Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Press Release: Secrets of a Summer Village

I have a press release.  Even saying that to myself in my head makes me giggle.  As in who am I fooling?  I am sitting at the computer at my kitchen counter, typing up a press release about my own book.  I am doing it, in part, as a procrastination measure.  Because it is so much more fun than ironing.  And yet, it's an important part of being an author/publisher.  Since I'm self-publishing, I must also be self-promoting.  But I really wonder how much publishing companies do the promoting for new authors, anyway.  I mean, if you're famous, sure.  But for me?  I doubt they'd be searching the Internet for the e-mail addresses of Turkish-American, Turkish-Canadian, and Turkish-Australian organizations.  But I see the Turkish expat community in English-speaking countries as potential readers.  (side note: Yes, I do realize they speak English in the UK and South Africa, and that there are significant Turkish expat communities in both places.  But I'm waiting until my book shows up on before I go that route).  I'm also going to contact my hometown newspapers, my high school, the colleges where I was employed... who needs a traditional publisher?  Ok, if one comes knocking at my door, I'll definitely listen to what they have to say.  Until then, here's my press release.

Secrets of a Summer Village by Saskia E. Akyil now available at,, and Apple iBooks

This young adult-general fiction crossover coming-of-age story follows Rachel Guo as she travels far away from her home and family in Olympia, Washington to spend her summer with a host family in Turkey.

Feldkirchen, Germany- September 6, 2011 - Can coffee grounds tell your future?   Will fate bring you to your soul mate thousands of miles from home?   How will you know if it's him?   Would the evil eye dare stop two souls on their paths to each other? 

A last-minute opportunity to spend a month with a Turkish family on the Aegean coast drastically changes the course of seventeen-year-old Rachel Guo’s summer.  This intercultural coming-of-age novel is full of exotic tastes, summer heat, promises kept and broken, and love.   In a summer village on the western coast of Turkey, you’ll meet Rachel, who doesn’t know what she wants; Aylin, who doesn’t know if she wants the one who wants her; and Leyla, who knows who she wants, but doesn’t know if she’ll get him.  Love and romance are secret pleasures in the summer village, which only make them more exciting.  Travel with Rachel on her journey far from the comforts of home, to a place that will captivate her and leave her changed forever.  Secrets of a Summer Village is a novel in which modern, middle-class Turkish culture is seen through the eyes of an American teenager.  In the 293-page novel, Rachel learns that many aspects of Turkish culture are different than her own, but that family, friendship, and love are universal. 

When she doesn’t get a place in a Mexican study abroad program, Rachel anticipates another summer behind the counter of a coffee shop in Olympia, Washington.  But she is then offered an unexpected opportunity to spend a month with a family in Turkey.  Though she knows little about Turkey and only vaguely even knows where it is, she decides to accept the offer.  Rachel’s host sister, Aylin, quickly becomes a close friend and helps her navigate through Turkish culture; Rachel teaches Aylin a bit about American culture, and the girls help each other make sense of boys, who are puzzling in any culture.  Aylin’s cousin falls for Rachel as much as she falls for him, though Rachel isn’t initially sure that a relationship with him would be wise.  In a month far from home, Rachel learns about family, friendship, love, and a new kind of coffee.  Mostly, she learns that some things are universal.  When Rachel returns home, she does so having left a little of her heart in Turkey, and bringing back a lot of Turkey in her soul. 

Secrets of a Summer Village can be purchased online at for $14.00, and will soon be available on (Barnes and Noble),, and  Electronic versions can be purchased for $7.99 from and from Apple iBooks. 

The author is available for interviews by phone, e-mail, and Skype.  She can also join book clubs discussing her book (subject to her availability) via telephone or Skype.

About Saskia E. Akyil - Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Saskia E. Akyil, like many writers over the age of 25, began her art by keeping a journal and writing letters to her friends, pen-pals, cousins, and grandparents.  After receiving a B.A. in International Studies from Emory University and an M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) from the University of Minnesota, her writing took on a more formal tone as she wrote articles for academic publications.  She gained incredibly diverse experiences while simultaneously working three jobs in Olympia, Washington; as a community college ESL professor for immigrants, as a state program administrator for displaced homemakers, and as a Spanish-language medical interpreter.  She has also taught numerous cooking classes in the United States and in Germany.  As a hobby, she collects languages, and has studied French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Turkish, and German.  She left her jobs behind in 2005 when she moved to Munich, Germany with her husband and proceeded to have two sons, who inspire and exhaust her, and never cease making her laugh. 

For more information about Secrets of a Summer Village, please visit or contact Saskia E. Akyil at
Book cover image and author photo attached.

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