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Secrets of the Apple Paperback – June 15, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Mayday Games, Inc.; 1st edition (June 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984663401
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984663408
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 6.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,923,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Detailing how family dynamics, cultural diversity and past relationships shape who we are, debut novelist Hiatt subtly explores the cavern between a successful life and a meaningful one. Kate, a young idealistic American, and Ryoki, a wealthy Japanese businessman both divorced pair up professionally when Ryoki needs an assistant quickly and it just so happens that Kate's teaching position fell through. (Readers learn later that their mutually caring families have a hand in the coincidence.) Their two families deeply respect each other with a long-standing business partnership and friendship, though neither Kate nor Ryoki knows each other. Ryoki reluctantly accepts Kate into his office; he seriously doubts her capabilities and is concerned she'll negatively impact his big project and professional reputation. After all, he demands a grueling pace from his assistant and the responsibilities are enormous. Kate quickly proves that what she lacks in training, she makes up for with brains, intuition and hard work. In the office, she mothers and nags Ryoki for being a workaholic, and her quirks and eccentricities annoy him. Eventually, Ryoki notices that he feels differently when Kate is away. Hiatt uses interesting metaphors and visual descriptions as the love story slowly boils below the surface, though occasionally those unique metaphors are distracting. Ryoki's thoughts a surprising amount of self-doubt and hurt linger under his suit, but like Ryoki, we're never quite sure of Kate's thoughts. The reader and Ryoki want to know more about her, which keeps both pushing forward. He invites her to work for him in Brazil, arranging her quarters in a guest cottage outside his home. Kate wonders why he goes to such pains for a "temporary" assistant and Ryoki wonders why himself. In Sao Paulo, they remain platonic and professional but as intimate as a couple can be without sex. Each secretly cherishes this escape from the life they had been living before Ryoki especially but in their tense, tender connection, he's afraid to act on his emotions until another man threatens to swoop in and take Kate away from him. An exceptional first effort that captures the harmony of two beating hearts. --Kirkus Reviews

Book review: Secrets of the Apple I don't ordinarily write reviews, I just don't have time for it... but if I come across a gem, I just can't seem to help myself. This book is like discovering an Indie band, it's not widely read, in fact it's ranking on Amazon is incredibly low, but I don't believe it's due to a poor book... oh no, I read it and can only say this is the epitome of romance. It's because I just don't think enough people know about this lovely book... so I'm doing my best to help out a fellow author (which I don't even know by the way). I came across the ad on Kindle Deals and was so struck by the simplicity of the cover that I uploaded a sample, and the rest is as they say... history. Secrets of the Apple: Ryoki is comfortable in his custom-built hell, making money with both hands and slashing his path through the world of men. But there s something about Kate, something important dangling just at the edge of his consciousness. She can t read a map, she falls off her heels, and yet she saves his life with a button and a bit of thread. Terrified she s privately plotting to marry him, he studies her with hooded eyes, attempting to discover her secrets for himself. But understanding Kate will challenge everything he thought he knew. If you love Pride and Prejudice, if you love a long and very, very sweet and satisfying romance, than you have to try this. It's only 2.99, well worth the cost of admission. Happy reading, ~Marie --mariehallwrites' blogspot

Not enough words to say how much I loved this book. Paula Hiatt created a story that drew me into wanting to learn so much more about the Japanese and Brazilian cultures and to visit the locations described in her book. As someone who is from two different cultures myself I feel a natural affinity to stories and people who are multiracial. No one really gets the dynamics involved in trying to balance both worlds unless you are a mixed. It is both very rewarding and very difficult to relate to people especially in a minority culture as you are seen as not quite right or one of us but yet you are. Hiatt does a great job of creating the right vibe for Ryoki who tries to live up to higher standards and pressures. The story is also incredibly funny and has a great classic romance. Secrets of the Apple reminded me of a Hepburn or Bacall movie. Obviously I highly recommend buying Hiatt s book and have already added her name to my list of authors I follow, waiting for their next book. I have already bought a copy for the library as I am hoping many others will discover this wonderful author --Goodreads

About the Author

Born in Rexburg, Idaho, Paula Hiatt has also lived in Utah, Pennsylvania, and California, as well as Brazil and China. She holds a master's degree in English, and when she is not writing, she is reading, traveling, or attending board game conventions with her husband and three children. Secrets of the Apple is her first novel.

More About the Author

Born in Rexburg, Idaho, Paula Hiatt has also lived in various parts of the United States, as well as Brazil and is currently living in China. She holds a master's degree in English from Brigham Young University, and when she is not writing, she is reading, traveling, or attending board game conventions with her husband and three children. Secrets of the Apple is her first novel.

Visit her at www.paulahiatt.net.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Corneliu Dascalu on June 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
* I have received a free copy in exchange for my review.
I'm still not over the surprise of finding such quality in a $0.99 ebook. It's simply astounding!

I could start the review by pointing out the various similarities between "Secrets of the Apple" and "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen, but it's enough to say that it is the obvious intention of the author for the book to be a tribute to this classic. Even the characters themselves observe this and make some remarks about living in a Jane Austen novel.

Beyond the narrative similarities, I have to say that the style of the author is somewhat similar, too. She uses mainly a third person POV of Ryoki and sometimes retreating to a sort of "group" POV (for example, to depict the gossip in Ryoki's household). The author masterfully peppers the narrative with a smart humor, often as used by the characters in a self-deprecating way. Just an example which cracked me up, describing a confrontation between Ryoki and his (totalitarian) cook, where he wants to make himself a sandwich and the cook doesn't let him:
"Undeterred, Ryoki held his ground, intending once and for all to reveal his secret identity as Master of the Sandwich, keen to experiment with an unusual set of condiments smeared in precise quantity and particular order. It was time she recognized her place. My house, my kitchen. He opened his mouth and squeaked: 'Pastrami'".

The fact that the story is not funny, but very serious, makes these short humorous touches so much funnier.

About the story itself, I must say that the author manages to insert a little bit of cultural history, an even bigger bit of cultural description with the expected cultural clash and yet everything is an important and relevant part of the story.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By T. Dellinger on August 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Secrets of the Apple is essentially about a japanese man and an american woman finding love with each other. Ryoki and Kate seem so destined to be together but they have some muck in the way. Some of the muck is themselves. There are cultural differences that play a big role as to why the 2 didnt get together sooner. They also have some past relationship issues and it seems they will never be able to move forward for fear of making the same mistakes. I thought this was a very good book. the author did a wonderful job with her characters and the building of the story. (It was a little slow going til the last third of the book but it is neccessary info that makes you love Ryoki and Kate) I know a few things were borrowed from the authors real life which makes me love the story more. Mrs Hiatt know how to write a book! I look forward to more from this lady!!!

***disclosure***
I received a free copy of this book from bookrooster.com in exchange for an honest review.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Williams on July 19, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a love story, from the POV of Ryoki, the hero, who has shut off his heart. Kate is gracious, but falls off her heels, and captures Ryoki's interest completely.

What an amazing, beautiful story. I didn't want to stop reading. It was an easy read, but so beautifully written. The way the words are put together just astounded me. I found myself thinking that it was just so different from most books I read. Don't get me wrong - I enjoy those books, but this was just like a breath of fresh air, written with such finesse. Though mostly serious, there were also nuggets of humor that made me laugh out loud - so unexpectedly.

An added bonus for me was the look at Japanese culture, something I know very little about.

I received a complimentary copy of the book in order to review.
All in all, a really satisfying read, I highly recommend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By kat on November 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
what a surprise.I got this little gem and popped into my library until yesterday.I can't put it down! what a super story.This is a keeper for a read again too for me.I hope this author writes more very soon.
Ryoki and Kate are very interesting characters.This is a nice developing love story which seems unusual in itself. often the attraction and tension start off with a bang- not so here.The cultural differences of Japanese and American made this engrossing.All of this is in Ryoki's perceptions and I liked this aspect.His thoughts as a man and a Japanese businessman- his background and mannerisms all played into the emotional changes and thought process as he became influenced and in love with Kate.I'd give this more stars if I could.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By KMT on July 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Is it possible for a Japanese man and an American woman to find love in each other? Can two people overcome cultural differences, not to mention their own pasts? In this book, the author has given the reader a fantastic look at how love is born, nurtured and grows between a Japanese man, Ryoki, and his assistant, Kate. At first glance they are about as different as two people can be, but over the course of the book, they manage to overcome their differences. Ryoki has his Japanese background forming his life and actions, while Kate has her American background. The author has given the reader an excellent insight into Japanese culture and its influences while showing the reader how both the Japanese man and American in a loving manner. I loved the way this book does not follow the usual boy meets girl, boy dates girl and they fall in love pattern found in so many romance novels. This was a refreshing change of pace. The book is very well written and the characters are believable and true to themselves. For a new author, Ms. Hiat has definitely shown that she can produce a great book. I look forward to reading more from her. I received this book from Goodreads.
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