Sarai gets starred review from Booklist!

Today has been an amazing day! We were about to head out to run some errands when I got an email from my publicist at Revell telling me that Booklist had given Sarai a starred review! A starred review means "outstanding in its genre." Here is what they had to say: ♦ Sarai Smith, Jill Eileen (Author) Mar 2012. 320 p. Revell, paperback, $14.99. (9780800734299). Smith retells the biblical account of Sarai (Sarah) and her husband Abram (Abraham) in an exciting new way in this colorful and compelling novel. Sarai, already an old woman by today’s standards, is told by Abram that they are leaving their home in Ur in search of the land Adonai has promised them. Jealous of their nephew Lot’s children, Sarai, without Abram’s knowledge, is constantly urged by Lot’s wife, Melah, to go to the temples of the more familiar fertility gods and ask for an end to her barrenness. After all, Sarai has only Abram’s word that his God exists, and, even then, she doesn’t think that He’s done anything for her, even if He is real. What happens after the journey is an amazing tale of faith. This is an excellent addition to Smith’s Wives of the King David series (Michal, 2009; Abigail, 2010; and Bathsheba, 2011). Readers who enjoyed Anita Diamant’s best-selling The Red Tent (1997) will also enjoy this story of women and their struggle with leaving their old gods for the God of Abraham. — Shelley Mosley

Wow! And thank you, Booklist!

Then while we were still running errands, I checked email on my phone and discovered another email from my publicist with another great review! This time from CBA Retailers and Resources (March 2012). Here's their review:

"The well-known story of Abraham and Sarah has encouraged, inspired, and thrilled for ages. In Jill Eileen Smith's Sarai (Revell, p, $14.99, ISBN: 9780800734299), the first book of the new "Wives of the Patriarchs" series, Sarai, the remarkably beautiful wife of Abram, has everything she could desire--except a baby. Years have gone by since their marriage and her vow to give Abram a son, but her barrenness continues. Abram's love for her remains strong, but once they leave family and home for an unknown destination based upon a word from the God of Abram, their love for each other is tested.

In Egypt, Sarai's beauty is quickly noticed, and Pharaoh takes her to be his wife, but a mysterious illness in Pharaoh's household causes him to give her back to Abram. God has promised Abram a child, but eventually Sarai decides to "help" God by offering her servant Hagar to Abram as the answer. Her choices not only cause turmoil, hurt, and doubt, but her resentment and jealousy also lead her to treat Hagar so harshly the girl runs away. Can God still keep His word after what Sarai's done and now that she's old?

Trusting God despite the circumstances and making right, Bible-based choices is the heart of this story. The scriptural account of Abraham and Sarah is not only a testament of God's faithfulness to His promises, it's a story of love. Smith skillfully captures both and the essence of living in Old Testament times by combining biblical facts with research-based interpretations and her own imagination to creat a detailed drama that will leave readers eagerly awaiting the second book in the series." --Nancy Kanafani

Both were totally unexpected! And very nice surprises! Thank you to the reviewers and to CBA Retailers and Resources for the feature! Booklist also gave Bathsheba a starred review. Very much appreciated!

And we managed to get our errands done too!