Posted in Book reviews, Revell Reads

“The Heart of a King” by Jill Eileen Smith ~ Book Review

 

The Heart of A King FB

“The Heart of a King” by Jill Eileen Smith

The Loves of Solomon

Biblical/historical Fiction

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

The Heart of a King (The Loves of King Solomon #1-4)

About the book:

Four women captured King Solomon’s heart in different ways, and he indulges his desires despite warnings. For all his wisdom, did Solomon or the women he loved ever find what they were searching for?

 

King Solomon was wealthy and wise beyond measure. He could–and did–have anything he wanted, including many women from many lands. But for all his wisdom, did he or the women in his life ever find what they searched for all of their lives?

In this engrossing novel, you’ll find yourself whisked away to ancient Israel, where you’ll meet Solomon and four of the women he loved: Naamah the desert princess, Abishag the shepherdess, Siti the daughter of a pharaoh, and Nicaula the queen of Sheba. As you experience the world of Solomon through his eyes and the eyes of these women, you’ll ask yourself the ultimate question: Did Solomon’s wisdom ultimately benefit him and those he loved . . . or did it betray them?

 

 

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My Thoughts:

 

Before I go into my review, I want to state how much I love this cover. The colors just pop and it is beautifully designed! And the spine of it too – it’s beautiful!
The inside of this attractive novel was very enjoyable as well. Not once was I bored or lacking interest. I found this book to be very well-written, and captivating.
It was really interesting to see into King Solomon’s life, as well as a few of his many wives’ lives.
I was really impressed with how the author wrote King Solomon’s character  – he was likeable and understandable, and yet so frustrating with his weakness for many, many women. I have always wondered about him and his many wives, and honestly, he was irritating in this aspect but I couldn’t hate him. His flaws made up his character, and his strengths were shown as well. Like I said, I was impressed with the overall respect the author wrote into his story.
And I also found the four wives highlighted in this novel to be fascinating and well-written. I felt for each of them and enjoyed getting to know them. I think Naamah and Abishag were my favorites, but they each were unique characters that had complex stories.
I would like to add as well that it was all tastefully written. I was a little cautious about how…passionate it might become at times because of the nature of the story, but the descriptions never went too far, and it was handled really well. I was very appreciative of this!
The historicalness of the story felt natural, and I would easily classify it as such; historical fiction.
“The Heart of a King” is definitely my favorite of this author’s work thus far, and I would recommend it to fans of Historical/Biblical fiction. This novel felt similar to the author Mesu Andrews’ writing, so if you’ve enjoyed her novels, be sure to check out this one as well.
:)
TheHeartofaKing1
_It did no good to try to rewrite what was already past. What could never change. The very idea was futile._
_Sometimes suffering brings people together in a way prosperity never can._
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publishers as apart of the books launch team. I was not required to write a positive review.  
Posted in Books, For-Sale

Book Sale Updated

Hello again!

 

I just wanted to whip up a quick post to let you all know that my book sale page has finally been completed – all the books I have currently to re-home are listed. If I ever choose to add a couple more, I will do a post about it, but for right now, that’s it. There’s quite a lot there though, so take a peak!

I’ve got Biblical fiction, Suspense, Amish, Romance, Mystery, Historical, Fantasy, and Non-Fiction, etc.

Authors like Becky Wade, Katie Ganshert, Wanda E. Brunstetter, Ted Dekker, Jonathan Friesen, Angela Hunt, Jill Eileen Smith, Melody Carlson, and many, many more.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. :)

So yes, books! By the list you may think I’ve got none left on my shelf, but that is not the case, worry not. My bookshelves are still somehow full to bursting. :D This collection of books has been over a couple of years, so had to make room for new ones. :)

Anyway, go take a look and see if you can find a new read! :) And if you want to share about it on your blog, social media, or whatever, I certainly won’t mind. ;) I would love to get these out of totes and into happy hands. :)

 

Posted in Book reviews, Revell Reads

Revell Book Review: “The Prophetess” by Jill Eileen Smith

“The Prophetess” by Jill Eileen Smith

Book 2 in the Daughters of the Promise Land Series (each can be read alone)

Review copy source: Revell

My rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

 

About the book:

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?

 

My thoughts:

A story about Deborah, the judge, in the Bible sounded intriguing – I’ve never read a fiction adaption of that account before, so I was interested.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t really ‘click’ with the book, and didn’t like the portrayal of Deborah. All throughout this book, there were the “strong females” who were shown as better than the men – they were all headstrong, and disobedient, and it was portrayed as if it was a good thing. It disappointed me greatly.
I know everyone’s perception of Biblical accounts are different, but my personal thoughts are that if God chose Deborah for a judge, it was because He saw Himself in her – yes, she would’ve been human like the rest of us, but she would’ve had a heart after God, and would have been obedient to her husband as that is one of the traits God has desired in us.
There were several parts that had me rather appalled…
 “She fought the urge to awaken Lappidoth and complain profusely to him. Complaining did no good….but she could complain in her prayers,” – she complained to her husband constantly, and was very discontent in all things. And though I know we do it, God instructs us not to complain – He doesn’t encourage it. Yes, we can bring all things to Him in prayer, but He does desire for us to make an effort to “give thanks in all things”. Now, I’m not saying I’ve never complained (I sadly do, too), but the way it was shown in the book…it was more like nagging. And Biblical book characters should be encouraging and uplifting, not frustrating.
“If God were a Canaanite goddess, Deborah would have her answer. Anat the warrior goddess stood behind Sisera’s success. Asherah stood behind Canaan’s fertility. Baal stood behind Canaan’s king.” – This did not sit well with me at all. She was comparing God to the fake goddesses, and making it sound like God was inadequate and not as strong as those goddess’.
“You push too much, Jael.” “It’s a wife’s job to do so, my lord.” – No. This saddened me. The overall theme of this book screamed of headstrong women and their disregard for their heads. Every one of them. We should not encourage this in books.
As the verse says “Train up a child in the way he should go, and he will not soon depart from it” – that verse applies to all of us. In our endeavor to write Christian fiction, it should be our goal to help train others up in the way of God – in every way. Not giving the opposite message.
Therefore I cannot recommend this book. :(
There were also a few historical inaccuracies – one of the things I’ve seen many times in different Biblical fiction is “she forgot her headscarf” – a Hebrew young maiden would certainly not have forgotten this. It was a sign of her purity, her modesty, her respect.
Also, in this book, Deborah quoted a piece of scripture that David wrote in Psalms, and she wouldn’t have had that in her time.
But really, my main concern and dislike for this book was the head-strong-ness and disrespect. It grieved me a great deal.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.*
Posted in Books, Chuck Black, Pictures, Uncategorized

I’ve been readin’, I’ve been writin’, I’ve been singin’.

Ehh, not entirely true, but I felt a random title was in order, and that’s what came to mind first. :D I mean, I have been reading, and I have been writing, and I guess I have been singing (This is Not a Test, baby. TMac.), but that is not really the point now, is it? “I’m not quite sure,” you say in a British accent.

Alright, onward and forward!

 

Yes, books! I said I’ve been reading, after all. :) I just finished “Light of the Last” and it was beyond amazing!!!! I will be sharing my review with you very soon, God-willing! I just adored the book :) I will be beginning “Miriam” today, and looking forward to it. And then, as the third picture shows: I have a bit of Biblical fiction to be reading! Besides “Miriam” I have “Risen” by Angela Hunt, and “The Prophetess” by Jill Eileen Smith. I am very interested to see how they are.  Hopefully I’ll get all of them read in a good amount of time!

As for writing, I’ve just been writing in one of my stories :D When I started it a few months ago, it was meant to just be a quick, side-story type thing, but it’s turned into more, which is always fun. :)

Also in news of writing, the Love is in the Heart contest has ended and the two winners were announced on Valentine’s Day. I was so pleasantly surprised to find out my story was second! It really blessed me :) Lesa did a GREAT job hosting this fun writing contest and I’m looking forward to future contests! :)

What are you busy with, readers?

Posted in Book reviews, Revell Reads

Revell Book Review: “The Crimson Cord” by Jill Eileen Smith

http://www.amazon.com/Crimson-Cord-Rahabs-Daughters-Promised/dp/0800720342/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423085582&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=The+Crimson+Cord+by+Jill+eileen+smit

 

“The Crimson Cord” by Jill Eileen Smith

Review copy from Revell

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Age recommendation: at least 18+

 

About the book:

Wife 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.

My Thoughts:

There were things I liked about this book and things I didn’t. I think “The Crimson Cord” is one of Mrs. Smith’s better books, but there was still more romance/romance details than I think necessary. I am aware that it is the account of Rahab and that she was a prostitute, so there are bound to be ‘unfavourable’ details, though they can be handled delicately.

I do really love the redemption account of Rahab. It is one of my favourites in the Bible. I have enjoyed reading a couple of fiction works of the account, so it was pleasant to read another.

It was interesting to read the author’s perspective of Rahab’s previous life, before she became part of the tribes of Israel. Though I think I would have enjoyed the book being more equally split – half of her previous life, and the rest of her redemption process in Israel, instead of the majority being her life leading up to her joining Israel.

Oh, I loved the little cat that Rahab “adopted”! I have a definite soft spot for cats, and thought that was absolutely adorable. :)

There were parts that made me cry – some out of sadness and shared grief with the characters, and some out of shared joy with them. I am glad for the opportunity to read “The Crimson Cord”, even if I didn’t fall head-over-heels in love with it.

I received a complimentary copy from the publishers through Revell Blog Program in exchange for my honest review which I have given. All thoughts expressed are my own.