A Benedictine monastery called Emmaus has been standing on a hill overlooking the city of Prague since 1348. Around the same time that the Black Death came to its doors, so did a mysterious book. The monk who delivered it said that if someone inquires as to its existence, it must be denied. If someone were to learn of its contents, that person must be killed. The Holy Roman Church could be undone by its secrets. Hidden in the monastery by an elderly translator, and lost after his death, the book has long been the subject of searches…first by two young monks in 1373, then by the Nazis in 1944, and finally by a beautiful professor and her graduate assistant in 2022. Some will search, some will fall in love, some will die, and some will find…The Book of Emmaus. The Book of Emmaus will be in bookstores everywhere in July 2022. Published by Encircle Publications, it is distributed by Ingram. Author’s bio Kevin St. Jarre is the author of Absence of Grace (April 2022), The Twin (Oct. 2021), Celestine (May 2021), and Aliens, Drywall, and a Unicycle (Nov. 2021), all from Encircle Publications. His next novel, The Book of Emmaus, is due to be published in July 2022. He’s a published poet, an essayist, and his Pushcart-nominated short fiction has appeared in journals such as Story and Solstice Literary Magazine. Kevin has been invited to present at numerous conferences. He has worked as a teacher, a newspaper reporter, an international corporate consultant, and he earned an MFA in Creative Writing from the Stonecoast program. Twice awarded scholarships, he studied at the Norman Mailer Writers Center on Cape Cod, MA, with Sigrid Nunez and David Black. He is a member of NHWP, MWPA, and International Thriller Writers. Follow Kevin on Twitter @kstjarre. He now lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, but grew up in the state’s northernmost town of Madawaska.
Publication date: July 23, 2022 Mystery/Supernatural/Suspense 175 pages Paperback ISBN 13: 978-1-64599-160-1 $14.99
Hardcover ISBN 13: 978-1-64599-163-2 $24.99
E-book ISBN 13: 978-1-64599-161-8 $5.99
Kindle ISBN 13: 978-1-64599-162-5 $5.99
Q: What was the inspiration for The Book of Emmaus?
KS: I have been fascinated and in love with Prague for decades, even before my first visit to the city in late 1990. When I learned that the Reims Gospel in France originated in Prague, at a monastery called Emmaus, I made me think not only of the stories written on documents going back to the 14th century, but also the stories of the documents themselves. Who wrote them, translated them, transported and safeguarded them, and at what cost?
Q: So it’s really about the people around these documents?
KS: Yes, and the power that came with knowledge of and possession of these manuscripts.
Q: How is this novel different, or the same, from your previous novels?
KS: Well, I probably drive the bookstores a bit crazy, because for a person stocking shelves, my work would seem to be all over the place. One book might be called literary fiction or absurdism, another may be YA or psych thriller, another is historical fiction, or even horror, and then there is The Book of Emmaus, which is at its heart a mystery. However, what they all have in common are protagonists, main characters, searching for their places in the world, while looking internally for answers.
Q: Do they find answers?
KS: Some of my novels feature a person who experiences tremendous personal growth and attains new self-awareness, while others don’t end quite so happily.
Q: What’s next? A sequel perhaps?
KS: I tend to write standalone books. Personally, I love to read, but I sometimes hesitate to buy a book when I see that it’s part of a series. If I’m in a bookstore and I pick up the first book in a series, I hesitate because I’m not sure I’ll want to buy the second book, and I almost feel like that’s the expectation. If the book I lift off the shelf is the second or third book in a series, I feel as though I should start with the first book. So, what’s next for my writing? Another absurdist novel, examining all of us, centered around a small mid-coast town and the people in it, titled Paris, California.