Friday, May 28, 2021

Drama Brings Character to Life at Tessa Afshar Book Launch


The Mark Twain House in Hartford, CT will host a virtual Book Launch for "Jewel of the Nile" by award-winning, biblical-fiction author Tessa Afshar and you are invited! 

Tuesday, June 1, 2021
7 pm
RSVP required:
Tessa will be joined in conversation by Producer and Playwright Lauren Yarger (Gracewell Productions), who has adapted a one-act drama from the book for presentation during the launch. Bringing main character Charilene to life will be actress Nyah Ajeya.

About Jewel of the Nile:
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. 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.

About the Author:
Tessa Afshar is the bestselling author of biblical and inspirational historical fiction, including Land of Silence, which won an INSPY Award and was voted by Library Journal as one of the top five Christian fiction titles of 2016, and Harvest of Gold, which won a Christy Award in the Historical Romance category. Harvest of Rubies was a finalist for the 2013 ECPA Christian Book Award for fiction. In 2011, after publishing her first novel, Pearl in the Sand, Tessa was named New Author of the Year by the FamilyFiction-sponsored Reader’s Choice Awards. Tessa’s first book-length Bible study, The Way Home: God’s Invitation to New Beginnings, based on the book of Ruth, was released in June, 2020, alongside optional videos of the same title. The Way Home recently won the ECPA Book of the Year for Bible Studies for 2021. Tessa was born in the Middle East and lived there for the first 14 years of her life. She then 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 a Master of Divinity from Yale, where she was elected as the co-chair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School for one year. She served in women and prayer ministries for 20 years before becoming a full-time writer and speaker.

About the Moderator
Lauren Yarger is a producer and playwright (member of the Dramatists Guild of America). She has written several dinner theaters and revues as well as the book for an award-winning musical version of A Christmas Carol. She produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene which toured nationally for three years before closing in New York and is Owner/Producer at Gracewell Productions where she has several projects in the works, including a reading series beginning in Fall 2021 at the Palace Theater in Waterbury. She is Co-Founder of the Connecticut Chapter of the League of Professional Theatre Women and a member of its Board of Directors in New York. She has been a critic covering New York and Connecticut theater with the Outer Critics Circle (producer of the annual awards) and the Drama Desk (former vice president).

About the Actress

Nyah Ajeya, an actor and singer from Baltimore, where she was a Featured Young Artist. There she was an assistant musical director for a production of The Wiz at Johns Hopkins and performed in showcases. A BFA student in acting, film, television and theater at Long Island University in Brooklyn, Nyah also has television and film credits. She jokes that her biggest talent is having the ability to turn any song into a bad country song.

Autographed copies of the book may be purchased in advance or during the launch.
Attending the launch is free, whether or not you buy a book, but an RSVP is required.

Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)
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