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The Turkish Affair by J. Arlene Culiner - Book Tour

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By J. Arlene Culiner


Love and Danger at the ancient Hittite site of Karakuyu

Priceless artifacts are disappearing from the ancient Hittite site of Karakuyu in
Turkey, and the site director has vanished. Called in to solve the
mystery, archaeologist Renaud Townsend is hindered by both his inability
to speak the language and the knowledge that the local police are
corrupt. His attraction to translator Anne Pierson is immediate,
although he is troubled by her refusal to talk about the past and her
fear of public scandal. But when murder enters the picture, both Anne
and Renaud realize that the risk of falling in love is not the only danger.


Author J. Arlene Culiner does not disappoint in this fast-paced novel, The Turkish Affair.
Glittering descriptions, magical settings, and enviable characters bring the solemn grounds of Turkey to life as we are planted firmly in an archeological dig in Karakuyu, Turkey. Culiner's mastery of the English language and sentence combinations form an enchanting read. The Turkish
Affair is a must-read for all lovers of romance and adventure.

--Lisa McCombs for Readers' Favorite

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A delicious breeze tickled the air, and the little boat rocked gently. A fine line appeared between Renaud’s brows, and his blue eyes were, once again, serious. “I need your help.”
Anne stared. “My help? With what? Translating?”
“No. With something else. I have to find out who is behind the thefts at Karakuyu.”
The feeling of dread returned, but she forced herself to sound casual. “How could I possibly help you with that?”
“I don’t know.” He sighed. “I just don’t want to feel that I’m alone in this.”
What could she say to that? Tell him she was the last person he should team up with? That long ago, she’d escaped arrest by the skin of her teeth? If she did so, this splendid moment would be over. The silver-foil glimmer of romance would be tarnished forever. He’d row back to shore, drive back to Gülkale, get rid of her as quickly as possible.
“Anne?” He reached out to caress her bare arm. “Come back from wherever you are.”
“You know nothing about me,” she said jaggedly.
“Nothing,” he agreed.
She swallowed. “I could be involved in the thefts for all you know. Why ask for my help? Why choose me?”
He smiled faintly. “A good question. I suppose, quite simply, I need—or want—to trust you.”
She felt utterly miserable. Why was life always like this? Wanting someone and not being able to have them? Wanting trust, but seeing it snatched away before it came close?

1. If you could dine with any literary character, who would it be and why?
I recently finished a manuscript I have worked on for the last eight years. It is a biography about a totally forgotten nineteenth-century Ukrainian-Jewish poet and singer. He was also known as a wonderful storyteller, a rebel, and a man who loved women. If I could just have one meal with him, I’d be in seventh heaven because after writing about him, looking for the place where he was born, following in his footsteps across Ukraine and Romania, drinking in bars where he might once have drank, I fell madly in love with him. Unfortunately, he died in 1876.
2. Did you want to be an author when you grew up?
Doesn’t everyone?
3. If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Sarcastic, ditzy, funny.
4. What is your most unusual writing quirk?
I’m afraid you’ll have to ask my dogs and cats to answer that one.
5. What’s one movie you like recommending to others?
I hate movies. I never watch them. I very occasionally act in them, but that’s only to earn money. However, there are a few old moves that I adore. The best is Jacques Tati’s social critical film Mon Oncle, in which the hero, a complete outsider, is appalled at the modernization and destruction he sees all around him.
6. If you could own any animal as a pet, what would it be?
Any animal, reptile, or insect is fine with me. Spiders are more than welcome in my world, so are snakes. All creatures have their place. All are important. All should be treated with respect.
7. How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
There’s no average. Some books have taken me twelve years, other a year and a half.
8. How do you select the names of your characters?
They just float into my mind. I don’t have to look for them. Of course, if I’m writing non-fiction and I want to hide who someone is, I look up popular names for people in the country I’m writing about.
9. If you were the last person on Earth, what would you do?
Make dinner. Drink a good bottle of wine. Enjoy the peace and quiet. Stop washing my neck.
10. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Because I think that language and imagery are such important elements in a good book, I would suggest that any potential writer read and absorb poetry, particularly the poems written between 1940 and 1980. The work is accessible, and very strong. Some poets I particularly love are: Stevie Smith, Earle Birney, Norman MacCaig, Elizabeth Bishop, Dannie Abse, Roy Fuller, Anthony Hecht, Derek Mahon, and Randall Jarell, but there many others, too, and their poems are available for free on the Internet.
 11. What is your favorite genre to read?
Non-fiction serious travelogues. Yes, I know my new release, The Turkish Affair, is fiction — a romantic mystery — but in it, my readers are transported to a foreign country where they’ll be on an archaeological site. They’ll experience the heat, the dust, the food, and the danger. They’ll learn a little about the ancient Hittite civilization; they’ll read about artifact theft. And they’ll be very far from the areas where all tourists go. They also get to solve a mystery, and, best of all, they just might fall in love.

photographer, social critical artist, musician, and occasional actress,
J. Arlene Culiner, was born in New York and raised in Toronto. She has
crossed much of Europe on foot, has lived in a Hungarian mud house, a
Bavarian castle, a Turkish cave-dwelling, on a Dutch canal, and in a
haunted house on the English moors. She now resides in a 400-year-old
former inn in a French village of no interest and, much to local dismay,
protects all creatures, especially spiders and snakes. She particularly
enjoys incorporating into short stories, mysteries, narrative
non-fiction, and romances, her experiences in out-of-the-way
communities, and her conversations with strange characters.


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