Tag Archives: Biblical fiction

Happy Book Birthday! Redeeming Grace by Jill Eileen Smith

14 Feb

51vjvxj2fyl-_sx322_bo1204203200_When famine visits Bethlehem, Boaz holds out hope for rain while his relative Elimelech moves his wife Naomi and their sons to Moab. For a while, it appears the Lord is blessing Elimelech’s family, and his sons marry two lovely Moabite women. But calamities strike, one after another, leaving Naomi alone in a foreign land with only her childless daughters-in-law for comfort. When news reaches Naomi that the famine in Bethlehem has lifted, only Ruth will hazard the journey to her mother-in-law’s homeland. Destitute and downhearted, Naomi resigns herself to a life of bitter poverty, but Ruth holds out hope for a better future. And Boaz may be the one God has chosen to provide it.

Combining meticulous research with her endless imagination, Jill Eileen Smith gorgeously renders one of the most beautiful stories in Scripture. Readers will adore this third installment of the inspiring Daughters of the Promised Land series.

 

716ygj6-rql-_ux250_-pngJill Eileen Smith is the author of Desert Princess (ebook short)  Loves of King Solomon series, the Wives of the Patriarchs series, the upcoming Daughters of the Promised Land series, and the bestselling author of the Wives of King David series. When she isn’t writing, she can often be found reading, biking, traveling, spending time with friends, or snugging her feline writing buddy Tiger. She especially enjoys spending time with her family.

To learn more about Jill or for more information about her books, visit her website at http://www.jilleileensmith.com. You can also contact Jill at jill@jilleileensmith.com. She loves hearing from her readers.

 

(I received a complimentary copy of this book.)

Top 10 Tuesday: 2016 Releases I Didn’t Read (But Should)

10 Jan

My TBR pile has reached staggering heights since I started blogging. Is it possible to have too many books? I think the problem is really not enough time to read — stuff like laundry and work just keeps getting in the way! In an effort to read what is on my shelves in 2017, I am practicing saying no to shiny new books. We’ll see how long that lasts. 😉 In the meantime, here is a list of the books that were released in 2016 that I failed to read, but really, really plan to. Can we put a freeze on 2017 releases until I get caught up?

For other bloggers woefully behind on their reading, check out The Broke And The Bookish this week.

unknown

 

2016 Books That I Need to Read

The Cottage by Michael Phillips

Delilah by Angela Hunt

Dressed for Death by Julianna Deering

unknown-6unknown-4unknown

The End of Law by Therese Down

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hall by Julie Klassen

Lead Me Home by Amy Sorrells

unknown-1unknown-5unknown-2

The Shattered Vigil by Patrick Carr

Sins of The Past by Dee Henderson/Dani Pettrey/Lynette Eason

You’re The One That I Want by Susan May Warren

51xmxzj758l-_sx322_bo1204203200_unknown-351h96g4pw9l-_sx331_bo1204203200_

Have you read any of these 2016 releases?

Which one should I read first?

Top 10 Tuesday — Looking Forward to 2017!

13 Dec

I can hardly believe 2016 will soon be ending. I have had a great year of reading! But now it is time to look forward to the hot new books to be released in early 2017. To find out what books other bloggers are looking forward to, visit The Broke And The Bookish.

toptentuesday

I only made it to March releases before finding my top 10 of early 2017! So many great books that will soon grace my shelves. Many are the next book in favorite series, so those are very much anticipated. I have a good mix of historical and contemporary, with plenty of suspense and a bit of romance. All are from favorite authors who never cease to satisfy. So without further ado, drumroll please . . .

Top 10 Anticipated Books of Early 2017

Home at Last by Deborah Raney

The Illusionist’s Apprentice by Kristy Cambron

Justice Delayed by Patricia Bradley

51jtzwymj1l-_sx322_bo1204203200_unknown51t56ubze8l-_sx322_bo1204203200_

Maybe It’s You by Candace Calvert

Moving Target by Lynette Eason

The Newcomer by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Redeeming Grace by Jill Eileen Smith

51izbeic0sl-_sx331_bo1204203200_unknownunknown-1unknown-2

Still Life by Dani Pettrey

A Stranger at Fellsworth by Sarah Ladd

When Tides Turn by Sarah Sundin

unknown-351pvqn7kw3l-_sx327_bo1204203200_511hihxmh3l-_sx322_bo1204203200_

What books are you looking forward to?

 

Top 10 Tuesday: The Enduring TBR Pile

23 Aug

This week the folks at The Broke And The Bookish have challenged bloggers to list their Top 10 Books STILL on The Shelf Long after You Started Blogging. So, do I pick them by genre, age, color of cover? I have a serious problem — 10 just isn’t enough! I decided to go shelf by shelf (I arrange by genre) and pick out the first 10. I didn’t get very far — just 1 shelf (Biblical fiction). As my dear MIL would say Oh, me! I’ll save the rest for a Freebie or Rewind week. To find out what other bloggers have on their TBR shelves, click HERE.

toptentuesday

 

Top 10 Books STILL on My Bookshelves (After 7 Years!)

Some of the books on my list are those I thought my book club would love. Others are books by favorite authors. Some are classics. And others just called my name when I was in the bookstore.

 

51QI4JKKAvL._SX300_BO1,204,203,200_Ben Hur by Lew Wallace — Ben-Hur is the remarkable saga of betrayal, revenge, and redemption, played out in the bloodstained arenas of ancient Rome. Framed for attempting to murder a Roman official, Ben-Hur is robbed of his freedom, family, and fortune. Condemned to death as a galley slave, he lives only to avenge himself against the Roman tribune Messala—the boyhood friend who betrayed him.

Ben-Hur vividly recreates the sweep of Imperial Rome — from a thrilling sea battle, to the famous chariot race, to the agony of the Crucifixion. It is the moving, personal tale of the prince who became a slave and then — through a unique twist of fate — was able to fight his way back to the free world as a champion gladiator.

Written by the territorial governor of New Mexico, Ben-Hur was an immediate bestseller upon its release in 1880 — selling over two million copies — and continues to be an enduring classic.

61LSXxMTANL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_The Big Fisherman by Lloyd C. Douglas — The story traces Peter’s journey from self-sufficient fisherman to his dependency on a risen Christ. It also presents another story of redemption and forgiveness, as he takes in a young Arab/Jewish girl, Fara. As they both learn of Jesus, it changes their lives.

The young Fara discovers that she is the daughter of Herod Antipas who married and shortly discarded her Arab mother Arnon in favor of Herodias. Her half Arab ancestry makes her marriage to the future King Deran impossible. Disguised as a boy Fara goes to Galilee to assassinate Herod in revenge, though Herod has survived eight previous assassination attempts from the Arabs who are described as people with a short temper and a long memory. She is followed by Voldi, an Arab prince who wishes to marry her and take her back home, however Voldi is captured by the Romans.

Robbed by bandits, Fara is discovered by John the Baptist who advises her to listen to the great teacher, Jesus. She comes under the protection of Peter but vows to kill Herod. She manages to be employed in Herod’s household as she can translate Greek, in particular a series of prophecies written in the language that have been given to Herod.

51KQS17X7RL._SX297_BO1,204,203,200_Journey by Angela Hunt — On this deathbed, Jacob the patriarch bestows the blessing of the firsborn on the sons of Joseph, igniting a bitter conflict between the two brothers. Manasseh, the elder son, is surprised and disturbed when Jacob deliberately crosses his hands, giving the more favorable blessing to the younger Ephraim — the blessing that rightfully belongs to him.

Ephraim glories in the unexpected promise of power and feels that he is the one to continue his father’s work and keep the Hebrews in Egypt. He is convinced that greatness for the nation of Israel will only be achieved through the mighty kingdom of Egypt.

But Manasseh, visiting Hebron for the first time at Jacob’s death, feels a warm stirring in his heart for Canaan. He believes the Hebrews should leave Egypt immediately and return to the land that God had promised to Abraham, Isaac, and his grandfather Jacob. There is no reason to stay in Egypt any longer. The famine has been over for twelve years and Jacob is dead.

Two brothers in conflict — not only over Israel’s future, but also over love. One brother loves the beautiful harpist of Pharaoh’s court, but the other already possesses her heart. Life, love, and the future of the nation are at stake!

51znTU3-HrL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Madman by Tracy Groot — If there is a way into madness, logic says there is a way out. Logic says. Tallis, a philosopher’s servant, is sent to a Greek academy in Palestine only to discover that it has silently, ominously, disappeared. No one will tell him what happened, but he learns what has become of four of its scholars. One was murdered. One committed suicide. One worships in the temple of Dionysus. And one … one is a madman. From the author of The Brother’s Keeper comes a tale of mystery, horror, and hope in the midst of unimaginable darkness, the story behind the Geresene demoniac of the gospels of Mark and Luke. 

UnknownMagdalene by Angela Hunt — Mary Magdalene. The controversial woman with a past only one Man could forgive. A true love story that changed the face of history.

“I was Miryam of Magdala, seller of fine fabrics and wife of Yaakov the fisherman. With my husband and son, I held a place of honor among my countrymen until a company of rogue soldiers took everything from me. I might not be Roman, but I knew injustice when I saw it. And I had been most grievously wronged.”

In an era when women are sequestered and silenced, Miryam of Magdala lives a contended life until her son’s careless gesture evokes a hostile action that shatters her serenity. With no hope of justice, Miryam commits and unthinkable act…and descends into depths of darkness that threaten her life and her sanity.

Even after Yeshua the Messiah dramatically restores her life, Miryam can neither forget nor forgive unresolved injustices. Prodded by a hunger for vengeance she will not deny, this woman of uncommon courage risks her life and her heart by drawing destiny into her own hands.

UnknownThe Priest by Francine Rivers —  The Priest is the first book in a new companion series to A Lineage of Grace. Each novella peers into the life of one of five biblical men (such as Aaron, Jonathan, Silas) who stood behind the great heroes of faith.

In The Priest you’ll meet Moses’ brother Aaron, the first high priest of Israel. How will Aaron support Moses while he struggles with being satisfied with God’s plan for his own life? Be inspired by how this seemingly secondary character plays a key role in supporting his leader and impacting the faith for eternity.

Rahab’s Story by Ann Burton — They were women of conviction and courage, whose stories inspire the faithful to this day. Here is Signet’s second installment of Women of the Bible, a compelling new series for fans of historical romance and fiction.

Accused of witchery, Rahab is banished to certain death in Jericho. Now the girl once known as Beautiful Rahab must join the ranks of the city’s prostitutes. She keeps her faith in God, but when Jewish spies appear, begging her to hide them, she must decide: stay safe and deny them-or help her fellow believers and transform herself from harlot to heroine.

411dMLAkFwL._BO1,204,203,200_Three From Galilee by Marjorie Holmes — Marjorie Holmes, the award-winning author of such classic bestsellers as I’ve Got to Talk to Somebody, God, was renowned for making the Bible come to life in books that brought hope and inspiration to millions. The first novel in this trilogy-her acclaimed, hugely successful Two from Galilee-told the great love story of Mary and Joseph as never before.

Now, in Three from Galilee, Holmes’s fictionalized retelling of the life of Jesus covers a period overlooked by the Gospels – the “lost years” between age 12, when Jesus debated the elders in the temple, to the age of 30, when he actually began his ministry. With great reverence, she dares to wonder what Jesus did during those years, if he was like other young men of his time, and whether he experienced God’s greatest gift to humanity – love. Using her remarkable talents, Holmes brings Jesus, his parents, brothers, sisters, and friends to life in a story that is dramatic, deeply moving, and unforgettable.

UnknownUnashamed by Francine Rivers — Book 2 in the Lineage of Grace series by best-selling author Francine Rivers. In her trademark style, Francine tells the compelling story of Rahab from the book of Joshua. Readers will gain a fresh understanding of God’s work through the life of this unlikely woman in the lineage of Christ.

 

 

 

 

 

41vrUXPRhcL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Unveiled by Francine Rivers — Unveiled is the story of Tamar, one of the women in the lineage of Jesus. Francine brings the story to life in her trademark style, showing the grace of God in the life of Tamar and her father-in-law, Judah. Unveiled is the first in the Lineage of Grace series of five novellas covering the stories of Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Help me out here.

Which one would you read first?

Top 10 Tuesday: Favorite Books of 2016 (So Far)

21 Jun

Thanks to the folks at The Broke And The Bookish who weekly host Top 10 Tuesday. This week we are finding out which books are winners in 2016. To see what other bloggers consider the best of the best, click HERE.

toptentuesday

 

Ten, really? Only ten best books of 2016? This has been a banner year for good books. I’m not sure if I am being more selective or if we are in the golden age of Christian Fiction, but I have read so many wonderful books this year. While these books are from varying genres — history, romance, mystery, literary and women’s fiction, they share a common characteristic — great writing!  So here are 13, a Baker’s Dozen, of novels I have savored.

A Baker’s Dozen of Favorite Books in 2016

 

Annabel Lee by Mike Nappa

The Beautiful Thread by Penelope Wilcock

The Breath of Peace by Penelope Wilcock

unknown251h3ir-3vll-_sx327_bo1204203200_51rr1k1ltql-_sx327_bo1204203200_

Guarded by Angela Correll

The Hearts We Mend by Kathryn Springer

If I Run by Terri Blackstock

The Inheritance by Michael Phillips

unknownunknown3unknown9the-inheritance-249x384

The Memoir of Johnny Devine by Camille Eide

The Prophetess by Jill Eileen Smith

Sister Dear by Laura McNeill

Step by Step by Candace Calvert

1101088_orig51essiezssl-_sx322_bo1204203200_sister-dear-252x38451e-ieev7l-_sx331_bo1204203200_

Thin Ice by Irene Hannon

Water from My Heart by Charles Martin

unknown-1251bxurhvlhl-_sx330_bo1204203200_

 

Book Review — Bathsheba: Reluctant Beauty

18 Apr

Unknown-1After sending his army to besiege another king’s capital, King David forces himself on Bathsheba, a loyal soldier’s wife. When her resulting pregnancy forces the king to murder her husband and add her to his harem, Bathsheba struggles to protect her son while dealing with the effects of a dark prophecy and deadly curse on the king’s household.

Combining historical facts with detailed fiction, Angela Hunt paints a realistic portrait of the beautiful woman who struggled to survive the dire results of divine judgment on a king with a divided heart.

 

 

Angie-Hunt-1The author of more than 100 published books and with nearly 5 million copies of her books sold worldwide, Angela Hunt is the New York Times bestselling author of The Note, The Nativity Story, and Esther: Royal Beauty. Romantic Times Book Club presented Angela with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. In 2008, Angela completed her PhD in Biblical Studies in Theology. She and her husband live in Florida with their mastiffs. She can be found online at http://www.angelahuntbooks.com.

 

My Impressions:

The best biblical fiction will send its readers to the ultimate authority, God’s Word, to find out what really happened. As I read Bathsheba: Reluctant Beauty by Angela Hunt, I found myself referring to the biblical record over and over. I began to view the story of Bathsheba in a new way — the characters became multi-faceted with emotions and motives I had not considered. Hunt is faithful to scripture, but fills in the what ifs realistically. My book club is discussing this book later tonight. Have you read it? We would love to hear your thoughts.

The story opens with Bathsheba’s wedding day to Uriah the Hittite. Eager to embark on a new life, the new bride is filled with the anticipation of a life of love and joy. A year and a half later, Bathsheba finds herself raped, her husband murdered and pregnant by a man she hates — the King of Israel. David loves Adonai, but he is a man who is deeply flawed. How can God redeem the brokenhearted and bring forgiveness and healing?

Pages and pages have been written about the relationship between David and Bathsheba. Scholars are in disagreement about what really happened. Did David rape Bathsheba? Or was she a willing seductress? I think Hunt gives a balanced and unbiased explanation of what might have happened. Based on her own research into what scripture has to say about the incident, she has created a sympathetic character who must make a future despite abuse, violence and grief. David is Israel’s anointed king, a man after God’s own heart, but also a man who doesn’t rule his own household wisely and gives into lustful passions. This story doesn’t end here though. The turbulent history of the later years of David’s reign are told in a flowing narrative from the first person perspectives of Bathsheba and Nathan the prophet. The two viewpoints give unique insights. Others that play pivotal roles during this time in Israel’s history — David’s wives, sons, advisors and military leaders — are written with depth.

Intrigue and betrayal are hallmarks of the time of David. His sin brings calamity down on his own house and the nation of Israel. Sin is never secret — a theme that is played over and over in Bathsheba: Reluctant Beauty. David often acted according to his own desires because ” . . . he believed he would get away with sin”. Aren’t we all guilty of that? Repentance and forgiveness are the remedies, and this novel portrays that as well. If there is a take away from this novel it is that there is sorrow in sin, but joy in the Lord.

Faithful to scripture and written with historical detail and a heart for the subject matter, Bathsheba: Reluctant Beauty is a highly recommended read!

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

Great for Book Clubs.

To purchase this book, click HERE

(Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

April Book Club Selections

1 Apr

My book clubs have read some great books so far this year. Here are two more that we will be discussing in April. Have you read either of these books? We would love to hear your thoughts.

Unknown-1By The Book — Bathsheba by Angela Hunt

A Vivid and Moving Portrait of a Reluctant Queen

After sending his army to besiege another king’s capital, King David forces himself on Bathsheba, a loyal soldier’s wife. When her resulting pregnancy forces the king to murder her husband and add her to his harem, Bathsheba struggles to protect her son while dealing with the effects of a dark prophecy and deadly curse on the king’s household.

Combining historical facts with detailed fiction, Angela Hunt paints a realistic portrait of the beautiful woman who struggled to survive the dire results of divine judgment on a king with a divided heart.

 

UnknownPage Turners — The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel

As America’s Mercury Seven astronauts were launched on death-defying missions, television cameras focused on the brave smiles of their young wives. Overnight, these women were transformed from military spouses into American royalty. They had tea with Jackie Kennedy, appeared on the cover of Life magazine, and quickly grew into fashion icons.

Annie Glenn, with her picture-perfect marriage, was the envy of the other wives; JFK made it clear that platinum-blonde Rene Carpenter was his favorite; and licensed pilot Trudy Cooper arrived with a secret that needed to stay hidden from NASA. Together with the other wives they formed the Astronaut Wives Club, providing one another with support and friendship, coffee and cocktails.

As their celebrity rose-and as divorce and tragedy began to touch their lives-the wives continued to rally together, forming bonds that would withstand the test of time, and they have stayed friends for over half a century. The Astronaut Wives Club tells the story of the women who stood beside some of the biggest heroes in American history.