<![CDATA[Tanya Stowe - Tanya\'s Travel Topics]]>Wed, 15 Nov 2017 13:17:09 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[The Price of Freedom]]>Thu, 09 Nov 2017 18:32:07 GMThttp://tanyastowe.com/tanyas-travel-topics/the-price-of-freedomBy Tanya Stowe
I recently returned from a two-week trip to China. Our tour director knew that for some of us this might be the first and only trip to the country so she packed in every important site she could manage. Our tour was a marathon but so very worthwhile.
We started in Beijing and had four domestic flights as we crisscrossed the country, finally flying out of Shanghai for the U.S. We visited the terra cotta soldiers and the Three Gorges Dam. We even took a four-day cruise up the Yangtze.  I have so much to share! You’ll be reading many future posts about China but for this blog, I wanted to share my overall impressions.

​The people were friendly, kind and welcoming. There is still a bit of novelty surrounding all western visitors. My husband is a photographer so he was always away from the group taking shots. He often found himself the object of many selfies…even when he didn’t know it. He’s six-foot-two and white headed so he tends to stand out. I would often look back to check on him and see a local standing close…with him in the picture…as they snapped a shot of themselves. One smiling older man was disappointed as my husband unknowingly walked away before the man’s wife could click her phone camera. 

I doubt the novelty of western visitors will last much longer. Tourism has become one of China’s main industries. They’re hoping it will help pay for their massive dam project. Judging by the number of visitors we saw, I’m sure it will.
Beijing has a population of almost 22 million people. Shanghai has more people packed into a smaller area. We visited one town and the tour guide said, “We are a small city…only 150 million people.” It’s common knowledge that China has a massive population but to see it working day to day, to watch hundreds and hundreds of people flowing in streams is another thing all together. It’s mind-boggling.
It’s also humbling to watch this massive force of people all marching in one direction with one common goal.

​When the government started their massive dam project it cost them over 2 billion dollars just to move villages away from the low-lying banks of the Yangtze to higher locations. This incredible project was completed in a relatively short span of time. They built modern apartment complexes and allowed villagers to move in with little to no cost.
Some were resistant to leaving since many of the villages were over 500 years old. But their standard of living was vastly improved since many of their ancient homes had no running water or electricity and improved roads meant better health access.
One of the members of our tour commented on what would have happened in the U.S. if a project like this had threatened a 500-year-old site. There would have been protests and government reviews and legislation. The whole process would have been slowed, maybe even stopped. The villagers might never have moved into their new, healthier homes.

​Still…those villagers had no choice…no place to go nor a safe method of protest. Here we have choices. We have ways to voice our disapproval, to protest and maybe make a difference. We are not marching in one common direction nor do we have one common goal. We have many directions and many goals. Sometimes those goals are so diverse, they cancel each other out. That’s the price of freedom.
This massive project controlled deadly flooding, improved the quality of life for millions and provided power for an immense country. It created a new industry. Tourism is changing the world’s perspective of China and its people.
In our country this project might never have happened. That, my friends, is a humbling thought.


Tanya Stowe is an author of Christian Fiction with an unexpected edge.
She fills her stories with the unusual… mysteries and exotic adventures, even a murder or two. No matter where Tanya takes you… on a trip to foreign lands or a suspenseful journey filled with danger… be prepared for the extraordinary.

You can follow Tanya here:


<![CDATA[Cape Town, South Africa]]>Thu, 05 Oct 2017 17:27:56 GMThttp://tanyastowe.com/tanyas-travel-topics/cape-town-south-africa​By Susan G Mathis
In the past decade or so, I’ve traveled to more than 40 countries, and I recently made my tenth…yes tenth…trip to South Africa. Why? Because my daughter, son-in-law, and four beautiful granddaughters live there.

I’ve experienced an African safari, the apartheid remnants in Johannesburg, the Cape of Good Hope, Table Mountain, the Cape Vineyards, and the incredible beauty of Cape Town.  I’ve connected with hundreds of South Africans and ex-pats during my visits there and have found that Cape Town is not only an incredibly beautiful city, it is also a very international city.
Because they live in Cape Town, my four granddaughters are “international children” in every sense of the word, and they have an amazing understanding of God’s big world. South Africa is a multi-ethnic society, so the girls have friends from all races, religions, and cultures, and they learn about those cultures on a regular basis. And in today’s global economy and society, that’s a good thing.

When my granddaughters visit us in Colorado, they talk about living in Cape Town, South Africa, and compare cultural differences, even though they are seven and under. They point out “the American flag” every time they see it, and they sing about “seven red stripes and six white stripes and a field of blue with fifty white stars.” But they also speak a little bit of several languages, have tasted all kinds of international cuisine, and can relate to people of many ethnicities.
One of the fun things I experienced during my last South African visit was noticing the influence that the Irish have in Cape Town. Since my debut novel, The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, is about in 1850s Irish immigrant who took the daunting famine-ship ocean voyage with her six young children, I connected with dozens of people who are interested in reading my story. But why would the Irish be at the southernmost tip of Africa?

The Irish immigrated everywhere that the British Empire settled. The Irish came to South Africa as professionals—lawyers, doctors, dentist, retailers, policemen, journalists, and politicians. When the Potato Famine of 1840’s happened, South Africa was one of the countries that welcomed the Irish immigrants. 
I was surprised to learn that, in Cape Town, St. Patrick’s Day is actually a bigger holiday than it is in Colorado, and it’s fun to see my young grand girls learn about the Irish culture. South Africa actually celebrates more holidays than any country in the world, and it has eleven official languages! It’s even called “The Rainbow Nation.”
So even if my grandchildren weren’t the primary draw to this beautiful nation, I always encourage people to visit South Africa. It’s one of the most beautiful, intriguing, diverse, and exciting places I’ve ever been to, hands down!
Susan G Mathis is a versatile writer and author of The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy. Susan has two Tyndale nonfiction books, Countdown for Couples: Preparing for the Adventure of Marriage and The ReMarriage Adventure: Preparing for a Life of Love and Happiness. She is also the author of two published picture books, Lexie’s Adventure in Kenya: Love is Patient and Princess Madison’s Rainbow Adventure.

​Please visit www.SusanGMathis.com.
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After struggling to accept the changes forced upon her, Margaret Hawkins and her family take a perilous journey on an 1851 immigrant ship to the New World, bringing with her an Irish family quilt she is making. A hundred and sixty years later, her great granddaughter, Maggie, searches for the family quilt after her ex pawns it. But on their way to creating a family legacy, will these women find peace with the past and embrace hope for the future, or will they be imprisoned by fear and faithlessness?

<![CDATA[Ireland]]>Fri, 01 Sep 2017 13:00:00 GMThttp://tanyastowe.com/tanyas-travel-topics/irelandBy Hope Dougherty
From Home Exchange to Daydreams to a Novel

In the summer of 2000, my family took a home exchange to Ireland. We stayed for three weeks in Galway and then moved down to Bandon, County Cork, for three more weeks.

During our six weeks in this beautiful country, we enjoyed many scenes like these pictures.
​And toured many quaint towns from Clifden, north of Galway, down to Timoleague and Courtmacsherry in the south.
We ate brown bread dunked into delicious soups and drank pots of hot tea. We loved our time in Ireland while Irish families stayed in our house. Oh, I’m ready to go back right now!

In May of 2009, I stood near the threshold of the rest of my life. My oldest daughter would graduate high school in less than a month. Two years later, her sister would march right behind her, followed in two years by their twin brothers.
Life as I’d known it for the past eighteen years was about to change.

Throughout my tenure as a stay-with-my-children mom, I’d sporadically written non-fiction pieces for periodicals. I had a portfolio of articles with my byline in print.

With imminent graduations threatening my day job as a domestic engineer, I decided to focus more on my writing. I’d just completed the Life of Moses with Bible Study Fellowship and thought to share wisdom and insight gleaned from thirty two weeks of study.

I wrote What I learned from Moses on the top line of a yellow legal pad. As soon as I wrote this fascinating title, I began daydreaming—about Ireland, not Moses.

In my daydream, a woman in an Irish café, Ellen, scribbled in a journal. A little old man in a tweed vest approached her, introduced himself, and began chatting with her.  I saw the wooden buttons on his vest and the Irish cap he clutched in his hands.  Suddenly another man, Payne, dressed in dusty safari clothes, appeared to the woman’s left, lounging at his table and eavesdropping on their conversation.

This scene interested me infinitely more than what I’d intended with Moses. I turned to a fresh sheet of paper and wrote as quickly as I could everything I saw and heard in the café.

Irish Encounter began that day. I didn’t know it yet, but God did. I hurried back every morning to my desk to see what happened next. Before writing, I’d recite Bible verses from the Moses study:  Exodus 3:12 “And God said, ‘I will be with you’” and Exodus 4:12 “Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” I’d pray for help, and then I’d travel to Galway.

God led me onto this writing journey with much prodding and pulling toward those interesting characters. I’m thankful every day He did.

Which interesting path is God leading you toward today?
Hope Toler Dougherty holds a Master’s degree in English and taught at East Carolina University and York Technical College. Her publications include two novels, Irish Encounter and Mars…With Venus Rising, as well as nonfiction articles. A member of ACFW, RWA, and SinC, she writes for SeriousWriter.com.

She and her husband live in North Carolina and enjoy visits with their two daughters and twin sons.

Visit her at hopetolerdougherty.com.

Connect with Hope:
Facebook  www.facebook.com/hope.t.dougherty
Twitter Hope Toler Dougherty (@HopeTDougherty) | Twitter 
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Goodreads  www.goodreads.com/author/show/13941031.Hope_Dougherty

After almost three years of living under a fog of grief, Ellen Shepherd is ready for the next chapter in her ife, perhaps an adventure during a visit to Galway. Her idea of excitement consists of exploring Ireland for yarn to feature in her shop back home, but the adventure awaiting her includes an edgy stranger who disrupts her tea time, challenges her belief system, and stirs up feelings she thought she'd buried with her husband.

After years of ignoring God, nursing anger, and stifling his grief, Payne Anderson isn't ready for the feelings a chance encounter with an enchanting stranger evokes. Though avoiding women and small talk has been his pattern, something about Ellen makes him want to seek her--and God again.

Can Ellen accept a new life different than the one she planned? Can Payne release his guilt and accept the peace he's longed for? Can they surrender their past pain and embrace healing together or will fear and doubt ruin this second chance at happiness?

​You can purchase Irish Encounter here:
http://www.amazon.com/Irish-En counter-Hope-Toler-Dougherty/ dp/0996173420/ref=sr_1_1?s= books&ie=UTF8&qid=1438020699& sr=1-1&keywords=irish+ encounter

<![CDATA[Beijing]]>Fri, 04 Aug 2017 13:00:00 GMThttp://tanyastowe.com/tanyas-travel-topics/beijingBy Karen Whiting
I travelled to Beijing, China and a few provinces nearby Beijing. A Chinese company flew me there with four other Christians who are part of ACCTS (association of Christian counseling and teaching services) that is part of Officers’ Christian Fellowship. We went there on an Imagination Tour to inspire creativity in children and share ideas with educators and parents.
Beijing is one of the largest cities in the world. Skyscraper apartment buildings cover much of the city with small shows on the street level. It’s very busy and yet people smile and seem friendly.

​​I loved getting to meet the people and work with the children. They were excited to speak with Americans and enjoyed the activities we planned for them. I also enjoyed going to a home and learning to make dumplings. It’s great to get to know people from another culture.
​It seemed sad to hear so few birds in the areas of cities where I stayed. They didn’t have enough trees and plants for birds to thrive and are still recovering from a difficult time where the people had little food and hate to eat many of the birds. Outside the cities I saw and heard birds. Beijing’s air was much cleaner than I expected and if they start having plants on the balconies it will be even cleaner.
Beijing appears to have more freedom for Chinese people who want to attend Christian churches. They must limit their home churches to 200 people, but seem to be able to divide and form new ones easily. Southern provinces have less religious freedom.  Many of the Christians I met are first generation Christians and very interested in learning how to raise children to follow God. They would love to have my book 52 Devotions for Busy Families in C=Mandarin.
Also, I spent time in Weifang province, the kite capital of the world and saw many beautiful kites (and bought several.)
​I visited the WW2 internment camp where Japanese imprisoned many missionaries. It is now a museum and a park.  It’s very impressive.
I write nonfiction and did not write a book on this location. Instead, because of my books for children and families, the company Soaring in Beijing wanted me to come and share some of my creative ideas and my puppetry (I have a new puppet book).  They want me to return next year.
You can find Karen's book here:


<![CDATA[POLAND]]>Fri, 07 Jul 2017 14:00:00 GMThttp://tanyastowe.com/tanyas-travel-topics/polandBy ​Bethany Kaczmarek
I only spent three and a half years in Poland, though it feels as much home to me as America. Since my family moved back to the States from the mission field—I’ve constantly longed for my favorite bits of life over there. For the pace, the time to spend with people.

To sit awhile at a sidewalk café and chat with bright wildflowers as our backdrop. To wander into old town squares and marvel at the architecture, the stained glass in the cathedrals. To traipse down cobblestone streets and over bridges that date back a thousand years. To get to know the local shop owners where I buy my daily bread, veggies, and meat—and ask for recipes.

​The sense of rich history and tradition infuses everything, everyone. Like a great flood, history has both rushed over and raised up the people of Poland. It has carved out hiding places, smoothed rough stones, taught the people to dig deep and hold fast, and carried in new ideas.

When I first arrived in Poland, the drab gray of the sky and the solemn white blanket of winter covered everything. I stared out my window and felt a great sadness, not for what I’d left in America, but for the people who had struggled so long under the occupation of the Soviet Union. But bursts of vibrant color began to catch my eye. Graffiti on the trains and boundary walls, a bright spiral painted on the façade of a new building, a red façade, a green tiled roof, bright scarves at bus stops. 
As if the people were saying, We are still here. And we’re stronger than you think.

To me, one of their greatest strengths is the emphasis their culture places on friendships and family.

Above all, Poles value people. Hot tea, hearty meals, and loveliness around a table. We felt like a king and queen when we visited neighbors and new friends. Once, we took a train from Częstachowa to Kraków, and then hopped on a bus up into the mountains. In Zakopane, we rented a room from a local family and stayed in their farmhouse. Each morning, we woke to the sound of their rooster, and they brought us breakfast before we went out hiking and exploring. Even with these strangers, we were made to feel welcome and cared for.

But real relationships—as they do everywhere in the world—took work. It took months to get from warm, polite dialogue to deep, honest conversation, but we knew we’d earned trust then, and that was worth the wait. Our new friends became extended family.

And I poured my love for them out on the pages of my novel. Strains of Silence releases on July 21st (August 1st for the paperback), and the main character comes from a family of Polish-American immigrants. I hope you’ll love Kasia [KOSH-A] and her family as much as I do. 

Bethany Kaczmarek loves to share her own journey of healing and redemption with anyone who needs it. Back from the Polish mission field where she and her husband worked with college students for six years, their home is often filled with twenty-somethings who come over for a listening ear (though she’s willing to admit it could also be for the board games and food). Other job titles: Wielder of Red Pens, Grammar Ninja, Wiper of Tears and Milk, Indie Music Connoisseur, and Friend.

Bethany writes about places where grit meets Grace. Find out more about her at www.bethanykaczmarek.com 
Thanks to Kris Duda and Craig Wyzik for the images. I didn’t change them.

<![CDATA[England]]>Sat, 24 Jun 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://tanyastowe.com/tanyas-travel-topics/england
​The lovely thing about the part of England I live in, is you don't have to travel far to find a park. Last week, hubby and I went on a tour of Woodley and found about six or seven parks right on our doorstep. And I'm not talking small kids play areas either. Large parks where you can walk around a lake, picnic under the trees, or let the kids run up the hill and down the other side under the shade of huge willow trees. Feed the ducks, run away from the geese and then sit and eat ice cream. 
Or in my case sit and write a chunk of the next novel. Part of All that Glitters was written in a park like this. And made its way into the book as well. Headley Cross where the book is based is my home town - under a different name of course. So the church and so on really exist. 
We do have one treasure here. Tucked away on the edge of Dinton Pastures, next to a field of grazing cows, is the Berkshire Museum of Aviation. The plane in the photo is the Queen's plane. Now retired, this was the plane she flew to Kenya on in 1952 as a princess, and returned on as Queen. 
Clare is a British author. She lives in a small town in England with her husband, whom she married in 1992, and her three children. Writing from a early childhood and encouraged by her teachers, she graduated from rewriting fairy stories through fanfiction to using her own original characters and enjoys writing an eclectic mix of romance, crime fiction and children's stories. When she's not writing, she can be found reading, crocheting or doing the many piles of laundry the occupants of her house manage to make.
Her books are based in the UK, with a couple of exceptions, thus, although the spelling may be American, the books contain British language and terminology.
<![CDATA[Rio de Janeiro]]>Tue, 30 May 2017 21:41:50 GMThttp://tanyastowe.com/tanyas-travel-topics/rio-de-janeiroBy Theresa Lynn Hall
​One of the perks of being a fiction writer is that you can visit places in your mind without ever having to leave the comfort of your own home. The downside to that is you can only learn so much though pictures and articles. Luckily, my husband travels a lot for business. I’m not able to go with him since I’m a teacher, but he does take pictures for me and he loves to tell me about his trips when he returns. In 2013, he was in Rio de Janeiro for two weeks. It just so happened to fall during the Easter holiday. On Easter Sunday, he took a trip to see Christ the Redeemer. He took some amazing pictures, which he says do not do it justice. The trip alone was exhausting, since he had to climb many flights of stairs to get to the top. 
While in Brazil he also stayed in Sao Paolo for a little over a week, riding to his job site with a native Brazilian. He was scared for his life every time he got into the car. Apparently, the infrastructure is lacking monitored highways and the speed limit is just however fast you can go that day.

The language spoken in Rio is Portuguese, which might sound a little like Spanish, but it’s definitely not the same. Most of the time, the hotel desk clerks do not speak English. Just trying to get in touch with him at the hotel was a fiasco for me. During his stay there, one of the things he noticed was how dramatically different the economy changed from one section of the cities to the next. The countryside was dotted with small wooden houses, the pristine beaches were lined with hotels and condos, but just minutes from the bustling tourist attractions were rows and rows of shanty towns, or favelas, that seemed stacked into the hillsides. The natives told him not to venture too far from the city because of the crime in those poverty- stricken areas. 

Right after my husband returned from his trip, Pelican Book Group opened a new series called Passport to Romance. One of the cities listed was Rio. The ideas began to churn and Ransom in Rio was born. Lexi’s family business began in Rio with her grandfather before moving it to the United States. At her father’s wishes, she travels back to Rio where she discovers family secrets she never knew existed.  In Ransom in Rio, I wanted to show the diversity of the Brazilian economy, and the familial ties of the people and their culture. I hope you enjoy the trip to Rio with Lexi and Brayden as much as I did. 

You can follow Theresa here:


A native Texan, Theresa loves to write suspenseful stories that happen in small Texas towns with old fashioned Southern values.  She’s an elementary teacher and mom to two boys—the oldest being in law enforcement, which comes in handy when she’s researching. When she’s not teaching kids or writing, she loves to cook, read a good suspense, and binge-watch episodes of Dateline. She is a member of RWA (Romance Writers of America) and ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). She actively promotes fellow Christian Fiction authors on her blog. She also loves to hear from readers who enjoy Christian Fiction and can be found at www.theresalynnhall.com and @theresalynnhall.  


Beth McDonald has a secret– a secret that is costing a lot of people their lives. With no where to turn, she leaves her dream job in the city behind and heads for small, town Texas to a place where no one will find her. Tired of running, she turns to the sheriff for help and soon finds herself fighting for more than just her life.

​Sheriff Clint Fisher has his life just where he wants it–peaceful and happy. But when the beautiful D.A. walks into his office, his world is turned upside down. The confident sheriff is pretty sure he can keep her alive…but can he keep her forever?

Buy it Here:




Private Investigator, Braden McCoy wants nothing more than to finish out the week doing a little fishing from his boat.  The ex-special ops vet enjoys his peaceful life and loves his new career.  He’s learned to put his past behind him and enjoy his blessings.  Until a mourning redhead walks into his office and changes his plans.  
Lexi Ramos always knew her family was dysfunctional.  Until the sudden death of her brother, she never knew exactly how much.  Consumed with questions surrounding his accident, she seeks the help of a private investigator.  What starts out as a murder investigation in Cozumel, quickly crosses borders and escalates into a race against time to save them both from Brazilian kidnappers, who somehow know more about her family secrets than she does.  Lexi soon realizes that life comes with a price. 

Buy it Here:


<![CDATA[A Jurassic-era Park in Colorado‚Äôs Rocky Mountains]]>Mon, 01 May 2017 21:08:34 GMThttp://tanyastowe.com/tanyas-travel-topics/a-jurassic-era-park-in-colorados-rocky-mountains​By Davalynn Spencer
​If you’re looking to break out of the confines of time, and travel back in history, then plan a trip to Cañon City, Colorado, and the nearby Garden Park area.
You won’t be the first to notice the colorful bluffs and unusual land forms that have harbored prehistoric secrets for thousands of years.
Settled in the early 1860s, Cañon City nearly foundered as men left for the Civil War. But war’s end and the Westward Expansion sent many families hunting brighter futures, and people returned to the fertile land along the Arkansas River. Cañon City served as the gateway to the Rocky Mountains, where the mighty Arkansas roared through an unforgiving granite canyon known today as the Royal Gorge.
Fossil discoveries of the 1870s and 1880s in the Garden Park area north of town led to the famous “Bone Wars” between rival paleontologists, O.C. Marsh and E.D. Cope. Local rancher, Marshall P. Felch, spent years working and mapping the dig sites on behalf of Marsh for Yale University.
In 1886, Garden Park gave up its first magnificent stegosaurus skeleton, and the area continued to provide some of the most well-preserved Jurassic period remains.
However, long before university professors began sparring over the finds, local Ute tribes and early settlers had already come across the prehistoric bones. A few early merchandisers even sold fossils as souvenirs and oddities in curio shops.
I mention a curio shop in one of my three Cañon City historical novels, Romancing the Widow, set in 1888 during the height of the Bone Wars. Young widow Martha Stanton compares her life to the dusty fossil remains found in Garden Park, and even participates in some of the digs.
In reality roughly fifty years later, another fossilized stegosaurus was discovered in 1937 by local high school teacher and Geology Club officer, Carl Kessler. That 23-foot long treasure stands today in Denver’s Museum of Nature and Science. Kessler’s find later inspired a student-driven campaign that resulted in the declaration of the stegosaurus as the Colorado State Fossil in 1982.
Ten years later, that declaration was further solidified when the world’s most complete stegosaurus skeleton was excavated from the Garden Park area, skull included, and air-lifted via Chinook helicopter for further study and preservation.

Marsh-Felch Quarry from the hiking trail in Garden Park.

​Today tourists can visit the real site where my fictional heroine, Martha, explored. The Marsh-Felch Quarry is located off Garden Park Road (Red Canyon Road) and can be accessed via a self-guided, well-marked, quarter-mile hiking trail with informative exhibits along the way.
Skyline Drive west of Cañon City also offers not only a breathtaking vista of the surrounding area, but dinosaur footprints embedded in the jutting rock.
Colorado Jeep Tours http://coloradojeeptours.com/ offers guided tours of the Cañon City area, and a few miles up U.S. Highway 50, visitors can enjoy a stop at the Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience with kid-friendly activities and spectacular exhibits. https://www.facebook.com/RGDinoXP/

A convex trail of dinosaur footprints along the uplift of Skyline Drive west of Cañon City, CO.

Romancing the Widow
by Davalynn Spencer

*Winner of Will Rogers Gold Medallion for inspirational Western fiction.

Martha Stanton Isn't Looking for Love 
The light went out of Martha's soul when her husband fell to a bullet in St. Louis. Now, back in her hometown of Cañon City, she's convinced she'll never know happiness again. Until she crosses paths with a darkly mysterious Colorado Ranger. 

Haskell Jacobs has a mission. And the beautiful, flame-haired widow sure isn't it. But Martha is somehow mixed up in the crime that brought Haskell to the rough-and-tumble town…and soon, she's entangled in the lawman's heart. But the danger that lurks around them is all too real. Can they find strength and love in each other before it's too late?

You can find Davalynn here:
<![CDATA[Boston]]>Fri, 07 Apr 2017 02:45:15 GMThttp://tanyastowe.com/tanyas-travel-topics/boston​By Sarah Sundin 
​There’s something about Boston. Maybe it’s because I grew up in California with its dearth of historical sites. Maybe it’s my New England ancestral roots. Maybe it’s because the Bicentennial fell in my formative years. My fascination with the city has been fueled by several visits.
When I began planning my Waves of Freedom series with its focus on the Battle of the Atlantic, I needed an East Coast city with a naval presence. Boston fit. In 2014, I was blessed to be able to take a research trip, and I was struck by how Boston’s revolutionary roots highlighted the upheaval and mystery in my series.
The first book, Through Waters Deep, is set in 1941, when Americans debated going to war. Like in 1775. In both years, Americans faced a decision—do we continue life as before, or do we fight for freedom? In both years, America was bitterly divided—Patriots vs. Tories in 1775, isolationists vs. interventionists in 1941.
The second book, Anchor in the Storm, is set in early 1942, when German U-boats ravaged Allied shipping along the East Coast. The situation seemed as dire as in the early days of the Revolutionary War. The characters in the novel are encouraged by how the Minutemen fought despite overwhelming odds and probable defeat.
The third book, When Tides Turn, is set in late 1942 and early 1943, when the battle climaxed and turned in the Allies’ favor, just as the Revolutionary War turned into one of history’s most surprising victories.
In the series, I enjoyed featuring bits of Bostonian history during the 1940s. Did you know . . . ?
In 1942, the golden dome of the Massachusetts State House was painted black as an air raid precaution!
On November 28, 1942, the infamous Cocoanut Grove Fire killed 492 people in the second-largest fire in US history. The tragedy plays a role in When Tides Turn.
Important technological research was performed at the Navy’s Anti-Submarine Warfare Unit in Boston and the civilian Radiation Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology—research that helped defeat the U-boats and created half the radar systems used by the US in World War II.
At the Boston Navy Yard (currently the Charlestown Navy Yard), six thousand ships were constructed, repaired, or outfitted from 1939-1945. At the start of the war, women worked only as telephone operators or in clerical positions (the heroine in Through Waters Deep works there as a secretary—and solves a mystery). As the war progressed, women were hired for more types of jobs. At the peak in 1943, the Boston Navy Yard employed 50,000 people, 20 percent of whom were women. The ladies of the Navy’s WAVES program played an important role there too—which is featured in When Tides Turn.
From its revolutionary roots to its vital impact during World War II, Boston has continued to play an important role in American history.

Plus, Boston cream pie.

Sarah Sundin is the author of nine historical novels, including When Tides Turn. Her novel Through Waters Deep was a finalist for the 2016 Carol Award, won the INSPY Award, and was named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years.” A mother of three, Sarah lives in California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and teaches Sunday school. She also enjoys speaking for church, community, and writers’ groups.

​Please visit her at http://www.sarahsundin.com.

​When Quintessa Beaumont learns the US Navy has established the WAVES program for women, she enlists, eager to throw off her frivolous ways and contribute to the war effort. Lt. Dan Avery employs his skills in antisubmarine warfare to fight U-boats at the peak of the Battle of the Atlantic, but the last thing he wants to see on his radar is fun-loving Tess. As Dan and Tess work together in Boston, the changes in Tess challenge his notions—and his heart.

<![CDATA[The Philippines]]>Wed, 01 Mar 2017 04:00:45 GMThttp://tanyastowe.com/tanyas-travel-topics/the-philippinesBy Jan Elder
I heard from a writer friend that Pelican Book Group was looking for novellas for their Passport to Romance series (http://pelicanbookgroup.com/). One of the countries I could choose from was the Philippines. A perfect fit, because my brother has lived in a suburb of Manila for over thirty years.

He’s a missionary/seminary professor and I was privileged to visit him a few years ago. He’s always talked about how difficult it is for a busy missionary man to find a good woman. Wouldn’t it be a great deal easier to just send out an application and choose a mate without all that fuss, muss, and emotional business? 

He was kidding of course (I think), but hey, what if he wasn’t? What if there was a man out there who had the audacity to advertise for a wife in this day and age? What started out as a joke made for a good book premise.

Manila and vicinity is a bizarre and striking mix of wealth and splendor existing side by side with extreme poverty. Mansions next to shacks. Lush tropical growth adjacent to dusty streets. A country of contrasts. What I loved the best, by far, was the unreserved graciousness of the Filipino people. So friendly, so generous, so welcoming!

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It all began as a lark. Shay Callahan’s life was just fine, thank you, but when the seemingly misogynistic missionary, Timothy Flynn, places an advertisement for a wife in a Christian magazine, she decides to give it a whirl and sends in the five-page application. Why not? After all, she’s not currently seeing anyone, and this man truly needs to be taught a lesson.

Finding out she’s Dr. Flynn’s pick of the litter, Shay hops on a plane and flies to The Philippines. The strategy is to jet in, enjoy an exciting two-week vacation, and jet out again, all at his expense. Instead, her plan backfires. The handsome missionary man is not what he seems, and the foreign land has far more to offer than she could imagine.

Embark on a tropical adventure with Shay that challenges everything she believes.