Cinnamon Stillwell

I’m the West Coast Representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum that focuses on Middle East studies. I was a political columnist for SFGate.com (San Francisco Chronicle online) from 2004-2008. I've written for the American Thinker, Frontpage Magazine, Family Security Matters, Accuracy In Media, Newsbusters, Israel National News, The Jewish Policy Center, J-The Jewish News Weekly of N. CA, Intellectual Conservative and many others. More info at CinnamonStillwell.com.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Bathsheba Deadline: Fiction Straight Out of the Headlines

Political junkies looking for fiction straight out of the headlines should definitely consider gravitating towards Jack Engelhard's serial novel "The Bathsheba Deadline." It's an "Amazon Shorts" novel, which means it's published in installments and touches on real life events as they occur. Part 11 came out in October and it can be purchased, along with the previous installments, at Amazon.com for all of 49 cents each.

"The Bathsheba Deadline" is on one hand a scintillating love triangle based on the biblical story of King David, Uriah and of course, the beautiful and desirable Bathsheba. But it's also a clever and wonderfully perceptive look at modern day journalism and the post-9/11 political backdrop.

The novel touches on such pertinent political and social issues as the Middle East conflict, Islamic terrorism, conversion to Islam, the treatment of women under Islam, tension between Jews and Muslims, mixed Jewish and Christian heritage, America and the war on terrorism, and the role of journalism amongst it all. Indeed, the main setting for the novel is a fictional daily newspaper called The Manhattan Independent and the main characters are its managing editor, book editor and a reporter.

Author Jack Engelhard gives much credit to the growing influence of online journalism and the blogosphere, or what he labels in the novel, "Bypass Journalism." Online journalism is in fact starting to supercede print and television and Engelhard knows it.

Seeing as he himself is an accomplished online columnist, as well as the author of previous novels, one of which, "Indecent Proposal," was adapted (after having the original Arab/Jewish themes erased by Hollywood's political correctness censors) for the film of the same name, his observations are right on the money.

I must confess that I'm hardly impartial, as I'm one of the real life online journalists referred to in the novel. Parts 2, 3, 9 and 11 all contain references to me, which I've excerpted on the homepage of my website, CinnamonStillwell.com, in the "What People Are Saying" section.

But I can honestly say that with or without the kind nods to my work, I've thoroughly enjoyed "The Bathsheba Deadline" thus far. It's the kind of novel I find myself nodding in knowing agreement and alternately smiling or sighing in shared sentiment throughout.

Beyond the romance, the great characters, the elegant writing and the charming slices of life, it touches on so many issues that I find personally and politically relevant that I can't help but be drawn in.

And it's my hope that others will feel the same way.

Cross-posted at Kesher Talk.

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