About the Book

Title: Spoonful Chronicles

Author: Elen Ghulam

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Thaniya Rasid grew up in the Middle East dreaming of becoming a surgeon. Now living an ordinary life as a mother, wife and a hospital lab tech in Vancouver, Canada, she garners unexpected fame as youTube’s Queen of Hummus when her video demonstrating the recipe goes viral. How could blending chickpeas in a food processor generate so much excitement? And how could her life have ended up so far away from all her expectations?

To make sense of the unlikely events that have brought her to this place, Thaniya turns to food, curating memorable eating experiences of her life, searching for clues. Between her childhood aversion to cucumbers, her search for an authentic Iraqi kubeh in the city of Jerusalem, her 10-year tomato wars with her husband Samih, a mood altering encounter with a blood pudding in Edinburgh, and a Kafkaesque nightmare involving a cauliflower, Thaniya unravels repeated patterns occurring in her life. The secrets of love, friendship and destiny hidden in her cauldron of mishmashed cultures begin to reveal themselves.

Between lust and disgust there is a thin line. Spoonful Chronicles is the beguiling story of one woman taking hold of her fate by uncovering the clandestine geography of this divide in her heart.

 

Author Bio

My name is Elen. I am an Iraqi-Canadian. Please allow me to tell you a story of a curious event that happened to me. I was a perfectly happy computer programmer doing the nerdy stuff that computer programmers do. You know! Geeky stuff. Like the normal stuff that an Iraqi-Canadian would do if they worked as a computer programmer. When one day, out of nowhere, the inspiration to write hit me over the head. It came at me fast and furious and turned my life topsy turvy. I was always an avid reader. Ok I was a bookish geek. But the idea that I would try to write never even occurred to me, until the violent incident with the muse. Since then I have published a memoir called “Don’t Shoot! … I Have Another Story to Tell You“. Which Was followed by a novel called Graffiti Hack. That one tells the story of a hacker who installs lavish graphical designs on commercial websites. Imagine the trouble she gets in? Well I had to. I was writing the story, so I had to imagine every last bit. A third novel is on it way. I don’t know where all these ideas come from, they just pop in my head and I write them down. In addition to writing, I am a flamenco dancer, I enjoy painting and I love to cook. Somehow all these activities inspire each other.

I am a married mother of three, living in a pink house in Vancouver BC
Really I just love telling stories and I love listening to stories.

 

Links

www.ihath.com
https://twitter.com/ElenGhulam
https://www.facebook.com/ElenGhulamAuthor
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOKZboCaeSr9tSzXXZm-Ugg

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Spoonful-Chronicles-novel-about-food-ebook/dp/B01N7VI35H/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1486205667&sr=8-1&keywords=spoonful+chronicles

 

Book Excerpts

Excerpt 1:

It came to me gradually. In spatters and smudges. Like a Jackson Pollock painting. Splash here. Drip there. Seems accidental. You stand back and look. The horror of the furtive activity attacks you. My name should be Sabbah. Nobody ever said this within my earshot. It was a little niggling suspicion.  A faint whisper in my head. It grew and multiplied. Now it is a scream. I know it in my toes. I feel it in the frazzled ends of my hair. I never dared ask directly. It is as obvious as the sun in the sky. I should be sitting here, declaring to you proudly that my name means morning in Arabic. A name that implies light, brightness, the first call to prayer of the day and the cock-a-doodle-doo of a proud rooster breaking dawn. Since my sister’s name means night in our language, I have surmised my parents worried about the negative connotation that would be assigned to her in relation to me.  Imagine my parents introducing us to their friends:

And here are our daughters: Night and Day.

They are as different as light and darkness.

People might have sniggered at the too matchy matchy extremes.

“Oh you called your daughters Night and Morning,” those with comedic aspirations would have continued. “If you have a third daughter you should call her Noon.”

Instead I have this nothing name. It reeks relativity without embodying substance. My name is Thaniya.

Excerpt 2:

“Hello, pleasure to meet you.” I was disappointed to hear him speak in English. I replied in Arabic: “It is a pleasure to meet you as well.”

Rafid paused and then switched to Arabic. “Affirmative. It has been my forefather, who has furnished me with voluminous tales about her, which is your forefather. It is now that I see, I feel knowledge for her family even though your face I only see now.”  His Arabic was a code red disaster zone. He had inverted the feminine with masculine pronoun, his accent was terrible, his diction most ridiculous. In that first ten seconds of meeting him I realized that I could never share a life with somebody who spoke so poorly. If this had been a comedy show, a fifth grader would be peeing himself laughing right now. I had given him a test and he had failed in the most spectacular manner possible.

Rafid was slim, tall, clean-shaven, dark and handsome, stylishly dressed in a sky-blue cotton shirt and black slacks. Everybody in the room was clamoring to grab his attention. He sat confidently on a chair in the middle of the living room, gesturing elegantly with his index finger when he spoke. He listened attentively when spoken to, placing the fingers of his hand gently against his cheek. He was altogether the prince of any young woman’s dream. Except when he addressed me; then his atrocious Arabic had turned him into a Shrek-like green ogre.

 

Excerpt 3:

Every morning, no matter how hectic my schedule, I wake up early to prepare a pot of coffee. I pour the black liquid into a see-through glass cup. Then I add milk one drop at a time. I watch milk drops lazily swirl around in my cup. I never mix my coffee with a spoon. I just sit there and watch two extremes doing a gentle dance together. A blob of white rises to the top, then it is elegantly pushed into halves. The blackness of the coffee caresses and sways. Whiteness pushes blackness away and then takes hold of it wanting to conquer it. “You are mine,” whispers whiteness. “You can never conquer the idea of me,” responds blackness.

Slow.

Playful.

Passionate.

I finally take a sip. My coffee is smooth. It flows over my tongue like honey. It gives me hope. Opposites don’t have to come with jagged edges and sharp sudden starts. One day, I will learn to dance like milk in a cup of coffee. Without a stir. No violent mixing shall occur. Flavours mixing at will, giving of their sweetness gently.

Milk unmixed in coffee is at least a possibility.

 

Excerpt 4:

Just yesterday a patient shrieked with delight when I entered her room: “Oh My God! I can’t believe it. Hummus lady!”

I was taken aback. “Excuse me?”

“You are hummus lady, in the video. You saved my marriage.” The skinny young woman looked at me with awe as if I was a deity of some sort. This understuffed scarecrow told me that she had married an Egyptian. They had been fighting for months. Finally, he told her it was over and walked away. She accidentally found my video on YouTube and decided that instead of eating a tub of ice-cream, she would make a tub of hummus. When her husband came home to pick up his things, he encountered the plate of hummus. One taste led to another. His wife found him licking the plate clean. She sat down at the table without a word. Her husband began to cry. “This tastes exactly like the hummus I used get in the public market of Alexandria,” he told her. They talked things over. Cried together. And decided to fight to stay together. Experts might tell you that a marriage should be based on respect and shared values. But if you listen to Thaniya Rasid, you would forgo all that and entrust your life partnership to a flatulence-inducing legume.  I suppose marriages have been based on shakier ground.  This must be the mushiest. “Why don’t you make more videos?” asked the woman.

I shrugged. “I’m not sure cooking is my forte.”

“Oh it is, it is, there is magic in these hands!” She grabbed both my hands as if rubbing invisible lotion into her own hands.

I wanted to tell her: “Leave your husband, he’s an asshole.” But instead, I grabbed her chart and focused on the medical task at hand.

Excerpt 5:

You know what shakshuka is, right?

 

It’s a favorite among students, bachelors and those that don’t know how to cook and those who can’t be bothered to cook. In short, shakshuka is the Middle East’s version of Kraft Dinner. Unlike mac and cheese out of a box, it is a dish you will continue to crave years past your student days and many clicks after the honeymoon of your marriage turns into mustard-sun.

The shakshuka wars started in my household on the fifth week of my marriage and have spanned ten years, traveled to two continents and have yet to reach a peaceful resolution.

It all started when, after returning from our honeymoon, Samih decided to make shakshuka for dinner one night.

I took one bite and screwed up my face. “This shakshuka is all wrong!” A rather arrogant proclamation from somebody who didn’t know how to boil an egg.

“Wrong how?” Samih smiled, bemused, the way you would be entertained with a cute three year old saying a four-letter word that they didn’t understand. I hate it when Samih treats me in a patronizing way.

“It’s too oniony,” I said in the same tone I might have used to say “Smoking causes cancer.”

“You just don’t know what shakshuka is supposed to taste like, that’s all.” Samih tore a piece of pita bread. Folded it to create a scoop. Drenched the bread in the tomato massacre on his plate. Placed the dripping bundle into his mouth. “I bet the taste of tomato with the eggs seems unfamiliar, you’re probably used to scrambled eggs instead,” Samih said with a full mouth. Bits of masticated poached egg stained red flashed behind his teeth with each chew.

“I know the difference between shakshuka and scrambled eggs. I know how it’s supposed to taste and this tastes wrong!” I placed my fork down and pushed my plate away.

“I am certain your mother never made shakshuka.” You know an argument is going sideways when your mother gets mentioned.

 

ENGADINE AERIE

Genre:  International Crime and Mystery; Amateur Sleuth

Published:  26 April, 2017

Publisher:  VirtualBookWorm

 

Protagonist Hardy Durkin is a twenty-seven-year old trek business owner who happens to be a crack marksman, trained in Signals Intelligence, and fluent in four languages.  Interesting set of subskills, yes?  Murder, mayhem, and madness have a habit of stalking Hardy wherever he goes.

Engadine Aerie takes place at the annual Skimarathon in snowy St. Moritz, Switzerland (imagine 13,000 skiers in one race!), where Hardy gets embroiled in a tangle of murder, falconry, weaponized drones, and arms-smuggling.  Hardy agrees to help a friend launch her cross-country ski tour business in St. Moritz and gets way more than he bargained for.  His first day on the job he is smitten by an exotic from the Mideast who skis over a corpse buried in the snow.  No stranger to murder and other intrigue, Hardy takes point in the following police inquiry (as a bystander, or course), but he is soon enmeshed in preventing another murder.  Then comes the not-inconsequential matter of a terrorist attack on the finish line of the Skimarathon.  Hardy’s past relationship with the French Foreign Legion gives him an entrée to working with TIGRIS, Switzerland’s elite tactical police unit, to thwart an illegal arms deal he stumbles into, and his meddling puts him in the cross-hairs of a sadistic anarchist who excels at poisoning her victims.

 

 About Bluette Matthey

Bluette Matthey is a 3rd generation Swiss-American and an avid lover of European cultures.  She has decades of travel and writing experience.  She is a keen reader of mysteries, especially those that immerse the reader in the history, inhabitants, culture, and cuisine of new places.  Her passion for travel, except airports (where she keeps a mystery to pass the time), is shared by her husband, who owned a tour outfitter business in Europe.

Bluette particularly loves to explore regions that are not on the “15 days in Europe” itineraries.  She also enjoys little-known discoveries, such as those in the London Walks, in well-known areas.  She firmly believes that walking and hiking bring her closer to the real life of any locale.  Bluette maintains a list of hikes and pilgrimages throughout Europe for future exploration.  She lives in Le Locle, Switzerland, with her husband and band of loving cats.  Bluette can often be seen hiking in the Jura Mountains along the Swiss-French frontier.  Here earlier books of the Hardy Durkin Travel Mystery series include:  Corsican Justice, Abruzzo Intrigue, Black Forest Reckoning, and Dalmatian Traffick.

Links to Bluette:

Website:  http://bluettematthey.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008858920688

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/hardydurkin

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8407067.Bluette_Matthey

Buy Links:

https://www.amazon.com/Engadine-Aerie-Durkin-Travel-Mystery/dp/1941611117/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1487666322&sr=1-8&keywords=bluette+matthey

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/707609

https://www.kobo.com/ch/en/ebook/engadine-aerie

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/engadine-aerie/id1210908012?mt=11

 

Excerpt:

They had been skiing about fifteen minutes; the ski lift for downhill had just come into view. Suddenly, Maryam veered off the trail slightly, into the snow. She lost her balance, as though she’d hit something and, try as she might to keep upright, her outstretched arms pin-wheeling for equilibrium, she lost the battle and fell on her derrière.

Hardy skied to where she had landed, a look of puckish humor on his handsome face. His gold aviator sunglasses hid his eyes, which were also smiling. “You OK? Need some help?” he asked.

Maryam was embarrassed. She never fell. “Of course I’m OK!” she snapped. “I ran over something.”

“A rock?” Hardy queried.

She glanced up to see if he was making a fool of her. “No, “she said thoughtfully. “It was something softer.” She began brushing away the snow at the spot where she’d run aground. Something vivid blue appeared. She brushed more, and an arm appeared.

“Hold on, Maryam,” Hardy said, releasing his boots from his skis. He stepped around where she knelt and brushed the snow off a man’s face, the snow stained a rusty pink near his head. His sightless eyes were a very dark brown, as were his hair and eyebrows. The once youthful face was ageless in death, and pale.

When Maryam caught sight of the face she let out a scream. Then another. “Najib! Najib!” she shrieked, and broke down into sobs.

Hardy bundled Maryam up in his arms and moved her away from the body. He suspected they were, logistically, in the middle of a crime scene and didn’t want to disturb it any more than they already had. Phil Hostelbrink had skied back to where they were after hearing Maryam’s shrieks. His steely, blue-gray eyes and lawyer’s mind assessed the situation in an instant.

“That’s a hell of a discovery, Mr. Durkin,” he began.

“Please, call me Hardy,” Hardy replied.

“Hardy,” he said, extending a gloved hand. “Phil Hostelbrink. New York. I’m an attorney, and for what it’s worth, I suspect you’ve just skied into one hell of a mess.”

Hardy grimaced, and hoped to hell Phil Hostelbrink wasn’t also a prophet.

Dr. Iris Mack’s financial literacy book “Mama Says Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees!” is focused on teaching students that math can be fun and key to understanding money and interest.

Book Details:

Book Title: Mama says, ”Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees!”
Author: Iris Marie Mack, PhD, EMBA
Category: Middle-Grade Non-fiction, 48 pages
Genre: Financial and Math Literacy
Publisher: CreateSpace
Release date: January 14, 2011
Tour dates: April 17 – 28, 2017
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

Globe Newswire reports that Dr. Iris Mack’s mathematics edutainment book is “turning heads across the country in a response similar to the widely promoted ‘Hooked on Phonics,’ that improved children’s reading skills.” Her unique approach to math became one of Xlibris/Random House Publisher’s top children’s picture book royalty earners.

If there is one word that sums up our recent economic woes, it is interest. There’s interest on credit card balances, student loans, car loans, home mortgages, corporate borrowings and most prominently, on state and national debt. But there is surprisingly little interest in this interest. We all pay it. But not many of us really understand how it works. Dr. Iris Mack has filled the gap – and for young consumers.

Her financial literacy book “Mama Says Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees!” is focused on teaching students that math can be fun and key to understanding money and interest. In today’s world of subprime mortgage crises, bankruptcies, massive credit card debt and predatory lending, Dr. Mack’s book is more relevant than ever. In “Mama Says Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees!” a group of smart, animated characters explain how money and interest work, as young consumers are introduced to mathematics and financial literacy. Professor Ø, Ms. Madonna Sorenson and Dr. Mackamatix lead students Al G Bro, Frakshun, Nada, Queen% and Material Girl Ma$ through a fun-filled math class all about how money and interest work in their everyday lives.

Learn more: MathQED TV

Praise for this book:
“I think the work you do showing how math can be beautiful and practical is great, keep it up!” says Javier Tordable, Senior Software Engineer at the Google Corporation.

“Making math fun and relevant is a real public service. Old fashioned, boring textbooks aren’t the thing that will capture the imagination and engage our children in the fun and yes, joy, in math and problem solving. Iris Mack has created a group of characters and scenarios that will draw young people into the fold of knowledge.” says Karen Pritzker– Producer of The My Hero Project and Editor of The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity website.

Buy the Book: Amazon 

 
Meet the Author:

Iris Marie Mack, PhD, EMBA, earned a doctorate in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University. She was also awarded a Sloan Fellowship Executive MBA from the London Business School. Dr. Mack worked at various energy and financial institutions, acted as a faculty member at MIT, and worked at NASA and AT&T Bell Labs – where she obtained a patent for research on optical fibers.
Dr. Mack currently lectures on Energy Trading and Risk Management for the Fitch Learning Certificate in Quantitative Finance Program on Wall Street and at Tulane University. Because of Dr. Mack’s extensive knowledge of the derivatives, energy trading, and investment banking world, she has been invited to write opinion columns for the UK edition of the International Business Times.

Dr. Mack has also been named one of Glamour Magazine’s Top 10 Working Women, and she is no novice writer. This publishing will be her third financially-focused and published book – including her energy trading book published with Wiley Finance and a financial literacy book for teens and adults. With this breadth of experience and sheer intellectual prowess, Dr. Mack is more than able to help readers reach the financial stability they deserve.

In addition, Dr. Mack founded The Global Energy Post and MathQED – a homework help site for K-12 and college students. Previously known as Phat Math, this service has even been named one of the Top 50 Social Sites for Educators and Academics, 25 Savvy Social Media Sites for Grad Students and 25 Useful Networking Sites for Grad Students. Such accolades illustrate Dr. Mack’s ability to clearly inform the masses.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

BOOK SPOTLIGHT TOUR SCHEDULE:

April 17 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
April 17 – Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine – book spotlight
April 18 – 100 Pages A Day – book spotlight / giveaway
April 18 – Divas With A Purpose – book spotlight
April 19 – Books, Dreams, Life – book spotlight / giveaway
April 19 – The Cheshire Cat’s Looking Glass – book spotlight / giveaway
April 20 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – book spotlight / giveaway
April 20 – One Frugal Girl – book spotlight / giveaway
April 21 – #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway
April 21 – Books for Books – book spotlight
April 24 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – book spotlight / giveaway
April 24 – The All Night Library – book spotlight
April 25 – Blooming with Books – book spotlight / giveaway
April 25 – 411 on Books, Authors and Publishing News – book spotlight / giveaway
April 26 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
April 27 – Lukten av Trykksverte – book spotlight / giveaway
April 28 – My Life. One Story at a Time. – book spotlight / giveaway

 

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