Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Meet Elva Cobb Martin

Please welcome Elva Cobb Martin to the Diamond Mine of Christian Fiction. 

Her name may be new to you, but once you read a smidgen of her novel, Summer of Deception, you will probably be telling all your friends to get a copy.  She grabbed me from the first page - here is a short snippet. Bet it snags you as well:

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. 

Julie Cosgrove - Elva, tell us how long have you been writing?

Elva Cobb Martin-I have been writing stories and poems since seventh grade. I recall writing a story about a race horse winning a race, even with a broken leg. Only in fiction, my teacher informed me! My writing grew naturally out of my great love of reading. As a child I was a voracious reader first of childhood fairy tales, then other fiction, like Black Beauty, Flicka, Nancy Drew Mysteries. Later, I loved Charles Dickens, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Emily Dickinson and Poe. I’ve actually written dozens of poems myself, some of which were published in college anthologies. My most beloved book today, however, better than any fiction or poetry, is the Bible. I love studying it, teaching it, and confessing its great promises

Julie- I knew we were soul sisters. Charles Dickens and Edgar Allen Poe were early favorites of mine because of their mastery in descriptions. I think some of that has rubbed off on you., Yours are fresh and vivid. 
But tell us, what else keeps you busy besides being an author?

Elva-My husband and I often keep our 9-year-old grandson Samuel on weekends, and I love to garden, bake and read. We also manage a few rental houses we bought to help supplement our retirement income. We are active in a local church where my husband leads the music from the keyboard, and I co-teach adults in Sunday School and help with Children’s Church. We are actually retired ministers associated with the Assemblies of God. In retirement I now have quality time to research and write I didn’t have before.

Julie - You are a busy lady!  Here is a bit more about her, folks...

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. She has published a Bible study, Power Over Satan, available on Summer of Deception, released by Pelican Book Group, is her debut novel. She has also completed an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt, slated for release by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas in May, 2017. 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, in Anderson, South Carolina. She also leads an internet prayer task force praying for a Great Awakening.

What spurred you to write this novel, Elva? 

Elva-I fell in love with an historic, romantic, southern plantation, Boone Hall, that I toured in Charleston, South Carolina, years ago. I also discovered some old newspaper clippings  about a famous coastal drug investigation in the 1980’s organized by a U.S. Attorney, Henry McMaster. Those clippings led to the suspense plot in Summer of Deception. Henry McMaster, by the way, is the new Governor of South Carolina. I plan to send him copy of this book, you bet.

Julie - I hope you'll let us know his reaction! Where do you get ideas for your characters? 

Elva-A lovely young Christian woman in our town who possessed spunk and determination inspired my heroine, Rachel York. I asked for and received a photo of her to use as I drafted the novel. My hero, Luke Barrett, is a composite of my husband’s temperament and romantic personality, my tall law officer son’s strength and silent good looks, and Errol Flynn’s everything. LOL  The older wise voice in the story, Aunt Jessica, came from my memories of a dear, sweet and noble, elderly southern lady that was once my neighbor and friend I often took places since she could no longer drive. The Afro-American cook Maggie and Cade Gantt, Luke’s sidekick, were drawn from wonderful people who were once members of our church when we pastored. I also get ideas for characters from movies and the internet.

Julie  - I must admit Jessica was my favorite. She oozed Southern genteel and wisdom. A true lady.What do you hope the reader will take away with them after reading Summer of Deception?

 Elva - I hope readers will find my fiction exciting, inspiring, and a pleasing escape from life’s daily toil to an interesting fictional place and characters they can respect and identify with without having to read about graphic sex scenes or immoral main characters. Summer of Deception has a spiritual plot as well as a romance and suspense plot. The spiritual theme and take away, exemplified in the war-wounded hero Luke’s life, is about regaining lost faith, dealing with bitterness, and finding some answers to “Why God?”

Julie - What are you working on now, or are you taking a break?

Elva - I am working on Book 2, Spanish Captive, in a new historical series entitled Tides of Destiny. The completed Book 1, In a Pirate’s Debt, will be released by Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas in May, 2017. I also have a cozy mystery on the back burner that keeps flaring up for my attention. ;-)

Julie - Ah hah - cozies. My favorite genre and what I also love to write. How do readers learn more about you? 

Elva - I would love for readers to connect with me and/or sign up for my newsletter on my web site at They're welcome to join my writer's blog at .

And of course, please check out these book page links to Summer of Deception -

Julie - Thanks, Elva. Here is the tag line and blurb for this wonderful suspenseful romance set in the deep South.

Tag: A wounded warrior, a woman searching for answers. Will she risk all to uncover the truth?

Blurb:  Determined to unearth the truth about her DEA agent brother’s reported death, Rachel York takes a position at an historic Charleston 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 survive?

GIVEAWAY!!!  Elva has agreed to give away one eBook copy of Summer of Deception to a lucky commenter- so be sure to let her know you have read this article by leaving a comment.


Elva Cobb Martin, South Carolina said...

Julie, thank you so much for this interview. You did a great job. Hope something I've shared will help other writers on their journey.

Blessings and Onward!
Elva Cobb Martin
President, ACFW-SC Chapter

Ann Ellison said...

Wonderful interview. The book sounds like a really good one that I would enjoy.

Elva Cobb Martin, South Carolina said...

Ann, thank you! I hope you have a wonderful visit to Barrett Hall Tea Plantation with Luke Barrett and Rachel York, not to mention a beautiful Arabian stallion named Haidez and a precious mini-dachshund puppy named Penny.
Elva Cobb Martin

Caryl Kane said...

I enjoyed the interview. Elva is a new-to-me author. This book sounds intriguing.

psalm103and138 at gmail dot com

Jan Hall said...

I love the way you described the characters. I would love to get to know them better.

Elva Cobb Martin, South Carolina said...

Jan, check out my blog for a lot more about my characters and writing tips. Thanks so much!
Elva Cobb Martin