Thursday 25 April 2019

Have you heard? #HistoricalFiction author, Marc Graham, is giving away two paperback copies of his fabulous book — Song of Songs: A Novel of the Queen of Sheba #Giveaway @Marc_Graham @hfvbt

Historical Fiction Virtual Blog Tours Presents…

Song of Songs:
A Novel of the Queen of Sheba
By Marc Graham

Lift the veil of legend for the untold story of Makeda, the Queen of Sheba, and Bathsheba, wife and mother of Israel’s first kings.
When Makeda, the slave-born daughter of the chieftain of Saba, comes of age, she wins her freedom and inherits her father’s titles along with a crumbling earthwork dam that threatens her people’s survival. When she learns of a great stone temple being built in a land far to the north, Makeda leads a caravan to the capital of Yisrael to learn how to build a permanent dam and secure her people’s prosperity.
On her arrival, Makeda discovers that her half-sister Bilkis (also known as Bathsheba) who was thought to have died in a long-ago flash flood, not only survived, but has become Queen of Yisrael. Not content with her own wealth, Bilkis intends to claim the riches of Saba for herself by forcing Makeda to marry her son. But Bilkis’s designs are threatened by the growing attraction between Makeda and Yetzer abi-Huram, master builder of Urusalim’s famed temple. Will Bilkis’s plan succeed or will Makeda and Yetzer outsmart her and find happiness far from her plots and intrigue?

Whispers of the Past

You will write my story.

The whisper came out of nowhere. I flinched and spun my head to the side, but no one was there. Nothing to the other side or behind me. I checked my phone—no random apps playing.

“Honey?” I called out tentatively, knowing my wife not to be above the occasional joke.

No wife at home, and the dog simply sat staring at me, panting and grinning.

I brushed off the neck-hair prickling sensation, went back to watching television, and promptly forgot about the strange message.

A few weeks later, while mowing the lawn: You will write my story.

I killed the engine on the mower, and the world fell silent.

“This isn’t funny,” I called out into the empty sky, but was answered only by the distant cawing of crows.

Months passed with no more mysterious visitations. Until one wintry evening, while reading by the fireplace. I’d picked up an old Masonic treatise with ancient legends of the Craft. I came across a tale relating to the famous visit to Jerusalem by the Queen of Sheba. While the Biblical account consists of only thirteen verses (and leaves the fabled queen nameless), this Masonic version went into much greater detail.

The traditional version of the story has the Queen of Sheba visit wise King Solomon, bring him lavish gifts, play an ancient version of Trivial Pursuit, then return home. This one told a much different tale.

Here, the queen desires to inspect the temple being built in Jerusalem, and to meet the man behind it. Solomon—arrogant and venal and enamored of the queen (or, at least, her gold)—eventually accedes. Upon meeting the temple-builder, the queen is instantly struck by his handsome features, his easy manner with his workers, and his deep knowledge of the building arts and mysteries of nature. While she had previously accepted a proposal of marriage from Solomon, she now recants and declares for the builder.

This is my story, or near enough. And you will tell it.

Thus (or near enough) began my years-long love affair with the mystical Queen of Sheba. Following this initial prompting, I immersed myself in the historical record. Legends, myths, linguistic studies, archaeological reports. From beside my fire or at my computer or while commuting on light rail, I fell back in time three millennia and traveled virtually to ancient Yemen, Egypt, Ethiopia, Israel, and Lebanon. Whether in book or dream or meditation, Makeda (my Queen of Sheba) revealed her story to me piece by piece.

We sadly know very little about the world of the Middle East three thousand years ago. Writing was in its infancy. Except for some monumental inscriptions or diplomatic correspondence (all riddled with ulterior motives), contemporary records have rotted or burned or turned to dust. The most popular version of the story was recorded nearly five centuries after the events, and quite definitely had a religious and political agenda behind it.

Even today, with all our advances in technology and archaeological processes, the area around Ma’rib, Yemen, (ancient Maryaba of Saba, or Sheba) is in danger of having its great monuments destroyed as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran threatens to flatten this once proud nation.

But the past can continue to live. Whether through academic research, archaeological field work, sifting through ancient legends, or simply listening to the whispers, we can reclaim these threads of times and places thought lost. Woven together, they form a tapestry no less beautiful for its faded colors.

So, should you find yourself alone some windy day and someone whispers in your ear, take heed. There just might be a story to share.



During the Blog Tour, we will be giving away two paperback copies of Song of Songs! Enter
Giveaway Rules

• Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on May 17th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

• Giveaway is open to the US & Canada only.

• Only one entry per household.

• All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
• The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Pick up your copy of
Song of Songs:
A Novel of the Queen of Sheba

Marc Graham
Marc Graham studied mechanical engineering at Rice University in Texas, but has been writing since his first attempt at science fiction penned when he was ten. From there, he graduated to knock-off political thrillers, all safely locked away to protect the public, before settling on historical fiction. His first novel, Of Ashes and Dust, was published in March 2017.
He has won numerous writing contests including, the National Writers Assocation Manuscript Contest (Of Ashes and Dust), the Paul Gillette Memorial Writing Contest – Historical (Of Ashes and Dust, Song of Songs), and the Colorado Gold Writing Contest – Mainstream (Prince of the West, coming from Blank Slate Press in Fall 2019).
He lives in Colorado on the front range of the Rocky Mountains, and in addition to writing, he is an actor, narrator, speaker, story coach, shamanic practitioner, and whisky afficianado (Macallan 18, one ice cube). When not on stage or studio, in a pub, or bound to his computer, he can be found hiking with his wife and their Greater Swiss Mountain Dog.
Connect with Marc


1 comment:

  1. Great post! Thank you so much for hosting Marc's blog tour!

    HF Virtual Book Tours


See you on your next coffee break!
Take Care,
Mary Anne xxx