Thursday, March 19, 2015

Blog Tour and Giveaway of "The Tomb" by Stephanie Landsem

Book Description                                                                                                            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?

Author Bio:Stephanie Landsem 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.
My Review:
I have to start this review with saying that I have enjoyed reading all three books of the "Living Water Series". I will be reading any future books written by Stephanie Landsem as well.

"The Tomb" is a well know story about Mary and Martha and Lazarus and their friendship with Jesus, but Stephanie Landsem has put a twist on the story. 
She has her readers see these Biblical characters as real as you and me,( which they are but she makes them more easily to understand, characters that you want to meet.) 

In this story Mary is married and Martha is in love with a musician and has a secret. She is the Martha that we all know from the Biblical story, always worrying about others and wanting to do the right thing even if it breaks her heart and leaves her no peace. 

I couldn't put "The Tomb"done until I had read the last page. While reading "The Tomb" I felt Martha pain and the descriptions are well written and not overdone with unnecessary details to make the reader want to skip over parts like some books that I have read.

I encourage you to read "The Tomb" and look at the story of Mary and Martha and Lazarus in a new way!

I was given a copy of the tomb by the author and the publisher for an honest review!

If you want to check out more about "The Tomb" here is the link to the blog tour and giveaway!
 And just for extra fun here is one of Martha's recipes from " The Tomb"

Martha’s Honey Cakes
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup milk (cow milk is fine, although Martha would have used goat milk)
1 Tablespoon dry yeast (Martha would have used fermented dough, but since we don’t tend to have that handy, we’ll go with yeast)
2 – 3 cups white flour plus more for rolling (feel free to grind your own :) or just use some from the store)
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter (although butter was known in ancient Israel, it wouldn’t have been used for this type of recipe. Given our modern tastes, butter is our best option. I don’t think Martha would mind)
1/4 cup honey
a big pinch of salt
2 large eggs plus 1 more for egg wash
1/2 cup honey for drizzling
Pomegranate seeds for garnish
Mix together the water and milk, it should be slightly warmer than tepid. Add the yeast and stir to dissolve. Set the mixture aside for a few minutes to start working.


Now measure 2 cups flour into a large bowl (I used a stand mixer with a paddle attachment) and add the 2 tablespoons of cold butter. Mix until the texture is that of breadcrumbs. Mix in the honey, salt, and egg.


Add the yeast and milk solution, mixing until well-combined.


I found that this was still a very runny dough so I added flour until it held together enough to form a soft, pliable ball. Cover with a dishtowel and let rise for 1 hour in a warmish spot.
Now, for the fun part. When the dough has risen, turn it out onto a well-floured countertop and roll and press it into a rectangle about 1/2 and inch thick, using only enough flour that it doesn’t stick to your rolling pin. Caution: don’t use so much flour that the dough becomes tough. Slice the remaining cold butter into thin squares and scatter it in the center of the rectangle.


Now, fold the dough into thirds by folding each end over the center like you’re wrapping up a baby.


Then fold the top and bottom over the center again so you have a neat little square of folded dough.


Crimp the edges together and use your floured rolling pin to roll the package out into a flat rectangle again. Repeat the folding process, without the butter this time, then set the square of dough aside to rise again for 1 hour. Then (you guessed it!) repeat the rolling and folding process again (without the butter).
Now it’s time to make the cakes. Cut the square of dough into 12 equal pieces. My method is to cut it into quarters, then each quarter into three equal portions. Roll each portion into a smooth, round ball and place on a buttered baking tray or cake pan.

Cover loosely with a clean towel and let rise one more time until doubled – it will take 30 to 60 minutes. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.


Beat an egg and add a dash of water to it. Brush the egg wash over the risen cakes and bake for 20 – 30 minutes until golden brown. As soon as you remove them from the oven, drizzle liberally with honey.


I added the garnish of pomegranate seeds to make them look even more festive. I think Martha would approve.


And one other special treat one person commenting on this blog will get a copy of "The Tomb"


  1. Thanks for the great review and sharing Martha's recipe. Those honey cakes really were as delicious as they look :)

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    1. it was the same as the above so I tried to make it only one post but it didn't work sorry

  3. Your welcome and I really did like all three books but I think "The Thief" was my favorite of the three!

  4. This recipe sounds soo delicious, hoping to try it this weekend! I am so excited about this book! Hope to win it!

  5. Good Luck Michelle! you will love it, I am sure!

  6. I love The Living Water Series and can't wait to read THE TOMB! I certainly appreciate the giveaway opportunity and would love to be a winner!

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful review, Debbie, as well as Martha's recipe. The honey cakes look and sound delicious!

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

  7. I love the review and would love to win this book God bless you and your family houswife(at)gmail(dot)com

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  9. This recipe looks great, and I definitely want to read this book. I've always had a soft spot for Martha!

  10. I enjoyed the review & am looking forward to reading this book. thanks for the giveaway..
    dkstevensneAToutlookD OtCoM

  11. My daughter is so excited about this series, she's got me intrigued to read it myself. Would love a copy!

  12. My daughter is so excited about this series, she's got me intrigued to read it myself. Would love a copy!

  13. I love your reviews, Debbie. You always make me feel like I need to get the book and read it. :)
    Sounds really good.

  14. The interview was great and the honey cakes look delicious! Thanks for the opportunity to win! I love this series.

  15. Those look fantastic. Lots of work. Would love to win this book.

  16. Thank you for the wonderful review. Those honey cakes do look delicious! I would love to read THE TOMB.


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  18. Excited to try the honey cakes! And to read The Tomb (although I know I'll have to block out my schedule, as I won't be able to get anything else done until I finish it!!)

  19. I would like to try very much so whether I could get them to turn out so lovely that remains to be seen. Glad to see step by step instructions. It would be nice to bake with someone like Martha and Mary to learn all their skills.
    jennydtipton at gmail dot com

  20. The recipe sounds tasty and I have the book added to my to-read list!

  21. Thanks for the review and the recipe!

  22. Thank you for this interview and for sharing the recipe. I look forward to reading Stephanie's views of Mary and Martha.
    cps1950 at gmail dot com

    1. I just sent you an email Connie! You are the winner!

  23. I would love to try the receipt! They look so good! Thanks for the opportunity to win this book!