It's my pleasure to welcome Stephanie Landsem to Ink Dots. Stephanie writes historical fiction because she loves adventure in far-off times and places. In real life, she’s explored ancient ruins, medieval castles, and majestic cathedrals around the world. Stephanie is equally happy at home in Minnesota with her husband, four children, and three fat cats. When she’s not writing, she’s feeding the ravenous horde, avoiding housework, and dreaming about her next adventure—whether it be in person or on the page.
For the women of the Samaritan village of Sychar, the well is a place of blessing—the place where they gather to draw their water and share their lives—but not for Mara. Shunned for the many sins of her mother, Nava, Mara struggles against the constant threats of starvation or exile.
Mara and Nava’s lives are forever changed with the arrival of two men: Shem, a mysterious young man from Caesarea, and Jesus, a Jewish teacher. Nava is transformed by Jesus, but his teachings come too late and she is stoned by the unforgiving villagers. Desperate to save her dying mother, Mara and Shem embark on a journey to seek Jesus’ help—a journey that brings unexpected love and unimaginable heartbreak.
Want to know more about the writer of The Well? Here's a few of Stephanie's secrets...
If I could go anywhere in the world tomorrow, it would be...I've traveled a great deal and hope to go many more places. I've been to Europe, Africa, and this summer I'll be in Brazil. But if I could go anywhere, it would be to the Great Barrier Reef. My children and I have talked about it since they were small, and it is our dream vacation. We'd want at least a month to explore the beaches and see some of the great Australian continent. What a great answer! Let me know when you plan on visiting and I'd love to be your tour guide if you make it to Melbourne.
One thing I enjoyed today is... My oldest daughter is at college most of the year, and the other three kids are busy with work, school, friends, and activities. But the moment that I love is in the summer when everyone gets home for the night. All the cars are home, we're together, and I have a feeling of peace in my heart.
A secret pleasure of mine is... getting lost. I know that's usually what people fear the most when they are in a new place. But I think it's the only way to truly get to know a new city or country. You never know what you might find, and it might be better than what you were originally looking for.
A moment that changed my life is... stepping into the Koln Cathedral when I was 17, on my first trip to Germany. It is a massive, Gothic cathedral and when you look at it you can't even wrap your mind around the idea that generations of people built this amazing monument to God. It is so steeped in history, you can almost imagine the stones can speak.
When I was a child I wanted to... be an explorer. I still want to explore new cities, new countries and cultures. After my first trip to Germany when I was 17, I never lost the desire to travel and explore. I think that is why I write historical fiction. It's my way of exploring not only exotic places, but other times as well. And I can do it and still get dinner on the table and the kids to karate.
I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but... I'm deathly afraid of sharks. I know, it makes no sense. I live in landlocked Minnesota, as far from saltwater as you can get in the US and yet I still have nightmares about sharks. And yes, my answer to #1 still stands. If I ever get to the Great Barrier Reef, I'll just have to face my fears and jump in. Thanks for joining with us this week, Stephanie. I hope you get to explore the Great Barrier Reef (minus the sharks), and perhaps even get a little lost in Australia sometime soon.
If you'd like to explore Stephanie's The Well, (e-book) please leave a comment below. I have a copy for one lucky Ink Dots friend. For your chance to win, tell us about a time you, or someone you love, got lost. I'm one of those mums who has a story about their lost child in a major shopping centre. It was not fun then, and still not much fun to think about now, even with our happy ending.
How about you? Got a lost story? I'll announce the winner in the comment thread on Friday. Good luck and happy reading,