Tuesday, March 29, 2016

THE GILDED CURSE - Marilyn Turk - One Free Book

Welcome, Marilyn. So happy to host you on my blog. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I believe each of my female protagonists have some characteristic of mine, whether a weakness or a strength. An editor asked about one of my characters, “Why would she do something without considering the consequences?” Well, I have done such things before, even if they weren’t the wisest. In my new book, The Gilded Curse, my main character wonders if she has acquired some of her mother’s traits. I’ve certainly wondered that before. Hasn’t everyone?

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Some people might say it was when my husband and I became volunteer caretakers at a lighthouse on an island off the coast of Maine. We were there ten days and enjoyed it immensely. In fact, we loved it so much, we’re going to do it again this summer.

That sounds like fun to me. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
Probably when my Honors English teacher complimented my writing. That pat on the back gave me belief that I could write, a belief that’s carried on throughout my life. Never underestimate the power of giving someone praise.

I so agree. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
My favorites are historical novels, particularly set around the Civil War. But because my book club reads a variety of books, I’ve liked some contemporary novels as well. I prefer stories with some suspense and a little romance, because I want to keep guessing what’s going to happen and not just about the romance.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Now that I’m retired, my children are grown, and I’ve moved to a smaller town, it’s pretty easy. But when I lived in a big city with a high pressure job and three growing boys, it was very difficult. Thanks to Christian radio and programs like Focus on the Family, I was kept grounded while driving in crazy, busy traffic.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Since I write historical fiction, I research popular names for that era. For instance, if my character was twenty years old in the book, I looked up popular names from her birth year. I also search for name meanings. I once wanted to name a “bad guy” character a certain name, but when I researched its meaning, I discovered the name had a very noble meaning. So I had to drop that name and find another. Also, some of the characters in one of my books is from Scotland, so I researched popular names in Scotland at that time. Thank God for the Internet!

I’ve learned a lot about names on the Internet, too. What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Besides my children and grandchildren, I’d have to say winning the Guideposts, Writers Workshop in 2010. I’ve been a Guideposts’ reader most of my life and really admired the magazine and its founder, Norman Vincent Peale, so being able to have my story published in that magazine was a dream come true and a prayer answered. Since then, I’ve remained a Guideposts writer and am honored to be associated with the people in that company.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
An osprey. I think they’re really cool, and I love to watch them and hear their cry. They live near the water and like to eat fish, and so do I.

What is your favorite food?
I have too many favorites, but I love seafood. I also eat a lot of chicken. When they’re in season, I love watermelon and strawberries. And then there’s dark chocolate …

Ah, yes, dark chocolate. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
When I started entering contests, I discovered how fickle judges can be. I’d get a really high score from one judge and a terrible score from another on the same piece of writing. The critical remarks stung and threw me into depression, making me want to give up. But eventually, I realized that you can’t please everyone all the time, so I was encouraged by the high scores and remarks, then evaluated the negative ones to see if there were any valid points to take that would make the writing better.

Tell us about the featured book.
The Gilded Curse is about a Alexandra Smithfield, a young woman who is the sole heir to her family’s estate after the death of her brother at Pearl Harbor and the subsequent death of her mother. Alexandra returns to Jekyll Island after a ten-year absence to dispose of the family’s vacation cottage in the exclusive Millionaires’ Village. Mysterious events on the island and an enemy offshore threaten Alexandra’s safety. Only an old childhood friend Russell Thompson, can help her find peace.

Please give us the first page of the book.

December 1941
“Mother, how do you like the tree?”

Lexie lifted part of the popcorn garland to make it drape on the tiny fir tree which perched on the small table. She glanced over her shoulder to see Mother’s response.

Standing before the window of her room, Mother stared out. Nothing. No reply.

Lexie sighed. At least she tried to bring Christmas into Mother’s room at the sanatorium. Whether her mother actually understood or appreciated the gesture was doubtful. Lexie resumed her efforts to decorate the tree, humming along with Benny Goodman’s Band playing “Jingle Bells” on the radio. Maybe the music would help Mother make the connection between the tree and the coming holiday. But so far, no recognition had registered.

She left the tree and joined her frail mother, once so lively and beautiful, at the window.

“Would you like to go outside, Mother?” Lexie noticed other residents and their Sunday afternoon visitors enjoying the bright winter day as they strolled the manicured grounds.
Was that a nod?

“Good, we could use some fresh air. I’ll get our coats. It’s chilly out. I see a light snow falling.”

Lexie retrieved the garments and began putting Mother’s hat, scarf, coat, and gloves on her while the woman stood like a mannequin being dressed. Next, Lexie donned her own wool coat and hat and gently grabbed her mother’s elbow, leading her to the door. As Lexie opened the door, her mother’s eyes widened and she stepped backward.

“Mother, what is it?” Oh no. Not this again. “Don’t you want to go …

How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is http://pathwayheart.com, and I have two blogs on it – a Lighthouse blog and The Writer’s Path.

Thank you, Marilyn, for sharing your new book with us. I’m eager to read it.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
The Gilded Curse - paperback
The Gilded Curse - Kindle

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

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Anonymous said...

angela and oreo in ky would love to win

Melanie Backus said...

I am intrigued by The Guilded Curse. Thank you for a great interview.

Melanie Backus, TX

Mary Preston said...

I already have THE GILDED CURSE on my wish list.

Mary P


Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me your book looks awesome!!
Conway, SC.

Sandy Quandt said...

My mother helped build Liberty ships in Brunswick, GA during the war, and my parents met when my father was stationed on St. Simons after the war, so this sounds like a book I should read!

Sandy Q TX

Beth Gillihan said...

Sounds like an interesting read. Thanks for the chance to win!

Beth in Montana

Kim hansen said...

Cool cover. Love the time period the book is written in. cheetahthecat1986ATgmailDOTcom. North Platte Nebraska.

Abigail Richmond said...

Enter me. Looks awesome!!!
Blanch NC

Connie said...

Thanks for sharing your intriguing first page.
Connie from KY

Linda Moffitt said...

Thanks for the chance to win I am from NW PA

Dianne Casey said...

Sounds like a great read. Like books set in the South, looking forward to reading. I'm from the Chicago area.

Trixi said...

I really enjoyed your author interview Marylin! I think being a lighthouse keeper (even for a few days) would be so neat! Since I live on the Oregon coast, I can well imagine doing just that. Hard work & dedication would be in order I bet though. Most of our lighthouses are automated now so no need to have a light keeper. I've also read historical fiction books about lighthouse keepers & it sure gave me a glimpse into that world! Make sure you can handle the isolation, because it also sounds like a lonely job! But oh my, the views of the ocean especially during a storm would be fantastic :-)
And congrats on the 2010 Guideposts writers workshop winner! I have a subscription to Guidepost and I enjoy reading it so much. It always has encouraging and uplifting articles, I especially enjoy the Mysterious Ways. What an honor for you :-)

Thanks for the interview and giveaway chance!

Trixi in OR

Marilyn said...

Thanks for all the great comments, y'all! I hope you enjoy The Gilded Curse! Sandy, how cool that your mother built ships in Brunswick, right across the water from Jekyll Island!
And Trixi, if you like reading about lighthouses, you'd enjoy my book, Lighthouse Devotions - 52 Inspiring Lighthouse Stories, as well as my lighthouse blog.

rubynreba said...

I think lighthouses are very awesome and that it would be so much fun to live in one!!
Beth from IA

Bakersdozen said...

This book sounds like a good read.


Melissa M. said...

Sounds intriguing!

-Melissa M. in TN