Thank you for being with us today, Tessa!!
Thank you for inviting me on your blog, Charity! It's a pleasure to hang out with you and your readers.
How long have you known you wanted to be an author?
Since I was in grade school. I was always a voracious reader and loved writing essays. They never felt like work to me. Math on the other hand...!
Can you tell me a little bit about your newest book?
Harvest of Rubies is the story of Sarah, the prophet Nehemiah's fictional cousin who can speak several languages, keep complex accounts, write on tablets of clay, and solve mysteries. As a result, the talented Sarah is catapulted into the center of the Persian court-working long hours, rubbing elbows with royalty and becoming the Queen's favorite scribe. Yet a devastating past has left Sarah with two conclusions: that God does not love her, and that her achievements are the measure of her worth-a measure she can never quite live up to.
And then she meets Darius Pasargadae, a man accustomed to having his way. A wealthy and admired aristocrat, the last thing he expects is a wife who scorns him. Throw two such different people together and the sparks fly as Sarah learns to overcome the idols that bind her.
When a reader gets done with your book, what do you want them to come away with?
I want them to have laughed and cried, and perhaps even seen a little bit of themselves in Sarah. Many of us struggle with finding our worth in our accomplishments as Sarah does. Harvest of Rubies asks the primal question of identity: who are we? What gives us value? Do we live as if we belive our own theology?
This novel also grapples with human pain: How do we deal with a good God who sometimes allows bad things to happen(even if He may not be the author of them?) Can we trust Him in the midst of our shattered dreams?
Is there a place you have always wanted to visit? A vacation spot, historical monument, overseas, etc?
I have lived on 4 continents, and been a citizen of three countries. I feel truly blessed for the diverse experiences in my past, which have taught me that the greatest privilege in my life is to be a citizen of heaven. I confess that all this traveling has turned me into a homebody who loves nothing better than the companionship of my close friends and family. Having said that, I wouldn't say no to visiting a sunny Caribbean island where I can enjoy the warm ocean lapping at my feet.
If you could have dinner with 2 people, who would they be?
Jesus, of course, because I can't imagine anything more fulfilling than spending time with Him. And because there are a few questions I would still like to ask. Also, Laura Hillenbrand, who has written two of my favorite books. She has suffered from debilitating illness for many years and yet she manages to write convincingly about overcoming impossible odds.
What one event would you love to be at? Historical or future?
That's a hard one to choose. The resurrection. The Pentecost. The day God parted the sea for Israel to walk away from Egypt. The day Jesus returns. How can you pick only one?
Do you have a favorite hobby?
Reading and writing, of course. Hanging out with friends and family. Decimating desserts that contain whipped cream. Knitting. Cooking. Watching movies, especially BBC dramas. Sleeping. Sleeping while eatching BBC dramas.
Is there something about you most people wouldn't know?
I am trying to become healthier in my eating habits. This means that I sometimes mix kale or spinach with my bananas and pineapples and have it as a shake for my breakfast. It may not sound it, but it can be really delicious.
Do you have any suggestions for the aspiring writer?
We can drive ourselves crazy with depressing statistics, discouraging circumstances and impossible odds. However, there is a truth 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 are buffeted by the winds of adversity and the wiles of our enemy, God is far more powerful than both.
Any last thoughts for your readers?
Don't give up on your dreams!
And how can they connect with you?
Charity, thank you so much for inviting me on your wonderful blog. It's been an absolute pleasure. If your guests would like to visit me on my website, it is TessaAfshar.com. Or visit me on my Facebook author page where there is always some discussion going on.
Readers, Tessa has graciously offered a copy of her book, Harvest of Rubies for a giveaway! I am telling you, if you love a good historical novel, this is one you won't want to miss! Of course, you might want to read her first book as well, Pearl in the Sand. Enter through the form below!
This giveaway will end 6/11. Winner will be chosen through Random.org and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.
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