A DIVINE WINK: WHEN LOVE AND RELIGION BECOME RIVALS

Michael Wright

Book Cover

GENRE

ROMANCE RELIGIOUS DRAMA FAMILY

    Core Theme

    FAITH, FORBIDDEN LOVE

    TIME PERIOD

    Contemporary,2000s

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    LITTLE JERUSALEM, OUT IN THE DARK, EVERY TIME WE SAY GOODBYE, A LOVE DIVIDED, ACROSS THE CRESCENT MOON

    CHARACTER LIST

    • ADEELAH: 20’S. SHELTERED, DEVOUT MUSLIM.

    • MARTIN: 20S. STRONG, DEVOUT CHRISTIAN.

    • OMAR: 50S, TRADITIONAL, AUTHORITARIAN, ADEELAH’S FATHER

    • KAREENA: 50S, LOVING, PASSIVE, ADEELAH’S MOTHER HABIB: TEENS, IMPRESSIONABLE, CONFUSED, ADEELAH’S BROTHER

    • FAHIM: 20S, TRADITIONAL, SELFISH, ADEELAH’S INTENDED

    • JAVID RAJPUT: INTELLIGENT, TOLERANT, IMAN WHO DISCUSSES ISLAM WITH MARTIN

    Logline

    Adeelah meets Martin, a Christian–a dangerous liaison for a Muslim woman that leads to a private war. Adeelah knows her relationship with a non-Muslim man is taboo in her Islamic world. But she can’t resist the forbidden love that invades her soul, and Adeelah and Martin dare to love each other.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 13-17,18-34,55+,35-54

    Target Gender: Universal,Female Leaning,Other

    Setting

    Augusta, Georgia

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: with a Publisher

    Publisher: Lulu

    Year Published: 2020

    Starting Description

    Sarah said, "Welcome to the City of Waynesboro.” Adeelah just accepted an employment offer. Fire Chief Martin, one of the managers she meets, completed his last bench press repetition. Adeelah’s religious eyes almost popped out of her head when she saw this semi-nude, muscular man.

    Ending Description

    Addressing reticent members of his church, Martin said, “The Apostle Paul wrote, ‘To the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain Jews.’ Paul is not alive today, but I am. And to the Muslims, I became as a Muslim, and I have won a Muslim who I now cherish as my wife–Adeelah, the love of my life.”

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    9781684718627

    Mature Audience Themes

    Information not completed

    Plot - Other Elements

    Happy Ending,Meaningful Message,Philosophical Questions

    Plot - Premise

    Overcoming Monster/Villain,Quest

    Main Character Details

    Name: Martin Webster

    Age: 30s

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Aspiring,Charming,Confident,Decisive,Desperate,Engaging,Faithful,Heroic,Educated,Honorable,Leader,Masculine,Religious,Skillful,Romantic,Strong Moral Code,Heartthrob

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Adeelah El-Sayed

    Age: Mid 20s

    Gender: Female

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Charming,Confident,Engaging,Gracious,Heartthrob,Educated,Religious,Romantic,Strong Moral Code,Desperate,Faithful

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Omar El-Sayed

    Age: 50s

    Gender: Male

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Confident,Decisive,Educated,Masculine,Religious,Blunt,Strong Moral Code,Honorable

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Mark Sawyer

    Age: Mid 30s

    Gender: Male

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Confident,Decisive,Gracious,Educated,Honorable,Leader,Masculine,Religious,Skillful,Strong Moral Code,Unapologetic

    Development Pitch

    Adeelah El-Sayed meets Martin Webster, a Christian--a dangerous liaison for a Muslim woman that leads to a private war. The first battle comes from within. Adeelah knows this attraction to a non-Muslim man is taboo in her Islamic world. But she loses this battle. She cannot overcome the forbidden love that invades her soul, and she hopelessly surrenders. Together Martin and Adeelah face more attacks from mosque, church, and their two families, all because they dare to love each other. Their religions are important to both of them, but their religions become their most vicious rivals. In this Romeo and Juliet romance novel, Adeelah and Martin face insurmountable opposition from all sides. Adeelah’s father forbids their relationship. After difficult, infrequent clandestine encounters, Adeelah breaks up with Martin. Adeelah’s father tries to coerce her into an arranged marriage with Doctor Fahim Bakkari from Morocco--a family friend. But that effort fails; Adeelah will have none of it. Martin honestly tries to rekindle a relationship with Rosalyn. But these efforts cannot stand up to the strength of their love. Providential events bring them back together, but opposition continues, to include two more unexpected attacks: Doctor Bakkari kidnaps Adeelah to force her to marry him, and there is a white supremacist attack that leads to family tragedy. Martin and Adeelah come to believe that there is a Divine wink at the religious ignorance that conspires to keep them apart.

    Genre

    ROMANCE, RELIGION, DRAMA

    Brief

    A young woman from a traditional Muslim household and a devoutly Christian man from an evangelical family fall in love. They face an uphill battle as they strive for acceptance from their seemingly opposing religions, distraught parents, and a judgmental society as a whole.

    Overall Rating

    FAIR

    Point of View

    THIRD PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: FAIR

    Characterization: FAIR

    Commerciality: FAIR

    Franchise Potential: FAIR

    Pace: FAIR

    Premise: GOOD

    Structure: FAIR

    Theme: GOOD

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    Yes, it does reflect the book.

    Draw of Story

    The forbidden love story.

    Possible Drawbacks

    There is a formality and repetitiveness that makes the book less engaging to a reader.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    The story of a forbidden love is a universally relatable theme.

    Fanbase Potential

    The story is so specific that it would most likely have a limited audience.

    Awards Potential

    It would need to be significantly rewritten and developed to get it ready to be brought to the screen. However, the essence of the story is quite relevant and could garner some interest in a thematic sense.

    Envisioned Budget

    LOW BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    LITTLE JERUSALEM, OUT IN THE DARK, EVERY TIME WE SAY GOODBYE, A LOVE DIVIDED, ACROSS THE CRESCENT MOON

    What’s New About the Story

    The story of love between two people from opposing religions and backgrounds is a familiar story, but the creative way that Islam and Christianity are reconciled is original. Another way to make the story more unique would be to make the characters individual and not just a composite of religious dogma and stereotypes.

    Lead Characters

    The different religions of the lead characters and how their faith advises their entire lives is what makes them stand out.

    Uniqueness of Story

    It can be a gem if the characters are more distinctive.

    Possible Formats

    Film - Indie, Film - Streaming, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series, TV Series - Streaming

    Analyst Recommendation

    WORK IN PROGRESS

    Justification

    Each character speaks in the exact same formal way - so everything remains one note. This severely hinders the development of the characters and the audience’s ability to empathize with them. Each character relays exposition or details in the exact same way, sometimes in exactly the same words; which is repetitive and slows the pace of the story significantly.

    Tips for Improvement

    Each character should be redrawn to reflect their unique personalities and style. Keep the repetition of details to a minimum or at least find new ways to express the same details, to keep the story moving forward and the audience engaged.

    Brief

    A young woman from a traditional Muslim household and a devout Christian man from an evangelical family fall in love. They face an uphill battle as they strive for acceptance from their seemingly opposing religions, distraught parents, and a judgmental society as a whole.

    What We Liked

    - The story of love between two people from opposing religions and backgrounds is a universally relatable concept. Also, the creative way that Islam and Christianity are reconciled in the story is original and thought-provoking.
    - Film: A feature adaptation of the story focusing mostly on the love story and the agonizing road to finding a way to be together could be a compelling film.
    - TV: Adapting the book into a limited television series could be a good way to explore the different themes, such as Islam, Christianity, cultural differences, hate crimes, intolerance vs. tolerance, etc.
    - Key points: Female lead; Balanced look at two world religions; Exploration of personal faith; Relevant themes and concepts; Happy ending.

    Synopsis

    Adeelah is a young woman of Moroccan descent from a traditional Muslim home. Even though she has a successful career of her own, she lives at home with her parents, Omar, Kareena, and her brother, Habib. As a testament to their traditional values, Adeelah’s family plans to arrange her marriage to a Muslim man also of Moroccan descent. Adeelah gets a new job with the city and as she is introduced to all the department heads, she meets Martin, the head of the fire department. He is muscular and kind. She is instantly attracted to him. When they meet again at the local diner, it is clear that he is interested in her as well. They go on a date, they really hit it off and things start to get serious quickly, though they are keeping their relationship a secret from their families. As they start to fall in love, it is clear that their different religions are going to present a problem. Adeelah takes her faith very seriously and her parents only want her to marry a Muslim man. Martin also takes his evangelical Christian faith very seriously and his parents would like him to marry a Christian woman. When their relationship is discovered, Omar forbids them from seeing each other. Adeelah reluctantly complies, but when she meets Fahim, the man her parents have chosen for her to marry, she tells him that she is not interested. Adeelah is heartbroken when she sees Martin at the mall walking hand in hand with his new girlfriend, Rosalyn. When Adeelah’s parents see the visceral reaction she has at seeing Martin with Rosalyn, they feel conflicted, but still hold to their beliefs.

    Adeelah is in a horrific car accident. Martin, being a first responder, is the first person on the scene. Adeelah is gravely injured and he does his best to stabilize her until she can be transferred to the hospital. As she lies in a coma, Martin doesn’t want to leave her side. Omar and Kareena reluctantly let him stay since he saved their daughter’s life. As they all sit in vigil at her bedside, they begin to like him and consider that maybe if he converts to Islam, they would condone the relationship. After Adeelah recovers from her accident, Martin begins to visit Javed Rajput, the Imam at Adeelah’s mosque. He is an educated and tolerant Muslim. He welcomes the discussions with Martin as he attempts to reconcile converting to Islam while also remaining a Christian. Martin has many discussions with his family and his own pastor on the same subject as well. When Fahim hears that Adeelah and Martin have gotten back together, he is distraught. He convinces Habib that his sister will go to Hell if she marries Martin. Being impressionable, Habib agrees to help Fahim kidnap Adeelah and force her to marry him in a mosque in another state.

    Adeelah is drugged and thrown into the trunk of a car by Fahim and Habib. When she awakes, she is able to call for help. Adeelah escapes and Fahim and Habib are arrested. The family is devastated by this, but ask for leniency from the judge at trial. Fahim is forced to serve a sentence of 3 years, but Habib only gets 1 year. Adeelah forgives her brother for his involvement in the crime.

    Martin and Adeelah become engaged. Both families are happy since Martin will convert to Islam, but also remain a Christian. They will attend worship services at both the mosque and the church. While attending a service at the mosque, a mass shooting takes place. Kareena loses her life in the massacre. Habib is released from prison so he can attend his mother’s funeral.

    After a mourning period and a year-long wait, Martin and Adeelah are finally married in a Moroccan ceremony. They take a honeymoon to Morocco and embrace their cultural differences. Adeelah testifies to her love of Martin and the reconciliation of their distinctive faiths as the book ends.

    About The Author

    Captain Michael Wright, a retired Air Force officer, served as a meteorologist. He forecasted weather in areas ranging from the Amazon jungle in South America to the Space Shuttle program. Captain Wright also taught National Security at Bowling Green State University in Ohio as an Assistant Professor. Fluent in Spanish, in addition to English, Michael has worked in many countries in Central and South America as well as Spain and Morocco. He lived in the Republic of Panama for six years, where he met his wife, Dalys. After his Air Force career, he returned to college, earned a second bachelor's degree in accounting, graduated summa cum laude, and earned his credential in Florida as a Certified Public Accountant. He also has a master's degree in public administration, and a theology degree. Michael recently retired as a municipal finance manager and closed his profitable tax and accounting business. He has now started his third career as an author, he maintains a blog entitled, A Divine Wink, and he is a Program Director for Peace Catalyst International. Michael served five years as a City Council member in Orange City, Florida, and he plays the flute in a local orchestra.