Two Great New Books & A Chat with Elva Cobb Martin

Posted by on Feb 23, 2018 | 11 comments

Two Great New Books & A Chat with Elva Cobb Martin

Two great new books, one contemporary, one historical, both by author Elva Cobb Martin! Summer of Deception and In a Pirate’s Debt both released in 2017 and both will keep you turning pages from the start. Meet the author and leave a comment at the end or enter on the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a Kindle copy of your choice!



Fabulous Fridays

Two Great Books & A Chat with Elva Cobb Martin

Welcome, Elva! You have two books that released in 2017, Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and In a Pirate’s Debt, which is historical. Share a little about how you started writing.

I actually started writing stories for others to read in seventh grade. In high school and college I wrote mostly poetry for the school journals. Later, becoming a part of writers’ groups and attending writing workshops got me started on novels.

What inspired two such very different books? (I have to admit both books intrigue me and I have them on my TBR list.)

I wrote the first draft of Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, about thirty years ago after first visiting Boone Hall Plantation in Charleston, South Carolina.  After I finished that first typewritten copy, the Lord called my husband and me into ministry, and I put that draft and research up in my attic for the next 20-plus years until we retired from full-time pastoring. I finally pulled that box down with its yellowed typed pages and retyped it into a computer, rewriting as I went. Meanwhile, I studied craft, attended conferences and submitted my proposal to editors. It was rejected 26 times. I started work on In a Pirate’s Debt during that rejection period, as a prequel to Summer of Deception. The research for Summer pricked my interest in the history of Boone Hall Plantation.  So away we went sailing on the pirate ship of the original owner who was indeed a pirate who took the King’s pardon. Hero Captain Lucas “Bloodstone” Barrett in the pirate novel is the ancestor of hero Luke Barrett, the owner of Boone Hall, which became Barrett Hall in my novels.

My readers tend to love historical romances. Tell us how you researched In a Pirate’s Debt and what was the greatest problem you faced in writing it.

I spent hours reading pirate novels, pirate research books and internet sites, and collecting pirate movies to get the true flavor of that era. The hardest part of the writing for me was learning how to describe ship maneuvers, battles, and sword fights realistically. Here’s a ship battle sample description from my novel: “Captain Bloodstone stepped around bodies strewn about the smoking deck. Slippery red patches of blood made spidery patterns across the planking with every roll of the galleon. He stopped before the captured Spanish crew. The hard faces under the silver helmets blazed with bared teeth and flinty eyes.”

Do your characters tend to be like you in some way, or are they very different? Where do you get your inspiration? 

My heroines tend to have the physical and verbal strength my husband would probably say reminded him of me. ( :  My heroes are a combo of my forever romantic husband and our strong law officer son. Of course, I love and continue to be influenced by Turner Classic Movies heroes and heroines like Errol Flynn, Tyrone Power, Charlton Heston, John Wayne, Clark Gable, and Atticus Finch/Gregory Peck; TCM heroines like Maureen O’Hara, Olivia de Havilland, Susan Hayward, Jessica Tandy, and great secondary character actresses like Hattie McDaniel (Scarlet’s mammy), Thelma Ritter and Mildred Natwick. I also model some of my characters after people I’ve known who have impressed me in some way. For example, Lucas Barrett’s Aunt Jessica in Summer, an elegant, wise, elderly very southern lady is a fair snapshot of a dear silver-haired lady and neighbor I once had. Keeping her in mind as I wrote Aunt Jessica’s dialog and actions kept me right on target. I do collect photos of all my main characters which I first learned at Yvonne Lehman’s “storyboarding class.” It’s a great help with characterization.

You write Christian fiction and are vice-president of the South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers and are published by a Christian publisher. Tell us your view of a large portion of fiction available today.

I am happy we do have a large number of Christian fiction authors today writing exciting books in all genres with a Christian worldview, which is what I attempt to write myself. Unfortunately, those so often on the New York Bestseller’s list are written from a secular or naturalist worldview. I often speak on writing Christian fiction and what makes it Christian. I discuss these two very different worldviews that influence authors, movies, and TV. Here’s a link to a blog on this subject:

Why did you choose the particular theme for Summer of Deception? What were you trying to say to your readers?

The main Christian theme I deal with through story, not preaching, in Summer of Deception is overcoming bitterness and the “Why God” question. Hero Lucas Barrett has lost his beloved wife in an auto accident and one of his eyes when he fought in the mid-eastern conflict.  Heroine Rachel deals with this question when her beloved brother is declared dead by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)  after his plane crashes.

What would you like readers to gain by reading your books?

I am not writing fiction just to get books published, sold, and give readers an exciting read, although those are definite planned goals. A deep desire burns in my heart to see readers, and generations yet to come, find some truth that enlightens, some kernel of God’s abundant life that helps them on their way. Even though I may not reach the majority of all readers, or other faiths, I think it’s important that Christians have something exciting and fulfilling to read that leaves them encouraged and believing in God’s goodness and know there are people who struggle just like they do but manage to overcome with His help.

Elva Cobb Martin books

What challenges are there in writing in two genres, historical and contemporary?

I think historicals take more research and resources are limited for certain time periods. But there’s also a leeway in that if you have a descriptive error, your editor or readers may not catch it. LOL  In  contemporary fiction, you better have all your details right, including in suspense the types of guns, police and investigative procedures.

Tell us what we can expect to see from you in the future.

I am working on a new historical romance series set in Spain, Charles Town, and the Spanish Main. I also have a cozy mystery perking on the back burner that whistles at me once in a while.

Please share a brief opening passages from each of your two books with us.

Summer of Deception –  Chapter One  Charleston, South Carolina

Rachel York gasped when the taxi headlights pierced the stormy night and illuminated Barrett Hall in all its southern grandeur. Her travel fatigue faded, and she leaned forward, energized, as the cab crunched its way up the tree-lined shell drive to the entrance. At the gate, she exited the auto with her umbrella extended, and the taxi driver placed her large bag and tote at her side. Rachel thanked him, paid him, and hurried up the front walk, pulling her valise behind her. The vehicle disappeared down the drive, and darkness closed in as she made her way up the front steps.

On the wide porch, she propped her umbrella beside her suitcase, took a deep breath, and tried to ignore a shiver of disquiet that traveled up her spine. She would discover the truth. This summer job in Charleston was her first step.

In a Pirate’s Debt – Chapter One   Jamaica 1720

Marry Sir Roger Poole? Never! Travay Allston rushed up the staircase and into her bedroom. She eased the door shut and sank against it, hoping the men downstairs had not heard her flight. She wrapped her arms around her middle to prevent loud sobs from escaping. Tears ran down her cheeks onto her dinner gown. How could her stepfather, Karston Reed, gamble away the plantation and her hand in marriage in a game of cards? Lighting a small candle, she sprang into action. How much time did she have?

Travay snatched the men’s clothing she’d stashed under a floorboard after her mother’s untimely death. Somehow she had known the day would come when she would have to leave secretly. She quickly donned breeches, shirt, and knee boots. The oversized top required a belt, and she contrived one from a scrap of cloth. She flattened her curls tighter to her head with extra pins and struggled to stuff the mass under a cap. Her fingers brushed against her mother’s locket. Oh, Mama, I miss you!

Book Blurbs:

Summer of Deception:

Determined to unearth the truth about her DEA agent brother’s reported death, Rachel York takes a nanny position at a historic Charleston tea plantation. She finds she is ill prepared to deal with the plantation’s new owner who 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 a 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 smuggling along his coastline.

Devastated by the possibility, Rachel must decide whether to confront him, even while she conceals secrets of her own. Can love survive a summer of deception?

In a Pirate’s Debt:

Saving her can land him in a hangman’s noose at low tide in Charles Town Harbor. Repaying her debt to him will consign her to a life worse than death.

When confronted with a forced marriage, Travay Allston flees her stepfather’s Jamaica plantation and dives into the sea. Death would be preferable to life with Sir Roger Poole, a drinking, gambling, scoundrel whose advances make her skin crawl.

Lucas sails the high seas as the dreaded Captain Bloodstone. He is on a quest to find his mother, a woman last seen clapped in irons by the Spanish. As his ship slips past Jamaica, he spies a young woman plunge into the sea. A prize of such beauty must be saved and Lucas dives in to rescue her. The last thing Lucas needs is to get involved with Travay, a childhood friend who caused him nothing but trouble. Especially now that she’s become a stubborn, alluring young woman.

Lucas delivers Travay to her aunt in Charles Town and washes his hands of the affair. Or so he thinks. But when Sir Roger shows up demanding that Travay marry him or face the wrath of Charles Town’s newest council member, Lucas feels that familiar boyhood tug on his heart. Will this wanted pirate of the crown risk his life to save Travay a second time? Betrothed to a man she hates, will Travay repay her debt to a pirate by marrying Sir Roger in exchange for his promise to pardon Lucas? And if she does, will such a rascal keep his word? Falling in love with the pirate was never part of her plan …

Elva Cobb MartinAbout the Author:

Elva Cobb Martin is vice president of the South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has two inspirational novels contracted with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deceptiona contemporary romantic suspense, and an historical romance, IIn a Pirate’s Debt. Both have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva’s articles. Jim Hart of Hartline Literary represents her. She and her husband Dwayne are semi-retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in Anderson, South Carolina.

Connect with Elva:



Book Trailer: ​ Summer of Deception:

Facebook Author Link:






Books by Elva Cobb Martin





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  1. Both books sound interesting! She’s a new autho to me; I love discovering authors!

    • Thank you for commenting MJSH! Hope you enjoy reading my novels as much as I enjoyed writing them.
      Blessings, Elva Cobb Martin, Anderson, SC

  2. Excellent interview! My favorite lines are: “I think it’s important that Christians have something exciting and fulfilling to read that leaves them encouraged and believing in God’s goodness and know there are people who struggle just like they do but manage to overcome with His help.” Just this statement alone makes me want to read Elva’s books! Thank you for this interview!

    • I appreciate your comment so much! Happy reading!
      Love and blessings, Elva Cobb Martin

  3. Wow, putting your book baby away for 20 years is a long time! How much rewriting went into the typewritten draft?

    • Arletta, that is a very good question, and the short answer is a WHOLE LOT of rewriting took place. With that first book I was really learning the craft, studying, going to workshops. I came back and made changes and more changes. I also started writing my second novel, In a Pirate’s Debt, while I sent Summer of Deception out to editors and agents. Whatever remark they made in those 26 rejections, I took to heart and tried to remedy whatever it was. Learning to show vs. tell and learning deep point of view, which are very related, finally helped me get a contract. I teach and blog on these two subjects often. Check out my blog at
      Thanks so much for asking, Arletta, and have a blessed week.
      Elva Cobb Martin

  4. Great interview, two different books. They both sound great. Enjoyed tweeting along the way. Thank you

    • Thank you so much Rose. I am working on a new series and if you’re interested in being added to my email list, please let me know through my web site at My work in progress title actually has your name in it –Spanish ROSE! Lovely name.
      Blessings on your day,
      Elva Cobb Martin

  5. These sound like great books. If I win, it will be hard to choose between them!

    • I’m so glad you liked the interview, Phyllis. Unfortunately, the contest ended at midnight last night.

    • Phyllis,
      I’m so glad your liked the interview and I’m sorry the contest is over. Both my books are available on Amazon for Kindle or print and I hope you can obtain one. If you read either, we authors so appreciate our readers leaving a brief review on Amazon.

      Have a blessed weekend,
      Elva Cobb Martin

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