Title: In the Land of the Vultures
Author: Paula C. Scardamalia
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Samara dreams of a man to love her and give her children. But while she serves as priestess to the goddess of death that will never happen. No man would dare to touch her. No one, that is, until she is rescued from the desert by a man who compels her to lie about what she is. For Darouk, as Maker for the realm of Nehmir, death is his enemy. He's lost too many of his family too soon, including his infant nephew. He'd rather give his care and attention to building roads and buildings that last. He won't risk loving and losing a wife and family. But in order to save the king, the queen, and their chance at happiness, both Samara and Darouk must honor death, then choose love.
Firmly but gently, he pressed Samara back while his night-dark eyes bored into hers, eyes that searched and demanded and made her heart flutter like a tiny nestling’s. Bristles shadowed a carved jawline and framed a wide mouth. Had he brought her here from the desert? He looked as though he could easily carry her. His shoulders were broad, his arms muscular. Strength was in his touch.
“Be still. You are too weak to move or go anywhere.”
She relented and relaxed back into the bed.
“Do you have a family? What is your name?”
She stopped breathing. They did not know.
“Darouk, hush! Let her be. I didn’t tell you to interrogate her.” The woman threw an arm in front of the man, pushing him back. “She’s still weak and dehydrated. Give her time.”
The woman touched her hand again to Samara’s forehead. She noted the gift of the woman’s gentle touch against her heated skin as she dragged her gaze from the man’s. She turned her eyes again to her surroundings. Pictures woven in fine threads showed birds and flowers in bright colors and hung on whitewashed walls. Sunlight, softened by sheer fabric at the windows, glazed a polished stone floor. The room and the bed linens smelled of something flowery. If not the Land of Rivers, it was as wonderful…
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November is a time to be thankful. What are you most thankful for this year?
This year, I am most thankful for the technology that allows me to stay connected to my family and friends, and to maintain community with writing colleagues and readers.
Why is your featured book worth snuggling up to?
Because In the Land of the Vultures affirms the power of love to transcend loss and death, and to bring new life.
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Runs November 1 – 30
Drawing will be held on December 1.
I love story and have since I was old enough to sit and listen while my dad read to my siblings and me in the kitchen while getting our hair cut, or Captain Kangaroo read stories on the television in my grandfather’s house where my family and I lived until I was seven. When I was seven, I wrote my first book, “Fat Man, Thin Man,” on folded and stapled typing paper. In junior high, as an assignment in English class, I wrote my first mystery on lined tablet paper about a female teen character eerily similar to Nancy Drew. Some of my favorite books that we owned or I signed out from the library were collections of fairy tales and myths, like the Golden Book of Fairy Tales my aunt gave my siblings and me for Christmas. Throughout my school years, when my class was given a writing assignment of any kind, I dove into it with a smile while my classmates groaned. No surprise, then, that I majored in Creative Writing at Pennsylvania State University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree. After graduation, I married my husband, Bob, and we lived for nine months in his hometown of Pittsburgh (I love that city). We moved to the Washington DC area, so Bob could get his Master degree in demography at Georgetown. I worked at an insurance company and contributed articles to their in-house magazine, and in my free time, studied textile arts with a local artist. After the birth of our first son, Stephen, we moved to the Albany area, for Bob’s new job with the state. Two more sons, Christopher and Jason, were born, and between pregnancies, births, and diapers, I learned to weave. A couple of years later, I received a Master’s of Fine Arts in Fantasy in fiction and weaving. For my MFA, I wrote a young adult fantasy manuscript that involved the secret to achieving the royal blue color in dyeing cloth for king’s robes, and hung an exhibit of my framed pictorial weavings. In the early 90s, I created my business, Nettles and Green Threads ( the name taken from a fairy tale), and sold my wearables and throws woven from luxurious, colorful rayon chenille at craft shows. Individual customers, boutique shops, and galleries from across the country, Europe, South America, and Japan purchased my work. It appeared at resorts like the Greenbrier Hotel (WV) and the Broadmoor (CO), and in museum shops like the Smithsonian’s Renwick. Even as I spent hours at the loom to fill orders, I wrote, mostly articles for a crafts professional magazine. But weaving is an ancient craft found in myth and fairy tale, and is an active metaphor, so it seems inevitable that in 2006, I completed and self-published, Weaving a Woman’s Life: Spiritual Lessons from the Loom. The book won several awards, including a Bronze in the self-help category in Foreword Magazine’s 2006 Book of the Year Awards. Ironically, a year later, I stopped weaving professionally except for a design firm in Baltimore. Instead, I coached other creatives on everything from process to marketing content to booth design. In the fall of 2009, I sent out the first issue of my digital newsletter, Divine Muse-ings, that continues to arrive in readers’ e-mail every week. In December 2018, my first novel, In the Land of the Vultures, was published. In March of 2019, I celebrated the publication of Tarot for the Fiction Writer, a non-fiction book that shows you how to use the tarot as a tool for storytelling and the creative process. I am at work on more books, and coaching and editing to help writers tell their stories as well. Because whether I am leading a workshop, doing a tarot or dream consult for a writer, coaching or editing someone’s book, I am a storyteller.
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