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The big question I ask myself is, "How can I change my readers' lives?" It's not enough to provide an exciting chase. I want my readers to reflect on what they've read in a positive, poignant way. However, I recognize the threat of sounding preachy, so I keep the story light and work at slipping in the meaning without standing on a soapbox. Come for the ride, stay for the epiphany.

36 Righteous: A Serial Killer's Hit List

Welcome to the Baton Blog Hop!

Before I reveal my current writing process, which changes faster than the reception on your phone, I want to give a huge shout out to Vanessa Kier, author of the Surgical Strike Unit series, great romantic thrillers. She invited me to this Baton Blog Hop party, so if you're wondering where all the cake and ice cream went, it's her fault for inviting me.

Something you should know about Vanessa, when it comes to understanding killers, she has a ton of experience. That came out wrong. She's been to the CIA, FBI, military installations, the State Department, FEMA underground shelters, fire and police departments, bomb squads, and has even met the LA mounted police! And to my knowledge, none of those visits were due to being arrested, just taking tours. The point is she's got a strong understanding of how the U.S captures criminals, and her knowledge is reflected in her writing. Check out her books on Amazon.

On to the questions!

1. What are you working on?

I've just published the ebook of the sequel to The Torah Codes. It's called 36 Righteous: A Serial Killer's Hit List. Now I'm preparing the paperback version which should be out by May, 2014. Meanwhile, I've been detailing the outline for books three and four. Book three will be a version of Die Hard with an overall theme addressing women's status in Judaism and other religions. Book four will be reminiscent of The Bourne Identity. Like the previous books, the twists and turns are so exciting, if I hold them in too long I'll pop!

2. How does your work differ from others in the thriller genre?

The big question I ask myself is, "How can I change my readers' lives?" It's not enough to provide an exciting chase. I want my readers to reflect on what they've read in a positive, poignant way. However, I recognize the threat of sounding preachy, so I keep the story light and work at slipping in the meaning without standing on a soapbox. Come for the ride, stay for the epiphany.

3. Why do you write thrillers?

I used to write horror. I spent my first twenty-five years refining my craft. I succeeded, and that was the problem. After one of my friends read a short horror story of mine, he said he couldn't sleep for three days and had to see a therapist. (No joke!) In fact, I began scaring myself. Writing the words, typing the letters on the keys, it felt like I was conjuring emotional, traumatizing demons. I switched to the mystery genre, then to the thriller genre, because I noticed my strengths resided in writing dialogue and not description. In thrillers, there's a stronger need for fast pacing and less of a need for description. I took to thrillers like a dog takes to leaning out of a moving car's front seat window. Some say I even have my tongue hanging out when I write.

4. How does your writing process work?

My writing process doesn't work. If it did, I'd be selling completed books for every writing idea that comes to me. Considering the common dysfunction writers have of keeping file cabinets and drawers stuffed with never-written storylines and character ideas, I don't think any author has mastered the writing process.

***

Thanks for following the baton! And now I pass it on to the nearest author: Beth Barany!

Beth Barany, author of Henrietta the Dragon SlayerBeth Barany's latest book in her Five Kingdoms Series is book #2: Henrietta and the Dragon Stone. I love this book. You learn more of the secrets Henrietta and the other characters hide away, the stakes are higher, the fights with enemies and the romance among friends are filled with more fire, and the story doesn't leave you hanging. Find out more about her Five Kingdoms Series here!

In every generation, 36 righteous must live to prevent the Earth's complete destruction. When the list of 36 righteous is stolen and turned into a hit list, Nathan Yirmorshy must do all he can to stop the serial killer's onslaught. Especially since his girlfriend Sophia is on the list. 36 Righteous: A Serial Killer's Hit List is the sequel to Ezra Barany's award-winning bestselling thriller, The Torah Codes.

36 Righteous: A Serial Killer's Hit List 36 Righteous: A Serial Killer's Hit List

Good Book Trailers are Hard to Make

I love making book trailers, but I've noticed that a lot of book trailers don't interest me much. I've realized that the problem with most book trailers is that they don't often convey the promise of the experience. From what I've gleaned, the best things to include are the premise, the What If statement, and testimonials.

Here's one for my most recent thriller, 36 Righteous: A Serial Killer's Hit List. It's a sequel to my award-winning bestseller, The Torah Codes. What do you think?

36 Righteous: A Serial Killer's Hit List

 

 

From The Torah Codes series, a Jewish version of The Da Vinci Code

In every generation, 36 righteous must live to prevent the Earth's complete destruction. When the list of 36 righteous is stolen and turned into a hit list, Nathan Yirmorshy must do all he can to stop the serial killer's onslaught. Especially since his girlfriend Sophia is on the list.

36 Righteous: A Serial Killer's Hit List is the sequel to Ezra Barany's award-winning bestselling thriller, The Torah Codes.

Included is an appendix of essays and interviews by rabbis and reverends who tackle the question, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" Contributors are Rabbi Harold S. Kushner, Reverend Amber Belldene, Rabbi Daniel Kohn, Rabbi Maury Grebenau, Reverend Leslie Nipps, Rabbi Tsiporah Gabai, Reverend Amy Roden, and Josh Rosenau.

 

Ezra Barany, author of the award-winning bestseller The Torah CodesEzra Barany started his career of freaking out readers with his suspense and thriller stories in college. In March 2011, Ezra unleashed his first novel The Torah Codes, which became an award-winning international bestseller. In his free time, he writes mushy love songs inspired by his wife and book coach Beth Barany. Ezra, a former physics teacher, lives in Oakland with his beloved wife and two cats working on his next book in The Torah Codes series. Ezra, not the cats.

In every generation, 36 righteous must live to prevent the Earth's complete destruction. When the list of 36 righteous is stolen and turned into a hit list, Nathan Yirmorshy must do all he can to stop the serial killer's onslaught. Especially since his girlfriend Sophia is on the list.

36 Righteous: A Serial Killer's Hit List 36 Righteous: A Serial Killer's Hit List

What would you do if your beloved were on a hit list?

I've just released the next thriller in The Torah Codes series, 36 Righteous: A Serial Killer's Hit List, and I'm very happy with how it's turned out. Both my parents say that it's better than The Torah Codes, and as you know, it's a scientific fact that when parents agree, it must be true.

What's it about?

In every generation, 36 righteous must live to prevent the Earth's complete destruction. When the list of 36 righteous is stolen and turned into a hit list, Nathan Yirmorshy must do all he can to stop the serial killer's onslaught. Especially since his girlfriend Sophia is on the list.

Here's an excerpt:

I turned to face Ira in his dark garage and froze as he kept the gun aimed at my chest.

 

He asked, “Where is she?”

 

“Susan Boyle?” I kept my hands low and out of his range of vision as I unscrewed the screwdriver from its handle. “I don’t know. Ever since she wowed the world with her voice on ‘Britain’s Got Talent,’ I just assumed she’d be spending the rest of her life doing world-wide music tours.” With my face just inches away from his, I managed to slide the shank of the screwdriver into the barrel of his gun. “But it seems like she’s fallen off the map.”

 

“Sophia Patai,” he growled. “Where is she?”

 

“She’s fine.” I sucked in my gut enough to slide the head of the hammer between my stomach and the muzzle of his gun. He didn’t seem to notice. “She’s been studying neuro-llama programming or some such thing. Let me ask you this doozy of a question. What would you like?”

 

Where,” he demanded. “Where is she?”

 

“My guess is somewhere between obliviously happy and scared for her life.”

 

He sighed. “You’re wasting my time. Before I kill her, I’ll tell her you died a coward. Any last words?”

 

“Yeah. I wouldn’t shoot if I were you.”

 

He fired and the bullet forced the screwdriver to ricochet off the hammer at my chest. With the gasses having nowhere to go, the gun exploded in his hand. The way the side of the hammer’s head punched against my belly, I’d soon have me a nice bruise on my chest. A helluva lot better than a bullet puncturing my lung.

 

Ira doubled over clutching his hand. He made funny sounds, the kind of sounds that meant he was either constipated or in a lot of pain. I guessed the latter.

Come check it out on Amazon: http://bit.ly/36-Righteous

 

Ezra Barany, author of the award-winning bestseller The Torah CodesEzra Barany started his career of freaking out readers with his suspense and thriller stories in college. In March 2011, Ezra unleashed his first novel The Torah Codes, which became an award-winning international bestseller. In his free time, he writes mushy love songs inspired by his wife and book coach Beth Barany. Ezra, a former physics teacher, lives in Oakland with his beloved wife and two cats working on his next book in The Torah Codes series. Ezra, not the cats.

Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People, and others have contributed to the appendix of essays and interviews in the back of my latest thriller, 36 Righteous: A Serial Killer's Hit List.

When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold KushnerRabbi Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People, and others contributed to the Appendix of Essays and Interviews for my new thriller!

I'm so excited to have incredible wisdom from rabbis and reverends, including Rabbi Harold Kushner, contribute to the appendix of essays and interviews in the back of my latest thriller, 36 Righteous: A Serial Killer's Hit List.

The format of my book is inspired by Simon Wiesenthal's The Sunflower, which contains a story in the first part of the book, and has educated essays addressing the themes in the book. In The Sunflower, the question the philosophers and theologists address is "Would you forgive a nazi of his war crimes?" The responses are varied and for a variety of reasons.

A variety of responses

In my book, the rabbis and reverends address the question, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" Again, there is a multitude of responses. Some responses include, "It's better not to ask," "There's no answer, only a response," "We cannot understand G-d's plan," and others that have surprised me and opened my eyes.

Who contributed to the appendix?

Rabbi Harold Kushner - A transcription of a sermon: Rabbi Kushner delivered the sermon on December 4, 1981, to Temple Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, CA.

Reverend Amber Belldene - An interview: Rev. Belldene is also a successful author who writes paranormal romance.

Rabbi Maury Grebenau - An interview: Rabbi Grebenau is the Assistant Head of South Peninsula Hebrew Day School.

Reverend Amy Roden - An essay: Rev. Roden is the Co-Director of the Berkeley Psychic Institute of Santa Rosa.

Reverend Leslie Nipps - An interview: Rev. Nipps is a practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP, a psychological method popularized by such shows as The Mentalist) and Family Constellations.

Rabbi Aron Moss - An essay: Rabbi Moss lives in Sydney Australia and established Nefesh Synagogue to provide spiritual inspiration to mostly young unaffiliated Jews.

Rabbi Tsiporah Gabai - An interview: Rabbi Gabai is the Head of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at Tehiyah Day School in El Cerrito, CA.

Josh Rosenau - An essay: Rosenau is the Programs and Policy Director of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE).

Rabbi Daniel Kohn - An interview: Rabbi Kohn is the Rabbi-in-Residence for the Contra Costa Jewish Day School.

Find out more at Amazon http://bit.ly/36-Righteous

 

Ezra Barany, author of the award-winning bestseller The Torah CodesEzra Barany started his career of freaking out readers with his suspense and thriller stories in college. In March 2011, Ezra unleashed his first novel The Torah Codes, which became an award-winning international bestseller. In his free time, he writes mushy love songs inspired by his wife and book coach Beth Barany. Ezra, a former physics teacher, lives in Oakland with his beloved wife and two cats working on his next book in The Torah Codes series. Ezra, not the cats.

Does Your Face Need Editing?

 

A great new site is coming out with a way to get affordable nook books!

A lot of nook users have been frustrated with being unable to find the low priced ebooks. It turns out, Barnes & Noble have buried the low cost ebooks in a way that makes them difficult to find. Enter "Nook Lovers!" They've garnished the best, most affordable nook books with the links to get them on Barnes & Noble all on one site. ...continue reading "Get The Torah Codes on Nook Lovers!"

Cleaning my files today, I stumbled across an e-mail correspondence I had with master storyteller Dan Brown before he wrote The Da Vinci Code. He had published Digital Fortress and on his website mentioned how part of his inspiration came from reading an article about a priest. (Possibly an urban legend.)

Dan Brown's Best Seller The Da Vinci Code

HILARIOUS POST:

Cleaning my files today, I stumbled across an e-mail correspondence I had with master storyteller Dan Brown before he wrote The Da Vinci Code. He had published Digital Fortress and on his website mentioned how part of his inspiration came from reading an article about a priest. (Possibly an urban legend.)

...continue reading "Conversation with Dan Brown Author of The Da Vinci Code"

It's official! The Torah Codes is a best-seller in the UK. In the Torah category, The Torah Codes placed #85. A stampeding herd of buyers pounded at Amazon's doors to get their own copy. No penguins were harmed in the stampede.

Hollywood Book Festival Badge

The Torah Codes won Honorable Mention at the 2011 Hollywood Book Festival. In fact, not only did The Torah Codes win, but my wife's Young Adult Fantasy book Henrietta: The Dragon Slayer also won Honorable Mention!

...continue reading "Award Winner in Hollywood!"

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I just finished watching the very first X-Men film on TV with my bride Beth Barany. I had seen it before, have you? If so, remember near the beginning when they show Jewish families being led to the concentration camps? Apparently, there will be a lot more mention of the connection between losing one's family and getting revenge as a man with super powers. (I am purposely being coy to avoid spoiling it for those who don't know the story.)

...continue reading "X-Men Movie Has Jewish Themes"

My suspense novel The Torah Codes has been kicking major butt, lately. I have so much good news to share that I don't know where to begin! So let's look at some reviews.

Jew-JitsuAlas! My blog has been getting cobwebs and bunny droppings. (Out here in California, you know the neglect of a place is bad when it's infested by bunnies.) And there's no excuse for the neglect, either! Actually, my book has been kicking major butt, lately. I have so much good news to share that I don't know where to begin!

So let's look at some reviews:

  • "5 stars! I did not expect to enjoy this book so much as it isn't my usual genre. I did read The Da Vinci Code so was curious about the comparison. I think Mr. Barany's book was far better written. The story held my attention, loved his unusual humor. In fact, I had to force myself to stop reading last night. Would definitely recommend. A real plus is that part of the purchase goes to Bay Area schools." Mackenzie Jones, Amazon customer ...continue reading "News and Reviews of The Torah Codes"