Monday, October 29, 2018

To her horror, the beam of a flashlight shined on her

As light filled the bedroom, Mia awoke with a start. Confused and disoriented, she looked around the room, and then her flight to her Aunt’s farm flooded into her mind. The light in the room flickered. She glanced at her watch on the nightstand—3:37 a.m. Hearing a car engine outside, she assumed Andy had finally arrived, so she hurried to the window. A black sedan moved down the lane. Andy always drove trucks, but Mia figured he switched vehicles in order to get out of the city. The car stopped near the porch. She frowned. Andy always parked behind the house.
Two men stepped out of the vehicle. One wore a shoulder holster with the handgrip of pistol clearly visible.
A chill swept through Mia’s body. Trembling, she slipped on her jogging suit and shoes, and tucked her pistol in the waistband. As she crept down the stairs, someone pounded on the door. Through the shear front curtains, she saw another set of headlights pulling down the lane.
Aware of several places she could hide undetected in the barn, Mia stealthily moved to the back door as pounding on the front door continued. She slowly unlocked the door. Before opening it, she peered out a window and scanned the area behind the house. Not seeing anyone, she opened the door and edged out onto the back porch, closing the door behind her. Hurrying to the closest tree, Mia scooted behind it. After surveying the yard again, she began to run toward the barn. On her way, she leapt over a pile of dirt.
Instead of clearing it, she tumbled into a four foot hole. Trying to regain her bearings and hurting from her fall, she sat up. As she wiped the loose dirt from her face, to her horror, the beam of a flashlight shined on her.

Excerpt from Diamonds and Lies
By Inge-Lise Goss

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Friday, October 26, 2018

Quick, let’s put her out of her misery

Here is an art piece I have been working on for the last couple of weeks. It started as a watercolor and went wild from there. I think of the area at the left edge of the paper as an organic extension of the painting, even though it is not painted. This part grew into shape by cutting out the paper to create a lace-like design.

One of the ideas that ran through my mind was focusing on an ear (can you find it here?) because the sense of hearing is what I focus on in my new novel, Coma Confidential. Since my protagonist is in coma, she can perceive what is going on around her only through two senses: smell and hearing. This imposes a unique discipline on me, to avoid describing any visual input in her condition, unless it is a memory that dawns on her, or else a morphine-induced hallucination.

And, there is also another challenge. How do you develop a story, and keep the action going, as well as the tension, when the protagonist is utterly passive, because of a violent incident in her recent past, which she is yet to recall?

Here is an excerpt, written in Ashley's voice:

Betty isn’t supposed to be here at this time of night, well past visiting hours. But there, there is her voice, whispering to someone out in the corridor, “So? What you waiting for?”
For a bit, I hesitate to believe my ears. But just in case she’s real, I shut my eyelids and freeze. The last part doesn’t take much effort.
Her perfume, heavy as it is, carries over the threshold. Oh yes, now I’m convinced. It’s real all right! As I recall, Betty was arrested not too long ago for shoplifting at Macy’s. When it comes to stealing, she has a decidedly expensive taste: Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum, no less. 
Rumors have it that because this was a repeated offense, she was not only given a heavy fine but also thrown in jail, only to be bailed out a day later by some rich old uncle. The rich part I believe, not so much the old uncle part, because besides hanging out with petty criminals, Betty has a habit of attracting men well past their prime who are anything but family.
“Well?” she repeats, in her sexiest alto voice. “We must be quick.”
“Oh, I do not know,” says a male voice, thickly laden with hesitation.  
I think I’ve heard him before, during the change of guards outside my room. He drags his vowels slowly, in what sounds like a Russian accent. 
Betty is impatient with him. “You don’t know? What is there to know? Let’s just finish her off.”
At that, I shudder. Luckily, this is evident only around the tip of my pinky toe.
“Vell,” he says. “Sure, I have to clean up the mess I left with this girl. But you, vat do you have against her?”
“I hate her,” says Betty. “She has that smirk on her face—even now, see?—like she’s so much better, so much smarter than me.”
“Vat are you talking about?” he asks. “This girl, she can not smirk, can not even breathe—”
“Then, let’s put her out of her misery.”

Cutout of a watercolor and charcoal painting.

(Volume I of Ash Suspense Thrillers with a Dash of Romance)
Paperback: Amazon

Monday, October 22, 2018

Move and you’re dead

Part of Emily craved the suspense, the thrill of being thrust into the middle of a real-life murder mystery. The intensity drew her in, displacing her grief and allowing her to push reality into the corners of her mind where the need to deal with Alyssa’s death silently slept. But now, as she hovered alone in this sterile cold hospital room, she smelled the stench of death slithering around her.
Shivering, she buried her head into the tear-dampened pillow. Memories fluttered through her mind, mingling with visions and haunted by dreams. She barely heard the nurse enter her room then fiddle with the machines monitoring her vital signs, and she hoped they wouldn’t disturb the ghosts vying for her attention.
When the door slammed open Emily jerked forward, her back ridged.
Ash stood at the entrance, legs splayed and pistol drawn, pointing directly at her.
Frozen in place, she tried to speak but nothing came out. She glared, pulse racing, as her thoughts spun to make sense of what her heart told her couldn’t be true.
“Move and you’re dead.”

Excerpt from Reign of Fire
By Casi McClean

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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Not Quite the Story You Remember from Bible School


Aurora Dawn

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 Not Quite the Story You Remember from Bible School 

Overall  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️    
5 out of 5 stars
Performance  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️    
5 out of 5 stars
Story  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️    
5 out of 5 stars
Reviewed: 10-14-18
In this unorthodox and thoroughly entertaining story, Uvi Poznansky tells the early story of the biblical David and his time in the service of King Saul. Told by David himself, in his own words, the story peels away the gloss and glory recorded by the historians who wrote the Bible and reveals the main characters in this saga as he saw them, with all their warts and wantonness.
Poznansky's Saul is spoiled, jealous and more than a little crazy and her David is a sharp witted, often self-depreciating schemer, determined to fulfill the prophet's predictions for his destiny. The story covers the early days from his arrival in Saul's court to his first meeting with Bathsheba.
A riveting story masterfully read by David George, Rise to Power will give you hours of entertainment and forever change your view of the story of two of the pivotal characters in the Old Testament.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Are you prepared to feast with your enemies?

Imagine how explosive the occasion may become, when the feast is a royal one, and the family members are those who would like to throw you off your throne, take your place, and obliterate your legacy. With this in mind, here are three excerpts from the three volumes of my trilogy, The David Chronicles. Each excerpt describes a royal feast in my heres life with its underlying intrigue.

For an entire week following the wedding I have found myself obliged to come to the royal dining room, to be presented before the entire Kish clan as the groom, the Husband of the Princess. Tonight is the seventh night, which—to my relief—marks the end of these festivities, the last dinner. 
Blessed with the questionable pleasure of addressing them I bow low, lower, lowest in the proper manner, according to the relative position of each one in the chain of succession. 
Alas, there are so many of them! All sitting around, using their embroidered dinner napkins to fan their faces because of the intense heat from the fireplace, which is much too close for comfort. They are waiting tensely for the king to arrive before they may start to feast on the lavish food, heaped on elongated silver trays set at precise, measured intervals along the dining table.
The king’s wife, Ahinoam, daughter of Ahimaaz, sits next to the empty royal seat, and his concubine, Rizpah daughter of Aya, at the opposite end, far down the table. The king’s eldest son, Jonathan, sits next to his mother, followed by his brothers, Abinadav, Malchishua, and the youngest one, Ish-Boshet, who was accidentally dropped from his crib by a nanny some years ago, so his legs are broken. Rizpah’s sons, Armoni and Mephiboshet, sit opposite Michal and me. 
And then, there is Merav.
Hair pointing up, bust pointing forward, she greets me by blowing a little kiss from across the table, while her husband is looking the other way. 

Excerpt from Rise to Power, just before King Saul throws his sword at David.


At my command, the doors of the largest hall in the compound are unlocked. Their hinges are rubbed with oil, so there will be no creaking sounds, no annoyances. This is the perfect place for celebration, which is why we never used it up to now, for lack of reason to do so. 
I tell everyone to come in and mingle, never mind if they belong to the tribe of Judah or the tribe of Benjamin. We are true brethren now, as we were always meant to be. We are family. We are of the same blood.
Newly acquired, sumptuous rugs are spread across the stone floor. Wall sconces are set aflame, so the place glows with color and warmth. Large pillows, embroidered with silk threads, are brought in, so we can all recline upon them, and relax into a sense of luxury. Lavish food is served. Wine starts splashing into cups.
I trust, perhaps foolishly, that generous hospitality removes the divisions between us, and ushers in a new era. 

Excerpt from A Peek at Bathsheba, just before King David's general executes his ally, which throws the country into civil war.


The messenger takes a gulp, raises his eyes to me, and for a long time, he is watching me watching him.
At last I say, “Speak!”
And in a careful, measured manner of speech, he says, “I come from Absalom’s feast.” 
“Describe it for me, in detail. I want to know exactly what happened, from the beginning.”
Words start gushing out of his mouth as if a dam has burst open in him. “At the beginning,” he says, “this was the most joyful, sumptuous affair I’ve ever seen. It was set outdoors, in full view of the shearing of the sheep. Local musicians danced along the space, which separated our table from the next one. They played merry tunes, and we were all singing along together. The sound was interrupted by nothing except a little bleat, here and there.”
“Was there a big crowd?” I inquire. “How many of Absalom’s friends were present?”
“Dozens of them! They huddled together, sitting along the wooden benches, chinking their cups against the surface of the table, so the servants would hurry up already and bring wine and beer.”
“And the prince, Amnon? Was he sitting there, among them?

Excerpt from The Edge of Revolt, just before the guests kill Amnon at Absalom's command, execution style.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

I fell headlong into that hole of emotions

“Well,” Stephen said as we walked out of the alley, our hands linked together. “They will never forget us.”

I giggled, my face still flushed from the exertion. “Maybe they will hire us out. I think we made a good impression.”

He drew me closer, until our arms brushed each other as we walked back to my building. “I think we make a good team Becky.”

“Me too,” I murmured. Never would I have done the things tonight we had done in public, but Stephen had this way about him that made me want to join in. It wasn’t just mindless silliness we had gotten into, but a genuine good time. 
“Well,” Stephen said turning me toward him. “Here we are.”
I looked up at the building, surprised and a bit disappointed that we are already here. “I-I really enjoyed myself tonight.”
“Even if the original was a bust?” he inquired. 
I nodded. “Even so.”
He reached up and brushed a strand of hair away from my face, stealing my breath as he did so. “I will look at the schedule. I still want to take you dancing.”
“Okay,” I said breathlessly, looking into his eyes. A night in his arms surely had to be something special. “Sounds like a plan.”
“Good,” he said, his hand drifting down my cheek. I closed my eyes against the softness of his touch, my entire body shivering from the inside out. Oh, how easy it would be to invite him up to my apartment, to bask in his soft touch all night long. But I knew regret would be between us in the morning, that we rushed something special and I didn’t want that to happen. 
I was determined to take this slow, even if it killed me. 
“May I kiss you Becky?” he asked softly, his eyes searching mine. 
My breath halted at his tender expression, his simple question. Oh my god, was he really asking me? I had never had a guy ask me if they could kiss me. “I.”
“Too soon,” he said, stepping back. “I understand.”
“N-no,” I answered, closing the gap between us. “It’s not too soon.”
His expression changed, and his hands slid up my arms, leaving goosebumps in their wake. I shivered under his touch and closed my eyes in anticipation, my lips parted softly. I wanted him to kiss me. His lips were soft on mine, so light that I could barely feel them. 
But my body reacted anyway, the flush spreading from the roots of my hair to my toes. I felt wonderful— I felt alive.
When Stephen deepened the kiss, I fell headlong into that hole of emotions, allowing myself to be carried away by his kiss.

Excerpt from Monsters in my Closet
By Margaret A. Daly

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Monday, October 15, 2018

Not Quite the Story You Remember from BibleSchool

Just discovered this in-depth review by Aurora Dawn for my Historical Fiction novel, Rise to Power:

on October 13, 2018
In this unorthodox and thoroughly entertaining story, Uvi Poznansky tells the early story of the biblical David and his time in the service of King Saul. Told by David himself, in his own words, the story peels away the gloss and glory recorded by the historians who wrote the Bible and reveals the main characters in this saga as he saw them, with all their warts and wantonness.
Poznansky's Saul is spoiled, jealous and more than a little crazy and her David is a sharp witted, often self-depreciating schemer, determined to fulfill the prophet's predictions for his destiny. The story covers the early days from his arrival in Saul's court to his first meeting with Bathsheba.
A riveting and uncompromisingly honest story , Rise to Power will give you hours of entertainment and forever change your view of the story of two of the pivotal characters in the Old Testament.

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Marriage, Death, Spy Games, and Love


Joseph Mahoney

Golden Valley, AZ USA

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 Marriage, Death, Spy Games, and Love 

Overall  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
5 out of 5 stars
Performance  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
5 out of 5 stars
Story  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
5 out of 5 stars
Reviewed: 10-15-18
Marriage Before Death: WWII Spy Thriller. Still Life with Memories, Book 5. Written by Uvi Poznansky and narrated by Don Warrick. Once again Ms. Poznansky has crafted another beautiful story that opens and closes with Lenny and Natasha facing a truly terrible and difficult future. This again causes Lenny to remember the amazing life together they have shared and how they have survived challenges in the Second World War.

Ms. Pozansky created an amazing world where that was vivid and so detailed. This chapter in the life of Lenny and Rochelle/Natasha was truly amazing set against the backdrop of the French Resistance. The fast-paced action and the spy games were something that was truly attention holding for the listener.

The narration by Don Warrick was once again excellent. This is his fourth performance in this series and has done a masterful job with these characters. His timing and nuances for the details of each character makes for a truly amazing performance. The production quality of this audiobook is excellent Ms. Poznansky published this performance and the audiobook is crisp and clear through the entire performance.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. Did you find this review helpful? If so, would you please take a moment and select the 'helpful' button below? Thanks so much! 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

It Could Have Been This Way

Love this short and sweet review for A Peek at Bathsheba:

on September 30, 2018
While I am a careful Bible student and can rehearse the biblical details of this story, I appreciate that this fictional account may well tell a story that is closer to the full truth than many might admit. You'll enjoy reading this book.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

I will have him

When I was sure I was presentable, I left our room, locking the door behind me, and walked around to the front of the building. I’d forgotten to get my wages from Imelda and did not want to disappoint my mother by coming home empty-handed.
I saw no need to knock, so I walked inside. It was very quiet and I assumed that Imelda was in one of the back rooms, her workday over. I longed to get home – to do my chores alone and think about what had happened between Micah and me that afternoon.
Not wanting to disturb or frighten the missus, I walked quietly into the room. I started toward the back when I heard someone yelling.
“I’ll have what is mine!”
It was the old man and there was anger in his voice. I froze.
“You cannot have him” Imelda screamed. “I have told you this. Without the boy, there is no girl, and I have invested much too much time to let that go easily. No, old man. You must find another or wait for the next cycle.”
Confused and a little frightened, I took a step forward and now could see them. The old man was halfway out of his chair, the cane he always carried, but never used, pointed at Imelda. His face was full of malice and I cowered in fear just from beholding it.
But that was not the end of it. Imelda stood but five feet away – her arms outstretched, fingers bent in impossible directions, as if her bones had melted and reformed in some strange, inhuman way. Her face, like that of the old man, was set – anger flashed in her eyes.
“I will have him,” the old man reiterated, his cane now undulating as if it were a serpent come to life.
Terrified, I took a step backward and, in error, knocked something from one of the shelves to the floor. It landed with a thud so loud I thought my eardrums would burst.
Both Imelda and the old man turned to stare at me. My heart pounded.
Imelda waved her misshapen hands and, suddenly, it seemed as if all the air had been sucked out of the room. My head grew heavy as everything around me lost shape, blurring as if in a heavy rainfall or fog. Bile rose in my throat as my knees grew weak and I found myself kneeling on the floor, my head in my hands.

Excerpt from The Turning
By Linda Watkins

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Monday, October 8, 2018

There I am, bandaged beyond recognition

A couple of months ago I started writing a new novel, titled Coma Confidential. I plan to publish it next year at volume I of a new series, yet to be named.

It is such a fun challenge to write my protagonist, not only because she starts out not knowing her identity and trying to gather the clues but also because of the special state she's in. Since she's in coma, she cannot see anything, so the only visual descriptions she offers are hallucinations, or else memories. But even while the visuals are restricted, there is a rich sensual input that she can interpret by listening intently to the people around her, who don't suspect she can hear them. 

Here's a glimpse of what she's going through, see what you think of it:

Is there anything in my expression—a blush, perhaps, or a hint of a smile—that betrays my joy, my amusement at having fooled them, somehow, into thinking me senseless? 
“Poor thing,” she says, talking to no one in particular. “This girl looks like a heap of bones, bound in gauze.”
At that, the breath goes out of me, as does the folly of thinking of myself as a Sleeping Beauty. To her, I look like a mummy. No, I am one. That’s not a bad thing, is it? I fancy myself as a dead Egyptian queen, being prepared for a journey to the afterlife. What makes this idea hard to accept is never having possessed any ruling powers. Or have I? My past is a mystery to me. 
“Ah!” says the nurse. “Power is back on. What a relief!”
The hum resumes, and another sound comes alive, too. The tip of a pen is scratching across the surface of some paper. She must be reducing me to numbers, taking notes of my body temperature, pulse rate, respiration rate, blood pressure, and who knows what else. Can’t she stop, just long enough to call out my name, so I can begin to learn who I am?

The nurse checks the catheter at the back of my hand. It is then that something strange begins to happen. A part of me seems to separate into the air. It floats up to the panels of acoustic ceiling, hovering next to that shiny curtain track. From there, I spot the top of her white cap as she tidies the sheets under me. There I am, crumpled on them, bandaged beyond recognition.

Coma Confidential

(Volume I of Ash Suspense Thrillers with a Dash of Romance)

Paperback Hardcover

Ash Suspense Thrillers Trilogy Audiobook

Ash finds herself in the ER diagnosed with coma. She has no memory of what has happened to her, but what she can do--despite what everyone around her might think--is listen to the conversations of her visitors. Will she survive the power outage in the hospital and then, being kidnapped out of it?