Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Guest post for Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little

by Kimberley Griffiths Little
Amazon | Goodreads | my review

A sweeping, epic saga of romance and hardship, set against the dramatic backdrop of ancient Mesopotamia—perfect for fans of Cleopatra's Moon or the adult bestseller The Red Tent.

In the unforgiving Mesopotamian desert where Jayden's tribe lives, betrothal celebrations abound, and tonight it is Jayden's turn to be honored. But while this union with Horeb, the son of her tribe's leader, will bring a life of riches and restore her family's position within the tribe, it will come at the price of Jayden's heart.

Then a shadowy boy from the Southern Lands appears. Handsome and mysterious, Kadesh fills Jayden's heart with a passion she never knew possible. But with Horeb's increasingly violent threats haunting Jayden's every move, she knows she must find a way to escape—or die trying.

With a forbidden romance blossoming in her heart and her family's survival on the line, Jayden must finish the deadly journey to save the ones she loves—and find true love for herself.

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by Kimberley Griffiths Little
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I’m a romantic at heart and swoon at stories like Gone with the Wind, Somewhere in Time, Jane Eyre, and Pride & Prejudice. Some days I wish I could live inside those books—I’m a nerd like that. So I can’t help talking about Kadesh in FORBIDDEN; the mysterious and handsome young man from the secret frankincense lands who seemingly appears out of thin air, wounded from a caravan raid. And strangers on the desert in 1759 BCE are never a good sign. :-)

I was inspired to write my Mesopotamian/tribal/warfare/thriller/romance (see how I got all those categories in there?) by my intrigue for belly dance. I love the beautiful, womanly, and sensuous tribal dances. I took classes, learned how to shimmy, and read everything I could get my hands on, and started day-dreaming about a girl who dances for betrothals, childbirth, and weddings with the women of her tribe. I juxtaposed the tribal dance with the dance as it was used for the Temple of Ashtoreth in their sexual fertility rites (temple prostitution). Instant conflict.

Jayden is betrothed to Horeb, the prince of her tribe, a boy she grew up with, but who has changed since his older brother’s death during a raid. He’s become greedy for the throne, and ruthless. He wants to possess Jayden and control her—and back then men, especially males in power, did just that. Jayden has no say in her life and doesn’t have many options, even though she wants to please her family.

About book boyfriend, Kadesh: This is the time period of the Frankincense Trail and I learned that frankincense only grows in one place, a small spot on the coast of the Arabian Sea surrounded by thousands of miles of Empty Sands. It was deadly to get to because there were few wells for water, no firewood, and no cities to buy supplies. (The Roman Empire lost whole armies out there).

The lands of Sariba were secret and the camel caravans that brought the spice to Babylon, Damascus, and Egypt had to travel more than 2,000 miles. This made frankincense extremely rare and worth more than gold. Raiders would kill to know where it was located so they could invade and conquer the riches for themselves. (btw: frankincense was used as incense for the temples, but also for medicine, perfumes, and embalming.)

One day a wounded stranger from a frankincense caravan raid stumbles into Jayden’s camp. Kadesh is the nephew of the king of Sariba (and heir due to his parents untimely deaths). He’s different from any other boy Jayden has ever known. Certainly different than her betrothed, and he makes the perfect love interest for Jayden.

Kadesh is a young man who has been raised to be kind and generous to their women. A loyal young man who is trying to get back to his own family, and yet will sacrifice his time and wealth for Jayden’s family and their survival when they become separated from their tribe. When Kadesh accidentally stumbles across Jayden as she dances at her mother’s grave to show her love and sorrow, he falls in love with Jayden’s spirit, her humility and beauty, as well as her devotion to her family.

As Jayden witnesses Kadesh’s selflessness and his many kindnesses and loyalty to her father, she slowly becomes attracted to him, but she also knows their love is dangerous, as well as forbidden. Horeb will stop at nothing to destroy Kadesh and make sure his position on the throne is secure through his marriage to Jayden.

Kadesh and Jayden’s love must be kept a secret at all costs or it could lead to their deaths. And, yes, a lot of really bad and dangerous things happen! Hope you enjoyed this behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of Forbidden!

Thank you so much for having me! Happy Reading, everyone!

About the author:
When I was a kid I read a book a day, scribbled stories, and dreamed about having my very own book on the library shelf. I grew up in San Francisco, but now live in an adobe house on the banks of the Rio Grande with my husband and sons. I think I've drunk so much Land of Enchantment water that some of that ancient magic got into my blood and now spurts out my pencil—I mean ergonomic keyboard. Which means I adore anything old and musty with a secret story to tell.

I eat way too many cookies when I'm writing - and I've got the best book trailers in the universe - for reals! Check them out here.

Awards: Southwest Book Award, Whitney Award for Best Youth Novel, Bank Street College Best Books of 2011 & 2013, Crystal Kite Finalist, and New Mexico Book Award Finalist.

Find out more about this book and author:
Book Club Guide
Twitter @KimberleyGLittl
Youtube (Fabulous book trailers filmed on location in the swamps!)

Pictures from my trip to Jordan, Petra, and Wadi Rumm here.

Gorgeous belly dancers here.

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by Kimberley Griffiths Little
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--~ Book Giveaway ~--

Enter to win this book on Goodreads here - offer expires April 6, 2015.


  1. Fascinating about the Frankencense trade. Oh this one with all its intrigue sounds really good. Thanks for sharing!


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