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Writers Inspiring Change book review: The Last Rays of Ra by Karina McRoberts

A twisted thriller!

The Last Rays of Ra, although it may first appear to be about some historical event, is in fact a contemporary mystery murder thriller. It begins with a rash of bizarre murders, which eventually leads the key police investigator on the trail of the mad man behind it all. Meanwhile, another player enters the story at the very beginning; Egyptologist, Vahlona Selket Faralay, who finds herself cast into a role of helping to stop the bloodbath as she flies off to Egypt in search of a rare artifact which the killer insists on having, otherwise the death toll will continue to rise. Her particular skill-set, connections in that world, and knowledge of Egyptology, gives her the extra edge, but even so, the road she finds herself on is filled with intrigue, danger and near-death episodes.

The language is colorful, descriptive and full of metaphors - revealing the author's talent as a writer.

While holding the reader to the very end to find out what happens, we are also provided with colorful insights into the world of Egyptology; facts and anecdotal material which animate the story, making us feel more drawn to the great mysteries surrounding Egypt's past era.

A recommended read for buffs of crime and thrillers.

Review by International Writers Inspiring Change

More books by Karina McRoberts

About Karina McRoberts

Interview with the author.

What inspired you to write?

I became ill — viral-induced chronic fatigue syndrome.  I could do nothing for some time — so, I took up some artistic pursuits that I could do in bed.  Learned to play a small mandolin (my hand movements and strength was  limited) — much easier than a big guitar!

I read like a madwoman and then got to the point where I decided I should write as well.

What inspired your book?

My latest book, The Last Rays of Ra was inspired just by the sound of the title. I’m very attuned to the sound of language, nature sounds, and music, of course  I thought it would rock as a title.

 I then brought in my love of Egyptology.  Researching for the novel, I discovered a brilliant piece of research — whereby I learned that many of the standard translations of the ancient Egyptian language are much in error!  This is alluded to in the book; which contains reference notes and examples of Egyptian art, by the way.

 I also have an interest in ancient medicine, being a disease biologist by trade, so that also went into the mix.

Also,  I was sad at the dearth of adventures starring a woman, and the very perfect heroine models that abound, so I invented  Rogue Egyptologist Vahlona Selket Faralay. She has her faults, and rightly so when you discover her past, but she’s a fighter, and savvy with it. 

I was also ticked off by the way post-mortems are portrayed in popular culture.  As a disease detective myself, I know —it is not straightforward.

 And then, there is my detective, Jackson Randolph.   He is different too — I mean, how could anyone stand this sort of thing for any length of time?  It’s a tough gig.

What are you aspiring for as a writer?

Reading helped me so much during the early stages of my illness.  Also, through a difficult childhood — as an adult, I want to give back. 

I want to continue writing books that people love.  I have written quite a few in many genres;  I try to write something for everybody —stories that will give someone some cheer, hope, or simply entertainment when the really need it!

Examples of this are when a mother was thrilled to read my novella Dargo —Eco Hero to her 9 yr old son - they both loved it and she is hoping he will grow up to be a person who helps save the planet.  What result could be better?  Well, when someone said they laughed like never before, when someone compared it to Frank Baum’s famous and totally enchanting story, The Wizard of Oz, and when someone said it made her feel good.

Or, when a bed-ridden reader told me how was thrilled she was to be able to time-travel by reading my historical fiction novels.

Or, the terminally-ill woman who spirit was lifted when she read my novella A Man For All Seasons.

Social and environmental themes resonate throughout my fiction, but, they’re always part of the story — they do not take away from the entertainment.

Readers enjoy the humour I put into my books — some of the stories are anything but funny, e.g. dealing with race hatred in my new novella Kahnilla the Dragon.  It does have humour and even a happy ending.  This story is a way to cope with all the madness that’s going on. Both for me as the writer and hopefully for my readers.  It’s a tough world.  It’s not always easy to come to terms with. I hope my stories help people.  And, of course, entertainment is forever my aim. 

I also write non-fiction — how-to art books.  To share the joy of illustration — to give people the skills to create. 

Creating is soooo important.  Our society tends to downplay it — seeing it as a secondary activity.  But I feel it’s essential for every person’s well-being throughout their lives.  I often give workshops along these lines: Don’t vegetate — create!  It’s very good for staving off dementia.  It’s very good for treating any sort of illness, especially of the mind.

FashonistaTahshi - the authors assistant editor

Lately, I have been focusing on climate-change themes in my books.  I always include animal friends.  But, I do not preach — the stories will deliver insight, while being completely enjoyable.  That’s my aim.

I assure my readers that everything I write — I write.  I do not use AI.  Ever.  Never! You’ll always get heart-felt literature from me.  It’s out-of-the-box, oh yes.  So, if you’re looking for something different, embracing the above attributes, you will find it in my stories.

More about Karina McRoberts

"I want to assure my readers that everything I write is my own personal creation - not a machine's! You will always get genuine heartfelt literature - I guarantee this to you."

Karina writes so readers can... Escape to the Heights of Their Hearts and the Depths of Their Souls!

Character rich and emotionally engaging, her stories have won numerous awards.

Karina is an American-Australian author, illustrator, musician, scientist and theatre producer. She considers herself to be a true Renaissance woman and strives to help other achieve the same.

("After all, ladies, we didn't get a chance last time!!!!").

Previously working as a conservation scientist, she was struck down by a mosquito-borne virus. No longer able to work, Karina now spends her time writing fiction to inspire, encourage, enlighten and entertain; especially those readers active in social justice, humanitarian work, and protection of the Earth.

She also writes self-instruction books and gives workshops in illustration and creative writing.

In these dark days of crazy violence, betrayal, and plague, Karina hopes readers find solace and joy in her creations.

Hope is light to the heart! As her character JT Gordon says in her time-travel adventure/romance novel, The Palace of the Stars, 'Don't measure your time in minutes, treasure your time in moments.' Indeed.

Visit her Amazon author page HERE.

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