Tuesday, August 4, 2015

You may have heard those rumors about me

You may have heard those rumors about me: how I escaped by moonlight, how I hid inside each one of the seven wells of Beersheba, with nothing in my possession but the shirt on my back, how I eluded my enemy, my brother, and then, how frightened I was, how alone. I’m afraid you have been, at best, misinformed—or, more probably, mislead by some romantic foolery, some fiction and lies, the kind of which can easily be found, and in abundance I might add, in the holy scriptures.  
I insist: it was not moonlight but rather, high noon. I was wearing no shirt whatsoever—nothing, really, but a goatskin sleeve. There was only one well in which I could hide, not seven. And most importantly, I was hardly alone, for the entire camp—all the maidservants, the shepherds, the guards—stood aghast all around me. So now, you must see that I could not, despite my best intentions, escape stealthily out of there, nor could I elude anyone.
Instead I was flung out, kicking and screaming, with tugs and pulls loosening the remaining shreds of my clothes, and whacks and smacks coming at my bare back from all directions. My left eye swelled up to such a degree that out of necessity, I resorted to use the right one—only to discover, once I raised my head from the dirt, that my brother was standing right over me. His foot could be seen coming straight at me, at an easygoing, unhurried pace, until it turned into a full blown kick.
I managed to roll away, mainly by flailing my arms wildly over my head. With a great sense of urgency I crawled on all four through the crowd, and hid inside the closest well. Luckily it was bone dry, thanks to a yearlong drought. And so for a second, I could hang there by my fingernails and pant, and catch my breath. Then I tiptoed behind the corner, right into the shade of my mother’s tent. 
From there I took a plunge and hurled myself downhill—where, to my utter disappointment, I found out that my brother had already caught up to where I was headed, and was waiting there for me with open arms. He made a point of letting me know that his hate for me would, by no means, stand in the way of our closeness. 
“Come, Yankle,” said Esav. “I promise not to hurt you.”
“Really,” I said. “Can I trust you?”
“Aha,” said he. “I will just kill you.”

Yankle in A Favorite Son

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Sunday, August 2, 2015

David and Bathsheba - The Bible Brought to Life

Jess Steven Hughes has extensive experience as  a police detective sergeant. He is also a horseman, and he draws on all his skills in writing his great historical fiction books. I am thrilled to find his review of my novel, A Peek at Bathsheba:

5David and Bathsheba - The Bible Brought to Life, August 2, 2015
This review is from: A Peek at Bathsheba (The David Chronicles) (Volume 2) (Paperback)
From the cobwebs of the Old Testament, author Uvi Poznansky masterful prose has brought to life the legendary and forbidden romance of King David to the beautiful but married, Bathsheba.

To place in a historical perspective, it must be remembered that King David and Bathsheba were products of their time. Uvi Poznansky makes this abundantly clear. In the ancient world of the Near East, most so-called kings were little more than clan chieftains, ruling small pieces of territory. David, who was egocentric, had proven himself on the battlefield, but was still doubtful of his own strength. He was one of these petty monarchs, ruling over only one of the twelve tribes of Israel. His capital was the small mud and brick city of Hebron. Knowing that to truly be considered a "real king" and recognized as an equal by the leadership of Egypt, Assyria and the Hittites, he had to unite the twelve tribes under his reign.

Along the way, David had to deal with betrayal and treachery from within, including his commanding general, Joav. He was a soldier only interested in perpetual war and had no interest in seeing the tribes Israel united.

David also had to deal with the wiles and needs of his many wives. Perhaps it was this that drew him to Bathsheba, a married woman and therefore "forbidden fruit."

We know Bathsheba was the wife of the soldier, Uriah, a Hittite. Being a foreigner, he was probably a mercenary in David's service, albeit a loyal one.

The wives of soldiers in the ancient armies were mostly camp followers and passed around from one fighter to the next. The author points out that David was aware of this, knowing that Bathsheba had experienced the same until her union with Uriah had been legitimized. He also knew Bathsheba, as a married woman, would be stoned to death for adultery if their affair was discovered.

Given Bathsheba was "only a woman" and that David was king and considered "above the law," it is doubtful that Bathsheba would have refused his advances. Perhaps she was resigned to that fact. At the same time, the author makes it clear she was a clever, intelligent and strong minded woman. She probably considered her affair with David as an opportunity to advance herself by having his son. She certainly succeeded, as her son, Solomon, became one of the most famous kings in The Old Testament.

All of this is weaved together by the author's almost poetic style. She brings her characters to life describing their strengths and foibles to the point you can easily identify with any of them. It is a story of deep love and one of intrigue
Some readers will probably be put off by author's modern usage of words which do not necessarily give it a "biblical" feel. However, I believe more will identify with it than using archaic words which have no relevance into today's modern society.

For the bible purists, they might take offense, believing this style sacrilegious or even sinful.

I like her style. Five stars.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Meet our characters up this road

Time to get it, get At Odds
Avoid the wrath of all the gods
Meet our characters up this road
This book you're destined to download

★ The novels in this boxed set are out of the box 
Open it at your own risk! 
At Odds with Destiny
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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

If not for brotherhood, the rivalry between them may become deadly

The following three excerpts depict three moments in Davids story: the first, when he starting ruling over the entire country and was enthralled to build his city, the City of David, and his palace. The second, when the construction of the palace has been completed, and his sons begin a rivalry that will end up in one of them executing the other and mounting a revolt to topple his father, David, off the throne. And the third, after the revolt has been quelled, when he comes back to a palace in ruins:

My court is abuzz with suppliers, artisans, architects, interior designers, engineers, carpenters, brick layers, and contractors, all of them eager to win a commission from me, which makes it challenging to do my work: consult with my spiritual advisors, discuss policy matters with foreign diplomats, and exchange niceties with the elders of our tribes. I thrive on the excitement of it all. 
Workers are rubbing off excess cement, which they have poured earlier across the ground, so the geometrical mosaic design starts to appear from the dirt, in all its brilliance. Inlaid with colored glass from Tyre, trimmed on all four sides with glazed tiles from Shushan, and dotted on all four corners with shells from the delta of the Nile and pebbles from the river Tigris, this floor will create a new, vibrant ambience in my court.
A master craftsman bows deeply before me, to the point that his sketches are nearly dropping out of his portfolio. 
“My lord,” he says, in a heavy Egyptian accent. “Let me decorate the walls of your palace, all of them, the same way I did in the burial chambers of the pyramids.”
“But,” say I, “this is not a tomb.”

“Too bad,” he mutters, under his breath. “Unfortunately, the living are more particular about art than the dead.”

I look around me at the decor of my palace, in which I have invested so much time and thought, not to mention gold and silver. At last, the renovation is complete. The workers have packed away their tools, stored away the ladders, removed the scaffolding, and left. In their absence you can now see the entire space, and take in its magnificence.
New, exotic draperies are hanging from the gilded trim above the arched windows. Their fringes are delicately embroidered in silver, and threaded with fine gems. The entire floor has an abstract geometrical design done in mosaic, with colored stones and marble. The walls are covered by cedar wood panels with fancy inlays in them, contrasting various stains and directions of wood grain. Flames are flickering in glass oil cups in the large metal chandeliers, which makes the vast space sparkle with light. 
This is so different from my humble home, back in Bethlehem. I have created something about which I have been dreaming since the days of my youth: a grand shell for justice, learning, and power. 
And like a shell, it is fragile. 
I pray that my boys would create their own memories of this place, because if not for brotherhood, the rivalry between them may become deadly.

The first sign that the palace was looted is the way the gate to the courtyard is sighing in the wind, swaying lopsided back and forth, forth and back on a single hinge. The doors of the palace carry muddy boot marks, and the latch is broken. I enter, and find myself appalled at the sight of destruction.
The geometrical design of the mosaic floor, which has been laid out in my court with such care and artistry, is missing most of its details. Here and there, its stones—including the colored glass from Tyre, the shells from the delta of the Nile, and the pebbles from the river Tigris—are missing. 
As for the curtains, they are crumpled in a heap, torn and utterly soiled. In the women’s quarters, the frames of the embroidered panels are smashed. Pearly beads are strewn across the floor, the only remnant of the jewelry that was stolen. The rooftop outside my chamber has been torched, and charred slats that used to be part of the wooden lattice around it are now dangling over the edge.
But the most heart-wrenching sight is not the damage to my property—but to the women, the ten concubines whom I left behind, on the night of my escape. They are wandering listlessly about the place, looking more dead than alive. If anyone comes near them, they start screaming in fright. 

In writing these segments I was inspired by artist James Tissot, who depicted three moments in David's life, all of which he set up on the balcony of his palace. In these paintings you can see time passing not only by looking at David, maturing from a young lad to an old psalmist, and not only by the garments he wears, which are increasingly richer and more regal, but also by the updates in the decor of the balcony.

In the first painting, David Watching Bathsheba Bathing, David is sitting on a simple blanket that separates him from the hardness of the stone seat. There is a tiled design along the sitting level of the balcony and along the stair that raises him from the floor level. 
In the second painting, Nathan Rebukes David, a new tile design has been added behind him, as well as gridded panels that allow blocking the hot summer air or opening in the evening to cool down the area. Also David is sitting on a mat of Sheepskin. 

In the last painting, The Legacy of David, the columns have been replaced by richly decorated columns with fancy three-tiered bases, the tiles have been removed so as not to compete for attention with the bas-relief backsplash under the columns, and David is sitting upon an upholstered, specially designed cushion. Light bounces from the page to the sweet, young face of the scribe sitting at his feet, writing the history and the psalms of the king.

David Watching Bathsheba Bathing

Nathan Rebukes David

The Legacy of David

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"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

Monday, July 27, 2015

A huge spike of interest

This month shows a HUGE spike in traffic to this blog, expressed as the number of visits. Here is the traffic chart since the inception of this blog, check it out:

So you can see that two and three months ago there were a little over 25,00 visits per month, but now... this month is simply stellar, I have to wipe my eyes in astonishment: During the month of August there were just over 49,633 visits! I am so grateful to you for coming here to share in my thoughts.

And here are two additional graphs showing audiobook sales. The first is for sales of the audiobook edition of Rise to Power. You can see that the sales are gathering steam, as the points of sale become more and more frequent as time goes on:

And the second graph is for sales of the audiobook edition of A Peek at Bathsheba. Even though this is a 'younger' audiobook you can already see the same trend, with sales getting more frequent as time goes on.

Because both books belong to a series, The David Chronicles, the sales for one book spur sales for the other, a bit later in time.

So I want to thank you so much for coming to this blog to read about my work and the wonderful narration of all my books. You have the power to bring them to the attention of more readers. Please tell a friend about them and invite them to come read my blog!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Why did I put so much effort to grasp for it?

I go out to the royal gardens, where a cold wind whips the slender palm tree, bending its solitary shoot till its crown of leaves shakes, rattling violently as if it were about to slip down. There I hunker down, listen to the wild beat of my heart, and wait. I wait for the night to end, hoping that by sunrise I may find some relief, some deliverance. 
The storm sings, yet I am silent. But after a while, listening to its rhythm, I match it with words, I intone, “My heart is in anguish within me. The terrors of death have fallen on me. Fear and trembling have beset me, horror has overwhelmed me. I said, ‘Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.’”
In the moonlight, silvery dust swirls around me. Blow by blow it rises before my eyes. Through its veil, the view of the mountains around Jerusalem is truly magical. It makes me ache to find my way back to the caves and crevices where I used to dwell. Perhaps because of my folly the folly of a man who has known success and tired of itI yearn for way things were, long before I became king. 
These were times of danger, as Saul put his dogs on my scent. Life was thrilling. I thrived on risk. 
Not so now. 
I am beside myself with fear, which I cannot even explain to myself. Forget the palace. Forget the crown. It’s no good, being me, being where I am. 
As if listening to a stranger I hear my voice, chanting, “I would flee far away, and stay in the desert. I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm.”

Many times I quote the beautiful lines from Psalms in The David Chronicles, because it suggests, in such a beautifully poetic way, not only the way David questions himself but the anguish and doubts of each one of us when we reach a crossroad. 

This winter I have fallen into the habit of wandering out to the roof, even if Bathsheba is not with me. Reclining on the cold tile floor I lean against the wooden lattice, right there at the edge, and lose myself in thought. Sometimes I take the crown off my tired head, and roll it across the dusty surface, glad that no one is watching me. I wonder then, why did I put so much effort, back in my youth, to grasp for it? 
Perhaps I take it for granted these days. Like a bad coin, the thing always rolls back into my hand.

Artists throughout the ages have depicted David in his old age. I love the painting by Frederic Leighton, which inspired the passage above. You see the crown discarded at the edge of the painting, having been tossed away by David, as if he thought of it as a curse. And he gazes into the storm clouds in the distance, and the dramatic light breaking through from behind them, contemplating the meaning of his life.

The second painting is by James Tissot, depicting David as a fatherly figure, caring for the young woman, Abishag, who has been brought to the palace to keep him warm.

David by Frederic Leighton, 1st Baron Leighton

★ Love reading? Get the trilogy  
The David Chronicles (Boxed Set) 
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Volume I: Rise to Power
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Volume II: A Peek at Bathsheba
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Volume III: The Edge of Revolt
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Friday, July 24, 2015

The Alpha and the Omega

I'm so elated to discover a first review, written by a Top 500 Amazon Reviewer, for my children's book, Now I Am Paper:

~~The Alpha and the Omega~~, July 22, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Now I Am Paper (Kindle Edition)
Everything about this short book is exquisitely done! It covers a wide range of emotions and feelings ...it so much reminds me of the circle of life. The author has interwoven love, loss, fear, hope, death and rebirth together and used an old tree as the 'alpha' and the 'omega'.

This lovely book also rhymes and the watercolor paintings were created by the author and are beautifully done.

Most highly recommended. The author suggests this book is written for ages 2 - 10 and K - 5. I would suggest that everyone (no matter their age) will appreciate 'Now I Am Paper'.
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