Sunday, March 16, 2014

Special Edition Book Review ~ The Ransom ... Author Interview

Book: The Ransom
Author: MaryLu Tyndall
Publisher: MaryLu Tyndall Books
Publishing Date: March 4, 2014

Type of book: Historical Inspirational; Port Royal, Jamaica 1692 

My interest in this book: I first fell in love with MaryLu's writing after reading The Redemption, book #1 in the Legacy of the King's Pirates series. There wasn't a chance in the world I would miss this newest edition in the series.

Ideas expressed / message / plot: Being valued. Every struggle and problem has a reason--God's hand is upon your life.

Favorite characters, quotes / lines: Who wouldn't love Alex? He's witty, strong, commands respect, has a sense of humor: "'I'm a pirate, remember?' He patted the pockets of his jerkin and breeches as if searching for something. 'Lud, and I seem to have lost my moral compass.' She frowned at his impish grin."

And I like Julianna's strength. Boy, do I feel for Julianna's brother who longs to be valued but goes about it in the wrong ways! 

When I finished this book I felt: Satisfied. I can't wait for the next installment, MaryLu! I love the way this book ends and how it sets up for the next in the series so perfectly. Beautifully done!

Other books to read by this Author: All of them. :) I love MaryLu's style of craft. Check out my sidebar for reviews I have done on previous books by her or you can go here to see Amazon's author page.  My favorites are: Legacy of the King's Pirates series, Surrender to Destiny series, and the Charles Towne Belles series. Oh, and Veil of Pearls. Also, don't miss Central Park Rendezvous; a 4 part novel with 2 of the 4 authors being some of my favorites: MaryLu Tyndall and Ronie Kendig.

Bonus: I am so blessed to have MaryLu herself here to tell us a couple interesting morsels about the making of The Ransom

MaryLu, Thank you so much for joining us today! 

   You seem to really have a grasp on the vocabulary! How did you become so acquainted with 17th Century verbiage? 

   The best way to pick up some of the phrases used in the 17th century is to immerse yourself in books from that era. So, that's what I did! I even bought some audio books and spent time everyday listening to them and jotting down some key phrases and their meanings.  After while it just flowed out of me naturally onto the page. 

What a blast. I might have to try that just for fun!

   As I read, I felt pieces of some of my favorite stories breathing into the characters: Casanova, meets You've got Mail, meets Batman, meets Robin Hood meets Taming of the Shrew. Did you have any major influences in creating your characters or did they just come alive on their own?   

   Yes and yes!  I modeled Lord Munthrope after the hero in The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy. Her hero plays a fool most of the time to hide the fact that he's the dashing rescuer of the French aristocracy from the guillotine.  Great book, by the way.  But I love your book analogies! I can see where my storyline bears some similarities to parts of theirs.  That was not intentional, however. Most of my character's stories sort of grew on their own.   

Looks like a have another book to add to my "To Be Read" list. Thanks, MaryLu! 

If you're interested in reading The Scarlet Pimpernel, you can get it free for Kindle on Amazon (as of date of this posting) with the added bonus of WhisperSync for only $.99. Great deal!


In honor of MaryLu's 1st self-published book and the return to Pirates, let's giveaway a copy of The Ransom to one lucky winner. To enter, please leave a comment answering one of the following questions. (Don't forget to leave a way to contact you if you win...or just check back on Saturday.)

1) What is one of your favorite MaryLu characters in her previous novels and why he/she is a favorite, or 
2) "What makes a good book good?"

Get an extra entry for every Tweet you send about this post. (Copy this: for the link to this post and let me know your twitter handle so I can verify your tweet post).

Contest runs through Friday evening. Out of US winners will receive an ebook edition, US winners can choose between either ebook or paperback.  

That's it! Thanks for stopping by today on our extended Book Review.


  1. Thanks for hosting this giveaway, Joleen! Without it, I would not have discovered this blog!
    What makes a great book a great book-in my opinion- is the quality of the relationship between the hero and the heroine. It's always refreshing to read a book where the relationship is built on faith, communication, and trust, rather than an overemphasis on looks.

    1. Miriam, it's so great to have you! Thank you for stoping by.

      I'm partial to Redemption stories. I think that's another big reason I love MaryLu's works.

  2. I have never read anything by thus author yet so I'll answer the 2nd question. What makes a good book good...well there are lots of things, but one of the main ones is well developed plots experienced by well developed characters. If either isn't developed enough the story seems shallow and superficial to me.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win and learn about a new author!

    1. Hi Tiffany, thanks for stoping by! I agree. I want to be able to "feel" a story, not just be told a story. :)

      I'm so excited you got to "meet" MaryLu! He books are so full of adventure and Redemption...and good, solid writing! Gotta love that!

  3. What makes a good book good, the cover of the book and also the author.

    Hayden and magnolia are my favorite in the book called Elusive Hope

  4. I really enjoyed Marianne Denton from Surrender the Heart. She wasn't the typical skinny heroine and she was also very brave and kind. This was my first read by Ms. Tyndall and I was totally hooked!
    garfsgirl [at] hotmail [dot] com

  5. Congrats on Ransom, I love The Legacy of the Kings Pirates series and am so excited to see it continuing!
    It's hard to choose just one of MaryLu's characters, there are so many wonderful choices. But if I had to choose one it would have to be Faith Westcott, The Red Siren. She is a brave, no nonsense older sister, willing to anything to protect her younger sisters, even when that leads her to pirating.

    1. Rebecca, the intro to The Red Siren is one of my favorites of all time.

  6. Beautiful covers entice me to explore a book - as well as the fact that the book was written by an author I've read and enjoyed, and the book blurb - but, what really makes a book good to me is realistic characters. The kind that make me feel as if I know them, the ones that make me feels their joy and pain, the ones that I remember and think about - long after I finish reading the book!!

    Thanks for the wonderful review and interview, and the opportunity to win a copy of "The Ransom", Joleen!!


    1. There's nothing like "experiencing" a story! Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Thank you for the review and interview. I enjoyed your format. I've only read one of MaryLu's books so far, Forsaken Dreams. I much admired Eliza Crawford, the heroine, for her compassion and forgiving nature.

    1. Oh, Kay, you must try the Legacy of the King's Pirates series and her Surrender to Destiny series! :)

  8. thanks for the chance to read this beautiful story...Cover art catches my eye...Believable characters w/ flaws always holds my attention..

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  9. Joleen, thanks for the giveaway - I follow MaryLu´s blog and I SO need to read the book! Love the sass!
    "What makes a good book good?" For me, the story - I love when my books goes for something deeper - and the real craft is to combine deep themes with a dash of fun or heartwarming layers! I also appreciate great writing skills, as I just love well-built sentences!

    I follow the giveaway on Twitter:
    (I even started tweeting for that :)).

    God bless you!


    1. Janka, good to have you here again! Best of luck this time!

      And I agree--I love a deeper/purposeful story. I want something in return for my time spent. Not just entertainment--most of the time. :)

  10. Hmm. I entered a comment a few days ago but it seems to have disappeared! Thanks Joleen for having me here! And thanks to everyone for your kind comments!! And your interest in my book!
    For me a novel must have at least some of the following in it or I grow bored: Good locale, snappy witty dialogue, interesting deep characters, a major theme or moral of the story, suspense, intrigue, adventure, fast-paced, good conflict, twists and turns, and last but not least romance!

    1. And that, no doubt, is why we love your books so much, MaryLu! :-)

  11. What makes a good book is when you read it the story draws you in and you feel like your a part of it and MaryLu's books always has this effect , I am the heroine and this makes for a fantastic read!! Thank you For the opportunity to win!

  12. Thanks for review/interview and giveaway. I found you via Goodreads.
    I love a book that makes me feel like I am part of the story, I can relate to the characters, a plot or story line that keeps my attention with adventure, twists, and a little down to earth romance. I prefer it not to have language. I do not recall having ready Marylu's books before

  13. My favorite of MaryLu's chraracters have been Alex and Rose (from Surrender the Night), Magnolia and Hayden (from Elusive Hope), and Faith (from The Red Siren). Alex and Rose are both so sweet, caring, and yet ready to fight for the people and places they love. Meanwhile, Hayden and Magnolia are just so fun to "watch" together :D And Faith is just awesome. Why? Because she's a lady pirate! And I love her personality :)
    No need to enter me in the drawing since my own copy of The Ransom is on the way :) Can't wait to read it!

  14. Congratulations to Rebecca for winning last weeks giveaway! Best of luck to the others who stopped by in any other Ransom Giveaways! This is a not-to-miss adventure!

  15. Hi :) I think a good book has to have a good summary to start off with because if it doesn't have a great description I won't even pick up the book. It also has to have funny, realistic characters that can make me laugh and an interesting plot. Of course the author also has to have good writing skills.


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