After missing last year’s deadline working on important public health projects, I was sure to enter my novel for this year’s contest about an hour into the contest opening. Here’s the pitch for my novel, Memories of Myrrh that I submitted to Amazon. Historical fiction, women’s fiction, war, love, refugee health, mysteries of Greek temples and beautiful prose…. it’s a moving melody for many to enjoy. Here’s hoping the pitch carries me into the next round, so that they get a chance to read the excerpt of a beautiful novel. Can you tell how much I love it?! A labor of love.
Night in the forbidden olive groves, cloudless and crisp with celestial lights, evokes memories Vasili is trying to escape: the loss of his Anatolian city of Smyrna on September 13th, 1922, the song of a haunting bird, his sister ending her life in a hashish den in Athens. But it’s 1944 in Nazi-occupied Greece. And a salt-hording widow who spends her nights in a cursed cemetery tending to her husband won’t leave Vasili be. Nor will a German Lieutenant obsessed with the secrets of an ancient Greek temple. Even the empty birdcages in Vasili’s room seem to sing with the mournful memories of the city of Smyrna and ghosts of war. Vasili contemplates fleeing, until he meets Zoe, a female resistance fighter and dreaded funeral singer, who the Widow warns will call his name during the throes of love so Death will find him too. It isn’t until Zoe leaves a prophetic note on his door that Vasili frees his memories from their cage, and accepts her invitation into the resistance.
Suspenseful and moving, Memories of Myrrh is a journey through the interwoven memories of individuals struggling to place loss and the promise of renewal.