Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Jill Eileen Smith’s newest book, “A Passionate Hope.” Winner will be announced in the next Author Spotlight feature. Congratulations to Betti Mace  for winning Lynn H. Blackburn’s book, “Beneath the Surface.” Please email my assistant christenkrumm {at} gmail {dot} com to claim your prize.

With her immaculate research and captivating writing, Jill Eileen Smith invites readers to travel back to the dusty streets of Shiloh, where they can experience the beloved story of Hannah.

Hannah and her husband, Elkanah, share a deep love for each other, for their God, and for His tabernacle at Shiloh. Yet years of barrenness have taken their toll. Pressured by his family to take another wife, Elkanah marries Peninnah, who quickly begins to bear children. Disgraced and taunted by her husband’s new wife, Hannah turns again to prayers that seem doomed to go unanswered.

To what length will Hannah go to find her heart’s desire? Will her attempts at kindness and her desperate prayers not only change her world but also affect Israel’s future?

A Passionate Hope is a story of faith, patience, and deliverance that shows that even the most broken of relationships can be restored.

What part of the country do you consider home?

The Midwest – Michigan.

Currently, how big (or small) is your household?

We are empty nesters, so we are a family of three—my hubby, me, and our kitty Tiger.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I read a lot. I’m currently obsessed with non-fiction. Sometimes I’m reading two or three books at once and can get them confused if I’m not careful!

I like to shop online for things for our home or personal items like clothes. I have a healthy distaste for going into an actual store, especially for groceries, but that’s the kind of shopping I end up doing most.

I also try to spend time with my mom when I can.

Is there any habit or hobby you have that might surprise readers?

I have several that I never have enough time to do:

I just had my DNA tested and am trying to connect with relatives I didn’t know I had. Genealogy really interests me, especially as it has to do with our family history.

I play Words With Friends with my mom and a few friends every day.

I love to take pictures and especially enjoy family and scenic nature photos. Animals caught unaware make great pictures.

I want to learn Hebrew, but I simply don’t have the time or the money to invest in the course right now. The alphabet is about the best I can do.

I like to color pictures in my Inspire Bible and hubby and I have some favorite TV shows we like to unwind with at night.

I love to ride my bike, but my back and bumpy roads limit me more than they used to.

You’ve just turned in your manuscript, and your editor won’t return it with revisions for at least a week or two. Where would you go for a vacation?

Hard to say. I probably wouldn’t take a vacation right then because I turn a book in near Christmas. But I make time for vacations throughout the year. As an example, this year we went to Seattle, WA, Portland, OR, Orlando, FL, Charlotte, NC, and Traverse City, MI. I’m weary of travel for a while!

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

Vanilla with chocolate and bing cherry sauce and whipped cream. That’s not really a flavor though – it’s my favorite sundae.

Are you a dog or a cat person? What does that tell us about you?

100% Cat Person. I had a dog growing up, but my sister got the dog-loving genes, while I am the opposite. We’ve had a cat since the first year of our marriage and Tiger is our third. I like the ease of a cat, his “chill” attitude. I enjoy playing with him – and loved it when he and our previous cat Shadow played together. They were so entertaining. But as a cat ages, they slow down, and that fits with my need for peace.

What was your favorite childhood book? What made it so beloved?

Two From Galilee by Marjorie Holmes. If you want to go back to pre-teen childhood, then I would pick the Little House on the Prairie series or Little Women and other books by Louisa May Alcott. But Two From Galilee brought the Bible to life for me and it is still my favorite book to read at Christmas. I read it again when my dad died, and it brought much comfort and still held that emotional pull as it did when I was sixteen.

How many unfinished book ideas or manuscripts do you currently have?

I actually have at least three or four complete novels on my computer that have not sold. They are in a different genre. One is the first in an idea for a series of police procedural/mystery/suspense books. I love the 1920s-30s era and would enjoy writing (and have written) some books in that era someday. Maybe.

What’s your favorite movie? Favorite TV show?

Too hard to pick just one!
Movies – and not in any order but all my favorites:
The Lord of the Rings trilogy
Runaway Bride
Pride & Prejudice
War Room

TV Shows:
Madame Secretary
Blue Bloods
This is Us
Chicago Fire, PD, and Med
Law and Order – except Criminal Intent
Designated Survivor

On Netflix:
Gilmore Girls

If you were casting yourself in a movie, which actor or actress would you pick? Why?

Hmm…I don’t see myself as a character in a movie, so I don’t think I can answer this one. Keira Knightly is one of my favorite actresses, but mainly for her role in Pride and Prejudice.

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Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling and award-winning author of the Wives of King David, the Wives of the Patriarchs, the Loves of King Solomon, and the Daughters of the Promised Land series. Her research into the lives of biblical women has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan.
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