Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Daughters Of Iraq By Revital Shiri-Horowitz


Daughters of Iraq is the story of emigration of a Jewish family from Iraq to newly-established Israel as experienced by two sisters: Violet,whom we learn about through a diary she kept after being diagnosed with acritical illness, and through Farida, whose personality unfolds through her relationship with her new surroundings and her new life. Violet’s daughter, Noa, a student in her twenties in the late twentieth century, also has a prominent voice in the story. Noa embarks on a spiritual quest to the past, so that she can learn how to build her life in the present and for the future. While each of the three women is struggling with her own issues, they are all looking for the same thing: happiness. They share a strong sense of family and of their deep roots, and are all inextricably linked to each other.

I am so happy that I was invited to join in on the blog tour for Daughters Of Iraq. This book takes the reader on a journey through a period of history that many did not know existed. After the Second World War the world began to learn about the torture European Jews had to endure. But how much do we know about those Jew's living in the Middle East around the same time. They too ended up being pushed out of there homes and many escaped to Israel, including the characters in this book.

This book makes you think, love, laugh, and cry. I felt like I was truly entering there world and making friends with them all. The storytelling is captivating and left me wanting to follow Noa further as she discovered things about her family's past forcing her to deal with present issues.
As you read the book the characters become more and more real. The story reminds you that while you may not always know everything about your family's past the one thing you can be sure of is the love they have for each other, even if it is not always so obvious.

I really enjoyed this book and I think it is a must read for everyone. A true hidden gem.

I always like to know the story behind the books I read and as a busy mom and wannabe writer, I can only imagine the time it takes to write a story that requires so much attention to historic accuracy. This book was written by a mother of 4 boys, that alone is a full time job! In her own words Revital tells us how she did it:

Motherhood was a dream come true for me. Complicated pregnancies included long bed rests, early painful contractions (starting at 22 weeks) and also four complicated Caesarians surgeries. But I must admit I am a very stubborn person. If I were not, I would have never had four boys. Doctors begged me to give up the idea of having a fourth child. Some of them suggested I must have lost my mind. I already had three healthy boys, so why play with fire? But I insisted. I did not feel my family was complete without a fourth child, so I took the risk (and the pain), and had a fourth child. It was the longest pregnancy, with lots of pain and fears, but it ended up great. My husband and I are blessed with four boys ages 18, 15, 12 and 8. 
Being stubborn is the key to my writing too. Nothing really comes easily. There is always the dream, the goal, how eager you are to have your dreams come true, and then the very hard work, and mainly never giving up.
I started writing my first novel at the age of 35. Before that I never thought that I would ever write a novel. I did not even imagine that it would be published in two languages (Hebrew and English), and would be read all over the world. Just thinking of it gives me the chills. I feel like the luckiest person on earth.
I blog in Hebrew and in English, and I am working on a second novel. (Hope to be done by next summer). My novels I write in Hebrew, my first language. It is easy for me to dream in Hebrew, write in Hebrew and laugh in Hebrew. The rest of the things in life I can also do in English.

It is always hard to find the time to write, as it is hard to find the peace of mind to do so. I have an extremely busy life, with three out of four boys having learning disabilities, and all boys have asthma and allergies. But writing is the power of my soul. If I do not write I get nerves… Writing is like fuel for me. I need it just to be able to be strong and good to the people around me.
Be blessed where ever you are. Love, Revital


Please comment below on how you still find time to do the things you love while raising kids ... and enter to win a copy of Daughters of Iraq.

In one week, Revital will pick a winner of this book!

Available in any ebook format or as a paper copy. Also available in English or in Hebrew. Let us know the format and language when we contact you about winning. We will ship a copy anywhere in the world.

For the Giveaway Grand Prize: Everyone who comments is eligible to win a lovely book by Mama Nazima, Jewish Iraqi Cuisine ( Revital will pick a lucky winner at the end of November 2011. She will ship the book anywhere in the world. Good luck!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Welcome Wednesday Blog Hop

Haute Mom

Master of the Game - Sidney Sheldon

I had never thought to pick up a Sidney Sheldon novel until a couple of months ago when I was helping a customer to find a particular book. She told me how great his stories were and that the characters seemed so real, even if they turned out to be pretty bad people! I love family saga stories, you know, the ones that follow the same family for generations, and the book my customer was looking for fell into that category. I found the customer her book and found a second copy to look at. I read a few pages at lunch and I was sold! Sadly Mr. Sheldon passed away a few years ago just days before turning 90 years old, but he has left 3 decades of writing behind for all of us to enjoy (not to mention early in his career he wrote for movies and television winning him an Oscar, an Emmy, and a Tony). Master of the Game was a great introduction and now I have at least another 17 to go!

From details

She is the symbol of success, the beautiful woman who parlayed her inheritance into an international conglomerate. Winner of a unique position among the wealthy and world-renowned. And she''s a survivor, indomitable as her father, the man who returned from the edge of death to wrench a fortune in diamonds from the bleak South African earth. Now, celebrating her ninetieth birthday, Kate surveys the family she has manipulated, dominated, and loved: the fair and the grotesque, the mad and the mild, the good and the evil-- her winnings in life. Is she the...


The story follows Kate Blackwell's family from her father's early days travelling from Scotland to South Africa in search of diamonds at the turn of the century and then later how over time she takes control. You see what she gains and what she looses, you see what people will do for power (even if it means driving some to murder). I read this book in a week and I am normally a slow reader as I have mentioned before, this story I could not put down. Even when reading parts where I totally despised the characters (most end up doing some pretty horrible things at some point in their lives) the storytelling made me keep going!

Great book, must read, enjoy!!!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Royal Pain: A Royal Spyness Mystery By Rhys Bowen

Published by Berkley Prime Crime (c) 2008

I had never heard of the Royal Spyness mystery series by Rhys Bowen until I was shelving books at work a couple of months ago. I picked up the book, read the back, and after reading the first 2 pages I bought the book at the end of my shift with the last few bucks I had in my wallet (thank goodness pay day was the next day)!! I do not regret buying this book one bit, it was one of the best books I have read in a very long time.

Here is the synopsis from Rhys Bowen's website :

The Queen of England has concocted a plan in which Georgie is to entertain a Bavarian princess—and conveniently place her in the playboy Prince’s path, in the hopes that he might finally marry.

But queens never take money into account. Georgie has very little, which is why she moonlights as a maid-in-disguise. She must draw up plans: clean house to make it look like a palace; have Granddad and her neighbor pretend to be the domestic staff; un-teach Princess Hanni the English she’s culled from American gangster movies; cure said Princess of her embarrassing shoplifting habit; and keep an eye on her at parties. Then there’s the worrying matter of the body in the bookshop and Hanni’s unwitting involvement with the Communist Party. It’s enough to drive a girl crazy…

The story is historic fiction(1930's London) meets chicklit meets murder mystery and it will make you laugh out loud in many parts. As I read this I was transported into Georgie's world and I did not want to leave as I was having way too much fun with her and her friends. The plot twists are clever and the end I did not see coming which is always a plus. This is a great book even if you are not a mystery fan, but beware you may be one after you have read this novel.

The best thing is that this is the second in the series and it is easy to read as a stand alone book. But for sure you will want to read more about Georgie and there are many more including (1) Her Royal Spyness (3)Royal Flush (4) Royal Blood (5) Naughty in Nice (which was just released in September).

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Self-Publishing Month: January 2012

Planning ahead to January already ... I will be doing a theme month were I review and speak to authors who have self-published their own work. If you have written a book or know someone who has and they have gone the self-publishing route - contact me at If you would like your work reviewed during my Self-publishing month contact me soon so we can discuss the details! I’ll be posting a cut off date soon.

Monday, October 3, 2011

October is looking good !

This has been a very exciting month for me in books so far this month, and it is only the 3rd!

I have been in contact with a number of authors over the past few weeks and I am in the process of receiving a number of books for me to review, many of whom are currently unknown but hopefully will soon be very familiar to you! I hope to turn this blog into an outlet for new and self-published writers to get the word out about their latest projects!

I also was able to attend a fall preview by Random House yesterday and got to hear all about their new releases for the next few months. They have a great line-up and I hope to be posting some of those reviews over the next few months!

This month I will be posting at least one review a week, and will be hosting my first giveaway as part of the blog tour for "Daughters of Iraq" by Revital Shiri-Horowitz. This is a fascinating novel based on the author's family story that has never before been told. The story is about two Iraqi-Jewish sisters and their families as they leave Iraq for Israel in the early 1950’s.

I will also be posting this month’s new releases later this week so that you can plan for your month not just for the week ahead!

Lots of new things this month, I am so excited that you will join me on this awesome adventure!