Sunday, March 18, 2012

SARAI - Jill Eileen Smith - Free Book

God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
I am grateful for all that God has allowed me to do, and the books He is allowing me to write. I am working on my sixth book with Revell, with four more contracted. I hope to continue this relationship with them for a long time to come.

Tell us a little about your family.
I’ve been married to Randy for almost 35 years (this May). Together we have three adult sons – one in Michigan, two in California. We homeschooled our boys for 12 years, then saw them all go off to earn bachelor’s degrees in different colleges or universities. They are all pursuing various forms of storytelling in either film or novel form. Randy is a recently retired engineer, with plans to pursue various ventures in the coming years. We have two cats, who bring a lot of laughter to our lives.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
I’ve picked up more ABA (secular) novels in the past few years, particularly some of the New York Times bestsellers. One of my sons (who is an English major) has suggested a few, some more literary than I’m used to, that have broadened my horizons. I am busier now, so I’m a pickier reader. Used to be that if I started a book I would finish it. Now, I have too many books on my Kindle or bookshelf and too little time.

What are you working on right now?
Rachel’s story, which is really the tale of Jacob, Rachel, and Leah, but the focus is more on Rachel. This is book three in the Wives of the Patriarchs series. Book two, Rebekah, is “in house.”

What outside interests do you have?
I love spending time with my family and friends. On nice days, I like to ride my bike to the park while I listen to my favorite music. It’s a worshipful time for me. I love to travel, especially to see my kids in California, but I also hope to see some places I’ve yet to see in the U.S. and abroad.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
The settings are chosen for me by the Scripture. I am more interested in the people of the Bible than the setting, so when I think about a new project, it is with specific people in mind. Once the people are chosen, then I get to see where they lived. The Wives of King David took me to ancient Israel and other Canaanite territories. Sarai, book one in the Wives of the Patriarchs, took me to ancient Mesopotamia, ancient Egypt, and ancient Canaan.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
King David. I have a gazillion things I’d like to ask him. And I’d just like to spend time talking with the man who wrote such beautiful psalms.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?

That someday the books would see print. That God really did plan to give me the desire of my heart. Twenty years of waiting and not knowing was hard. But if I’d known for sure, perhaps I would not have learned what I needed to along the way.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
Serenity to accept what I cannot change. (Most things are out of my control.) Trust in the midst of trials. (There have been many this past year.) Belief that God’s grace is sufficient. (Thorns hurt – and life deals us many of them. God’s grace truly is enough, it’s just hard to believe that sometimes.)

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Learn the craft well and write books that keep readers wanting more. (But also remember that you will not please all readers at all times. Just write the best novel you can.)
Write what you love, not what you think will sell.
Seek God’s will above any marketing success. It’s not about sales. It’s about pleasing Him.

Tell us about the featured book.
Sarai, the last child of her aged father, is beautiful, spoiled, and used to getting her own way. Even as a young girl, she is aware of the way men look at her, including her half brother Abram. When Abram finally requests Sarai’s hand, she asks one thing–that he promise never to take another wife as long as she lives. Even her father thinks the demand is restrictive and agrees to the union only if Sarai makes a promise in return–to give Abram a son and heir. Certain she can easily do that, Sarai agrees.
But as the years stretch on and Sarai’s womb remains empty, she becomes desperate to fulfill her end of the bargain–lest Abram decide that he will not fulfill his. To what lengths will Sarai go in her quest to bear a son? And how long will Abram’s patience last?

Please give us the first page of the book.

Ur, 2051 BC
Sarai glanced across the courtyard, catching Abram’s gaze. His half smile and the twinkle in his eye warmed her more than the wine she had tasted at the start of the ceremony. Music drifted
around them as the bridal couple—their nephew Lot and his new wife, Melah—took their seats on the bench beneath the canopy and accepted rich foods from the hands of the servants.

“This whole wedding is a disgrace, you know.” Sarai’s sister-in-law Milcah stood at her elbow and leaned close to her ear. “Why her father agreed to the marriage after Lot had already humbled the girl . . . Though I suppose he didn’t have much choice. Who else would want her after she’d already given in to Lot’s charms?” Milcah batted at a fly, sending it away. “I can’t imagine why Lot couldn’t wait with such a one. It’s not as though she’s a beauty or a temptress. It seems like he could have done better.” The last words came out in a whisper as Milcah moved in close again.

Sarai turned from watching the bridal couple to meet Milcah’s pinched gaze. “If it is true that a babe is already on the way, it is…

Wow. Way to leave us hanging. How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Jill, for another interesting interview.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Sarai: A Novel (Wives of the Patriarchs) - paperback
Sarai (Wives of the Patriarchs) - Kindle

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 4 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.


Judy said...

I'm not entering this contest. I have the book and have already read it. Oh my! It was so good. This was the first book that I've read from this author and I can't wait to read more of her novels. I can't say enough good things about this book. It is the kind of read that you don't ever what to put the book down until you finish it!


Susan Johnson said...

This looks like a really good book. I would like to enter the contest. I live in Odessa, Texas

Krista said...

This sounds like a wonderful book. Please enter me!

Krista from Oregon

Melissa Jagears said...

I never used to leave a book unfinished either--it's sad, but I don't read everything all the way through anymore.


Liz R said...

I'd LOVE to read this book! Thanks for the giveaway. I live in Hayden, Alabama.


Megan said...

Biblical fiction always makes me want to reread the original story in the Bible...there is so much in the story of Abram and Sarai!!!
Megan from PA

Unknown said...

i love reading novels about biblical figures, and have been wanting this one. Thanks, Lena for the great post and opportunity to win

marianne - arizona

mitzi underscore wanham at yahoo dot com

Mary Preston said...

I actually already have SARAI on my wish list. Thank you for the wonderful first page.

Mary P


apple blossom said...

I have seen this book on other blog reviews. It sounds so good. thanks for the chance to win

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Jill Eileen Smith said...

Judy - thank you for such kind words about SARAI! I'm so glad you enjoyed the story!

I wish each one of you could win a copy!

I do hope you all will be encouraged to go back and read the biblical account. The story in Scripture is truly fascinating!

Blessings to all,
~Jill EIleen Smith

Abigail Mitchell said...

I have been wanting to read this book for sometime. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!
God Bless!
Blanch, N.C.

Riki's Grandma said...

This is my kind of books....would love to win.....Riki's Grandma/Ohio

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

Looks interesting!
Please enter me in the drawing!
My Name is Sarah.
God Bless,
Sarah Richmond

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me I would love to win a copy of this book it sounds and looks like a great story!! Thanks and God bless,
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Patricia said...

Hi Jill, I love your answer to..
What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now? Trust in the midst of trial.

Anxious to read your this book. I have never read a book written about people of the bible other than the bible.

I am a country girl from the Piney Woods of East Texas.


debbie curto said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
debbie curto said...

Would love to win this book. I have read your other books about David's wives and loved them. I am from Litchfield Illinois. Thanks for the chance to win.
Debbie C.

Sharon said...

Thanks for the interview Jill and Lena. Would love to win a copy of "Sarai". Jill - Read your series on David's wives and donated them to our church libraries. Lots of great feedback!
Eagan MN

Jill Eileen Smith said...

Patricia - so glad you liked the comment about trials. It would be nice if we could avoid them altogether, but life just won't let us! Truly trusting God in the midst of them is an ongoing lesson I hope I learn someday!

Debbi and Sharon - thank you for reading The Wives of King David series! I'm so glad you liked them. I hope you enjoy SARAI as well!

Thanks for all of the great feedback.

Ingrid said...

I love reading Biblical stories and your Book is just up my alley (smile.
I loved the Interview and can't wait for the next Book.

Blessings to all


I live in S.Illinois

misskallie2000 said...

I love stories based on people from the Bible. I already have this book on my wish list and looking forward to reading. Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

Brenda from Georgia

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Coolestmommy said...

Sounds like a real page-turner. Can't wait to read.

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

EJ said...

Ohhh - I love this series & am looking forward to reading Sarai. Thanks for the great interview.

Elaine from Iowa

Joanna Richmond said...

it looks like a really good book. I would love to read it. Please enter me. Thanks
Joanna Richmond
Blanch, NC

Lisa E. said...

This book sounds so intriguing! I don't think I can remember seeing any Biblical Fiction based on the life of Sarai before. I'd love to read it!

Lisa from Washington State

Janet Kerr said...

"Sarai" has an interesting storyline. Please enter me in the draw. Your book sounds exotic.

I am from B.C., CANADA


Jill Eileen Smith said...

Thanks to all of you who have stopped by this week and posted on the blog. It was great hearing from you! And thank you, Lena, for having me!

I wish each one of you the best and hope every book you read will inspire and bless you and take you on an incredible journey of the heart.

Happy reading~

~Jill Eileen Smith

Aizess said...

Oh my! I've really wanted to try a book in the Biblical fiction genre... and try Jill Eileen Smith. So please enter me!

I live in New York