Friday, July 1, 2011

Welcome to Surrender the Dawn Month!!

This is my way of celebrating my newest release (Coming to a book store near you in August!!)
This is how it works. Every Friday in July, I will post something about the book, it's characters, it's plot, and even some excerpts in which you can guess what the characters will say next!! It's so much fun!! 

In addition, each Friday, I'll be giving away two free copies for a total of 8 copies for the entire month!! 

All you need to do is leave a comment about the posting for that day and be sure and leave your email address so I can get in touch with you. So, let's get started!!!

Today, we're going to learn about the heroine of the story:


Brief Description: Though Cassandra stands barely over five feet, she more than makes up for her petite frame by her fiery, independent spirit. Her flashing emerald eyes and red hair only hint at the temper and rebellion simmering within. A rebellion that began in her childhood when, unhappy in their marriage, her parents allowed Cassandra to run wild. Now, with her father long dead and her brothers off fighting in the war, Cassandra is left to support a self-centered, irritable mother, two younger sisters who are following in her rebellious footsteps, a bevy of servants, and a lovable, clumsy dog. Feeling abandoned by her father and brothers, Cassandra blames God and decides that He, too, has left her to her own devices. But Cassandra is a fighter. She is loyal to family and country and refuses to see her loved ones tossed on the street. Against all protocol, and desperate to save her family, she hires the only privateer willing to partner with a woman, the town rogue, Luke Heaton, a gambler, drinker, and womanizer.

Strengths: Independent, smart, capable, fighter, loyal, kind
Weaknesses: Quick-tempered, impatient, rash, stubborn, rebellious

Quirks: You’ll often hear the phrase, “Oh, bother” from Cassandra when she hears bad news. Also, she taps her shoe on the ground when she is frustrated or annoyed.

Inspiration: I love Cassandra. She possesses the kind of courage and tenacity I wish I had. When she makes up her mind to do something, nothing stands in her way! Although this can be a great quality, lurking beneath it are the shadows of rebellion and unbelief. You see, God doesn’t want us to have to go it alone. He doesn’t want us to forge ahead without Him, determined to make our own way. When things get tough, He longs for us to turn to Him, seek Him, ask Him what to do, and then trust Him. I’ve met countless people who, when tragedy strikes, decide God has either left them or He isn’t real at all. In reality, we live in a fallen world. People make choices that hurt other people. God does not intervene in man’s will. Therefore, bad things happen. And people get hurt and die. There’s so much behind the curtain of this physical world that we cannot see. That’s why God asks us to trust Him. When we do, He can turn bad things out for our good. When we don’t, well.... you’ll see the trouble Cassandra causes for herself!

So, what do you like about Cassandra? What do you dislike? Do you have anything in common with her? Know anyone like her?


  1. Friday, July 1st,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    "Surrender the Dawn" month .... this is great !!!
    First of all .... the story, and heroine sound exciting. What do I like about Cassandra ??? Her 'strengths', for sure ! She is all that I would want to be, and along with that ... spirited and feisty. But, unfortunately, I can also identify with her 'weaknesses'. Short-tempered, impatient (oh yes), stubborn (when I believe I'm right), and , "Oh, bother" ... rebellious too at times ! ("How old" did I say I was ??????)
    Can hardly wait to read how -- "Cassandra causes trouble for herself". (I am quite sure I will identify even more with her, as the story goes along !)
    Thanks for sharing, MaryLu ... it all sounds terrific, and, realistic. Please enter me into the contest.
    This morning, I'm off to pick up one of my granddaughters (about an hour away); and then joining up with the rest of the family ... for some great 'Canada Day' events and activities.
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  2. You've described me pretty well. At just under five feet with red hair and green eyes I can't help but see myself in Cassandra. I also try to do things on my own way to often. While I'd bet I'm more shy than Cassandra I too have my fiery side and it can get me in trouble. You've got to watch out for us redheads. I absolutely have to read this book now.

  3. First off I have all of your books and looking forward to this new one. So excited that you have devoted the whole month to your new release. I like that Cassandra is short, like me. I'm interested in reading what kind of trouble she gets into. Please enter me. Thanks.

    sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

  4. Wow, lol, I have the tendency to tap my foot when I get annoyed! I recognized some of her strengths and weaknesses in me. I'm petite too and what I like to say is that dynamite comes in small packages. I don't know if this counts but me and my two younger sisters were just plain wild when we were little and still are lol and I love that there's a dog. I think this is going to be a very good read!


  5. I am so excited to read this book! Cassandra seems to be the complete opposite of me. Although I am very loyal when it comes to my family, I have never felt comfortable being totally independent and I am definitely not a fighter or very rebellious. It will be interesting to read about how someone so different from me deals with the circumstances she finds herself facing.


  6. MaryLu, What a wonderful post and party:) Your readers are in for such a treat with this exciting, never-a-dull-moment book!! Just wanted to stop and say hi - you know I don't need to enter the drawing as I was blessed with being one of your early readers:) I'm still thinking about the story!! Bless you and your readers here!

  7. what do you like about Cassandra? I love that she is capable and kind. That is a rare find!
    What do you dislike? The quick-temper and impatience. It can be hard to get-along with someone like that. :(
    Do you have anything in common with her? I would like to think that I have all of her strengths. LOL
    Know anyone like her? Yes, I do!!

    Would love to win this book! Sounds exciting!!

  8. Yippeee, can't wait to August. I've been dying to find out more about Luke since reading 'Surrender the Heart'. The only problem is when reading books as great as these I never want them to end because it's like saying goodbye to old friends :-( . Oh well, roll on August :-D

  9. Haven't read it yet, but I already love it! I share a few of Cassandra's strengths and weaknesses. I think we all do. That's what makes your novels so great and personal. You capture 'real' people in your books which allows the readers to become a part of the story. "Oh, bother"! I love it. It makes me think of my grandson, whom I call Pooh Bear. lol When I get frustrated I usually say "Jiminy Cricket"! (my little quirk)
    And did I see the mention of a lovable, clumsy dog? Thank you so much for putting a dog in your story, especially since I know that you are a cat person.
    I can't wait to read Luke and Cassandra's story.
    Thank you for including the short inspiration as well. Great post!
    Good luck to all who enter! And God bless!

  10. Wow, this heroine sounds a lot like me - and that's both good and bad! LOL I'd say I probably share all of her strengths, and the only weakness of hers that I don't share is rashness, because I plan things to a T and then refuse to budge...which is where the stubbornness comes in. :-) So I greatly look forward to reading a book with a heroine so similar to myself - I always love books with strong women leads.

    Also, I really like how you root her problems back to her childhood - that adds a lot of depth.

    Can't wait! :-)


  11. This book sounds so exciting! We really like Cassandra's character! She does sound like someone that we know! Can't wait to read it!
    Heather and Cortney

  12. Hi MaryLu! I'm reading Surrender the Heart right now, and loving it! Surrender the Night just arrived in the mail other day!

    Cassandra sounds like a great character! I can see myself relating to some of her strengths and weaknesses, especially that she's smart, loyal, kind, and impatient.

    Thank you for the chance to win the third book in the series! I'm really looking forward to reading it. : )

    Sweet Blessings,
    scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

  13. Hi everyone! Wow... how nice to see your comments and your enthusiasm! It's amazing how we can all see a bit of Cassandra in ourselves, huh? And I'm petite too.. just 5'1". And yes, dynamite does come in small packages!!
    A special hello to Laura Frantz who graciously read and endorsed this book! Thanks for dropping by, Laura! If you all haven't read any of Laura's books.. you're missing out!
    And Happy Canada Day!!

  14. Nicole ScheuermanJuly 1, 2011 at 12:16 PM

    I like Cassandra's strengths, especially independence, loyalty, and kindness. I see these in myself, but I also see a few of her weakenesses in me as well... Mainly stubbornness and impatience.

    I'm very excited for this book! Can't wait to read it!

    Nicole Scheuerman

  15. Hello, Marylu,

    I can't wait to read this book. I have a feeling that I am going to like this character the best. I am loyal to family like her and would fight with all my being to protect them, but I am not nearly as independent or rebellious. I wanted to be a rebel when I was 14, but did not know how to so I gave it up. And now I long to have my own independence, but with independence comes responsibility and with responsibiity relying on God is very much needed.

    What else can I say? Well, she is definitly human having all the strengths and weaknesses any human being will have, and just like the rest of us she will learn that GOD had never left her and that he loves her And like you said He does not want us or her to go it alone, because we can't, we will burn ourselves out and need to call on him in the end. The trouble we are in is most often the trouble we put ourselves into. But God is Merciful, he turns the bad things out for our good like you side.

    Once again I look forward to reading your book and I know I will enjoy every page.

    God Bless,

  16. Hi MaryLu!! I love this series so far and already own the other two books and I can't wait for the third!! I love series like these because you just get to keep this ongoing relationship with the characters that you love!! Very fun!! Blessings!!

    kcmelone at yahoo dot com

  17. I am very excited to read this book! I love all of the books that you have written so far.

    notesofsilver at hotmail dot com

  18. Thank you, ladies! I love reading your comments!! Have a great weekend!

  19. Wow, I almost felt like I was reading about myself, the personality traits that is. Her parents sound a lot worse than mine, I top her by six inches, and my eyes are blue. I suppose my hair isn't flaming red either. Seriously though, my own strengths and weaknesses are about the same, so I'm greatly looking forward to seeing how she overcomes her problems in the story. Learning to depend on God completely is not easy at all when you've been rebellious and independent your whole existence, something I well know. I can't wait to read it!

  20. Oh wow, this sounds like another great book!! Can't wait to read it; please enter me. I chuckled at Cassandra "tapping her feet"....I have a friend who does this when she gets excited or tickled about something!

  21. Want to add....your "inspiration" note was JUST what I needed today! Been aggravated at a person not behaving as I would keeping your words for strength!!

  22. I love the sound of Cassandra I love the comment Oh Bother. She sounds like an interesting person and I could see how she makes alot of trouble for herself. Not sure what I dislike til I read more. I share some of her strengths but not so much her weakness's. I cant wait for the book to be released. Loved the other books.
    ausjenny at gmail dot com.

  23. Cassandra sounds like the kind of friend I'd lovingly and loyally be banging my head against the wall wishing I could rescue her from herself, spending lot's of time on my knees bending God's ear and lot's of time "on the phone" bending hers. :D
    I love fiery red heads. I'm related to several.


  24. Love the character description! I too, am a foot tapper:) And unfortunately have been described as stubborn. I am excited that you have Luke Heaton taking a lead role in this one along with Cassandra. The series is a gem! Thank you for turning out fabulous historical fiction!

  25. I am currently reading "Surrender the Heart" and I am loving it! I have less than 80 pages to go! I can’t read to start “Surrender the Night” and I am even more excited about “Surrender the Dawn” because I am loving the character of Luke Heaton!!!

    emmamalissa at gmail dot com

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  28. I have 2 friends that have qualities of Cassandra--both of whom are from the East Coast (sorry guys!). They are fighters; love their families; love to plunge ahead. I tend to butt heads with them but, as the Word says, "Iron sharpens Iron." My life wouldn't be the same without them! They both have a passion for life that is amazing to watch--though energy draining at some moments! (ha ha ha).

    I truly enjoy the fact that Cassandra has flaws that we can learn from. Jesus taught through parables so why should we not do the same? It is through stories like these that we are reminded to plunge into God's word, keep it written on our hearts, and strive to survive when tragedy or difficult times come along.

    Thank you, MaryLu for entangling me in the worlds of these characters! I have enjoyed every moment! (Currently in the midst of the Legacy of the King's Pirates; devoured Surrender the Heart also!)

  29. You already have me hooked, MaryLu. Cassandra sounds exciting! I'm really interested to find out how she is with Luke- being the bad boy he is and the fiery girl she is.
    Cant wait. I look forward to reading Surrender the Dawn!!

  30. I love this series! I'm a major history geek, so I love reading about the War of 1812 mixed with your awesome characters!
    I can't really say I'm like Cassandra. While I'm all of five feet tall and incredibly loyal to my family, I don't have red hair, don't have a quick temper, and have awesome parents. I like Cassandra's determination to take care of her family, but I don't like her quick temper. I think if I had to spend time with her, she would probably rub me the wrong way until I found out about her past.
    Can't wait until this book comes out! So excited to read about the dog!
    God bless,

  31. I'd have to agree with many people above - Cassandra's quick temper and stubbornness would probably irritate me as well without more insight into her character. On the other hand, it sounds like she has a lot of courage to do things that are not necessary "proper" by society of the day! :)


  32. Lady DragonKeeperJuly 2, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    I'm not really like Cassandra, but as an older sibling, I do know what it's like to have responsibility thrust upon you ...

    I love that Cassandra and Luke --both minor characters in this trilogy-- get to be in the spotlight this time. I really liked that Cassandra is such a supportive friend of Marianne's. Luke seemed to have a roguish air to him (that coupled with her independence could make them quite the pair ...) ;-) but Luke was a dependable first mate to Noah Brennin. In "Surrender the Heart" there's this brief exchange between Luke and Noah when Luke sees Cassandra at the engagement party and wanted his Captain to introduce him to her and Noah said something about her being hotheaded and independent ... LOL.

    Can't wait for this one! Thanks for the chance to win!


  33. This sounds like a great book. I like that Cassandra goes after what she wants. She doesn't wait for things to least I didn't see that. The only negative thing I could see, is that, at this point, she's so independent that she doesn't need God. It's hard to do stuff on your own. I'd rather have God with me.. In any case, I'm looking forward to reading the book.

    Have a great 4th of July weekend. Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

  34. I really like how Cassandra sounds! I wish I was more independent and courageous like she seems to be. I can't wait to see how she and Luke interact!

  35. Too late for me to win, but I still wanted to comment!

    I know so many people whose parents let them run wild and they grow up like wild children. When I was about fourteen, my mom and dad sorta just let us grow up however we wanted. They seemed to stop bossing us around (except for occasional bursts of anger). We made our own choices and even though they liked to know where we were, they just didn't seem very interested in our lives or even their own really. I met my friends' parents and I actually considered them stifling (they really are, I'm not the only one who thinks that) and plan their days for them and everything, and they let them. Not independent at all, not like Cassandra. And they're in their 20s.

    Cassandra sounds amazing! Strong and terrific. I can definitely relate. Being a rebel isn't easy, and I admire her gumption.

    My parents are semi-happy. We used to think they should get divorced because they fought so incredibly much, but they haven't. But sometimes I wonder why they got married.