Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: Like Gabaldon, Only With A Harem

Word spreads among librarians, and the hunt for Bitchery knowledge is on:

I’ve got a patron looking for a book – She’s knows A LOT about it,
but not enough for me to have any luck trying to find it. I’ve used
NoveList, Amazon & Google, all to no avail. So, I’m hoping someone will
recognize the description and know what she’s talking about.

It’s a series of at least two books (probably historical romance) set
somewhere in the ancient Middle East. She couldn’t remember if it was
Persia, Syria, Byzantine, etc.

The female lead runs away from a harem where she is being held
prisoner/captive. However, she’s forced to leave her younger sister
behind. She travels across the desert and eventually meets a man from
another country, possibly Greece or Rome. I believe he becomes her
love interest. The man has a “side kick/companion” who goes back to
rescue the sister and they eventually become romantically involved, as
well.

The main plot deals with an elixir of immortality or eternal
youth which is being kept in a golden box. The main villain is, of
course, after this magic vial, and he has a whole army of “ninja-like”
men he’s trained to do his bidding. Eventually the 4 main characters
get a hold of the everlasting life potion and use it on themselves.

She equated these books to being on par with Diana Gabaldon, but not
quite so thick; at least one of them was published in hardcover and is
possibly blue.

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  1. 1
    Amanda in Baltimore says:

    Okay, I have no idea about the book, but I have to feel for the Librarian looking for this book. I used to work in a bookstore, and I can’t remember how many times customers would ask for a book in the following manner:

    I don’t remember the title, or the author, but it was about love.

    I remember that the cover of the book was yellow. Yes, it was a yellow book and I have just got to find it.

    So, this romance searcher actually provided tons of information, and I have NO DOUBT that the Bitches will be able to help her find the book, but I am tickled pink that she remembered to note that the cover of the book might have been blue.

  2. 2
    Nat says:

    I don’t read romance unless there are explosions, car chases, headless zombies and/or Japanese swords.

    But I want to read THIS! Someone, please find this book. Please.

    My captcha: youre49. How did you…Hey!

  3. 3
    Nat says:

    Damn. Commented on the wrong post. Sorry :)

  4. 4
    ijinx says:

    It’s Lion’s Bride by Iris Johansen.

  5. 5
    Alyssa says:

    It’s Lion’s Bride by Iris Johansen.

    I knew it sounded familiar! I read part of this one at the bookstore before getting annoyed with the perfection of the heroes and wandering off to find something different.

    I don’t think the cover was blue.

  6. 6
    India says:

    Amanda, my day job is reference librarian, and MY least favorite is the person who just heard about a book on radio/TV and just has to have it because it sounded SO interesting.  Does the patron know the title?  The author?  What the book was about?  NO.  I’m always tempted to ask “then what was so blasted interesting about it???”

  7. 7
    RfP says:

    My last comment vanished into Akismet, so I’ll leave out the link this time. It sounds like two Thea Devines, possibly Bliss River and Beyond Desire.

  8. 8
    Amanda in Baltimore says:

    India – I feel your pain.  We used to keep a list of books mentioned on the Diane Rehm show or the Baltimore equivalent, Marc Steiner, because we’d get people coming in and say,
    “I heard someone talking about a book on Diane Rehmn, and it sounds fantastic. Do you have it?”
    “Do you know the title or author?”
    “No, but they were talking about racing back in the 1950s. And the horse was famous. And the jockey, or somebody, got really sick. I just sounded like a really good book.”
    “Ummmm. You might be talking about Seabiscuit.”

    Meanwhile you are thinking, “it was the 30s and the AUTHOR is the one who is really ill.” (commence banging head on desk)

    My favorite customer really was the one who asked for the yellow book about love…in a bookstore with tens of thousands of titles, I feel fairly sure there were a couple of yellow books that mentioned love…

  9. 9
    Tina C. says:

    It’s Lion’s Bride by Iris Johansen.

    You beat me to it!  And this is the first one I’ve ever known the answer to, too!

  10. 10
    RebeccaJ says:

    Okay, I have no idea about the book, but I have to feel for the Librarian looking for this book. I used to work in a bookstore, and I can’t remember how many times customers would ask for a book in the following manner:

    I don’t remember the title, or the author, but it was about love.

    Almost as funny as working in a music store and someone comes in looking for a title, offering to “sing a little bit” of it.  SPOILER ALERT:  It NEVER sounds like the real song!!

  11. 11
    Jessica G. says:

    For those who liked this book, you might also like “Assassins of Tamurin” by S.D. Tower. It’s a standalone romantic fantasy novel published a few years ago.

  12. 12
    Cathy says:

    Iris Johansen is like Diana Gabaldon???

    OK, I like them both, but this comparison is a bit mind boggling.

  13. 13
    UndomielDoe says:

    Sounds like she mashed up Lion’s Bride and The Treasure by Iris Johansen.

  14. 14
    Amanda Blair says:

    Yeah, it sounds like two books got mashed together.  The first part about the harem is definitely Lion’s Bride.  But the part about the elixir is not.

  15. 15
    Deb Kinnard says:

    One of my dearest friends is a reference librarian. She cites a story about one such who was asked for pictures of unicorns. She obligingly found a couple of legend/mythology books with fantasy creatures in them. “No, no,” moaned the library patron. “I need PHOTOGRAPHS!”

    A true story. Truly.

  16. 16
    Judy says:

    Re book color:  I am a law librarian and we routinely have patrons coming in asking for the book that the case they are looking for that will prove their case but can’t remember the names of the parties involved, etc., etc. but it is a tan or brown book The problem is, all the reporters are the same color, size, shape and there are thousands of them side by side on the shelves….

  17. 17
    JamiSings says:

    @Deb -

    One of my dearest friends is a reference librarian. She cites a story about one such who was asked for pictures of unicorns. She obligingly found a couple of legend/mythology books with fantasy creatures in them. “No, no,” moaned the library patron. “I need PHOTOGRAPHS!”

    To be fair there is a way to surgically alter a goat or bull to have a single horn. The horn buds are not attached to the skull when they’re young. So you just transplant them to the middle of their forehead and as they grow they’re pliable enough to twist them together.

    One vet who did this to a bull calf watched as the calf grew up and adapted to having only one horn. The calf, once it was a bull, found it could use it’s single horn to lift up barbed wire enough that other cows could get out of the meadow and other places to feed.

    Basically, there are unicorns – made by surgery, so the lady could’ve had photographs.

    I often wondered if one could transplant the horn buds of a goat to a horse and make our modern day version of the unicorn.

    On a side note I remember watching this talk show where there was a guy who had his face tattooed to look demonic and he was saying how he next planned to have horn shaped pieces of coal implanted because coal can turn to bone and once it took root and started to grow he was going to scrap his skin off of the horns so he’d look even more like the stereotypical version of the devil.

    I wonder if he ever succeeded.

    And I know way too much weird and useless trivia. Again, no wonder I’m single!

  18. 18
    Melissa says:

    Part is from The Lion’s Bride by Iris Johansen – the harem part

    Part is from The Treasure by Iris Johansen – the “eternal life” elixir part

    The Lion’s Bride is a great medieval romance. The Treasure was disappointing as a romance, proving again that romance author who move to suspense have trouble returning to romance. I was happy to see the sequel to The Lion’s Bride that I had been waiting to read for ten years – but I was disappointed to see the story be about some treasure and have the romance be so lacking. The love scenes were almost fade to black in The Treasure which sucked because Iris Johansen wrote some super hot scenes in her earlier books (including The Lion’s Bride).

  19. 19
    Mary Harris says:

    For pictures of unicorns look up Robert Vavra Unicorns I have known or here http://www.robertvavra.com/stock_unicorns1.html

    I got a calendar of his as a gift one year. Perfect gift for the horse crazy adolescent. I remember reading in an interview of his of him setting up a photo shoot in a meadow and a school bus that was going by stopping and all the kids running out to see the “real uncorn”

  20. 20
    JamiSings says:

    ARG! Coral not coal! *facepalm* I am an idiot.

    An idiot who knows a ton of useless trivia, but still an idiot.

  21. 21
    Kiersten says:

    Y’all beat me to Lion’s Bride and The Treasure. I totally agree with Melissa re both these two books. I still have my original copy of Lion’s Bride on a shelf somewhere. It involved a lot of weaving too and a stubborn insistence on silkworms on the part of the heroine. IJ was great with these books – even if they were basically the same for awhile – and I never really developed the same affection for her “suspense” novels after UGLY DUCKLING and one of two after that (my usual response: oh jeez, ANOTHER Eve Duncan book?!)

  22. 22
    Cfarley says:

    Having worked retail books and music I have had all those incidents happen.  I used to wait for someone to come in and sing the book for me…. Re. odd facial decisions, I also was a schoolteacher for 25 yrs and spent a decade working with troubled teens. About 5 yrs ago we had a 17 yr old male come in with surgically altered teeth to create vampire fangs.  He told me his grandmother had spent $700 to have a dentist make them for him.  Watching him eat nachos was a total trip.  He later had his eyebrows tattooed red and a red goatee applied to his chin as well.  About that time we had so many student complaints that we tried to move him to Independent Study.  His long term goal was to have the coral horns too. xxoocf

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