From the darkest hour of American history emerges a mesmerizing tale of tender love, a life interrupted, and faith recovered. Arissa Illahi, a Muslim artist and writer, discovers in a single moment that no matter how carefully you map your life, it is life itself that chooses your destiny.
After her husband’s death in the collapse of the World Trade Center, the discovery of his manuscript marks Arissa’s reconnection to life. Her unborn son and the unfinished novel fuse in her mind into one life-defining project that becomes, at once, the struggle for her emotional survival and the redemption of her race.
Saffron Dreams is a novel about our ever evolving identities and the events and places that shape them. It reminds us that in the midst of tragedy, our dreams can become a lasting legacy.
I had a hard time putting this book down. Shaila Abdullah’s “Saffron Dreams” is a book that will tug at your heartstrings and won’t let go. Arissa Illahi marries the man of her dreams, a man she meets by chance and then meets again years later through a matchmaker, an age old tradition she despises but this time the matchmaker really did get it right. Truly a marriage that was meant to be.
She has everything she could ask for: a strong marriage, the freedom to pursue her career without worrying about financial issues, and a child on the way. Her husband’s dream of being a successful writer is still in the works so for the meantime he works in the World Trade Center. And, on the morning of 9/11 she watches in horror as the planes strike not once but twice, changing her world and shaking her to her core.
She has so many decisions to make but the hardest part is going to be raising her child without a father. She struggles with her feelings and even contemplates ending her life to try and end the pain that she feels. But, she becomes a wonderful parent of a child that has some disabilities that require his dependance on his mother. She also discovers a manuscript her husband had written and uses its contents to shape the life she intends to lead.
This is one of the most poignant books that I have read. I think all Americans can remember where they were when the attack on the World Trade Center occured, but this author sheds a different light on it. The writing is excellent and this book was very hard to put down.
Shaila Abdullah is an award-winning author and designer, based in Austin, Texas. Her creative work focuses on the strengths and weaknesses of Pakistani women and their often unconventional choices in life. Her debut book, Beyond the Cayenne Wall, is a collection of stories about Pakistani women struggling to find their individualities despite the barriers imposed by society.
Among other accolades, the book won the Norumbega Jury Prize for Outstanding Fiction and the DIY Festival Award. Abdullah received a grant from the Hobson Foundation for her new novel, Saffron Dreams which is about the trials and tribulations of a 9/11 Muslim widow.
Abdullah has written several short stories, articles, and personal essays for various publications, such as Dallas Child, Web Guru, About Families, Sulekha, Women’s Own, She, Fashion Collection and a magazine of the Daily Dawn newspaper called Tuesday Review, etc. She is a member of the Texas Writers’ League.
SAFFRON DREAMS VIRTUAL BLOG TOUR ’09 will officially begin on March 2 and end on March 27. You can visit Shaila’s blog stops at www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com in March to find out more about this talented author!
As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors’ blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available.
A New Home, A Loving Family, A Dark Secret
Will they stay? Will they survive? The Weavers have inherited family property in Astral, Pennsylvania, a town so small that Mrs. Weaver can find no mention of it on the Internet, save for a tiny spot on Google Earth. Hoping for a simpler, small-town existence for their young family, Steven and Tara eagerly head to Astral to see what they hope will be their dream house. As they explore their potential new home, the Weavers begin to discover secret passageways, secret rooms, and long buried family truths; some difficult truths are revealed and no longer kept in the far reaches of the closet. There are reasons for everything, and sometimes the explanations are so simple. But sometimes, simple can also be horrifying.
With two little ones at home it is hard for me to fit time in for reading sometimes. Sorry kids, but The Family Bones was a book I was literally unable to put down!
I have read a lot of books along these lines, horror and suspense being my favorite. One of the things I enjoyed most about this book is that even though the events lead you to believe that some of this is not plausible, she somehow finds a way to make you believe that they could happen.
This book is about the Weaver family. After being willed an old farmhouse in Pennsylvania, they are looking forward to starting a life in a small town. Upon exploring the house they find more than they bargained for: hidden rooms, secret passageways, and an encounter with a relative that they didn’t expect to be on the property.
This is not your average suspense story. The author has done a fabulous job of providing twists and turns that even the most seasoned suspense reader will delight in trying to figure out. This is the first book by this author and I am anxious to read what else she has up her sleeve. Great job!
Kimberly Raiser has led an interesting life so far. Her writings started with lots and lots of poetry. It wasn’t until Kimberly turned thirty that she decided to actually attempt to get published. Of course, it is rare that money can be made from being a published poet, and in order to write really thought provoking poetry her life needed to be in a general pit of despair, but along came this wonderful man who made her joyously happy! Low and behold, the fiction writer came out, and the poetry rested in the dusty pages of her past.Born and raised in New Jersey Kimberly always loved Science Fiction and Adventure. This would be real adventures, from firefighting to chasing down shoplifters, to up and moving to center city Philadelphia just for the experience!
Darrin Bainbridge is your typical playboy in need of love, but not yet ready. He is a freelance journalist trying to break his big story. After a visit from his mother, Darrin gets an idea. He has heard all kinds of stories about “Hollywood” ministers who hold their church services on television, live in nice houses, drive nice cars, and have lots of money and women. Darrin is disgusted by it all especially when his mother Priscilla starts shouting praises for Atlanta Bishop Kumal Prentiss. Darrin decides to go to Atlanta, become a member of the bishop’s church, and expose him for the hustling fraud that he believes he is. He just never planned on falling in love with the Bishop’s daughter.
Darrin suddenly finds himself torn between his new found friend and his possible big break.
Darrin Bainbridge is a writer, and has been looking for his big break for quite some time. Even though he is living off of a trust fund, he feels he really needs to prove something to himself, and everyone else who doubts him. He knows he’s got it in him, and when he sees Bishop Prentiss on the television a lightbulb goes off. What preacher out there doesn’t have a few skeletons in their closet and how big would he be if he could expose them?
In order to get the details for his “expose”, Darrin moves to Atlanta and actually joins the church the Bishop is in charge of – Freedom of Life. He never expects to be so enthralled by the Bishop’s delivery, and becomes and active member of the church. He begins to wonder if this is one holy man that doesn’t have any secrets. Is it possible, or will he find out some information that could make his career soar but take down the career of someone he has come to admire?
Tiffany L. Warren is a technology manager who lives in suburban Cleveland, Ohio with her husband and four children. She is also the author of the critically acclaimed novel, Farther Than I Meant to Go, Longer Than I Meant to Stay
Thanks so much to Miriam Parker of Hachette Book Group for sending this ARC to me for review!