Under Penalty of Death

Book One of Slavery of the Heart Series


Kristena Mears’s debut novel is an emotional, spell-binding glimpse into the heart of a first-century Jewish woman forced to choose between the desire to get her own way and her commitment to Jesus, the risen Messiah. Mears masterfully uses in-depth research and believable fiction emphasizing the biblical account of Christians in the early church. This book kept me turning page after fascinating page.

Mesu Andrews, Best seller of biblical fiction, winner of multiple Christy awards.

A memorable young heroine transformed when she learns to deny her own will and give all to Christ. An inspiring story bringing the first century to life.

—Portia Hopkins, PhD, M.Div. Chaplain at The Belfry Lutheran Episcopal Student Ministry at University of California, Davis.

Keturah idolizes her brother He stood his ground with Abba, declaring Yeshua Messiah. This results in Abba proclaiming Justus dead to the family, but intrigues Keturah and heightens her desire to know more. 
Today, Keturah became a woman, but her joy ends in terror when Abba accepts an offer for her betrothal. Devising a plan to escape the arranged marriage is dangerous, but it works. Now she’s able to find her brother and live the way she chooses. Will running set her free or sentence her to death?
Every choice she makes turns into disaster. Manipulating to get her own way puts her in difficulty and danger. A woman could get stoned for doing what she is doing. Will Justus, and her new friends, see through the deception, or will her choices destroy friendships and alienate her from her brother forever? How much does Yahweh demand of her life?

Product details

  • Publisher: ‎Elk Lake Publishing, Inc. (January 29, 2024)
  • Language: ‎English
  • Paperback: ‎ 293 pages
  • ISBN-13: ‎ 979-8517646941
  • Text-to-Speech‏: ‎Enabled
  • Screen Reader‏: ‎Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting‏: ‎Enabled
  • X-Ray‏:‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise‏: ‎Enabled
  • Reading age: ‎ 16 – 18+ years
  • Item Weight: ‎ 15.8 ounces
  • Dimensions‏: ‎ 5.5 x 0.74 x 8.5 inches

Also Available in kindle, Paperback, Large Print, & Hard Cover

Under Penalty of Death

Buy Now on Amazon

** Award-Winning Author **
Unforgettable characters that will grab your heart. Vivid historical detail. Ancient middle eastern and Jewish culture comes alive. This award-winning novel captures the heart with authentic historical characters, customs and events.

More Endorsements

Keturah makes choices that are uncomfortably human — the truth is slow to come out, leaving her a candidate to know God’s grace more fully.

—Naomi Craig, Author of Ezekiel’s Song

It was so interesting and had a lot of action. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I couldn’t get enough of (this) adventure! Maria Henriksen Author of Not Again

Easy to read and filled with suspense. – Lori Chasko 5 Star Goodreads review

Coming Soon

Elk Lake Publishing, Inc. has picked up this book along with its sequels.
Book One in the Slavery of the Heart Series

Views: 371