Friday, October 11, 2013

Elusive Hope - Pre-Release Party Week 2!

Welcome to the ELUSIVE HOPE Pre-release party!!

Last Weeks Winner is:  Ashley Patterson!!  Congratulations, Ashley!
Thank you all for entering.. I read each and every one of your comments and so many of them touched me deeply. I know this focus on outward beauty in our culture can be deadly, and I appreciate so many of you sharing your hearts. 

I'm giving away a Signed copy of the book or an E-copy (your choice) every week. In addition, I'm giving away to one lucky winner on the last day :

  • Chocolate covered Brazil nuts
  • The Body Shop Brazil Nut Body Butter
  • Package of Ground Brazilian Coffee

Sorry, but winners of the paperback book and the final prize must be in US or Canada, but winners of the Ebook can be anywhere.
I'm pulling the winner of the grand prize from every comment, so if you comment each week, your chances are better to win!

Each Friday (except the 18th) I'll be posting something cool about the book. To enter, leave a comment and answer the question at the end of the post.   This week's winner will be announced on the 25th because next Friday I'm part of a huge Fiction Scavenger Hunt on this blog! 

You can purchase the book at  AmazonBarnesAndNoble,, DeeperShopping

Now, let's meet the Hero of the Story!

Hayden Gale

Brief Description: Hayden is a mix between a bad boy and a charmer. He’s the man who walks into a room and draws every female eye, not just because he’s handsome, but because he has a mesmerizing charm and confidence about him that lures the female heart. At 25, he stands just over 6 feet, with dark brown hair the color of burnt almonds, and jungle green eyes. He’s rugged, yet refined.  Not polished, yet sophisticated. Like a raw gem drawn from the earth, he’s beautiful but sharp. He moves with the confidence and grace of a predatory wolf, leaving a trail of broken hearts in his wake. But he’s not interested in women. His only interest is in enacting revenge on the man he believes orphaned him at a young age and left him to die on the street. His quest for that man has taken years and caused him more loss than he even knows. Now, it has brought him to Brazil, where for the first time in his life he has friends he trusts, feels useful, and is a part of something bigger than himself. But his quest still calls. A promise to his dying mother must be honored. So, he embarks on a journey, completely unaware that the spoiled, selfish, pompous Southern Belle, Magnolia, is following close behind.

Strengths: Street-smarts, Charming, Charismatic, Driven, Hard worker, Intuitive, Passionate, Kind
Weaknesses: Dangerous, Volatile, Reckless, Holds grudge, Unpredictable
Quirks: Hayden knows that all he has to do to make a woman swoon is give them one of his sultry winks. You know the kind. The one that says ‘you affect me like no other woman, and I’ve got my eye on you’ kind of wink! And he never fails to use this seductive weapon to his best advantage.   Also, he carries around a tintype of the man he is hunting just to remind him daily of his goal and keep his anger surging.

Inspiration: Ah, who doesn’t love the wounded, rugged, bad-boy? The charming, seductive, confident man who sweeps women off their feet, but who inwardly is just a wounded boy in search of someone who will truly love him.  Movies and books are filled with this type of hero! The Count of Monte Cristo, Titanic, Indiana Jones to name a few. This is a man who can handle any situation without fear. He’s courageous, daring, and highly skilled. But he’s not a leader. He shirks authority and prefers to stay on the fringe of society.  Because he’s so wounded, he’s not always dependable either, not unless he falls in love. Then he falls hard and gives his lady all he has. Hayden is just such a hero. All rough and tumble and charm on the outside, but possessing a wounded heart, that once healed will become the kindest and most loyal of all hearts.

Don't forget to come back on the 25th to find out if you won, and also to participate in the QUESS WHAT THE CHARACTER WILL SAY NEXT contest. 

Question:  Do you prefer the bad boy hero or the more polished gentlemanly type of man? What are the most appealing qualities of each? What about Hayden touched your heart and made you willing to get to know him better?

Leave a comment with your email to enter the contest!!

Have a Great Weekend!


  1. Bad boys - you never know what's around the corner and live life spontaneous
    Gentlemen - I think of solid and safe
    I like the bad boy characters and thier drive so I am anxious to read about Hayden!
    Thank you for the opportunity, LJ

  2. I enjoy the bad boy as well as the polished gentleman. I like the ruggedness and charm just as I enjoy a refined and mannered gentleman.

    I am curious to see how God delivers him from his quest for revenge and his heavy burdens.
    Thanks for the giveaways

    janoww1 (at) yahoo(dot) com

  3. Fri Oct 11th,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    First off -- "Congratulations to Ashley P" !
    Well, I probably prefer the bad-boy hero too. He's confident, charming, hard-working, passionate and kind ... yet wounded on the inside. I love these kind in stories -- because it sure makes for an interesting read ... to see "if" and "how" they will change as the pages unfold. There is always hope and grace for them ... if they choose to accept it. Also, I think we might all know some "real-life" bad-boy heroes (sons, brothers, husbands, etc) who have lived this kind of life ... and we're "still" praying for them !
    I can't wait to read about Hayden. To be on this kind of a quest, basically his entire life -- so driven and 'consumed' with finding the man responsible for orphaning him at a young age ... nothing is going to stop him on this dangerous mission. Probably he is so wrapped up in anger, hatred, bitterness, revenge ... that life is actually passing him by. He has tunnel-vision, and I can't wait to read about what will happen ... if he gets any clarity re his past. Obviously he has honour within - as he is doing this to honour his mother's dying request. This touches my heart -- as he must have loved his mother dearly.
    The polished gentlemanly type -- I agree with the comments above -- they're solid and safe ! But they could also tend to be a tad cocky, overbearing, and possibly a bit boring ... no adventurous side.
    Thanks again, MaryLu ... for offering the pre-release party.
    This is our Canadian "Thanksgiving weekend" happening up here in Canada. "Happy Thanksgiving" -- to my fellow-Canadians !!!
    Take care, and, God Bless, In Him, Brenda

    1. Happy Thanksgiving, Brenda!! And All our neighbors in Canada!

  4. Congrats Ashley!! I like a combo of bad boy and polished gentleman, but what I like best about Hayden is that there's so much more to him than any stereotype. He has a heart and if you're willing to get past the obvious parts of his charms and weaknesses, you'll find he's worth the effort. This story sounds more and more amazing, thanks for multiple chances on winning, MaryLu! Hugs and blessings :)

  5. I definitely enjoy a complicated male character. And Hayden fits that description. So it makes for a good story to see "him" act and react in different scenarios; finally landing on two feet, claiming the "love of his life", and finding peace within himself. Looking forward to "Elusive Hope"!

  6. Definitely prefer the bad boy hero. The one that gets your pulse racing and heart pounding just by a look. And if you're the object of their affection....hold on tight as the sparks fly! Bad boys are the risk takers that push themselves and others. They make you want to go farther, last longer and love harder. I'm not completely opposed to the polished gentlemanly type. What woman doesn't like to have a sophisticated man who defers to her needs over his, but I think most women prefer the challenge that a bad boy offers.

    Hayden is obviously very wounded from his father's abandonment and it will be interesting to see how he comes to terms with that and not allowing his bitterness to destroy his future.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win the book.

    ~ Amy

  7. I prefer a little bit of both. Of the bad-boy I like the qualities of Street-smarts, Hard Worker, Driven, and Dangerous if you get him to where he need to protect what he most treasures. The more polished guy where he treats a lady with respect, charming, and protective. I would like to get to know Hayden better because of his determination to find his father. Why his father abandon him and his mother. I am curious to see what he will do if he ever finds his father. I know a general location where my father is, but I am trying to see my father saved and back to the states of America, and maybe see him back with my mother.


    tlcfinch4 (at) gmail (dot) com

    1. I'm praying for your father, too, Tracy.. God can preform miracles!

  8. hmn..How about both? ..One of my favorite characters, Tahn, is a bad boy hero...or the heroes in The Fires of Glenamarra series..combo.. I am seriously looking forward to "Elusive Hope" ~ Jules

  9. I've always preferred the bad boy hero. A gentleman hero can be good to though. The main draw is treating a lady well, and eventually submitting to the Lord's will. Hayden seems so wounded, I just want to read to see how he is healed.

  10. I like a combination of both bad boy & gentleman - as long as he treats his ladies right! The most appealing quality has to be that he needs to be romantic & a hero & he has to love the Lord! I like thst Hayden is driven, a hard worker & passionate - sounds a lot like my husband :)

  11. Sheri Ridlington
    I like bad boys. That is why I'm divorced. LOL. I cant wait to read the book. Hayden looks smoken.

    1. LOL. You made me smile, Sheri. Not that you are divorced but that I completely understand what you are saying. I've always been attracted to the Bad Boys.. but usually the wrong kind of bad boy.. Sorry it didn't work out for you. :-(

  12. Hm... I like both. But I will say that there is something about a character like Hayden that draws me in... mainly because of the promise of redemption for such a character (I happen to be partial to any kind of redemption story!)

  13. I like the hero that's not completely a bad boy; he knows how to fight as well as the rest of them, but he can turn around and ask a lady to dance, charming her flawlessly. In fact, I find the rugged heroes who don't even try to be charming, charming. :) I guess that's just how it works. Thanks for hosting the contest!

    1. On second thought, I didn't even have to type all that. Amy summed it up Perfectly! :)

  14. I think that Hayden has the best of both varying times. Even though the bad boy type appeals to me in a movie or book, I think in real life I prefer the gentleman type. I love Hayden and Magnolia's story...and that it is told during a trek through the jungle. Hayden's sarcastic comebacks towards Magnolia is what kept me reading his story. These two are too funny.

  15. Ok, I have to say that I enjoy both kinds of heroes in books. But my heart truly loves those bad boys that reform. I think it has something to do with the fact that my husband was somewhat of a bad boy when I first met him. It was rocky at first and as we got to know each other as "friends" he would treat me nicely and then turn on me and do something that would just break my heart. I had pretty much given up on him, I am sad to say. He returned after the next summer a changed person. He sought me out, apologized and worked to woo me! He had become a Christian over that summer and we have been together ever since (we are high school sweet hearts). So, bad boys who reform just have a place in my heart :-) God can truly change people. That huge change is not just something we read about in books.
    Brittany McEuen
    kbmceuen at yahoo dot come

    1. What a great story, Brittany!!! I'm so happy for you! I married a bad boy too who later became a Christian so I can relate. :-)

  16. I think the "bad boy" image creates a sense of adventure, risk-taking, as well as witty and the gentleman is respectful, smart, and educated. Both sound attractive to me ;) and I also see the character Hayden playing all these aspects. I personally look up to men when they work hard while also having the sense of drive and determination. The hatred Hayden hold drives him on, yet the unexpected attraction from beautiful, spoiled Magnolia is something that I believe will alter his road. I'm so excited to read the next book "Elusive Hope" and to see where God takes both Magnolia and Hayden. Thank you MaryLu for creating such impacting stories I enjoy sharing!! God bless.

    -Vanessa Heaton

  17. Yep, I love a good bad boy! ;-) Especially in Christian fiction as you know he'll come to redemption in Christ by the end. I like getting in their heads, hearing their pov's, and finding out what makes them tick. There is almost always a sad, hurting little boy behind the charming, heart breaker. Guess it's the good girl in me that has the innate desire to help and heal, and the Christian in me that wants to lead them to the only One who can help and heal them. Bad boys gone good are the best kind of heroes, in my humble opinion ;-) It's this that makes me want to get to know Hayden more, learn his story and heart better, and see just where you're gonna take him, MaryLu! Like Merrick and Rafe (my favorites!) you certainly know how to write a good bad boy hero! ;-)

    Thank you so much for the chance to win!!

  18. Questions:
    Do you prefer the bad boy hero or the more polished gentlemanly type of man? A good mix of each.
    What are the most appealing qualities of each? Bad boys who are willing to go against the norm and put themselves out there...not bad in the sense they are breaking laws, but more so that they are heroes going against the system for a better way. Polished is good in the sense of clean, good manners, well read; particularly the scriptures.
    What about Hayden touched your heart and made you willing to get to know him better? "Not polished, yet sophisticated."

  19. Thanks for all your comments!!! I wish I could comment on each one.. but I want you to know how much I'm enjoying them. For me, I've always been a sucker for bad boys. I married one, in fact, and we almost got divorced, but then God came to the rescue and hit my hubby over the head with a brick and got him saved. It's a great story.. but here are 21 years later. I do like a bad boy with a gentlemanly streak, however. ;-)

  20. I hope I'm not too late, but even if I am I think I'll comment anyway :)
    -There's something appealing that tugs at my heart strings whenever I get to know the 'bad boy with a wounded heart' character. He may act all rough and tumble, but that's just to stave off any stabs to his soft-as-ever vulnerable interior. It makes me think about how hard it is to be vulnerable and open yourself up for potential attack. It's interesting that the instinctive bodily answer to physical danger is to curl up in fetal position.
    On the other hand, the gentlemanly, all manners that your mother would be proud of type of boy is also very appealing. The guy who pulls out chairs for ladies, opens doors for women, and takes the load off of females wins definite big points with me. I wouldn't let these guys fool me either, because despite their impeccable manners, I've met characters that, despite their polished exterior, are still hurting for something.
    The best quality I love in any hero: their protective charm and instinct. :) I have a feeling Hayden will have this down in spades. <3

  21. Love bad boys, they are so unpredictable, never know what they are going to do, its awesome watching them change throughout the story. I do like the good guy type too. Can't wait to meet Hayden, learn what drives him, and how he changes throughout the story. Happy Writing:)

  22. I guess I would say the bad guy . In the first book in the series I didn't like Hayden all that much , but there is something about him that makes you like him . Even the bad guy can change . I can't wait to read Elusive a Hope . It sounds even better than the first one did .
    I would love to win this book to give it to my daughter .

  23. great question, mary lu. I like a combination of both, a gentleman w/ a touch of 'bad boy' in him...within reason, of course. I love the name Hayden...and his character. Looking forward to reading this fabulous novel :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  24. In novels, I prefer the bad boy who reforms but in real life, I do prefer a polished gentleman. I don't think my emotions could take all the angst. Towards the end of Forsaken Dreams, I liked Hayden more because he seemed so attentive to Angeline and his softer side seemed to shine through.

  25. Oh, honey ... give me a "bad boy" every single time!! ;) I'm not sure why ... maybe it's the juvenile delinquent in me, but I've always had a soft spot for bad boys, beginning with Rhett Butler in GWTW.

    Cannot WAIT to read this one, my friend -- absolutely LOVED Forsaken Dreams!!


  26. If you mean bad boy, as a reprobate type guy, who then comes to be forgiven by Christ, then I like a bad boy hero. But, I also have always liked the kind hearted, godly, gentlemanly type hero as well. I guess it just depends on the book.


  27. Oh sure Jules, now we learn the lol Julie Lessman is really a bad girl !
    I like the gentlemanly type myself, kind , sweet, mature, never talks stupidly.
    Bad boys are always in trouble, not always honest and can be mouthy at times.
    These books are new to me, Thank you Jules for sharing this with everyone.
    Linda Finn
    Faithful Acres Books

  28. I have to say that I like a little of both. Or maybe as you said it, MaryLu, a bad boy with a gentlemanly streak. Those get me every time. SO much fun to watch God at work in the lives of men like these. Also happy to hear that God got a hold of your hubby and turned him around. Can't wait to read Elusive Hope! :)

  29. Mansfield Park is one of my favorite stories. Quiet, good-hearted Edmond is so sweet. In the 1999 movie, Fanny tells her sister, who is swooning over a "rake", that "they amuse more in literature than they do in life." That quote has stuck with me for the last 14 years. I do enjoy bad-boy-hero-in-the-process-of-being-reformed stories, like Kent in the Legacy of the King's Pirate series. He came from a such a low place of hatred and doing "unforgivable" things. But Christ's love turned him around. Hayden's beginning reminds me of Kent's and I hope Hayden can find his way out of this dark place.

    Amy Huff

  30. Prefer the bad boy because he does whatever he wants
    the gentleman pays attention to rules
    Hayden's street smart; yes

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  31. Well, I've pretty much dated the "bad boy hero" or at least "wounded rebel" most of my life. After realizing I was getting damaged too much, I stopped dating until I got through all my woundedness. Then I dated 3 "gentlemen" of who was desperate to marry me (but was untrustworthy), the second one who I utterly fell in love with & wanted to marry--but he didn't want to marry me, and the third one had no intentions of committing ever. So I quit dating. I would love to find a truly Godly man, but the older I get, the scarcer they are. I'm just waiting for God to do a miracle...and your books encourage me that He will. :-)

    I think the most appealing traits are:
    * Bad boy hero--he's himself (so what you see is what you get), he's fun, he's adventurous, he makes a girl feel thrilled to be with him.
    * Polished gentleman--he's truly kind, loving, caring, thinks of others before himself, trustworthy, honest, and makes a girl feel like a cherished queen.

    What draws me to Hayden is that I've known quite a few guys like him. I am SO hoping that God will reach him through all the many, many layers of complexity that he created to "define himself" and bring out the man that God wants him to be. I want him to respond to God and let Him heal his little-boy woundedness, teach him how to love and forgive, and empower him to be a true leader. That would make him an awesome guy!


  32. Hi MaryLu. Fun contest. I sorta favor the bad boy hero. Just keeps you on your toes. I think this will be a good book. I feel really sorry for Hayden having ben abandoned by his dad, but seeking revenge can ruin a person's life. Would be better to just find him and ask WHY. Please put my name in the contest. MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com (by the way, I'm a Texas gal. )

  33. Just got this...hope I am not too late! Guess I favor the bad boy hero...BUT one who comes to Christ and has a gentleman layer, too! I am anxious to read your book and learn more about Hayden's issues with his Dad....that is such a common thing nowadays. Thanks for the giveaway, MaryLu. I enjoyed all the above comments and your story as well.

  34. Hi MaryLu. I agree with most that I prefer a bad boy hero who comes to Christ. Hayden's past gives him many reasons to act the way he does. I can't wait to read Elusive Dreams. Thanks for the giveaway!

  35. Loving these comments!!! Seems most of us have a preference for the bad boy hero on 2 conditions: 1 that he is on his way to being reformed! and 2. that he does have a bit of gentleman in him. I would agree with that! But is there a man out there that fits that description? Methinks they're hard to find. Which is why I write romantic Fiction! LOL. Thanks for taking the time to write your thoughts and enter the contest! This will be up for 2 weeks before I pick the next winner so tell your friends.. Love and hugs.. MaryLu

  36. I prefer the more polished gentlemanly type. I know that they can only be that way if their parents taught them fine manners from early childhood on. Unless they have already come through a bad boy phase and been turned around by God. It is always interesting to see what God has already done in someone's life or what He will do in the future.

    I loved Forsaken Dreams and from what you are sharing about the characters in Elusive Dreams, it is going to just as enjoyable. Thanks for the chance to win it.

  37. Love the previews and I can't wait to read Elusive Hope to continue the adventure.

  38. I'm not writing a comment to try and win, I just wanted to comment on the bad-boy thing. I love it in books, but I've really not met one in real life. What I do love, MaryLu, is when your heroes use sarcasm. I love sarcasm in books!

  39. I love a bad boy in the books I read, but a Gentleman in real life. It goes without saying why really. Hayden has my heart.


  40. I have always had a knack for loving in love with the bad boys - although, love kept me from always seeing the bad, as soon as I should have. I'm sure another reason was the fact, that I was rebellious - when younger. Today - my choice would be the gentlemanly type, & the most important quality - a Christian.


  41. Bad boys are just exciting! I do tend to lean toward a charming ruffian. Hayden has a loyal heart even if he pursues vengeance. I look forward to his story.
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

  42. I think in books I prefer the bad boys, but in real life I prefer the plain ordinary nice guys. People who are interesting in a book might not always be the type you want to spend much time with in real life. The idea of the "wounded" hero is intriguing, adds another dimension to the story.