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

Advertisements

‘The Ransom’ by MaryLu Tyndall ~ A Review

The Ransom

“Living in a city deemed the wickedest in the world is no easy task for Miss Juliana Dutton. To make matters worse, with an ailing father and a drunken fool for a brother, she is forced to take over the running of the family business in order to survive. When a meddlesome suitor threatens to discover her secret and cast them all onto the streets, she agrees to a spurious engagement with the town buffoon, Lord Munthrope. She only hopes the man is trustworthy. 

The Pirate Earl, Alexander Hyde, son of the infamous Captain Edmund Merrick Hyde, is the most feared pirate in Port Royal. Disillusioned with the religion of his parents and the pleasures of the world, Alex staves off his emptiness by leading a dual life to hide his deepest secrets. 

A long-time enemy is out to destroy Alex and take Juliana for his own. Struggling to maintain her faith in the Divine, Juliana faces her problems bravely, but the harder she tries, the more it seems everything is working against her. Unwittingly, she and her weak fiancé become entangled in the hostility between the Pirate Earl and his enemy, while even more dangerous forces are rising up to destroy them all.”

I knew I would like this book, but I had no idea how much I would like it.  MaryLu sure knows how to write a wonderful romance.

Juliana is a strong woman who is not afraid to go where she must in order to keep her family afloat and her friends safe.  She is daring, brave and well… reckless.  Thank goodness for the Pirate Earl!  Alex not only finds himself attracted to the bold beauty but also finds himself having to save her many times.  Often in a way that she would not expect.

The dual life that Alex lives is amusing, yet sad.  MaryLu writes Alex so well that you can feel the emptiness that he is running from.  I could sense the desperation and the longing that Alex feels for something, anything, to fill his heart. To fill him with purpose.

Together they must work to overcome a villain much more dangerous than the Pirate Earl’s reputation.  Danger has Juliana held captive by the very man who loves her.  Can they see past the roles they both play and allow love a place?  Will Julianna find the love and the security she longs for and will Alex find his purpose?

MaryLu shows how our hearts long for love, for care, for someone to be there for us no matter what we’ve done or what we’ve become.  She shows us the redeeming power of love and of faith.

This is a wonderful romantic adventure with pirates, parties and danger.

Another wonderfully written book by MaryLu Tyndall.

4/5

You can get your copy of this amazing book at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christian Book, Chapters and Kobo.

MaryLu Tyndal

“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. “

 

 

‘Veil of Pearls’ by MaryLu Tyndall ~ A Review

Veil of Pearls

She thought she could outrun her past…

It is 1811, and the prosperous port city of Charleston is bustling with plantation owners, slaves and immigrants. Immigrants such as the raven-haired Adalia Winston. But Adalia has a secret: her light skin belies that she is part black and a runaway slave from Barbados. Skilled in herbal remedies, Adalia finds employment with a local doctor and settles into her quiet life, thankful for her freedom but still fearful that her owner will find her.

Born into one of Charleston’s prominent families, Morgan Rutledge is handsome, bored—and enamored of the beautiful Adalia, who spurns his advances. Morgan’s persistence, however, finally wins, and Adalia is swept into the glamorous world of Charleston high society.

But Adalia’s new life comes at a high price—that of denying her heritage and her zeal for God. How far is she willing to go to win the heart of the man she loves? And when her secret is revealed, will that love be enough, or will the truth ruin Morgan and send Adalia back into slavery?

Veil of Pearls was a delightful book to read.  I fell in love with Adalia from the first moment.  She’s so strong and brave in spite of a very tough life.  She is determined to make a way for herself in the world and sets her mind to doing what she needs to do.  Things go fairly well and God provides Adalia with a job she can do well.  She has faith that everything will work out well if she just keeps her head down and doesn’t reveal her secret.  Little does she know that she’s about to meet someone as persistent as she is.

Morgan is rich and bored… until he meets Adalia.  Suddenly, he’s not bored anymore.  He gives chase and I loved how Adalia kept putting him in his place.  I could see his mischievous grin as she shot verbal darts at him.   I could feel their chemistry and I enjoyed the sparks.  Morgan isn’t about to take ‘no’ for an answer and is drawn in by her fire.  Morgan’s world is unknown to Adalia but she steps up to face it.  Meanwhile, Adalia challenges Morgan to think about the world he is a part of and life as he knows it.

My romantic heart sighed when they got along, laughed when Adalia got feisty, and cried when her past caught up with her.

Veil of Pearls will keep you engaged from the very first page and the end will surprise you.  It was a wonderful, easy read.  Full of laughs, tears and intrigue.

I would give Veil of Pearls a 4/5!

You can pick up your copy here:

Amazon

Chapters

Barnes and Noble

CBD

MaryLuMaryLu Tyndall 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.   Find her website by clicking her image above.  You can find her on Facebook, Twitter and on Goodreads!

~Sarah

‘Forsaken Dreams’ by MaryLu Tyndall ~ A Review

Forsaken DreamsEmbark on a seafaring adventure in a brand-new series from best-selling author MaryLu Tyndall. After witnessing the death and destruction caused by the Civil War, Colonel Blake Wallace is eager to leave his once precious Southern homeland for the pristine shores of Brazil and the prospect of a new Utopian community. Widow Eliza Crawford seeks passage on Wallace’s ship harboring a dirty secret—and a blossoming hope for a fresh start. But will dangers from the sea and from man keep them from the peace and love they long for?

I really enjoyed this book.  There’s an ensemble cast, but they are all written really well!  Eliza has a past that, if found out, could make life dangerous for her.  Yet she is determined to make a new life for herself so she sets out with this rag-tag group all hoping for a new world.

Along the way they hit problem after problem.  Something suspicious is going on and those on the ship are looking for someone to blame.  It’s going to get ugly.

I enjoyed this story a lot.  I loved the action!!  There was always a twist or something new on the horizon to keep you sucked into the story.  Each of the characters are richly written with great back stories!

Eliza and Blake have definite chemistry from the beginning.  I thought Eliza was wonderfully written.  She was strong and brave, while still being so vulnerable and feminine.  There were times I was urging Eliza to do sometime and when she didn’t I would groan at the book.  I liked how strong Blake  was portrayed, yet I honestly wanted to smack him upside the head numerous times.  I was yelling at the book at one point and nearly walked away since Blake was not at all acting like I wanted him to.  Yep, I get some awkward looks from my family.  Overall, this is a wonderful book.  Full of twists and turns and I had no idea how it was going to turn out!

I felt like I was sailing on the ship with the crew.  I could almost smell the salt water and feel the wind and waves. MaryLu can write an awesome nautical adventure!

I give this book a 4/5!

Pick up your copy here:

Amazon

Chapters

Barnes and Noble

CBD

MaryLu

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.

You can sign up for her e-newsletter on her website, and blog where she posts all sorts of things from book giveaways and book information to articles and devotional thoughts. She has a Facebook group called MaryLu Tyndall Swashbuckling Romance, and she’s onTwitter!

MaryLu agreed to answer a few questions I had on the book and a few to get to know her better!

1)      Have you always been interested in ships? Even from a young age?

The answers are Yes and Yes!  Well, pirates and explorers mostly when I was young, but as I grew and studied history, I fell in love with their ships as well. I really can’t say what it is about ships exactly, but there’s something so majestic and romantic about them. To me, they represent adventure and exploration, new worlds and freedom. The men and women who sailed them sought all those things as they cast off the conventions and restrictions of civilization and sailed off to find greener shores. I suppose you could compare them to the horses of cowboys or the motorcycles of today in that these ships were the vehicles which enabled a person to leave everything behind and head off to freedom and a new life.


2) What inspired this series?

Escape to Paradise was inspired a piece of history I came across that I never knew existed.  I had no idea thousands upon thousands of Southerners fled the South after the Civil War and immigrated to other countries…some to Mexico and some to Brazil. Some estimates say that up to 20,000 Southerners moved to Brazil where they hoped to recreate the Southern Utopia they used to enjoy before the war.  Anyway, it is such fascinating history, I couldn’t pass up writing a series based on it. In addition, as a former TV Show LOST fanatic, I saw all sorts of possibilities for combining the facts of history with a group of survivors struggling to survive in the jungles of Brazil.

3) Who was the most difficult character to write?

Blake Wallace, or Colonel Blake Wallace, the hero in book 1.  He is a decorated war hero who is very commanding, decisive, authoritative and smart. (Everything I am not!!)  As the leader of the expedition to Brazil, he bears the burden and care of nearly fifty colonists who leave everything behind and trust him, to not only get them safely to Brazil, but to help them create a Southern Utopia. But Blake has a secret. He has PTSD from the war. Of course it wasn’t called that back then, but men suffered from it just the same. He has nightmares, visions, and blackouts. These moments when he can’t function affect his leadership. I loved writing his character, but since I’ve never been in the military or in command of anything but my kids (and they don’t even listen to me!) and because I’ve never had PTSD, it was a real challenge to get inside Blake’s head and write his character in such a way as to make him real and believable.

4) When you began, did you have the whole plot planned out or did you just see where it went as you wrote?

I definitely do NOT have the entire story plotted out in the beginning. I know other authors who have every chapter and scene figured out in great detail before they start writing, but I don’t work like that. It is too restricting and really stifles my creativity. I spend a lot of time developing my characters, and I generally know the beginning, middle, and end of a story. I also am very familiar with the theme I hope to get across or the moral of the story. But usually that’s all I know before I start writing. Normally around chapter 10, my characters start to take over and they end up telling the story. It’s weird, but it works for me!

5) Do you have a favorite paragraph or line from ‘Forsaken Dreams? (if it won’t give away too much)

I just adore this scene. The ship the Southerners are on has been stopped and boarded by a Union ship, seeking war criminals.  The heroine Eliza is hiding one of them below decks when two Union officers barge into the cabin

The door swung open and two men entered. One a lieutenant and the other an unrated seaman.

“Well, look what we have here.”

Settling her nerves, Eliza slowly rose and stared at the tall, lanky officer. “What can I do for you, Lieutenant?”

He laughed, took a step inside, and planted his hands at his waist. “In case you aren’t aware, miss, your ship has been captured and boarded by the U.S.S. Perilous.”

Perilous, indeed. Eliza raised her chin. “In case you aren’t aware, Lieutenant, we are no longer at war.”

“In case you aren’t aware, miss, we are searching for war criminals trying to escape their due justice.”

“In case—” Eliza snapped her mouth shut. This was ridiculous.  “As you can see, Lieutenant. There are no war criminals in here.”

The man took another step inside, his lackey nipping at his heels.  “Sir,” the lieutenant shouted in the colonel’s direction. “You are to go above at once!”

“Any fool can see this man is ill.” Eliza huffed.

“Rather bold tongue for a defeated enemy, miss.” His sordid gaze raked her. “However, ill or not, he must go above. Along with you.” Snapping his fingers he gestured toward the door.

“Very well.” Eliza raised a brow and stepped aside, hoping they didn’t notice her trembling legs. “If you want to be exposed to the pox, be my guest. Pick him up and take him above.” She tossed the rag into a basin of water. “No doubt you’ve already been exposed just by coming aboard.”

The lieutenant halted.

“Oh?” Eliza went on. “Captain Barclay didn’t warn you?” She gave a sweet smile and clicked her tongue. “How uncivilized of him.”

6) Has writing this book impacted you in any ways you didn’t expect?

It has opened my eyes to the continuing bitterness that still exists between the North and the South. We lost over 600,000 men in the Civil War. It was a horrible, horrible war and both sides suffered terribly. Thank God slavery came to an end once and for all. I’m just sorry that the price came so high. However, I’ve learned that the war was more about economics than slavery and even after the war, many freed slaves were treated even worse by both the North and the South. Also, the North committed many atrocities upon the South after the war, terrible things that would cause any people group to be bitter and angry and filled with hate for years to come. If Lincoln had lived, I believe he could have stopped the bleeding. It was his intention to forgive and mend wounds, but with his death, that was not to be.

7) What is the one thing that you would like us readers to take from this story?

That God doesn’t cause wars, people do. He gives us free will and He will not interfere in our choices.

Also that if we align our choices with His will, everything will work out in our favor!

A few just for fun questions:

8) What do you love most about writing fiction?

I love everything about writing. I love it when a new story idea starts to form in my head. I love coming up with interesting characters. I love trying to figure out how I can torture said characters!  I love the whole process of creating and using my imagination to create a world and do anything I want with it.  It’s so cool!    What I don’t love about writing fiction: Deadlines, edits, bad reviews, and marketing. L

9) Do you still get nervous when you release new books? Even though you’ve already published so many great books?

Absolutely!!  I don’t think there’s an author on the planet who doesn’t get a little anxious with a new release. After all, we’ve put months and months, sometimes years into a book, sweating long hours over our computers, doing research, plotting and creating, sometimes crying and pulling our hair out, other times thrilled when a scene comes together. It’s our baby!! And we want others to enjoy it and take away the message we are trying to convey.

10) What is your favourite book (yes, you can say your own!)? Favourite movie? Favourite TV show?

Book: Captain Blood by Raphael Sabatini

Movie: The Count of Monte Cristo

TV Show: Once Upon a Time

11) Where is one place that you would like to visit?

Israel!!  And the Mediterranean !

12) Name 5 things you can’t live without! (Faith and Family are a given) This is just for fun.

Popcorn

Chocolate

Sunshine

Hot bubble baths

The ocean

Thanks MaryLu for taking time to answer my questions!  I really appreciate it!  🙂

~Sarah

Forsaken Dreams is coming!

Good Afternoon!!  I’m so excited because one of my favourite authors has a new coming book out and I want to share all the awesome information with you! 

Forsaken Dreams

Check out Forsaken Dreams, book one in the exciting new Escape to Paradise fiction series by MaryLu Tyndall!

Embark on a seafaring adventure as a disillusioned colonel and a hopeful widow seek a fresh start on the shores of Brazil. Colonel Grant Wallace cannot leave his once precious Southern homeland fast enough. After witnessing the death and destruction of the Civil War, he charters a ship and sets sail for the pristine shores of Brazil, eager to start afresh in a new land. Widow Eliza Crawford boards the ship NewHope harboring a dirty secret and a blossoming hope within her heart for a new life away from old memories. But once at sea, troubles abound. Will Grant overcome his demons of bitterness and rage? Can Eliza find the peace she longs for? 

I love getting to know awesome authors!

MaryLu

MaryLu Q & A:

1. How would you describe your new series Escape to Paradise?

An adventurous, romantic tale about a group of Confederates, wounded in both body and soul, who flee the destruction of the South after the Civil War for greener pastures in Brazil, but who find much more than they bargained for, both on the trip there and once they arrive.

2. What inspired the storyline for your new series?

History. Nearly three million Southerners migrated from the devastation of the South following the Civil War. Close to twenty thousand of them went to Brazil where the emperor welcomed them with open arms, the farm land was plentiful, and the temperate climate mimicked their own weather back home. Though most ended up returning home, several thousand remained, and their descendants still live there today. Their struggles to create a new Southern Utopia in the heart of Brazil make for a fascinating story!

3. How is this series different from your previous series?

Escape to Paradise is like nothing I’ve ever written before. The six main characters, the hero and heroine in each book, have a huge presence in each of the three books, so by the end of the series, the reader will know them all really well, as well as several of the secondary characters. Secondly, and more importantly, this series contains a lot of supernatural elements—curses, angels, visions, demonic battles—which I have not put in any of my other books.

4. What type of research did you have to do for Forsaken Dreams?

Surprisingly, not much has been written about this particular historic event. I did find a couple of great books on Amazon. I was also able to locate some original source material, which is a researcher’s dream: three journals written by actual Confederates who traveled to Brazil. Then of course I studied the flora, fauna, cuisine, customs, religion, climate, topography, and history of Brazil and Rio de Janeiro. I tried to talk my  husband into funding a trip to Rio (For purely research purposes, of course) but he wasn’t buying it!  I also studied the Civil War, clothing and customs of the time period, and, in particular, of the South.

5. What are the most interesting facts that you learned while researching and writing Forsaken Dreams?

There is a city in Brazil called Americana, which was founded by migrant confederates in the late 19th century.  To this day, the inhabitants still speak a mixture of English and Portuguese and celebrate American holidays by playing “Dixie”, while some of the local women dress in big-bustled skirts for dancing.  President Carter visited the city in 1972, after discovering its little known history, and he was reportedly brought to tears by the American influences he found there.

6. What surprises do your fans have to look forward to in your new series?

An exotic locale, powerful secrets held by each character, a strong spiritual theme that runs through all three books, cannibals, evil temples, visions, angels, demons, prophecies, and a supernatural battle. Doesn’t sound like romance novels, does it? Yet, readers can still expect to find all the adventure and romance they normally enjoy from one of my books.

7. Do you have a favorite character Forsaken Dreams? Why?

Yes. The heroine, Eliza Crawford. She’s all the things so many of us want to be: Strong, Independent, Smart, Caring, Selfless. But she has a fatal flaw—one which I can relate to very much, and one I’m hoping others will relate to as well. She wants to live life on her own terms. She wants to do things her way and follow her own heart and will. She doesn’t want to be told what to do by anyone, especially God. Consequently, she disobeyed her father and ran off to marry a man who was all wrong for her, an action that cost her and others dearly. Still, she struggles with an independent spirit that refuses to submit to God, even when she knows His will is best.  Sound familiar? It does to me!

8. What message would you like your readers to take from reading Forsaken Dreams? 

There are several messages woven into Forsaken Dreams. Forgiveness, letting go of bitterness, running away from God, but I would say the main message is that submission to God and His will is the only thing that brings true happiness.

9. Most of your stories revolve around swashbuckling pirates and sea captains.  What draws you to write about them?

Actually I only have one pirate series, but a good majority of my books have several scenes set at sea. Ever since I was a child growing up on the shores of South Florida, I have loved the sea and especially the tall ships of old. To me, there’s something very romantic and adventurous about those magnificent sailing ships and the men and women who journeyed on them in search of new lands.

10, What are some of the challenges you face as an author?

Meeting deadlines! I never feel like I can take a break and just relax when there’s a deadline shouting at me from my computer.  Other challenges come in the form of negative reviews and harsh comments, most of which I’ve learned over the years to ignore.  However, the occasional one slips through and stabs my heart. Then there’s the marketing aspect of being an author, which is most definitely my weakest skill. I’ve never been very good at selling myself, or in fact, selling anything, to anyone.

11. What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?

The writing! Coming up with new stories and settings, and especially great characters. But my favorite part is putting those characters into impossible situations that I would never survive personally, but ones in which they must survive!  Those hours I spend at my computer with my head and my heart in a distant land, living life through my characters, are the happiest moments of my day. What a great job I have!! I get to live in a fantasy world of my own making. God is good!

 12. What clubs or organizations are you involved with helping with your writing?

American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. However I receive most of the help I need from other writers who I’ve grown close to over the years. It’s so wonderful to have an online support group of people who understand what I’m going through and who can offer suggestions and help and who can lift me up in prayer when needed.

 13. What new projects are on the horizon?

Forsaken Dreams is the first in a trilogy entitled Escape to Paradise, so I’m currently working on the last two books in the series. After that, I’ll be in God’s good favor as to what He wants me to write next.

 14. What was your favorite book as a child?

Can I have three?  The Last of the Mohicans,  The Count of Monte Cristo, and Pride and Prejudice.

 15. What is your greatest achievement?

My children. Although I really can’t take credit for them turning out as well as they have. That was God. But they are my life and my true loves, and I can’t imagine my world without them.

 16. What do you do to get away from it all?

Go to the beach. Although it’s not as warm here in California as it was in Florida where I grew up, I love sitting in the sand and gazing out over the foamy waves and smelling the salty air and feeling the wind on my face. It makes me realize how big God is and how small I am, yet how much He truly loves me.

17. And, finally, where can your readers find you online?

You can sign up for my e-newsletter on my website at www.marylutyndall.com, and my blog is http://crossandcutlass.blogspot.com where I post all sorts of things from book giveaways and book information to articles and devotional thoughts. I have a Facebook group called MaryLu Tyndall Swashbuckling Romance, and I’m on Twitter: @MaryLuTyndall. Hope to connect with you all!

~Sarah