The Sacred Sands
Some of the largest exporters of crude oil are colluding to bring down the price of oil, at great cost to their national coffers. Governments are violating core ideologies and national values. It falls to James Blackburn, a successful energy consultant based in Washington, DC, who advises oil traders, oil producing governments as well as the CIA and the U.S. Department of Defense, to uncover a brewing conflict in the Middle East that explains it all.
Blackburn finds himself influencing US policy at a time of great turmoil and change in the world. But he gets caught in a quandary as the interests of his various clients clash. His predicament worsens when he gets tangled in the activities of a secret organization aiming to undermine the corrupt regimes of the Gulf.
As he juggles the demands of his clients, Blackburn is thrown into an emotional whirlwind. His transatlantic relationship with beautiful OPEC assistant Bianca Kraus is further complicated by a blossoming affection for another woman closer to home.
Years later, Blackburn watches history repeat itself, and wonders whether the cataclysmic events that sprung up in the Middle East in recent years—the rise of the Islamic State, the crash in oil prices and the destruction of Iraq and Syria—could have been predicted, and even averted.
With an inside look at foreign policy and the geopolitically charged oil industry, The Sacred Sands is a different kind of mystery, one that educates as it entertains, and warns us to beware our history, before it becomes our future.
After surviving months of forced prostitution, hauntingly beautiful Lara Galian returns home. She’s had to kill for her freedom, murdering the ruthless oligarch responsible for her abduction and captivity.
She has lived for months with one goal: to return home. But now Lara finds home has changed. Either that or her experiences have changed her irrevocably. No one can possibly understand what she went through during her captivity. Even surrounded by loving family and friends, eighteen-year-old Lara feels alone, trapped in the prison of her own secrets and traumatic memories.
While Lara struggles to reestablish some measure of normalcy in her life, new threats begin to surface. Organized crime isn’t done with her yet, and now threatens not just Lara, but those she holds dear. A supportive family may not be enough to shelter Lara from the coming storm, or help her overcome her hidden scars.
The sequel to A Place Far Away, The Doves of Ohanavank poignantly explores the challenges faced by survivors of sex trafficking. Zanoyan’s uncompromising descriptions of the sex trade, coupled with his deeply nuanced characters, create a captivating mystery and psychological tour de force.
A Place Far Away
Lara Galian is a hauntingly beautiful sixteen-year-old from a poor village in Armenia. In a newly independent country, corrupt oligarchs have unprecedented power and considerable leeway to act above the law. When the ruthless Sergei Ayvazian approaches Lara’s father with an offer to manage her through a wonderful and successful modeling career, her father refuses and is subsequently murdered. A month later, Lara’s mother accepts the offer and Lara is whisked away to Sergei’s mansion, only to be violently raped and sent to Moscow. Forced into prostitution, Lara refuses to accept her fate and goes through the motions as she’s moved from Moscow to Dubai and eventually sold into the harem of a local VIP. Facing the horrors of forced prostitution, Lara sets forth to escape while Swiss investigative reporter Edward Laurian works to help Lara and her family from back in Armenia. As plots begin to unfold and crumble all around her, Lara’s chances of escape begin to look increasingly slim, but with unlikely allies, the extraordinary courage and moral fiber of her family, and a spirit that never dies, Lara’s fate is far from sealed. A Place Far Away is a shocking mystery and suspense novel that explores much more than the world of human trafficking and prostitution. Using gripping fiction and suspense to shed light on hard-hitting issues, this groundbreaking and riveting new novel informs while keeping readers completely captivated from the very beginning. Set in a variety of locales like Armenia, Dubai, and Moscow, A Place Far Away by Vahan Zanoyan touches on a variety of social and cultural issues that are rarely seen in today’s literary and entertainment world. A perfect mix between commercial and literary appeal, this novel is wonderfully suited for a wide range of readers, from the socially conscious to thriller fanatics. With captivating mystery and suspense, and a deft touch on appalling social and cultural issues, this enthralling novel is a true one-of-a-kind adventure.