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

Slender Reeds: Jachebed’s Hope by Texie Susan Gregory

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Slender Reeds: Jochebed’s Hope is written by Texie Susan Gregory. This is a Christian historical fiction story of an unknown mother in Biblical times. This is the story of Moses’ mother, Jochebed, as well as her family and friends.

Jochebed is the only child of a widow and master basket weaver. As her mother weaves, she tells stories told down through the years confirming God’s love. Jochebed and her mother find an injured girl, Shiprah, along the water and take her home with them.

Not having a father, the fathers of Jochebed’s friends Lili and Deborah, make arrangements for Jochebed to be married to Amram. Amram is a widower and asks to have a year to mourn his wife and son and then be married to Jochebed and live with her and her mother in the home her father built.

Shiprah eventually goes to live with her mother’s sister and learns how to be a midwife. Being half-Hebrew and half-Egyptian, she is really not trusted. Pharaoh Ramses, the ruler of Egypt, turns to Shiprah, asking her and the other midwives to end the lives of any Hebrew baby boy born. She is unable to follow through on his commands so Ramses starts having his guards go around regularly to kill all the infant boys.

Jochebed has given birth to a baby boy and fears for his life. She decides to make a basket and coat it to make it water proof. She puts her baby boy in the basket along the shoreline of the river with hopes of an Egyptian person finding him and taking him into their home.

This is a very touching story. It starts out slow and rather confusing with all the characters. But after a few chapters, the story becomes hard to put down. The story is based on the book of Exodus and the story of Moses. The author helps to bring the characters to life to help us understand what life must have been for them. I can’t begin to imagine the fear the young mothers lived in. To go through nine months of carrying a baby fearing that it will be a boy and be killed. And then to live in constant fear of the guards. The women were required to make so many mats to turn in or be beaten. The men were off doing work for Ramses, many not being able to come home at all. The women are left all alone to care for their families and tend their homes and fields. The story is very touching when the women put their differences aside and step into to help each other.

I received a copy of the book from Barbour Publishing and I have written an honest review.

320 pages

ISBN-10: 1634099605

ISBN-13: 978-1634099608

Publisher: Shiloh Run Press

Mary: Chosen by God by Diana Wallis Taylor

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Mary Chose by God, written by Diana Wallis Taylor will pull at your heart.

Mary is an ordinary girl from Nazareth. She helps her mother with household chores and at night she lies on the roof and contemplates the stars.

But one evening, a heavenly visitor comes with unexpected news – and her life is changed forever.

This is a historical story based on the Bible accounting’s of Mary, Joseph and Jesus. The story is told from Mary’s point of view. It shows how she puts her trust in God, “Adonai”, to help her through the times when she is hurting. The author takes a lot of liberty with this story by including children that Mary and Joseph may have had, their names and birth order. She does use biblical accounting’s to some point. But she gets Mary’s story through to us very well.

Can you imagine being 14 and being told you are going to have a child, God’s son. You are not married and will be looked down upon by everyone, and you will bring shame to your family. This is exactly what happened to Mary and Joseph. They were honored to be chosen by God to raise His son. They also acknowledged the people and dreams God sent to them and they followed them to keep Jesus safe until they could return home.

As a mother, I hurt for Mary. I cannot begin to understand what she went through. She knew Jesus would be special but she did not understand what that meant. And when her other children turn against Jesus, she is not able to tell them the truth. She must hold this to herself. According to this story, Mary also watches Jesus die on the cross for our sins.

The story also gives us a look into how the people lived at that time. The author includes the different food and spices that were used in cooking. She also describes the traditions and homes of that time. This is a very good book that I would recommend to everyone.

I received a copy of this book from Book Club Network in exchange for an honest review.

320 pages

ISBN-10: 162911748X

ISBN-13: 978-1629117485

Publisher: Whitaker House

The Sons of Isaac by Roberta Kells Dorr

Sons of IsaacThe Sons of Isaac, written by Roberts Kells Dorr, is a continuation of Abraham and Sarah. Isaac is Abraham and Sarah’s only child. The story starts with Abraham wanting the perfect wife for Isaac, while Rebekah is praying to God for a husband. Rebekah has trouble conceiving a child and when she finally does, she has twin boys. Prior to their birth God tells her the youngest will have the birthright, but Isaac does not follow through on that. Isaac favors Esau, the first born, and Rebekah favors Jacob, the younger twin.

After he has lost his eye sight, Isaac tells Esau to make a special meal for him and Esau will receive his blessing. When Rebekah hears this she helps Jacob make a meal and dress as Esau and Jacob gets the blessing instead. When Esau finds out he threatens to kill Jacob, so Rebekah send Jacob to her brother’s home to find a wife.

This is a great historical Biblical Fiction story. It is well researched and very easy to read. The book is very well written and gives a better understanding of what it could have been like at that time. I especially like the messages in the story. God does answer pray but not always when or how we want. The story also shows that when we try to take control of our life, we actually are going against God’s wishes for us. Such as worshiping idols like Rebekah’s family did. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction.

I received a copy of this book from Moody Publishing for an honest review.

Ben-Hur A Tale of the Christ by Carol Wallace

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Ben-Hur A Tale of the Christ has been rewritten by Carol Wallace, great-great granddaughter of Lew Wallace, the original author of Ben-Hur. Carol has brought the story up to date with contemporary language, faster pace, more depth to the women in the story as well as cutting and rearranging parts of the story.

Judah Ben-Hur was leaning over the wall watching Roman soldiers when a loose tile fell, hitting one of them. The soldiers came into the Ben-Hur home, killed one of the servants and took Judah, his mother and sister away. Judah was placed on a Roman ship as a Galley Slave. This was a position that caused the death of many of the slaves. But Judah was strong and survived not only the position but also the incident that took the ship down. As the ship was burning, Judah rescued a Roman tribune Quintus Arrius. Arrius took Judah back to Rome with him, adopted him and allowed Judah to train with the Roman army. At Arrius death, Judah left Rome and returned to his father’s business manager, Simonides. He also was looking for his mother and sister. Judah had to prove who he was as everyone thought the Ben-Hur family was dead.

This is an awesome book! I especially liked the part where the elderly men talked about the dreams they had and the meaning of them. I liked that Simonides and Balthasar were provided a way to be at the crucifixion of Jesus. It was important to Balthasar to be at the death of Jesus as he was at Jesus’s birth. I appreciate the confusion the people had about Jesus being the King of the Jews and not understanding what that meant. I would recommend this story to anyone who like Biblical Historical Fiction.

The author also includes and afterward that tells us about Lew Wallace and the original Ben-Hur. This was very interesting to me.

I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Publishing for an honest review.

432 Pages
ISBN-10: 14964110
ISBN-13: 978-1496411068
Publisher: Tyndale Publishing

The Centurion by Ken Gire

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The Centurion is a historical novel written by Ken Gire inspired by Biblical scripture. It is the story of Lucius, a Centurion at the execution and death of Jesus. Lucius meets Mary of Magdala and they both experience feeling for the other. Mary has had her fill of men, she does not want a man. She only wants Jesus, He was everything to her.

As a soldier in the Roman army, Lucius is sent to the Frontier for training and to fight in wars. He does not want to leave Mary, he questions why Mary was brought into his life for him to be set away. After many years of war, Lucius’s feelings toward war was changing. He no longer thought of himself as a good man with noble ambitions. He questions if a day will ever come when men will war with words instead of swards.

Mary moved to Rome. She was always giving of herself. She has seen a lot of miracles and has memories of Jesus. Her life changed forever the day she met Him in Magdala. She would follow Him anywhere and give up anything.

When Lucius returns to Rome, he finds it has been destoryed by fire. The Christian’s are blamed for the fire and are being tortured and killed. Lucius is also told that Mary has been in Rome and he sets out to try to find her.

This is a good book that is inspired by Biblical scripture but is mostly fictional. The author has done extensive research to write the story true to the time. The author includes her reaserch at the end of the book so the reader can also do research to better understand that time in history and the events that took place. I enjoyed reading about the traditions that were observed at the time of Jesus’s death. And the was the armies fought in battle, having different goups of soldiers that would take turns fighting and going back in line so the soldiers were not all fatigued from fighting at the same time. This is a good book, but there is a fair amount of violence within the story. This is a reminder to us of how violent that time in history was.

I received a copy of the book from Moody Publishing for an honest review.

368 pages

ISBN-10: 080240894X

ISBN-13: 978-0802408945

Publisher: River North

Delilah: Treacherous Beauty by Angela Hunt

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Delilah: Treacherous Beauty is book 3 in A Dangerous Beauty series written by Angela Hunt. At the age of 17 Delilah’s step-father dies. Her step-brother denies the marriage between his father and her mother and sells Delilah’s mother as a slave. He has Delilah locked in his room for his pleasure. Delilah eventually escapes and is take care of by 3 brothers who take her to a widow. Delilah becomes her help mate with tending the fields, weaving and greeting people who come to the well. Delilah gives birth to her step-brother’s son and the widow takes on the role of his mother. When the widow dies Delilah struggles with mothering her “enemy’s” son.

During this time, Samson is to marry and offers a prize to the person who can solve his riddle. His bride to be gets the answer from him and tells Delilah’s step-brother the answer. To fulfill the prize Samson murders people. Samson becomes a hunted man and eventually Delilah’s love. One day Delilah’s step-brother comes to the well and recognizes Delilah. He tells her he will come back to her for information regarding Samson and if she does not give it to him, he will abuse and kill her.

Delilah goes to the authorities and makes a deal with them to turn in Samson for her own safety.

This is a good story that is loosely based on the Bible. I like how the author does extensive research to make the story true to the time. The story is so well written is is hard to remember that most of the story is fictional. The Bible gives us very little information on Delilah. The story tells us the story of Samson from the angel visiting his mother before his birth, to his death. This part of the story is very powerful. God give Samson the strength to accomplish what God wants him too. Samson has very strong faith and abilty to forgive, feeling what he goes through is part of God’s plan for him.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishing for an honest review.

Series: A Dangerous Beauty Novel (Book 3)

352 pages

ISBN-10: 076421697X

ISBN-13: 978-0764216978

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (June 7, 2016)

Abraham and Sarah by Roberta Kells Dorr

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Abraham and Sarah is written by Roberta Kells Dorr. The story starts at Ur with Sarai, later called Sarah, going through a fertility ceremony without understanding what it is about. Just as she realizes what is happening, her half brother Abram, later called Abraham, comes to the ceremony and takes Sarai away. The priestess Ningal curses Sarai with barrenness. Abram and Sarai marry and leave Ur after it is destroyed. God tells Abram that he will have descendants as many as the stars and abundant land. Abram has deep faith in God and does what he is told to. He leads the group traveling with him through lands with no water and no food. When they get to Egypt, Abram fears Pharaoh will cause harm to them if he finds out they are married and have no children. So he comes up with the plan to tell Pharaoh that he and Sarai are brother and sister. Pharaoh takes Sarai to be his future wife, meanwhile his daughter Hagar is chained up. Sarai and Hagar develop a friendship. When Pharaoh finds out the truth, he returns Sarai to Abram and gives them his daughter Hagar to be Sarai’s handmaid and the mother of Abram’s child.

This is a good story but it is fiction and not Biblical. A lot has been added to the Bible’s accounting of Abraham and Sarah. The story lets the reader imagine what it must have been like for Abraham and Sarah and those who traveled with them. I often reminded myself that a lot that is in the story is not in the Bible. But I appreciate the story showing how strong of faith Abraham had.

The author spend 17 years as a medical missionary in the Gaza Strip. Her knowledge of the area shows in the book.

I received a copy of this book from Moody Publishing for an honest review.

272 pages
ISBN 13: 9780802409577
Publisher: Moody Publishers