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


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

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The Soldier Who Killed a King by David Kitz


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

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


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/

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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/

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Joseph: The Other Father by Katheryn Maddox Haddad


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

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In the Field of Grace by Tessa Afshar


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

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Slender Reeds: Jachebed’s Hope by Texie Susan Gregory


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


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


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