Friday, July 8, 2011

Surrender the Dawn Month - week 2!

First, Congratulations to HeatherAndCourtney and Sapphire, whose names I drew out of my hubby's hat yesterday to win a free copy of Surrender the Dawn!!!!   HeatherAndCourtney need to send me their email address...please... or I'll be forced to pick another name. Thanks to all who entered! I've still got 8 more books to give away so don't quit now. :-)

For those of you just tuning in, each Friday in July, I will post something about my upcoming release, Surrender the Dawn, to whet your appetites for the story.  All you have to do to enter the contest to win a free copy (I'm giving away TWO each Friday) is read through the post and leave a comment. Don't forget to leave your email address too. 

Now, last week we learned all about the heroine of hte story, Cassandra Channing. (If you didn't get a chance to read about her, please check out last week's post!)

This week, we will learn about the hero (my personal favorite), Luke Heaton.


At 26, with black hair, blue eyes, a tall, muscular frame, and a grin that can melt any woman’s heart, Luke Heaton is the quintessential ruggedly handsome town rogue. His reputation as a drinker, gambler, womanizer and all around loser is well known among the citizens of Baltimore. But Luke has hit an all-time low. Recently, his best friend and captain, Noah Brenin, fired him as first mate from his privateer for being drunk on duty. Now, feeling even more like a failure and with no way to make money to feed his gambling habit, Luke spends his time in a hopeless effort to fix a broken-down ship he won in a card game. His dream is to become a privateer like Noah, to redeem his bad reputation, and be a better role-model for his crippled brother. A brother he keeps a secret even from his closest friends. A brother Luke has raised since he was a babe and a savage fire claimed the lives of their missionary parents. Unable to rescue them from the fire, Luke carries around enormous guilt, which only feeds his insecurities and traps him in a cycle of mediocrity. Without the money to fix up his ship, Luke believes he will never break from that trap. That is, until Cassandra Channing walks into his life.
Strengths: Courageous, Spontaneous, Intelligent, Charming, Loyal to family, Kindhearted
Weaknesses: Immoral, Rash, Insecure, Hot-tempered, Fighter

Inspiration: I simply adore the wounded bad-boy hero. And Luke is the perfect example of one. Nothing has gone right for him since his parents died at the hand of the Indians they ministered to. Though Luke tried to save them, he blames his own cowardice for not dashing into the burning house and dragging them out. Honoring a promise to his mother, Luke has cared for his younger brother John since he was one year old. A task made all the more difficult due to John’s disease, Rickets, which has crippled the lad. Angry and disgusted with himself, Luke drowns his pain both in the bottle and in the arms of any woman who’ll have him. Though he doesn’t blame God, Luke no longer believes He exists. Luke is a character beaten up by life. Bad things have happened to him and he’s rejected the only One who can help him, missing the path God laid out for him. In Luke’s life, I wanted to show how unbelief coupled with a bitter, wounded heart can cause you to miss God’s perfect will for your life and lead you down a path cluttered with more pain and heartache.

So, what are your thoughts on Luke? Do you know anyone like him? What about him do you find heroic? What about him would make you run the other way?  Do you like the "Bad Boy" hero or do you prefer the chilvalrous gentlemanly hero?


  1. I like both heros. But I think my favorite is the bad boy hero. Looking forward to reading this story. Not sure I would want to run the other way. Please enter me. Thanks.

    sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

  2. Fri July 8th,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    First of all -- "Congratulations" to -- Heather and Courtney, and, Sapphire" ... on winning a free copy.
    Secondly ... about "Luke Heaton" ... all I can say is -- he doesn't even have to smile !!! With a face/looks like that ... it's wonderful to just stare at him, period !!!
    Yes, I absolutely know someone just like him in both his strengths and weaknesses. (And I even share 'some' of his weaknesses too.) But the 'immoral, 'rash', 'hot-tempered', and 'fighter' ... would probably make me want to run the other way.
    Yes, I very much like the 'bad-boy hero' .... AS LONG AS there is still "hope" for him to change/grow/mature ... in the Lord.
    Don't we 'all' at times, run in the opposite direction (due to situations and circumstances) from where the Lord would be directing us to ??? And yes ... causing our paths to be 'cluttered with even more pain and heartache'.
    Can hardly wait to read "Surrender the Dawn" ... and as always, your characters (with good characteristics along with their flaws)are most believable and real.
    Thanks for sharing MaryLu.
    And yes, please enter me into the contest.
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  3. I actually married a bad boy but this was before I knew him and before he got back on the right track with God. I believe his life experiences have made him a better person.

    I think Luke is a hero in his younger brothers eyes. After all Luke has raised him since he was one.

    Since Luke is a fighter and has a bad temper that would probably make me run the other way.

    This book does sound like a great read and I can't wait to read it! I would love to win a copy!



  4. " I simply adore the wounded bad-boy hero." LOVE it!! Me too... the fact that he's wounded makes him loveable... 'cause you feel sorry for him and think, there has to be HOPE for him. He's this way because of...

    Anyhow, I married a bad-boy too. Before I met him, he grew pot, drank and partied... then he was arrested. At the time of his arrest, he had already accepted Christ, but was trying to ride the fence (live like the world and be a Christian too). When I met my husband, he still carried that "bad boy" attitude ... very arrogant and didn't need anyone. I couldn't stand him. We've been together 19 yrs this Oct (married 17yrs last month) and there have been rough times, but GOD IS GOOD! :)

    The book sounds awesome! (like all your books!).

    Would love to win a copy-- ladette[at]live[dot]com


  5. I'll admit a fondness for the bad boy hero, though I ended up marrying quite the opposite! Luke was in Surrender the Heart, right?

    I'm looking forward to this one, MaryLu!

    anne at annemateer dot com

  6. So excited to read Luke's story! My husband had the potential to be a bad boy, but by the grace of God he was mostly just a hoodlum and then experienced the love of God at 18. He's reformed, mostly, but sometimes I don't know whether to laugh or cry at the stories he tells of his "heathen" days.
    I'd love to read this book.


  7. I like the character of Luke Heaton. Honestly, all his strengths make him endearing. Even his weakness of guilt is heroic. Sounds odd, but a guilty conscience is a good sign; means he knows and acknowledges right and wrong, where some (especially in his shoes) don't bother caring. His other weaknesses will need some work though. Insecurity is never fun.

    Can't wait to read Surrender the Dawn!! Many blessings to you, Mary Lu! :)

  8. Like to read about the "bad boys" but in real life I married the good boy & had almost 53 yrs. together.Never was sorry about it for even one day.
    Would love to win this book.

  9. I'm loving the Karl Urban pic!

    I'm a fan of the "bad boy" heroes. Their character growth is more interesting to read/watch; so many exciting twists and turns. And when they do something uncharacteristicly nice/kind, it is a bright and appealing contrast.

    I love that he is loyal so he would hopefully do the right thing in a time of crisis, but insecurity and temper would turn me away. Love my heroes cocky and confident! ;)

    I'm 95% finished with Surrender the Heart and loving it! Will finish today.

  10. Yay, thanks for the book! I just e-mailed you my address.

    Obviously don't enter me again, but I just have to say that Luke's story sounds like an awesome read - bad boy heroes are definitely my favorite...I think they're more realistic. LOL So anyway, can't wait. :-)

  11. I have to say I am attracted to the bad boy hero type, the danger, discovering goodness that lay deep within, comforting the troubles, yes it is very exciting. What majorly turns me off is a bad boy hero that sleeps around though. I'd like to have him at least with some morals. I think I really prefer that good guy hero for the special lady. I'm the type of girl that settles down and makes commitments, and I want to marry someone with high morals, a strong sense of God and good, and living for God with all his heart. So I think if I had to choose I would want the hero to be more like that when it all comes down to it. I love that the bad boy changes and gets saved, and he becomes a better man. I'm thrilled with that, I love it especially if he changes into what I described above, but I would really want to fall in love with a man that can lead me spiritually. I don't know if im getting off topic, but thats how I would want my hero to be.

    My e-mail addess is!!

  12. This makes me really want to know the past of Luke's life. How he became how he is now. I am very interested how Luke's life will change throughout the novel of Surrender the Dawn. :)

  13. I like the "bad boy" hero. I'm sure the story will ultimately lead to his redemption. My favorite part of all your books!

    ~Marsha Pulz

  14. I love bad boy heroes. They have so much room to grow, and it's fun watching them find redemption. Luke is a hero to his brother. I'm curious how he kept his brother a secret, even from his best friend.

    Can't wait to read this one.

    fictionfan1 [at] me [dot] com

  15. Hi again Marylu,

    Well,Luke is a man who wants to be better, but doesn't knowthe real way how. He is a broken man which makes me want to help him. I love how he is taking care of his brother, I think that is heroic, but he is also ahasmed of him which is sad. His gambling and ways with women who make me run the other way. I don't think he is a true bad boy, deep down he has some good, it will take a lot to bring it out of him, but with God all things are possible. There is nothing more interesting then a man with some of both they are the most mystrious. A little mystery is always good. I am rooting for Luke.


  16. Aww, Luke is an orphan that needs his Abba Father. Guilt is a horrible thing that makes you feel like a loser and that projects. His appearance and strengths are appealing but you always have to be careful with those players.


  17. Luke Heaton...handsome rogue ;) :) I'd probably run away from him because of his womanizing. I couldn't stand for that and I'm a first-rate only faithfulness will do :) :) How would I like a bad boy? No...but in the famous words of Anne of Green Gables in the second Anne movie "I'd like it if he could be wicked and wouldn't" :) :) I think the character of Luke will really love/appreciate God's forgiveness and mercy more than others, because of what he's gone through. Oh, I'm really excited about this book :) :) Have a great weekend. Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

  18. O.K....I plan to sit and read this book, and have this picture of Luke nearby so whenever I look up, I will catch his eye and it will make me smile. Yikes--how old am I? (Oh that's right--23! So, grow up girl!)
    I am so-o-o waiting for this book!
    Blessings, Cap't!

  19. I have to admit I like the bad boy heros. Luke seems like my type of literary hero; he remains me a little of Captain Jack Sparrow and a little of Will Turner for POTC. I also like the reformed bad boys to; which works for a pirate novel or a novel set at sea or the old west.

  20. You know once you wrote why Luke was the bad boy I felt for him. I bet he wasn't that old when he lost his parents which makes it even more understandable why he blames himself as children tend to blame themselves even though they couldn't do anything.
    I cant wait to see how this plays out. This type of person with the drinking and gambling is someone I would say away from as he would seem dangerous. I would say he would look like he has a chip on his shoulder too. Athough finding out about his younger brother would give sympathy and wanting to help. Finding our his story would lead to wanting to help in some way.
    I like heros who are real. even with Luke being a bad boy learning his story changes it.

  21. Wow, this book is sounding better and better; can't wait to read it!I admire Luke's strengths, but think I would run from his temper!
    Thanks for entering me in the draw.

  22. Both types of heros can be really interesting to me; Luke appears to be very intriguing. Anyway, it sounds like a really good book, and I can't wait until I get a chance to read it.

  23. Thanks for all the comments, ladies!!! I have really enjoyed reading through them all. Believe it or not, it helps me to get a feel for what people's opinions are about certain hero-types, so I really appreciate it.
    I wish I could answer you all individually, but time does not permit. I have, however, entered all of you in the drawing! I wish I could give each of you a copy. :-)

  24. Luke Heaton sounds like the perfect "bad boy"! His strengths and weaknesses are interesting. What a sad distorted past. I cant wait to read more about him.

    I have a few guy friends who are kind of similar to Luke.

    I like how he is loyal to family, kindhearted, intelligent, and courageous. I think I could handle, maybe even have fun with hot-tempered and fighter. Spontaneous, charming, immoral, rash, insecure, not so much liking.

    Personally I have always liked the chivalrous gentlemanly type. But it doesn't matter, they are both great hero's! Its their sad pasts that I dont like...although I enjoy reading the strengths and weaknesses.

    Thank you so much for sharing, MaryLu!! And for the opportunity.

  25. Both types of heroes have the ability to make a captivating story but I have to say I do prefer the bad boy hero. Sounds great MaryLu!

  26. My heart goes out to Luke. I've always rooted for the under-dog. I love that he takes care of his brother, though I don't understand how he could with his drinking, gambling, womanizing, and privateering. Where, when, and how? I'm curious to see how you manage that.

    Please put me in the hat this week!



  27. I look forward to reading about Luke, but I must say Merrick is my favorite! Rereading Legacy of the King's Pirate 1,2, and 3 this summer. But I will need a new read soon and can't wait to finish this series!

    Robin Oakley

  28. Wow. I really want to see this movie! Wait a minute, it's NOT a movie. :-(
    I guess, for now, I will have to keep using my imagination and play it out in my head. This novel sounds so awesome, MaryLu, I have a feeling it won't take too long for me to read it. *hugs*

  29. Question: It that a picture of Karl Urban, the actor who played Doctor McCoy(Bones) in the new Star Trek movie? I love his acting. I won't have a hard time picturing him as Luke in my mind. :-)

  30. Lady DragonKeeperJuly 8, 2011 at 11:41 PM

    I hope I'm not too late ...

    LOL, when I read: "Luke spends his time in a hopeless effort to fix a broken-down ship he won in a card game." The first thing I thought of was Han Solo from the "Star Wars" movies!

    I like that Luke seems to be intensely loyal to his friends (e.g. Noah).

    While I don't mind reading about "bad boy" heroes (e.g. Colin McGuire from Julie Lessman's O'Connor Saga), in real life, I'm sure I'd prefer a "gentleman" --though I loved reading some of the comments about those of you who have "happy ever afters" with reformed "bad boys"-- glad to know it can happen for real! ;-)


  31. Oh yess! I really loved Luke in the first book in the series and cannot wait untill this one comes! He sounds great! I look forward to finding out the story behind this "bad boy". I like his kindhearted strength, but some of his weaknesses would definitely make me pause. lol

  32. Bad boy heros are more exciting! But not marriage material!


  33. Yes, that is the actor Karl Urban. Gorgeous, isn't he? When I saw him.. I just knew he was Luke!

    Thanks Everyone!! Tell your friends.. I won't be picking a name until Friday the 15th.

  34. Yes, he is........good choice. Makes imagining him as Luke that much easier. LOL

  35. OH he is perfect to add a face to the story when I get to read it. Can't wait for the book. I like the character sketch even better than the photo

  36. I do want to be entered into the contest for the free book. I forgot to leave my email address though so here it is

    villageanne AT yahoo DOT com

  37. This book sounds amazing, MaryLu! I love that Luke is getting his own story, and I like the fact that he's the "bad boy" hero. It gives you the opportunity to show how God can soften the hardest heart, and transform a life.

    Thank you for entering me in the drawing!

    scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

  38. I like a reformed bad boy. If I were to meet Luke while he was in his womanizing ways I would have red flagged him and fled. A repentant spirit, on the other hand, would be hard to was Merrick:)


  39. Nicole ScheuermanJuly 11, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    I absolutely love Luke! The "bad boy" hero is personally one of my favorite characters that you can find in a book. I think he's heroic in the way that he's raised his brother for so long without help. I would run the other way after seeing his womanizing ways and his drinking habit.

    Overall, though, I am so excited to read more about Luke in this new book!



  40. While I admit that reading about a "bad boy" hero is fun, personally his immortality would have been a huge turnoff for me.

    I'm intrigued to read about him and Cassandra and their journey into God's grace! :)


  41. I like Luke. There is so much depth to his character & LOTS of tension! There are so many novel--Christian especially--that lack tension!! It makes me so mad! MaryLu, your books are AMAZING at holding the reader within the story because of your inspired use of tension.

    I think it's heroic to press through & realize that God does have a purpose for your life; to relinquish the hold sin or the past can hold over you.

    I love the bad-boy hero because in real life I would run away!!! My heart goes out to him & that is such a draw in a book. Really, fiction is so great because we can live through characters without fear of personal consequence. There is something so noble in the chilvalrous gentlemanly hero (really, so much like my husband). :)

  42. Wounded bad boy heroes are the best! Hopefully he finds his faith in God again ;) I think that Luke is like a lot of young men today, beaten up by the world and living trapped in mediocre lives as a result. My brother is pretty much like that, except I don't think he drowns himself in drinking. Many 24-year-olds get drunk all the time, though.

    I heard a great quote once, that seems to wrap it all up, straight from the mouth of a guy about Luke's age. "They [guys at work] go out and get drunk on Tuesday...It's like their lives are already over, and they're just marking time." Terribly sad!

    Taking care of his brother is so incredibly noble. Luke seems like a great guy who's fallen by the troubles of this world. AND he has multiple facets, just like real people today!!

  43. Wow, I never realized there were so many readers like me out there!

    I have to admit, there is something about reading about a bad boy hero. I do some story writing of my own and my friends laugh because my main guy character tends to be a haunted, bad boy of some type. I think it is because the story of redemption is so powerful. We're all in some way "the bad boy" and God redeems us from that. We get a taste of that again and again when we read about a fictional bad boy's redemption story.

    I have to admit I do know a few people like Luke. A boy in my high school class graduated and went straight to jail for a year for killing a lady in a drunk driving accident on the very night he had decided to turn away from God forever and give himself over to his drunkedness. After the crash, he turned his life around, spent a year in jail, helped some of his friends (including his girlfriend) stop drinking.

    Personally, though, I think I would prefer the gentlemanly hero for myself. The sleeping around, gambling, and drinking would definately make me think twice.

    Please enter me in the drawing! I can't wait to read this book!


  44. So, it would seem that while we all find the bad-boy exciting... adventurous, even alluring, we don't want to get too close to him unless he changes his ways. ;-) Hmm. I sure hope I made Luke the kind of hero you can all swoon over. LOL.
    Anyway, thanks again for all the wonderfully thought out comments!
    Tricia your story of your friend in high school was particularly touching. Amazing.
    And Rachel that quote you gave It's like their lives are already over, and they're just marking time" It's so poignant. So true. I used to be one of those people.
    Hugs, everyone!