Friday, March 30, 2018

One of No Other Kind

Gabriel Constans has written for numerous magazines, newspapers and journals throughout North America, Europe, Africa and Asia; has 14 books published in the U.S. and continues to write fiction, non-fiction and screenplays. His latest work of non-fiction is A B.R.A.V.E. YEAR: 52 WEEKS BEING MINDFUL. I am honored to find his review of my dark fantasy book, Twisted:

on March 29, 2018
Ms. Poznansky is a master storyteller, and artist, who is able to combine insight, nuance, place, and time, with abstract ideas, situations, and characters. To say her stories are "one of a kind" would be a disservice, as they are really "one of no other kind". Twisted is unique, yet strangely approachable and identifiable, even though the context may be within a setting unknown, or not previously pictured, by the reader. I was somewhat wary of this collection, believing it might be filled with esoteric, or philosophical ramblings. Much to my surprise, and benefit, I was instead taken inside the creative mind of a brilliant author, and sculptor, of beautifully twisted views of the self, others, and the world within which we live.

Be Still, A Poet’s Heart

Be still, poet's heart, this moment is rare 
Stop this hammering, why would you dare   
To set up a challenge, to write your own fate
Be still and accept, perhaps it's too late

Unlucky the number, unlucky the day   
Still, welcome the future, come what may
Set yourself free, apart from love
Change whatever was decreed from above

Sing out a ballad of passion and hate
Sing it out as you drown, and ignore that date
Someone may notice, may listen out there
So quicken the pounding, sing out with a flair

The flood is abating, release the dove
Pray to find yourself a part of love 


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"This radiant book is an exploration of the bond between a daughter and father and the book overflows with some of the most eloquent poetic moments in print. HOME is an invitation, a very personal one, and should not be passed over." 
Grady Harp, Hall of Fame Reviewer

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Embark on a journey of discovery

Do you celebrate Easter or Passover? Either way, this story is meaningful to all of us. Embark on a journey of discovery: The David Chronicles includes three standalone novels about the youth, prime of life, and old age of King David. In addition, the series includes six collections of art by acclaimed masters throughout the ages, depicting iconic moments in his life.

Rise to Power:
Here is the story of David 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. Rooted in ancient lore, his is a surprisingly modern memoir.

Notorious for his contradictions, David is seen by others as a gifted court entertainer, a successful captain in Saul’s army, a cunning fugitive, a traitor leading a gang of felons, and a ruthless raider of neighboring towns who leaves no witnesses behind. But how does he see himself, during this first phase of his life?

With his hands stained with blood, 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?

A Peek at Bathsheba:
The most torrid tale of passion ever told: David's forbidden love for Bathsheba, and his attempt to cover up the scandal. Will he muster the strength needed to protect her and save their son from danger?

This is volume II of the trilogy The David Chronicles, told candidly by the king himself. David uses modern language, indicating that this is no fairytale. Rather, it is a story that is happening here and now. Listen to his voice as he undergoes a profound change, realizing the curse looming over his entire future.

The Edge of Revolt:
David 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?

For now, David remains silent, even as Amnon rapes Tamar, even as Absalom lures Amnon to his death. In families other than his, such crimes may be concealed. But when they occur in the king’s family, they affect matters of the state, and result in his escape from the son he adores. Will he finds a way to quell the revolt and come back to the City of David?


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Monday, March 26, 2018

Before I go, there is one last thing I must ask you

The king squints at the sun, and when that fails him he raises his hand, shielding his eyes from the blinding glimmer. Then he takes hold of my shoulders, which at once makes me feel small. I cannot stand it, being under his thumb. 
He turns me around and tells me, “Behold, boy. Here, before you, is the valley of Elah.” 
So I study the terrain. Alas, our side of the valley is steep, and the path—slippery. 
It twists around this ridge and that, tunnels under boulders big and small, falls deeper and deeper into the abyss, till at last it drops completely from sight. The king must know: if he sends our soldiers down that path, they may find themselves in the end with their backs to the wall. There would be no escape, should the battle turn against them. 
By contrast, the opposite side of the terrain has a more gradual slope. Right now it is swarming with enemy soldiers advancing slowly, steadily, one massive wave after another, descending as one into the depth of the valley. 
His chin hangs over my shoulder, jaw tightly clenched. Together, the king and I are standing here, looking at the arena of war, at what is sure to become our defeat.
“So,” I muster the courage, at last, to breathe in his ear, “you need me.”
In turn he breathes, “I do.”
“You need someone whose ambition drives him, straight ahead and without hesitation, to be completely foolish.”
“You listen well, the devil that you are!” He chuckles for a moment, then turns serious again. “Are you ready?”
“Yes,” I say. “I am. But now, before I go, there is one request, one last thing I must ask you.” 
“Anything,” he offers, and this time there is a new tone in his voice. It is full of pity. 
I close my eyes, and at once I conjure up a lovely, bubbly girl, hair and bust pointing upward. Of course, I am not the first soldier to dream about the princess. Imagining her beauty, her open arms, her embrace must have helped many of them stomach the idea of going to battle.
I take a moment to think about the fallen, down there at the bottom of this valley. Her name must have been the last thing quivering on their lips. Merav.
So I take a deep breath, and before I have a chance to regret it, the words roll off my tongue. Both of us listen to them in utter disbelief. 
“What I want,” says my voice, “is your daughter.”
“What?” he doubles over, cackling in surprise.
Somehow I gather the courage to say, “Yes! You heard me.”
He pushes me away, full force, which makes me flail a bit to regain my balance. There I am, nearly tipping over the lip of the ledge. 
He says, “She has royal blood in her veins, and you... Who the hell are you?”
For a moment I contemplate mentioning what everyone knows: Saul was anointed while looking for his father’s three asses. Coming from a lowly farm, he has no royal blood in his veins, and neither do any of his offspring.
Instead I say, “But... But have you seen the way she looks at me?”
“Who? Michal?” 
I cast a look at him which is just as surprised as his look at me. I have to control myself, which is utterly impossible. 
“Michal?” I blurt out. “Of course not!”
And he says, “Why the hell not?”
And I say, “Who on earth would want a flat-chested, grumpy Jewish princess like her? No, no way! The one I want is Merav!”
“Goddamn it, who cares,” he dismisses me with a wave of his hand. “I have high plans for both of them. Quite soon, in fact. Michal shall marry a prince, and so will Merav. Nothing personal, you see. This is purely about politics.”
“But—”
“Stay away from my daughter.”
“But I—”
“You’re a nobody.”
“So? What’s the difference to you? Most likely, I’ll not live to see my reward.” Now I wipe a tear from the corner of my eye, as theatrically as I can. “Your majesty, I’m as good as dead... Do I ask for much? Forget medals, forget colored ribbons! Let me have her!”

David in Rise to Power


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"Somehow, even though we know the outlines of the story, we become completely engrossed, wanting to know how the story we are familiar with will be filled out. On my first reading, I became so engrossed as I read it on a bus that I missed my stop." 
Laurel Gord, Author

Saturday, March 24, 2018

To the German soldiers, we must appear as local people

I woke up the next morning by a rotating flash of sunlight. It reflected back from the handlebar of a bicycle that passed by the side of my tent with a sudden squeak. Leaning forward to gain speed, Rochelle was already turning the bend into the dirt road, which made me leap into my feet in a hurry. I had to catch up to her before she disappeared—or else, she would set out for a three-day journey all by herself. 
In haste I snatched a few provisions and packed them into a bundle—wild mushrooms I had picked up last night, leftover bread, some nuts—and grabbed a bike that leaned there, against a tree trunk, not even caring to whom it belonged. Someday I would ask forgiveness. Not now. 
Meanwhile, another bike creaked into motion behind me, and someone shouted, “Wait!”
I glanced over my shoulder. It was the boy. 
“Stay here,” I told him. 
“No way,” he cried. “I am coming with you!”

The first couple of days, the three of us glided down the slope through a rocky terrain, which deflated the tires. This was supposed to be an easy ride, but doing it nonstop took its toll on us. Rochelle hummed some song at the beginning, but by now—fighting against gusts of wind—she grit her teeth and just breathed through the effort of pushing the pedals. 
The boy looked all pale and haggard. The skin of his inner thighs became red from the constant rubbing between them. Lifting one knee up to spin the wheel, forcing the other one down, and then over again, again, again... 
The thirst formed cracks on my tongue. A crust of salt formed over my upper lip, mixed with dust. It became thicker no matter how much I tried to lick it away. My shirt became drenched in sweat. It used to fit tightly over my body, but now it hung loose, disclosing how much weight I had lost.
Once we got to the river Seine, the clouds broke. A ray of sunshine wandered across the distant landscape, till it hit a German road block. 
“We must freshen up before we get there,” I said.
And the boy asked, “Why?”
“Because.” 
“Because what?”
“Because,” I said, “to the German soldiers, we must appear as local people, coming to the market from a village close-by. All clues suggesting that we’ve come from afar must be blotted away, somehow.”

Lenny in Marriage before Death


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"What the reader sees is how their relationship survives the horrors of war making their love for one another all the stronger. Through their eyes we see the terrible sights, sounds and smells of war, something no one ever forgets... This is Uvi Poznansky at her masterful best." 
-  Jess Steven Hughes, Author 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

A WWII sy thriller like no other

Convoke

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    Marriage before Death by Uvi Poznansky is a treasure, read alone or in its place in her series. We follow characters from her other books into a WWII milieu, with all the unparalleled darkness of those days. Poznansky's talent and resonance with the story means that you can read Marriage before Death on its own or as Book 5 in a series, following (Book 1: My Own Voice, Book 2: The White Piano, Book 3: The Music of Us, Book 4: Dancing with Air). Poznansky's protagonist Lenny, narrowly escapes execution, but not capture. Through his eyes and those of Natasha, who faces a more personal terror,a hideous fate, we are thrust into a world that not only breathes, but does so in a lyrical way that, somehow, brings the story closer, not farther away. If you haven't read Poznansky, Marriage before Death is a fine place to begin. Then, of course, you'll want to grab the others that came before. Brilliant.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

What's in a name: Lace Underwater? Virtually Lace?

I'm in the middle of writing my new novel--a romantic suspense story set in contemporary time with a dash of futuristic flavor. The main character, Michael, comes upon a body one evening in Laguna beach, and he recreates the scene using his virtual simulation software.

So at first I came up with the title, Lace Underwater (which is where her body was found.) I even created a first mockup of how it would look on the cover:


But here was the problem. When a friend read the title out loud, he confused it with Lace Underwear! lol! So I went back to the drawing board, and came up with a better title: Virtually Lace. 


What do you think?