Tag Archives: Tosca Lee

Realm Makers, Gen Con, and ACFW, Oh My!

Let’s just say I’ve been busy. Extremely busy.

So busy, in fact, I’ve been sick for about three months straight.

I know! Not cool, right?

But the conferences, book signings, conventions, editing jobs, book releases, etc. etc. etc. have all been so wonderful, I couldn’t resist!

(And now I’m being forced by my body to slow it down and take care of me…then I’ll be off and running again!) :)

So now a little about my time at Realm Makers:

And Gen Con:

And ACFW:

Isn’t that incredible? Tosca Lee, Ted Dekker, and being able to dress up in a Star Trek uniform! (Though I would say meeting both authors was a tad more exciting than dressing up…) ;)

There’s more–so much more–and I will do my best to share a plethora of my favorite pictures I took from all three of these events at a later time.

Now, I’d love to hear from you. Have you read any incredible books lately?

I haven’t had time for personal reading lately, and I find I’m desperate for a few good recommendations.

What have you read and loved?

In Him,

Michele

“The First 500” Scholarship Contest

Hey, you guys! Check out this contest from Realm Makers, a writing conference I am simply dying to attend!

“The First 500″ Scholarship Contest

Posted by Rebecca Minor on January 9, 2015

Thanks to the generous contribution of Tosca Lee, the keynote speaker for the 2014 Realm makers conference, we are excited to announce the first of several scholarship opportunities available to prospective Realm Makers:2015 attendees. Are you dying to come to the conference in August, but sure financial circumstances in your life will prevent you from affording registration and housing? Then this scholarship opportunity might just be your chance.

Here are the details:

Prize: One registration fee and the cost of quad-occupancy housing at Realm Makers: 2015

How to Apply:

  • Select the first 500 words of your best speculative fiction to show us you know how to start a story off with a bang that hooks your reader. The submission can be from a published or unpublished novel-length work. All submissions must be double spaced in a clean, readable font.
  • In 250 words or less, draft a letter containing the following information:
  1. Why you have financial need of a scholarship
  2. Where you are in your writing journey
  3. Why you believe attending Realm Makers would benefit you
  • Compile the 500 word opening sample and the 250 word letter of need into a single document (Microsoft word or .rtf only)
  • Make sure your name and email address are in the header of your submission document
  • Attach the submission document to an email to info@faithandfantasyalliance.com
  • Write “First 500 Scholarship Submission” in the subject line of your email
  • Send your submission between the 12:00 AM January 12th and 11:59 PM February 1st

One winner will be selected by committee and notified via the Realm Makers Facebook page at noon on March 2nd, 2015. The winner will be given a single-use coupon code to enter when he or she registers for the 2015 conference. Registration is projected to open in May of 2015.

A few business items:

Realm Makers reserves the right to disqualify any entry that does not adhere to the above guidelines.

By entering the contest, you grant Realm Makers the right to mention you, by name, on all its social media and promotional outlets as the winner.

In the event the winner of the scholarship cannot attend the conference, the scholarship will be re-awarded to the runner up, who will not be named unless such a transfer needs to occur. PLEASE, as a courtesy to those who are seriously intending to attend the conference, do not apply for this scholarship if you are in doubt about your ability to travel to St. Louis in August.

Good luck! Polish up those opening pages and send us your fantastical stories.

I know this is extremely short notice, but, if Realm Makers is truly a conference you wish to attend, perhaps you can polish and submit your entry within the next three days. I plan on it, but heaven knows I haven’t accomplished much this pregnancy!

I hope to see you there! :)

In Him,

Michele

Original Post at faithandfantasyalliance.wordpress.com.

Interview with Tosca Lee

Sheba

When Tosca Lee informed her reviewers that there was an interview available–a “behind-the-scenes”–about her latest book, Legend of Sheba, I jumped at the chance to share it with you.

Her book released on September 9th, and, if you have not yet had the chance to read this exquisite masterpiece, I highly recommend you do so!

It was sheer perfection.

Here is a glimpse of the best book I have read all year.

(PS–you can click on either of the book covers–they are securely linked to Amazon.)

  • You are known for your meticulous research. How did researching Legend of Sheba differ from your other books?

After a year and a half of hard research for Iscariot, I thought research for Sheba would be much easier. Not so! It is much harder to fill in the historical record of 1000 years earlier than the time of Christ due to the dearth of archaeological progress in history-rich and troubled Yemen, natural phenomena such as the encroaching sands of the desert, and a lack of historical records recording any queen in the Southern Arabian region.

  • What do we actually know about the Queen of Sheba?

We know something about the Sabaean (the Israelite Sheba = ancient Arabian Saba) people: that they had a capital in Marib, a sovereign “federator” who united the kingdoms of Saba, an elegant and evolving script, a sophisticated dam near the capital that turned Marib’s dusty fields into oases, and that there is great evidence of Sabaean settlement in the area of Ethiopia near what would become Aksum. We know the Sabaeans of the 10th Century BC worshipped the moon god, Almaqah, though experts do not agree whether this was a male or female deity. We know that in terms of the ancient world, they were quite rich due in large part to their cultivation of frankincense in the southeastern region, and that they had an extensive and evolving trade network that extended as far north as Damascus, as far east as India, and as far west across the Red Sea as Ethiopia and the continent beyond.

  • What do we actually know about King Solomon—I understand that the academic opinion varies quite a lot from the biblical account.

Again, we know more about the region, people, language, culture and ethnic history of the Israelites than anything, archaeologically-speaking, of the king himself. It would be such a help if something were unearthed from the City of David or the Temple Mount that could be linked to Solomon’s temple or directly to Solomon himself! There was an item—a small ivory pomegranate that was once thought to top the scepter of a priest of this time period, with an inscription indicating so… but this was later ruled to be a forgery, though the carved pomegranate did date to the correct (early to mid-900s BC) time period. I say more about this question in the Author’s Notes of Legend of Sheba.

  • The queen is a very minor character in the scope of the biblical narrative, but you assert that her famous visit to King Solomon is vitally important in the scope of Old Testament history. Why?

For two reasons. If the story of the United Monarchy (the kingdom of David and his son/successor, Solomon) is not true, then the bedrock of three major world religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) collapses into fiction, and the claim of Jews to the land of Israel with it. Perhaps the authors of 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles knew that, because they took the opportunity to basically say, “Hey, this queen from the ends of the earth, that famous Queen of Sheba, came and brought tribute to our king, and blessed him and our god and said ‘All that I heard was true, and I never even heard the half of it!’” This is fascinating. It begs the question: what was it that was so great about this female sovereign—in a time when the world was ruled by men—and a pagan, no less… what was it about her that was so outstanding that her endorsement of Solomon, his riches, wisdom, and god, held so much weight as to be included in the Old Testament narrative? Who was this woman who matched wits with the wisest man in the world—whose throne was so secure that she could leave it and make the 1400 mile journey of half a year to visit this king… before making the long trek back? Well, this must be a woman worth knowing something about.

  • I understand you created a special bonus for your readers with Legend of Sheba. Can you tell us more about that?

Ismeni—a free eBook short story prequel to The Legend of Sheba—will be available August 26. This is the story of Sheba’s mother, and sheds some light on the man who would become the queen of Sheba’s right-hand councilor. It’s about 34 pages long, and also includes a preview of the Prologue and first chapter of The Legend of Sheba.

Ismeni

About Tosca Lee

Tosca

Tosca Lee is the award-winning, New York Times best-selling author of Iscariot; Demon: A Memoir; Havah: The Story of Eve, and the Books of Mortals series with New York Times best-seller Ted Dekker (Forbidden, Mortal and Sovereign). Her highly anticipated seventh novel, The Legend of Sheba, released September 9, 2014.

Tosca received her B.A. in English and International Relations from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts with studies at Oxford University. She is a lifelong world adventure traveler and makes her home in the Midwest. To learn more about Tosca, visit www.toscalee.com.

Conclusion

It was my honor to present this interview to all of you, my fabulous readers.

I absolutely loved reviewing her book before its release, and I hope you enjoy reading Legend of Sheba as much as I did.

Thank you, Tosca Lee!

In Him,

Michele

The Legend of Sheba: Rise of a Queen

The Legend of Sheba: Rise of a Queen

Author:
Genre: Historical Fiction
ASIN: B00GEEBA0U
The queen who captured the heart of the wisest of kings. The queen who fell in love with Solomon and his God. I was hungry for every page, then devastated when it was over. Exquisite storytelling at it's finest!
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
About the Book

Her name is legend. Her story, the epic of nations. The Queen of Sheba. A powerful new novel of love, power, and the questions at the heart of existence by the author of the award-winning “brilliant” (Library Journal) and “masterful” (Publishers Weekly) Iscariot.

There is the story you know: A foreign queen, journeying north with a caravan of riches to pay tribute to a king favored by the One God. The tale of a queen conquered by a king and god both before returning to her own land laden with gifts.

That is the tale you were meant to believe.

Which means most of it is a lie.

The truth is far more than even the storytellers could conjure. The riches more priceless. The secrets more corrosive. The love and betrayal more passionate and devastating.

Across the Red Sea, the pillars of the great oval temple once bore my name: Bilqis, Daughter of the Moon. Here, to the west, the porticoes knew another: Makeda, Woman of Fire. To the Israelites, I was queen of the spice lands, which they called Sheba.

In the tenth century BC, the new Queen of Sheba has inherited her father’s throne and all its riches at great personal cost. Her realm stretches west across the Red Sea into land wealthy in gold, frankincense, and spices. But now new alliances to the North threaten the trade routes that are the lifeblood of her nation. Solomon, the brash new king of Israel famous for his wealth and wisdom, will not be denied the tribute of the world—or of Sheba’s queen. With tensions ready to erupt within her own borders and the future of her nation at stake, the one woman who can match wits with Solomon undertakes the journey of a lifetime in a daring bid to test and win the king. But neither ruler has anticipated the clash of agendas, gods, and passion that threatens to ignite—and ruin—them both. An explosive retelling of the legendary king and queen and the nations that shaped history.

Look Inside
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the page above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

The Legend of Sheba: Rise of a Queen

Startling.  Fascinating.  Gripping.  History come to life.

When Tosca Lee posted on her Facebook page that she was looking for reviewers for her latest novel, I wrote her instantly.  (After hyperventilating and almost falling out of my chair in excitement, of course.)

Crazy dances, screaming, and running around my house ensued when I received an email that, yes, I would be sent an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review.  My boys joined me, leaping around the house like we were in a musical, but I’m quite certain they had no idea what we were celebrating.

I devoured the book in three days, never wanting it to end.  Wishing for time to stand still so I might read it from cover to cover without interruptions.

Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to Jerusalem to test Solomon with hard questions.  2 Chronicles 9:1

Has there been a more mystifying or enigmatic queen briefly mentioned in the Bible than the queen of Sheba?

She traveled hundred of miles, over vast deserts, to question the wisest and wealthiest king of all of Israel, and Scripture only dedicates a few verses to her.

For someone who has been fascinated by every account of mighty women in Scripture, this drives me crazy!

Shouldn’t there be more verses dedicated to her?  Shouldn’t there be annuls of history full of her–full of accounts of Solomon?

I have come to appreciate genealogies thanks to my recent research of Noah’s lineage; however, I have always wished more of the Bible was dedicated to riveting stories and less to genealogies, laws, Tabernacle details.  I have especially wanted more of this story.

Then she said to the king: “It was a true report which I heard in my own land about your words and your wisdom.  However I did not believe their words until I came and saw with my own eyes; and indeed the half of the greatness of your wisdom was not told me.  You exceed the fame of which I heard.”  2 Chronicles 9:5-6

Tosca Lee’s latest novel, The Legend of Sheba: Rise of a Queen, satisfies my insatiable curiosity about the Ethiopian queen.  Following her ascension to Saba’s–or Sheba’s–throne, Queen Bilquis receives tantalizing reports of King Solomon, whose wealth and thirst for knowledge rivals her own.

They begin an unlikely correspondence, leading to her infamous visit to the Israelite king’s palace, to see if he is who he says he is–to see if the reports of him are true.  And to save her kingdom from ruin.

Tosca weaves a magical story, full of intrigue, brimming with heartbreak and romance.

Her historical research blows me away!  It is exhaustive, succinct, book-spine gripping.  (Believe me, it’s a good thing Kindles don’t break easily!)  And it does not bog down the story in the slightest.

Every time I had to put the book down was sheer agony.  Processing the story throughout the day was delicious, and I hurried the kids off to bed each night just so I could read more.

Come now, you might say, there must have been something you didn’t like about the book.  Well, there was.  That it ended.

Please–just–please make this breathtaking piece of mastery into a movie.  I’ll buy it.  On pre-order.  Just like this book should be on pre-order in every lover of history’s home.  On every avid reader’s list.  In the hands of every book lover.  And read by anyone even slightly curious about the queen of Sheba.

Tosca Lee’s Legend of Sheba, releases September 9th, 2014.

It. Is. Lovely.

In Him,

Michele

Scripture taken from the New King James Version.  Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

The Legend of Sheba: Rise of a Queen

The Legend of Sheba: Rise of a Queen

Author:
Genre: Historical Fiction
ASIN: B00GEEBA0U
The queen who captured the heart of the wisest of kings. The queen who fell in love with Solomon and his God. I was hungry for every page, then devastated when it was over. Exquisite storytelling at it's finest!
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
About the Book

Her name is legend. Her story, the epic of nations. The Queen of Sheba. A powerful new novel of love, power, and the questions at the heart of existence by the author of the award-winning “brilliant” (Library Journal) and “masterful” (Publishers Weekly) Iscariot.

There is the story you know: A foreign queen, journeying north with a caravan of riches to pay tribute to a king favored by the One God. The tale of a queen conquered by a king and god both before returning to her own land laden with gifts.

That is the tale you were meant to believe.

Which means most of it is a lie.

The truth is far more than even the storytellers could conjure. The riches more priceless. The secrets more corrosive. The love and betrayal more passionate and devastating.

Across the Red Sea, the pillars of the great oval temple once bore my name: Bilqis, Daughter of the Moon. Here, to the west, the porticoes knew another: Makeda, Woman of Fire. To the Israelites, I was queen of the spice lands, which they called Sheba.

In the tenth century BC, the new Queen of Sheba has inherited her father’s throne and all its riches at great personal cost. Her realm stretches west across the Red Sea into land wealthy in gold, frankincense, and spices. But now new alliances to the North threaten the trade routes that are the lifeblood of her nation. Solomon, the brash new king of Israel famous for his wealth and wisdom, will not be denied the tribute of the world—or of Sheba’s queen. With tensions ready to erupt within her own borders and the future of her nation at stake, the one woman who can match wits with Solomon undertakes the journey of a lifetime in a daring bid to test and win the king. But neither ruler has anticipated the clash of agendas, gods, and passion that threatens to ignite—and ruin—them both. An explosive retelling of the legendary king and queen and the nations that shaped history.

Look Inside
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the page above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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