Friday, March 29, 2013

Bulgarian Cuisine = Nutritious and Delicious

During the two years my wife and I lived in Sofia, Bulgaria, one of our most memorable experiences was tasting the traditional dishes served in local restaurants and Bulgarian homes. We fell in love with Shopska Salad, drank strong doses of rakia with our meals, and even came to appreciate the white cheese that was sprinkled over our orders of French fries. 

In order to give readers an idea of how tasty Bulgarian cooking is, I interviewed Vesela Tabakova, who lives in Bulgaria with her family of six (including a Jack Russell Terrier). Vesela is the author of several interesting cookbooks that emphasize natural, healthy products. Her books include Vegan Bulgarian Recipes, Favorite Veggie Nosh from Bulgaria, and Amazing Quinoa.

Thank you, Vesela, for taking the time to answer my questions about Bulgarian cuisine.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Jerusalem of "The Jerusalem Puzzle"

Irish crime and mystery writer Laurence O'Bryan almost gets the Holy City right.

Laurence O'Bryan came to Jerusalem in February 2012 as part of his research writing a sequel to his bestseller, The Istanbul Puzzle. "In Jerusalem you can go to hell or heaven in streets just wide enough for two handcarts to pass," he wrote of his experiences. When The Jerusalem Puzzle was published in January, I was eager to see how the author portrayed the Holy City in his continuation of the suspense series.

"There was an ancient magic to this view," protagonist Sean Ryan thinks to himself, when he overlooks the Old City walls for the first time. "There was history and religion in every glance, and something older overlaying it all. Countless wars had been fought over this patch of land and its fate was still in bitter dispute."

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Scenes from "Valley of Thracians": Veliko Tarnovo

One of my favorite places in Bulgaria is Veliko Tarnovo, in the center of the country. The city served as the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

We visited Veliko Tarnovo twice during our stay in Bulgaria. Join me today on a virtual visit to Veliko Tarnovo, with texts from Valley of Thracians and pictures of the location where a pivotal scene from the book takes place.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Israeli Authors in the Spotlight

Israeli authors have a large following in Israel, where they publish books in their native language of Hebrew. After all, Jews are referred to as “People of the Book”, although the book in that context is the Torah, and not necessarily works of fiction. Only a handful of Israeli authors have had international success with English editions of their writing, yet more and more books are being published these days in English, reaching a much larger audience.

In this recurring column, I will cover the latest news, awards, and reviews of recent releases by Israeli authors published in the English language. Many of the books mentioned will have been translated from Hebrew, however, there will be works originally published in English as well.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Valley of Thracians is Free for Kindle

If you haven't yet gotten your copy, now is the time to download Valley of Thracians for Kindle. The ebook is free through the weekend and with just one click, you can have it delivered to you wherever you are in the world.

The free promotion is the latest effort on my part to introduce as many readers as possible to my suspense novel. Up until now, the response to the book's publication has been very good, with sales of both the Kindle and paperback editions.

The free Kindle edition is rapidly climbing Amazon's rankings. As of the last time I looked the book was ranked 11th in the Action and Adventure category and 16th in the Suspense category, with an overall ranking of 491st of all free Kindle books available.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Scenes from "Valley of Thracians": Rila

A short while ago I posted a picture of the Rila Monastery on my Facebook page and one of my friends immediately identified it. "I recognized it from the book!" The Rila Monastery is one of the most well-known destinations in Bulgaria, attracting both tourists and the faithful who travel from all over the country on pilgrimages to the site. Known as the "Jerusalem of Bulgaria", the monastery was named after a ninth-century holy man, John of Rila, who lived as a recluse in a nearby cave.

The Rila Monastery is a special and very beautiful place, and I visited it several times during my two years in Bulgaria. Join me today on a pilgrimage to Rila, with texts from Valley of Thracians and pictures of the location where a pivotal scene from the book takes place.