In my latest novel, Waking the Ancients, the lioness-headed goddess Sekhmet is invoked. Cats were revered in ancient Egypt and there is more than one cat goddess. Bast, or Bastet, is the Goddess of the East and Sekhmet of the West –both represented war and destruction. Neither would be likely to jump on your lap and start purring anytime soon.
Sekhmet was both sister and wife of Ptah (god of craftsmen and architects) and was created by the fire in Re’s eye. Re was the all-powerful god, born of a great, shining egg. Sekhmet’s role was to punish mankind for their wicked ways and for disobedience to Re. She was terrifying - the most powerful of all the goddesses - and men fled from her in terror. She rejoiced in mass slaughter and pursued all those who had scorned her father, leaving the Nile red with their blood for days. But it was not always to be so.
Re saw the destruction and killing and decided to end it, but Sekhmet was too powerful. No one could stem her bloodlust, so he resorted to trickery. He summoned swift messengers to bring red ochre from Elephantine Island and instructed the women to brew thousands of gallons of beer. When the beer was strongly fermented, he ordered the red ochre be added until the beer looked like blood. He then ordered the seven thousand jars of beer to be poured over the fields to a depth of nine inches.
When Sekhmet arrived to begin her next day’s slaughter, she saw the flooded fields and immediately believed it to be the blood of her enemies. She roared with delight like a lioness hungry for prey, before drinking deep from the fields until she was quite intoxicated. By the end of the day, she was reeling and had killed no one. Re declared that her killing spree was over. From now on she would be known as Hathor and would kill no more. She would lay low men and women only with the power of love and kindness.
And so was mankind saved. Each year though, Sekhmet’s priestesses would drink beer, coloured with red ochre in her honour.
Of course, Hathor really has no place in a horror novel, so Sekhmet remains. Powerful, terrifying…
Waking the Ancients
Nemesis of the Gods #2
by Catherine Cavendish
University student Lizzie Charters accompanies her mentor, Dr. Emeryk Quintillus, on the archeological dig to uncover Cleopatra’s tomb. Her presence is required for a ceremony conducted by the renowned professor to resurrect Cleopatra’s spirit—inside Lizzie’s body. Quintillus’s success is short-lived, as the Queen of the Nile dies soon after inhabiting her host, leaving Lizzie’s soul adrift . . .
Paula Bancroft’s husband just leased Villa Dürnstein, an estate once owned by Dr. Quintillus. Within the mansion are several paintings and numerous volumes dedicated to Cleopatra. But the archeologist’s interest in the Egyptian empress deviated from scholarly into supernatural, infusing the very foundations of his home with his dark fanaticism. And as inexplicable manifestations rattle Paula’s senses, threatening her very sanity, she uncovers the link between the villa, Quintillus, and a woman named Lizzie Charters.
And a ritual of dark magic that will consume her soul . . .
Wrath of the Ancients
Nemesis of the Gods #1
DESTINY IN DEATH
Eminent archeologist Dr. Emeryk Quintillus has unearthed the burial chamber of Cleopatra. But this tomb raider’s obsession with the Queen of the Nile has nothing to do with preserving history. Stealing sacred and priceless relics, he murders his expedition crew, and flees—escaping the quake that swallows the site beneath the desert sands . . .
Young widow Adeline Ogilvy has accepted employment at the mansion of Dr. Quintillus, transcribing the late professor’s memoirs. Within the pages of his journals, she discovers the ravings of a madman convinced he possessed the ability to reincarnate Cleopatra. Within the walls of his home, she is assailed by unexplained phenomena: strange sounds, shadowy figures, and apparitions of hieroglyphics.
Something pursued Dr. Quintillus from Egypt. Something dark, something hungry. Something tied to the fate and future of Adeline Ogilvy . . .
Following a varied career in sales, advertising and career guidance, Catherine Cavendish is now the full-time author of a number of paranormal, ghostly and Gothic horror novels, novellas and short stories. She was the 2013 joint winner of the Samhain Gothic Horror Anthology Competition, with Linden Manor, which was featured in the anthology What Waits in the Shadows. Cat’s novels include The Pendle Curse, Saving Grace Devine, and Dark Avenging Angel. She lives with her long-suffering husband and black (trainee) cat. They divide their time between Liverpool and a 260-year-old haunted apartment in North Wales.
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