Sweet and Sour : Blog Tour

The Magic of Kosher


I’m a very bad Jew.

By that I mean I’m secular, and I never paid attention to the rules of Kashrut.

But that had to change when I moved to Israel to go to college and moved into a dorm room that I shared with an Orthodox Jewish girl originally from Australia.

My roommate and I became good friends and I joined her family in Tel Aviv on several occasions for Shabat dinner. I learned a great deal about the rules of kashrut as well as how modern, more affluent Jews manage to have an active household and still abide by the strict rules of the Sabbath.

I also discovered a great love of food in Israel. Israeli food isn’t one of those international cuisines that immediately conjure a clear menu for most folks outside of the Middle East, but I had found my culinary Promised Land.

As a vegetarian the fact that restaurants in Israel are either meat or dairy was this incredible boon – I could go to any dairy restaurant and know everything on the meal was for me.  And the food was simple and fresh – vegetables, cheeses, fresh bread, olives, hummus. Once you’ve had an Israeli falafel you can never have any other.

When I returned to the States I got away from the healthy and delicious Israeli diet and became a big slob for years and years, drowning my sorrows in endless processed hummus packages and slumming it with IHOP blintzes that were just pancakes in disguise. But once I started writing Hanukkah romances I realized how much food is part of the whole holiday season for me, thanks to my roommate and my year in Jerusalem, and has become associated with Judaism as a whole. Hence it showing up in almost every single holiday romance I write.

So I wish you all a very Happy Hanukkah, or should I say Thanksgivukkah, and may you celebrate the joys of family and friendship over delicious food!

* * *

Title : Sweet and Sour

Author : Astrid Amara

Publisher : Loose Id (BUY HERE)

Blurb : Miles Piekus thought he and Itai would make a great team, despite the infidelities haunting their past. After all, Itai is smoking hot, they’re both driven entrepreneurs, and they love each other. What else did a person need?

Well, a lot more, apparently, because not only are they no longer passionate, they don’t even share the same passions. Like people, affections change, and Miles wonders if a relationship this broken is truly worth repairing.

Itai’s business launch with his ex-boyfriend isn’t helping. And Miles himself has a new business to grow over a busy few weeks where Thanksgiving and Hanukkah collide to form either the best holiday season ever, or a kosher caterer’s worst nightmare.

But help comes in the unexpected, ruggedly handsome form of Detective Dominic Delbene, a pickle aficionado with his own ghosts, who stakes out the deli to capture a dangerous drug dealer. As Hanukkah’s eight days come to an end, Miles discovers that Nic is not only good with pickling; he’s good at everything.

* * *

About the Author :


When Astrid Amara isn’t writing, she is either riding horses, goat herding, sleeping, or working as a civil servant. She is a Lambda Literary Award finalist. More information can be found at: www.astridamara.com

Astrid can also be found at :  Goodreads and Facebook 


Astrid has generously offered an e-copy of “Sweet and Sour”, to one lucky commenter here. The winner will be drawn November 27th. Good luck!

(Normal T’s & C’s apply)