Tag Archives: Jill Eileen Smith

Book Review: Redeeming Grace

16 Mar

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.

 

Jill Eileen Smith is the author of Desert Princess (ebook short) #1 Loves of King Solomon series, the Wives of the Patriarchs series, the 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.

 

My Impressions:

I loved the first two books in Jill Eileen Smith’s Daughters of The Promised Land series, The Crimson Cord and The Prophetess. But I think my favorite so far is the latest installment, Redeeming Grace. This retelling of the beloved story of Ruth added dimension to a very familiar tale. Smith is a master at capturing the historical setting and creating believable characters that speak to modern readers while being faithful to the culture of their day. I’ve read and re-read the book of Ruth many times, but this fresh take opened my eyes to the depth of God’s sovereignty portrayed in the Biblical narrative. Thanks Jill, for a wonderful book!

It’s the time of the Judges in ancient Israel, and a famine has gripped the land for years. Naomi’s husband Elimelech seeks prosperity in the land of the enemy, Moab. As the family prospers materially, a spiritual decline occurs, and Naomi yearns for a return to the home of her God. When tragedy strikes, Naomi, bitter in heart, begins the return journey with few possessions, but with a faithful daughter-in-law, Ruth. Can hope replace Naomi’s bitterness?

I loved the backstories that Smith created for each of the main characters. Plausible what-ifs add to the story without altering the truth taken from the biblical record. The reader will take Naomi, Ruth and Boaz into her heart as they struggle with doubts, grief, and questions. Many questions and prayers seem to go unanswered, but God’s sovereignty is powerfully displayed as the rest of the story unfolds. This is really the strength of the novel — a God who is faithful even when we can only see with darkened eyes and partial understanding.

For fans of biblical fiction, Redeeming Grace is a must read, but it is also for anyone who enjoys a good story well-told. It gets a highly recommended rating from me.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: older teens to adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

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

Top 10 Tuesday — What’s Up Next in The TBR Pile

28 Feb

The folks at the Broke And The Bookish are taking a short and well-deserved break this week. Six years of hosting this great meme! Our hats are off to you! So that means bloggers are coming up with their own topics. I’m taking the easy way out and sharing what I will be reading in the coming weeks. Have you read any of these books? Let me know what you think.

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Top 10 Books in The TBR Pile

By Cat or By Crook by Patricia Fry

Doctor’s Dilemma by Richard Mabry

The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller

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Exit Katrina by Chris Link

A Fragile Hope by Cynthia Ruchti

Home at Last by Deborah Raney

A Lady in Disguise by Sandra Byrd

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Redeeming Grace by Jill Eileen Smith

A Trail of Crumbs by Susie Finkbeiner

When Tides Turn by Sarah Sundin

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What book is next up for you?

 

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 — 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.

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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

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Maybe It’s You by Candace Calvert

Moving Target by Lynette Eason

The Newcomer by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Redeeming Grace by Jill Eileen Smith

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Still Life by Dani Pettrey

A Stranger at Fellsworth by Sarah Ladd

When Tides Turn by Sarah Sundin

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What books are you looking forward to?

 

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.

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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

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Guarded by Angela Correll

The Hearts We Mend by Kathryn Springer

If I Run by Terri Blackstock

The Inheritance by Michael Phillips

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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

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Thin Ice by Irene Hannon

Water from My Heart by Charles Martin

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Top 10 Tuesday — Five-Star Reads

29 Mar

Thanks to the folks over at The Broke And The Bookish for hosting Top 10 Tuesday every week. There are lots of book bloggers that participate, so make sure to click HERE to find out what they are up to.

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This week’s theme is 10 of My Most Recent 5-Star Reads. I have been inundated with reading blessings this year and have enjoyed lots and lots of great books. The following are the last 5-star books I have read. Make sure to check out the reviews I have linked.

Top 10 5-Star Reads

(In Alphabetical Order)

Annabel Lee by Mike Nappa (suspense)

The Body under The Bridge by Paul McCusker (mystery)

The Fragment by Davis Bunn (historical suspense)

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Guarded by Angela Correll (women’s fiction)

The Hearts We Mend by Kathryn Springer (contemporary romance)

A House Divided by Robert Whitlow (legal drama)

If I Run by Terri Blackstock (suspense)

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The Memoir of Johnny Devine by Camille Eide (historical romance)

The Prophetess by Jill Eileen Smith (biblical fiction)

Thin Ice by Irene Hannon (romantic suspense)

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Book Review: The Prophetess

9 Mar

51EssieZSsL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Outspoken and fearless, Deborah has faith in God but struggles to see the potential her own life holds. As an Israelite woman, she’ll marry, have a family, and seek to teach her children about Adonai–and those tasks seem to be more than enough to occupy her time. But God has another plan for her. Israel has been under the near constant terror of Canaan’s armies for twenty years, and now God has called Deborah to deliver her people from this oppression. Will her family understand? Will her people even believe God’s calling on her life? And can the menace of Canaan be stopped?

 

 

 

2799806Jill Eileen Smith is the author of the bestselling The Crimson Cord and the Wives of King David series, along with the Wives of the Patriarchs, Daughters of the Promised Land, 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.

 

My Impressions:

Having studied and taught the book of Judges, I was very familiar with the story of Deborah before reading Jill Eileen Smith’s novel, The Prophetess. But what an eye and mind opener this novel is! Following closely the Biblical narrative, it brings the story of Israel’s oppression and triumph to life. Jill did a great job of making me think about the characters as real people. She also focused on the God of Israel — both just and merciful as He deals with his disobedient children. A story from ancient days, Jill makes her readers think about its relevance in today’s culture. This suspenseful book gets a highly recommended read from me!

The days of Deborah are filled with fear as the people of Israel hide from the terror that is Sisera. As the Canannite king’s man, Sisera kills, kidnaps and tortures God’s people. The people cry out to God, but He remains silent as some still seek other gods. Deborah is the judge and prophetess who calls the people to repentance and leads them in victory against their oppressors.

As I stated above, the Biblical characters of Deborah, Barak, Lappidoth and Jael became very real to me. Without adding to the meaning of scripture, Jill fleshes them out by exploring the what-ifs of their lives. She also adds a few fictional characters who compliment the story without jeopardizing God’s truth. I love Biblical fiction for this very thing, because it puts me in the characters’ lives. How would I have reacted to their experiences? Idol worship led to Israel’s troubles, and it is easy to say we would never act that way. But Jill shows how insidious disobedience is and the great chasm it causes between God and His people. In the course of the book, Deborah asks God why it has taken 20 years for him to respond to the people’s prayers. This is what she learns:

They had left Adonai and true worship of Him for the gods of these nations they now battled to overcome. This was not a war of peoples but of the rights of gods to rule. Whose god held the power of life and death? Whose god could destroy both soul and body in Hades? Asherah and Baal? Or Adonai Elohim, the Lord God Almighty?

One of the most interesting what-ifs explored is the relationship between Deborah and Lappidoth. In a world where women had few if any rights, Deborah spoke for God. What kind of man would her husband have been? I think Jill does an excellent job of creating a character mentioned only briefly in scripture.

So if you are looking for a book that will stretch your imagination, fill you with suspense and make you turn to scripture, then check out The Prophetess.

Highly recommended.

Audience: older teens to adults.

Great for book clubs.

To purchase this book, click HERE

(Thanks to the author for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)