Gather Rosebuds

While You May

Christian - Romance - Historical
386 Pages
Reviewed on 08/17/2022
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

Author Biography

Not long ago, Deborah was a successful leadership coach, professional speaker, and an accomplished business writer. Illusions of control dissipated quickly when chronic illness took hold, the time came for her beloved chickadees to leave the nest, a purposeful, invigorating 25-year career died, and a marriage meant to last forever became ash, all within the space of a few years.

Having endured and grown through some of life’s tough challenges, Deborah was able to joyfully embrace her new profession of writing stories intended to engage, connect, and inspire readers to hear their souls speak. She delights in creating resilient characters who overcome adversity and their own reticence by becoming more of who they truly are meant to be and less of who they are not. In this book, she explores how to live a heroic if imperfect life and how to draw nearer to God.

Deborah Bronson is an award-winning author, was a once-weekly columnist for The Los Angeles Times, OC Edition, and has published several articles in various trade journals and written over 60 leadership, sales, and service courses.
Following after God for 50 years has been the ultimate source of fulfillment, hope, and purpose in her imperfect life. Being a mother has been her highest calling and greatest joy; her treasures are her children. She resides in Southeastern Michigan.

Find out more at: or her blog:

    Book Review

Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite

Deborah Bronson pens a story that nourishes the heart and soul in Gather Rosebuds: While You May. Nestled on a hillside near Bethlehem, Alisa gathers honey near her family’s farm. While she is gone, a Philistine raiding party destroys the farm, her parents are slain and her sister, Sarai, is kidnapped by the raiders. At age 13, Alisa is orphaned. A good friend of her father’s, Jesse ben Obed, takes Alisa into his household. Her prime responsibility is caring for Jesse and Netzevet’s youngest son, David. David becomes a soothing balm to Alisa’s grieving heart. A year later Alisa is betrothed to Doran, the eldest son of Noam ben Jacob. Leaving the family she has grown to love, Alisa travels to Carmel. Upon her arrival, she is greeted warmly by Noam’s entire household. Bosmath, Noam’s wife, prays fervently for her future daughter-in-law. The Lord answers Bosmath’s heartfelt plea for guidance, revealing that Alisa is “a sapling oak now, but will yield fruit in her season that will bless all of Israel.” No one could foresee the wonderful future God had planned for Alisa. Love transcends tragedy when you “hear your soul speak.”

Gather Rosebuds by Deborah Bronson reveals the power of generational love. Bronson takes Old Testament scriptures and creates a wonderful piece of fiction. Gather Rosebuds is a story about David and his third wife, Abigail. The narrative portrays David and Abigail’s childhood, the life of their parents, their triumphs and failures, and the love they shared. Often when we read the biblical accounts, we desire to know more of the story; Bronson’s Gather Rosebuds does exactly that! There are numerous valuable life lessons written into this narrative. Many beautiful truths are embedded within the storyline, especially those regarding the grieving process. One day while reading, one portion was so profound I had to text it to my husband and children. Gather Rosebuds speaks to the heart. It stirs up emotions, tears may fall, yet in the end, joy and gratitude overcome sorrow. The most memorable aspect of the narrative for me was the prayer lives of the characters. When we allow ourselves to search for God as David, Abigail, and their parents did, God rewards us with His presence. In His presence, God reveals His heart, He makes known who He is, and He invites us to be His friend. The narrative takes you on a journey through time, revealing the path David and his family traversed to make him known as “the man after God’s own heart.” Deborah Bronson eloquently pens the goodness of the Lord and how it flows from one generation into the next in her extraordinary story, Gather Rosebuds.

Trudi LoPreto

Gather Rosebuds by Deborah Bronson begins in ancient Israel with the birth of David and takes us through his childhood and young adult life in great detail. The hows and whys of him becoming a shepherd watching over his sheep, his relationship with his parents, brothers and sisters and so much more. We are introduced to Alisa, a young orphan girl, who becomes part of Jesse ben Obed’s household and nursemaid to a very young David. We also get acquainted with Abigail, the girl who will become David’s wife. We learn of King Saul and his troubles and meet Samuel, the prophet, who will answer to God and make things right once again. There is always a strong belief in God and prayer shining through in each of the characters.

Gather Rosebuds: While You May is the perfect mix of fact and fiction. All of the characters were brought to life and sent me to the Bible to re-read the story of David with a feeling of really knowing him. While some of the story was the imagination of the author, Deborah Bronson, it all seemed real and plausible. It was hard to stop reading and even though I know the story of David, Gather Rosebuds made it come so much more to life. If you enjoy reading good Christian romantic history, then this is a must-read. Gather Rosebuds would make a wonderful made for TV movie that everyone would enjoy. I am so looking forward to the next book in the Souls of Roses series.

Asher Syed

Gather Rosebuds (While You May) by Deborah Bronson is a biblical fiction novel and the first book in the Souls of Roses series. The series as a whole brings to life the stories of King David of ancient Israel and Judah, and his wife Abigail. Bronson puts the focus in this first installment on the origin stories of the famous pair, walking back in time to the moments even before their births. Born of a respected landowner, Jesse ben Obed, and his wife Netzevet, David is raised alongside his other siblings and under the tutelage of an indentured servant named Alisa. Alisa is privy to much of the family's private life, both the happy moments and moments of pain, primarily among the sons of Jesse who seem in a perpetual state of war even in their own home. David is raised to be a lead shepherd on his father's land, but ultimately his path takes him further than anyone ever dreamed possible.

Deborah Bronson offers an interesting account of the early shaping of David in Gather Rosebuds (While You May). Alisa, the mother to Abigail, has a responsibility of care in a family that seems to have everything. There is a particularly cruel irony to this, as it comes on the heels of thirteen-year-old Alisa losing absolutely everything. The birth of Abigail is seen as a blessing and I loved how her precociousness as a young child gives insight into the woman she is destined to become. Her growth is a way off as David is coming into his own, bringing down the famed Goliath of Gath, conscripted by the king, and an officer in his army—but not so far off for Jesse to request that ten-year-old Abigail be betrothed to David. I found Bronson's balancing act with matters that were the status quo in a historical context, but would be horrifying today, to be well executed. Overall, this is a good story and I have no doubt that the writing will flourish with the novels in the series still to come.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Many of us have heard the story of David and Goliath. But, like so many famous people, what is neglected from the tomes of history are the simple facts that lead up to the big historic event. David as a child grew up first in the care of a young girl, Alisa, who had recently lost her family to a violent raiding party. When Alisa leaves Bethlehem to marry and start her own family, the young David grows into a distinguished young man. Little did either Alisa or David realize that their lives would once again become intertwined when Alisa’s daughter, Abigail, is betrothed to David, the much-loved hero of Israel who had defeated and killed the giant Goliath.

Deborah Bronson’s novel, Gather Rosebuds: While You May, is a thoughtful look at an era in biblical history. With delightful insight into the times and the customs, the author brings the reader right into the story. The plot develops as the two main characters, two young people, Alisa and David, cast their webs of love and beauty that have been sadly overlooked in the retelling of the famous fable. This is a love story, quite literally of biblical proportions. It’s told with reverence and a thorough knowledge of the language, customs, and times. It’s a gentle, soothing read of two young lives leading up to the event that makes David into a hero. The power of love, faith, and dedication to living a full life with a caring heart rings through the entire story. Beautifully told with ease and compassion.

Tammy Ruggles

Gather Rosebuds: While You May by Deborah Bronson is a historical fiction novel depicting a beautiful love story between Old Testament King David and his wife Abigail. But more than this one romance, it's about family too, and history, and faith. Other biblical figures are included as well, from David's father, Jesse, to the powerful, egocentric King Saul. This dramatized account of the life and loves of King David will draw you in with the author's intricate attention to detail, vivid sense of time and place, and pure, dynamic imagination. Though we can read biblical chapters of these people, this book breathes life into them in a way that puts flesh, blood, and soul to the bones, thanks to one of the main characters, Alisa. She is the thread running through the entire novel. This is the first in Bronson's Soul of Roses series, and a refreshing take on the romance genre.

The novel opens with Alisa, a thirteen-year-old orphan whose loss of family puts her into the household of Jesse, David's father. She will become David's nursemaid and play a key role throughout his life and this story. These first chapters lay the foundation for this lovely, powerful saga to unfold. I admire the author's balance between fact and drama. Although she uses customs, food, and culture of the day, it occurs naturally, never forced, or encyclopedic, which transports the reader into the biblical era. The romance as well as the relationships and personalities of the other characters have a modern feel. The pacing is well-balanced, the Bible scenarios gripping and moving. Bronson's style is magnetic. I think having the children playing a game of Noah's ark is especially cute and clever. Once you get into the story of David, Abigail, and other biblical events, you are compelled to keep reading, even though you know how things will turn out (if you've ever read the Bible). The opening chapter--about the loss of Alisa's family--will hook you, and it just keeps getting better from there, and you feel like you're living in the Old Testament, which is an amazing experience. When you reach the end, you'll understand the significance of "rosebuds". Gather Rosebuds: While You May by Deborah Bronson is an unforgettable journey of romance and biblical events.