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When 9-year-old Uzziel happens upon a small child in a manger, in his home town of Bethlehem, he knows instinctively that he has discovered something amazing. As he begins to piece together the ancient prophecies that are such an important part of his upbringing, he comes to the conclusion that the small child is the long-anticipated Messiah.

His excitement at the discovery is soon ruined when the envious and suspicious Herod orders all the boys in Bethlehem under the age of two killed. In one morning of extraordinary violence, Uzziel’s younger brothers and cousin are just some of the many who are slain in the vain attempt to kill Jesus, which only cements and grows Uzziel’s hatred of the Romans.

As time passes, Uzziel’s support for those who would fight against the Romans does not diminish, but now he finds that his choices have been complicated as two very different leaders emerge, each with their own thoughts and their own distinct path to follow. But which way is the right one for Uzziel? And will either one help to rid his people of the oppression they live under?

Excerpt from Anticipated


Anticipation—nothing is ever exactly as we expect. That is how it was with his arrival.

With every passing day, we anticipated his coming. It would be soon. We all knew it. It had to be. How could he allow this injustice to continue?

The promise of his coming lingered for years. But now—now was his time. We were certain. It was in our thoughts, spoken of behind closed doors, woven between whispers as our oppressors marched by. As they taxed our meager wages and issued their decrees. We longed for his appearing as that usurper set himself up as our king.

We anticipated his arrival all our lives, yet when he came, we were completely unprepared. It didn’t matter that there were over three hundred prophesies—most of which we’d memorized. Somehow, between the distance of those prophesies and the desperation of our situation—we twisted their meaning. A fact we wouldn’t understand for decades. A reality some never accepted.

My name is Uzziel. I saw him the night of his arrival—and when they raised him up as our king—anticipation altered beyond recognition. This is my story.

Copyright – Ida Smith 2015


“This is a book you won’t be able to put down. Ida keeps you asking, ‘What’s going to happen next?’ Anticipated is an age-old story told from a different perspective. You will understand more of the Jewish culture and how astounding the life of Christ was. How his life affected and still affects us all.” –Misty Clark, Comedian, Lewiston, Idaho

Anticipated grabbed my attention immediately as the characters became alive on the page.  The story line moved quickly with a clear message. I can see this being a family favorite for years to come not only at the Christmas Season, but throughout the year. ”  –Elaine, Lynden, Washington

Reader's Favorite 5 Star Review

Reviewed by Paul F. Murray for Readers’ Favorite

Anticipated (A Jagged Journeys’ Novella Book 2) by Ida Smith is a wonderful story about the Jewish response to Jesus the Messiah in the first century A.D. The author’s description of Jesus is based upon solid research and a realistic portrayal of the different responses to Jesus by first century Jews, as seen through the eyes of Bethlehem shepherd boy Uzziel. Uzziel grows into manhood, expecting a fierce warrior-Messiah who would lead an army to oust the Romans from Israel. The adult Jesus is very, very different from what Uzziel and his fellow Jews had originally expected. Uzziel’s reaction to Jesus forms the core of the story, as Uzziel works to reshape his expectations. Jesus the infant, Jesus the toddler at the time of King Herod’s attempt to kill him, and Jesus the teacher in circa 30 A.D. are all based upon the probable realities that Jesus and his detractors, as well as his followers faced, rather than upon a fantasy version of what Jesus, Mary, and Joseph should have been like in too many less well-researched writers’ minds.

I really enjoyed Anticipated by Ida Smith. I came away from the novel with a clearer understanding of why many first century Jews rejected Jesus and his teachings, as well as why some Jews came around to understanding the real reason why Jesus the Messiah came to earth. Not only was the novel fun reading, but also very informative. The grammar is flawless, making for easy reading and an ample desire to keep turning the pages. Author Ida Smith knows her craft.


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