S.A. Jewell is the author of Of Friends and Followers, a fiction set during Jesus’ ministry; Blink, a fictional “end-times” novel; as well as the author of two children’s fictional books, A Christmas Dinosaur and Visit from a Shepherd Boy. She holds a master’s degree in Bible studies from South Florida Bible College and Theological Seminary. She is founder of www.teamofGod.org, a non-denominational Christian ministry assisting ministries in Africa and in Florida.
In this interview she talks with us about her latest novel, Solomon’s Concubine.
FF: inspired you to write the book?
I always found King Solomon to be a challenge. Here was a man who actually spoke with God and was given so many gifts from God: wisdom, power, and amazing wealth, and yet, that was not enough! With all of those blessings, he still chose to go against God by indulging himself with nearly 700 wives and 300 concubines–and worse, supporting their worship of false gods.
FF: Who inspired the main character?
So what would it be like to be one of Solomon’s women? Not even a wife, but a concubine? What if you didn’t want to live under his power, what if you wanted freedom, your own life, but you had no choice, simply because you were a beautiful woman? Nalussa was that woman. She recognized her status but wasn’t willing to give up. She, too could call on God.
FF: What surprised you in your research?
I wrote with a bit of an edge regarding Solomon as I researched his power, wealth and women. But it was the Queen of Sheba that stopped me in my judgement. As I was creating dialogue for Nalussa and the Queen of Sheba (who was also one of Solomon’s lovers), the queen shed some insight on Nalussa’s judgement of Solomon after his death. The Spirit put this in my mind: write, “Who are we to judge the relationship between a person and God?” And it’s true. We don’t know what is spoken from someone’s heart to God. We don’t know if someone repents at the nth hour…and I thought of The Thief on the Cross as the perfect example. I was given a nudge from God: Who are you to judge?
FF: What other books have you written?
Two adult fiction: Of Friends and Followers, the story of a young woman named Mariam and her friends who follow Jesus during the last year of his of ministry and beyond. They struggle with belief, persecution, and redemption. The other, Blink, and end-times novel that parallels and segues a family, the US government, the newly created European Federation, and Israel as they journey through seven years of tribulation to the end.
Two Y/A books: A Christmas Dinosaur (audio book as well), opens with Josh who is visited by an orphaned shepherd boy on Christmas Eve. The young shepherd tells Josh the story of the first Christmas. The second, Visit from a Shepherd Boy, continues with a new visit to Josh by the shepherd boy who tells him about the dangerous adventure he and his friends have in Egypt after King Herod sought to kill the child, Jesus.
FF: What do you hope readers take from this book?
It’s sort of a Biblical #MeToo story. I know the publisher didn’t want to get caught up in a trend, but truly, looking back and forward, women are too many times evaluated and used for looks. Circumstances vary, this is for certain. But I would like the reader to see how trapped women can be because of their looks. What is really of importance? Nalussa found two important take-aways: Hope in God and stepping away from judgement.
Genres: Biblical Fiction, Historical Romance
Release Date: April 19, 2022
Her extraordinary beauty sentences her to a life she does not want.
King Solomon is well-known as a wise man and the wealthiest king to have ever lived. But with great power often comes great corruption, and Solomon unfortunately allowed himself to be lured by the many temptations this world has to offer–including the hundreds of wives and concubines he brought into his court. But who were these women? What was life like for them in Solomon’s harem?
Nalussa is a simple Jewish girl, living with her family in a small town a day’s travel from Solomon’s kingdom. When a strange man meets her one day at the town well, Nalussa suddenly finds herself whisked away from all that she wants and desires to fulfill the lusts of a king she has never met. But one word of outcry can lead to her family’s harm and her own disgrace and removal from society.
While giving in to her new life at Solomon’s palace, Nalussa still holds onto hope that God will rescue her. When the king suddenly dies, the kingdom is in turmoil over who will be king next. Could this be her opportunity to escape? But where will she go, and will anyone want the king’s concubine?
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