier by the day! Details and entry form can be found in theBleeding Hearts Blog Tour schedule on my page. I hope you'll follow my book to the other stops along the tour—I've been blessed with a fantastic group of hosts.
That's not all…when my book is reviewed by UF Reviews on May 9th, we'll kick off ANOTHER giveaway to celebrate. Stay tuned for links!
I can't possibly be the only one who loves winning things…so I'm glad to feed your addiction, too.