Monday, June 27, 2016

Start the summer with a bang: A Touch of Passion

Derrick looked out at the bay where a now teenaged Tim slowly steered a jet ski, giving his eight-year-old sister a ride. Little Heather had been a lively ball of energy since the first day she'd come into their home as a toddler.
"Daddy! Daddy!" he heard his daughter shout from the water. "Look at me! Look at me!"
Waving at Heather and Tim, Derrick smiled. The love he felt for those two children never failed to make his heart lurch in his chest.
"Here I come, ready or not."
The small voice coming from behind him had him turning to face the house. Derrick forced himself to remain still as he watched his other daughter make her way down the grassy slope toward him.
The brace on five-year-old Susanne's leg made her journey slow and awkward. But since she'd joined their family, Derrick had quickly come to realize how important it was to her that he allow her to maneuver down the incline all by herself. Adopting a special needs child had been a long and harrowing experience. Several times, both he and Anna were sure their petition would be rejected. But he was glad they had stuck with it. Susanne's determination and ever-growing independence never failed to make Derrick feel proud.

Excerpt from Derrick by Donna Fasano 
The novel is included in A Touch of Passion

Love Romance? Get this amazing collection
Kindle ★ Nook ★ Apple ★ Kobo ★ Google Play ★ Smashwords

A hearty thank you to our wonderful readers
who not only nominated A Touch of Passion for the 
Romance Reviews Reader Choice Awards 
but also took us all the way to first place:

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Start the summer with a bang: The David Chronicles

Why not start the summer with a bang? Here are three excerpts, specifically chosen for their impact, from each one of the books in my series, The David Chronicles.

“David,” says Michal, and her voice is soft, barely audible to others around us, so I know that this time, it comes straight from the heart. “Don’t leave me.”
With that, she twirls her skirt this way and that to try to sweep the shattered glass under the table. When this fails, she looks left and right to see if anyone is watching, and then raises the corner of the tablecloth, so both of us can take a peek down there to survey the damage. 
It is there, hidden under that canopy, that we are faced with each other.
“Leave the cup alone,” I tell her. “The wedding ceremony is over.”
She shakes her head, refusing to understand.
I raise her hand, and hold it to my lips. “We both know it’s time,” I say. “I must go.”
“No, no, no.” A tear wells in the corner of her eye. “I know nothing of the sort.”
“Don’t play games with me.” I kiss her. “The secret’s out.”
She plugs her ears. “No, no, no. I don’t want to hear it.”
“I wish I could avoid listening,” I whisper. “But I can’t. We both know: my life here is in danger.”
She counters, “And what about me? I have no life without you.” 
To which I say, dutifully, “I love you.”
And she says, “No, you don’t,” to which she adds, softly, “stay with me.”

With an unexpected sob she pulls her hand out of mine, and I am left kneeling there, holding air. Which is when I hear a new kind of sound that can only be described as choked silence, and I bang my head under the table on my way to stand up.

David in Rise to Power

“Don’t you raise your hand upon him.”
“Ha! You can’t ask that of me.”
“I’m not asking, Joav.” I peer into his steel-grey eyes. “I’m ordering you.”
“What a laugh!” he says, with a last-ditch effort to provoke me. “You think you’re the king.”
I grit my teeth and, ever so calmly, I counter, “I do, and I am.”
Exasperated, he bangs the palm of his hand at my desk. “Don’t you see what you’ve done?”
So I try to explain, “I’ve done what’s necessary for my plan, for unity in this land.”
Joav shakes his head, utterly in disgust. 
“Look, Abner came to you. It was such a rare opportunity! Why, why did you let him go?” he asks, not wanting to hear me. “Now he’s gone! You know him. He came here to deceive you, to observe your movements and find out everything you’re doing.”
“I’m prepared to take that risk.”
Joav is grinding his teeth with an ear-piercing noise, which rolls over his words, so none can be discerned. So I press on. 
“His actions,” I say, “will speak for him.”
“By then,” he grumbles, at last, “it may be too late.”
“Late for what?”
“For me to catch up to him.”
With that he turns away, and as abruptly as he has come Joav leaves the office, his knives clinking against each other in a secret compartment, somewhere under his belt.
He slams the door on his way out. I hear the thump of his footsteps shaking the stairs, one at a time, all the way down to the ground floor. I should send someone to lay a hand on him and bring him to a stop—but I know few will take that risk.

At my age I should expect nothing but respect. But when my own son walks away from me, my resolve immediately falters. To spite me, he smiles flirtatiously at Abishag, my lovely new concubine, till she tightens her robe around her waist and turns her head away, hiding her blush from him, and perhaps from me, too. Then with a youthful vigor, Adoniah bangs the heavy iron door deliberately behind him, which makes Goliath’s sword clang against the wall, right here over my head. 
The rattle shocks me into trying to overcome the fright, the sudden quaking of my bones. 
I adore my son, which lures me into seeing myself—my own image, only more invincible—in him. So what if he is rebellious? I must have been the same way at his age. Back then, did I not leave my father, exchanging the safety of his home for something unknown, for adventure? Did I not defy his charge for me to remain there, in Hebron, and support him in his time of need?

★ Love Reading? Treat yourself to a gift 

Volume I: Rise to Power
EbookKindle  Nook  Apple ★ Kobo  Google Play  Smashwords
PaperbackAmazon ★ Barnes&Noble
AudiobookiTunes ★ Amazon ★ Audible

Volume II: A Peek at Bathsheba
EbookKindle ★ Nook ★ Apple ★ Kobo ★ Google Play ★ Smashwords
PaperbackAmazon ★ Barnes&Noble
AudiobookiTunes ★ Amazon ★ Audible

Volume III: The Edge of Revolt
EbookKindle ★ Nook ★ Apple ★ Kobo ★ Google Play ★ Smashwords
Paperback Amazon ★ Barnes&Noble
AudiobookAmazon ★ Audible ★ iTunes

The complete trilogy:
The David Chronicles (Boxed Set) 
EbookKindle  Apple  Nook  Kobo  Smashwords

Start the summer with a bang: At Odds with Destiny

Marie went into her room in the children’s wing. It was cool and dark, perfect for sleeping. She went into her bathroom and pulled off her suit. She took a shower and washed her hair. The water felt good on her hot, sunburnt skin. She stood out of the protection of the umbrella, talking to the neighbor for at least an hour. But it was worth it. It was the first time in recent memory that she felt happy and excited. It was just for coffee, she reminded herself. But it was a start.
She got into her bed, completely relaxed and refreshed. She fell into a deep sleep. Suddenly, she was awakened, hearing a scuffle. Her first reaction was to run out of her room, but she was stopped by the voice of a man. She didn’t recognize the voice, but it was definitely a male. She tiptoed to her door and slowly and carefully turned the knob.
“Don’t hurt her!” Pam screamed!
When had she gotten home? Marie closed the door and locked it. She crept back to the bed and got her cell phone, keying in 9-1-1. She whispered into the phone that she thought there had been a break-in, that someone was hurting her aged mother. The dispatcher said they would send cars out right away. She hung up and went back to her door. She could hear Pam’s voice, low and pleading, and her mother whimpering. She didn’t know if she should go out to help them or stay locked in her room. What would make things better? Worse? She chose staying put. In less than five minutes, she heard the whoosh of cars out front and then a loud “Bang!”

Excerpt from Pam of Babylon by Suzanne Jenkins 
The novel is included in At Odds with Destiny

Get it now
At Odds with Destiny
★ Kindle  Nook ★ Apple 
★ Kobo ★ Smashwords 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Start the summer with a bang: Still Life with Memories

Why not start the summer with a bang? Here are excerpts, specifically chosen for their impact, from each one of the novels in my series, Still Life with Memories:

So instead I raise my head and with wild, vicious force, I bang my forehead, then bang it again against the keyboard. I’m free now, so free to attack it. The beast wakes up, and from its belly springs a sharp, fierce cry, which makes the air tremble in bursts, short bursts coming at me, doubled by echoes from every wall, every corner.
Meanwhile, in the background, I can hear them blinds, like, smacking each other, and giving way, suddenly, to a gust of wind. And there, in the opening of the glass door, which leads to the balcony, I spot his outline, standing behind the tape recorder. 
The moonlight shines briefly on his shoulders as Lenny crosses the threshold. With a slight limp he makes his way in, and leans over my shoulders. And I can feel his strong arms wrapping around mine, arresting me, blocking my attempt to bang, bang, bang the keys. He turns me around—but me, I try to refuse him, and I fight like a savage, like a cat, and something surges in me, so in my fury I push him, I shove him away real hard, till he falls to his knees before me. 

Anita in My Own Voice

So then, bang! I pound the keys, this time fortissimo—with full strength!—as if to cry, Stop! No more darkness, no more gloom! There’s a thud, there’s a boom! Hear this, right here? Hear my voice? Tell me, Yes—you have no choice! 
And before this phrase fades out Anita straightens her back, and places her hand on the keys. Then, to my astonishment, she plays the next phrase of music, this time with raw, intense force, which I never knew existed in her, bringing it to the verge of destruction, making it explode all around me. And I, in turn, explode with the following one, because how can I let her outdo me? I am, after all, The Entertainer... 
Here I come! Here I drum! No more woes. Let me close! Let me in, hold me tight! Don’t resist me, do not fight—

The M1 Granad, with which our company was practicing shooting skills, is a semi-automatic, shoulder-fired rifle loaded by inserting a metal clip that contains eight rounds into the receiver. Once the eighth round has been shot, the empty clip automatically ejects with a notable noise, a ping that would cost the lives of many soldiers, as it would provide the enemy with a clue as to their whereabouts, especially in close-combat fighting. 
That morning in training camp it was not the sound of loading, nor was it that distinct ping that alerted me to danger, but the whisper of blades of grass tearing asunder, falling with a whoosh left and right as the bullet came flying straight at me. Like a thunderbolt, it hit my shoulder. There is nothing friendly about so-called friendly fire. Searing pain started spreading to my arm, my entire quivering body. I staggered into a spin and fell onto the soft soil of the earth.
My mind drifted in and out of consciousness. At some point I felt a stretcher bouncing under me, and realized I was being carried somewhere, perhaps to the army hospital. I heard someone ask, “Is he still breathing?” 
Wincing in pain I tried to answer, but my tongue would not move. 
I recall hands, many hands touching me, grasping my arms and legs, lifting my body onto some hard surface. Then they started to apply direct pressure and elevate my limbs, perhaps to control the bleeding. 
I passed out. I came to. 
With the bullet isolated from the flesh and pulled out, splints and dressings were applied to immobilize the injured area, which was then wrapped with a dressing. I glanced at my left side. It was beginning to look like a mound of white gauze. 
I got a glimpse of the sterile table next to me. It was littered with empty syringes, clamps, and a heap of cotton swabs, most of which were drenched in blood. And there, in their shadow, lay surgical Mosquito forceps. Normally they would be used for halting flow in small blood vessels, but right now they were holding something between their delicate, serrated tips. A bullet.
I passed out. I came to. 

Lenny in The Music of Us

On the way back to London I could barely keep my eyes open, except for the very beginning of the journey. The meadow looked gray, with dead horses, cattle and mattresses strewn all about, covered in falling debris. Of the nearby farm, not a single structure remained in place, and not a brick could be found anywhere near it that resembled building material. And there, rising to the sky, swaying in the wind, hung a mushroom cloud.
The earth quaked. Casting a look over my shoulder I saw a ripple going through it. Then a big depression was being formed out there, with cracks yawning wide. Before long it became a cavernous crater, maybe a hundred feet deep, threatening to swallow us alive. Its mouth spit up dirt and rocks, only to devour them with an incredible crackling sound as they came tumbling down. There was something eerie about this landscape. It was ravenous. Riding at utmost speed, we kept just out of its lip.

Lenny in Dancing with Air

Then she whispered, “You look happy, my love.”
And I said, “Natashinka, will you marry me?”
“I will,” she said, “even though I know what Mama will have to tell me about that. You can guess it too: ‘Over my dead body.’”
“Which is a funny thing for her to say, because that’s just the kind of wedding I was expecting, until not so long ago. Over my dead body.”
“That,” she said, “would make for a short marriage.”
“And,” said I, “an unhappy one.”
“Ma knows nothing about what we’re going through, about you heading for an execution at the hands of the SS soldiers, and me pretending to be pregnant, to save you, somehow, from it.”
“Haven’t you told her about your proposition of marriage before death?”
“No, Lenny. Telephone lines have been cut off. I have yet to find a way to contact her. For now, all Mama knows is that one way or another, she must stop you from marrying me.”
“Let’s mail her an invitation to the wedding.”
“Really! I think she’ll be thrilled by it.”
“Oh Lenny, you know she won’t.”
“Seeing the look on her face as we exchange vows would be half the fun.”
Natasha laughed, only to turn serious once again. “I want it to happen in Paris.”
“Then, let’s get there in a big hurry,” I said. “But first, my love, don’t we have to go back?”
“Back where?”
“Up to the clearing in the woods, to let the partisans and their leader know that you’ve kept your promise.”
“The boy will do that for me. He’ll tell them to expect an air drop.”
I relaxed into thinking that for the first time in a long time, there was nothing for me to worry about. The future seemed bright. We were together. We had no plans, and it was just fine that way.
“You look sleepy,” she said. “Come here.”
She wrapped her arms around me. I closed my eyes, and on the verge of dozing off, imagined the boy arriving at the camp, up there in the hills. I could just see the partisans, coming out of their tents late in a moonless night. 
They would tremble slightly in the cold night breeze, wrap themselves in their ragged blankets, and turn their eyes to the west, where a whir of engines would signal the coming of British planes. Hanging beneath silk parachutes, crates of armaments would start dropping, ever so dreamily, from the starry heavens.  

Lenny in Marriage before Death

★ Love reading? Treat yourself to a gift ★

Volume I: My Own Voice
EbookKindle  Nook ★ Apple  Kobo ★ Google Play ★ Smashwords
PaperbackAmazon ★ Barnes&Noble

AudiobookiTunes ★ Amazon ★ Audible

Volume II: The White Piano
EbookKindle  Nook ★ Apple  Kobo  Google Play ★ Smashwords
PaperbackAmazon ★ Barnes&Noble

AudiobookiTunes ★ Amazon ★ Audible

Volume III: The Music of Us
EbookKindle  Nook ★ Apple  Kobo  Google Play ★ Smashwords
PaperbackAmazon  Barnes&Noble
Audiobook: Amazon  Audible ★ iTunes

Volume IV: Dancing with Air
 Free with Kindle Unlimited
PaperbackAmazon ★ Barnes&Noble
AudiobookAmazon US  Amazon UK  Audible  iTunes

Volume V: Marriage before Death
Ebook: Kindle  Nook  Apple  Kobo ★ Google Play  Smashwords
PaperbackAmazon ★ Barnes&Noble
AudiobookAmazon US  Amazon UK ★ Audible  iTunes

Volume I & II, woven together: Apart from Love
EbookKindle  Nook ★ Apple  Kobo ★ Google Play  Smashwords
PaperbackAmazon ★ Barnes&Noble
AudiobookiTunes ★ Amazon ★ Audible

Thursday, June 23, 2016

You are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain

Bathsheba lowers her eyes and gives a shy, hesitant nod to one concubine after another, as they are coming down, measuring her top to bottom, and flinging their skirts about, with a happy whistle on their lips. 
That uneasy scramble to the top has the questionable effect of humbling her. By the time she arrives, there are tears in her eyes.
“What’s the matter?” I ask, because I truly feel for her. Being an outsider, she is greeted with suspicion by the rest of my wives.
Asking this question is, without a doubt, my second mistake of the day. For a long time Bathsheba is silent.
At long last, “Oh, nothing,” she says, biting her lip. 
So hard does she do it that her lip becomes white, and it bears the marks of her teeth.
“Come here,” I whisper to her. 
Instead she goes to the window. I find myself unable to say anything, so instead I make a note to myself, to write down these words, later: “The fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon. You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride. You are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.
By the reflection I can read her. I see that she wipes the corner of her eye. Silk curtains start swishing. They sway, they billow wildly around her, blotting and redrawing the curves of her silhouette. 

I join her by the window and hold her, rocking her gently in my arms. Together, we look out at the last glimmer of the sun, sinking. 

My book is greatly inspired by art of all ages, such as this painting of Bathsheba, who is both lovely and wears extravagant cloths. In the background you can see an imagined view of the City of David.

C. 1562, oil on wood, Musee du Louvre, Paris

★ Love Reading? Treat yourself to a gift 

Volume I: Rise to Power
EbookKindle  Nook  Apple ★ Kobo  Google Play  Smashwords
PaperbackAmazon ★ Barnes&Noble
AudiobookiTunes ★ Amazon ★ Audible

Volume II: A Peek at Bathsheba
EbookKindle ★ Nook ★ Apple ★ Kobo ★ Google Play ★ Smashwords
PaperbackAmazon ★ Barnes&Noble
AudiobookiTunes ★ Amazon ★ Audible

Volume III: The Edge of Revolt
EbookKindle ★ Nook ★ Apple ★ Kobo ★ Google Play ★ Smashwords
Paperback Amazon ★ Barnes&Noble
AudiobookAmazon ★ Audible ★ iTunes

The complete trilogy:
The David Chronicles (Boxed Set) 
EbookKindle  Apple  Nook  Kobo  Smashwords

"The miracle of Uvi Poznansky's writing is her uncanny ability to return to old stories 
and make them brilliantly fresh"
-Grady Harp, Hall of Fame reviewer