The Hidden Flame (Acts of Faith Series #2)

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Abigail twisted a corner of her shawl and lifted it to wipe the tears running down her cheeks. Fear nearly compressed her chest, and she wondered when—if—she would ever see Alban and Leah again.

She felt eyes observing her and realized that the soldier, Linux, was not watching his friend depart. He was looking at her.

A chill ran through Abigail. She had noticed the handsome Roman officer before, as well as his boldness. She tightened the shawl...

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Hidden Flame, The (Acts of Faith Book #2)

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Overview

Abigail twisted a corner of her shawl and lifted it to wipe the tears running down her cheeks. Fear nearly compressed her chest, and she wondered when—if—she would ever see Alban and Leah again.

She felt eyes observing her and realized that the soldier, Linux, was not watching his friend depart. He was looking at her.

A chill ran through Abigail. She had noticed the handsome Roman officer before, as well as his boldness. She tightened the shawl about her face, covering all but her eyes, and turned away to watch the fast-fleeing mount and its two riders disappear around the corner.

As the sound of their racing gallop over the cobblestones faded away, Abigail moved her head to see the entire community of believers standing in stunned silence. No longer the wedding music. No longer the laughter and camaraderie, the dancing and festing. Once more their world had abruptly changed with this vivid reminder of who they were, where they were. Aliens in their own land. Judeans, certainly, yet viewed as enemies by their own religious leaders as well as the Roman conquerors.

Out of the silence came a confident voice. Though little more than a whisper, it resonated through the stillness of the courtyard, a prayer that came from the heart and soul of the former fisherman of Galilee. "Go with God," breathed Peter, his arm outstretched toward the alley through which the couple had fled.

"Go with God," echoed throughout the group, as though the entire gathering took a fresh breath. Yes. God was with the two now escaping for their lives, as he was with those left to face the hunters.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764205576
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/1/2010
  • Series: Acts of Faith Series , #2
  • Pages: 397
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Davis Bunn, the author of twenty bestsellers, has received numerous accolades, including three Christy Awards for excellence in fiction. His books have sold more than six million copies in sixteen languages. He and his wife, Isabella, make their home near Oxford, England, where they teach and write. Davis serves as Writer in Residence at Regent's Park College, Oxford University, and is a member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

Janette Oke, recipient of the 1992 ECPA President's Award and the 1999 CBA Life Impact Award for her significant contribution to the Christian book industry, has also won both the Gold Medallion Award and the Christy Award for fiction. Janette and her husband, Edward, live in Alberta, Canada.

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Read an Excerpt

The Hidden Flame


By Davis Bunn Janette Oke

Bethany House Publishers

Copyright © 2010 Davis Bunn
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-7642-0742-6


Chapter One

Abigail was still reeling from the dramatic events of the last moments when a panting Jacob tugged at her shawl. He could scarcely voice his question. "Are they hidden?"

Abigail clutched his shoulders with both hands. "Did Nedra-?"

"We made it," he puffed. "I don't think Enos knew she'd ever left."

"Thank God," breathed Abigail.

"Where's Alban?"

"Gone. They-"

"Gone? What do you mean? Where?"

"They've left. We can only pray that their escape will be successful."

"But ... but how could he leave without me? I was to go. He promised he'd never leave me."

Abigail looked at her brother's stricken face and realized what he was trying to say. "He couldn't wait, Jacob. Alban and Leah were in danger. You know that."

Even as she spoke, they heard the sound of horses' hooves-many of Them-clattering upon the paving stones coming up to the courtyard. The hunters had arrived.

"Quick!" Abigail pushed at Jacob. "We must hide before they enter." When he resisted she pulled him forward. "Run, Jacob!"

He half turned to look at her. "Run where?"

"Behind the wash tubs. Out back. There's an alley that leads to the back streets."

They hurried across the courtyard just as prancing mounts snorted and stomped their wayinto the enclosure. Leah heard the crude shouts of soldiers, the clanging of steel blades. She pressed Jacob into the shadows behind her, afraid that any movement would get unwanted attention.

"The man Alban. Where is he?" came an angry shout from the obvious leader of the soldiers.

"He is not here." It was Peter's voice that met the demand.

"We were informed he is in this compound. You deny this?" The voice was harsh.

"I do not deny that he was here. It is his wedding day. We celebrated the claiming of his bride, and-"

"I am not interested in your celebrations. Where has he gone?"

"He did not say."

The soldier released a volley of curses. "We'll see if you know how to tell the truth. Men, dismount. Search every corner of this foul place from top to bottom. If this uncouth man here is lying, he'll soon mount a cross. Along with the rest of his followers."

Abigail pulled in a deep breath and pressed more firmly against Jacob. Amid the noise and confusion in the courtyard, they would not likely be noticed. "This way," she hissed over her shoulder. As they ducked into a passageway toward the back of the compound, she prayed. Please, Father God, help us ... help us all. Lord Jesus, direct our steps. Holy Spirit, be with us....

Jacob, who knew the warren of back streets and alleyways of Jerusalem like his own hand, soon took the lead in their headlong rush to safety.

* * *

Later that evening, in the back of a shed attached to the shop of a fishmonger who belonged to the followers' community, Jacob again plied Abigail with questions. Where were Alban and Leah headed? What were their plans? How soon would they send for him?

Over and over her answers were the same. "I do not know."

His patience quickly came to an end. "Then what are we to do?"

"Wait," responded Abigail.

"Wait!" Jacob attempted to scoff but was near tears. "It was not to be this way. I need Alban now. I did not even get to say farewell. To receive instructions of what I am to do. How can you say wait? For what? For whom? What if they don't make it? How will we know?" His words tumbled over each other, a litany of his frustration and grief.

"If they do not make it, Herod will be boasting of it from here to Rome," Abigail finally said, trying to rein in her impatience. "Even if they do make it, he might claim they did not just to save face. There is nothing that we can do, Jacob, but wait. They will send word when they can. They will send for us when the time is right."

But Jacob failed to be convinced. Abigail could feel him withdraw from her in the blackness of the night. It hurt deeply. Had she found Jacob, merely hours ago, only to lose him in his sorrow over Alban? She prayed not. But for the moment her heart felt even colder than the night's chilly arms encircling them.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The Hidden Flame by Davis Bunn Janette Oke Copyright © 2010 by Davis Bunn. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 45 )
Rating Distribution

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(27)

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(8)

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(7)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Vibrant Book

    Inspired by true accounts of early Christians, the followers of the Way of course being those who recognize Jesus as the Messiah, is a fiction book of events that quite possibly could have occurred during that time. Written both beautifully and demonstrably, Abigail is an impressive and brave woman. Bunn and Oke mix affection and knowledge, bereavement and awakening into a charming and memorable book that you can lose yourself in.

    I'm a big fan of historical fiction, especially those that are about the early church. I very much enjoy reading plausible stories of what may have happened during those times. Reading about the apostles and other Biblical people through Bunn's & Oke's words, as well as the characters imagined, was a bit like being there myself. In addition, I learned more about the culture at that time in history, adding to the knowledge I already had.

    Seeing that this is actually the second book in the 'Acts of Faith' series by Bunn & Oke (the first being The Centurion's Wife) I did not find myself confused in the least. This book is able to stand on its own, and seemingly has its own plot - obviously many of the characters are the same, but one is not left disconnected and honestly unless I had known there was another book in the series, would not have guessed there was a previous one penned. The Centurion's Wife is definitely on my to read list know as I found the characters in The Hidden Flame were both thoughtful and animated.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Hidden Flame

    Great sequal! Loved the first book and this one is just as good...can't wait to read the next book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 25, 2011

    loved it even more than the first!

    I did not want to stop reading this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A great read!

    The Hidden Flame takes you back in time to the early church. You can feel the heat of the day and the cobblestones under your feet as you walk through the streets of Jerusalem with Abagail. She is a quiet, unassuming, gentle lady who has two suitors vying for her hand in marriage. The history of the early church comes alive. You feel Abagail's joy and pain as she experiences celebration and hardships during the growth of the early church and the beginning of persecution of the followers of The Way. I love the way Bunn & Oke show the traditions and daily lives of the Jews using both fictional and Biblical characters.
    This narrative explores the lives of the early believers in ways I'd never thought of. Who were the families of Ananias and Sapphira? Were they angry at God and Peter for the death of the couple? What about Stephen's family? Were they proud of his sacrifice or confused by what God had asked of him? As the authors explore these questions in this fictional story, they present many truths and make the characters come alive.
    The Hidden Flame is the second in the Acts of Faith series. I haven't read the first book The Centurion's Wife but do plan to pick it up soon. However, it is not necessary to read the first in the series to be able to follow the story in this book. It was a book that was hard for me to put down. I'll be looking forward to reading more in this series!
    *Thank you to Bethany House for providing this book for me to review. All opinions expressed are mine.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2013

    Ok..but...

    .....lagged

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  • Posted December 28, 2012

    Excellent Christian Fiction

    After many years of reading secular fiction, I wanted to read something that was better for my faith. I really enjoyed this book. I see my own struggles with my faith in that of the main character. I would highly recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2012

    Couldent put it down!

    Amazing book cant wait to read th third one!

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  • Posted March 1, 2012

    Great Series

    I loved this e-book. Go with the followers of Christ in this amazing journey of diciples. The road was paved with much joy, but to be a follower of Christ was not as easy as today, it was a road filled with trials and tribulations. I was sad when I had completed the three books, wish their could have been more books in the series. I will certainly read them again!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2011

    Good reading

    It was a good book to read but I would have done a different ending, but Iknow there is another book so it might fit when I start to read it. Overall it is very good series to read and follows the bible very close.

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  • Posted March 22, 2010

    An interesting fictional view of what the every day life of the early church could have been.

    A delightful novel in every way!!I had a pretty good idea of what a regency story is, and assumed this would be just another historical novel with the typical ups and downs. However, the highlight of this book is that the author makes it all new and surprising, so enticing that it is very difficult to put down.
    Twists, intricacies, fears, hopes and discoveries are ever present; nothing is as I expected, and that is always refreshing; I even want to read it all over again - I do not want to miss any detail!! With rich descriptions of places, streets, busy kitchens, woods, gardens... it all becomes even better; one could relate the locations with different moods and times within the main plot. Besides that, the author uses citations from other books that help the reader understand the social role of governesses, as well as the proper behaviour she must conduct herself with; this enrichens the story even more, and has even put into a different perspective other books that have become a staple in literature.
    Lastly, I would like to comment that there are moments in which the characters have to make difficult choices, and the lessons learned invite us to see others with different eyes, with compassion and forgiveness, despite the consequences it may have for us. It is a rich story that I enjoyed reading very much and would not hesitate in recommending, even to those who are not drawn to this kind of stories.
    A free copy of the book was provided by Bethany House Publishing for review, but this did not bias my opinion at all; if I had not liked the book this much, I would say it as well.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Detailed Historical Accuracy Meets Engaging Characters In First Century Israel

    I grew up reading Janette's Prairie romances. I loved the epic family dramas and happy endings though I was too young to realize that in our modern society these were merely fantasies that would likely never come true. I still cherish some of the dreams those stories built in my imagination and enjoy escaping through story worlds as I read. Now Oke has joined with Davis Bunn in another collaborative series which has been above and beyond the expectations built by their earlier Song Of Acadia collaborations. This new Acts of Faith series is based off the early church in Israel as their numbers grow and persecution by Jewish and Roman authorities becomes increasingly rampant. The historical accuracy and detail weave a rich tapestry for fictional characters throughout this era of birth for Christianity. In the second installment, The Hidden Flame, Oke and Bunn bring us back to Jerusalem and the followers of the Way as Alban and Leah have fled for safety during the final moments of their marriage celebration. Abigail and Stephen become the central followers in this portion of the story as two outsiders vie for Abigail's heart though neither of them manages to capture it. Eventually Abigail and Stephen's paths intersect more closely through their service among the community of followers and the need to protect Abigail from these suitors who are not proper mates for a woman of faith. How will Abigail and Stephen view their arranged marriage and can they both survive the increasing persecution by the local authorities? Will the community also continue to thrive despite the scattering necessitated by that persecution? Thanks to Bethany House for a review copy. Don't forget to read Leah and Alban's story in The Centurion's Wife (Book 1).

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  • Posted December 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Refreshing Biblical Account

    I awoke this morning eager to pick-up where I left off on the fourth CD of this 6 CD audio book. Bunn and Oke had me hovering in my kitchen thinking of more tasks that I could do just to stay near the audio drama brought to my ears.

    This is the second book of the Acts Of Faith series authored by Davis Bunn and Janette Oke. They have taken Biblical accounts found in the book of Acts and woven them together with the fiction of their imaginations to create a story that brings life into characters of old.

    Never before have I thought about how people must have spread rumors saying that Peter killed Ananias and Sapphira; or thought of how the women must have felt when treated with loving respect by transformed men.

    This audio book allows you to step back into time and use your imagination to be there when God shows His power through miracles and His peace through a martyr's death.

    The account of firm faith, deep betrayal, and overwhelming loss will keep you riveted and give you a great appreciation for what our Brothers and Sisters went through in the early years of the Church.

    * * * * *

    The original book is published by Bethany House a division of Baker Publishing Group. This audio copy for review has been provided by Oasis Audio.

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    Posted October 19, 2012

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