Sunday, May 21, 2017

Truly Inspirational

I am thrilled to find this review, written by an author who loves and lives to write, Dellani Oakes. She is also a former A.P. English teacher and a photo journalist. This is what she says about my art book, Inspired by Art: The Last Concubine:

on May 21, 2017
Inspired by Art: The Last Concubine (The David Chronicles Book 9) is another stunning and amazing collection of art which inspired Uvi Poznanski to write about Abishag, the last concubine of King David of Israel. Woodcuts, stained glass windows, oil paintings, etchings, illuminated texts, coins, carvings.... Some are by famous artists like Salvador Dali or Rembrandt. Others are by nameless, forgotten monks or metal workers. Though their identities are lost, their lovingly created work lives on for us to share.
Immerse yourself in the art that inspired the book. It will delight and, with luck, inspire you as well. Then, read The Last Concubine by Uvi Poznansky, or listen to the wonderful audio presentation, as I am.
I highly recommend this book for those who love fine art and history. It's a truly incredible collection showing many different facets of the story of the last days of King David's life.

Five Golden Acorns
© Dellani Oakes 2017

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Let her voice be heard

I sigh. “No one should learn the sordid facts of that horrible thing, that assault.”
“Why shouldn’t they?”
“Because,” say I. “That would be like violating my daughter all over again.”
“About that,” says Bathsheba, “you’re quite mistaken.”
“Am I?”
“Yes,” she says. “You are. In your mind, history belongs to the victor. Triumphs should be glorified, failures—glossed over.”
“But of course! That’s the way it’s always been.”
“It’s been that way, perhaps too long.”
“What d’you mean, perhaps too long?” 
“I mean, the way it’s always been isn’t necessarily the right way.”
“What other way is there?” I ask, and without waiting for an answer I press on, with great ardor. “Every day I dedicate myself, with everything I have in me, to one project: committing my story—or at least, the better parts of it—to the books, for the sake of the House of David, for the sake of my descendants and the entire nation. My version of events, setting up a model of a shining hero, will live on, in our times and for posterity.”
“For what purpose?”
“To excite the mind for greatness.”
“A valiant effort,” she says. “You are a victor among victors, and without a doubt, yours is a story to be remembered, in all its parts. But why not allow the victim her voice?”
“By which you mean what?”
“Look, if history belongs to the victor, it follows that cruelty is lionized, and that the names of villains, murderers, robbers, and rapists are hailed, in war and peace alike, at the expense of silencing the names of the conquered.”
“I get it, I do.”
“Do you, really?”
“Yes,” I say. “With a little less luck, my name could’ve been stricken off the books, or mentioned in passing as a traitor. If Saul had it his way I could’ve remained a nobody.” 
“I’m glad you see it my way,” says Bathsheba. “Singing the praises of the victors is fine—but then, if that’s all we hear, who will speak for the downtrodden?”
She has a point, which is why I must argue against it. I close my hand upon the scroll, and shake my fist in the air. “History admires those who are strong! It is this that makes me strive to achieve great things.”
Bathsheba gives me a look. 
“If history ignores those who are weak,” she says. “then the name of your daughter will be lost.”
“It’ll be hidden,” say I, “to protect her.”
“Her suffering will be obliterated, and so will her identity. It’ll be as if she never existed.”
“Given what she’s gone through, it’s for her own good.”
“Is it?” 
I hesitate to answer, because she makes me doubt that which I have held true all my life. I hate it when that happen.
With an amused smile at me Bathsheba says, “I can just imagine your scribe, Nathan, chewing the tip of his quill, so he may spit out something lyrical yet benign about your daughter, something that will obscure who she really is, and how bravely she tried to overturn her fate.”
“I can see him in my mind,” say I. “I can just hear him mumbling, under his beard, as he scribbles something like, ‘Now that her brother is a fugitive she lives alone in his house, with no one to talk to, a desolate woman.’”
“Give her a voice,” says Bathsheba, in a tone that is intense, and full of pity for Tamar, and for all of us. “Let everyone hear how a woman does all she can, with such amazing courage, to resist a rape. Let her story be told!”

Narrated by Bob Sterry

In this excerpt, David and Bathsheba go out to their private place: the balcony where they made love for the first time. Here they argue, quite passionately, over the right course of action in the wake of the rape of Tamar, his daughter, at the hands of Amnon, his son. This crime has gone unpunished, because David loves both of them and cannot bring himself to restrain his son. At the same time, he wants to protect his daughter from gossip and exposure. He tries to silence all reports of the rape, while Bathsheba tries to convince him to let his daughter's side of the story be heard. Let her story be heard!

The argument has a larger connotation when it comes to the role of history. Should it record only those who are victorious--or should it give voice also to the downtrodden? What is the right balance between the two sides?

The Edge of Revolt
Only 99c for a limited time: EbookKindle  Nook  Apple  Kobo  Smashwords
Paperback Amazon  Barnes&Noble
New!!! AudiobookAmazon  Audible  iTunes

"At times startling, as times awe-inspiring, and at all times fine reading, this is a welcome addition to the growing library of one our more important writers" 
-Grady Harp, Hall of Fame Reviewer

"Quality above compare, this novel is written by a master wordsmith who knows how to tell a story... This one is up for one of the best for the year for fiction."
 -Dennis Waller, Top 500 Reviewer

This book is a True Treasure!

Just discovered this review for my art book, Inspired by Art: The Edge of Revolt:

on May 20, 2017
Growing up in a large city, I was often taken by my parents to one museum and art gallery after another, as a matter of course. I would stand in front of paintings, etchings, drawings, and sculpture and wonder at the fine creativity of the various artists presented.

But I’d also get tired and bored. Truth be told, I realized as an adult that as spontaneous as the atmosphere at a live exhibit can be, I much preferred studying art books at home, on my sofa, with a cup of tea at my side, a blanket over my legs. I could either take my time or flip through a page here or there, in great comfort.

Imagine my delight when I discovered Uvi Poznansky’s INSPIRED BY ART: THE EDGE OF REVOLT. This is a magnificent collection of artworks she used as inspiration for her well-received series, THE DAVID CHRONICLES. The depth and breadth of this collection is astounding. Color engravings, etchings, pencil drawings, calligraphy, mezzo tints, and oil paintings by the likes of Rembrandt, Chagall, Tissot, Michelangelo, and the modern American artist, Ivan Schwebel, just to name a few. For me, sitting on my couch and taking my time, these works simply leapt off the pages at me. I also greatly enjoyed the titles and quotes beneath many of the works, such as:
“For the hatred wherewith he hated her was greater
than the love wherewith he had loved her.”

All in all, if you’re in the mood for a fantastic way to spend hours on your couch or your favorite chair, relaxing, I highly recommend this book. It’s a true gem.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Beautiful and Intriguing art

I am thrilled to find a five-star review for my art book, Inspired by Art: The Last Concubine. The review is written by top Amazon reviewer and author Sheila Deeth. In addition to her novel, Divide by Zero, she has written The Five Minute Bible Story Series, and other books. With a Masters in mathematics from Cambridge University, England, she is a a top reviewer for Amazon, Goodreads, Gather and other reading sites. This is what she says:

VINE VOICEon May 16, 2017
This review is from: Inspired by Art: The Last Concubine (The David Chronicles Book 9) (Kindle Edition)
From wood engravings to the splash of red in a modern painting, the life of King David has inspired art through the centuries; and the art of King David has inspired Uvi Poznansky’s very human depiction of the aging monarch looking back on his days. In this art collection, David is old, seeking to rediscover his youth in the bodies of ever younger brides. The choice of an heir is much on his mind of course, and the beautiful bride might have much to say in his ear. Then comes the never-peaceful transfer of power.

So many different styles of art grace these pages, colorful, black and white, evocative, dark, strange, haunting… for this reader, the most striking is Henri Lidegaar’s Judgement of Solomon; the most beautiful might be James Tissot’s David Singing; and the most haunting is Salvador Dali’s Psalm 3, closely followed on the page and in my mind by Moshe Tsvi Berger’s Psalm 2. Of course, being English, I love the stained glass too. And my brother who once collected stamps would surely love the author’s curious collection. Artful coins and music complete the scene – a stunning depiction of a life that has influenced the world, and a great introduction to the author’s wonderful words.

Disclosure: It was on a deal and I couldn’t resist it.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Doing the happy dance--my audiobook is out!

Doing the happy dance! The audiobook edition of my historical fiction novel, The Edge of Revolt, has just come out! Narrated by the one and only Bob Sterry, it tells the story of David.  He loves his sons The last thing he expects is that they will topple him from the throne. Who among them will remain by his side? Who will be not only loyal, but also eager to continue his legacy?

Here is the excerpt for the 5-minute voice clip. 

“You know you must act, before this night is over,” she says, over my silence.
Amused by how good it feels to be needed I take my time to answer. Meanwhile I am listening to my breath. It rasps strenuously in my throat. 
At last, “Decisive action may be easy for a king,” I tell her. “But as a father I must weigh every word I speak, because in the future it may leave a scar upon the hearts of my children.”
Somewhat reluctantly she says, “I understand.” 
“I hope you do,” say I. “They are, all of them, my flesh and blood.”
“Then, act as a king,” she says. “Not as a father. Name the one who will succeed you, the one who—in your judgement—may become a better ruler than the others.”
I have to admit, “I have yet to make up my mind,” which fills her eyes with worry. She knows all too well that Solomon, being the younger son, has less of a change to win my favor.
“Decide,” she says. “And make your wishes known. That in itself may bring about a change, a peaceful transition of power. Otherwise, I’m afraid there will be mayhem. It will start at sunrise.”
I let go of her hand, because to say my next sentence I must not lean on anyone. 
But before I can muster my pride, and take air in my lungs, and clear my throat to state, in my most regal tones, “I am still the king, am I not,” I find myself staggering. In the next instant, there I am, a heap of arms and legs spilled on the floor, twisting in agony from the sudden chill overtaking me. 
I reach up, trying to breathe her name. And I wonder what this suffering may look like, to her and to a heavenly city watching over me, floating silent and forlorn on the hill.
Overhead, a cloud breaks off from the others and moves in a new direction. Its wooly, dim grays are drifting across. I squint, rub my eyes. Now, in a separate layer, another image starts floating past: the way she looked, right here on this roof, when we came out of these doors the very first time. 
I remember: scattered petals flew off, swirling in the glow around her long, silky hair that started cascading under her, onto the tile floor. 
Accidentally the goblet, which she had set down next to her, tipped over and some of the wine spilled over her hip. The crisp sound of breaking glass rang in my ear. It marked the moment, from which I could not turn back. Never would I be able to put it out of my mind.
Yes, this was my fault: taking a woman that belonged to another. Soon after came the blunder: bringing her husband, Uriah, back from the front, that he may sleep with her, which would have explained her pregnancy ever so conveniently. 
And when that did not go as planned, then came another mistake, the worst of all: sending him back to the battlefield, with my sealed letter in hand, arranging for his death. 
All the while, my boys were learning their own lessons—not from my psalms but from my deeds. One error begets another, each one bringing a new calamity over me, over my family, and over this entire land. Sin followed by execution, followed by revolt, escape, execution, revolt...
Had I known back then the results of the results of my mistake, the curse looming over my life ever since that time, would I still choose to do it? 
Bathsheba tries to raise me to my feet. Her fragrance brings back to me the sunny, warm hues of spring. The fears, the doubts flee away when we are that close. I adore the way she calls my name, the way she sighs. With every sweet word I fall deeper into her eyes. 
How can love be a mistake? In my passion for her—then as now—what choice do I have? 
I want to tell her, “Let me close my eyes. Let me remember.”

Hint: you can listen to the narration of it by clicking the cover image and hitting PLAY:

The Edge of Revolt
Only 99c for a limited time: EbookKindle  Nook  Apple  Kobo  Smashwords
Paperback Amazon  Barnes&Noble
New!!! Audiobook: Amazon  Audible  iTunes

"At times startling, as times awe-inspiring, and at all times fine reading, this is a welcome addition to the growing library of one our more important writers" 
-Grady Harp, Hall of Fame Reviewer

"Quality above compare, this novel is written by a master wordsmith who knows how to tell a story... This one is up for one of the best for the year for fiction."
 -Dennis Waller, Top 500 Reviewer

Sunday, May 14, 2017

I place him into her embrace

Bathsheba gives me a mysterious half-smile, as if to imply that between the two of us, no answer is necessary. 
Then she adds, “He claims that my name alone will inspire many creative minds. Countless artists, he says, will try to capture that moment, the moment you laid eyes on me. They’ll do me from every possible angle.”
For a moment I find myself dumbfounded.
“That,” says Bathsheba, “was a private moment. It belongs to me, and to no one else.”
“And to me, too,” say I. “I mean, how could I possibly resist you?”
She mutters, once more,“Men!” 
“Women,” say I. “Why don’t you understand your own power?”
“Power?” she repeats. “What power?”
“I mean, the way your beauty affects us. It’s too much, even for someone like me. So don’t blame me if I’m forced to take a peek.”
“Look all you want,” she says. “Just know this: there’s more to me than meets the eye.”
“I know it.”
“In the future,” she says, “a million eyes will continue to explore me, through the eyes of those artists. Not that I mind, really.”
“But I do!”
“Here is what irks me,” she says. “There’s more, much more to who I am than beauty alone.”
At this point I utter a sigh, and in spite of myself the sigh deepens, because all of a sudden, regret is catching up to me.
“I so wish,” say I, “that my scribe, Nathan, would leave both of us alone.”
“Why,” she hesitates to ask, “is there something you want to tell me?”
I shake my head. “No, no. Not really. And you?”
“No,” she says, lowering her eyes. “Nothing at all.”

I sit down beside her, and brush a strand of hair from her damp forehead. Only now—by her pale face and the dark circles under her eyes—do I realize how exhausted she must be.
“Perhaps,” I say, thinking aloud, “I should be going.”
Pointing at the crib by her side, “Help me now,” says Bathsheba. “Give me the child.”
And so, leaning over the crib, I take a look at him. His face is perfect, angelic. A single ray of sun cuts across his ashen cheek, leaving his eyes in the shadows. Along its diagonal way, it touches the tips of his delicate, nearly transparent fingers. I lift the baby into a kiss. 
Then, very gently, I place him into her embrace. Standing back I watch the two of them, mother and child. 

★ Looking for the best Mother's Day gift? 

The complete trilogy:
The David Chronicles (Boxed Set) 
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Volume I: Rise to Power
EbookKindle  Nook  Apple ★ Kobo  Smashwords
PaperbackAmazon ★ Barnes&Noble
AudiobookiTunes ★ Amazon  Audible

Volume II: A Peek at Bathsheba
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Volume III: The Edge of Revolt
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Friday, May 12, 2017

Let me introduce you to my author friends

Let me introduce you to my author friends:
They have joined forces with me
To bring you amazing stories
Looking for a something to read on a chilly, scary night? 
Come listen to these audiobooks  
You may win one of them!

Join us:

"I paint with my pen, and write with my paintbrush"

"What would you do if you could see other people's dreams?"

"A little romance and a little suspense equals a lot of pleasure."

Bestselling author of novels from historical to fantastical.”

“Writing happily ever afters for life's toughest challenges!”

"Be careful what you lust for..."


“I write the stories the characters dictate to me. Best of all worlds. Get to read a book while I'm writing it.”

“The magic of romance...”

"History is woven into my stories with a delicate thread."

Roller coaster rides of twists and turns.


"There is no second chance at first love."

"Essentially a teacher, my strengths are compassion, clarity, openness, and creativity."