Thursday, August 8, 2013

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Helping Hands Press (July 24, 2013)

***Special thanks to Amber Schamel for sending me a review copy.***


 Amber Schamel was born in Littleton, CO and has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and the Holy Land. She was raised in a family of 11 children, homeschooled through education and currently works with their 10 family businesses as bookkeeper and marketing director. She volunteers half of the summer at a non-profit Christian Family Bootcamp in rural MO helping and ministering to young girls and Christian families. Amber loves history, culture, reading and music. She has a musical ministry and travels throughout the United States ministering thru song. During her spare time she enjoys crafting Christ-honoring stories that will inspire and encourage her readers. Amber currently lives with her family outside of Colorado Springs, CO.

Visit the author's website.


Aaliyah's last chance at winning her husband's love is destroyed when she is banished from her home as an 'unclean' sinner. Her husband has branded her as an adulteress and threatens to kill her if she comes near the town. Struggling to survive amidst the fear, grief and bitterness of living in a leper colony, she would give anything just to see her son again. Is God really punishing her with this disease? When rumors of a Healer from Nazareth reach the colony, Aaliyah wonders if this man could really heal her, or if He would despise her like the rest of her people. It is now that Aaliyah must make the most difficult decision of her life: risk her life to appear in public, or die a leper.

Product Details:
List Price: $7.59
Paperback: 76 pages
Publisher: Helping Hands Press (July 24, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1622084004
ISBN-13: 978-1622084005


Circa 20 A.D.

The spring sun rose warm and clear over the Sea of Galilee. Aaliyah bustled about in the kitchen. She had already been up for several hours preparing for the Passover meal for that evening. Footsteps sounded as her husband shuffled sleepily into the kitchen. He lifted his hands above his head, stretching his tall frame.

"Good morning, husband." She smiled at him, suppressing her urge of mischief. "Did the sun sneak up on you today?"

"I didn't sleep well," he grumbled as he dipped his hands into the bucket and splashed water on his face.

Aaliyah scraped some breakfast onto a plate for him. "You tossed and turned all night; I dodged several blows from you." She offered him his plate, but when he reached out, she held it back. "Tell me, Tyrus, have you taken to beating your good wife in your sleep?"

"Perhaps if I did, she would behave during the day." Tyrus smiled softly and jerked the plate out of her grasp.

Aaliyah laughed under her breath. "Perhaps."

Picking up the bowl of dough she was mixing, she followed him into the dining room and sat across from Tyrus. As he ate, she studied him with a fond eye. He was still as handsome as the day she'd first seen him. His hair and full beard were dark as the midnight sky and his skin was tanned as evidence of his work ethic. His brown eyes were lively and ambitious; looking into them gave her the feeling that there were exciting new worlds he was waiting to conquer. His tall frame looked cramped sitting at the little table with his legs folded beneath him. Redness dabbed the nostrils of his distinct nose, the tell-tale sign, he was tired.

"What disturbed your sleep, my husband?"

Tyrus glanced up at her before replying. "Dreams."

Aaliyah's brow furrowed. "Dreams? What kind of dreams?"

He shoved his empty plate towards her and stood. "Never mind them now. Passover is tonight, and we've much work to do. The caravan I sent to Jerusalem is returning today, and I must inventory the merchandise before my patrons show up to buy them all. I'll bring our lamb

in later." He turned and left the room before she could ask more. She heard the courtyard gate close behind him. Tyrus was gone for the day.

Aaliyah bit her lip. His reservation seemed odd. Why would he not tell her of his dreams? Something about his manner gave her an uneasy feeling.

Sounds from the next room distracted her thoughts. The closing of the gate awoke their son, and the quick pitter-patter of feet sounded upon the tiled floor. Aaliyah crept through the courtyard and peeked into his room. Malon was sitting on the floor attempting to lace his sandals. His little pink tongue poked out as his chubby hands concentrated on the laces. Her heart warmed with a deep happiness as she watched him.

"Good morning, my son."

Malon's concentration was unbroken, and he continued fumbling with the laces until he managed to put his shoes on. He jumped up, but when he did, the knot he had formed around his calf came undone and the laces fell down around his ankles.

"Aww. Mama, I just can't do it right."

"It's okay; I'll help you," Aaliyah giggled.

She winked at him as she knelt to tie the laces. He returned her gesture with a hard blink.

When his shoes were fitly tied, Malon jumped up and bounded across the courtyard, headed for the gate. He stood on his tip-toes, reaching for the latch.

"Where are you going, Malon?"

"With Papa."

"Don't you want some breakfast first?"

Malon’s eyes swept around the kitchen as if searching for a hidden trap that would keep him away from his father. "Can I go with Papa after?"

"Yes, after breakfast you can go to the shop with Papa."

Malon plopped down on an overturned bucket and gobbled down his breakfast. Aaliyah ran her hand through his thick, dark hair.

"Don't eat too quickly. You don't want to choke on your food."

Malon's stubby hands extended the plate as his big brown eyes pleaded with her. "I'm finished now," he managed through a mouthful of food. "Can I go with Papa?"

Setting down the plate, Aaliyah took him by the hand, and together they walked across the courtyard and out into the street. The streets of Capernaum were busy with people rushing from

shop to shop gathering the needed supplies for Passover. They crossed the street into the market and waved to their long-time friends, Simon and Andrew, as the brothers brought in the night's catch. The bleating of the lambs just herded into the marketplace added to the bustle and noise.

Aaliyah and Malon approached their family's shop. Kish, Tyrus' apprentice, was bent over stocking one of the displays.

"Shalom, Kish. Where's Papa?" Malon grinned.

"Aw, he's over paying the tribute for the shipment that just came in. Help me sort these figs and he'll be over just as soon as he's finished. We've got lots of work to do today."

"No! Have mercy! Please husband, mercy!"

A commotion from a nearby house drew Aaliyah's attention. A man was dragging a woman, apparently his wife, out of the house and down the street towards the synagogue.

"Silence you insolent whore. How dare you...and in my own house! No, woman! You deserve what is coming to you."

The woman struggled trying to free herself of his iron grasp and her screeching faded as they disappeared down the street.

Out of the corner of her eye, Aaliyah noticed Tyrus standing beside her. His jaw was clenched and his eyes narrow.

"You look a little pale, Aaliyah. Does this scene--" he turned and looked intently at her. "--bother you?"

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