Kindles, paperbacks, reviews, etc...

For my birthday, my guys bought me a Kindle 2. I started to toy with it earlier this week, downloading some free books and searching for a Bible to purchase. I ended up choosing the ESV Study Bible, because our pastor has switched to using that version. I didn't own a hard copy - I have many Bibles in different versions, but not that one - so it was fun to find a Kindle edition. (I'm loving this e-reader so far!) My next purchase was a book a friend recommended titled The End of Religion: Encountering the Subversive Spirituality of Jesus by Bruxy Cavey. I will reserve judgment until I finish the book, but so far, I am appreciating the author's take on what Jesus had to say to the religious leaders of His day. The author uses the Bible as his main source of research. I've read seven chapters in two days, which is a little over 1/3 of the way through the book. That's fast reading for me!

I'm also working my way through Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities (in paperback form) thanks to the recommendation of the same friend. Normally, I would have put Dickens down two chapters ago, but because I respect my friend's judgment, I will keep going. I've had this book since our homeschooling days with the intent of having my kids read it. I don't think we ever got to it, but I held onto it thinking I would read it some day. Well, someday is here, and if I can just stick it out...it's starting to get more interesting. (Dickens' style is a lot of narrating, which is not my favorite style.)

My mom has been sick this week but is starting to sound better. My dad was also coughing when I saw him. Illness can come on so quickly!

The weather people are predicting 4-8 inches of snow between tonight and tomorrow night. The warmer temps (in the high 30s -and it reached 40 today! - had me hoping for Spring!) The sun even broke through the clouds for all of yesterday. The clouds won back their air space today though and now the snow prediction. I hope they're wrong, but Randy worked on the snowblower tonight just in case. He took it down the driveway to refuel, walked away for a minute to get the gas can and almost had it stolen by a guy in a passing truck. Apparently, the guy thought we were throwing it out. Still, if Randy had gone in the house...tonight isn't even trash night.

Abigail is going to be the focus of a blog tour of reviews this coming week. A few have already started to pop up, and so far most everyone has been very kind. I had an online radio interview this past Thursday discussing the book, but it's not posted up on their website yet. I'll post a link when I see it there.

One reviewer of Abigail: A Novel apparently marked it down because it was fiction, which confuses me because that's what it's supposed to be. I hope my readers will never think any of my biblical fiction is meant to be a true accounting of the whole story. My stories stem from God's Word, but they are not meant to replace it or to be the final authority on how that person's life might have been lived. Sometimes we need to go back a familiarize ourselves with the Scripture so we can separate truth from the author's imagination, which is based around that truth.

I hope my stories inspire those of you who read my work to love God and His Word all the more. To see these biblical people as real, but then to search the Scriptures to see what is truly there - to only use my work as enjoyment to fill in the blanks on what might have been. Someday, in heaven, perhaps God will fill in the blanks for us. For now, please remember, my books are a work of fiction.

I've been catching some of the figure skating in the Olympics. So graceful! Someday, when I get to heaven, I want to learn to skate and dance like that!

Personal, BooksJill Eileen Smith