Tag Archives: H L Wegley

Guest Post: Interview with Brock Daniels, Hero

Brock Daniels is the hero of HL Wegley’s new political thriller, Voice in the Wilderness. Here’s an interview that’s not in the novel, but it could easily have happened “off-stage.”

Background: A reporter is sent to interview Brock Daniels, after he clears customs at LAX. He’s returning from a mission trip to Guatemala, where he encountered Ebola in a place the disease has never been seen. Though cleared to travel, the media’s reporting that Brock might have been exposed.

REPORTER: Mr. Brock Daniels?

BROCK: Yes, ma’am. Who’s asking?

REPORTER: I’m a reporter for a local newspaper. May I have a few minutes of your time?

BROCK: This is LAX. What you mean by a local newspaper?

REPORTER: I work for the LA Times. Do you have a few minutes?

BROCK: I’ve got more than a few minutes. We just missed our flight due to spending eight hours being poked, prodded, and interrogated.

REPORTER: That’s one of the things I wanted to ask you about. We heard that the W.H.O. was here talking to you. Is it true that you were exposed to Ebola in Guatemala?

BROCK: Bad news travels fast. But we don’t know that we were exposed to Ebola.

REPORTER: We? Does that include the young lady with you?

BROCK: Yes. This is Julia Weiss.

REPORTER: So are you two a couple?

BROCK: I, uh …

JULIA: Brock, I think I’ll excuse myself and let you talk to this nice lady.

BROCK: Thanks, Julia … I think.

REPORTER: Okay, Mr. Daniels. What were you doing in Guatemala that exposed you to Ebola?

BROCK: Like I said, we don’t know if we were exposed. Four adults from my church were chaperoning a team of high schoolers on a short-term mission project helping people in a remote village. One of the young girls in the village became very sick. I had heard Ebola symptoms described by missionaries who had seen the disease in Africa. There’s never been a case of Ebola in Central America, but I was suspicious. So, we found medical help and a doctor confirmed that she had Ebola.

REPORTER: How many people got sick?

BROCK: As far as I know, just the one girl. Look, I’ve been up for twenty-four hours, and I’m really tired. I’ll answer a few more questions for you, unless I don’t like where the questions are going.

REPORTER: Fair enough. Didn’t you plan to pitch in the major leagues? Someone said they clocked your fastball as high as 105 miles-per-hour.

BROCK: Someone has a big mouth. Things change. So do plans.

REPORTER: They sure do. Now you have quite a reputation as a blogger. What do you write about?

BROCK: I write about the truth—truth in morality and ethics, in theology, history, philosophy, and religion. And I write about the state, what it should and should not be doing. Every few weeks I make a prediction about what will happen in the USA, based upon recent events and trends. Those posts tend to go viral.

REPORTER: How many people does your blog reach?

BROCK: Over a million.

REPORTER: My, oh my. A million followers? I understand that your posts are heavily critical of President Hannan.

BROCK: He’s certainly given the citizens of the United States plenty of reasons to criticize him. He violates the Constitution at every turn, using policies in the agencies and departments, coupled with executive orders. He’s emasculating our military and bankrupting the nation. Now, he’s prosecuting people of faith for simply living out their beliefs as they’ve always done in America. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

REPORTER: It sounds like you have it in for the president.

BROCK: Ma’am … I think he has it in for us, the citizens. And, especially, for me.

REPORTER: Some people call Brock Daniels a prophet, the voice crying in the wilderness. What do you say to—

BROCK: I can’t control what people say about me. But the truth is, I’m just a struggling writer who’s a bit of a Christian apologist.

REPORTER: Changing the subject. You never did tell me … are you and Ms. Weiss a couple?

BROCK: No. Julia’s a wonderful woman, but not for me.

REPORTER: So is there a special woman in Brock Daniels’ life?

BROCK: I don’t know. I thought there was. But she’s been away for a long time.

REPORTER: Can you give us a clue who you’re talking about?

BROCK: She’s going through some pretty tough times. Her mother and her father, a US senator, were killed in a plane crash a while ago.

REPORTER: The daughter of a dead US senator … you must be talking about Katheryn Banning?

BROCK: Yeah. KC and I have known each other since we were kids. We were pretty close growing up, then … well, things happened. Her father moved the family to DC and, after he intentionally split us up, we haven’t gotten back together.

REPORTER: You don’t sound very happy about that. Were you two—

BROCK: Now, I don’t like where your questions are going. Are you sure that someone in the Hannan Administration didn’t put you up to this? Probing into the life of Abe Hannan’s public enemy number one, Brock Daniels?

REPORTER: Well, actually … uh—

BROCK: That’s what I thought. How much is he paying you? Am I next on his hit list?


BROCK: Okay. Tell you what … since you’re so interested in my love life, maybe you’d like me to kiss you. I hear it’s a really fun way to spread Ebola. Hey, Ms. LA Times! There’s no need to leave. I think I feel a coughing fit coming on.


What if your blog could save the nation, but posting to it might cost your life?

Two extraordinary people …

Voice in the Wilderness, by HL Wegley

As catastrophes drive the US into martial law, all eyes are on America, waiting to see what emerges. KC Banning, network specialist, discovers President Hannan’s tyrannical plans and is branded a terrorist, sending her fleeing the Beltway to find her childhood soulmate and protector, Brock Daniels. Brock, a writer and man of faith, gives CPR to a dying nation through his blog, which is read by military members still loyal to the Constitution. But starting a grassroots insurgency while reconciling KC’s and Brock’s broken relationship proves difficult. When Hannan sends Special Forces to kill Brock and KC, starting a war in the Central Oregon desert, reconciliation, like staying alive, might be impossible.

born for a time such as this.

Set in Washington DC and near Crooked River Ranch in the Central Oregon desert, Voice in the Wilderness, Book 1 of the Against All Enemies Series, is a political thriller, with romance, about two people who must decide if they’re willing to sacrifice their lives to prevent the USA from becoming the Dystopian States of America.

H L Wegley

H. L. Wegley served as an Air Force Intelligence Analyst and a Weather Officer. In civilian life, he worked as a research scientist, publishing in the scientific literature, then developed Boeing computing systems for 20 years before he and his wife of 50 years retired near Seattle. He is a multi-published author with a 4-book inspirational thriller series, 2 nonfiction books, and 4 more novels on the way.

Link to the author’s website: hlwegley.com

Review: Triple Threat, by H.L. Wegley

Triple Threat, by HL WegleyTriple Threat, by HL Wegley (Harbourlight Books, 2014)

If you like novels that kick up the adrenaline on the first page, this one’s for you. Triple Threat is book 4 in the Pure Genius series, and it features Jennifer and Lee’s adopted daughter, Katie, who’s about to turn 21. Timeline-wise, it’s five years after Moon over Maalaea Bay.

Katie is doing her doctoral research on tracking terrorist messages on the Internet. When she discovers a triple threat aimed at the US (fire, power blackouts and disease) she and research partner Joshua West don’t have time to convince the FBI. They have to get proof – and stay alive long enough to deliver it.

Triple Threat reads like a movie. Some of the action is a bit past the believable point for me, but it’s good, clean fun. There’s a spiritual element too. Katie and Josh discover a mutual attraction, but she isn’t willing to have a relationship with a man who’s not a Christian. Josh thinks faith is for people who can’t see it doesn’t work. They have some interesting chats as Katie shares how her brilliant mind sees reasons for her faith.

Because the novel deals with cyber crimes, there are technical terms that get thrown around to give context, terms the characters would likely use. Confession: those sentences were over my head, so I skimmed them. Didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story any more than if the characters had been talking medicine or botany.

I haven’t yet read book 1 in this series, but the others have been good reads. HL Wegley writes clean, action-based fiction that tackles real-life issues like terrorism and human trafficking. If you like novels that tackle grittier subjects yet won’t leave you traumatized, check out the Pure Genius series. If you want to start at the beginning, book 1 is Hide and Seek.

Author HL Wegley describes his novels’ atmosphere as “A climate of suspense and a forecast of stormy weather.” For more about the author and his books, visit hlwegley.com.

[Review copy from my personal library.]

Review: Moon over Maalaea Bay, by H.L. Wegley

Moon Over Maalaea Bay, by H.L. WegleyMoon Over Maalaea Bay, by H.L. Wegley (Harbourlight Books, 2014)

Moon over Maalaea Bay is book 3 in the Pure Genius series, and it picks up hours after the end of book 2 (On the Pineapple Express). If you plan to read this series from the beginning, stop here or you’ll find out more than you want to know about plot points from the earlier books.

Still with me? Okay. Brilliant and beautiful Jennifer Akihara and her fiancé, Lee Brandt, were instrumental in breaking open one arm of an international human trafficking ring and rescuing teenage girls who would have been sold into terrible situations.

The couple has earned a break, and how better to spend it than honeymooning in Hawaii? Except now there’s not just one group of villains wanting revenge on Jennifer, there are two. Thanks to the publicity surrounding the captured girls’ rescue, both groups know where to find her.

One takes her. Frantic with worry, Lee doesn’t trust the local police (and the FBI who quickly swarm the area) to move fast enough. He, Jennifer’s grandfather, and Katie, who will be the Brandts’ adopted daughter as soon as the paperwork is finished, set out to find Jenn before it’s too late.

The novel alternates between Jenn’s and Lee’s points of view, and the pace doesn’t let up. I’m glad I read the previous book and developed a trust for H.L. Wegley’s writing. Jennifer’s enemies have an extremely bad ending planned for her, and I wouldn’t have wanted to risk what a new-to-me author might include in the text. Mr. Wegley conveys the danger without anything graphic or gratuitous.

The entire novel spans roughly 24 hours as Lee races to save his wife and Jennifer uses all her wits to find a way to escape. This is a Christian novel, and one of the things Lee grapples with is how much harder it is to trust God to look after the woman he loves than it is to trust Him with his own life or death.

As well as the action (including some impressive Karate from Katie) I enjoyed the chance to vicariously swim with the giant sea turtles off the Maalaea Bay beach. An end note from H.L. Wegley reveals that Hawaii is his favourite vacation spot, and I’m sure that has a lot to do with how authentic the setting feels.

There will be one more book in the Pure Genius series, releasing later this year. H.L. Wegley blogs at The Weather Scribe, and his novels offer “A climate of suspense and a forecast of stormy weather.”

[Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.]

Lee Brandt from On the Pineapple Express

Today we meet Lee Brandt, one of the characters from H. L. Wegley‘s suspense novel, On the Pineapple Express.

Janet: Welcome, Lee, and thanks for taking time to join us. I’m writing these questions before reading your story, so forgive me if I blunder over something that should be obvious. This way I can’t accidentally toss out a spoiler. Let’s start with the basics: tell us what you look like, and what you do for a living.

Lee: Here’s a picture of me. Photo of Lee BrandtI’ve never been very good at descriptions. Jenn says my eyes usually have an intense look … except when I’m teasing her. That’s what tells her I’m not serious. But you asked about my work. I recently jumped ship from computer systems development back to Meteorology, my first career. I’m a partner in a weather consulting firm doing specialized weather forecasting for our clients.

Janet: I understand you’re engaged—and that you met your fiancée through a cyber investigation. Could you tell us a bit about that? And is it true she’s brilliant? How easy is that to live with?

Lee: Jennifer? Yeah, she’s brilliant. Has an IQ a few points above Einstein, so you don’t want to challenge her to a game of chess … or to a deadly game of wits. She’s an Internet forensics specialist. If you’re a bad dude collaborating on the net, she can find you, all your partners, and what you’re up to. Our mentor, Howie, uh, Dr. Martin, sent her to help me with a computer security problem and her probing into a cyber espionage plot nearly got us killed. That’s how I got to know her. And, as long as you’re completely honest with Jennifer, believe it or not she’s easy to live, even for someone like me, a man from the dregs of the genius barrel.

Janet: I also hear Jennifer is good with a gun. That’s not something I expect of a computer genius. How about you, Lee? What’s your comfort level with danger?

Lee: When you’re small, young looking, and beautiful, like Jenn, you sometimes attract men you’d rather not have around. One of those types stalked her and he had some really bad intentions. He’s behind bars now and walks with a permanent limp. She hits what she aims at. But danger … when I accept it on my terms, I can live with a little danger. However, when it comes at you unexpectedly, and threatens someone you love, I can get a little crazy if I don’t get on my knees first. Even after I do, I can still get a little crazy. Jenn can vouch for that.

Janet: On the Pineapple Express is the second time you and Jennifer have faced death together. Has it been easy working with such a strong-willed and perhaps impetuous woman?

Lee: Strong-willed. Yeah, that’s Jennifer if she knows she’s right. But she only seems impetuous. By the time my mind catches up to what she’s thinking, she’s already thought it through and made a decision, a carefully weighed decision. We both have strengths such that we complement each other. Together, we make an awesome team. At least I think so.

Janet: Is it true you’re also a man of prayer? How does that play out in your life?

Lee: Prayer, 10 years of it, brought me a soul mate after I had given up on finding anyone. God does things right, doesn’t He? He allowed me to introduce Jennifer to Himself. I’ve been privileged to do that with some other people too. I’m something of a self-taught apologist who enjoys answering questions like, if God exists, how can He be good when He allows so much evil in the world? That’s one agnostics like to throw at me. Or, how can you believe all those myths and legends about Jesus? Sorry. I got a little carried away. But, as you can see, I’m pretty good at apology. J

Janet: Your first story was Hide and Seek, but there’s even more at stake this time: the lives of those girls about to be sold into slavery. If I’ve got this right, Jennifer found out about this operation but the FBI say there’s not enough to go on—so you and she are going to take on a human trafficking ring by yourselves?

Lee: Take on the ring by ourselves. It sounds a little crazy when you word it like that, but taking on heavily armed traffickers wasn’t our intent. Jennifer believed that the holding location was an abandoned mill on the Olympic Peninsula, but the Peninsula is dotted with old mill sites. We did some research to locate sawmills and simply wanted to find a site with some squatters living on it, then sic the Feds on them. But the storm got in the way, isolating us. If the girls were going to be saved, our options for doing so were reduced to only one or two, and they didn’t include FBI support.

Janet: Where do you have to go to rescue them? And is it true there’s a major storm heading that way?

Lee: The old mill sites are strung out along the coastal road, Highway 101, on the outer Olympic Peninsula. A beautiful place when the sun is shining. Using satellite pictures, we found 5 candidate sites that we planned to visit … very cautiously. The Pineapple Express, the heavy rainstorm, presented some problems, mainly flooding. But the greatest danger came from a windstorm forming near the coastline. This storm didn’t move in. It developed in something called explosive cyclogenesis. It’s unusual in the Pacific Northwest and, by the time the computer models picked it up, we had barely 24-hours advance warning about the hurricane-strength winds.

Janet: How likely is it you’ll pull this off?

Lee: Twenty-four hours notice still gave us time to visit all 5 mill sites. The odds were in our favour. But then we encountered several delays, and the clock became a major factor in what had become a deadly game. Jennifer’s certainty about God wanting her to find the girls was the only thing that kept us in a game, a game where our odds of winning had become long.

Janet: What scares you more than anything?

Lee: What scares me to death is that Jennifer might try to sacrifice her life for mine in the hope that I would survive to contact the authorities so they could stop the sale of the girls. If I lost her after waiting 10 years for someone like her to come along … I can’t let my mind go there.

Janet: If you could say one thing to H. L. Wegley, what would it be?

Lee: Good old H. L… Janet, you did know that he and I have similar resumes, right? And the stuff I did in Hide and Seek, much of it he did years ago, but he swore me to secrecy on the details. What would I say to him? Probably this—H. L., I can never thank you enough for bringing me Jennifer. But if you put us in one more predicament like this, I’m going to pray that you get the worst case of writer’s block you’ve ever had—maybe a permanent case.

Janet: I hear you! If you and Jennifer survive this crisis, do you hope life settles down, or are you developing a taste for adventure?

Lee: Taste for adventure? You’ve got to be kidding! I want to marry Jenn and go on a long honeymoon in Maui where nothing bad ever happens. Walk barefoot in the sand on Keawakapu Beach, watching the Moon over Maalaea Bay.

Janet: Describe your idea of a perfect day.

Lee: I can see the perfect day now. Jenn and I pull our snorkelling gear on in the morning sun on Maui’s Ulua Beach and then plunge into 80-degree water, where brilliantly colored tropical fish swarm around us while we swim hand-in-hand above a coral reef in one of the most beautiful settings in all of creation.

Janet: Thanks for chatting, Lee. And I hope you and Jennifer can rescue those girls and save your own lives too—and enjoy a beautiful, safe time in Maalaea Bay, although I have a suspicion it won’t be as calm as you’d like.


Author H.L. Wegley

For more about the author and the Pure Genius series, visit H.L. Wegley’s website.

H. L. Wegley has a related post, “Fear, Courage and Foolishness” at Inner Source, and you can read interviews with Jennifer Akihara at Ralene Burke’s site and Fay Lamb’s site. You can read my review of On the Pineapple Express here.


On The Pineapple Express, by H L Wegley

On the Pineapple Express, by H.L. Wegley

In one of the most beautiful places on earth the ugliest of crimes holds young, innocent lives in its evil grip. An intercepted cell-phone call from a remote area on the Olympic Peninsula tells beautiful, brilliant NSA researcher, Jennifer Akihara, a group of girls will soon be sold into slavery by human traffickers. She enlists her fiancé, Lee Brandt, to help find the holding location and convince the FBI to intervene. With the clock ticking off the last few hours before both the sale of the girls and the arrival of a deadly storm, and with international criminals pursuing them, can Jennifer and Lee save the girls, or will their wedding plans be cancelled … permanently?

Review: On the Pineapple Express, by H. L. Wegley

On The Pineapple Express, by H L WegleyOn the Pineapple Express, by H. L. Wegley (Harbourlight Books, Pelican Book Group, 2014)

You’d think monitoring messages in a rural part of coastal Washington State would be safe, even boring. But Jennifer Akihara has intercepted a coded message about a human trafficking ring selling teen girls—or younger—from the US to offshore bidders. She has to act. Now.

Jennifer’s contact with the FBI needs more proof before he can mobilize a team. That makes Jennifer and her fiancé, Lee Brandt, the team on the ground.

Jennifer and Lee have survived what they hoped was a once in a lifetime brush with death in book 1 of this series, Hide and Seek. They’re smart (she’s brilliant), brave, and they know whatever happens, God is with them.

But will that be enough to save these young girls? Especially the one Jennifer can hear crying in her mind?

With time running out, and a killer storm moving in, Jennifer and Lee take some crazy risks to find the traffickers’ hideout.

Human trafficking is one of those hard-to-read-about subjects, but H. L. Wegley delivers a story even teens could read without scarring themselves. It helps that the buyers want these girls “unspoiled.” And readers don’t see inside the girls’ heads, although we’re told that one of them hanged herself with her own shoelaces rather than face what their captors had planned.

On the Pineapple Express is a fast-moving, adrenaline-laced adventure, clean and gripping. The banter between Jennifer and Lee provides breaks in the tension, but not for long. It’s also a story with some surprising, heart-warming moments.

Favourite quotes:

If he [Lee] believed in luck, his would have been all used up by now. But a good and gracious God transcended that thing called luck. Kindle Location 520

The wind volume cranked up several decibels, sounding like a crowd of demons rooting for the devil. Kindle Location 1674

Author H. L. Wegley is a former meteorologist, and his weather knowledge lets him write detailed storm scenes. You can learn more about Mr. Wegley and his writing at his website. On the Pineapple Express is book 2 in the Pure Genius series. Book 3, Moon over Maalaea Bay, releases June 2014, with book 4, Triple Threat, slated for Fall 2014.

[Review copy provided by the publisher for an honest review.]