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Hand of Miriam

A Bayla and the Golem Novel, Volume 1
Narrated by: Doro Jillings
Length: 10 hrs and 36 mins
Non-member price: $34.76
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Publisher's Summary

On an archaeological expedition, Bayla Gideon, is widowed by a supernatural force and branded with the Hand of Miriam or "knowing eye". Threatened by evil, she awakens the golem - a mythical man of clay who protected the Jewish community more than three centuries ago. 

The golem, Gesher, is surprised. Freedom - by a beautiful, enchanting woman. His desire is to return to the celestial spheres and regain his status as an avenging angel. Yet Bayla challenges his mind, body, and soul. Would he risk his return to the heavens for her?  

Besides dealing with the otherkind, mad inventors, and an unrelenting matchmaking aunt, Bayla is equally determined to resist her steamy attraction to the striking fallen angel. Thrust into a malevolent war, which includes facing Jack the Ripper, they must resist the magnetic pull toward each other while protecting the world from encroaching evil.

©2013 Eva Gordon (P)2018 Eva Gordon

What members say

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Jim Davenport
  • 28-02-2019

Sorry but it reads like fan fiction .

nice ideas and the reader is fine but its hurried,jerky , slamming from one scene to another.

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  • TU
  • 20-02-2019

pretty good

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

I kind of liked this one. I thought it had a unique take on the paranormal romance genre. It has a bit of a steampunk flare to it, which was also kind of cool. The main character was a bit annoying at times, but not so much that I couldn't enjoy the overall experience. The narration is done well. I would be open to more in this series, for sure.

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  • bluepits73
  • 25-01-2019

A Golem!

I think this was a great start to a new series. It has a lot of different creatures in it that generally get forgotten about; specifically, the Golem and Arc. I always enjoy stories with main characters that are a different creature than the usual vampire/werewolf. I love that Bayla is written as a strong enough character to want to take her new supernatural powers and make the world a better place; even after the tragic loss of her husband. I also liked the forbidden love aspect of Bayla and Gesher's relationship. For the most part, the author was able to keep my attention simply because I was interested in seeing how she would wrap all of the various elements of the book together. However, there were some parts that didn't seem relevant to the overall story and also seemed to slow it a little bit. At the same time, I can't help but wonder if those seemingly 'irrelevant' bits are possibly part of the world building for future books in the series, but for now I think they take away from the book instead of adding to it.

This is the first time I have heard this narrator. I thought the narrator did a pretty good job in this performance, however, I am not convinced that she was the best choice for this book. I think the use of an English accent was good; but I personally would have preferred less accent for this book. While the narrator did a good job differentiating character voices, there were a couple of character voices that were too obnoxious and thus were hard for me to listen to (fortunately they weren't featured a lot).

I received a review copy at my request and have voluntarily left this unbiased review.

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  • Leticia Crow
  • 23-01-2019

An excellent story!

I absolutely loved this book! It made me want to hear more! I could not put this book down! It is full of magic and paranormal creatures. It kept me glued to the book from start to finish and left me completely satisfied! I would reccomend this book to all! The combination of Eva Gordon's writing and Doro Jillings narration really brought it to life!

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  • Mindjacked
  • 21-12-2018

More Please

When Bayla inadvertently picks up a artifact while on expedition it burns a seal into her hand, than a wind comes through killing every one else with her including her husband, that is just the start of her strange and dangerous adventure. However, she will soon find help and protection in some not so normal places.

This book is so wonderful, Bayla is such a strong woman the type any woman would be proud to be. All the characters are so well thought out and fit in there place perfectly like a puzzle piece. There is action galore starting straight away from the beginning and going non-stop until the end, but it is the twist and turns that you don't see coming that will keep you reading or in my case listening past your bedtime. If you are lucky enough to get the audio, narrator Doro Jillings is awesome, she fit this book like a glove, she will have you feeling as though you are right there with Bayla and her people in their time and part of their circle, give it a try you will not be disappointed, I can not wait for more.

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  • Krystal Cortes
  • 13-12-2018

An intriguing story

This was a wonderful, intriguing story narrated delightfully. Ms. Jillings brings Bayla & the other characters to life. It was a joy to listen too. I loved the bit of steampunk mixed in with the historical. I also loved that Bayla was such a strong independent woman with flaws.

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  • Steph
  • 03-12-2018

Hand of Miriam

Hand of Miriam is a steampunk gothic urban fantasy, which takes place in Victorian England. The story has a rich Jewish background, but it does not take away from the story. Bayla finds herself branded with the Hand of Miriam. As a result, Bayla awakens Gesher, the man of clay. Bayla's character overall is strong willed. Gesher, however has a long and complicated past which dates back to over 300 years, as an avenging angel. As the story evolves, so does the relationship of Bayla and Gesher. Will Gesher become the avenging angel he once was or will he chose Bayla? Caught in an evil war, relationships struggle to survive while attempting to save the world from the evils lurking.

Sometimes I find the narration difficult, as what I think the opposite sex should sound like, is lacking. With Hand of Miriam, it went back and forth. I wasn't in love with the narration but it is far from the worst I have listened to. I am still on the fence.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Diana in SC
  • 29-11-2018

Cool concept and plot but annoying characters

This romantic urban fantasy has a lot going for it: Jewish characters and culture set in a steampunk Victorian England, a great plot, lots of great action scenes, psychic abilities, and an angel cursed to be a golem. The author incorporates lots of actual things from Jewish religion/culture: the hamsa symbol, the Golem of Prague legend, details of Sephardic Jews and their language, and an absence of heaven in the Christian sense of the word. The urban fantasy aspect was handled very well, but the romantic aspect fell short for me, with emotionally immature primary characters, repetitive thoughts, and disappointing bedroom scenes. I was on the fence on whether to give it 3 or 4 stars overall, but the fantastic action-packed final segment pushed it into being 4 stars, in my opinion.

I must go into further details about the romantic aspect of the novel. I read a lot of romance but also fantasy, urban fantasy, and steampunk fantasy. I don’t think it is necessary in urban fantasy to have a romantic element, but if the author includes one, they need to do it well. Now, I like how in the beginning of the novel, Bayla was devoted to her husband and then was suddenly widowed. I enjoyed the idea that Bayla fell in love with her angel/golem bodyguard Emmet. It was great that the pair were mutually exclusive after they met (i.e., no cheating). However, I did not enjoy that for the majority of the book, Emmet and Bayla had the emotional maturity of 15-year-olds, when he is thousands of years old and she is a 24-year-old widow. Emmet was unreasonably jealous over nothing and was overly arrogant. They both constantly doubted their own feelings and each other’s feelings for at least 60% of the book. That sort of melodrama might be expected in a young adult romance but not in a steamy historical romance. I got so tired of Emmet and Bayla's wishy-washy thoughts that I had to put down the audiobook at least 5 times. I had to listen to something else until I didn't want to strangle the pair anymore and I was too curious about the next plot development to stay away anymore. In addition, though the few love scenes happened at the right time in the story, I don’t like the writing style of those scenes. I don’t think the author had good word choices or thought things through very well. For example, in his mind, Emmet compares Bayla to a demoness. When he hates demons, how can that be a good thing? Also, they pledged to keep looking in each other's while they were doing it, but how can you keep looking in each other’s eyes when you are kissing on the mouth? These are my gripes.

The narrator did a pretty good job. She was excellent at pacing, especially action scenes. I found her voice to be pleasant to my ears. Her character voice for the heroine Bayla was perfect in every way, especially the proper English accent. The narrator's other character voices were generally very good, except for that of the hero Emmet Gesher. The text indicates that Emmet has a deep voice, but the narrator could not achieve that. Sometimes Emmet's voice barely sounds masculine, and it does not sound sexy. Also, there were no pauses between chapters and no saying “Chapter 3”, etc. These are the only two problems that I have with the narration.

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  • jennine.
  • 15-11-2018

THIS BOOK IS A HIDDEN GEM! EASY 5 STARS💥💥💥💥💥

Have you ever watched the series 'Warehouse 13'? If you have, l think you will really enjoy this book! I'm certain entranced with this series, judging by this book it should be very entertaining. The main character is a strong fiesty woman amoungst stiff upper lip, upper crust and so called ,gentlemen. The narrator does a fantastic job of the voices, men, women and across all classes. Dont be put off by the solemn introduction as the prologue sets the scene for the story. l found this story sometimes humorous, sometimes sad but always entertaining. ABSOLUTELY RECOMMENDED.🤓

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Phyllis Moore
  • 13-11-2018

Refreshing

The author has a refreshing way of telling this story that keeps the reader intrigued.

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  • A D.
  • 29-11-2018

Best of Steampunk,Paranormal,Adventure & Romance!

Eva Gordon is a fabulous storyteller. She creates plots that are multidimensional and complex. This book is no different. It is my first Victorian steampunk book and I think I may be hooked to the genre.

At the start of the book, Bayla is an unconventional Jewish women with a deep interest in archaeology. She and her husband are on an expedition when she finds an amulet of the Hand of Miriam which fuses to her palm. Shortly after she, her husband, their colleagues are attacked by some sort of phenomenon and she finds herself a widow.

By fusing to Bayla, the Hand of Miriam gifts her with the ability to hear the evil intentions and thoughts of others. She can also easily identify non-humans. She initially helps the London police in capturing criminal until the criminals start targeting her.

Her husband left her a significant collection of archaeological finds, including a box that is the key to awaken a golem, a protective creature made of clay. Over the millennia, this golem has been woken to protect the Jewish people from persecution, etc. Now he must protect Bayla. And who is the Golem? He is Gesher, a fallen avenging angel who has to live out his sentence as a golem until his master or mistress gives him permission to break the box that confines him. Bayla grants him his freedom and their adventure begins.

This book is filled with immortals, angels, demons, wraiths, vampires, werewolves, secret societies and more. At no point is the listener given the chance to be bored. The plots momentum builds to an astounding crescendo, leaving me gasping for more. Luckily, while this book appears to be stand-alone (without a cliffhanger), it is, in fact, only the beginning of the series (Yeah!!!)

Doro Jillings does an incredible job of narrating this book. She really breathes life into the story, giving Gesher a larger than life voice to match his larger than life personality, and Bayla her strong, educated Victorian woman lilt.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.