Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A roaring fire blazed, warding off the evening chill

That night after dinner, Blake escorted Nellie to the library.
“Let’s sit, shall we?” he pointed to the settee in front of the fireplace, where a roaring fire blazed, warding off the evening chill. “Would you care for some brandy or tea perhaps?”
“Thank you, I’m fine.”
He poured himself two fingers of the golden brown liquid into a snifter and swirled it round and round in the glass. “A ritual,” he explained, “so I could get used to the flavor.”
“Not something you generally care for, I take it.”
“Can’t stand the stuff, but the men I want to do business with like it, so I’ve learned to drink it without gagging.”
She nodded.
“Now, to the letter you received from R. Edward Wallace. Your former father-in-law, I believe.”
She nodded again, not ready to speak on it.

Excerpt from Nellie by Cynthia Woolf
Included in A Touch of Passion

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Was that the watch she’d gotten him for Christmas?

Zoe, in between Brayden and Alex at the dining table, couldn’t stop sneaking glances at her husband. He was really, truly there. Shocked at first, angry and confused, as she settled into her emotions, she realized how much she’d missed him.
He didn’t eat very much, she noticed. A few slices of chicken, a roll. Salad without dressing. A small portion of the eggplant that he’d probably added to his plate to be polite. Long fingers held the knife and fork. Was that the watch she’d gotten him for Christmas? Where was his wedding ring?
She sipped her water, wishing she’d thought to pour a glass of white wine with dinner. Chocolate brown hairs on his forearm turned golden in the overhead light. She hadn’t been able to stop herself from touching his back earlier. It had felt so good but she knew that he was here for a reason he had as of yet to disclose.

Excerpt from Returning Home by the Sea by Traci Hall
Included in Love in Times of War

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

“JUST MARRIED” was spray-painted on the rear view windshield

The pink and white circlet of flowers she’d placed on her golden curls reminded me of the one she’d worn at her party when we were fifteen, and I cherished that moment in memory. As we exchanged vows, no man on earth could have felt more proud having this vision of loveliness become my wife.
Instead of the elegant reception we’d originally had in mind, once the brief ceremony was over, our parents took us all out for dinner to the same fancy restaurant we’d dined at after graduation. 
My dad had given us a used car as a wedding present, and somebody, probably George, had a tied a bunch of cans to the back fender. “JUST MARRIED” was spray-painted on the rear view windshield.
I laughed at what my friends had done to our new car, but my eagerness to get my wife alone was becoming a toe-tapping, sweaty palms issue. After all I was heading to Chicago for boot camp tomorrow.

Excerpt from When Sailors Play by Susan Jean Ricci
Included in Love in Times of War

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Monday, November 28, 2016

They would sit around the tree and open presents

Judy wore the special robe every Christmas day. It was a tradition, and the day wasn’t off to a good start until she had put it on and cooked a huge meal of bacon and pancakes. After breakfast they would sit around the tree and open presents. Jim still believed Judy wore it because she loved it so much, and because he was still clueless about just how ugly the robe was, every year he tried to find something equally as horrid to give her. Judy always saved his present for last. Charity didn’t know if it was because her mother was trying to put off the awful surprise for as long as possible or if it was because she was saving the best present for last.
The Christmas holidays were Judy’s favorite time of the year. She always went all out to see that everything was just perfect for her family. Every room in the house was always decorated to the hilt and each meal was planned down to the last taste and nibble. Because her mother loved it so much and went out of her way to make it special for them, Charity had always looked forward to it too. This was the one time she wished it would all just go away. Maybe next year things would be brighter and she would be able to look forward to it again.

Excerpt from Concealed in My Heart by Regina Puckett
Included in A Touch of Passion

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Love in Times of War

At no other point is passion put to the test as in dire times of war. From the American Civil War to WWII, from Vietnam to the War in Afghanistan to the Persian Gulf, the stories in this boxed set summon the strength of true lovers. Written by bestselling, award-winning, and USA Today authors, the novels and novellas in this collection tell of overcoming the odds to celebrate the victory of love. 

If you like Military Romance, Wounded Warrior Romance, Historical Romance, Contemporary Romance, or Romantic Suspense, this anthology invites you to triumph over the worst of conditions. Together with these unforgettable lovers, go through coping with loss, struggling with injuries and rehabilitation, and facing difficult homecomings. And just like them, inspired by desire, find the courage to bring forth the best in us.

Dancing with Air by Uvi Poznansky
In WWII London, Lenny is involved in a covert intelligence ploy. His task must remain confidential, even at the risk of Natasha becoming suspicious of him. Will their love survive the test of war?

Two Hearts Unspoken by Tamara Ferguson
Beth Bowen is a single mom of an autistic son. Zach Logan is a wounded warrior searching for a life after Iraq. Can two lonely people discover that love is that something unspoken, missing from their lives?

The Rebel's Redemption by Jacquie Biggar
When an old enemy follows him from Iraq and causes mayhem in Tidal Falls, can Jared overcome the odds to protect the woman he's always loved?

Broken Wings by D.G. Torrens
Joshua, a bomb disposal expert in Afghanistan. Angelina, an editor of a local newspaper. Both avoiding love at all costs, until they are unexpectedly thrown together. Tested beyond belief... Can their love survive?

A Soldier’s Promise by Angelica Kate
Ryker is most comfortable in the regulated world of the military. When he is sent to Darby’s doorstep to keep a promise to one of his fallen team members, every rule he holds will be challenged!

Returning Home by the Sea by Traci Hall
Brayden and Zoe wed before he went to Iraq. Once united in passion, a lot has changed in the six years he's been away. Will their love survive his homecoming?

Mademoiselle by Suzanne Jenkins
To Philipa, working at Mademoiselle Magazine is more important than anything, even love. Her friend, Walter, hopes for a change, but not until his trip to the Persian Gulf does she begin to listen to her heart.

Genteel Secrets by S.R. Mallery
In 1861 America, can the love between a Confederate female spy and the Pinkerton detective hired to shadow her survive, or will their story become just another casualty of war?

When Sailors Play by Susan Jean Ricci
Michael Burke has two passions: his high-school sweetheart and baseball. When someone dear to him perishes in Vietnam, will the shock alter his future goals? Will it isolate him from Ellie or deepen their love?

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She heard the sound of Christmas music echoing from inside

It was Christmas Eve, and Beth was getting Kyle ready to make the rounds with friends and family. First, they’d go over to Luke and Kelly’s house, and then they’d have dinner with Cal and his family.
Would she see Zach tonight?
She’d actually bought him a gift—which was funny. She hadn’t even purchased a gift for Jim last Christmas. Why bother? He’d never given one to her.
When they pulled into the driveway of Luke and Kelly’s house, the first thing Kyle saw were the skaters whizzing across the ice on the bay. Apparently, the Dragonfly Pointe Inn offered an ice rink for their visitors, and even sponsored a local hockey team.
Kyle arms went whipping up and down in excitement when he stepped out from the SUV , and he suddenly began jumping in place. Since he had no verbal skills, Kyle used his hands for everything. He was even pretty skilled with sign language, and Beth had picked up a lot of the signs herself. But she and Kyle’s teachers had discovered, years ago, that pictures were the most effective way for communicating his needs more quickly.
She heard the sound of Christmas music echoing from inside, so she knocked, and entered the house through the back door. Wow—what amazing views, Beth thought, as they made their way through the doorway and into the kitchen. Although there were windows everywhere, it was warm and cozy inside because of the roaring fire blazing in the fireplace.

Excerpt from Two Hearts Unspoken by Tamara Ferguson
Included in Love in Times of War

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Thursday, November 24, 2016

I wondered if we would still be walking together in the snow

“I wanted to be the first to get to you, before the wolves started to circle,” he said.
Not familiar with that reference, it sounded ominous and negative. 
We walked down Outer Drive toward my house, me silent, listening to him talk. The majestic old oak trees shaded our path as we walked, Wax chatting, the drone of his voice comforting. The sense that he only took his eyes off me long enough to keep from tripping drowned out the awareness of everything else. I don’t remember much of what was actually said on that first walk, but I was captivated. I looked up; we were almost to my house.
Soon, the leaves would turn color and fall to the sidewalk. I imagined walking on the leaves, crunching them under my feet. The weather would grow colder and colder, and snow would fall. The thought of having to wear boots and mittens and a heavy overcoat on a warm day like this seemed impossible. I wondered if we would still be walking together in the snow.
“Let’s stop here,” I said when we got to the corner, hoping my mother wasn’t waiting with her eagle eye. 
He’d said he lived around the block from me. Again, the idea that I’d lived within shouting distance of him all my life was inconceivable. All I had to do was cross the alley, walk through my backyard and I was home. Reality ended the hypnotic walk. I didn’t see my mother waiting, so Ida and Lynne had been successful. 
“Thank you for walking me home.” 

Excerpt from Mademoiselle by Suzanne Jenkins
Included in Love in Times of War

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Took my breath away and broke my heart all at once

I simply love this review for my poetry book, Home. It touches my heart.

on November 22, 2016
What a touching book! I'm becoming quite the Uvi Poznansky fan the more I read her work, but in this case, it was the combination of her words along with the poetry of her father that took my breath away and broke my heart all at once. So beautiful! I wish I could read more of her father's work, but I'm guessing it's only available in Hebrew, as I haven't seen it in English. Too bad I can't read Hebrew. I will, however, continue reading Poznansky's work. Her writing is so different, so artistic. Love it!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A truly unique voice

It doesn't get any shorter and sweeter than this review for my novel, My Own Voice:

on November 16, 2016
Uvi has a truly unique voice that I can't wait to explore further

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Holding onto each other as the afternoon air chilled

As she proceeded to talk, he hesitantly inched his fingers closer to her, as if casually stroking the bench, hoping to reach out and touch her hand resting on the bench between them. Not knowing what to expect, he didn’t dare breathe when he saw her hand stir toward his. Slowly, tentatively, their fingers drifted toward each other as her chest rose and fell in a visible flutter, and his breath suddenly became belabored. 
When their fingers finally touched, it jolted through him like the time he reached into a rat hole in Five Points, and felt the sharp sting of those tiny teeth nibbling at his hand.
He shook his head. Rats? Ridiculous. Breathing more easily now, he curled his large hand over her small one as a sense of belonging washed over him. It seemed as if he had come ‘home.’
She must have felt it as well. She shifted her body closer to him, enabling their hands to intertwine more tightly together. There was no talking now, just holding onto each other as the afternoon air chilled, foreshadowing the nip of evening.
Out of the corner of his eye, he could see her swivel her head casually toward the western edge of the park, and following her gaze, he spied two indistinguishable female figures, one thin, and the other stout, like two anamorphic shapes against a darkening background.

Excerpt from Genteel Secrets by S.R. Mallery
Included in Love in Times of War

No longer available

To survive this winter in the wilderness, body and spirit must harden

This revolt, mounted by my own flesh and blood, forces me to consider my friends, advisors and military personnel with a degree of caution, and wonder who amongst them is a friend, and who—a foe. Before taking a risk and reaching out to any of them I must get a sense of their level of support for me. Are they devoted to my cause, which is to make this country not only strong but also stable? In my house, the House of David, there should be a peaceful transition of power from one generation to the next. 
I send messages to a handful of people, calling them to meet me under the oak tree, on the other side of the ravine. Then I head in that direction with my wives. When we finally get there by the end of the day I note that Bathsheba has blisters on her heels. She is wincing in pain, as do the others. Back in the palace, where we used to walk on the softest of rugs, our soles have softened. Spoiled by luxury, so have our souls. To survive this winter in the wilderness, body and spirit must harden. 
Can we do it? God knows.

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-Grady Harp, Hall of Fame Reviewer

Friday, November 18, 2016

Come closer, snuggle up

“But Lenny, it’s so simple! I missed you—”
“That’s no reason, Natasha, for what you’ve done. Why leave home, especially now, when we’re at war? If you love me, keep yourself safe, if only for my sake! Why, why put your life at risk—”
“Perhaps,” she said, “I’m not looking for safety! Have you ever thought of that? Perhaps something else is more important to me.”
“Like what?”
“I can’t continue to depend on others, Lenny, the way I’ve done all my life. This is my time to change, to demand new things of myself, even if they happen to frighten me, even if I’m scared out of my mind.”
“Not sure I understand—”
“Please try, Lenny.”
“What is it you want?”
“Just this: to stop leaning on those closest to me.”
“You could’ve done that back home, couldn’t you?”
“That’s the place where I’m being taken care of, to the point of feeling stuck. Worse than that: suffocated. Someone, usually Mama, drives me to where I need to be. Someone points me to the dressing room, calls me to the stage. I’m nothing more than a mechanical doll. All I do is respond.”
“You do much more than that! You excite audiences, Natasha! And to me, you’re an inspiration—”
“Yes, you admire the way I play, but in truth music is the only thing for which Papa trained me.”
“You’re too critical of yourself,” I said.
To which she said, “No, Lenny. I’ve seen him decline, seen him lose his mind, and if—if, like him, I’ll ever lose mine—how in the world will I recover? How will I find my way, when I’ve never developed the skill to do so?”
I lowered my head before her. 
“Never,” I said, “until now.”
“Exactly,” said Natasha. “Until now.”
And a moment later, blotting the corner of her eye, where a tear was forming, she whispered to me, “Come closer, Lenny, snuggle up, but never, ever let me lean on you.”

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"The imagery in this book is incredible and outstanding..Anyone who has been involved in a passionate romance will be able to feel the power of the romance between these two lovers.
- USN Chief, Ret..VT Town, Top 500 Reviewer

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

In the end of my story there are colors now, where before there were none

Today I have the pleasure of presenting the gifted narrator of two of my books, The Music of Us and Dancing with Air: Don Warrick. Don is an actor who spent his entire life presenting the written word. He is second to none in his storytelling: a musician of many skills, a teacher, performer, conductor, recording artist, and an audiobook publisher. For the last several months he has been working at California Lutheran University as Manager of IT Training. Being so busy during the day, Don is up at the wee hours of the night, breathing life into my characters. I listen to their voices, which he sends me well after midnight. I laugh, I cry, as if the story came not from my pen but is unfolding before me for the first time. Often I think of the sacrifice he is willing to make for his craft and I am deeply grateful for it.

I asked Don to write about anything that came to mind while working on Dancing with Air, and was deeply touched by what he wrote:

My dad served in the second world war. I never thought much about it growing up, mainly because it was a completely empty page. It didn't feel like it was a taboo subject exactly it was almost like somehow, the subject just never came up. When I was a small boy, all I had was a picture of my dad in an army uniform. It wasn't until many years had gone by that I learned he was a navy medic in the south pacific during the war. During the war, his first wife contracted polio and died. My dad who grew up a devout Catholic never spoke about three things when he came home. His beloved first wife, his military service, and God. He blotted all three until the ink wasn't even a faint image on the page.

This is oddly where my connection to Uvi's books begins. With a sorrow and an emptiness. A blank page whose words, were they lifted would be so horrifying that they would be beyond expression. And yet, this is my job. I give expression to the words on a page.

And so, as I engage with these characters they help me color in the blank spot. Their sorrows, their fears, their triumphs and their regrets take root. They give me a compass point. Yes, they are just a fiction but even so, as I live in their skins I get to pay a sort of homage to my dad. To all those that lived through that terrible time in human history and emerged to cling to small lives and great.

And in the end of my story there are colors now, where before there were none.

His body of work:

Uvi Poznansky
Mary Campisi 
A Family Affair: The Promise (Truth in Lies book #7)  
A Family Affair: Winter (Truth in Lies, Book 6) 
A Family Affair: Christmas (Truth in Lies, Book 5)
A Family Affair: Fall (Truth in Lies, Book 4) 
A Family Affair: Summer (Truth in Lies, Book 3) 
Michael J Dawson
Oleg V. Oksevski
Richard James Chance
Julie Elizabeth Powell
John Franz
Artistic Direction
Dayton Playhouse, Dayton Ohio
Central Ohio Professional Theatre, Columbus Ohio
Covered Bridge Theatre, North East Maryland,
A Little Night Music - Fredrick
Kiss Me Kate - Petruchio
Mack & Mable - Mack Sennett
Man of La Mancha - Don Quixote
Sound of Music - Capt. von Trapp
South Pacific - Emile DeBeque
Sweeney Todd - Sweeney
The King and I - King of Siam
Two by Two - Noah 
The Grand Duke - The Grand Duke
HMS Penafore - Ralph
Pirates of Penzance - The Pirate King 
The Merry Widow - Danilo 
The Mikado - Nanki Poo 
Orpheus - Mercury
Les deux aveugles - Patachon
Die Fledermaus - Eisenstein
Gianni Schicci - Gerardo
La Boeheme - Parpigno
La Traviata - Georgio Germont
Marriage of Figaro - Don Basillio
The Impressario - Herr Eiler
A Lion in Winter - Henry
Lend Me a Tenor - Tito Merrelli
Medea - Jason 
Oleanna - John
On Golden Pond - Norman
Plaza Suite - Jessie Kipplinger
The Odd Couple - Felix 
The Rainmaker - Starbuck
Zoo Story - Jerry 
Brigadoon - Tommy Albright
Camelot - Arthur
Candide - Candide
Jacque Brel - Player 
Convenience - Abe
Fantastics - El Gallo
Godspell - Jesus
Guys and Dolls - Sky Masterson

"Never has a writer touched me like Uvi Poznansky. Her books will last right in line with classic writers long gone.
- Skadi Winter, author