Today I am part of the Te Pestilence Blog tour where I have an exclusive first chapter of the book
Time to the Pestilence: 16 days
THE radio filtered the news of peace in the Holy Land through Samuel’s dreams. The smell of ful madammas and grilled flatbread greeted Samuel’s blinking eyes and waking half smile. His mother Dalia sang as she prepared breakfast: A little honeycomb and yogurt to celebrate the sweetness of peace; the bitterness of olives for the years of loss and suffering.
Timeline: The Pestilence minus 14 days. Information source: Published interview with Dalia Srour, mother of Samuel Srour. Interviewer: Bill Irons.
Bill Irons: What was Samuel like as a child?
Dalia Srour: He was a good boy, always reading but very quiet. He was the youngest. His two big brothers were strong and boisterous, so loud, shirking their chores, yearning for the world beyond our home. With Samuel it was different; he looked after us, helped us, especially with the farm. He would just quietly get on with the things that needed doing. No fuss, no bother. He was good with his hands. He would help fix up the barns, tend the animals, you know, do something helpful.
I knew out of my three boys he would be the one who stayed. The others ran away to war or for love, but Samuel looked after me and when I got old, he looked after the farm. Selflessness is in his nature.
Bill Irons: How did he do at school?
Dalia Srour: He was a popular boy. He was a smart boy, the smartest of my sons but also the least interested in school work. I never understood why he didn’t apply himself. He loved his books but didn’t love school. He wouldn’t study, do homework, or prepare for exams. With all that reading, all that knowledge going into that brain of his you would have thought he would have done better, achieved more but it was the same thing in all his school reports; Samuel needs to stop dreaming.
Bill Irons: How did the loss of his brother affect him?
Dalia Srour: Every family in our village has lost someone in that war. I expect that most families in the country have lost someone precious, someone loved. So in that respect, Samuel’s pain, our pain was no different to anyone else’s.
Bill Irons: Is Samuel religious?
Dalia Srour: Not at all. My family going back a few generations on my mother’s side were originally Jewish and Samuel’s father was Christian but we as a family don’t observe either faith; I suppose we wear the cloak of religion very lightly. I have left my children to choose their own paths. My other boys had some interest, but Samuel had none. You know, he read everything, history, art, fact, fiction, but for all his reading, all the hours with his nose in a book, I never saw him read a single religious book or text. Even after his brother passed, he didn’t lean on faith.
Bill Irons: Where were you when your farm was destroyed?
Dalia Srour: Thankfully, I was in Haifa. With the war over I was visiting my grandchildren. I saw the lightning in the sky, the same as everybody else. Then we watched the news and found out that our farm, our home had been destroyed. That airstrike left us destitute; we have nothing now. At that time I had no idea what had happened to my son.
Bill Irons: What do you make of it?
Dalia Srour: It’s a miracle. You know whatever happens, whatever he does, however he helps others, he is still my son and for that I am grateful. I guess now I have to share him a little more.
Blurb: The little girl cupped her hands and whispered almost inaudibly into her father’s ear. “The Pestilence is coming. Everybody here is going to die.”
A mysterious electrical phenomenon rolls above the cities of the world. The lightning which comes from the east, shines as far as the west, turning night into day.
Two brothers of the lightning, Samuel Srour and Victor Pierre Chaput are gifted powers by the storm. Their paths intertwined, with enemies on all sides.
Samuel Srour has unwittingly started a revolution. His Healed walk the Earth. Free of injury, sickness and disease, but powerful forces stand in his way and the Pestilence is drawing ever closer.
About Faisal Ansari: Faisal Ansari has spent the majority of his adult life strapped into a suit writing marketing and stuffy legal documentation for M&A transactions in the City.
Despite growing up in London, Faisal’s overwhelming preference is to be outdoors. When trapped indoors he reads until his eyes bleed.
The Pestilence is his first novel.
Giveaway for a £10 Amazon Voucher and a paperback copy of the book click on the link below