The Reckoning by MaryLu Tyndall ~ A Review

The Reckoning

When Morgan Shaw crept into the hold of an old pirate ship replica at San Diego’s Annual Tall Ship Festival, her only intention was to avoid the guy who had just dumped her and who was now boarding the ship with two women on his arm. What she didn’t expect was to wake up aboard a real pirate ship three-hundred years in the past. But of course, it wasn’t real. Her wealthy father had obviously staged it all in an effort to get her mind off her upcoming chemo. Or had he?

Pirate Rowan Dutton seeks enough treasure to repay a debt to his sister and reinstate the Dutton name among British Jamaican Society. He is but one major haul away from accomplishing his goal when a strange woman appears on his ship and causes him to lose his prey. Despite his anger, he is enthralled with the little minx, her strange clothing, odd speech, and her insistence that they are all actors playing a charade paid for by her father.

Yet when the brazen little lady divulges Rowan’s secret to a longtime nemesis, events are triggered that could cost them both their lives and change the course of history forever.

I went into this book expecting a full and adventurous read. What I got was so much more.

Morgan has a problem. Cancer. As everything seems to fall down around her and she isn’t sure she could feel more alone, everything fades away and she finds herself in an even more unpredictable situation. Anxiety soars as the world grows more unknown. She faces down an unruly pirate captain and his crew, while trying to hold herself and her world together. When she’s not sure she could possibly face another moment, when a simple breath is beyond her, she has a decision to make. Face the rest of the unknowns alone… or put her life in the hands of the One she doesn’t think cares.

Rowan is a mighty Captain and one tough pirate. Known for his cunning and ruthlessness, he meets his match in Morgan. He can’t figure her out and she seems to not care for his charm, which usually sends the ladies swooning. Morgan is not swooning. In fact, she seems to be immune to him… but is he immune to her?

As a person who fights anxiety, this heroine spoke to me. MaryLu draws the emotions of anxiety out and I could nearly feel Morgan’s panic. I also love how MaryLu dealt with anxiety and the other trials that Morgan had to face. Numerous times I wiped tears from my eyes as truths were spoken that even spoke into my life.

Not only is this a wonderful read if you struggle with anxiety, it’s a fantastic adventure for anyone. MaryLu knows how to write a fantastic pirate story. She knows her ships, pirates and adventures and knows how to grab a reader and yank them into the story. It was really hard to put this book down and yet, when it ended, I was sad to read the final page.

This will definitely be a book I will re-read many times. I loved it!

*I received this book from MaryLu Tyndall in exchange for my honest review. I didn’t have to love it, but I sure did!*

You can find MaryLu on her website, facebook, twitter, and goodreads.

M.L. Tyndall (MaryLu) grew up on the shores of Southern Florida dreaming of romance and adventure upon the sea. She now lives with her husband, six children, and four cats in Northern California where she writes inspirational adventure romance novels. MaryLu’s novels have been praised for their fast-paced action, strong inspirational messages, and incredibly vivid settings. Her first novel, The Redemption was nominated for the prestigious Christy Award for Best Christian Fiction.

 

~Sarah

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“Elusive Hope” by MaryLu Tyndall ~ A Review (and a sneak peek!)

Elusive Hope
“Embark on an exotic adventure in Book 2 of the Escape to Paradise series from bestselling author MaryLu Tyndall. In the fledgling colony of New Hope, their friends struggle to create a Southern utopia in Brazil soon after the Civil War. But Hayden is seeking revenge—relentlessly. And Magnolia is seeking a way out—desperately. They both seek to use the other for their own purposes—deceptively. Falling in love was never part of their plans.”

I went in to this book thinking I knew what to expect.  The first book was a great read (see my review here) and I was sure that this one would be too!  Well, I was absolutely right.  Actually, I think I liked it even more.

The dynamic between Magnolia and Hayden is awesome.  I love the interplay of sarcasm, frustration and attraction between them. One minute they are seemingly wanting to kill each other and the next they are growing closer.  I really enjoyed the relationship.  I loved how Hayden came to realize how God wants for all of us.  Magnolia’s realizations and changes are wonderful.  I liked how she finally came into her own!

Throw in a temple and some really creepy happenings and I was riveted to the pages and did not want this to end.  I liked the addition of the brief glimpses of the temple.  I was really intrigued by it and wanted to hear more about it (which will be coming in book 3).  I liked how the settings were so different in how MaryLu wrote them.  The colony sounded like such a beautiful, peaceful setting.  The temple, on the other hand, was dark and creepy.  The writing reached out and grabbed me around the throat, I could feel goose-bumps on my arms and my heart would begin to race.  Awesome!

The epilogue left me desperately wishing book 3 was already printed and on my shelf!  I can’t wait for Abandoned Memories.

If you enjoyed ‘Forsaken Dreams’, you will definitely enjoy ‘Elusive Hope’.  If you haven’t read ‘Forsaken Dreams’, what are you waiting for?  These are great books!!

Abandoned MemoriesThanks for reading my review and, just because I appreciate you guys so much, I’ve obtained (courtesy of the awesome MaryLu Tyndall) a sneak peek from ‘Abandoned Memories’ for you.  Shhhh, don’t tell anyone.  😉  Enjoy!

October 18th, 1866 The jungles of Brazil
The ground shook like a ship in a sea squall. Dirt and rocks pelted Angeline. . .striking. . .stinging. Her heart seized. Covering her head, she spun and staggered back the way she’d come—up toward the tunnel entrance and into the temple, where at least she wouldn’t be buried alive. Unless the roof of the ancient shrine caved in. A violent jolt struck, launching her against the rock wall as if she were made of paper. Pain radiated up her arm. Her legs quivered like the ground beneath them, and she fell onto the shifting dirt.
The hand that engulfed hers was rough like old rope, powerful, yet warm. An equally powerful arm swung around her waist as tremors wracked the tunnels. “Hang on. You’re safe,” James spoke in her ear, covering her head with his own. Pebbles rained down on them. Coughing, Angeline flung a hand to her mouth when the quaking finally stopped.  
She drew a deep breath, her lungs filling with dust scented with spice and man and James. And standing there, ensconced in his embrace, fears that had risen so quickly when the ground had begun to shake suddenly vanished. She hated herself for it. She pushed from him. The stench of sulfur and mold instantly swept away his masculine aroma and resurrected her terror.
James stared at her oddly while he said to the men, “I told you we should not have brought the women.”
Brushing dirt from her skirts, Eliza, who stood in front of them with her husband, Blake, turned to face him. “You had no say in it, Doctor. We insisted. Did we not?” She smiled at Angeline. “There’s nothing to fear from a little shaking.”
Angeline wasn’t so sure. But then again, she didn’t possess Eliza’s courage and strength. Few women did. Those qualities, along with a multitude of others, were the reason Angeline admired her friend so much—the reason she’d cast aside her fears and agreed to venture into the eerie temple they’d found in the middle of the Brazilian jungle.
And then down into the tunnels beneath.
Yet at the moment, Eliza looked as if someone had dumped a bucket of chalk powder on her head. If Angeline weren’t so frightened, she’d giggle at the sight. But her alarm at being so far below ground during an earthquake stifled any laughter. She never should have come along. The men had insisted on investigating a loud explosion they’d heard last night that had shaken the ground all the way to their settlement of New Hope. When they feared it came from the temple, Eliza’s concern for Mr. Graves mounted, but now that Angeline had seen the ancient ruin and experienced the stink and heat of the narrow tunnels that spanned beneath it, she wondered why anyone would want to return. Or live here, as Mr. Graves had done since they’d arrived in Brazil.
Mr. Graves was one of the reasons Angeline had joined them today—to witness for herself the madman “digging his way to hell,” according to some of the colonists’ reports. Exaggerated reports, she was sure, but after Eliza had regaled her with further tales of gruesome obelisks, prison alcoves hewn in rock, strange Latin and Hebrew inscriptions, and Graves’s obsession with releasing powerful, invisible creatures, Angeline’s curiosity had gotten the best of her—regardless of James’s insistence that she remain in town. Or maybe because of it. Angeline grew tired of men dictating her. Telling her how to live and what to do and how to behave.
And using her like a dried-up commodity.
So, she’d come. And now, despite the heat and the terror and the pain, the look of approval in Eliza’s eyes made it all worth it. Almost.
“We ladies don’t fear a little earthquake, gentlemen. Do carry on.” Eliza’s courage caused Angeline’s shoulders to lift just a little. The woman was nearly two months along with child, yet here she was burrowing into the depths of the earth right beside her husband. Oh, how Angeline longed to be brave and independent like Eliza. Not weak and submissive as she’d been her entire life. Angeline had not only come to Brazil to start a new life but to become a new person. To put both her past-life and her past-self behind her. If only she could. . .
The ground trembled again and she pressed a hand against the wall. Sharp crags pricked her fingers as they slid over rock that seemed to sweat in the infernal heat. “If there was an explosion here last night, I’m surprised these tunnels didn’t collapse.”
“Indeed,” James said, shifting his torch to his other hand, “though these walls appear to be solid enough.” He ran a sleeve over his forehead, leaving a streak of mud. “Still, being below ground makes me nervous.”
“I couldn’t agree more.” Blake, an ex-colonel in the Confederate army and the leader of their colony, raised his torch and wiped dust from his wife’s nose. He planted a kiss on it and shook his head. “I told you it wasn’t safe.”
“Which is precisely why I didn’t want you coming here alone.” Eliza brushed dirt from his shirt. “Besides, we have to discover if Mr. Graves is injured.”
The colonel huffed his frustration and glanced at James with a shrug. But James was still examining the tunnel walls. “Odd. I wonder how primitive cannibals managed to score these tunnels out of rock.”
“This place is filled with nothing but questions.” Hayden’s voice preceded his appearance from the shadows behind them. “The main one gnawing at me now is why we are bothering to check on Graves when he’s made it plain he wants nothing to do with us.” He ran a hand through dark hair moist with sweat.
“Where are Patrick and Dodd?” the colonel asked.
“They spotted the gold moon and stars above the altar.” Hayden’s lips slanted. “Need I say more?”
James snorted and leaned toward Angeline to whisper, “Are you sure you want to continue?”
“Yes, I’ve come this far. I might as well go on.” Though her bodice was glued to her skin and sweat trickled down her neck and the fetor that rose from deep within the tunnels was enough to wilt a sturdy oak tree, she would prove herself brave. At least this once. Anything to keep James gazing at her with such admiration.

Thank you MaryLu for the great sneak peek!  You can find the amazing MaryLu Tyndall on Facebook, Twitter, Blog and on Goodreads.

You can pick up a copy of ‘Elusive Hope’ at the following retailers:

AMAZON

KOBO

CHRISTIAN BOOK

MaryLu

31 Days of Sneak Peeks: Day 2

31 days button

Phew!  Made it through day 1 and here we are at day 2!  Thank you for joining me on this journey through 31 days!  If you didn’t check out day 1, find it here.

I’ve decided that some days may not be parts of my book but instead sneak peeks into how the writing process went for me and things I found helpful as I wrote.  For today though, I’ll introduce you to the hero in my book, Chris.

Chris was well aware of the tension in the city.  There had been movement from the enemy.  It had been six years since the enemy had last moved on them.  Chris remembered the fight well.  His father had gone, his uncles too.  His older brother had gone as well.  Only, he hadn’t returned.  The months after the battle had been sober and grey.  His family and countless other families had left the countryside for a new home while they mourned those who had been lost.  He had been twelve at the time and remembered sneaking high up in a tower and watching the fighting.  The thrill and excitement of it swept his senses and he didn’t understand the meaning of it.  When his brother Travis hadn’t returned with the men, reality had come crashing down.

This is a tough path I’ve set myself on because I have to be careful not to share too much so that WHEN (yes, I’m being confident) this is published, you still want to read every word!  🙂  You will, right?

These are just little bits to whet your appetite and to see how you all respond to each section I post.

Thanks again for coming back today!

If you want to get back to where this all started and find day 3 – 31, clickhere!

Find the challenge at The Nestor.

~Sarah

31 days redone small

31 Days of Sneak Peeks

31 days redone

So, for the month of October I am going to try something crazy ambitious… and a little bit scary.  Those of you reading who are into skydiving or base jumping may want to roll your eyes now because you’re not going to think this is scary.  I can guarantee it is for me though.  I’ve decided to join up with The Nester and do a 31 day challenge.  The challenge is to blog, once a day, for 31 days.  I think I may be crazy, but I keep saying to myself how hard can it be

Since I keep saying this to myself, I guess I decided to up the ante and make it also scary.  I’ve decided that for the next 31 days I will post a paragraph (or so) of my recently ‘finished’ novel and on occasion a tip that made writing easier or more fun for me.  It’s not published (but I hope it will be someday), and it may change up a bit.  So why is this so scary?  I’ve been really shocked to learn how vulnerable writing a book can make you feel.  As a writer we pour so much into our books.  We may not be writing an autobiography on ourselves but there is a lot of our own dreams, thoughts, ideals and heart in a book.  If you don’t write with heart, I don’t think you can write a book that will touch anyone.

“Writing fiction is like writing a autobiography, except that the reader assumes that the characters emotions are their own.”

31 days of sneak peeks from my own book… my own heart… is scary.  If you are reading this, then I didn’t chicken out.  I am hoping that you will be kind as you read… or even excited as you see a glimpse into this book I’ve put a lot into.  I’ll link each day to this post so they are easy to find!

Here we go.  Here’s a little introduction to my heroine, Kate.

The passion in the crowd was contagious.  They were talking about war, and they loved it.  Many of those around her were bloodthirsty.  Even when they weren’t off to war, they fought amongst themselves.  They were continuously recruiting for more fighters due to the fights that always broke out.  There were families, hers and a few others, that knew what it meant to keep tradition alive though.  Her grandparents and their grandparents before had been fighting this war.  They would not give into baser instincts to fight amongst themselves but that didn’t mean they were not fought with.  She had learnt from a young age that it was better to be armed and prepared to fight than to go about in blissful ignorance.  Her family status did not mean she was exempt from the bloodthirsty crowd.  Several scars marked her forearms and a scar on her cheek came from younger years when she wasn’t as cautious as she should have been.  A hand was placed on her shoulder and she looked into the eyes of her father, Tyson Bennett.

DAY 2: Meet Chris

DAY 3: Kate and Chris

DAY 4: The Beginning

Day 5: Stories Die Every Day

Day 6: The Bad Guy

Day 7: Villainous Intentions

Day 8: The One on Writers Block

Day 9: Miscellaneous Day

Day 10: Write What You Love

Day 11: What do you want to know?

Day 12: The Sound of a Scene

Day 13: My Playlist

I'm doing 31 days~Sarah

Writer Wednesday… on Thursday

Write bravely

I’m starting book two.

I’m starting book two!!!

When I first began book one, I had no idea it would wind up where it is right now…. about to go out to beta readers!  Yay!

Now, I’m sitting here staring at four pages of book two and I’m nervous.  I know, I know.  If you frequent my blog you’ll know that this is nothing new for me.  I’m a chicken at the best of times.  If something can go wrong, I’m pretty sure that I shouldn’t even try it.  Just in case.

I have no doubt that I have missed out on many wonderful occasions, events and tasks because I am a chicken.  Some of my best memories are from events I was forced into – or forced myself into – and I am so glad for them.  With these memories in mind, I am going to step up and write bravely.  I am going to put the words on paper even though I am nervous and worried.

I am in love with my first book.  If I sit down to read, it’s often my own manuscript that I pick up.  Part of my nervousness comes from the thought that I won’t like book two.  I love the main character already.  Seriously, I’ve been in love with him since book one.  I’m just afraid that I won’t write this one as well.

However, after I hit publish on this post, I will go back to my main character and write as bravely as I can.  I want his story to be just as good, if not better.  I’ll be brave, if for no one else but myself.  Oh… and him.  🙂

Write bravely my friends!!!

The pic below is my Ian.  (yes, I do know this is Ryan Reynolds)  

He has always been the closest in looks to the Ian in my head!

Ryan Reynolds 2~Sarah