MECHANICSBURG, Pa. -- Sunbury Press has released author John Cressler's "Emeralds of the Alhambra: Book One of the Anthems of al-Andalus Series." About the Book: eota_fc3How could we forget? We live in a world being torn apart by religious tensions and fanaticism, yet we managed to forget that for hundreds of years Christians, Muslims and Jews lived together in peace, sharing languages and customs, embracing a level of tolerance and mutual respect unheard of today. Working together, these three peoples spawned one of the great intellectual and cultural flowerings of history. When and where? Medieval Spain. Our aching world desperately needs to recall this forgotten fact, these rich possibilities. Emeralds of the Alhambra, a historical novel, reawakens this remarkable era via the relationship between William Chandon, a wounded Christian knight brought to the Sultan’s court in Granada, and the strong-willed Layla al-Khatib, who is on a quest to become the first female Sufi Muslim mystic in a male-dominated society. As Chandon’s influence at court grows, he becomes trapped between his forbidden love for Layla, his Christian heritage, the demands of chivalry, and political expediency. Chandon must make a choice between love and honor, peace and war, life and death, a choice which ultimately will seal Granada’s fate as the last surviving stronghold of Muslim Spain. Emeralds is set in the resplendent Alhambra Palace in Granada during the Castilian Civil War (1367-1369), a time when, improbably, Muslims took up their swords to fight alongside Christians. Praise for "Emeralds of the Alhambra": “A deeply moving and enlightening novel on the co-existence of religions.” ─Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate “…Cressler has woven an imaginative and intricately persuasive story… vivid and gorgeous world of romance, intrigue, murder and negotiations between multiple religions in medieval Spain… story of love between human beings, for God, and for the creation so graciously bestowed on us. A thoroughly gripping and engaging first novel.” ─Professor Susan Abraham, Harvard Divinity School “…Seamlessly weaves history, religion, passion, loyalty and romance into a compelling, beautifully-written narrative which brings into the richness, majesty and complexities of this different, yet alluring world…” ─Rabbi Rachael M. Bregman, Temple Beth Tefiloh and Rabbis Without Borders “… More than ever, we need stories like Cressler tells, confirming the transformative power of relationships. Cressler illuminates the beauty and meaning found in Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, reviving an important shared history…” ─Eboo Patel, Founder and President, Interfaith Youth Core “…A work of honesty and sensitivity that renders in depth, and with painterly detail, the living contours of a great civilization that the modern world needs to re-discover…A moving story of love across boundaries, set at a critical point in history…with unmatched and vivid descriptions of place, lifestyle, manners and practices…” ─Salma Khadra Jayyusi, poet, writer, and literary historian. Founder and Director of EAST-WEST NEXUS/PROTA for the dissemination in English of Arabic cultural achievements “ compelling characters and vivid imagery bring this tale of intrigue and barrier-breaking relationships to life in a way that even a visit to the Alhambra did not... the power of love to forge human hearts into timeless bonds.” ─Cathy Devlin Crosby, Cofounder of Neshama Interfaith Center “A captivating love story that speaks deeply to the purest and most humane places of the heart. A highly enjoyable and enthusing novel.” ─Aytekin Erol, Lawyer Society of Cinematographic Work Creators, Istanbul “Emeralds of the Alhambra has it all – mystery, intrigue, duels and interfaith romance…Cressler artfully draws us into the fascinating lives of the novel’s main characters with vivid prose. We experience the blows and blood of the fierce battles between enemies, as well as the luminosity and laughter of spell-bound lovers…Transports readers back to medieval Spain and offers them a peek behind la Convivencia and all the rivalry, romance and complex relationships that existed between Jews, Christians and Muslims.” ─Tayyibah Taylor, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Azizah Magazine “…A story of passionate love…and the spiritual quest for God...Cressler adds a most important element to the mix by weaving in the "problem" of how to reconcile interfaith concerns, this wonderful novel especially prescient for the third millennium.” ─Marian Monahan, Cofounder of Neshama Interfaith Center “History, conquest, and a captivating love story…Dares us to engage in conversations with those of different faiths. This is more than a novel, it is a resource.” ─Angela Harrington Rice, Senior Executive Producer, Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasters “ has a finely-tuned, sensuous capability to drink in and pass on exquisite sights, smells, colors, sounds and tastes… the deepest level…Cressler helps understand the…overwhelmingly powerful force that love truly is…and the role love plays in our experience of the Divine.” ─Father Gene Barrette, Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette “…The novel’s rich and descriptive narrative serves as a call from the past, challenging us to realize that more is possible than we dare imagine. In its pages are found nearly everything that makes us human...” ─Professor John B. Switzer, Spring Hill College, Cofounder and Director of the Muslim, Jewish, Christian Trialogue About the Author: JOHN D. CRESSLER is Ken Byers Professor at Georgia Tech (Atlanta), and the author of five non-fiction books. Emeralds of the Alhambra is the first release in the Anthems of al-Andalus series and his debut novel. Visit the author at Emeralds of the Alhambra: Book One of the Anthems of al-Andalus Series Authored by John D Cressler List Price: $19.95 6" x 9" (15.24 x 22.86 cm) Black & White on White paper 444 pages Sunbury Press Inc ISBN-13: 978-1620061978 ISBN-10: 162006197X BISAC: Fiction / Historical For more information, please see: Soon to be available on Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader & Kobo