Saturday, February 7, 2015

Fresh Ink: Spotlight on Debut Books of All Kinds
Set at the crossroads of Turkish, Persian and Russian cultures under the red flag of Communism in the late 1970s, The Orphan Sky reveals one woman's struggle to reconcile her ideals with the corrupt world around her, and to decide whether to betray her country or her heart.

Leila is a young classical pianist who dreams of winning international competitions and bringing awards to her beloved country Azerbaijan. She is also a proud daughter of the Communist Party. When she receives an assignment from her communist mentor to spy on a music shop suspected of traitorous Western influences, she does it eagerly, determined to prove her worth to the Party.

But Leila didn't anticipate the complications of meeting Tahir, the rebellious painter who owns the music shop. His jazz recordings, abstract art, and subversive political opinions crack open the veneer of the world she's been living in. Just when she begins to fall in love with both the West and Tahir, her comrades force her to make an impossible choice.

Read an excerpt HERE.

Check this out, Leya is a composer and a singer as well.

Praise for the book:
"The Orphan Sky is a heady mix of Soviet politics, artistic temperament and historical destiny. Leila's journey from naïve school girl parroting Communist propaganda to passionate musician determined to gain personal freedom is poignant and impressive." ~Tracy Chevalier author of Girl with a Pearl Earring

"I could hear the music while reading this extraordinary book. The Orphan Sky has everything a reader could want: the thrill of young romance, the tension of spying, and a window into a fascinating culture along with a glimpse into the captivating past of Azerbaijan." ~ Deborah Rodriguez, author of Kabul Beauty School

"An intriguing mix of romance, spying and hope – unforgettable reading." ~Scott Turow, author of Presumed Innocent

"The Orphan Sky is a compelling Cold War novel that showcases the power of music as a force for change and breaking down barriers both spiritually and politically." ~Quincy Jones, Music Impresario, Humanitarian

"The Orphan Sky is a culturally intoxicating, emotionally gripping, and dazzlingly original book, filled with mythology, artistic metaphors, and masterful storytelling. It is Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto 3 meets Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner. I loved it!" ~Mona Golabek,  author of The Children of Willesden Lane

"Set amidst the backdrop of the Cold War, rich with culture and lyricism, The Orphan Sky is the moving story of one young woman's rare talent, difficult lessons, and hard-won courage. Gripping and emotionally powerful." ~Shilpi Somaya Gowda, author Secret Daughter
"This is one of those timeless stories of love, betrayal, and redemption that stay with you for years. The great theme of music transcending the darkness is at the heart of this powerful novel, with its soaring lyricism rooted deep in moral complexity." ~Maxim Vengerov,  Professor at the Royal Academy of Music

"A fascinating look at the oppression of creative artists in Azerbaijan in the Soviet era, based on the author's own experiences, The Orphan Sky also beguiles with its atmospheric descriptions of the country's enthralling ancient culture and legends." ~Helen Rappaport, author of The Romanov Sisters

"Born in Baku, composer and singer turned first novelist Leya successfully depicts the grim realities of her birth city's Soviet era as she depicts a harsh coming-of-age." ~Booklist

"The Orphan Sky is a timeless story of redemption and destiny, as authentic, disturbing, and brilliant as The Kite Runner. " ~Los Angeles Review of Books

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