The Curse of the Mummy’s Heart

by Julia Talbot

The Curse of the Mummy's Heart - Julia Talbot
Part of the The Peculiars series:
  • The Curse of the Mummy's Heart
Editions:Kindle: $ 4.99 USD
ISBN: 978-1-951532-78-9
Pages: 254

Something is rising in the desert sand, and between two adventurous men.

Famous 1920s Hollywood actor Douglas Fitzhugh and his brother Donnie are headed for Egypt on a classic monster movie quest. Their mysterious benefactor, a man they call Grant, has sent them to find a stranded archaeologist, and all they have to go on is a handwritten journal. That's just the kind of adventure Douglas loves, and he never passes up the chance to get away from his studio-driven life.

Charles Angeloff is also on his way to Egypt with a special object his father has asked him to return to the tomb he ripped it from. Charles is just out of university, and when he meets Douglas, he falls hard for Douglas' charm and his worldly ways.

As they travel, more men of adventure join them: a cowboy, a rich seminary student, and a librarian. When they're all together, it's like magic happens, and the men all realize they're on a mission to stop the horror that stirs beneath the desert sands, even as that creature sets its sights on Charles. Will Douglas and Charles lose each other just when they've found what they both think is the man they want to be with forever?

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Excerpt:

Something is rising in the desert sand, and between two adventurous men.

Famous 1920s Hollywood actor Douglas Fitzhugh and his brother Donnie are headed for Egypt on a classic monster movie quest. Their mysterious benefactor, a man they call Grant, has sent them to find a stranded archaeologist, and all they have to go on is a handwritten journal. That's just the kind of adventure Douglas loves, and he never passes up the chance to get away from his studio-driven life.

Charles Angeloff is also on his way to Egypt with a special object his father has asked him to return to the tomb he ripped it from. Charles is just out of university, and when he meets Douglas, he falls hard for Douglas' charm and his worldly ways.

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As they travel, more men of adventure join them: a cowboy, a rich seminary student, and a librarian. When they're all together, it's like magic happens, and the men all realize they're on a mission to stop the horror that stirs beneath the desert sands, even as that creature sets its sights on Charles. Will Douglas and Charles lose each other just when they've found what they both think is the man they want to be with forever?

COLLAPSE

Prologue

Los Angeles, California, 1923

 

Donald Fitzhugh strode into his brother’s garden room, where Douglas and his lady friend, Betty, lounged in the sun filtering through the glass walls. He carried a large packet wrapped in brown paper, the weight of it impressive.

He slammed it down onto the patio table, rattling cups and saucers together.

Douglas raised a single perfect eyebrow at him. “Really, Donnie, must you make such an entrance? Especially if it’s just the post?”

“This came by courier just now. Did I interrupt your assignation?” As if he didn’t know full well that Douglas’s interest in Betty “Little Boo” Miller was purely platonic.

“Not at all. Shall I go swim?” Betty rose, her trim figure perfectly accentuated by the bathing suit she wore.

“Thank you, my dear. Let me see what this boor wants.” Doug waved a languid hand, but as soon as Betty vanished, he perked up. “So? What is it?”

“It’s from our ever-so-reclusive benefactor.” A rush of pure excitement flooded Donald. After their disaster in Paris, he had feared they would never see another missive from the elusive M. Grant.

Douglas stood immediately and rushed to his side. “Well, open it!”

He laughed. His ever-so-civilized brother did like an adventure.

Doug smiled at him, the look one of a long-held fondness. They had lost their parents to disaster when he was but ten, and Doug had become both Mother and Father.

His brother had done well for them. More than twenty films in his relatively short career, and while Doug had to give all the appearances of excess, he was a shrewd investor. Donald’s own position at a small university didn’t pay nearly as well but afforded him freedom to research and explore at his will.

The trustees loved it when he traveled, broadening his experience and expertise.

Donald finally loosened the strings so he could tear at the brown wrapper.

Inside the packet was a sizeable amount of cash, tickets for travel to… Cairo—interesting—along with a lovely bound book.

“Cairo!” Douglas clapped his hands. “Excellent! Tombs! I wonder what we’re to find this time.”

Donald fought back his shudder. At least this would be desert and sand, sun to bleach away the danger. The catacombs had held horrors that had been unspeakable.

“What’s in the book?”

He glanced at it. The cover was blank, the leather old but still well-kept.

He unwrapped the laces and opened it to discover a spiked handwriting combined with sketches of temples and hieroglyphs. There was also a note on heavy paper, written in the same neat block printing Grant’s communiques always seemed to come with. The instructions were… succinct to the point of being sparse, per usual.

“Looks as though an archaeologist has disappeared. The find was small. Nothing like Carter’s expedition, but similarly, there was a curse…”

Douglas rolled his eyes dramatically. “Seriously? Another curse? Aren’t we full up with them?”

“We haven’t exactly disproven them…” Donald sure thought the catacombs of Paris were cursed. His mind skittered away from the memories of… No. His hand went to his ribs, the heavy scars from a bony, ghostly hand ropy under his fingers.

“Hey.” Doug leaned across the table, dark blue eyes suddenly burning. “You know I’m always flip. I won’t let that happen to us again. I swear it. No matter what Grant has in store for us.”

“I know, Brother. The train tickets to New York are scheduled to leave tomorrow. First class.”

About the Author

Julia Talbot lives in the great Southwest, where there is hot and cold running rodeo, cowboys, and everything from meat and potatoes to the best Tex-Mex. A full time author, Julia has been published by  Dreamspinner Press, Changeling Press, and is now mostly indie. She believes that everyone deserves a happy ending, so she writes about love without limits, where boys love boys, girls love girls, and boys and girls get together to get wild, especially when her crazy paranormal characters are involved


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