Sunday, November 29, 2009

Book Review: Legacy of the King's Pirates

Legacy of the King’s Pirates series by M.L. Tyndall, Barbour Books:
Book 1: The Redemption 2006
Book 2: The Reliance 2006
Book 3: The Restitution 2007

I first saw the cover for MaryLu Tyndall’s pirate book The Redemption in 2006. My initial thought was disbelief. It intrigued me but really, a swashbuckler book with a pirate hero isn’t your average Christian literature.

Months later, I saw another Pirate book by MaryLu with a slightly different cover, followed by a 3rd book in 2007. By this time, the name MaryLu Tyndall was quite common to me but I didn’t know anything about her or her writing.

In the fall of 2008, I stopped off in a Christian bookstore in Winnipeg, Manitoba on my way back from the American Christian Fiction Writer’s (ACFW) conference in Minneapolis, MN and there on a sale table lay MaryLu’s 3 book series, Legacy of the King’s Pirates. I’ve always been a sucker for tall ships and these book covers caught my eye with their aura of danger and excitement. And at the price offered, I grabbed them. Once home, I put the books on my To Be Read (TBR) pile which is around 400 strong and got down to the business of writing. The pirates languished and I forgot about them.

By this time I’d read a few hundred inspirational books and although there were some I raved about in my book reviews, for the most part I thought them to be okay. Yes, they told good stories of faith and perseverance but they tended to ignore the physical side of their relationships. Now I’m not saying I want to read explicit material—I’m just saying I want to know the two main characters feel a real passion for each other before they take that huge matrimonial step.

Then one day I was watching the ACFW loop go by and a member mentioned this same thing. I was so pleased when another member posted a list of inspirational authors who wrote more ‘realistic’ or ‘edgy’ books. One of the authors on that list was MaryLu Tyndall. Really? I swooped down on my TBR pile and pulled out her Legacy of the King’s Pirates series and left them on my end table to read next.

And I’ll tell you, they are more than I ever imagined a Christian romance could be. I didn’t put them down until forced to by the dictates of family life. They fulfilled my quest for adventure, increased my heart rate, made me cry, and proved that Christian fiction came be just as entertaining as anything else on the market today. In fact, I flipped the pages to re-check the publisher’s insignia on the spine so many times and yet still I couldn’t believe it. Here’s a quick rundown on the books in the Legacy of the King’s Pirate series:

Book 1 – The Redemption – Lady Charlisse Bristol is on a personal mission to find the father who abandoned her as a child. She finds herself dependent on Edmund Merrick, a pirate leader. Running on an unlimited supply of faith, Charlisse struggles with her attraction to Edmund. The pirate leader is torn between his baser instincts and his respect for the beautiful Charlisse who seems to call upon God to do her bidding at will. But who will be the man beside her when she realizes her father is the most terrible pirate of the time.

Book 2 – The Reliance – I was very skeptical of this book because it contains the same main characters as Book 1. I mean I read their story of finding love and faith—what more could there be in a romance? But at that point, I hadn’t realized what a master storyteller MaryLu is. In this book, she didn’t just bring back Charlisse and Edmund, she also brought back the villain who’s extra angry at being bested in Book 1. So, he creates an incident where he’s able to steal a pregnant Charlisse away but leave Edmund thinking she and their unborn child is dead. So here you have a pirate with a shaky newfound faith drowing in misery. What does he do? What do you think he does? He certainly didn’t do what I thought would be printed in a Christian book, that’s for sure. Yet it could have happened so easily in real life.

Book 3 – The Restitution – Now this book was a stunner! Again, the characters are familiar because the hero is none other than the villain in the first 2 books and the heroine is the woman he ravishes in Book 2. This book starts with Lady Isabel Ashton and her 7 month old son who is the result of that fateful day on board Captain Kent Carlton’s pirate ship. As an unwed mother, Isabel’s life is a daily struggle of humiliation but she won’t give up her son for anything. When he’s kidnapped, she does the unthinkable and enlists the help of the baby’s father and his ship to search the Caribbean for him. Can Kent put aside his own agenda of becoming the new pirate king to become the man Isabel and their baby needs?

This series teems with the awesome power of God who stands beside those who serve Him. It resounds with the words from that gut wrenching hymn Amazing Grace in that the heroes are sinners on a path of destruction until faced with the infinite mercy of a Father who forgives everything and wipes the slate clean. MaryLu’s character arcs show the progression of villain to man of faith and made me wonder why I ever doubted a pirate could be saved.

Although this series is a couple years old, it’s still available online at Amazon and possibly even bookstores, new or used. MaryLu is still writing strong exciting inspirational historicals of the same location and era. In fact, she was a guest here at my group blog Inkwell Inspirations in October and will be back on Jan 20th to talk about her new release. For more information on MaryLu and her books check out her website.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

2 Loree Lough Books Up For Grabs

Over at Prairie Chicks Write Romance today, inspirational romance author Loree Lough is guest blogging about Book Signings.

A veteran of over 100 book signings, she'll tell you the most effective way to hold this type of marketing promotion.

Loree is giving away 2 books in the Love Finds You series so head on over and leave a comment to get your name in for one of the 2 books pictured here. And Loree's got a very unique way of picking the winners which I know because she told us over at the Inkwell on Thurs. But I'm not telling you here... you'll have to go to Prairie Chicks and find out for yourself.

Loree's question for today is this:

What would inspire you to attend a book signing… and what’s most likely to keep you away?

So head over to Prairie Chicks Write Romance to answer the question, ask a question, or just to leave your email address for the draw. You don't even need a reason and we'll be very happy you did.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Annie Oakley Visits The Inkwell

I'm blogging over at Inkwell Inspirations today about my favorite Inkspot in history . . . the one female who has inspired me the most. The answer is my namesake - Annie.

My sister has always called me Annie.

Back in the 70's, my CB handle was Annie Oakley.

I'm talking of no other than Little Annie Oakley, the greatest sharpshooter who ever lived. The young woman who shot the ashes off a cigarette while it was still held between the Kaiser's lips!

I thought I knew Annie until I started researching her for my blog post and then I realized I didn't know her at all. Because there's so much more to Annie Oakley than just the love story between her and Frank Butler. But oh, what a love story. :)

My question for the day over at the Inkwell is about role playing in your childhood. Who is your favourite character either real or imagined? In history or otherwise?

Photo credit given to:

Monday, November 9, 2009

NaNo Day 8 Progress Report

Today is the 9th of November and I've been at NaNoWriMo for a week. I finally took a day off on Sat to attend the the Saskatchewan Romance Writers monthly meeting which was being held in Davidson instead of Saskatoon so I didn't have to drive so far. I left at 9 am and got back home at 9 pm.

Fired up from all the coffee I drank enroute, I started writing at 10 pm Sat night and kept at it until 0430 in the morning, then continued yesterday when I awoke.

So, here's my NaNoWriMo Progress Report up to and including Day 8:

Project: Revising & Adding to Emma’s Outlaw

Goal: Need 65,000 words to finish (90,000 Total)

Nano Words so far: 11,834 (38,624 Total)

Nano Goal: 18% complete (43% Overall)

I seem to be revising more that I imagined. However, I thought it would be passive writing which was a fault of mine when I wrote the first draft, but I'm also adding sensory details and filling out my characters.

I really like the way the book is coming together. And the feedback from the excerpt I posted on Prairie Chicks Write Romance last Wed was a good boost to my morale.

The week coming up is a busy one:

Wed Nov 11:

Inkwell Inspirations - posting about my alter ego Annie Oakley

Thurs Nov 12:

-Prairie Chicks Write Romance - posting about NaNo

-Inkwell Inspirations - hosting Loree Lough, author

Sat Nov 14:

- Prairie Chicks Write Romance - hosting Loree Lough

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Emma's Outlaw Excerpt at Prairie Chicks

Even though I'm heavily involved in NaNoWriMo, I still had to prepare a post for today at Prairie Chicks Write Romance. I planned to talk more about Nano but forgot the Chicks are starting a new monthly feature: Writing Exercises. Wheeee!

Janet posted this exercise on Sunday: Choose one of your main characters (male or female) from any of your WIPs and from his/her POV write about one of the most difficult decision he/she had to make.

Since I’m working on Emma’s Outlaw for my Nano project, I used my hero, Dan for this exercise and then I used the word count for Nano.

The excerpt I posted is a defining moment in the book but I haven't given away the ending. For the record, you are free to guess what comes next but I'm not confirming anything.

Okay, I'm off to see if I need to respond to any comments over at Prairie Chicks and then I'm buckling down to Emma's Outlaw. When I left off on Tues, Dan had just come back from town and he brought Emma a surprise . . .

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Day 3 NaNoWriMo Progress Report

Here's my Day 3 NaNoWriMo Progress Report:

Project: Revising & Adding to Emma’s Outlaw

Goal: Need 65000 words to finish (90K total)

Today's word count: 2458 quality words

First word: For

Last word: eggs.

Favorite line: It was one thing to be forced to sleep in a room with a strange man even if they were in separate beds but it would be a definite breach of propriety to speak to him.

Total Nano Words: 5837

Nano Goal: 9% done (should be at 10% today)

Treat: Dancing With the Stars Results Show

Overall, it's going good. However, I'm working at a much slower pace revising than I ever did drafting a novel during Nano. Will have to pick up the pace.