K. Ford K.'s Blog

August 1, 2014

“A woman, in those days, did not count. So even after we were married, people continued to say that John lived alone in the wilderness…” – The Wife of John the Baptist

When I began my research for a novel about John the Baptist, I expected to find a wild man dressed in camel hair robes, eating locusts and honey in the desert. The enigmatic and mysterious man I found was quite different. The man I found was charismatic, passionate, popular and brave.

Although John spent part of his eventful life alone in the rough wilderness, he was often surrounded by thirty to seventy disciples, some of whom wanted him to lead them in an all out war against Rome. Roman-occupied Judea was a crossroads filled with colorful people from far-flung corners of the world and many traveled great distances just to hear John speak. The Judea of John the Baptist was the kind of rich, turbulent environment where innovative thought and cultural movements are often born.

“In the marketplaces there were Phoenician traders from the sea coast, jewelers from Jerusalem, fine pottery merchants from Greece, and even magicians from Egypt. The crowds moved through the market like a noisy, flowing, human mosaic and they created a rich, spawning ground, the cultural river that was Judea.” – The Wife of John the Baptist

John’s ideas were groundbreaking. But preaching a new way of thought to the downtrodden poor in Roman-occupied Judea was a treasonous act of rebellion and he was in constant danger for his life. It was a time of great cruelty and bloodshed where the Romans massacred groups of people they found along the Jordan, branding them cults and zealot revolutionaries. Through his courage, John the Baptist altered human history and changed our way of thinking forever.

“The real heartbeat of our community was John when he emerged alone from the wilderness, and stood on a rise by the banks of the Jordan. He faced Jerusalem and delivered a simple message. His powerful, sonorous voice carried through the dry air of the valley up to the very gates of the City of Salt. ‘Even war with Rome will not give us the freedom we seek. Purify your own souls by right action, and where the soul has gone the body will follow. All good souls are free.’” – The Wife of John the Baptist

The more I learned about John, the more intrigued I became. Because John the Baptist was a charismatic, passionate man, I became convinced that he must have had love in his life. So my research took a unique turn, I began to search for his wife.

I spent the next few months begging librarians in far away cities to loan me books that no one had checked out since the last century, and that arrived smelling of mildew and neglect. I spoke with history professors, experts on religion, rabbis and Christian ministers. What I found was that there was a strong likelihood that John was married, though there was no definitive proof either way.

One elderly theologian put it best, “John the Baptist was probably married. A thirty-year-old man of the rabbi class would have been expected to marry so that a wife could keep him out of trouble! The cultural expectation placed on him to marry would have been very great. Besides the practice of celibacy in the priesthood didn’t come about until long after John was dead.”

So I began sorting through the bare historical facts and limited details of John’s life and filling in the blanks with ‘the imagination of the possible’. In the end, the real reason I gave John the Baptist a wife was out of love and respect for the man he was. It was also out of the belief that he deserved a helpmate to stand with him through his short, dangerous and tumultuous life. From the standpoint of a fiction writer, his wife became a character to bear witness and tell his tragic tale. Who better to describe John than the wife who loved and understood him.

“The first time I saw John, I noticed that he was taller than most men, like a king with unruly black hair and a beard. He had the dark, sculpted body of a slave and a poor man’s gray robe, but he wasn’t at work in the marketplace. He was watching goods being unloaded for the market, just as we were. He was a stranger yet he spoke with people easily, as if he had met them before and was getting reacquainted. He had large hands, yet he never gestured when he spoke like other men did. What surprised us most was that he had the beautiful, dark eyes of a wild girl. He never noticed us, even though we stared at him for a long time. I knew I should not be looking at him, but he was very handsome so I covered my face with my veil and continued to stare. When he moved away from the crowds, he picked up a bundle and a staff, both common symbols of an itinerant philosopher, a follower of the Greek tradition. And on that first day I mistook him for a poor philosopher.”

The novel I intended to write turned out very differently. Instead The Wife of John the Baptist became an intimate portrayal of a marriage. The Wife of John the Baptist is a tribute to the timeless and unshakable love that triumphs when all else is lost.
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Published on August 01, 2014 10:12 • 5 views • Tags: historical-fiction, love-story

June 1, 2014

Review from Publisher's Weekly
The Wife of John the Baptist by K. Ford K.
This is not the John of the Gospels. Instead, he is sensual, sociable, humorous, easy-going, flirtatious, and sexually active. And, yes, he is married. And a father. This previously unexplored angle is deftly traced by the woman of the title, Hessa, daughter of a Greek trader in the Roman province of Judea, who is possessed of the unique ability of knowing the history of an object and the character of a person simply by touch. Fleeing her father's wrath after their marriage, the two wander the desert, moving from one encampment of outsiders to the next. All the while, John vehemently rejects the title of prophet pressed on him by those drawn by his magnetism, yet gradually, despite all his protestations, he grows into his Biblical role and the fate that goes with it. The route of the narrative from man to martyr is richly told and well crafted, introducing Zealots, Essenes, other cults gathered along the River Jordan and, most chillingly, the cruel torments of the Roman occupation of Judea. And finally, in a refreshing surprise that demonstrates the manuscript is strong enough to stand on its own, Jesus only has a walk-on role.
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Published on June 01, 2014 11:03 • 6 views • Tags: amazon-breakthrough-novel-award, historical, publishers-weekly, review, romance

April 27, 2014

My friend Carlos grew up in Mexico City but now he lives on Maui. He works as a window washer. I see him at some of my jobs, brandishing his squeegee and an assortment of multicolored rags. We’re always glad to see each other as it gives us a chance to speak in Spanish which really means that we get to tell funny stories and jokes that just don’t sound the same in English.
But this time Carlos was more serious. “Why do you do this hard work all day long? You could teach Spanish. You learned Spanish in Vera Cruz where people tell risqué jokes and colorful stories all day long. You could teach Spanish a la Veracruzana. And if you teach all the bad words, you must charge much more money.”
I had to agree. “I used to teach school but I can make more money taking care of houses for people. That way I can keep my daughter in school.”
“Then you are an angel.”
“Either an angel or an idiot, I’m not sure which one,” I said.
Carlos shook his head. He was much too polite to use the word idiot, even in English.
“I’ve written four novels, too,” I said. “But none of them are published yet.”
Carlos continued washing the windows. “So how do you become successful? How do you become as famous as the writers we see in the bookstores?
I shrugged. “Some of those writers had to write five books before they got the first one published.”
“That’s it!” Carlos was polishing the window with a linen rag and he pointed the rag towards me as if he was going to polish me too. “You write the fifth book. You must go home and do it today!”
“I’m working on the fifth book.”
Carlos shook his head. “You must work harder. Go home and finish the fifth book. I feel certain that this is the answer.”
He stepped back to admire his windows which I had to admit shone like diamonds and then he turned to me, obviously pleased that he had managed to mend my shattered life as part of his days work.
“Go home and write,” he said.
“I guess it’s either that or teach dirty jokes in Spanish,” I said.
My gentle friend laughed as he packed up his rags to leave. “Some angel!” he joked.
As I watched him leave, I smiled for the first time all day. And just as he suggested, I went home to write the fifth book.
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Published on April 27, 2014 14:59 • 8 views • Tags: books, inspiration, writing

April 26, 2014

I didn’t expect my life to change when I entered the sparsely furnished, literature classroom at the Universidad de Veracruz in Xalapa, Mexico. The long-haired, political-activist professor who arrived late was a bit of a surprise, but that would pale in comparison to the stories and novels he was about to introduce us to.
We didn’t have any books. Instead the professor handed out faint, mimeographed pages containing the stories of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, master of magical realism and literary journalism. We read them aloud while our professor became increasingly animated in his enthusiasm, pausing only to push the hair from his eyes. As the stories came alive, we realized that this level of learning could not be contained to a bare and dusty classroom. Some of us accompanied the professor to a series of cafes around town, drinking beer until we were tipsy, talking for hours and filling our hungry souls with the delicious adventures of shipwrecked sailors, old Caribbean soldiers, ethereal beauties and the ghosts who coexist with the living only because they are too stubborn to succumb to death.
The world of magical realism was an epiphany and I suddenly realized that life was not the black and white, cut and dried reality I had learned in hometown America. A whole new world opened up in which the supernatural, the spiritual and the physical all coexisted in an exotic mélange that changed my view of life forever.
This epiphany was to set me on a lifelong pursuit for adventure, travel and opportunities to experience different cultures; a continual thirst to see the world through different eyes and to write about it. For the first time I had been given license to be the person I really wanted to be. The magical realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez had given me the freedom to soar.
When I ran home after class and told the senora in the house where I lived about my discovery, she handed me a succulent plateful of carne de res, arroz and the bright red flower petals known as colorin. I told her how wonderful it was to read about a world that was turned upside down but that made so much sense at the same time. She looked at me with a dry expression, “Es normal,” she said. “That’s how we all see the world.”
Her comments made me smile. I borrowed an antique typewriter and with senora’s blessing, I started writing my first, full-length novel on her kitchen table. The family’s elderly, maiden aunt, Tia Pilar showed up even before I was finished with page one. “I will keep you company while you finish your task,” she explained. “We will be like sisters every afternoon.” True to her word, she showed up each day to sit nearby fingering her rosary, while my own fingers tapped on the typewriter keys. She only stopped coming when I had finished the last page.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez opened my young mind to the unlimited possibilities of imagination, creativity and diverse cultural experience. It was one of the greatest gifts I have ever received and in a very real way it changed the course of my adult life forever. So today, as I pay homage to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, I dust off my tattered copies of his books, open One Hundred Years of Solitude and begin to read. Here once again is the band of ragged gypsies who arrived in the mythical, Caribbean town of Macondo, bringing with them the learned alchemist, Melquiades. In turn, Melquiades brought the first magnets that anyone had ever seen in Macondo.
The gypsy dragged the enormous magnets behind him through the streets of the town while “pots, pans, tongs and braziers tumbled down from their places,” and followed him down the street.
“‘Things have a life of their own,’ the gypsy proclaimed with a harsh accent. ‘It’s simply a matter of waking up their souls.’”
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Published on April 26, 2014 11:08 • 8 views • Tags: gabriel-garcia-marquez, magical-realism, mexico
http://www.amazon.com/Wife-John-Bapti...

Soon after The Wife of John the Baptist was published, I decided to enter it in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Competition. I wasn’t sure if I would win anything. After all, it seemed like a long-shot. Thousands of novels were entered and my novel was just one out of the many. It took the judges a long time to read through all the novels and I almost forgot about the contest entirely. Then one day, I received an email telling me that I had been selected as a semi-finalist. I was thrilled. Now my novel was one out of the few.
I’ll have to wait until July to find out if I won or not, but until then I’ll just be happy I made it this far. If you want to read the first few pages of the novel and submit a review, follow the link above and see my entry. I’ll look forward to hearing what you have to say. The Wife of John the Baptist by K. Ford K.
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Published on April 26, 2014 10:56 • 7 views • Tags: abna, amazon-breakthrough-novel-award, contests, novel, the-wife-of-john-the-baptist

April 9, 2014

My grandfather didn’t live to witness this Recession. Perhaps it’s just as well. It would have dredged up too many unhappy memories of the Great Depression.
When I was little, I used to twirl around on the red, swivel, architect’s stool in front of his drafting table, listening to him tell stories about his life during the Depression. He sighed heavily and shook his head often. After all those years, it was still hard for him to talk about.
He told us how the Depression moved across the United States slowly, like locusts or a disease. His family listened to the news reports on the radio, hoping that the Depression wouldn’t make it to Colorado but when it did hit, it hit hard.
All construction ground to a halt and since my grandfather was an architect, he no longer had work. His family lost their home and their possessions. They fell out of the middle class and into a poorer class. They left the town they lived in and retreated to a family homestead in the mountains. It was an old log cabin and no one lived there anymore, but there was space for a garden and they could hunt. They cut back. They made do. They went without. They went hungry. It was not romantic. Both my grandfather and grandmother were college educated, but financially, they had been thrown back in time more than seventy years.
When our Recession hit, I lost money and jobs just like everyone else. I cut back. I made do. I went without. I went hungry. I lost my social class and found myself in a poorer one. I was college educated, but financially, I had been thrown back in time more than seventy years. I remembered my grandfather’s stories and sometimes, I wished I had somewhere else to go. I thought about that homestead cabin once in awhile and wondered if anybody lived there.
My grandfather’s stories of the Depression took a hopeful turn when he talked about the WPA. The WPA was a federally funded program which employed millions of men, and some women and youths to do public works projects. For the first time in three years, my grandfather had work. In fact, every male relative I had, who was alive at the time and old enough to work, was employed by the WPA. That federally funded program saved my family. It gave my grandfather hope and diffused his anger over a Depression that happened through no fault of his own.
When the WPA went into effect, my grandfather moved back to town. Architects were only allowed to bid on one job in one county but my grandfather bent the rules a bit and drove his old Chevy truck from county to county bidding on jobs. He worked so many jobs at once that he sometimes got them mixed up. My grandfather said he never worked harder in his whole life than he did during the Depression.
When our Recession hit, I remembered everything my grandfather taught me and I worked several jobs at once. I did anything and everything: cleaning, laundry, ironing, gardening, freelance writing, baking, garage sales, teaching, tutoring. I often worked so hard that cleaning chemicals filled my lungs and gave me headaches and nausea. I was often dizzy and at night I had trouble with my eyes. I thought about my grandfather a lot, knowing that at night when his vision got blurry, he parked by the side of the road and slept on the old, cracked seats of his truck.
Even with all his hard work, my grandfather barely survived. Even with all my hard work, I’ve barely survived.
Programs like the WPA, which saved my grandfather, and the GI bill, which later educated my father, allowed America to grow a flourishing, educated middle class. My father didn’t have student loans to pay off. He began saving money to buy a house right after college. He felt securely and permanently part of the middle class. He always knew he’d belong to the same class.
I always assumed I’d belong to the same class too, the one I had identified with since birth. Now I’m not sure if I’ll ever be middle class again.
Today’s generation is just as frugal and hardworking as my grandfather’s generation. My grandfather’s generation and my father’s generation worked hard, but they also got a lot of help from federally funded programs. How will our generation pull ourselves back into the Middle Class without help?
What would their lives have looked like without the GI bill and the WPA? Would America even have an educated middle class? And what about my generation’s future? Will we ever have a flourishing middle class again? Our Recession may not be exactly the same as my grandfather’s Depression, but in so many ways, the situation is just as debilitating.
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Published on April 09, 2014 21:25 • 3 views • Tags: economy, family, great-depression, history, recession
Traveling is often an unintentional pilgrimage. This was especially true of my trip to Amsterdam several years ago. On the first day, I went through my guidebook and checked off all the tourist sites I planned to visit: the museums, the flower markets and oh yes, the Anne Frank House. I had almost forgotten about that. I made a check by the entry. Then I underlined it and decided to go there first.
As I set off in search of the house, I realized that Anne Frank’s diary was one of the most important books of my childhood. I remembered the photograph of Anne on the front cover. It was Anne’s favorite because she thought it made her look like a glamorous, Hollywood movie star. And I remembered Anne’s bright, optimistic vision for the future.
The tall, narrow houses on Prinsengracht canal all looked the same, but the Anne Frank House was easy to spot. A long line of people waited outside. As I took my place at the end, I realized that most of the people in line were women. None of us spoke the same language, but all of us had read Anne Frank’s diary and all of us were on this unintentional pilgrimage together.
Finally the line moved. We entered the building which housed Otto Frank’s business. He sold pectin for jams and jellies and spices for meats and sausages. We climbed a steep Dutch staircase, stepped through the revolving staircase and we were in the “Secret Annex” where Anne, her family and four others hid for over two years.
Traces of the family remain but there is no longer any furniture in the rooms. The Nazis took it all after the family was arrested and shipped it to Germany. On the day the Dutch police discovered their hiding place, the arresting officer grabbed the bag in which Anne kept her diary and schoolbooks. He dumped the contents on the floor and filled the bag with money and jewelry. After the family was arrested and taken away, Miep Gies, the helper who brought them food from the black market, saved the diary, planning to return it to Anne after the war.
In the living room of the Secret Annex there are some faded marks on the doorframe where Anne’s father measured her height. She grew several inches despite the moldy beans, preserved kale and potatoes, which was often all they had to eat. A map on the wall marks the advancing Allies as reported over their secret radio. The space above Anne’s desk is still decorated with her favorite postcards: Hollywood movie stars and a young Princess Elizabeth of Great Britain. Through a crack in the window we could see the Westertoren clock and a chestnut tree, Anne’s only view of the outside world.
My fellow pilgrims and I huddle around a glass case which contains the original diary bound in red-and-white plaid cloth. The fragile lock is broken open. Many women are tearful. Everyone is moved. No one speaks. We feel grief over the tragedy of Anne’s life. But we are also in awe of the power of a single voice, Anne’s voice to reach countless millions across several generations, and in over one hundred languages with her vision of hope and compassion.
On the wall is a list of “Judentransport,” which names all the people on that last train out of Holland bound for Auschwitz. Halfway down the list we find number 309: Frank, Anneliese. Anne and her family were sent to Auschwitz where her mother and the other occupants of the “Secret Annex” were killed. Anne and her sister were later moved to the concentration camp at Bergen Belsen where Anne died in March, 1945, just a few weeks before the Allies liberated that camp.
My fellow pilgrims and I leave the Anne Frank House trying to comprehend the contrast between the unimaginable horrors of Anne’s final months and her powerful, unshaken faith in humanity when she wrote, “In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.” – Anne Frank died sixty-nine years ago.
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Published on April 09, 2014 21:23 Tags: amsterdam, anne-frank, anne-frank-house, history, travel, wwii
My ancestors hail from eight different countries and three separate continents, yet my Irish ties have always held a special fascination. Maybe it’s because my Irish relatives are so colorful and they tell such good stories. Whatever the reason, I’d always imagined that my Irish ancestors were somehow bigger than life. On my first trip to Ireland, I’m hoping to find out if this is true.
Upon arriving in Dublin, the first thing I am aware of is that I am the foreigner here and I’m not comfortable with that. I wanted to feel at home, to be welcomed by the somehow familiar faces of ghosts. Instead, I see retired Americans fulfilling a life-long dream and young parents proudly herding their red-headed offspring through museums and castles. I’m surprised to discover that they have come for much the same reason I have. They are all a little sheepish and apologetic about it. They have no explanation for the strong pull that Ireland has always had on them. Seems my journey is not so unusual after all.
I drive across Ireland alone, something which is viewed as not only strange here, but downright shocking. In the countryside, the dominant colors are the emerald green of the rolling hills and the comforting blue of the Irish sky. My eyes ache from straining to catch sight of every thatch-covered cottage and meandering stone wall. I pass ring forts and round towers, monasteries and castles.
Contrary to all predictions it does not rain. The whole country has a clean, smoky smell from the peat fires. It reminds me of my Irish grandmother’s house. Am I making this trip for her, I wonder.
I stop to visit the crumbling stone walls of a “famine village.” A man in a tweed coat and cap explains to me that everyone in this village perished during the great famine. Even though the potato famine occurred more than 150 years ago, he makes it sound like a current event.
“Many also died on the coffin ships trying to cross the seas,” he recalls. He pauses, then adds, “We keep their blackened cooking pots, out of respect for those who died.”
I thank him for the information and travel on to the next hotel. The woman behind the desk seems more curious than most. She asks me the usual questions: “Why are you in Ireland…and why are you alone?”
She immediately begins talking about the living relatives I must have somewhere in Ireland. I had not been thinking about the possibility of relatives in the present; all this time, I had only been searching for my past. She asks question after question but I have few answers.
“Don’t you have any old letters? Don’t you know what county your family came from?”
“No,” I admit, mumbling something about some letters that may exist with some distant relatives back east. How can I explain to her that we were the transient ones who moved west and then west again and again, each time leaving behind little trace of ourselves?
“You must find out,” she says. Finally, she pauses and then continues, “I didn’t want to say anything at first, but you are the spitting image of my great-great aunt. You even have the same name. It’s even spelled the same way. And she had three brothers who emigrated to America. We may be cousins!”
We exchange addresses and she promises to send me a photograph of my twin who she claims even had similar interests, mannerisms and gestures. ”Your voice sounds just like hers and you even walk the same way,” she says. I have to wonder, Is this the ghost I’ve been looking for: a mirror image of myself?
With my trip nearing its end, I reach the Cliffs of Moher. I stand on the precipice and stare out across the Atlantic. I think of my ancestors leaving the land they loved, saying goodbye to families they would never see again. I think of their dreams and their promises to return one day. In that instant, the reason for my trip becomes clear to me. Along with my Irish hair and Irish eyes, I have also inherited my ancestors’ unfulfilled promises. This is a journey I have made for them.
I return to Dublin and spend one final night. Then on my final taxi ride to the airport, the driver asks me about my trip. I tell him that I drove around Ireland by myself.
“You must be mad! A woman shouldn’t drive around Ireland by herself” He ignores the whizzing lanes of traffic in front of him to turn around and look at me. ”You must be mad,” he says again.
When he’s recovered from the shock, he tells me about all the places I missed, places that do not seem to be in any guidebook.
“You’ll just have to come back,” he says and he doesn’t let the matter rest until I have promised to return.
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Published on April 09, 2014 21:20 • 4 views • Tags: family, genealogy, ireland, storyteller, travel
Another awesome review for The Wife of John the Baptist

HISTORICAL FICTION AT ITS BEST! If you are looking for a biblical appendage then perhaps this isn't for you. IF you are looking for an imaginative, well-written, engrossing story of possibilities then yep, pick up The Wife of John the Baptist and enjoy!
A young woman leaves behind her life of privilege once she meets and becomes entranced by the words of John. She gives up her wealth, her family, her slaves, her feasts and ...the roof over head. She gets a traveling life with a tent for cover, she gets minimal help when required to feed followers of her husband, and she gets ostracized for her Greek heritage. BUT. And this is a big but....she gets a deep understanding of what motivates her husband, and she gets his devotion and appreciation.
Hessa is no saint. She suffers from jealousy, hunger, doubts, and sadness but she has an inner strength that makes her a paragon of women.
This book has truth, a touch of mysticism, and love. Open your mind to the possibilities.
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Published on April 09, 2014 17:32 • 5 views • Tags: historical-fiction, love, myt, reviews, truth

April 8, 2014

“Intriguing!
Told in Hessa’s voice, K. Ford K. crafts a beautifully woven fictional account about a man of which very little is known.

“A compelling read.
In a fittingly imagined terrain, she transports the reader into the lives of John the Baptist, his wife Hessa and their journey together. Her talent for bringing the ancient past to life will captivate the reader with a fascinating and intriguing look at man who was during his time widely known, followed and respected.”

“Stunning!
Captivating story and gorgeous prose. An original story set in a unique time period. A very satisfying experience. Highly recommended.”

“I had great expectations for this book by K Ford K, and it did not disappoint me, leaving me with the desire to hear/read/feel more from this author. It transported me to an individual’s life in another time and culture.

“Incredible love story, gripping and hard to put down.
I heard of this author from her first novel and was excited to read the second release. This is an awesome love story, page turner and we highly recommend. It is an easy read and not too long. We bought four copies total and gave out to friends.”
fly on a wall, observing it all. I loved the story’s unexpected twists and turns, a surprise for me around every corner. When a story is portrayed so clearly, I am left hungry to watch more of the larger picture “movie”!


“Intriguing!
Having been raised in a fundamental household, I’d heard the story of John the Baptist many times, but K. Ford’s new book brings it to life in a way the Bible never did. Ford fleshes out John, giving him hopes, dreams, doubts and a wife.
I’ve often wondered if the Bible were just a Cliff Notes version of some really great stories that we’ll never hear. I don’t know where Ford did all of her research(she told me in an email that she’d done 4 years of research), but now we have a story that brings an important part of history alive. This book should be on the reading list of Christians so that they can grasp a real man behind the glossed over story of the man who baptized Jesus. John feels so real, and totally unlike the wild man talked about in the Bible.
In fact, this would make a wonderful movie if any producers are listening.
The Wife of John the Baptist is a book I’d recommend to both my Christian, and secular friends. It’s a great story no matter what your beliefs. Now I’m curious as to what else K. Ford K. might write about.” - Robin Landry


“HighlyRecommended

This novel is a rather unique blend of religion, history and the supernatural. Our protagonist is the daughter of a rich Greek merchant who can sense the history of people and objects merely by touching them. This by itself is a sufficiently unusual beginning to pique most interest and it only gets better from there.
One could easily and happily take in this whole book in a single sitting.

In summary, a beautifully wrought and detailed fiction wrapped around one of the most noted names in all of history.”

“UNbelievably good
I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did. I got the book because I didn't know John the Baptist had a wife so I was curious. The book was so good I read it in one sitting. It was romantic, sad, but had hope. It doesn't have a religious feel to it more about love, life, and fate. I'd recommend to anyone who enjoys a well told story.”


“Not being well versed in Bible studies, I found this a very interesting read. As mentioned by other Reviewers, there is the whole issue as to whether John the Baptist was ever married. But putting that aside, the novel gives a very good insight into what life was like during John the Baptist's time. Life was not easy for the common people, but it was even more difficult if one were involved in religion, and considered to be an enemy of the Roman king.
…it is evident throughout the novel that a great deal of study and research was entailed in putting the story together. The reader certainly gets the feel that all the details of life at that time, roughly 2000 years ago, was exactly as portrayed throughout the story. I really enjoyed this novel, and whether or not John the Baptist was married didn't detract from my understanding of life in Biblical times.”

“K. Ford Kay is an excellent writer. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.”


“Enjoyed very much this humanizing of John the Baptist. The Wife of John the Baptist shows John to be a passionate proponent of truth, yes, but also a man, a family man, with hopes and dreams, loves and fears. This well-told story often moved me to tears, and allowed me to fall in love with John and his wife, Hessa.”
“Lovely, engaging story celebrates the role of women
K. Ford K.'s THE WIFE OF JOHN THE BAPTIST is a very unusual novel. She retells the story of John the Baptist from the perspective of his supposed wife…But this isn't a religious novel so much as it is a love story, set along the banks of the River Jordan in Judea. …the novel is an affirmation of the strength and purpose of women at a time when women had little standing beyond their roles as wives and mothers.

What interested me most about K.'s novel is how this well-known biblical story becomes a very down-to-earth portrayal of ordinary people struggling with extraordinary events. John and Hessa are no different from married couples today - they make love, struggle with finances, worry about the future, and doubt each other in times of stress… it's her strength and dedication that enables him to fulfill his role and influence history.”


“A Well-Written Tale
The Bible doesn’t mention a wife for the locust-and-honey-eating forerunner of the Christian savior, but as the titular wife here reasonably explains: ‘A woman, in those days, was not counted. So even after we were married, people continued to say that John lived alone in the wilderness.’ Hessa, who narrates the novel, tells of growing up ‘in Decapolis, south of the Sea of Galilee and west of the Jordan River, during the time when Judea was a Roman province.’
K.’s (The Concubine’s Gift, 2011) vivid writing engagingly depicts the ancient Middle East, describing ‘Phoenician traders from the sea coast, jewelers from Jerusalem, fine pottery merchants from Greece, lumber dealers from Syria and even magicians from Egypt.’ In a touch of magical realism, her merchant father values her ability to tell an object’s history simply by holding it.
Though he wants her to marry abroad to solidify his trading connections, her latent adventurousness makes her hesitant to marry at all, until one day in the marketplace she meets a man with “the beautiful, dark eyes of a wild girl.” When she touches John’s hand she knows he fears neither poverty nor death.
They marry against her father’s wishes and wander south together along the banks of the Jordan, living in a goatskin tent. Theirs is a Song of Solomon kind of marital bliss, yet Hessa fears the way John is drawn to an increasingly public life, attracting followers she must then find a way to feed as well as the attentions of the land’s Roman occupiers and Zealot rebels.
Though the story inevitably leads to John’s martyrdom, it is more so the story of a marriage rather than the tumultuous events that surrounded it…a well-written tale embroidering the life of one of Scripture’s most charismatic figures.” – Kirkus Review https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-re...

The Wife of John the Baptist by K. Ford K.
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Published on April 08, 2014 23:59 • 3 views • Tags: five-star-reviews, historical-fiction, love-story, romance