Today I am so pleased to welcome Avery Duran to Joyfully Jay. Avery has come to talk to us about her latest release, Ahava Is Love. She has also brought along a great tour wide giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Thank you so much to Joyfully Jay for hosting me today. My novella, Ahava is Love came out this summer, but the majority of the book takes place during Chanukah, and the themes of the holiday run through the story.
As it’s that time of the year, I thought it would be fun to celebrate with a Chanukah blog party. Since no celebration is complete without food, conversation, and gifts – I’ve spent the holiday visiting different blogs to share recipes, stories, excerpts and a great giveaway. I hope you’ll join me!
Chanukah celebrates the rededication of the holy temple by the Maccabees, a small group of Jews who defeated the Greek army. They were only able to find enough oil to fuel the temple Menorah for one day, but it miraculously lasted for eight.
The miracle of the oil is the reason that fried foods are eaten. The most well-known fried food is the potato pancake or latke. Similar to large hash browns, they are made of grated potatoes fried in oil. There are as many recipes for latkes as they are families. My family grates an onion in with the potatoes, others add carrots. Some add egg, matzo meal, or flour as a binder. All of these recipes are delicious – it’s just a matter of personal choice.
People take their latke recipes very seriously. My grandmother never had much of a filter, so I should not have been surprised when she told my mother-in-law that she would never use matzo meal in her latkes. She then went on to say that the only people who would do that were trying to stretch their potatoes, because they were too cheap to buy more. Needless to say, my matzo meal using mother-in-law was not pleased. I’ve been known to add matzo meal because I like the texture it gives my latkes, I’m sure I will get a lecture from my Bubbie in the afterlife.
It’s no surprise that Chanukah is most children’s favorite holiday. It doesn’t involve hours of synagogue or fasting. Since it lasts for eight days, it’s easy to find time to celebrate with different friends and family members. Fried food is always on the menu, seriously, what can be bad about a holiday when doughnuts (called sufganyot in Hebrew) are required eating? We sing songs, play games, and get gifts every night for eight days. Paarty!!!!
It’s also no surprise that most parents are burned out by the end of Chanukah. Hours of shopping and budgeting goes into selecting just the right gifts without breaking the bank. Road trips between friends and family members take up most night and weekend hours. The entire kitchen seems to be coated in grease by the time the last potato latke is fried. Exhausting!!!!
But somewhere in the middle is a special time of the year. We honor the traditions of our grandparents and create some new ones. We spend a few quiet moments together every night, lighting the menorah and saying the prayers. We teach our children to appreciate their culture, while respecting and learning from other people’s beliefs. We do this all while observing a holiday which celebrates persistence, faith, and most importantly – hope.
Ahava is Love is the story of Josh, an American Realtor, and Yaron, an Israeli medic. Two men, traveling together for ten days, both with a great deal of love to offer, yet each afraid to open his heart to someone else. The attraction is instant, but it seems only a miracle could keep them together. Ahava is Love – Ahava is the Hebrew word for love, I think you’ll enjoy falling in love with Josh, Yaron – and Israel!;
Brooklyn Realtor Josh Perlman desperately wants to settle down. Unfortunately, he can’t find a man who wants the same. Tired of disastrous dates, he travels to explore his heritage.
Yaron is an Israeli security guard and medic charged with looking after Josh and his pilgrimage group. For Yaron, the need to protect has become more a duty than an honor since he lost his long-term boyfriend to a terrorist attack—a loss that continues to haunt him.
As they embark on their journey through the Holy Land, it’s hard to deny the attraction that sparks between Josh and Yaron. Yet with America calling Josh home, and Israel, and the death of his lover holding Yaron prisoner, it seems only a miracle can keep them together.
But Israel is an ancient land, one that has seen miracles before. Surrounded by structures that have been destroyed and rebuilt time after time, Josh and Yaron might just learn that their futures can be found in the wisdom of the past.
World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.
Buy Link: http://books2read.com/u/31MJaW
Parent Association President by day, Romance Author by night, Avery Duran (www.averyduran.com) enjoys the best of all worlds. She’s a minivan-driving, cupcake-baking, soccer mom, who works outside the home while raising three rambunctious boys. Easily distracted by shiny things, Avery found making up stories in her head was an effective way to fool people into thinking she was paying attention. Eventually, she decided to write down one of those stories, and her alter-ego was born.
A native New Yorker, she often incorporates her favorite city into what she writes. During the day, while driving, watching endless YouTube videos, or animated shows with her offspring, she plots her stories. At night, when her husband and children go to sleep, Avery sits in a quiet house and puts those words on paper. She loves spending her downtime creating a world filled with people loving and laughing their way to happily-ever-after.
Avery has brought a $20 Amazon gift card to give away to one lucky reader on her tour. Just follow the Rafflecopter below to enter.
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