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Author Q&A ft Carol DeMent | SAVING NARY Book Tour | Goddess Fish Promotions Presents #Fiction

Goddess Fish Promotions has organized a Virtual Name Before the Masses Tour for SAVING NARY by Carol DeMent, a fiction novel available now...

Goddess Fish Promotions has organized a Virtual Name Before the Masses Tour for SAVING NARY by Carol DeMent, a fiction novel available now.

Carol DeMent will be awarding $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Be sure to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found at the bottom of the post.

Saving Nary
by Carol DeMent


GENRE: Fictional



A Finalist in the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Saving Nary explores the losses, loyalties and secrets held within families broken by war and genocide. This compelling novel presents a palette of unique characters who struggle to make sense of the events that led them to America, even as they ponder the bewildering culture and lifestyle of their new homeland.

Refugee Khath Sophal lost everything when the Khmer Rouge swept into power in Cambodia: his livelihood gone, his family dead or missing; his sanity barely intact from the brutality he has been forced to witness.

Now resettled in the Pacific Northwest, Khath treads a narrow path between the horrors of his past and the uncertainties of the present. His nights are filled with twisted dreams of torture and death. By day he must guard constantly against the flashbacks triggered by the simple acts of daily living, made strange in a culture he does not understand.

Then Khath meets Nary, a mysterious and troubled Cambodian girl whose presence is both an aching reminder of the daughters he has lost, and living proof that his girls, too, could still be alive. Nary’s mother Phally, however, is another matter. A terrible suspicion grows in Khath’s mind that Phally is not who or what she claims to be. A split develops in the community between those who believe Phally and those who believe Khath. And those, it seems, who don’t really care who is right but just want to stir up trouble for their own personal gain.

Khath’s search for the truth leads him to the brink of the brutality he so despises in the Khmer Rouge. His struggle to wrest a confession from Phally ultimately forces him to face his own past and unravel the mystery of his missing daughters.



As the sun rose, Khath sat cross-legged in a lotus position in the small Buddhist temple nestled below Khao I Dang Mountain. The barbed wire perimeter fence separated the mountain from the refugee camp, but the mountain lent its power to the area nonetheless. Pra Chhay and two other monks chanted the Heart Sutra, a prayer of enlightenment, the rhythmic drone rising and falling in a soothing and familiar hum as the scent of incense hung heavily in the hot, humid air. About thirty refugees sat on the straw mats covering the wooden floor of the bamboo temple. The lips of many were moving as they softly chanted along with the monks.

Khath’s lips remained still, his heart empty. If asked, he would not disavow the teachings. He believed the teachings, yet the words of the Buddha had lost the power to move or to comfort him. He felt somehow distant from the teachings, as though they controlled behavior on a different world from the one he inhabited. It was a very lonely feeling.

The monks chanted on, a background hum that began to irritate Khath. He might as well be listening to the drone of mosquitoes as he toiled on the dikes under the watchful eyes of the Khmer Rouge, their guns aimed and ready, afraid to brush the insects away from his face lest he be beaten for not putting full attention into his work.

Observing the others in the temple, Khath envied them their faith. Pra Chhay often said there were two levels of Buddhism, one being the simple devotions taught to uneducated villagers; the other consisting of the higher practices and theories studied by the scholar monks.

Neither, Khath reflected sadly, could shed much light for him on the blood lust that had gripped Cambodia under Pol Pot. Abruptly, Khath stood and backed out of the temple, keeping his head low, hands clasped and body bent over as tradition demanded, never turning his back to the Buddha. It did no harm to be respectful when doing otherwise would be a useless insult that served only to draw attention and anger to- ward him.

The temple, run by camp residents, stood next to a Christian church operated by foreign missionaries and refugee converts. As Khath passed the church, a man about his own age came down the steps towards him. Tall and lanky, in contrast to Khath’s compact body, the man fell into step beside Khath.

“Leaving so soon?” he asked.

Khath glanced at the man and kept walking without responding. “I used to go to the temple,” the man said. “But the Buddha

...he just sits quietly on the lotus throne, yes? Maybe he naps, happy, calm. Not like me. My world is gone, my family gone, and Buddha still sits, calm and happy. What can he know of the pain in my heart?”

His interest piqued, Khath stopped and faced the man. “And what about the Christian God? What does he know?”

“Oh. Everything. They say he is everywhere, all the time. And that he is very powerful, and can do anything. He can make a big flood, and destroy the earth. Khmer Rouge is nothing for him.” The tall man grinned. “But he loves the good people, so nothing to fear.”

The man’s smile was infectious. Khath felt the corners of his own mouth twitch upwards. “How does he know who is good and who is not?”

“Oh. Easy. They sprinkle some water on you, make a mark, and then God knows.”

The man’s smile faded and he shrugged. “I don’t know if it’s true, but the people are nice. Sometimes I feel happy there. And the pastor says it might help us to find a sponsor from a church in America.”

A flutter of excitement started in Khath’s stomach and moved upwards. Only yesterday he had agreed to go to America if the US would take him. Now, a man stood before him offering him a way to improve his chances of finding an American sponsor.

He had passed this church a thousand times on his way to and from the temple and never before had anyone approached him. Was it a sign? An omen confirming that the decision to search for his daughters from America was the correct one?

Khath glanced back down the road, longing to run into the temple and consult the oracle sticks about this new development. The slender bamboo sticks, each imprinted with a number, were gathered into a long bamboo sleeve off to the side of the altar. Many times when grave decisions were necessary, Khath had shaken the sleeve gently, the soft, hissing rattle of the dry sticks muting the sound of his whispered prayers until one stick broke
free of the others and fell to the floor. The numbered stick was then matched with a corresponding sutra verse or parable. Khath always found the advice of the oracle sticks to be profound and relevant. He turned his gaze back to the tall man beside him.



Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
Saving Nary appeals to a wide swath of the reading public.  Persons who lived through the Vietnam War era, children and grandchildren of Cambodian refugees, and persons who were or are now involved in refugee issues or those who simply enjoy reading and learning about other cultures love this book!  I always thought this book would be an excellent choice for book groups to read and discuss, and this has proven to be the case.  

How did you come up with the title of your book or series?
Excellent question!  You will find that one of the primary motivating factors in a family’s decision to flee a dangerous situation and become refugees is concern for the children.  Parents universally want to protect their children and provide a better future for them.  In this novel, Nary is a Cambodian child and the actions of the main characters in the book all derive from a desire to protect her from harm (with one notable exception!). Metaphorically, Nary represents all children of war.

Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular design?
A bit of a funny story here….I spent hours searching on-line for photos or graphics of Cambodia that would be suitable for my book cover.  Just could not find exactly what I was looking for and teetered on the brink of despair for a bit, until I thought, “Hey, wait a minute.  I went to Cambodia.  I took pictures!” I looked through my own photos and found an image that is hauntingly beautiful and provided space for text against a background of blue sky.  Perfect!  It is a very simple design, luckily for me, as my graphic arts design skills are pretty minimal.

Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:
What other books are similar to your own?  What makes them alike?
Many readers have told me that what they appreciate so much about Saving Nary is that it allows them to see their own (American) culture through the eyes of a newcomer trying to adjust to life here. Other books about refugees often stop short of exploring life for the refugee after they make it to relative safety in a resettlement country. Saving Nary integrates the very challenging and often humorous aspects of cultural adjustment into the main storyline, and explores how past trauma affects that process.

Where did your love of reading/storytelling/writing/etc. come from?
My mother read to me a lot as a child, plus we lived out in the country so reading was a way to pass the time.  Our home was filled with books and it was just something we all did.  When I was in fifth grade, I was given a diary and that was what started my habits of constant scribbling and self-expression through words.

What's the strangest thing you have ever had to research online for your book?
In my next novel, a girl has her first period so I had to research feminine hygiene products available in 1898!  Hope I didn’t just lose all my male readers with that statement!  There’s much more to the book than that!

How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
I have a website: that tells you about me, my first novel (Saving Nary) and two projects I am working on now.  One is a memoir of my years in the Peace Corps, and one is my second novel set in Montana in the late 1800s/early 1900s that encompasses the Boxer Rebellion in China, the role of Chinese immigrants in settling the West, a bit about the suffragettes and a young girl coming of age in a turbulent time.  Take a peek and let me know what you think!

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
Readers can help a book fly by posting reviews on-line, and through print outlets,  telling their friends about the book, asking their local libraries, high schools and bookstores to order the book, and helping to spread the word through their own networks and book groups.  There are so many good books available today, anything that helps raise the visibility of a novel is very helpful.  On that note, thank you so much for this opportunity to appear on your blog!


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Carol DeMent worked in the field of South East Asian refugee resettlement for seven years, and completed master's level research into international refugee resettlement policy. She lived for two years in Thailand as a Peace Corps volunteer and has traveled extensively in South East Asia. Her first novel, Saving Nary, was a  Finalist in the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.



Carol DeMent will be awarding $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

September 7: Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews
September 14: Christine Young
September 21: Long and Short Reviews
September 28: Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews
October 5: T's Stuff
October 5: Author C.A.Milson
October 12: Beyond Romance
October 19: Hope. Dreams. Life... Love
October 26: Dina Rae's Write Stuff
November 2: Locks, Hooks and Books- review only
November 9: Independent Authors
November 16: Readeropolis
November 30: Jennifer C. Wilson: Paranormal Historical Fiction Author
December 7: Angels With Attitude Book Reviews
December 14: Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer
December 21: It's Raining Books
January 4: Mixed Book Bag


  1. congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win

  2. Thanks for sharing & for the great giveaway :)

  3. I was just wondering what the author is working on next?

  4. What advice do you give to aspiring authors?

  5. From the time you started submitting your writing to when you found out you were being published, how long did that take?

  6. What kind of books do you like to read?

  7. Congrats on the new book and good luck on the book tour!

  8. ANy books or authors you could recommend?

  9. What's your writing process/routine like?

  10. How long did it take you to write and edit your book?

  11. What special thing are you hoping is under your Christmas tree?

  12. Are you planning on writing anything else?

  13. What types of genres do you enjoy reading?

  14. I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year!!


Get carried away with love!