Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Bittersweet Side of Endless Love

I am so thrilled to discover such an eloquent review, written by a Top 500 Amazon Reviewer! Here is what Dii wrote, on her great review blog and on Amazon, for my novel, The Music of Us:

TOP 500 REVIEWERon November 27, 2015
Life is like a symphony, it has its slow and lilting moments, the staccato notes of adventure or fear, the crescendo of joy and the minuet of lifelong partners and soulmates. As we head toward the last stanza, sometimes life hits discordant notes or fails to flow smoothly along, with notes forgotten or misplayed.

Lenny and Natasha’s love story has spanned decades, with highs and lows, as well as tumultuous times, but the beautiful and gifted concert pianist has changed, is changing and her grasp on reality is painfully slipping away. As Lenny continues to care for his fading love, he takes his own fortifying journey into their past, how fate brought them together during war and kept taunting them with the inevitable, they were made for each other. An awestruck and smitten young soldier has found his heart’s desire in the eyes and heart of a star. He knows they didn’t’ have a fairytale romance, reality isn’t like that, they are both flawed and have done brutal things to each other, but the love was always there, sometimes in need of a good polishing. How will Lenny go on when Alzheimer’s is snuffing out the light in Natasha’s eyes? Will the memories only he will know be enough? Love knows no bounds, but neither does pain.

The Music of Us by the very gifted Uvi Poznansky is like dark, rich, bittersweet chocolate, hard to savor on its own, but when fortified with the sweetness of memories it becomes a robust sensation that excites the mental tastebuds. Two young lovers, once strangers, have been lovers, a family, parents, friends and are now coming full circle as one becomes a stranger to the other, once again.

Uvi Poznansky draws from a deep emotional well, as she details a love story that has withstood the tests of time, been battered and bruised, yet never ends. Her ability to create a dreamlike atmosphere within her tale is spellbinding. She touches my soul with her words.

Friday, November 27, 2015

That was when at last, the dream found me

Contrary to popular belief, I see the brain working together, undivided between its left and right sides. It is overlaying its creative and analytical functions in every task. There are compositional problems to resolve, and color combination methods to gauge when you are painting a picture, at the same time that you are chasing your muse. The same is true for writing a story or composing a piece of music, with the added effect of time: a painting is perceived at once, more or less, while music and story unfold for the listener one note at a time.  

I paint with a pen, write with a paintbrush. My art strives to tell a story, and my stories strive to bring you into the scene being painted! Here is a good example of the mutual influences between art and writing. I painted this oil painting a few years ago, driven to do so by a recurrent nightmare. A few months later I brought it to life in words, and weaved it into my novel, My Own Voice:

Just yesterday—when I laid there in bed, bleeding all day, not even knowing where I was—that was when at last, the dream found me. 
In it, I find myself in a public place, which is strange to me—even though I know, somehow, that I’ve already been here. I’ve visited this place, perhaps the night before. 
It’s raised like a stage, and flooded with light: a harsh glare, which blinds me. For a minute I can’t see nothing in the dark, beyond that ledge—but I know that them faces are out there, blank and blurry. They’re all there, hushing each other, gazing at me. 
I see myself standing there in front of them, naked.
Red-faced, I hunch up as tight as I can. I fold over my thighs, trying to hide, to cover my body, my shame—but my hands, they’re way too small, so my nipple slips out of my fingers. And there it is, circled by light, for all to see, and to jeer at me, and to lick their lips, which is like, glistening out there, tiny sparks hissing in the distance. 
For a little while, my sleep is light. And so—even as I’m looking straight into that spotlight, or like, reaching down to touch the ledge of that stage—I can tell that all this is false, it’s nothing more than a dream. But then I fall deeper, even deeper into it, and now I really believe what I see: 
Some thread is crawling on my skin. Laying across my knees is a strap of fabric, which is frayed and stained, here and there, with my blood. When I pull it in, trying to drape it around me, or use it for a blanket, it resists. It don’t hardly give in, ‘cause it’s tied to something—no, somebody—standing right here, directly over my bare back. 
Me, I don’t want to turn, but I take a peek over my shoulder. Wrapped in layers of rags and straps and loose ends, all of which is tattered and like, drenched in reds and browns, the figure seemed shaky. He lifts one leg, and tries to balance himself, teetering—this way and that—on one foot. His hand tries to touch the back of my neck—and misses it, grabbing a handful of air, instead. 
And his blood-red lips, they’re curled up, in something that looks an awful lot like a smile. A mocking smile, one that don’t change. 
In my dream, my feet must have frozen. I can’t move, can’t run away from him, or even climb off the stage, because at that point I’m weak, and too scared to even breathe, and because of that thread, which binds us. And so, rooted to that spot, I look up at him. At this close range, our eyes meet, and my heart skips a beat, ‘cause at that second, his are empty. 
Suddenly I catch sight of someone else, someone standing way over there, in the distance, behind him; behind the curtains, even. Except for her hand, which is caught in the light, it’s hard to even notice her, ‘cause at first she’s like, real shy, even modest, and keeps herself in the shadows, out of the spotlight. 
But then, she changes. Her long fingers, they’re gathered, one by one, into a fist. And twisted around her little finger, you can find—if you focus—the ends of the rags, and the straps, and the thread, all of which extend from there to here, where he stands; all the way, to the joints of his wrists and his elbows, tying them like, real tight. 
And from backstage, she’s pulling him—raising, dropping, tightening, loosening—making the puppet move, shake, jiggle, even dance on the tip of his toe, and like, bringing him, somehow, to life. I gasp, thinking: she can twist him around her little finger, if she wants to.
Me, I cringe as he puffs, breathing something in my ear. “Go, go back home, go,” says the puppet, in a voice that is not really his. “Go to the place, the place where you came from, you came from. Go back to your ma, ma, your mama.”

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This is my oil painting depicting Anita's nightmare.

“Liberally salted with buttery smooth prose & fascinating insights”

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

He can hear me inside

“What matters is only what’s here. I touch my skin right under my breasts, which is where the little one’s curled, and where he kicks, ‘cause he has to. Like, he don’t feel so cosy no more. Here, can you feel it? I reckon he wants me to talk to him. He can hear me inside, for sure. He can hear every note of this silvery music. 
It ripples all around him, wave after wave. I can tell that it’s starting to sooth him. It’s so full of joy, of delight, even if to him, it’s coming across somewhat muffled. Like a dream in a dream, it’s floating inside, into his soft, tender ear. 
I close my eyes and hold myself, wrapping my arms real soft—around me around him—and I rock ever so gently, back and forth, back and forth, with every note of this silvery marvel. You can barely hear me—but here I am, singing along. I’m whispering words into myself, into him.”

What Anita is envisioning is motherhood, which is the subject of my scuplture by the same name. It is hard to imagine this is actually bronze, because the patina is made to look like marble. I polished the piece until it became completely smooth to the touch, as if nature--by gusts of wind and the flow of water--has buffed this rock over time, the way pebbles come to be. 

But in the back, I 'carved' into the piece, so as to make it look as if it has broken. This makes for an interesting balance, as if this is a rock standing on edge. But more importantly, it is symbolic, because self-sacrifice is the nature of motherhood.

★ Love reading? Treat yourself to a family saga ★
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

I bent over her, over the reflection of the skyline of New York

On their first date, Lenny visits Natasha in her home, and when her Mama finally lets them a moment alone, he asks Natasha to play something for him. 

The first notes came softly, tugging at my heart. They brought back long-forgotten Yiddish words, in the voice of my mother. “Bei mir bist du shein,” she sang to me. “Bei mir host du chein... Bei mir bist du alles oif di velt.”
Natasha closed her eyes, surrendering herself to the music. She started swaying slightly as she played and from time to time, tipped her head backwards, letting it wash over her face, her lips. Fascinated I found myself drawing nearer. By the rosy blush that spread up her cheeks I knew that she could sense my closeness. 
In her soft, velvety voice, she started singing, “To me you are beautiful, to me you have grace, to me you are everything in the world.”
From the direction of the kitchen, her Ma chimed in, singing, “I've tried to explain, bei mir bist du schoen.”
And in a sudden elation I hummed under my breath, “So kiss me, and say that you will understand.”
With the last notes still hovering in midair, she swung her knees around the piano bench and lifted her face to me. I raised her to her feet and gathered her to my heart. Then, as she wrapped her arms around my shoulders, I felt the heat awakening from within, rising recklessly in both of us. 
Drawing me to her, Natasha leaned backwards over the piano. To the last vibrations dying in its belly I bent over her, over the reflection of the skyline of New York, which rippled in reverse across the polished, black surface around us, and I kissed her.

"Uvi touches us with a tenderness that unites her skill as a writer with her gifts as a visual artist and once swept into her fictional account of the 'us' of this book the story will long be remembered."
- Grady Harp, Hall of Fame Reviewer

★ Love reading? Treat yourself to a love story ★
The complete series: 

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Monday, November 23, 2015

Enter a poets world to fill the senses

What a beautiful review by Valerie for my historical fiction novel A Peek at Bathsheba:

on November 22, 2015
Another breathtaking journey into the life of King David. Once again, Ms. Pozanski has given us a glimpse onto the life and times of this inscrutable near myth, turning him into a real man. Her language is his language making his thoughts, his desires, his ambitions vividly alive, beckoning us into his world from the onset..."A long time ago I used to think that my youth was to blame for failing to understand my wives. No longer can I use that excuse, because I know all too well, there is no youth in me anymore. Which leaves me as baffled as ever, especially when it comes to the one woman I adore: Bathsheba." And just like that we are swept into his world.

And though the book revolves around his love for Bathsheba, it is so much more, fraught with wondrous and sumptuous language..."The hours swell into a day, and the day drains into night, during which the shadow dissolves." He speaks of the familiar scent of soil, the intoxicating smell of jasmine blooming in the air, and the gleam of the setting sun as it runs down the curve of his steed's neck.

But my favorite parts are when he wonders about death, and
what will happen to his dreams when he is gone? "Will they fizz out, too? . . . What will last, when I am swallowed by the void? Who will be left to imagine her, rising from the foam?"

When he engages in repartee with his advisors, especially the religious ones, and when he questions Abiathar regarding a military prophecy, I was in stitches... "Circle around behind them and attack them in front of the poplar trees.” said Abiathar, "Really? God mentioned poplar trees?” asked David. “He did,” said Abiathar..." the whole conversation between them is almost as it would have been lifted from my own brain, as David continues to wonder at the precise instructions, but hesitates to ask, “Really?” again, because "The last thing I wished to do was clash with an extremely devout person." I know that the last thing I WANT TO DO IS ARGUE WITH AN EXTREMELY DEVOUT PERSON!

I love when he wonders at how a woman, " is likened, in our culture, to an ox or donkey." Then declares, "If I were a woman, which— thank God!— I am not, I would riot in the streets over this."

And how, "As a poet I play with flowery expressions. As a politician I arm myself with them to achieve my goals." He also likes to use poetic language to skew and manipulate the truth just a bit, especially when dealing with his wives. It makes him so much more real.

I could go on and on, but I won't because you must experience this for yourself, bathe yourself in this exotic world and take A Peek at Bathsheba.

I also have the audible version which I most highly recommend. Justin Harmer's voice is like molten chocolate, lending a rich and evocative tone to Ms Pozanski's gorgeous prose.


I'm in such a lowdown groove

“Not sure you can drive it?” said Uncle Shmeel. “Just try, what’s the worse that can happen?”
An answer wasn’t expected, so I did not waste time looking for one. Instead I asked, “Are you sure?”
“Sure I’m sure!”
“Can you afford it?” 
“No,” he said, “but how could I say no to such a fine vehicle? I got it as a birthday gift. Pearl is grateful, so grateful to me for letting her cling to the hope that she can change me, despite all evidence to the contrary. She knows how to treat someone like me, someone who appreciates the more elegant things in life.”
“You,” I said, “are a lucky man.” 
To which he shrugged. “She’s a patient woman.” 
Out of his pocket came the car keys, jingling. 
“Here,” he said. “You’re going to have great fun driving her. She’s such a beauty!”
“You mean, Pearl?”
“No! The car.”
“That,” I said, “was my second guess.”
“She’s sitting there idly,” he said, pointing farther ahead, across the intersection. “There in the driveway, see? And she’s doing nothing but trying to tempt me morning, noon, and night to take her out for a spin, which is the first thing I’ll do as soon as I get my driving license.”
“What’s stopping you?”
“I keep failing the damn test.”
We turned the corner and there she was, looking quite substantial in her wide, matronly body, radiating heat in the mid-morning sun. She was graced by the ample roundness of the front and rear fenders, which were shaped as puffed-out cheeks. The grille was a three-part affair with a tall center that nosed its way down in-between twin nostrils, low down on the fenders. I imagined that she knew I was coming for her.
As I turned the key in the ignition I saw Uncle Shmeel in the rear view mirror, taking the clarinet out of its case and putting it to his lips. Then, growing smaller and smaller as I drove away to Natasha, he could still be heard across the distance, blowing a tune for me. One note after another rose trembling in the air, awakening a mood, a joy turned into something inexplicable, into sadness, over which I murmured, “I don't need a song to prove that I'm in such a lowdown groove.”

Head over heels in love with Natasha, Lenny is on his way to a first date with her. But besides this romance, he is also enamored with the car... Which you can tell, because to him she seems like a voluptuous woman in heat!

It is such a pleasure to listen to Don Warrick, the narrator of the audiobook edition, singing the songs of the era. His singing infuses the novel with musical magic and sweeps you all the back to the first years of WWII, such as in this passage, the reference to the hit song A Lowdown Groove.

★ Love reading? Treat yourself to a love story ★
The complete series: 

Volume III: 

The Music of Us

Audiobook US UK FR DE   iTunes

Paperback  Hardcover  Barnes&Noble

"Masterfully written, this is one of those reads that will stick with you by evoking emotion and causing an introspective contemplation"
- Dennis Waller, Top 500 Reviewer

Sunday, November 22, 2015

And oh, her face... The innocence in her eyes

The old woman opened her mouth to answer, but before she could utter another word, three things happened all at once: her eyes fell upon me, the girl clapped a hand over her heart, and the master of ceremonies could be heard behind them, stepping out to the center of the stage. 
He bowed to the audience and cheerfully announced, “And now we take great pleasure to present the youngest star of our program, miss Natasha Horowitz!”
“Go, go, you go, girl,” said her mama. 
But to herself she mumbled, “Lordy Lord. Let’s hope these GIs have some taste for something classical.”
She reached over her daughter’s forehead to adjust the feather in the little draped turban, which was whimsically designed by knotting together a couple of scarves. On other women, especially of the working class, such a hat would seem practical, as it was easy to create at home and kept the hair in place. On Natasha it added glamor.  Impatient with all that fiddling over a feather, she removed it. 
Out of the hat cascaded the most gorgeous, shoulder-length red hair, with a curl at the end of it, the tips of which were wet from the rain. The girl shook her head so as to let the drops fly out, slipped out of her coat and stepped out into the spotlight, without her notes.
Meanwhile, her mama turned upon me. She set her fisted hands firmly on her hips and took a big gulp of air, letting her breath expand inside her as if she were a balloon. Then she looked up at me trying to stare me down, as if I were the enemy.
“Who’re you?” she asked, and without waiting for a reply she grumbled, “Go away! Go back!”
Up to that moment I had considered myself a fairly disciplined soldier, but the way she glared at me made me feel quite naughty, which on the flip side, compelled me to live up to a different reputation. 
So feeling an urge, a sudden, irresistible urge not only to make an impression on the daughter but also to spite the mom, I slipped forward through the opening, and came onstage striding ahead of Natasha. Facing the audience I blew my cheeks, rather theatrically, into an imaginary bugle, which gained me a round of applause, as everyone thought my act must have been part of the show. 
Then, with great flamboyance, I took the non-existent brass instrument out of my lips and clutched it to my heart, before making a spectacular leap offstage. While in flight, I totally forgot the injury I had suffered to my shoulder, only to be reminded of it, with a sharp shot of pain, upon landing. Stumbling onto someone’s lap I tumbled further down onto the floor, from where I raised up my eyes to watch Natasha. 
She came to stand at the edge of the stage, with a light from above focused upon her, which allowed me to see her clearly for the first time. 
Her light-pink dress hung just below the knees. It hugged her figure, which was slim and straight like a pencil, with barely any curves. Under the squared shoulders, which were then in fashion, her scrawny arms hung by her sides as if she didn’t know what to do with them, except for the long, delicate fingers that of their own, played in the air. 
And oh, her face! Framed by the lovely chestnut curls, it was pale, and so were the freckles on her nose. This kid could be no older than fifteen. She was separated from the rest of us not only by the height of the stage and the radiance of the spotlight but also by the innocence in her eyes. 

"A powerful and poignant novel that will grip at your heart strings ... a love story that invites the reader into a romance..." 
- Chief, USN Ret...VT, Top 500 Reviewer

★ Love reading? Treat yourself to a love story ★
The complete series: 

Volume III: 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

What to expect in our party... Love romance?

December 1st we have a date
Check your watch... Don't be late!
Just don't ask, Will you be mine?
Here's the bottle, uncork the wine

No more sadness, winter blues
Lets put on our dancing shoes! 
December 1st we have a date
Our gifts await, so don't be late!

Can't wait for the party to begin...Can you? Join us:

In the spirit of the holidays, we have gifts for you
Twelve romance novels and one amazing boxed set that includes all of them:

Who will the winners be? 
It may be you!
Want to increase your chances to win? 
Then come to the party and like, comment, or share the stories that catch your fancy

Sharing our stories
Tuesday, December 1st at 12:00pm PST ✿ 3:00pm EST
Wednesday, December 2nd at  8:00am PST ✿ 11:00am EST
An opportunity to meet us
Twelve bestselling authors of wonderful romance novels

Grand Finale 
Wednesday, December 2, 2015 9:00am PST ✿ 12:00pm EST
A celebration of giving gifts

A Lyrical Gift to Readers

I'm honored that Aaron Paul Lazar​, the prolific author of many novels and series, has posted this review for my new #romance novel, The Music of Us:

on November 18, 2015
When I write a book review, I don’t like to rehash the plot—that information is easily accessible in the book description. What I prefer is to share how the book made me feel, and what I valued between its covers.

Uvi Poznansky is a literary tour de force in a contemporary age when the quality of writing often takes a back seat to the quick thrill, or to be more precise, the quick buck. She writes as she paints, with careful, vibrant strokes of amazing clarity and color. Whether you are a reader or writer, teacher or student, you owe it to yourself read her work. You will be transported to a world where life is examined from a poet’s point of view, where you live in vignettes so real that you can’t help but love and care for the characters.

I have read all of Poznansky’s work, but this book resonated more deeply with me than all the previous titles, which I truly enjoyed. I suppose it is because I am an inveterate romantic. I ached for the young, “flashback” characters to come together. I shouted at them to wake up and smell the coffee when they missed opportunities to get together, and I reveled in the sweet endings when they finally connected.

The atmosphere of the 1940s is beautifully portrayed, and on a secondary level only to the (mostly) unrequited love story, it was my next treasured experience while reading this book. I loved the sounds and sights of the era, the music, the cars, and the lifestyles so well depicted. It was a fascinating dip into the life of those dynamic times.

If you are aching for a lyrical read, for something above and beyond the usual offerings in the field of fiction, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of Uvi Poznansky’s The Music of Us.

--Aaron Paul Lazar

Friday, November 20, 2015

Intimacy by Don Warrick

Today I have the pleasure of presenting the gifted narrator of my romance novel, The Music of UsDon Warrick. Don is an actor who spent his entire life presenting the written word, and is second to none in his storytelling. He is a musician of many skills: teacher, performer, conductor, and recording artist. And he is an audiobook publisher. One day, he took the advice of his son, a writer, and found himself on the ACX page. Many days later he came up for air, realizing that he found the place where all roads converge.

I asked Don to give me a glimpse of his work, and was delighted to get his article, Intimacy, which to me reads like poetry. It reveals so much of the fire within. 

Let me share it with you:



Don Warrick

There is a feeling, when you have tapped into the absolute emotion of a character and share it with an audience. It is the moment of transcendence when you become two. The words of the author, based on their most intimate imaginings find reality in your voice, your mind, your body. You become their character, and by extension you become them. When you find this nexus and stand naked in this light, you realize there is very little else in this life that approaches this kind of intimacy.

I don’t think I could narrate audio books if I had not spent lots of years on stage. I had the rare chance to look the audience in the eye, and hold their beating hearts in my hand. Intimacy.

This is my grail. This is my secret. And it is not something academic or theoretical that you can teach (I have tried). It is strictly experiential. It’s kind of one of those “when you find it, you will know” kinds of phenomenon.

Last week, I got a facebook note from someone I worked with on stage 20 years ago in Colorado. He wrote:

“Don Warrick! You were the Man of La Mancha with the Longmont Theatre Company sometime around '95. I was one of the prisoners and your long haired tap-dancing horse.

Your comedic timing, charisma, and ability to read the audience were all inspiring, but your singing voice and your intensely passionate emotions onstage were heart-stopping. I remember a few performances when I was huddled under a "prisoner shelter"(a low ledge of some sort) with the other prisoners, and the entire theatre was silent except for your voice, because we (the audience members as well as all of us onstage) were so entranced by the concentrated, amplified, laser focused, soulful, pure humanity that you were channeling. There were times I forgot I was on a stage, watching a character who was supposedly fictional. I definitely wasn't the only one. Sometimes I would suddenly remember I was in a play, and I'd look around at the other prisoners, or even steal a glance at some audience members, and it looked like everyone was forgetting to breathe. You had 100% of their attention.

I just wanted to let you know what a positive influence you had on my life back then. I was a teenager, with the usual emotional troubles and insecurities that tend to come with that time period, and you served as a role model of something solid, strong, fearless yet vulnerable, and thoroughly inspiring, especially to someone whose biggest goal was to overcome stage fright and make an audience truly FEEL.”

I don’t share this very personal message with you because I want or need to bolster my own ego (however, I am an actor so I know I have a big one) but since I am writing about intimacy I needed to share this with you. I haven’t even shared it with my wife or my best friend.

This is why we do what we do. Why you write. Why I act. Because for the briefest of moments we can transcend who we are and inhabit not just a character, but the minds and hearts of all who are listening.

What I really love about producing audio books is that as an actor I get to inhabit the lives of your characters for more than a couple of hours. My relationship with you is the most intimate of relationships. I alone have climbed inside your head and stood with your lovers and your demons. I have let your tears roll down my cheek, locked in a tiny little box in my basement, in front of a microphone and a script. Just the two of us.


The Music of Us, audiobook edition

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