Monday, November 23, 2009

Booked for the Holidays

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.
  • 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.
So do you have a never-ending supply of ideas?

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!


View blog reactions


Cathy said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. I've also posted the Booked for the Holidays button on my blog.

sara said...

of course you know I would love to win this book!

I also have the button on my blog!

quilly said...

Linda, I have put the button on my blog and would love to win a copy of this book. I would also like to know more about "Booked For The Holidays". Is this your own brainchild? What prompted you to start it? And it's a way cool witnessing idea.

collettakay said...

I'd love to win this book!

I've posted your button on my blog.

Please enter me in the drawing.


CeeCee said...

I have these books already, so don't add me in. Just wanted to say this was great interview. I'm going to post about it on my blog.

CeeCee said...

I tweeted about it too for ya!

Emma said...

The Red Siren sounds wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway.augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com.Thank you.

Virginia C said...

Hello! Please enter my name in the drawing. I am a new follower and subscriber.

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Little Lady said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Skoots1moM said...

your button has made my blog look so "Christmas-ey"...this is going to be fun (again)...
have a good evening

Nise' said...

My daughter and I met MaryLu back in March. She's a great lady. I would love to give her a signed copy of The Red Siren (I don't want to give up my copy).

PS: I have your button on my blog.

Andrea Schultz said...

That sounds like a great book - and what a neat lady! I wasn't familiar with her before. Would love to read it!

Happy Thanksgiving!


SouthLakesMom said...

Linda, I have been underwhelmed by most Christian publishing, so I would LOVE to have an opportunity to be proven wrong!

I'll even post your button on my blog!

Giveaway Lady said...

Please enter me!!! I would love to win this!! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Please enter me. Thanks!! Lori L.

Hope said...

This sounds like a neat book! Please enter me.

Kim said...

Can I enter and if I win, you send the book to my daughter, who in turn will get it to me?

Because I WOULD LOVE TO WIN A BOOK! After my family, books are what I miss most.

I've posted your button in my sidebar, too. Even if I'm ineligible to win myself, I'd like to share the book love :-)

adge said...

I would love to be included in this giveaway. Thanks.

Linda said...

I have to admit that pirate books didn't interest me until I read of the piracy going on today. That opened my eyes for your book(s). Please enter me. Thank you.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Great post. Please enter me. I enjoy her books.Thanks.Happy Thanksgiving.

Jessie at Blog Schmog said...

Christian pirate, now that's different. That sounds like something I'd like! :)
Please enter me and I'll post a button.
Jessie at Blog Schmog

Jessie at Blog Schmog said...

The button is up. Thanks for the opportunity.
Jessie at Blog Schmog

MaryLu Tyndall said...

Hi Ladies, just popping in to thank Linda for posting about me and my books on her blog! Linda, it was a pleasure to meet you. You have a peace about you that set me at ease the moment we met. I hope to see you again in the future. And thanks everyone for your interest in my book!
God Bless!

Anonymous said...

I would love to have my name entered in your wonderful draw. Thanks. wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

kas said...

I would love to win this book. I like the name. I enjoyed your interview.

Edna said...

I have posted this on my blog

Please enter me to win the book


Edna said...

Please enter me into the drawing, thanks


Katherine said...

This book looks very good. Please enter me.


tilden talks... said...

this looks like a great read... i too would love to win it.
i've posted your button to my blog. thanks linda for a fun contest!

Michelle said...

How fun it would be to read a Christian Pirate Book.

I have your button on my blog


Anonymous said...

I would love to read this book...thanks for the opportunity.


SouthLakesMom said...

Oh yes, you've been posted on my blog in a sidebar since Nov 27!

dtbrents said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. I've also posted the Booked for the Holidays button on my blog.

Mocha with Linda said...

This giveaway is closed. Click here to go to the latest Booked for the Holidays giveaway!