Posted in Book reviews, Books

“Of Fire and Lions” by Mesu Andrews ~ Book Review

Happy Release Day to this book!! Mesu Andrews writes some great Biblical fiction – I am happy and honored to be on her team! <3

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“Of Fire and Lions” by Mesu Andrews

Biblical Fiction

Review copy from the publishers as apart of Mesu’s BFF launch team

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Of Fire and Lions

About the book:

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.

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My Thoughts:

 

This is an exquisitely told tale of…so much. To say it was only about one character, or one theme would be an error because so much was ensconced in this novel.

The story is told through the eyes of Abigail – or Belili as she is most often referred to – and Daniel, and spans across their lives from when they first met, when they felt lost to each other, and when they were reunited, and beyond.

It took me a bit to adjust to the time-jumping, but it was handled smoothly, and expressed the novel so well.

Belili had to endure a lot of heartache. As we learn her story, we are endeared to her and understand her pain, and her decisions. Time after time God gently reveals Himself to her, and that was a beautiful part of this story.

Daniel’s faith was spectacular, of course. And inspiring. To be faced with death for following Yahweh, and still remaining true to Him – it is encouraging to say the least. I thank God that we can still worship and pray to Him freely.

“Of Fire and Lions” really is such a full book that it almost seems impossible to cover everything and do the book justice. It was more than a pleasurable read, and I absolutely loved the faith shown throughout. Seeing the transformations at the end was just wonderful, and seeing God work – always amazing!

A beautiful Biblical Fiction piece from Mesu Andrews – I always look forward to more of her novels!

 

 

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Posted in Book reviews

“By The Waters of Babylon” by Mesu Andrews ~ Book Review

By the Waters of Babylon (Psalm #2)

 

“By The Waters of Babylon” by Mesu Andrews

Book #2 in the Psalm Series

Biblical Fiction

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

 

 

About the Book:

 

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?

 

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

This is the second book in the Psalm Series (each one by a different author). I love the idea behind this series, and am most assuredly enjoying them! They give lovely insight and story behind the Psalms they represent.
While BtWoB is a shorter story, it is not a light one. There is a lot of depth and Biblical history that I have grown to expect from Mesu Andrews. She writes so well and makes it so easy to fall into the stories, which I love.
Merari’s story was one of more seriousness and hardship from the life she lived as a captive. But there was still hope. The latter half of the book surprised me a bit, but I was happy with the direction it took.
One thing I would caution about is some fairly descriptive shocking scenes regarding bloodshed/cannibalism. It might not be the best for sensitive readers, and especially for anyone under 16. I myself am not a fan of reading about such things, but I know everyone has a different level of “tolerance” and sensitivity, so this may not bother other readers at all. Just wanted to mention it for anyone who might be like me. :)
I liked Idan a  lot, and sometimes disliked him for his stubborn behaviour. I wouldn’t mind reading more about him though and seeing his story continue! Being reunited with his wife and child…I would’ve loved to have read about that. ^.^
In summation, I enjoyed this book very much, the writing style was engaging and the history extremely well written. There were a few parts that weren’t my favourite, but not enough to turn me away from the book. And as always, I look forward to more by Mesu Andrews!
And am excited for the next book in this Psalm series. :)
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Quotes:
“Perhaps Yahweh has revealed Himself to you – spared you – so you can share Him with your people”
“Your gods were created by men, Idan. My God created men.”
“People and courage may fail, but Yahweh is a Fortress whose mercies are new every morning.”
“You will always have your memories, but your hands must be empty to embrace new treasure.”
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
Posted in Books, Open Catagory Monday, Questions/answers

The Literary Dinner Party Tag :)

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Hello and Happy Monday! For today’s “open-catagory” post, I am going to do…
The Literary Dinner Party Tag!
In a round-about-way, I was tagged by Faith of Stories by Firefly ~ see, she tagged anyone who was wearing socks while reading her post, and I was, so here I am :D It looks like a fun tag, and I’m looking forward to sharing the characters I chose for the answers!

1// A Character who can/likes to cook:

I want to say the name of a character in a novel that is not yet published (that’d be because it’s not finished yet…), but I will do my best to name characters in already published works. So… I would say, Rylan of “One Enchanted Eve” by Melissa Tagg – while she primarily ‘bakes’, I think she and Colin could produce a scrumptious feast. :)
One Enchanted Eve (Enchanted Christmas Collection #2)
2// A Character who has the money to fund this party:
King Hezekiah  and Queen Hephzibah of “Isaiah’s Daughter” by Mesu Andrews – they’re King and Queen, so yes, they can afford this. :D
Isaiah's Daughter (Prophets and Kings, #1)
3// A Character that might cause a scene:
Freydis – I can just picture her at a dinner party and it not going so well…!
Forest Child (Vikings of the New World Saga, #2)
4// A Character who is amusing:
Sarah Hollenbeck – not sure if she’ll mean to be amusing, but it will be hysterical nonetheless!
The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck
5// A Character who is super popular
Lukas De Wilde  – yep.
A Song Unheard (Shadows Over England, #2)
6// One Villain:
Alex Martin – okay, he’s not really a villain at all. And he has his good qualities. Buuuut, well, yeah. Just gonna leave it at that. ^.^
Pit of Ambition, Book II in The Caselli Family Series
7// One couple – doesn’t have to be romantic:
I could come up with a thousand…but I will go with: Violet Hawthorne and Vance Everstone. <3
The Cautious Maiden (The Everstone Chronicles, #4)
8// One hero:
Walter <3
A Distant Melody  (Wings of Glory, #1)
9// One underappreciated character:
Chiara – I adore her, and her tenacity for life!
   Destiny Defied (The Destiny Series #1)  Destiny Delivered (The Destiny Series #2)  Destiny Defended: Rakshasa's Curse (The Destiny Series #3)
10// One character of your own choosing:
Again, I could choose a ton, but I’m going to go with Josey. :) Love her!
Everything's Coming Up Josey (Josey, #1)
And that brings us to the end of this tag!! I tag anyone who loves books and wants to do this ;)
Are you familiar with any of the characters I named?
Posted in blog tour, Book reviews, Books

“Isaiah’s Daughter” by Mesu Andrews ~ Book Review

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“Isaiah’s Daughter” by Mesu Andrews

A Novel of Prophets and Kings

Review copy from the author/publishers as apart of Mesu Andrews’ Launch Team

My Rating:  5 out of 5 Stars!

 

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About the Book:

 

In this epic Biblical narrative, ideal for fans of The Bibleminiseries, a young woman taken into the prophet Isaiah’s household rises to capture the heart of the future king.

Isaiah adopts Ishma, giving her a new name–Zibah, delight of the Lord–thereby ensuring her royal pedigree. Ishma came to the prophet’s home, devastated after watching her family destroyed and living as a captive. But as the years pass, Zibah’s lively spirit wins Prince Hezekiah’s favor, a boy determined to rebuild the kingdom his father has nearly destroyed. But loving this man will awake in her all the fears and pain of her past and she must turn to the only One who can give life, calm her fears, and deliver a nation.

 

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My Thoughts:

 

Wow, what an absolutely beautiful and captivating story! I was just utterly engaged the moment I started it right until the very end page. It was so very good.
Ishma and Hezi’s relationship from the very beginning was just the most endearing thing ever. It was so sweet how they bonded and grew so close.
The characters were all really amazing, and so believable, so three-dimensional. You didn’t just read about their trials and joys, you felt them with the characters. The heartbreak, the pain, and the beautiful healing.
I absolutely loved how Ishma’s name changed to Hephzibah, and that whole theme throughout the book with her new name meaning ‘God’s delight’. What a beautiful reminder for all of us!! We are the Lord’s delight. I love that. Her journey was so poignant – so touching.
“Isaiah’s Daughter” is a remarkable look into the prophesies of Isaiah, and how they might have interpreted them in their own time.
Author Mesu Andrews can take what might be normally seen as ‘heavy history’ and weave it into a compelling tale that is not only very understandable, but completely enjoyable and enlightening. This is one reason why I love Biblical Fiction so much. It really gives depth to the Bible accounts that are familiar, but sometimes less understood.
This book is so full that trying to write a review that would give it justice seems rather impossible. But I definitely recommend this beautiful story, and look forward to losing myself in its pages again!

I thought “Miriam” was my favourite book by Mesu Andrews, but now I’m thinking “Isaiah’s Daughter” tops the list!

 

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Quotes:

I actually highlighted a TON of quotes, and made several graphics. Below are a few of them, but you can go to my Pinterest Page here to see more graphics with ID quotes. :)

 

 

 

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BLOG TOUR:

1/15 – Lena Nelson Dooley

1/15 – It’s Storytime With Van Daniker!

1/15 – More Than Poetic Musings

1/16 – Seriously Write

1/16 – Lighthouse Academy

1/17 – Jill Eileen Smith

1/18 – Kristie Moments

1/19 – Coffee Cups & Camisoles

1/19 – Montana Made

1/20 – Fiction Aficionado

1/21 – Angie Arndt

1/21 – Christian Chicks Thoughts

1/22 – Carole Towriss

1/22 – Backing Books

1/23 – God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae

1/24 – Faithfully Bookish

1/24 – Mommynificent

1/25 – Just Commonly

1/25 – Bibliophile Reviews

1/26 – Reading is my Superpower

1/26 – The Mary Reader

 

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Posted in Books, Give-aways

Winner of the “Miriam” Scavenger hunt!

Hello all!

The Scavenger Hunt for Mesu Andrews’ book, “Miriam”, has come to an end, and now I am pleased to announce the winner of the giveaway of the two print book copies – “The Pharaoh’s Daughter” and “Miriam”! So, please join me in congratulating….

 

!!!Bonnie Moore!!!

 

Thank you so much for entering each of you, and I hope you greatly enjoy the books, Bonnie! I’ve contacted you to get your info :)

 

And for those who didn’t win, please still consider checking out “Miriam” – it is a great book!

 

BeFunky Miriam design 1

 

Posted in blog tour, Book reviews, Books, Give-aways

“Miriam” Scavenger Hunt!

I’m so excited to be a part of this scavenger hunt blog hop in celebration of the launch of Mesu Andrews’ second book in her Treasures of the Nile series, Miriam!

Miriam Scavenger Hunt Blog Hop

I realize most of you are probably already “on the hunt”, but if you just happened on this page first, you’ll want to hop on over to the start of the hunt at Mesu’s blog and then you’ll finish your journey at Mommynificent.com. At the bottom of this post, you can find the full list of stops for the entire hunt. Between March 15th and 20th, click on the next link, head over to the page, meet a new book-lover, and read their thoughts about Miriam. Somewhere in each post there will be a single word that is in BOLD AND ALL CAPITALS. Write it down. (The words “Home” and “Good Luck” are not secret words for anyone.)

Then, go to the next stop. That post will also have a word that’s bolded and capitalized. You will need to visit all 14 blogs as each one will have a word that you need. Once you reach the end and have found all the words, you will have found an inspirational quote from the book Miriam. There are 14 words in this quote. Enter the quote into the Rafflecopter on the last stop and you will be entered to win a Kindle Fire from Mesu Andrews! (Open to U.S. residents only)

If you have any questions, get lost, or experience any technical difficulties, you may email Tina at tina{at}mommynificent{dot}com for help.

Now, let’s talk about this fantastic book!

Miriam by Mesu Andrews

About the Book

Title: Miriam

Author: Mesu Andrews

Series: Treasures of the Nile, Book 2

Publication Date: March 15, 2016

Publisher: WaterBrook Press

Print Length: 384 pages

Summary from the publisher: 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.

My Thoughts about Miriam by Mesu Andrews

Some of you reading this may have already seen my review of this lovely book, but if this is your first time, you may read my official review here: Miriam Review

To sum it up, I really truly loved “Miriam”. It was so beautiful and written so well. And the Lord is so good – HE used several parts in the book that directly ministered to me, and I love when that happens! It is a touching book, and you certainly won’t want to miss it!!

About The Author

Author Mesu AndrewsMesu Andrews is the award-winning author of Love Amid the Ashes, Love’s Sacred Song, Love in a Broken Vessel, In the Shadow of Jezebel, as well as two books in her Treasures of the Nile series: The Pharoah’s Daughter and Miriam. Winner of the 2012 ECPA Christian Book Award for New Author, she has devoted herself to passionate and intense study of Scripture, bringing the biblical world vividly alive for her readers. She lives in Washington.

Mesu’s Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

Stops on the Scavenger Hunt

  1. Mesu Andrews
  2. A Holland Reads
  3. Mother of Three
  4. Just A Second
  5. Grace and Glory
  6. Angela Arndt – Joy on the Back Roads
  7. God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae
  8. What If
  9. Carole Towriss
  10. Kate Hodges, Storyteller
  11. Backing Books
  12. Creative Madness Mama This blog is not working right now. :( The keyword for this one is WHO. Sorry for any inconvenience.
  13. Climbing to the High Calling
  14. Mommynificent

Win Both Treasure of the Nile Books

WaterBrook Press has given me permission to give away one copy of each of Mesu’s Treasures of the Nile novels to one lucky winner so to enter to win your own copies of both The Pharaoh’s Daughter and Miriam, all you have to do is sign up to follow this blog (on the sidebar) and comment that you’ve done so! And don’t be shy to talk about the books in the comments – I love talking books. :) (Open to U.S. residents only)

May the Lord bless you and keep you!

 

Posted in Book reviews, Books, Reviews

Book Review: “Miriam” by Mesu Andrews

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“Miriam” by Mesu Andrews

Biblical Fiction, A Treasure of the Nile Novel

Review copy source: The Publishers/Author

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

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.

My Thoughts:

I am very much a fan of Biblical Fiction. The tricky thing is finding *good* Biblical fiction that is actually Biblical. I found “Miriam” to fit just this description. I thoroughly enjoyed this rich story and was very impressed with all the Biblical research Mesu seamlessly wove into it. Truly, it was spectacular.
Mesu brought new light to the familiar Bible account, and had me enraptured the whole time right up until the very end. Even though I know how the Bible account goes, I was still on the edge of my seat as I read, and that expresses great God-given talent in the author.
There were parts that had me smiling, laughing, crying, and one point I had goosebumps! There were so many heart-touching moments and things that really made you think.
And the characters were done so well. I loved Miriam – she was so real. In her faith, in her doubts, in her daily life. Exceptionally well done! And I really loved Eleazar too. He was a great character, and though he has his issues (who doesn’t?!), I so very much enjoyed his character. He was quiet, and maybe a bit angry at times (but that seems to be “my type” because nearly every character I love is that way..hmmm…), but his heart was good and still reachable in the end.
Each of the plagues were really well-written too, and made my skin crawl at the horrid-ness of them. And the sadness that Pharaoh wouldn’t relent, even for his children.
I underlined so many sections of this book because it was full of meaningful quotes and lessons. It was my desire to share them here, but there are SO many that you’ll just have to read the book for yourself to discover all of its gems. :)
Suffice it to say, I was not disappointed with “Miriam” at all – I greatly enjoyed it and am looking forward to more from Mesu!
Just a few of the quotes that I liked:
“El-Shaddai has not abandoned you any more than He’s abandoned Israel. For reasons that only He knows, He has chosen to become silent, and you must trust His silence – as Israel has trusted His silence all these years.”
    “You can learn to know Him anew, but you must trust Him in the silence, daughter.”
“We can plant the seeds, but only God can make them grow.”  
Taliah sat down beside her and scooted close. “It’s more than a little reassuring to know that even a prophetess has questions.” Warmth flooded Miriam’s cheeks, not with shame or embarrassment, but with a deep sense of awe. Perhaps Shaddai’s silence was nurturing seeds beyond Miriam’s garden.”
“Many gods have been created by men, but only one God created all men. It is that one God that Israel serves – Ell-Shaddai, the Almighty – who chose to make a covenant with Abraham and to bless all nations through his descendants.”
“Utlimately, my dear,” Ima Jochebed chimed in, “it is El-Shaddai who must reveal Himself to us. We are but dust and could never climb to the heights of His holiness to reach Him.”….”But He is near to those who seek Him with their whole hearts. We’ve seen it proven repeatedly in our lifetime.”
Abba chuckled. “Anyone can develop a *God sense* similar to the way we use other senses to experience things. Though we can’t taste, touch, see, hear, or smell our invisible God, He sometimes uses those experiences to communicate His nearness.”
“Like the warm breeze I sometimes felt while inside the longhouse, that proved Shaddai was near.”
“You simply know He is.There’s no magic or sign. He just *is*”
I’ll continue to seek Shaddai – and wait for Him to reveal Himself
Still, He had the patience to woo her as she made these discoveries at her own pace. Her heart broke at the reality.
“No matter who else disappoints you, Yahweh’s love endures. We need never doubt His love – ever.”
“Yahweh is more interested in you knowing Him than pleasing yourself – or even pleasing others.”
Yahweh wasted no experience, no matter how seemingly insignificant.
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publishers/author as one of Mesu’s Biblical Fiction Fan (BFF) team in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.