By COURTNEY DAKE
CNA newsroom assistant firstname.lastname@example.org
“They searched throughout Israel for a beautiful girl and found Abishag, a Shunamite, and brought her to the king. The girl was very beautiful; she took care of the king and waited on him.” 1 Kings 1:3-4.
Author Debbie Gilliland sketches the life of Abishag from this Biblical passage in her historical fiction novel “To Comfort A King.”
Selected for her beauty, youth and caring nature, Abishag leaves her village life for the world of the royal palace to tend to King David at the end of his life. With little choice, Abishag says goodbye to her father, deaf sister, younger brother and Joseph, her betrothed.
Upon arrival at the palace, Abishag is sent immediately to the king’s chambers, where she is greeted by Queen Bethsheba and introduced to the king, who is anxious to die in peace.
Abishag’s soft touch and warm heart slowly tears down the king’s facade and an intimate friendship forms.
Abishag perseveres through ridicule from palace concubines and advances by King David’s son Adonijah to fulfill the responsibility she has come to love.
Journey with Abishag as she steps into the unknown and sees a future she never thought possible.
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About the Author
Debbie Gilliland was born and raised in Mount Ayr. Her husband’s name is Mike. She has three children and eight grandchildren.
Gilliland dedicated the book to her high school English teacher and mentor Merlin Wilkins, who died in 2012.
“He remained a lifetime friend (after high school),” said Gilliland.
The two also connected because Gilliland grew up in church and Wilkins was a minister.
“The idea of the book was actually his,” said Gilliland. “He said, ‘You outta look at these verses (1 Kings 1:1-4) and see if you can write a book about it.’”
When Gilliland finished writing “To Comfort A King,” it was Wilkins who encouraged her to send it to a publisher.
“I can’t say enough good things about him,” said Gilliland.
Where to find the book
The eBook is available now at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. The paperback published by Ambassador International will be released April 28. Copies of the book may be pre-ordered at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.