ABOUT THE BOOK
Coated with a life of lies and deceit, Burtrum Lee Conner is sick to her stomach. Dozens of times throughout her life the feeling of not being who she is has tormented her. But she kept it to herself, believing that maybe it’s just a chemical imbalance of some kind considering she is one of the first artificially-inseminated babies of the nineteen sixties. Now, there’s more though, something much deeper, much more maniacal than she could have ever imagined. She’s not the first test tube baby at all, but the first….
Burtrum Lee Conner, born into a world of scientific mystery, discovers that the life she’s been leading for the past forty years, is the wrong one. Her parent’s Jed and Jane Conner, stealing her as an infant, brought Lee up as their own. Even her devoted grandmother, Clair Conner, kept this secret close to her chest until they were found out. And now, Lee Conner’s biological mother, Katie Lee, wants her back, but not before the diabolical Dr. Stone has his say.
When I was a child growing up in the Detroit area, I thought I wanted to be a painter, and then as a teenager the idea of being a musician intrigued me, then as a young adult, I realized that I’m a writer.
After attending Western Michigan University for two party filled years, I decided to leave academia and explore the real world to learn what life is truly about. For fifteen years I’ve traveled the country working in restaurants, writing and doing readings wherever I was welcome.
While living in Minneapolis during my twenties, I was fortunate enough to be tutored by Dr. Jonis Agee, who was at the time head of the creative writing department at St. Catherine’s College in St. Paul. Her lessons were imprinted in me for all of these years, and have influenced my writing ever since.
My adventures landed me in San Diego, Chicago, San Francisco, and Oregon, finally leading me to the Land of Enchantment where I’ve resided since 1994. Living in Santa Fe, and the beauty and isolation that surrounds me, has inspire my creative muse in ways that no other place has. While still working in the hospitality industry, my passion for the craft of writing has never been stronger. And I know with each sentence I write, and every paragraph I compose, my ultimate goal is to find the perfect word.
Keep on bookin!
Connect with Mary Maurice at these sites:
Finding My Muse
When I awoke this morning I looked under my bed to see if my Muses had tucked themselves away while I wasn’t looking. But all I found were shoes. I went to the closet wondering if maybe that’s where they’ve disappeared. But all I found were coats. I strolled into my work-room, knowing it’s one of their favorite haunts, but all I found were words. Grabbing my aged dictionary, I flipped through the used pages and surfaced in the land of the M’s. It was there I found them. Hanging out next to their name: Muse-To become absorbed in thought. To turn something over in the mind meditatively and often inconclusively. To wonder, to marvel, to think or say something reflectively. The Nine Sisters in Greek Mythology. Inspiration! I ponder these definitions, and ask myself what do I think about the most? What do I turn over in my mind and think of obsessively? What does inspire me? And the same two words keep surfacing. My writing! I think I found my muse!
Snifter of Death
by Chris Karlsen
on Tour November 1 – December 2, 2017
The summer of 1889 was proving to be a strange one for Detective Inspector Rudyard Bloodstone and his partner.
They had a sexual pervert loose. The man didn’t actually harm women but threatened them at knife point, fondling them, and ultimately stealing their stockings.
Far more serious were the murders of influential men, which appeared random other than they were all killed by arsenic poison. Never had he and his partner had cases with so little workable evidence.
Also, the rivalry between him and his detective nemesis at London’s other police department was intensifying. That nemesis was the boxing champion of their department and looking to challenge Rudyard, who never trained as a boxer.
Besides Rudyard’s pride being at stake, and the pride of his station, his nemesis also had in his possession a photograph of the woman Rudyard cares very much for. The new lady in Rudyard’s life had captured his heart and he’d fight the devil himself to save her reputation.
Genre: Historical Suspense
Published by: Books to Go Now
Publication Date: May 16, 2017
Number of Pages: 376
Series: The Bloodstone #2 | This is a Stand Alone Novel
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Kobo 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗
I was born and raised in Chicago. My father was a history professor and my mother was, and is, a voracious reader. I grew up with a love of history and books.
My parents also love traveling, a passion they passed onto me. I wanted to see the places I read about, see the land and monuments from the time periods that fascinated me. I’ve had the good fortune to travel extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa.
I am a retired police detective. I spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. My desire to write came in my early teens. After I retired, I decided to pursue that dream. I write three different series. My paranormal romance series is called, Knights in Time. My romantic thriller series is Dangerous Waters. The newest is The Bloodstone Series. Each series has a different setting and some cross time periods, which I find fun to write.
I currently live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband and five wild and crazy rescue dogs.
Writing and Reading:
Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?
Mostly from personal experience as I use historical settings and weave in my interpretation of events based on my experience along with the culture of the period.
In Journey in Time, there’s a scene where my heroine, a modern London attorney must conduct a trial where she is both prosecutor and defendant. The trial is before King Edward 111 in the year 1355. I used my experience testifying in court for that scene.
In Snifter of Death, the handling of much of my protagonist, Detective Rudyard Bloodstone’s police world, from the crime scene activity to the people he works with to victims, witnesses, and suspects all result from my experience as a detective.
Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?
I have the basic idea for the storyline in mind and the end. I write out an outline but I’m not married to it. I let the story take me to other places not in the outline. That said, the basic ending doesn’t change. I might add something to it, color it with another event or character’s involvement but it is what I planned when I started.
Are any of your characters based on you or people that you know?
No, not in the Knights in Time series or in the Bloodstone series. In the Bloodstone series, there are colorful or background characters who reflect some of the people whose paths I crossed in my law enforcement career. But there isn’t one person I can point to in those books and say, “that is so and so.”
The only time I used a real life person was in a short story in an anthology I was part of this year. 12 authors got together to do an anthology for children’s cancer research. The series was called Code Redhead and my short story was called Moonlight Serenade. It is set in WW2 and the hero is based on my father. That is the one true person exception and I stated how it related to him in the author’s note.
Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?
I am not a morning person. I write in the afternoon and stop around 5 and spend the rest of the evening watching television with my husband.
Tell us why we should read this book.
Ruddy (Detective Inspector Rudyard Bloodstone) is my favorite character to write. As a retired detective myself I was often asked about writing a cop story. But I never wanted to write a cop story, especially a contemporary one. Then I started thinking about putting a detective in a historical setting. I couldn’t imagine a more atmospheric city for murder and mystery than Victorian London. Once I began writing Ruddy, I found myself having a great time with him.
He’s a war hero who doesn’t think of himself as a hero. When asked, he just says he did what was necessary at the time. I was able to give him that typical droll/dry humor so common to cops. He is clever and observant, not much gets by him. But unlike Sherlock Holmes, he follows bad leads at times and isn’t perfect, which I really like about him. He has a sharp tongue, a short fuse, and a sometimes healthy and sometimes troublesome disrespect for administrators and politicians.
One of my favorite things about the Bloodstone series and this book is filling his world with colorful support characters. I love showing Ruddy’s nature and personality through his interaction with them.
He’s a man of his time and I try to make the politics and culture of Victorian England almost another character. Ruddy and his associates live and function in a world with a strict class structure and that is an interesting aspect to address. He must work within the confines of the social mores but that can never take over the story. I enjoy using that element to enhance the plot and action.
-Who are some of your favorite authors?
I love Bernard Cornwell, Julie Anne Long, Julia Quinn, Michael Connolly, and enjoy much of John Sanford.
What are you reading now?
I’m reading Sharpe’s Rifles by Cornwell as my current wip (a historical romance with time travel element and book 5 in my Knights in Time series) has a section that is set in the Peninsula War. I wanted to get a feel for that war. Behind it, I have The Crossing by Michael Connolly. I love his Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller characters. After that, I have a Julia Quinn book, “The Girl with the Make Believe Husband.”
Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it?
As I mentioned in the previous answer, I’m working on book 5 in my Knights in Time series. That is a historical romance series with a time travel element. My heroine in this story is a modern English doctor. A group of scientists near where she lives are working on a time travel project. She accidentally crosses into one of their experiments and is caught in a time tear where she is sent back to medieval England.
While the scientists continue to try to find a way to bring her home, she begins to fall in love with a medieval knight. As she and the knight are working out if they have a future, the scientists engage another system to bring her home. However, there’s a glitch. She and the knight don’t make it to modern England but find themselves in 1815 and surrounded by the French and English armies at Waterloo.
The hero and heroine have to escape before they’re killed by one or the other battling armies. Then they have to figure out how to get back to England and get word to the scientists who now have no idea where they are in time.
Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast?
Karl Urban as Rudyard Bloodstone
Elizabeth Taylor as Honeysuckle Flowers
Thomas Craig as Archie Holbrook (Ruddy’s partner)
Hugh Bonneville as Henry Jameson (Superintendent of Ruddy’s police station)
Clive Standen as Will Bloodstone (Ruddy’s brother)
Myanna Buring as Graciela Robson
Favorite leisure activity/hobby?
Reading, dinner with friends (theme dinners are especially fun), and just watching television.
Toss up: French onion soup or crab and/or lobster bisque, crab cakes or scallops, mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, tiramisu or any French pastry.
Thank you for stopping by CMash Reads and spending time with us.
Catch Up With Chris Karlsen On:
Website 🔗, Goodreads 🔗, Twitter 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!
Read an excerpt:
Stop by these great hosts for guest posts, interviews, reviews, and giveaways!
This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Chris Karlsen. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on November 1 and runs through December 4, 2017.
ABOUT THE BOOK
After the trauma of a savage attack, a farm girl recovers physically, but her identity, faith, and relationships are shattered.
This is the true story of Leona Stucky’s childhood on a Kansas farm, surrounded by a loving family and the simple tenets of her Mennonite community. Violence enters her world in the guise of a young man who seems normal to everyone else but who Leona knows to be deranged in his obsession with her.
His unrelenting abuses take root, and Leona must deal with them utterly alone. Her pacifist father cannot avenge or protect her, nor can a callous justice system. Even God is impotent.
Leona is cast into a bewildering life of disgrace and poverty—with a baby, a violent husband, and battered faith. Through a series of page-turning events, she hacks through the bones of her naïveté to confront harsh realities and to probe the veracity of religious claims.
The Fog of Faith is a suspenseful and morally unflinching drama of shame and survival, as well as usable and unusual wisdom.
This edition includes thoughtful questions for readers and groups to further explore their own stories.
Dr. Leona Stucky
She fit bucking bales into God’s plan, but bucking fear left this Mennonite farm teen begging and now, after 30 years as a professional psychotherapist, Dr. Leona Stucky narrates her unflinching faith-and-violence dilemma in a riveting memoir, The Fog of Faith: Surviving My Impotent God, which spares neither God nor violence against women and has been recommended by MS Magazine.
Dr. Stucky first received a degree in psychology and philosophy from Boston College, graduating summa cum laude, before plunging into seminary, first at Andover Newton Theological School and then at Eden Theological Seminary. She earned a doctorate from Southern Methodist University with honors, and a Diplomate certificate from the American Association of Pastoral Counselors—their highest credential—for teaching, supervising, and offering therapy services. She currently has standing as a Unitarian Universalist community minister.
These professional explorations might have quieted her mind, but the areas where integration seemed impossible became mental sand kernels disrupting many intellectual resting places. Being fiercely honest in confronting contradictions, she honed her wisdom, gained unusual insights, and enjoyed a professional and personal journey that could only be shared by telling the whole story. After numerous failed attempts, Dr, Stucky finally completed The Fog of Faith: Surviving My Impotent God.
The provocative title aptly indicates the unflinching moral dilemmas she reveals. The gripping story reads like a real-life thriller that readers can’t put down. Still, each step grounds itself in nuanced networks of passion, relational complexities, cultural and religious dilemmas, circumscribed choices bound by woman’s poverty, persistent violence, and an untamable resilient desire to redeem herself with or without God.
Connect with NAME at these sites:
We looked enough like a normal Midwest farm community that you might not guess we were Mennonite unless you knew our history, motives, thought processes, or noticed our controlled impulses and abundant gentleness. What you couldn’t see revealed the most about us. Underneath our disciplined exterior burned passion. We focused it on doing what Jesus wanted.
Our faith, the well from which we drank our identity, defined what our lives should be. We learned how to judge each event and where to place our trust. We knew another world loomed out there, a bad one that often dismissed our re-purposing of Jesus’s sermon on the mount. My family didn’t touch or taste that world, and seldom did that world intersect ours. Being held in Jesus’s love and resting in His arms was poignant enough for us.
– The Fog of Faith: Surviving My Impotent God
Perhaps the one identity in which we were allowed to show pride, and not feel sinful about self-promotion, was in being Mennonite. That was the right thing to be and as a young girl I was certain I could be proud of that and of having a long line of forbearers who were also Mennonite as far back as anyone could remember or discover, on both sides of my family. I thought of myself as Mennonite through and through and had no desire to be anything else, in fact, I couldn’t have guessed what ‘anything else’ might have been, other than wrong in the eyes of God.
And, as is characteristic of most faith stories, when doubts or cognitive dissonance ruffled my brain, I found ways to get back into the straight and narrow, at least for a long time.
Here is the story of one such experience told in The Fog of Faith.
One Sunday when I was seven, our tribe came to church late. Embarrassed, Dad and we big kids—Mom tended her babies in the nursery—tiptoed into an empty pew at the back of Hopefield Mennonite Church. I was expecting another mind-numbing repeat of the good things we’d heard and said before. Dad pretended to tickle me, and I squirmed and slid down the pew to escape.
“Da-a-ad,” I whispered, giving his title three syllables. “We’re supposed to be quiet. You’re not helping!” Gradually I settled into boredom, until the spoken word about the Biblical David sounded a discordant note.
“What does this mean?” I mumbled to Dad. “David did all those bad things and God helped him? God even made him kill a giant and lots of other people?”
He shushed me, but my thoughts ran wild. Didn’t God tell us never to kill anybody? Wasn’t that our Church’s point? We didn’t believe in killing anyone, not even bad people! I was guessing that God was no better than the rest of the evil world, when a safer idea landed—this must be a bad minister who preached bad stories about a bad God. How dare the preacher tell us that God is not as good as Mennonites!
I poked Dad’s side and said, “How come our minister says that God does bad things, even killing people?”
“Honey, he’s asking us to think about things a little differently.”
“It’s more than a little different if you say God likes killing! Isn’t that what the rest of the world thinks? Those who go to war? I thought we weren’t supposed to like killing. That’s what the Bible tells us.”
Dad’s red face sprouted purple lines. Beads of sweat rolled down my back. I stood up, thinking I might run.
“Is what he says about David actually in the Bible?” I continued.
“Yes, it’s in the Bible, but in the Old Testament, in a time before Jesus.”
“Are you saying that God was mean before Jesus came, but then He got nice?”
“Sort of like that,” Dad said, motioning for me to sit down and hush up. I wanted to stomp my foot so bad it ached from holding it back. I sat with my arms crossed, fingers digging into my skin, and glowered at our minister.
But I considered that I was in church and I should be kind. Because … Because … Jesus wanted me for a sunbeam. I was no dumb bunny. I knew that for sure.
I should also confess to you blog readers that when I was young, and throughout most of my life, I harbored a deep desire to be a good girl. Few things are more boring to readers than good girls. As the old adage says, good girls don’t make history.
That simple fact separates my memoir from most other stories. I am not a heroine. I did not inherit a swift and decisive mind, a strong will that demanded others conform, a sense of justice that made me react instantly when I was marginalized, a body build that allowed me to win at sports, or an extroverted demeanor that dominated discussions and the moods of people around me. No. The classic heroine lives at the opposite end of the personality spectrum from where I land.
Thus you, as a reader, are in for an unusual experience if you pick up the book. Readers say that once they start the memoir they can’t put it down – that it moves fast and is thrilling and scary each step of the way. But the speed, I can assure you, has nothing to do with the grounded molasses that is me. I’m guessing that partly due to my lack of heroine qualities, Ms. Magazine calls The Fog of Faith a great summer read, and some critical reviewers have called it both a fascinating story and an important read. I wonder what your experience will be.
The voice of this woman’s spirit and courage rings clearly as she faces the personal challenges of her faith—when the adversity in life tests the veracity of her beliefs against the reality of terror. This book is an important, insightful book that I highly recommend.
– Michael Paymar, author of Violent No More: Helping Men End Domestic Abuse
Naked with fear, aflame with rage, at once heart-pounding and heart-breaking, this true tale climbs from the wheat fields of Kansas to the promised Heaven above—and down again.
– Robert Mayer, author of The Origin of Sorrow, The Dreams of Ada, Superfolks, and other books
Peter Tesla, a prodigious young inventor, develops an electronic device to enhance the user’s free will. A major application is drug detoxification.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Peter Tesla, a prodigious young inventor, develops an electronic device to enhance the user’s free will. A major application is drug detoxification. Peter’s star client is the U.S. president. Along the way, Peter is tried for the mysterious death of a girlfriend and struggles with the machinations of a secretive industrialist.
Larry Kilham has traveled extensively overseas for over twenty years. He worked in several large international companies and started and sold two high-tech ventures. He received a B.S. in engineering from the University of Colorado and an M.S. in management from MIT. Larry has written books about creativity and invention, artificial intelligence and digital media, travel overseas, and three novels with an AI theme.
Connect with NAME at these sites:
Free Will is a concept or phenomenon that appears through all literature and common discourse since civilization began. In some sense, it definitely exists, but it means different things to different people. It is a semantic construct, not a defined constant like the physical law of gravity. With this latitude for interpretation, free will has become a favorite subject for philosophers.
Many scientist and religious philosophers argue that there is no such thing as free will. They go so far as to say that we have no more latitude of choice in thought and action than a bee in the hive. Others say we cannot describe the thought as mechanistically as describing a computer or a bee’s brain. They all agree that full understanding of human consciousness will not be completely understood for a long time, if ever.
Looking back on my life, I wrote, in part:
As a child on a farm
I knew the totality of creation
And in that wonder life had no end.
This is the mindset in which free will, as I understand it, can thrive. In my current book, Free Will Odyssey, I have my inventor protagonist grow up on a farm to illustrate the impact country life can have on free will. My father, who in real life was a prolific inventor and is thinly disguised in that same part of the book, advised me to project my mind to a new space when inventing. I received three patents and I now realize I was profitably harnessing my free will when following his advice.
Beginning in graduate school at MIT, I studied cognitive science and AI. Free will kept emerging as an important and misunderstood issue. In this book, I explore it from a number of points of view. I’m not trying to settle a philosophical argument. I’m trying to shed more light on the subject from many points of view and to emphasize its importance in some current societal problems.
My Father, My People, and Their Long Journey Home
ABOUT THE BOOK
The Jews of Aleppo, Syria, had been part of the city’s fabric for more than two thousand years, in good times and bad, through conquerors and kings. But in the middle years of the twentieth century, all that changed.
To Selim Sutton, a merchant with centuries of roots in the Syrian soil, the dangers of rising anti-Semitism made clear that his family must find a new home. With several young children and no prospect of securing visas to the United States, he devised a savvy plan for getting his family out: “exporting” his sons. In December 1940, he told the two oldest, Meïr and Saleh, that arrangements had been made for their transit to Shanghai, where they would work in an uncle’s export business. China, he hoped, would provide a short-term safe harbor and a steppingstone to America.
But the world intervened for the young men, now renamed Mike and Sal by their Uncle Joe. Sal became ill with tuberculosis soon after arriving and was sent back to Aleppo alone. And the war that soon would engulf every inhabited land loomed closer each day. Joe, Syrian-born but a naturalized American citizen, barely escaped on the last ship to sail for the U.S. before Pearl Harbor was bombed and the Japanese seized Shanghai. Mike was alone, a teen-ager in an occupied city, across the world from his family, with only his mettle to rely on as he strived to survive personally and economically in the face of increasing deprivation.
Farewell, Aleppo is the story—told by his daughter—of the journey that would ultimately take him from the insular Jewish community of Aleppo to the solitary task of building a new life in America. It is both her father’s tale that journalist Claudette Sutton describes and also the harrowing experiences of the family members he left behind in Syria, forced to smuggle themselves out of the country after it closed its borders to Jewish emigration.
The picture Sutton paints is both a poignant narrative of individual lives and the broader canvas of a people’s survival over millennia, in their native land and far away, through the strength of their faith and their communities. Multiple threads come richly together as she observes their world from inside and outside the fold, shares an important and nearly forgotten epoch of Jewish history, and explores universal questions of identity, family, and culture.
It’s no coincidence that family is the central focus of both Farewell, Aleppo and the work that has been the driving force of its author’s professional life.
Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in the close-knit community of Syrian Jews all were part of Claudette Sutton’s childhood in suburban Maryland, along with her parents and siblings. Years later, as a young mother in Santa Fe, it seemed only natural to think of creating a similar kind of close support for families in her new hometown by means of her journalism training and experience.
Thus began what is now Tumbleweeds, an award-winning local publication that for over twenty years has been expanding its role in serving the city’s families. As the quarterly newspaper has grown, so have its scope and community contributions, mixing news, commentary, personal writing, advice, and activity guides—all reflecting Claudette’s vision of a community resource to help her neighbors face the challenges of parenting.
Claudette’s eloquent writing, the other great strength she combines with the paper’s wide-ranging utility, has been a door to the world for her since she was a teen-ager. As a reporter, she realized early, “You can learn about everything”—a much more appealing option after high school than the enforced specialization of college.
After three years writing for the Montgomery County Sentinel in Maryland, Claudette moved to New York, where she earned a bachelor’s degree from the New School for Social Research. Living in proximity to another side of her extensive family, she built a deeper understanding of the Jewish exodus from Syria that has formed the backdrop for the story she tells so movingly in Farewell, Aleppo.
The narrative chronicles her father’s youth, his odyssey across oceans and continents, and the new life he made in America. But as Claudette talked with him and researched more deeply, she saw also the essential elements of the larger tale. What began as one man’s story grew into a portrait of the history that made his journey necessary, and of how a vibrant people have preserved their community and culture through the thousands of years from biblical times to today.
Connect with Claudette at these sites:
What is It?
When I finished writing my book Farewell, Aleppo back in 2014, the very last words I chose were the subtitle.
The book is a memoir of my father’s relocation from Syria to America in the middle of the last century. Brainstorming together, Dad and I decided on: “My Father, My People, and Their Long Journey Home.” There’s a bit of irony there, since his family was forced out of the Jewish community that had been their home for centuries, and came here to build a new life.
“[They] brought religious practices, household traditions, foods, familial bonds, and tenacity,” I wrote in the epilogue. “Everything else could be replaced.”
In talks I’ve given on the book since then, questions about home have come up often. Is home something we make, or something we are given? Is home rooted in place, or is it portable? Is it “where you hang your hat” – or where your ancestors hung theirs?
What is home? It’s a question the whole world seems to be asking right now, when record numbers of people have been displaced by war, famine, natural disaster, religious or political oppression, and human trafficking.
As a Jew living in America, I have conflicting ideas of home. For the Jewish people, mobility is an integral part of our identity and our narrative. We are the “people scattered among the nations,” the “Wandering Jew.” Diaspora and exile have been central to our heritage from our very beginnings. Home is something we carry within.
Americans, by contrast, are epitomes of stability. We give bragging rights to those who can claim ancestry dating back to the Mayflower (or, in New Mexico, where I live to the first Spanish explorers who came up the Rio Grande in the 1500s). My parents and siblings live within 20 miles of the D.C. suburb where I was born. (I’m the exception: I moved from Maryland to Santa Fe three decades ago.) Home is our connection to a place.
But as I’ve learned from sharing my father’s story in the past few years, few of us have to dig deep in our past before hitting experiences of displacement. Whether as refugees, immigrants, slaves, or people of conquered nations, we all know the challenge of finding home. We are a mobile species, whether by force, choice or need. Perhaps home is as much an ideal as a reality.
For me now, hearing the windows rattling on a windy night in the mountains, home is shelter. Home is my husband and cat. Home the soup on the stove, the wine in my glass. And home is a sense of longing, a restlessness born of ancestry and experience, less a fixed location than a direction. Home is an emotional North Star.
“A multi-faceted biography of her father and his long-ago journey from ancient Aleppo to skyscraper America, the story of the vanished Syrian-Jewish culture in Aleppo, now a battleground in Syria’s civil war, [and] a look at how that culture still survives. A treasure of a book.”
-Bernard Kalb, former correspondent for the New York Times, CBS News and NBC News, moderator of CNN’s Reliable Sources and Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs
“Sutton merges the best of family biography with relevant and fascinating historical, social, and religious knowledge. Incorporating elements of history, religious struggles, pursuit of dreams, and the strength of kinship to create a stirring tribute to the foresight of her grandfather and the strength and perseverance of his offspring, Sutton craftily weaves interesting story lines into an encouraging and intriguing narrative.”
Claudette Sutton takes the reader on a courageous journey as she tells the story of her father, whose world changed with the winds of World War II. Farewell, Aleppo is a story of how people are shaped by their past. This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to explore this rich culture that many people do not know very much about.
– Elise Cooper, Jewish Book Council
An engaging, evocative, deeply touching book that is part memoir, part history and part a personal journey….virtually a love-story of a daughter to a father.
– James McGrath Morris, author of Pulitzer, and Eyes on the Struggle
This book is a jewel box, and Sutton’s father’s shimmering memories of growing up Jewish in Aleppo, Turkey, and Shanghai are the precious jewels. I could taste the food, feel the anxiety after the founding of Israel, experience the highs and lows of life in Shanghai during the Second World War. The specificity of the Mizrahi lifestyle––which continues in America to this day–– will be of great interest to readers.
– Judith Fein, author of The Spoon From Minkowitz and Life is A Trip
Sutton manages to walk that fine, fine line of making the personal universal and the universal personal. [She] interviewed her dad over a period of nearly twenty years and did a tremendous amount of research for this book, but the sprawling story of “China Mike” is somehow concise, a tidy 155 pages in a pleasing design with photos, maps, and enough historical context to complete the reader’s understanding. We are indebted to her for this outstanding book.
– Barbara Gerber, author of “Love and Death in a Perfect World”
Farewell, Aleppo: My Father, My People, and Their Long Journey Home offers the reader a graceful blend of “China Mike’s” biography and a history of the Jewish people of Aleppo. When I finished Claudette Sutton’s tribute, I felt I’d traveled many miles and gotten to know Miro, Son of Selim Sutton. A true father-daughter story, Farewell, Aleppo is loving, informative and unforgettable.
-Elaine Pinkerton Coleman, author of From Calcutta with Love and The Goodbye Baby
There certainly must have been something unique about the Jews of Aleppo to have allowed them to survive there for thousands of years and preserve a sense of tradition and community in America for the last 100 years. A remarkable tale of the power of family, tradition, culture and history. Makes the current devastation of Aleppo during the Syrian Civil War all the more tragic.
– Ellen Zieselman, retired Curator of Education, New Mexico Mexico Museum of Art; Youth Director, Temple Beth Shalom