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Friday, March 20, 2009

CFBA Blog Tour - Jill Eileen Smith and Michal

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Michal
Revell - March 1, 2009)
by Jill Eileen Smith


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

JILL EILEEN SMITH is the author of several articles, poems, and stories, and her unpublished novels have placed in five writing contests in the past five years. A children's story, which she wrote for her church led her youngest son to faith in Christ several years ago; much like a gospel tract led her to the Lord at a similar age.

That story, "Seeking Treasureland," is now available. Jill is a member of several online writing groups and helps promote fellow authors' works through monthly interviews on the "Spotlight" page of her website. She, along with her husband and children, are active members in their local church. A stay-at-home mom, she homeschooled the couple's three sons for twelve years through high school, seeing them go on to higher education.

In her spare time, Jill teaches piano, reads, does picture scrap-booking, and enjoys trying out new recipes, especially those that include dark chocolate. Jill and her family make their home in Southeastern Lower Michigan.

ABOUT THE BOOK

MICHAL
by Jill Eileen Smith
Published by Revell

Can their epic search for true love survive a father's fury?

The daughter of King Saul, Michal lives a life of privilege--but one that is haunted by her father's unpredictable moods and competition from her beautiful older sister.

As a girl, Michal quickly falls for the handsome young harpist David. But soon after their romance begins, David must flee for his life, leaving Michal at her father's mercy in the prison that is King Saul's palace.

Will Michal ever be reunited with David? Or is she doomed to remain separated from him forever?

Against the backdrop of opulent palace life, raging war, and daring desert escapes, Jill Eileen Smith takes you on an emotional journey as Michal deals with love, loss, and personal transformation as the first wife of King David. Jill Eileen Smith has more than twenty years of writing experience, and her writing has gathered acclaim in several contests. Her research into the lives of David's wives has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Michal, go HERE.

Buy Your Copy of Michal today!

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

1. This is your debut novel. Congratulations! What gave you the inspiration for this story?

Thanks! I co-taught a Bible study on the life of King David and fell in love with his story. I couldn't get past the question, "Why did a man after God's own heart need so many wives?" I searched for a novel on his life to take me there and to satisfy that nagging question but found none that satisfied. So I began to write the book I longed to read. I had no idea this project would take me on a 20-year journey to publishing a series about David's wives.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that are theirs and theirs alone?

I've noticed that when I'm going through something, usually something really tough emotionally, it will occur to me at some point in the midst of the pain that perhaps this was how my characters felt at a particular time. I'm not so thrilled with the experiences on my end, but I think the emotion can be filtered into understanding the characters better. I kind of have those "ah ha" moments, like seeing the characters' situation with new eyes.

I project the emotion into the characters' experiences, but I can't say that my traits are theirs. Perhaps some of them are in a certain sort of way, because all authors draw from who they are and what they've lived through. But whereas my father never annulled my marriage or gave me to another man, I can imagine the hurt of betrayal because I've experienced the emotion of betrayal. My husband never fled through a window and didn't return, but I've felt the sting of rejection in relationships enough to infuse that emotion into what Michal might have been feeling.

3. If one of your characters were an ice cream flavor, what would he/she be and why?

Michal - chocolate - she's a woman and what woman doesn't love chocolate? (Yes, I know, there are a few.) Besides, the forbidden fruit was not likely an apple, but I can tell you what, if it was a chocolate coated strawberry, Eve's lack of resistance makes a lot more sense. :)

David - cafe mocha mint - (if it's not a flavor of ice cream, it should be) - because he's got energy, passion, and spice. :)

4. Are there any themes in Michal that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the stories progressed?

Themes of control issues, repentance, reconciliation, surrender all come through. I hope the reader sees Michal as a woman who wants to control her life and can relate to what it costs her in the process. Idols come into play in a way I didn't expect until I finished the book - it fit with the overall need to worship no one but Yahweh.

5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

This book has been rewritten so many times, it's hard to say. There was one point when I was trying to cut 18k words that I grew weary of certain sections, but I don't remember what they were - probably because I cut them! :) My favorite parts were romantic scenes between David and Michal because I love romance and an especially poignant scene with Jonathan.

6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

Book Two is Abigail - final title is yet to be determined. It should release next March 2010, but I don't have a firm date yet. Abigail is the third wife of David, first married to Nabal. Abigail wants peace and her life is filled with anything but!

Book Three is in the works right now - Bathsheba. Tentative release is March 2011.

For updates visit - www.thewivesofkingdavid.com

A new series on the Wives of the Patriarchs will follow this series.

Thanks for doing this, Tiff!

* * * * *

Thank you, Jill, for being in the spotlight with us.

Readers, leave a comment for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of Michal.

If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post. Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname dot.com/net). Wouldn't want you to miss out on winning a book. :)

And if you want to make certain you don't miss anything, check the box that says 'email follow-up comments to:' when you leave a comment and they'll be sent to the email address associated with your blogging account. That way you'll be notified of any comments and will know when I announce the winner.

This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.

5 comments:

Carole said...

I have always enjoyed biblical fiction and am so glad to see this series on the wives of David. This is a great series theme. Thank you so much for the chance to win a copy of Michal.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

windycindy said...

This sounds like a great Biblical fiction book! Please enter me in your drawing. Many thanks, Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

ladybug said...

The stories of King David and his family are an endless fascination to me. It seems there's always something else/more to be learned from David and what he went thru. I think it's wonderful that someone is writing about the woman who played significant roles in his life.

My family loves biblical fiction. Please enter me for a chance to win!

ldneuhof at hotmail dot com

Jill Eileen Smith said...

Thanks to all of you for your interest in MICHAL! I am honored and thrilled that you want to read the book. I hope you enjoy it.

If you don't win this copy, there is another contest on Michal's Facebook Fan Page from now until April 14, 2009. Search Michal: A Novel to check it out.

All the best~
~Jill

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

We have a winner from this drawing and that is:

CINDY

Congratulations! I have sent your information so Jill so she can send out your book.

As always, thanks to everyone for your continued support.