Okay guys. I just finished this one late last night, and cried my eyes out. Big fat ploppy tears that I couldn’t even see through, forcing me to take a break, but the minute I got a hold of myself, I was right back in. Don’t be scared. It’s an AMAZING book (I promise!!!! Okay? !!! ). This is definitely a 5-star read AND will absolutely make my TOP 2017 list. Oh HECK YES. In fact, I’ll be posting my review shortly, and I’m SO excited to release my feelings into words.
It’s not up for preorder on Amazon yet, but it’s coming out in just a few days, and I will absolutely announce it once it’s live but you can pre-order it through iBooks.
Here’s the blurb:
Once in Africa, I kissed a king…
“And just like that, in an old red barn at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, I discovered the elusive magic I had only ever glimpsed between the pages of great love stories. It fluttered around me like a newly born butterfly and settled in a corner of my heart. I held my breath, afraid to exhale for fear it would slip out, never to be found again.”
When a bomb explodes in a mall in East Africa, its aftershocks send two strangers on a collision course that neither one sees coming.
Jack Warden, a divorced coffee farmer in Tanzania, loses his only daughter. An ocean away, in the English countryside, Rodel Emerson loses her only sibling.
Two ordinary people, bound by a tragic afternoon, set out to achieve the extraordinary, as they make three stops to rescue three children across the vast plains of the Serengeti—children who are worth more dead than alive.
But even if they beat the odds, another challenge looms at the end of the line. Can they survive yet another loss—this time of a love that’s bound to slip through their fingers, like the mists that dissipate in the light of the sun?
“Sometimes you come across a rainbow story—one that spans your heart. You might not be able to grasp it or hold on to it, but you can never be sorry for the color and magic it brought.”
A blend of romance and women’s fiction, Mists of The Serengeti is inspired by true events and contains emotional triggers, including the death of a child. Not recommended for sensitive readers. Standalone, contemporary fiction.
So what we have for you today, is the entire prologue to read (and trust me, it’s worth it, even if you can’t jump right into the book, just yet). The prologue had my jaw dropping and my heart lurching, and this is just the start of an incredibly moving journey and love story. *swooooooony sigh*
Each day, our “Sisterhood of the Traveling Blogs” revealed a portion of the prologue, and today is the LAST part. It’s my turn!!!! Eeeeeeeep!! You guys, I must INSIST you read it (but in order!!!!)
HERE ARE EACH OF THE PROLOGUE REVEALS (in order). Read your heart out, my friends. THIS BOOK IS INTENSE!!!!
Here is the last part of the PROLOGUE REVEAL:
“In case I haven’t been clear, I think you’re very pretty,” said Andy. “You have umm…beautiful brown eyes. I like your…” He pointed in her general direction, searching for something elusive, and finally went in for the kill. “I like your hair.”
“Thank you.” Rodel drowned her face in the dimpled mug holding her drink.
Why was dating always so painful? Why were kisses always as piss warm as her beer?
“Do your parents live around here?” asked Andy.
It’s just small talk, thought Rodel. He isn’t announcing his intentions to meet them.
For once, Rodel was relieved her parents were thousands of miles away. She’d changed her mind. She didn’t want to recast her hero. She would happily spend the rest of her life with fictional book boyfriends.
Darcy? Oh yes.
Grey? Oh my.
Aragorn? Oh my, yes, yes, yes!
“My parents live in Birmingham, but they’re retired and love to travel,” she said. “They’re in Thailand right now.”
“Well, if you need help moving, I can…” He trailed off and followed Rodel’s gaze. She was staring at the TV. Something on the screen had caught her attention.
She stood, slowly—stiff and wooden—and walked up to the bartender. “Can you turn that up?” It was more than a simple request. There was a tight, controlled edge to her voice that drew everyone’s attention. A hush fell over the pub as all eyes turned to the news broadcast.
“Gunmen stormed into a crowded mall in Amosha, Tanzania, minutes before a powerful explosion went off. Dozens are feared dead. More on this developing story from our foreign correspondent…”
They cut to the scene of carnage, billows of black smoke rising like dark tornadoes behind the reporter.
“My phone.” Rodel backed away from the screen and stumbled toward the table. She turned her bag upside down, and got on her knees, scouring the contents for her phone.
“What’s wrong?” asked Andy.
“I need my phone! My sister is in Amosha. I have to get in tou—” She pounced on her phone and started dialing. “Pick up. Come on, Mo. Pick up.” Her chest rose and fell with each breath.
Someone sat her down on a chair. Someone brought her a glass of water. No one picked up at the other end. It went straight to voice mail. She dialed again. And then again. Her fingers trembled as she waited for the string of international dialing codes to go through.
She was about to hang up and try her parents when she noticed the little icon for new voice mail.
Mo. She must have left a message when she’d called earlier.
Rodel listened as her sister’s voice filtered through the speaker, but it wasn’t warm and bubbly like every other time they’d spoken since Mo had left for Tanzania. This Mo was tense and tight, and she was speaking in sharp, staccato whispers that Rodel strained to make out.
“Ro, I’m in Kilimani Mall…something…going down…gunmen everywhere…” The words were fading in and out, like a bad connection. “I’m hiding…there’s…only thing…keeping me…” There was a long pause. Rodel could hear hushed voices before Mo came back on the line. “…going to wait…safe here, but if I don’t…” Her voice dropped. “If…I…love you, Ro…Mum and Dad…don’t…worry. We’ll…laugh…my crazy stories…Australia. I have…all the chances, Ro…”
The recording ended. And what had started off as the happiest day of Rodel’s life trailed off, just like the empty, insidious echo at the end of her sister’s call.
Followed by crackling dead air.
Rodel’s mind raced.
Mo had mentioned Australia. She had thought she was going to die then, too, and had called Rodel while crossing a crocodile-infested river in a sinking ferry.
She had been shouting ‘Ro, Ro!’ but the people on the ferry thought she was telling them to ‘Row, row!’ The vessel had made it to safety and as Mo collapsed on the shore, the call still in progress, the two of them had laughed with giddy relief.
“Come home, Mo,” Rodel had urged.
“I’m not done yet,” her sister had replied. “I don’t know if I’ll ever be done. I want to die doing what I love.”
No. I unwish that wish. Rodel clung to her phone, unaware of the invisible threads that connect wishes, actions, people, and consequences. She had no idea that the images flashing across the TV had already set off a chain of events that were heading straight for her, like cascading dominoes set into motion.
WHOA. And it only gets better from here, my friends.
eARC GIVEAWAY of one copy of Mists of the Serengeti:
To win an eARC of Mists of the Serengeti by Leylah Attar, just leave a comment below. One lucky commenter will be randomly selected to win it! Contest ends on 29 Jan 2017 noon EST, and is open internationally.
About the Author
Leylah Attar writes stories about love – shaken, stirred and served with a twist. When she’s not writing, she can be found pursuing her other passions: photography, food, family and travel. Sometimes she disappears into the black hole of the internet, but can usually be enticed out with chocolate.