Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Review and Giveaway: The Tomb: A Novel of Martha by Stephanie Landsem March 23, 2015

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Tomb

Howard Books (March 17, 2015)


Stephanie Landsem


A word from the author:

I write historical fiction because I love adventure in far-off times and places. I’ve traveled since I was a teenager—backpacking through Germany and Eastern Europe, studying German in Salzburg, eating gelato in Italy, and riding camels in Morocco were some of the highlights. Travel kindles my imagination, fuels my love of history, and introduces me to one-of-a-kind characters. It’s the best kind of research.

When I can’t travel, I read. I love fiction, of course, but I’m often found behind a stack of history books or searching the web for historical tidbits. How people lived together, worked, and what they ate (I love food!) is usually what catches my imagination. No matter where or when we live, people are more alike than they are different. I love to find the similarities between our lives and those of the men and women of the ancient world.

I make my home in Minnesota with my husband of 22 years, four children, three fat cats, and a tortoise named Moe. When I’m not writing Biblical fiction, I’m feeding the ravenous horde of kids and their friends, volunteering at church and school, battling dandelions, and dreaming about my next adventure – whether it be in person or on the page.


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?

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Tomb, go HERE.

My thoughts and giveaway:

This was a book that I started reading on a night I was very tired and thought I would fall asleep before I got too far into the book. And hour later I forced myself to stop reading even though my mind was fully stimulated by this story.

This is the first book I have read by Stephanie and I have to say I have found another Biblical fiction author I need to keep my eyes on.

What an interesting twist she gives to Martha. Not anything I would have ever imagined for her but Stephanie makes if very plausible.

I love how she combined several events from the Bible in this book. We have the whole situation when Jesus tells Martha that Mary is choosing the good thing. Then there is the man possessed by demons that Jesus casts out. Then we have the death of Lazarus.

Stephanie portrayed Jesus wonderfully. It was interesting to read about him in a fiction book, that doesn’t happen too often.

I could go into a lot more detail but then this review would be very long. Overall, this is a wonderful book that will give you some things to think about and possibly view Martha in a new way. I highly recommend this read.

Visit Stephanie here.

Grab your copy at your local book store, Amazon, Barnes and Noble,, Books-A-Million or your favorite retailer.

Leave a comment by April 1st for your chance to win a copy. (U.S. residents only, I am not responsible for books lost in the mail.)

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance in exchange for an honest review.


13 Responses to “Review and Giveaway: The Tomb: A Novel of Martha by Stephanie Landsem”

  1. carylkane Says:

    Melissa, thank you for the great review. I am looking forward to reading The Living Water Series. 🙂

  2. Melanie Backus Says:

    I have said over and over again that Stephanie’s The Thief is one of my favorite books. I would love to read The Tomb. I am sure it will move me just as much as The Thief did.

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

  3. Caryl McAdoo Says:

    You will want to read ALL three in the Living Water series: THE WELL, THE THIEF, and THE TOMB! They are indeed like a wonderful drink, so very refreshing! I was repeatedly brought to tears of God’s greatness through THE TOMB, and like Melissa, I will never look at Martha in the same way again. Thank you Stephanie, and you Melissa for a great review!

  4. Kathryn Voss Says:

    I haven’t read any of Stephanie’s books yet, but now I REALLY want to! Thanks for the review!

  5. Melissa B. Says:

    Wow! This sounds like an amazing story. I would love to know what it was like to walk in Martha’s shoes.

  6. Patty Says:

    I’ve not read any of Stephanie’s books, but it sounds intriguing. So many details that we don’t learn about in the Bible, but it’s fun to imagine.

  7. Hello Melissa. Thanks for the good review. I like these fiction Bible books. I would love to win this one of Stephanie’s and maybe later can read the others. Thanks to you both for this give-away. Hoping to winner. Maxie

  8. Merry S. Says:

    This sounds like a wonderful story of having bible characters come alive for readers. How wonderful that we can see things from Mary’s point of view. I would love to read this book and Stephanie is a new author to me. This sounds like a great series.

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