Monday, March 24, 2014

Shadows of Damascus Book Tour with Lilas Taha: Interview and Giveaway

Shadows of Damascus
by Lilas Taha
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Published: Jan 13, 2014


Bullet wounds, torture and oppression aren’t the only things that keep a man—or a woman—from being whole.

Debt. Honor. Pain. Solitude. These are things wounded war veteran Adam Wegener knows all about. Love—now, that he is not good at. Not when love equals a closed fist, burns, and suicide attempts. But Adam is one who keeps his word. He owes the man who saved 

his life in Iraq. And he doesn’t question the measure of the debt, even when it is in the form of an emotionally distant, beautiful woman.

Yasmeen agreed to become the wife of an American veteran so she could flee persecution in war-torn Syria. She counted on being in the United States for a short stay until she could return home. There was one thing she did not count on: wanting more.

Is it too late for Adam and Yasmeen?

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What do you think you’re really good at?
I think I’m good with people, in general. I have a hard time paying attention to dates, numbers, and names, but I concentrate on personal details. I try to apply my best effort with anything I do; sometimes it pays off and the product is immaculate, and sometimes too much effort kills the project, like my baking.

What do you think you’re really bad at?
Numbers. Anything that has to do with numbers. I can’t pinpoint event dates, or do quick mental math, or retain pertinent numerical information on the fly. Earning an engineering degree was my personal crusade.

Is your life anything like it was two years ago?
Two years ago, I was running a non-profit organization that helps domestic abuse victims. Although it was extremely rewarding when a success story materialized, the emotional load became too heavy, especially when a failure to rescue someone forced itself despite all the efforts exerted.
I quit my position when I noticed I was unable to be completely effective. The uprising started in Syria, where my mother’s side of the family is from, and I became overwhelmed with frustration.
To recover, I started writing my book as a form of therapy and to regain balance. So I would say, my life now is different on many levels.

Have you ever had an imaginary friend?
Yes. Salma, with the round face and the porcelain skin. The one who lived inside the television box and came out when I called on her. The one who counted dots in newspapers with me before I went to sleep. The one who ripped my father’s important documents. The one who broke my mother’s precious china vase. That was Salma, and I miss her terribly sometimes.

Do you have any phobias?
Geckos scare me for some reason.


Lilas Taha is a writer at heart, an electrical engineer by training, and an advocate for domestic abuse victims by choice. She was born in Kuwait to a Syrian mother and a Palestinian father, and immigrated to the U.S. as a result of the Gulf war in 1990. She earned a master’s degree in Human Factors Engineering from the University of Wisconsin- Madison. There, Lilas met her beloved husband and true friend, and moved with him to Sugar Land, Texas to establish a family. She is the proud mother of a daughter and a son. Instead of working in an industrial field, she applied herself to the field of social safety, working with victims of domestic violence.

Pursuing her true passion for creative writing, Lilas brings her professional interests, and her Middle Eastern background together in her debut fictional novel, Shadows of Damascus.

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  1. I enjoyed the interview thank you. I've had many a gecko drop on me. They are not to be trusted.

    1. Mary, I can stand blood and any have even autopsied a corpse, but I cannot be close to a gecko. I have to talk to my mother and see if I have any repressed memories involving geckos.

  2. Nice little peek into your life Lilas~ I'm surrounded by gekkos here in Florida; they are creepy little things lol

    ilookfamous at yahoo dot com

    1. Hi Elise-Maria, I don't get that reaction when I see the Giko add, though :)