Tessa Afshar is an award-winning author of historical and biblical fiction.
Her novel, Thief of Corinth(released August 2018), received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal
Land of Silence was voted by Library Journal as one of five top Christian Fiction titles of 2016, and nominated for the 2016 RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for best Inspirational Romance.
Harvest of Gold won the prestigious 2014 Christy Award in the Historical Romance category.
Her book, Harvest of Rubies, was a finalist for the 2013 ECPA Book Award in the fiction category.
Her first novel, Pearl in the Sand, won her “New Author of the Year” by the Family Fiction sponsored Reader’s Choice Awards 2011.
Tessa was born in Iran 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 serves on the staff of one of the oldest churches in America. But that has not cured her from being addicted to chocolate.
Publishers Weekly and Library Journal gave starred reviews to Thief of Corinth (released August 2018).
Invite Tessa to Speak at Your Event
If you would like to invite Tessa to speak at your women’s or writers’ event, please contact her through this website. Tessa is currently accepting a limited number of speaking engagements.
What others are saying about Tessa’s presentations:
“I’ve personally never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ presented in a kinder, clearer way, making it easy for anyone to understand, regardless of their background. Her gentle spirit and articulate presentation combined to touch many hearts . . .”
—Mary Whelchel, Radio Show Host, speaker and author, Director of Women’s Ministry, Moody Church, Chicago
“What a marvelous presentation Tessa Afshar gave to our women at their annual spring dinner. We male servers were not supposed to be eavesdropping but we couldn’t help ourselves. Tessa was not only colorful, creative and compelling in what she said but she spoke with such depth and passion that her words touched our hearts as well as our ears. We cannot recommend a speaker more highly.”
—Rev. Michael Rowe, First Baptist Church, Wheaton Illinois
“Tessa is a gentle and nurturing soul, and hearing her speak is like a mini-Sabbath, a moment of grace and restoration in the Spirit.”
—Frank Peretti, New York Times best-selling author
“She was a powerful speaker and captured the hearts and attention of our conferees. . . .”
—Marilyn Rhoads, Oregon Christian Writers President
“Tessa is an engaging and inspirational speaker . . . She is passionate about sharing God’s love and Word with others and her stories will fill you with laughter and tears.”
—Gail Soderstrom, Christ Chapel, Connecticut
Tessa’s Life Story Featured on CBN
One of five Best Christian Fiction titles of 2016 by Library Journal, for Land of Silence.
2014 Christy Award, Best Historical Romance, for Harvest of Gold
2013 ECPA Book Award Finalist for Harvest of Rubies
“New Author of the Year” for Pearl in the Sand – Reader’s Choice Award 2011, sponsored by Family Fiction.
Thief of Corinth: Library Journal Starred Review
“Set in first-century Corinth, this latest novel from Christy Award winner Afshar (Bread of Angels) is another beautifully written tale based on the New Testament. Ariadne, tired of living in her mother’s house after her parents’ divorce, flees to Corinth and her father’s home. When she finds out that he makes his living as a thief, she begs to help him recoup the ill-gotten gains of the wealthy and corrupt. But their lives are endangered when the wrong person discovers their secret. Through rabbi Paul, they learn of a God who heals and forgives. Receiving grace and mercy for their sins and forgiveness is something they never thought could happen. VERDICT: Afshar’s well-drawn characters and lushly detailed setting vividly bring to life the ancient world of the Bible. A solid choice for fans of Francine Rivers and Bodie and Brock Thoene.”
Thief of Corinth: Publishers Weekly Starred Review
“Afshar, Christy award-winner for her 2013 novel Harvest of Gold, once again brings historical detail to vibrant life, this time focusing on the city of Corinth―center of first-century CE commerce and culture―and the family of fictional Galenos. Galenos’s daughter, Ariadne, has lived with her oppressive mother and grandfather in a villa near Athens ever since her parents’ divorce as a child. Now 16, she flees to her father’s home in Corinth, where she quickly discovers the family secret: her father is the famous Honorable Thief, who robs only the richest and most unscrupulous citizens. Ariadne faces challenges in her new life, among them the displeasure of the city’s women who think she is ridiculous when she enters a prestigious race at the Isthmian Games, as well as the contentious relationship with her foster brother, Theo. Despite this, she is bent on helping her father, even if it means becoming a thief herself. But then, abruptly, Galenos and Ariadne’s lives are transformed when Ariadne’s brother, Dionysus, arrives from Athens with his friend, Paul of Tarsus. Paul’s teachings bring healing to the family, and particularly to Ariadne, who must face her selfishness and pride. Afshar again shows her amazing talent for packing action and intrigue into the biblical setting for modern readers.”
“Fearless. Bold. A survivor. This is Ariadne. After escaping her mother’s cruelty in Athens, Ariadne returns to the exciting but corrupt city of Corinth only to discover her estranged father’s dark secret: he is the Honorable Thief of Corinth. Hungry for revenge after years of abuse, Ariadne joins her father’s thieving after a catastrophe at sea leaves the family in financial ruin. When a missionary named Paul arrives, Ariadne resists his message of love and grace. But without the lessons of Paul’s Unknown God, her lust for vengeance could cost Ariadne her innocence, her reputation, or even her life. Afshar brings to life the gripping tale of one woman’s struggle to choose between rebellion and love. This work of biblical fiction does not require biblical knowledge and offers superb momentum, exhilarating scenes, and moving themes of love and determination. Afshar’s lyrical approach to Ariadne’s voice makes for a relatable protagonist wrestling with timeless questions of worth and belonging in this exquisitely realistic portrait of the early missionary Paul.”
Land of Silence
“No one brings the Bible to life like Tessa Afshar. Land of Silence grabs hold of the woman who stole healing by touching Christ’s hem in a way that brings us all to a place where we can recognize that we, too, are daughters of the King.”
—Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author
“Land of Silence is a biblical novel in a category all its own. Moving, believable . . . this inspiring, uplifting story encouraged me at a heart level. A wonderful story—not to be missed!”
—Jill Eileen Smith, Bestselling Author of The Crimson Cord and The Wives of King David series
“Tessa Afshar’s captivating and emotive story is about one first-century woman’s pain and struggle. But the hope she describes is real and for you and me today.”
—Chris Fabry, Bestselling Author of War Room and Dogwood
“Tessa Afshar’s novels draw you in so that you’re both captivated and changed by the power of story. Land of Silence is no exception. You’re in for a treat with this one—enjoy!”
—Susie Larson, National Speaker, Radio Host, and Author of Your Beautiful Purpose
In the Field of Grace
“Afshar writes unforgettable biblical fiction.”
“This is one of my favorite books of the year. Beguiling, exciting, romantic, and a much-needed reminder of the Creator’s steadfast faithfulness, even to those the world deems undeserving.”
“Once again, Tessa’s seemingly effortless talent breathes new life into this beautiful love story and makes it come alive.”
Harvest of Gold
“Tessa Afshar breathes new life into the old, stale story we think we know and cracks the door wide open for a beautiful story of a tragic life turned upside down by forbidden love and immeasurable grace.” —Josh Olds, Lifestory.com
“Afshar has created a treasure of a book. Brilliant characterization, adventure, intrigue, and humor coupled with deep emotional impact garner a solid five stars.” —CBA Retailers + Resources
“Engaging. Inspiring. Heart-stopping and heart-rending. A fabulous biblical novel that sent me straight back to God’s Word!” —Mesu Andrews, Award-winning Author
Harvest of Rubies
“There is so much depth to Harvest of Rubies that readers will happily drown in its message of God’s unfailing love and mercy while diving headfirst into the captivating plot and precarious romance. . . . This is a great read! —Bookreporter.com
“Afshar brings readers biblical fiction with mysterious twists and turns . . . that fascinate and claim the reader’s full attention. The story will have you laughing and crying.” —Romantic Times, TOP PICK REVIEW
Pearl in the Sand
“A riveting and compelling book. . . . Fantastic research and stellar writing make this one you don’t want to miss! —Romantic Times, TOP PICK REVIEW
“This superb debut should appeal to readers who enjoyed Davis Bunn and Janette Oke’s The Centurion’s Wife or Anita Diamant’s The Red Tent.” —Library Journal STARRED REVIEW
“Pearl in the Sand is a lovely story, vividly written, and is sure to please devotees of biblical fiction. —Titletrakk.com