Hello everyone! Like I said, I have a VERY special blog post today. Why? Because I got to interview the amazing MaryLu Tyndall about her newest release, The Reckoning, AND she is graciously offering a FREE copy of her book! Isn’t that awesome! Keep reading for instructions on how to enter this giveaway. 🙂
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.
Let me tell you, I LOVED this book! (As evidenced by the review I did of it a few weeks ago). And, MarLu Tyndall has graciously agreed to be a guest and answer some questions for us today about this newest release.
First of all, thanks so very much for taking the time to join us this week!
You did something different with this book, in that your heroine is a time-traveler from the 21st century. Was it difficult combining a modern woman with your traditional pirate stories?
I thought switching back and forth from 21st century thinking and talking to 17th century would be hard, but when I got started, it was actually a lot of fun and much easier than I thought. I mean, I guess I do it all the time when I’m writing historical novels because I live, think, and breathe in the 21st century, yet when I’m writing I have to hop into the skin of a 17th century character.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters, in your words? What drew you to write Morgan and Rowan’s story?
Anxiety, depression, insomnia, and mild Obsessive Compulsive disorder run in my family. Basically we are very passionate, creative people who are hyper-sensitive to the world around us. (And probably a bit crazy!) This was the basis for creating my heroine, Morgan. She’s 24, highly intelligent, educated, and creative, but she has these other issues that make life difficult. Like me, she also came from a broken home, which adds to a child’s anxiety growing up. I’ve often wondered how someone like me would handle life on board a pirate ship. Talk about a major breakdown! LOL. However, I can live that experience with all the adventure and none of the harm through the eyes of my heroine, Morgan! Yes, I’m very mean to my characters.
Rowan, being a pirate and hence, lacking in morals, needed a strong, if not a bit crazy, woman to whip him into shape. Because every woman he’s ever met has swooned at his feet, he looks at females as more of a passing entertainment. Non-swooning, crazy-talking Morgan shows him how wrong he is. Fun stuff!
Oh yeah, she definitely gave him what-for at times! SO fun to read! lol
I noticed we get to see some familiar faces in this book. Was it fun going back to those characters to see where their lives took them?
Yes, it was so much fun! But it was also difficult. In my mind, Charlisse and Merrick are still young and sailing the Caribbean doing God’s work, so to imagine them in their 50’s (old like me) took some doing. Of course, they would have changed a lot in some ways and yet not at all in other ways. They would be much wiser, more confident, and closer to God. Yet, I wanted them to still have that spunk, that zest for adventure, and of course that spark of romance between them. I hope my readers enjoy seeing them in action again!
This reader certain did!
What’s your typical research look like for your pirate tales? Has it gotten easier as you’ve written more stories?
Since this is my 5th pirate novel, I have a pretty strong foundational knowledge about Caribbean pirates in the 17th-18th centuries. If I forget a detail or two, I have an extensive pirate library in my office. However, when I first start creating a new book and I determine the exact year and location of the story, I often have to do further research specific to that time and place. For instance, in my last book, The Ransom, the story centered around the great earthquake in Port Royal, Jamaica in 1692, so I had to do extensive research on what Port Royal was like at that time and what happened during and after the quake.
I would LOVE to see what your extensive pirate library looks like!
So, now that you’ve gotten this story under your belt, what’s next? Any plans for your next novel, or even future installments?
God willing, I definitely hope to write more pirate books in the series. With all the family, children, and grandchildren, it could go on for some time. However, I’m planning to write a Medieval Romance next. Aside from American Colonial times, I find the medieval era very fascinating.
Oooh! Medieval’s one of my favorite periods too, and it’s growing in the Christian market (For instance the authors Melanie Dickerson, Jody Hedlund, and Debbie Lynne Costello). I’m looking forward to seeing your personal style in that setting. 🙂
Your stories are so unique in the Inspirational Fiction market, but I was wondering if you had any authors, or novels, that inspired you, like a writing style, theme, or storyline?
I have to credit Linda Chaikin for inspiring me to write about Christian pirates. Years ago, I read her Trade Winds series and her Buccaneers series and fell in love with the time period and the romance. Aside from her influence, however, I’ve pretty much sailed a path all my own. Some may classify my stories as edgy, though I hate that term. I definitely deal with people’s real struggles and don’t sugar coat the reality of evil. I also don’t avoid Biblical truths or the existence of miracles. From what I’ve read of Christian fiction, that is a rarity.
And last, my favorite question: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Sure I have lots of advice!! I’ve been in this business over ten years, and I’ve learned a lot. Let me give you just a few words of wisdom. First, make sure you truly want to be a writer. It’s a hard job with very little reward. I’m not trying to discourage anyone, but if you’re in it for the fame and money, look elsewhere. I believe writing is a calling from God, so make sure He’s called you! Next, study the craft of writing. You may have talent, but you need skill. Take classes, read writing books, etc. In addition, read tons of great books, best sellers and award winners. You’d be surprised how much reading a well-written book can improve your own writing. And lastly, sit down and write a story you’re passionate about, not something you think will sell.
Those are some great pieces of advice! Thanks every so much for joining us, and giving us a little glimpse into the working mind of an author. 😉
And NOW for the Giveaway! Like I said, MaryLu has graciously offered to give one free copy of her book, either paperback within the United States, or eBook outside. To enter, write a comment below answering one, or both of these questions: What one modern convenience would you miss the most if you were in Morgan’s shoes? What one thing would you love about being in Morgan’s shoes? I’m looking forward to seeing your answers! (Just for fun, I’d actually miss books, oddly enough (outside of family which I’d probably try to drag along with me. lol) There’s such a wide variety available today that wasn’t at the time. And I’d love the dresses! I can’t help it, even the corset would be fine. That or the swords… I’m a sucker for a beautiful rapier! lol.)
So, leave your comment below answering one, or both, of the questions to be entered into winning this awesome book! The winner will be announced next Friday. But, if you just can’t wait ’til then to start this AMAZING story, you are always welcome to pick up a copy yourself! It’s available in eBook for Kindle and NOOK, and, of course, paperback. Also, feel free to check out MaryLu’s awesome website (where you can get a glimpse of her recent vacation in Hawaii!), and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.