Welcome to the 2nd Annual Booked for the Holidays Giveaway!
My, that makes it sound so official, like it's really important! Well, it's important to me and I hope this giveaway will be just as important - and fun! - for you. Here's the scoop: Each Monday, and hopefully on some other random days as well, I'll be giving away a book or several from my cache. Virtually all of these are brand-spanking-new books that I received at the Christian Book Expo back in the spring; many are autographed.
To qualify, just leave me a comment on the giveaway post by the deadline indicated. For an additional chance to win, post the giveaway button on your blog and let me know you did so. I wish I had the funds to ship internationally, but I do need to restrict it to US Residents only.
Soooooo, on to the first giveaway!
I was so excited to meet M L (Mary Lu) Tyndall at the Christian Book Expo back in March. I love her books, and getting to sit down and talk with her about them just adds to the enjoyment. Two-thirds of her current Charles Towne Belles trilogy have been released, with the final novel due out January 1. I had a chance to sit down with her and find out a bit about her writing process and the inspiration for her books.
Tell me about yourself. You have an interesting genre with the pirate books. How did that come about?
I have kind of an odd writing experience. I never wrote anything seriously until about 5 years ago. I was a software engineer for 15 years; I have a degree in math, which is the total opposite of what you would think a creative writer would be. But I’ve always had a desire to write and had written poems and such when I was younger. But after seeing The Pirate Movie, I heard a strong voice saying “I want you to write a book about a Christian pirate.’ So I worked on it in my free time – I actually wrote it on my lunch hours at work. And I joined ACFW. I never dreamed in my wildest imagination that I would get published. I got an agent and a contract in two months – it was such a God thing. That was The Redemption.
How do you research the books?
I grew up in S. Florida and love that tropical climate. I’ve always been fascinated by pirates. I can’t describe it because I know they were really evil! I think it was the freedom, the kind of person that defied society and its rules and wanted that free life. Of course I don’t agree with how they did it. And I also have always loved the tall ships, those tall ancient ships. Every time I see one, my heart leaps in my throat.
I just dove into book after book after book –- fiction and non-fiction -- and read all about the ships and how they work to research them. I could probably sail a ship now myself! My recent series just has one pirate in it, in the first book, The Red Siren. She’s a pirate, but not really. She does it on the side to make some money. There aren’t really any pirates in the other books. I’m trying to steer away from it; I don’t want to be labeled the Pirate Lady any more. It’s more about the ships and the Colonial time period.
The trilogy is the story of three sisters and they represent the three seeds in the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13.
So do you have a never-ending supply of ideas?
- Faith (The Red Siren) is the seed that fell among rocky soil; all the problems and tribulations come up, and she lost her faith.
- In The Blue Enchantress, Hope is the seed that fell among thorns and the pleasures of this world and the wealth tempt her – she’s the bad girl. She gets her socks knocked off in this book. She gets herself in a really bad position from her behavior. It’s the story about a woman who is caught up in her looks and trying to find love in all the wrong places. She’s trying to give herself, hoping she’ll get the love back. I think a lot of girls struggle with that today in our culture and we focus on how we look and how much attention we get from men. But it’s all about how God can redeem you.
- Grace, the third sister represents the [seed that fell in] good soil. Grace is the good girl -- she goes to church, she believes in Jesus and she follows all of the commandments, but she has a small problem with judgment and being critical. I have her really humbled in the third book, The Raven Saint.
I’m really not one of those authors that does. I like to work on one thing at a time. Although I just got asked for the next trilogy that they want from me, and I don’t know what it will be.
That may be the engineer in you!
Could be. Just one thing at a time. Especially with the stories, I don’t want to confuse things. I get so into my stories that I almost feel like I am that character and I don’t want to think about other characters or other situations until I’m done, but I have to right now because they want proposals for the next trilogy. So if you have any ideas, let me know!.
Oh, you’re doing a great job on your own!
Well, I think it’s the Lord. I’ll get desperate and pray, “Lord, I need an idea!” So I’ll pray about it a few days. Actually, that’s what happened with this trilogy. I was up on the hill doing my prayer walk wondering what in the world I was going to write about and He dumped that whole parable in my head. And I thought, "Wow, if I could do one sister representing each seed and make that parable come to life." He did that. I can’t take any credit for that.
What a delight she was! You can get to know her better at her website (I love her tagline! Where Eternity and History Collide) and her blog.
You can read my review of The Red Siren here and The Blue Enchantress here.
I have three, (count 'em!) three AUTOGRAPHED copies of The Red Siren to give away. Leave a comment by Friday at 8:00 p.m. CST, and I'll choose 3 winners. Don't forget to let me know if you have posted the Booked for the Holidays button on your blog!
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