S. Khubiar's Blog

April 24, 2018

Author Interview with S. Khubiar

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Published on April 24, 2018 16:05 Tags: jewish-fiction, suspense, thriller

April 12, 2018

Could use your vote...

If you can participate, please consider voting for my thoughtful thriller, The Eagle and the Child: the Child for Book of the Month in the Authors Needing Review Group. I really could use more eyes on this book!

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Published on April 12, 2018 14:06

March 22, 2018




"The story of The Child is the type of story I love to read as it combines and weaves themes that I adore in literature. Themes of romance, action, espionage and of course religion are all explored throughout the book and although this combination seems that it would not work or ‘gel’ together, it does, and this is thanks to the exceptionally talented author S. Khubiar. Khubiar is a newly discovered author of mine, however, I wish I had found her work sooner because never before have I been so entertained with a story. The story entertained me so much because it was unlike anything I have read before, how often is it that readers will discover a book like this one, a book that weaves themes which should not work but they do and a book written by somebody who has experience in the field..."
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Published on March 22, 2018 18:24 Tags: faye-kellerman, jewish-book-carnival, jewish-fiction, religious-fiction, suspense, thriller

February 19, 2018

Thanks to Sassy Brit Blog

We were featured on Sassy Brit's Monday Movie Trailer page today. Check it out along with my favorite song from Maureen Nehedar:

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Published on February 19, 2018 15:02 Tags: mondaymovie

November 9, 2017

November 8, 2017

Review of Women's Minyan

Women's MinyanWomen's Minyan by Naomi Ragen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've long been a fan of Ms. Ragen's fiction, so I was interested in how she would cast her characters in a play. The Women's Minyan was faithful to her past work, yet it was difficult to build the empathy that one normally does with Ms. Ragen's protagonists. A play, however, doesn't build with the same time materials as fiction, and in that respect, the pace was perfect. I appreciated the effort to expose some of the extremes that exist in ultra-Orthodoxy.

The first instinct a Jewish reader might have is an impulse to say, "Hey, these people don't represent my own beliefs and observance," but it's not the writer's job to represent every sect or stream of Judaism. It's the writer's choice whether she writes from an ultra-orthodox viewpoint or that of the srugim. Ms. Ragen chose her voice and has taken on the job of urging social justice upon all Jews, and perhaps upon the occasional non-Jewish reader (to whom much of the play would be a mystery) by exposing the extremes of insularity and hypocrisy that lead to extremism.

In that sense, it's not just a Jewish problem or any religious problem, but a human problem. American politics today is the secular version of this play. The difference is that a huge revelation of character cancer does not bring enlightenment or realization of extremism, but a doubling down on demonization of those who see and practice American life differently. The most disappointing aspect of religiously-sponsored oppression of women (I don't believe for one minute that G-D sanctions it) is that it is frequently women who are the indoctrinated enforcers.

I appreciate Ms. Ragen's exposure of domestic violence (within any male-dominated culture or institution). In my first fiction work, some readers fell out of love with the story because of a couple of harsh scenes of domestic violence. In fiction, however, there is no story if everyone acts according to his or her best nature. In real life, domestic violence, coercion, and sexual harassment is neither a new story, nor is it novel to those who've suffered from it.

This is another fine work from Ms. Ragen and worth the time invested in the read. Highly recommend.

View all my reviews
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Published on November 08, 2017 04:56 Tags: jewish-book-carnival

November 5, 2017

This doesn't sell books in six seconds.

After giving The Child a 5-star review, IndieReader sent a written interview in which I was asked to give the "pitch" for The Child. After writing a few paragraphs, I cut out what I knew they didn't want to know. Sorry, those introspective paragraphs just don't sell books within the six-second window a writer has to capture a reader's attention. Anyway, for the one or two curious readers willing to invest a full minute, here is the full response:

IndieReader: What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”. 

A retired American-Israeli assassin, Shahla, quit wet work because she struggled with her conscience. Her back story unfolds throughout the trilogy, but as in life, sometimes one choice made in bitterness has lifetime repercussions. After a work injury, she finds love outside of her Jewish faith, which creates problems. Shahla was born to Persian Jewish parents, so the culture clash with her husband is as sharp as the religious one. A callback tips things over the edge, and she disappears for a while into the spook universe. Her husband is worried that she’s re-connected with someone whom she cares about, and she has. She surfaces to reunite with her husband after another bad injury, but a hit squad ruins their family Passover. Although the Iranian-backed squad is eliminated, it’s not over, which Shahla finds out after giving birth to her first, and only child.

It’s the people closest to Shahla who did her the greatest harm. It’s a psychological study into the minds of those who work clandestinely, which sometimes requires violence. Most thrillers leave the reader with a sense of the protagonist’s invincibility, but Shahla is very human, sometimes a hunter and sometimes a frightened child. She’s more afraid of herself than any enemy. The male-dominant nature of certain agencies creates a climate where women are frequently manipulated or coerced into behavior that is not their natural inclination. Such self-betrayal isn’t healthy.

In law enforcement and related fields, you see things that prevent you from being “normal.” In that respect, it was easy to give voice to Shahla’s thoughts and predict her actions that seem improbable to a civilian. Some things you can’t unsee or undo, and you feel as though you don’t deserve to be with normal people. Shahla meets us there with that fear, which I suspect is not isolated to those in the military, law enforcement, or clandestine services. In that sense, The Child The Eagle and the Child: The Child gives the reader much more than a formulaic thriller. You know that Shahla is real because she is you.

So what did the IndieReader reviewer write about The Child?

"Rating: 5
A reluctant Israeli assassin put back into harness, Kubiar makes cultural and religious differences contained in the marriage of a practicing Jew and a wealthy Protestant as perilous as machine-gun sprays and choke-holds."

So who will buy this book, the romance reader, the thriller reader, the Jewish or Christian religious reader, or the literary fiction reader? Maybe all those if they can be grabbed in six seconds.
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Published on November 05, 2017 06:29 Tags: faye-kellerman, jewish-book-carnival, jewish-fiction, religious-fiction, suspense, thriller

October 9, 2017

"...stellar writing, a gripping story, and memorable characters."

Reviewed By Arya Fomonyuy for Readers’ Favorite

The Eagle and the Child is the first book in The Child trilogy by S. Khubiar; well-imagined and flawlessly executed, a book with strong religious and political themes — religious extremism, espionage, anti-Semitism, domestic violence, and loyalty. Meet Shahla, a woman torn between two worlds. She is an American working as a Research Specialist in a Federal prison, but she is also disguised as a spy for the Israeli government. She wants nothing more than to be free of the two governments, and a mixed marriage with a man she'd hoped would help bring light to her world becomes the source of a new nightmare. During a Passover celebration, she finds herself compelled to face a past she’d have loved to bury, with intelligence agents from three different countries and someone who is out to settle scores. Can her skills save her and protect her marriage?

This is a great read, a story that explores mixed cultures and I enjoyed the way the author talks about the complexities of a marriage between a Jewish and a Gentile. S. Khubiar has a unique gift for the storytelling craft, witty and intelligent dialogues, and character development. I started enjoying the beauty of the language and the depth of the dialogues from the very first page. There are expressions that are just so insightful and lovely. The conflict is multilayered and beautifully developed to move the story forward. The characters have depth and readers will enjoy Phillip and Shahla, the tension between them, and the incredible journey they take through the entire story. The Eagle and the Child features stellar writing, a gripping story, and memorable characters. It opens a whole new world for readers to navigate. A delightful read, indeed!
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Published on October 09, 2017 07:18 Tags: faye-kellerman, jewish-book-carnival, jewish-fiction, religious-fiction

September 11, 2017

Book Viral Review: "Strongly recommend"

Our review......

Smart, fast paced and soundly executed, The Eagle and the Child: The Child, sees Khubiar taking a rivetingly plausible central theme, and delivering a power packed romantic thriller. With far too many novels in the genre centring on clichéd protagonists it’s refreshing to see an author break the mould with an intelligent lead who has genuine depth, and Shahla certainly fits the bill with faith and her Mossad training proving equally powerful drivers in her life. From the opening chapter with Phillip Sherrod, her persona always feels authentic whilst Khubiar gets the pitch and momentum of Shahla's narrative just right. On this level, it certainly makes for pure entertainment but dig a little deeper and it’s also a poignant reflection of the times we live in, evoking a strong sense of place, moral choices, immoral certainties, human nature and the power of faith to pull us through the darkest of times. It’s on this level that Khubiar ultimately ensnares our attention and leaves us with something to think about beyond what proves to be a cracking ending.

A high octane start to an exciting new series, The Eagle and the Child: The Child, is strongly recommended.

http://www.bookviral.com/the-eagle-an...The Eagle and the Child: The Child
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Published on September 11, 2017 16:43 Tags: faye-kellerman, jewish-book-carnival, jewish-fiction, religious-fiction

August 14, 2017

Spiritual heroism?

Although this quote is a little out of context as it relates to writing Jewish fiction, I do feel the need for "spiritual heroism" in writing even fiction.

"The realization that a decline in the moral state impedes the flowering of literature is a feeling unique to the Jewish people. Only we realize in truth that in order to improve the quality of literature, there is a necessary prerequisite, that the writers first cleanse their souls. We feel in ourselves the great need for penitence so that we might rise to the sublime heights of the noble literature that is uniquely ours, that stems from the wisdom of Israel, whose source is holiness and purity, faith and spiritual heroism." Kook, Lights of Penitence, p. 118.
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Published on August 14, 2017 17:50 Tags: jewish, jewish-fiction

S. Khubiar's Blog

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