Category: Biblical Fiction

Blog Book Tour | “The Judgment” by D.J. Niko #Biblical #HistoricalFiction

Posted Friday, 10 June, 2016 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

On how I acquired the book & my connection to the publicist:

I was selected to participate on The Judgment blog tour coordinated by Hook of a Book Media & Publicity, run by a fellow book blogger and friend of mine: Erin Al-Mehairi. I crossed paths with Erin via her book blog Oh for the Hook of a Book when I first started hosting blog tours for historical fiction writers via HFVBTs. Our friendship developed out of a shared passion for riveting historicals with compelling stories and incredibly dimensional characters who felt they could walk off the pages! Friendship aside, as I start to host for her authors my opinions are based solely on the story I am reading for review and are never influenced by my connection to Erin. I take each story I am reading as a new experience whether or not I know the author or publicist directly or have only met them for the first time by accepting a book to review.

I received my complimentary copy of The Judgment direct from the author D.J. Niko in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I wanted to read ‘The Judgment’:

(initial reaction)

I’ve seen her novels on blog tours, but the timing was never good for me to participate or get involved whilst the tours were progressing. I liked the fact this historical takes place in Ancient History! I’ve been wanting to find authors who write during this section of history, as Biblical Historical Fiction fascinates me! I also love the Ancient Civilisations of Egypt and Rome, whilst learning more about History so far removed from our present world to soak inside something wonderfully different! This was one reason I was so keen to read Stephanie Thornton’s “Daughter of the Gods” which I thoroughly LOVED!

Expanding on my initial joyous celebration of being selected to read my first Niko novel, and thereby my second Biblical Historical novel, I wanted to recaptialise on things I had shared during a blog tour about Women of the Bible: Scripture Princesses by Rebecca J. Greenwood (see Review & the Q&A) wherein I talked about my appreciation for ‘meeting’ some of the remarkable women of the Biblical Historical past. When I first encountered the book blogosphere, I went instinctively to my favourite author’s blogs (i.e. Lauren Willig* & Julie Lessman) before finding The Word Wenches*, Heroes, Heroines & History, and routed myself through the INSPY Fiction blogs which took me to a lot of incredible authors & book bloggers sites alike! I was stumbling across writers for Biblical Historical Fiction along that route as well, except to say, this isn’t a new pursuit of mine!

Going back into my childhood, when I would visit book shoppes quite regularly, seeking a wicked good story that may or may not be designated for my age group (as once I fought to understand how to read, I grew easily bored remaining inside my age group of selections! thus, I read adult novels by thirteen; although I sampled a bit prior to that! there wasn’t such a designated genre to explore like there is today for ‘young adult’.) – thus, I started to fetch an eye of interest for the Biblical fiction authors even back then! At the time, I knew the issues and story-lines facing those characters were going to be difficult to read, so I side-stepped them for lighter INSPY novels – mostly Historical Romance or a story of the Amish, as Amish & Mennonite Fiction always delighted me, as I had a bakery IRL as a teenager run by a local Mennonite family.

My curiosity for this section of literature, was re-inspired by Stephanie Thorton’s novel (as foresaid) but also by the Early Reader introduction by Ms Greenwood! I simply haven’t had the proper chance to sort through what is readily available to read whilst dipping further back into the past, than perhaps, I routinely do! We all have our ‘favourite’ timescapes and settings; for me, I like to continue to challenge myself to even move further back into the past, root out new heroines and heroes of time I may never have heard of or only know by ‘name’ but not on a personal level of saying ‘this person lived this life & accomplished this’.

When I caught sight of the premise behind The Judgment, I felt this was as good of a place as any to continue my journey — reading a story set against the backdrop of Kings would be an easy transition for me, as I spend enough hours wrapped up in the Royal Courts of England (throughout their extensive historical past!) to know a bit about life at court inasmuch as the political potboilers & changing tides that goes along with that kind of a life.

Some (aspects) of the story I know loosely based on lessons I learnt ages ago in Sunday School but I never would say my classes dipped past the superficial acknowledgement of things; hence one of the wrinkles I oft found with Sunday School. We might have been told about King Solomon being a ruler, but the lessons fell flat just as my lessons in school always did as well – names, dates, event markers in time; but never the exploration of who a particular person was or how that person lived or even, what happened between their birth, major event and date of death?

There is so much between ‘dates’ and ‘events’ – this is one reason I have drawn a pleasurable passion in reading Historical Fiction; imagine what is awaiting me in Biblical Historical Fiction!? Not to mention, in this instance it’s partially ‘Biographical Historical Fiction’, too! To say I was excited would be putting it mildly!

*NOTE: As I read across genres, I also read across Mainstream & INSPY literary spectrums; these two were earmarked to say, they were not INSPY but Mainstream. As literature to me is forever all-encompassing. To find out which INSPY authors are marked on my most immediate ‘next reads’ list, please visit my 70 Authors Challenge!

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Notation on Cover Art: It is hard not to readily notice the cover art on behalf of ‘The Judgment’ due to how strong the woman on the cover is portrayed! You immediately think back towards King Solomon’s era of life – where boldness was paramount to power; where women had to endeavour to overcome great odds & find the will to reign even when their heart was not fully invested. It was a time of uncertainty and a time where bold colours are felt to have flourished; thus I felt the make-up choices and the darker lit design befitted the quick impression that flitted to mind after reading the  premise of the story! Once I greeted Basemath in the first Chapter, everything pulled together nicely! It truly is a striking book cover but to match the character is beyond brilliant! Unfortunately for me, I believe my first inclination to believe which character is featured on the cover was mistaken.

Blog Book Tour | “The Judgment” by D.J. Niko #Biblical #HistoricalFictionThe Judgment
by D.J. Niko
Source: Direct from Author via Hook of a Book Media & Publicity

965 BCE

Upon the death of his father, Solomon has been appointed king of the united monarchy of Israel and Judah and charged with building the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. He travels to Egypt to negotiate with Pharaoh Psusennes II for gold for the temple and to improve relations between the two nations. There he falls in love with the pharaoh’s beautiful daughter, Nicaule, and the two kings agree to an arranged marriage. Against her will, for she loves another, Nicaule follows her new husband to Israel.

Forty years later, Solomon’s empire is on the verge of collapse. Power has made him arrogant, permissive, and blind to the scheming of his wife and one of his lieutenants to topple the united monarchy. As the king’s faith falters and his people’s morals collapse, enemies gather at the gates of Israel. A visit from a mysterious queen restores Solomon’s perspective in time to save his soul—but it is too late to preserve his kingdom.

Someone who once was loyal to King Solomon has come back to claim the crown of Israel—and tear Solomon’s empire asunder.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Genres: Ancient Civilisation, Biblical Historical Fiction, Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction


Published by Medallion Press

on 10th May, 2016

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 317

Published By: Medallion Press (@medallionpress)

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #TheJudgment, #AncientHistory & #WomenInHistory

+ #BiblicalFiction or #HistFic

Read the Guest Post attached to the blog tour I appreciated the most | The Lit Bitch

About D.J. Niko

D.J. Niko

D.J. Niko is the pseudonym for Daphne Nikolopoulos, an award-winning journalist, author, editor, and lecturer who has spent her entire adult life traveling the world.

As a former travel writer and zealous adventurer, she has visited remote spots on six continents, many of which have inspired her archaeological thriller series, The Sarah Weston Chronicles. She was born and raised in Athens, Greece, and now resides in Florida with her family.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Friday, 10 June, 2016 by jorielov in 10th Century BC, 1st Millennium BC, A Father's Heart, Ancient Civilisation, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Israel, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Biblical Fiction, Biblical History, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Book Cover | Original Illustration & Design, Christianity, Content Note, Domestic Violence, Equality In Literature, Family Life, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Hook of a Book Media & Publicity, Important Figures of Ancient Times, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Iron Age, King Solomon, Mental Health, Military Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Vulgarity in Literature, Warfare & Power Realignment, Women of Power & Rule

Blog Book Tour | “Scripture Princesses” an #illustrated #chapterbook by Rebecca J. Greenwood

Posted Thursday, 27 August, 2015 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Illustrated Stories Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “Scripture Princesses” direct from the publisher CFI (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I believe we need more Early Reader | Chapter Books such as this:

I have held an appreciation and curiosity about the women of the Bible for the full of my life; mostly because the women of Biblical times were not regularly spoken about from a biographical approach. Most of the stories shared when I was growing up in Sunday School were a bit on the boring side of the ledger to be honest – my teachers had limited knowledge, lacked curiosity of their own, and did not visually bring the women of the Bible to life for me.

I was a seeker of stories from a very young age – and the incredible thing for me growing up was how the stories of who lived during Biblical times was not as represented as the facts. Sunday School and regular education outlets held one commonality that frustrated me: the preference of knowledge and learning was about fact remembering rather than developing a knowledge of history through the perspectives of those who lived and held within their lives a well of stories waiting to be told.

I have found as I grew older, there are certain Biblical fiction authors who either take a Contemporary or Historical point-of-view to help guide us as lay readers to better understand the women (and yes, the men too!) who walked before us. They re-envision their stories through the grace of living through a character’s shoes as told through novels, allowing the breadth of their lives to be explored. The reason this particular release tipped my curiosity to engage with it directly right now, is because I was oft-times curious if there were authors of today penning stories for younger readers who like me were struggling to find quality stories about the women nearly forgotten by time.

Ms Greenwood is an encouraging presence for parents who are seeking illustrated stories who illuminate the women who are strong role models for young girls inasmuch as for young men who are wanting to have a proper balance of knowing who came before us all and how their lives are relevant to today’s world. This is a good start to getting a footing on the Biblical fiction which is happily becoming a more popular genre within the world of INSPY for readers seeking stories about the men and women we barely get to know through their entries in the Bible.

A way to seek out a story behind the scriptures, if you will!

Blog Book Tour | “Scripture Princesses” an #illustrated #chapterbook by Rebecca J. GreenwoodScripture Princesses
Subtitle: Stories of Righteous Daughters of God
by Rebecca J. Greenwood
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Rebecca J. Greenwood
Source: Direct from Publisher

Be faithful, like Sarah
Be prayerful, like Hannah
Be brave, like Esther

This easy-to-read chapter book shares beautifully illustrated stories, including those of:

Eve,
Rebekah,
Ruth and Naomi,
Sariah,
Abish and the Queen,
Mary Magdalene,
Lucy Mack Smith,
and Emma Hale Smith

Full of examples of integrity and courage, this book is the perfect way to reinforce lessons learned in Primary and share scripture stories that will become a gospel foundation to last a lifetime.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Also by this author: Author Q&A with Rebecca J. Greenwood, The Darkest Summer

Genres: Children's Literature, Artistic Adaptations &/or Picture Books


Published by CFI (imprint) Cedar Fort Inc

on 11th August, 2015

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 144

Published By: CFI (imprint) of Cedar Fort Inc (@CedarFortBooks),

an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook, and compliment Colouring Book

Converse via: #illustratednovel, #KidsLit, #EarlyReader OR #ChapterBooks + #WomenOfTheBible

Also: #INSPY (for Inspirational Fiction readers) + #LDSFiction + #LDSKids

About Rebecca J. Greenwood

Rebecca J. Greenwood

Rebecca J. Greenwood studied visual art with a music minor at Brigham Young University. She is a multimedia artist, illustrator, comic creator, and designer with a love of stories. She has worked in publishing for the last six years. Rebecca lives in Utah with her husband, where she listens to audiobooks, cooks experimentally, has an interest in alternative health, and constantly has a new project in mind.

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Posted Thursday, 27 August, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, After the Canon, Ancient Civilisation, Anthology Collection of Stories, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Biblical Fiction, Biblical History, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Children's Literature, Christianity, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Equality In Literature, Graphic Novel, Historical Fiction, Illustration for Books & Publishing, Illustrations for Stories, Indie Art, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Inspired by Stories, Judiasm, Lessons from Scripture, Re-Told Tales, Religious History, Short Stories or Essays, Spirituality & Metaphysics, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints