Against the Odds by V.B. Tenery & David Arp ~ showcase and author interview


It’s something I haven’t done yet and something that intrigues me — when two authors collaborate on a work of fiction. In this case, AGAINST THE ODDS was written by two colleagues I’ve know for several years. So, I thought I’d ask them about it.

A little about the novel…

Agent Sam Roberts took nano seconds to figure out how and why the missionary woman got on the yacht. The scum-bucket Russian he was assigned to watch duped her somehow, like that miserable criminal had others. Turning a blind eye to save his job might guarantee her an early visit from the Grim Reaper. Then again, a rescue attempt through middle east terrain might have the same results. His choice is a story ready to keep any reader turning pages long into the night.”

It was the mother of all bad days. — The date, September 11, 2012. The place, Benghazi, Libya. While a brave band of warrior’s fight for their lives in the consulate and CIA annex, outside, a Mossad Agent, a missionary, and a Mississippi giant fight a different battle. Caught between terrorists and an enraged Russian arms dealer, they must complete the mission and manage to stay alive until they can escape or the cavalry arrives. Never assume things can’t get worse.


Nike: What was it like to write with a co-author?

Dave Arp Alaska 2011
Dave in Alaska

Dave:  Co-writing makes you think, or at least it made me think more than if I were writing alone. AGAINST THE ODDS was Virginia’s idea, and she wrote the first two chapters and sent them to me. I had to introduce my character and tie him to hers. I/we never knew where the other was taking the story. Sometimes the next scene jumped into my head and away I went. Sometimes I thought “What!”

V. B. Tenery

VB: When I decide to write a story set in Libya, I asked David if he would like to join the project since he has an extensive background in the Middle East. Thus, the character of Tree was added to the story. Co-authoring was different, but in a good way. Our writing styles are similar so the chapters blended together seamlessly. Dave (The Great White Hunter) Arp was sometimes incommunicado tracking bears across the Alaskan tundra or working in the Gulf on an oil rig and would find chapters and emails from me in his inbox to wade through. All in all, it was a fun experience.

Nike:  Tell us something topical, interesting, funny, or something we would not expect about the writing of this novel.

David: Tree’s name and physical characteristics came from two men I worked with in Saudi Arabia. Getting a character from Mississippi into Libya isn’t hard if he’s working for a drilling contractor and his mom is Tunisian.

VB: Molly the dog, in the story, is real. Her characteristics as described in the             novel are exclusively her own. She doesn’t like anyone but me, but will tolerate a few others. She is a rescue dog my daughter purchased. Molly’s original owner was an older woman so Molly adopted me. I call her my little Rottweiler. My office is in my bedroom and she lives under my bed except when the weather is nice. Anyone who dares venture into her space is greeted by Molly in attack mode. She is the fastest dog I’ve ever seen. When I put her outside, she shoots out the door like she was fired from a gun. I went from a big, lovable, gentle St. Bernard, to an unfriendly, grouchy, hyper, midget with an attitude. What are you going to do when you’re adopted?

V. B Tenery website    V.B. Tenery Amazon Author Page

David Arb blog   David Arp Amazon Author Page   

AGAINST THE ODDS Amazon Purchase Link 


Mark Young Nails It Again with FATAL eMPULSE

FATAL eMPULSEMark Young is a name that comes up all the time in purpose-driven crime fiction. I’ve read his work and I’d put his heroes in the classical “warrior” archetype — self-controlled, possessing moral courage. Taking full responsibility for his actions in the mission. Demonstrating an ethical code of personal honor, noble restraint, and individual humility for his deeds. These qualities in Mark’s heroes intrigue me and make me want to keep reading.

So, I thought I’d get him over here and ask him a few questions about his writing and his new novel FATAL eMPULSE.

Nike: What about Gerrit O’Rourke intrigues you the most? Why did you create him?

Mark: Gerrit is a man of contrasts. His eidetic memory allows him to recall sensory as well as visual information, allowing him to master languages, laws of science, and the intricate rules of combat and survival, but he is a dismal failure in the area of personal relationships.

I created Gerrit with a set of unique abilities that he will need to face the future. Off the Grid, and its sequel, Fatal eMpulse, embark on a journey that will take us from now to the tribulation. We have all read biblical prophecies about end times, but how about the time between now and then. How do we get to a point where there are ten kings ruling the world, and the anti-christ desecrates the temple mount. What part does the U.S. have in this…if any. Gerrit and his crew of characters will have to struggle through all this as Gerrit is forced to consider his own faith, his own beliefs, in the contact of these perilous times. Gerrit—through each novel—must deal with the rise of new technology, the dynamics of world politics, and the clash of good and evil.

Nike: What impresses many readers is your talent for hiding who the villian is. In fact, you sometimes hide who several of the bad guys are until the end. Is this a talent you simply have, or do you have to plan and plot this out in your novels?

Mark: Thank you, Nike, but everything about writing comes hard for me, particularly when I struggle to orchestrate a dynamic, ahh-got-you moment. If a writer miscalculates, it’s like a comedian messing up the punch line—the story goes flat and dies. The reader becomes disappointed. So I kick it around in my head for a while, maybe even months at a time. An idea might pop up out of nowhere and I run with it. Other times, I’ll settle on an outcome and carefully go back through the novel—planting little hints like seeds—before the reader finally discover who the true villain might be. Now my next novel, Broken Allegiance (A Tom Kagan Novel), coming out this summer, has more villains than you can shake a stick at. Take your pick.


So, let’s find out a little bit about FATAL eMPULSE…

A presidential edict hurls Gerrit O’Rourke and his international team deep into the heart of the Mid East to prevent an aerial attack threatening to start another world war. To make matters worse, a traitor close to the president alerts others of Gerrit’s mission. Only days away from the attack, the team must stay alive long enough to complete their mission and thwart whoever is trying to orchestrate their deaths.

Racing from the blue waters of Florida’s Key West and California’s Lake Tahoe to the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea, everything comes down to this—who will survive? Gerrit’s past again rises to create conflict between himself, his Mossad-trained partner Alena Shapiro, and a flame from the past—CIA agent Shakeela Vaziri. Beyond romance, beyond survival, Gerrit and his team must race against the clock as attack planes launch. Every second counts.


Off The Grid

Mark’s first novel in the series is OFF THE GRID. Readers can follow this main character from the moment he first appears on the page.


Mark Young

Mark Young is an American novelist. He worked as a police officer with the Santa Rosa Police Department in California for twenty-six years; an award-winning journalist; and a Vietnam combat veteran. He served with several law enforcement task force operations, including the presidential Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force targeting major drug traffickers, and the federal Organized Crime Task Force charged with identifying and prosecuting prison gang leaders. He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his family.

Mark Young: Arresting Fiction Blog

Hook’em & Book’em Blog