The royals of the ancient world have gathered in the glittering white city of Memphis for the coronation of a new Egyptian pharaoh. Whispers and gossip abound, speculating about a mysterious masked thief, the arrival of a seductive Nubian princess, and most of all, the woman they call the Lady Sekhmet – a beautiful handmaiden who rescued their Golden Queen from certain death.
Sekhmet resents her growing fame and does her best to dodge the sensual temptations of court life, even going so far as to distance herself from her former lover, the Queen. Instead, she spends her days honing her battle prowess. The notorious assassination attempt left her scarred and determined to never again be so vulnerable.
Alone in a ransacked temple under the glow of moonlight, Sekhmet finds herself forced into a tenuous alliance with the enigmatic and dangerously seductive masked thief. The connection between them is as electric as it is forbidden, and far too strong for either to resist. Together, they must embark on a series of adventures to uncover the deeper conspiracy that brews at court, restore a priceless relic to the crown, and save Egypt herself from sabotage.
A scandal that nearly ruined her. A reunion that sizzles with heat. Secrets, seduction, and intrigue that will change them forever.
Princess Portia has an impeccable reputation. Well, except for what happened in the Bathhouse. With many years since the Bathhouse Incident behind her, she has forged an image of herself as steady, reliable, and perhaps a bit frigid.
On the night she is to choose a royal groom at the kingdom’s Winter Ball, the man who nearly ruined her all those years ago comes crashing back into her life, sending the nobles into a frenzy of gossip and speculation.
Max de Chalons has returned from exile and is the same as ever: glib, amusing, and wickedly handsome.
In the days that follow, the two rekindle their childhood friendship. Rumors swirl of a forbidden affair, a murdered Viscountess, and a dastardly noble bent on winning Portia’s hand at any cost.
Can they escape this web of scandal, blackmail, and intrigue?
A steamy tale of plotting and passion unfolds around them, pulling them back to their childhood follies and the place where it all began.
That’s right! Your eyes do not deceive you. It is I, Amelie Bliss, risen from the probably-dead! And really, I can explain.
Long ago, in that glimmering erstwhile year of 2015, when Obama was still in office and Bitch Better Have My Money was at the top of the charts, I started a noble endeavor – to write smutty but romantic novellas as fast as I everloving could.
And I did! That summer, I put out a new novella every two weeks, and if I do say so, each one was better than the one that came before it. I had found my calling. My truth. My passion!
Aaaand then life slapped me in the face with a long, boring crisis of the medical variety. While some people do get their jollies from biopsies and pharma cocktails and being cut open with teeny tiny knives, it has never really been my bag, and I found my ability to write pretty damn hampered by the drag of it all.
I won’t say I’m totally better, because I’m not. But I’m back in a place where I can write again, and as long as I can I will.
So, for Blissers who were invested from the start, blog enthusiasts, and any rando who happens onto this post, let me lay out for you what’s on the horizon, because there’s some exciting shit a’brewin’
1. Upgrades to the Current Library
All my current work is getting a face lift. Some of the covers are being polished up (slight font adjustments), but the real magic will be happening inside (ain’t that always the way?) with some pro formatting.
My last book was published as all of my personal dramas were leaving the ground. Sadly, I did not give it the love it deserved. There was never an announcement, no ARCs, and predictably, it launched with a fizzle. This is a real shame, because it is the intro to a series I am still very excited about and the heroine is probably my favorite of all the ladies I’ve written. So we’re doing this again, properly this time
BONUS: A brand new cover with a much sexier portrayal of my beloved Zadie
3. A New Damsel in Undress
Prickly Princess Portia wraps up my trilogy of a line of royal ladies in medieval times who find themselves in the most delightful sorts of trouble. Portia’s story is a little longer than her mother’s and sister’s, but is still in bite-sized novella form.
BONUS: Fan favorite Princess Adaline and her beloved Blacksmith return for several cameo scenes within.
With the long awaited conclusion of the Damsels in Undress trilogy, I can finally package up the three for a tidy discount. I will be doing the same for the Isis & Anubis duology, so keep an eye out for those if you don’t already own your own copies.
BONUS:These bundles will give me the chance to try something I haven’t yet experimented with – print editions! If you want physical Bliss, hang tight, it’s on the way.
5. Sekhmet’s Seduction
If you read Valley of Queens, you likely remember the heroine’s sultry little handmaiden. She’s getting her own book, set around the ascent of a new Pharaoh in the ancient city of Memphis. Poor dove is surrounded by sensual temptations, including the Pharaoh’s brooding little brother, a seductive Nubian princess, and worst of all, the masked thief who has been raining havoc on the coronation.
BONUS: This work will be my first full-length novel! That means a full-length, full-girth experience of nonstop adventure, chemistry, romance, and sexy encounters!
6. Coming Soon …
There’s a lot in the works for the future. Cirque de Femme will be introducing its Snake Charmer and a new series focused around an enchanted forest, full of temptation and danger, is just around the corner.
There’s a unicorn in the forest and Princess Adaline will do anything to catch it, even if it means sneaking out of the palace grounds under cover of twilight.
When her midnight caper is interrupted by the burly village blacksmith, she makes him an irresistible offer – a single night to play with her lush, untouched body – in exchange for his silence and his help
No married woman should attract so much attention. She is a pale jewel in the glittering court of ancient Thebes, the obsession and desire of every man save one – her new husband.
She does her best to avoid the electric connection she feels with the pharaoh’s eldest son – a charismatic prince whose Sahara-colored eyes seem to see right through the farce of her marriage, and into her secret desires for his touch.
His intentions are clear. He intends to make the exotic, blonde foreigner his own. While she strives to maintain propriety, she can’t help but meet his gaze every time they cross paths.
He calls her Isis. To him she is a goddess of the night, a symbol of beauty and love. He tells her the truth about her husband’s indiscretions. He promises passion, romance – and most appealing of all – revenge against her despicable spouse.
How long can she resist the allure of his touch? Perhaps in the arms of the Egyptian prince, she will finally capture true love … and her husband’s undivided attention.
Now, to be totally honest, I imagine in the ancient world, most noble people who experienced true romantic passion did so outside of the bounds of their marriages. This sober reality extends to most of the time periods I write in, of course, so it’s a natural place for me to go.
My original intention was to write Isis, the Grecian princess who narrates our trip to the royal court of ancient Thebes, as a timid new bride. She certainly starts off that way.
But something happened after her first physical encounter with the pharaoh’s handsome son – something I didn’t plan on. She became empowered, almost aggressively so, and it worked out so well for the story.
As I was writing, I was delighted to learn from one of my beta readers (who happens to be a domme) that an entire community of fetishists center around men who love knowing they’re being cheated on. That humiliation factor, the stripping of masculinity – it really gets them going.
Isis’s husband, an unnamed second son of the Greek emperor, was such an afterthought for me (and let’s face it, for Isis), that I didn’t even stop to consider that his reaction might be anything other than indifference or outrage.
Let me tell you, writing him on the sidelines, aroused as can be at the idea that his little wife is getting it from this exotic, powerful Egyptian prince did things to my perception of romance that I’d never anticipated. It also grew into a story that is much longer and more emotionally charged than I’d ever planned for it to be.
Now, let’s put one thing on the table. Romance (not erotica) is an industry that really thrives on traditional relationships. Man, woman, marriage, sex, probably some babies. The romance novels I grew up with also included the virginal heroine trope. It’s a bright new world where tradition isn’t exactly right, but that singular duo of monogamous bliss remains a constant in the genre.
This book created an unprecedented question for me as a romance writer – does Isis want out of her marriage, or does this trio have exactly the right dynamic for everyone involved?
I’ve been thinking all day that it’s perfect that this story particularly will debut on Independence Day (US). It’s about a woman liberating herself, escaping the tyranny of her marriage for brighter horizons.
Appropriately, Another Man’s Queen is the first in an eventual trilogy. This idea is just too juicy not to explore in full. I’ll be thinking about it tomorrow night while I”m watching the fireworks.
Last night I dreamt of Karnak again. I know, it’s terribly du Maurier, isn’t it? I’ve never even been to Egypt, much less stood between the grand pylons of the Middle Kingdom. All the same, it calls to me the way it does to so many people.
It’s undeniably romantic, but beyond that, all those scantly clad, beautiful antique people with their gods and their insane architecture and gold accessories just do something to the imagination. Which is why my next book, (tentatively titled) Another Man’s Queen takes place on the dunes of Ancient Thebes. It involves a neglected bride and very sexy Egyptian prince (in various states of undress) and by and large seems to be a big favorite amongst my beta readers.
Part of that is just because I love the setting so much that I really fell into describing it. Not just those easy-access kilts and bare chested collar-capes the pharaohs wore – though it certainly doesn’t hurt.
My current fix for all things ancient Egypt is the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters. Now, this series doesn’t have any graphic sex scenes, but it certainly has a lot of tongue-in-cheek allusions to it. And the male lead, Radcliffe Emerson, is pretty delicious as a character. I can’t recommend it enough.
As far as actual romance and sex set in the ancient time period rather than on an archaeological dig, I haven’t had much luck. There are tons of books devoted to Cleopatra and a few more on the fringes about Nefertiti, but when I’ve picked them up, they’ve done very little for me. Certainly less than watching Oded Fehr gallop around the dunes in The Mummy or just straight up staring at Rami Malek in Night at the Museum.
And of course, Yul Brynner in The 10 Commandments. I could go on. The point is, it’s just an inherently sexy theme. If you agree, keep an eye out in the first week of July for the first installment in my Ancient Egypt trilogy. I can’t wait to hear what you think.