Title: Jewel of Persia
Publisher: WhiteFire Publishing
Cover blurb:How can she love the king of kings without forsaking her Lord of lords? Kasia grew up in a poor Jewish home with more siblings than luxuries. But when a chance encounter forces her to the palace of Xerxes, she becomes a concubine to the richest man in the world. She alone, of all Xerxes' wives, loves the man beneath the crown. She alone, of all his wives, holds the heart of the king of kings.
Traveling with Xerxes through Europe as he mounts a war against Greece, Kasia knows enemies surround her, but they’re not the Spartans or Athenians. The threat lies with those close to the king who hate her people. She determines to put her trust in Jehovah–even if it costs her her marriage.
Years of prayers are answered when Kasia's childhood friend arrives at the palace after the war, but even as she determines to see Esther crowned in place of the bloodthirsty former queen, she knows the true battle is far from over. How far will her enemies go to see her undone?
Combining the biblical account of Esther with Herodotus's Histories, Jewel of Persia is the story of a love that nearly destroys an empire . . . and the friendship that saves a nation.
1) How did this story come to you?
Well, as I was showering one morning I was trying to think of a way to turn my favorite Bible story—Esther—into a novel. But it had to be my kind of Biblical fiction, which means a fictional heroine. So as I debated and brainstormed, it hit me—what about all those other wives in the harem? What if one of them were also Jewish? Better still, what if one were Esther's childhood friend? And what if she was the favorite of the king before Esther arrived? And so Jewel of Persia was born.
2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
Following the release of my first Biblical fiction last year, A Stray Drop of Blood, my agent recommended I follow it up with another bib-fic. I talked with my publisher about the possibility and my idea for an Esther story where Esther isn't the main character, and he was all in favor of it. So we chose a launch-date, set a deadline, and there you have it. =)
3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
Hmm . . . first, that I'm addicted to romance. When reading, I'm generally disappointed if a book doesn't have a strong romance line. Yet the two books I now have out aren't romance, though there's certainly love stories within. Second, that I'm addicted to email. My kids have so fractured my attention span that I've become unaccustomed to long periods of focused work time, and on those rare occasions I find some, I still interrupt myself constantly with email checks, otherwise I go a little crazy. And third . . . hmm, I don't think I have any other deep, dark secrets. ;-) But people are often surprised to learn that I got married at 18, to my high school sweetheart. We were going to college at the same place and married after our freshman year. This year will be our tenth anniversary, and we don't regret a thing! (Not that I advocate teen marriage for everyone, mind you, but we weren't your average teens . . .)
4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
Right now I'm working on a story set in 1783-4 Annapolis, during those six months when it was the nation's capital. It's penciled into a publisher's 2012 schedule—nothing's in writing yet, but they'll want to see it very soon, and I need to get cracking on it! That may very well be my next book out. But if that falls through, WhiteFire has expressed interest in several other ideas I have that I could hammer out in the next few months, in time for a 2012 release.
5) Parting comments?
Thanks for having me! I love getting to know readers and fellow lovers of Christian fiction—and really love chatting with them. Feel free to ask questions, y'all—I'm happy to answer them!
6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
My website is http://www.roseannamwhite.com/, and you can find there companion guides to my books, with all the fun historical facts—and where I diverge from them. My blog is http://www.roseannamwhite.blogspot.com/, where I have themed days 5 days a week. I'm a contributor at http://www.bellesandbuckskins.com/ too, which just launched. I'm also editor of http://www.christianreviewofbooks.com/. And of course, look me up on Facebook!
Options for the winner:
I have a couple options for the winner. She can have her choice of A Stray Drop of Blood in digital or paperback, Jewel of Persia in digital now, or receive a paperback of Jewel of Persia as soon as I get them in a few months.