Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Damascena: The Tale of Roses and Rumi

Cover_DamascenaIt’s always a delight to be able to share new books with you. Today I’d like to tell you about internationally acclaimed author Holly Lynn Payne’s latest fiction novel, DAMASCENA: The Tale of Roses and Rumi.

This is a story about a legendary girl saint whose life is changed forever when she meets the great Persian poet, Rumi, in the 13th century. Here’s a brief description of the book.

      Holly Payne's spellbinding tale brings the unparalleled poet, Mevlana Rumi, to life, and transports readers to the enchanting world of 13th century Persia. Simply but elegantly told, the story unravels the mystery surrounding a legendary orphaned girl, who discovers her gift of turning roses into oil.
      Named after the flowering rosa damascena, the girl reluctantly assumes the role of a living saint for the miracles she performs-longing for the only one that matters: finding her mother. Deeply wounded by the separation since birth, Damascena undergoes a riveting transformation when she meets Rumi and finally discovers the secret of the rose.
      Imbued with rich historical research and inspired by the devastating disappearance of Rumi's most lauded spiritual companion, Shams of Tabriz, Holly Payne has courageously opened herself to receive Rumi's teachings and offer a timeless love story. 

Here’s what others are saying about this tantalizing new release.
Damascena is a stunner. Holly Payne takes us into the yearning at the heart of the mystic’s search. She turns the Sufi quest for connection with God into a human drama that is both moving and soaring.” — Tamim Ansary, author of Games without Rules: The Often-Interrupted History of Afghanistan 

“Holly Payne has deftly captured the magic, beauty, and ecstatic energy of the Sufi's ancient sema dance with her story about a girl, Damascena, whose life transcends her own world, and ours. The prose transports the reader creating astonishing characters and at times, a thriller-like the plot, carrying us into a world that is part hallucination and part real as Payne weaves in themes of loss, beauty, devotion, evil, struggle, magic, and, ultimately, love.” — David Ewing Duncan, best-selling author of Experimental Man: What one man's body reveals about his future, your health, and our toxic world

“Holly Payne's latest novel touches Jelaluddin Rumi's essential beauty within the fragrance of 13th century Turkey and the rich tapestry of his life as a mystic, poet and honored scholar. Payne exposes the very human challenges Rumi encountered as he grew into one of the greatest poets of all time.” — Murshida Mariam Baker, author of Woman as Divine: Tales of the Goddess senior teacher, Sufi Ruhaniat International and the Mevlevi Order of America

“This is one of the most gorgeous novels I've ever read. Payne’s research was so thorough. It makes me want to learn more about the dervishes, their religious practices, and about Rumi and his achingly beautiful poetry. The themes of forgiveness, spirituality and all the different forms of love resonated with me on every page.” — Laura Marquez, Emmy Winner and former ABC News Correspondent


Holly Lynn Payne is an internationally published novelist in ten countries whose work has been translated into eight languages. Dutton/Plume published her first two novels, The Sound of Blue and The Virgin’s Knot, her debut novel, selected as a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers and Border’s Original Voices book. Her third book, Kingdom of Simplicity, won the Benjamin Franklin Award, a Marin Arts Council Grant, Grand Prize for the Writers Digest Self-Published Book Awards and was nominated for a National Book Award in Belgium. It was published in Taiwan, China and the Netherlands. 

A native of Pennsylvania, Payne graduated from University of Richmond with a degree in journalism and earned a MFA from University of Southern California. She has taught throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, serving on the faculty at California College of the Arts and Stanford.  She lives in Northern California with her young daughter and serves the literary community as a writing coach, editor and volunteer producer for Litquake.

For more on Payne and her writing, visit her website and blog and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

DAMASCENA: The Tale of Roses and Rumi can be found at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads.

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope I’ve enticed you to check out this book further. Hope you’re having a great week and have all your holiday preparations underway.


  1. Enchanting is the right word. This sounds delightful.

  2. Mason - What an interesting setting and context! Thanks for sharing.

  3. I love Damascus rose, I even have a shower gel with its scent :)

  4. Because of Dezzie's delightful little comment I have completely forgotten what I was going to say!


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