About The Author
Melissa Rosenberger loved writing and illustrating stories as a child and authored her first book at the age of six. However, she eventually chose a career in medicine, practicing as an anesthesiologist in the Philadelphia suburbs for nearly a decade. Believing it’s never too late to discover God’s unique plans for each of us, Melissa stepped away from medicine in 2014. A tour of Israel inspired both the research for this novel and her return to writing. She spends her free time creating stained glass projects, enjoying telenovelas and watching bumble bees at a local arboretum.
People often ask me why I gave up being an anesthesiologist to become an author. I guess I wonder how a girl who loved all things fiction became an anesthesiologist in the first place?
As a kid I treasured Saturdays. Not for my mandatory piano lessons, but for the trips to the library that followed. I’d rush from the card catalog to the stacks, reciting call numbers like a mantra, letting my fingers trail over the book spines as if reading a braille map of exotic worlds where pirates sailed the seas and dragons filled the sky. I wrote and illustrated my own adventures, too, hoping for the day one of my works would rest on a library shelf. When I won a young author award in the first grade for my (unintentionally comedic) story about life in colonial times, I thought I was on my way.
But years passed, and life happened. Not only did I put my childhood love of God away as I grew up, I also put aside dreams of storytelling. After college I worked for an international health organization before deciding on a career in medicine, eventually becoming board certified in anesthesiology.
But God, it seemed, would not be satisfied with occupying a dark shelf in the closet of childhood memories. During the early years of my practice, the Lord called to me and I answered. And, as I yielded more and more of my life to Him, He realigned my priorities and awakened those creative desires He had placed in my heart as a young girl. And, after much prayer, I took a step of faith and resigned from medicine to follow the Lord wherever He would lead me.
As it turned out, He led me to Israel. He put the idea for In the Shadow of the King on my heart as I sat on a bus waiting for stragglers of my tour group to reboard. My initial response was doubt. How could I write about Jesus’s sister? After all, what did I know about daily life in Jesus’s time? At that very moment, the tour guide stepped onto the bus and held up several books for sale for anyone interested in learning about daily life in the 1st century! God certainly has a sense of humor as well as impeccable timing.
I hope you enjoy reading In the Shadow of the King as much as I enjoyed writing it. The story offers an invitation to trust that God is who He says He is. Trust from the heart, trust when everything in the natural shouts not to, trust when those around you call you foolish, trust when you’re afraid. Because God is faithful. And when the King of the Universe asks us to trust Him, He’ll deliver something exceedingly above all we can ask or imagine.