Neve Dalton is the heroine of Paula's Egyptian novel, Her Only Option.
This story was inspired by my visit to Egypt five years ago, and I have no idea where the name Neve came from. Neve is half Egyptian, half Irish, and her name was there in my mind as soon as I started thinking about the story. Only later did I realise Neve is the way the Irish name Niamh is actually pronounced.
Next month, I can reclaim my rights to this novel and will then edit it for re-publication.
Meantime, here is my 'interview' with Neve, which takes place during the first chapter:
I’m now in Luxor, on the Lady
Nadia cruise ship, waiting in the lobby to interview tour guide Neve
Dalton. Ah, I can see her now, running down the stairs– but, oh dear, she
doesn’t look very happy …
Has something upset
I’ll say it has! I went up to the sundeck for some peace and
quiet until my next tour group arrives, and next I know, I’m being chatted up
one of those cruise ship Casanovas – you know, the smooth-talking posers who
think female tour guides are an easy target. And this one had the nerve to say
tour guides churn out half-baked facts from inaccurate guide books!
I take it you weren’t
Well … (Neve blushes)
… he was rather good-looking, with
amazing blue eyes - but then he tried to
claim he was an archaeologist. Huh! Probably one of those dilettantes who think
they can make the discovery of a lifetime without any effort. Anyway, enough
about him. I’m only thankful he’s on the Lady
Amirah and not the Nadia,
although I don’t envy my friend Joanne having to put up with him for this week’s
Er – how did you meet
him if he’s on a different ship?
Oh, haven’t you been up to the sundeck? Our cruise ships
have to be moored 3 or 4 abreast because there are so many here in Luxor, and
they’re built to roughly the same design, so the sundecks are level. Joanne and I often
meet up to have a chat over the rails.
Let me ask you more
about yourself and Joanne. I believe you’re both Cambridge graduates, so why
did you decide to become Nile cruise ship guides?
We both felt we needed a break from the academic life. This
job with the Rahman cruise line has given me the opportunity to return to Egypt
where I grew up, and to share my passion for Ancient Egypt.
I understand you’ve
been dating Malik Rahman.
(Neve narrows her eyes)
I hope you’re not going to make some derogatory comment about me dating the
I wouldn’t dream of
I like Malik, he’s –well, as Joanne has said, he’s good-looking,
charming, worships the ground I walk on, and
he’s filthy rich, but—
But you’re not in love
I can’t be, can I? Otherwise I’d have accepted his proposal.
So he’s asked you to
Oh yes, several times. But, between you and me, I think the
only reason for his proposals is because his father won’t give him any senior
role in the company until he’s ‘settled’ - which to Sabry means married with a
whole brood of sons to inherit the Rahman empire. And I’m not ready to settle
down as a wife and mother. Anyway, if you’ll excuse me now, I need to go and
warn Joanne about that annoying self-styled archaeologist she’ll have to put up
with on the Lady Amirah this week. Bye!
I wonder if Neve will change her mind about that annoying
Here's the blurb:
Neve Dalton loves her job as a tour guide on a River Nile
cruise ship as much as she values her independence. She isn’t ready to settle
down with her Egyptian boyfriend, despite his repeated proposals and his
father’s desire to see him married.
Nor is she ready to meet Ross McAllister, a compelling and
fascinating archaeologist.She struggles against her growing attraction to him
until she can no longer ignore what her heart is telling her. This is the man
who sets her soul on fire.
When she starts receiving cryptic messages, and Ross’s work
in the famous Valley of the Kings is threatened, Neve has to make a
heart-breaking and life-changing decision which she feels is her only option.
Can they discover whose enmity is forcing them apart before
it’s too late?
And one of my reviewers wrote: Neve is a very appealing character and I did not want to finish the book and leave her.