Sunday, July 12, 2015


         My new novel, HOTEL MOSCOW was released in June with a great party, in which the ice sculpture was as much of a hit as the book.
          In my April  and May newsletters I  touched on my experiences in Russia: I was a consultant to Fortune 500 companies when, in 1993, I was sent by the U.S. Information Agency to Russia to teach Russian women the entrepreneurial skills they needed after the fall of communism. On my second visit, in October, I was caught in the uprising of the Russian parliament against President Yeltsin, was chased by the militia, and was threatened with jail.

Most intriguing: 
         In the dozen radio talks I’ve given these past two weeks since the launch of HOTEL MOSCOW, every interviewer was fascinated by the novel’s backdrop: the terrifying portrait of a nation in transition from Communism, of a world superpower undergoing a profound and violent change.
            It is hard for us to imagine the misery of life under Soviet totalitarian regime. It is even harder to grasp the nightmare of waking up one day to a world where all laws have been obliterated. While bewildered Russians struggled to learn new survival skills in new market economy, the corruption and brutality of the former Soviet regime was now imitated by thousands of mafia groups. HOTEL MOSCOW tells it with an inside view. As one reviewer wrote, “HOTEL MOSCOW taught me lessons about humanity, about what we, as people, are capable of.”

What has not changed? 
Photo by Yevgeny Kondako
In the new Russia young people discover new opportunities and restaurants are now store-front (formerly out of sight in basements or second floors.) Yet, dozens of industrial cities are as bleak and hopeless as before. And in beautiful St. Petersburg, the Soviet kommunalka, the communal apartment, where a family of three may live in a room as small as 5 x10 ft.—and shares a toilet, bath and kitchen with five to ten other families—is still home to millions of Russians. The lack of privacy is shown in this unique photo I was able to obtain. In HOTEL MOSCOW, readers get an inside view of such a life through Svetlana, one of the Russian characters.

 Author at launch time.... 
    “What does releasing the novel involve?” people ask me.
It’s exhilarating. But a book does not break out of the gate without long preparations and continued attention. The book launch was immediately followed by the release of my essays and blogs. My piece about identifying with Second-Generation—children of Holocaust survivors (even though I am not)—garnered a huge readership, as did my essay about my secular, faithless Jewish identity. Both are issues that the protagonist of HOTEL MOSCOW, Brooke Fielding, struggles with. 
            But it is the early morning commuter radio shows that present me with a physical challenge: How do I speak without sounding as though I had just woken up? I wake up 40 minutes earlier and reset my sleepy voice by belting out the ABC song. I am not up to anything more operatic….

Meeting you! 
            The most exciting part of publishing a new novel is my many speaking engagements. After years of toiling away at my keyboard in solitude, now comes the time when I share my passions with others. I don’t do “readings,” but rather talk about the background issues of the novel. Please join me in the coming weeks and months at the many events already scheduled in NY, NJ, CT and MA. (In August I’ll publish the travel schedule to Detroit, Pennsylvania, Boston and others.)
To say that my new novel, HOTEL MOSCOW was “long awaited” is a cliché that I, a writer, must avoid. But the thousands of readers who pre-ordered it and the dozens of bloggers that areposting their reviews give me a high that only an entertainer on stage can understand.
The bloggers are joining the chorus of bestselling suspense authors such as Nelson DeMille who wrote: “A finely drawn tale of a country emerging from its dark Soviet past into a present overshadowed by a new kind of terror and lawless corruption…. That will keep the reader mesmerized…. An insightful post-Cold War thriller.”

Thank you!

Talia Carner

P.S. While I encourage you to support your local indiebookstore, and I thank B&N for its loyalty, and Amazon is always a great online seller, I can’t not share with you that Costco now carries HOTEL MOSCOW (see below)!