Search this blog

Monday 19 June 2017

ℚ♫ Forbidden - F. Stone

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Forbidden (12 December 2016, Romance Under Fire, 363 pages), a Romantic Suspense.

"There are several love stories in Forbidden - love of a woman for her children, love of a man for his faith and country, love of close friends, and the knife-edge love between a man and a woman. And if that's not enough to hold a reader's interest, there is also a rip-roaring tale of murder, betrayal, political intrigue and suspense. Forbidden is a multi-layered page-turner. No matter what readers hope to find in this book, they won't be disappointed." ~ Leigh Carter

|| Synopsis || Trailer || Teaser: KCR Preview || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to Feather Stone; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

Here at BooksChatter we love music, so F. Stone has shared with us her music playlist for Forbidden - enjoy!

What was the inspiration for Forbidden?
"The idea for Forbidden formally started the day the world stood together breathless, disbelieving the horror as the New York towers plummeted to the ground, taking hundreds of lives into history. The media captured expressions of fear and hatred on the faces of people gathering in cities around the world. As it became known that someone in Afghanistan was the mastermind, the cameras captured the violence erupting in the Middle East. It appeared that their view of the western society was filled with revulsion.

I wondered how much of what I was witnessing in the media was truth versus manufactured propaganda. Do Muslims truly hate non-Muslims? I had a suspicion that the farmer in Afghanistan was no different than my dad, a man devoted to his family and taking care of his livestock and land.

And so my quest to understand Islam began. Imam Mustafa Khattab welcomed me at Edmonton’s Al Rashid mosque. Generously, he gave me an armful of books and videos. What I learned from a year of study often brought tears to my eyes. The beauty, the reverence, the simplicity was overwhelming. Many times I listened to recordings of the Adhan, Islamic call to worship recited by the muezzin. Often I was moved to tears.

As my understanding grew, I experienced a miracle (too lengthy to reveal here). Then, a man emerged in my vision – Captain Hashim Sharif. His face, his eyes, echoed his character – fearless, determined, focused, in control but without arrogance. With no coaxing from me, he showed me his dark side, seething with rage.

“She shouldn’t have come,” he growled at me. “I couldn’t protect her. Besides, her mental illness, it was going to get both of us killed.” He straightened and slapped his police hat on his head. “Damn foolish woman.”

“How many people died?” I wasn’t sure I wanted to hear the answer.

His eyes held onto mine for a moment. “The Truth? No one will believe me.” He didn’t wait for my response. For almost three years, Captain Sharif exposed the ugliness of the worst – and most incredible passion –the most dangerous and thrilling two months of his life. He told the story of Forbidden."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"The heroine, Eliza MacKay, is a paramedic, and a tortured woman since the death of her entire family. She and I share that career, but hopefully not the mental illness that took her mind and led her to attempt suicide three times. We share risk taker, don’t-take-no-shit kind of personality, and we both rescue bees trapped inside the house. I’m as good a shot with a rifle as she is (rolling her eyes) and we both can’t cook a meal to save our souls. Our weakness? We both can’t resist dark brown eyes."

The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Forbidden - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"Over the three/four years of writing and editing Forbidden, I hunted for images that captured the face and especially the personality of the main characters. Most came from iStock or Shutterstock. I sent those pics to Carl at Extended Imagery. I gave him the synopsis. A short while later he sent me three drafts. The first one was perfect."
Why should we read Forbidden and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"That’s the million dollar question for which every reader deserves to receive an honest answer. Forbidden is like none other.
  1. Readers hunt for something different – a unique plot, exotic settings, characters who breathe down the reader’s neck. My goal was to satisfy every reader’s desire for a ride they’ve never been on before. Forbidden is written in the point of view of a devout Muslim, a Middle Eastern cop, Captain Hashim Sharif struggling with the conflict of pleasing his corrupt boss and his devotion to Allah; and in the point of view of Eliza MacKay, a woman on the brink of complete mental collapse, searching for a way out of her hell. Two very different people on a collision course with a madman, they discover what is forbidden may be their only chance for survival.

  2. The setting is the Republic of Islamic Provinces & Territories (RIPT) – my vision of the future of the Middle East. After the end of the current civil war, thirty years from now, I envision most of the Islamic countries joining to form one powerful nation. Sunni and Shia no longer are adversaries. The government is inclusive, democratic and Sharia law has been relaxed. However, deadly conflicts create chaos and a growing body count. The suspense does not end until the last paragraph. Forbidden paints vivid images of an exotic landscape, embraces a foreign culture, tempting the reader to look deeper, stay longer, a dare to accompany Sharif on his meeting with a back stabbing informant.

  3. Forbidden will enlighten readers on the basics of moderate Islam. I was guided by a generous imam, Mustafa Khattab; plus a most wonderful friend who is a pediatrician and a Canadian Muslim. During the writing of the story, Dr. Sahar Albakkal provided valuable advice on the culture of moderate Muslims, Muslim names, Arabic terms, and interpretation of the Koran. No doubt, every non-Muslim reader will discover at different Islam than what is portrayed in the media."
What is your writing process?
"Much like I drive – by the seat of my pants, LOL. Rules, in my mind, are guidelines. I figure as long as no one gets hurt and there’s no property damage, I’ll drive to the conditions of the road and traffic. A few years ago I was told that I should follow the writing formula. I laughed. I write feverishly, pounding at the keyboard for hours, skipping meals and shutting off the phone. Then I rewrite, and rewrite, perfecting words, phrases. When I’m inspired to add a twist to the plot, I don’t hesitate to rewrite again and again. Perfection is the goal. When the euphoria hits the red zone, it’s time to release the pages to the world."
What is in store next?
"Forbidden won’t be a series, but Captain Sharif and my muse are pushing for a book II, expanding upon Forbidden’s setting and characters. It sounds pretty dark and another cataclysmic emotional ride. The working title is Forsaken."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"My husband and I fostered abused / abandoned Shetland Sheepdogs. Jasper came to our home as a traumatized, don’t touch me, let me stay in my crate Sheltie. It took tons of love and patience before he emerged as a loving and loyal companion. He remained with us for many happy years."
What a beautiful baby. Thank you for sharing Jasper's story with us.

Available NOW!

purchase from purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble find on Goodreads


CMash said...

I read this book and could not put it down. It was extraordinary! I can't wait to read her next book FORSAKEN!!!! I am now a fan!

F. Stone said...

Hi CMash. Thank you for the praise. Captain Sharif tips his police hat to you. Did you catch a hint of his smile?

F. Stone said...

Thank you, Books Chatter,for this privilege of being featured on your blog. I'm off to take my Sammy, a rambunctious Sheltie, for a visit with the vet. However, I will pop in often to chat with your visitors throughout the day. Blessings to everyone.