Tessa Afshar was voted "New Author of the Year" by the Family Fiction sponsored Reader's Choice Award 2011 for her novel PEARL IN THE SAND. She 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 has spent the last 13 years in full-time Christian work.