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

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

Book Recommendation – Strength Renewed: Meditations for Your Journey through Breast Cancer by Shirley Corder

Back cover blurb:

Nothing can sap a person’s strength and hope quite like a cancer diagnosis–unless it is the energy-stealing chemotherapy and surgeries faced in the fight against cancer. But one can find hope and strength in the pages of Scripture and in the experience of someone who has been there. Strength Renewed is an encouraging devotional for those living in the valley of cancer. Meditations combine Scripture and stories from the author’s own experience and can be read in sequential order to move the reader through a typical cancer journey from diagnosis through treatment. Each devotion also stands on its own, so readers can go directly to the entry that speaks to their need. Each devotional includes a short prayer and a Scripture verse for encouragement.

Narelle: It seems like cancer is becoming more prevalent and, like most people, my life has been touched by the cancer diagnosis of friends and family members. I found this devotional book very inspiring and helpful in understanding the life changing journey for both the patient and their loved ones. The whole idea of receiving a cancer diagnosis is very scary, and Shirley provides honest and thought provoking insights gained from her experiences fifteen years ago.

Shirley drew strength from the Lord and held onto Biblical truths as she struggled through the good days and the bad days. The book contains ninety devotions that are easy to read and provide wisdom and encouragement from her real life experiences. She speaks with compassion as she shares her mistakes as well as her triumphs through the various stages of her journey to becoming a cancer survivor. I highly recommend this book to those who have received a cancer diagnosis or are looking to gain new insights into how they can support friends and family undergoing cancer treatment.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Read first chapter FREE at

ACRBA Tour Return to Baragula by Mary Hawkins

5 – 9 November

Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance 

is introducing

Return to Baragula

(Ark House, March 2008)

by Mary Hawkins

About the Author:

Mary Hawkins is a best-selling inspirational romance author with other 825,000 romance books in print. During the first few years of being published she also had five medical romance novels released by Harlequin Mills & Boon before concentrating on inspirationals for Barbour Publishing (Ohio). Return to Baragula is her first single title and the first released by an Australia publisher.

Mary was a Queensland farmer’s daughter, became a registered nurse and has a graduate diploma from a Sydney Bible College where she met her husband. Ray is a retired minister who is also a published author. They enjoyed ministries in Australia, three short term mission trips to Africa and two years at a church in England before settling in beautiful Tasmania. They have three adult children and are now proud grandparents. Mary is a member of several writing organisations including American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of Australia, Romance Writers America, their Faith Hope Love chapter and Australian Omega Writers. She enjoys speaking appointments and writing workshops where she can share the journey she has been walking for many years with her Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Book Description:

Return To Baragula

Over the years Emily Parker’s actions as a teenager have impacted not only her own life, but the lives of many different people. Now, six years later, she returns reluctantly to her home town of Baragula only to discover the man at the heart of those actions, Matthew Davidson, is the community’s respected doctor.

While Emily’s faith is now severely weakened by all that has happened, Matthew’s life has completely turned around since he committed his life to Christ. His personal relationship with God is tested when he discovers how his behaviour when a non-believer hurt so many, especially Emily, and feels responsible for her hardness of heart towards the Lord.

Disease attacks the community while danger from another source threatens Emily and her family. Through it all, will Matthew and Emily’s faith be strong enough to forgive each other and put the past behind them?

Narelle: I really enjoyed all three books in Mary’s Baragula series. Return to Baragula is the first book in the series. Set in the picturesque Hunter Valley, Australia, I highly recommend this book to those looking for an engaging contemporary romance with an underlying spiritual theme of forgiveness.

Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance (ACRBA): Blog tours start in November

by Narelle Atkins


The Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance (ACRBA) has its first blog tour starting next week. If you’re a regular blogger and interested in writing reviews of mostly Australian Christian books, please check out the blog alliance guidelines. Joining a blog alliance is a great way to promote your favourite authors and discover new authors. Blog alliance members have the opportunity to request review copies of fiction, non-fiction and childrens books. For more information, please visit

Below is the current list of upcoming ACRBA blog tours. Publishers and authors who are interested in touring their books can check out the Book Submission Guidelines on the ACRBA website.

November 2012
Fiction 5th – 9th: Return to Baragula by Mary Hawkins
Non fiction 19th – 23rd: Bethlehem’s Warrior Baby (31 Day Devotional) by Ray Hawkins

December 2012
Fiction 3rd – 7th: Back to Resolution by Rose Dee
Non fiction 17th – 21th: Strength Renewed: Meditations for Your Journey through Breast Cancer by Shirley Corder

January 2013
Fiction 7th – 11th: A Simple Mistake by Andrea Grigg
Non fiction 21st – 25th: God’s Poetry – The Identity and Destiny Encoded in Your Name by Anne Hamilton

February 2013
Fiction 4th – 8th: The Greenfield Legacy by Meredith Resce, Paula Vince, Amanda Deed and Rose Dee
Non fiction 18th – 22nd: Soul Friend: The story of a shared spiritual journey by Jo-Anne Berthelsen

March 2013
Fiction 4th – 8th: Tangled Secrets by Carol Preston
Childrens 18th – 22nd: More Than a Mouse by Penny Reeves

April 2013
Fiction 1st – 5th: Web of Lies by Laura O’Connell
Non fiction/Childrens 15th – 19th:

May 2013
Fiction 6th – 10th: Ellenvale Gold by Amanda Deed
Non fiction/Childrens 20th – 24th:

June 2013
Fiction 3rd – 7th: Picking up the Pieces by Paula Vince
Childrens 17th – 21st: Boondaburra by Natalie Lonsdale