Monday, May 16, 2011

Sultana, by Lisa J. Yarde

Lisa J. Yarde, author of Sultana and On Falcon's Wings

Lisa is offering an ebook to two lucky readers. Leave a comment, and we will get back to you with information if you are selected. Good luck - Sultana is a fantastic read for those who are searching for books for the beach this summer.

When I was a junior in college, I lived in Spain for one semester. The food, the art, and the people were beautiful, but nothing prepared me for the sheer majesty of Granada.

The lush beauty of Moorish Spain is mirrored in Lisa J. Yarde's book, Sultana. Her historical novel is set in Granada, or Gharnatah, in the 13th century. 

Sultana, available on Amazon paperback and Kindle, as well as on Barnes and Noble paperback and Nook

I asked Lisa a few questions about her novel:

What is Sultana about and why did you write it?
Sultana is a story of revenge and intrigue, the bonds of family and the redemptive power of love. The story takes place during a turbulent period in 13th century Moorish Spain, when the union of a child bride and her groom, precipitates a civil war. Fatima is the young granddaughter of the reigning Sultan of Granada and Faraj is his nephew. Although the couple is part of the same renowned family, each has separate, sometimes contrary interests. Fatima is utterly devoted to her family while Faraj, who is ten years older than her, has one cause in mind – to regain a heritage lost at the brutal death of his father. The union between Faraj and Fatima has endangered both their lives. It has turned the Sultan’s one-time allies into powerful enemies. In addition, the Christian kings of Castile and North African Muslim rulers have their own designs on Granada. Fatima and Faraj have to overcome their initial mistrust and misunderstandings of each other. If they do not unite in the struggle against their common enemies, Granada will fall. 

During my college years, I was fascinated to learn that there had been an Islamic presence in Europe. For seven hundred years, a diverse people known as Moors had ruled what would become one of the most influential Catholic nations. The thirteenth century in Spain was a brutal and turbulent era, as most of the medieval period, but it was also the flowering of an age of artistic, intellectual and architectural brilliance in Spain. Fatima and Faraj played pivotal roles in the history of that period, as did their descendants for another two centuries. I am truly fortunate that the primary setting of their story, the Alhambra Palace in the southern Spanish city of Granada still exists and is open of visitors. I hope readers will share my fascination with the Alhambra, the Moorish period, and Fatima and Faraj’s lives.

Who are some of your best writing influences?
That is very easy to answer. The two authors whom I admire the most in my genre are Persia Woolley and Jeanne Kalogridis.
Persia Woolley is the author of an amazing trilogy about Guinevere, wife of King Arthur; her Queen of the Summer Stars is a favorite. I initially became aware of her when How to Write and Sell Historical Fiction appeared in 1997. In it, Woolley laid out a guide to writing historical fiction that I have followed to this day. It is still one of the best resources for going about the process ... The other influence is Jeanne Kalogridis, who is responsible for my fascination with the Borgia family, which started with her The Borgia Bride. As luck would have it, I connected with Jeanne through Twitter a few months back. She kindly offered some much-needed feedback on Sultana. She is one of the most generous authors I have ever encountered and I admire her greatly. It is such a rare opportunity to connect with the authors who inspire us that I still get a little giddy when we chat.

You can learn more about Lisa and her other books here.

Book Trailer for Sultana:


Kara said...

Oooo - I would LOVE to read this!

Johanna Garth said...

Sounds amazing! I want to read it too!!

Catherine Stine said...

Great subject and what a gorgeous book cover!!! Wow.

Unknown said...

Lisa, congrats on publishing this. Did Amazon pick it up or did you publish it yourself? This was one of the best in the ABNA contest this year. Can't wait to read the whole thing.

Patti O'Sullivan

Alison DeLuca said...

...and so you should, Patricia. This is one of the most lush and luxurious books I have ever read. Lisa is a fantastic, talented writer as well as a nice person!

Lisa J Yarde said...

Stopping by to thank Kara, Johanna, Catherine and Patricia for the encouraging comments, I really appreciate them. Alison and I will be picking winners soon. A special thanks to Alison for organizing everything on the blog and being so supportive.

Also, to answer Patricia, who was especially kind to give me my first review during ABNA, this book was self-published a month after I entered the contest.

Rene Nightingale said...

Amazing is all I can say! A great interview which shows your passion for writing.

Unknown said...

Lisa, I'm not in this for the contest. I'll buy your book because it promises to be wonderful and I know what that means when your Amazon numbers go up and down. If you are not already a member of the Historical Novel Society you should consider joining. If nothing else, you should have Sultana reviewed by them.

Alison DeLuca said...

Patricia, Sultana is indeed a wonderful book. I am so excited by this amazing author - Lisa is intelligent and disciplined, and more than that - she has that special talent that breathes life into her characters.

Thanks so much for seeing the promise in Lisa's work!