Tag Archives: Jill Eileen Smith

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.)

 

Book Spotlight: The Prophetess

1 Feb

I am thrilled to be spotlighting Jill Eileen Smith‘s latest Biblical novel, The Prophetess. I cannot wait to read and review it. In the meantime, take a look at the book and what other’s are saying about it. (Thanks to Jill for a copy of this book. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

BPG_The-Prophetess-293x451Outspoken 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?

With her trademark impeccable research and her imaginative storytelling, Jill Eileen Smith brings to life the story of Israel’s most powerful woman in a novel that is both intriguing and inspiring.

Purchase

 

 

What people are saying:

Booklist_StarReview_badge-2“This thrilling retelling of how Deborah’s faith and vision lead to victory is skillfully intertwined with the edge-of-your-seat story…. Readers, even those deeply familiar with the biblical tales of Deborah and Jael, will be swept away by the danger and suspense. Smith excels at writing fiction that brings women in from the margins of biblical history and allows their achievements to shine.”

—Booklist

“Deborah, Old Testament judge and prophet, is the focus of the second book in prolific author Smith’s (The Crimson Cord) Daughters of the Promised Land series….This is both a well-drawn love story as well as the wistful imaginings of early Israel.”

—Publisher’s Weekly

“Deborah is portrayed as a strong leader and a sensitive, protective, mother, making this powerful biblical figure accessible to readers. Her struggle to overcome her guilt over her failure to appreciate her husband, as well as her inability to control the actions of others, mirrors problems readers may face. She embodies a powerful woman with human flaws.” Kerry Sutherland

—RT Book Reviews

“At last, the mystical figure of Deborah comes to life! With obvious research and attention to detail, Jill Eileen Smith gives vivid voice to the women at the center of Israel’s victory over Canaan. A tale of strength and faith that bears relevance even today. Not to be missed!”

—Tosca Lee, author of The Legend of Sheba and multiple New York Times bestsellers

Book Review: The Crimson Cord

9 Feb

By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.

Hebrews 11:31

720342Wife to a gambler who took one too many risks, Rahab finds herself sold as a slave to cover her husband’s debt. Forced into prostitution by Dabir, counselor to the Syrian king, Rahab despairs of ever regaining her freedom and her self-respect. But when Israelite spies enter Jericho and come to lodge at her house, Rahab sees a glimmer of hope and the opportunity of a lifetime. In one risky moment, she takes a leap of faith, puts her trust in a God she does not know, and vows to protect the spies from the authorities. When the armies of Israel arrive weeks later, Rahab hopes they will keep their promise, but she has no idea what kind of challenges await her outside Jericho’s walls–or if she will ever know the meaning of love.

Under Jill Eileen Smith’s talented hand, the familiar story of Rahab bursts forth in high definition. Readers will find themselves fully immersed in a world of dark and dusty streets, clandestine meetings, and daring escapes as a mysterious biblical figure claims her full humanity–and a permanent place in readers’ hearts.

 

2799806Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling author of Michal, Abigail, and Bathsheba, all part of the Wives of King David series. Her research into the lives of David’s wives has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times. Her collection of Bible study helps and books on culture and history, along with an abundance of novels fills at least one shelf or bookcase in nearly every room in the house.

She loves movies, travel, dark chocolate, black tea, stories with great characters and plots twists, and nights when she doesn’t have to cook! She and her husband Randy have been married for 34 years and together they have three grown sons. During 12 years of homeschooling, Jill studied the craft of writing with her eye on a future career. She has visited most of the continental United States (with the exception of the East Coast) along with Hawaii, Canada, and Israel. She has taught women’s Bible studies and piano, and enjoys encouraging young writers. She lives with her family in southeast Michigan.

 

My Impressions:

Biblical fiction done well moves the reader to discover more, to dig deeper, into scripture. The Crimson Cord by Jill Eileen Smith does that and more. Smith’s re-imagining of the story of Rahab brings to life the clashing cultures of Canann and God’s people as they enter the land to claim it, as well as a credible account of Rahab’s life before and after the walls fell in Jericho. Both the account in Joshua and references to Rahab in the New Testament served as the inspiration for this excellent  story. If you are a fan of Biblical fiction, this one is a must read.

The Crimson Cord begins with a young Rahab, abused and used by her husband and forced into prostitution. Unable to prevent the unfolding circumstances, Rahab plays the game that keeps her alive and her family safe. But Rahab never fully accepts her lot in life and hopes for a future that includes freedom from men and their control. When she hears of a God who leads a large company of people, her spirit responds. But can a God who demands strict obedience show mercy to a woman like her?

Smith’s novel has many strengths. Characters are real and relatable, a true test of great writing. Modern readers will have no problem putting themselves in the place of Rahab, the two spies and the many minor characters that support the narrative. The place and time of Jericho are also brought to life. Smith’s painstaking research is evident in the detail given to home life, religious practices and the role of women in the cultures of both the people of Canaan and the children of Israel. The contrast of life among these two peoples, sets the stage for the important spiritual truths Smith explores. Themes of justice and mercy are woven throughout the novel. Rahab struggles with her sin in the face of the obvious mercy God has shown her. Her statement of faith — There was no reason to doubt a God who could part the Red Sea (page 169) — prompts the reader to examine what he/she really believe about God.

The Crimson Cord does not sugar coat Rahab’s life (abuse and brutality), nor does it seek to soften the demands God put on his people (circumcision and blood sacrifice). It does what the Scripture it portrays does — points the reader to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

So, run don’t walk to your local book store or online retailer to get The Crimson Cord! The first book in a new series, Daughter of The Promised Land, I look forward to many more by Jill Eileen Smith.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

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

To purchase this book, click HERE.