I am always excited to learn of debut authors and to be able to share about their books. When author Melissa Rosenberger contacted me to see if I was interested in reviewing her book, I took at look at the description and replied right away with a resounding “YES”!
I am intrigued by the description of the story and even more so now that I’ve seen this excerpt. I will be reading it in the coming months and look forward to sharing my thoughts with you.
In the Shadow of the KingThe Unveiled Series #1
Published by Carpenter's Son Publishing
Publication Date February 13, 2019
Genres: Biblical Fiction
Setting: Israel Roman Empire - 32BC - 1461 AD
Written for: Adults
Growing up, Hannah knows her brother Yeshua is odd. Yet she can't understand why adults lavish such attention on him. She never would imagine her mother's explanation of ancient prophecies and angelic visitations. Yeshua, the Anointed One of Israel? Hannah scoffs at the idea while watching her brother for signs of greatness. When tragedy devastates the family and Yeshua does nothing more than pray, Hannah's heart shatters. She rejects Yeshua's advice to trust him and, driven by fear, takes radical steps to secure her future happiness. Years pass and Hannah finds herself shamed by barrenness in a loveless marriage. And once more, it's Yeshua's name on everyone's lips. Only now, his rebellious actions threaten not only her tenuous standing with her in-laws, but possibly her life. Determined to stop his dangerous exploits, Hannah travels to Capernaum to confront Yeshua. What she discovers there both amazes and frightens her. When Yeshua again asks for her trust, Hannah must make a decision. Should she jeopardize all she has left in the hope that Yeshua will reign? But how can a carpenter triumph where princes and armies have failed before? Can she risk believing Yeshua is who he says he is?
The morning before my engagement celebration, I sat in the clearing, grinding flour to bake braided challah bread for the occasion. Thinking of braids, I let go of the wooden handle protruding from the top circular stone quern and gingerly touched my hair. Aunt Lilit had braided and twisted it high on my head after the fashion of Keturah and the other society women of Sepphoris.
“A new hairstyle won’t make you any more beautiful.”
I turned, preparing a retort, but the look on Yeshua’s face caused my scowl to fall away. Genuine caring filled his eyes. I lowered my head to avoid the warm intensity of his gaze and self-consciously touched my hair again.
“You couldn’t be more beautiful to me, Hannah.”
Just when my lips turned up at this kindhearted comment, Shim‘on walked up behind him. “If you ask me, there’s room for improvement.”
“Oh, you,” I cried out, picking up a pebble to launch at his head.
He laughed while expertly dodging the stone and hurried into the house.
When I turned back, Yeshua still stared at me. I resumed grinding. Though ashamed of the words that came from my mouth last night, I couldn’t think of others that would make things right between us. He studied the flour gathering in fine piles around the base of the stones and seemed content to stand there all day waiting for me to speak.
“You know, I never . . . Nothing ever happened between Olmer and me,” I said.
I risked glancing at him, unsure if he meant he knew by divine inspiration or if Aunt Lilit had already clarified this with him.
“I know because I know you, Hannah.”
I suddenly choked up for some reason and focused on turning the stone in front of me. He placed his hand in between my shoulder blades, and the warmth of it seemed to travel to my heart.
“I know who you are, and you’re a good daughter.”
I nodded, determined not to cry.
He lifted his hand from my back and extended both his arms, welcoming me into his embrace, tempting me with love.
I shook my head and attempted a weak smile as I sniffed. If I stood and went into his arms, I might come apart. I might think about Abba and how disappointed he’d be in my actions. I might think about the pain in Elan’s eyes when he saw me at the manor. I might realize I’d made a terrible mistake. So I swayed back and forth over the mill, putting all my effort into keeping the stone spinning. The only thing holding me together was my determination not to think about the decisions I’d made.
Yeshua watched me, appraising the emotions that crossed my face. He lowered his arms to his side. For an instant I saw the hurt in his eyes caused by my rejection, but he quickly recovered. “I’ll let you finish your work so you can get ready.” He smiled. “We don’t want you to be late for your own engagement.”