It seems like I’ve been working on this novel forever, but it’s actually been a little over a year. My happy news is the manuscript is completed and in the hands of the editor I use to help polish my work. He’s brutally honest, so I suspect I’ll have some work to do when I get it back. But I’m all about aspiring to making my novels the best they can be. Here’s a short summary:
The Eyes Have It is a twenty-first century Romeo and Juliet meets Splendor in the Grass. A wartime affair reaps tragic consequences a quarter century later.
During the first Iraq war, Josh Regan falls for the enchanting Samar, a young Saudi Arabian woman, although he is engaged to his college sweetheart, Emily. Twenty-six years later, Josh and Emily are married with two teen children, Olivia and Carl. Josh’s family is blissfully unaware of Josh’s wartime indiscretion and the son, Jamail, who resulted. Olivia meets and falls hard for Ethan, the second son of Samar and eight years younger than Jamail, this time with her American husband, Brian.
Although raised Catholic like his half-brother Ethan, Jamail converts to Islam when he spends two tours of duty as a Marine in the Middle East. Back home, he attends a mosque known to have radical views. Jamail leads a terrorist attack at the Saratoga Race Track on the day the Regans have their annual family outing there. He kills Josh and wounds Emily, then goes into hiding. He reaches out to Ethan who, with great ambivalence, leads the two families to Jamail, hoping they can convince him to turn himself in. Instead, Jamail raises his automatic rifle toward the family members. Ethan lunges in time to block the shot, taking it himself. Olivia rushes to Ethan while Jamail coldly aims for another shot. But the next gunshot is by FBI, whom Carl texted on their way to Jamail.
Ethan spends several days in an induced coma, while his parents and Olivia maintain a vigil and, Olivia believes, are solidifying their bond. But Samar and Brian decide the relationship holds too many complications. They encourage Olivia to go home to help her mother and promise to call when Ethan is weaned from the ventilator. They break that promise, and instead tell Ethan that Olivia decided their relationship couldn’t work after all that happened.
Can Ethan and Olivia find a path back to their love through the forest of lies?
Once I complete the inevitable rewrites recommended by my editor, I’ll be off and running with queries to agents and publishers. Wish me luck!