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JUNE — Books, Books, & More Books

Hello Dear Reader,

Happy Summer! I hope you are enjoying summer vacation, whether it’s through trips, family time, or even at work with an iced drink in your hand. Before we dive in today, I just want to send out a huge thank you to everyone who participated in the giveaway! It was so much fun to host and connect with so many of you! There will definitely be more giveaways in the future, so keep an eye out!

With summer comes extra sunshine, with extra sunshine comes more energy, and with more energy comes more reading time! While you wait for the sequel of “The Abditory” to be released (date still kept under tight wraps ;)), I’ve got some reading recommendations to hold you over! But first…


Here’s a little humor to start off the summer!

Verse of the Month

“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?”

Psalm 8:3-4 ESV


“The Robe” by Lloyd C. Douglas

Synopsis: A Roman soldier, Marcellus, wins Christ’s robe as a gambling prize. He then sets forth on a quest to find the truth about the Nazarene’s robe-a quest that reaches to the very roots and heart of Christianity and is set against the vividly limned background of ancient Rome. Here is a timeless story of adventure, faith, and romance, a tale of spiritual longing and ultimate redemption.

Type: Standalone Novel

My Take: Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was written in 1942, which I believe also makes a soft spot in my heart. What I also enjoyed about this book is that there is a 1953 film adaptation, starring none other than Richard Burton and Jean Simmons. * fangirl moment * On an ordinary basis, I’m not thrilled when books are turned into films or tv series, but this is one of the few exceptions 

Link: Buy on Amazon HERE

“A Voice in the Wind” by Francine Rivers

Synopsis: “The city was silently bloating in the hot sun, rotting like the thousands of bodies that lay where they had fallen in street battles.” With this opening sentence, A Voice in the Wind transports readers back to Jerusalem during the first Jewish-Roman War, some seventy years after the death of Christ. Following the prides and passions of a group of Jews, Romans and Barbarians living at the time of the siege, the narrative is centered on an ill-fated romance between a steadfast slave girl, Hadassah, and Marcus, the brother of her owner and a handsome aristocrat. After surviving the massacre of her family and the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, Hadassah is captured and sold to a well-to-do merchant’s family. Brought to Rome, she is pressed into service as a personal slave to hedonistic Julia Valerian. Hadassah struggles to walk in the footsteps of Jesus and to treat her masters in a manner in keeping with His teachings, but she is forced to keep her religious identity a secret in order to survive. Confused and alone, she has only her faith to cling to as she tries to subtly bring God into the lives of her captors. Reckless, impulsive, and villainous, Julia tries to undermine Hadassah at every turn. But Julia’s brother, Marcus, is a different sort altogether. Is it possible for a love between Hadassah and Marcus to flourish considering not only their differing stations in life, but also the gap between Hadassah’s unrelenting faith and Marcus’ lack of belief in anything? Simultaneously, Atretes, a captured soldier from Germania, is forced to become a gladiator. This is the time of Rome’s decline and the decadence of a civilization on the verge of self-destruction serves as a powerful backdrop to the Barbarian’s struggle for survival in the arena.

Type: Series

My Take: As you can read from the synopsis, one of the things I love about this book is that there are multiple storylines taking place which all connect at some point in the story! This is book 1 in the 3-book series, but this particular one is my favorite. Rivers writes with elegance and a thorough knowledge of what was happening in the world during that time. There is also a guide in the back for any questions about time period words or habits, as well as an in-depth character study. 

Link: Buy on Amazon HERE

“A.D. 30” by Ted Dekker

Synopsis: A sweeping epic set in the harsh deserts of Arabia and ancient Palestine. A war that rages between kingdoms on the earth and in the heart. The harrowing journey of the woman at the center of it all. Step back in time to the year of our Lord…A.D. 30. The outcast daughter of one of the most powerful Bedouin sheikhs in Arabia, Maviah is called on to protect the very people who rejected her. When their enemies launch a sudden attack with devastating consequences, Maviah escapes with the help of two of her father’s warriors–Saba who speaks more with is sword than his voice and Judah, a Jew who comes from a tribe that can read the stars. Their journey will be fraught with terrible danger. If they can survive the vast forbidding sands of a desert that is deadly to most, they will reach a brutal world subjugated by kings and emperors. There Maviah must secure an unlikely alliance with King Herod of the Jews. But Maviah’s path leads her unexpectedly to another man. An enigmatic teacher who speaks of a way in this life which offers greater power than any kingdom. His name is Yeshua, and his words turn everything known on its head. Though following him may present even greater danger, his may be the only way for Maviah to save her people–and herself.

Type: Series

My Take: Dekker is another one of my top authors, based on his writing style. This story is told very well, with plenty of twists and turns along the way. I will say, if you are looking for a romance book, this is not it. It does have some elements, but Dekker focuses more on Maviah, her mission, and relationship with Yeshua. 

Link: Buy on Amazon HERE

“First Light” by Bodie and Brock Thoene

Synopsis: Go back in time to first-century Jerusalem. It’s a dark time in the world’s holiest and most turbulent city. Walk with Peniel, the blind beggar who longs for rescue from his suffering. Peek into the lives of Susannah and Manaen, two lovers separated by overwhelming odds. And meet an unusual healer, who ignites a spark of controversy in the fire of hatred, deceit, and betrayal that is always burning in this ancient city. This first book in the A.D. Chronicles series will bring you face-to-face with the man called Yeshua.

Type: Series

My Take: This book holds a special place in my heart, because the first time I read this I was in Rome. With the elements of Roman soldiers and law, it made the story come alive – that and a great soundtrack playing in the background. There are twelve books in this series, so be prepared for the long haul. It’s an amazing storyline and one that I thoroughly recommend reading. 

Link: Buy on Amazon HERE

“The Thief” by Stephanie Landsem

Synopsis: Nissa is a Jewish woman with a sharp tongue and no hope of marriage. Abandoned by the God she once loved, her only recourse is to depend upon Mouse, the best thief in Jerusalem, to keep her blind brother, Cedron, fed and the landlord satisfied. Longinus is a Roman centurion haunted by death and failure and is desperate to escape the accursed Judean province. Accepting a wager that will get him away from the aggravating Jews and their threats of revolt, he sets out to catch the thieves harassing the marketplace. When a controversial teacher miraculously heals Cedron, Nissa hopes for freedom from her life of lies. But the supposed miracle brings only more misfortune, and Longinus, seeking to learn more about the mysterious healer, finds himself drawn instead to Nissa, whose secret will determine the course of both their futures. Cedron, Longinus, and Nissa are unexpectedly caught up in the arrest, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus. As danger closes in on them from every side, they must decide if the love and redemption Jesus offers is true or just another false promise. How can the so-called Messiah save them from their shackles, when he cannot even save himself?

Type: Series

My Take: While this is book 2 in the series, I found no confusion when starting with this one. Each of the three books in this series are more of a standalone, each telling a story about different characters. I personally have a soft spot for Roman/Judean conflict stories, so this one was of particular interest to me. Landsem writes very well, almost reminding me of Rivers of her style of writing and storytelling. It’s definitely worth checking out. 

Link: Buy on Amazon HERE


If you check out any of these books, reach out to me and tell me what you thought! I’d love to hear your take on it/them. In the meantime, if you haven’t already, leave me a review! Your feedback is so important, helping me with my writing and getting “The Abditory” out into the world.

See You Next Month!