Joann Davis has spent most of her career working with books. A former news editor at Publishers Weekly, an editor at the publishing imprints Warner Books, William Morrow, and HarperCollins, Davis acquired and edited a number of best-sellers, among them The Celestine Prophecy. Her latest project is The Book of the Shepherd (HarperStudio), part allegory, part adventure. Davis "discovered" this rare antiquarian book in the disheveled study of an old Vermont farmhouse and felt obligated to get the volume translated. It took nearly a year, with help from experts at great universities who could discern the strange hybrid language in which the text is written. The result is The Book of the Shepherd, a timeless story, full of life lessons for us all.
Inspired by her career in publishing and as a writer and the message of The Book of the Shepherd, Davis has spoken at conferences, universities, and writers' groups across the country. She is the author of nine books including, The Best Things in Life Aren't Things, What I Love Most About You, The Little Secret that Can Change Your Life, and A Friend is a Gift. Her books have been published in Italy, Mexico, Japan, and Indonesia.
Set in a mythical time, in an unnamed land, The Book of the Shepherd opens with a small boy being mercilessly beaten by his father in the market. A shepherd who witnesses the beating knows it is done in accordance with the law of filial infractions. But the shepherd wonders if there is another way besides the harsh code of "an eye for an eye" that guides his world.
Called by a dream, the shepherd sets off on an uncertain journey to find "the new way." Accompanied by Elizabeth, a former slave who radiates a spirit of relentless goodness and "reckless generosity;" and David, the boy beaten in the market who must learn to walk in new shoes, the shepherd leads his new friends over hills and dale, through villages and towns, guided by an old map given to Elizabeth by her dying grandfather. The travelers press on, motivated by the prediction of Elizabeth's grandfather that "an age of miracles" will come when the new way is found.
But the journey is long and not without incident.
As Joshua, Elizabeth, and David head toward a treacherous cave beneath the cliffs near the Great Inland Sea, they meet a cast of extraordinary characters, including The Story Teller, the Apothecary, the Blind Man, and the Stranger. Each imparts an important story and lesson that pushes the travelers toward their encounter with destiny. Reaching the cave, where profound secrets have long been hidden, Joshua will be severely tested to see if he can "bring forth what is within him." But he, Elizabeth, and David will also discover an important truth...sometimes the treasure we seek has been inside us all along.
Davis is married to New York Times best-selling author Kenneth C. Davis, who wrote the million-copy-selling book Don't Know Much About History and instant best-seller America's Hidden History. They have two grown children and divide their time between New York City and Dorset, Vermont.
Praise for the The Book of the Shepherd:
"The Book of the Shepherd is a timeless story about one man who is seeking 'the new way,' is an inspiring and moving fable." -- Paulo Coelho, author of The Alchemist
"The Book of the Shepherd carries readers to a place too rarely visited in this hard world, a place where love and forgiveness triumph over our worst instincts. We are better people for becoming our own guides on this journey. Read The Book of the Shepherd and discover an untraveled highway." -- Meredith Vieira, co-host of the Today Show and Richard M. Cohen, New York Times best-selling author of Strong at the Broken Places and Blindsided
"In The Book of the Shepherd, Joann Davis presents us with an insightful tale that cuts through the noise and truly inspires. At a time when many people write about changing the world, she offers a simple journey that vividly demonstrates the importance of every act. An energizing read." -- James Redfield, #1 International best-selling author of The Celestine Prophecy
"A simple and profound parable that engages the heart. A delightful story that even children can enjoy and yet full of deeper meaning and direction for all truth seekers. The Book of the Shepherd should become a classic in every home." -- Hyrum Smith, Co-founder of FranklinCovey, Founder of Galileo Initiative and author of 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management and What Matters Most: The Power of Living Your Values
"...as hypnotic as The Arabian Nights and as life-changing as Paolo Coelho's The Alchemist. The Book of the Shepherd stirs, cajoles, reeducates, challenges and converts the reader with its touchstones, revelations, and landmarks: how to live with truth, love and beauty for peace, balance and harmony. I was moved to tears." -- Albert Gaulden, author of You're Not Who You Think You Are
"A timeless and engaging tale reminding us of the infallible guideposts by which we should steer our lives. Buy this book for your grandmother and read it to your children." -- Two Seekers, authors of No Jesus, No Peace - Know Jesus, Know Peace: Timeless Wisdom for Living a Life That Matters
"This lovely parable rewards the reader with spiritual clarity and wisdom in its most ancient and reliable form: emotionally enticing story." -- Reverend Jeremy Taylor, DMin., Co-founder and Past President of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD), Founder-Director of the Marin Institute for Projective Dream Work (MIPD), and author of Where People Fly and Water Runs Up Hill
"A scribe writes the story. A reader takes it to heart. The world, upon hearing it, is changed forever. The Book of the Shepherd is more than just a poignant and lovely story. It is truth." -- Lynne Hinton, author of The Arms of God, The Friendship Cake, and the forthcoming book The Christmas Cake
"...a beautiful demonstration of the 'Power of One,' offering readers important lessons of Truth many are searching for today." -- Kathryn Adams Shapiro, author of Wisdom's Choice
"From time to time, great teachers have used parables to instruct the human heart. The Book of the Shepherd is such a tale - a luminous book full of revelations of love and forgiveness. I'm going to buy a case for friends and family!" -- Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., author of Minding the Body, Mending the Mind and Your Soul's Compass