Since Biblical fiction is so hot right now, I’ve decided to devote an entire week of posts to Biblical fiction titles I’ve read recently. And yes, I know today is Wednesday, I’m on a rolling week. (See title of this blog if you have questions.)
I’m starting with Tessa Afshar, who is probably my all-time favorite Biblical fiction author.
Mainly because she doesn’t avoid depicting biblical characters and culture honestly. This can be uncomfortable for some of us, especially if you struggle with biblical society’s attitudes toward women, or the harsh realities that permeated their lives. She doesn’t pull any punches in these areas and her portrayals of women and the ancient societies they lived in are stronger for it. Tessa Afshar reminds me of one of my favorite authors, Francine Rivers. In her Lineage of Grace series, Rivers tells the stories of the women in the lineage of Christ and highlights the theme of redemption that flows through these Old Testament stories. (Great series, I highly recommend it!) Tessa Afshar does this as well, or maybe even better than Francine Rivers. I know that’s high praise, but she deserves it. It can be hard to give readers a fresh take on well-known biblical characters, but Tessa Afshar does this spectacularly with Ruth in In the Field of Grace.
Stop the presses, hold the phone, and shut the front door! We have a Christian Romantic Suspense novel WITH A GUY ON THE COVER.
If you’re not familiar with Inspirational Romantic Suspense you may think this is not a big deal. Well, let me assure you, IT IS. (Sorry I’m really excited about all caps today I guess.) There are lots of women on covers, lots of couples on covers, lots of dimly lit streets, but VERY FEW hunky guys. Mainstream romantic suspense is a completely different story. Now granted this guy is fully clothed, (Thank goodness, I don’t think the market’s ready for shirtlessness yet, lol.) but there’s a little bit of 5 O’clock shadow going on…
Cold Shot is the first in a new series by author Dani Pettrey and I’m afraid it doesn’t come out until February. In the meantime give Dani’s Alaskan Courage series a try. They’re pretty good even if the covers all have women on them. ;-)
I really liked the premise of this book. (A woman is seduced into traveling to Pakistan by a charming man who tells her that she will be saving the life of a young girl.) This kind of thing does happen, so I was intrigued. Let me first say that this was a good story and I enjoyed it. Mallory, the heroine, is motivated by a desire to help someone in a sad situation. Several characters who are of the Muslim faith are portrayed very well. (My favorite character was Mallory’s Muslim friend Soraya.) Often discussions about faith in books like this one are stilted and forced, but Mallory and Soraya’s conversations felt real and honest.
Having said all that, I still felt like Mallory was crazy! I’m not skeptical of the situation and I don’t want to judge anyone who’s made those choices, (this book is based on a true story) but I didn’t feel that there was enough motivation for Mallory to make the choices that she did. I think that’s on the author, but maybe it’s just me. I was ready and willing to be convinced and I just couldn’t quite get there.
All Fall Down is a great start to a new series. I didn’t love it as much as Gallagher Girls or Heist Society, but I loved the characters and it’s an interesting setting. Plus Ally Carter can deliver on plots! The twists still surprised me, even when I should have expected them! I’m looking forward to the rest of the series!
Good news! Baker Publishing (Bethany House) has a ton of discounted and free eBook specials during the month of May! Different titles are discounted at different times, so check this out right away!