Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Beach reading: the rays are starting to carve out three distinct silhouettes

At the other side of the valley, the sun has just begun to rise. At first, its blood-tinged rays shoot straight into my eyes, blinding me. They make me blink, so it takes me time to adjust, to notice how, out of the shimmering air out there, the rays are starting to carve out three distinct silhouettes. 
Atop the rocky ridge overlooking the valley, three riders are now coming to a halt. Their stallions snort, scrambling a step or two backward, away from the edge. At last I recognize them: the king, flanked by his general on one side, and his son on the other.
Clasping my lyre tightly, to stop its strings from trembling in the wind, I draw closer. Along the way I try to hide from sight, cowering here and there behind pieces of mossy, soggy turf, which serves me as camouflage. I tell myself, it is time to confuse the enemy. Let him misjudge me. 
Here I am. Here I am not. 
Here is pretending not to be watching Saul, and not to be listening. 

Excerpt from Rise to Power by Uvi Poznansky
The novel is included in At Odds with Destiny

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Beach reading: The sun never leaves.

Suzette gurgled so Charity took that as her approval and began reading, “My Darling Child of my Heart, if you know nothing else, know I love you, and wanted you from the moment I knew of your existence. I know you will grow up knowing love. Your father loves you, and he will see that you have enough love to make up for my not being with you as you become who you are meant to be. I would give anything to be with you, but sometimes God’s plans do not match our own. I have no doubt you will grow to be the most beautiful and amazing person ever. I want nothing but the best for you. Never doubt that you were and are loved. I am leaving you in in the care of my two best friends. Your father and Charity will see you never lack for anything, of that I am certain. When you see the sun, know it is only me keeping watch over you, but don’t despair on the days there are clouds. The sun never leaves. It is only tucked out of sight for a short span in time. That is how I see death. I’m only tucked out of sight for a short period in time. I’m waiting for you behind the clouds, with love in my heart, and my arms opened wide, whenever you need to talk. I’ll always be here listening, whenever you need me. Have a wonderful life and always have an open and willing heart.”

Excerpt from Concealed in My Heart by Regina Puckett. 
The novel is included in A Touch of Passion

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Monday, May 23, 2016

Beach reading: She’s still a little spitfire

He remembered her fondly as being a little spitfire that summer and it seemed she hadn’t changed one bit. Only now, as a woman she had a lot more power and knew how to use it. What the hell are you grinning about? Remembering how she hadn’t hesitated to jump into the battle earlier, gouging with her fingers, trying to help him; dammed if a smile didn’t warm up his insides. She’s still a little spitfire.  
He let his mind drift back in time. Over the years, one tantalizing night had continued to haunt him. It was when Cathy had let him down once he’d agreed to sing at the neighborhood bar. She’d been after him to take her to the city, and had stomped out, furious, when he’d explained he’d promised to help out his buddy who wouldn’t be able to appear that night. Since the locals were always on him to perform; they’d been thrilled when they heard he’d be the replacement.
At the beginning of the evening, he remembered watching for Cathy, getting madder and madder when she didn’t appear. He’d been so sure she’d break down and support him. Hell, if he’d known then what he knew now, there wouldn’t have been any doubt that she’d go and do exactly what she wanted. But in those days, women didn’t treat him that way. In his smug drunkenness, he’d woken up in the morning believing that, later, she’d come to find him at the ranch.
The next time he’d been with her, he’d mentioned how special their lovemaking had been; how she’d pleased him with her generosity, and she’d never denied it. So, he’d stayed happy in his bubble of belief. Now when he thought back, Cathy must have thought him either nuts, or a cheater; though neither seemed to have made any difference to her.

Excerpt from Love Me Tender by Mimi Barbour. 
The novel is included in A Touch of Passion

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Her breasts are tipped with gold

Here is an interview I did recently about my historical fiction novel, A Peek at Bathsheba:

What is it that draws me to the story of David?

It is not religious reverence that draws me to the story. Rather, it is the drama of his life, which my trilogy, The David Chronicles, explores from youth to old age. I find it amazing to be in his skin over a lifetime of loves and wars, and I hope you will too.

His struggle is one that we can all feel inside us. 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?. 

David is famous for bringing his kingdom from the brink of annihilation to a prosperous age, a renaissance. With all his gifts, he is indeed a renaissance man. This is his story as you have never heard it before: from the king himself, telling the unofficial version, the one he never allowed his court scribes to recount. In his mind, history is written to praise the victorious—but at the last stretch of his illustrious life, he feels an irresistible urge to tell the truth. In the first volume of the series, David gives you a fascinating account of his early years, culminating with a tribal coronation. Rooted in ancient lore, his is a surprisingly modern memoir.

How would I define my writing style?

I would describe my writing style as layered, much like Lasagna, with each layer having a different flavor and a different texture that complements the entire dish. How do I achieve this? The process, for me, is very similar to the way I sculpt: I shape the clay, then go around the unfinished piece and view it from an unexpected direction, in various lights, sometimes in the morning, sometimes at night, so as to achieve an effect that works well for me. Similarly when I write, I shape my text several times, each time refining it with a different idea, different principle in mind. For example, one such idea would be this: the end of a paragraph leaves gap of silence before the next paragraph begins, so end it on the strongest word so it continues to linger, continues to resonate with you.

What is unique about my writing process?

As an artist, I find great inspiration in art throughout the ages, describing each moment in the life of my character, and exhibiting different attitudes towards him. Often I create a scene that is a vivid expression of a particular piece of art. 

Take, for example, the cover of A Peek at Bathsheba (volume II of The David Chronicles.) My book, A Peek at Bathsheba, includes a sighting of Bathsheba at the mouth of a cave, located just above the Kidron valley, near Jerusalem. The setting immediately brought to my mind A Woman Bathing in a Stream, painted in 1655 by Rembrandt, immediately after he painted Bathsheba at Her Bath

During the history of art, most artists portrayed Bathsheba as a fleshy, mature woman. They often placed her in a lush outdoor scenery, such as a royal garden, with flowing water or with a fountain. Spotting a forbidden woman in a setting reminiscent of the Garden of Eden is a tempting fantasy, and quite a departure from the biblical account, that states she was bathing on her roof. Artists go after their own heartand so, indeed, do writersto suggest the emotional essence of the story.

Rembrandt places his figure not in a garden, but in a cave with a pool of water, which is at once an outdoor and indoor scene (and in Bathsheba at Her Bath he presented her in an indoor scene, in her bedroom.) He worked mostly with a grays, browns, and blacks, setting objects back by plunging them into this dark tone, and bringing them forward by shining a bright light directly upon them, creating stark contrasts. The resulting image is sculptural in nature, and strikingly dramatic.

Clearly, the composition of my watercolor painting is inspired by his admirable art, shares a similar spirit of intimacy, and maintains a loving respect for the model. Here is my approach, my homage to it, which illuminates the new vision I use for the story. 

I strive to maintain a sculptural feel for Bathsheba, but take the freedom to play with a splash of colors, so as to draw contrasts between cool and warm hues. I create a variety of textures, using a loose, spontaneous brushstroke. This I achieve by applying puddles of pigments over Yupo paper, which (unlike traditional watercolor paper) is non-absorbent. I let these puddles drip in some places, and in other places, I lift and shape them into careful designs, using various tools. 

Here is an excerpt describing this scene in A Peek of Bathsheba:

Watching the cracks in the rock I listen how water gurgles underneath them, how it comes, siphoned out with a big, sudden splatter—only to be swallowed back once again. 
Such is the ebb and flow of life. 
Climbing up I imagined the view I would have up there, at the top of the world. And now, having achieved victory, I am beginning to come down, seeking reflection. 
From outside the cave comes the hoot of an owl. Outlined against a dreamy moonlight, it strikes an upright stance, and turns its large, broad head to face me. Its gaze meets mine. At the moment I feel a strange affinity to this bird of prey. Like me, it must cherish its solitude.
And as it spreads its feathers I think I see out there, behind the flutter, a curvaceous outline of a nude. I ache to touch her flesh. It is glowing with warm, reddish hues of terra-cotta. Her breasts are tipped with gold. 
As if springing to life out of some Babylonian plaque, there she stands, surrounded by owls. 
There she is, my Queen of the Night.
“Bathsheba,” I whisper. My voice gets lost in the vacuous space. 
A moment later, the owl takes off. It rises away in its silent flight, and the illusive light of the moon starts dimming out.

★ Love giving gifts? Give The David Chronicles 

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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The complete trilogy:
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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

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Beach reading: We lay on a lavender blanket, deep in a field of wildflowers

Elsbeth filled my dreams in the pre-dawn hours. It was summer: sun-bleached, blazing summer. We lay on a lavender blanket, deep in a field of wildflowers. Thousands of blue lupines nodded their heads in unison in a meadow of ubiquitous buttercups. It was clear Elsbeth was content. Her radiant smile spread and grew in warmth until I felt cocooned in her love. I reached up and plucked a luscious, ripe peach from a groaning branch hanging heavy with fruit above our heads. Peach-fuzz tickled my lips and sugary juices ran down my chin when I bit into the tangy-honeyed flesh. 
I returned her smile, leaned back, and lay my head on her lap, gazing up at her. She ran her fingers through my hair in the comforting motion I’d grown to love. I felt enfolded in her essence and certain of her love. The sunlight glistened through her dark curls and they danced above me with a musical, wind-chime sound.

Excerpt from Double Forté by Aaron Paul Lazar
The novel is included in At Odds with Destiny

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She is some writer

Born and raised in Derry, Northern Ireland, Colm Herron is the author of four novels including The Further Adventures of James Joyce and The Fabricator. His newest book The Wake is a rollicking work of youthful, political, sexual, and spiritual awakening set against the Irish civil rights movement of the late 1960's. I am honored to find his review of my historical Fiction novel, Rise to Power:

on May 22, 2016
King David was some guy. And Uvi Poznansky is some writer. Put their attributes together and you have a mindwhirling novel called Rise to Power. Before I read this book I knew a fair amount about David of Old Testament fame. I knew for example that he had a few warts here and there - though not nearly as many as Poznansky came up with in the course of her boldly creative research.

There's much much more to David than his ascent from court jester to king of the Israelites. He was driven by ambitions that consumed him and left certain eminent and not so eminent corpses in his wake. To put it fairly mildly the giantslayer stopped at very little in getting what he wanted, and this included richly rewarding sex and the throne that God Himself had blessed. To tell you the truth I felt a little morally confused now and then. "How could ...." I would occasionally ask myself. But then God always did move in mysterious ways.

I sometimes had the impression as I read this gem of a novel that Ms Poznansky was sitting chatting to me. Such is the wealth of her conversational style that I wanted to come closer so as not to miss anything. And it is all told in language that is not so much colorful as kaleidoscopic. The Bible was never like this when I used to read it. And more than that, it's the only book in that sometimes unholy collection that was written by a woman. Hallelujah!

Beach reading: who would play on the beach with her

So much of what was important to her lived in that house. She loved the kids. Staying in touch with them while they were away at school, writing weekly, texting constantly, sending gifts from street vendors should be on the continuum of life, but she’d allowed it to slip. When they both decided to spend six weeks of their summer vacation away, she was beside herself and the fact that the plan wasn’t cancelled after Jack’s death really had her baffled. She wondered what would she do the rest of the summer, who would play on the beach with her, go for ice cream or pizza, and hang out in town on a hot summer Friday night.

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

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