Manuscript Status: Finished
Mentor: Charlie Holmberg
Mentee: Heather Elliott
Title: SONG OF SULEIMAN
Category/Genre: Young Adult Historical Fantasy
Word Count: 93,000
NATIONAL TREASURE meets ALADDIN when sixteen-year-old Israelite Peni discovers an ancient mystery hidden in the Song of Solomon. Desperate to escape her abusive betrothed, she disguises herself as a leper and travels the Persian Empire hunting King Solomon’s magic ring. Succeed, and she’ll win her freedom. Fail, and evil fire spirits only the ring can control will burn her world to ash.
If I hadn’t almost died for Josef’s stolen lamb, I never would have met the Persian or learned of Suleiman’s lost scroll.
Josef stopped me just outside the market in the Israelite quarter of Samaria City. The afternoon heat transformed the stench of the livestock pens into acrid steam, and even though I wore a linen gown, sweat trickled down my back.
Josef dragged the toe of his frayed rope sandal through the road dust and refused to look at me as he muttered, “Mistress, my lamb was taken from her pen this afternoon. I was away. My wife did not see the thief.”
I tensed, looking to see if anybody in the narrow street could overhear us, but the bawling from the sheep pens drowned out our conversation. Reassured, I glared at him in a way most disrespectful for a young, unmarried woman. Sixteen is not young when you have yet to bear children, Leah’s voice whispered in my mind, but I ignored it. I had a lot of practice doing that.
“What do you expect me to do?” I hissed, although I knew what he expected—for me to find his lamb. I also knew my neighbors might kill me if I tried. Even so, longing parched my mouth. The mystery beckoned to me like a stream of fresh water to a woman lost in the desert.