Thursday, April 2, 2015

Fabulous Friday Feature-Stephanie Wetzel Landsem

Today we welcome author: 
Stephanie Landsem

To win a copy
of Stephanie's new release:
The Tomb

Scroll to the end of the post 
to see how to get your copy.


I asked Stephanie to join us and share how God has led her on her writing journey. Here is what she said:

God's Plans Can Be Much More Than We Imagine For Ourselves

I never expected to write biblical fiction. In fact, the idea never even crossed my mind, which proves once again that God’s plans can be so much more than we can imagine for ourselves.

I knew I wanted to write historical fiction — as a history major in college, I’ve always been fascinated by the many untold stories throughout history, especially in ancient Greece and Rome. So when my youngest child went into kindergarten, I started writing. But I didn’t find my story. No matter what historical era I tried, no character came to me and said, “Tell my story”. I thought maybe I wasn’t meant to write at all. Looking back, I can see that God was just telling me to wait.

Finally, one Sunday, I sat in church listening to John’s Gospel account of the woman at the well. I’d heard the story many times—as many of us have—but this time my mind was filled with questions: Who was this woman that Jesus stopped to speak to on a lonely road in Samaria?  Why did Jesus stop to speak to her? Did she have children? And how did her encounter with Jesus affect those around her, especially her family? By the time I got home from church, I knew that I wanted to write the story of this woman’s fictional daughter, Mara. As the story and the characters came to me, I knew that this had been what I was waiting for.

As I wrote The Well, and after that the other two books of the Living Water Series, I wanted to answer these questions:

1.    What was it like to live in the time of Jesus? We can’t enter fully into a story until we’ve learned what was going on around us. What did people eat, what did they wear? What were their worries and their joys? The historical research within each story brings readers into the world of Jesus.

2.    What was it like to meet Jesus, the Incarnation, face to face? My favorite part of each story is when my characters meet the Son of God. I like to imagine what they would have felt, thought, and said to him.

3.    How did it meeting Jesus change the characters’ lives and the lives of those around them? Meeting Jesus had to have made an impact not only on one person’s life, but on their family, friends, and community. In each book of The Living Water Series, I explore how a single meeting could change the course of history for a family, and even a whole town.

4.    Did meeting Jesus lead to a happily-ever-after ending for my characters? We all know that being a Christian doesn’t promise us an easy life in this world. In real life, and in the stories I write, believing in Jesus leads to sacrifices and tests to our faith.

Especially during the joyful time of Easter, my hope and prayer is that my unexpected journey into biblical fiction will give my readers a chance to ask these same questions of themselves:

1.    What would it be like to meet Jesus?
2.    How would encountering Jesus change me, my friends, and my family?
3.    Would meeting Jesus myself lead to THE happily-ever-after, eternity with him in heaven?


Stephanie's siblings- The treasures she
dedicated her book The Tomb to.

Rachel and Jennifer are here, 
Steve and Rebecca weren't here that day
Stephanie Landsem, author of The Living Water Series, writes historical fiction because she loves adventure in far-off times and places. In real life, she’s explored ancient ruins, medieval castles, and majestic cathedrals around the world. Stephanie is equally happy at home in Minnesota with her husband, four children, and three fat cats.  When she’s not writing, she’s feeding the ravenous horde, avoiding housework, and dreaming about her next adventure—whether it be in person or on the page.

Contact Stephanie through: 

She loves to hear from her readers!


In this captivating retelling of a classic biblical story, Jesus shocks the town of Bethany with Lazarus’s resurrection from the dead, leading Martha—a seemingly perfect woman trapped by the secrets of her past—to hope and a new life.

Everyone in Bethany admires Martha—the perfect Jewish woman. She feeds and clothes her loved ones, looks after the family farm, and meticulously follows every precept of the Pharisees’ strict laws. But Martha is hiding a secret. At her sister’s marriage feast, she gave her heart and her innocence to a young musician who promised to return and marry her, but instead betrayed her love and abandoned her.

Seven years later, only two people in Bethany know of Martha’s secret sin: her brother, Lazarus, and Simon, the righteous Pharisee to whom Martha is betrothed. When Lazarus falls ill, Martha is faced with a choice: send for Jesus to save her dying brother—risking the wrath of Simon who threatens to betray her—or deny Jesus’ healing power and remain trapped in her tomb of secrecy and lies.

Meanwhile, on the shores of Galilee, Isa roams the wilderness, tortured by demons and knowing only that someone is waiting for him. When he is healed by Jesus, he finds that seven years have passed since his descent into madness. Isa journeys home to Bethany only to find he is too late to win back Martha’s love.

When Martha risks all to heal Lazarus, will Jesus arrive in time, or will he—like Isa—come too late?


Click HERE to see or buy The Thief
The Thief:
Nissa is a Jewish woman with a sharp tongue and no hope of marriage. Abandoned by the God she once loved, her only recourse is to depend upon Mouse, the best thief in Jerusalem, to keep her blind brother, Cedron, fed and the landlord satisfied.

Longinus is a Roman centurion haunted by death and failure and is desperate to escape the accursed Judean province. Accepting a wager that will get him away from the aggravating Jews and their threats of revolt, he sets out to catch the thieves harassing the marketplace.

When a controversial teacher miraculously heals Cedron, Nissa hopes for freedom from her life of lies. But the supposed miracle brings only more misfortune, and Longinus, seeking to learn more about the mysterious healer, finds himself drawn instead to Nissa, whose secret will determine the course of both their futures.

Cedron, Longinus, and Nissa are unexpectedly caught up in the arrest, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus. As danger closes in on them from every side, they must decide if the love and redemption Jesus offers is true or just another false promise. How can the so-called Messiah save them from their shackles, when he cannot even save himself?


For the women of the Samaritan village of Sychar, the well is a place of blessing—the place where they gather to draw their water and share their lives—but not for Mara. Shunned for the many sins of her mother, Nava, Mara struggles against the constant threats of starvation or exile.

Mara and Nava’s lives are forever changed with the arrival of two men: Shem, a mysterious young man from Caesarea, and Jesus, a Jewish teacher. Nava is transformed by Jesus, but his teachings come too late and she is stoned by the unforgiving villagers. Desperate to save her dying mother, Mara and Shem embark on a journey to seek Jesus’ help—a journey that brings unexpected love and unimaginable heartbreak.


To enter the contest for a copy of 
Staphanie's  new release: 
"The Tomb"
leave a comment (and email address)
AND become a follower of this blog, 
OR sign up to receive posts by email
if you aren't already.

US only

The winner will be announced on my facebook page.

Thank you,Stephanie, for Joining us This Weekend!

We love chatting with you and are looking forward to reading your comments and questions. Or at least your hi, hello, hey, or ...

Thanks for stopping by!

Don't forget to comment!


Loraine Nunley said...

I have just begun to read biblical fiction and I am looking forward to reading The Tomb. I also wonder what it would have been like to meet Jesus face-to-face before His resurrection. I am a subscriber to your blog Mary and I will share this on other social media. Thanks for the interview and giveaway. momrain(AT)aol(DOT)com

Mary Vee Writer said...

I find this so timely with Easter weekend, don't you Loraine? I too love biblical fiction. I often wonder what it would have been like to meet Him when He walked the earth in those days. I am sometimes afraid that I would not have said or done the right thing and that I needed to live in this day to come to His saving grace.

Lisa Cassarino said...

I often wondered if I lived in those days what I would do after meeting Jesus face to face. I would love to believe that I too would be one of his followers just like today. I have to say though just because we are Christians and know The Lord, I know for me I continually have to fight for my joy! So no, we don't live the happy ever after life like in some books but at least as Christians we know that will be our life in eternity. But for the here and now we must be content in all things and our joy MUST come from knowing He is our salvation. Easier said then done right? That's why it is so important to be in His word everyday and be renewed in the spirit of our minds.

Virginia Winfield said...

I so look forward to reading The Tomb. It looks great

Caryl Kane said...

Happy Resurrection Weekend! Biblical fiction is one of my favorite genres. I am so excited about the release of The Tomb.


Unknown said...

Thanks for commenting, Loraine. I love to wonder what I would have said to Jesus in his human form. I hope you like The Tomb. :)

Unknown said...

So true, Lisa. We must renew our commitment to THE happily ever after every day!

Unknown said...

I hope you like Martha's story as much as I do, Virginia!

Unknown said...

Thank you, Caryl. Good luck in the drawing!

Patty said...

Sounds like a fascinating series! Would love to win a copy of The Tomb.


Mary Vee Writer said...

Lisa, I am also convinced that God knows each person's heart--so much so that He purposed the time they would be born and live to have the surroundings, people, words that would tug at our hearts to bring us to Him. Not every person will, we know, but God gives each person what they need--because He loves us.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Good morning, Virginia, so nice to see you. I'm sipping green tea this morning. What are you having?
The Tomb does look like a read that is sure to stir our hearts. I can't wait to hear what you think of the book!

Vicki said...

To walk and talk with Jesus...what a blissful thought! Would love to win and read this book, but if I don't, I can assure you I will be purchasing the series to add to my library. Thanks for the opportunity to win The Tomb. Have a Blessed Easter! :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Happy Resurrection Weekend to you as well, Caryl.
One of the components that stir my heart most about Biblical fiction is helping readers to realize the people in the Bible were real. They lived real lives like us. Got up in the morning, made breakfast, did laundry, world events plagued them, etc. Once we internalize that, we can really learn the truth God wants to teach us. For this reason, I am grateful for Stephanie for writing these books.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Morning, Patty!!
You are definitely in the drawing. So nice to see you today. Happy Resurrection Weekend.

Mary Vee Writer said...

I am so happy to meet you this morning. In a way we can walk and talk with Jesus. He is here to listen and bring to our minds God's Word. But I know what you mean. Imagine walking beside Him. What would He say to me?

If you get a chance to stop by again, I need your email address in case you win.

Unknown said...

The tomb book sounds good. I love reading Biblical fiction books. Thanks for the chance to win.
stephanddavid1984 (at) gmail (dot) com

Mary Vee Writer said...

Good morning, Stephanie! So nice to meet you here today.
I love reading Biblical fiction, too!. I can't wait to hear what you think of Stephanie's book.

Anonymous said...

I havent read any biblical fiction novels but The Tomb sounds wonderful and I would love to read this book about Martha and seeing things through her eyes. Easter blessings!
marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi, Maryann!
Good to see you again.
Reading of this event from Martha's view is a new point of view. Martha was the worker, Mary was the listener. Somehow, I think, though, that Martha learned a lot as she grew closer to Jesus. I agree with you that this book looks very, very good.
Easter blessings on you as well :)

Trixi O. said...

Been seeing "The Tomb" around recently & really want to read it. It would be fascinating to imagine how Martha saw things & read Stephanie's take on that. I often think of how I would feel or see things if I lived in biblical times. Nice to imagine :-)
Thank you for a chance to win a copy of "The Tomb" and a wonderful interview!

teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

Trixi O. said...

I've also signed up to receive this blog via email!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Trixi, so nice to meet you!
I agree that it would be fascinating to imagine how Martha felt. So now I wonder what you will think after you read the book. Will you have new ideas? Will the ideas you had match Stephanie's? I can't wait to hear what you think after reading the book.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Thank you.

Unknown said...

Thanks for stopping by, Patty. I hope you get a chance to read The Tomb.

Unknown said...

I agree, Vicki. I love knowing that of all the characters I write in my novels, Jesus is the one who is real -- then, now and forever. And I can speak to him whenever I want.

Unknown said...

There is some very good biblical fiction out right now. We're so blessed to have so many talented writers who want to spread the stories of the Bible.

Unknown said...

I've always felt like Martha was misunderstood, and wanted to show that she really was a faithful disciple at the end. She was the one who went to meet Jesus on the road and said "even now, I know that whatever you ask of God, he will give you." And this was after Lazarus had been dead 4 days!

Unknown said...

Hi Trixi! I'm hoping to get Martha's story out to as many people as I can :) Thanks for stopping by and good luck in the drawing.

Lisa Cassarino said...

Amen, yes, God knows our hearts better than we know our own hearts....Thank The Lord, He didn't leave us to our own devices!