When I was a young girl, I had a dream of becoming a novelist. Oh, there were other dreams too, becoming an actress or a concert pianist, anything other than the ol’ 9 – 5. (Does anyone actually work only 9 – 5 anymore?) But the only thing that stuck was the writing.
I’ve done a lot of writing in my time. Thousands of pages, I’d say, most of which was either news stories, nonfiction or business writing, not to mention hundreds of unpublished poems and a novel written at the age of 20. Much like a good book, life is always full of surprises, twists and turns, detours… The circumstances were never right, and to be honest, like anyone else, I needed to mature.
Finally, it was time to stop putzing around and get it done. Four years ago I began writing, researching and rewriting but got sidetracked. At least two years went by without so much as a glance at what I’d written. Of course I never forgot it and continued developing the characters in my mind, but there they stayed. Then eventually more research, rewriting, editing, editing and editing again, a task which never seems to be completely finished.
Family and friends kept pushing me to follow it through, and one friend who had had enough of my dilly-dallying told me, “If you don’t publish this thing soon, I will.” And you know what? I believed him!
So without further ado, here it is, my first novel, (the first of many), The Religion of the Heart:
Catherine and Abdul come from two opposing worlds. She is raised in the Judeo-Christian West, while he comes from a Muslim family in Egypt. Their first meeting is little more than a fleeting moment, but it sparks over a decade-long desperation and agonizing battle to be together.
Incompatible religions, distinct cultures and hot-tempered families vowing to keep them apart are the overwhelming hurdles they face, and reality hits once mysteries are solved and the fairytale beginning fades away. They are left with difficult decisions as they determine how important their respective religions are and whether or not the Muslim culture can mesh with the West.
Can an enduring yet taboo love conquer all when conflicting religions are duking it out, or will threatening roadblocks stand in the way?
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