Rummanah Aasi
 Today I have the pleasure in introducing Leyla Kader Dahm to you. Her latestest book, Annabeth Neverending, is a paranormal romance that is set in Ancient Egypt. I thought it would be fun to ask Leyla the top ten things she learned about Ancient Egypt while she wrote her book.


In my YA romance novel, Annabeth Neverending, Annabeth Prescott discovers that she’s a reincarnated princess from ancient Egypt. The minute I started writing, it became clear that some serious research on the era would be necessary to anchor the paranormal elements in reality.

I wanted the historical components to be as accurate as possible without sounding text-booky. To me, a blend of fact and fiction always makes for the most interesting of reads. At first it was a daunting task, but the ancient Egyptian factoids not only enriched the story, they fascinated me!

1) Ramses the II, also known as Ramses the Great, is considered to have been the most powerful pharaoh of all time. While many purport that he was the pharaoh of the Exodus, no conclusive evidence supporting that claim has come to light. He was responsible, however, for many of the greatest landmarks still standing in Egypt (the temple at Abu Simbel and the hall at Karnak, to name a few).

2) While Nefertari is thought to have been his principal/most prized wife, that didn’t stop Ramses from playing the field. Ramses had a harem of some 200 wives/concubines and sired well over 100 children. He did not mess around. Wait, I mean that he was always messing around!

3) Boundaries weren’t quite the same for the royals. After all, it recently came out that King Tut was most likely breasted by his sister. It doesn’t get much grosser than that. Or does it? After all, incest in the royal house was fairly routine. It’s said that Ramses married his own daughters from his marriage to Isetnophret (I don’t even go there in Annabeth). I mean…ew.

4) The ancient Egyptians thought that dead mice made for a dandy toothache cure, and held the tiny carcasses to trouble areas in their mouths to treat dental pain. I think I would’ve preferred the discomfort!

5) Stick fighting was a popular form of combat that I talk about rather extensively in my book. While it’s no longer a martial art that’s practiced in that region, you can find a stick dance performed during Ramadan called “tahtib,” in which the stick signifies a phallus. Um, okay...(on a side note, a more removed version of the dance—Egyptian cane dancing—is something that I performed back when I was a professional belly dancer!).

6) Beer was a cornerstone of ancient Egypt, as it was a major part of their diet. Rich and poor, young and old alike imbibed it. For the less affluent, most meals consisted of a thick beer and bread combination. Yum? Beer was so important that wages were even paid in the stuff.

7) There’s a lot of controversy about what role slaves played in ancient Egyptian culture. It’s hard to say just what constituted a slave in their society, but there does seem to be a consensus that there were slaves in the royal houses and that these poor individuals were most likely prisoners of war (as with Sethe in Annabeth Neverending).

8) Blue shabti were tiny glazed clay figures buried with the dead so that they’d have manual labor to assist them in the afterlife. One thing can be said for the ancient Egyptians: they always thought ahead!

9) During the mummification process, the ancient Egyptians pulled the brain out through the nasal cavity with the help of a long hook and disposed of it, even though they carefully embalmed other internal organs (ironically, they thought the brain was useless and served no purpose in the afterlife).

10) The ancient Egyptians used mud and crocodile dung for birth control (you can imagine where this was inserted). I think I would’ve taken my chances with the rhythm method!

I hope you find what I learned about ancient Egypt to be as riveting as I did!

Annabeth Neverending

At first, teenager Annabeth Prescott thinks she’s found quite a deal when she talks down the price of an ankh pendant she discovers at a flea market. She soon wonders if the bauble is more than she's bargained for when she faints and glimpses images from a past life in ancient Egypt.

The discovery coincides with another new find: Gabriel, a handsome young man who takes an interest in her. When she meets his twin brother C. J. at a Halloween party, she realizes they look exactly like two boys who figure prominently into her memories.

Does C. J. share the heroic qualities held by his past incarnation Sethe, her bodyguard when she was Princess Ana? Does Gabriel possess the same evil powers he wielded as Kha, the black sorcerer who sought her affection?

Love meets the supernatural in this gripping young adult paranormal romance. Readers with an interest in reincarnation, as well as ancient Egypt, will be drawn to its mystical mixture of history and hesitation as Annabeth sways between the two brothers.

Will her reincarnated soulmate win out? Or will Kha finally find the way to her heart?

Purchase the book at: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Indiebound

About the Author

Wisconsin native Leyla Kader Dahm popped popcorn and dreamt of a career in show business when working in a movie theater while in high school. The small-town Midwestern girl went another route and studied communications at Carroll College and Cornell University, but still found herself drawn to the big screen when a temp agency placed her in a production and development gig at Miramax/Dimension Films.
   Dahm went on to work as a script consultant for numerous production companies. She appeared in the acclaimed spoken word show Sit ‘N Spin and had her comedy feature spec, Due North, optioned by Michael Levy Enterprises. She sold her pitch, Survival Instinct, to Nickelodeon Original Movies.  
Dahm lives with her husband and children in Los Angeles, where she focuses on writing quality material for families and young adults.
 Find Leyla at her website and on Goodreads.
3 Responses
  1. Wow. Interesting stuff. I had no idea about the beer. Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful weekend.

  2. I love these factoids... even the gross ones. LOL However, that one with the brain seems to be the same thought as our political process right now. :) The factoids also makes me more curious about the book!

  3. Kindlemom Says:

    Oh gosh so darn interesting and many of these I didn't even know. I'm sorry to say my Egyptian mythology knowledge is seriously lacking. I would love to read this one!

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