Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: The Genes of Isis by Justin Newland

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for The Genes of Isis by Justin Newland. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as a fantastic guest post by the author. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a signed copy of the book. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
Title: The Genes of Isis
Author: Justin Newland
Publisher: Matador
Publication Date: May 21st 2018
Print Length: 305 pages
Genre: Mythological Fantasy
Akasha is a precocious young woman who lives in a world where oceans circulate in the aquamarine sky waters.

Before she was born, the Helios, a tribe of angels from the sun, came to Earth to deliver the Surge, the next step in the evolution of an embryonic human race. Instead, they left humanity on the brink of extinction and spawned a race of monstrous hybrids.

Horque is a Solarii, another tribe of angels, sent to Earth to rescue the genetic mix-up and release the Surge.

When Akasha has a premonition that a great flood is imminent and falls in love with Horque, her life becomes an instrument for apocalyptic change. But will it save the three races - humans, hybrids and Solarii – from the killing waters?

Opening Fryme's package, she fingered the dark green leaves. She'd used hyssop many times before and had grown to enjoy its astringent odours. Deftly, she worked the herb into a paste and poured a droplet onto a wafer. Before lying down on the bench, she re-read the hieroglyphs on the wall: 'The Spell of the Gods' and beneath that, the warning, 'Use me wisely, lest I turn and rend thee.'

This ritual was the ultimate. It was life and death. She had to be dedicated and fulsome, lest the warning would apply to her. She replayed every detail of the ritual in her mind before preparing for the trance. The timing was of the essence: according to the proscription of the ritual, it had to be conducted on the night of the round moon and completed by the rise of the sun.

Carefully, she adjusted the aperture on the glow-lamp so the amount of light hovered on the twilight between astral and incarnate. Lying on the bench, she placed the wafer beneath her tongue, relishing the minty bitterness of the hyssop as it suffused her being. Slowly, a mists and vapours of the astral veiled her eyes.

She drifted in and out of consciousness, as her ka eased out of her physical body, until she crossed through the Veil and entered its natural domicile, the huge edifice of the astral light. Immediately, she settled into her familiar astral cloak - the golden lioness. It felt good to be back amongst the warmth of her own kind.

Oh, how she'd missed the freedom of the astral light, where she could fly the universe at the speed of thought and take wing through millions of years in an instant. Through her ka, she looked down on herself, lying on the bench. Would this be the last time she'd ever do so? She banished the thought. For now, she had to be meticulously correct. Her enemies were doubt, fear, and hesitation.
Justin Newland is an author of historical fantasy and secret history thrillers - that’s history with a supernatural twist. His stories feature known events and real people from history which are re-told and examined through the lens of the supernatural. He gives author talks and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio Bristol’s Thought for the Day. He lives with his partner in plain sight of the Mendip Hills in Somerset, England.

His Books
The Genes of Isis is a tale of love, destruction and ephemeral power set under the skies of Ancient Egypt. A re-telling of the Biblical story of the flood, it reveals the mystery of the genes of Isis – or genesis – of mankind. ISBN 9781789014860.

The novel is creative, sophisticated, and downright brilliant! I couldn’t ask more of an Egyptian-esque book!” – Lauren, Books Beyond the Story.

The Old Dragon’s Head is a historical fantasy and supernatural thriller set during the Ming Dynasty and played out in the shadows the Great Wall of China. It explores the secret history of the influences that shaped the beginnings of modern times. ISBN 9781789015829.

The author is an excellent storyteller.” – British Fantasy Society.

Set during the Great Enlightenment, The Coronation reveals the secret history of the Industrial Revolution. ISBN 9781838591885.

The novel explores the themes of belonging, outsiders… religion and war… filtered through the lens of the other-worldly.” – A. Deane, Page Farer Book Blog.

His latest, The Abdication (July, 2021), is a suspense thriller, a journey of destiny, wisdom and self-discovery. ISBN 9781800463950.

In Topeth, Tula confronts the truth, her faith in herself, faith in a higher purpose, and ultimately, what it means to abdicate that faith.

- What is it about mythological fiction that interests you the most as a writer?

The Genes of Isis was my first novel, and I had always been fascinated by ancient cultures and myths were one way of exploring them.

I was interested in these stories from history because I wanted to explore the age-old questions such as; Who are we? Where did we come from? Where are we going? This led me to look back in history at how these questions were approached in ancient times.

I started with Ancient Greece. I read The Odyssey and The Iliad and then read the Greek tragedies written by Sophocles and Aeschylus. I’ve always been interested in history, and so read Herodotus, who was perhaps the first true historian. I read the Ancient Romans, Seneca, Caesar, and Ovid.

Eventually, I worked my way back to Ancient Egypt, the origin of all these cultures.

These ancient cultures – Greece, Rome and Egypt – still play out in our lives today. For example, the Ancient Egyptians are famously identified by the pyramid. While we don’t have many physical pyramids in our lives today, isn’t it curious that most if not all businesses, institutions, governments, and organizations are structured with a head, or a leader, followed by an inner cabinet or board, then some middle managers, then a lot of people in the workforce? Which is a pyramidical structure.

See the classical image of the pyramids of Giza.

When we look at ancient cultures, why are their myths important? What can they tell us about the culture? Well, consider this: every age, every era, every culture tries to explain to itself what it is doing and why it is doing it. It’s normal. Humans are coded to be curious, to explore, and wonder about life. Today, we may answer those questions by writing a novel or a play or an opera, composing a constitution, or creating a seminal piece of art, but in ancient times, they did it through myth, through creation myths. It was their story, not his story, or her story, but their story.

So, is a myth about the way that a people translated what was moving through them at the time? Another way that these ancient cultures tried to do that was through monuments, temples, statues, pyramids, artefacts, jewelry all the paraphernalia of culture that we know and recognize today.

So, a myth can give clues to the identity of the myth maker. And the historian and the anthropologist in me are jointly interested in what made these people tick. Because if it made them tick, it probably influences what makes me and us tick today.

It’s said you can only understand someone or empathize with them if you try to think like them, adopt their mentality, and take on their psychologies. Well, if that works between individuals, how about using that as a basis to appreciate a culture, an ancient culture, or a myth? For it is said, ‘To understand Ancient Egypt, you must think like an Ancient Egyptian.’

That’s the fascination with myth and writing mythological fiction. It’s a way to appreciate what those people thought, why they felt like that, and to explore how those things affect us today, in the way we believe and our values. For example, isn’t it curious that our aesthetics, our appreciation of and value for beauty, stems back to Ancient Egypt, who gave us things like the golden ratio, found in the pyramids and still used in advertising motifs?

Trio of Menkaure
Consider the image showing here – the Trio of Menkaure. If those women and that man were dressed in modern garb, would they look so out of place today?

Well, some things never change.

And one of them is our fascination with myths.
Justin Newland will be awarding one signed paperback of The Genes of Isis (open worldwide) to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Good luck!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Goddess Fish Promotions and the author assume all responsibility over this giveaway.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway