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Jewel of the Nile

By Tessa Afshar


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.

Book Takeaway:

I hope readers see where they are allowing their scars to tell their stories. That they see themselves through the prism of faith and inhabit their true worth in Christ. This is ultimately a story about restoration and healing in the deepest soul.

Why the author wrote this book:

When I first began to outline this novel, I wanted to have one of the daughters of Philip the Evangelist as my main character. A short email from a fan upended my plans. A young woman wrote to tell me that she loved my books. But, as an African American, she wondered if I ever planned to have a character who looked like her. Because, she explained, it was important for her to see heroines who reflected her.

I could not forget her words. I realized that as a writer of biblical fiction I had a responsibility to this young woman and others like her. I ripped up my outline and never looked back. Chariline (pronounced Cara-Leen-ee), dominated the page as soon as she showed up. This is not a story about race, but about worth, and about how our histories sometimes cause us to come to the wrong conclusions about ourselves.


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