Thanks for having me on your blog, Paula!
What inspired you to write “Jerusalem Rising?”
I love to write about little known Bible stories. I’ve been a Christian for forty years and it stuns me that there are Bible stories that are still new to me. Or, at least parts of stories that I never knew existed.
Nehemiah is a popular story for Sunday School and Vacation Bible Schools. I have taught the story and brought boxes for kids to stack in simulation of Nehemiah rebuilding Jerusalem’s wall. Of course, bad guys show up and try to discourage Nehemiah from his task, so students love this lesson.
I never knew that some of the people trying to discourage Nehemiah from rebuilding Jerusalem’s wall were a prophetess and priests. Shouldn’t they have been on Nehemiah’s side since God sent him on this mission? Noadiah is a nasty prophetess that shows up in my book because Nehemiah mentions her in the Bible text. You can tell Nehemiah is not fond of her (Nehemiah 6:14).
Also, I stumbled upon the daughters of Shallum who helped Nehemiah rebuild the wall (Nehemiah 3:12). Women constructions workers? Why hadn’t I heard of them? We don’t know how many daughters Shallum had, and we don’t know their names, but I gave Shallum two daughters—Adah and Judith.
My novel follows Adah and her family as they help Nehemiah restore the City of David. I always say, God has the best storylines. All I had to do was follow God’s plot in chapters 1-8 of the book of Nehemiah to have an action-packed novel. I added a bit of romance for fun. It’s still teen friendly though.
What’s the takeaway from Adah’s story?
The theme I chose for “Jerusalem Rising” was…Be strong and courageous and do God’s work. Adah encourages the Hebrew workers with this chant. This theme is seen throughout the Bible and Christians can grab hold it of today. The theme encourages me as well.
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.
Barbara M. Britton was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, but currently lives in Southeast Wisconsin and loves the snow—when it accumulates under three inches. Barb writes romantic adventures for teens and adults in the Christian fiction publishing world. She is published in Biblical fiction and enjoys bringing little known Bible characters to light in her Tribes of Israel series. Barb has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate.
You can find more information about Barb and her books on her website, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.
There’s a fun book trailer for her first two books.
Barbara, I'm with you! I often reread stories in the Bible and find intriguing things I hadn't noticed before. God's Word is amazing!
This book sounds like one to add to our Must Read List. How about it, readers?