We'll talk more about Love Takes Flight in a moment but first, I'm pleased to welcome Lee to my blog today to talk a little about herself and her writing process.
Lee, can you tell us how you first decided to write Love Takes Flight? How did your years in missionary service in Brazil affect the decision and the plot-line?
When we worked daily with career missionaries in the Brazilian Amazon, they impressed me with their normal humanness while striving for greater faith and holiness. It was that real life conflict that caused me to admire them so much. I wanted to populate my novel with their personalities, so far from the type-cast characters we often see in books and novels. I wanted to tell them like they really are.
What authors do you enjoy reading-either for inspiration or for entertainment?
For inspiration, I want a writer to tell me something I didn’t know or show me a different way of looking at life. My husband and I are constantly in Bible studies. For entertainment, I like to laugh with Becky Wade and PacJac Carroll, and Kellie Gilbert keeps me riveted to the page in her legal dramas.
What are you reading now?
Randy Ingermanson’s The Fifth Man, and Charles Krauthammer’s Things That Matter, and next comes Richard Mabry’s latest, Critical Condition. I thoroughly enjoy medical novels, and—surprise!—Dr. Mabry does them so well.
. I know you've done a lot of travelling. Out of all the countries you've visited, which is the place you're most likely to return to see?
We have so many friends in Brazil, though for a place I’d like to see again, probably Spain and Germany.
. What place that you haven't yet travelled to would you most like to visit?
The southern coast of Italy, which we so often see in movies and ads. Northern Italy was a favorite vacation place when we lived in Spain.
. How do you escape from those days when the words just won't come or your characters simply won't behave?
If I’ve plotted what’s happening at that point, the words come. So I go for a walk without music, and often mumble aloud in a discussion with myself about what needs to happen and why. Misbehaving characters delight me, because they take the story in unexpected directions. I guess that makes me a “planster.” A little bit of both creative methods.
. And finally, tell us what's next on your writing plate? Do you have a work in progress, or do you have several on the go?
Just two days ago, I finished a novella for a set with five other friends. I’m about two-thirds through a contemporary Texas novel stimulated by an overheard line in a two-bit taco stand on a sweltering afternoon, “So I told her I’d do the whole roof for seven thousand dollars, but I want the pig!” Into this background I wove the pain of our precious daughter’s divorce and our hopes that she will find a godly man who will love and care for her.
Thank you so much for stopping in today, Lee. Now, let's find out a little more about Love Takes Flight.
Volunteering in the Amazon to escape a broken heart, American R.N. Camille Ringold fears she has lost the chance to be married to a doctor and live well in suburbia. Serving two weeks with missionaries living out a sacred calling, she considers whether a more meaningful life might be hers.
When the Wings of Help plane is hijacked, she and missionary pilot Luke Strong escape into the jungle. Aided by a river village, they recover the plane, but she may be fired for returning to the U.S. late. Two weeks become four when she chooses to care for Luke through his malaria. Priorities change as experiences of faith mount. Where is the intersection of God’s will and her selfish desires?
Love Takes Flight is now available on Amazon at http://amzn.to/12nRfpk
To whet your appetite, here is an exerpt:
A child’s scream pierced the Brazilian jungle night, wrenching Camille from the tendrils of a nightmare. The wail soared through the trees again, long and desperate. She rolled out of her hammock and stumbled on numb legs, gripped the supporting rope, and got her bearings. The humid night vibrated with fear and confusion in time with her pounding pulse.
Nearby, a mission team member hit the floor with a thud, emitting the forced unh! of having the breath knocked out of him. She could run to him or toward the shriek that woke them.
Shouted questions stabbed the moonlight and flashlights snapped on at odd angles. The child howled a Portuguese word Camille didn’t know, but she couldn’t miss the desperation.
Focus. Reacting with her nurse’s training and passion, she slipped on flip-flops, grabbed a flashlight, and dashed off the open platform in the direction of the pitiful cries. In this jungle, she and Dr. Flavio were the only ER.
“Sucuri! Sucuri!” The word rang throughout the village more like the name of a beautiful bird than the vicious anaconda.
She ran to where villagers converged on the wide footpath in front of the stilted houses. Raised machetes flashed as muscular brown arms brought knives down hard. Shouting and groaning, men hacked at an enormous snake curled in the baked red dirt.
Camille pushed into the circle of defenders and found a young boy under attack. The snake writhed, dying but not giving up its prey. A final cut severed the snake’s head from its squirming body. Blood squirted on the clay clearing and the people. Snake blood and boy blood.
Camille recognized Pedro as a ten year old from the previous day’s medical clinic. He cried, but no longer with curdled terror. She knelt in the dust to examine his wounds and her guts twisted. She had to get him somewhere she could treat him.
Pedro’s young father picked him up as if he were a broken doll. Another man supported the snake’s severed head with teeth still embedded in the boy’s thigh. Camille trotted beside them to the thatched, open-sided platform where they slept and also conducted a fly-in clinic. The mission team cleared the last of their hammocks.
The men laid the victim on a roughhewn table. Conscious and trembling, lips curled in revulsion, Pedro pushed at the dismembered snake head.
His father pulled his hand away. “Não. Espera.” No. Wait.
Camille glanced around. Where was Dr. Flavio? She’d have to start without him. Faced with the responsibility, her mind wanted to freeze. Stop the bleeding. Compression. Disinfectant.
Camille spotted Jessica, the blonde fourteen year old who assisted in the dispensary. She would have the keys to supplies or know who did. “Jessica, get me some disinfectant—alcohol, Betadyne. Lots of it.”
To find out more, visit Lee at:
Bio-Lee Carver lived in the Brazilian Amazon for six years, the hardest and best years of her life. She and her husband served in retirement as volunteer missionaries with a Brazilian organization, Asas de Socorro (Wings of Help), formerly MAF-Brazil. Her husband flew the amphibious ten-seat Cessna Caravan over jungle area half the size of the United States. Their home in Manaus—the largest city in the world with no road to it—was a free guesthouse for missionaries, pilots, mechanics, and medical volunteers. She went on missions, speaks the language, and knows the people whose story she tells.
Lee lived in Brazil a total of twelve years, including two transfers to São Paulo while her husband worked for Citibank. Other foreign postings were Greece, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Indonesia, and Spain. She studied nine languages and visited over forty-five countries. The Carvers now reside in Texas and are still active in Brazilian aviation missions.
Lee is a member of ACFW and president of its local chapter, DFW Ready Writers. She freelances as a grammar/punctuation editor and formats manuscripts for e-book and POD uploads.