An unlikely love story set during the final collapse of medieval Islamic Spain

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"Extensively researched and beautifully written, Cressler's novel leads us into an exotic world of love, ghosts, intrigue, and betrayal. A must-read for all lovers of historical fiction." - Joan Fallon, author of the Al-Andalus Series

The focus of John D. Cressler's fiction includes strong, young women with an intent on crossing the artificial boundaries society imposes. He captures how love's power transforms us as well as the importance of religious tolerance, and the beauty of multiculturalism. Fortune's Lament is set within a riveting, historical context.

Book overview:

Much of modern Spain was under Muslim control for nearly 800 years (from 711 to 1492 C.E.). Medieval Islamic Spain was deeply influential in world history, for a multitude of reasons, including the rediscovery, translation, and dissemination of the lost works of medicine, science, and philosophy of the ancient Greeks. The Muslim Umayyads (with roots tracing back to Syria), were lovers of books and learning, and helped launch a cultural revolution in Córdoba which transformed the western world. An exceptional 200+ year period of peaceful coexistence occurred between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam under Muslim Umayyad rule, providing a powerful lesson in the practice of multiculturalism for our 21st-century world.

Fortune's Lament is the third release in the Anthems of al-Andalus series, which break open this largely forgotten and fascinating history for modern readers. All three historical novels are love stories set at pivotal moments in the history of medieval Islamic Spain. Fortune's Lament is set in Granada's Alhambra Palace, 120 years after Emeralds of the Alhambra, and tells the story of Danah, a young Muslim woman who aspires to be the first female physician in the city. Love unexpectedly blossoms between Danah and Yusef, a valiant prince of court from a rival clan, during the bloody final conquest of Granada by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Christian Spain. As the light of Islamic Spain dims, the Inquisition looms large on the horizon, as does the coming voyage of Columbus to discover the Americas.

Book reviews:

"John Cressler's most recent novel is a wonderful tale that appeals to all readers. The historical context may seem to only appeal to lovers of historical fiction, but the story of love, war, betrayal, and search for self interwoven into the complex history of Muslim Spain will captivate all. I felt myself turning page after page not waning to put the novel down! It is a story that highlights the beauty of finding Great Love in life and encourages the reader to seek out that kind of love in his or her own life."

~Angela Como

About the author:

John D. Cressler is Schlumberger Chair Professor of Electronics in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University, New York, in 1990. His academic research interests center on the creative use of nanoscale-engineering techniques to enable new approaches to electronic devices, circuits and systems.

Dr. Cressler and his students have published over 600 scientific papers in this field and he has received a number of awards for both his teaching and his research, including the 2010 Class of 1940 W. Howard Ector Outstanding Teacher Award (Georgia Tech's top teaching honor) and the 2013 Class of 1934 Distinguished Professor Award (the highest honor that can be bestowed on a faculty member at Georgia Tech).

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by John D. Cressler
MILFORD HOUSE PRESS
Trade Paperback - 6 x 9 x 1.4
9781620063729
602 Pages with maps and photographs
FICTION / Historical / Medieval
FICTION / Romance / Historical / Medieval
FICTION / Religious

For publicity information, contact:
publicity@sunburypress.com

John Cressler's debut novel "Emeralds of the Alhambra" is a love story based in medieval Spain

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. — Sunbury Press has released author John Cressler’s “Emeralds of the Alhambra: Book One of the Anthems of al-Andalus Series.”

About the Book:
eota_fc3How could we forget? We live in a world being torn apart by religious tensions and fanaticism, yet we managed to forget that for hundreds of years Christians, Muslims and Jews lived together in peace, sharing languages and customs, embracing a level of tolerance and mutual respect unheard of today. Working together, these three peoples spawned one of the great intellectual and cultural flowerings of history. When and where? Medieval Spain. Our aching world desperately needs to recall this forgotten fact, these rich possibilities.

Emeralds of the Alhambra, a historical novel, reawakens this remarkable era via the relationship between William Chandon, a wounded Christian knight brought to the Sultan’s court in Granada, and the strong-willed Layla al-Khatib, who is on a quest to become the first female Sufi Muslim mystic in a male-dominated society. As Chandon’s influence at court grows, he becomes trapped between his forbidden love for Layla, his Christian heritage, the demands of chivalry, and political expediency. Chandon must make a choice between love and honor, peace and war, life and death, a choice which ultimately will seal Granada’s fate as the last surviving stronghold of Muslim Spain.

Emeralds is set in the resplendent Alhambra Palace in Granada during the Castilian Civil War (1367-1369), a time when, improbably, Muslims took up their swords to fight alongside Christians.

Praise for “Emeralds of the Alhambra”:
“A deeply moving and enlightening novel on the co-existence of religions.”
─Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

“…Cressler has woven an imaginative and intricately persuasive story…[a] vivid and gorgeous world of romance, intrigue, murder and negotiations between multiple religions in medieval Spain…[a] story of love between human beings, for God, and for the creation so graciously bestowed on us. A thoroughly gripping and engaging first novel.”
─Professor Susan Abraham, Harvard Divinity School

“…Seamlessly weaves history, religion, passion, loyalty and romance into a compelling, beautifully-written narrative which brings [the reader] into the richness, majesty and complexities of this different, yet alluring world…”
─Rabbi Rachael M. Bregman, Temple Beth Tefiloh
and Rabbis Without Borders

“… More than ever, we need stories like Cressler tells, confirming the transformative power of relationships. Cressler illuminates the beauty and meaning found in Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, reviving an important shared history…”
─Eboo Patel, Founder and President, Interfaith Youth Core

“…A work of honesty and sensitivity that renders in depth, and with painterly detail, the living contours of a great civilization that the modern world needs to re-discover…A moving story of love across boundaries, set at a critical point in history…with unmatched and vivid descriptions of place, lifestyle, manners and practices…”
─Salma Khadra Jayyusi, poet, writer, and literary historian.
Founder and Director of EAST-WEST NEXUS/PROTA for the
dissemination in English of Arabic cultural achievements

“[Cressler’s] compelling characters and vivid imagery bring this tale of intrigue and barrier-breaking relationships to life in a way that even a visit to the Alhambra did not…[Celebrates] the power of love to forge human hearts into timeless bonds.”
─Cathy Devlin Crosby, Cofounder of Neshama Interfaith Center

“A captivating love story that speaks deeply to the purest and most humane places of the heart. A highly enjoyable and enthusing novel.”
─Aytekin Erol, Lawyer Society of Cinematographic
Work Creators, Istanbul

“Emeralds of the Alhambra has it all – mystery, intrigue, duels and interfaith romance…Cressler artfully draws us into the fascinating lives of the novel’s main characters with vivid prose. We experience the blows and blood of the fierce battles between enemies, as well as the luminosity and laughter of spell-bound lovers…Transports readers back to medieval Spain and offers them a peek behind la Convivencia and all the rivalry, romance and complex relationships that existed between Jews, Christians and Muslims.”
─Tayyibah Taylor, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief
of Azizah Magazine

“…A story of passionate love…and the spiritual quest for God…Cressler adds a most important element to the mix by weaving in the “problem” of how to reconcile interfaith concerns, [making] this wonderful novel especially prescient for the third millennium.”
─Marian Monahan, Cofounder of Neshama Interfaith Center

“History, conquest, and a captivating love story…Dares us to engage in conversations with those of different faiths. This is more than a novel, it is a resource.”
─Angela Harrington Rice, Senior Executive Producer,
Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasters

“[Cressler] has a finely-tuned, sensuous capability to drink in and pass on exquisite sights, smells, colors, sounds and tastes…[At] the deepest level…Cressler helps [the reader] understand the…overwhelmingly powerful force that love truly is…and the role love plays in our experience of the Divine.”
─Father Gene Barrette, Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette

“…The novel’s rich and descriptive narrative serves as a call from the past, challenging us to realize that more is possible than we dare imagine. In its pages are found nearly everything that makes us human…”
─Professor John B. Switzer, Spring Hill College,
Cofounder and Director of the Muslim,
Jewish, Christian Trialogue

About the Author:
JOHN D. CRESSLER is Ken Byers Professor at Georgia Tech (Atlanta), and the author of five non-fiction books. Emeralds of the Alhambra is the first release in the Anthems of al-Andalus series and his debut novel. Visit the author at http://johndcressler.com.

Emeralds of the Alhambra: Book One of the Anthems of al-Andalus Series
Authored by John D Cressler
List Price: $19.95
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on White paper
444 pages
Sunbury Press Inc
ISBN-13: 978-1620061978
ISBN-10: 162006197X
BISAC: Fiction / Historical

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Emeralds-of-the-Alhambra…

Soon to be available on Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader & Kobo