Tag 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

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VOICE IN THE WILDERNESS (Against All Enemies Book 1) by H.L. Wegely ~ a review

Voice in the Wilderness

 

VOICE IN THE WILDERNESS brings to mind the concept of “Romancing the Thriller.” This is an action-packed romantic suspense story that doesn’t slow down for a moment.

The novel opens with tension. The main character, a freckle-faced, red haired beauty named K.C. Banning receives a text message from inside the White House that she’s being set up. She’s a techno-genius who works for the government. There’s one thing for certain, the author knows his technology.

President Abe Hannan has been causing manufactured crisis after crisis. He even has an elaborate plan to declare martial law and place himself at the head of a centralized government. This would make American no longer a free and democratic nation. His minions announce to the media that K.C.  has murdered the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee and a nation-wide manhunt for her begins. As K.C. sets off across the country to get as far away from the beltway as she can, the author’s skill shines in painting a clear picture of the beauty of rural America.

K.C.’s childhood, Christian political-blogger friend Brock Daniels sees her image on a television news program and knows exactly where she will go to hide. He’s been secretly in love with her since they were children and is determined to save her. He’s longed for her for years. With her fashion model beauty, coupled with the fact that her deceased senator father put him down in no uncertain terms, he’s always felt he wasn’t good enough for her.  As these two are hunted by a corrupted FBI, special ops teams, and swat teams, I wondered how they would ever escape. Brock draws upon his deep faith and this sustains him. K.C. struggles with God, but as things get darker she begins to rely upon Him. Her fledgling faith is presented in a natural way. The author shapes a story sending both characters into what looks like will be their doom, but somehow there is hope.  There is also a wonderful use of humor which lightened some of the more terrorizing moments. The novel ends with a bit of a cliff-hanger, which points to the next book in the series.


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.


Vince Flynn, Best Selling Thriller Author Loses His Battle To Prostate Cancer at 47


IMG_0261

I’m a Vince Flynn fan. I love the way he engages my mind with his portrayal of the intricacies of CIA procedure. If an author’s knowledge of how agencies actually pull things off on the ground seems shoddy, my mind jerks right out of the story. I never have to worry about that with a Vince Flynn tale.

In fact former president George W. Bush is a Vince Flynn fan and the president once jokingly complained about his worries as to how Flynn got his inside CIA information, saying, “He’s a little too accurate.” Then there was that time when Flynn hitched a ride from Andrews Air Force Base in the president’s limo and Dubbya grilled him on what his sources were…all in good fun, of course.

Vince Flynn died this past June, but due to the crush of my last historical novel going into edits and facing my own deadlines, I just now heard of it from a fellow crime fiction writer who had been so engrossed in his life he’d also just heard. Isn’t that how life is today? We rush from one thing to another striving to accomplish something. And that cliche is all too true, there’s no time to smell the roses. At least not too many of them. However it goes without saying, the news of Flynn’s premature death rocked me. It’s a testimony to the author that he kept writing during his battle with cancer. It is not known how much he finished on his current work-in-progress.

Flynn can be held up as a positive role model to anyone seeking to overcome a challenge, but especially to writers. Twenty years ago he was making his living in sales and commercial real estate. He began a self-styled program of reading voraciously in an effort to overcome his childhood dyslexia. A side benefit was he fell in love with spy-novels and wrote one. After receiving sixteen rejections he self-published his first novel. When it sold extremely well, he soon found an agent and a publisher for his work. His novels are pro-military, CIA, and law enforcement themed.

It is extremely important that men get checked for prostate cancer. There is a simple blood test men should have taken when they go for their regular physical exam. Some of the signs of prostate cancer are urinary problems, erectile dysfunction, pain in the back and legs. These should not go without being checked out, but too often by the time the symptoms show, it’s too late.  So get that blood test, men! If not treated prostate cancer can become aggressive and spread to the bones and other organs. The good news is prostate cancer develops very slowly and when caught early is highly treatable.

Flynn is survived by his wife Lysa, two daughters, and his stepson.


Grace Awards Winner: WALKS ALONE by Sandi Rog, a review

Walks AloneWALKS ALONE captivated and mesmerized me at times. No wonder it won in the Grace Award 2012 Action-Adventure/Western/Epic Fiction category.

This is a well-written epic novel beginning in Holland and ending in the old west. Loved the way it opened with the tenderness of Anna’s widowed father aboard ship. It was hard not to get involved in the father’s dream of traveling to Denver City with seven-year-old Anna to start a new life. Unfortunately, Anna’s father falls ill in New York City and passes away and she is left in the care her father’s brother for six terrible years. The scenes with Anna’s abusive uncle were brutal and fully engaging. After Anna escapes her uncle, she travels westward by train, and finally joins a wagon train where she’s not well treated. There is a fascinating, though not explicit, bathing scene in a river, where an exhausted Anna allows herself to relax and find relief from the intense and life threatening heat of the prairie. When half-breed Jean-Marc comes upon her with a small band of angry-braves, the reader is caught between instant knowledge of the hero’s strong attraction to her and the extreme danger she’s in and is hooked. Anna is taken by this brave’s strange blue-green eyes and can’t help wondering how it is that he speaks English better than she does. Ms. Rog understands Native American life in that era quite well. I appreciated her attention to the details of Cheyenne tribal life. She did an excellent job of showing the anger and murderous rage of the braves as well as the prejudice of the settlers and their inability to see Native Americans as people, which led to Indian massacres.

Both Anna/Walks Alone and Jean Marc/White Eagle are flawed and well written. White Eagle’s poetic declaration of how his love is so large and encompassing that he sees and hears Walks Alone everywhere, even in the wind, was superb. He tells her of his pain at having caught her engaging in conversation with his sworn enemy, the man who led the deadly raid against his tribe. Through this, the author conveys how painful it is for Father God to witness His children engaging with idols. Beautifully done. Touches the reader at a deep spiritual level.

My only problem was with Anna’s continued insistence on finding herself and her pulling away from White Eagle after their Native American marriage is consummated and then again after his poetic declaration of love. I’m not sure such personal enlightenment was high on the list in those days. However, the author did manage to sweep me back into the story. Then the story would move on and carry me through thrilling bandit attacks, chilling raids on White Eagle’s tribe by a rogue Cheyenne warrior and his band of braves. A fantastic read, which I highly recommend.

GA Winner 2012

Amazon/Kindle. http://amzn.to/16s2OYu

Barnes & Noble/Nook. http://bit.ly/16xnGzf

 


STOPPED COLD by Gail Pallotta Has Emotion, Excitement, Action

Stopped Cold

What I love about this story is it’s reminiscent of a Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys type mystery, but updated….very now.

So Let’s find out what it’s all about…

Margaret McWhorter enjoys a laid-back Freshman year in high school flirting with Jimmy Willmore, swimming and hanging out with friends—until that day. Her brother, Sean, suffers a stroke from taking a steroid. Now he’s lying unconscious in a hospital. Margaret’s angry at her dad for pushing Sean to be a great quarterback, but a fire of hatred burns inside her to make the criminals pay. Looking for justice, she takes Jimmy and her best friend, Emily, through a twisted, drug-filled sub-culture. A clue sends them deep into the woods behind the school where they overhear drug dealers discuss Sean. Time and time again they walk a treacherous path and come face to face with danger. Even the cop on the case can’t stop them from investigating. All the while Margaret really wants to cure Sean, heal the hate inside, and open her heart to love.

This novel fascinates me and I couldn’t help but ask Gail a few questions…

Nike: What motivated you to write about illegal drug use?

Gail: When I thought of all the problems teens face today, illegal drugs struck me as being one of the biggest. I also wanted to write a mystery and to have the main characters participate in sports. One of the reasons teens give for taking steroids is to make them bigger and stronger to enhance athletic performance. That gives them an advantage they can use to win or be the best.

Nike: Is the story based on a true life experience?

Gail: The sports part is. We’re a sports oriented family. The steroid part isn’t. The theme of the book—we don’t have to be number one for God to love us rattled around in my head for a long time. When I was in college a girl there tried to commit suicide because her grades weren’t as good as she or someone thought they should be. The pain she must have felt gnawed at me. Sadly, later I saw several more lives destroyed over situations in which people couldn’t achieve number one status, or could no longer be the best. After I married, had a child and began to work closely with children, I saw a big difference in those who believed they should do their best as opposed to those who were driven to be better than everyone else. The premise of having to be number one and steroid use fit well into a book involving sports and mystery.

Purchase Links:

Amazon. http://tiny.cc/lxssww

Smashwords. http://tiny.cc/pyssww

Front Porch Romance. http://tiny.cc/rzssww

All Romance Books. http://tiny.cc/40ssww

Gail Pallotta

Award-winning author Gail Pallotta’s a wife, Mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. She’s been a Sunday school teacher, a swim-team coordinator and an after-school literary instructor. A former regional writer of the year for American Christian Writers Association, she won Clash of the Titles in 2010. Some of her published articles appear in anthologies while two are in museums. Readers can find her on the internet on the staff of Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles.blogspot.com and at her blog, http://www.gailpallotta.blogspot.com. Her Web Site is http://www.gailpallotta.com


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