Tag Archives: Jill Eileen Smith

Book Review: The Heart of A King

6 May

King Solomon was wealthy and wise beyond measure. He could — and did — have anything he wanted, including many women from many lands. But for all his wisdom, did he or the women in his life ever find what they searched for all of their lives?

In this engrossing novel, you’ll find yourself whisked away to ancient Israel, where you’ll meet Solomon and four of the women he loved: Naamah the desert princess, Abishag the shepherdess, Siti the daughter of a pharaoh, and Nicaula the queen of Sheba. As you experience the world of Solomon through his eyes and the eyes of these women, you’ll ask yourself the ultimate question: Did Solomon’s wisdom ultimately benefit him and those he loved . . . or did it betray them?

Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling, award-winning author of the Wives of King David series, the Daughters of the Promised Land, the Wives of the Patriarchs, and The Loves of King Solomon series. Her research has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times.

When she isn’t writing, she loves to spend time with her family and friends, read stories that take her away, ride her bike to the park, snag date nights with her hubby, try out new restaurants, or play with her lovable, “helpful” cat Tiger. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan.

Contact Jill through email (jill@jilleileensmith.com), her website (http://www.jilleileensmith.com), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/jilleileensmith), or Twitter (https://twitter.com/JillEileenSmith).

 

My Impressions:

Solomon, the storied King of Israel known for his wisdom, is the subject of Jill Eillen Smith’s newest novel, The Heart of A King. Drawn from her ebook novella series, The Loves of Solomon, this standalone novel brings all four women’s stories together with the unifying thread of Solomon’s life. Set in the exotic courts of Jerusalem, Sheba, and Egypt, this what-if explores the motivations and heart-decisions of the last ruler of the unified kingdom of Israel. As always, Smith delivers a highly readable novel that causes a reader to reach for her Bible, as well as examine her own life.

In a dream, God offers Solomon what his heart desires. Although Solomon could have asked for any number of things — wealth, love, a larger kingdom — he chose wisdom. In the Bible, Solomon is described as the wisest man who ever lived, astonishing the many visitors to Jerusalem with his knowledge of nature and his insight into human hearts. Smith portrays Solomon as a charismatic leader and a sensitive lover — he has 700 wives, you know! 😉 But the wisdom he cherishes becomes a burden when he puts it above all else, including his relationship with God. I think that is the most important take away of this novel. Despite the fact that he has such a powerful gift, the advice of his priests and a godly mother, and the word of the Lord, Solomon believes in his own abilities more than anything else. The four women who figure prominently in the novel, Namaah, a princess of Ammon, Abishag, his father’s last wife, Siti, the daughter of Pharaoh, and Nicaula, the Queen of Sheba, are interestingly portrayed. There isn’t much in the Biblical record from which to draw, but Smith makes them believable. They love Solomon, and he in turn loves them, but never whole-heartedly. Solomon is a restless man striving to gain more and more. Each part of the novel is introduced by musings of the Teacher, an older Solomon who found that life is meaningless. While it would be easy to throw stones at Solomon, this novel made me examine the many blessings that God has given me that I in turn take for granted. Like Solomon, I believe in my own abilities and wisdom in running my life.

The Heart of A King will appeal to fans of Biblical fiction. Its unique perspective, historical details, and insightful message make this book a recommended read.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Revell for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Happy Book Birthday! — The Heart of A King

30 Apr

 

It’s the book birthday of The Heart of A King by Jill Eileen Smith! Woo hoo! You can now get your hands on this Biblical novel that explores the life of King Solomon and 4 of the women who loved him. I can’t wait to dive in!

King Solomon was wealthy and wise beyond measure. He could — and did — have anything he wanted, including many women from many lands. But for all his wisdom, did he or the women in his life ever find what they searched for all of their lives?

In this engrossing novel, you’ll find yourself whisked away to ancient Israel, where you’ll meet Solomon and four of the women he loved: Naamah the desert princess, Abishag the shepherdess, Siti the daughter of a pharaoh, and Nicaula the queen of Sheba. As you experience the world of Solomon through his eyes and the eyes of these women, you’ll ask yourself the ultimate question: Did Solomon’s wisdom ultimately benefit him and those he loved . . . or did it betray them?

Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling, award-winning author of the Wives of King David series, the Daughters of the Promised Land, the Wives of the Patriarchs, and The Loves of King Solomon series. Her research has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times.

When she isn’t writing, she loves to spend time with her family and friends, read stories that take her away, ride her bike to the park, snag date nights with her hubby, try out new restaurants, or play with her lovable, “helpful” cat Tiger. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan.

Contact Jill through email (jill@jilleileensmith.com), her website (http://www.jilleileensmith.com), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/jilleileensmith), or Twitter (https://twitter.com/JillEileenSmith).

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Book Quotes

30 Apr

This week Top Ten Tuesday is challenging bloggers to list their 10 favorite book quotes. Because first lines are very important in grabbing a reader’s interest (and because it has been very busy around here 😉 ), I am sharing some favorite first lines that made their debut in my First Line Friday posts. Hopefully, they will pique your interest (perhaps again) and spur you to pick up a new book.

For more great book quotes (and certainly more creative posts), visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

Top 10 Fabulous First Lines

 

What’s your favorite book quote?

First Line Friday — The Heart of A King

26 Apr

Happy Friday everyone! Today I am excited to share the first line of a highly anticipated novel, The Heart of A King. Jill Eileen Smiths newest Biblical fiction offering officially releases on April 30, 2019. I am really looking forward to diving into the story of Solomon and 4 women who loved him. Hopefully this first line will pique your interest — you can pre-order now!

Please leave a comment with the first sentence of the closest book to hand, then head over to Hoarding Books for more fabulous first lines!

 

King Solomon was wealthy and wise beyond measure. He could — and did — have anything he wanted, including many women from many lands. But for all his wisdom, did he or the women in his life ever find what they searched for all of their lives?

In this engrossing novel, you’ll find yourself whisked away to ancient Israel, where you’ll meet Solomon and four of the women he loved: Naamah the desert princess, Abishag the shepherdess, Siti the daughter of a pharaoh, and Nicaula the queen of Sheba. As you experience the world of Solomon through his eyes and the eyes of these women, you’ll ask yourself the ultimate question: Did Solomon’s wisdom ultimately benefit him and those he loved . . . or did it betray them?

Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling, award-winning author of the Wives of King David series, the Daughters of the Promised Land, the Wives of the Patriarchs, and The Loves of King Solomon series. Her research has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times.

When she isn’t writing, she loves to spend time with her family and friends, read stories that take her away, ride her bike to the park, snag date nights with her hubby, try out new restaurants, or play with her lovable, “helpful” cat Tiger. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan.

Contact Jill through email (jill@jilleileensmith.com), her website (http://www.jilleileensmith.com), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/jilleileensmith), or Twitter (https://twitter.com/JillEileenSmith).

Top 10 Tuesday — Christmas Edition

25 Dec

Merry Christmas! Did Santa treat you right with a pile of books under the tree? I rarely get books for Christmas. My family and friends operate under the false assumption that I already own all the books there are. LOL! But that’s okay, because Santa and I have a deal — I am good all year and get to order the books I want from Amazon! 😉 This week Top 10 Tuesday lists feature books found under the tree, or in my case on the Wishlist. All of the books on my list have not released yet, but that’s okay because pre-order!

Check out That Artsy Reader Girl for all the wonderful bookish goodness that arrived in Santa’s sleigh.

 

Top Books on My Christmas Wishlist

All Manner of Things by Susie Finkbeiner

Almost Home by Valerie Fraser Luesse

Daughters of Northern Shores by Joanne Bischof

Driftwood Bay by Irene Hannon

The Heart of A King by Jill Eileen Smith

The Killing Tide by Dani Pettrey

The Memory House by Rachel Hauck

My Dearest Dietrich by Amanda Barratt

Sweet on You by Becky Wade

Then Sings My Soul by Amy K. Sorrells

Book Review: Rebekah

4 Oct

When her father dies and she is left in the care of her conniving brother Laban, Rebekah knows her life has changed forever. Her hope for the future is restored when she falls in love with her cousin Isaac, and their relationship starts strong. But marital bliss cannot last forever, and the birth of their twin sons marks the beginning of years of misunderstanding, disagreement, and betrayal. The rift between them grows wider and wider until it is surely too deep to be mended. And yet, with God all things are possible.

Join bestselling author Jill Eileen Smith as she fills in the blanks around the biblical women behind the men we know well. Her in-depth research and creative storytelling bring Rebekah’s unique story alive with romance, heartache, and the power of forgiveness.

 

Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling, award-winning author of the Wives of King David series, the Daughters of the Promised Land, the Wives of the Patriarchs, and The Loves of King Solomon series. Her research has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times.

When she isn’t writing, she loves to spend time with her family and friends, read stories that take her away, ride her bike to the park, snag date nights with her hubby, try out new restaurants, or play with her lovable, “helpful” cat Tiger. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan.

Contact Jill through email (jill@jilleileensmith.com), her website (http://www.jilleileensmith.com), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/jilleileensmith), or Twitter (https://twitter.com/JillEileenSmith).

 

My Impressions:

I lead a Bible study at my church that combines an in-depth look at scripture and a book club experience. I chose Rebekah by Jill Eileen Smith to compliment our study. I have read many novels by Smith and am always amazed at how close to scripture her fictional accounts are. While there isn’t much historical detail of Rebekah and Isaac’s life, Smith does a creditable job fleshing out the characters we thought we knew. I recommend Rebekah for fans of Biblical fiction, especially if they want to use it as a springboard to dig into God’s word.

Rebekah spans the time period that is laid out in Genesis 24-28. The author recreates the ancient world bringing it vividly into the imagination of the modern reader. The novel focuses on the marriage of Isaac and Rebekah and the tension that is created by the favoritism shown by each towards their twin sons Esau and Jacob. What-ifs are explored in a plausible way. One member of our group stated that while they had always thought of the account of Isaac and Rebekah’s relationship as a love story, the story is a real marriage with real-life struggles common to all. Another member expressed that these were not nice people and that scenes in the novel made her read the Bible record more closely. That’s the benefit of well-done Biblical fiction, and Smith achieves it.

The final verdict from our group of 15? A unanimous thumbs up!

Recommended.

Great for book clubs.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(I purchased a copy of this book from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Authors I’d Love to Meet

2 Oct

When I started this book blogging gig 9 years ago, I had no idea the great fun it would be. Never did I imagine that I would get to meet favorite authors in person! Can you say fangirl? I have had the pleasure of hosting author meet and greets, attending book events, and interviewing authors, many face to face. So when That Artsy Reader Girl challenged us to list the authors we would love to meet, I already had a list ready. I’ll get to meet some sooner than later — my book club is traveling to meet Lindsey P. Brackett, author of Still Waters, later in the month, and I am finally getting the chance to attend the Christian Fiction Reader’s Retreat next spring. Woo hoo!

Make sure to check out That Artsy Reader Girl to discover which authors other bloggers dream of meeting.

 

10 Top Authors I Want to Meet

(all info is taken from the authors’ websites or Goodreads)

Karen Barnett

Fueled by a passion for research and learning, and a secret desire to travel in time, author Karen Barnettcreates historical romances that draw readers deep into a story. She’s fascinated that even though human history is constantly changing, Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). The point where those two facts collide forms the basis for her writing–finding those moments when an ordinary person brushes up against the eternal.

A graduate of Valparaiso University and Oregon State University, Barnett’s debut novel, Mistaken, was released in 2013 and earned her the Oregon Christian Writers “Writer of Promise” award and a Cascade Award for best historical fiction. She also won the coveted “Writer of the Year” title from the prestigious Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference in 2016.

Karen spent several years working in outdoor education as a park ranger and naturalist for Mount Rainier National Park and Oregon’s Silver Falls State Park before becoming a stay-at-home mom and professional writer. She spends her free time hiking, taking photographs, dragging her kids through dusty history museums, and decorating crazy birthday cakes.

Karen lives in western Oregon with her husband, two teenagers, and three mischievous dachshunds.

To connect with Karen follow her on Facebook (KarenBarnettAuthor) and Twitter(KarenMBarnett).

Lynn H. Blackburn

I started writing in 2009 and my first book, Covert Justice, was published by Love Inspired Suspense in 2015. Hidden Legacy followed in 2017, and Beneath the Surface, the first book in my Dive Team Investigations series with Revell hits stores in March of 2018. The remaining books in that series will follow in November of 2018 and July of 2019. And hopefully a new series will come after that!

I write romantic suspense for a couple of reasons.

  1. I love romance. Happily ever romance where no matter how hard things have been, two hearts find each other and will cherish each other forever. I believe the reason romance is so popular is because our hearts were made for the Truest Love. No human relationship can ever compare to the eternal and all-consuming love God has for us, but I’m so glad we get to enjoy a little bit of heaven on earth with another person who has committed to stay with us no matter what.
  2. I love suspense. Not because I’m tough, but because I’m a huge chicken! In my books, I can be so much braver than I really am. I can be tough and defeat the bad guys and run into burning buildings. And my characters can wrestle with so many big questions — why God allows bad things to happen and how we can trust Him when it seems like He’s dropped the ball.

When I’m not writing, I lead a crazy busy life! I was born in Hendersonville, North Carolina and still claim the Blue Ridge Mountains as home. But I found my way to Clemson University for engineering school and married my college sweetheart, Brian, as soon as I graduated. We’ve been married for twenty years, have three children—Emma, James, and Drew—and live in the beautiful upstate of South Carolina.

Our daughter, Emma, has Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome and for a lot of years I considered myself to be a “therapy” mom. Having a child with a disability rocked our world, but God was both patient and faithful as we wrestled with our new reality. Being Emma’s mom has changed me in ways I never could have imagined and many things God has taught me about himself find their way into my books. Emma is a joy and a challenge — just like any other teenage girl! She loves her school, her friends, her books, and her electronic devices.

I adore having boys. They are so loud and so fun! James is our deep thinker and sports lover. He regularly asks questions I can’t answer and can tell us football scores from three years ago. We’re pretty sure he’ll make a great lawyer or a sports commentator! Drew is our youngest. He’s our comedian and our warrior child. He keeps us laughing and keeps me praying that God will use him as a champion for truth and justice.

After the boys came along, no one was more surprised (or reluctant) than me to find that God was leading us to homeschool them. I still have no idea how that happened, but I love it and count it a privilege to have them at home with me during this season.

As a family, we’re active in our church, love to read, spend time outdoors, hang out with our extended families, workout at our CrossFit box and cheer for Clemson — Go Tigers!

Lindsey P. Brackett

Award-winning writer, Lindsey P. Brackett once taught middle grades literature, but now she writes her own great works in the midst of motherhood. A blogger since 2010, she has also published articles and short stories in varying publications. In 2015, she joined Splickety Publishing Group as Editor of Web Content, and in 2017 she migrated over to Firefly Southern Fiction as a general editor. Her popular column, Just Write Life, appears bi-weekly for The Northeast Georgian and weekly in The Elberton Star.

Her love of family ties and southern places prompted her first southern fiction novel, Still Waters, a four-star Romantic Times review being called a “brilliant debut”.

She makes her home at the foothills of Appalachia with her husband and their four rowdy children. They lose library books, brew strong coffee, and quit homeschool.

Contact her on social media or email: lindsbrac@gmail.com.

She’d much rather talk to you than wash the dishes.

Rachel Dylan

Rachel Dylan writes legal thrillers and legal romantic suspense. Rachel has practiced law for over a decade including being a litigator at one of the nation’s top law firms. She enjoys weaving together legal and suspenseful stories. Rachel writes the Atlanta Justice Series which features strong, female attorneys in Atlanta. Deadly Proof, the first book in the Atlanta Justice series, is a CBA bestseller, a Daphne du Maurier Finalist, a Holt Medallion Finalist, and an FHL Reader’s Choice Award Finalist. Rachel lives in Michigan with her husband and five furkids – two dogs and three cats. Rachel loves to connect with readers. She is represented by Sarah Younger at Nancy Yost Literary Agency.  You can find Rachel at http://www.racheldylan.com.

Susie Finkbeiner

Susie Finkbeiner is a novelist from West Michigan. She is the bestselling author of A Cup of Dust: A Novel of the Dust Bowl (Kregel, 2015), A Trail of Crumbs: A Novel of the Great Depression, and A Song of Home: A Novel of the Swing Era (Kregel, 2017).

Her next two novels will release in 2019 and 2020 with Revell Publishing.

She is also the author of My Mother’s Chamomile (WhiteFire, 2014) and Paint Chips (WhiteFire, 2013).

Susie is a wife, mother of three, and avid reader. She enjoys time with her family, coffee dates with her good friends, and quiet moments to read and write.

Jody Hedlund

Winner of the 2016 Christian Book Award and finalist for the Christy Awards, best-selling author Jody Hedlund writes inspirational historical romances for both youth and adults.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

Dani Pettrey

A consummate world traveler: Africa, South America, Australia—been there, done that.

A die-hard thrill seeker: heli-skiing, cave diving, storm kayaking—if it’s extreme, she’s there.

A bullet-dodging, high-speed-car-chasing, treasure-hunting adventurer.

An antiquities theft investigator, FBI agent, archaeologist, forensic anthropologist, and a detective who tracks down justice for a living.

Okay, not really, but her characters are. And, that’s why she loves the passion God has placed in her for telling stories.

In real life, Dani Pettrey is a wife, former homeschooling mom and author. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves–the thrill of adventure, nail-biting suspense, the deepening of one’s faith and plenty of romance. She’s a huge fan of dark chocolate, is always in search of the best iced mocha and her dream is to one day own a little cottage on a remote stretch of beach. She and her husband reside in Maryland, where they enjoy time with their two daughters, son-in-law, and 2 super adorable grandsons.

Just in case you’re curious…The real Dani does love traveling. She’s been to some amazing places (Greece, Hawaii, the Keys) and there are many more she hopes to visit in the future.

And while she’s not quite up to sky-diving, cave diving or heli-skiing (too high, too enclosed, too cold!) she and her family love hiking, canoeing, wave jumping and a ton of other outdoor adventures a little further down on the risk scale.

Jill Eileen Smith

Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling, award-winning author of the Wives of King David series, the Daughters of the Promised Land, the Wives of the Patriarchs, and the Loves of King Solomon series. Her research has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times.

When she isn’t writing, she loves to spend time with her family and friends, read stories that take her away, ride her bike to the park, snag date nights with her hubby, try out new restaurants, or play with her lovable, “helpful” cat Tiger. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan.

Catherine West

Catherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or reading books by her favorite authors. She and her husband have two grown children and one beautiful granddaughter. Catherine is the winner of the 2015 Grace Award (Bridge of Faith) and the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award (The Things We Knew). Catherine loves to connect with her readers and can be reached at Catherine@catherinejwest.com

 

Jaime Jo Wright

If I were to summarize my life in three words, my instinct is to say: “I love coffee”, and leave it at that. But, I realize that is rather shallow and a tad obsessive. So, summarizing who Jaime Jo Wright is can be a challenge.

I love life. I always have. God has blessed me, even in severe trials, such as the loss of three of my babies. He has never failed, never given up, never gone easy on me, and always disciplined me with a loving hand. (and trust me, when you have my personality which pushes boundaries and considers rules to be negotiable, you need discipline). Our ship was joined by a little Tinkerbell in 2009. Our CoCo has tamed the pirate exponentially better than I ever could. Peter Pan came along in 2012 and whisked me away to Neverland where we refuse to grow up and make mischief on a daily basis.