Friday, June 8, 2012

Veil of Pearls release party - Week 2!

First, the winners of last week's drawing are: Sandee61 and Emma!!  Congratulations, Ladies!!  And thank all of you for entering. I want everyone to know that I read each of your comments and I was moved deeply by them all. I wish I could have personally answered them all. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and your own experiences with me!

 But don't give up!! You have another chance this week.  Simply read the description of the hero below and leave a comment with your email address and I'll choose 2 lucky winners next Friday!

Now onto the hero of the story!! (love heroes!!) 

Morgan Rutledge

Brief Description: At age twenty-two, handsome, rich, and charming, Morgan Rutledge has the world by the tail. What he doesn’t understand is why he is so miserable. As the youngest son of a wealthy cotton plantation owner, he has nothing to do with his time but chase frivolous pursuits, gamble away his money, and attend parties. Every man’s dream, is it not? Yet Morgan is bored with it all. He’d much rather become a merchantmen or privateer and spend his days at sea. But his father would disown him for dishonoring the family, and Morgan has no idea how to live without his wealth. Muscular, with sandy-colored hair and eyes the color of jade, he has no trouble attracting his fair share of comely ladies, yet even their delectable delights offer no relief from his misery. That is, until Miss Adalia Winston comes into town. It isn’t so much her stunning beauty that draws him, but her sharp tongue, fascinating wit, intelligence and the fact that she wants nothing to do with him. Ah, a challenge at last!

Strengths: Charming, Courageous, Honorable, Chivalrous, Smart
Weaknesses: Spoiled, Arrogant, Rash, Shallow, Foolhardy
Quirks: Fingers whiskers on chin when uncomfortable.

Inspiration: Have you ever met someone who knows exactly what they want to do with their life and it would be perfect for them, but they don’t do it because of other people’s opinions or the loss of something they believe they must have? That is Morgan.  He wants to sail ships. He feels alive while he’s sailing. It’s what God created him to do. But his father’s dominance over him, along with society’s strictures force Morgan into a box that smothers him and makes him miserable. He could leave the box, but he fears what people will think and more than that, he fears being poor and being a lowly sailor. He’s been wealthy his own life and has no idea how to make it on his own. His fear cripples him. God is calling him to sail. . .to trust Him, but Morgan no longer believes in God so his ears are closed. That is until he meets a certain ex-slave who opens up his eyes to a world of possibilities! 

So, what do you think of Morgan?  Have you ever known someone who was afraid to step out of his or her comfort zone to try something daring and adventurous because they feared losing security, respect, position and maybe even money?  Maybe you've felt God leading you in a certain direction but the unknown, the lack of money or prestige has you frozen in fear?

Leave a comment with your email address and two lucky winners will win the book next Friday!  And you won't want to miss next Friday when I'll be starting my "Can you guess what the character will say next" ?  contest!


  1. The cover art is beathtaking! I am enchanted just by looking at it. And then the description of Morgan pulled me right in. (I love character studies like this. It helps me not to miss anything when I'm reading the book!) Thanks for posting such fun blogs.

  2. Friday, June 8th,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    First off -- "Congratulations" to Sandee61 and Emma !!! Way to go ladies, on winning a copy of 'Veil of Pearls' !
    Oddly enough, "I" can identify with Morgan ! There have been ventures over my past years (that of writing childrens' books; and/or being a grief/bereavement counsellor -- to name a couple of examples) ... that I did not end up pursuing. Fearing -- the risk of failure, lacking money, feelings of intimidation, and no self-confidence, and just plain 'fear' itself.
    Oh, can hardly wait to read this newest novel, MaryLu !!!
    Am presently reading "Surrender the Night" (again) ... and then, have only one more to re-read "Surrender the Dawn" ...
    Looking forward to next week's -- "what will the character say next" ... that one is always fun.
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  3. I too, love the cover! And Morgan sounds intriguing. There are so many people who are not doing what they should be doing, and are miserable for it. Unfortunately it's so easy to have our God given dreams squashed by other people, and fear. Been there, done that.
    The great thing is, that if God's still calling us to do something specific, it's not too late to do it! :)
    REALLY looking forward to this book MaryLu! I'm loving the 2 main characters already, and am excited for what's planned for them! ;)
    Congratulations to last week's winners! :)

  4. I appreciate the fact that you always include pictures of your characters, so that we can see who your inspiration was for the story. Morgan sounds like someone who on the outside looks like he has it all, but on the inside is miserable....and unless you're following God's path for your life this unsettling peace will last a lifetime.

    Hopefully this will not be the case for Morgan.

    ~ Amy

  5. I think many people struggle exactly like Morgan, I know I do. We get so caught you in being comfortable that we're afraid to answer God's call or we pretend we can't hear it.


    Liz Riggs

  6. Congrats to last week's winners and thank you, MaryLu, for this wonderful giveaway!
    I've read about characters like Morgan in lots of stories, but can't say I've met someone like him. I can relate to his struggle. Not so much the arrogance and wealth, but having the fear of man and desiring to step out of my comfort zone to fulfill my calling. I can also relate to turning my back on God, which just created deeper turmoil within myself until I was ready to let go and surrender once more.
    I greatly look forward to reading about Morgan's transformation and where the story, and God, leads him :)
    Have a great weekend, MaryLu, and best wishes to the other entrants :)

  7. Morgan sounds like a very interesting character! I love how your characters always have some flaws or fears which they must overcome during the story. It makes them so much more believable and the story so much more enjoyable. I can't wait to read Veil of Pearls!

  8. This story is sounded better and better with each post you write! Thanks for the chance to win this book. :)

    sunshine6892 at hotmail dot com

  9. I so enjoy your books and would love to win this! Thank you!

  10. I can't wait to read more about Morgan! He looks so interesting! This book looks like it has a lot of characters that I think I will love. I can't wait to read it!

  11. Congrats to the first two winners! MaryLu, Morgan sounds like he's right in line for a miraculous redemption from God. Love those types of heroes. I'm definitely one that has a hard time stepping out of my comfort zone. I find myself asking the Lord for strength and courage constantly. I don't know what I would do without Him! Thanks again for sharing a little about "Veil of Pearls". Have a great weekend everyone. :)


  12. I am Hannah Lorenz just to get that out there ;)

    I'm a college student with a loving family but we lack immensely in finances, my mum and sis are trusting God to provide (perhaps even my 14 yr old brother is too...) but my dad is stressing. We are all, especially my dad and I are being pushed out of our comfort zone, because a few years ago we are not so concerned about finances and now we are...well, I guess like you said "frozen in fear."
    I realize that I need to stop stressing and start trusting God - the Father of His children to provide for His children. I don't want to be afraid. I want to feel His sense of peace. I just want Him. I want to be with Him in the end, which is what helps me get through...coming back to fully focusing my entire being on my Creator. And I just pray that my earthly father can do that too.

    A phrase comes to mind...I'm not sure if it's from a verse or not, but it's "If I have God, I lack nothing. If I don't have God, I lack everything." (That may not be precisely the words but that's what I got).

    Along with what I was saying earlier, my sister, brother and I are interning at Prairie River Camp (by Bricelyn, MN), because we feel like that is where God has called us to be this summer. I, however, have been avoiding the calling for about 3 years, which is how long my sister has been working there. Finally, this spring college sememster, God got my to say yes and now I am fighting to stay away from depression (which I have experienced some every year...I mean, who doesn't have some? But I just don't want the addition of a medical bill for taking anti-depressants, because I truly believe that God IS my anti-depressant, so I'm learning to discipline myself to think only of Him and listen to what He says and not always be the one talking.) Anyways, right now, working at camp we are being stretched SOO much, it's exhausting, stressfull, and rewarding. I just pray that I can keep being reminded to trust God to provide and bless His people. We are not paid alot, but we are paid in spiritual growth, which is a really awesome thing if we are flexible and willing to let God shape us to who He wants us to be on the Potter's wheel - even if it's hard.

    So please pray for the lack of money to be no more for my family, the camp and the other various students, families and people working at camp, so that we can be a blessing to other people.

    my email is

    God bless!! =D

  13. Congrats to the winners! :-)

    Hi MaryLu! I'm very excited to meet Morgan and witness his journey to redemption and the path God has for him. For some reason I love when a hero starts off with a cocky arrogance about them, because it's usually hiding their inner pain and insecurities. Then as the story progresses you see their struggles and how the heroine... well, doesn't "change" them exactly... but more like the heroines presence is like a bucket of cold water on their ego, yet sunshine to their souls - THAT is the kind of hero I LOVE! You always give us such wonderful heroes, letting us see how they come to God and allow Him to save them and shape them. Guess I'm a sucker for the "bad boy(in the beginning!)/good girl" thing ;-) Thank you for giving us a glimpse of Morgan here AND for a chance to win a copy of the story!! :-)



  14. I love when a spoiled hottie falls for a sharp witted lady!!!! I can't wait!! This book comes out just in time for our summer road trip!!! I am so excited Morgan and Adelia. Will be with me!!

  15. I know how it feels to not be doing what you were called to do. you feel disconnected and discontent. I'm not yet sure where I'm supposed to be or what I'm supposed to do, but I'm patiently waiting for the answer. God hasn't let me down before and He always answers my prayers in the way He sees fit.

  16. Congrats to the winners!
    Morgan sounds intriguing! I like how the photo attached matches with his quirk of fingering his whiskers when uncomfortable! I think many people, myself included, will be able to relate with him!

  17. Hi MaryLu,
    I wasn't for sure if you received my email earlier about the blog award I gave you? I've been away the last 2 weeks on vacation.
    Please send me an email so we can discuss your upcoming blog tour we talked about for my blog:)
    By the way, I love your contest scheduled for next week. Sounds so fun:)

  18. MaryLu, firstly congratulations on, and thank you for a new book! I'm without doubt that Veil of Pearls will turn out to be another of my favourite books.

    Morgan sounds like a fascinating character! So many contradictions; it will be an interesting experience discovering and understanding the different sides to him. I am sure God will ultimately grant him the courage to live his dreams, and that he will discover that a relationship with God is what he needs to fill the void in his life. I'm trusting that he will find love and acceptance with Adalia as well - I can't wait to share his journey!


  19. The book sounds amazing. I'm really looking forward to it. Your books never disappoint me, and are always very exciting to read!
    For the most part, I think everyone is always afraid to step out of their comfort zone, as it's stepping into the unknown. It can go one of two ways, very bad, or be the best thing to happen to you. I think the big thing before making any big decision, is to make sure that God is guiding your way, and it's something you've prayed about. So many people get a head of God, and try to do something, only to have it blow up in their face, because they weren't talking to God about it.


  20. Congrats to last week's winners! This book sound so interesting! I had actually pictured Morgan with dark hair, so this is different but fitting.

    Ashley R.

  21. I just can't wait to read this book!!! It seems to be such a goos story line. Two completely different people meet, and they are from two different backgrounds, but they fall in love! and congratulations to the winners!

  22. I love it when opposites attract and sparks fly! It occurs to me while reading about Morgan that I probably know a few people like him but I may not even be aware of it. It is easy for us to put on a face for everyone else but it's very important that we have someone with which to share our hopes and dreams. Very excited about this one! Thanks!

  23. Haha oh my ;) Reading about Morgan, Ray Boltz’s song Set Sail came to my mind again:

    You have been standing
    Staring at the sea
    You have been searching
    For a sense of destiny
    There is a purpose
    There is a plan
    But you’ll never find it
    With your head stuck in the sand

    Can you imagine
    How exciting it would be
    To launch out in faith
    And sail across the sea
    You have been waiting
    I think you know
    The time to wait has passed
    Its time to go

    I guess that is everybody at sometime, being afraid to step out. You really have to learn to give up worrying about what everyone will think of you. Everyone should be encouraged to follow their God-given dreams.

  24. I was wondering when a blond haired - blue eyed hero would show up:)
    You also answered my questions about how ships fit into this book!

    Have a great day!


  25. First, congrats to the winners!

    MaryLu, I absolutely can't wait to read this story!!! Morgan sounds like an excellant hero!

    My brother won't get off his xbox and go to NH with us. We're driving and will be there for a month and a half. He LOVES it there. For the life of me, I cannot understand why he won't go. That's about leaving a comfort zone.

    Other than that, I'm not sure I know a specific case of someone not doing the thing they'd be good at that God has called them to.

    Oh, and don't enter me. I just wanted to participate. =D
    -Rebekkah xD

  26. I think anyone could fear going out of their comfort zone just trying to share the word of God to those around them. I know I sometimes do, but I will do my hardest to share God's word to those who are lost, even when I might in the end make an enemy in front of them or they think of me being extremely weird or nuts.

  27. This book looks really good! Can't wait to read it.:)

  28. Oops ... forgot to leave my email in my above comment!

    Thanks! :) Nice to see so many comments here ...

  29. I am so excited to have won! Thanks again, MaryLu!

    And whoa, Morgan is handsome indeed ;)

  30. I think a lot of young people will be able to relate to Morgan as far as parents not being supportive of what you want to do with your life goes. Fortunately, mine have been quite supportive (even though they're not exactly thrilled with my choice of major), but the parents of two of my friends manipulated them into attending the parents' choice of college if they wanted any financial help whatsoever. :-(

  31. I can definitely relate to Morgan. I've been in that same box for a while now and it's hard sometimes to step out on that ledge. But now I'm ready to move in the direction God wants me to go. Close my eyes and take the leap... :) I can't wait to get my hands on this book!!

  32. Now when I read the book I will have a good idea of Morgan and what drives him in his life. I like the cover too. can't wait to read this one.

  33. First of all, congrats to the winners, Sandee and Emma!

    Aww I love the sound of Morgan Rutledge!! (wasnt his last name Gale?)
    Anyways, I know a lot of people who are afraid to step out of their comfort zone. But I like to try once in a while, its good for you!
    Wow, I cant wait to read about this interesting new hero of your MaryLu!! Thank you for sharing!

    God bless!!

  34. Yes I have. He is my husband of going on 33 years. When I met him, he could not even make a decision for himself without consulting his Dad. Then one year I had enough of that. I told him he wasn't contacting his Dad until he made a decision for himself and then he could inform his parents what we were doing. I didn't care what his father wanted. I wanted to know what Ron Squires wanted. I am glad I did as he is a Sectional Royal Rangers Leader and has stepped out and become a good leader to boys over the years. He just retired from his job.
    No one ever thought he'd get married either until he met me.
    jrs362 at hotmail dot com

  35. Lot's of folks want to enter to win a copy, don't they. I do,too. :) Well, I don't really know anyone who steps out of their comfort zone. But consider the "younger son" situation throughout history. They always got the sort end of the stick, didn't they. Here in modern times and in America, unless a will is written stipulating the eldest son gets the goods, then usually an estate is divided up and the younger son stands as much of a chance of receiving an inheritance or building a life as the older son. 'Twas not always so. The elder son got the estate, the home, the land, the fortune. The younger son/s had to go to sea, enter the church, or eke out a living whatever way they could manage. But just don't bring shame on the name. That seems to be the case with Morgan, though the description indicates he does have some spending money - just don't bring shame on the name.

    Book sounds fascinating and I look forward to perhaps being the recipient of a "winner's copy." ;)

  36. Wow, I can't believe you just described my life! And I'm not even a man...or rich and spoiled or foolhardy, charming, and courageous! However, I know exactly what it is like to know what you were made to do but be too afraid of people's disapproval or of leaving your security blankets behind. The problem is that it's not just my own life that I'd be affecting, it would be others too, so that does tend to stop you cold when otherwise you'd throw caution to the wind. What's a girl to do? Rhetorical question, if there was a perfect answer, I'd have found it by now! Anyway, it sounds like a very good read!

  37. Congrats to the winners! Best of luck to everyone this week! I can't wait to read this!

  38. Congratulations to last week's winners! I look forward to reading this book. The characters sound so unique and interesting!

  39. Oh, my goodness, next week's contest sounds like too much fun! :)

    Have I ever known someone afraid to step out of their comfort zone? Um, me? :) In fact, I'm leaving for my first mission trip ever in about two weeks (to Costa Rica!) and I'm quaking in my boots. Even if that is what my blog, Inspiring Daring, is all about. :) I can tell I'm going to love Morgan a lot.

    biblioprincess15 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  40. Mary Lu,

    Morgan sounds dashingly (if thats a word) handsome! I can wiat to meet him in your upcoming book.
    I think we all can be a little afraid to step out of comfort zone at times. I am just glad God gives us the support and encouragement we need as well as put people in our lives to help support us. Cant wait til next month. congrats again
    Happy writing!:)
    Rebecca Hartman

  41. Morgan sounds wonderful and I love stories where the girl gives the guy the chase. sounds like a nice book thanks for the chance to win

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  42. Morgan sounds just like me! We're the same age even! Right now I'm stuck in what to do after college. Do I go to graduate school like my family wants and what seems logical, or do I start looking for a career job? Sometimes I feel trapped into deciding on graduate school even though I'm not sure it's the best idea for me just because my family really wants me to. And then they have a certain area they want me to pursue, which they think will make me happy, when I'm not sure I want to pursue that particular area. And they keep pressuring me in that direction, when I really want to go another way. So I can relate to Morgan's struggle. I can't wait to read "Veil of Pearls" and see what he decides and why!!

  43. Thank you all for your comments!! I love reading everyone's stories! It seems many of us have problems stepping out in faith and shaking off our fears! Like Morgan, we forget that if its God's will, He will never let us sink! I would never be published if I hadn't heeded His call to write a Christian novel about a pirate. And then send it in to agents and publishers! Talk about scary! Even so, I still struggle with stepping out in faith.. giving away money I need, speaking in public (Yikes!), letting go of loved ones..etc... it's hard! But God has never let me down. :-)

  44. It is hard to go against family dictates but especially for a man who has been groomed towards family heritage. I grew up in a similar environment, having it all. When i married i remember wanting to buy something and my husband told me to wait till the 15th, I was like WHY? I never had to wait before. When we got saved it wasnt long till God called my husband to mate. My dad is not a Christian and was very upset, I was his baby girl but had to stand up to the Lords call. After 20 yrs pastoring we were called to be missionaries, he disowned me. I still call and pray.

  45. I do know people who have ignored their calling to please someone else. Morgan sounds like a fascinating hero. Arrogant and shallow? I have full confidence that you can pull off such a character and make him endearing. I can't wait to read "Veil of Pearls"


  46. Vanessa H. JohnsonJune 14, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    I know for sure that God is going to speak to me AGAIN thru your book MaryLu! Funny the way it is... God is good to me like that ~ allowing me to enjoy reading and all the while...speaking to my heart!

    ANTICIPATION... I can't wait!

    Vanessa Johnson