Sunday, August 7, 2022

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Dark Goddess (A Dark Reflection Short Story #1) by Kelsey Ketch

Dark Goddess tour banner
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Dark Goddess by Kelsey Ketch. This tour was organized by Lola's Blog Tours. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as the author's research process for the book. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
Dark Godess book cover
Title: Dark Goddess
Series: A Dark Reflections Short Story #1
Author: Kelsey Ketch
Publication Date: August 7th 2022
Print Length: 46 pages
Genre: New Adult Dark Fantasy
Chaos has descended on Egypt, and the people are revolting against their immortal king. Little do they know the wrath he is about to unleash using his daughter as his weapon.

A few hours after I fed on my father’s blood, a guard fetched me from the windowless chamber. Two servants had dressed me in a fine, transparent sheath dress and painted my face with kohl and ochre. My eyes were still sensitive to the flickering flames burning in the chamber basins, yet it was nothing compared to Ra’s early morning rays filtering into the hallways of my father’s home. It burned. I continued to stare at my feet, but there was a draw to the sun’s intense heat. One I never felt before. It was like something in me felt confident that it would not harm me. Not in the way it used to. I was stronger somehow. At some point, I dared to touch the direct sunlight. My fingertips bubbled and blistered, but when I pulled them back into the shadows, the blisters receded and gave way to smooth, healthy, golden skin. Never in my life had my wounds healed so quickly.

And that wasn’t the only change. My sister and I always had an incredible sense of smell. Therefore, catching the whiff from the animal stalls or finding the guard’s musk and frankincense perfume overwhelming was nothing new. However, there was now a strong metallic scent I never noticed before and a faint odor like aged meat. It made my mouth water as if I were smelling fresh bread from the kitchen. On top of it, the rhythmic beating that reverberated from the guard’s chest was driving some primal hunger deep within my soul wild. It took all my strength to focus on the sounds coming from the heart of my father’s house: a symphony of bird calls, footsteps, shifting dirt and sand, and the gentle thunk of clay pots dipping into water. The usual gentle sounds of everyday life, only ten times louder.

As we exited the royal apartments and chambers, I could suddenly hear each of my father’s counselors speaking. Their voices a soft whisper that bounced off the plastered mudbrick walls and painted lotus columns. They were discussing matters of state. Primarily famine, economic crises, and several recent uprisings. Moving through the center of the house, their voices grew louder, as if they were shouting inside my head. I even detected the lilt of panic and uncertainty in their tone as I sensed their hearts racing. I looked at the guard, who did not seem bothered at all. Perhaps, he was used to such arguments or could not hear them as I could.

Everyone hushed the moment I stepped into the throne room. Ignoring the small crowd, I looked toward the back wall where my father sat on a small golden chair. His shendyt was adorned with an ornate frontal panel. A broad golden collar rested on his shoulders. His chin bore a long, braided false beard. And upon his shaven head sat the pschent, the double crown combining the white crown of Upper Egypt and the red crown of Lower Egypt. My father’s eyes shifted toward me, and I quickly lowered my gaze, for no mortal could look the king—a god—directly in the eye.
Dark Creation
Title: Dark Creation
Series: A Dark Reflections Short Story #2
Author: Kelsey Ketch
Publication Date: April 30th 2021
Print Length: 38 pages
Genre: New Adult Dark Fantasy

Long before Charissa began her murderous rampage through history, she was a young woman living in ancient Alexandria.

Oppressed by society and cursed by the color of her hair, Charissa had hardly seen the world beyond the four walls of her home. So, when her husband leaves for extended military duty, she takes the opportunity to tour the city her brother once loved. Little does she know the Fates have other plans in store for her when she runs into an exotic woman in the Rhakotis District. The encounter will change her life forever.

Dark Creation series
Kelsey Ketch is a young-adult/new-adult author, who works as a Wildlife Biologist and Data Analyst. During her free time, she can often be found working on her latest work in progress. She also enjoys history, mythology, traveling, and reading.

- What was your research process like for this book?

Research is one of my favorite things about writing a new book. Even if I studied the topic before, I love coming back to it with a novice point of view and expanding my knowledge. Like much of my work, I started my research process for Dark Goddess by first focusing on the boarder spectrum. I reviewed the different variations of the Eye of Ra mythology both in my reference books as well as online, looking for similarities and differences. During this time, I also studied the background and roles of the Egyptian goddess, Sekhmet, through multiple resources. After writing down the general concepts I wished to portray in Dark Goddess, I then started to pinpoint a suitable time for the setting for the events.

Given that Sekhmet is one of the oldest known goddesses of ancient Egypt, I narrowed my research to the pre-dynastic (c. 6000-3150 BCE) and early dynastic (c. 3150 - c. 2613 BCE) periods. Then, I investigated the different kings and events in each period, specifically looking for any mention of war, uprisings, or other possible chaotic situations. Eventually, I settled in the early dynastic period, focusing my attention within the 2nd dynasty. To establish my setting structure, specifically the city of Memphis, I first watched a couple of documentaries from History Channel and The Great Courses to get a better idea of early Egyptian architecture and construction materials. Then, I focused on the style of palaces and houses, street sizes, and general layout of the city.

Finally, as I began writing the story, I concentrated on the smaller details as needed. Using the early dynastic period as my baseline, I searched weapons, technology, flora, and fauna. In addition, I studied ancient Egyptian artwork for characters' descriptions and interior design, and integrated ancient Egyptian terms when I felt appropriate for the story.

Writing is like attempting to stabilize a set of scales. I aim to balance creating something enjoyable to read along with providing accurate knowledge. Unfortunately, this means not everything I research makes its way into my books. Mainly due to the fact I can spiral into introducing too much information. But, for the most part, I think I strike the right balance.
Win a $10 Amazon gift card!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Lola's Blog Tours and the author assume all responsibility over this giveaway.)

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you, again, for participating in Dark Goddess's Blog Tour!