Friday, February 1, 2013

Forsaken Dreams Pre-Release Party!! Week 1!



Yay! It's finally here! Well, almost. My next release, Forsaken Dreams, (My 12th published novel!) will be out in stores on March 1st! In celebration of this grand event, EVERY Friday in February, I'll be posting something about the book and giving away a FREE copy of the book!!

So, share this post, tweet it, post it on facebook and join the party! Without further ado, here's a peek at the cover and a teaser about the story.



They Left Everything Behind to Build a New Southern Utopia



Colonel Blake Wallace has seen enough death to last a lifetime. Weary and disillusioned, he slumps beneath the weight of defeat and loss. With his entire family murdered by the North and his name appearing on a list of officers wanted for war crimes, Blake organizes a shipload of southerners who, like him, long to escape the horrors of war and start a new life in a verdant land called Brazil.

Eliza Crawford can barely remember the days of her youth spent in opulence and comfort at her Georgian home. She can't help but wonder how different her life would be had she not met her late husband, Stanton Watts, a general in the Northern army. Now a war widow, Eliza is rejected by both North and South. Desperate to keep her marriage a secret and escape her past and pain, she longs to start over again in Brazil.

But once the voyage begins, troubles abound. Dangers at sea  and enemies from within threaten to keep Blake and Eliza from the new life—and love—they long for.

This week, we will take an in-depth look at the heroine of the story, Eliza Crawford (or is that her real name? Hmmmm)


Eliza Crawford 

Brief Description: At age 22, with hair the color of maple syrup, glistening golden eyes, and an athletic build, Eliza feels like she’s already lived a lifetime. She can barely remember the days of her youth spent in opulence and comfort when she lived at her parent’s upscale hotel in Marietta, Georgia. If only she hadn’t met Stanton Watts, she wouldn’t be in such dire straits. But she was young and in love and her zest for freedom and adventure made her throw caution, convention, and her family’s disapproval to the wind, and follow her heart. Unfortunately it led her to a miserable year of marriage to a man who was hardly ever home. Brigadier-General Stanton Watts, killed in action, December, 1862 during the Battle of Fredericksburg. She could still see the handwritten post that changed her life forever and sent her from Pennsylvania back to Georgia and eventually to the rebel front lines as a nurse. Even after her husband’s death, her family would not forgive her for marrying a Union soldier. Now, rejected by people on either side of the war, Eliza finds herself alone in the world, without friends, family, or means to provide for herself. She sells her remaining jewelry and possessions and procures passage on the NewHope heading for Brazil. Perhaps there, with her secret hidden, she can escape her past, her pain, her rejection and start over.

Strengths:  Courageous, Generous, Kind, A free spirit, Fearless, Dreamer, Doer not a talker
Weaknesses: Rebellious, Stubborn, Impulsive, Self-willed
Quirks:  Eliza is a take charge kind of woman not easily frightened by new challenges. She possesses an independent spirit that craves freedom and therefore she often has trouble following any rules or direction if it goes against what she wants.  Outwardly, this manifests itself in her unruly hair which she can never seem to keep pinned up in a coiffure dictated by proper etiquette.

Inspiration: Eliza is the type of heroine we often see in film and in books. She’s the fearless conqueror who takes life by the horns and fights for her way.  She’s the woman who defies conventions and rules and lives by the impulses of her heart. She’s the artist, the dancer, the actress, the free thinker. Her zest for life and her huge heart are truly gifts from God, but like all  gifts, they can be used either for good or evil. Unfortunately, Eliza tosses away God’s healthy restraints on her zeal and ends up making a huge mess of her life. 

So, what do you think of Eliza? Can you relate to her at all? Are you a free spirit, a dreamer, courageous and independent or do you tend to play it safe, obey the rules and draw within the lines?  (Which is more the way I am!)  And why is it that most of us seem drawn to the strong, independent heroine? 

Leave a comment, along with your email, and you'll be entered in a contest to win a copy of Forsaken Dreams!  I will announce the winner next Friday when we another sneak peek at the book, in particular, Colonel Blake Wallace. (Who I think you're going to love! hubba hubba )  
 

79 comments:

  1. Fri Feb 1st .... eeehhh gadzooks -- it's "February" already !!! What ever happened to January ???
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    For starters ... might I say that the cover on "Forsaken Dreams" is one of the best ever ! It's really beautiful, captivating, and mysterious looking.
    I love Eliza already ! I can relate to some' of Eliza's strengths, but also to some of her weaknesses. However, I am NOT the 'fearless conqueror' ... but rather tend to -- 'play it safe', 'obey' the rules', and, 'draw the lines'. And yes, I am totally drawn in to and eager to read how Eliza is that "strong, independent heroine".
    Can hardly wait to read this newest book, MaryLu !!!
    (No need to enter me into the contest, though.)
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi! MaryLu!! :)

    I love Eliza already! I think we are drawn to strong heroines is because we see things in them that we admire and wish we were.

    Inside, I am more like Eliza. But the side that shows because that's the way I was brought up is the more reserved, obey the rules and play it safe me.

    And, I'm with Brenda-- I LOVE THIS COVER!! It's so beautiful. :) cannot wait to read it (and neither can my daughter).

    ReplyDelete
  3. WOW! The picture of "Eliza" is dead-on to your description. Looking forward to reading her story.

    I am definitely the play it safe, obey rules type, but love reading about those who are not.

    Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of the book. Win or lose it's a must read for me.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Checking you out for the first time. Recommended by my friend Susan! allisonswets@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. allisonswets@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I would say I tend to play it safe, obey the rules.
    Thanks for a chance to win this book.

    superstarsarah94(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow she's gorgeous! I can't wait for the sneek peek of the Colonel either! Thanks for sneek peeks!
    Callie
    genuinegagirl(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hiya!! I hate to copy others,but really,the cover of the book is beautiful and intriguing!
    I am of both personalities,for the most part I follow the rules,but for selfish reasons. I know that the more I do what is expected of me,the more priveleges(spelling?? Lol) I get.
    But on occasions when I deem something worth the punishment I do not hesitate. I'm a very independant person,I don't like to be tied down (unless its to a book!!)
    Anyway,I can't wait to read this!! All you're books are fantastic!!
    blondielu94@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Happy February to you MaryLu and thanks soooo much for the giveaway(s)!! I also fell inlove with this cover right away, can't wait to read Eliza's story :)

    No, I'm not like her character. I'm also a dreamer and learning to be a free spirit with God's help, but I mostly tend to play it safe and play by rules (sometimes I do so kicking and screaming). Sounds like her courageous spirit will rub off and inspire your readers, looking forward to it :)

    Have a great weekend, MaryLu, and best wishes to the other entrants! Blessings, Kara
    wman4jcATaolDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  10. Forgot to leave my e-mail in earlier post:

    aimmesser@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. So excited for your new book Mary Lu...I can wait to read it :)

    Andrewsgirl_09@hotmail.com

    Amanda O'Malley

    ReplyDelete
  12. Okay...I am so excited!! I love this cover..it is so beautiful. I have been waiting forever it seems to read this! I don't want to be entered to win as I have purchased a special pre-buy! But I want to be here for the fun! So excited.....March 1st will be here before you know it!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Congratulations on your new release. Eliza's story sounds like one not one to miss!
    Campbellamyd at Gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm so intrigued! This cover is probably my all-time favorite of historical covers. And I can't wait to read what's inside. Congratulations, MaryLu!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Eliza sounds amazing. Her weaknesses remind me of mine. I can't wait to read this book.

    katelynmwhitley@Yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. I am with everyone else, gorgeous cover and cannot wait to read it. Here is to a great February and a wonderful release in March!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sounds like my kind of heroine!! Beautiful cover! Can't wait to read it!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  19. This looks like an exciting read. I'd love to be considered for the drawing of a free copy.

    cindialtman(at)gmail(dot)come

    Thank you Ü

    ReplyDelete
  20. I come off as being a free spirit, dreamer, courageous because I am a "doer" and like adventure, but I do play it safe by researching that which I am drawn to doing. I have always been independent but enjoy the company of like minded individuals.
    Angel allstahrfamily[at]gmail

    ReplyDelete
  21. Margaret Ann and Bill McCurryFebruary 1, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    Sounds like a real good read.
    Margaret Ann and Bill McCurry
    msmlsu@bellsouth.net

    ReplyDelete
  22. I suppose people would say I am an adventurer, courageous, etc. since we have moved away from all we know to an area that is new to all of us.However, I don't think I feel very courageous at all - just wish for a place to call home. I guess I do fit with Eliza quite well....

    bettimace(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  23. This looks like a great book! makeighleekyleigh at yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm not really a free spirit and I would never label myself fearless by nay stretch, but I do love when I find a heroine who is! Eliza certainly sounds like such a heroine, she has pushed through and overcome so much. I'm really looking forward to meeting her and seeing how her romance with the hero plays out! Heroines like her are the closest I'll probably ever get to an adventure, lol! MaryLu, you always create heroines that a girl can relate to and/or want to strive to be like. Thank you :)

    This whole series sounds very intriguing, and I LOVE the front cover of this first book! Thank you so much for a chance to win!

    Blessings,
    Amanda
    mrose608{at}gmail{dot}com

    ReplyDelete
  25. tammy tatertam1@aol.comFebruary 1, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    You had me with the cover! Absolutely beautiful! Cannot wait to read this book :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Can't wait to read MaryLu's latest book! She is one of my most favorite authors!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Your book sounds really good. I like these kinds of stories. i am always looking for new authors to read.
    i have added your name to my TBR list.
    JWIsley(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  28. I love the name Eliza! I have been in love with that name for a long time!

    I am the opposite of Eliza for sure! I tend to try, as much as my sinful flesh will allow me to, to walk the straight and narrow.

    I always look forward to weeks preparing for the release of your newest novel! It is always a good time.

    emmamalissa(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  29. Mary Lu;
    Seems like forever since your last one - I watch and wait and wait and watch some more and THEN - WOWSER - you topped your last book cover with yet another!

    CANNOT WAIT TO GET THIS ONE - IT TOPPED MY MUST READ LIST THIS YEAR!

    Hugs and prayers

    joyjournaing(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  30. Ahoy Cap'n,
    I always love seeing reference pictures for characters. I know that everyone has their own ideas of what characters look like when reading a story and I am no different, but I have found that when I see the author's reference picture before reading a story I am like, "Hey, I can totally see him/her in that role," and that is usually who I picture throughout the story.
    I think we are drawn to the strong, independent heroine because secretly we wish we could be that way, without the character pitfalls.

    mommyauthor(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  31. It sounds like a jolly good read :). I follow rules...or at least the ones that are logical and make sense ;).

    ReplyDelete
  32. Good evening Mary Lu!
    Reading your post makes me wish it were March 1st already! :-) Though I tend to be a "play by the rules" type, I admire those who can step out and take risks - Eliza's story sounds very, very interesting! I can't wait to read it!

    ReplyDelete

  33. mary Lu, te cover is beautiful. Think the book is going to be very interesting with the ups and downs. The picture of Eliza sure fits the description given. I will be interested in how things go between these two, tho I tend to follow the rules mostly and stay on the safer side. But, is usually interesting to read about those who don't. Would love to win this book.
    Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  34. Sounds like this will be a AWESOME book to read .Blessings,Dana
    jashbk@earthlink.net

    ReplyDelete
  35. Ooh I cannot wait for this to release! Is it February already?!?

    ecriggs1990(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  36. MaryLu, I am with the rest of them I think the cover is just Awesome. Eliza's picture is great & sounds like she is also. I can't hardly wait for Forsaken Dreams to come out.Like I said before I think you have out did yourself this time.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Wow! This sounds like it is going to be another book that I won't be able to put down!!! So looking forward to better getting to know Eliza! I am slightly like her, yet not so much recklessness. :)

    Lena

    lena.martinolli@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  38. MARYLU -- LOVE the character spotlight, girl, and cannot WAIT to get my hands on this book!!

    Hard as it may be to believe, like you, I "tend to play it safe, obey the rules and draw within the lines," which is just ONE MORE REASON why you and I are SO much like sisters!!

    Eliza sounds WONDERFUL, and knowing you, I'm pretty sure the chemistry between her and Colonel Blake Wallace will be steaming more than a hot cup of Brazilian coffee!!

    Can't wait!!

    Hugs, sis,

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  39. I love the cover of this book! I admire adventurous women like Eliza because I am so not that way. I tend to play by the rules and definitely like to play it safe.
    Thanks for the chance to win what I'm sure is a wonderful book.

    pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

    ReplyDelete
  40. Oh, MaryLu, I am so excited....can't wait to read this fantastic book! The cover is just beautiful. Thanks for the giveaway.
    Jackie Smith
    jackie.smith[at]dishmail[dot]net

    ReplyDelete
  41. Ooh! I have been looking forward to reading Forsaken Dreams ever since the first time I saw the cover! Thank you for this sneak peek at your character!

    Blessings,
    Erica

    ReplyDelete
  42. This looks like an exciting and adventurous story. When authors I admire tell me of someone (like you!) that is THEIR favorite author, I check it out.

    I was lady in waiting for a wealthy woman in the 50s, so it would be interesting to read about the lives on the other side of my employment!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Eliza sounds like a great character! I like that picture of her, also. As always, I can't wait to read this!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Sounds really interesting! Can't wait to read it. Please enter me in the contest. strgth4yu@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  45. I would love to win this! Will be an amazing read!

    Teresa Sego
    sego4@Juno.com

    ReplyDelete
  46. Good evening, MaryLu! Wow! How time has flown. Only just a few weeks until release day. SO exciting! I think I tend to lean towards the reserved side. I was never one to 'live on the edge', and that's probably why I enjoy reading books with heroines like Eliza who are a bit stronger and more courageous than I am. They are the epitome of how I wish I could be.
    Can't wait to read it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  47. Oooh, I love Mandy Moore!! I'm currently reading Veil of Pearls and I'm loving it! :)

    marissamehresman(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  48. I am new reader of your books - would love to win a copy of one of them. Thanks!

    bonnieroof60@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  49. Oh my gracious!!! I pray I win this book!! I am also a new reader of your books and would love to have a copy.. Thanks so much!!!
    ctbi4@att.net

    ReplyDelete
  50. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Would love, love, LOVE to win "Forsaken Dreams"!!!

    Thanks for a chance with a giveaway.

    gjac444 (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  52. I am definitely a play by the rules kind of girl. I always have been! This book sounds so good! Definitely intrigued by the characters already. And the fact that I grew up near Marietta, GA makes it better!
    Nancycooks4u@bellsouth.net

    ReplyDelete
  53. I want, I want, I want! lol

    collettaskitchensink [at] yahoo [dot] com

    Colletta :)

    ReplyDelete
  54. wow , this looks like a great read centraleast2 (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  55. First off I love the cover of this book.

    I so enjoy books written in this time in history that this book is set in. The character Eliza is someone I will want to follow and see how her journey turns out. Thanks for a small peak into her life.

    Please enter me in the contest.

    Blessings, Tina
    tfrice@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  56. Oh, yay!!! I can't wait to read this one! Loved your last book!

    Emreilly303(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  57. Hi. Your book sounds awesome. It has taken place in the state my family comes from Georiga. I read what you have shared with us and wanting more. Thank You,
    LeAnn Mooneyham
    angel4god@charter.net

    ReplyDelete
  58. Love the cover! Cannot WAIT to read this book. As usual, I'm sure it won't disappoint. Would love to win this.

    Battles2001@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  59. I've gotta say, I'm totally jealous of your picture of the character! She's gorgeous! And she definitely sounds like an interesting character...can't wait to read this story!

    emily.wilts13@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  60. I'm definitely a dreamer, but those dreams tend to stay within the lines... or locked away in the back of my mind. emilyrachellewrites @ gmail . com

    ReplyDelete
  61. Love the Cover of this book and the fact that you have a strong women in the lead. The description has caught my attention too!

    I'm looking forward to talking to you soon for book club. I can't wait to hear you talk about your new book! I've let others know about it! Can't wait! Grin!

    ReplyDelete
  62. If the book is anything close to the excellence of the cover, I know I'll enjoy it.
    Sounds like an interesting story.

    cindialtman(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  63. I like Eliza and love that she is a free spirit.

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

    ReplyDelete
  64. Thanks so much for the beautiful description of this book. It sounds like a very exciting and educational story. I love it when a book goes beyond the norm. Thank you for offering a giveaway!
    Nancee
    quiltcat26[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

    ReplyDelete
  65. I love the cover, just as many others said also! The description is amazing and makes me want to read the book right NOW! I have always been a fan of your writing, MaryLu and am so happy at your success. I reviewed a couple of your early books. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of your book. God bless! Sherri christianbookreviewer at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  66. Hi everyone!! I LOVE reading all your comments! Seems like many of you are like me.. more "play it safe" kind of people... who wish they maybe did something crazy now and then. (Well, maybe not too crazy!) Anyway, thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts. Don't forget to drop by next Friday to meet the hero! I've entered you all in the drawing!

    ReplyDelete
  67. Love your books! Would LOVE to win a copy! ;-)

    ashtonfamily5@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  68. I would say I'm definitely the play-it-safe person, but I can be adventurous too. I admire people who go for what they want and don't let fear stand in the way. shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  69. This looks like an awesome book! I'm a dreamer, but I like to play it safe! makeighleekyleigh at yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  70. Eliza sounds like an exciting heroine. I am definitely not a free spirit nor a dreamer, though I am adventurous, but not impulsive. I would love to read more about Eliza.
    may_dayzee(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  71. The cover is so beautiful! I can't wait to read the book so that I can get to know Eliza better :)

    samanthaakuiper(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  72. Wow, this looks like an excellent book. Please enter me in the drawing.

    Katie J.
    johnsonk133@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  73. I am most definitely akin to Eliza, in that, yes, all of her strengths could be said to be my own! :) Only the main difference is that I walk a very strong path with faith. I have always held a balance between the arts, science, the natural world, and my spiritual journey. I love seeking out anything that is artistically bent, as much as I love to colour outside the lines, take life by storm, and swim like salmon do against the conventional currents! :) I embrace the outside of the box, in other words! :) Writer, photographer, artist, my life is lived with a creative spin, I must say! :) I have a feeling that I will sink into Eliza's story, seeing murmurs of myself and quietly smile. We all have lessons to learn whilst we're here, and I adore brilliantly written strong female leads! Her greatest gift I think, is her strength and her inner joy for the unexpected. As much as for the adventurous daring nature she has for embracing new chapters of her life!! :) Rock on, Eliza Crawford! And, rock on, Ms. Tyndall for sharing her story with all of us!

    I tip my hat to enter this lovely bookaway! Thank you for offering such an exciting month of Fridays!
    inkand-blogaways(at)usa.net
    Florida, USA.

    ReplyDelete
  74. MaryLu, this post REALLY makes me want to read Forsaken Dreams!!! I don't know if I can wait three and a half more weeks! :O But really, I am so looking forward to the next month of sneak peeks and character introductions :)
    One of the reasons I am so excited by this post is that I am a LOT like Eliza! I can definitely be stubborn and impulsive, which is sometimes good but often bad, too... It's very rare to find female charcters that I identify so well with. And while I haven't read the book yet, I have a feeling I will really like Eliza :)

    ReplyDelete
  75. OMG the book cover of Forsaken Dream is so gorgeous. I just discovered your name and your wonderful books on Griperang's Bookmarks. I'm adding right away to my list of favorites authors. I honestly have not read yours books yet, but read nice reviews of them. I love historical romance! specially an adventure on the seas, because their are not too many. Thank you so much for this giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  76. Can't wait! I already feel like Eliza is an old friend- we have much in common & I can't wait to further tap into her story! Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
  77. Hi MaryLu, it's been a while since you've heard from me! I'm glad I checked in today. I don't see myself as very much like Eliza. I'm only a free spirit in my opinions, not in my actual actions. I'm afraid I think different from everyone else around me, but stick with the status quo of my life. Does that seem a little hypocritical? Maybe...but like you say, we aren't put on this earth just to please ourselves either.

    Would love to win your new book!
    csteward@gmsa.org

    ReplyDelete
  78. This cover art is SO gorgeous. Love everything about it, MaryLu - and CONGRATS on a new book. :)

    scribblesandsuchblogger[at]frontier[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  79. I hope I'm entering at the right place...I'm a new fan and would love to win a copy of your new book!
    Thank you so much for the opportunity, Karen
    karen@fallotfam.com

    ReplyDelete