A nerve-wracking, vibrantly dramatic tale ...  - Kirkus Reviews

In Rising’s debut thriller, a Texas college professor in 1977 tries to prove the innocence of her young student, a suspected terrorist imprisoned in Israel.

Political science professor Caroline Cavanaugh is shocked when she hears that Israeli authorities have detained 22-year-old Lydia Sheperd, one of her students at the University of Texas. When FBI agents question Caroline, as well as Lydia’s grandmother Norma Rodriguez, it’s clear that the feds believe that their suspect is associated with the Palestine Liberation Organization. Over the last 10 months, Caroline had grown close to Lydia ... The young woman staunchly supported and sympathized with Palestine, as she’d seen some of its people, who were sickly and living in poverty. Caroline is baffled about why Lydia was in Israel, though, [and] ... she learns about several other things that Lydia kept to herself .....

A nerve-racking, vibrantly dramatic tale with an empathetic protagonist. 


Long after you finish, their story will continue to haunt you.

If you are looking for a good escape, search no further. The author immediately sweeps you into The Camel and Scorpion with such skill that you are right there, inside the main character, caught in a world of conflict and contradictions that makes you forget everything else.

C.C. Rising's characters are so real, so interesting, that if you have to put the book down - and believe me, you won't want to because the suspense builds with each chapter - you will find yourself half expecting to see them in your own world, driving past your car, sitting in a local café, or walking in the park.  

Though set in the 1970s with skillful attention to detail, the challenges these characters face are universal, not restricted to time, locale .... or culture.

Long after you finish, their story will continue to haunt you. And serve as a reminder that nothing is ever as it seems.

By Mary G. Montgomery
Author of Greywolf and Awakening From Cancer 


... who, exactly, is Lydia Sheperd? 

Caroline Cavanaugh, a young college professor, finds herself inadvertently drawn into an international intrigue by a student she has befriended. But who, exactly, is Lydia Sheperd? Is she an innocent victim of circumstances and appearances? Or has she been engaging in espionage at the behest of her on-again, off-again Palestinian boyfriend? As Caroline stands up for this young woman, she learns lessons that her graduate studies never taught her. And she embarks on an unexpected journey of self-discovery, one that will upend and change her life forever. The Camel and the Scorpion is a fresh, on-the-ground look at Arab-Israeli politics, as well as a gentle exploration of personal identity.

By S. Watkins
Manhattan Beach, California


... an informative and a compelling read ... 

The Camel and the Scorpion takes the reader into the murky world of international politics through the eyes of an intelligent but naïve young teacher who gets drawn into more than she expected.  I have little background in the Middle East, but I found The Camel and the Scorpion both an informative and a compelling read, starting with the anecdote at the beginning which sets the tone for the entire novel.

By Shirley Carnahan, Ph.D.
Senior Instructor, Humanities
University of Colorado - Boulder


.... like eating some really good Texas barbecue ribs that someone else has prepared - delicious and meaty.

"The Camel and the Scorpion is a fast and entertaining read, and at the same time, it provokes thought about how things have changed in the 1970s - and not changed - in many arenas. In fact, it's remarkable, really, how timely the issues in The Camel and the Scorpion remain today.

Another thing that stays in my mind is the courage shown by the two main characters, Caroline and Lydia, when they step up for their convictions despite the risks to themselves professionally or personally. Because of her innate shyness, it's especially daunting for Caroline to put herself in front of a harsh spotlight.

Now that I think of it, Caroline and Lydia aren't the only women in the book who exhibit such courage.

There's a strong sense of time and place (in Texas) in the story, which I always like to feel. I also like when an author weaves in a song playlist that sheds more light on a time, place, character, and events.

Because I'm writing this review over the Memorial Day weekend, I'll say that reading The Camel and the Scorpion is like eating some really good, Texas barbecue ribs that someone else has prepared - delicious and meaty."

By Showme on Goodreads