Friday, March 24, 2017

A Debut Romantic Suspense

What Inspired Me to Write Summer of Deception   by Elva Cobb Martin   
Many summers ago my husband and I visited Boone Hall Plantation in Charleston, South Carolina. I fell in love with the old southern charm of it—the awesome Avenue of Oaks, draped with silver moss and surrounded by fuchsia azaleas, the old slave cabins, and then the elegant plantation house that finally comes into view and takes your breath away.
Boone Hall is a working plantation of about 700 acres which produces several commercial crops and sponsors events to benefit its thousands of visitors annually and area residents. In Summer of Deception I describe this plantation as a Gone-with-the-Wind setting. I’m so glad it’s still here as a successful functioning plantation and open to visitors.

Later, we also visited Charleston Tea Plantation, owned by Bigelow Tea Co., one of the few tea plantations in the United States., and the only one that produces tea commercially. I was intrigued with it, too. I learned the process of growing and curing tea from the green, shiny leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant that blooms with white blossoms. The current bushes are descendants of the same plants that were first brought to the Carolinas in the 1700s by French botanist Andre Michaux.

 I describe this tea curing process in Summer of Deception as my hero owner Luke Barrett takes heroine Rachel York on a tour of his tea factory.
I actually combined Boone Hall and the Charleston Tea Plantation in my setting and renamed it Barrett Hall, since the tea plantation does not have a plantation house, just the tea fields, factory, and Gift Shop.
So Boone Hall and Charleston Tea Plantation began the inspiration for what eventually became Summer of Deception, the love story of Luke Barrett and Rachel York who battle not only attraction but deception and intrigue as well one long, hot summer at Barrett Hall.
This setting actually has inspired an historical series as well that I am working on. Book 1, In a Pirate’s Debt, will be released by Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas (LPC) in May, 2017. I found the original colonial owner of Boone Hall was a reformed pirate, like my fictional pirate hero, ancestor of Luke Barrett, who sailed the Atlantic and the Caribbean as Captain Lucas Bloodstone Barrett in the 1700’s. In Summer of Deception my heroine Rachel discovers his life-size portrait in the attic.
So I guess we can say setting plays an important part of inspiration for me. Have particular places you’ve visited inspired you in your writing? Please share. We look forward to your comments.
Thanks for letting me stop by.
Elva Cobb Martin

New Release Friday, March 24, 2017 by Pelican/Prism Book Group

Summer of Deception - an inspirational romantic suspense
Amazon Page Link:


Determined to unearth the truth about her DEA agent brother’s reported death, Rachel York takes a position at an historic Charleston, South Carolina, tea plantation, but she finds she is ill prepared to deal with the plantation’s new owner. Luke Barrett may be handsome, but he is overflowing with bitterness and distrust. Widowed and wounded, former Marine Corps Special Forces operative Luke Barrett has enough to handle with his little girl and an historic property to upkeep. The last thing he needs is a feisty, stubborn woman with whom to contend. Yet, Rachel’s determined spirit awakens something in Luke that he thought died a long time ago. Luke begins to capture Rachel’s heart until the night she uncovers evidence he may be keeping his plantation solvent by allowing cocaine to be smuggled along his coastline.  Devastated by the possibility, Rachel must decide whether to confront him, even while she conceals secrets of her own. When all the deception rips asunder in a hurricane, will love or faith survive?

Elva Cobb Martin is president of the South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers (2014-2017). She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried her articles. Summer of Deception, her debut inspirational romantic suspense novel is to be released March, 24, 2017, by Pelican Books. She has also contracted an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt, slated for release by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas in May, 2017. She has published a Bible study, Power Over Satan, available on, and she coordinates an internet Prayer Task Force. Elva is represented by Jim Hart of Hartline Literary. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives with her husband Dwayne and a mini-dachshund writing helper, Lucy, and a chartreuse  parakeet named Tweetie, in Anderson, South Carolina. She would love for  you to connect with her on her web site, her blog http://carolinaromancewit on Twitter , Facebook, and Pinterest

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Friends Don't Let Friends Miss God

We make friends in all areas of our lives - neighborhood, work, church, and maybe even the grocery store. But do I care for them equally when it comes to their spiritual health?

I tend to take care of those closest to me and forget my responsibility to everyone I know. I mean, come on, you mean I have a responsibility to share Christ with that lady whose line I go through every time I'm at Walmart? I don't really know her.

I believe I would hear a resounding yes to my question. Let me think about it another way. Do I care about that person's eternity? The fact remains that what I tell a person about Christ might be the difference between whether they find salvation or not.

God would have me to share with everyone I know. And to make things even more complicated, He would encourage me to get to know others so I can share with them too.

It isn't God's desire that anyone should miss eternity with Him. But the decision falls on each individual to accept Christ, the Way. In another section of scripture it asks - but how will they know unless someone tells them? Indeed. Enter God's plan for me. Share Christ with everyone.

So it is my responsibility to try to make sure that my friends and acquaintances don't miss God. At least as far as I'm concerned, I must tell them.

As I write this, many faces pop onto the screen of my mind. I've still got some work to do.

What about you? Is there someone you need to make sure doesn't miss God?

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Looking Ahead in a Different Way

On my desk I have a calendar with quotes and Bible passages from Elizabeth George. Often lines from that calendar stick in my brain for days. Let me share about one such day.

The date on the page is February 28. Here is what is printed there: "Describe the woman you want to be spiritually ten years from now ... Imagine what those intervening years might hold, and you'll see that you will need God for the events of those years!"

There are many books, webinars, classes, journals, and the list goes on, which involve taking a look at where you are today and where you want to be. But most of those are focused upon gaining wealth or success. Presenters and authors will give you ten easy steps to do this or buy this book or enroll in this class and we'll show you how to make millions or be successful.

How often do we stop and consider where we want to be spiritually? And does this pursuit not take focus and planning as well?

A day later, on March 1st, George's calendar pages reads: "You determine some elements of the heart. You decide what you will or will not do, whether you will or will not grow. You also decide the rate at which you will grow - the hit-and-miss rate, the measles rate (a sudden rash here and there), the 5-minute-a-day rate, or the 30-minute-a-day rate. You decide if you want to be a mushroom - which appears for a night and shrivels away at the first hint of wind or heat - or an oak tree, which lasts and lasts and lasts, becoming stronger and mightier with each passing year."

When I ask myself where I want to be spiritually in ten years or even just next year, I would hope to be on my way to becoming that mighty oak tree. But just hoping for it won't make it happen. I have to decide to do the things that will cause the growth.

I'm still in the process of describing the woman I want to be spiritually ten years from now. But I feel just stopping to consider this helps my focus and corrects many goals.

Have you ever considered the spiritual person you want to be ten years from now?