Author Interview and Giveaway – The Heart of a King – Jill Eileen Smith

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Have you ever been curious about the palace life of the Old Testament kings? This looks like a wonderful way to immerse yourself in that life without actually having to live it! 🙂 I hope you enjoy Jill’s interview!

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The Heart of a King

King Solomon was wealthy and wise beyond measure. He could–and did–have anything he wanted, including many women from many lands. But for all his wisdom, did he or the women in his life ever find what they searched for all of their lives?

In this engrossing novel, you’ll find yourself whisked away to ancient Israel, where you’ll meet Solomon and four of the women he loved: Naamah the desert princess, Abishag the shepherdess, Siti the daughter of a pharaoh, and Nicaula the queen of Sheba. As you experience the world of Solomon through his eyes and the eyes of these women, you’ll ask yourself the ultimate question: Did Solomon’s wisdom ultimately benefit him and those he loved . . . or did it betray them?

Jill’s Website


Other Books in this Series:

thedesertprincess theshepherdessdaughterofthenile queenofsheba







Questions about Jill’s Story

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

This book was meant to be a compilation for four e-books that I wrote on four women in King Solomon’s life. Exploring their stories was fun as I wrote them in first person and could better put myself into their worlds.

When I went to compile the stories, however, I didn’t want to give readers the same books under different packaging with a little more of Solomon added in. So I turned the book from first to third person, interwove the four e-books and added much more from Solomon’s point of view. I had to cut some of the e-books, so if people want the full picture, they will still want to read those, but what I enjoyed most was pondering Solomon through the book of Ecclesiastes. I used much of the Song of Solomon in the e-books and in this book, but I added section breaks where “The Teacher” speaks from his older and wiser perspective. I love the book of Ecclesiastes, so it was poignant to imagine how he might have felt at the end of his wild pursuits and frantic living. Wisdom taught him much, but wisdom could not keep him from sin. Only God’s grace can do that. In the end, I hope and believe that he learned that lesson.

What character in your book turned out to be your favorite?

That’s a tough question because each woman as well as Solomon were unique and I liked all of them. Siti (Pharaoh’s daughter) was probably one that was the most challenging because her faith remained in her god Bastet. She questioned Solomon’s loyalty to Yahweh and accused him of breaking his God’s laws. She reminded me of so many skeptics in the world today.

But I probably enjoyed Abishag (The Shepherdess) the most. In my imagination she came from humble roots and she accepted her role in life even when it went against her dreams. Her faith in Adonai kept her strong, and if she remained close to Solomon, she could have been a good influence on him.

Did you include a real historical character or incident in your story?

The Queen of Sheba is mentioned in the folklore of Ethiopia and Arabia – both claim her as theirs and both have different stories to tell of her relationship with Solomon. She is given different names by both countries/kingdoms and since I didn’t want to use either one of their stories exclusively, I mixed them together and gave her a different name that also came up in my research. The true story is lost to history and known only to God, but Jesus mentions her (The Queen of the South), which authenticates her existence outside of the Old Testament alone.


Questions about Jill’s Reading

What Christian Historical Novel did you reread last, and why did you reread it?

I rarely reread a book except the Bible. However, I have reread Two From Galilee by Marjorie Holmes many, many times over my lifetime. The last time I read it was probably a few Christmases ago. And I reread it the year my dad died. He died in November and it was a great comfort to me that Christmas. (It is a love story of Joseph and Mary.)

ladiesofivycottage What was the last Christian Historical Novel you read, and what was your favorite thing about it?

I am in the middle of reading The Ladies of Ivy Cottage by Julie Klassen right now. So far my favorite things about it are the multiple romantic threads woven throughout and the hint of mystery that I’ve yet to discover. I’m rooting for a certain character to marry her true love, but I haven’t reached the end yet to find out what happens.


What was the last Christian Historical Novel you binge read?

A Wreath of Snow: A Victorian Christmas Novella by Liz Curtis Higgs. I downloaded the sample at Christmas this past year and quickly bought the book to finish it. The story was compelling and I hated to see it end. Stories like that, which offer the reader hope, make a difference in a person’s heart, especially during the holidays, which can be difficult.

Jill is giving away a paperback book (International Entrants welcomed!). Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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