The Heart of a King by Jill Eileen Smith

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The Heart of a King, by Jill Eileen Smith, is a fictional retelling of King Solomon and four of his wives. Prior to becoming king, Solomon marries his childhood friend, who is also a follower of God. Knowing he will some day be king, they know he will have many wives and concubines. But she, Naamah, wants him for herself. Following the death of his father, King David, Solomon married the wife of King David that cared for him during his illness. Later to take control back of a fallen city, Solomon marries the daughter of a Egyptian pharaoh, who continues to worship her statues. And when Solomon finds out the Queen of Sheba is in need of an heir, he marries her for a short time to provide an heir for her country.

This is an easy book to read set in ancient Israel during the reign of Kind David and King Solomon. While being based on Biblical characters, the story is very much fictional containing characters and situations not present in the Bible. The story is written to show the lives of four of Solomon’s wives, yet it does show a lot of Solomon, the life he lived, the expectations he lived with and person that he was. He dearly loved God, his parents and his country. The story is very very descriptive, allowing the reader to visualize the area and happenings. I recommend this story for those who enjoy reading fictional stories based on Bible characters.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Reads Blog Tour program. This is my honest review.

417 pages

ISBN: 9780800722401

To learn more about the author and other books she has written go to: https://www.jilleileensmith.com/

Some places to buy this book are:

https://www.amazon.com/Heart-King-Loves-Solomon/dp/080072240X/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=9780800722401&qid=1557794103&s=gateway&sr=8-1

https://www.christianbook.com/the-heart-of-king-loves-solomon/jill-smith/9780800722401/pd/0722401

https://bakerbookhouse.com/products/the-heart-of-a-king-the-loves-of-solomon-9780800722401

Of Fire and Lions by Mesu Andrews

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Of Fire and Lions by Mesu Andrews is an outstanding book that brings to life the story of Daniel in the Bible. The takes us from 605 BC to about 539 BC. Using Biblical facts, the author writes a fictional retelling of Daniel’s life after the Babylonians took over Jerusalem to the returning of the exiles to Jerusalem. The main character in this story is Daniel’s wife Abagail/Belili.

I just loved this story from Abigail being the maid for Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego all the way to the end. The love story between Abigail and Daniel is very touching. As children they fell in love but became separated. They married others and eventually found each other and made a life together. They had a family, all the while Daniel served the kings.

This book is so well written, it is easy to forget it is fiction based on true events. There are many things that really touched me about this book. We see how Daniel put God first in his life even when he knew it could cost him his life. We see how God protected Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the furnace and Daniel the night he spent with the lions. We see how the daughters turned against Abigail when she left them to help Daniel protect King Nebuchadnezzar and his wife. We can imagine the pain Abigail must have felt to not be there for her daughters during the important times in their lives.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading fiction based in Biblical times. The author has done much research to write this story. The story is told by both Abigail’s and Daniel. At the beginning of the book the author lists the characters by each of their different names they are called during their lives to make it easy to understand.

I received an uncorrected copy of this book through the Of Fire and Lions Launch Team from the publisher. This is my honest review.

400 pages

ISBN: 9780735291867

To learn more about the author and books she has written go to: https://mesuandrews.com/

Some places to purchase this book are:

https://www.christianbook.com/of-fire-and-lions/mesu-andrews/9780735291867/pd/291867

https://www.amazon.com/Fire-Lions-Novel-Mesu-Andrews/dp/0735291861

Dead Sea Rising by Jerry B. Jenkins

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Dead Sea Rising by Jerry B. Jenkins is the first book in a great new series, Dead Sea Chronicles. This story is so full of action and suspense. It grabbed me from page one. This book actually contains two stories in one. The modern day story is that of the Berman family. Nicole is an archeologist that has followed her father on digs from a young age. Now she is applying for permits to be allowed to dig in the Middle East. Being a Messianic Jew is making this process difficult for Nicole. While waiting for the permits, her mother is attacked in her home and Nicole and her father are suspects.

The second story is taken from the Old Testament. It focus on the birth of Abram and the steps Terah took to save his life.

The book is written in short chapter style, alternating between modern day and Old Testament time. The story is so well written it is easy to imagine being in both places and watching the characters go through their struggles. The characters are all well developed, strong characters. I appreciate the research the author has done to keep this book true to life. I also enjoyed the humor with the detectives.

This is a must read book for anyone who likes suspenseful stories or stories based on Old Testament times. I received a copy of this book as part of the launch team. This is my honest review.

Series: Dead Sea Chronicles (book 1)

320 pages

ISBN: 9781617950094

My rating 5 stars

Jerry B Jenkins has written over 195 books, including the Left Behind series, and is past vice president for Publishing for Moody Bible Institute. You can read more about the author at https://jerryjenkins.com/biography/

This book is coming out tomorrow! A couple places you can order this book are:

https://www.christianbook.com/dead-sea-rising-jerry-jenkins/9781617950094/pd/950094

https://www.amazon.com/Dead-Sea-Rising-Novel-Chronicles/dp/1617950092/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1542058762&sr=1-1&keywords=dead+sea+rising+jenkins

Thief of Corinth by Tessa Afshar

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Thief of Corinth, by Tessa Afshar, takes place in Athens and Corinth during the first century. This story is of a 16 year old girl, Ariadne, who is forced to leave her home with her mother and grandfather in Athens and flee to her father’s home in Corinth. While there she finds out the truth behind her parent’s divorce and the birth of her “brother” Theo. Her father is the famous Honorable Thief, who stole from corrupt wealthy people.

Her brother, Dionysius, continues living with their mother and grandfather and visits her in Corinth. When he finds out the truth of his father, he turns away from his father and Ariadne for some time. When he finally does visit them again, he brings along Paul, the apostle. Paul visits them frequently and helps them to change their lives.

I just love this book! Written in typical Tessa Afshar fashion, this book is different than her other books in that it’s main character is a fictional character and not someone from the bible. She does bring in people from the bible that help make the story more enjoyable. The thing that stands out the most to me in this story is during one of Paul’s visits he talks to them about God’s love. Using 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Paul challenges them to love as the bible tells us to, as God loves us.

I really enjoyed this book. It has a lot of suspense and mystery as well a friendships and romance through out the story. I feel this book will be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys reading fictional stories based during bible times.

I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Publishing through Tyndale Blog Network. This is my honest review.

359 pages

ISBN: 9781496428660

My rating: 4.8 stars

To learn more about the author and her other books go to: https://tessaafshar.com/books/

While this book will not be available until August 7th it can be ordered from:
https://www.tyndale.com/p/thief-of-corinth/9781496428660

https://www.amazon.com/Thief-Corinth-Tessa-Afshar/dp/1496428668

https://www.christianbook.com/thief-of-corinth-tessa-afshar/9781496428660/pd/428666

 

A Passionate Hope: Hannah’s Story by Jill Eileen Smith

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A Passionate Hope – Hannah’s Story, written by Jill Eileen Smith, is book 4 in the Daughters of the Promised Land series. While this is a series, the novels are stand alone books as well. The author has an great job of writing this story based on 1 Samuel 1 in the Bible.

Hannah and Elkanah have been married several years and have not been able to have children. He is pressured by his family to take another wife to have children. He loves Hannah and only Hannah. He eventually marries Peninnah and they have many children. Peninnah’s mother lives with her and convinced her to taunt Hannah so Peninnah can have Elkanah. But Hannah is a loving a supportive person. She prays for a child, going so far as to say if she can have a son, she will give him back to the Lord’s work. Peninnah has always hoped Elkanah would love her the way he loves Hannah.

I really enjoy reading this series. I enjoy how the author has taken a small portion of the bible and written a fantastic story of what it may have been like for the people of the time. Even in a time of great troubles, Hannah and Elkanah love each other very deeply. The also have great love for God and respect for His tabernacle despite the going ons of the Priests.

This book would be enjoyed by anyone who likes to read Biblical Fiction. I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing, this is my honest review.

368 pages

ISBN: 9780800720377

To learn more about the author visit: www.jilleileensmith.com

Some places to purchase this book are:

https://www.christianbook.com/a-passionate-hope-hannahs-story/jill-smith/9780800720377/pd/72037X?event=

http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/a-passionate-hope/328800

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0741F31XC/ref=series_dp_rw_ca_4

The Soldier Who Killed a King by David Kitz

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The Soldier Who Killed a King, by David Kitz, gives the reader a look into what it may have been like for the soldier who crucified Jesus. This is such a powerful story. The author has used Bible Scripture to bring us this story.

This story is told to us by Marcus, a Roman centurion who was responsible for keeping order on the streets during the Passion week. Marcus witnessed the people waving palm branches when Jesus entered the city and saw how the crowd changed as the week progressed.

Marcus was looking forward to charging Barabbas for being the ring leader behind all the theft, vandalism and murder of soldiers. He typically did not enjoy taking part in crucifixions, but Barabbas was different. As the day moves on, Barabbas is released and Jesus is put on the cross to die. The reader is able to see how this affected Marcus for being forced to take part in Jesus’ death. We see how the people responded to Jesus’ death and resurrection.

This is a great story to read, to prepare for the Easter season. It reminds the reader that Jesus was sent to earth to die for our sins so that we may have eternal life. This story is so well written is feels like I was there seeing what was happening. It was easy to forget this is one person’s interpretation of what the Bible tells us. I would recommend this story to everyone to read. I received a copy of this book from the author through Book Club Network. This is my honest review.

273 pages

ISBN: 9780825444852

Publisher:Kregel Publications

You can read part of the story at:http://www.kregel.com/books/pdfs/excerpts/9780825444852.pdf

David Kitz is a Bible dramatist and outreach minister with the Foursquare Church. His previous works include Psalms Alive! Connecting Heaven and Earth and Little Froggy Explores the BIG World, which won the Word Guild Children’s Picture Book Award

Some places this book can be purchased are:

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/kitz-david/the-soldier-who-killed-a-king/7047748.html

https://www.amazon.com/Soldier-Who-Killed-King-Retelling/dp/0825444853

https://www.christianbook.com/soldier-killed-king-true-retelling-passion/david-kitz/9780825444852/pd/44485X

Isaiah’s Daughter: A Novel of Prophets and Kings by Mesu Andrews

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Isaiah’s Daughter, Written by Mesu Andrews is a fictional story based on the prophet Isaiah, his family and especially his adoptive daughter, Ishma. Using Bible verses, the author tells us the story of Ishma and her friend Yaira, who were taken captive by Israel-soldiers who attacked Bethlehem. They travel to Jerusalem and are taken into Isaiah’s family. Following the attacks that killed her family, Ishma no longer speaks.

King Ahaz, of Jerusalem, declared the first born sons would be sacrificed. He sacrificed his oldest son. From that day on his next oldest son, Hezekiah, showed no response, staring blankly. Isaiah’s wife invited the Queen and her son to visit. During this visit, Ishma talked with Hezekiah and he responded to her. This was the beginning of their friendship.

This is a very good book. The story, told to us by Ishma, tells us the struggles the people of that time had. The wars that took place as well as the idol worshiping and religious beliefs. I especially like how the author builds her story around Bible verses to help us understand what it could have been like. This story is so well written it was easy to visualize Ishma cooing to her doves as well as the dangers the people were in with the threats from Assyria.

While reading this book, I wondered how we would respond to having prophets today. Would we take what they have to say seriously? If we did, would we be steadfast and patient while we wait for the fulfillment of the prophesy?

I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books. I have written an honest review.

400 pages

ISBN: 9780735290259

Publisher: Waterbrook

To learn more about the author and books she has written go to: http://mesuandrews.com/

Some places this book can be pre-ordered are:

http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/books/550573/isaiahs-daughter-by-mesu-andrews/

https://www.amazon.com/Isaiahs-Daughter-Novel-Prophets-Kings/dp/0735290253

https://www.christianbook.com/isaiahs-daughter-mesu-andrews/9780735290259/pd/290259

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/isaiahs-daughter-mesu-andrews/1125454350?ean=9780735290259#/

Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar

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Bread of Angels is a Biblical fiction story written by Tessa Afshar. Using  Acts 16, the author writes this awesome story of Lydia. The author has done an exceptional job of retelling this story to bring it to life for the reader. This story is so well written that it is hard to remember that it is fiction and not the real story. The author’s descriptions are so good that I could see the most beautiful purple fabric possible.

Lydia is the only child of a well know dye master that has a secret formula to make purple. Lydia helps her father in the business that is on land that her family has owned for generations. One day her father is injured and rescued by an upper class young man, Jason. Jason starts visiting Lydia and eventually Jason’s mother becomes a partner with Lydia’s father. Jason’s mother has set up Lydia’s father and brings false accusations against him. The courts rule against him and he loses their home and business. He also is beaten and eventually dies from the beating.

Lydia takes some of the business items with her when she leaves their home. While staying with a friend of her father’s Lydia meets Rebekah. Rebekah has been turned away from her home. Together Lydia and Rebekah travel to Philippi. With the help of General Varus’ mother, Lydia starts a new business making purple fabric with her father’s secret formula. The business grows and becomes so successful that another dye master starts causing serious problems for her.

Lydia has kept parts of her past a secret and struggles with being fearful. After hearing apostle Paul give a message, she give her life over to God. I really appreciated this part of the story. Especially when she told her employees that she did not expect them to make the conversion just because she did. That it was to be their very own personal decision.

Anyone who enjoys reading Biblical fiction will love this story. The author brings the story of Lydia to life.

I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Blog Network. I have chosen to write this honest review.

416 pages

ISBN: 9781496406477

Publisher: Tyndale House Publishing

To learn more about the author and books she has written go to: https://tessaafshar.com/

Some places to buy this book are:

https://www.tyndale.com/p/bread-of-angels/9781496406477

https://www.amazon.com/Bread-Angels-Tessa-Afshar/dp/1496406478

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/afshar-tessa/bread-of-angels-softcover-jun/7004534.html

https://www.christianbook.com/bread-of-angels-tessa-afshar/9781496406477/pd/406473

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bread-of-angels-tessa-afshar/1125139747?ean=9781496406477

Joseph: The Other Father by Katheryn Maddox Haddad

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Joseph: The Other Father, written by Katheryn Maddox Haddad, is book 5 in the Intrepid Men of God series. This is a fictional story of Joseph, Mary and Jesus and their family and friends. The story starts with Joseph as a young single man who is a woodworker. Trouble seems to follow Joseph where ever he goes. He meets Mary at Zachariah’s and eventually marries her and has a family.

The story mainly focuses on the work Joseph does and how he is as a father to Jesus. After Jesus is born, Joseph is forced to move around to keep Jesus safe. Jesus often finds himself in dangerous situations and Joseph prays to God to keep their son safe. As Jesus gets older, Joseph tries to let Jesus know what his life is going to be like.

This is an awesome story in the sense that it makes me think about what it must have been like for Joseph to know he was raising God’s son and not knowing what was going to happen. And how did Jesus know when and how he would fulfill his Father God’s plan for his life.

The author has taken parts of the Bible and used it as the basis for this story. She has done much research of the political and military situations of the time. At times it was hard to remember that this was a fictional story. The Bible does not tell us much about Joseph and his life, using Matthew 5: 55, the author builds this wonderful story. Referring to this verse, she writes that Joseph is alive during Jesus’s ministry.

I love this book and feel it is a book that is a must read for anyone that enjoys biblical fiction. If I must find one thing I wished differently about he book, it would be the use of proper punctuation.

I received a copy of this book from the author through Book Club Network. I have freely chosen to write this honest review.

Series: Intrepid Men of God

460 pages

ISBN: 9781536836714

Publisher: Northern Lights Publishing House

To learn more about he author go to: http://inspirationsbykatheryn.com

Some places to buy this book are:

https://www.amazon.com/Joseph-Other-Father-Intrepid-Men/dp/1536836710

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/joseph-katheryn-maddox-haddad/1124387297?ean=9781536836714

In the Field of Grace by Tessa Afshar

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Without wealth or family, the widow Ruth left her people and followed Naomi, her beloved Hebrew mother-in-law, to rebuild Naomi’s home in Israel. Provisions gone and starvation at the door, Ruth used all that she has left-a strong back and a willing heart-to gather grain in a field, abandoned after the harvest.

Ruth is the youngest daughter in her family and is not favored like her sisters. One day while shopping for her mother, Naomi approaches her and they become friends. Naomi is a widow with 2 grown sons. She invited Ruth over and introduces her to her sons. Mahlon and Ruth get married and after several years they have not had children. Mahlon and his brother get sick and pass away. Naomi is left alone with her 2 daughter-in-laws and decides she wants to go home. She tries to convince her daughter-in-laws to return to their families, but Ruth refuses. She travels with Naomi to Israel. When they get to Israel they have no money and very little food. Ruth goes to glean from the fields that are being harvested. She ends up in Boaz’s field. Boaz is a relative of Naomi’s husband and takes favor upon Ruth. He feeds her while she is working and tells his workers to leaves extra grain for her to pick up.

When the harvest season is coming to an end, Naomi convinces Ruth to dress up and go to where Boaz is. When he goes to sleep Ruth is to sleep at his feet. If Boaz responds as Naomi suspects, Ruth and Boaz will marry. If they marry, their first child will be considered Mahlon’s child, Naomi’s grandchild.

In the Field of Grace written by Tessa Afshar is a Biblical Historical Fiction based on the Bible accounting of Ruth and Naomi. When reading the story in the Bible I do not think of the conditions of the time and this story brings that to life. It is written so well, it feels like you are there in the field with Ruth. The writing is so realistic it is easy to feel the heat they must have worked in and the pain of the long days work. It is very easy to see how the Israelite could accept Ruth, with her loving and caring personality. It is fun to read a story that tells us how people like Naomi and Ruth were able to care for themselves. The little things that a farmer could do, that would benefit those in need so much. I like that the author has given us some incite into Ruth and Boaz’s past as well as a look into their decedents. If you like Biblical Fiction, you will love this story.

I received a copy of this book from Moody Publishing and I have written an honest review.

304 pages

ISBN-13: 978-0802410979

Publisher: River North

This book may be purchased at:

https://www.amazon.com/Field-Grace-Tessa-Afshar/dp/0802410979

https://www.christianbook.com/in-the-field-of-grace/tessa-afshar/9780802410979/pd/410979

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/afshar-tessa/in-the-field-of-grace/6143422.html

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/in-the-field-of-grace-tessa-afshar/1118470605?ean=9780802410979