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Guest blogger: Khloe Wren

23 August 2020

Down the rabbit hole of research

I love writing stuff that is unique and I am crazy obsessed about getting the details right. That often leads me down seemingly bottomless rabbit holes once I start looking into things. It also means I know all sorts of random facts that are basically useless outside of quiz nights!

After writing romantic suspense for nearly the past decade, I also know way more than is probably healthy about killing and body disposal. Like did you know that if you bury a body under enough manure it will be completely gone in three weeks? Bones and everything? Between the heat, germs and bugs they clean up the whole thing. This has been proven by researchers in the US. It’s crazy.

And I’ve gotten off track …

What I wanted to talk to you about was my most recent research on Ancient Egypt and King Tutankhamun.

When I first starting working on my concept for my sub series in the RBMC Universe, I wanted something really outside the box and I wanted to incorporate a phoenix in it somehow. (I got a phoenix tattooed on my forearm last September and have become besotted with the mythical beast.) On researching what cultures included a phoenix, I discovered that Ancient Egyptians were one such culture.

From there I went searching for accurate information on Ancient Egyptians. Following the recommendation of a couple of fellow authors, I found two online certificates run by the University of Pennsylvania (USA). How awesome is it that we can do these courses online? From the comfort of my office chair, I completed both these courses and earned my certificates in Introduction to Ancient Egypt and its Civilization and Wonders of Ancient Egypt. On top of those courses—which were wonderful and very informative—I read a lot of research papers, news articles and even an old school book or two.

I spent months enjoying the rabbit hole I’d falling into, learning all sorts of crazy facts and myths and conspiracy theories—all so I could mess with them to create my world for my series Royal Bastards MC (RBMC): South Australia.

One story that really caught my attention was that of Ankhesenamun. Now, before I get into it, remember that things worked differently in ancient times and from what I’ve read, the Egyptian royals were big on keeping it in the family (gotta protect that precious bloodline!). Tutankhamum’s parents were also believed to be brother and sister. But the theories historians have put together to explain Ankhesenamun’s life are nothing short of horrific for the poor girl.

Of course there is no way of knowing for sure exactly what took place, especially since it’s been discovered that over the years pharaohs ordered that any signs of certain past leaders be destroyed. But this is what is believed to have happened to Ankhesenamun:

Firstly she was married to her own father. At just thirteen years of age, she birthed a daughter to him. Not long after his death, her brother Tutankhamun became Pharaoh and she was then married to him. She birthed two still-born daughters to her brother before his death at just nineteen years of age.

After her brother’s death, she was forced to marry his successor, an elderly advisor named Ay. Some historians believe this was actually her grandfather. He only lived a few years before he too died.

I found one article that believed after Ay’s death, Ankhesenamun wrote letters to a neighbouring kingdom requesting they send their prince for her to marry and to lead Egypt. They sent their prince, but he was murdered en route to her. After this she vanishes from all records and no one knows what happened to her.

But the next pharaoh who took over after Ay, was a second advisor to Tutankhamun, so it’s not hard to think up all sorts of conspiracy theories as to what really happened to Ay, Ankhesenamun or her prince!

So, like I said, research can lead you down all sorts of rabbit holes that give me wonderful and interesting facts that are only useful at quiz nights! Lol.

Now, I won’t tell you all I have planned for my RBMC series, which involve this Ancient Egyptian family, because that would just spoil way too much! But I can tell you the main six male heroes of the series are all sons of King Tut that he conceived with six different slave women, mixed together with some god powers that made all the boys immortal. I LOVED writing this first book and can’t wait to get going on the rest of the series.


Khloe Wren

You can find Khloe here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Blaze of Honor (Book 1, Royal Bastards MC: South Australia)

I first joined the Royal Bastards MC as a joke. After all, as the immortal illegitimate son of King Tut, I was truly a royal bastard. But I soon discovered I liked club life and was proud to watch my brothers’ backs, just as they watched mine.

It was a good, simple, life. One I knew wouldn’t last, because it never does.

It was a phone call from my blood brother in Australia that ended my peace this time. The country was burning with supernatural fires and he needed my affinity with the element to fight them. Things got complicated when I discovered the woman who started them — a rather alluring woman who awakened something deep inside me — was an innocent pawn in a much larger plan. A plan that would fall to me to find a way to stop before it destroyed everything I held dear.

Blaze of Honor is available here. Read on for an excerpt.

“Brother, what’s going on down under?”

All my brothers would do anything for Aaron. He’d been the one who’d gathered our spirits from our father’s tomb when it had been opened back in 1922, releasing us.

We’d all been thrown in there soon after King Tut’s death. His widow, Ankhesenamun, had been forced to marry his successor, Ay, and convinced him that us boys were a threat to his throne and needed to be dealt with before we grew too strong. We’d all only been babies or toddlers at the time, but thanks to being infused with the spirits of the gods, we were unable to be killed outright.

Their solution was to trap us in our father’s vault.

As was typical at the time, thieves had raided our father’s tomb soon after his burial. When they were caught, the new pharaoh decided to take advantage of the situation and added us to the rest of King Tut’s possessions when they were returned to the crypt.

By the time Howard Carter cracked open the tomb in 1922, all six of us were no more than spirits, our bodies having long since wasted away. Atum, the creator of all the gods, had been there waiting for us when we’d slipped out the door and floated high above the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. He took us to America and using his own abilities, created corporeal forms for us. He also gave us all new, modern names. I went from Ra to Raymond, Sobek to Beckett, Geb to Gerald, Heh to Haizam, Horus to Herschel, Atum to Aaron. Maat refused to let anyone name him, he chose to be called Seth. Aaron kept us together to begin with, teaching us all we needed to know to live in the new world. Over the years, we all eventually went our separate ways. There were times I missed those early days, when the six of us were all together and could relax without fear of exposing ourselves.

As much as we no longer lived in close proximity, that wasn’t to say we didn’t run into each other. I wasn’t the only one of my brothers who’d ended up joining the Royal Bastards MC. I’d run into Croc (Beckett), Stone (Gerald) and Falcon (Herschel) over the past few years at various club runs. However, I hadn’t seen Haizam in over twenty years, and it’d been even longer since I’d seen Seth. He was the youngest and most troubled of all of us, so when he moved to live in the Australian desert, Aaron followed him so he could watch over him. I hadn’t “seen” Aaron in a long time either, but he did call on occasion. Generally, when he did call, it led to me adding a job to my special forces unit’s list.

“Fires, brother. That’s what’s happening Down Under. A whole lot of fires.”

Even though Aaron wasn’t technically our brother, we all called him that. He was more father than sibling, but since we all looked close to the same age, we’d decided early on to call him brother, not father.

“I’ve been watching the news. None are near you as far as I’ve heard. Has that changed?”

I always keep an eye on the news coming out of Australia, but recently I’d been paying even closer attention as more and more fires burned down the eastern side of the country. I’d already decided if they spread anywhere near where Aaron or Seth lived, I’d head over to help keep them safe.

“So far South Australia is still clear. That’s not why I’m calling. The fires burning down the east coast are not all from natural causes. There is something darker going on with them. It is highly unusual to have fires of this magnitude before summer has fully hit.”

Closing my door, I moved to sit at my desk and boot up my laptop so I could check the news sites for any new information on the fires. I’d already been researching them and had learned a few things about why Australia’s fire season was starting early this year.

“It might be early in the season, but the drought Australia has suffered has so much fuel ready to burn. I wouldn’t have thought the timing alone would be enough to have you concerned about supernatural involvement.”

“You’re right, and that’s why the fires have taken off like they have. But their ignition source is what is strange. Since I could feel the supernatural undercurrent, I went to take a look at where these blazes started and most of them appear to have been started by a ring of lightning.”

I frowned.

“A ring of lightning?”

“That’s right. There are cracks through the earth that indicate several lightning strikes hit in a circle at the points of ignition.”

Chills raced down my spine as Aaron spoke. There was nothing normal about what he described.


  1. 27 August 2020 7:10 am

    I so admire the research that historical authors conduct – it really creates an immersive reading experience. I write travel fiction and only write where I have been to, but I still do a lot of fact checking to be as accurate as possible. But historical fiction! I’m in awe!

  2. 23 August 2020 9:10 pm

    Hi Khloe, Great interview. Have you got a link for the body composting taking three weeks? I wanted to check if that’s possible but couldn’t find it. Thanks. Enjoyed your excerpt.

    • khloewren permalink
      23 August 2020 11:42 pm

      Hey Cathleen, I didn’t find that info online but through a man who worked on the research himself.

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