Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday Frenzy, Results of Survey!

Happy Friday, everyone! A few weeks ago I posted a survey here with a couple of questions about reading preferences. I thought you might be interested in the results.

1. What size book do you generally prefer to read  (60 people answered)

a. Full length novels  (58 people chose this one)
b. Short novellas
c. Medium length books (2 people chose this one)

2.  What format do you read the most?  (60 people responded)

a. Ebook    (18 chose this one)
b. Paperback  (40 chose this one)
c. Audio
d. Other   (2 chose this one) 
  •     Combo of ebook or paperback depending on mood
  •     Lengther books-paperback and 100-250 pages Ebooks

3.What type of book do you prefer?  (60 responders)

a. I love a series where I can follow the lives of the characters throughout  (40)
b. Stand alone books so I don't have to have read the prior books before reading it  (11)
c. Serial novels - novels printed in installments like a TV show  (1)
d. Other  (8)
  •      I love both stand alone stories and series. Depends on my mood which I prefer at the moment. lol Not much of a serial novels, though. 
  •      Funny. I love all three categories as long as the stories are inspiring. 
  •      I love a series where they can stand alone if I haven't read the others (like you do so well) 
  •      BOTH stand alone & series. 
  •      I enjoy both stand alone books and series! 
  •      Serial novels aren't my fave, I enjoy both of the other 2 choices. 
  •      Enjoy both Stand alone and Series Equally 
  •      I enjoy all these options 
So what can I gather from all this?

Most of you still prefer a full length novel in paperback form that is part of a series where you see the characters throughout. I thought that was really interesting because I've been hearing some negative chatter about series.. how it's better to write stand alones that don't tie in with other books. But it would see that having a long series where a reader can revisit old friends from earlier books is something that you all enjoy.  Which is exactly what I'm trying to do with my pirate series!!  So that's good news.

What have I been working on this past week?  

The Raven Saint!  You may know that The Raven Saint is the 3rd book in my Charles Towne belles series. My publisher returned my rights for the entire series last year and I've been furiously trying to get them re-edited, slap new covers on them, and re-publish them afresh!  The Red Siren and the Blue Enchantress are already available, and currently I expect to have The Raven Saint out in September. As soon as I get the first comps of the new cover, I'll share them with you.

I've also started the forth book in the series, Charity's Cross, which I expect to release early next year, God willing.  Now, we finally get to hear about the 4th sister's harrowing story!

I'm off to the Victorian Tea house with my daughter and granddaughter tomorrow. I'll try and get pictures

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” 

John 8:12


Monday, July 27, 2015

The Valley of the Shadow of Death

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me  Psalm 23:4

When I was little, I always wondered what this valley of the shadow of death was.  Did God mean real death? If so, of course He would be with us! He would take us to Heaven, right? That's what salvation is all about. But I believe the psalmist meant so much more than that.

 When I think of a valley, I often picture lots of green grass and flowers with a river running through it, but this isn't the kind of valley the psalmist is talking about. His valley is dark with lurking shadows leaping out at him. There's no greenery or flowers or flowing streams, and not a ray of sunlight finds its way within. There's only shadows and jagged rocks and high mountains all around so it seems like you're trapped. It seems like there's no way out into the sun again. 

All of us have been in the "valley of the shadow of death" from time to time in our lives. Sometimes those valleys are enormous and deep and go on forever. Sometimes, they are smaller and we can climb out quickly.  Valleys such as loneliness, despair, doubt, loss of job, death of a loved one, marriage problems, divorce, cancer, health issues, money problems, heartbreak, fear, terror, rejection. There are many valleys we must pass through in this world.   In fact, I would venture to say that we are rarely out of a valley, or at least not on the mountain top very long before we tumble right into another valley! 

What I find interesting is that God never promises to air lift us out of the valley. (Although He does do that sometimes!)  Yet, He promises to walk with us in the valley.  Think of that for a moment. The God of the universe, Creator of all things. All-powerful, All knowing wants to walk with you through your valley, your problem, your cancer, your heartbreak, your job loss, your grief. Right down there in the stinky, putrid valley with hard crusty rocks and no sunlight... yup. He would rather be no where else in the universe except by your side.. holding your hand and helping you through. That amazes me! 

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the Lord your God,  Isaiah 43:2

And the best part is, if you truly lean on Him, you'll come out of the valley a better person, stronger, filled with more joy and faith than you ever had before. And you'll realize that maybe when you appealed and cried out to God to please air-lift you out of that valley, He didn't do it because He knew if you endured, that valley would change you from a caterpillar into a butterfly! 

Our fallen world is full of valleys. Some are those we cause ourselves, others are caused by our enemy to try and trap us, and others are caused by people who've made bad choices outside our control. Some are just there, part of the landscape that we can't avoid. We are all on a journey after all, a pilgrimage to the most glorious place that ever existed. It is there we will find our rest. It is upon that glorious city of gold where we must keep our eyes focused. If we look away for even a second to our surroundings.. to the valley we are in, we risk losing the hope that keeps us moving forward. 
Just look at what awaits us as the psalm continues:

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord

Psalm 23:5-6 

Forever is a long, long, time!!  Just thinking about the joy that awaits us should help us make our way through the valley. Along with the fact that God is walking right beside us. We are never alone!


Friday, July 24, 2015

What's wrong with "Christian" Fiction?

I feel the need to rant a bit today. Please forgive me in advance. But whenever I hear from another author that their publisher and/or agent has told them to "tone down" the spiritual/Christian content of their "Christian" novel, I want to puke. (Sorry for the visual)  I heard no such demands when I first got published back in 2006, though I know a few publishers were requesting it.  But now, it seems that everywhere I turn, this is the norm.

So, I guess I'm asking why call it "Christian" Fiction if Christ is not mentioned in the pages. Just call it Clean or Sweet, then people will know there isn't any sex or violence or foul language, but they won't take the risk of being offended by the name of Jesus.  It is His name that offends so many, after all. Gee, I wonder why that is?  Could it be that it is only by the  name of Jesus that men can be saved from hell? Wonder who is trying to push that name into the background?  Erase it from the pages of "Christian" books?

I'm not at all putting down Christian novels that are light on the spiritual side. Some authors are called to just write uplifting, clean stories from a Christian worldview. I get that. It's their ministry and they are good at it.  What irks me is that those of us who want to write strong spiritual stories that mention Jesus, salvation, and other spiritual taboos like delivering demons and healings and miracles, well we are told to stifle it. It won't sell.  I had one author tell me she was told to take out all the overt Christian content and resubmit the book. Huh?

Listen I know publishers are in the business to make money. But they are also in the business of publishing Christian books that tell the good news of the Gospel to a dying world. Which is more important?  Which one do you think God will honor them for? Why not do the right thing and let God sort out the money. Didn't He promise to provide for those who follow Him with all their heart?

I'm also not buying the excuse that they hope to reach more  lost people for Jesus by putting out books the unsaved would purchase and wouldn't be offended at. Really?  I don't recall Jesus or his disciples toning down their message to reach more people? Besides how will people ever know the way to eternal life if someone doesn't tell them?

It's all about the money, pure and simple.. and conpromising with the world, being politically correct to make more sales.  You know, I could sell more books if I wanted to. I could take out all my Jesus stuff from my books, add some sex scenes, and I could probably double or triple my sales. Don't think I haven't thought about it. LOL. Why? because I could use the money, and because there's no author in the world who wouldn't want to be on a best-seller list.   But I answer to a higher power than the New York Times Best seller list (Not that I'd ever make that one. LOL)  I answer to God.

And this world more than ever needs to hear about Jesus.

Writing News
Many of you have been asking when the new and improved version of The Raven Saint will be available. I'm editing the old manuscript right now and will be getting a new cover made next month, so I expect to release it in September.

Also, in celebration of re-releasing my best-selling Charles Towne Belles series, I'm adding a forth book, Charity's Cross. For those of  you who have read the series, you know that Charity is the 4th sister who was left behind in England with a horrible wretched husband.  I've started the book now and expect it's release in either December or January.

I still plan on writing my Medieval story, but it has been moved to a late 2016 release. Sorry about that.. but Charity would not keep quiet in my head!

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.


Psalm 23

Monday, July 20, 2015

Are you a lion or a lamb?

Have you ever noticed that as you read through the Bible, God seems to have two facets to His personality?  Sometimes He even seems to contradict Himself.  On the one hand He's really tough on sin. The Old Testament is full of examples that probably make most of us cringe!  And on the other hand God is the most merciful, loving, gracious person I know!  The same God who ordered the stoning of an entire family because the father kept some gold for himself from a war raid, that same God sent His only Son into the world as a sacrifice for our sin! 

Jesus demonstrated this two-faceted personality when He was here walking the earth.  He told Peter, his good friend and disciple to "Get behind me, Satan!"  when Peter told Him that He would never suffer and die.  He called the Pharisees a "Brood of vipers!"  "Hypocrites" and "Whitewashed tombstones" and children of Satan.  And remember the time He grabbed a whip and chased away all the merchants from the temple? 

But on the other hand, He demonstrated great mercy and grace toward many others. What about the woman caught in adultery? She should have been stoned according to God's law. Yet Jesus didn't even rebuke her or chastise her. He simply told her to go and sin no more.

I believe God gives each of us a small portion of His personality to be used here on earth for His glory.  Some of us have more of His lamb personality. People like this are more merciful, more understanding, and are quick to extend grace to others. They don't get so angry at injustice or sin, but instead offer a hand of friendship and love to those in need. This is wonderful quality to have!

Then to some of us God gives more of His Lion personality. The lions are the ones who get angry at sin and injustice, who discern right from wrong more clearly and who feel enraged when evil prevails. We are the ones who usually see sin for what it is in a person's life and we want to point it out to them. We want to fix it. We passionately defend God's righteousness .... even to the point of being rude to those who defile His name or plans.  We are the John the Baptists, the Elijah's of the world. We call sin out for what it is and can often appear critical and lacking in mercy, though our motives are good.

The thing is, I'm a lion. And sometimes I can come across harshly to others. It's not my intention but I see something that I know is wrong in God's eyes and I blurt it out in a not-too-diplomatic fashion. Yet, I know people who are lambs who allow sin to flourish around them because they don't want to be critical or judgmental. 

I believe both these sides of God's personality are very important. Both lion and lamb have a role to play in the body of Christ.  Yet so often I see the church glorifying the lamb and tossing aside the lion as a trouble maker. The truth is, both lion and lamb need to pray for God to help them develop a bit of the other side in their personality. Too much of one or the other can be destructive. The Lion needs to learn when to keep his mouth shut and when he does speak, to use diplomacy. The lamb needs to learn when to show mercy and when to call evil evil. 

All I can say is this lion here is working on her mouth and her mercy!  How about you? Which do you think you are?


Friday, July 17, 2015

Writing news and please take my survey!

As many of you know, The Reckoning, has been released now for a month! It's been getting great
reviews from everyone who has read it.  Here's a few of the headlines.

MaryLu does it again! Every book in this series makes me want to go back and re-read the others. 

MaryLu Tyndall is the A-#1 prime example of why a reader cannot discount indie novels. When an author has the freedom to write what she is good at, the book is much better than if she writes for marketing execs

Another great book in the series

The Reckoning is the best yet! 

Spine-tingling adventure, misunderstood romance, and surprise twists make this a book well worth buying (and staying up all night to finish).



5-star read!

MaryLu is the queen of redeeming bad boy heroes

An Epic, Exhilarating Tale!

Order from Amazon  Barnes and Noble  Kobo  Itunes

So, if you haven't read it yet, what are you waiting for?   If you're leery of the time-travel aspect, I've heard from several readers who weren't sure about it say that I did it so well, they enjoyed it.  

You know me. I'm not one to normally toot my own horn, but I believe this is one of my best books yet. I could tell while I was writing it that it would turn out good because I was having so much fun, especially with the dialogue between the hero and heroine!!

Writing news

I'm working on a couple of new projects.  One, I already announced, is a Medieval Romance. I'm still working on the storyline and doing research into the time period. But the 2nd one many of you will be thrilled to know is Charity's story from my Charles Towne Belles series.  If you've read those books, you may remember that there is a 4th sister who married a horrible man and was left in England when Admiral Westcott brought his daughters to Charles Towne.  I've received so many letters from readers who wanted to know what happened to poor Charity, but I've been reticent to open up old wounds and add to the series. Funny thing, though, the opening scene of Chapter one kept playing over and over in my mind. It was driving me crazy, so I finally started to hone out the details of Charity's adventure! 

As to when either of these books will be ready, I have no idea. I'm taking it a day at a time and will keep you posted. You are my loyal readers and to honor you, I want to write books you enjoy and stories that inspire and bring you closer to God. To do that, I need to know a few of your preferences. Can you take a moment to answer these three questions??  And as usual, if you have any suggestions, please feel free to email me.

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