Read the chatscript of Barbara Wood’s February 12, 2014 #litchat session here.
New York Times bestselling author Barbara Wood‘s latest historical novel, The Serpent and the Staff, is set in Ugarit, Syria, 1450 B.C.E., where 18-year-old Leah, the eldest daughter of a wealthy winemaker has passed the traditional age of betrothal. Urged to wed the wealthy but cruel shipbuilder Jotham, Leah declines his offer of marriage after discovering that he and his family suffer from “the falling sickness.” Enraged by her refusal and his ruined reputation, he blackmails Leah’s father, a punishment forgiven only by offering Leah’s hand in marriage. With no more options for another suitor and no male heir for her family, Leah must seek out the cure for Jotham’s sickness or her family will face permanent ruin.
During her quest Leah begins to burn with desire for Daveed, the handsome household scribe whose culture forbids their union. Daveed has been called by the gods to restore the Brotherhood, an elite fraternity of guardians at the great Library of Ugarit, rumored to contain the secret symbol of immortality within its ancient archives. If his plan succeeds, it may also save Leah’s family from disaster. But even Daveed and Leah cannot fathom the extent of Jotham’s sinister schemes to make Leah his bride once and for all.
Barbara Wood is an internationally bestselling author of historical romance novels. After dropping out of the University of California at Santa Barbara in favor of traveling the world, she held such jobs as waitress, secretary, switchboard operator, operating room tech and dog walker. She sold her first novel in 1976 and has to date written 25 books, including 3 under the pen name Kathryn Harvey. Her books have been translated into 30 languages. She lives in Riverside, Calif. with her husband, Walt.
Follow Barbara Wood on Twitter: @BarbaraWoodCom.