Spotlight on Historical Romance: The Lieutenant’s Secret Love

26 Apr

About The Book

Book: The Lieutenant’s Secret Love

Author: Elva Cobb Martin

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: April 11, 2023

An exposed family secret changed her life forever and blindsided his Marine heart.

From the day Hannah was abandoned as a newborn, her adoptive parents have kept the truth of her origin from her and her siblings. But when that secret is exposed, a threat arises which forces her to leave the only family she’s ever known and the adoptive brother she adores. She must start her life anew in Charleston.

U.S. Marine Lieutenant Adam White, harbors a secret—more confidential than patrolling the Caribbean for French corsairs, more threatening than the fight against Barbary pirates in the Mediterranean. Adam carries a personal, burning secret in his heart. He’s fallen in love with Hannah since discovering she is not his blood sister. And the thought that she might only ever see him as her loving big brother may be the greatest threat to him yet.

As the Charleston men seek to win Hannah’s heart, she never loses touch with the man who had been her older brother. The man her heart can’t help seeing him in a whole new light. But when Adam’s squadron sets out for the Mediterranean on the most dangerous mission of his life, only God can keep him—and their love—alive.

Click here to get your copy!

About The Author

Elva Cobb Martin is a wife, mother, and grandmother who lives in South Carolina with her husband and a mini-dachshund. A life-long student of history, her favorite city, Charleston, inspires her stories of romance and adventure. Her love of writing grew out of a desire to share exciting stories of courageous characters and communicate truths of the Christian faith to bring hope and encouragement. Connect with her on her web site at


More from Elva

Researching our true American history for this novel inspired me so much in a day when many are trying to ignore or wipe out our Christian foundations and heroic acts. I want to share two particular true stories which I use in my novel that should bless and inspire you, too.

First, I set my story the year after President George Washington died. He died December 14, 1799, after a bout of laryngitis following a horseback ride in the snow to check his plantation. But truly, his death was brought on by the horrid bleeding (phlebotomy) common in that day that three prominent physicians put him through. History records they bled eight quarts from his body in about thirteen hours. The physicians soon observed… “that he expired without a struggle.” –Of course he couldn’t struggle, with all that blood loss. I’ve told you this to tell you Washington’s last words.

Washington, at about eleven o’clock in the evening, uttered his last words: “Father of mercies, take me unto thyself,” and “tis well.”

On Washington’s tomb at Mount Vernon is engraved: “I am the Resurrection and the Life; saith the Lord. He that believeth in Me, though he were dead yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die.”

The Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., which is 555 feet tall, has engraved on its metal cap the Latin phrase “Laus Deo,” which means “Praise be to God.”

The other true story of our history that inspired me proves the bravery and derring-do of the fledging Navy and Marines during Thomas Jefferson’s presidency. Many don’t know that Washington actually disbanded the original Navy right after the Revolution as he had no intention of putting this almost penniless new nation into any more wars or try to find the money to support a Navy.

But Barbary Muslim pirates in the Mediterranean started plundering our merchant ships no longer under British protection and taking entire crews into slavery. We ended up paying huge sums of tribute for questionable protection and hefty ransoms to redeem any of our crews taken into slavery. President Thomas Jefferson saw the great need for a strong Navy and went about securing it during his two terms (1801-.1809). A famous byword of those days became: “Millions for defense, not a cent for tribute.”

Naval heroes like William Eaton, Edward Preble, Stephen Decatur, and Marine lieutenant Presley O’Bannon blazoned across our history during the turbulent wars against the Muslim Barbary pirates and sultans. One incident stands out that I decided to include in my novel with my fictional hero, Marine Lieutenant Adam White, added to the story and my heroine Hannah, awaiting letters from him.

Jefferson and Congress commissioned the building of a Navy frigate, the USS Philadelphia, the largest, most modern for the period, to do battle in this Barbary war. America was proud of this ship and it’s potential. But to everyone’s dismay, the Philadelphia got stuck on a sand bar near Tripoli’s harbor, and soon ended up captured by the Tripoli pirates, and its crew taken into slavery. Even though the American captain damaged the ship as best he could before being forced to surrender it, the horror was compounded when the Muslims bragged they would soon repair the ship and use it against us. President Jefferson, Congress, the Navy, and all America suffered some dark days indeed.

But naval hero Stephen Decatur came up with a daring, dangerous plan to slip into the well-guarded Tripoli Harbor where the ship was anchored while being repaired. He chose a few handpicked Marines (my novel hero included!) who would attempt to burn the Philadelphia and keep it from ever being used against us. They would have no Navy backup and would all end up in slavery if the Muslims discovered them.

You’ll have to read my novel (or do research) to find out how this ended!

Q & A with Elva Cobb Martin

Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

 I wrote my first original story in seventh grade.

Was there a special someone, such as a teacher, parent, or other relative, who encouraged you to pursue writing?  

 Dr. Bill West, Anderson University professor.

Why did you choose the historical romance genre?

Because of my love of history and God’s often intervention in our American continuing story.

Were there any obstacles you faced in your journey to publication?

Yes. Life being too busy to study and pursue novel-writing. Although I did have a number of articles published in magazines, this is the basic excuse I give for my first novel being published at age 75. God has been so good to keep giving me stories! I’m now working on novel eight.

What types of research do you pursue? Books, on-site visits, etc. 

I do read lots of books; usually have several going at one time. I also watch and save movies that depict a particular historical period. And I love visiting historical sites and taking photos for my file.

What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule?  

Surprisingly, I do not write on novels every day. I have certain days I take care of other family business, write bills, or wash clothes, etc. But on the days I designate for writing, I write from early morning to about 6 pm, with two hours off to prepare and eat lunch with my husband.

How long does it usually take to craft your books? (from outlines/first drafts to final edits)

It usually takes about eight months, then two or three more for the book tobe released by my publisher, Wild Heart Books.

Can you tell us a little about what inspired your latest novel?

Interesting research I ran across about our early American Navy and Marines helped inspire my latest novel, The Lieutenant’s Secret Love, which will be released April 5, 2023. I love honoring our military which I do in this story. They deserve it!

What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing one of your novels?

I hope readers find my novels, exciting, inspiring, and depicting romance between a man and woman as I believe God meant it to be.

Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

I am in the Plotstorming stage for Book 6, The Gamekeeper’s Reluctant Bride, in our Charleston Brides series, hopefully to be released in 2024.

Readers can connect with Elva in several ways:

Newsletter signup on my web site:

Author Blog:




Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 15

Texas Book-aholic, April 16

Connie’s History Classroom, April 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 18

Sylvan Musings, April 19

Betti Mace, April 20

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, April 21 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 21

Cover Lover Book Review, April 22

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 23

For Him and My Family, April 24

Holly’s Book Corner, April 25

By The Book, April 26 (Author Interview)

Karen Baney Reviews, April 26

Pause for Tales, April 27


To celebrate her tour, Elva is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

3 Responses to “Spotlight on Historical Romance: The Lieutenant’s Secret Love”

  1. Lori Smanski April 26, 2023 at 3:14 pm #

    oh but this sounds exciting. thanks for sharing today

  2. carylkane April 28, 2023 at 3:58 pm #

    Thank you for sharing. The Lieutenant’s Secret Love sounds like an epic romance.

  3. Elva Cobb Martin April 28, 2023 at 4:01 pm #

    Dear BTB, (couldn’t find your name on the site)
    Thank you so much for blogging about my novel, The Lieutenant’s Secret Love, and doing the interview. You are a blessing,
    Elva Cobb Martin, Anderson, S

Comments are closed.

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