It's my pleasure to welcome Tessa Afshar to Ink Dots this week. Tessa was voted “New Author of the Year” by the Family Fiction sponsored Reader’s Choice Awards 2011 for her novel Pearl in the Sand. Her book, Harvest of Rubies won the Grace Award for best Women’s Fiction in the same year.
Tessa was born in Iran to a nominally Muslim family, and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She moved to England where she survived boarding school for girls and fell in love with Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDiv from Yale University where she served as cochair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School. She has spent the last fourteen years in full-time Christian service in New England.
Harvest of Gold ~ The scribe Sarah married Darius, and sometimes she feels she married the Persian aristocracy too.There is another point she did not count on in her marriage-Sarah has grown to love her husband. She has wealth, honor, and power, but her husband's love seems unattainable.
An arranged marriage. A man whose heart is closed to love. A king whose life hangs in the balance. A nation on the brink of annihilation. Sarah and Darius have to overcome the enemy against the king, against Jerusalem, against their marriage, and against their souls. Will they finally learn to trust one another? Will the prophet Nehemiah help them in this intense battle while rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem?
Tessa Afshar ~ I could go anywhere in the world tomorrow, it would be...London. My sister and her family live there and I miss them every single moment. We would walk to the corner coffee shop for tea and get sticky from the home-made treats and share hugs with sticky fingers.
One thing I enjoyed today is... Last night we celebrated the launch of my book, Harvest of Gold, at the Mark Twain House and Museum. More people showed up for this event than for any other author event in this location, and I was the first Christian author they sponsored. Lots of excitement as you can imagine. So today I am enjoying the calm and celebrating the many joyful moments. Like the secular book marketing expert who said that it was one of the best nights of her life. You have to cherish moments like that.
A secret pleasure of mine is...Watching BBC television productions like Sherlock, Doc Martin, Inspector Lewis, and Tenant of wildfell Hall.
A moment that changed my life is...When my first book, Pearl in the Sand, was published.
When I was a child I wanted to... Be a romance novelist. I became a novelist, anyway, and my stories always have some romance.
I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but... I’m really behind on my writing schedule. But the ice cream I had in the afternoon helped with the feelings of guilt.
Thanks for visiting with us this week, Tessa. I wish you great success with Harvest of God. It’s been a pleasure hanging around with you in Australia. Wished I was there in person!
Are you a fan of arranged marriage stories? For your chance to win a copy of Tessa's Harvest of Gold, leave a comment in the thread below and I'll announce the winner of Friday. To enter, tell us what you love about England, and all things English. Like Tessa, you might love tea and sticky treats. As we're watching for royal baby news this week, I'm going to admit I don't mind watching documentaries on Britain's Royal Family. How about you?
Good luck and happy reading.