Tag Archives: Mesu Andrews

If You Liked Egypt’s Sister . . .

31 Oct

My book club found Egypt’s Sister by Angela Hunt an interesting read. We liked the cultural and historical details, as well as the spiritual lessons of this novel set during the time between the Testaments. If you liked it too, here are a few recommendations. I hope you find a book to love!

 

More about The Jewish People in Egypt

Miriam by Mesu Andrews

The Hebrews call me prophetess, the Egyptians a seer.
But I am neither. I am simply a watcher of Israel and the messenger of El Shaddai.
When He speaks to me in dreams, I interpret. When He whispers a melody, I sing.

At eighty-six, Miriam had devoted her entire life to loving El Shaddai and serving His people as both midwife and messenger. Yet when her brother Moses returns to Egypt from exile, he brings a disruptive message. God has a new name – Yahweh – and has declared a radical deliverance for the Israelites.
 
 Miriam and her beloved family face an impossible choice: cling to familiar bondage or embrace uncharted freedom at an unimaginable cost. Even if the Hebrews survive the plagues set to turn the Nile to blood and unleash a maelstrom of frogs and locusts, can they weather the resulting fury of the Pharaoh?
 
Enter an exotic land where a cruel Pharaoh reigns, pagan priests wield black arts, and the Israelites cry out to a God they only think they know.

More about Cleopatra

The Queen’s Handmaid by Tracy Higley

A jealous Egyptian queen. A lascivious Galilean governor. A beautiful servant girl.
Theirs is a story of prophecy, self-discovery, and revelation.

The year is 39 BC. All of Alexandria awaits the arrival of Herod, the Galilean governor with his eye on the Judean kingship. The handmaid of Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, receives a troubling visit from her aging mentor.

An orphan since birth, Lydia lives in the palace at the demand of Cleopatra and her royal child, the son of Julius Caesar. But Lydia has a growing problem on her hands: her beauty is becoming a liability to the aging queen, and the visiting Herod’s undisguised interest only makes matters worse.

When Lydia’s mentor is murdered, the handmaid inherits a daunting task. An ancient set of sealed scrolls, the secret writings of the prophet Daniel, must be returned to Jerusalem–before those who killed her mentor destroy the scrolls as well. The future of the Israelites
depends on it. So Lydia leaves the palace to serve as lady’s maid to Herod’s wife in the Holy City.

As Lydia is absorbed into the machinations of Herod’s household, her mission– and her people’s hope of a Messianic King–are endangered at every turn. Can Lydia avoid the adulterous intentions of Herod? Can she deliver the scrolls to the mysterious man on the steps of the Temple? Will the true King of Israel ever rise?

Remaining Faithful

A Passionate Hope by Jill Eileen Smith

Hannah and her husband, Elkanah, share a deep and abiding love, for each other, for their God, and for his tabernacle at Shiloh. Greatly disturbed by the corruption of the priests, they long for restoration and pray for a deliverer. But nothing changes as the years pass. Years that also reveal Hannah to be barren.

Pressured by his family to take another wife, Elkanah marries Peninnah, who quickly begins to bear children. Disgraced and taunted by her husband’s new wife, Hannah turns again to prayers that seem doomed to go unanswered. Do her devotion and kindness in the face of Peninnah’s cruelty count for nothing? Why does God remain silent and indifferent to her pleas?

Travel back to the dusty streets of Shiloh with an expert guide as Jill Eileen Smith brings to life a beloved story of hope, patience, and deliverance that shows that even the most broken of relationships can be restored.

 

 

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Single Word Titles

3 Mar

Book titles are very important in attracting a potential reader’s interest. Catchy, funny, and punny titles often catch my eye. But there is something about those one word titles — succinct, decisive, powerful. My list consists of the last 10 books I read with one word titles (just one word; no defining articles). They cover a variety of genres — mystery, historical, suspense, speculative, romance — something for everyone!

For more Top 10 Tuesday fun, make sure to head over to That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

 

Top 10 One Word Titles

 

Convergence by Ginny Yttrup (suspense)

Keturah by Lisa T. Bergren (historical romance)

Miriam by Mesu Andrews (Biblical)

Prophet by R J Larson (fantasy)

Reign by Ginger Garrett (Biblical)

Sabotaged by Dani Pettrey (romantic suspense)

Silenced by Dani Pettrey (romantic suspense)

Stratagem by Robin Caroll (suspense)

Synapse by Steven James (speculative)

Undercut by Heather Day Gilbert (mystery)

First Line Friday — Love in A Broken Vessel

31 Jan

Welcome to First Line Friday! This year I am sharing books that have been on my shelves for a long time. Today I am featuring Love in A Broken Vessel by Mesu Andrews. The cover is gorgeous and the story of love, betrayal, and redemption is soul-satisfying. I really need to read this book!

Have you read Love in A Broken Vessel?

Why should I move it to the top of the TBR pile?

For more great first lines, head over to Hoarding Books.

 

Hosea has been charged by God with a difficult task —  marry a prostitute in order to show God’s people the nature and depth of his love for Israel. When Hosea goes to Israel to proclaim God’s message, the prostitute God tells him to marry turns out to be his childhood friend Gomer. He finds her broken and abused, unwilling to trust Hosea or his God. But when marrying Hosea becomes her only choice, Gomer does what she’s good at — she survives. Can Hosea’s love for God and God’s love for Israel heal Gomer’s broken spirit?

With her potent combination of in-depth research and masterful storytelling, Mesu Andrews brings to life a complex and fascinating biblical story of the power of love and forgiveness in the face of utter betrayal.

Mesu Andrews and her husband Roy have raised two daughters and now enjoy a tribe of grandkids. Mesu’s love for God’s Word has never waned. She now writes biblical novels, rich with spiritual insight learned through fascinating discoveries in deep historical research.

Mesu writes in their log cabin tucked away in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains. Her best friend is an American Staffordshire Terrier named Zeke, who keeps her company on long writing days. Zeke also enjoys watching movies, long walks in the woods, and sitting by the fireplace on rainy days.

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Biblical Fiction Covers

28 Jan

I love book covers. The diversity today in cover art is amazing with publishers scoring big time with representing on the front of the book what a reader will find inside. When I saw this week’s Top 10 Tuesday theme — Cover Freebie — I thought it would be fun to showcase a few of my recent Biblical fiction reads. The covers vary with faces of the main character, images of the events described, and covers with the character and the her world. Perhaps the most striking is Tracy Groot’s book Madman with a illustration of the interior mind of the main character.

What do you want in a Biblical fiction cover?

 

For more fun covers, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

Top 10 Biblical Fiction Covers

 

Faces

The Heart of The King by Jill Eileen Smith

A Passionate Hope by Jill Eileen Smith

Rebekah by Jill Eileen Smith

Reign by Ginger Garrett

Events

Miriam by Mesu Andrews

Of Fire And Lions by Mesu Andrews

Character And Her World

Daughter of Rome by Tessa Afshar

Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar

Shelter of The Most High by Connilyn Cossette

Inner Life of Character

Madman by Tracy Groot

 

Book Review: By The Waters of Babylon

19 Nov

When Babylon destroys Jerusalem, as Yahweh warned through his prophets, the captives’ bitterness and grief pours out in the Captives’ Psalm:

“[By the rivers of Babylon] we sat as exiles, mourning our captivity, and wept with great love for Zion. Our music and mirth were no longer heard, only sadness. We hung up our harps on the willow trees.” (Psalm 137:1-2, The Passion Translation)

A young Israelite woman is among them, captured by a mercenary Scythian prince. Driven toward Babylon by both hatred and hope, she endures captivity to reunite with her husband.

But will he be there when she reaches Babylon? Will the prince risk the Scythian throne — and his life — to believe in the Hebrew God? Can they both find what they seek when they meet the prophet Ezekial. . . by the rivers of Babylon?

Mesu Andrews is the Christy Award winning author of Isaiah’s Daughter and has received numerous accolades for her other novels including Love Amid the Ashes, The Pharaoh’s Daughter, and Miriam. Her deep understanding of and love for God’s Word brings the biblical world alive for readers. Many of her faithful readers are members of her street team—Mesu’s Biblical Fiction Fans (BFFs)—and offer their time and service to promote God’s word through story. Andrews lives in North Carolina with her husband Roy and enjoys spending time with her growing tribe of grandchildren. For more information, visit www.mesuandrews.com.

 

My Impressions:

When I heard that Mesu Andrews, a novelist that always delivers well-researched Biblical fiction, had written a novel based on Psalm 137 and there was an accompanying Bible study, I knew that I had to choose it for my Faith And Fiction Bible Study/Book Club. By The Waters of Babylon depicts the sorrow-filled days of the siege of Jerusalem, its ultimate fall, and the captives painful march to exile in Babylon as depicted in the books of Jeremiah and Daniel, among others. This short novel brings the heartbreak of a people who have lost not only their city and identity, but they believe, also their God. The story is told in two first person accounts — a young Jewish widow and a mercenary Scythian captain. I admit you have to suspend some disbelief as the narrative goes along. I think the attitudes are a bit modern for the time period in which the book is set. But I loved the fierce faith example of one who should have been sunk in despair. Biblical characters are included in the story, giving the book authenticity. An author’s afterword tells just what is fact and what is fiction. But my favorite part of the book is the accompanying Bible study. Reading God’s word along with the fictional account brought a new understanding of God’s anger, His justice, and His mercy.

My Bible study used By The Waters of Babylon for a one night discussion of scripture and the novel. Everyone enjoyed the book, and the discussion we had was very meaningful.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the author. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

2019 Christy Award Finalists

19 Sep

Here are the finalists for the 2019 Christy Awards. A top honor in Christian fiction, you can be sure of an excellent read when choosing one of these books. Congrats to all the talented authors!

 

Contemporary Romance

Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe by Carla Laureano

Falling for You by Becky Wade

Wait for Me by Susan May Warren

 

First Novel

The Baggage Handler by David Rawlings

Engraved on The Heart by Tara Johnson

The Plum Blooms in Winter by Linda Thompson

 

General Fiction

No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert

Send Down The Rain by Charles Martin

We Hope for Better Things by Erin Bartels

 

 

Historical

A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano

Of Fire And Lions by Mesu Andrews

The Seamstress by Allison Pitman

Shelter of The Most High by Connilyn Cossette

 

Historical Romance

A Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan

With This Pledge by Tamera Alexander

 

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Called to Protect by Lynette Eason

Every Wicked Man by Steven James

Mind Games by Nancy Mehl

 

 

Short Form

A Shot at Love by Sarah Loudin Thomas

Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock

Falling for Grace by Janet Ferguson

Legacy of Love by Kristi Ann Hunter

 

Visionary

Mark of The Raven by Morgan L. Busse

Shivering World by Kathy Tyers

The Story Peddler by Lindsay A. Franklin

The Wounded Shadow by Patrick W. Carr

 

Young Adult

The Crescent Stone by Matt Mikalatos

Fawkes by Nadine Brandes

The Warrior Maiden by Melanie Dickerson

 

 

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 — Of Fire And Lions

19 Apr

On this Good Friday I am sharing the first line of Mesu Andrews’ latest Biblical novel, Of Fire And Lions. I am looking forward to reading this imaginative look at the life of Daniel. It may be a departure from what you’ve always heard about Daniel, but Andrews always provides a thoughtful perspective on the life and times of God’s people. Have you read this book yet? I’d love to know what you thought.

 

In the meantime, leave a comment with your first line and then head over to Hoarding Books for more fabulous first lines!

 

 

Survival. A Hebrew girl first tasted it when she escaped death nearly seventy years ago as the Babylonians ransacked Jerusalem and took their finest as captives. She thought she’d perfected in the many years amongst the Magoi and the idol worshippers, pretending with all the others in King Nebuchadnezzar’s court. Now, as Daniel’s wife and a septuagenarian matriarch, Belili thinks she’s safe and she can live out her days in Babylon without fear — until the night Daniel is escorted to Belshazzar’s palace to interpret mysterious handwriting on a wall. The Persian Army invades, and Bellili’s tightly-wound secrets unfurl with the arrival of the conquering army. What will the reign of Darius mean for Daniel, a man who prays to Yahweh alone?

Ultimately, Yahweh’s sovereign hand guides Jerusalem’s captives, and the frightened Hebrew girl is transformed into a confident woman, who realizes her need of the God who conquers both fire and lions.

To purchase, click HERE.

Mesu Andrews grew up with a variegated Christian heritage. With grandparents from the Pilgrim Holiness, Nazarene, and Wesleyan Churches, her dad was a Quaker and mom charismatic. As you might imagine, God was a central figure in most family discussions, but theology was a battlefield and Scripture the weapon. As a rebellious teenager, Mesu rejected God and His Word, but discovered Jesus as a life-transforming Savior through the changed life of an old friend.

The desire for God’s Word exploded with her new commitment, but devotional time was scarce due to the demands of a young wife and mother. So Mesu scoured the only two theology books available–children’s Bible stories and her Bible. The stories she read to her daughters at night pointed her to the Bible passages she studied all day. She became an avid student of God’s Word, searching historical and cultural settings as well as ancient texts and original languages.

Mesu and her husband Roy have raised those two daughters and now enjoy a tribe of grandkids, who get to hear those same Bible stories. Mesu’s love for God’s Word has never waned. She now writes biblical novels, rich with spiritual insight learned through fascinating discoveries in deep historical research.

Mesu writes in their log cabin tucked away in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains. Her best friend is an American Staffordshire Terrier named Zeke, who keeps her company on long writing days. Zeke also enjoys watching movies, long walks in the woods, and sitting by the fireplace on rainy days.

Top 10 Tuesday — I Would Do Anything For Books . . .

9 Apr

With Meatloaf playing in my head, I pondered just what to write about for this week’s Top 10 Tuesday prompt — outrageous or uncharacteristic things I’ve done to get books. I live a rather predictable, unexciting life. I am not a risk taker or someone who embraces challenges (just ask my family). But when it comes to books . . . . 😉  Although I have never camped out all night to buy a new release, I’ve never stalked an author (at least by the current legal definition), and I have never done anything remotely illegal to obtain a book, I have done several things that are waaay out of my comfort zone. Today’s post follows the progression of my book-obsessed ways.

To discover what other bloggers have done to get that book, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

Top Ways to Get That Book!

 

I became a blogger. I’d like to say I was all altruistic in my quest to obtain books for my church library. Like, I sacrificed to write a blog to update our collection. Yeah right! While I did add mightily to the library’s shelves during my brief tenure as library lady, let’s not forget that I got to read all those books first!

I crashed attended book conferences and galas. This one was definitely waay out of my comfort zone. Going to a new place populated with authors? I was a timid, shrinking mess. But the lure of not only meeting, but talking to my favorite authors and then getting their books signed was over-powering.

I judged for the Inspy Awards. Now with this one I really did feel like a fraud. 😉 I got to pretend I knew what I was doing when critiquing the merits of finalists. This was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done (and not just in terms of books). I got to meet fabulous bloggers who have lots more insight and smarts when it comes to books. I judged four years and loved every minute of it. If you have a blog, I highly encourage you to apply to be a part of this fantastic group. (Applications for judging this year are closed, but check back for 2020.)

I finally got to attend the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat. Woo hoo! Because this year’s event was held so close to my son and DIL’s home, I could finally attend this fabulous event. What a wonderful day of books, authors, readers, bloggers, and bookish shenanigans. I scored lots of books too! Although I didn’t win any of the prizes *sniff, sniff*, my goody bag was filled to the brim with goodies! There was also a book store (enough said)!

 

What would you do to get that book?

Book Spotlight — Of Fire And Lions

8 Apr

For Biblical fiction, you just can’t beat Mesu Andrews. Her novels don’t only entertain, but make you dig deeper into the scripture. Reading her books always makes me go back to check the main source, and I always discover nuggets of truth that I hadn’t seen before. I was excited to receive her newest novel, Of Fire And Lions. Set during the Babylonian captivity, this one is told from the perspective of Daniel’s wife. Did Daniel have a wife? That’s just one of the questions Mesu explores. A bonus to this book is a 7-part accompanying Bible study. You really need to check this one out!

Survival. A Hebrew girl first tasted it when she escaped death nearly seventy years ago as the Babylonians ransacked Jerusalem and took their finest as captives. She thought she’d perfected in the many years amongst the Magoi and the idol worshippers, pretending with all the others in King Nebuchadnezzar’s court. Now, as Daniel’s wife and a septuagenarian matriarch, Belili thinks she’s safe and she can live out her days in Babylon without fear — until the night Daniel is escorted to Belshazzar’s palace to interpret mysterious handwriting on a wall. The Persian Army invades, and Bellili’s tightly-wound secrets unfurl with the arrival of the conquering army. What will the reign of Darius mean for Daniel, a man who prays to Yahweh alone?

Ultimately, Yahweh’s sovereign hand guides Jerusalem’s captives, and the frightened Hebrew girl is transformed into a confident woman, who realizes her need of the God who conquers both fire and lions.

To purchase, click HERE.

 

Mesu Andrews grew up with a variegated Christian heritage. With grandparents from the Pilgrim Holiness, Nazarene, and Wesleyan Churches, her dad was a Quaker and mom charismatic. As you might imagine, God was a central figure in most family discussions, but theology was a battlefield and Scripture the weapon. As a rebellious teenager, Mesu rejected God and His Word, but discovered Jesus as a life-transforming Savior through the changed life of an old friend.

The desire for God’s Word exploded with her new commitment, but devotional time was scarce due to the demands of a young wife and mother. So Mesu scoured the only two theology books available–children’s Bible stories and her Bible. The stories she read to her daughters at night pointed her to the Bible passages she studied all day. She became an avid student of God’s Word, searching historical and cultural settings as well as ancient texts and original languages.

Mesu and her husband Roy have raised those two daughters and now enjoy a tribe of grandkids, who get to hear those same Bible stories. Mesu’s love for God’s Word has never waned. She now writes biblical novels, rich with spiritual insight learned through fascinating discoveries in deep historical research.

Mesu writes in their log cabin tucked away in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains. Her best friend is an American Staffordshire Terrier named Zeke, who keeps her company on long writing days. Zeke also enjoys watching movies, long walks in the woods, and sitting by the fireplace on rainy days.