Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Another Time, Another Place

Book giveaway, Here Burns My Candle (Liz Curtis Higgs)

by Marion Ueckermann

I’ve always thought it would be great to write a book using biblical characters set in a modern day Story World. This was before I had discovered writers like Francine Rivers, Karen Kingsbury and Liz Curtis Higgs. They’ve all done this successfully with numerous works. Francine Rivers’ best-selling Redeeming Love, based on the story of Hosea and Gomer, is set in California’s gold country in the 1850’s; Divine from Karen Kingsbury is a modern-day retelling of Mary Magdalene's story; and Liz Curtis Higgs’ fourfold epic saga powerfully retells the stories of Jacob and Esau, Rachel and Leah, Dinah and Shechem. Now Liz has done it again with her fifth historical novel, Here Burns My Candle, the story of Naomi and Ruth. She is currently working on the sequel, Mine is the Night, Boaz and Ruth’s love story.

When I discovered Liz Curtis Higgs’ books—Thorn in My Heart, Fair is the Rose, Whence Came a Prince and Grace in Thine Eyes—I was blown away by her ingenious ideas and talented writing as she “modernized” these age-old stories. Picture it ... familiar biblical characters transported from the late 1700’s BC to the late 1700’s AD; from ancient Canaan to the Lowlands of Scotland.

I’ve still to find and read her fifth historical novel, but over 2000 pages of literary intrigue, author’s notes, reader’s guides and Scottish glossaries in the first four books kept me captivated for weeks. Liz’s writing is sheer brilliance!

You may wonder why she chose Scotland for her characters. Liz explains, “It is simply the most beautiful place on earth. My first visit there in 1996 convinced me that the Scottish books I had been reading and the lovely calendars hanging on my walls only hinted at the green glory of Scotland. Soon I found the people—with their love for history, wry sense of humor, and gentle, honest manner—even more delightful. With each visit that followed, the truth became apparent: Scotland had stolen my heart forever.”

Being of Scottish decent and having visited the country twice, biased or not, I have to agree with Liz.

You will be astounded to learn what has equipped Liz to pen these stories:

• A BA degree in English Literature

• A passion for centuries past

• Twelve detailed historical research trips to the UK

• A personal library of eight hundred books on Scotland’s history and culture

• The study of fourteen translations of the biblical accounts and more than one hundred nonfiction books and commentaries on Genesis and Ruth

• A member of the Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society and the Dumfries & Galloway Family History Society

• She supports Historic Scotland, the National Trust for Scotland, and the National Museums of Scotland

Liz Curtis Higgs is definitely an expert to write her stories in this chosen setting.

I can’t resist giving you a taste of what to expect, so indulge me as I take you on a whirlwind tour of her six historical novels.


In the autumn of 1788, amid the moors and glens of the Scottish Lowlands, two brothers fight to claim one father's blessing, two sisters long to claim one man's heart.

Jamie and Evan McKie both want their father Alec's flocks and lands, yet only one brother will inherit Glentrool. Leana and Rose McBride both yearn to catch the eye of the same handsome lad, yet only one sister will be his bride.

A thorny love triangle emerges, plagued by lies and deception, jealousy and desire, betrayal and broken promises.


Can a sister's love endure the ultimate betrayal?

A year has come and gone since Jamie McKie fled for his life and arrived at Auchengray in search of sanctuary and a bonny wife. Young Rose McBride, as fair as any lass in Scotland, dearly loves her handsome cousin, Jamie McKie—but so does her older sister, Leana.

Desperate to have Jamie all to herself, Rose is unwittingly aided by Lillias Brown, a wise woman—a wutch, some say—still keen on the old ways. Leana cherishes her newborn son and clings to her hard-won sense of peace by a slender thread of faith. Jamie, meanwhile, longs to return home to Glentrool, yet is thwarted at every turn by his uncle Lachlan’s deceitful ways.

All three points of this thorny triangle soon grow as sharp as a Scottish dirk. Och, such heartache! And yet, amid the conflicts, hope burns bright.

WHENCE CAME A PRINCE (2006 Christy Award for Best Historical Fiction)

A journey of the heart across the Lowlands of Scotland.
A prodigal hero returns ... Jamie McKie's long-awaited return to his ancestral home of Glentrool tests the depth of his courage, the strength of his sword, and the tenacity of his vow to honor the Almighty, no matter the cost.

To claim his inheritance, Jamie must first outwit his devious uncle, Lachlan, then confront the two men he fears most: Evan, the brother whose blessing he stole, and Alec, the father he once deceived.

Jamie faces a perilous journey of the heart as well: The two women in his life, Leana and Rose McBride, each stake a tender claim on his affections. Quiet, gentle Leana is the mother of his firstborn, Ian. And Rose, her spirited younger sister, is expecting his second child. Honor and duty prevail but not without heartache.

GRACE IN THINE EYES (a stand-alone novel, Christy Award finalist)

A young woman trapped by shame. Two brothers bent on revenge. Can her father rescue her? Or is there only One who can set her free?

Davina McKie is a bonny lass of seventeen, mute since childhood and fiercely guarded by her belligerent twin brothers, Will and Sandy. When the lads are forced to depart the glen, Jamie McKie escorts Davina to the Isle of Arran, where her lively cousins, Catherine and Abigail, make her welcome at the manse.

One moonless eve, Davina blithely entertains the gentry of Arran with her grandfather’s fiddle, unaware of the dramatic turn her life is about to take.

A story of passion and revenge, of lost innocence and shattered dreams, Grace in Thine Eyes explores the sorrow of unspeakable shame and the gift of immeasurable grace.



A mother who cannot face her future. A daughter who cannot escape her past.

A timeless saga of love and betrayal, loss and redemption, flickering against the vivid backdrop of eighteenth-century Edinburgh. Here Burns My Candle is a historical novel, based on the beloved Old Testament story of Naomi and Ruth, set in another time and place to demonstrate the timelessness of God's Word.

MINE IS THE NIGHT (March 2011)

She lost everything she loved. He had everything she needed.

Reeling from the aftermath of bonny Prince Charlie’s disastrous bid to reclaim the British throne, Marjory Kerr and her daughter-in-law, Elisabeth, have lost everything they hold dear. But they have not lost hope.

Just as Naomi and Ruth once traveled from Moab to Judah, Marjory and Elisabeth move from the crowded streets of Edinburgh to the countryside of the Scottish Borderland for Mine Is the Night.

Marjory Kerr is a widow undone, having buried her husband, her sons, and any hope of grandsons. Her title, property, and fortune are gone as well, yet it's her family alone that matters. When a glimmer of hope appears on the horizon, her faith in God’s loving-kindness is slowly restored, and a new Marjory emerges.

Elisabeth Kerr has also suffered crushing losses in her life. Instead of giving in to melancholy, she places her future firmly in the hands of Almighty God and spends her days helping others, never imagining where her compassionate acts of service will lead her: straight into the arms of her redeemer.

Liz Curtis Higgs is the author of twenty-eight books, with three million copies in print, including her best-selling historical novels, Thorn in My Heart, Fair Is the Rose, Whence Came a Prince, a Christy Award winner, Grace in Thine Eyes, a Christy Award finalist, and Here Burns My Candle. Her best-selling nonfiction books include Bad Girls of the Bible and Really Bad Girls of the Bible; and she has written two contemporary novels: Mixed Signals, a Rita Award finalist; and Bookends, a Christy Award finalist.

All this talk of historical novels has reminded me that I can’t wait for Nanowrimo. I’ve been busy plotting and researching my first historical Christian novel. Maybe one day I’ll be privileged to have you read my rendition of David, Bathsheba and Uriah as Irish beauty Breanna Kelly and her betrothed, Uilliam O’Hea, become the innocent pawns in the hands of their powerful landlord, Devan Barrington-Jones.

During the two years we lived in Ireland, my husband and I had our favorite spot up in the Wicklow mountains overlooking Lough Tay. I have chosen this breathtaking area as the backdrop for this tragic tale of lust, betrayal, collusion and secrecy set during the Great Irish Famine.

So far, it has been an interesting and entertaining road of research.

Liz will be giving away a signed copy of Here Burns My Candle and will post to anywhere in the world. If you would like to win a copy of Here Burns My Candle, please add your email address to your comment, replacing @ with (at) and .com with (dot) com. The winner will be announced in The Sunday Edition November 7th.

"Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws."

MARION UECKERMANN’s writing passion was sparked in 2001 when she moved to Ireland with her husband and two sons. Since then Marion has been honing her skills and has published some devotional articles in Winners at Work as well as inspirational poetry online and in a poetry journal. She has written her first Christian Women’s novel (unpublished) and is currently completing the sequel. Marion now lives in Pretoria East, South Africa with her husband, sons and a crazy black ‘Scottie’. A member and moderator of the South African Christian Writers Group, Marion can be contacted via email on marionu(at)telkomsa(dot)net.


  1. Lovely Marion, I have sent this home so I can read it in detail. I have read just about all of Francine Rivers and most of Karen Kingsbury books but am so glad to maybe find a new author on the same lines. I find I get so much out of these books. Would love to read yours sometime!.

  2. This is my favorite author and I agree that she is brilliant in the way she weaves faith and history. My favorite of the four of her books Ive read is Grace in Thine Eyes. I would love to win any of her books!

  3. Wow, Liz is one amazing lady! I had the privilege of listening to her in 2005, and again in 2009, when she was the speaker at the Beauty for Ashes conferences in South Africa. She had me in absolute stitches of laughter as she taught deep Biblical truths.

    I'd love to have a copy of her book, so please enter me in the draw.

    Many thanks

    Ruth Ann

  4. As if my TBR pile isn't high enough, I'd love to win a copy of "Here Burns My Candle."


  5. Thank you Marion! So interesting... I would love to be in the draw for "Here Burns My Candle."

    God Bless,

  6. Three MILLION copies in print. Oh my gooooodness. What does that feel like?

    Thanks for the report on Liz, Marion. Well put together. As a Scot myself, I'd love a copy of her book.


  7. Scotland is one of those countries I'm still waiting to visit. Thanks for sharing with us about Liz's books. I have heard of them, but didn't realize they were based on Biblical stories.

  8. She's definately an awesome writer. Thanks for posting about her.

  9. Thanks so much for an enlightening post, Marion! I didn't know this about Liz's books, and now I'm curious to read one or more!

    valerie at valeriecomer dot com

  10. Once again Marion you inform, entertain and delight!

    I look forward to reading Liz’s books, but am also waiting for the Irish novel you are about to reveal.

    Where do you find the time, I know where the inspiration comes from...

  11. What a fascinating idea to write the Jacob-Esau story in a different setting. I too have Scottish ancestry and would love to read these even if I don't win!
    leannehardy (at) gmail (dot) com.

  12. Thanks all for great comments. Glad I've stirred your interest in this great author.

    Christine, Catherine, Sandy - please send your email addresses if you want me to submit your names into the draw for Here Burns My Candle.

  13. I like to have a copy of Bad Girls of the Bible by Liz Curtis Higgs. Annie Eskridge, author of Sin Abides..my email address is areskridge@sbcglobal.net

  14. Hi Annie
    The book giveaway is for Liz's latest release, "Here Burns My Candle". I'd be happy to place you in the draw for this book. Unfortunately, you'll have to scour your bookshops for a copy of "Bad Girls of the Bible".


  15. Hi Marion, God Bless and continue your journey

    Love sandyhume(at)yahoo(dot)com

  16. The bible says that the first will be last and the last first ... but this wasn't the case here :)

    The first person to enter the above book giveaway landed up being ... well, first. It is also the first time that she has visited the ICFW blog.

    And how delighted I was to discover that No. 1 belonged to a fellow South African, Pearl Meyer.

    Pearl, I'm going to be tracking you down so I can lend Here Burns My Candle.

    Congratulations on winning - I know you are going to be blessed by Liz's writing.

    Thank you everyone for your comments and entering.