About the Book
Book: The Egyptian Princess: A Story of Hagar
Author: KD Homberg
Narrator: Lillian Rachael
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release date: March 11, 2021
Two women, one ancient Egyptian harem, and the bold decision that changed the course of history.
Princess Hagar has always known her destiny in the opulent court of Egypt’s tenth dynasty. One day, she will marry Crown Prince Merikare and become the Great Royal Wife, the most powerful woman in Egypt. But dark dreams afflict Hagar when she hears of the latest addition to Pharaoh’s harem: the stunning, iridescent Sumerian, Sarai. Princess Hagar feels a powerful presence around the Sumerian woman. She suspects Sarai has brought black magic into the palace, but what can she do to convince Pharaoh?
The intrigue of Pharaoh’s court pales in comparison to that swirling in the Royal House of Women among the wives, children, and concubines of the king. Sarai’s arrival upsets the already precarious balance. Loyalties divide, and betrayal, jealousy, and tragedy plague the once peaceful household. When a series of disasters befall Egypt, Hagar must make a daring decision, and the stakes could not be higher. She could lose everything—position, power, family, and even her life.
Torn between the silent gods of Egypt and the powerful presence that surrounds Sarai, Hagar’s world falls apart around her. She must acknowledge the terrible price of truth and decide for herself who she will serve.
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About the Author
KD HOLMBERG is a retired flight attendant who turned an empty nest into a workshop for creating stories around remarkable women. She and her husband live in the foothills of the breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains and love to travel and golf. They also run a girl gang of seven granddaughters, courtesy of their five adult children, and have one male grandchild that the author can safely declare as her favorite grandson.
About the Narrator
Born in the United Kingdom, LILLIAN RACHEL grew up in East Anglia and moved north to Durham before marrying her US military man and Atlantic hopping between Europe and North America.
She’s now settled in the Washington D.C. area, where she is an award winning narrator from her personal home studio.
There’s not much she loves more than telling your story in the most engaging way. Sophisticated or sassy, with a range of accents and character personas, she brings your words to life and draws your listeners in.
More from KD Holmberg
Novel Inspiration and Tiger Nut Sweets
Who was Hagar?
That thought occurred to me during a Bible study in Genesis, which revealed:
- God met with Hagar twice.
- He called her by name.
- She was the first to give Him a name, El Roi
- She received the same promise as Abraham to become a great nation.
I was aware of Hagar’s general gist of her love triangle with Sarah and Abraham that produced Ishmael and how mother and son were sent into the desert to die. But her name niggled at me because she didn’t die. She survived and thrived as a single mother in the ultimate man’s world. How could a throwaway, uneducated handmaid accomplish such a feat?
The Hebrew and Arab traditions of Hagar gave me insight into that question. They teach that she was the daughter of the pharaoh who seized Sarah in Genesis 12. This quote from Amenhotep III made me even more curious, ‘from old, the daughter of an Egyptian king has not been given in marriage to anyone.’ A practice that prevented foreigners from having a claim on the Egyptian throne.
So how did a princess of Egypt end up in the tribe of Abraham?
I researched what life looked like for a princess in ancient Egypt. I discovered Pharaohs educated their daughters along with their sons. They learned reading, writing, medicine, politics, religion, and mathematics. An education and growing up in the luxury and privilege of the most sophisticated culture on earth rounded out my view of Hagar. It also reminded me of one of my favorite Bible verses, Deuteronomy 31:8, “And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” (NKJV) God had gone before this remarkable woman and prepared her with the tools she would need to exist and endure.
The Egyptian Princess: A Story of Hagar is fiction, but the historical details in my world-building are as accurate as possible. I created an ancient Egyptian harem and placed Sarah and Hagar together. I added plagues and other information from Hebrew history and imagined a twist-and-turned, life and death scenario where a princess of Egypt ended up in the first Hebrew tribe.
Book two in The Women of Valor series, More Than a Handmaid—which releases March 22. 2023 —picks up where this one leaves off. We follow Hagar as she navigates life as a handmaid and steps into the world alone, holding firm to her faith and hope in the Lord.
Tiger Nut Sweets
Tiger Nut Sweets are a favorite treat of one of my supporting characters. Foodies out there; this is one of the oldest recipes in the world and was found on a piece of ancient Egyptian pottery dating to 1600 BC. The tuberous root of the yellow nutsedge (also known as tiger nut) was used in the original recipe.
1 cup pitted fresh dates
Splash of water
1 tablespoon cinnamon (or to taste)
2 tablespoons roughly chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons finely ground almonds
Grind the dates with a splash of water to form a rough paste. Use a food processor. The Ancient Egyptians would have used one if they had it!
Place the honey and almond meal in a shallow bowl.
- Transfer the date paste to a bowl and add cinnamon and chopped walnuts.
- Mix thoroughly with your hands and roll into small bowls.
- Mix honey and ground almonds in another bowl.
- Coat balls in honey and almond mixture and serve. I like to coat in honey first and roll in the almond mixture. Enjoy!
Author Interview with KD Holmberg
Q: What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
A: What a great question. I’ve gone to Great Britain a few times to experience literary London, Oxford, Bath, and Stratford-upon-Avon. Most of my favorite authors are classic British novelists, who lived a century or two ago and penned stories we enjoy today. My favorite place to start is the British Library in London. They have an extensive collection of original manuscripts by Jane Austen (and her writing desk and spectacles), the Bronte sisters, Lewis Carroll, Rudyard Kipling, and others.
I also visited Egypt on a personal pilgrimage for The Egyptian Princess. I walked where an ancient Egyptian princess may have walked and sailed the Nile on a barge a pharaoh might have owned. I stood in awe as I watched sunrises and sunsets from the same place where Hagar and Sarai watched them. I experienced a massive sandstorm that inspired the one in my novel, and I visited a Bedouin family and enjoyed a meal in their black goat-hair tent. I rummaged around The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo, was awed by the tombs of the Pharaohs at the Pyramids of Giza, and explored temples and tombs in Luxor. I discovered books translated from ancient Egyptian papyri and studied them for the pace of speech and tenor of the period. This excursion gave me the opportunity to experience the place and artifacts where I set my novel.
Q: What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
A: Named Book of the Year by the Conference on Christianity and Literature in 1993, ‘The Son of Laughter,’ a retelling of the life of Jacob by author and theologian Frederick Buechner, is one of my favorite Biblical Fiction books. I’ve not met anyone else who has read it and would say it’s under-appreciated by fans today. Buechner’s incredible prose and literary skills make the story come alive in the natural human tendency toward sin and the redeeming hope in God.
Q: What was your hardest scene to write?
My character, Imi, is inspired by someone I know who has Borderline Personality Disorder. Her scenes are taken from real-life events. It was hardest to write about her childhood abuse and shame because the subject matter is authentic and essential to understand her complex personality.
Q: What is your favorite childhood book?
A: I became a life-long book lover because of Madeleine L’Engle’s book ‘A Wrinkle in Time.’ It was the first book I read for pleasure and made me think of reading as fun and entertaining.
Q: What comes first, the plot or characters?
A: I’m a character-driven author. I take the time to develop backstories and type my character’s personalities with the Enneagram profile. Some Christians can misunderstand the Enneagram, much like Yoga years ago. But it is widely taught in churches and seminaries and is a much-used tool by spiritual directors, Christian counselors, and other authors. The Enneagram ensures my characters have different personalities and provides their basic fear, desire, and even the superego messages they tell themselves.
Thank you for taking the time to let us get to know you better!
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 2
Texas Book-aholic, June 3
Mary Hake, June 3
Connie’s History Classroom, June 4
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 5
Inklings and notions, June 6
deb’s Book Review, June 7
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 8
Locks, Hooks and Books, June 10
For Him and My Family, June 11
Pause for Tales, June 12
Artistic Nobody, June 13 (Author Interview)
Books I’ve Read, June 13
Through the Fire Blogs, June 14
For the Love of Books, June 15
To celebrate her tour, KD is giving away the grand prize package of a $100 Amazon gift card and an audiobook!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.