Behind the Scenes of Goddess
It’s 1650 BCE in Ancient Egypt and all hell has broken lose!
You may be aware of the political drama going on in Egypt right now. But did you know Egypt has a long history of fighting enemies both inside and outside of her walls? Due to the enviable wealth and advanced achievements of this great civilization, other cultures were drawn to Egypt like a Kardashian to a reality TV show deal.
In my recently-released historical romance, GODDESS, readers get to see the fireworks between Egypt and one of her most formidable enemies–Nubia. For those of you not familiar with Nubia, the country is located in what is now present-day Sudan. This ain’t Ripley’s Believe it or Not, but (wait for it…) believe it or not, Nubia ruled Egypt for 200 years. Many peeps don’t know that Nubia had pyramids just as large as Egypt’s. And more incredibly, a lot of people never even heard of Nubia!
Egypt and Nubia were constantly battling each other for gold, land, and other resources. Similar to a chocolate-covered potato chip, their sometimes sweet, sometimes salty relationship was complicated. I dig deep into this relationship in GODDESS, the sequel to my best-selling historical romance, PHARAOH’S DESIRE. And just like its predecessor, GODDESS is pregnant with murder, mystery, and lots of steamy sex.
Speaking of pregnancies, there is a scene in GODDESS where my heroine, Princess Ayana diagnoses another woman as being preggers. On a side note, Ayana is the daughter of an Egyptian pharaoh, and she’s a healer, and she’s also kidnapped and temporarily enslaved by a sexy Nubian prince (and you thought you had a lot of stress). At any rate, folks who read the book may be wondering, “How on earth did somebody know they were pregnant in 1650 BCE?” I mean, seriously–it’s not like they peed on a stick.
Well, it wasn’t a stick. It was a stalk of wheat. One of the earliest written records of a urine-based pregnancy test can be found in an ancient Egyptian document. A papyrus described a test in which a woman who might be pregnant could urinate on wheat and barley seeds over the course of several days. If the barley grew, it meant a male child. If the wheat grew, it meant a female child. If neither grew, it meant she wasn’t pregnant.
B.S. you say? Well, some freaky scientists tested this theory in 1963 (remember, they didn’t have the internet to entertain them back then). They found that 70% of the time, the urine of pregnant women promoted growth of the seeds, while the urine of non-pregnant women did not. Scholars have speculated that elevated levels of estrogens in pregnant women’s urine help the grains to sprout. Yuck.
On an unrelated note, I thought it was interesting that barely and hops were probably contributing factors that led to a lot of women getting pregnant. So, isn’t it ironic that barely can also detect a pregnancy? Hah! That’s just some interesting minutiae you can file under N – for Nice to know. Kind of like converting to the metric system. You’re never gonna remember this stuff. Just know that it’s a documented fact.
At the end of GODDESS, you’ll see my Author’s Note chock full of fascinating facts about Egypt and Nubia. And guess what? I’m giving away a free eBook or a signed hardcopy to the person who can best tell me: Who’s your favorite character from any ancient civilization and why? And dammit, if you say Cleopatra–I won’t even be mad atcha. I love me some Cleo too! Contest ends 9/5 at 11:59PM EDT.
Chanta Jefferson Rand is a multi-published author of sizzling-hot African-American romance. She’s a history junkie, a typical Pisces, a Walking Dead fan, and a recovering shoe addict. She never met a stiletto she didn’t like! She also owns http://www.colorful-covers.com/. If you still want more, check her out at http://www.ChantaRand.com.
More Books by Chanta Jefferson Rand
THE HIGHEST BIDDER
DELAY OF GAME
SIGNS OF LOVE
TOO HOT TO HANDLE
YOU’VE GOT MALE!