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Next year in jerusalem

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Many of you may wonder how I came up with the plot for a romance, mystery, travel book that has a lot of spiritual and religious overtones. My girlfriend and I were chatting over lunch on a summer's day.  We were lamenting the loss of a special teacher in our lives, who now that she had left to teach elsewhere, had become almost like a mystery figure in our lives.  We started to imagine a film where one of the main characters was like this wonderful kind woman.  Suddenly the plot emerged, set in Israel.  Why not?  We would love to visit Jerusalem ourselves and could easily see how this mystical city would lend itself to meeting a mystery woman, some romantic nights, intrigue and the anxiety of unanswered questions. Of course we decided that the two women who meet up with the mystery woman had to be based on us!  Such fun.  Two hours later, the plot for actually two books of three parts each and hopefully a film was launched.

Because my friend Susan and I worked so diligently on the plot together, this book did to some extent stick to the outline.  However, as I began to write the characters began to direct me.  No Natalie didn't want to live in Manhattan!  Norwalk worked much better for her.  And Maggie I guess needed two love interests, one in White Plains and one in Jerusalem. That was certainly not in the original plot!  And I never expected Natalie to be as obsessed with her old boyfriend Jack as she turned out to be.  Wow, all of this was beginning to get very interesting, particularly when Jack showed up in Jerusalem.

I thought a lot about Natalie, Maggie and Chaya Sarah, the mystery women, and did create back stories for each of them that don't actually appear in the book.  Some of the back stories are in Natalie and Maggie's notes to each other on my blog: http://next-year-in-jerusalem.com/blogs .  For example, Maggie is struggling with self-esteem issues around dealing with a guy, after coming out of a bad marriage.  In the book we see her doing quite well with two guys, but her issues are still there to some extent.

One of my favorite parts of  Next Year in Jerusalem, Part 1 is the love scene between Natalie and Jack, her old boyfriend, right at the end.  I like the love scene because I think it is very realistic as to what might happen between oneself and an old flame if one goes down a dark alley at night!

Yes, there are so many universal themes in this book.  Issues that are so universal, like the return of  old feelings about someone who was in our life, or simply the yearning to travel and maybe indulge in some romantic or mystical travel.  And who wouldn't like to solving a mystery, as long as nothing really bad happens. I love speaking as a psychologist and an author about these themes and look forward to skype interviews with Book Clubs and giving webinars around some of these themes.

Read more: Buy this book at Amazon!

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