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Tessa Afshar | Captivated by Orphan Characters
Author Guest / July 21, 2021

Why do they capture our hearts? From Cinderella to Heidi to Pip in Great Expectations or my personal favorite, Jane Eyre, orphan characters have a way of grabbing our affections and not letting go. My own recent novel, Jewel of the Nile, features an orphaned main character, although Chariline is grown up by the time we meet her. But her heart is still living like an orphan, abandoned and unwanted. For me, this perennial fascination with orphans finds its taproots in the third chapter of the book of Genesis. Overnight, humans go from being cherished by the perfect Father to living orphaned lives. We are reduced from flawless belonging to a life of loneliness. From the outset of the loss, God begins to weave the warp and weft of his plan for our restoration into our ailing history. Nonetheless, we have lost that perfect connection with our Father. Eden is gone. Hence the appeal of the orphan. We may have been born to good parents, lived with loving families. Yet deep in every soul, a hazy memory of Eden’s bone-deep attachment still remains. In this fallen world, every attachment falls short of that uninterrupted sense of belonging, and the heart…

Tessa Afshar | Exclusive Excerpt: JEWEL OF THE NILE
Author Guest / June 4, 2021

PROLOGUE Cush shall hasten to stretch out her hands to God. PSALM 68:31 AD 31 He took one last aching look outside the crumbling window; the Nile was molten gold in the light of the rising sun, a sparkling coil winding its way into the horizon. Forcing himself to turn away, he came to kneel by the pallet where his bride lay sleeping. To have this woman, he would have to give up the lush beauty of his land, give up his family and heritage. He smiled. She was worth all the loss. For his sake, she had given up as much and more. “Time to wake up, love.” She groaned something incoherent, more asleep than awake. “Come now, lazy. Open those enchanting sea-green eyes. We can’t linger here. They will have discovered our absence by now.” He spoke in a light tone, making sure none of his mounting anxiety leaked into his voice. Still, the reminder of their vulnerability was enough to banish the last vestiges of her sleep. She snapped her eyes open and sat up in one smooth motion, holding the sheet to her throat. “How long have we been here?” “Too long.” He motioned to the…

This and That: Getting to Know Tessa Afshar
Author Guest / June 2, 2017

I was born in the Middle East and lived there the first thirteen years of my life. The people of Iran, where I grew up, value family and friends above most things. I have learned that nothing is as important as relationships, both Divine and human: not writing, not succeeding, not finishing my to-do list, not even reading my favorite books. After Jesus, people come first. Love is more important than accomplishments or pastimes. I was almost fourteen when we moved to England. Half of my family still lives there. When we first moved, my English was limited. I became fluent while attending Princess Helena College, a boarding school for girls in Hertfordshire. So although I’ve lived most of my life in America, my accent still has shades of the Queen’s influence. That, and a bit of Persian. Americans usually ask me if I’m Irish. The Irish ask me if I’m American. The real answer is that I’m a citizen of heaven. I became a bookworm when I was very young. Most of my pocket money went to buying novels. It still does, come to think of it. I would not be who I am today without books. In fact,…