Welcome back, Elva. God
has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon? I see more surprises and
a continued writing partnership with the Lord! Back in early 2019 when first I signed a contract with
Wild Heart Books for this three-novel Charleston Brides’ series, I was 75 years
old. The day I dropped that signed contract into the mail slot at the Post Office, fear landed heavy on my back. Could I, at my age,
possibly write three books in less than three years? Voices sounded in
my head and a few in my ears. "You've bitten off more than you can chew,
grandmama.” "You'll never be able to do it." I spent the next morning
REALLY praying. That day an email came into my inbox. The subject heading was:
"You'll See He Pulled It Off Perfectly." It was a word from a
prophetess in Australia,
and she was quoting from Psalm 37:5 in the Passion Translation: "Give
God the right to direct your life, and as you trust Him along the way, you'll
find He pulled it off perfectly." I have to tell you that word
zoomed into my heart and knocked fear to smithereens. My new release, The
Petticoat Spy, is Book 3. I give Father God the glory for pulling this
contract off perfectly!
I was 77
years old when I signed my 3-book contract with Wild Heart Books. That soon
became a 5-book series. With God, we can do it. Tell us a little about your
family. My high school sweetheart husband, Dwayne, is
retired and a real support of my writing and time I must spend at the computer.
He happily does most of the grocery shopping and makes most of the salads for
our meals—but I still do the main meal prep except on REALLY rushed days. He
can whip up a good fish baked meal we do on a cookie sheet with Sam’s Club
breaded flounder fillets, frozen fries, and onion rings. Of course I add a
We have one son and a precious grandson who
live an hour away and often visit. I also have two loving sisters who are
supportive in every way.
husband is also retired, and we cook together. Has your writing changed your
reading habits? If so, how? Reading
in my genre, especially romance and historicals, occurs more often now, but I
still enjoy a good mystery, too.
you working on right now? Since signing a new
three-book contract continuing the Charleston Brides series, I’m working on
Book 4, The Captain’s Governess. This
is the story of Anna Grace’s war-widowed
friend Abigail who accepts a governess position in Jamaica to begin a new life.
eager to feature those books, too. What outside interests do you have? My
husband and I are active in a local church, and walk or do workouts at a gym
most days. I coordinate an internet prayer task force and also manage three
rental houses that provide extra income in our retirement. Baking and gardening
are also favorite things I enjoy.
you choose the settings for each book?
I love history and particularly the time period of the1700-1800’s and sailing
ships, plantation life, and a quieter, less-complicated lifestyle. All my
historical novels so far are in the sailing ship era, and mainly in Charleston, South
Carolina, my favorite city. But they move to the
Caribbean, the Spanish Main, and the Mediterranean and Barbary
Coast. In Book 2 in this series, The Sultan’s Captive, my hero even sails his ship from Charles Town
to the far distant Spice Islands. My work-in-progress, The Captain’s Governess, is set in Jamaica but will end in Charleston.
could spend an evening with one historical person, who would that be and why? Other
than famous Bible characters, it would probably be George Washington. I’ve
studied him enough to know he had a strong faith. Though not perfect, God used
him to help found this great nation and steer it well in its first years. I’d
like to ask him a few questions about his experience, especially the one at the
beginning of his second term. Ten thousand angry colonists gathered in front of
his residence and threatened him bodily harm for refusing to send our fledgling
nation back into war to help our ally, France, newly warring against Great Britain.
Vice-President Adams wrote in his memoirs that the main thing that saved our
baby nation from dropping off the precipice into civil war at the time was
probably Yellow Fever. The plague sent the rioters fleeing into the country or
behind locked doors.
the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels? How
long it takes to write, edit, publish, market a novel would have been great to
lessons in the Lord teaching your right now?
I am continually being reminded that I must trust Him to bring to pass all that
pertains to me and our family that He had planned and to pray and thank Him
according to Philippians 4:6 without fretting. He’s also reminded me that
gentleness is a great fruit to nurture in my life.
the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Cover every writing project or idea with prayer and faith.
part of a writers’ group to learn the craft. Iron sharpens iron. (Proverbs
Never give up! (Philippians 1:6)
about the featured book. The Petticoat Spy is set in Charleston during the
American Revolution. Here’s the back cover.
A Charles Town belle and a blockade runner ignite fireworks in
more ways than one during the American Revolution.
Anna Grace Laurens, the war is like a distant bad dream until her family’s
Charles Town plantation is burned and her parents murdered by those loyal to
the king. She flees on horseback and leaps into the Cooper River
to escape her pursuers.
John Cooper Vargas sails his sloop down the river, he spots a woman diving into
the water. After firing on the Tory raiders chasing her, he rescues her and
offers to take her with his parents to an island hideaway for the duration of
the war. But she has other plans, including revenge for her parents’ deaths.
She insists he drop her off in Charles Town, even with the British planning a
massive attack by land and sea to retake the city, the Pearl of the South.
employs his sailing skills for the patriots, risking capture and death, but he
enjoys his skirmishes with the British navy blockade to bring goods from the
islands to aid the cause. But when Charles Town falls to the British, he
docks his ship in a secret cove and joins Francis Marion's militia. This
decision lands him wounded on a harbor prison ship where more men die than on
Grace braves the deprivations, first of a city barricaded against the British,
and then one surrendered and ruled by fists of iron under the English flag and
injustice. At great risk to her, she spies on the British officers garrisoned
in her house, and seeks a way to rescue John before it's too late.
both American and English armies gather near Yorktown, Virginia,
for a pivotal battle, can John and Anna's love for each other and their faith
in God preserve them and help forge a new nation?
of The Petticoat Spy
is everyone who does not agree with me.
~ King George III, Great Britain
whipped through Anna Grace Laurens’s hair as she galloped her mare back toward
their Charles Town plantation through the hardwood forest she loved. In the
fresh morning air, the war her brother fought with the South Carolina militia against the British
faded in its heaviness. Woodsy scents of pine, sweet cedar, and birch laced
with the damp earthy smell of decomposing leaves wrapped their rich scent
as they flew along the familiar trail, something jangled against her nerves
like the forewarning rumble of a storm coming.
A burly black
form burst through the brush in front of her, and Jolie reared. Anna clung to
her saddle and stifled the scream rising in her throat.
Her heart slowed its pace as she recognized their most faithful, loyal servant.
His dark skin glistened with sweat and the whites of his eyes blazed in the
her father’s large brown mixed hound, raced from beside the man and pranced
around Anna’s horse. Jolie shook her thick silver mane, snorted, and kicked out
at the barking animal.
managed to keep her seat and pointed the tip of her whip toward the pet. “Sit,
moved to the side of the path and sat, but emitted a low whining sound.
patted the damp neck of her beloved horse and turned to Big Jim standing near,
trying to catch his breath. His torn, bloody clothing revealed wounds on his
thick arms and chest. A flicker of apprehension coursed through her. “What has happened?”
How can readers find you
on the Internet?
Readers, here’s a link to the book.
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