October 28, 2022

DNA Test Unlocks a Family Mystery

Meet Liz Tolsma, a Christian, Historical Fiction writer.

Liz  has lived in Wisconsin most of her life, and she now resides next to a farm field with her husband, their son, and their two daughters. All of their children have been adopted internationally and one has special needs. Her novella, Under His Wings, appeared in the New York Times bestselling collection, A Log Cabin Christmas. Her debut novel, Snow on the Tulips, released in August of 2013. Daisies Are Forever released in May 2014. When not busy putting words to paper, she enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping with her family. 

When asked about her passion, Liz said, "I’m passionate about my writing, about my family, and about God. I started on this publication journey in 2011 and am so blessed that I get to work at my dream job every day. I love nothing better than settling into my comfy office chair at the big desk my husband built for me and letting my imagination go crazy.

"I also love editing, especially helping new authors hone their skills and start on their own publication journeys. I have a passion for seeing others succeed in this business. There is also room for more well-written books."

Tell us about your family and your life.

"I have the best family. I’m married to my high school sweetheart, and we have three children that came to us through international adoption. Our son, Brian, joined our family from Vietnam when he was five months old. Our oldest daughter, Alyssa, came home from South Korea when she was three months old. We brought the youngest of the bunch, Jonalyn, home from the Philippines when she was five years old. Brian and Alyssa are now grown, but Jonalyn, who has significant special needs, will be our “lifer”. We live in a semi-rural area of Wisconsin, and we love it here!

"I can’t remember a time when I’ve not known or loved the Lord. I’m blessed to have been brought up in a Christian home and to have been taught the things of God early in my life. My prayer for each and every one that I touch, whether through my writing or through my life, is that they would come to know the richness and bounty of His love and mercy. Everything I do is for His honor and glory alone."

Her newest book releases in January. What I Would Tell You

DNA Test Unlocks a Family Mystery

Sephardic Jew Mathilda Nissim watches in horror as the Germans invade her beloved city of Salonika, Greece. What angers her most is the lack of resistance her people put up to their captors. In secret and at great risk to her life, she continues to publish her newspaper, calling her people to action. She doesn’t trust God to help them. When she and her husband find out they are expecting a child, Mathilda may have to resort to desperate measures to ensure her daughter’s survival.

Three generations later, college student Riley Payson and her cousin take a popular DNA test only to discover they don’t share any common ancestors. In fact, the test shows Riley is a Sephardic Jew from Greece. This revelation shakes Riley’s tenuous faith and sends her on a journey to discover what happened to her great-grandmother and how all this relates to her faith and her life today.

Please visit her blog at and follow her on Facebook and Twitter (@LizTolsma). She is also a regular contributor to the Barn Door blog 

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