Thursday, February 21, 2013


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       The Wives of the Patriarchs

 by Jill Eileen Smith

When her beloved father dies and she is left in the care of her conniving brother Laban, Rebekah knows her life has changed forever. Though she should be married by now, it’s clear that Laban is dragging his feet, waiting for a higher bride-price to line his pockets. When she is given a chance to leave her home to marry Isaac, a cousin she has never even seen, Rebekah’s hope for the future is restored. Little does she know what a wondrous and heart-wrenching journey she is beginning.

As Rebekah experiences the joy of young love and the bitterness of misunderstanding and betrayal, her resolve will be tested. When the rift between her and Isaac grows so wide it is surely too great to be mended, can she trust the God of Isaac’s father Abraham to bridge the gap?

My overall opinion of Jill Eileen Smith’s writing Rebekah’s story can be explained in one expletive – WOW!!

Ms Smith certainly displayed her ability to reveal deep inner feelings of each character that brought the age old story of Abraham followed by his blood born children to life. From now on, my personal thoughts of this scripture will vividly be quite different. She wrote with such freedom that only could have come from the Lord.

Rebekah is now known to me in a completely different light – before I had mistakenly imagined her as haggish and manipulative, but Jill brought out her beauty from the inside that endeared her to me. Yes, there were the same small minded or broad minded compassionate beings in that time as in any time. Rebekah and Isaac both showed a more loving compassionate lifestyle toward others, and as human nature proves time and again…resentment , jealousy and distance can mar close relationships through real or imagined slights and hurts.

Jill Eileen Smith’s story is rich in believable information about the personal lives of each character, their thoughts, emotions, fears, and affections. This writing of Biblical fiction caused me to think deeper about the scriptures from whence the story came. Believing in God was as much of a choice then as now. I do have many questions yet as to where Ishmael and Esau spread their influences throughout history. But that is an issue that might better not be questioned here.

My admiration is unmeasured toward Jill’s study and research, placing herself in the position of each character to think deeply as they might have thought. I count this all as AWESOME! She has further interested me in digging out maps and study regarding the scripture from which this fabulous story is written.

This review is following a bit later than others due to personal circumstances; however sharing a few thoughts about this historical Biblical fiction is merited. Indeed a pleasurable and emotional read and proving again God is infinite and blesses beyond comprehension. Thank you, Jill Eileen Smith, for shedding new light on the Word of God. In the future, over time, all of your writings will appear in my personal library. Abigail and now Rebekah have brought joy with my recommendation for all to pick up these great reads.


Jill Eileen Smith is the author of Sarai, book one in the Wives of the Patriarchs series, and the bestselling author of the Wives of King David series. When she isn't writing, she enjoys spending time with her family--in person, over the webcam, or by hopping a plane to fly across the country. She can often be found reading, testing new recipes, grabbing lunch with friends, or snuggling one or both of her adorable cats. She lives with her family in southeast Michigan.
To learn more about Jill or for more information about her books, visit her website at You can also contact Jill at She loves hearing from her readers.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Hello friends, it's been some time since I've posted - and the below is a blog written by Dan Walsh that definitely spoke of my own recent questions and thoughts on the subject....I hope you'll find it as interesting and thought inspiring as I have.  Thank you Dan Walsh for your committment to Christian values and humbly stating what many of us would like to say.

Do Books and Movies Influence or Only Entertain?

I’ve been pondering lately the answer to this question: “Do books and movies influence people or merely entertain?” What prompted this is reading a few of the more critical book reviews my novels have received on Amazon.
Thankfully, most of them have been wonderful and very encouraging. But every now and then someone throws a lowball at me. I read these, too, in case there’s something I can learn. But what I’ve discovered, for the most part, is that these 1-star reviews mostly complain about something I can’t, or don’t want to change.
They’re complaining about the Christian message included in my novels. See, I work real hard to weave the message into my stories in ways that seem natural and unforced, and not preachy. But I am after all writing Christian fiction. My publisher is a Christian publisher.
But with a surge of readers buying books online vs. in bookstores, the fact that
my books are written from a Christian worldview sometimes gets missed. Some of these folks are simply buying them on Kindle or Nook on special promotional days when they are free. They don’t spend any time reading the information provided on the main page.
On almost all my books, a cursory glance of the book summary and a few of the reviews
would remove any doubt about the Christian themes included.
I marvel that someone who downloaded a book for free, then discovers the “religious content” and hates it, feels compelled to review the book, as if to warn others of the book’s
“hidden message.” Over the past holiday,  someone actually gave my Christmas novelThe Unfinished Gift 1-Star and called it “pure crap,” because of its Christian theme.
I mean, come on, it’s about a little boy who’s lost his mother in 1940s at Christmas time.
This highlights to me an area of significant hypocrisy I see in American culture (“Just one, you say?”). Books and screenplays written for the general market are almost always written with a strong message or theme, clearly trying to reach and influence the minds of its audience.
Whether they are promoting a political agenda, environmentalism, the homosexual and lesbian agenda, or some other cause, the intent to influence the audience with a specific message is clear. Sometimes blatantly clear. Often when writers, directors and actors are interviewed they will reveal their hand and their intent (maybe their hope) that their work will have a major impact on people and cause them to think or do things differently.
Hardly anyone raises a red flag to complain about this. If they do, the people behind the project quickly repeat the mantra: “Oh no, our project isn’t seeking to influence anyone, just entertain. We’re simply reflecting the values already out there in our culture in a relevant way.”
Ever heard this? Ever buy into this line of thinking when you have? Why do you think such a strong bias exists in our culture against Christians writers who are simply trying to do the same thing? That is, create a great story that contains, what we believe, maybe a worthwhile and life-changing message?
Can you think of some examples of this blatant hypocrisy in recent books, TV shows and/or movies?

About Dan Walsh

Dan Walsh is the award-winning and bestselling author of 7 novels, published by Revell and Guideposts, including The Unfinished Gift, Remembering Christmas and The Discovery. For those who haven’t read Dan’s books, reviewers often compare him to Nicholas Sparks and Richard Paul Evans. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and CWG’s Word Weavers, Dan served as a pastor for 25 years and now writes full-time. He and his wife Cindi have been married 35 years and have 2 grown children, 2 grandchildren and 2 mini-aussies. He marvels at how active Jim Rubart is (and feels like a slug by comparison). He and Cindi live in Port Orange, FL and love to take long walks on the beach. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter, or read his blog. There are buttons to connect to these places on his website, as well as a bunch of other info on his books at


  1. I feel your pain. It’s okay, in our society, to be anything and everything but a Christian. Even Facebook has been removing Christian messages, deeming them inappropriate content. Jesus said they’d hate us because of Him…and that’s a tough bite of truth in life to swallow. But I will not change my ways or views because someone is offended by them! That said–I miss the days when we could “reason together.” There’s very little reason nowadays. It’s almost all emotion.
  2. I’m right with you on this on, Dan. I’ve been the recipient of the same type of reviews: one star because of Christian content.
    I’ll gladly (ok, not always so gladly) take it. I’m not changing the important content. I know I write not only to entertain. I believe there are a few who do write only to entertain, but the vast majority, let their world views and the issues they are passionate about come through the pages loud and clear. They may think they are being subtle, but most of the time, it’s pretty apparent what their leaning is.
  3. I love your work Dan, you just keep right on doing what you are doing. I think there are more that like what you do then the few that don’t. I too think this world is a sad place right now with the way so much is accepted that should NOT be.
    thank you for weaving the christian aspects into your work for those that need it.
  4. I’m another who feels your pain, Dan.
    I had one e-mail from a gentleman wondering why I, “as a marketing guy would fool people into buying one of my books without a label on the cover saying, Christian Fiction.”
    Interesting that you use Avatar as you image in this post as I wrote back and asked him why the the Avatar posters and trailers didn’t have a label on them that said, “Pantheistic Movie”.
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