Friday, February 8, 2013

Forsaken Dreams - Pre-release Party, Week 2!

Welcome to week 2 of my pre-release party for Forsaken Dreams, which 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!!

The winner of last week's drawing is KARA!!  Congratulations, Kara. I'll be sending a signed copy of Forsaken Dreams to you ASAP.  And many thanks to everyone who entered. I really enjoyed your comments. But don't despair, you have another chance to win this week! 

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.
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Last week, we learned about the heroine in the story, Eliza Crawford. This week, we will learn about the hero,  

Colonel Blake Wallace

Brief Description: Blake Wallace is a true warrior. Standing at just over six feet tall with jet black hair, stormy gray eyes and  a muscular build honed by war, Blake’s commanding presence offers no doubt as to his profession. A profession he used to love until the war. Now, Blake has seen enough death to last a lifetime. Weary and disillusioned, he slumps beneath a weight of defeat and loss. Son of a wealthy Atlanta merchant, Blake attended WestPoint before the war and worked his way up through the American Army to become a colonel. A career officer, he loved the structure and discipline of the military, and he was proud of his role in the defense of his great nation. So, when the Southern states seceded from the union and declared their independence, Blake didn’t hesitate to lead the charge to protect his homeland from the North. But as the war dragged on and Blake realized that men lived and died based on his decisions, his zeal began to fade. He lost several close friends in his regimen, but it wasn’t until his younger brother was killed that Blake began to loathe the North. As soon as the war ended, he hastened home to his mother, father and sisters, only to find they’d all been murdered during the burning of Atlanta.  Now, angry at God and man, and with nothing to keep him home and with the North inflicting chains of punishment around the South, Blake decides to organize a shipload of southerners who, like him, long to escape the horrors of war and start a new south in a succulent land called Brazil.

Strengths: Courageous, Honorable, Chivalrous, Leader, Resolute, Idealistic, Structured
Weaknesses: Demanding, Merciless, Bitter, Unforgiving, Austere
Quirks: Blake walks with a limp due to a war injury to his right leg. He suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome and is prone to blackouts, nightmares, and visions.  Three deep lines furrow on his brow when he’s angry or frustrated.

Inspiration:  I love the character of the Warrior/King! This is a man who is physically and mentally prepared to protect and defend his nation, his family, and his lady love.  He’s the character we see in our favorite movies like The Gladiator, The Patriot, Rob Roy, and Robin Hood. The fearless adventurer who places honor, loyalty, and doing one’s duty for God and King above anything else. Yet along with those great qualities comes a harsher side—a man who holds others up to the same standard to which he holds himself. Mercy and grace do not factor into his way of thinking. Mistakes never go unpunished. Especially not when he’s the one who made them. Consequently, when Blake fails to save his brother and his entire family in the war, he takes all the guilt and the anger upon himself. That is, until he finds a scapegoat for his hatred, a secret Yankee on board the ship!

What are your thoughts on Blake? Are you the type who expects as much of others as you do of yourself? Do you feel guilt when you mess up? Is it hard for you to get over your own weaknesses and faults?  I know I possess some of these qualities. Though I don't consider myself courageous or a warrior, I hold high expectations of myself and therefore of others and I can be critical and unforgiving at times. How about you?

To enter the contest, please leave a comment with your thoughts (And with your Email, please! so I can contact you if you win) 

BONUS ALERT. A wonderful friend of mine is also offering the following in conjunction with my giveaway this week:   Ocean Blue Gift Giveaway includes: A lovely hand-made Victorian doll in a blue gown with lace shawl, a blue silk fan, an 11" X 15" basket of violets print suitable for framing (Feb. flower of the month), Godiva chocolate--and a copy of MaryLu's book Forsaken Dreams. 
If you're interested, head on over to her blog and leave a comment there too! 

 I'll announce a winner from this blog next Friday when I'll reveal some of the history behind the story and the cool video trailer!! 


  1. Wow, Blake sounds like one great character!! I can't wait to read about him and Eliza! I have a feeling this will be my favorite of your books, although it would be hard to beat Surrender the Night :) Thanks again Captain, for sharing all this great info with us ahead of time!! I know it will really get everyone excited and anxious for March 1st :D

  2. I can't wait for this book to come out! It sounds amazing, especially now that I know so much about both characters.

  3. Oh my! Blake is gorgeous! :)
    campbellamyd at gmail dot com

  4. Wow, this looks like a wonderful book! Thanks for sharing some info with us on your male character, Blake! :) Please enter me in the giveaway! Thanks so much for the chance to win a copy of your new book Forsaken Dreams!

  5. Fri Feb 8th,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    First off .... 'congratulations' to Kara, on winning a copy of 'Forsaken Dreams'.
    Oh yes ... I can definitely connect with Blake -- expecting as much of others as I do from myself. Terribly difficult to 'get over my own weaknesses and faults' ... absolutely !!! And, just like you MaryLu ... ditto, ditto: "holding high expectations of myself, and, others ... and, can be critical and unforgiving at times". Oh yes, I identify with Blake !
    I love it how you make your characters so very "real" -- with weaknesses and strengths .... people who we can relate to and understand 'where' they are coming from in their various struggles.
    Can hardly wait to read this one !
    Thanks for sharing.
    We're in the middle of a storm-watch here ... basically like a little blizzard. A winter storm from Texas has "collided" with an Alberta Clipper ... hence, the major snowfall !
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda

  6. I cannot wait for this book to come out. Blake sounds a lot like my brother-in-law, whom I love dearly.

  7. Wow, you were right-he is handsome! Thanks for the chance to win this book!

  8. Well Blake is certainly nice to look at! Hehehe... :-) Thanks for the chance to win!


  9. I'm sure this book won't disappoint! All of your other books are just fabulous! Would love to win it! If not, I will be ordering it the DAY it comes out. =)

  10. Wow it looks like an amazing adventure between Blake and Eliza. The cover is so beautiful that it makes me dream. Can't wait to read this wonderful books of yours. Thank! Merci this giveaway!

  11. Since March 2nd is my birthday this would make a great gift.

    Blake sounds like a lot of man. Looking forward to reading his story.


  12. I can't wait to read this! I am from Atlanta and it sounds so intriguing!

  13. I'm ready I'm ready I'm ready.. for your next book! I love Blake already!

  14. Can't wait to read this. Sounds really good.

  15. Morning Capt:)
    Wow can't wait to meet Blake and Eliza! So looking forward to this new adventure:)

  16. I can't wait to read it. Finally, it's almost here.


  17. Hubba Hubba! Blake is a tall drink of water. A nice "pre-Valentine" gift to us all.

    I think I have more in common with Blake's character traits than I do Eliza. My expectations of people are high, and then invariably when they let me down or when I let myself down it's frustrating all around. I definitely need to work on my mercy skills. But admitting my problem is the first step, right?

    I know that God has forgiven me much and I desire to show that to others, but all too often I don't. Even though I've been saved for years, I'm still a work in progress. Thankfully the Lord's patience is unfailing.

  18. I think sometimes I don't expect enough of myself and others. I feel it is perhaps to easy to say 'that's ok.......'. My plan is always to do my best, certainly something that is shown in my knitting, but I'm thinking I need to consider some of the other areas in my life!


  19. I can't wait to read Forsaken Dreams! Sounds amazing! :)

  20. Oh, my! This book just sounds better and better! Blake sounds like a character we will long remember, after reading the book. To answer one of your questions, I've always had very high expectations for myself. Actually, I grew up in a military family, so I expect that has something to do with it. I learned over my lifetime, not everyone can live up to such high expectations. I have found that it is best to assess what each individual is capable of, and then set expectations.

  21. I love the idea behind your new book! The war did remold a lot of people in ways -I'm sure- we can't understand. Whether I win a copy or not, you can be sure I'll be reading it, asap!

  22. 2nd week of forgetting to write my e-mail address - UGH!!

  23. Love these characters!!! Thanks for the opportunity!!

  24. Sounds like a fun book to read!
    I always have a hard time not feeling guilty. Definitely something I struggle with.

  25. He's gorgeous, MaryLu!, got Highland blood running through his veins? He also reminds me a little of a young Pierce Brosnan.

    I think I have to agree with Kay on where I am in life...but working with kids for so long has gentled me a lot. Not that I don't expect their best from them, but have learned to accept it might be a different kind of "best".

    Thanks for mentioning AmHisBooks MaryLu! Will be sending everyone's names over for the drawing (except mine! LOL!) I CANNOT WAIT to read this book! God bless you!

  26. Sounds like a great book! Blake sounds like an interesting character. Thanks for the preview!
    Beth Gillihan

  27. I can't wait to read this book.

    Katie J.

  28. Just posted the link to my facebook page ... sharing the news of a new book from a great author!! I can't wait for it, MaryLu, and I've said that many times ... I'm excited! :)

  29. Blake sounds like.....a character that has already sucked me into the book and I don't have it yet!! Love him already and can't wait to get this book. As to expectations, yes and no. Depends on the person and how much I know about them and their capabilities. I demand a lot of myself though and often find myself wishing others would step it up too. Lol. I feel really guilty when I mess up, especially with my kids and hubby. I let demands send me into a frenzy sometimes which causes all the more mess ups and a vicious cycle begins. This is definitely a fault of mine.

  30. I have read so many of your books! I can't wait to read this one!!!!

  31. OH, HUBBA, HUBBA, MARYLU!!! This guy has the makings of a new MaryLu Tyndall hero for me ... :)


  32. This book sounds wonderful. I love reading and am excited about this book. Thanks for sharing your talents with us.

    Sonya Curtis

  33. Wow! Do I want to read this book? Oh, yeah!

    What kind of person am I? I'm an all or nothing kind of gal. If I'm going to do something, I like to do it right. If I think I might not be able to give something my all, I'd rather not even go there. So maybe I'm more like your character than I think. :)

    Congrats on another release, MaryLu! :D This is going on my "want" list!

  34. Your description of Blake reminded me a little of Nathaniel in the Blue Enchantress. Different reasons perhaps, but similar reactions. It's interesting to see how many experiences go into making up a personality. I hope he is not too hard on poor Eliza!

    I didn't mention last time that I think the cover is beautiful!! Also have to admit that I already looked at the trailer, and was a wee bit disappointed...probably because it's hard to top the one for Veil of Tears.

  35. I'm pretty easy going and don't necessarily expect people to have/live up to the same standards I might have for myself!
    I look forward to this new series.


  36. It should be interesting to see how he changes from the beginning of the story to the end! Please enter me, MaryLu!


  37. Marylu, I have enjoyed many of your novels, and am so excited to start your new series! Forsaken Dreams sounds very interesting, and the cover is so beautiful! :)
    Thanks for this giveaway...

    -Shantelle (

  38. Can't wait to read this book....the cover is beautiful!
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  39. Super excited for its release!
    -Rebekkah xD

  40. lots of entries - not much of a chance to win this beauty, but here goes at least a try!

    Beautiful cover!!!!! Exciting character descriptions!!!!! :) <3

    Will Google+ share it for you :)
    godleyv [at]yahoo{dot}com

  41. I look forward to reading this book and seeing if Blake changes by the end of it. I'm hoping he resolves his anger toward God.
    Yes, I feel guilt when I mess up, even when it may not technically be my fault. I felt (and still do to some extent)guilt after my sister died a year ago. Because I am the "big sister" I somehow expected myself to realize what she was suffering from (even though it took several doctors to figure it out, and I'm sure not a doctor). I felt I should have known so I could have gotten her the help she needed sooner. I know there wasn't really any way I could have known, but still feel somewhat guilty, like I failed her.



  42. This sounds good. Thanks for this 2nd week of your contests. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

  43. This book sounds so exciting! I'd love to participate in your giveaway! Thank you!

  44. I love seeing the pictures again..and finding out all of the information on the characters. I cannot wait for March 1st! I don't need to be entered in the drawing as I had to buy this pre-order of Had to save a copy just for me....soooooo excited..and such a beautiful cover I might add...that is what draws me to a book honestly!

  45. Thank you for befriending me and also for your wonderful blog site. I know what book I will be buying next if I don't win it.
    Thanks and God Bless
    Helen Morell-Bailey

  46. Blake Wallace is certainly very interesting. I'm eager to read more about him & how he overcomes.


  47. Thanks for another chance to win a copy of your book!

  48. A book AND chocolate - ohhhhh. Sounds wonderful!

  49. ohh, I can't wait to read about Blake and Elixa! It sounds so interesting and I know I'll love it, because all of your books are awesome. Thanks for the giveaway!

  50. I'm almost done with Veil of Pearls and it is AWESOME!!! :) And that cute!!!! Can't wait to read your new book!

  51. New book sounds very interesting. I would like to win a copy. Thank you.


  52. Wow, MaryLu, Blake Wallace sounds like quite a hero! So looking forward to meeting him and reading the adventure you have in store for him!

    I'm with you there when you said, "Though I don't consider myself courageous or a warrior, I hold high expectations of myself and therefore of others and I can be critical and unforgiving at times." Lol, I'm really looking forward to seeing how you work these character weaknesses out of him, or at least tame them under the hand of God.

    Thank you so much for a chance to win!!


  53. How exciting!!! Forsaken Dreams looks amazing... and Blake sounds like a great character. ;) Can't wait to read it! Thanks for the chance to win it. =)


  54. I can't wait to meet Blake! He sounds fascinating! I tend to expect as much out of others as I do out of myself and I do feel guilt when I mess up. Sometimes I try to act like I don't though. Some of my faults/weakness are definitely easier to overcome then others.


  55. This book looks amazing! :) I like how you share about each character, so we can get to know them a head of time. I love both of them and look forward to reading how their journey goes. I've been reading so many of your other books... Can't believe its taken me this long to find you... but I love everything about your writing!

  56. I think I'm going to enjoy the combustion of when Eliza and Blake first collide as much as to see how the story interweaves their individual paths and destinies! :) I would be honoured to read this ahead of the release!! I agree, with other posters about how giving you are to give such hearty glimpses into characters we have yet to become acquainted with! It provides an air of mystery that can only be fully quenched once we read the story!

    All the best to you for the launch!

  57. I think in some ways I do, like I expect people to do the job they are getting paid for, even if they don't enjoy it. Things like that. Anyway, would love to win a copy!


  58. I forgot to comment on the hero in my first comment. I think Blake is a handsome, intelligent, and dependable guy. Someone you can count on. I can see with all that has happened where he is coming from, But O do think he needs to learn to have a little grace and mercy. It really sounds like a great story. Thanks MaryLu.
    Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com