Category Archives: Action-Adventure

Against the Odds by V.B. Tenery & David Arp ~ showcase and author interview

Against the Odds_ACTION-ADVENTURE, ROMANTIC SUSPENSE, TERRORISM, WAR

It’s something I haven’t done yet and something that intrigues me — when two authors collaborate on a work of fiction. In this case, AGAINST THE ODDS was written by two colleagues I’ve know for several years. So, I thought I’d ask them about it.

A little about the novel…

Agent Sam Roberts took nano seconds to figure out how and why the missionary woman got on the yacht. The scum-bucket Russian he was assigned to watch duped her somehow, like that miserable criminal had others. Turning a blind eye to save his job might guarantee her an early visit from the Grim Reaper. Then again, a rescue attempt through middle east terrain might have the same results. His choice is a story ready to keep any reader turning pages long into the night.”

It was the mother of all bad days. — The date, September 11, 2012. The place, Benghazi, Libya. While a brave band of warrior’s fight for their lives in the consulate and CIA annex, outside, a Mossad Agent, a missionary, and a Mississippi giant fight a different battle. Caught between terrorists and an enraged Russian arms dealer, they must complete the mission and manage to stay alive until they can escape or the cavalry arrives. Never assume things can’t get worse.

INTERVIEW:

Nike: What was it like to write with a co-author?

Dave Arp Alaska 2011

Dave in Alaska

Dave:  Co-writing makes you think, or at least it made me think more than if I were writing alone. AGAINST THE ODDS was Virginia’s idea, and she wrote the first two chapters and sent them to me. I had to introduce my character and tie him to hers. I/we never knew where the other was taking the story. Sometimes the next scene jumped into my head and away I went. Sometimes I thought “What!”

V. B. Tenery

VB: When I decide to write a story set in Libya, I asked David if he would like to join the project since he has an extensive background in the Middle East. Thus, the character of Tree was added to the story. Co-authoring was different, but in a good way. Our writing styles are similar so the chapters blended together seamlessly. Dave (The Great White Hunter) Arp was sometimes incommunicado tracking bears across the Alaskan tundra or working in the Gulf on an oil rig and would find chapters and emails from me in his inbox to wade through. All in all, it was a fun experience.

Nike:  Tell us something topical, interesting, funny, or something we would not expect about the writing of this novel.

David: Tree’s name and physical characteristics came from two men I worked with in Saudi Arabia. Getting a character from Mississippi into Libya isn’t hard if he’s working for a drilling contractor and his mom is Tunisian.

VB: Molly the dog, in the story, is real. Her characteristics as described in the             novel are exclusively her own. She doesn’t like anyone but me, but will tolerate a few others. She is a rescue dog my daughter purchased. Molly’s original owner was an older woman so Molly adopted me. I call her my little Rottweiler. My office is in my bedroom and she lives under my bed except when the weather is nice. Anyone who dares venture into her space is greeted by Molly in attack mode. She is the fastest dog I’ve ever seen. When I put her outside, she shoots out the door like she was fired from a gun. I went from a big, lovable, gentle St. Bernard, to an unfriendly, grouchy, hyper, midget with an attitude. What are you going to do when you’re adopted?

V. B Tenery website    V.B. Tenery Amazon Author Page

David Arb blog   David Arp Amazon Author Page   

AGAINST THE ODDS Amazon Purchase Link 

Molly

Molly


To Soar on Eagle’s Wings by Renee Blare ~ an interview

To Soar on Eagle's WingssI’m so happy to have Renee Blare visit the blog today for an interview and to talk about TO SOAR ON EAGLE’S WINGS. I’m happy when an author uses a new approach or has a fresh perspective. So, I was intrigued to learn the hero of this mystery was a game warden.

The novel in a nut shell…

Spring’s in the air. While the sun shines in Timber Springs, snow falls on the Snowy Range, and trouble’s brewing in the meadows. The area’s new game warden, Steve Mitchell launches his first wildlife investigation of the season but the trouble follows him—straight to town.

Rachel Fitzgerald’s on Spring Break. Or at least she’s trying. Between paperwork, and harassing phone calls, she may as well have stayed in her classroom. So much for relaxation. A ‘chance’ meeting with her brother’s old roommate offers her weary soul a shred of hope, but she discovers love, like life, isn’t easy.

He talks with the wisdom of the Lord but rejects the future. She wants to soar with the eagles but walks alone. And trusting God proves to be more of a challenge than ever before…

 

Interview…

Nike:  To Soar on Eagle’s Wings centers on a game warden investigation. Tell us about that. Is this a mystery novel?

Renee:  Steve Mitchell has recently moved to Timber Springs. He’s the area’s new game warden. During one of his routine sweeps in the mountains, he stumbles upon a lonely baby moose. But he finds more than he bargains for when he discovers the calf’s mama miles away, trapped in a muddy bog. Clues to her entrapment crisscross the snowy meadows, and he heads toward Timber Springs only to find the trouble has followed him home.
Like Beast of Stratton (my first book), To Soar on Eagle’s Wings is a romantic suspense with a blend of mystery. I write sweet romance, but the suspense keeps you turning the pages. Sprinkled within the book, the reader discovers—they may even be taken by surprise—an element of cryptic mystery and intrigue. I think there should always be a bit of revelation in a good tale.

Nike:  I love your blogs tag line, “Rugged Christian Fiction.” How did you come up with that and what does it mean to you?

Needles2

A range called “Needles.”

Renee:  It comes from several sources actually—my writing, my home, my life. I’ll address them in order, I guess.

How is my writing rugged? I wouldn’t necessarily call my “writing” rugged, but the people, settings, or lives within them are. They or the topics aren’t polished or pretty. They’re real. I don’t use profanity, erotic, or crude connotations to show the rougher side of life, but I get the point across. You see it.

Mt. Moran

Mt. Moran

My home’s just as rugged…it’s Wyoming. Oh, we have running water and electricity, but there’s a reason I have a Subaru and Jeep. Let’s say it’s not because they’re cool or fun.

As for my life, I praise the Lord for every mountaintop and crevice on this rugged path. It hasn’t been easy. It could be much harder. I’ve been asked many times, “how can you do the things you do?” In other words, how can I accomplish everything I need to do in a day or week or month? Or overcome an obstacle and press on to the goal, given the challenges I may face at any given moment. Seizures, migraines, school, surgeries, work, writing, marketing, friendships, family, etc. The list goes on…and on. I only have one word for them. God.

Nike:  Which authors have influenced you?

Renee:  The biggest influence on my writing has been Rick Joyner. After I read his book, The Final Quest, I could never look at a book the same way again. That book did two things for me. Spiritual warfare was now real. A book became something more.

Other influences have been Lena Nelson Dooley, and many other ACFW writers…they’ve taught me more than I could ever repay.

Nike:  Do you read exclusively in your own genre? Tell us who and what you enjoy reading.

Renee:  Frank Peretti, Tim Lahaye and Jerry Jenkins, Rick Joyner, Robin Cook, Arthur Hailey…I love to read suspense, mystery, and about spiritual warfare. Most of all, I love to see it. I can do that with these authors. Give me a good historical too, and I’m happy!

Nike:  What motivates you? Not only in your writing, but in life?

Renee:  Well, I have to say…faith and hope…in the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s what keeps me going even when I think I can’t take another step. And believe me, there are times I feel as if I can’t. Why do I write? To spread the truth of His message and offer hope to a dying world.

Nike:  Where do you see yourself in five-years time?

Renee:  That’s a hard question. Why? Because I don’t spend much time worrying about tomorrow. I have way too much on my plate today. I guess if I was to make a goal for five years down the road, it would be to have my series published. There are seven books planned. I have two written, one published, and one researched. I’ll start writing the third one soon. So…I have five more to write, four to research, and six more to publish in five years. What do you think?

Renee Blare Raised in Louisiana and Wyoming, Renee started writing poetry in junior high school and that, as they say, was that. After having her son, a desire to attend pharmacy school sent her small family to the University of Wyoming in Laramie, and she’s been counting pills ever since. While writing is her first love, well, after the Lord and husband, she also likes to fish and hunt as well as pick away on her classical guitar. Nestled against the Black Hills with her husband, crazy old dog and ornery cat, she serves the community of northeastern Wyoming as a pharmacist and pens her Christian stories, keeping them interesting with action and intrigue, of course. She loves to interact with readers and invites you check out her website, Rugged Christian Fiction and her group blog, The Diamond Mine of Christian Fiction.

Purchase Links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

 

Social media:

Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Google+

Linkedin

Instagram

Twitter

 

 


One Night In Tehran by Luana Ehrlich ~ a review

One Night In Tehran

 

I read ONE NIGHT IN TEHRAN by Luana Ehrlich as a judge in the Grace Awards. Right in the first pages, its authenticity  floored me and made me want to keep reading.  The author has such a vast knowledge of CIA protocols, one wonders if she’s had some type of connection to that highly secretive world.

The story begins in Tehran. Titus Ray, an undercover American CIA agent is being hunted by Iranian authorities, but manages to escape the country. Back in the states, he learns he’s been targeted by an Iranian assassin. The CIA gives him a new cover story (a legend) and ships him to Oklahoma for his own safety. The rest of the story plays out on American soil and is a skillful combination of detective novel and spy story.

This book was a finalist in the Action-Adventure/Thriller/Western/Epic Novel category of the Grace Awards 2014 because it’s main character, CIA agent Titus Ray, was deeply affected by the Christian family who gave him shelter while he hid in Tehran. Thus he began a personal, spiritual search and converted to Christianity. The faith element of the novel doesn’t at all intrude on the action-adventure, spy story. It simply gives the main character depth.

The novel is well written, exciting, actually. It kept me fully engaged. My only criticism is that it seems to end abruptly with a major string untied. This is deliberate on the part of the author, a literary choice she made. I recommend this novel and will indeed be reading the sequel.


BURNING SKY by Lori Benton ~ a review

Burning Sky 2

BURNING SKY by Lori Benton is a captivating historical epic novel set in the post-Revolutionary War era. This debut novel won the Grace Awards 2013 in the Action-Adventure/Western/Epic Fiction category. The novel’s historical accuracy is obvious, as well as the author’s knowledge of the Native American tribes then living in New York State. The author’s expressive prose paints a vibrant picture of life at that time. This novel would be a valuable addition to any homeschooling curriculum.

Ms. Benton moves the characters from one element of the story to the next with great skill. The author did a superb job when Burning Sky, who had been captured as a young lass by northern New York State tribes, returns home to her family’s cabin and transitions back to thinking and speaking more and more in English as she tries to resume her former identity as Willa Obenchein. She is stunned to find her family’s cabin empty, abandoned, and in disrepair. She’s even more stunned to find some have called into question her parents loyalty to the colonial-cause during the war. She’s a woman caught between two worlds. Though not surprised when some settlers treated her with open hostility, it instills fear in her and increases her wariness. She is the type of character the reader cares about from page one.

Willa has experienced a number of losses throughout her life, most significantly, the death of the two children she bore to her deceased Native American husband. She is determined to guard her heart and keep it closed to avoid getting hurt again. However, hard she tries to shut herself off from emotional entanglements, she finds life will have its way.

The characters, even the secondary and minor ones, feel believable and authentic to the period. Many of whom bear deep and painful scars due to the brutal battles on the frontier, with both the British and Americans having committed atrocities. This is a multi-faceted novel presenting a story of bitterness, suspicion, and determination that turns into one of love, forgiveness, and restoration.

Neil MacGregor and Joseph Tames His Horse, two very different men, with dissimilar strengths, both devout Christians, vie for the love of Willa/Burning Sky. The portrayal of Neil’s strength through his deep faith was done superbly, without even the slightest hint of preaching, and was organic to the story. The author does a marvelous job keeping the reader guessing how this love-triangle will turn out. The villains are not stereotypes, but rather are well fleshed out. One of them skillfully and horrifically manipulates events. While his younger brother, who has developmental challenges, is a touching character crafted with depth. I highly recommend this book to readers from age fourteen to one-hundred and fourteen.


SUBMERGED ~ Dani Pettrey’s Debut Novel

 

 

 

I’m so jazzed to have Dani Pettrey here to discuss her break out novel SUBMERGED. This novel is full of promise and is such an exciting story…a spell binding romantic suspense novel with action-adventure elements.

 

 

But first let’s take a peek at what SUBMERGED is about…

 

 

A sabotaged plane. Two dead deep-water divers. One single clue.

Bailey Craig vowed never to set foot in Yancey, Alaska, again. She has a past, and a reputation–and Yancey’s a town that doesn’t forget. She’s returned only to bury a loved one killed in the plane crash, but then dark evidence emerges and Bailey’s own expertise becomes invaluable for the case.

Cole McKenna can face dangerous rescue dives. He can face the fear a murderer may be threatening his town. But facing the reality of Bailey’s reappearance is a tougher challenge. She broke his heart… but doesn’t seem to be the same girl who left Yancey ten years ago. And he’s not the same guy she left behind.

Racing against the clock and a rising body count, Bailey and Cole must move beyond the hurts of their pasts to work together until the truth of what is hidden in the depths finally surfaces.

 

 

Nike: SUBMERGED is your debut novel and is part of a series. How did you get the idea for this novel and for the series?

Dani: I watched a movie about cave divers and it got me thinking what type of person would pursue such a dangerous job for a living. I find extreme athletes and people who pursue adventurous careers simply fascinating. I began researching extreme sports and adventure professions and the McKenna family was born.

Nike: What made you choose Alaska as a setting? Will the other novels in the series also be set in Alaska?

 

Dani: I wanted a setting that worked well for adventure and suspense. Alaska is a gorgeous state full of adventurous possibilities, and there is an inherent risk of danger if you aren’t prepared properly. All the novels in the Alaskan Courage series will take place in Alaska for at least a portion of the story.

Nike: Faith, Mercy and Forgiveness are major spiritual themes in the story. Can you tell us more about that?

 

Dani: When I came to Christ as an adult, I had a lot of past mistakes that I was very ashamed of much as Bailey did. God has been kind and gentle in helping work past that and to truly accept the new creation I am in Him. I hope Bailey’s journey helps show the truth that we find wholeness and fulfillment in Christ alone. Only He can take what is broken and make it whole again.

 

 

Nike: Our daughter attended a small Christian school and then I homeschooled her for three years. You are a homeschooling mom. What made you chose to homeschool and what would you say are the major benefits of homeschooling?

Dani: I knew from the start that I wanted to homeschool my girls. Giving them a strong spiritual founding as part of their daily education was a key motivator. We always wanted the girls to be able to learn at their own pace whether that meant spending more time on a particular math concept or moving at an accelerated pace in accordance with their strengths. We included a lot of field trips and hands-on learning, and have really enjoyed our homeschooling years.

 

 

Author Bio: Dani Pettrey is a wife, homeschooling mom, and author. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves–the thrill of adventure, nail biting suspense, the deepening of her characters’ faith, and plenty of romance. She and her husband reside in Maryland with their two teenage daughters.

 

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon. http://is.gd/S6naf3

Barnes and Noble. http://is.gd/YUYatt

Christian Books. http://is.gd/tAygUC

 

 

 


With Every Letter ~ First Novel in Sarah Sundin’s New WWII Series

I’m excited to have Sarah Sundin here to share her love of the World War II era. She’s written quite a few romantic war stories. As my followers know, I write murder mysteries with romance set int the post WWII period in America. So Sarah and I have a lot in common and a lot to talk about. We both love this 1940s  time period.

WITH EVERY LETTER, September 2012. “A well-researched and absorbing tale”—Publishers Weekly

First let’s get a few particulars about WITH EVERY LETTER…

As part of a morale-building program, World War II flight nurse Lt. Mellie Blake begins an anonymous correspondence with Army engineer Lt. Tom MacGilliver in North Africa. As their letters crisscross the Atlantic, they develop a deep friendship. But when they’re both transferred to Algeria, will their future be held hostage by the past—or will they reveal their identities?

With Every Letter is the first book in the Wings of the Nightingale series, in which three World War II flight nurses discover friendship, love, and peril in the skies and on the shores of the Mediterranean.

EXCERPT:

Chapter 1

Walter Reed General Hospital

Army Medical Center

Washington, D.C.

October 2, 1942

Lt. Philomela Blake believed mornings should start gently, with the nighttime melting into golden sunshine and birdsong luring to wakefulness.

Most nurses on the morning shift assaulted the patients with electric light and harsh voices, but not Mellie.

She pulled the cord of the blackout curtain and sang “At Last,” and the volume of her tune built with the intensity of light. Hurting and healing men deserved a soft hand.

On the nearest bed, Corporal Sloan shifted under the blankets. He’d undergone an appendectomy late last night. “Any dame . . .” He cleared his throat, his voice raspy from the ether. “Any dame with the voice of an angel must have a face to match.”

Mellie’s song and her hands stilled. How many soldiers dreamed of a beautiful nurse who might fall in love with him?

He rubbed his eyes, looked at her, and his smile flickered.

Papa called Mellie his exotic orchid, but American men seemed to prefer roses.

Nike: Your new release, WITH EVERY LETTER, has such an interesting premise with the exchange of letters, which is so 1940s. How did you come up with this idea for a story?

Sarah: The idea came to me while watching the Jimmy Stewart classic The Shop Around the Corner (which inspired You’ve Got Mail). The anonymous correspondence piqued my curiosity. What kind of person would be drawn to an anonymous correspondence? How about a shy nurse who has never fit in? How about the son of a notorious murderer who longs to be free of the prison of his name?

Nike: What first got you interested in the WWII era? You already have one WWII series (Wings of Glory) out. What is that one like and how is it different from your new series?

Sarah: I’ve always been interested in the WWII era. I loved hearing my grandparents’ stories and was always drawn to novels and movies set in that time period. When I had the idea for my first published novel, A DISTANT MELODY, I knew it had to be historical rather than contemporary, and World War II was the only time period I considered.

The Wings of Glory series followed three brothers who were B-17 bomber pilots with the US Eighth Air Force based in England, while the new Wings of the Nightingale series follows three friends who serve as flight nurses in the Mediterranean. Both series combine romance and action, and both involve WWII aviation, but the settings are different. Also, in Wings of Glory, the men had the “glamorous” jobs, but in Wings of the Nightingale, the men fill less glamorous but vital jobs—as an Army engineer, an Army pharmacist, and a C-47 cargo plane pilot.

Nike:  What has your personal writing journey been like? How long have you been seriously writing for publication?

Sarah: I started writing seriously in 2000 and started submitting to editors and agents in 2003. At that time, historical fiction wasn’t selling. For the next five years, I accumulated “good” rejection letters—they liked my story, characters, and writing—but not the genre. I kept praying, kept writing, and kept learning about the writing craft and the publishing industry. In 2008, the market flipped and publishers actively sought historicals. By then, the first two novels in Wings of Glory were complete and polished, and the third book was completely outlined. I submitted to Revell at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference and they offered me a three-book contract a few months later.

My road to publication was long and rocky, but I wouldn’t change it for a thing. I learned so much about God and about myself through the process. The lessons I learned about obedience, faithfulness, and trusting God’s perfect timing were even more valuable than that contract.

PURCHASE LINKS for WITH EVERY LETTER:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Every-Letter-Novel-Wings-Nightingale/dp/0800720814

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/with-every-letter-sarah-sundin/1108612393

ChristianBook.com: http://www.christianbook.com/with-every-letter-wings-the-nightingale/sarah-sundin/9780800720810/pd/720810

Wings of Glory Series:

BLUE SKIES TOMORROW, 2011. Four and a half stars, RT Book Reviews.

A MEMORY BETWEEN US, 2010. Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award Finalist.

A DISTANT MELODY, Revell, 2010. Editor’s Choice from Historical Novels Review.

To obtain purchase information for the Wings of Glory series. http://www.sarahsundin.com

AUTHOR BIO:

Sarah Sundin is the author of With Every Letter, the first book in the Wings of the Nightingale series from Revell, and also the Wings of Glory series (A Distant Melody, A Memory Between Us, and Blue Skies Tomorrow). In 2011, A Memory Between Us was a finalist in the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Awards and Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. Sarah lives in northern California with her husband and three children. When she isn’t ferrying kids to tennis and karate, she works on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teaches Sunday school and women’s Bible studies. Please visit her at http://www.sarahsundin.com


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