This book was reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite. His comments are as follows:

A Close Encounter of a Different Kind is a young adult and preteen novel written by Reza Mashayekhi. Sara is 11 years old, and she lives with her parents and big brother Bruce in the US. They moved there from Iran when she was only four. Sara and her family don't talk much about where they are from because they are uncertain how their Iranian background will be accepted. One night, Bruce borrows a videotape from his friend. It's a vampire movie, and he knows that he shouldn't be watching it, so he waits until his parents go out one night. Sara sits down to watch it with him and is terrified of the vampire who seems to be staring right into her eyes. Bruce decides to play a prank on her and makes the doors and windows move, telling her it's vampires trying to get at her -- and Sara believes him.

Reza Mashayekhi's young adult and preteen novel, A Close Encounter of a Different Kind, is a marvelous tale that explores the pressures of assimilation into a new culture as experienced by a young, imaginative and impressionable girl. Her sense of being different, or not belonging, becomes even more heightened by her fear of vampires, and it makes her vulnerable to people who seize upon that fear and exploit it. Mashayekhi peoples his book with complex and believable characters, both the bullies at school who make Sara feel more scared and the rabbi, priest and teacher who work together to help her out; but my two favorites are Mr. Ghastley who sells specially treated garlic at his vampire store and that enigmatic actor who Sara's convinced is really a vampire or at least a vampire friend or helper. A Close Encounter of a Different Kind is a well-written and thought-provoking story that is most highly recommended.

This is a fictional story about a young girl of about 11 having to deal with a problem that is beyond her age.

Thanks to her older brother’s comments, she sincerely thinks Dracula and vampires are real and are after her. Additional comments by her brother and her friends, and convincing explanations by a smooth talking salesman, further push her into believing that her fears are justified. She therefore decides to use crosses and clusters of garlic for protection. Her friends at school, however, tell her that crosses can’t help her because she’s not Christian!

Following a lengthy internal struggle, she takes drastic measures to be able to stay safe.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

A Close Encounter of a Different Kind

By Reza Mashayekhi

Published in 2015

One of the books I worked on, now in the process of being published, is called From Iran to America – Mahnaz and Shirin, A Love Story. It is basically a memoir, but parts of it are embellished, so it can’t be described as strictly non-fiction. The book recounts stories from an Iranian man’s childhood in his homeland, and later his permanent move to the United States. The narrative, however,  is built around the author’s relationship with two Iranian women, one beautiful, wicked, and deceitful, the other beautiful, honest, and sweet. Why is it that we always choose the bad ones first? Now there’s a question that transcends time, place, and nationality!

The author’s true accounts from growing up in Iran are not only entertaining, funny, and interesting, but they give a rare perspective on day-to-day life in that country under the Shah. As someone who knew nothing about the country of Iran, its people, or its history, I found the stories absolutely fascinating. And not only that, they made me realize once again that no matter how various ethnicities are labeled or criticized, all of us have the same needs and feelings as human beings. In other words, it made me reconsider some of my prior beliefs about Middle Easterners, all of which stemmed, of course, from how they’re depicted in the media.

Adding to this is how From Iran to America weaves in the crazy roller-coaster of falling in love, providing poignant testimony that this emotion can drive us to make the most irrational and ill-advised choices of our lives. I predict that once you start reading this book, you’ll have to finish it to find out how this whole love triangle is finally resolved for the narrator, whom by then we’re rooting for just as we would a good friend.

Christine E. Miller, M.S.
This is a fictional story that is loosely based on true events that have taken place beginning in the 1950's in Iran and continuing up until the present in the United States. Some of these events have happened in the author’s life, and the rest are what he is aware of. The story is delivered in the first person, however, and fictional elements and characters have been incorporated, in order to better convey the author’s intended message in a smooth storyline.
The main purpose of the book is to provide the reader a window into some aspects of life and upbringing in the Middle East, and especially in Iran. In addition, the author hopes to raise awareness of some issues faced by someone studying or living in a foreign country. From Iran to America explores the cultural differences, and the value of communication, even as it evokes laughter, compassion, and tears.
The recounting of real events in a human life invariably includes moments of sadness. In order to strike a balance, a conscious effort has been made to add elements of humor even amid dire circumstances.
For the benefit of readers who are not native English speakers, and in keeping with the author’s fascination with idioms and expressions, an additional index has been included to help the reader understand expressions encountered in this book with which the reader may not be familiar.
See what others are saying about this book by clicking
here. You may also request a free sample PDF copy by clicking here.

Here's what this book's editor says in her blog:

From Iran to America
Mahnaz and Shirin – A Love Story 

By Reza Mashayekhi
Published in 2013

Here’s a book of English idioms, expressions, and phrases, and their meanings, along with sample sentences and the origins of some of these expressions. A number of humorous illustrations and some interesting expressions and proverbs from other languages and cultures have also been included.
The author’s unique background as a non-native English speaker living and working in the U.S., and his experiences interacting with students and clients over the years, have helped make English Idioms And Expressions For Everyone an easy-to-understand companion book for non-native speakers of English foreigners. It is also an easy-to-follow reference book for native speakers of English on how to better communicate with foreigners.
Although initially written with foreigners in mind, it is a useful and fun collection for anyone who speaks English, and will be referred to for many years to come. It’s a great gift for a friend, or a fitting addition to one's coffee table or office waiting room.  
See what others are saying about this book by clicking
here. You may also request a free sample PDF copy by clicking here.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

English Idioms And Expressions For Everyone, Yes, Even You!

I thought I knew English, but I didn't know that!

By Reza Mashayekhi
Published in 2011

Selected as one of the finalists in the "2011 National Indie Excellence Book Awards" in the "Reference" category. Nominated for the 2011 "Global E-Book Awards" in the "Reference" category.

Books by Reza Mashayekhi: