Thursday, May 05, 2016

LAND OF SILENCE - Tessa Afshar - One Free Book

Welcome back, Tessa. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I write biblical fiction. The Bible is the greatest book ever written. Something about the stories it contains has managed to grab the human heart for thousands of years. More often than not, God chooses deeply flawed men and women through whom He fulfills His purposes. That’s why so many of us can relate to them! A broken woman who rises above her circumstances to persevere, to cling to God, and to ultimately overcome is an inescapably powerful character to read about. I relate to her brokenness and am inspired by her victory.

In my experience, all of us struggle with various kinds of insecurities. We doubt ourselves. We doubt God. But in God’s hands, the fissures that run through the very fabric of our being can turn into glory. Biblical fiction captures this miraculous transformation. It allows for all these variables to come together while at the same time remaining entertaining, exciting, and gripping.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
That is too hard to choose! The day my husband and I looked at each other, star-struck, and knew our lives would never be the same again. The day I signed my first book contract. The day I won the Christy award. The first time my husband told me he loved me, and all the times after. This morning when I woke up and the sun was shining and I found that the lilies of the valley had poked through the dirt.

I’m a lot like you. I find joy in most days. How has being published changed your life?
I get to live in a whole different world without getting on a single train, plane, or automobile. I have conversations with people who don’t exist, travel in time, kill bad people, keep readers awake way past their bedtime, and no one arrests me or sends me to an insane asylum. It’s a pretty good deal, really.

What are you reading right now?
The Boys in the Boat, which tells the story of nine working-class American boys in the depth of the Depression who went on to win the 1936 Olympics eight-oar rowing race in Berlin. Absolutely breath-taking, inspiring, and impeccably researched.

What is your current work in progress?
I am working on the story of Lydia, the seller of purple cloth mentioned in the book of Acts. I think we underestimate her importance in the Bible, not to mention her significance for the world in general. Not only is she the first convert in Europe, but she also established the first European church in her home. Strong, loyal, and courageous, she is a successful businesswoman in a world dominated by men. I find her captivating.

What would be your dream vacation?
To have one? If you want me to be more specific, then I would love to visit a sunny island nestled against a deep blue ocean, with nothing to do but eat, read, swim, and walk on the beach with my hubby. On the other hand, I wouldn’t say no to a vacation in Italy. Or a tour of the churches mentioned in the book of Acts. Or a few weeks walking about Israel. As you see, I’m not picky.

I understand. It’s been a while since James and I went on vacation. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I love cooking. Lately, I’ve been trying some healthier recipes. But I find you can’t give up everything. You need some naughty ingredients to make the food taste good. So I am trying to practice moderation rather than annihilation! We try to eat a low fat, low salt, low gluten, and low sugar diet.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Time. Biblical fiction requires hours of study and research before you can even start to tell your story. The research is time-consuming. Writing is time-consuming. Some days, it is tempting to feel overcome by all the demands of this work. But for me, writing is not a hobby. It’s not even a job. It is a call. I believe I was created to do this. The Bible says that God created us in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us (Ephesians 2:10). I believe, in my life, part of that work is writing. So what shall I say when things become hard or seem untenable? Shall I walk away from God’s purpose? Shall I ditch my destiny just because it’s hard? If writing is a call in your life, you must persevere.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
We can drive ourselves crazy with depressing statistics, discouraging circumstances, and impossible odds. However, there is a truth that we sometimes misplace: God is strong. He is able. He is an ever-present help in trouble. He can cover our gaps and our shortcomings. He is the best agent, the best marketer, the best editor you can find; after all, He too is a writer. Our destiny is in the palm of His hands, and though we may be buffeted by the winds of adversity and the wiles of our enemy, God is far more powerful than both.

Persevere. Dream big. Hone your craft. Love the characters you choose. Be emotionally honest. Write because you love telling stories, not because you want to be recognized or admired or to make money.

Tell us about the featured book.
Land of Silence tells the story of the woman who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and after years of incessant suffering, was healed of her bleeding illness in an instant. I have always been fascinated by her story because she is the only person in the New Testament that Jesus calls daughter. I wanted to create a storyline that captured Jesus’s reason for addressing her in such a tender manner.

We are all daughters and sons. No one escapes this reality. Our souls are marked by this truth. What our fathers and mothers thought of us, spoke into us, poured into us still resides in the deepest parts of our souls and gives us our sense of worth. These realities also produce our deepest wounds, wounds that continue to affect the course of our lives. By claiming us as His sons and daughters, God heals the wounds we may have sustained from our fathers and mothers, and multiplies the blessings we have received from them. He transforms our brokenness into His wholeness.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
On my website at
Or on Facebook at Tessa Afshar author page

Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Lena. It’s been a pleasure to spend cyber time with you and your guests.

Thank you, Tessa, for sharing this new book with us. My readers have enjoyed spending cyber time with you, tool.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Land of Silence - (best print price)
Land of Silence - Amazon
Land of Silence - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:


J.C. said...

I always love Biblical fiction. This book sounds really good. I want to read it!
J.C. -Indiana-

Linda D. McFarland said...

I enjoy biblical fiction as it gives the reader the opportunity to wonder 'what if!'. I, too, love reading the Bible. Your research is awesome. Thanks for the opportunity to win! Linda--Pennsylvania

Tessa Afshar said...

Dear J.C. and Linda,

One of the things I enjoy most about writing biblical fiction is when the fans tell me that after reading one of the novels, they began to read the story in the Bible and felt a new connection to it. Biblical fiction has the unique ability to draw the readers back to the Word of God and deepen their connection with it.

Thanks for your comments.

Tessa Afshar

Deanna Stevens said...

I do enjoy reading your take on Biblical stories..
Biblical fiction is a favorite read.
Dee from NE

Connie said...

Biblical fiction is one of my favorite genres. Thank you for offering a chance to win!
Connie from KY

Caryl Kane said...

I love Biblical fiction! Tessa, this cover is stunning!

Caryl in TEXAS

Britney Adams said...

Thanks so much for sharing this lovely interview and giveaway. I would love to win a copy of this wonderful story!

Britney Adams, TX

Sandy Quandt said...

Tessa, loved your interview, especially your reason for writing "Land of Silence". Your words hold so much truth. "By claiming us as His sons and daughters, God heals the wounds we may have sustained from our fathers and mothers, and multiplies the blessings we have received from them. He transforms our brokenness into His wholeness."

Sandy Q TX

Melanie Backus said...

I would love to read this one for sure! Thank you for a great interview and the giveaway opportunity.

Melanie Backus, TX

Pam Myers said...

I love Biblical fiction and historical fiction The cover is wonderful and the reviews are great on this story. I have never read anything by you so looking forward to discovering a new author. Would love to win and just love the giveaways Pam Missouri

Kim hansen said...

Biblical fiction is fun to read. north platte nebraska

KayM said...

Tessa, I love that you do all the research and keep writing, as God has planned for you to do. Blessings...

Abigail Richmond said...

Looks fabulous! Please enter me!
Blanch NC

Trixi said...

Book sounds good from the description, I've not read too many Biblical fiction stories. One about the woman who touched Jesus's hem would be a fascinating read. New-to-me author, I love discovering new writers. Thanks for the interview and giveaway chance!

Trixi in OR

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Conway, SC.

EJ said...

I love reading Tessa's books - when I hear the name in a Bible story after reading one of her books, it makes the story more real and personal. Elaine from Wisconsin

Deanne Patterson said...

This is a new to me author. I have seen this book featured a lot of places o n line and look forward to reading it.

Deanne P. in PA

Terrill R. said...

I don't gravitate to Biblical fiction, but I am moved by all the excitement for it. I really want to try this genre within Christian fiction. Land of Silence sounds like a beautiful story to start with.

Brenda Arrington said...

This is a new author to me. Enjoyed the interview. Thanks for the interview.
Brenda in VA

Nancy M said...

Thank you for sharing! Especially the reason you write and the process. I've always loved this story in the Bible. I'd love to read this book.

Nancy M said...

I'm in KY. I forgot to add that.

Pam Graber said...

Tessa's biblical fiction is among the best I've ever read! She almost seems to "fill-in-the-blanks" left in the biblical accounts of the famous stories. Her take on Rahab, "Pearl in the Sand" was absolutely fantastic as was her expansion of the story of Ruth, "In the Field of Grace." I look forward to reading this one as well!

Pam in OH