Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Isaac and Ishmael by May F. Burns

Please join Mary F. Burns as she tours the blogospere with HF Virtual Book Tours for Isaac and Ishmael: A Novel of Genesis from June 8-26.

02_Isaac and Ishmael_CoverPublication Date: November 15, 2014
Sand Hill Press
Formats: eBook, Paperback

Genre: Historical Fiction/Biblical

Isaac and Ishmael attempts to bring to human scale the legends and mythic dimensions of Abraham and Sarah, their sons Isaac and Ishmael, and Isaac and Rebecca’s twin sons Esau and Jacob. Readers will experience the struggles, competition, betrayals and loves of these brothers, fathers and sons caught up in the overarching tension between time and eternity, a place where a new God is coming into being—Yahweh, the uncanny, irascible, mischievous, bargaining God who participated in the life of a new people and compelled them to a new way of being human.

The stormy relationship of Isaac and Ishmael has long passed into a tradition which looks to Isaac as the father of the Jewish people, and Ishmael as the father of the Arab people, particularly in Egypt. Similarly, while Jacob carries on his father’s heritage, becoming the father of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, his twin brother Esau, the red-haired archer who sold his birthright for a bowl of lentil soup, is traditionally said to have departed for the North, and populated what would later become Rome. Isaac and Ishmael explores the thorny, complex yet delicate relations between these brothers and fathers, providing a more human understanding of the differences that arise between individuals and peoples, even now as the ancient tensions in the Middle East continue to flare up in modern confrontations and war. Ever present in the story are the strong, subtle and often ambitious women of Biblical legend: Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah.

My Review
Four Stars
Copy received for an honest review from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
I personally love stories from the old testament so Isaac and Ishmael by Mary F. Burns was an enjoyable read for me.  The author really set the tone for this story with the way the story was written. Burns writes as if this story were written like the bible. The tone was serious and somber. I also loved how she gave us insight into Isaac and Ishmael.  The complex relationship between Isaac and Ishmael was captivating and intense. I also really enjoyed the strength of the women and how they were portrayed as strong and integral parts of the story. Overall, this was an enjoyable story. Once I opened it I wanted to see what the other would do with Isaac and Ishmael.  I highly recommend and enjoyed this story. 

Official Book Trailer

Isaac & Ishmael Available at

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About the Author03_Mary F. Burns

Mary F. Burns is the author of ISAAC AND ISHMAEL, published by Sand Hill Review Press in November 2014. Other historical fiction includes THE SPOILS OF AVALON and PORTRAITS OF AN ARTIST (Sand Hill Review Press, February 2014, 2013), both books featuring the celebrated portrait painter, John Singer Sargent and his best friend, writer Violet Paget (aka Vernon Lee). Mary is a member of and book reviewer for the Historical Novel Society and a former member of the HNS Conference board of directors. Her debut historical novel J-THE WOMAN WHO WROTE THE BIBLE was published in July 2010 by O-Books (John Hunt Publishers, UK). She has also written two cozy-village mysteries in a series titled The West Portal Mysteries (The Lucky Dog Lottery and The Tarot Card Murders). She will be part of two panels at the upcoming North American Historical Novel Society Conference in June in Denver, one on The Historical Mystery and the other on Art and Artists in Historical Fiction.

Ms. Burns was born in Chicago, Illinois and attended Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, where she earned both Bachelors and Masters degrees in English, along with a high school teaching certificate. She relocated to San Francisco in 1976 where she now lives with her husband Stuart in the West Portal neighborhood.

Ms. Burns may be contacted by email at maryfburns@att.net. For more information please visit Mary Burns’s website at www.maryfburns.com. You can also connect with Mary on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads, or read her blog posts at:


Isaac and Ishmael Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, June 8
Excerpt at What Is That Book About
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, June 9
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Wednesday, June 10
Spotlight at Let Them Read Books

Thursday, June 11
Review at A Book Drunkard

Friday, June 12
Spotlight & Giveaway at Unshelfish

Monday, June 15
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Tuesday, June 16
Review at Book Nerd

Wednesday, June 17
Review & Excerpt at Book Lovers Paradise

Thursday, June 18
Excerpt at The Never-Ending Book

Friday, June 19
Guest Post at Just One More Chapter

Sunday, June 21
Review & Guest Post at Jorie Loves a Story

Monday, June 22
Excerpt at 100 Pages a Day

Tuesday, June 23
Spotlight at Broken Teepee

Thursday, June 25
Spotlight & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection

Friday, June 26
Review & Giveaway at Genre Queen

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