Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A compelling rendition of this tragic piece of David's story

Dan Strawn is the author of Isaac's GunBody of Work, and Breakfast at Blair'sLame Bird's Legacy, and Black Wolf's ReturnI am honored that he posted this thoughtful review for my art book, Inspired by Art: The Edge of Revolt:

on March 27, 2017
Uvi Poznansy's Inspired By Art—The Edge Of Revolt melds visual mastery with appropriate snatches of biblical verse. The result: Her readers see the tales of David's offspring Amnon, Tamar, and Absolom in new and meaningful ways. Her sequencing follows the chronology of the biblical tales. Her selection of the masters' works allows readers to appreciate the artists' allegiance to their respective societies in telling the Jewish David's story. The resulting versatility, oils to engravings, engravings to water colors, water colors to colored etchings, and more, dazzle the senses. An added bonus: Readers come away with a new appreciation of how great artists exploit the materials and technologies available to them by their cultures.

It's unfair to pick favorites, but I was so moved by some, I can't help commenting.

Poznansky's selection of Raffeallo Sanzio's David's Triumph, with it's gilt and prophetic grandeur, sets up the tragedy's to come. Huzzahs to Uvi for making it the first of the works to come.

Guercino's Amnon and Tamar oozes both sensuality and innocence. I cringed at his vivid prelude to rape, desolation, and rejection.

William Blake's David's Pardoning of Absalom, a masterful watercolour over black lead on paper, imbued me with a sense of the celestial, a fitting aura for an act of forgiveness.

David mourning Absolom: Chagall's sanguine dominance puts a proper emphasis on Absalom's treachery and demise.

The simplicity of Vallotton's David Ascending Mount of Olives underscores David's sorrowful state in ways that can't be matched by more lavish renditions.

Enough. You get my sense. Inspired By Art—The Edge of Revolt is a compelling rendition of this tragic piece of David's story.

Well done, Uvi.

An achingly beautiful woman bathing on a close-by roof

One evening I awaken to the sound of birds, chirping. I get up from my bed and walk around on the roof of the palace, where a red-rumped swallow is trying out its skill in a courtship song. It is springtime. The hills around my city roll in and out of green. The trees beacon me from afar, bearing their blossoms.
Through the decorative lattice that marks the edge of my roof I see a woman, an achingly beautiful woman bathing on a close-by roof. She has just wrapped herself with something translucent, so her body is hidden from sight—all but a distant impression of her foot. 
The first time I saw Bathsheba, back in Hebron, happened seven years ago. Luckily, at that time I had no historians in my employ, which is why that incident has gone unnoticed, and unrecorded in the scrolls. It remains known to me alone, and to her. 
At the time I doubted she had caught sound of my footfalls. I edged closer, advancing stealthily along the shadow, a seemingly endless shadow cast across the flat surface of her roof. Never once did I stop to remind myself that such behavior is unbecoming of a king.
And who could blame me? In her presence I was reduced to a boy.
I brought my crown along, simply to impress her, even though it sat somewhat uncomfortably on my head. It was a bit too large for me, and too loose, too, because it had been fashioned to fit the skull of my predecessor, Saul.
On my way I leapt across a staircase, leading down from the roof. On a railing, there in front of me, was a large Egyptian towel, laying there as if to mark a barrier. I told myself, This isn’t right. I should stop, stop right here and whatever happens I should cover my eyes, avoid taking a peep at her.
Should I turn back?

★ Love historical fiction? Treat yourself to a gift 

Written with the artistic grace that is her signature style. She writes with a calm, steady hand that plucks the strings of her tale with lyrical precision that leaves the reader deeply entrenched in her words long after the last page 
-Dii, Top 500 reviewer 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Ryan never gave me flowers

Even before the taxi drove off, carrying Natasha away from me along with her Mama, I hailed another one. Dashing inside, “Quick!” I told the driver, as I pointed ahead. “Follow that car!”
Then, just before I had a chance to close the door, thump! Lana hopped in. With no apologies she landed in my lap, clutching what remained of the roses. She stuck her nose in one of them and sighed with misplaced gratitude. 
“Oh what a lovely gesture!” she said. “Ryan never gave me flowers, not even on our first date, let alone on our anniversary, which happened the day he was drafted, so that to his relief, he had to miss it. He could learn a thing or two from you. My, what a gentleman, what a fine young man you are!”
I had not the heart to tell her that the flowers were not meant for her, exactly. The only thing I could do, as the car jerked into motion, was to ease her off of me.
“Oh, you don’t have to tell me. I know,” she said, with a sudden spark of intuition. “You bought them for that girl, that redhead! Don’t say no.”
I didn’t.
“So cute, is what she is,” said Lana, with a shrug. “So I understand, but I can’t say I’m not jealous.”
“You shouldn’t be.”
Smelling the roses and raising them to my nose, she asked, “What about these? Are they mine, now?”
“Sure,” I said, as gallantly as I could, patting her hand over the broken stems. “You can have them.”
“Oh,” moaned Lana. “I would never have guessed it, looking at those muscles of yours. You have the most buttery touch.”
“I do?”
“I’ll make believe you meant to give me these flowers, if you don’t mind.”
“I don’t.”
For some reason she proceeded to tell me the whole story of how she had met Ryan. I could barely concentrate on it, because my mind was elsewhere. I was worrying that Natasha might slip away from methis time foreverif the driver would fail to catch up to that cab. 
Lana crossed one shapely leg over another, as if to pose for me, and went on with her account of things, which was becoming increasingly long-winded. 
“A few months ago I went to a party,” she said, in her Russian accent. “I made sure I arrived fashionably latewell, slightly later than thatbecause what’s a girl to do if she wants to draw attention to herself?”
“Don’t ask me.” 
Undeterred, she pressed on. “And as I entered, there he was,” she said, “standing sheepishly next to his boss. At the time he seemed like a shy, inexperienced young fellow, no, not his boss but Ryan himself, which may surprise you, because I can telllooking at the pictures he has sent me from Londonthat nowadays he seems to be carrying on, with great confidence as well as vigor, with the ladies.”
“Oh, forget them.” 
“Yeah. Drat those English ladies!”
“Amen,” I said, absentmindedly.
“So to make a short story long,” she droned on, “let me tell you about what happened at that party.”
I tried, for her sake, to show some interest. “Can’t wait to hear.”
“His boss, a fatherly, middle-aged man, took me aside to tell me what a fine boy Ryan was, and if I asked him, which I didn’t, we would make such a handsome couple, and perhaps, just perhaps, the most clever way to his heart was for me to show some familiarity with classical music, because Ryan was interested in it and was known to buy tickets, on a regular basis, for some God-awful concerts.”
“How nice.”
I was barely listening to her and must have missed a few sentences. Outside, an invisible hand started painting forests of frost upon the windowpane, through which I could see torrents of snow flowing towards us, lit by the headlights of our cab. I spotted patches of ice here and there and hoped we would not slide over them.
“Don’t you worry,” said the driver, glancing at me through the mirror over his head. “You’re making me nervous, the way you bite your nails. Please, just sit back and relax, will you?”

★ Love reading? Treat yourself to a gift ★

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

A remarkable collection!

Jan Romes is the author of witty contemporary romance books, and a part-time fitness trainer. She also enjoys growing pumpkins and sunflowers. I am thrilled to find her review of my art book, Inspired by Art: Fall of a Giant:

Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Inspired by Art: Fall of a Giant (The David Chronicles Book 5) (Kindle Edition)
This is an incredible collection of art that accompanies the author's The David Chronicles series. I give Ms. Poznansky a lot of credit for this extraordinary way of giving us an insight into David. I love how she describes him in her books; to see him portrayed by the many artists shines an even bigger light on who he was. The author has a unique vision for sharing this historical figure with us.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Great images set an awesome stage for envisioning history

I am thrilled to find a five-star review for my art book, Inspired by Art: The Edge of Revolt. 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:
From the rich bright colors of classical painting, through the pallor of engravings, the silk and foil-wrapped threads of old techniques, and even the mystical brush-strokes of modern art, Uvi Poznansky’s trail through art’s inspiration tells the story of King David’s erring sons Amnon and Absolom with startling immediacy. It’s a tale that starts with temptation and violation and ends with war’s hard-wrought peace—the dark side of Biblical history perhaps.

For me, the most lasting images are Guercino’s study for the Feast of Absalom—a picture that with its very lack of color offers a scarily graphic image of hatred, anger and despair—and Schwebel’s modern-day Jaffa Road and Zion Square. A father mourns in the vivid reds of Chagall, a general warns, and an aging kings looks back on his past—an image that surely sets the stage for the author’s beautiful novels of King David’s life and times.

There’s another Inspired by Art book coming soon, and I can hardly wait to enjoy it. Author Uvi Poznansky makes history come to life in her novels, and brings art to life in these beautiful art books too.

Disclosure: I found it on a deal and I love it.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Meet my new narrator: voice talent Bob Sterry

I am so excited to present a new talent, with whom I collaborated to produce the long-awaited audiobook edition of my historical fiction novel, The Edge of Revolt. I went through the audition process, listening to many actors, in an effort to find just the right voice for this fascinating, complex character of David, a king in the winter of his life. And I knew from the moment I heard Bob Sterry that he would be perfect for the role.

So, let me tell you about him. Bob is a voiceover actor, writer, singer, occasional stage actor and humorist. Originally trained in the UK as research analytical chemist, he immigrated into the United States in the seventies, working as a wine waiter in New Jersey, a fork lift truck driver in Connecticut, and spent his professional career in the marketing of scientific instruments and services in New Jersey, Hong Kong and around the world.

It was not until he started writing short articles and poetry in the nineties that his creative talents found an outlet, and he began to sing seriously in choirs and extemporaneous groups. In 1999 he and his wife Anne-Louise Sterry, a well-known speaker, singer and storyteller, founded a short lived but much loved faux cowboy wannabe band, ‘Anne-Louise and the Cascade Urban Cowboys’. Discovering his on stage talent he took the step to starting his own show of songs and spoken word. His singing is Cabaret satire with Broadway and the English Musical Hall grinning in the wings with a nod to the classical style. Recent shows were ‘The Bob Sterry Atomic Summer Show’ and ‘The Book of Bob’, and ‘A Sterry Sterry Night’ with Anne-Louise Sterry.

Adding Voice Over work to this was an obvious step. Bob's clear ennunciation coupled with strong language skills and familiarity with technical terms result in excellent communication. His sense of humor and acting skill is perfect for tongue in cheek promotions. Thanks to voice coach Lesley Bailey and recording genius Marc Rose at FuseAudio Design Bob offers his voice to anyone who needs it.

Bob is passionate about cycling, cooking, language and literature. Here is a beautiful poem he wrote, which resonates with me not only because it is so personal but also because it bears a relationship to the story in my book: the story of a father who loves his son dearly and struggles to hold on to the closeness between them. 

I saw a little guy being born
I cut the cord that tied him
I held him in my arms
With his dark damp hair
Wetting my hospital gown

And his dark eyes looking up
Looked right through me
And saw something I could not
And perhaps it’s best that way

Even then he was serene
And had the knack of sleep
A skill he has preserved
Lying so neatly in his bed
A lovable length of boy

I saw a little guy grow
Into a lovely boy
Who spoke quietly
And was always gentle.

I saw a lovely boy grow
Into a slender young man
And felt all his wounds
Like my own, once again
Deep and full of rage

I can sense his young anger
And his musical desire
Waiting for an unknown muse
To strike him and lead him

I see a slender young man
I cut the cord that ties him
And watch his dark hair
Disappear from my view
From my damp eyes.

Of all the pains in the world we have to endure those inflicted unconsciously by our children are some of the hardest to bear.

More about our work in the coming weeks... Stay tuned! Meanwhile, check out Bob's links:

★ Love historical fiction? Treat yourself to a gift 

In the midst of spring blossom

A poem by my father, Zeev Kachel

We pass by each other without speaking, dumbly
We look at each other—blindly
Loneliness crying out of our eyes
But we keep on, silently.
Each one of us carrying a load 
Each one suffering, utterly slowed
Each one going on, down this road

See there, a couple just passed in embrace.
We used to walk this way, do you still remember?
You looked forward to my coming.
In the midst of spring blossom, here's the sorrow of fall.
And the recognition that it's all over.
Today, between us came a wall.
Now, never to return, life has all
But passed. That is fall.
No one to shake a hand, no one to give a nod.
You and me, through this isolation we plod.
It's fall: all flawed.

★ Inspired by poetry? Treat yourself a gift ★

"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

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Opening their petals as if to let out a blood-red flame

War ended that fateful day, a dozen years ago, when the king of the Ammonites was dragged before me on his knees. Once I set his magnificent crown upon my head, news spread to the neighboring nations, and they were struck with awe. All of a sudden they managed to recover something that had gone missing before: an urge to suspend all hostilities. 
In the spirit of peace, their leaders came around to congratulate me on my victorious exploits. To this day they keep sending me humble greetings, written with profuse flattery, on scrolls attached to expensive gifts. Why? Perhaps to sate my appetite, so I would not find it in my heart to conquer their territories and empty their cities to fill my coffers with loot.
I often reflect on how the destruction of one place feeds the renewal of another and dread to think that a day will come—perhaps beyond my lifetime—when the City of David will stand in ruins, mourning the lives of its defenders and the exile of its few remaining men, women, and children. 
I wish I could stop projecting my mind into the future or dwelling on the past. Before the change of seasons overtakes us, let me enjoy every minute of the present.
With the constant flow of goods into the land, a new era has begun. In every square, you see markets bustling with shoppers who fill their bags with imported merchandise. On every street corner, you spot buildings being erected, roofs being pitched to the happy sound of saws and hammers. 
My empire stretches out all the way west to the sea, and all the way east to the wreckage, where the city of Rabbah used to stand before my conquest. That place, where the earth was drenched with blood, is now marked with an unusually vibrant burst of blossoms. 
It is spring. 
Seeds and potted plants arrive on special convoys to my royal gardens, and soil too, because without it they cannot take root here. With tender care, they will bloom every year from now on, opening their petals as if to let out a blood-red flame.

★ Love historical fiction? Treat yourself to a gift 
Historical Fiction with a Modern Twist...

"The miracle of Uvi Poznansky's writing is her uncanny ability to return to old stories 
and make them brilliantly fresh"
-Grady Harp, Hall of Fame reviewer

Friday, March 17, 2017

More Thought-Provoking...Leads Reader to Move to Next Book!

In her blog, Book Reader's Heaven, Glenda A. Bixler blogs about Books, Reviews, Authors, Publicity, Tips, short stories, essays...a little poetry, a cat story or two, thoughts on music, movies and products selections. I am thrilled to find her review of my art book, Inspired by Art: Fall of a Giant:

on March 16, 2017
Uvi Poznansky is continuing the David and Goliath Saga. Fighting Goliath was the first I reviewed, so you might want to jump back to pick up the beginning, prior to continuing today...

We begin today with the death of the Giant Goliath. This book gave me more to ponder than the last one...that killing Goliath prevented a war is a great reason... But I'm one of the "why" type of people that asked "Why then cut off his head?" With the ISIS beheading activities paramount in our minds, I went out to look for a brief answer to include here in case others are interested: By decapitating Goliath, David wanted to "show the whole world that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by the sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give all of you into our hands".

There were other references of cultural issues that might also apply but, the above reference seemed to fit what I was thinking as I followed each artist's portrayal of how he was to portray the aftermath of Goliath's death; i.e., that his head was cut off and carried away... I found myself analyzing each artist choosing one particular one as how I felt David would have responded to what he'd just done--he had killed a man! To me, I believed that David would have immediately turned toward God and talked, prayed to Him. It was God who had surely chosen a young shepherd, using a slingshot, to destroy any chances of war. David would have thanked him, as was shown in Guercino's portrayal of David. Having cut off the head, David immediately turned towards heaven to speak to God, to thank Him in being with him in the battle.

Other presentations by various artists are gruesome, as he walked back to Jerusalem carrying the head; but as I thought about each, they also exhibited the natural thrill of victory, of knowing he had acted as commanded by God...and had succeeded!

As we saw in the previous book, there continues to be a wide range of choices made in portraying David. As can be seen in the Giovanni Lanfranco's painting, the actual size of Goliath was never really accepted. Lanfranco chose to make Goliath's head large enough that David had to drag it, while others show that David easily carried the head... Perhaps that is really unimportant except in attempting to reason out why each of the artists might have chosen how his painting showed the scene.

In this array of paintings, I noticed quite a few had David dressed in grandeur, in clothes which would never have been worn by a poor shepherd... As we close out the book with paintings of celebration, of Saul's response to what was happening, it leaves readers with a desire to move forward to see how this story of the Goliath's death results in changes in David's life...

This concentration, this study of paintings based upon a specific theme, to me, surpasses walking through an art gallery or books covering a particular artist or style of painting. For me, this is another new experience where each painting, created by various artists and presented in comparison, forces the reader, the observer of the paintings, to consider the story behind the painting and question whether the artist sees the story as you would or as something completely different. It is unique in presentation, is an excellent teaching instrument and is also quite a beautiful, wonderful addition to your personal library.

Do check out this and other books in this series. It is highly recommended to scholars, students, and all those who love paintings as an expression of our wonderful world...


Monday, March 13, 2017

I used to come here with him

The reason I know this place, the reason it ignites such emotion, such passion in me, is not the sight of these homes—but the majestic trees, whispering in the night air. Planted at regular intervals along the median, as long as the eye can see, they are named Naked Coral Trees. Naked because—according to my father—they shed their leaves annually. 
I know this because at the age of fifteen I used to come here with him, every Saturday for an entire spring. During that period he worked for the Landmark Division of the City of Santa Monica, reviewing applications for the Landmark Designation of trees. To this day I have no idea what that means.
Dad talked little about his job, and cared for it even less. He was a writer at heart, and during spells of unemployment he would do two things: at night, scribble furiously in his notebook, and during the day, acquire new skills—which he did with great ease—and change his line of work, trying to make do until someday, some fine day when he would strike gold with his yet unfinished book. 
During our walks that spring, dad would point out the tree: Its fiery red flowers, that looked like fat pinecones at the tips of irregular, twisting branches, and the seeds, which in certain species were used for medicinal purposes by indigenous peoples. The seeds were toxic, he warned, and could cause fatal poisoning. I learned that mature Coral trees should be watered frequently—but not during the summer months. In fact, he said, the less water in summer, the more flowers you can expect the following spring.
I cross two lanes of traffic, come closer to one of those Naked Coral Trees, and  with great awe, brush my fingers across the trunk. It is a contorted, elephantine thing, with a roughly textured bark, and thick roots clinging fiercely to the earth. This being early October there are no flowers, no leaves, even. The tree seems to take on a humanoid appearance, as if it were the body of a character, or even several characters, mangled beyond recognition. 
It is a stunning sight, which has fascinated me since childhood. Above me, the bare limbs—some of which have been pruned recently—are branching apart, and looking at them you can imagine a knee here, an elbow there, someone wrestling, someone in embrace. 
As you walk past them, the trees seem to tell you a story line by line, scene by scene. In one tree I could see a man and a woman, kissing; in another, a father and son.

★ Love reading? Treat yourself to a family drama ★

Few authors would be able to pull off the manner in which the apparent polar opposites of Ben and Anita begin to bond... but Poznansky has the visual and verbal and architectural skills to create this maze and guide us through it. ~Grady Harp, HALL OF FAME reviewer