Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Burgas Affair - Review by E.L. Lindley

"The Burgas Affair is a very readable novel; Shuman is clearly a talented writer and engages the reader early on, conveying the horror and mystery surrounding the bombing. He weaves a complex story all the while exerting complete control over it. Boyko’s past and the investigation dance around each other until they collide in an explosive finale.

There is crime, thrills, a hint of romance and corruption to keep the reader enthralled.

"If you enjoy a story with lots going on then you’ll like this one. The action is relentless, spilling across Bulgaria and Israel to great effect."

Read the full review on lindleyreviews


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Review of The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova

When Alexandra Boyd arrives in Sofia to start her position as an English teacher, she doesn’t know what to expect of Bulgaria. The Eastern European country is as far away as she can possibly go from her home in the Appalachian Mountains, and from the tragic loss of her beloved brother.

Upon her arrival in the city, Alexandra is dropped off by mistake at a hotel where she goodheartedly helps an elderly couple into a taxi. When the vehicle drives off, Alexandra realizes that she has accidentally taken one of their bags.

Inside the bag is a small wooden box containing an urn with human ashes. Realizing that this box is undoubtedly sorely missed, Alexandra sets out to return it to the couple to whom it belongs. If only she can find them.

Like Alexandra, most readers of The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova (Ballantine Books, April 2017) will be visiting Bulgaria for the first time. The customs, the villages, the culture, and the history come to life in a country that surprises at every turn.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

What Readers Are Saying about “The Burgas Affair”


Readers, book bloggers, and reviewers around the world are thrilled to be reading my crime thriller, The Burgas Affair. Here is what they are saying, in their own words. Have you gotten your copy yet?

“Beginning with an enigmatic prologue featuring an unnamed woman strapped into a ticking bomb-jacket, each scene is packed with suspense. Layers of intrigue build to a fever pitch when Ayala and Boyko meet their nemeses - and confront each other. When he isn't describing terrorism and crime, Shuman fills out the story with lush and complex Bulgarian and Israeli scenery and culture. In real life, the case has never been solved. I'll leave it to you readers to discover how Shuman handles the ending. Given his penchant for dramatic tension, don't expect a predictable conclusion.”
- Midwest Book Review

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“The Burgas Affair is a very readable novel; Shuman is clearly a talented writer and engages the reader early on, conveying the horror and mystery surrounding the bombing. He weaves a complex story all the while exerting complete control over it. Boyko’s past and the investigation dance around each other until they collide in an explosive finale. There is crime, thrills, a hint of romance and corruption to keep the reader enthralled. If you enjoy a story with lots going on then you’ll like this one. The action is relentless, spilling across Bulgaria and Israel to great effect.”
Lindley Reviews

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Don’t Read It until I Finish Writing It!


I had just finished writing the first section of the first draft of my first novel and I was eager to have my wife read it. Who was better qualified than my wife to serve as my alpha reader?

My previous attempts at writing a novel had been overly autobiographical, my wife had stated in the past. In my new manuscript, I believed, I had created a totally fictional world, in a unique setting, and with three-dimensional characters dealing with unusual circumstances. My wife would be the best judge of this, I thought, as I waited for her reaction.

“I can’t read it on the computer,” she said.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Review of Strangers with the Same Dream by Alison Pick

This book begins with a lie. They said she killed herself, that hers was “the first suicide.” She has a story to tell and we, the readers, are “the chosen people” who will hear this story.

This is the enigmatic opening of Strangers with the Same Dream by Alison Pick (Knopf Canada, August 2017), a novel set in Palestine in the 1920s. A group of halutzim—pioneers—have come to claim the land not out of religious destiny, but as fulfillment of the Zionist dream. Haunted by secrets and tragedies, they are challenged with establishing a kibbutz in the barren north of what will become, a generation later, the Jewish state.

First, we meet Ida who wants to build Eretz Yisrael in her beloved father’s memory. She strives “to become a new person” suited to her new life on the kibbutz. But things don’t go as planned. “Was this Eretz Yisrael?” she thinks. “She had been promised—had believed so fervently—that they were making something new, but instead, everything was falling to pieces.”