Today’s guest on Wednesday Writers is Sara Foust, author of the Inspirational Romantic Suspense Callum’s Compass. She’s be taking about treasure hunts today and how they fit into her book. Welcome, Sara!
Some people have said the clues in Callum’s Compass seem way too challenging for everyday people to figure out. I even had one lady mention in an early critique that surely the first clue Kat gets would be too difficult for someone without code breaking experience to solve. I had to laugh a little, because that clue was one my husband, my brother, my two cousins, and I actually solved thirteen years ago on a treasure hunt facilitated by my uncle Jim. It was something of a tradition with Uncle Jim. And though I only was blessed to participate in a few of his infamous hunts, he had left my cousins ones all throughout their childhood.
This particular trip, we were staying at a house in Outer Banks, North Carolina, and he surprised us with our first clue early in the week, if I remember correctly. We didn’t know what the “treasure” was but, based on the last time, suspected it might be chocolate-covered doughnuts or another type of treat. All of his clues were difficult, but the one that stumped us the longest was the one using the Bible verse from Revelation that you will see in Callum’s Compass. I’m not going to tell you what the final solve was, I’ll let you read that for yourselves in my book, but I will tell you it took nearly all of a day to figure it out. And I can still remember him laughing each time we brought a new idea to him. “You’re thinking about this wrong, guys,” he would say. We even used a “phone a friend” to call his son in Nashville who was unable to make the trip. My cousin, Chelsea, is the one who finally figured it out. I figure it was all those years of practice he’d given her growing up at solving his riddles that made her so good.
At the end of the hunt, we used a metal detector to locate gold coins buried in the sand. You talk about a real treasure hunt! It was so incredibly fun. I can still picture the moment we found the treasure and looked back at the balcony porch to see the “real grownups” (I was 22 and married, mind you) grinning down at us.
Uncle Jim passed away from an aggressive brain cancer two years ago. There’s not a day that goes by we don’t think of him and miss him so much. I’ll never forget his laugh, his sense of adventure, and his love. None of us will. We are going to the beach as a family again this summer, thanks to Jim’s son’s generosity (our phone a friend). And he is working on the treasure hunt clues now. He’s already promised they will be in “Uncle Jim fashion,” which means our kids may never find the treasure without the “real grownups’ ” help, of which I am part now. But above all else, the memories we make will be the treasure we remember for the rest of our lives.
by Sara Foust
KAT WILLIAMS’S brother died in a gruesome accident in the mountains of East Tennessee. She blames herself.
RYAN JENKINS’S fiancée was murdered. He couldn’t protect her.
With the death of her brother, Kat believes she is unworthy of love from anyone—even God. When a good friend elicits a promise that she will stop living in the past and then leaves her clues to a real-life treasure hunt, Kat embarks on an adventure chock-full of danger. To find the treasure, Kat will have to survive wild animals—and even wilder men. Can she rely on Ryan, the handsome wildlife officer assigned to protect her . . . without falling in love?
Ryan swore off love when his fiancée was murdered, but feelings long-buried rise to the surface around Kat. He volunteers to help with her treasure hunt, vowing to keep her safe. Together they venture deep into caves and tunnels . . . and even deeper into the depths of their unplumbed hearts.
The box lay on the ground, its contents strewn beneath her truck. She picked up a golden pocket watch, the surface worn smooth on both sides, and another piece of paper with a hand-drawn picture.
What in the world? She read the page in her hand.
And I looked,
And behold a pale horse:
And his name that sat on him was Death,
And Hell followed with him.
And power was given unto them
Over the fourth part of the earth,
To kill with sword,
And with hunger,
And with death,
And with the beasts of the earth.”
She turned the note over to discover a series of tiny numbers written on the reverse side.
5:12; 2:10; 4:22; 10:11; 1:5; 6:3; 7:14; 2:18; 4:4; 6:1; 7:5; 9:9
More Bible verses?
Kat tucked the scripture verse and drawing back into the box and slid it safely onto the seat. The pocket watch clanked against the compass as she dropped it into her pocket.
Want to read more? You can find Callum’s Compass on Amazon
About the Author:
Sara is a multi-published, award-winning author who writes Inspirational Romantic Suspense from a mini-farm in East Tennessee, where she lives with her husband and their five homeschooled children. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Callum’s Compass won second place in Deep River Books’ 2017 Writer’s Contest. Sara also has a story, “Leap of Faith,” in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone, and her second novel in the Love, Hope, and Faith Series, Camp Hope, will be released in July 2018. Gain access to a FREE digital scrapbook detailing some real-life places from Callum’s Compass by signing up for her newsletter at http://www.saralfoust.com/.