Behind the Scenes with Lee Carver

June 10, 2017

Three years ago, a well-known publisher asked me to write short romance novels concerning missionaries in a foreign setting. Two weeks after my agent turned them in, the publisher was sold and that novel line was discontinued. Most publishers don’t want to invest in novels with a foreign setting. And missionary romances? Not a genre they’d bet on. So I’ve made the novels longer and more complex, and I’m self-publishing them. The first, Katie’s Quest, was released on June 1st, and others follow at three month intervals.


My husband and I were volunteer missionaries in the Brazilian Amazon following his early retirement from Citibank’s international branch. He refreshed his Navy flight training to be a pilot for the Lord’s work instead of chasing Russian submarines. We lived in Brazil twelve years, though half of that was in South America’s banking capital, São Paulo. All that language training, Brazilian permanent visas, technicolor driver’s licenses, and cultural adaptation came to fruition on the mission field. It’s more than a setting for my novels; it’s the best part of our lives.


In the background of the female protagonist of Katie’s Quest is the loss of her fiancé during a routine training flight. Readers may think, “Oh, that wouldn’t happen. Especially in the US.” But it did. We’d returned to the US for Darrel to refresh his flight training and gain experience in small, single-engine planes. We donated a Cessna Caravan 208 to MAF-Brazil, Asas de Socorro (Wings of Mercy), and there was not one single 208 in Brazil at that time. So he needed a Certified Flight Instructor rating in order to legally instruct the mission pilots in the use of that plane. Ron Royce, a hero of the faith, taught him that course at Moody Aviation, putting so much of his life on hold to get Darrel and the 208 on the field ASAP.


About five years ago, Ron was training a young missionary pilot who was scheduled to move to Africa. The cause of the accident which killed Ron and his student has never been determined, but they died in the hills of Tennessee. Darrel happened to be there for a Mission Safety International Board meeting. Why did God allow this to happen? We won’t know this side of heaven. But missionaries put on the line every day all that they have and are.


Part of the message in my novels is the life of sacrifice, the acceptance of hardship, and the dedication of missionaries—real, imperfect people—who serve today. As for our own testimony, whatever God may call you to do, do it. Go there. Or serve at home. Otherwise, you’ll miss the greatest adventure and fulfillment possible. I’ve named this novel series “Call to the Jungle.” Your call may not be to the Amazon, but every believer is called by God. Listen carefully. The call is there.


Blurb: Katie Dennis committed to serve as a nurse in the Amazon even after her fiancé died on a training flight. She wouldn’t have lasted through the first mission trip if not for Matt, a pilot born and reared in the jungle. But she’d never fall for a pilot again.

Matt Gibbs, missionary pilot, finally settled on a good choice for a wife, someone known to his family all their lives. Why, then, did the new blonde nurse make him feel like doing barrel rolls in the Amazon sky?

Romance and unforeseen danger flow in the Brazilian Amazon as Katie searches for a fulfilling and meaningful life—one that quickly becomes more exciting than her wildest imagination!


Katie’s Quest, Kindle version:

Bitly code for CreateSpace eStore:

Bitly code for print book on Amazon:



Lee Carver is once again failing at retirement, a hybrid author in every sense: fiction and nonfiction, traditionally and independently published. She also does freelance editing, formatting, and print book and e-book uploads as well as being a Stephen Minister, singing alto in the choir, crocheting with Prayer Shawl Ministry, and playing piano, among other activities. Married forty-nine years to a very supportive man, they have two adult children and five grandchildren.




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