Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The eyes of an artist, and the words of a poet

Mary Firmin operated an Arthur Murray Dance Studio, worked in Real Estate Sales, and sailed up and down the California Coastline for years. is It is from all of these experiences she forged her characters in her book, Deadly Pleasures. I am thrilled to find her review of Rise to Power:

5.0 out of 5 stars A Powerful Biblical Story!!!July 22, 2014
By 
Mary Firmin (Rancho Mirage, Ca.) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Rise to Power (The David Chronicles Book 1) (Kindle Edition)

Rise to Power is the biblical story of David and Goliath seen through the eyes of the young David. Ms. Poznansky views the world of David with the eyes of an artist, and describes what she sees with the words of a poet. David, a shepherd boy and young musician, makes his way to the Court of King Saul. What follows is a world of court intrigue where the powers that be struggle for even more influence. He becomes the favorite musician to the King and lives a privileged life. But then David finds himself on the Battlefield, in the Valley of Elah, confronted by the Giant Goliath, wearing full battle dress. With only his lyre and no weapons to defend himself, David fashions a slingshot out of a string from the lyre. He picks up a small pebble from the ground -- and kills the Giant with one shot to the head! The story then takes us through the young David’s years of fame for this incredible feat, and moves us through the time he spends at the Court of King Saul where he even marries one of the young Princesses. When the King finally turns against him, David takes up the sword. He creates an army of his own and bides his time until he can take the throne from King Saul. During this time he does his fair share of womanizing and takes two wives. I found this story extremely well written in the first person, from David’s point of view, it gives us a full and vivid picture of the times and the difficulties of simply surviving. I highly recommend this book to history buffs, biblical scholars and anyone who simply enjoys a good read. My compliments to the author for creating a David who is a real person with all the failings and foibles of a human being, and for helping us to see, through his eyes, the violence and terror in those Biblical times.

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Peek at Bathsheba: Written by a Talented & Gifted Storyteller

Thomas Jerome Baker has written books in the following genres: romance, historical fiction, autobiographical, sports history/biography, and English Language Teaching. I am thrilled to find his review of my novel, A Peek at Bathsheba:

5.0 out of 5 stars A Peek at Bathsheba: Written by a Talented & Gifted StorytellerJuly 26, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: A Peek at Bathsheba (The David Chronicles Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
Henry Fielding wisely wrote, "every book ought to be read with the same spirit and in the same manner as it is written." In "A Peek at Bathsheba" by Uvi Poznansky, it would be well to heed Fielding's words of wisdom. This book is inspired by the Bible. Nonetheless, it is most important for readers to hold uppermost in our minds one inescapable fact: This is not the Bible. Then how ought this book be best read?

Since it is not the Bible, we have two ways of reading. One, we can read this book as if it were the Bible, and vilify the book's author for any deviations or misinterpretations that contradict the Bible. Two, we can suspend disbelief and immerse ourselves in the richness of the story itself, and allow the author the creative license to be that which she is, namely, an exquisitely talented and gifted storyteller. I chose this latter way of reading.

I found this book to be enormously satisfying. Uvi Poznansky has taken an existing story, familiar to anyone who has read the Bible, and entertained me, captured my attention, my imagination, my admiration even. I indeed see this story from a new viewpoint. I have the freedom to ask, "What if?" More importantly, I am engaged, personally invested enough, to ask of myself, "What would I have done?" At that point, the author has fulfilled all of her authorial obligations when she achieves that I enter into the story she has constructed, losing all sense of time and place and self. This is precisely why I read, to enjoy such ethereal experiences. I recommend this book highly to any reader who is capable of suspending disbelief. You will surely enjoy this well written, exquisite story.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

By the time she arrives, there are tears in her eyes

A year ago, the chief architect for my palace became overly inventive, which is something I welcome. He suggested to embellish the look of my tower by adding an external staircase, with each stair projecting outward from the wall—which would be seen by everyone, from every hill surrounding the city, no matter how far. At the time I thought it was a good idea, because that would leave the internal staircase as a private approach to my chamber, to be used by me alone. 
I approved his plan, because as a poet I enjoy solitude, and as a politician I need to relieve myself—on occasion—from the pressure of dealing with the crowds. 
Once constructed, I found it offered one more advantage, which I had not foreseen before. The staircase put those who climbed up to my office on public display. It helped make them know their place once they got here. 
For the most part, this works in my favor. 
Since many of those who come happen to be of the opposite sex, my interest in them becomes truly notorious, whether I deserve it or not. For a king, this is not a bad thing. Depending upon whom you ask about it, my virility is hated, envied, or else, much revered.
So now when Bathsheba, my new bride, comes to me from the women’s quarters, she does it the same way as the rest of my wives. 
Bending over the sill of my chamber window I spot her clambering up, slowly and heavily, around the tower. 
She stops for a minute to wipe her brow, because the heat of this summer is more intense than usual. Short of breath, she holds one hand on the iron railing, and the other around her belly. On her, the climb takes its toll. 
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.

David in A Peek at Bathsheba

This painting of Bathsheba is one of the frescos based on the life of king David painted by Salviati at the Palazzo Sacchetti in Rome. Salviati moves this story forward to the time she has come to the palace to see David. This inspired me to write of the reality Bathsheba must face once she comes to the palace, as one of many wives and concubines.


Salviati, Bathsheba goes to king David (fresco)

Just released! Volume II of the trilogy:
A Peek at Bathsheba
★ Audio ★ Ebook ★ Print 

 Volume I of the trilogy: 
Rise to Power
★ Audio ★ Ebook ★ Print 

"What's next in store for King David? I am sure in the third and final book of this trilogy, we are about to find out!"

Four women, four fates, one mystical tapestry

What a lovely new review for the audiobook edition of Twisted:

"Four women, four fates, one mystical tapestry"
Where does Twisted rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Among the audiobooks I've heard so far, Twisted ranks in my top twenty percent, primarily because of the melding of narrator and story, but also because I love Poznansky's forays into the mythos of the Old Testament.

What other book might you compare Twisted to and why?
I can compare Twisted only to Uvi Povnasky's other works about Biblical characters and times. The author is creating her own canon, bit by careful bit. I'd call this book magical realism, but it isn't quite that because the characters are not of this time: it's a passionate recasting of Biblical legend for womens' perspectives, with a helping of honesty thrown in for good measure. These four stories feature female protagonists so real you want to touch them, so bold that their unapologetic and unforgettable nature will haunt you long after the narrator finishes telling you each tale.

What does Heather Jane Hogan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Heather Jane Hogan brings a finely wrought integrity to her readings, disappearing into each character in turn. Having these stories read to you allows the narrator to characterize each story differently; and different these feminine perspectives are, one form the other. Hogan breathes voice into each tale without ever overplaying her hand.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
If I could, I'd have listened to each of the four stories straight through.

Any additional comments?
The narrated story "I Am What I Am" alone is worth the price of this quartet of tales. As the character searches for her identity in a word of symbol, myth, and metaphor, so do you. Job's wife has something to say to all women of every age, and does, and narrator Hogan makes sure you hear the message. Accompanied and enhanced by three other tales, I, Woman...The Hollow...and The One Who Never Leaves, this quartet transports you into a way of apprehending life that is different from your own, so that you see all through a rarefied artistic sensibility. Bravo, author and narrator!


I stare at the unfurled thing, utterly speechless

At the height of the lunar cycle, when the moon grows full once again, I give in to temptation. I go out onto the roof, where I hope, in vain, to catch a glimpse of her. And just as I start agonizing, asking myself how long can our secret be kept silent, an interruption occurs. 
My bodyguard, Benaiah, comes out. I want to believe that he knows nothing about me except what orders I give him, and how I want them obeyed. 
When he comes to a stand near me I spot a note in his hand. I recognize it: this is the same little papyrus scroll I sent with him that first time, a month ago, but she must have sealed it anew. 
I break the seal and then, then I stare at the unfurled thing, utterly speechless. It takes just three words to get me into this state. 
In long, elegant glyphs, Bathsheba has written, simply, “I am pregnant.”


The correspondence between David and Bathsheba is the invention of artists, whose mind was tickled to imagine how the two lovers communicated to try and prevent a public scandal. Here is the work of two great artists, Rembrandt's Bathsheba at her bath, and Picasso's version based on Rembrandt's. Compare how he makes Bathsheba lean forward, emphasizing her keen attention to the letter, and how he plays with the patterns so that the entire space is abuzz with energy.

Rembrandt, Bathsheba at her bath

Picasso, Bathsheba at her bath

Just released! Volume II of the trilogy:
A Peek at Bathsheba
★ Audio ★ Ebook ★ Print 

 Volume I of the trilogy: 
Rise to Power
★ Audio ★ Ebook ★ Print 

"I am so enamored with the sensual style and delicious delivery
 that this review is a purely emotional response as I have just put it down. 
I feel like a devotee."

Bathsheba with the letter from King David

I must keep myself away from her, to protect both of us from gossip. In secret I send word to Bathsheba, to let her know that I intend to take care of her. I want to do the right thing, one way or another—even though I have no idea, at first, what that may mean. What action should I take? Should I reunite her with her husband, or else take him out of the way, somehow, and make an honest woman out of her? 
Utterly baffled I close my eyes. I try not to think about the forbidden woman, not to imagine her nude—but my mind works against me. 
There she is, sitting in her bedroom, crossing one leg over another at the edge of the bed. By her side, over the richly embroidered, velvety blankets, lays her robe. It is damp and crumpled, because in my mind she has just come out of the bath. From somewhere above soft, golden light is washing over her, letting her flesh glow against the darkness. Light glances off a teardrop earring that is hanging from her earlobe.
I pay no attention to the maid, who is kneeling there before her, because she is barely seen, sunk in the shadows of my vision. Instead I focus on imagining Bathsheba. I paint her face turned from me, in profile. She is holding back a tear as my note rustles in her hand, with the whisper of my word of honor. 
By the look in her eye, she senses that which I have not yet begun to consider. With profound sadness, she can already foresee the calamity, which my promise would cause for her, and for her husband, Uriah. In my mind Bathsheba is already grieving—and yet, she seems to accept her fate, the way I would dictate it.

David in A Peek at Bathsheba

David yearns for bathsheba, even glorifies her at times, but at some points in the story he regards her as a 'soldier's wife', a woman with low morals who may have been with many man before him. 

This divided view of one of the most desirable women in history is reflected in the way artists have depicted her. Compare for example these dutch painters: Under the influence of Rembrandt's famous painting, Willem Drost painted a lovely, ponderous Bathsheba, holding David's letter in her hand. He paints her lovingly, and heightens the emotions that must rage in her heart, and the worries that cross her mind, knowing that there will be consequences for her and for her husband to suffer. 

On the other hand, Jan Steen ridicules Bathsheba as a cheap, bare-chested woman, eyeing you, the viewer, with a cynical look, in his painting, her attention divided between her manicure and your presence.  

Even in his more 'modest' presentation of Bathsheba, where she is a society woman properly dressed up, he continues to intervene between you and her. She turns her head, surprised to find you spying on her in this intimate moment, when David's letter is delivered to her hand.

My novel, A Peek at Bathsheba, is greatly inspired by all these pieces of art, and all these different points of view.

Willem Drost, Bathsheba with the letter from king David

Jan Steen, Bathsheba after the bath

Jan Steen, Bathsheba receiving David's letter

Just released! Volume II of the trilogy:
A Peek at Bathsheba
★ Audio ★ Ebook ★ Print 

 Volume I of the trilogy: 
Rise to Power
★ Audio ★ Ebook ★ Print 
"The richness of her descriptive language, to me, evokes a sense of majesty that seems, well, biblical."

Friday, July 25, 2014

Voice of a Kindle Book

I'm waiting to be taken, but now, be forewarned
Don't you dare come near me, or else you'd be scorned--
Unless you delight in literary fiction
And enjoy reading a book with detailed scene depiction

If you let me pull you in, deep inside
Until you find yourself there, in my characters' mind
I'll make you burn in hell, ablaze in desire, 
I'll let you swirl like smoke, ever higher and higher

I'll bring you down here: Santa Monica, Venice Beach
For a father-son meeting, with a blame and a breach
You'll hear Lenny, Natasha, Anita and Ben
And be tortured by guilt, again and again 

Find a path to forgiveness, find a way to come clean
Find the words to explain what exactly you mean
Turn page after page, then fall to your knee
'Cause Apart From Love, no feeling is free


★ Love reading? Treat yourself to a gift 
Apart From Love
★ Audio ★ Ebook★ Print ★
"A literary symphony complete with a cast of likeable, bruised characters"