Since we’re in the middle of Clash of the Title’s two week summer break, we thought we’d introduce you to the book club COTT has recently begun. All this month we’re delving into The Stones written by COTT champ, Eleanor (Ellie) Gustafson. The Stones is a historical/biblical novel based on the life of Kind David. Most of us know how the story ends (wink), but Ellie presents the details in such a fresh and unique way that I find it’s almost as if I’ve never read the story before. It’s hefty reading, but I’m really enjoying it. Ellie’s prose is lovely and almost poetic. It’s enchanting. And the historical detail simply fascinates me. Actually, I’m quite in awe of all the research she’d done. My favorite so far in the book is Abigail, David’s third wife. She was always one of my favorite female Bible characters. I think it’s rather romantic that saving her retched husband’s life earned her the (future) king’s love. Her dead husband was barely cold in the ground before David took her to wife. Talk about making an impression! Quite the colorful character in The Stones, she’s strong-willed (which wasn’t a gift in those days) and usually the cause for tension. But it’s generally because she’s fighting for what she believes God requires of them. David’s standing before God and the people is more important to her than her staying in his good graces, which she doesn’t lose for long anyway. David loves her too much. Care for a tiny peek into her personality? Here she is chiding David for bringing booty home from the Amalekites he’s just raided and killed. She says, “Did you consult Abiathar and the Urim and thummin to find out if you’re the man to do it? It seems to me you’re tearing off this ‘vengeance’ thing, when it’s the Lord’s business to—” “Enough, woman! You have a find hand on my faults and don’t hesitate to say so.” (great line, by the way) The flare died quickly, and David sighed as he wrung a cloth and wiped his dusty face. “Abigail, Abigail, you don’t understand. We have our reasons. We—” “You mean Joab has his reasons. This was his idea, wasn’t it?” “Yes, and it’s a good idea.” His voice grew irritable again. “We must get Achish to trust us. Once he thinks we’ve made ourselves odious to the Israelites… And besides, I thought you’d like clothes and jewelry.” “They’re soaked in blood. I’d never wear them” (Wow. A scene with this feisty gal is always interesting!) Historical/biblical fiction is my all time favorite genre, but I can’t help but wonder the entire time that I’m reading--Which parts are real and which are made up? In a book club setting, I get to ask the author questions as I’m reading. How fun is that?! If you’ve ever had a question about the life of David, Ellie’s your gal. She will be available all month long at the Clash of the Titles Book Club to chat with her readers and anyone who would like to meet another of our amazing COTT Champs!
WANT TO BE A PART OF COTT STAFF?
Clash of the Titles, is on the search for a new staff member! If you are a writer who’s looking to gain exposure, connect with other authors, add bullets to you professional bio, and have a blast doing it, we would love to chat with you to see if we are a good fit. Please contact us for more details: contactcott(at)gmail(dot)com.
--April W Gardner is the award-winning author of Wounded Spirits.