Interview with Carole Towriss, author of In The Shadow of Sinai

Narelle here. I’m delighted to welcome Biblical fiction author Carole Towriss to our blog.



Carole Towriss grew up in beautiful San Diego, California. Now she and her husband live just north of Washington, DC. In between making tacos and telling her four children to pick up their shoes for the third time, she reads, watches chick flicks, writes and waits for summertime to return to the beach. Her first novel, In the Shadow of Sinai, released November 1. You can find her at www.CaroleTowriss.com.

Back cover blurb:

Bezalel is a Hebrew slave to Ramses II. An artisan of the highest order, Ramses has kept him in the palace even when all other Israelites have been banned. Bezalel blames El Shaddai for isolating him from his people.

When Moses and Aaron appear one summer, and El Shaddai shakes Egypt to its core, Bezalel must reexamine his anger. Over the course of the next year, Bezalel’s life becomes intertwined with those of an Egyptian child-slave, the captain of the guard, and especially a beautiful young concubine.

When spring arrives, all of them escape with the young nation of Israel. But that’s only the beginning…

Narelle: What was your inspiration for writing In the Shadow of Sinai?

Carole: I was reading the Bible – I think I was in church – in Exodus 31. “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts.’ And I thought, ‘Now how would a slave know how to do all that?’ God could have just poof, given him all that knowledge, but that’s no fun, and generally not how God works. So I made up a story.

Narelle: What do you find most fascinating about Ancient Egypt?

Carole: Egypt was way ahead of its time and vastly different from all the nations surrounding it. Women had many rights. They could own land, have a career, choose their husbands, initiate divorce–they were basically equal. All the other nations were patriarchal. Women belonged to first their fathers, then their husbands.

Narelle: How did the Egyptians treat Hebrew slaves?

Carole: That’s hard to say, as many secular scholars say there is no evidence for Israelites at all in Egypt. Those that admit it disagree with the Ten Commandments movie portrayal of taskmasters whipping slaves all day for no reason. It seems they had villages and were reasonably well treated, more like indentured servants, except for incidents like killing the baby boys when the pharaoh thought they grew too numerous.

Narelle: The Egyptians had their own gods and religious beliefs. How did their beliefs differ to the Israelites?

Carole: The Egyptians had innumerable gods, each in control of one or more aspects of nature or life. The people had to make sacrifices to appease them. The sun god was the most important and at times the pharaoh was even considered to be a god himself.

Narelle: Do many real life Biblical characters play a role in your book?

Carole: Bezalel is the man who built the ark of the Covenant. He is mentioned three times in the Bible. The story is told through his eyes, from the year of the plagues through the first year of the Exodus, which is spent largely at the foot of Mt Sinai.

Ramses II is the pharaoh in my book, although the identity of the pharaoh of the Exodus is hotly debated. Moses and Aaron, Joshua and Caleb, and Bezalel’s grandfather Hur are also in there.

Narelle: In the Shadow of Sinai is the first book in your Journey to Canaan trilogy. Please tell us about your upcoming releases.

Carole: The sequel By the Waters of Kadesh picks up when they leave Mt Sinai, believing they will enter the Promised Land in just a few weeks. Kadesh follows the twelve spies through their journey through Canaan, and examines what happens after ten of them declare the land cannot be conquered. Almost all the characters from Book One, as well as some new ones, will be there!

Carole will be guest blogging with us tomorrow on The Sovereignty of God.

To learn more about Carole and her books, please visit her website www.CaroleTowriss.com

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