Friday, May 24, 2019

Blogtour: Hold My Hand by Michael Barakiva

Hold My Hand 

Michael Barakiva 

Published by: Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Publication date: May 21st 2019 

Genres: Romance, Young Adult

Alek Khederian thinks about his life B.E. and A.E.: Before Ethan and After Ethan. Before Ethan, Alek was just an average Armenian-American kid with a mess of curly dark hair, grades not nearly good enough for his parents, and no idea of who he was or what he wanted. After he got together with Ethan, Alek was a new man. Stylish. Confident. (And even if he wasn’t quite marching in LGBTQ parades), Gay and Out and Proud. 
With their six-month anniversary coming up, Alek and Ethan want to do something special to celebrate. Like, really special. Like, the most special thing two people in love can do with one another. But Alek’s not sure he’s ready for that. And then he learns something about Ethan that may not just change their relationship, but end it. 
Alek can’t bear the thought of finding out who he’d be P.E.: Post-Ethan. But he also can’t forgive or forget what Ethan did. Luckily, his best friend Becky and madcap Armenain family are there to help him figure out whether it’s time to just let Ethan go, or reach out and hold his hand. 
Hold My Hand is a funny, smart, relatable take on the joy and challenges of teenage love, the boundaries of forgiveness, and what it really means to be honest.

Top 5 Favorite Foods

For anybody who knows anything about me or my writing, you’ll know that this question is like Sophie’s choice for me.  But here goes:

  1. Dolma (or Sarma) – Stuff Grapevine Leaves.  This is the perfect food, and for those who care, the perfect recipe (my mother’s) appears at the end of One Man Guy.  Stuffed grapevine leaves can be vegan or made with lamb, served warm or at room temperature or eaten straight out of the fridge at midnight, an appetizer or entrée.  In the Balkan variations, they’re even a little sweet, with raisins.
  2. Sushi – My favorite foods to order are foods I don’t know how to make, and sushi is at the top of that list.  I guess I could figure it out, but I love the mystery of all of that deliciousness wrapped up in those magical rolls.  
  3. Coq au Vin – this one I do know how to make, and was one of the first fancy dishes that I did all by myself.  Although it is labor intensive and takes most of a day, I love the Best Recipe version here. And please please please- use dark meat.  (A scene in Hold My Hand is inspired by my love for this dish, and the difficult in making it).
  4. Blue Cheese Cheesecake with Pink Peppercorns in a Port/Rhubard Compote.  I know it sounds weird, but my god it is delish and yes I make this too and I had the honor of serving it to Phylica Rashad when I unexpectedly found her in my apartment on Sunday afternoon.  
  5. A slice of NY Pizza – whenever I’ve been gone from the city for a while, I’ll pop into one of the many brilliant affordable pizza joints and grab one of these, maybe with pepperoni, and eat it single-handedly (that means not just by myself, but with just one hand), folded over itself, hoping that none of the grease gets on my face or shirt.

Author Bio:

Michael Barakiva, author of One Man Guy, is a theater director and writer of Armenian/Israeli descent who lives in Manhattan with his husband, Rafael. He is a graduate of Vassar College and the Juilliard School, an avid cook and board-game player, and a soccer player with the New York Ramblers.

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