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Author Interview & Giveaway – Thief of Corinth – Tessa Afshar

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I had the privilege of reading this book early and recommend it. Those that prefer that the romance does not take center stage and those that want something of a romance involved should both be happy. If you’ve ever read Francine Rivers’ Mark of the Lion trilogy and have ever wanted to read something else like it, this book has the same feel without all the gladiator games. Ancient Corinth/Athens, underhanded Romans, the early church. Skilled writing.

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Thief of Corinth

First-century Corinth is a city teeming with commerce and charm. It’s also filled with danger and corruption—the perfect setting for Ariadne’s greatest adventure.

After years spent living with her mother and oppressive grandfather in Athens, Ariadne runs away to her father’s home in Corinth, only to discover the perilous secret that destroyed his marriage: though a Greek of high birth, Galenos is the infamous thief who has been robbing the city’s corrupt of their ill-gotten gains.

Desperate to keep him safe, Ariadne risks her good name, her freedom, and the love of the man she adores to become her father’s apprentice. As her unusual athletic ability leads her into dangerous exploits, Ariadne discovers that she secretly revels in playing with fire. But when the wrong person discovers their secret, Ariadne and her father find their future—and very lives—hanging in the balance.

When they befriend a Jewish rabbi named Paul, they realize that his radical message challenges everything they’ve fought to build, yet offers something neither dared hope for.

Tessa’s Website

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Questions about Tessa’s Story

What inspired your story?

The apostle Paul had a special affection for the people of Corinth. Perhaps this was because he founded the first church there through his personal ministry. Many of Corinth’s inhabitants were on the naughty side. In his letter to the house churches he helped to build, Paul says they had been greedy, immoral, drunkards, slanderers and swindlers before Jesus grabbed a hold of them (1Corinthians 6:9-11). I wanted to write about a character that fit this mold. Someone who was a bit of a rascal, with a lot of spunk, and yet managed to be lovable. My favorite books are often about imperfect characters, people who make wrong choices and land themselves in deep pits. That is how my character Ariadne was born. A woman who seemed to have it all, but turned to theft in order to solve the mounting financial problems of her beloved family.

Why did you choose the year your book is set?

Most of this story takes place around 50 AD, smack in the middle of Paul’s second missionary journey. It is an exciting time both in history and in the world of faith. The Romans are at the height of their power and ingenuity. The city of Corinth sparkles with engineering marvels. They have figured out ways to install glass in their windows, an art which is subsequently lost for centuries. They have indoor plumbing (a fact I use to advantage in one of Ariadne’s heists. I’m afraid I have a weakness for bathroom humor.) The Roman Empire of the first century is one of the most exciting time periods to write about. Subtly running beneath this grand display of power is the river of faith that is flowing through the work of men like Paul. As a writer, I can’t ask for a better period to write about.

If you could be guaranteed to publish a book set anywhere and at anytime, what setting would you love to set a novel in?

I am known for writing biblical fiction. But I would love to write a historical novel based in England during Jane Austen times.

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Questions about Tessa’s Reading

Isaiah's Daughter

What other Christian Historical Novels are similar to yours in setting or storyline?

Biblical fiction is growing in popularity, and many writers are contributing to the genre. From Ted Dekker to Davis Bunn, Christian authors are penning stories based on Bible events and times. Other writers include the lovely Mesu Andrews, who recently released Isaiah’s Daughter, a novel set in the Old Testament era.

avoiceinthewind

Which book got you hooked on reading Christian Historicals?

Hard to say. I have always been a fan of historical fiction. I think my first specifically Christian historical novel was A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers. Of course I became a fan after that!

Tessa is giving away a paperback copy (USA only) and I’m giving away winner’s choice of ebook of any of the books mentioned above. Enter the Rafflecopter below!

**If you don’t want to enter Rafflecopter, tell me in a comment below: “I’m not entering the rafflecopter, but please throw me in the hat” so I can manually put you in there for a chance.**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Reckless by MaryLu Tyndall

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1694 – Caribbean

Captain Reena Charlisse Hyde always gets what she wants. She wanted to be the best female pirate on the Caribbean and she is. She wants to find the mythical Fountain of Youth and she knows the location of the map. And now after searching across the Caribbean for the man she intends to marry, she has found him. There are only two problems. He doesn’t want to be found, and he’s on board a Royal Navy frigate—the last place a pirate should venture.

Frederick Carlton thought he was finally safe from the woman who held his heart. But her attempt to rescue him labels him a deserter from the Royal Navy. He’s turned his life over to God and plans on being a preacher, but every moment he spends with Reena drives him deeper into a past he longs to forget.

Mutinies, deserted islands, treasure maps, battles, traitors, and villains send the couple sailing on a tsunami of adventure throughout the Caribbean in search of the Fountain of Youth. Frederick longs to escape the lure of the woman he loves. Reena longs for Frederick to love her again. But in the end, they will both have to choose between eternal youth or the lives of everyone they love.

Thief of Corinth by Tessa Afshar

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1st Century AD – Greece

First-century Corinth is a city teeming with commerce and charm. It’s also filled with danger and corruption—the perfect setting for Ariadne’s greatest adventure.

After years spent living with her mother and oppressive grandfather in Athens, Ariadne runs away to her father’s home in Corinth, only to discover the perilous secret that destroyed his marriage: though a Greek of high birth, Galenos is the infamous thief who has been robbing the city’s corrupt of their ill-gotten gains.

Desperate to keep him safe, Ariadne risks her good name, her freedom, and the love of the man she adores to become her father’s apprentice. As her unusual athletic ability leads her into dangerous exploits, Ariadne discovers that she secretly revels in playing with fire. But when the wrong person discovers their secret, Ariadne and her father find their future—and very lives—hanging in the balance.

When they befriend a Jewish rabbi named Paul, they realize that his radical message challenges everything they’ve fought to build, yet offers something neither dared hope for.

Auschwitz Lullaby by Mario Escobar

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1943 – Poland

Auschwitz Lullaby brings to life the story of Helene Hannemann—a woman who sacrificed everything for family and fought furiously for the children she hoped to save.

On an otherwise ordinary morning in 1943, Helene Hannemann is preparing her five children for the day when the German police arrive at her home. Helene’s worst fears come true when the police, under strict orders from the SS, demand that her children and husband, all of Romani heritage, be taken into custody. Though Helene is German and safe from the forces invading her home, she refuses to leave her family—sealing her fate in a way she never could have imagined.

After a terrifying trek across the continent, Helene and her family arrive at Auschwitz and are thrown into the chaos of the camp. Her husband, Johann, is separated from them, but Helene remains fiercely protective of her children and those around her. When the powers-that-be discover that Helene is not only a German but also a trained nurse, she is forced into service at the camp hospital, which is overseen by the notorious Dr. Mengele himself.

Helene is under no illusions in terms of Dr. Mengele’s intentions, but she agrees to cooperate when he asks her to organize a day care and school for the Romani children in the camp. Though physically and emotionally brutalized by the conditions at Auschwitz, Helene musters the strength to protect the children in her care at any cost. Through sheer force of will, Helene provides a haven for the children of Auschwitz—an act of kindness and selflessness so great that it illuminates the darkest night of human history.

Based on a true story, Mario Escobar’s Auschwitz Lullaby demonstrates the power of sacrifice and the strength of human dignity—even when all hope seems lost.

Cowboys and Angels by David Stearman

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1860 – Arizona

Deep in the red-rock country of 1860s Arizona, rancher Jessi Burke catches out-of-work cowboy Slade Jackson with one of her prize horses. Despite his claims of innocence, she’s convinced he has rustled her missing herd. But when a band of Apache raiders chases the pair across the desert plains, Jessi and Slade must set aside their dispute and work together to save their lives.

Jessi and Slade become trapped atop a mesa with vengeful Apache warrior. There, the survival of these three enemies will depend on mutual understanding . . .and Providence.

 

Wagon Train Baby by Linda Ford

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1848 – New Mexico

A life-altering betrayal leaves Donna Grace alone, unmarried, and pregnant. She’s desperate to leave St. Louis, Missouri, and return to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she grew up, and the only way back is by wagon train. The wagon master refuses to let a single woman drive a wagon without a male escort. Donna knows she can’t trust men, but it seems she’s going to have to partner with one if she wants to get back home.

Luke Russell failed to protect his fiancée. Because of his neglect, she was murdered. He vows to never leave another person to face dangers on their own and to never again open his heart to love. When he overhears Donna Grace’s predicament he offers her a marriage of convenience that they will dissolve as soon they reach Santa Fe.

But the trail forces them to work together. The birth of Donna’s baby unites them in a way they can’t deny. Will the dangers and joys of the Santa Fe Trail break down the barriers these two have built around their hearts?

The Southern Belle Brides Collection

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Welcome to the Old South where hospitality is king and charm is queen. Can lasting love been found here amidst chaotic life challenges?
 
The Belle of the Congaree by Lauralee Bliss
Columbia, South Carolina—1866
Mason Bassinger reluctantly travels to post-war South Carolina seeking lands his carpetbagger brother can buy. Elisa Anderson barely survives after her family’s plantation was destroyed. She welcomes visits by the handsome and wealthy Mason who makes the cottage by the Congaree feel like a home. But when Mason’s true purpose is revealed, will her heart be broken by betrayal?
 
Thoroughbreds by Ramona Cecil
Lexington, Kentucky—1918
A family tragedy reunites Ella Jamison with her childhood tormentor, igniting surprisingly different sparks. Clay Garrett questions why God would allow him to fall in love with the one woman least likely to return his affections. But when love blooms against all odds, old secrets threaten to destroy it and, in the process, tear an entire family apart.
 
The Marmalade Belle by Dianne Christner
Ocala, Florida—1893
A decade-old note draws Maribelle Sinclair into the arms of Jackson, her childhood hero, but the Cavalry dragoon’s soul appears dark and dangerous as the Florida everglades. Virgil, on the other hand, is sweet as mama’s orange marmalade and optimistically forthright. If hearts are windows, like the glass-bottomed boats on nearby Silver River, Maribelle can trust hers to make the right choice.
 
Debt of Love by Lynn Coleman
Palatka, Florida—1868
Adeline Edwards, a Southern Belle with strong calloused hands from tending cattle, no longer attends balls. Banker, Phineas George Hamilton III, arrives at the plantation to recover the bank’s debt and discovers strong-willed Adeline doubts the bank’s claim. Can they figure out the debt, or will they find balance in love?
 
Hometown Bride by Patty Smith Hall
Marietta, Georgia—1870
Jilly Chastain never lied, but when her mother fabricates a marriage with her childhood sweetheart, Grayson Hancock, Jilly goes along with it, never expecting Grayson to show up, ready to make their make-believe marriage real.
 
Miss Beaumont’s Companion by Grace Hitchcock
Baton Rouge, Louisiana—1892
When lady’s companion Aria St. Angelo is coerced into posing as her political employer’s absent daughter for the evening at the Louisiana Governor’s masquerade ball, she wasn’t planning on falling for Byron Roderick, the most eligible bachelor in the capitol.
 
Above All These Things by Connie Stevens
East central Georgia—1855
Pre-conceived opinions and stubborn pride builds walls of resentment between Annulet Granville, the belle of Thornwalk Manor, and a visiting stranger. Annulet’s parents urge her to find a husband, but she labels Peyton Stafford the enemy. So what is she to do with Christ’s command to love her enemies?

The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse

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1774 – Pennsylvania

Spies Work Together for the Patriot Cause

Faith Jackson is a wealthy widow, friend of George Washington, and staunch supporter of the Patriot cause. Matthew Weber is friends with both Ben Franklin and his son William, who increasingly differ in their political views; and Matthew finds himself privy to information on both sides of the conflict. When a message needs to get to a spy among the Loyalists, Faith bravely steps up and in turn meets Matthew Weber. Suddenly she believes she could love again. But someone else has his eye on the Faith she portrays in elite social circles. What will Matthew and Faith have to sacrifice for the sake of their fledgling country?

The Abolitionist’s Daughter by Kathleen Maher

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1860 – Maryland/Virginia

The crusading daughter of a Washington politician, Marietta Hamilton comes between twin brothers as the country plunges toward Civil War. Horse traders from Virginia, Ethan Sharpe and his brother Devon would defend their livelihood from her interfering kind. When love ignites, friends become enemies separated over the course of a long and brutal conflict. Can the very influences which carved a chasm unite a torn family against all odds?

The Lady of Tarpon Springs by Judith Miller

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1905 – Florida

Much to the dismay of her Greek family, Zanna Krykos makes a living as a lawyer in Tarpon Springs, Florida. When her friend Lucy needs legal advice about the business she inherited upon her father’s passing, she ends up asking Zanna to run the business instead so she can focus on her medical career.

Nico Kalos is a Greek diver who has worked on sponging boats in the Aegean Sea since the age of 14, giving him a vast knowledge of the trade. When he hears of an opportunity to lead a group of spongers to the United States, he seizes it. But his excitement is quickly quelled when he arrives only to discover that a young woman with no experience in the business will be in charge of the new crews.

But as Zanna and Nico face even more complications than they could have imagined, they must learn to work together or risk everything they’ve worked so hard for.

A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano

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1866 – England

Tressa Harlowe’s father did not trust banks, but neither did he trust his greedy extended family. He kept his vast fortune hidden somewhere on his estate in the south of England and died suddenly, without telling anyone where he had concealed it. Tressa and her ailing mother are left with a mansion and an immense vineyard and no money to run it. It doesn’t take long for a bevy of opportunists to flock to the estate under the guise of offering condolences. Tressa knows what they’re really up to. She’ll have to work with the rough and rusticated vineyard manager to keep the laborers content without pay and discover the key to finding her father’s fortune–before someone else finds it first.

Caught by Surprise by Jen Turano

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1883 – New York

Miss Temperance Flowerdew is on her way to work when a stranger suddenly grabs her off the street and sends her on a Chicago-bound train before she can figure out what happened.

When Mr. Gilbert Cavendish is called upon to rescue a missing woman, he follows the trail to Chicago only to discover that the woman is his good friend Temperance. Before they can discover who was behind the abduction, they’re seen alone together by a New York society matron, putting their reputations at risk.

Gilbert is willing to propose marriage–except Temperance will have none of it. She’s finally stepped out of the shadow of her relations and won’t give up her independence. But when it becomes clear the misunderstanding in Chicago has escalated into a threat on her life and followed her to New York, accepting Gilbert’s help in solving the mystery may lead to more than she ever could have dreamed.

A Simple Singing by Leslie Gould

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Civil War Era/2013 – Florida

For years Marie Bachmann thought of herself as the “good” daughter. She was the most loving to their mother, the most dedicated to their Amish way of life. But when a Mennonite farmhand, Gordon Martin, shows interest in her she can’t help but be flattered–until her mother sends her off to Florida. While there, Marie begins spending time with bad-boy Eli Jacob, the bishop’s son from back home.

When Gordon shows up in Florida to volunteer in a homeless shelter, her life becomes even more complicated. At the same time her aunt begins telling her of a Civil War-era ancestor and the woman’s uncommon bravery . . . a story that begins to work at Marie’s heart.

Marie hopes returning home may simplify life, but Eli soon follows. As Marie grapples with whether she should court Eli or leave the church for Gordon, the story of Annie Bachmann shines a light on what God has for Marie’s future.

Give Me Thine Heart by Andrea Boeshaar

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1814 – England/At Sea

Moira Kingsley loathes the man her uncle, the Baron Tyrus Kingsley, wishes her to marry. When at her engagement party she meets Mr. Samuel Stryker, she soon guesses he’s from the American Colonies. After she stumbles onto a deep secret, Sam must make an impossible decision. Kill her or kidnap her?

Ultimately, he whisks Moira from England and she considers herself saved from a fate worse than death, especially after discovering her fiancé’s darker side. But will she be safe in the war-torn United States? However, it’s the on the voyage there that Moira learns she possesses attributes she’d never imagined existed within herself.

She also becomes increasingly aware of the man who is both her abductor and rescuer.

This book was originally published in the Timeless Love: Romantic Stories That Span the Ages collection.

Teach Me to Love by Kari Trumbo

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1899 – South Dakota

Izzy Lawson has taken her last abuse.
When her husband dies, she has a choice to make: go home and face the family who made her stay with the beast, or head to Belle Fourche to the only friend she has left. The reserve she’s worked so hard to build crumbles in the verdant rolling hills, and in the arms of a man so different from her husband.

Conrad Oleson can’t read, and it’s shamed him for longer than he can remember.
When another teacher shows up on his front step, he’s sure his brother is meddling again. But when Izzy reveals her painful past, he can’t stay away. And if learning to read brings him closer to her, he’ll do about anything for her. Including, teaching her how to love.

Don’t miss this sweet, western, cowboy romance. Can a widow, scarred by her husband, finally get her happily ever after? This book was originally published in the Timeless Love: Romantic Stories That Span the Ages collection.

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