Monthly Archives: June 2017

Misdirect, A Novel of Spies, the Sahara, and Searching for God

A disgraced CIA operative goes rogue to regain her professional credibility and encounters challenges larger than she’d imagined while crossing Saharan dunes to stop
a terrorist attack larger than 9/11.

In 2015 when The Kaleidoscope released, I thought I was finished writing long form novels. They’re tons of work, hard to sell among the millions of books out there, and did I mention lots of work? I wrote some short stories, worked as the editor for a literary journal and did some freelance theater reviewing for the newspaper. And thought I was done.

In the back of my mind, though, the germ of another novel kept nagging at me. When we had been on a car trip a few years, my daughter Lindsay and I, to pass the time, brainstormed a novel plot. Yeah, you know you’re a writer when…

Those details were so interesting to me that they became the foundation of the book that I called “the one that kicked my keyboard to the curb.” The title gives a hint at why it was so challenging to finish. In order to get to the conclusion and its twist, which I think you’ll enjoy, I had to read, rewrite, and read again many times to make sure I got it right.

As it grew, the story took on a deeper level as Eve, the main character, revealed her flaws and strengths. Add in a camel ride through the desert, a young Muslim teen with questions about God, and I hope you’ll agree it’s both an adventure and compelling spiritual journey for the characters and you, the reader.

Here’s a summary, I hope you like Misdirect releasing on June 27th in paperback and Kindle.

A mission failure has confined CIA covert operative Eve Parker to desk duty and she’s left to pick up the pieces of her broken personal life. But when her daughter’s fiancé is taken hostage, Eve must return to the Middle East armed with rusty tradecraft, and dubious credibility shrouded in her peers’ skepticism. Will she get it together in time to thwart the biggest threat to America since 9/11, or will her old-fashioned ways cause her to fail again?

And if a suspected mole, a missing thumb drive, and a camel ride through the desert weren’t challenging enough, a young Muslim boy with questions about God cause Eve to struggle with her own faith. As the most important assignment of her life draws near, events unfold to demonstrate that, particularly in espionage, things are not always as they seem. 

Join Eve Parker as she confronts her past, a national threat, and a crisis of faith in this spy thriller layered with intrigue, suspense, and surprise ending from an award-winning author reviewers call “a master storyteller.”

Bev out.

“Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus” by Nabeel Qureshi

Nabeel was raised in a devout American Muslim family. When he became interested in defending Islam when challenged by a Christian friend in college, he began a journey toward the cross. What I found most compelling was the fact that he found Muhammed’s life to be one of the turning points.

In the video below, he also speaks to the Muslim belief that God only speaks through dreams, an element I used in Misdirect.

A very well written book that also has a study guide for small group, homeschoolers or devotional time.

Summary:

In Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, now expanded with bonus content, Nabeel Qureshi describes his dramatic journey from Islam to Christianity, complete with friendships, investigations, and supernatural dreams along the way.

Providing an intimate window into a loving Muslim home, Qureshi shares how he developed a passion for Islam before discovering, almost against his will, evidence that Jesus rose from the dead and claimed to be God. Unable to deny the arguments but not wanting to deny his family, Qureshi struggled with an inner turmoil that will challenge Christians, Muslims, and all those who are interested in the world’s greatest religions.

Engaging and thought-provoking, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus tells a powerful story of the clash between Islam and Christianity in one man’s heart?and of the peace he eventually found in Jesus.

“I have seldom seen such genuine intellect combined with passion to match … truly a ‘must-read’ book.”—Ravi Zacharias

 

 

“The Girl Who Could See” by Kara Swanson

Today I’m pleased to introduce my friend and very talented fellow author, Kara Swanson, whose newest book, The Girl Who Could See, releases this week and has already earned some five star reviews. I asked Kara some questions about the story, and I’m sure you agree it sounds like a great read. Definitely on my TBR!

Bev: Tell us a little about yourself.

Kara: I’m 20 years old, and I spent the first sixteen years of life in the Jungles of Papua New Guinea, as the daughter of Christian missionaries. When I was 17, I coauthored and published a fantasy novel called Pearl of Merlydia. Now, a few years later, I’m releasing my own novel, The Girl Who Could See.

Bev: What inspired you to write “The Girl Who Could See”?

Kara: The inspiration for my stories usually comes in vague ideas, or a character pops into my head, or from the lyric of a song. The inspiration for TGWCS however, was not nearly so vague. Two sentences appeared in my thoughts that had me desperate to find out what story lay there:

They say every child had an imaginary friend. Mine never left.

Bev: Tell us how you came up with the beautiful cover, and what the images mean.

Kara: That cover is the brilliance of my designer, Jenny at Seedlings Design Studio (). She is fantastic to work with and so talented! I gave her the basic details about my novella and what themes I pictured being shown on the cover, and after some back and forth, we had the basic comp down for what you see! Then Jenny finessed it, and voila!

The cover has a combination of several images overlaid and sculpted. We’re seeing it all through Fern’s (my main character) silhouette. The idea was to show the contrasting worlds that Fern sees, by having them displayed through her. Looking through her eyes, if you will.

Fern is basically treading this thin line between modern LA and a parallel world that is a desolate wasteland. Little does she know, by opening a “rift” between these two worlds, she is letting something into hers. A creature that wants to destroy earth, just as it has destroyed the other world.

Bev: Is there a Bible verse that the story centers around?

Kara: Not necessarily, as this is speculative fiction. However, there are several spiritual themes/allegorical undertones, including blind faith, trusting in the impossible, accepting the existence of a savior the rest of the world refuses to believe exists, and self-sacrifice. Is this going to be a series?

Bev: Is this going to be a series?

Kara: Nope! It’s a stand-alone novella. However, I have tossed around the idea of doing an accompanying novella from the perspective of my main character, Tristan. The cover would be similar, but with a male silhouette instead of a female one, and with the landscapes switched. Her city world shown through his face, and his desolate world on the bottom. It’s just an idea at this point, though!

Bev: What are you working on next?

Kara: I have about six different novels that are either finished or in revisions. One of my favorites of those is called Skyridge. It’s an urban fantasy/paranormal about a girl who is the daughter of a fallen angel, born with wings on her back and a destiny to destroy the world on her shoulders—but she has other plans. It follows her journey away from the darkness of her heritage, and to join the very creatures she’s been bred to hate: the angels. 😀

Thank you so much for having me, Bev! It’s been such a pleasure <3

Bev: God bless, Kara, keep writing for Him!

***

Here’s the official summary of The Girl Who Could See:

All her life Fern has been told she is blind to reality—but, what if she is the only one who can truly see?

Fern Johnson is crazy. At least, that’s what the doctors have claimed since her childhood. Now nineteen, and one step away from a psych ward, Fern struggles to survive in bustling Los Angeles. Desperate to appear normal, she represses the young man flickering at the edge of her awareness—a blond warrior only she can see.

Tristan was Fern’s childhood imaginary hero, saving her from monsters under her bed and outside her walls. As she grew up and his secret world continued to bleed into hers, however, it only caused catastrophe. But, when the city is rocked by the unexplainable, Fern is forced to consider the possibility that this young man is not a hallucination after all—and that the creature who decimated his world may be coming for hers.

As the daughter of missionaries, Kara Swanson spent sixteen years of her young life in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped suddenly into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the speculative genre. At seventeen, she released a fantasy novel, Pearl of Merlydia. Her short story is included in Kathy Ide’s 21 Days of Joy: Stories that Celebrate Mom. She has published many articles, including one in the Encounter magazine, and she received the Mount Hermon Most Promising Teen Writer award in 2015.

You can find Kara around the ‘net at Facebook, on her blog Read, Write, Soar, on Instagram, and Pinterest.

Bev out.

To order your copy, click on the link: