Tuesday, June 21, 2011

JEWEL OF PERSIA - Roseanna M White - Free Book

Welcome back, Roseanna. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I love history. For as long as I've been learning about it, I've been jotting down story ideas that could weave that history in and bring it to life. My biblicals I write because I love how delving in and researching them helps me better understand my faith and the awesomeness of my Lord.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
Well, it's hard to choose between wedding day and the births of my kids, so I'm going to say any one of several days last September, when we had a simply fantastic family vacation in the Outer Banks of NC. Weather, circumstances, lodging, and family just came together perfectly for one amazing week. Ah, bliss.

How has being published changed your life?
I don't have to feel quite so guilty spending every spare moment at my computer. ;-) No, seriously, the most life-changing part for me is reader feedback. There is absolutely nothing in the world like being told that God used your words, your story to change a life, deepen a faith, or renew an appreciation for Christian fiction.

What are you reading right now?
UNFORGETTABLE by Trish Perry. I'm only a chapter in, but I can't wait to read more!

What is your current work in progress?
Well, at the moment I'm doing revisions on my December release, Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland, and also working up a proposal for a story set in the same era (Revolutionary War) but in New York. Need to make a few tweaks to that one yet. =)

What would be your dream vacation?
Oh my—this changes daily for me, LOL. At the moment, we'd really love to go to Sicily. When I was 12 we had a foreign exchange student from Germany, and he's now living in Sicily and begging us to come visit. How we'd love to! If only someone would invent instant—and free—transportation!

How do you choose your settings for each book?
Usually the history I'm calling on determines my setting for me. With JEWEL OF PERSIA, for instance, I knew I wanted to write a book that combined Esther and Herodotus's HISTORIES, so that meant I had to put them in Persia, mostly Susa, and along the route to Greece, in the early years of the reign of Xerxes.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Gotta say, no one famous—I'd pick my critique partners (I'm cheating and lumping them together, ha ha). We've only met in person twice, so having an evening with these wonderful ladies is the very best of treats!

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
You mean there's a world outside of writing and reading??? ;-) I love to bake, I get into grooves where I do sketches, and my kiddos take up a lot of my time, especially now that we're homeschooling. We love to take walks together, and have a blast with our Friday Night Family Time, which usually includes a movie and popcorn.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Time. I often feel like I can't string two thoughts—much less two sentences—together without interruption. Thankfully, I have a very supportive family. My mother-in-law now takes the kids every Monday to give me a solid writing day, and my hubby doesn't mind when I take an hour or two to write when the kids are in bed, every now and then.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Keep at it, don't be afraid to learn and grow and let yourself develop through practice, and CONNECT! Can't stress that one enough. It's by joining writing groups that I've most developed and plugged into the industry.

Tell us about the featured book?
JEWEL OF PERSIA is the Esther story you've never read before. ;-) I'll paste the back cover copy:

How can she love the king of kings without forsaking her Lord of lords?

Kasia grew up in a poor Jewish home with more siblings than luxuries. But when a chance encounter forces her to the palace of Xerxes, she becomes a concubine to the richest man in the world. She alone, of all Xerxes' wives, loves the man beneath the crown. She alone, of all his wives, holds the heart of the king of kings.

Traveling with Xerxes through Europe as he mounts a war against Greece, Kasia knows enemies surround her, but they’re not the Spartans or Athenians. The threat lies with those close to the king who hate her people. She determines to put her trust in Jehovah–even if it costs her her marriage.

Years of prayers are answered when Kasia's childhood friend arrives at the palace after the war, but even as she determines to see Esther crowned in place of the bloodthirsty former queen, she knows the true battle is far from over. How far will her enemies go to see her undone?

Combining the biblical account of Esther with Herodotus's Histories, Jewel of Persia is the story of a love that nearly destroys an empire . . . and the friendship that saves a nation.

Please give us the first page of the book. 

Susa, Persia
The third year of the reign of Xerxes

The river called to Kasia before she saw it, the voice of its sweet waters promising a moment of unbridled sensation. Kasia cast a glance over her shoulder at her young friend. She ought not go. Abba forbade it—rarely enough to keep her away, but today she was not alone. Still. Esther was not opposed to adventure, once one overcame her initial reservation.
Kasia gripped her charge’s hand and grinned. “Come. Let us bathe our feet.”
Esther’s creased forehead made her look far older than twelve. “We could get in trouble.”
Kasia laughed and gave the small hand a tug. “That is half the fun. Oh, fret not, small one. My father is too busy to notice, and your cousin will not be back from the palace gates until evening.”
“But the king’s household is still here. It is unsafe.”
“We will only be a moment.” She wiggled her brows in the way that always made her young friend smile. “It will be fun. Perhaps we will even glimpse the house of women.”
Esther’s eyes brightened, and she let Kasia lead her another few steps. “Do you think Queen Amestris will be out? I have heard she is the most beautiful woman in all the world.”
“Only until little Esther grows up.” She tugged on a lock of the girl’s deep brown hair and urged her on. The Choaspes gurgled up ahead, where it wound around Susa and gave it life.
Esther laughed and plucked a lily, tucked it behind Kasia’s ear. “I will be blessed to have a quarter of your beauty, Kasia. Perhaps if I do, Zechariah will marry me.”
“And then we shall be sisters at last.” Kasia twirled Esther in a circle. A merry thought, though it was hard to imagine Zechariah settling down. He was two years her elder, but showed no signs of maturity at eighteen. If anyone could inspire it, though, it was sweet little Esther. Once she grew up, half the men in the Jewish population would probably bang at Mordecai’s door . . . and probably a few of their Persian neighbors as well.
Esther joined her in her impromptu dance, then sighed happily. “I should very much like sisters and brothers. I am blessed that Cousin Mordecai took me in, but having him as a father provides no siblings.”
Kasia smiled but knew she had better change the subject before Esther fell into memories of the parents she had lost. Though three years past, the tragedy could still pull the girl into a vortex of pain. “Any time you want to borrow one of mine, you are welcome.”

How can readers find you on the Internet?

And I welcome reader email at roseanna [at] roseannawhite [dot] com

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.


Michelle said...

Esther is one of my favorite Biblical stories. Would love to read this one.

mchapman (at) windstream (dot) net


Roseanna White said...

Esther's always been my favorite too, Michelle. It was at once exhilarating and intimidating to try to find a fresh way to tell this beloved story. But I loved every minute!

Lena, thanks so much for having me back on your blog!

Tim said...

Good interview. I live in Charlotte, NC. Would love the book. tchavel@hotmail.com

Rebecca said...

Thank you so much for the chance to win this. It sounds like an amazing book to read. Thank you again.


Annette W. said...

I've been wanting to read this for so long! I love the story of Esther and her faithfulness. (I'm reading a nonfiction book about her now...and Esther is even a top favorite name for our baby due in October...)

I live in PA and love it!
derekannette at gmail dot com

Sarah said...

I love the story of Esther!! This looks like a great book!

Sarah from Ohio

Melissa Jagears said...

I've loved Esther books since reading Behold Your Queen in High School by Malvern (now in print again, yeah!)

Please sign me up.


Margo Berendsen said...

I love historicals and this sounds like an interesting variation on the Esther story!

Berendsen70 at yahoo dot com

Sarah said...

Would love to win!

Sarah H

Roseanna White said...

I've often avoided Esther books, afraid they wouldn't do the book justice, and as I wrote this one, I was glad I had--I didn't want to be influenced by anyone else's version and inadvertently borrow their ideas! And I'm glad of that. I definitely went a way others haven't with this, though I was very conscious to honor the facts presented in the Bible.

Annette, I didn't realize you were expecting--congrats! And obviously, I love your choice of names. =)

Kristie said...

I love the Esther story. I read "One Night with the King" by Tommy Tenney and would love to see how this compares. I'm from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

Coolestmommy said...

Esther is such a wonderful story. I think this will be a great read.

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

misskallie2000 said...

Hi Rosanna, I love the story of Esther and can't wait to read your story. Thanks for stopping by to chat and share with us.

Lena, Please enter me in drawing. Thanks

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com


Unknown said...

Hi, I would love to read a fresh view from the story of Esther.

Also, I hope you love homeschooling as much as we do. Thanks, gahome2mom/at/gmail/dot/com

Roseanna White said...

This will only be our second year of homeschooling, and last year we had a few pains as we tried to find what worked best, LOL, but I'm really looking forward to digging in again with new curriculum. Especially since finding a support group in the area with a ton of kids my daughter's age. I think that'll make a world of difference!!

Good luck in the drawing!

apple blossom said...

love to win this book thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

I live in ND

Diana Flowers said...

Here I am right below you, Roseanna, in our matching apparel.;-) I hope I win this time...sigh. I would love to read this book! I should win a reward for persistency if nothing else.:-)


South Carolina

Jennifer @ Quiverfull Family said...

I have been wanting to read one of Roseanna's books for a while!

Please count me in :).

jennifer at quiverfullfamily dot com

Abigail Mitchell said...

I love books set in biblical times, and I also love the book of Esther so count me in the drawing.
Abigail Richmond
Blanch, N.C.

EJ said...

One of my favorite Bible Studies was the Beth Moore Esther study. Looking forward to reading this book.

Elaine from Iowa

Krista said...

Oh my goodness. This sounds sooooooo incredibly good! Wow... I can't wait to read this.
Please please enter me!

Krista from Gresham, OR

Unknown said...

Sounds like a wonderful read and I'd love to win a copy!
Kari in Oregon

Diana Flowers said...

I have been trying to win this book forever! Please enter me and pick me this time. LOL



A J Hawke said...

Jewel of Persia sound like an intriguing approach to the life of Esther.

Please enter me in the opportunity to win a giveaway.

A J Hawke

Emma said...

great interview.This book sound wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway.Thank you for the chance to win this.PA.

Faith's Grandma said...

Would love this book....enter my name for this contest......