Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I blame Indiana Jones – Guest Cassiel Knight -- plus Giveaway!


I blame Indiana Jones.

You see, from the moment Indiana Jones came to life on the big screen in Raiders of the Lost Ark, I’ve been hooked on all things archeological. And when Lara Croft played by the uber awesome (to me) Angelina Jolie, followed years later, I was a goner.

Since then, while I’ve always loved history and mythology, Indiana Jones introduced me to archeology but not the profession but more the seedier side – tomb raiding or grave robbery as it’s also been called.

You see, what Indiana did, even when he sold the pieces to the museum, was and is grave robbing. Now, given his love of history, he did it with the best intentions, however, it was still robbery.

But, that’s not the romance of tomb raiding and tomb raiding does have a romance attached to it. It’s action, adventure, mystery, thrills and chills combined to find some fantastic treasures. That’s what so many are attracted to and while Indiana Jones was so popular. Well, that and Harrison Ford as Indiana.

Tomb raiding is an ancient profession. Some experts believe it started in force from about the 16th century and forward. We are talking at minimum from about 1501! That’s a long time ago. But the stories go that tomb raiding goes back even farther. No one knows for sure.

According to SAFE (Saving Antiquities for Everyone), because tomb raiding is theft, it is hard to give the exact size of the black market trade in antiquities. An article by Arielle Kozoloff says while legal antiquity trade generates $200 million in sales per year, the illegal market is measured in billions per year (The Antiquities Market: When, What, Where, Who, Why, and How Much? [Who Owns the Past? Rutgers University Press, 2005]).

But more than the money aspect, looters don’t care to preserve the site. Many of the amazing architecture of Egyptian tombs were destroyed by thieves in their quest for gold and other things to sell. Iraq, during the war with Saddam Hussein, was not spared and many of their treasures were looted.

And it’s not limited to Egypt or other places across the world. Right here in Amercia, there’s a robust trade in black market artifacts. If you visit the SAFE website (http://www.savingantiquities.org), you can find a wealth of facts and figures about the extent of this profession.

When I wrote Blood on the Moon, I knew I was stepping into a shaky area because of the black marks against tomb raiding. Again, this is where I blame Indiana and Lara because of my romanticism of that profession; I knew I had to write within that world.

My goal was to craft a tomb-raiding heroine who thrived there and walked a gray line of romanticism and reality and a hero on the opposite side who helps her change. It was not easy to do. I hope I succeeded.

Blood on the Moon is the first adventure into this often dark and seedy world. I plan to explore that side in future books.

I hope you enjoy this quick jaunt into the second oldest profession in the world.

If you want to read more, here are some excellent resources:

Loot – Sharon Waxman – 978-0-8050-9088-8
The Great Belzoni – Stanley Mayes – 978-1-84511-333-9
The Rape of the Nile Brian M. Fagan – 978-0-8133-4061-6
Stealing History – Roger Atwood – 0-312-32407-3
Finders Keepers – Craig Childs – 978-0-316-06642-6

Cassiel, thanks so much for being my guest today!

Blood on the Moon now available at Champagne Book Group and Amazon!

Find Cassiel online!
Twitter - @CassielKnight

To celebrate the new release of Blood on the Moon, Cassiel is doing a giveaway! Prize is winner's choice of one of Cassiel's ebooks. Comment to enter. 
Contest runs through Sunday (Oct 14 2012), winner posted Monday. 


15 comments:

  1. Hi, and I was hooked on Indy because I love the movies. Very interesting about raiding sites. I saw one in NYTimes (can't remember for sure) about sites being raided and the fake business. Congratulations on your book.

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  2. Hi Vicki! Sites are raided all the time but not only from theives but even from the countries own citizens. Egypt is an example of a place where many citizens thieve as much as or maybe even more than outsiders. And just like outsiders, they don't care what they destroy to get what they want. It can be a pretty intense subject. Thanks for commenting!

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  3. I was actually hooked on tomb raiding books/movies before I saw Indiana Jones at the theatre - I watched the movie Sphinx with Lesley Anne Down and Frank Langella where Lesley is an Egyptologist who goes to Egypt and finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation having to do with tomb raiding. It came out about 5 months before Raiders of the Lost Arc. I started reading books then that had to do with uncovering the treasures in the desert. Congratulations on your new release - Blood on the Moon sounds like a book I would enjoy reading!

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    1. Gosh, Maria, I don't know this one. Sounds great and thanks for the congrats! I'm pretty excited.

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    2. Congratulations on winning Cassiel Knight's giveaway, Maria!

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  4. Blood on the Moon sounds really good. Congrats on your new book. Reading your comments on Indiana Jones makes me want to get the movie and watch again.

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  5. Cassiel, congratulations on your new release, Blood on the Moon! And thanks so much for visiting my blog this week. Your title "I Blame Indiana Jones" is the best ever :)

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  6. Awesome title, and I love Indiana Jones too. I picked up the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters about the time the first Mummy movie came out and in between some of the Indiana Jones movies. Her series covers the tightrope between archeology and tomb raiding during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Good for you for entering a rich field.

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    1. Amelia Peabody is my favorite!

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    2. You know, I keep hearing about Elizabeth Peters and saw them but just haven't picked them up. I might have to now. Thanks!

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  7. Cassiel, Great post! I didn't know we both had the itch to write action adventure. Your book and the reference books sound like good reads. Congrats on the new release!

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    1. Me either, Paty! Looks like I'm missing out on yours. Now I gotta go find me one. I'll have to email you for a recommendation.

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  8. LOL! That's great. Totally worth seeing again I think. Thanks!

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  9. Hi all! Sorry for the delay. Life is so intrusive sometimes, isn't it? Anyway, my handy dandy random calculator selected Maria D as the winner of the giveaway. Yay Maria!

    You can choose which of my three digital books you'd like - Key of Solomon, Hit Me With Your Best Shot and Blood on the Moon. I love them all but Blood is my favorite. Whichever one you want. Just email me at cassielknight47@gmail.com and let me know which one and which format and I'll get it right out.


    Thanks all! And thanks Mary for hosting me here. Everyone was so welcoming.

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    1. Thank you Cassiel! It's been great, and I'm so looking forward to diving into your book :D

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