Today, I’m offering you Armchair Travel — and there’s nothing quite like it! No last-minute panic getting out to the airport; no check-in; no security check; no obnoxious seat partner on the plane; no screaming babies; no lost baggage; no lousy exchange rate; no pickpockets; no struggle, fuss or stress. But even without the hassle, the destination is exotic. Sound good?
This is no tourist destination with sandy beaches, secure hotels, and international food. We’ll be in a little-known area in eastern Turkey, an empty beige plain surrounded by dark mountains, where the summer heat is intense. This is also a difficult part of the world where the police are corrupt, rules are strict, and people watch your every move.
Important artifacts have been disappearing from the local archaeological site of Karakuyu, and the site director has mysteriously vanished. Under suspicion, is Anne Pierson, a former Washington journalist who, after a scandalous affair with the wrong man, lost her job, and her reputation. Desperate to escape her past, she avoids all personal relationships…and that only makes people even more suspicious.
Archaeologist Renaud Townsend has been sent to Karakuyu to discover who is responsible for the thefts. He’s passionate about his work, ancient history, and about discovery, but when he meets Anne Pierson, he knows his interest goes further than just solving mysteries.
Like Anne Pierson, I once worked in central Turkey as a translator and guide. Because of that, many of the incidents in The Turkish Affair, are true. I accompanied two archaeologists called in to verify whether smuggled coins were fakes or antiques. I really did meet Leyla, the brave and rebellious young woman who rescues Anne from a dangerous situation on a back road — and, yes, she did help me, too. I knew dangerous and corrupt policemen; I met smugglers and prisoners; I encountered opposition when I broke the rules.
And one day, while passing through an archaeological site in Turkey, I briefly caught sight of a lean and elegant man heading toward a jumble of smashed pillars. He was the inspiration for Renaud Townsend.
So come along with me on this journey, for the pleasure of a good tale, the chance to solve a mystery, and to visit a world you might never otherwise see.
All the best to you,
J. Arlene Culiner
Writer, 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.
WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:
Storytelling podcast: https://soundcloud.com/j-arlene-culiner
About the Book
Love and Danger at the ancient Hittite site of KarakuyuPriceless artifacts are disappearing from the ancient Hittite site of Karakuyu in Turkey, and the site
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