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Jewel of the Nile

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Whispered secrets about her parents' past take on new urgency for Chariline as she pays one last visit to the land of her forefathers, the ancient kingdom of Cush. Raised as an orphan by her aunt, Chariline has only been told a few pieces of her parents' tragic love story. Her beautiful dark skin is proof that her father was Cushite, but she knows nothing else. While visiti Whispered secrets about her parents' past take on new urgency for Chariline as she pays one last visit to the land of her forefathers, the ancient kingdom of Cush. Raised as an orphan by her aunt, Chariline has only been told a few pieces of her parents' tragic love story. Her beautiful dark skin is proof that her father was Cushite, but she knows nothing else. While visiting her grandfather before his retirement as the Roman official in the queen's court, Chariline overhears that her father is still alive, and discovering his identity becomes her obsession. Both her grandfather and the queen have reasons for keeping this secret, however, and forbid her quest. So when her only clues lead to Rome, Chariline sneaks on the ship of a merchant trusted by friends. Theo is shocked to discover a stowaway on board his vessel and determines to be rid of her as soon as possible. But drawn in by Chariline's story, he feels honor-bound to see her safely to shore, especially when it appears someone may be willing to kill for the truth she seeks. In this transformative tale of historical fiction, bestselling author Tessa Afshar brings to life the kingdom of Cush and the Roman Empire, introducing readers to a fascinating world filled with gripping adventure, touching romance, and a host of lovable characters--including some they may recognize from the biblical book of Acts.


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Whispered secrets about her parents' past take on new urgency for Chariline as she pays one last visit to the land of her forefathers, the ancient kingdom of Cush. Raised as an orphan by her aunt, Chariline has only been told a few pieces of her parents' tragic love story. Her beautiful dark skin is proof that her father was Cushite, but she knows nothing else. While visiti Whispered secrets about her parents' past take on new urgency for Chariline as she pays one last visit to the land of her forefathers, the ancient kingdom of Cush. Raised as an orphan by her aunt, Chariline has only been told a few pieces of her parents' tragic love story. Her beautiful dark skin is proof that her father was Cushite, but she knows nothing else. While visiting her grandfather before his retirement as the Roman official in the queen's court, Chariline overhears that her father is still alive, and discovering his identity becomes her obsession. Both her grandfather and the queen have reasons for keeping this secret, however, and forbid her quest. So when her only clues lead to Rome, Chariline sneaks on the ship of a merchant trusted by friends. Theo is shocked to discover a stowaway on board his vessel and determines to be rid of her as soon as possible. But drawn in by Chariline's story, he feels honor-bound to see her safely to shore, especially when it appears someone may be willing to kill for the truth she seeks. In this transformative tale of historical fiction, bestselling author Tessa Afshar brings to life the kingdom of Cush and the Roman Empire, introducing readers to a fascinating world filled with gripping adventure, touching romance, and a host of lovable characters--including some they may recognize from the biblical book of Acts.

30 review for Jewel of the Nile

  1. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Geaney

    I'm Tessa's assistant so I will not leave a review but I will share my favorite quotes. Favorite Quotes: "She stared at the pyramid, a shrine to the power of death, to its finality, its implacability and inevitability. This whole monument, its desperate man-created effort to reach into the heavens, to pierce them and somehow ferry its inhabitant into a higher plane, was nothing but a clump of dirt. But there was one who had overcome death. Pierced it as he had been pierced, conquered it as he had I'm Tessa's assistant so I will not leave a review but I will share my favorite quotes. Favorite Quotes: "She stared at the pyramid, a shrine to the power of death, to its finality, its implacability and inevitability. This whole monument, its desperate man-created effort to reach into the heavens, to pierce them and somehow ferry its inhabitant into a higher plane, was nothing but a clump of dirt. But there was one who had overcome death. Pierced it as he had been pierced, conquered it as he had been conquered by a brutal cross. And the one who wielded that power also loved her." "As one who calls God Abba, Father, you are never alone." "And in his presence, there is fullness of joy. Soul-deep calm. Favor and grace.” "The greatest darkness had tried to swallow [Jesus] and failed. Now he stood victorious, able to swallow her darkness, which she had created with her own hand, her own choice." “The problem is that when you are flesh-driven, you cannot be Spirit-led.”

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ebos Aifuobhokhan

    I would give this book 10 stars if it was possible. This is Tessa Afshar's best work yet. This story gripped me. It both wrenched and soothed my heart with the plot, relatable characters and life changing lessons that will last a life time. The lessons of forgiveness, redemption, second chances... will transcend time and generations. I was spellbound by the sheer force of this book. It is one not to miss. It is one to read and reread. It is one to gift to someone. The characters didn't feel like I would give this book 10 stars if it was possible. This is Tessa Afshar's best work yet. This story gripped me. It both wrenched and soothed my heart with the plot, relatable characters and life changing lessons that will last a life time. The lessons of forgiveness, redemption, second chances... will transcend time and generations. I was spellbound by the sheer force of this book. It is one not to miss. It is one to read and reread. It is one to gift to someone. The characters didn't feel like characters in a book. They felt like friends, they felt like me. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and this is my honest opinion

  3. 4 out of 5

    Grace Johnson

    I'll leave y'all with a teaser...this is one of the few books I've read where I actually liked both the hero and the heroine. Crazy, right? XD Review to come! I'll leave y'all with a teaser...this is one of the few books I've read where I actually liked both the hero and the heroine. Crazy, right? XD Review to come!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)

    “All her life, Chariline had been told two things about her father: that he was dead, and that she was never to mention him” When Land of Silence came out in 2016, I didn’t think anything could topple it as my favorite Tessa Afshar book… but Jewel of the Nile is giving it some tough competition! One of the things I love most about this author’s novels is how she takes both familiar & obscure people from the Bible and gives them life and backstory and personality. Her stories always wrap around my “All her life, Chariline had been told two things about her father: that he was dead, and that she was never to mention him” When Land of Silence came out in 2016, I didn’t think anything could topple it as my favorite Tessa Afshar book… but Jewel of the Nile is giving it some tough competition! One of the things I love most about this author’s novels is how she takes both familiar & obscure people from the Bible and gives them life and backstory and personality. Her stories always wrap around my heart like a Jesus hug and draw me back to the Word over and over again, aided by her careful attention to what we do know from the Biblical narrative and the Scripture verses that open each chapter. Jewel of the Nile does this beautifully, as well as giving us brand new characters to love just as deeply. Chariline is an engaging, if somewhat headstrong & impulsive, young woman who has never known her parents. Her mother died moments after Chariline’s birth, and no one will speak of her father. Believing him to be long dead, too, Chariline is stunned to overhear that he is, in fact, very much alive. His identity is still a mystery, however, and a series of unexpected events sends Chariline on a journey to track down the only person outside of her reticent family who might know his name. Along the way, she encounters a handful of people who will lovingly strengthen her faith in Jesus and remind her of some things that I need to remember all too often also. Things like recognizing & rejecting the lies we’re so quick to believe about ourselves – “You have to allow Yeshua to tell you the truth. Stop listening to your scars. You are not God’s mistake, Chariline. You are his glory.” – and learning to seek & surrender to God’s plan instead of our own impulses or desires, even when He’s not working ‘fast enough’ for us: “The problem is that when you are flesh-driven, you cannot be Spirit-led.” She just might find some things she wasn’t looking for, too – like romance. Enter Theo. Just let me get my swooning out of the way right now. Well…. I’m actually not sure I can do that because hello, yummy hero! When he hauls Chariline into his arms and says “Come here,” during their first kiss. Oh be still my heart!! #allthehearteyes Fans of Afshar’s books have been waiting for Theo to get his own story, and it is definitely worth the wait. His protective care for those whom his heart has claimed, his love for Jesus, his own painful backstory, and his unique skills …. and his overall swooniliciousness … has earned him a solid spot in my book boyfriends collection. Bottom Line: Curling up with a new book by Tessa Afshar is like sitting down to a feast of all your favorite foods with all of your favorite people. The layered characters make Jewel of the Nile a great novel, but the grin-inducing wit, swoonilicious romance, rich writing, and grace-filled truth ensure it is an absolute must-read. Sophocles, Vitruvia, and Arkamani made me laugh out loud more than once, Theo had me swooning all over the place, Chariline had me cheering her on, and appearances by familiar characters from the book of Acts made my heart full. I was captivated from the first word to the last, challenged in my walk with Jesus, and touched by these characters and the story Afshar wove between the lines. (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book) first seen at Reading Is My SuperPower

  5. 4 out of 5

    Loraine

    Chariline was raised as an orphan by her very rigid Aunt who has told her little of her parents' story. She has always wondered who her father was as her skin coloring tells her she is obviously a mixture of Cush and Roman; but even though she asks, she never is given an answer just that he is dead. But one night she overhears her grandfather talking to her aunt and learns that her father is alive. Thus begins a search that leads her on a search for her father in Cush, down the Nile, and finally Chariline was raised as an orphan by her very rigid Aunt who has told her little of her parents' story. She has always wondered who her father was as her skin coloring tells her she is obviously a mixture of Cush and Roman; but even though she asks, she never is given an answer just that he is dead. But one night she overhears her grandfather talking to her aunt and learns that her father is alive. Thus begins a search that leads her on a search for her father in Cush, down the Nile, and finally in the city of Rome. Tessa Afshar once again brings Biblical times to life as she introduces us to some of the lesser know characters of the Bible found in Acts. Her descriptions of the period in Cush bring that country to life and highlights what it was like for women during those times. Chariline was a daring young woman who was determined to find the answer to her question, but would the answer be more than she was looking for. I had to admit I was quite surprised at who her father was and the role he played in an important event in Acts. Theo was a perfect hero in helping Chariline find her father and the slowly developing romance between them was nice to watch. The inclusion of Priscilla and Aquila and the early Christians of Rome was also added to the plot. Another great Biblical fiction read from Tessa Afshar. **I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mimi

    Once again, Tessa Afshar has written an excellent novel. Her stories always bring to life Biblical times and I feel like I get to know the people from the Bible better, even if it is in a fictional way. I love Chariline from the start. I could feel how alone she felt, isolated really, and it made my heart go out to her. Not only that, but I wanted to knock heads for the people who had hurt her and continued to do so! It's easy to get riled up for the main characters in Tessa's books. And it was wo Once again, Tessa Afshar has written an excellent novel. Her stories always bring to life Biblical times and I feel like I get to know the people from the Bible better, even if it is in a fictional way. I love Chariline from the start. I could feel how alone she felt, isolated really, and it made my heart go out to her. Not only that, but I wanted to knock heads for the people who had hurt her and continued to do so! It's easy to get riled up for the main characters in Tessa's books. And it was wonderful to have Theo in his own story this time. My heart broke for him in Thief of Corinth and when I found out he was getting his own story, I was thrilled. Once again, my heart was crushed knowing his backstory, but was so excited to see how he and Chariline would get to know each other and grow getting to know each other. Because of his past, it's understandable that he tries to protect his heart. It was so fun to see Chariline's bravery and vulnerability come through as she tries to find the answers to her parents. One of my favorite parts of all of Tessa's writing is how we can see the character's spiritual struggle. I definitely saw myself in Chariline. I didn't think I'd be able to relate to someone in Biblical times like her or someone without parents, but it turns out the "truth" she was believing is something any one of us could believe as well. I have to tell you, Sophocles is one of my favorite characters as well as Arkamani. He's just one of those rugrats you can't help but enjoy! The faith that's filled throughout this story is so strong. It's present everywhere, as it should be. It was so incredible to see the Holy Spirit moving when Chariline was with Phillips daughters! That was so palpable of God's presence! I was so surprised at the end to learn who one of the main characters is! I had to go reread their story in the Bible! *I received this book for review. This is my personal opinion.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Erin Laramore

    This book was EVERYTHING I needed right at this moment. Just when I thought Tessa Afshar couldn't outdo herself, she does it. Ms. Afshar is one of my go-to authors for Biblical historical and this one is an absolute must-read in this genre. This book follows Chariline, a bi-racial young woman in 1st century Rome. She has come to know Jesus from the Apostle Philip and his daughters. Being raised by her aunt and grandparents, she knows a loneliness than only an orphan can know and longs to know mo This book was EVERYTHING I needed right at this moment. Just when I thought Tessa Afshar couldn't outdo herself, she does it. Ms. Afshar is one of my go-to authors for Biblical historical and this one is an absolute must-read in this genre. This book follows Chariline, a bi-racial young woman in 1st century Rome. She has come to know Jesus from the Apostle Philip and his daughters. Being raised by her aunt and grandparents, she knows a loneliness than only an orphan can know and longs to know more about her parents, but is unable to learn more from her tight-lipped family. When she meets Theo through Philip, she discovers a way to get to Rome to learn more about her parents from a friend of her mother's. The situations that follow are everything that a good book should be. This book had all of the great qualities - great spiritual depth, strong emotions, wonderful well-developed characters, a sweet romance, good action, a mystery with some twists that I never saw coming, and great humor. I found myself laughing out loud a lot at the banter in the book and there were also a few tears. There was one scene in particular that my husband was distracted from whatever he was watching on tv to ask if I was ok because the tears were just flowing. A book that make you both laugh out loud and bring flowing tears -THAT is a worthwhile book. The spiritual themes of complete surrender and of never being alone were the balm that my 2020/2021-worn heart so needed. And fans of the author's "Thief of Corinth" and to a lesser scale, "Daughter of Rome" will be glad to see the conclusion of Theo's story. While this book is definitely a stand-alone and all of the information needed to understand his story was provided in this book, I do wish I'd taken the time to re-read Thief of Corinth before starting this one as I believe it would have added more depth. This book has taken the title of "best read of 2021" so far on my list and it will take a LOT to unseat it from that position. If you enjoy historical fiction, particularly that in Bible times, this is one I would strongly recommend adding to your TBR. Special thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance e-copy of this book. I was under no obligation to write a review and the thoughts contained herein are my own.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Renee

    Immersive. Riveting. Moving. I enjoy the way Tessa Afshar puts a story together & love her characters. An awesome listening experience!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dana Michael

    Jewel of the Nile by Tasha Afshar is quite the adventure. She uses real biblical characters in the book alongside her fictional hero and heroine. This story starts in ancient Cush and goes to Rome and back again. I enjoyed the mystery and romance of these characters as they run for their lives and make life changing discoveries. I also love how the author uses scripture and always has an inspirational message. *I was given a copy of this book by Tyndale and this is my honest opinion. 4.25 stars

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jolene -

    Great storytelling permeates Jewel of the Nile from beginning to end. Relatable characters, a perfectly paced plot, skillful writing, and a mystery that spans continents combined to make this story a five-star read. I read the entire novel in two long sittings because the story captured my attention from the start and my interest continued to grow with each chapter. Jewel of the Nile by Tessa Afshar brought back Theo, a secondary character from two prior novels, and introduced Chariline, a young Great storytelling permeates Jewel of the Nile from beginning to end. Relatable characters, a perfectly paced plot, skillful writing, and a mystery that spans continents combined to make this story a five-star read. I read the entire novel in two long sittings because the story captured my attention from the start and my interest continued to grow with each chapter. Jewel of the Nile by Tessa Afshar brought back Theo, a secondary character from two prior novels, and introduced Chariline, a young woman searching for the truth about her past. I loved the romance between these characters as well as the personal growth that they brought forth in each other. Amid the action, romance, and mystery, Jewel of the Nile packs nuggets of truth into the many spiritual topics that comprise Chariline’s complex emotional and spiritual journey. Speaking truth, breaking generational patterns, being led by the Spirit, seeking divine direction, and surrendering to God’s purposes are some of the topics addressed within Chariline’s journey to finding her father and embracing her future. Jewel of the Nile by Tessa Afshar includes characters from her prior novels, but can be read as a stand-alone novel. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and recommend it to anyone who enjoys Christian fiction with depth, mystery, and romance. Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a copy of this book by the author or publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    "Jewel of the Nile" is a Christian romance mainly set in Cush, Rome, and on a ship in 56 AD. This continues the story of one of the characters in "Thief of Corinth," but you don't have the read that book to understand this one. Through the events of the story, Chariline grew as a person and learned from her mistakes, learning to consult God's will in her decision-making rather than simply justifying what she wanted to do. Both she and Theo share similarities in their pasts as well as a feeling o "Jewel of the Nile" is a Christian romance mainly set in Cush, Rome, and on a ship in 56 AD. This continues the story of one of the characters in "Thief of Corinth," but you don't have the read that book to understand this one. Through the events of the story, Chariline grew as a person and learned from her mistakes, learning to consult God's will in her decision-making rather than simply justifying what she wanted to do. Both she and Theo share similarities in their pasts as well as a feeling of responsibility for their mothers' deaths shortly after their birth and of abandonment by their parents. While trying to help each other see their value and the misplaced guilt, they find emotional healing. They supported and built each other up, admired the other's character, and were a good match. The characters acted realistically, were likable, and grew as people. Historical and cultural details were woven into the story. Though a minor note: a ship in full sail would leave behind in seconds anything that fell overboard. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I recommend this enjoyable novel. I received an ebook review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Baker (A Baker's Perspective)

    It's no surprise to me that I enjoyed reading this story, as Afshar is a master story teller. I know that any time I pick up on one of her books, I am going to feel as if I were back in biblical times, seeing it all play out in front of me. Not only that, but the stories are so engaging that you become so engrossed in the storyline that everything else you have on your to-do list can simply wait. And that is exactly what happened with Jewel of the Nile. Chariline's character was everything I want It's no surprise to me that I enjoyed reading this story, as Afshar is a master story teller. I know that any time I pick up on one of her books, I am going to feel as if I were back in biblical times, seeing it all play out in front of me. Not only that, but the stories are so engaging that you become so engrossed in the storyline that everything else you have on your to-do list can simply wait. And that is exactly what happened with Jewel of the Nile. Chariline's character was everything I wanted her to be and more. Her back story and quest to find who her father was, was so intriguing to me. I mean, you don't really think that to be a biblical fiction plot line, but it totally worked! She had a lot of growth throughout the story as well, which can be hard I think in this genre. But Afshar does an amazing job and bringing it slowly, not forced. It just seemed...natural. Then there's Theo. Oh Theo. Fans of Afshar, including myself, have been waiting for his story. Wait no more my friends because it is here! Afshar is no stranger to writing great heros, but Theo just might be my fav. He has so many qualities I want in a hero, which you get pieced of if you've read other books by her. It almost adds to the hype of him being in this book, which made it even better to read. I highly recommend the latest from Tessa Afshar. Even if you've not read one of her previous novels, I think this would be a great one to start with. It'll challenge your faith while providing a beautiful storyline. I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Phyllis

    A wonderful treat! When I first saw this title, I thought it was from a much earlier time period and a different country. Which wouldn't have mattered, I really enjoy Tessa Afshar's writing and would have read it regardless. Intrigued by the synopsis, I was eager to learn more. I was transported to another time and place from the very start. And fascinated by the plight of Gemina and her husband, who were introduced in the prologue. I quickly became fully invested in the characters and knew that I A wonderful treat! When I first saw this title, I thought it was from a much earlier time period and a different country. Which wouldn't have mattered, I really enjoy Tessa Afshar's writing and would have read it regardless. Intrigued by the synopsis, I was eager to learn more. I was transported to another time and place from the very start. And fascinated by the plight of Gemina and her husband, who were introduced in the prologue. I quickly became fully invested in the characters and knew that I had to follow their story to its conclusion! I struggled a little with reading the name Chariline at first. Then I realized that her name was Greek and therefore assumed the "ch" would be pronounced like "k" as in charis - therefore read it as "Caroline". It made the rest of the reading much easier! Chariline had such a sad background! My heart went out to the orphan who was despised by her grandfather due to her mixed heritage and the rebellion she represented to him and merely tolerated by the aunt who raised her. When she discovered that her father was still living, I didn't blame her at all for wanting to discover his identity and was impressed by the bold way she continued to search for him. As much as I admired Chariline, I adored Theo! He was so fascinating. When he discovered her as a stowaway on his ship, he was so kind to her and possessed the servant heart Jesus desires from His followers! One of my favorite less-known New Testament characters played a minor, though significant, role and I loved reading the author's depiction of him! The conjecture the author made about his backstory was interesting and unexpected. I was fascinated to learn more about the plight of the God-fearers desiring to worship and yet were forbidden access to the temple. The circumstances that led him to feel insignificant were very moving. A level of suspense and mystery filled the pages as Chariline's search took place and Theo had to protect her from an unexpected threat. And as both learned to find their value in Christ alone. I thoroughly enjoyed this well-researched story. And as it contained characters from other books by Tessa Afshar also set during this time period, including Theo, it made me want to go back and re-read The Thief of Corinth and Daughter of Rome! It is not necessary to read them all together but it certainly would enhance the reading experience to do so. Originally Reviewed on Among The Reads I was given a copy of this book. I was not required to give a favorable review nor was any money received for this review. All comments and opinions are my own.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Aminata Coote

    Chariline, who had been raised as an orphan, set out to find the father she never knew,   attracting the attention of someone who wants her dead. But when she stowed away on Theo's ship, she couldn't have chosen a better ship. Theo took care of her, shared his faith, and protected her. After their time spent together at sea, friendship with a hint of more sprung up between Theo and Chariline. Jewel of the Nile shows the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome the lies of the enemy.  Several characte Chariline, who had been raised as an orphan, set out to find the father she never knew,   attracting the attention of someone who wants her dead. But when she stowed away on Theo's ship, she couldn't have chosen a better ship. Theo took care of her, shared his faith, and protected her. After their time spent together at sea, friendship with a hint of more sprung up between Theo and Chariline. Jewel of the Nile shows the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome the lies of the enemy.  Several characters bore their secret (or not-so-secret) shame and it hampered them. It hindered their testimony and their ability to fulfill their purpose. It hindered their ability to love and seek community.  It hampered their ability to see themselves as God saw them. And isn't that just like us? Shame prevents us from seeing ourselves as God sees us. It prevents us from living the life God intends for us to have. I loved Theo and Chariline.  They each had different vulnerabilities which they chose to address in different ways. But they strengthened each other. Chariline learned a deeper faith and how to trust God more from seeing Theo live out his faith. Theo learned how to be vulnerable by watching Chariline share her story with others. It gave him courage to share his story with her. There were a number of secondary characters that I loved, for example, it was good to see Priscilla and Aquila again, and Philip's daughters had a strong faith which glowed in the few scenes they were in. But my absolute favorite secondary character was Sophocles. That crusty, old man stole my heart with the way he cared for Chariline and Theo. Jewel of the Nile reminds us that sometimes family are the people who choose to do life with us whether they share the same blood or not. It's a reminder that we need to surrender our will to God. It's a reminder that God is concerned about every aspect of our lives even when we can't see Him. I received an advanced reader's copy from the publishers through NetGalley; a positive review was not required.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nora St Laurent

    I’ve been deeply moved and blown away by this authors’ previous novels; Pearl in the Sand, and Land of Silence. I was surprised that I had a hard time connecting with strong-willed main character Chariline. She leaps before she thinks thinks through and puts herself and others in danger. I enjoyed the drama, the mystery behind her parents’ marriage and the sudden awareness that her father is alive. The author has her characters hit the high seas as well as ride aboard a river barge down the migh I’ve been deeply moved and blown away by this authors’ previous novels; Pearl in the Sand, and Land of Silence. I was surprised that I had a hard time connecting with strong-willed main character Chariline. She leaps before she thinks thinks through and puts herself and others in danger. I enjoyed the drama, the mystery behind her parents’ marriage and the sudden awareness that her father is alive. The author has her characters hit the high seas as well as ride aboard a river barge down the mighty Nile River, traveling between Rome and Cush trying to track down the identity of her father. I also thought it was fun to catch up with Pricilla and Aquilla. Many people said in their reviews that it didn’t make a difference having read the other books that included characters brought back in this novel, but I think in my case it would have made a difference. I enjoyed Theo which had me wishing I had read the book he was featured in Thief of Corinth, before this one. Maybe I would have connected more because I would know their backstory. I still enjoyed the history, the scenes on their boat journeys and watching characters walk out their spiritual journey. Pricilla sharing with Chariline,“The Problem is that when you are flesh-driven, you cannot be Spirit-led.” I also liked how Theo told Chariline to trust God with her scars. I liked the poem entitled Angel Scars, that talks about the scars we bear. In our souls. In our bodies. Theo says, “You have to allow Yeshua to tell you the truth. Stop listening to your scars. You are not God’s mistake, Chariline. You are his glory.” I like how Theo is vulnerable and shares his insight about God and scars. “God sees us for our redeemed heart, not for our scars – for our shame and guilt. Instead, he takes those completely away.” Amen! Amen! Jewel of the Nile shows the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome the lies of the enemy. I enjoyed the suspense and mystery as Charilines is obsessed in tracking down clues that will reveal his identity. Oh, I have to give a shout-out to Sophocles, he is a sweet loveable gentle and wise soul. I enjoyed the nuggets of truth he sprinkled throughout and the themes of belonging, family, abandonment, friendship. I enjoyed the hints of well-timed humor mixed into the danger and intrigue. This book would make for a good read and one for your book club. Disclosure of Material Connection: I have received a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher through NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising” Nora St. Laurent TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! The Book Club Network blog www.bookfun.org

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nay Denise

    Updated review: 7/15/21 Okay after my re-read this is a solid 5 star no questioned asked. I am just in love with the story and how relevant it was for me in the current season of life I'm in. I adored Chariline, but Theo, Natemahar and Arkamani are my babies! Vitruvia and the Kandake can be my relatives any day!!! They are hilarious and savage. The use of scripture was absolutely stunning. The poetry included was so beautiful. I also enjoyed seeing Phillip, Priscilla and Aquila from the book of Ac Updated review: 7/15/21 Okay after my re-read this is a solid 5 star no questioned asked. I am just in love with the story and how relevant it was for me in the current season of life I'm in. I adored Chariline, but Theo, Natemahar and Arkamani are my babies! Vitruvia and the Kandake can be my relatives any day!!! They are hilarious and savage. The use of scripture was absolutely stunning. The poetry included was so beautiful. I also enjoyed seeing Phillip, Priscilla and Aquila from the book of Acts in it as well. Getting to see the Spirit of God move and lead these people was so life-changing for me. The conclusion for Theo and getting mentions of Galenos, Ariadne and Justus was amazing for me! I am so happy we got to glimpse Ariadne and see the happy ending for Theo that he truly deserved. His spiritual growth spilled over into his romance and that was everything for me. I am just always excited for Tessa and her books. I am too excited for the next release to come! ------------------- Received both an e-ARC and complimentary finished copy from the publisher and author for review. I am bias to anything Tessa writes because I will always give her books a 4+ star rating. This was an absolute masterpiece. Even though my rating says 5 star, it's currently sitting at a 4.75 star rating as I await my re-read. No seriously, this was such a great read. Tessa can do no wrong in my eyes. You can tell that she has done a great deal of research and studying of the Word of God. Her books help show the Light of Christ and you can feel her love for Him in her writing. Simply brilliant and will remain a favorite Christian & Biblical fiction author for me. Now, this book is one of her New Testament novels. The story as a whole is well paced and pulls you in to the time and location. Getting to see Cush and Rome was absolutely phenomenal! Tessa didn't hold back with plot nor did she hold back on the various characters within the story. I adored how real and relatable the characters felt from start to finish. Chariline & Theo are definitely one of my pudding pies for sure now. They were such phenomenal characters and just absolutely cute together. I swooned for them the entire story. Chariline was a bit more sassy and impulsive for me, she somewhat reminded me of Ariadne from Thief of Corinth. I loved her sass and headstrong attitude. She kept me on my toes from start to finish. Theo was still amazing. I loved him in Thief of Corinth so to see him in his own story with a new romance -- SWOONED!!! He was always an honorable and respectable man, so that never changed about him. His backstory still crushed me, but to see him win in this book warmed my heart! I loved the family history and how much Chariline was determined to know the truth. The plot twists and turns kept me wanting more. This novel gripped my heart. It made me laugh and cry. It shook me to my core at times. I 100% recommend this novel and can't wait for my re-read of this beauty now that my physical copy has arrived.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Renae Powers

    When I picked up this book, I didn’t even know where the ancient kingdom of Cush was. But Chariline’s (pronounced kar-uh-leen, per the author, if you were wondering) story has given me a newfound fondness for it, as well as a deeper love for the sprawling 1st century Roman Empire. Along her journey to find her long-lost and possibly dead father, Chariline encounters several enchanting characters, including some Biblical figures, like Philip, Natemahar, and the famous couple, Priscilla & Aquila. When I picked up this book, I didn’t even know where the ancient kingdom of Cush was. But Chariline’s (pronounced kar-uh-leen, per the author, if you were wondering) story has given me a newfound fondness for it, as well as a deeper love for the sprawling 1st century Roman Empire. Along her journey to find her long-lost and possibly dead father, Chariline encounters several enchanting characters, including some Biblical figures, like Philip, Natemahar, and the famous couple, Priscilla & Aquila. She also deals with intense feelings of worthlessness, betrayal, and fear, countered at every turn by God’s gentle and relentless love. While she initially sets off to find a father who may not even exist, her Heavenly Father quietly guides her to more lasting treasures than she imagined possible. I adored this book from prologue to epilogue (I even read the author’s note, because I wasn’t ready to put the book down!). Jewel of the Nile was the first book I’ve read by Tessa Afshar, but it will absolutely not be the last! Her style of writing reminded me of Francine Rivers, which is high praise given she is one of my favorite authors of all time! In this book, Mrs. Afshar wove a perfect tapestry of intrigue, romance, adventure, and historical detail. Soon after starting the book, I could tell it would be one I would want to read again (and I wasn’t wrong). One of my favorite parts of Jewel of the Nile was the way it pointed me back to Jesus over and over. I even messaged the author on Instagram late at night after reading chapter 20 to let her know just how intensely her words in that chapter had moved me and added a new layer to my relationship with Jesus. I will not spoil anything at all, but I will tell you that if you read this book with an open heart, God will use these characters to show you new aspects of His unending love and grace for you. In addition to being a spiritually deep and valuable book, Jewel of the Nile is also a really fun story. I enjoyed getting to read about characters my age, with whom I share certain spiritual attributes or personality traits. Even the side characters were loveable- I dare you not to adore Arkamani, Sophocles, and Ferox! The characters based on real-life historical figures were also amazing and will make you want to pick up your Bible to check out their original stories. Speaking of original stories, it turns out Mrs. Afshar has also written other books about Theo, namely Thief of Corinth and Daughter of Rome. So, if you’re like me and want to keep reading about the 1st century heartthrob, you don’t have to look far! In summary, this is without a doubt one of the best books I’ve picked up this year, and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes historical fiction with a side of romance and adventure! My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

  18. 5 out of 5

    Becca-Rae Weidel

    I'm always excited to hear about a new release coming from Tessa Afshar and this one certainly didn't disappoint! I love Biblical fiction in general, but I always know I'm in for a treat when I pick up one of her books. I liked the element of mystery in this one and it truly helped keep the pages turning. I also liked the spiritual growth in Chariline, and that it felt natural to the story progression instead of forced or added. The characters were intriguing, and I enjoyed the humor sprinkled t I'm always excited to hear about a new release coming from Tessa Afshar and this one certainly didn't disappoint! I love Biblical fiction in general, but I always know I'm in for a treat when I pick up one of her books. I liked the element of mystery in this one and it truly helped keep the pages turning. I also liked the spiritual growth in Chariline, and that it felt natural to the story progression instead of forced or added. The characters were intriguing, and I enjoyed the humor sprinkled throughout. Oh, how I especially loved Socrates, and hoped he would come to find peace in Christ. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and can't wait to see what the author comes up with next! *I received a copy of this book from Tyndale House. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    I get excited every time I see Tfshar's new books and this one was no exception! Her stories never disappoints me. Five stars! This is my favorite story by this author! Her novels always leave my heart feeling full and satisfied and they have some awe inspiring messages throughout the book. Great characters and plot to go along with it. The theme of forgiveness was awesome too. Forgiveness is never easy but it does give one a peace of mind. I really enjoyed Chariline's adventures a lot and a lot I get excited every time I see Tfshar's new books and this one was no exception! Her stories never disappoints me. Five stars! This is my favorite story by this author! Her novels always leave my heart feeling full and satisfied and they have some awe inspiring messages throughout the book. Great characters and plot to go along with it. The theme of forgiveness was awesome too. Forgiveness is never easy but it does give one a peace of mind. I really enjoyed Chariline's adventures a lot and a lot of it I can definitely relate to. She's a courageous and gutsy woman. I liked her a lot! This is my favorite quote. " Yeshua is not against you, Chariline Theo said. Do not give up. Not until God makes his will clear." A great reminder that God has a greater plan than ours and that He's always watching out for His children. He loves us unconditionally. He wants us to come to Him. He is always with us. I love that don't y'all? I was happy to see some of the characters from the previous novels as well.. The descriptive scenes of the scenery made feel like I was seeing it through Chariline for the first time too. The only thing I had trouble with was the pronouncing of the names. I highly recommend. You'll not be disappointed at all! My thanks for a copy of this book! I was NOT required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own

  20. 5 out of 5

    Abigail Harris

    I didn't love this one nearly as much as I loved "Pearl in the Sand" and I did skim the beginning a bit since I figured out part of the plot, however, I can't wait to get my hands on a paperback copy and give a full review of this different take on Biblical fiction. 18+ due to content. I voluntarily received and reviewed a complimentary e/copy of this book which I received from the author/publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion. I didn't love this one nearly as much as I loved "Pearl in the Sand" and I did skim the beginning a bit since I figured out part of the plot, however, I can't wait to get my hands on a paperback copy and give a full review of this different take on Biblical fiction. 18+ due to content. I voluntarily received and reviewed a complimentary e/copy of this book which I received from the author/publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nadine Keels

    As a young woman whose Roman mother died in childbirth, Chariline was always told that her Cushite father was dead. When she overhears that her father is alive, she heads off to Rome to discover his identity, stowing away on the ship of a merchant, Theo. But Theo and Chariline find out that a secret she's after—or may already know—could cost Chariline her life in Jewel of the Nile by author Tessa Afshar. First off, can I rave a little about the cover of this biblical fiction novel? The power of t As a young woman whose Roman mother died in childbirth, Chariline was always told that her Cushite father was dead. When she overhears that her father is alive, she heads off to Rome to discover his identity, stowing away on the ship of a merchant, Theo. But Theo and Chariline find out that a secret she's after—or may already know—could cost Chariline her life in Jewel of the Nile by author Tessa Afshar. First off, can I rave a little about the cover of this biblical fiction novel? The power of the image is in the angle of the shot and the poetic pose of the woman representing this novel's biracial heroine. We see that curly hair of hers, and the red and brown of the cover's earth-toned theme fits wonderfully with the story's connection to roses and cinnamon. Ahhhh, yes. I purposely jumped into this novel with no knowledge of the plot, so I was pleased to find it's a tale of adventure and intrigue, along with its themes of family, friendship, faith, and romance. Besides the aspects of danger and my partiality to historical settings (I love that this story unfolds in the Kingdom of Cush and ancient Rome), I think a couple of the supporting characters are what I liked best about the story. Especially a clever and mischievous boy, Arkamani. Now, though I can't say I ever found the story uninteresting, it is fairly slow at times. And these days, I tend to prefer a less-is-more approach when it comes to central messages within a plot, as this story felt a little "lesson heavy" to me, here and there. At the same time, it seemed like the most crucial lesson and discovery for Chariline came to a head rather soon. So even with important events happening in the last 100 pages or so, some of the tension and weight of the plot was already "over" for me relatively early. Even so, I found this to be comfortable reading, adventurous but not too dark, and plenty of other ChristFic fans should enjoy this dramatic and uplifting story.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Terese

    Jewel of the Nile was a good book, though for me, not a great one. I may sound terrible saying this, but the plot just didn’t speak to me. The mystery of finding a parent you don’t know, and didn’t know was alive, just fell kind of flat. It may because I felt like the beginning was a bit rushed and I didn’t feel much for the MC Chariline when the main conflict was introduced. I also struggled with her name, Chariline. I am also not a fan of extensive passages spent on boats (except the Pequod) w Jewel of the Nile was a good book, though for me, not a great one. I may sound terrible saying this, but the plot just didn’t speak to me. The mystery of finding a parent you don’t know, and didn’t know was alive, just fell kind of flat. It may because I felt like the beginning was a bit rushed and I didn’t feel much for the MC Chariline when the main conflict was introduced. I also struggled with her name, Chariline. I am also not a fan of extensive passages spent on boats (except the Pequod) which is why you don’t find me on cruises in real life either. The seafaring life is not for me, fictionally or in reality. That said, there are a couple of things that saved this book for me: 1) Theo! It’s Theo from the “Thief of Corinth”, I didn’t see it coming but I was thrilled to get a conclusion to his story. 2) The father reveal was really good. 3) Sophocles. I don’t know why I loved this character or why his end was what moved me the most, but something about him struck a chord with me. 4) Happy ending epilogues are usually not my cup of tea, but it worked in this one 5) The setting, I do love this setting and the exploration of the dynamics of the Roman Empire and, in this book, Cush. 6) The final line. I am obviously not going to give that away, but it was *chef’s kiss* perfection 7) Author’s note at the end. Afshar does he research and I am here for it, love it and he attention to detail and telling the stories of these minor characters no one usually thinks twice about. Overall, while this technically works as a stand-alone, I think what I liked about it is connected to other books by Afshar and so I would say it works best as a series and that this is the one that is “fine” but doesn’t capture you quite like the others. I wonder what character is next is line to continue this series, whomever it is, I hope Ferox the dog makes another appearance *shameless dog lover* Thank you so much to NetGalley and Tyndale House Publishers for this ARC, in exchange for a fair review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dana McNeely

    I loved this lavish story from veteran historical author Tessa Afshar. A young Cushite girl, lied to by her grandparents and desperate to learn who her father was, embarks on a sea adventure. Chariline makes surprising choices that put her in danger, but a handsome young shipping owner, Theo, a cheeky orphan with many uncles and aunts, and such Biblical characters as Philip and his prophetess daughters, step in to keep her safe. I enjoyed going along on her adventure. Highly recommended for thos I loved this lavish story from veteran historical author Tessa Afshar. A young Cushite girl, lied to by her grandparents and desperate to learn who her father was, embarks on a sea adventure. Chariline makes surprising choices that put her in danger, but a handsome young shipping owner, Theo, a cheeky orphan with many uncles and aunts, and such Biblical characters as Philip and his prophetess daughters, step in to keep her safe. I enjoyed going along on her adventure. Highly recommended for those who enjoy historical fiction set in ancient times.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Colleen Turner

    This is Tessa's newest book on biblical fiction, and as a big fan of her stories, this does not disappoint! I love how she mixes in fictional characters with real characters from the NT. The story follows Chariline in her search for information about the parents she never knew, and the possibility that her father may still be alive. Such relatable characters in the story, and of those who are just wanting to "belong". This is Tessa's newest book on biblical fiction, and as a big fan of her stories, this does not disappoint! I love how she mixes in fictional characters with real characters from the NT. The story follows Chariline in her search for information about the parents she never knew, and the possibility that her father may still be alive. Such relatable characters in the story, and of those who are just wanting to "belong".

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cover Lover Book Review

    I’m a big fan of Tessa Afshar’s stories. She writes with such grace, delivering a wonderfully strong visual and ambiance of Bible times. Jewel Of the Nile is no different. I connected with Chariline, and felt the time, place, and emotions she experienced. She ran me through so many emotions, and it was easy to sympathize with her on her pursuit of finding out who her father was and desire for connection. It is effortless to connect with Theo as well. He’s a magnificent personality, and perhaps one I’m a big fan of Tessa Afshar’s stories. She writes with such grace, delivering a wonderfully strong visual and ambiance of Bible times. Jewel Of the Nile is no different. I connected with Chariline, and felt the time, place, and emotions she experienced. She ran me through so many emotions, and it was easy to sympathize with her on her pursuit of finding out who her father was and desire for connection. It is effortless to connect with Theo as well. He’s a magnificent personality, and perhaps one of my favorites of Afshar’s male characters. I love the interaction he shares with Chariline and empathize with his feelings of inadequacy. Theo and Chariline wear off on each other, so-to-speak, imparting wisdom, wit, and healing upon the other. Ms. Afshar has a strong storytelling gift. I love how she meshes fiction with authentic Bible characters and culture, and how she swiftly penetrates the soul with divine spiritual truths. After meeting Theo in Thief of Corinth, I’m delighted he got his own story. Dɪsᴄʟᴏsᴜʀᴇ: I ʀᴇᴄᴇɪᴠᴇᴅ ᴀ ᴄᴏᴍᴘʟɪᴍᴇɴᴛᴀʀʏ ᴄᴏᴘʏ ᴏғ ᴛʜɪs ʙᴏᴏᴋ. Mʏ ʀᴇᴠɪᴇᴡ ᴡᴀs ɴᴏᴛ ɪɴғʟᴜᴇɴᴄᴇᴅ.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Grace Ann

    Following the events of Thief of Corinth and Daughter of Rome, we have the story of Chariline and Theo in Jewel of the Nile. (Disclaimer:I have not actually read Daughter of Rome yet! Now I’m thinking about it!) It’s definitely not required to read either of them before this book, but it does give the backstory to a few of the characters, which always adds a fun dimension while reading. From the Nile river, to Rome and Caesarea, I enjoyed the different settings in this book and could vividly pict Following the events of Thief of Corinth and Daughter of Rome, we have the story of Chariline and Theo in Jewel of the Nile. (Disclaimer:I have not actually read Daughter of Rome yet! Now I’m thinking about it!) It’s definitely not required to read either of them before this book, but it does give the backstory to a few of the characters, which always adds a fun dimension while reading. From the Nile river, to Rome and Caesarea, I enjoyed the different settings in this book and could vividly picture each of them. There were quite a few little details that distracted me throughout the book, because I kept wondering if they were accurate to the culture/historical period, but that is a very minor element! The plot kept me interested and I enjoyed the twists and turns! I correctly guessed a couple of the key plot points immediately after all the characters were introduced, (still not sure if that was intentional?) but I never knew how it was going to work out. I admit though there were a few times I wanted to gently shake Chariline, because “can’t you see it, girl???” ;) Afshar is truly brilliant when it comes to comes to creating engaging and relatable characters with depth. The character's development through the story was not drastic, but satisfying. I felt sorry for Theo when I read Thief of Corinth and almost didn't like him because he couldn't seem to understand Ariadne. So I was happy he got his own story and it felt good to see growth in him throughout this story. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this latest book by Tessa Afshar! Personally, it wasn't my favorite of her work, but I would definitely recommend. As always, I really appreciated the theme. We can always trust God will work all things together for good to those who love Him, who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28) We are called to surrender to His purpose. And sometimes, when all we see is messy and painful, it’s God’s grace working in a way we could have never conceived ourselves. *note: I received a complimentary copy of Jewel of the Nile from the publishers. I was not required to provide a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Booksforthem_booksforme

    "The problem is that when you are flesh-driven, you cannot be Spirit-led." In Tessa Afshar's Jewel of the Nile we follow a girl named Chariline as she searches for the identify of her father, and learns who she really is. Chariline is the daughter of a forbidden love between a Roman woman and a Cushite man. Her parentage and her skin have caused her to stand out and not fit in all her life. Chariline's mother dies while giving birth to her, so she was raised by her aunt and told her father was de "The problem is that when you are flesh-driven, you cannot be Spirit-led." In Tessa Afshar's Jewel of the Nile we follow a girl named Chariline as she searches for the identify of her father, and learns who she really is. Chariline is the daughter of a forbidden love between a Roman woman and a Cushite man. Her parentage and her skin have caused her to stand out and not fit in all her life. Chariline's mother dies while giving birth to her, so she was raised by her aunt and told her father was dead. When she learns that her father is still alive she will stop at nothing to find out who he is and finally have somewhere that she belongs. Along the way Chariline learns to trust in God and wait on his timing rather than her own, and that he will give her more than she ever dared dream of if she just trusts his process. As always, I love how Tessa is able to weave beautiful biblical truths into fascinating stories with such well thought out characters. Her side characters are just as witty and loveable as the main ones and you end up falling for them. If you are a fan of Tessa Afshar or biblical fiction definitely give this book a try. I received a copy from Tyndale House Publishers. All opinions are my own.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sunnie

    This book was excellent. I don't know how the author manages to carry everyone back in time to a story so lifelike you feel you are living in that very time. I really have enjoyed her writing and this is a wonderful example of her work. As Chariline searches for her father, I could totally relate as I searched for my grandfather for over 40 years. As she comes to find out that her father is alive despite what she thought all along that he had died, her search stops at nothing to connect with him. This book was excellent. I don't know how the author manages to carry everyone back in time to a story so lifelike you feel you are living in that very time. I really have enjoyed her writing and this is a wonderful example of her work. As Chariline searches for her father, I could totally relate as I searched for my grandfather for over 40 years. As she comes to find out that her father is alive despite what she thought all along that he had died, her search stops at nothing to connect with him. As the author weaves Biblical history into the story and trust in God and life lessons to be learned. An excellent book that I recommend! I received an ebook copy through NetGalley. All thoughts are my own.

  29. 4 out of 5

    quiltingbeautyandbooks ~ Stephanie

    Another win for Tessa in my book. Chariline knew her mother died giving birth to her and that her father died when she was young and his identity withheld from her. Upon finding out that her father yet lives, she is doggedly determined to go wherever she must to find out who and where he is. On her journey to finding her father, she befriends Theo (yes, Theo from Thief of Corinth) by becoming a stowaway on his ship. Escaping a mercenary, finding old friends of her mother, and the strengthen of her f Another win for Tessa in my book. Chariline knew her mother died giving birth to her and that her father died when she was young and his identity withheld from her. Upon finding out that her father yet lives, she is doggedly determined to go wherever she must to find out who and where he is. On her journey to finding her father, she befriends Theo (yes, Theo from Thief of Corinth) by becoming a stowaway on his ship. Escaping a mercenary, finding old friends of her mother, and the strengthen of her faith in Iesous, Chariline must deal with lies she has been told and the decision to face a ruthless queen with a bit of information. This book reminds me hat there is pain, relief, a release and even beauty in forgiveness. The scriptures chosen for each chapter, fit the chapters perfectly. The friendships were amazing, the marriages were sound and Godly and of course the love story was everything. Do I recommend, ooooh yes. However, just to get the background on Theo, I suggest that you read Thief of Corinth prior to this book (Tho it is no necessary, I’m glad I did).

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ochegba

    Tessa Afshar is an award-winning author of biblical and historical fiction. Her books have won the Christy and INSPY Awards and been voted by the Library Journal as one of top five Christian fiction titles of the year. Her first Bible Study and DVD, The Way Home, based on the book of Ruth, will be released from Moody Publishers in June 2020. Born in the Middle East, Tessa moved to England in her teens where she attended boarding school for girls before moving to the United States permanently. He Tessa Afshar is an award-winning author of biblical and historical fiction. Her books have won the Christy and INSPY Awards and been voted by the Library Journal as one of top five Christian fiction titles of the year. Her first Bible Study and DVD, The Way Home, based on the book of Ruth, will be released from Moody Publishers in June 2020. Born in the Middle East, Tessa moved to England in her teens where she attended boarding school for girls before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds a Master of Divinity from Yale University, where she served as co-chair of the Evangelical Fellowship for one year. She worked in women and prayer ministries for twenty years before becoming a full-time writer and speaker. Facebook|Twitter|Instagram

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