top of page
group book covers.jpg

Hello and Welcome!  I am Marjorie, and these are my published books, so far.  As a writer and a painter, I've had a life-long passion for the word and the image.  Various cultures agree with my connection of these two creative forms. China's Sung Dynasty called painting Silent Poetry and poetry Painting with Sound. Going further back in history, the ancient Egyptians called those who painted the images in the tombs and temples Scribes of the Shape.  Here on this page, I combine a bit of both: book covers, descriptions, and personal comments on the writing of each.  Please enjoy your tour!



       I have been a museum lover since I was nine years old. Wherever I have lived (California, Washington, Colorado, Mexico, Toronto, or Paris, Antibes, and Avignon in France), I have been involved in the arts, its beauty and its history. It all got started with the ancient Egyptian collection that was in the Joslyn Museum when I was a child in Omaha. Therefore, it is not odd that my latest work is a novel set in the time of Ancient Egypt's 19th Dynasty in the Great Temple of Abydos, built by Pharaoh Seti I

       What drew my attention was its wonderful raised relief art and its mysterious interior of columns. In researching it, I was drawn to find out more about the pharaoh who built it. He created a unique national monument where his people, as they made thier pilgrimage to the sacred soil of Osiris, could pay tribute to any of the main gods of Egypt. It is written in that temple that the king hid a personal diary in a treasury. So far, neither the diary nor the treasury have been found.             

      Temple in the Sand, the Memoirs of a Pharaoh is a fictional creation of that diary and a look at the man who was a great warrior, great builder, a great leader, and a person with a fine sense of aesthetics. His story is told in diary entries dated in ancient Egyptian fashion and organized around the chapels in his temple and which part of life that particular god governs. 

      Seti I is the true founder of the 19th Dynasty, the wonders of which are being explored through studies of the art in his temple and in his magnificent tomb. This fictional telling of his life in the form of a diary seeks to show the man behind the royal regalia and how he approached his life and times.

Available on 


Temple in the Sand: The Memoirs of a Pharaoh

JAN 27

Editorial Review Posted by Literary Titan



Temple in the Sand, by Marjorie Vernelle, delves into the enigmatic world of Pharaoh Seti I, a lesser-known yet arguably remarkable figure of Egypt’s Nineteenth Dynasty. Within the hallowed confines of Egypt’s Temple of Seti, a place dedicated to the Egyptian lord of the desert and warfare, an intriguing secret unveils itself – the diary of Pharaoh Seti I, concealed with utmost care upon his demise, providing a rare glimpse into the thoughts and actions of this exceptional ruler. While his son Ramses II may have garnered more fame, Seti I is hailed by many scholars as the paramount king of the Nineteenth Dynasty, and it is his story that Marjorie Vernelle passionately endeavors to recreate. Through the meticulous exploration of Pharaoh Seti’s diary, readers are offered a profound understanding of his inner workings, motivations, and the elements that shaped his greatness.

Central to the narrative is the omnipresent influence of religion in the Nineteenth Dynasty. The book astutely illustrates how Egyptian beliefs permeated every facet of life, even extending their grasp over the mighty Pharaoh Seti. A devout believer in the afterlife, Seti dedicated himself to the construction of monuments and temples in homage to the gods, diligently seeking their favor. Vernelle’s deep-seated familiarity with Egyptian mythology and belief systems is unmistakable, casting an authoritative and well-researched aura over the memoir. It is evident that not only is the account skillfully penned, but it also incorporates the subtleties of meticulous historical research. By utilizing the prevailing beliefs and ideologies of the era, the author humanizes the God-king, offering readers a multifaceted and empathetic portrayal. Furthermore, the narrative cleverly speculates on how Pharaoh Seti may have responded to various circumstances and the underlying reasons behind his construction of temples and monuments, painting a more balanced and humane portrait of the Pharaoh. I feel that a more judicious trimming of some repetitive elements could enhance the overall reading experience in this otherwise brilliant narrative.

In Temple in the Sand, Marjorie Vernelle crafts an engaging and informative tapestry of Pharaoh Seti I’s life and times, offering readers an intimate encounter with the man behind the throne. With its intricate exploration of religion, meticulous historical research, and captivating storytelling, this book proves to be a valuable addition to the library of anyone intrigued by ancient Egypt and its extraordinary rulers.

Pages: 274 | ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0CK2PGC12

      I like honoring the places where I have lived. Here in a second edition is a novella or novelette that takes place in Toronto where I studied at and graduated from their beautiful institution of higher learning, the University of Toronto, and in the city that is my greatest love, San Francisco. Semi-autobioraphical, this piece is structured in the protagonist's mind like a movie with two possible endings. I quote the backcover:


     "Wabi sabi, a Japanese term for finding beauty in imperfection, perfectly describes Keith James, "the girl with the boys' names," who travels from the Midwestern U.S. to Toronto and on into the world of fine art and big money. Like pieces of raku pottery amidst the porcelain, Keith, her mentor Lucien, a brilliant Haitian-born art historian, and David, the handsome Jewish art dealer who becomes her husband, are all standouts in a world that views them as outsiders. Through loss and love, they discover that art, like love, redeems, and that love, like beauty, is imperfect."

BeautifulImperfections_mockupV3_02 (1).jpg
Bay of angels book cover.jpg

        Another experience of a city that has its own intriquing personality, Upon the Bay of Angels is about Nice.  Though I lived in Antibes on the other side of the famous bay, Nice always held a special attraction for me.I quote the cover information:

       "Falling in love with a city is a lot like falling in love with a person. You have to be able to accept contradictions. Mallory Edwards finds that out when she goes to participate in an art project in Nice, France. Tasked with discovering the soul and spirit of the city through her paints and inks, she soon discovers that the city seems to tell her stories. However, Mallory also discovers she has he own story of intrique, threats, and local politics. Upon the Bay of Angels tells Mallory's story and the stories that the city of Nice told her, using fiction to create what Pablo Picasso once said of painting, "a lie that tells the truth."

email du jour.jpg

       My first time living in France was right about the time that email became popular.  I lived in Paris until the weather got cold. Then I moved off to Antibes on the Côte d'Azur.  E-mail du Jour is a travel journal composed of e-mail letters, which chronicle a year spent living in France.  Making use of cyberspace to share impressions while still fresh, it describes the joys, the trials, and the surprising changes that result from contact with a different culture.  It was also my first attempt at being an indie author.

      My first publishing experience came with this little reader for middle school children.  Published by Lucent Books in San Diego, this title was part of the History Makers collective biography series. The series offers students insight into the lives and personalities of important figures who share a common vocation, cause, or calling.  The series spans ancient to modern times and represents areas of endeavor ranging from art and science to politics and popular culture. Primary and secondary source quotes enliven the text.

civil rights leaders.jpg
bottom of page