Monday, May 17, 2010

Please join me in welcoming Maeve Alpin today!

CJ: Hi, Maeve! It’s great to have you here today. Thank you for taking the time to chat with us for a bit.

Q: Well, obviously, your novel, AS TIMELESS AS STONE is the main reason you’re here today. What can you tell us about this exciting new release?

The purpose of this erotica/steampunk/romance is to sweep you away from the cares and woes of the real world as you share Seshat and Ricard’s rousing adventure spanning Ancient Egypt to 1830’s Parris. I’ve mixed the science of early Egyptology with the imaginative inventions of steam robots, a horseless carriage, and a time travel device from a pocket watch along with ancient Egyptian magic. It’s spiced up with the romance of a dashing 1830 French Egyptologist, Ricard, and an ancient Egyptian priestess, Seshat. They meet when Ricard repairs a broken statue and reads its incantation which transforms Seshat from stone back into a gorgeous flesh and blood woman. Seshat is drawn to the brass robots Ricard creates and the glamour of the Victorian age, and most of all to Ricard himself. But the society of his day cannot accept a woman like her. How far will Ricard go to secure her happiness? Is their love strong enough to transcend time itself?

Q: I think everyone, including me, wants to know more about the Main Characters in your novel. Can you give us a description of them?

Ricard is an 18th century Paris gentleman, but underneath his top hat lies a mop of blond hair and the hard muscles of his chest and shoulders fill out his dark frock coat. You can feel the masculine heat radiating from his body as you peer into his piercing blue eyes.

Seshat is an ancient Egyptian priestess. A tall, alluring woman with smooth, golden skin and shiny ebony hair falling to her narrow waist. The defined bone structure of her oval face appears chiseled by the finest artist and thin black lines of kohl rim her brown, almond shaped eyes.

Q: Do your characters have any fun habits or memorable flaws? Can you tell us a little about them?

Seshat has a hard time adjusting to 19th century Parisian fashions. She’s happy with a chemise but can’t understand why you would add anything to it, much less layers of petticoats followed by a dress. Also as a priestess she has some taboos and one of them is wearing anything that comes from an animal, such as wool. This causes a problem. There is a scene in the story where Seshat throws off all her clothes except for the chemise and runs down the Champs Élysée as Ricard, the couturier, and the police prefect all give chase.

Ricard’s quirk is he’s bothered by the drudgery and hard lives of servants and the working class so he tinkers with brass and steam engines. He invented two brass robots, who help his cook with al l household tasks though they have trouble going through doors and entrance ways, they both try to squeeze through together. The cook and Seshat find the brass men to be very noisy. The cook has told Ricard on many occasions to not even think about replacing her with a brass robot.

Q: What makes your characters unique? Why will we fall in love with them?

I’m so glad you asked. Seshat loves reading and writing, she’s a lector priestess and works in the temple library, studying ancient tablets and writing magic spells. When Egypt’s enemies the Hyksos create a new war machine called a chariot, and speed toward the temple to attack, she conjures a spell, turning into stone to avoid rape and capture. She’s sure her soldier friend will turn her back when he arrives with Pharos army but he doesn’t find her as her head has been chopped off. She is finally transformed back, centuries later by Ricard in 1830 Paris, when he places her head on her shoulders and reads the incantation held in her hands. How can you not love a strong woman with magical powers who so resiliently transforms not only form stone to flesh but from ancient Egypt t to 19th century Paris. Ricard tinkers with robots and horseless carriages to help relive the burden of hard labor on the working class. He is very intelligent and educated as he is an Egyptologist and works with Jean Francois Champollion who is attributed with translating the Rosetta stone. He is a free thing ma that doesn’t thing Seshat should have to conform to 19th century society’s rules.

Q: I am a fan of memorable quotes. Do you have any favorites from AS TIMELESS AS STONE?

“I tell you all the time, you will never be able to replace me with a brass and steam
contraption.” Charlotte the cook

“This is the dress the strange woman gave me. There is nothing indecent about it. In Egypt
the poor do not even wear clothes save for loincloths.” Seshat

“You are earth and I am sky.” Seshat

“But we know marvels are possible. Look at Seshat. She turned to stone and her head was
chopped off by a Hyksos blade, yet she is alive and well and here with us.” Ricard

“If that means risking my life to go to a place where we can be together then I will gladly do so.” Ricard

Q: Tell us a little about yourself. What inspired you to write?

The Celtic Warrior Queen Boudicca made me start writing. I love history and in reading a book about the dark ages I came across Boudicca. I was so impressed by her, I started jotting down notes, but they were fiction, about how I envisioned it to have happened. Before I knew it, I had written a rough draft for a novel. What inspired me to write As Timeless as Stone was a day dream I had, a missing head was placed back on the neck of a statue which then came to life. I thought now there’s the beginning of a story and As Timeless As Stone was born.

Q: Is there one particular thing you have to do in order to “get in the groove” before/during writing?

If I am having trouble concentrating at a particular time then I will do things to put myself in the groove, listen to music, meditate, burn scented candles.

Q: If you could be a fictional character for one day, who would you be? Why?

I would be Aladin so I could grant three wishes. Why not?

Q: If your book were made into a movie, who would direct it?

I would say Mel Gibson, he’s done a good job with historical films. Everyone loves Braveheart.

Q: Ok, one last question before we let you go today, Maeve. Finish this sentence in a way that best describes you: “People who be surprised to know that…” I have a six year old granddaughter. Everyone says I’m too young.

CJ: I want to thank you, again, for visiting with us today, Maeve. Before you go, I’m sure you want to give us a little excerpt of your novel and some links to were our readers can find out more about you and AS TIMELESS AS STONE.


Ricard stepped back as his gaze devoured the entire woman, though stiff and lifeless. The stone looked like lush, sun-warmed skin. Her oval face was darkand delicate, with full, rosy lips. He admired her long lithe body, clad in asheer, white, sleeveless dress, held up only by two delicate linen shoulderstraps. He longed to roam his fingers and lips over her high perched breast andthe thin waist which flared into curved hips and lithe thighs. Then, down to her pretty legs and her slender feet garbed in white papyrus sandals, of the station she depicted, an Egyptian priestess of the Middle Kingdom. He drank in her beauty, then he noticed the ornament lying in the valley between her breasts, a thick ankh of gold hung from a chain. His fingers absently tried to grab hold of the necklace but it was only part of the statue, no matter how real it seemed.
"What is this?" He looked at the plaque in the statue's stone hands, heldbeneath the ankh. The last hieroglyphic depicted the symbol for life, an ankh,held up to the woman's nose. Ricard read it silently, sounding it out, Nce xarpwt pwwne Ab etoot abrem... Toujo Abrem etoot pwwne ab... xarp wt au ai ankh qe,and translated it under his breath. "God Horus, as you turned my flesh to stone... God Horus, save me, make me whole...change my stone to flesh...give me the nose breath of life, once more."
The room vibrated and an unnatural wind swirled within. Ricard's hair stood on end, but he could not tear his eyes away from the statue. He grabbed the ankh,and this time it gave way, lifting from the statue's chest. The curiosity that drove him as a scientist, as an Egyptologist, caught hold and as strange as this all seemed, he felt he had come this far, he had to see it through. Laying the ankh against the statue's small nose, Ricard acted out the last hieroglyphic on the plaque.He shuddered at the sound of a gush of breath. A flash of light struck inside the room. The shock knocked the breath out of him.
The statue moved, but she wasn't stone anymore. Jean François gasped and stepped back. Ricard couldn't move. It's a living, breathing woman. He dropped the ankh and it fell against her chest, which now rose and fell with heaving breaths. Ricard managed to step back on shaky legs. He gaped at her, unable to think or speak. Alive. The priestess shrieked. Her brown eyes glowed with anger.
"Come near me you Hyksos cobra, and you will die!" she warned in Old Egyptian.

Maeve's Webpage
Book trailer: As Timeless as Stone
Buy Link: Lyrical Press


  1. Hello Maeve,
    The characters sound intriguing, an odd mix that will add thrills and delight to the story.
    This one is going in my TBR pile.
    Lovely post and excerpt.

  2. Great interview, Maeve!

    Your take on horseless carriages and brass robots are to 1830s Paris like my demons and angels are to the 1878 Wyoming Territory...Mash it up, sista!



  3. Intriguing. I can't wait to read it!
    Congrats on the release, Maeve.


  4. Wow that does sound fantastic! Steampunk intrigues me, and Egypt's been a lifelong fascination. Congrats on your release!

  5. "Best Wishes" for a great launch day!
    Enjoy this special day, sounds as though
    you are receiving a good deal of reader

    Pat Cochran