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.

Some of the highlights of the evening..."Dear Southern California Book Festival Entrant:
It was an amazing night in an amazing part of Los Angeles on Saturday. Gathered at L.A. Live, we heard from the winners of the festival while dining on some amazing food at Fleming's restaurant. There were a few toasts, a few laughs, and some tears as we honored the winners of the 2015 event.
We heard from Jason Latshaw, whose first novel is destined to be a film or TV classic; enjoyed the back-story from former Romper Room host Karen Robbins on her innovative children's book; were moved by the amazing story of Ted Haskins, who only learned of his large family years after his birth; saw the beginnings of what's sure to be a new series from Tricia Stewart Shiu; learned of the power behind her mentor's work from editor Lila Ivey; heard about the triumphant journey of author Donna Friess thanks to the support and encouragement of her husband; and heard how great science fiction is created from Jonathan Maas.
It was a wonderful evening of celebration and we thank everyone who battled the snow to make it to Los Angeles!"

Fleming's, Los Angeles, California November 22, 2015 - photo by Naomi Litvin

Naomi Litvin bio

Naomi Litvin, a free-lance writer and author of three books is a dual citizen of Israel and the United States. She grew up in Michigan and has lived in Northern California for many years. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Administration of Justice, Magna cum Laude from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. Naomi was a participant in the Jewish Book Council's Meet The Author Program for 2009 - 2010.  She is the daughter of a Holocaust survivor and an American Jewish GI who landed at Normandy. Naomi loves to be in Tel Aviv by the Sea.

The Masada Faktor, a new work of fiction, has received Honorable Mention from
 The Southern California Book Festival for 2015.

The Masada Faktor has also won Honorable Mention from The London Book Festival for 2015.

The Masada Faktor wins Southern California Book Festival Honorable Mention! #Free on #Kindle Nov 7-9

($9.99 value)

The Masada Faktor wins Honorable Mention for Fiction of 2015 The Southern California Book Festival!

The email came this morning announcing the winners of the 2015 Southern California Book Festival. I scrolled through the winning names in all the categories and reached the Honorable Mentions for General Fiction and there I was! So happy that a book about the survival of Israel placed among the winners! Thank you to The Southern California Book Festival!

WINNER: “The Vampire, the Hunter and the Girl” – Martin Lastrapes
RUNNER-UP: “Old Earth” – Gary Grossman
  •  “The Advance Man” – Rick Robinson
  •  “Prometheus Rebound” – R.L. Akers
  •  “Immigrant Soldier, The Story of Ritchie Boy” – K. Lang Slattery
  •  “The Sparks Fly Upward” – Jon Correll
  •  “Revelation” – M.J. Mancini
  •  “The Unraveling of Shelby Forrest” – Donna Friess
  •  “Cauliflower Heart: A Romantic Wrestler – Diana Hart
  •  “The Outhouse” – David W. Gordon
  •  “Beleaguered Truth” – Bill Messenger
  •  “Precincts of Light” – Henry Alley
  •  “Three Deadly Twins” – David Thyfault
  •  “The Carver Inheritance” – Anthony Renwick McGill
  •  “The Last Four Digits” – Julie Leo
  •  “The Legend of War Creek” – Randall Reneau
  •  “Dark Surf” – T.C. Zmak
  •  “Strength and Grace” – Deamer Dunn
  •  “The Masada Faktor” – Naomi Litvin
  •  “Hunter’s Moon” – Jay Heavner
  •  “The Crimson Key” – Wes Dodd
  •  “Societe’ ” – Alexander Helas
  •  “The Outreach Committee” – C.L. Woodhams
  •  “Devil’s Backbone” – Karl L. Stewart

First reviews of The Masada Faktor are in!

The Masada Faktor click to buy on Amazon

by Naomi Litvin

By Betsy Malone on October 5, 2015
Format: Paperback
The Masada Faktor is a brilliant and timely book. This intriguing Mediterranean Noir hits all the important elements to keep you reading. Beyond the purely mundane mystery, are many spicy metaphysical delights as well. I would not be surprised to see this fiction turn into a script for a noir film.

It is important to keep alive the quests to destroy Israel. Anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism have reared their ugly heads in the recent years, and maintaining Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people is as important today as it always has been.

The Masada Faktor begins with this premise and takes us on an interesting and eventful joyride through the pages of Israel's history and back to today. Ms. Litvin does an excellent job of weaving a web filled with dark passageways and interesting twists and turns until the very last page.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The story of the survival of Israel, and the continuous attempts of evil to destroy it, is indeed a very compelling issue.
And this novel works on a very interesting idea.

I enjoyed reading The Massada Faktor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By valerie m on September 1, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A thought provoking read. Twists and turns in plot development . Great descriptions of different locations in Israel. Deals with current events triggered by history. Some risqué events. I highly recommend this novel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect Page Turner! Buy the actual will be happy you did!September 15, 2015
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This review is from: The Masada Faktor (Kindle Edition)
this was a great story. I love the author, have read her other two books, that were non fiction! I am such a fan, that I buy the BOOKS..I want to keep them, on my bookshelf! Am so looking forward to continuing on her journey. What Happens NEXT!!!???

Israel: an elite tourist destination or a homeland for all Jews?

I am in Israel again, giving it another try to find a 'home' for myself. After two days, it is already
painfully evident that I cannot afford to live where my first two choices are. Yes, I can go out into the boondocks to find affordable housing. I only use the term boondocks because, as a single woman 'of a certain age' I feel safer living closer to one of the big cities. Forgive me for considering the danger of living out in areas close to Lebanon, Syria, and now the situation in the south with Egypt. Oh, and let's not forget the burgeoning Third Intifada.

I agree with others that we have to lower our expectations and compromise. But that still isn't enough to make it work. I had applied for a pension but was denied because it appears that I don't live here, and I have some US income. I made Aliyah last year, left after a combination of events; my benefits ran out after six months and I was traumatized by the Gaza War. This is my second time back since then, trying to find a comfortable living situation.

The prices are New York and San Francisco style, sky high. Yes, there is a new organization on Facebook called Keep Olim in Israel and I do believe that eventually they will be a political party and a force to be reckoned with but I don't think I have the resources to stay long enough to see help materialize. Can only the elite immigrate to Israel?

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Netanyahu had been urging European Jews to immigrate to Israel which has angered European leaders. Many French Jews have come to Israel, proving the speculation that they would further drive up the price of housing here. And it is thought that the numbers of Olim giving up and leaving the Holy Land are being skewed. According to LiAmi Lawrence, the leader of Keep Olim in Israel many more have left than anyone wants to admit.

Then there is the South African contingent of Nazis that say that there is a great advantage of relocating all the Jews to Israel so that we can be destroyed in one fell swoop, which I reported on last year.

I am in Israel. Enjoying every moment. I just don't want it to end. (Just to be perfectly clear, I am NOT giving up)

EXCLUSIVE REPORT: On 4th anniversary of Libyan Revolution: Conversation with Naomi

Today is 17 February, the fourth anniversary of the overthrow of Muammar al-Qaddafi (Gadaffi) in Libya. Prior to that time I became involved in a twitter campaign against Gadaffi's use of of a URL shortener ( During that time I saw that a Libyan Jew had returned to Libya to visit his homeland and then because of blogging that story, I became online friends with a Libyan (Muslim) who expressed friendship toward the Jewish people.

What has transpired in Libya in the last four years has been a combination of triumph and tragedy, good and bad. Much has happened and although I am not here to recap all of the events, I do wish to share what I have learned from Libyan tweeters. It is difficult, if not impossible to sort out who is who among the militias.

Despite media reports that Khalifa Haftar is ANTI-Islamic, the truth is that he is taking his anti-Islamist attitude as a bridge to rule Libya in the form of another dictator. He is not a good guy, despite the reports that he is. Libya Dawn are the good guys, despite reports that they are bad.

Regarding the formation of Misrata's Libya Dawn, I can add this:
"Libya Dawn (LD) is a coalition led by Misrata. In reality the fight started against Haftar in May of last year. Haftar got mad because Libya Dawn (LD) occupies Tripoli and the airport and the oil fields. And all the cities that are under Libya Dawn (LD) control are safe and secured."
"Haftar is pro-Gadaffi. He was the one behind the Massacre of thousands of Libyans in the desert of Chad, an example of his ruthless ambitions to power, when he witnessed all the students of Ali Woraith School in Tripoli taken to fight there and none of them to return. Imagine 10,000 Libyans went missing in the desert and were killed by the Chadians."
"Hafter is supported by the wealthy Bedouin-- Gadaffi's cousin Ahmed Gadaf Aldam in Egypt, and Gebreel the ex-servant of Saif Gadaffi. Simply, they want to return." 
"They are using their fight against ISIS as a cover, after they lost any hope of retaking West Libya (Tripoli and other cities) 200 km to the west of Misrata."

"Misrata has now gotten involved in the interim fight against those who claim to be ISIL on the ground in Sirte. This city has the biggest stockpile of conventional arms and 55,000 troops ready to fight."
"But the real ISIL is in Derna, not in Sirte."
"The guys that took over the Sirte TV are not real ISIL, although they claim to be. Libya Dawn (LD) Intelligence identified their names and found they are all Gaddafi's relatives and also from Baniwaleed."
"Gebreel, Gadaf Dam, and Hafter have succeeded to drag ISIL activities from Derna to Nearby Misrata. They have used their money to implant their own agents inside ISIL to reach this stage of international condemnation and are threatening to intervene.
But the advancing of Brigade 166 from Misrata to Sirte for confrontation with ISIL has turned the tables upside down, they didn't expect such an action. As a result of this move by Misrata, Sisi of Egypt has elevated his demands and asked for an international intervention."
"Egypt is claiming that the Eastern part of Libya is an Egyptian territory, of course it's well known to everyone that Sisi's target is the Libyan oil as it is the only way to feed his hungry people. Sisi is facing a lot of challenges to stay in power, and he has so many troubles on the local side."
"This is a pro-Gadaffi last fight, and they would do anything to return. They have a considerable amount of cash that was stolen during the years 2011, 2012, and 2013 when they were controlling Tripoli, approximately $200 billion. Libya toppled Gaddafi and will not accept another dictator. Libyans will not accept Haftar or an ISIL...Libyans are free."
"The media has it all wrong. New York Times is one of the media that does report close to reality facts about what is actually happening in Libya. Others may not."
Misinformation and propaganda abounds: For example USA Today reports:

"All revolutionary brigades and army units in the south are ready to intervene militarily to protect the airport and enforce peace at all costs," said Barka Wardougou, who heads the military council in Murzuk in southern Libya, a stronghold of the Tubu, and supports the Zintanis. "I warn the militias who are carrying out an assault on Tripoli International Airport and deliberately destroying the national properties that we will not stand aside and watch in silence. We will move if the assaults on the airport continue."
"No one believed Libya Dawn (LD) when they informed the General National Congress (GNC) that Haftar is planning together with the Zintanies (Bedouins), who are controlling the Tripoli Airport, to make a coup. But as Qaswara (Lion) Operation led by Misrata started, everyone realized the truth, and the Libya Dawn (LD) coalition was formed."
"Omar Al-Hasi , the current Prime Minister of Libya is too weak and he somehow counted on Islamists. There have been several times Libya Dawn (LD) and ordinary Libyans called on him to resign."
Omar Al-Hasi
"Al-Hasi is allied with Libya Dawn (LD), he agreed about this because he is from the East and appointing him as Prime Minister was a step towards maintaining the unity of the country."
"Haftar wants to take over the oil and give it to the Egyptians. Misrata has its top intelligence service, the Misraties acknowledge Libya Dawn (LD) about Hafter plans and asked the coalition to move to the East to protect the fields. They didn't, so Misrata acted alone in an Operation Sunrise with the knowledge of the United States."
"This is why Haftar is mad about Misrata, who are stationed in Sirte. From reading all the above it is obvious that Hafter is creating this propaganda."  
"ISIL is in Derna, Sisi should go there, not Sirte. And those who pretend to be ISIL will get what they deserve from the people who made Libya free."
There you have it ladies and gentlemen. Part of the real story from Libya.

Photos provided from friends inside of Libya

I wish to thank my Libyan friends for helping me write this article.