Yes you read that correct, Janette Oke has come out of retirement to write a new Biblical fiction series with Davis Bunn. The Centurion's Wife is book one in the Acts of Faith trilogy.
When Leah's family lost their wealth, she becomes a handmaiden for Pontius Pilate's wife, Procula. It's not a bad life and is much better than her sister who is sold/married to a man who abused her. Leah is very content to just work and never marry, but that is all about to change because of one Jewish carpenter.
Pilate promises Leah in marriage to Alban, a centurian who has ambitions of advancing to a position of power. Alban has had an encounter with the carpenter, his young servent was sick and he asked Jesus to heal him without coming to his house. (Remember the Bible story?) He is interested in the rumors that are circulating about the man and his death.
Sent by Pilate to check out what happen to the guards that were guarding the tomb and why they seem to have disappeared off the face of the earth, Alban finds out more than he bargained for.
This series is about the new church and how it got started and what they had to say to the world. The time is set just after the ascension and before Pentecost. (At least part of the book is :-) The followers are in hiding, yet eager to share what has happen to them. I loved meeting the Mary's and even Peter. I think, even with the pursecution that was going on this would have been one of the most interesting times in the life of the church. We all understand what was going on, but they didn't. I can't imagine their confusion and sorrow with their lose, but yet he isn't dead, of their beloved friend and leader. I am not sure what I would be feeling at that time.
I can easily say that if you like Janetter Oke before her retirement you will like her now. It isn't the settling of the west, but it is a good story. I know some of you don't read her, but this series is worth the read just to learn a bit about our history as Christians.