Friday, May 7, 2010

Review/Giveaway: Witness

Witness (Seeds of Christianity)A WINNING READINGS GIVEAWAY!

Title: Witness (Book One of The Seeds of Christianity Series)
Author: E. G. Lewis
Genre: Biblical historical fiction
How to enter: Leave a comment on THIS post right here! If you're a subscriber or a follower, leave a second comment for a second entry.
Entry deadline: May 25, 2010
Restrictions: Open internationally!

That's right, enter right here for this giveaway.  This is my review copy, so it has been gently read.
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It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

Cape Arago Press (November 9, 2009)
***Special thanks to E. G. Lewis for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Edward (E. G.) Lewis was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. A former newspaper editor and publisher, his articles have appeared in many national and regional magazines. He also wrote and directed corporate training films.

Mr. Lewis holds a graduate degree in Economics from Ohio State University and worked in Planning and Corporate Management before choosing to become a fulltime novelist. He writes both Biblical fiction and Commercial fiction.

A lifelong Christian with a burning interest in the life and times of the early Church, he feels we are privileged to follow in the footsteps of these earliest believers in the teachings of Christ. He and his wife, Gail, also a writer, live on the Southern Oregon Coast.

Visit the author's website.
Visit the publisher's website.


Product Details:

List Price: $18.99
Paperback: 318 pages
Publisher: Cape Arago Press (November 9, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0982594909
ISBN-13: 978-0982594902

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


I would have seen the lion if those clods of dirt flying past my head had not distracted me.

There I was, relaxing on a hill, bothering no one. The sheep poked around the sparse pasture for the last clumps of edible forage while I sang Psalms and wove a basket. The summer sun had browned the grass and baked the Judean hills, turning them tan as barley bread.

My tongue swept around my mouth tasting the gritty dryness of the afternoon as another clod sailed overhead. It struck the ground in front of me and broke apart in a spray of dust.

All sorts of strange objects took flight whenever I tended the sheep. Overripe figs, half-eaten pomegranates, sticks, and now clods of dirt had sprouted wings and flew through the air.

The boys did it to upset me, to make me cry. Once upon a time it had worked, but no longer. If I cried, they won. And I would never let them win.

Jumping to my feet, I spun to face them.

Two more clods headed toward me.

Ducking under them, I rested my hands on my hips and glared across the ravine at the boys throwing them. “Stop, or you will be sorry,” I yelled and adjusted my headband.

Like the bigger shepherds, I carried my shebet, a small club, and my sling tucked in my sash. I tugged the sling out and stooped to gather stones. Imagining myself David, I threw my shoulders back and rolled the stones in my hand. Seeing their startled faces when one of these rocks bounced off their forehead would do my heart good.

But there would be no rocks to the head this day, I thought with a sigh. No matter how angry they made me, there was little I could do. On Mt. Sinai, the Lord gave Moshe the stone tablets containing the Law which commanded, Thou shalt not commit murder. The boys had nothing to fear and they knew it. Gavriel and Simeon could throw things, call me names, and torment me without fear of retaliation.

“Go sweep floors, little maiden,” Simeon hollered. “Comb wool, weave cloth, bake loaves.”

“Perhaps you should go to Jerusalem and apprentice yourself to a fuller.”

Simeon’s head snapped back. His eyes popped open wide.

Beside him, Gavriel snickered at the idea of seeing his friend removing lanolin from wool cloth by plodding knee-deep in a vat of stale urine.

Simeon’s face reddened.

Gavriel’s snickers became laughs. They grew louder until he doubled over, holding his sides and choking.

“Go away! You do not belong here,” Simeon shouted. He stuck out his tongue and did a little dance, daring me to do something about it.

“Do too belong here. I am tending my flock.” The smooth stone slid between my thumb and fingers.


Where to hit him?


“Sheep are for shepherds.” He gestured toward his loins. “Shepherds. Understand little girl?” He spat on the ground, clearing his mouth of the despicable word girl.

“There are shepherds and there are shepherdesses, you evil little boy. Take a look. What do you see? A shepherdess with her flock. Now go away, you are making the sheep anxious.”

A rock to where he pointed would give him good reason to dance. I gritted my teeth in frustration. Not only did Yahweh’s law rule my life, but Abba’s did as well. My father would never approve of me hitting a boy in the loins with a stone.

Abba’s stern voice echoed in the back of my mind. “Rivkah, my little dove, will you never learn? A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger. Do not fight with the boys. Exhibit the comely behavior and feminine demeanor befitting a daughter of Avraham.”


Easy enough for him to say.


“There is no such thing as a shepherdess,” Gavriel hollered.

I shook my fist at him. “Did an unclean spirit turn you into a goy?” He glared at me for calling him a gentile, not that I cared. “What about Laban’s daughters, Leah and Rachel? Have you never heard of Jethro’s seven daughters, of Zipporah the shepherdess and wife of Moshe?”

Behind me the sheep bleated nervously. I ignored them. The boys and their dirt balls not only upset me, they bothered my sheep as well. Sometimes they threw things into the midst of the flock scattering them. It took a lot of effort to chase after those sheep and bring them back together.

We stared daggers at each other across the narrow gully.

I fit a stone into the pouch of my sling and let it dangle at the end of its straps. Shepherds used their slings to drive off small beasts and vermin. Gavriel and Simeon qualified.

Swinging it up in a practiced arc, I whipped it around in a tight circle. The whirling blur above my head buzzed like a hoard of locusts.

The boy’s mouths dropped. They glanced at each other nervously, at me, and then at each other again.

My warning shot smacked the ground in front of their feet, boring into the dry soil and scattering dust over their bare toes.

Gavriel laughed. “Ha! You shoot like a girl, little shepherdess. You would miss the side of a camel if it were standing right in front of you.” He stuck his fingers in the corners of his mouth and made a face.

“May the Lord will your face to remain like that for the rest of your life.”

There were several more stones in my left hand. If they wanted war, war they would get. The boys jumped when they saw me reloading my sling.

But I never threw that second stone.

Shemu’el appeared behind them while they scoured the ground for ammunition. He is three years older than we are, almost twelve and soon to become a man. Shemu’el is tall, and stronger than Gavriel and Simeon put together. And, most importantly, he is my friend. It upsets him when the boys bother me.

They were so busy hunting for rocks, his footsteps went unnoticed.

Taking long strides, he marched up behind them and grabbed each of them by a shoulder.

I grinned when the boys winced and howled as he shook them.

“Go take care of your sheep, you little fools. They are beginning to stray.” He spun them around and gave them a shove.

Today’s battle may have ended, but our war had not. The boys shot me a look that promised revenge, then slunk away.

Shemu’el swung out his staff spanking them as they left. He turned, glanced up at the ridge behind me, and gave a start.

The expression on Shemu’el’s face made my stomach quiver.

He studied the hillside a moment longer, then, quick as a gazelle, leaped the ravine and ran to where I stood. “Look, Rivkah,” he whispered. “A lion.”


Cape Arago Press

North Bend, OR

www.capearagopress.com


What I Liked:  I love biblical historical fiction - as it gets me back to scripture: either broadening my perspective or causing me to check the facts!  This has a touch of that biblical history in it as the main character's path crosses with Jesus.  And it climaxes with her experience of witnessing Him on the cross - what a powerful moment!

I've done a little study on classical education recently, and I kept seeing this as a great book for an older teen to learn more about the time period of Christ.  It provides an interesting overview of some of the political and cultural issues of the day.

And it's all rounded out with some romance and well-developed characters to move the story along.  Nice job, E. G. Lewis (who happens to be a fellow Oregonian not far from here)!  I'm definitely looking forward to the next one!

What I Didn't Like:  Not much! 

The cover had me expecting something different; maybe more facts and less story?  More dry than it actually was?  The content exceeded my expectations!

Another observation - the book wholeheartedly supports premarital abstinence, but it does go into some factual detail about the role of sex in marriages of the time.  Just something to be aware of if you're considering passing this on to a teen to read.

CymLowellPosted by Jane at Mozi Esmé

65 comments:

Annette W. said...

I need to be reading more biblical fiction! Thanks for the chance.

Annette W. said...

I follow you!

Julia M. Reffner said...

Sounds intriguing.

julesreffner(at)gmail(dot)com

Julia M. Reffner said...

I'm a subscriber.

Linda Kish said...

I would like to read this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

fredamans said...

Please count me in.

freda.mans[at]sympatico.ca

fredamans said...

I follow via GFC

freda.mans[at]sympatico.ca

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if I'll want to read the part about sex, but the excerpt hooked me and kept me reading, so I'll enter for this one.

hismercysurrounding(at)yahoo(dot)com

Shonda said...

It sounds good! shondaet@gmail.com

misskallie2000 said...

WOw, just reading the blurb had me sucked into the book. Then it ended.. Would love to win. Thanks for the opportunity to enter,


misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

misskallie2000 said...

I am a google follower and email subscriber


misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

409cope said...

This sounds like a great read! cardshark42(at)hotmail(dot)com

409cope said...

I am an email subscriber.cardshark42(at)hotmail(dot)com

ryleesgran said...

I would love to win

Jo said...

I'd love to win this! :)

jo.tee35(at)gmail(dot)com

Jo said...

I'm also your follower through Google Connect :)

jo.tee35(at)gmail(dot)com

mindy said...

this sounds wonderful thanks for the giveaway minsthins at optonline dot net

Fine Insanity said...

Sounds great. Thanks!
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Fine Insanity said...

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Simply Stacie said...

Please count me in.

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Simply Stacie said...

email subscriber

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Naasom A. Sousa said...

Please enter me. I would like win this book. Tanks.

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Naasom A. Sousa said...

I folow you.

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toughturtles said...

Please count me in

snowluvnferret said...

This looks really good

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Joannie said...

I really enjoy historical fiction, an this one looks really different in that it's Biblical.
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mmentor said...

sign me up

Anonymous said...

Please enter me.

Wendy
ebeandebe at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I follow with google reader.

Wendy
ebeandebe at gmail dot com

Katy said...

Sounds interesting! I'll give it a try! I've just recently started reading biblical fiction.

srfbluemama[at]gmail[dot]com

Katy said...

I'm a follower :)

srfbluemama[at]gmail[dot]com

Jenndiggy said...

This would be great. I am hoping to go to Israel at the beginning of next year, and this would be neat to read as I plan that!

jenndiggy at gmail dot com

Jenndiggy said...

I follow google connect.

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Healthy & Happy said...

this sounds good!

Healthy & Happy said...

thank you

Anonymous said...

please count me in..thanks :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Smooshy said...

enter me!

LoveMyCoffee said...

I would love to read this book.
I am a subscriber by email
also a follower by GFC

Dutchlvr1(at)aol(dot)com

busiemommie said...

I'd love to win this book!

busiemommie said...

I subscribe via email

sweetsue said...

Historical and biblical fiction sounds like an unusual combination. I would love to read it!
smchester at gmail dot com

sweetsue said...

I follow on Google Friend Connect.
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idahomom said...

My husband says that my reading addiction is breaking the bank. Thanks for the chance to support my habit.

idahomom said...

idahomom is a google friend follower

cpullum said...

Reading Biblical historical fiction takes you to a whole different time and it just takes you off your seat! Count me in!
Carla
cpullum(at)yahoo(dot)com

Nickolay said...

I havent read a whole lot of Biblical fiction, but this sounds great

jason(at)allworldautomotive(dot)com

Nickolay said...

Blog follower

Nickolay

jason(at)allworldautomotive(dot)com

Anonymous said...

This looks intriguing!

theyyyguy@yahoo.com

Valeen said...

Thanks for the review! I am definately intrigued. Would really like to read this!

sweepyhead at gmail dot com

Charlene said...

The review has me interested, thanks!

motherabagail531 at yahoo dot com

Charlene said...

Follower on GFC

motherabagail531 at yahoo dot com

Melissa B. said...

This book sounds awesome!

cdmarteny said...

would like to live

cdmarteny said...

would like to live

purango said...

It sounds great. As a Christian who has a great interest in Jesus and the early church, I would enjoy reading the book. garrettsambo@aol.com

FDP 4 Life said...

i would love to read this one too!
susansmoaks at gmail dot com

FDP 4 Life said...

i am a follower
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sdianen said...

Love to read this book.

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ZESTYWONDERLAND said...

I would love to read Witness (Book One of The Seeds of Christianity Series)!
Thanks for the chance!
zestywonderland@gmail.com

ZESTYWONDERLAND said...

I follow & subscribe!
zestywonderland@gmail.com

Gianna said...

Please enter me :)

Amanda said...

Wow! I love the sample you posted - sounds like a great book!
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Amanda said...

I follow on GFC!
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lilyk said...

Please enter me into the contest. Thanks!

lilyk said...

I subscribed to your blog.