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.

A few facts you may not know about Tessa:

1. I have an accent.
Half of my family lives in England. I learned to speak English while attending a boarding school for girls named Princess Helena College in Hertfordshire. So although I’ve lived most of my life in America, my accent still has shades of the Queen’s influence. That, and a bit of Persian. Americans usually ask me if I’m Irish. The Irish ask me if I’m American. The real answer is that I’m a citizen of heaven.

2. Who needs travel?
Even though I have visited four continents and been a citizen of three different countries at various times in my life, I really don’t enjoy traveling. I much prefer curling up on a sofa with a marvelous book and a good friend to share the best lines with. Throw in homemade food and a fire, and I might never leave.

3. You should taste my cooking.
I’m a pretty good cook. I grow my own herbs in my tiny garden and love to use spices to enhance the color and flavor of food. I’ve been known to put fresh lavender and lime in ice cubes to make them look more appealing. But when it comes to baking, I’m in kindergarten; too many things to measure. I do have a PhD in consuming desserts, though.