Monday, February 1, 2016

follow Naomi Litvin on twitter @nlitvin

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Masada Faktor: Judge’s Commentary, 3rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards

The Masada Faktor, my new book, a Mediterranean noir, received an outstanding rating in the Self-Published e-Book Awards. I am honored, thrilled, and grateful to present the comments below.

3rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards
Entry Title: The Masada Faktor
Author: Naomi Litvin
Judge Number: 1
Entry Category: Mainstream/Literary Fiction           

"Gorgeous cover image of the stained glass window and brilliant to share the history of it. That lets the reader know that truly unique history is on the way, starting here. We get a nice art history lesson for those who might not be familiar with Maumejean Brothers. 
The author demonstrates a tremendous familiarity with art history, and shares it with us in an engaging way. 
The story has excellent sensory details. Author has taken good care to layer each scene, with not just views but experiential details that draw the reader in. We get at the start a musty smell, which we can smell as we’re reading, and the taste of wine. Author adds a lot of depth to the story with these well thought-out details. 
Watch out for those little moments in which social media is explained. It comes off as a little awkward, and removes the reader from the book experience. Trust that your audience knows what Twitter is without interrupting the narrative and jerking the reader out of the book’s descriptive depths. 
Author conveys movement very well. We get a nice fluidity in movement descriptions that I found very impressive. And we get visceral recaps of Nazi history that disturb us. 
These are well-handled, weaving a tapestry of history for a very naturally-written journey through that time and its tensions. 
Good use of the letters to bring us back and forth in time. Just watch out for some small typos like missing punctuation that distract the reader. Transitions between chapters are exceptional, and the ending more than satisfies with the question of ‘are we still not strong enough?’ Impressive."

Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding.”

Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 5

Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 4

click books to buy on Amazon.comProduction Quality and Cover Design: 5

Plot and Story Appeal: 5

Character Appeal and Development: 5

Voice and Writing Style:                                                   

Judge’s Commentary*:
Our judges all have professional experience in their background, whether it's as a teacher, editor, publisher, agent, published author, etc

Friday, January 1, 2016

Death and destruction overshadows good news... #TelAviv

Last night I received word that The Masada Faktor has won another Honorable Mention for fiction at the 2015 London Book Festival. I was elated to see this and planned on blogging about the good news.

Then early this morning I woke to the news that a mass shooting had occurred in Tel Aviv very near to where friends live and around the corner where I had lived in the Spring of 2014. I immediately texted my go-to friend in Tel Aviv, as the first report that I read erroneously stated the attack was closer to her on Ibin Gabirol Street, not on Dizengoff and Gordon Streets. As soon as she picked up the phone she clarified the location and told me that she had been on her way to the area but changed her mind because it had started to rain, and also because Shabbat was only a few hours away. All residents were ordered to shelter in place in their homes and apartments as house to house searches were after the terrorist, still at large.

She was fine, but I immediately began to worry about my friends that work at The Brown Hotel. I texted one of the guys and he assured me that he was at work, but also said that he lives on the exact corner of where the terrorist attack took place. I'm still waiting to hear back from another friend.

I have spent the first day of 2016 glued to twitter hoping that the psychopath terrorist has been caught. At this time he is still on the loose and there is a massive hunt going on. Israeli cops and IDF are searching house to house.

After security video surfaced showing the terrorist's face, his father, an Israeli Arab security officer, phoned police to report that it is his son.

Alon Bakal, (below) 26, was the manager of the "Simta" bar at which the attack took place.

Alon Bakal, who was murdered in a shooting attack at a central Tel Aviv bar (Photo: Ravid Fari)

Shimon Ruimi, (below) 30, had come to Tel Aviv for the weekend from his hometown of Ofakim in the south, in order to celebrate a friend's birthday.

Shimon Ruimi, murdered in a shooting attack in a central Tel Aviv bar

Somehow, my good news seems quite insignificant.
"Nashat Milhem tracked down near home in Arara, opens fire on forces and is killed, 7 days after he killed 3 in Tel Aviv; five people arrested" 
via Times of Israel

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Masada Faktor #Free on #Kindle for 2 days Dec 9-10, 2015

Naomi Litvin

Author Naomi Litvin changes course from her other two books of non-fiction in creating this Mediterranean Noir, inspired by her own Aliyah to the State of Israel during the same time period. 

*Set in modern day Israel, 2014, before and during the Gaza War, Natasha Bernard has immigrated to the Holy Land. Natasha is in search of answers to a mystery revealed to her by her mother, on her death bed, which involves the survival of Israel. Seventy years after the end of World War II a plot is set to destroy the Jews to mimic the disaster of Masada. The Masada Faktor was conceived by Hitler in his last days. While in Israel, the Gaza War breaks out, complicating Natasha’s new life.

*The Masada Faktor has adult content.

Masada Cable Car, photo by Naomi Litvin

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Masada Faktor awarded Honorable Mention: Southern California Book Festival

It was fun to fly to Los Angeles to attend the awards dinner for the Southern California Book Festival. I had a wonderful evening! The Masada Faktor, my newly published book of adult fiction, received Honorable Mention and I gave a short speech which I am sharing below.

Hello everyone! It is so wonderful to be here to receive this Honorable Mention for The Masada Faktor. My page of acknowledgments in my book states, “I have no one to thank but myself.” But now, I am extremely grateful to be able to thank The Southern California Book Festival for this recognition and validation of my creativity in writing my first book of fiction. 
The Masada Faktor is my third book. My first two books are non-fiction. I am proud of those books, as I recorded my family history and also how my entire life was affected, both positively and negatively, as the child of both a holocaust survivor and the American GI hero who brought her to America. 
I was inspired to write the mystery of The Masada Faktor when I went to Israel last year in 2014. I made Aliyah, which in Hebrew means that “I ascended, or climbed a mountain.” I became a citizen of the Great State of Israel, while retaining my American citizenship.  Initially I spent six months in Israel. I traveled the country, lived in three different cities, was caught up in the Gaza War, and dreamed up the plots that played out in my book, while also documenting some of the history of terrorism that has occurred in Israel. 
While I was there, I went on a tour of Masada. I ascended that mountain, the ancient fortification and greatest Jewish symbol where, two thousand years ago, the last Jewish stronghold against Roman invasion stood. It was there that I conceived of what I was able to eventually put together to create The Masada Faktor. 
This book is my contribution in the fight against the existential threat that continues daily against my people and the terrorism that is now occurring worldwide by the barbarians at the gates. Thank you, again, for this incredible honor for my book, The Masada Faktor.