Wednesday, March 30, 2011

BATHSHEBA - Jill Eileen Smith - Free Book

Welcome back, Jill. Why do you write the kind of books you do?

I love biblical fiction. When I was in my teens, I read Two From Galilee by Marjorie Holmes. When I closed the last page on that book, I thought, “These people were real!” I fell in love with the Bible after that and have loved biblical fiction ever since. I hope my stories do the same for my readers.

I loved that book, too. Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?

I’m not sure I could pinpoint just one happy day. Some of my happiest days have involved my marriage, the birth of my children, seeing my sons come to faith in Christ, and so much more. Impossible to choose just one!

How has being published changed your life?

I’m busy in a different way. When my boys were young, I homeschooled them. Life was full and never dull! I was also learning the craft of writing during those years, so I was always working at something. Now my work centers more on writing, answering emails, keeping up with social networks and maintaining in person and online friendships. I worked myself out of a job in my first homeschooling mom career. I’m grateful that God has given me another to take its place.

What are you reading right now?

I’m studying Isaac and Rebekah’s story in the Old Testament and reading Matthew in the New. I usually have several books going at once – fiction and non-fiction. A recent read was Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days. Loved it!

What is your current work in progress?

Rebekah (working title) book two in The Wives of the Patriarchs series.

Sounds interesting. What would be your dream vacation?

Hmm…I took my dream vacation in 2008 when we went to Israel. I would go back in a heartbeat. California holds a special place in my heart, and I would like to visit more cities there, particularly Carmel-by-the-Sea. I would love to see Europe someday too, and if the Middle East is ever peaceful, I’d enjoy touring the ancient ruins of Babylon to explore the history of ancient Mesopotamia (my setting for this series).

I've been to Carmel-by-the-Sea. It's lovely. How do you choose your settings for each book?

The Bible chooses the settings for me. The Wives of King David series had its settings in ancient Jerusalem, ancient Gibeah, ancient Philistia, and ancient Judea. The Wives of the Patriarchs is set back 1000 years in ancient Mesopotamia, ancient Egypt, and ancient Canaan.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?

Steven Spielberg. I would like to pitch him the idea of making Bathsheba into a feature film. :-) (A girl needs those fantasy dreams.)

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?

I haven’t done much else lately! I like to watch movies and listen to music. In the past I have crocheted, knitted, cross-stitched, done picture scrapbooking, and I enjoy sitting down to play the piano. I like to bake now and then too.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?

Plotting is hardest for me – gives me a headache every time! But my current obstacle is getting to know characters in the Bible of whom very little is said. The only way I’ve been able to figure out who these people were is through much prayer and much research.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?

Study the craft and write what you love. There are no shortcuts to becoming a professional author. Writing is hard work and like any other profession it takes study and perseverance to improve. When I taught piano, my students had to start at the beginning, learn the basics, and practice, practice, practice. Those who didn’t, did not progress. Writers write and the only way to improve is to write, write, write. It’s worth the effort if you love what you’re doing. If you don’t love the journey, you will not enjoy the end result.

Tell us about the featured book.

Bathsheba’s story is one of misplaced longings and life-altering choices. Like many women today, Bathsheba came from a military household. Her father and her husband were both captains in King David’s elite forces, which probably meant they saw a fair bit of action, leaving Bathsheba often alone. For a woman of her day with no children at that time, her husband’s absences were great breeding ground for discontent. For David’s part, he had reached the pinnacle of his career and grown accustomed to wealth and power. Her loneliness and his arrogance led to some devastating choices.

David got what he wanted when he took Bathsheba, but at great cost. In the end, both David and Bathsheba had to learn the redemptive power of God’s grace and the true meaning of love.

Please give us the first page of the book.

Jerusalem, 994 BC

Darkness curtained the sky, hiding the stars, sheltering Bathsheba in the inner courtyard of her home. She clutched the soft linen towel to her chest, shivering, while Uriah stood with his back to her, a sentry guarding her privacy.

“Of course you must do this, but hurry, dear wife.” His mischievous tone heated her blood. Suddenly the chilly spring breeze seeping from her bare feet to the rest of her robe-draped body didn’t seem quite so cold.

“Yes, husband. Would you like to help?” Her tone teased him, and she took courage from his own playful manner. She had Tirzah, her maid, to pour the water over her head, but if he was in such a hurry to be with her . . .

He turned to face her, his dark eyes pools of interest. She had never suggested such a thing before. Tirzah always helped her do this. It was a woman’s place, a woman’s ritual. Would his strict adherence to the law of Moses let him help her?

Did she want him to?

She pulled the robe tighter about her, watching him. He seemed to be assessing her question, and she knew him well…

You can download and read chapter one at on Bathsheba’s home page.

I love it. How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Jill, for this glimpse into your life and work. I can hardly wait for my book to come.
Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 6 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Debbie said...

Hmm. Interesting opening to the story, but then how can you avoid sex in Biblical story about . . . well, about sex.
Bathsheba could warm things up here in Michigan.
bigpinelodge at gmail dot com

Robyn said...

Bathsheba has always interested me. I think the opening is fascinating. Can't wait to read this.

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Lorna Faith said...

Jill I love your 1st page...I'm hungry for more:) Thanks for sharing. You inspired me. I've worked myself out of a job too, now that I'm done homeschooling our youngest, and so I'm working at learning the craft of writing:)

Please enter me for a chance to win your book!

Lorna from Alberta
lornafaith at gmail dot com

JoAnn Durgin said...

Hi, Jill. I'd love to win a copy of your book. It's a beautiful cover, and I'm sure what's in-between the covers, so to speak, is fascinating reading. I find it interesting how some modern-day stories are considered edgy, but the Bible is full of stories that are every bit, if not more, edgy in tone and content. But these are definitely characters worth writing and reading about, and I thank you. Blessings. JoAnn Durgin from southern Indiana, author of Awakening: A Christian Romance Novel.

Wanda said...

I would love the chance to win this book! Sounds amazing!

karenk said...

would love to read jill's latest novel...thanks for the chance :)

karenk (from pennsylvania)
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Kari said...

What an interesting story - would love to win a copy!
Kari in ORegon

fredamans said...

I love books based on historical figures! Please enter this lady from Ontario, Canada. Thank you!

Nancye said...

Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Lee Smith said...

Great opening! I loved the first book and have really wanted to read this book. I live in Missouri.

Jill Eileen Smith said...

Debbie - as a fellow Michigander, I know what you mean! As for sex in the book, I think you'll find it pretty tame, even in the edgiest part. I read a book on writing once that suggested understating can be more powerful than overstating, and I've taken that to heart when writing about emotion and evocative scenes. I hope I succeeded! :) Thanks for your interest!

Glad you liked the opening, Robyn!

Lorna - all the best to you as you learn the craft. It's worth every bit of the effort, even if plotting gives you a headache!

Thanks JoAnn! I love what Revell does with my covers too! I hope you get a chance to read what is between the pages.

Jill Eileen Smith said...

Thanks to all of you for stopping by and reading the interview! I'm so glad you enjoyed the first page! I wish you could all win. :)

cathypurdue said...

I love Jill's books. I read Michal and have an autographed copy of Abigail. Would love to win Bathsheba to complete my set!

Julie J. said...

This book looks and sounds interesting! I look forward to reading it in my lounge chair in Georgia!


windycindy said...

I don't know many stories behind the life of Bathsheba...Your book would be very informative for me to read!
Many thanks, Cindi

Lindsey said...

Oooh, I love biblical fiction! I have Michal on my Kindle right now (it's still free as a Kindle book) and am going to read it next. I would love to read this one too!

kindredspiritreviews at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I love this book series! I was hooked from book one, chapter one!

I'd love to win a copy if this one.

Charlotte- from Maine

Patsy said...

Wow this must be a powerful book. Would love to read it.
From the Bible Belt


Judy B said...

I would love to read "Bathsheba" by Jill Eileen Smith. I haven't read any of her books yet but definitely will put her name on my list of authors I haven't read. This story sounds intriguing and I must read it!!

I really enjoyed the interview.
Judy from Indiana

Anne Payne said...

Enjoyed the interview. Look forward to reading this book. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy.

Anne, rural NC

apple blossom said...

please enter me thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Rachel Rossano said...

Sounds like and interesting book. :) I can understand her difficulties with plotting when part of the plot is already there. :)

I would love to win the book. :)

kristen said...

This book sounds fantastic!! I've often thought about this story and the emotions and motives behind their actions.
Please enter me.
Kristen from WA

Bakersdozen said...

This book sounds really interesting. I am intrigued by the opening. I live in Southern California.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to reading this book.Please enter my name in the free book contest...


Anonymous said...

Hi, Can't wait to read this book, here is my name and email address, just let me know when I can expect to receive it....LOL....

Angela C.

Brenda said...

I don't really know the story of Bathsheba, would love to read the story.

dancealert at aol dot com

Marianne said...

Would love to read Jill's view on Bathsheba. Thanks, Lena and Jill for the post, and the chance to win

Jackie S. said...

I would love to be entered for this book!! I have read Jill's other two and loved them! Thanks for the chance to read this one!
From GA

Jill Eileen Smith said...

Thanks again to all of you for stopping by. I've enjoyed reading your posts. I wish you could all win!

Nancye said...

This sounds like an interesting book! Please include me!

Nancye in Kentucky

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net