Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Review of Jerusalem Drawn and Quartered by Sarah Tuttle-Singer

Walking through Jaffa Gate you probably pay little attention to the merchants hawking olive wood crucifixes or to the man squeezing fresh pomegranates. You barely notice the women hanging laundry from their balconies in the Jewish Quarter and you take for granted the presence of the vigilant Border Guards. None of this matters as you gravitate toward Jerusalem’s main attractions—its holy places of worship. But what lies behind the green metal doors on the sides of the narrow alleyways?

Those doors are opened for us in Jerusalem, Drawn and Quartered by Sarah Tuttle-Singer (Skyhorse Publishing, May 8, 2018), an exploration of both the spiritual and the terrestrial aspects of the Old City. The book introduces us to the Armenians, Christians, Jews, and Muslims who live within its walls.

We join author and journalist Tuttle-Singer as she embarks “on a strange and wonderful adventure where [she is] actually living in Jerusalem’s Old City—a year of living as an insider-outsider, a visitor looking for community, but never really growing roots.”

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Answer Two Questions Correctly and You'll Win a Prize

Every morning on my way to the Aroma coffee shop where I sit and write for an hour before going to work I pass by the Reshet television studio. At that early hour there is a morning show and I can actually see into the studio as I pass by. One of the hosts of the morning show is media personality Avri Gilad.

On occasion, Avri goes out to the street and catches passersby for a quick quiz. He asks them three questions and if they answer two of them correctly, they win a prize.

I have been stopped twice before and asked to participate in the televised quiz but both times I was in a hurry to get to work. This time, I said OK.

Avri Gilad was certainly not ready for my "clever" spur-of-the-moment replies, as you can see in the video!

Thank you to my son who quickly starting filming when I messaged my family that I was going to be on television! The video was edited and subtitles were added by using the Kapwing Online Video Editor.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

What Inspired Me to Write 'The Burgas Affair'

"During the two years I lived in Sofia, I fell in love with Bulgaria and most of my writing these days, both fiction and non-fiction, is based on my experiences there. Having grown up in Israel where, unfortunately, suicide bombings and terrorist attacks are an ever-present security danger, I assumed Bulgaria to be a completely safe place to live. That is why the terrorist attack at Burgas Airport was so upsetting to me. I read every media report about the bombing and the investigation in its aftermath. As the terrorists were never caught, my creative mind came up with some possible explanations. I envisioned a joint Bulgarian-Israeli investigation and the end result was my novel, The Burgas Affair."

Read the full interview on Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews.

Monday, April 2, 2018

How It Came About that "The Burgas Affair" Was First Published in Bulgarian

The first blog article I published on The Huffington Post was entitled “10 Amazing Things You Don’t Know about Bulgaria.” The article went viral. It received more than 27,000 likes and was translated three times into Bulgarian (two of them without my permission). I gained a reputation as a Westerner who writes very positively about Bulgaria.

I love to read and I write many book reviews. I began specializing in writing reviews of books written by Bulgarian authors who have been translated into English. As a result, I established many connections with Bulgarian authors, publishers, and media.

My novel The Burgas Affair was published as Бургаската афера in May 2016 by Ciela, the leading publishing house in Bulgaria. It was strange, and exciting, to attend the book launch and a book signing for the novel in Sofia, when the book had yet to be published in English. The book was well received in Bulgaria, but it certainly didn’t become a bestseller.

Excerpt from an interview in the January-February issue of Doorway to Art.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

"The plot is fast paced and intriguing at the same time"

Review of The Burgas Affair on Book Vue

"I have so many things to say about the book, I don’t know where to begin! Let me first say that I thoroughly enjoyed it! The prologue was intriguing enough for me to get started. Everything from the setting to the characters to the plot, was all weaved perfectly to create a story that has a lasting impression.  I’ve never had a fascination for Bulgaria but it was so beautifully described in the story that now I want to visit it! The plot is fast paced and intriguing at the same time, perfect for a thriller."

Read the full review on Book Vue.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

I Ran in the Jerusalem Marathon!

Please note: I said that I ran in the Jerusalem Marathon, and not that I ran the Jerusalem Marathon.

The Jerusalem Marathon event has a number of races and not everyone is capable of running the 42-kilometers of the marathon. There are races at shorter distances as well and some of them are actually runs, and not races.

Last week I ran the Jerusalem Marathon's 5 kilometer run. I crossed the finish line in, well, I don't know the exact time. The goal was not to set a new record time but to finish the race, and I did!

I had been exercising and training for the run for some time. In the run-up to the run (excuse my pun), I was running 5 kilometers a day, but this was on a treadmill. The actual run, in the chilly Jerusalem morning, included a few ups and downs as the track circled the Hebrew University campus at Givat Ram.

As you can see, my competition was tough, but then again, this was not a competitive race. Thousands ran the 5 kilometer distance (they said a total of 35,000 runners participated in the Jerusalem Marathon runs). Runners included families, children, soldiers, tourists, and people like me, running for the first time.

Having completed the course, I feel like I have truly accomplished something. I proved that running is a mind-over-matter affair. If you will it, it is no dream. I set a goal for myself, and I succeeded.

Until next year!

Link: The Jerusalem Marathon website.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Get your copy of "The Burgas Affair" for FREE!

I am excited to share my writing with you, so excited in fact, that for a limited time I am offering my new novel to you for FREE.

Download your copy of The Burgas Affair now. Enjoy the read!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Carpets of Red Anemones

This past Saturday, Jodie and I did something we had wanted to do for years. We visited the northwestern Negev during February, in time to see desert in bloom.

Our first stop was the Be'eri Forest, "a rolling landscape of hills and fields" famous for "its carpets of red anemones."

While there were anemones in the forest, they were mostly surrounded by weeds. The forest is also a popular destination for families riding bicycles.

We had better luck seeing the flowers at Be'er Marva, across from Kibbutz Alumim. Just off the main road, this small nature preserve had less people and more flowers.

February's flower blossoming is marked by Darom Adom (The Red South), an annual festival that brings Israelis from other parts of the country into the northern Negev, some of them, like us, for the first time. It was a colorful, enjoyable experience and the perfect way to spend a sunny February day.

Official Darom Adom website (Hebrew)