First, thank you so much for letting me come visit and share about my book Trail of the Sandpiper -- Betrayed, Lena
Thank you, Tina. It's my pleasure to share your book with my blog readers. Welcome back. Tell us about your salvation experience.
I went forward to accept Christ at a young age—about 6. The pastor had been talking about asking for forgiveness of sins and accepting God's gift of grace given by his Son on the cross, and so had the Sunday School teacher and my parents, so when the invitation was given—I believe it was “Just as I am”—I stepped out and went forward to talk to the pastor and let the church know I had accepted Christ as my savior. Nothing earth shattering happened, I bowed my head and asked Christ to forgive my sins and come into my life. I didn't feel any different. I don't think I looked any different and I don't know that I acted any different. I was raised in a home where Christ was talked about. We learned to read using the scriptures and were told that we should follow Christ as an example for our lives. A few weeks later, I was baptized.
Life went on fine. I went to church, sat in Sunday School, had Bible Study with my family and read scriptures for myself. Around the time I turned fourteen, we were living in
Turkey and the first church and
scripture came to life. I don't know if that caused me to wonder where I stood
with God, but I begin to question my faith. Did I choose to follow Christ
because I wanted to please the adults in my life, or because I truly believed
Christ died for my sins? Thinking about that, and where I stood in my own
faith, made me take a closer look at myself, and my beliefs. After some soul searching, I went before the
Lord and rededicated my life.
You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
That is a tough question. Are they supposed to be alive or can I pull from those who have passed on. There are so many authors it might be interesting to rub shoulders with and bounce ideas off of.
Janette Oak, who started selling books and helped put Christian Fiction on the map.
Francine Rivers, because she started writing in the secular arena and has continued in the Christian arena. She might have good ideas for how to bridge the two and reach both well.
And it might be interesting to sit down with Charles Dickens or Mark Twain or Jane Austen, because their stories have remained for a long time and still have relevance.
Maybe I could sit with Nora Roberts, she's so prolific and I'd like to learn her secret on where she finds the time to write and perhaps some of it could rub off on me.
Authors like Veronica Roth (Insurgent), Suzanne Collins (the Hunger Games) Stephanie Meyers (Twilight Series) and Nicolas Sparks might be interesting to talk to find out how they sold so many book and got them turned into movies and what it entails. How did it change their lives?
And there might be others who I find funny in their writing and in person and would just like to sit down with.
Do you have a speaking ministry? If so, tell us about that.
I have done some speaking but not much. Mainly at Women's ministry meetings and such. I've also done some singing and visited a couple of small groups. I sometimes speak on writing, why I write. Other times I talked about my life and others on a thought in scripture.
What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?
Well, I fell in an open manhole once. I tried to act like it didn't faze me at all, even though several people saw me, and my shoes were squeaking from getting wet.
I hate to admit it… but… the most embarrassing was probably belittling someone and having my son tell that person what I said and seeing the look of hurt and shock on their face. There wasn't just embarrassment but shame as well. There wasn't much I could do but apologize and I did so for a long time.
People are always telling me that they’d like to write a book someday. I’m sure they do to you, too. What would you tell someone who came up to you and said that?
I've had several people tell me that, I especially love the one where they have a story and I should help write it for them. My answer is usually to say, if you're supposed to write a book, I hope you sit down and write it and that it gets published and you have good sales.
Tell us about the featured book.
Betrayed is the first in my World War II Trail of the Sandpiper series. I wrote the brunt of it many years ago. It actually placed third in the ACFW Noble (Genesis) Prize in 2003. I wrote after watching Three Came Home and Father Goose. Old movies about what happened to people after the Japanese started taking over the islands of the Pacific.
Tyler and his team have been sent by the
to search for a spy known as the Sandpiper and a rogue that been using the
Sandpiper's name and sending false messages. Wounded at Pearl Harbor and losing
a brother there, Tyler
nursed his anger with liquor, biding his time until he could get back into the
war. Now the enemy is all around him and, while he should be in the fight, he
finds himself saddled with women and children.
Even though she's done nothing to warrant his mistrust, Justine sees the chinks in his armor, and doesn't want or need a slightly tarnished white knight. She's capable and strong and that raises
ire. He wonders if Justine isn't the spy he was sent to find or the rogue.
Justine questions why the navy has come so far inland and why Lt Merrick seems
so angry with her. Can they trust one another to get off the island? Can they
trust the Lord to lead them through danger to safety?
Please give us the first page of the book.
December 4, 1941
With a whistle on his lips and a jig in his step,
Tyler packed his bag. By
noon, he'd be on his way to Pearl Harbor—white,
sandy beaches, hot days, warm nights, wine, and women. Who could ask for more?
To sweeten the pot, his twin brother, Alex, received orders for Pearl as well. Plucking
his shirt from the bed, Tyler
flung it on his shoulder. Doing a move reminiscent of Fred Astaire—a soft
two-step, twirl, and a glide—he tossed his rolled socks in his seabag.
It'd been that way since they were children. He thought about the first time, after their parent's death, that they'd been separated from each other. Alex had stopped on the front walk of the orphanage and looked back before his new parents led him away. With one hand pressed to the glass and the other pressed to his lips to muffle his tears, and
Tyler stood there.
He stayed in touch with Alex for a time through letters.
They made plans to run away together and hide where no one could find them as soon as they had the means to do it. One didn't amass a fortune with bottle-return pennies and allowances.
They wrote when they could and managed to meet up ten years later. A meeting here and letter there was all they had. Now
was headed to Pearl,
too. The military was going to do for them what they never could. Bring them together
again. His friend, Wyatt, said it was a miracle. Tyler wouldn't allow himself to believe in
miracles, no matter what Wyatt might say.
They wouldn't have the same duty station. Alex had orders to the battleship USS Arizona, and
Tyler would get his final orders after more training at Pearl. He'd already been
through Naval Survival Schooling and hoped to put his training and expertise in
jungle warfare and island languages to good use if talks failed with Japan and war
So far, the Pacific Theater was quiet.
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