Grains of Truth
written by Lydia Crichton
published by Barringer Publishing/Schlesinger Advertising
About the book – from Goodreads: When rigid pacifist Julia Grant is manipulated by U.S. Intelligence to take part in a covert mission in Egypt to help foil a major terrorist plot, she is torn between saving lives and becoming a pawn in her government’s political agenda. But her troubles don’t end there. As her mission unfolds, Julia finds her heart torn between a married Egyptologist and a very charismatic arms dealer with a questionable past. Complications ensue and when her contacts die along the Nile, and Julia realizes that she has become the center of a deadly plot, spun by passion, intrigue, and the clashing of radically diverse cultures and beliefs, including her own.
Praise for Grains of Truth.
Every Free Chance Book Reviews is pleased to welcome Lydia Crichton, author of Grains of Truth, to the blog today. She has prepared the following guest post for all of you.
Inspiration for Grains of Truth
by Lydia Crichton
Egypt. Land of the pharaohs. Land of mystery. Who hasn’t dreamed of the ancient Pyramids? Of the exotic treasures from Tutankhamun’s tomb? Of floating down the Nile on a sumptuous barge with Cleopatra’s court? Well, I sure have. From a young age and through the years, striking images of slender, graceful people in gossamer linen garb bedecked with dazzling jewels fired my imagination. Who were these people? How had they achieved so much—in architecture, literature, agriculture—and managed to maintain their advanced civilization for thousands of years? By the time Mysteries of Egypt, an IMAX film featuring Omar Sharif came along (I saw it at least a dozen times) the die was cast. Sitting mesmerized beneath a larger than life domed-screened chronicle of one of the most fascinating civilizations ever known made it clear: to Egypt I must go.
Before the trip could be arranged, the horrifying events of September 11th shocked the world. The inexplicable tragedies of that day touched something deep within my soul. I kept asking myself: Would this have happened if we Americans had been paying more attention? Cared a little bit more about what was happening in the rest of the world? And maybe troubled ourselves to call our government to account for its actions on the global stage? These hard questions led me to take a sabbatical and took me on a journey—both physical and spiritual—to previously unexplored territories.
What I found in Egypt was a startling dichotomy. The glorious ancient past, so fundamental to the country’s all important industry of tourism, struggled to hold its head high in the midst of a corrupt and often infuriating patriarchal society under the thumb of a decades-old authoritarian government. Trouble was brewing there, palpable trouble. Anyone who opened their eyes to the frustration of a long oppressed society and listened to the rumbling thunder of discontent growing louder, coming closer, could see that something was bound to happen, and soon. A profound quotation I’d come across kept ringing in my ears: “The prerequisite of political stability is social justice, for it is in the nature of things that injustice will not endure.”
On that first trip I made friends. I learned a little about what life was like for the Egyptian people. Again, the contrasts were sharp…and severe. As with many “developing countries,” life in the major cities was a struggle for even the most educated. In the countryside, the people were heartbreakingly poor, living much as they had for thousands of years. Children laughed and ran barefoot in the dust, yet often died at an early age of some completely preventable condition or disease. Grim faced women, old beyond their years and resigned to their fate, toiled long hours to tend to their ever-expanding families. The patriarchs, secure in their unquestioned role as the “dominate male,” spent endless hours discussing politics while smoking hookahs in the company of other men.
In Egypt I saw and heard first hand how the actions and policies of my country’s government had affected the lives of millions—sometimes to their benefit, often not. Much—if not most—of the billions of dollars in aid from American taxpayers intended to improve the lives of the underserved ended up lining the pockets of powerful politicians and the all-mighty military. This knowledge stoked the fire of my need to know more. When I returned to California, such a completely different world away, those thoughts and images continued to dominate my mind, holding me hostage to the need to learn more. So I went back, again and again. Each time I returned home to recount my experiences to friends, they would say, “You should write a book.” When I finally sat down to record my thoughts—recalling my experiences as well as those of others I had met in Egypt from around the globe—almost immediately the fictional story began to emerge, clamoring to be told. The richness…the complexities…the harsh realities of life in Egypt insisted that—as fiction—the story could reveal so much more…entertain so much more. And, hopefully, appeal to a broader audience. Yes, Grains of Truth is fiction, meant first and foremost to entertain. But the story was inspired by real people and real world issues…things that we should all care a bit more about, for the sake of others as well as our own.
About the author: A native Texan, Lydia has enjoyed a twenty-plus year career in marketing and fundraising for nonprofit organizations in major cities across the United States. Extensive international travel furthered her education in many invaluable and unexpected ways. On a trip to Egypt in 2002, poignant experiences led her to discover a passion for telling stories that entertain as they explore complex and controversial social and political issues. She currently lives in California’s Napa Valley—the inspiration for a second book woven around the shambles of illegal immigration in the U.S.—and has recently completed the third book in the Julia Grant series.
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Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!