Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A proud woman, cursed with love

My historical fiction trilogy, The David Chronicles, which opens with the novel Rise to Power, presents a surprising contrast before you: the story harkens back to biblical timesyet by design, it is expressed in modern language. Why? Because such is my way to suggest to you that this is no fairytale. It is happening here and now. I invite you to step into the skin of my character, become David, and look yourself in the mirror.

Readers often ask me, "Were you quoting the bible or paraphrasing? I’m used to read the King James version, and I'm certain you aren’t." To which I say, “All the English versionsKing James includedare translations. Therefore, they are interpretations of the original Hebrew, in which I am versed to the point of knowing it by heart.” 

In this trilogy, the choice of modern language is intentional. The entire book is greatly informed by art through the ages, including modern art, which adds multiple viewpoints to every moment in the story. This artistic versatility is reflected in my writing. Here is but one example, that was inspired inspired by a painting of David and Bathsheba by Chagall:

I try to take control of my desire by playing my lyre and writing poetry, but notes and words fail me. Everything I compose these days seems to be but a pale shadow of a shadow of what Bathsheba means to me. 
And the one image that keeps coming back to me is our reflection in the glass, where our faces melded into one. My eye, her eye, and around us, the outline of a new, fluid identity. A portrait of our love, rippling there, across the surface of the wine.

I feel great responsibility for all my characters. My utmost wish is to convey their voices and their experiences in a faithful manner. However I take none of them as a sacred, perfect figure, which to my surprise may offend some readers. Please keep in mind, I do not claim my story as gospel. 

To me, perfect characters are boring and unreal. I am interested in mining the internal conflicts in their souls. In an era of cruelty, when destroying the enemy is deemed a divine directive, David’s search for a path to power leads him in ways that are, at times, scandalous. Notorious for his contradictions, he is seen by others as a gifted court entertainer, a successful captain in Saul’s army, a cunning fugitive, a traitor leading a gang of felons, and a ruthless raider of neighboring towns who leaves no witnesses behind. 

How does he see himself, during the first phase of his life? With his hands stained with blood, can he find an inner balance between conflicting drives: his ambition for the crown, his determination to survive the conflict with Saul, and his longing for purity, for a touch of the divine, as expressed so lyrically in his psalms and music?

Not only is David a conflicted character, striving to find his better selfbut so are other characters, each bearing her anguish. Take Michal, daughter of king Saul, as an example. My story springs out of very few lines given to her in the bible. You may remember that when David dances in front of the arc, she despises him in her heart. Such is the bitterness of love that has turned to hate.

In the first volume of the trilogy, titled Rise to Power, Michal is a tragically conflicted figure. Because of her royal upbringing, her pride makes her look down upon David. To her he is an outsider and a commoner. And yet, in spite of herself, her heart is consumed by love for him.  She is doomed, in the end, not to have children. This is something I explore from the beginning of their relationship. Here is a glimpse of how he sees her on their wedding night:

I glance at her as she climbs up over me into her bed and tucks herself under the blankets, and I remember what Joav told me about girls, just a few days ago. It’s all just flesh, he said, no matter how fancy their garments. In bed, they’re all the same. 
I must tell him he made a mistake. This girl is different.
With her narrow hips and her flat belly, which is matched by an equally flat chest, Michal looks like a boy. And trapped in that skinny body, pounding there with palpable longing, is the heart of a woman, a proud woman, cursed with love.

What I want most of all is for the characters that have sprung from my mind onto the paper to continue their journey, and spring from the paper into your mind. That, for me, would be the best reward.

Michal fools the king's soldiers so that David can escape through the window
Maciejowski Bible

Michal and David, separated by her jealousy 
Painting by Ivan Schwebel
In between them you can see a happy couple walking together on the other side of the steet

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Volume II: A Peek at Bathsheba
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"Her ability to capture character and emotion is nothing short of literary excellence, and the modern flair really only adds to that, allowing for a more engaging voice and style." 
- Book Crazy, Top 1000 Reviewer

Loved the twists

Just found a short and sweet review for the audiobook edition of my Dark Fantasy book, Twisted:

Overall ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Performance ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Story ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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  • Dee
  • LA
  • 01-16-18


.

 

Loved the twists 

This trilogy of short stories were a mesh of Twilight Zonish crazy that just made my day. The reveals were fun and unexpected. The narrator gave it that extra build-up to the 'aha.'  

This listen is not for the unimaginative but if sci-fi fantasy is your thing, you will definitely enjoy it.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Take me away with you, let us hurry

Just this morning I woke up to a surprise: Bathsheba slipped into my bed, wearing a soft, silky robe that glided, ever so smoothly, off her shoulders. I knew she was in a playful mood—if you know what I mean—because of her sudden cravings. 
“Strengthen me with raisins,” she murmured in my ear. “Refresh me with apples, for I am faint with love.”
I rushed to bring her a tray of ripe fruit. Then I put my arm around her and could not wait until she was done eating. Between one little nibble and another she told me, in her most delicious voice, to slow down. 
“Do not arouse or awaken love,” she said, “until it so desires.”
In place of an answer I reclined back on the bed, and pointed at the blanket. I do not want to brag about it, but the fabric was stretching to a peak over me, tenting my arousal.
Just then I thought I heard someone tiptoeing just outside the chamber, in the corridor. I leapt off the bed and was surprised to find little Solomon there, his ear to the door and his hand tucked behind him, hiding something from me. 
“Show me what you’ve got there,” I said.
The kid shook his head till his freckles nearly flew of his nose. “No,” he said, with a stubborn tone.
So I warned him, “I know what you’ve done.” 
His eyes widened. “You do?”
“Oh yes,” said I. “You’ve listened to every word we said, and worse: you’ve written it.”
“So?” He shrugs. “Is that a crime?”
“Only if you publish it.” 
“Not going to.”
“Promise?”
“Promise.”
“All the same,” I insisted, “show me your hand.”
Solomon raised his hand to my eyes. And just as I had expected, the palm of it was covered with minute, inky characters, spelling out the sentence, “Do not arouse or awaken love, until it so desires.”
I peered into his innocent eyes. “You have any idea what that means?”
“Nope,” said the kid. “But I’m going to figure it out. It must become clear, if I look at it long enough. Then I’ll recite it out loud, before everyone—”
I cried, “You what?”
The kid smiled, and pulled his hand back. “I’ll tell them things like, Strengthen me with raisins. Refresh me with apples, for I am faint with love.’ People find me adorable when they hear me say such words.”
“They what?”
“They say it’s pure poetry. They say I take after you, daddy! So it doesn’t really matter, does it, if I don’t get what exactly it all means—they will!”
“But, but,” I stammer, “these aren’t your words! They belong to your mom and me!”
“Don’t worry,” said Solomon. “I won’t tell them that.”
Straddling between anger and an undeniable sense of amusement I wagged my finger at him. 
“Go wash your hand at once,” I said. “What we talk about, your mom and I, isn’t meant for your ears. It’s private.” 
“Nope,” he said. “Once I write it down, it’s mine.” 
“Isn’t,” said I.
Having closed the door I climbed back into bed.
Holding an apple in her hand Bathsheba offered me a bite and said, “Who was that?”
“Oh, no one,” said I. “Now, where were we?”
“Don’t you know?” she said, and in her soft, melodious voice, she started humming to me, between one kiss and another. “Kiss me, David, with the kisses of your mouth, for your love is more delightful than wine.”
I was about to tell her we must keep it down. Instead I loosened her robe and while caressing her I hummed back, “I will go to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of incense. You are altogether beautiful, my darling, there is no flaw in you.
Bathsheba smiled, and over my murmur she went on singing, “No wonder the young women love you! Take me away with you, let us hurry!
“Oh yes,” said I. “Let us hurry.”

David in The Edge of Revolt


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Volume II: A Peek at Bathsheba
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The complete trilogy:
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"In David's own words, the story of palace intrigue and family betrayal is chillingly told. This one stands on its own." 
Charles A. Ray, Author

Saturday, January 13, 2018

A WW II sy thriller like no other

Just found this lovely review for the audiobook edition of my WWII spy thriller Marriage before Death:

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  • Overall
    Performance
    Story

A WW II sy thriller like no other 

Any additional comments?
Marriage before Death by Uvi Poznansky is a treasure, read alone or in its place in her series. We follow characters from her other books into a WWII milieu, with all the unparalleled darkness of those days. Poznansky's talent and resonance with the story means that you can read Marriage before Death on its own or as Book 5 in a series, following (Book 1: My Own Voice, Book 2: The White Piano, Book 3: The Music of Us, Book 4: Dancing with Air). Poznansky's protagonist Lenny, narrowly escapes execution, but not capture. Through his eyes and those of Natasha, who faces a more personal terror,a hideous fate, we are thrust into a world that not only breathes, but does so in a lyrical way that, somehow, brings the story closer, not farther away. If you haven't read Poznansky, Marriage before Death is a fine place to begin. Then, of course, you'll want to grab the others that came before. Brilliant.

Vases of purple and rose delphiniums

Feathered back from her delicately-featured face, Julie’s ash-brown hair had been cut to her shoulders. While emphasizing the beauty of her doe-brown eyes, and their long lush lashes, long wispy bangs completed her look. Wearing an off the shoulder gown of lavender, which clung to her full figure like a second skin, she was even more daringly dressed than usual.
“Oh, Julie. That dress is absolutely gorgeous on you, too!” Kate complimented.
 Julie stared sheepishly down at her gown. “Danielle Reardon finally got a hold of me, too. She was hanging out with your mom when I was getting my hair cut.”
Dylan’s voice was hoarse, when he finally cleared his throat and spoke. “Julie, you really do look great.”
Julie glanced away, suddenly looking embarrassed as her cheeks reddened. Kate took a closer look at Dylan before returning her gaze to Julie. They’d make a wonderful couple – wouldn’t they? Why hadn’t she ever noticed that before? The three of them had hung out a few times together in the past, when Julie had come home to visit. And looking at the two of them now, there definitely appeared to be some awareness between them. 
 Hmm. 
Before Kate could consider the idea any further, it was time for the ceremony to begin. Julie, Kate and Dylan moved to be seated in the chairs that’d been set up in the solarium of the Dragonfly Pointe Inn. Kate’s sister, Lucy, who was now a wedding planner, had prepared all the flower arrangements – and they were absolutely lovely. Vases of purple and rose delphiniums, mixed in with cymbidium orchids, were set up amidst the potted greenery lining the solarium’s glass walls. 
Kate had visited with her mom earlier this morning, before the ceremony. She’d looked absolutely beautiful in the gown of ivory she’d chosen to wear for the renewal of vows with her father. 
Kate smiled to herself as she waited for the service to begin – she’d never realized her father could be so romantic.

Excerpt from That Unforgettable Kiss by Tamara Ferguson
Included in A Touch of Passion


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Friday, January 12, 2018

100 Indie Books You Should Read Before You Die by @CalebPirtle

My book, Dancing with Air, was selected as one of the 100 Indie Books You Should Read Before You Die, with enthusiastic recommendation by Caleb Pirtie III and his wife, Linda. Caleb is the author of more than fifty-five books. He is a graduate of The University of Texas in Austin with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He served as sports editor for The Daily Texan and became the first student at the university to win the National William Randolph Hearst Award for feature writing. He and his wife are avid readers who post their reviews on their site.
 Check it out:



Will love survive the test of war?

Fooling Nazi espionage may cost Lenny the trust of the girl who captured his heart. Will Natasha discover his secret reports, disguised as love letters to another woman?
In these letters, Lenny gives the enemy misleading information about allied plans for D-Day. Once Natasha arrives in London, he takes her for a ride on his Harley throughout England, from the White Cliffs of Dover to a village near an underground ammunition depot in Staffordshire.
When he is wounded in a horrific explosion, she brings him back to safety, only to discover the other woman’s letter to him. Will love survive the test of war?
In the past Natasha wrote, with girlish infatuation, “He will be running his fingers down, all the way down to the small of my back, touching his lips to my ear, breathing his name, breathing mine. Here I am, dancing with air.”
In years to come, she will begin to lose her memory, which will make Lenny see her as fragile. “I gather her gently into my arms, holding her like a breath.” But right now, she is at her peak. She is ready to take charge of the course of their story.
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"The writing of this intense story of love and heartbreak is what makes it a classic. You'll go through the wringer with this one, but you'll never forget it."
 ~J.A. Schneider, author

Thursday, January 11, 2018

This is the family we are

And I press my head to his chin till I feel him wiggling his upper lip, ‘cause my hair is frizzy, and so it must be tickling his nose. And through the fabric, the thin cotton of this dress, I feel his hands on my body, his flesh against mine, and it’s coming forward, so I reckon he wants me, like, awful hard.
“Take it off,” says Lenny.
So I slip the dress off, ‘cause it don’t belong to me, but to Natasha. Wearing it must have been a mistake, ‘cause this thing brings her back to him, and for some reason, it brings out other feelings, which I’m not sure I get, exactly. So I step out of it, and see it puddling there, on the floor, like a piece of blue ice, melting. 
Then, on the whim of a moment, I rise to the tips of my toes and stretch for a kiss; which he denies me. And instead, Lenny looks straight into my eyes, saying, “In a word: I want you to know that maybe, I have lied to you.”
Now, that’s just like him: lying to me; which he then doubts; which he wants me to know, so he’s protected from guilt. 
And before I can point it out, or ask him why anyone would say, In a word, only to follow it with a full sentence—and a long one at that—Lenny goes on to say, “I have told you, just a minute ago, that I do not wish to talk about my son. But now that I think about it, maybe I have lied.”
I can see my image flashing across one lens, then the other, right there in his glasses. And it looks kinda small, and odd, too, ‘cause each one of them surfaces is like, a bit curved. There... Now my image has met the frame. It’s gone, vanished into thin air. 
Me, I’m feeling, like, a tinge of shame—even though I didn’t do nothing wrong. So I’m waiting on edge, right there in front of him, now with my eyes lowered, holding my breath to hear him, ‘cause who knows what he thinks he’s seen. 
To me, he’s the witness, and he’s the judge, a judge with a bias in favor of the other side. And here’s the accused, ready for the verdict. Here I am.
Lenny starts talking to me, and what he says isn’t nothing like what I’ve expected, and it takes my breath away. 
“You may be looking at my son,” he says, “and at me. You may be watching us, thinking, These are strange people. This is not a family I would want to live next door to, let alone in the same home—but this, Anita, is the family we are.”
And in a whisper I repeat, “Yes, we are.” 

Anita in My Own Voice


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"After having read and reviewed several fictional novels by Author Uvi Poznansky, I continue to be a huge fan of her writing style. She has the mesmerizing and enchanting effect of drawing her readers into the heart and soul of her characters." 
Dolores Ayotte, Author