Michelle Karl and the Deadliest Pita (Yes, You Read That Correctly)

Bet that title grabbed your attention. It did mine! I’m happy to introduce my friend and fellow Killer Voices “sister”, Michelle Karl.

And now about that deadly pita. ..


(Michelle Karl)
There’s something about ancient history that many people find fascinating—it’s so strange to think of people just like you and me living during a time when the Pyramids of Egypt or using scrolls to read were normal, unremarkable parts of everyday life. It’s a difficult concept to grasp sometimes, and maybe that’s why it makes great material for action-filled suspense stories!

In my latest release, my main character Ginny is a university professor who has been working hard at translating a set of tablets that may reveal some important, never before discovered information about the ancient history of Amar, a fictional country I developed for the story. Now, despite working with ancient tablets, Ginny’s life is fairly calm and sedate before the story opens. There are no bullets flying, no one trying to kill her…and it made me think back to my time at university.

When I studied Ancient Near Eastern archaeology in school, no one was trying to kill me, either (thank goodness for that). But one time, I did have suspenseful brush with death…

Many years ago, I traveled to Egypt with several friends. We were visiting the country as a detour en route to an archaeology dig in Jordan. None of us had been to Egypt before, so we wanted to do all the touristy things one does while in a country with such a rich history.

About halfway through the trip, we had a four-day stop scheduled in Luxor, or ancient Thebes. We spent several days on the eastern bank visiting the ancient sites of Karnak and Luxor, and then scheduled a very early morning trip to the western bank—that’s the side with a massive necropolis full of royal and private tombs and funerary complexes, such as the Valley of the Kings. You may recognize the name as the area where King Tutankhamen’s tomb was found by Howard Carter in 1922.

The hotel where we’d been staying had also arranged the tour for us and packed a little breakfast for us to eat throughout the morning, since we’d had to leave at five in the morning for the tour. Why so early? It was July in Egypt. Think about that for a moment. Yes, exactly—after about 11am, you don’t want to be out in that sun!

We spent a good portion of the morning touring some of the smaller tombs and enjoying the artwork, the history, and the sunshine. Then I, my friends, and the guide climbed back into our little white van to move on to the Valley of the Kings. We ate a little bit of food, then climbed out to see the Valley of the Kings. This is perhaps the most famous area in Egypt aside from the pyramids, and it was incredible. So much history! But it’s also sad, thinking about how these were real people who lived and breathed as you and I did.

Now, I believe in “the curse of the mummy” or whatever other “ancient curse” moniker there is about as much as the next person, but here’s where things got a little weird. We finished touring the Valley of the Kings and climbed back into the van. I had a little bit of breakfast left over and I decided I’d try to finish it up for energy before we hit the final stop of the morning. The van began to roll away from the Valley of the Kings as I took a bite of my plain wheat pita. Chewed, swallowed. Took another bite. Mmm, tasty! Took another bite, tried to swallow, and suddenly…I couldn’t breathe.

The pita stuck in my throat. I tried to cough and it wouldn’t budge. I pounded on the van seats, but the old vehicle was making such a ruckus that no one noticed. My head buzzed and my vision clouded with a lack of oxygen. I couldn’t find my water, and with every second, the pain in my throat and head worsened as my body desperately tried to suck in air but couldn’t.

In my panic, one ridiculous thought crossed my mind: I’m going to die in the Valley of the Kings after choking to death on a pita.

Even in that moment, the thought was hilarious. I tilted sideways, nearly done for, but my groaning and flailing finally caught the attention of someone else in the vehicle, who screamed at the driver to stop the vehicle. They pushed me out of the van and handed me a bottle of water—at this point, I could barely stand—and the movement combined with the water poured down my throat dislodged the dry bread. I lived!

It was such a bizarre experience that even now I still look back and shake my head. But truth be told, that’s the most suspense and danger I’ve ever experienced when it comes to ancient history! And I can promise you that no one in UNKNOWN ENEMY chokes on food—that would have hit a little too close to home. Hah!

Thanks so much to Dana for hosting me today, and thanks to you for spending this time with me! I hope you have a wonderful day and enjoy the (much more suspenseful) adventures of my characters in UNKNOWN ENEMY!





For professor Ginny Anderson, translating a set of ancient tablets could be the coup of her career—or more danger than she can handle. Someone doesn’t want the secrets of the artifacts to be revealed…and they’ll kill to bury her discoveries. But former Secret Service agent Colin Tapping refuses to let anybody hurt Ginny and appoints himself as her protector—whether she wants one or not. Colin has made mistakes in the past, and keeping Ginny safe could be just what he needs to prove he’s still a capable agent and win back his job. But is he willing to risk paying the ultimate price to reclaim his former life?


About the Author

Michelle Karl is an unabashed bibliophile and romantic suspense author. She lives in Canada with her husband and several critters, including a co-dependent cat and an opinionated parrot. When she’s not reading and consuming copious amounts of coffee, she writes the stories she’d like to find in her ‘to be read’ pile. She also loves animals, world music and eating the last piece of cheesecake.


Website: www.michellekarl.com

Twitter: @_MichelleKarl_

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MichelleKarlAuthor/

Okay, it’s Dana again. Wasn’t she fun?
Thanks, Michelle!  I love that cover! So excited for you! Thanks for stopping by.

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