Thursday’s Throwback with Barbara M. Britton

Jerusalem Rising

In November of 2017, Jerusalem Rising launched. I had taught about Nehemiah’s rebuilding of Jerusalem’s wall many times, but I had missed the women in the story. Now, I had a chance to correct that oversight.

The daughters of Shallum helped Nehemiah rebuild the stone wall around the city. What? Women wall builders in Bible Times? Yes, you can find them listed in Nehemiah 3:12. We don’t know the daughters’ names, or how many there were, so I call my faithful duo Adah and Judith.

There is also a nasty woman in the story of Nehemiah. A prophetess, albeit a false prophetess, works against Nehemiah and ultimately God, in her plans to thwart the rebuilding. Her name is Noadiah, and you can find her in Nehemiah 6:14.

Even though my launch was almost four years ago, I am always learning something new about this story and God’s Word.


Blurb

When Adah bat Shallum finds the governor of Judah weeping over the crumbling wall of Jerusalem, she learns the reason for Nehemiah’s unexpected visit—God has called him to rebuild the wall around the City of David.

 Nehemiah challenges the men of Jerusalem to labor on the wall and in return, the names of their fathers will be written in the annals for future generations to cherish. But Adah has one sister and no brothers. Should her father who rules a half-district of Jerusalem be forgotten forever?

Adah bravely vows to rebuild her city’s wall, though she soon discovers that Jerusalem not only has enemies outside of the city, but also within. Can Adah, her sister, and the men they love, honor God’s call? Or will their mission be crushed by the same rocks they hope to raise.

Excerpt: 

Holding the oil lamp before her, Adah strolled toward the mournful sounds. If this were a trap, the deceiver would receive a warmed-oil bath. She passed through the remnants of the gate, by a length of crumbling wall, and inched closer to a figure crouched on the ground. Muttered words grew louder. Was this person in prayer or pain? She kept a safe distance in case the stranger lunged.

 She licked her lips and concentrated on her single word greeting. “Shalom.”

The figure flinched. The weeping halted. No sudden movements came, only a careful rise and a slow turn in her direction.

Her trembling hand held the lamp aloft and sent light gray shadows dancing across a man’s face.

“Daughter of Shallum?”

It couldn’t be.

“Governor?”

What was the governor of Judah doing weeping outside the city in the middle of the night? Did he find some fault with the officials, or with her father and his duties? And if he had fallen, where were the soldiers that had accompanied him on his trip? Sweat pooled above her lip as she balanced the lamp. Should she go and find Nehemiah’s guard? But where would she look? Her mother waited for her return.

Nehemiah brushed off his robes and swiped at the skin beneath his eyes. No salutation came. Chirping crickets continued their unending song.

“Are you hurt?” She blurted as she scanned his garment for the stain of blood.

He shook his head, but his chest shuddered.

She opened and closed a fist, not knowing what to do or say next. Her wandering alone at night, needed an explanation. A man could scout the streets of Jerusalem in the dark…but not an unescorted girl. And not the daughter of a ruler. She swallowed, but the lump in her throat remained. A small cough cleared her windpipe. “I did not mean to disturb you, Governor. My mother could not sleep, so I brought her outside for some night air. She heard someone in distress, so I came to see if I could help.”

He glanced off into the distance. “Your mother is here?”

“I left her beyond the gate.” Would he think her irresponsible? “This section of the city lies within my father’s district.” She looked around as if a crowd of city dwellers encircled their meeting place. “Most people are known to us.”

Nehemiah stepped closer. The flame from the lamp illuminated his finely stitched collar. She lowered the light so as not to irritate his eyes and to show him the respect he deserved. “You are a brave woman.” His praise was filled with the familiar authority she heard at their introduction hours before. “Your compassion knows no end, for you did not turn back at this hour.”

If that were only true. Her mother had sent her to seek the mourner. Left to her own decisions, she would have fled. “My mother deserves your praise. She heard you.” Heat rushed to Adah’s cheeks. “Sometimes I believe God blesses my mother’s hearing since her sight is no more.”

Nehemiah scrutinized her face as if the sun was in full glory. “Is her blindness a burden to you?”

“No.” Adah flinched at her half-truth and stood a bit straighter.

The governor’s stare did not waiver.

“Well, maybe. Some days.” Had she ever admitted this truth before? Not desiring to sound hard hearted, she said, “I love my mother. I would never complain about the extra work.”

The governor nodded. He averted his gaze and pointed toward some crags in the distance. “My father and his father are buried near here.”

She knew the caves of which he spoke, for many tombs were carved out of the same rock.

He continued, “When my brother brought word that Jerusalem wallowed in disrepair, I could not stay away any longer.” Nehemiah pressed a fist to his chest as if he were seeing the destruction of his city for the first time. “God has called me to rebuild the birthplace of my fathers. To resurrect the city of His beloved, David.” He turned to her with a gleam in his eye. “That, daughter of Shallum, is my burden.”


Get your copy!

You can purchase “Jerusalem Rising” on AmazonBarnes and Noble, and wherever books are sold. Ask your library to order a copy for sharing.


About Barbara

Barbara M. Britton lives in Southeast, Wisconsin and loves the snow—when it accumulates under three inches. She is published in Biblical Fiction and loves bringing little-known Bible characters to light in her stories. Her WWI Historical Until June released in 2020. Barb has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate. Find out more about Barbara’s books on her website, www.barbarambritton.com.You can also follow Barbara on TwitterBookBubFacebook and Instagram

Friday’s Feature with Brenda Taylor

A Highland Bride

A Highland Bride

Romance and revenge brew in the sixteenth century Scottish Highlands. Alistair Munro returns to Scotland after six years of exile in France to find is wife, son, and estate in the hands of another man. Alistair determines to regain his property and child. The beautiful sister of Clan Munro’s chief, a distant cousin to Alistair, attracts his attention and captures his heart; however, Davina must solve conflicting issues before her affections can belong to Alistair. Can the two overcome adverse circumstances to love again?

A Highland Bride, an inspirational Scottish historical romance, is the fourth book in the Highland Treasures series. The series continues in the 16th century Scottish Highlands.


Get your copy here:

Universal Book Link

Historical Heartbeats

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Apple iBooks

Smashwords

Kobo


About Brenda

The desire to write historical fiction has long been a passion with Brenda B. Taylor. Since elementary school, she has written stories in her spare time. Brenda earned three degrees: a BSE from Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas; a MEd from Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas; and an EdD from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas; then worked as a teacher and administrator in the Texas Public School system. Only after retirement did she fulfill the dream of publication.

Brenda and her husband make their home in beautiful East Texas where they enjoy spending time with family and friends, traveling, and working in Bethabara Faith Ministry, Inc. She crafts stories about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people in her favorite place overlooking bird feeders, bird houses, and a variety of blooming trees and flowers. She sincerely thanks all who purchase and read her books. Her desire is that the message in each book will touch the heart of the reader as it did hers in the writing.

Contact Brenda

Historical Heartbeats

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon Author’s Page

BookBub Author Page

Pinterest

Goodreads

Friday’s Feature with Annette O’Hare

Redeeming Light

Sarah Jane McKinney takes over her father’s cattle ranch on the Texas Coast following his tragic death. After a harrowing cattle drive, she sells off the herd saving only the breed stock. Amid this turmoil Sarah finds herself distracted by her uncle’s young law apprentice, Frederick Chessher. In order to court Sarah, Frederick must end his relationship with another girl. He leaves Sarah not knowing that a great storm is brewing in the Gulf of Mexico. While Sarah and her family seek refuge in the Bolivar Point Lighthouse, Frederick rushes back to her. Will he make it to Sarah in time, or will he be claimed by the storm like thousands of others?

 


Read an excerpt of Redeeming Light

Chapter 19

“I can’t believe it’s you” The man wore a long French riding coat, a tweed newsboy cap, goggles and a smile the size of Texas.

“Miss McKinney, I’ve found you.” Frederick Chessher exuded with pride, shucking the leather gloves from his hands.

When he stood right in front of Sarah he pulled the goggles off revealing those emerald green eyes that haunted her dreams. Then she remembered what he’d done and scowled at him.

“Frederick Chessher! What were you thinking?”

“Well, I….”

“You scared the cattle out of their wits!”

“I certainly didn’t…”

“Were you trying to start a stampede? Do you have any idea how bad that could have been?” Sarah had finished her rant.

“No! ” Frederick raised his hands in defense. “I…I didn’t, I don’t! I mean…I’m sorry!” Struggling to get his words out, every ounce of confidence seemed to melt out of the man.

Sarah detected something in his eyes. Was it remorse, or perhaps regret? His composure revealed that he had no idea what he’d done. Her expression softened as she glanced at Frederick, then at his automobile and then back at him.

“Frederick, what in the world are you doing here?”

He leaned his head to the side. “Why, I was looking for you, of course.”

“Looking for me? But why?” Sarah’s face revealed her confusion. She held up her hands in question.

“Why? Because I wanted to see you, that’s why.” Frederick took her hands into his. “I needed to know you were all right. I was concerned about you being out here…all alone.”

Sarah couldn’t fathom what had come over him. “As you can see, I’m far from being alone.” She swept her hand out toward the others. “I have all these people with me, not to mention all the cattle.”

“I suppose you’re right about that.” Frederick chuckled and Sarah joined him. Suddenly his face became serious. “It was my hope to ride up on my steel horse and rescue you. I’d be the knight in shining armor and you would be the damsel in distress.”

Sarah took a step back. Her eyebrows came together as she stared at him. “Look, I do just fine all by myself. I don’t need anyone to rescue me…especially not you.”


Get your copy here: Amazon and Barnes & Noble


About Annette

Annette O’Hare is an award-winning inspirational author living in Southeast Texas with her husband, Dan of thirty-four years. The O’Hares enjoy saltwater fishing on the Gulf Coast and spending time with family. Annette’s love for the history and heritage of her home state shines through in her writing. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers and ACFW Writers On The Storm, Annette’s desire is to reveal God’s love to her readers and hopefully give them a laugh or two. The O’Hare’s are the proud parents of three grown children and two loveable rescue dogs.