I love having MaryLu on my blog, and I've been waiting for this book to release. Welcome, MaryLu. How did you come up with the idea for this story?
The Blue Enchantress is the 2nd book in my Charles Towne series which comprises three stories, each about a different sister in one family—all daughters of a British Admiral. The theme for the series comes from the parable of the seed and sower in Matthew 13 where Jesus describes 4 types of seeds and the soils they fall upon. Each sister and each book in the series deals with one type of these seeds.
In the first book, The Red Siren, the heroine Faith represents the seed that fell on the rocky soil which Jesus describes as someone who receives the Word of God but when problems occur and tragedy strikes, they quickly fall away.
In The Blue Enchantress, Hope represents the seed that falls on the thorny ground wherein the Word of God is choked out by the pleasures and concerns of this world.
To expound on that theme, however, I created in Hope a character who I believe many women can relate to in our culture today. She is young, beautiful and has discovered that she can use her beauty to attract attention from men. Unfortunately, because she had a difficult and unloving childhood and she has never experienced the love of God, she mistakes this shallow attention for love and ends up getting herself into a heap of trouble!
You're right. Many women today fall into the same trap. If you were planning a party with Christian authors of contemporary fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
Camy Tang because she’s quirky and funny and I love her writing style
Kristin Billerbeck because she’s real and she’s deep and I admire her very much
Brandilyn Collins because what’s a party without a little suspense?
Christine Lynxwiller because she’s one of the sweetest ladies I know
Randy Alcorn because I want to pick his brain about Heaven
James Scott Bell because he’s a humble guy who knows a great deal about writing
I would have to wangle an invitation to that party. Now let’s do that for a party for Christian authors of historical fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
Kaye Dacus because she’s one smart lady and a fantastic writer
Tamera Alexander because I love her books
Mary Connealy because not only is she an excellent author, but she makes me laugh.
Louise M. Gouge because she’s a dear friend
Laurie Alice Eakes because she’s a fascinating lady, a good friend, and an historical wizard.
You, my friend, because your generous spirit and great writing have always been an inspiration to me.
At least I wouldn't have to wangle an invitation to that one, and I'd love to spend time with all of those women, who I love. Many times, people (and other authors) think you have it made with so many books published. What is your most difficult problem with writing at this time in your career?
Me, got it made? Ha. But I guess I thought the same thing long ago. “If only I could get published, the chaotic pieces of the world will all fall into some semblance of meaningful order.”
For me, it’s only gotten more difficult. I feel intense pressure to make each book I write better than the last one. Then there are the sales numbers to deal with. If even one book doesn’t sell well, there’s a chance I could not receive another contract. And don’t get me started on reviews. People can be very cruel out there. So, I guess to answer your question, the most difficult problem I have at this time in my career is writing better and better books that will sell really well. But you know what? I’m happy for the stress because it has taught me to lean on God more each day and to realize that He is sovereign and that His lovingkindness is better than life, and even better than being a published author!
I totally agree with you. Now tell us about the featured book?
The Blue Enchantress is an adventure romance set in the Caribbean in 1718. It is story of a young girl who by her own foolish actions has gotten herself into a very dangerous situation. Here’s a brief paragraph about the story:
Searching for love and value, Hope Westcott throws herself at any man who looks her way. Betrayed by the nobleman she longed to marry, Hope is being auctioned off as a slave at a distant port when Nathaniel Mason comes to her rescue and sells one of his prized ships in order to save her. Determined to erase the stain of his mother’s past, and angry at his loss, Nathaniel wants nothing to do with the stubborn, wanton girl and procures passage for them on the first ship home. But will he be able to resist the provocative beauty, and what is he willing to give up to save her? And will Hope find the love she seeks in God or will she fall back into her sordid ways?
Please give us the first page of the book.
The Blue Enchantress Chapter 1
“Gentlemen, what will ye offer for this rare treasure of a lady?” The words crashed over Hope like bilge water. “Why, she’ll make any of ye a fine wife, a cook, a housemaid”—the man gave a lascivious chuckle—“whate’er ye desire.”
“How ’bout someone to warm me bed at night,” one man bellowed, and a cacophony of chortles gurgled through the air.
Hope slammed her eyes shut against the mob of men who pressed on three sides of the tall wooden platform, shoving one another to get a better peek at her. Something crawled over her foot and she pried her eyes open, keeping her face lowered. A black spider skittered away. Red scrapes and bruises marred her bare feet. When had she lost her satin shoes—the gold braided ones she’d worn to impress Lord Falkland? She couldn’t recall.
“What d’ye say? How much for this fine young lady?” The man grabbed a fistful of her hair and yanked her head back. Pain, like a dozen claws, pierced her skull. “She’s a handsome one, to be sure. And these golden locks.” He attempted to slide his fingers through her matted strands, but before becoming hopelessly entangled in them, he jerked his hand free, wrenching out a clump of her hair. Hope winced. “Have ye seen the likes of them?”
Ribald whistles and groans of agreement spewed over her.
“Two shillings,” one man yelled.
Hope dared to glance across the throng amassing before the auction block. A wild sea of lustful eyes sprayed over her. A band of men dressed in garments stained with dirt and sweat bunched toward the front, yelling out bids. Behind them, other men in velvet waistcoats leaned their heads together, no doubt to discuss the value of this recent offering, while studying her as if she were a prize horse. Slaves knelt in the dirt along the outskirts of the mob, waiting for their masters. Beyond them a row of wooden buildings stretched in either direction. Brazen women emerged from a tavern and draped themselves over the railings, watching Hope’s predicament with interest. On the street, ladies in modish gowns averted their eyes as they tugged the men on their arms from the sordid scene.
Hope lowered her head. This can’t be happening. I’m dreaming. I am still on the ship. Just a nightmare. Only a nightmare. Humiliation swept over her, and an ever-rising dread as the reality of her predicament blasted its way through her mind.
She swallowed hard and tried to drown out the grunts and salacious insults tossed her way by the bartering rabble. Perhaps if she couldn’t hear them, if she couldn’t see them, they would disappear and she would wake up back home, safe in Charles Towne, safe in her bedchamber, safe with her sisters, just like she was before she’d put her trust in a man who betrayed her.
“Egad, man. Two shillings, is it? For this beauty?” The auctioneer spit off to the side. The yellowish glob landed on Hope’s skirt. Her heart felt as though it had liquefied into an equally offensive blob and oozed down beside it.
How did I get here? In her terror, she could not remember. She raised her gaze to the auctioneer. Cold eyes, hard like marbles, met hers, and a sinister grin twisted his lips. He adjusted his tricorn to further shade his chubby face from the burning sun.
“She looks too feeble for any real work,” another man yelled.
The sounds of the crowd dimmed. The men’s fists forged into the air as if pushing through mud. Garbled laughter drained from their yellow-toothed mouths like molasses. Hope’s heart beat slower and she wished for death.
Intriguing. I can hardly wait for my copy to arrive. How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website: http://www.mltyndall.com/
My blog: http://www.crossandcutlass.blogspot.com/Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?view=feed&ref=cfrp&id=100000031910427#/marylu.tyndall?ref=profile
Thank you, MaryLu for spending this time with us.
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