Thursday, January 12, 2017

CHASING FREEDOM - H L Wegley - One Book Giveaway

Welcome back, H L. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
For the past 2 or 3 years, I’ve felt led to write about issues in American society, culture, and government. Until God shows me he wants me writing something else, that's where I plan to focus. Writing about the erosion of our freedoms, especially religious freedom, and related issues, has allowed me to draw heavily on 10 years of self-study in Christian apologetics and Christian worldview. Writing novels is not how I originally planned to use my apologetical studies, but it seems to be where God is leading me.

I believe you’re putting it to good use. Tell us a little about your family.
My wife and I recently celebrated our 50th anniversary with a two-week vacation in Maui, hiking beaches, snorkeling with turtles—a well-deserved rest after selling our big house and downsizing to a townhouse half its size. We have three children, all grown and married, who have given us seven wonderful grandchildren. All of us live in the Northwest.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
My writing has cut deeply into my reading time. I find myself struggling to squeeze in time to read books to review for other authors and to read books from authors who write in my genre. My reading is mostly within the genres I write, thrillers and high-action romantic suspense.

What are you working on right now?
My current WIP, which I'm editing and polishing for submittal, is an espionage thriller with roots in the Cold War era and deadly tentacles reaching into the present, endangering an innocent young woman's life.

Sounds wonderful! What outside interests do you have?
My wife and I both love beach hiking. If we can’t make it to the beach, we walk the local trails where we live, near Seattle. Whenever the forecast says sunny and warm, we head for the outer Olympic Peninsula and hike the rugged shores of the Pacific. And whenever we manage to save enough for travel, we head for Maui, where we snorkel and walk miles barefoot in the sand. We’re also involved in small group ministry through our church.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
The primary settings for my stories usually are places I love and know well. For example, the Olympic Peninsula, Whistler, BC, Crooked River Ranch in Central Oregon, and Lake Chelan in Central Washington. Sometimes, I set a scene at a particular location for special effects, such as depicting irony. In book one of the series featured in this post, I set a fierce battle scene near Steelhead Falls on the Deschutes River in Oregon to contrast the ugliness of man's creation, war, with the beauty of God's creation, Steelhead Falls.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
I would love to have the chance to tell Charles Darwin about the universe we've discovered inside the cell—something he was oblivious to—especially about the discoveries made since the invention of the electron microscope—RNA, DNA, and their encoding of physical specification. By Darwin’s own admission, I believe what we know today would cause him to abandon his faulty theory. I think he would look in disbelief and horror when he hears how his theories have been forced upon billions of people based upon the philosophical preferences of the “intellectually elite” rather than on science and facts. As to why Darwin—maybe it’s just wishful thinking that changing the past might change the present.

That might make a good novel. A Christian time traveler and Darwin. What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
I wish I had realized that I needed to learn the craft of writing fiction and about story structure, before I wrote my first novel. It would have spared me a lot of pain and frustration.

Unfortunately, most of us go through that. What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
Over the past year, which included selling our home of 31 years and moving, after I suffered a back injury on day 1 of the move, I've learned how truly blessed I am to have a beautiful, caring, unselfish, and courageous woman as my wife for the past 50 years. While I lay helpless in a zero-gravity chair, she almost single-handedly packed and moved us from a 3,500-sq-ft home to a 1,700-sq-ft townhouse. Young men, if you’re fortunate enough to find a slender, freckle-faced, heart-on-her-sleeve Irish girl who loves the Lord, marry her.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
First, learn the craft. Second, determine what you're passionate about—often this is a God-given passion—and third, write about that.

Tell us about the featured book.
I'm featuring Chasing Freedom, book 3 in my Against All Enemies trilogy. Chasing Freedom is the prequel, but was written to be read last. It's the story of a young woman, an international scholar, whose family flees to the US because of death threats from a drug cartel. It's also the story of a disgraced Olympic decathlete who wants his honor back, and who risks his life to give the young woman and her family a chance at life and liberty as they battle both the drug cartel and an immigration system that has lost sight of the intent of American asylum laws.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Why had Papa picked this rundown, isolated restaurant to rendezvous with her? The Sinaloa Cartel's personal vendetta against him had frightened them all, but Redding, California, was a thousand driving miles from their home in Nogales. Surely her family was safe here after fleeing to the U.S. from the border town.

Alejandra Santiago steered the compact car she’d rented in Corvallis into the parking lot of the small restaurant on the outskirts of Redding. Above the mountains to the north, the top of Mount Shasta glowed pink in the fading twilight of the sweltering July evening. What little light remained revealed speckled white walls of a building in dire need of paint.

In his brief phone call, asking if Allie could drive down from the university to see them, Papa had mentioned threats made in Nogales against him and some against her little brother, Benjamin. The cartel was good at intimidation and threatening Benjamin would certainly accomplish that.

Allie, tell me again how this drug kills the germs.

As Benjamin's voice replayed in her mind, she pictured his large brown eyes expressing wonder at each new biological fact his sharp mind assimilated. But even her pharmacy program at Oregon State couldn’t supply enough medical facts to satisfy his ravenous appetite for knowledge.

She loved her family dearly, but Allie adored Benjamin. If the cartel tried to hurt him, she would shoot them all herself.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Facebook author’s page:
Many of my readers have friended me and use my FB profile page:

Thank you, H L, for sharing this book with us. I’m eagerly awaiting my copy.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Chasing Freedom: The Prequel (Against All Enemies) (Volume 3) - paperback
Chasing Freedom: The Prequel (Against All Enemies Book 3) - Kindle

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The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

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Connie said...

Thank you for introducing me to Mr. Wegley and his book. This sounds like a wonderful story.
Connie from KY

H L Wegley said...

Thanks, Connie! I've written 9 novels and my wife has let me read each draft of each novel to her -- brutal but very helpful to me. Her favorite is Chasing Freedom.

Edward Arrington said...

I loved the interview. I would have never thought of Charles Darwin as someone from the past that I would want to meet and visit. Maybe that's because I was never particularly interested in science so he would steamroll right over me with my lack of knowledge about the subject matter. But it sounds like you would be well prepared and I commend you for that. It was also great to hear that you and your wife have celebrated 50 years of marriage. My wife and I celebrated 50 years last June but we have never yet made it to Hawaii. You are a blessed man, as am I. The book sounds great and I look forward to reading it. I think I need to back up and start with your earlier books. Edward A in VA

Abigail Mitchell said...

Your books sound so good! Would love to read them! Congratulations on the 50 years of marriage! My husband and i are just starting out, we were married in August. :D God bless.
Abigail in VA

H L Wegley said...

Congrats on 50 years, Edward! It's a major milestone. If you're interested in my kind of stories, I would suggest reading the trilogy thru' in order. However, Chasing Freedom was originally a stand-alone story. I spliced it into the series using the prologue and epilogue, which readers can skip if they choose.

H L Wegley said...

Congrats on your marriage, Abigail! Sometimes, it seems like we have just started out. Other times ... Seriously, I wouldn't trade my 50 years for anyone's ... well, maybe if I could bring my wife along in the deal. :)

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway, SC.

H L Wegley said...

Thanks for your interest in my book, Sharon!