This 4-in-1 compilation combines these biblical novellas into one collection.
Trapped: The Adulterous Woman – A stranger approaches Anna’s house in the oppressive heat of the late afternoon before Sabbath. Shielding her eyes against the penetrating rays of the sun, she recognizes the familiar gait and realizes he is no stranger. Her hand trembles as in a brief moment of panic she fleetingly entertains thoughts of grabbing her baby and running. But there is no place to run. Her mind flashes back to the events leading up to the present, and the encounter with Jesus that changed her life and set her on the path of forgiveness.
Alone: The Woman At The Well – Mara’s life has been difficult. Her father died when she was three, and a succession of men began the parade through her life—men who disappointed and abused her. Her heart withers away. Her youth fades. She did what she had to do to survive. There is no joy or freshness in her life, until that day at the well of Sychar when a stranger from Galilee asks her for a drink of water. What she had thirsted for all of her life is showered upon her in that brief meeting.
Broken: The Woman Who Anointed Jesus’s Feet – Tirzah follows Jesus along outskirts of the crowd. She watches him raise the son of the widow of Nain from the dead. That day as he glanced her way, her spirit pleads with him to free her of the demons in her life. She feels them leave. She is free. Tirzah hears of a banquet to be held for Jesus at the house of a Pharisee named Simon. She hurries to her house and searches through her belongings—gifts given to her by her customers. She finds what she is looking for and goes to Simon’s house. What transpires that day has been remembered down through history as a supreme act of love.
Hopeless: The Woman With The Issue Of Blood – Children love her. Dinah thought when she married she would have a house full of children. The days melted into weeks and the months sped by with no pregnancy. At last, the long-awaited pregnancy, only to end in bitter disappointment with a late miscarriage. Then another—and another. After that, the hemorrhaging began. No doctors could help. She went to every priest, physician, and charlatan who promised healing, but the bleeding would not stop, nor could she conceive. Years went by. She had given up. She heard about the brash young teacher, making his headquarters in her hometown of Capernaum, who was performing mighty miracles. She was desperate. She heard a commotion in the streets and, unknown to her husband or family, found her way through the crowds to this one who could heal. One touch. One simple, trembling, child-like gesture—reaching out to the Great Physician. Her life is changed forever.
This series about nameless women in Scripture has been in my heart for 30 years. I wrote the first book about the adulterous woman approximately that long ago. I was an amateur writer then and made many mistakes on the technical side of the craft, but the story was there. And I kept pitching the idea to publishers and editors, but at that time the popularity of biblical fiction was waning. Or more well-known authors had a series out there that was too similar. For whatever reason, publishers were not interested. But the series wouldn’t let me go. It seemed interesting to me that some of the major encounters Jesus had in his ministry were with women, and that those women were not even named in the accounts. However, they were important enough to be included in the canon.
In the meantime, I got a contract for another series, based on my family genealogy in 17th century France, the Darkness to Light series, and subsequently published a Civil War novel set in Texas, His Steadfast Love. One day via a writers email loop I learned that WhiteFire Publishing was interested in biblical fiction. My agent pitched it to them. They bought the series and they are now reality.
I hope you will find touchstones in these stories that will ring true to you as a woman. Jesus broke many cultural and social mores of the day to relate to women—women who felt trapped by laws and tradition; those who needed forgiveness; some who had been abused.
May the One who has our names engraved on the palm of His hand minister to you through these novellas.
Golden Keyes Parsons