25 January 2010

Interview with M.L. Tyndall and review of The Raven Saint

Today I am welcoming back MaryLu Tyndall to talk about her new book The Raven Saint. I hope you will leave a comment to let MaryLu know you have stopped by. Thanks for coming MaryLu.

1. Welcome back to my blog as this is a return visit I would like to ask a few different questions. Firstly for new readers to my blog can you like to share something about yourself?

Hi everyone! I live in one of the most liberal states in the United States in one of the most liberal parts of the state and probably one of the most innovative places as far as science and technology goes: The Bay Area in Northern California. It's a great place to live with a mild, Mediterranean climate. An hour west of me is the gorgeous Pacific coast, and 4 hours toward the east, we have the beautiful sierras. I've lived here for nearly 30 years, but my true love is the tropics of Florida where I grew up and where my entire family still lives and where I go and visit as often as I can! My husband and I have 6 children, most of them all grown up, and 3 cats currently, although we seem to attract strays! (cats, not kids)

I’ve been writing for five years and before that I was a software programmer at IBM. Yes, I know. Very weird combination.

2. I have to say I loved the Raven Saint and infact the whole series and am wondering how you became interested in this era and Pirates, Ships and sailing in this era?

Honestly, as far back as I can remember, I’ve always been fascinated by the sea. As I said above, I grew up in South Florida and spent many hours in my youth snorkeling and body surfing and sun bathing on the warm beaches. I loved stories of sea-faring adventures and the tall ships of old and especially pirates. During the centuries spanning the 16th through 18th centuries, tall ships ruled the seas. It was a time of exploration and swashbuckling adventure. What’s not to like about that?

3. I have to say I think Spyglass steals the show in this book what  was your inspiration for including spyglass? (Spyglass is a very good  judge of character)

I took the character of Spyglass from one of my own cats (Sniffles) who lost an eye to cancer. She has since died, but was alive during most of the writing of The Raven Saint. Spyglass's role in the story is symbolic of the Holy Spirit's role as helper and discerner. When Grace was in trouble in the hold of the ship, Spyglass went to get Rafe, the hero. Spyglass had trouble with Madame Dubois and Annette, who were dabbling in voodoo, but she loved Grace and was always trying to get Grace and Rafe together. My Sniffles was much like Spyglass. She was a comfort during the storms of life and offered her love unconditionally.

4. I enjoyed watching Grace evolve and grow in this book, are there any messages you hope readers will take out of this book?

Yes. There are many messages. Grace is such a perfect example of many Christians today. She loves the Lord and she’s busy about His work. The problem is, she’s so busy doing what she thinks He wants her to do, that she’s lost sight of who He really is. In other words, she has become entangled in good works and has forsaken her first Love. Because she measures her own worthiness on her good works, she measures others on theirs, and when she finds them lacking, she judges them. My hope through Grace’s story is that people will stop and take a good long look at their own hearts and ask themselves if perhaps they have fallen into the same trap as Grace. Do they have a heart like Jesus had, that loves everyone and doesn’t judge those who come to Him with open hearts? Or do they avoid and even snub those whose sins are out in the open? Jesus was able to separate the sin from the sinner and see the root cause of it in a person’s life. We can do that too, by getting to know someone and loving them, regardless of their sin. In reality, Grace’s sin of a judgmental heart was far worse in God’s eyes than the sins of those she judged. Don’t believe me? Just read what Jesus had to say to the Pharisees of his day.

Rafe turned his back on God at an early age due to the bad example of his so-called Christian father. Rejected by the pious man as well as by a woman he loved, Rafe is filled with heartache and rage. I believe rejection is one of our culture’s biggest problems. Rejection by a parent or by a close friend or spouse wounds the heart like nothing else can. It causes insecurity and rage and sets a person on a very dangerous path. The last thing Rafe should have done is reject God based on the example of Christians. You can’t base your faith on the actions of so called godly people. You must seek God on your own and seek Him with all your heart. By rejecting God, Rafe ran away from the only One who could truly heal his own rejection. Through Rafe’s story, I hope people who suffer from deep-seated rejection can see a bit of themselves in Rafe, and like him, go to the only One whose love can heal that painful wound.

5. I have to say I am a huge Hornblower fan and I love watching and  rewatching the series. Would you like to see this book and the whole series made into a mini series or movies?

Are you kidding? Absolutely! I think that's every author's dream. And because my books are so full of adventure, I think they'd make great movies. But I'm going to leave that in God's capable hands.

6. Can you tell us about any upcoming projects you are working one?

Yes, I’ve just started writing a new series called Surrender to Destiny. The three books are set in Baltimore, MD during the War of 1812 and tell the story of three women whom God uses to change the course of history and save our great nation from tyranny. The series’ theme is about finding your God-given destiny. Each book is focused around an important battle during the War and shows how if we surrender to God and allow Him to lead us, our lives will have eternal significance. And of course the books are packed full of adventure and romance!

7. Finally where can we find you on the web?

Website: http://www.mltyndall.com
Blog: http://www.crossandcutlass.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=181159984111&comments=#/marylu.tyndall?ref=profile

About The Raven Saint.
Join bestselling author M. L. Tyndall for another seafaring historical full of romance, intrigue, action, and adventure. Grace Westcott has piously served God her whole life. Captain Rafe Dubois cannot pass up the opportunity to earn more gold toward the hospital he’s building for the poor by kidnapping Admiral Westcott’s youngest daughter. But when the missionary and the mercenary meet, it’s full-sail-ahead into tumultuous waters! Find out what happens when a bitter mercenary who’s sworn off God falls in love with a pious woman determined to change him.

My Review:
First I want to thank MaryLu and Barbour for the sending me a copy of this book to review.
Once again I enjoyed this book. All 3 in this series have been good and dealt with different issues. Grace has always been the "Religious" one the one who did things cos it was what you should do when your a christian but at the same time judged people who didn't live the same way. We see alot of what she was doing was because she felt she had to to be a christian. Early in the book shes kidnapped by Rafe and this is when things start to change. She believes like many do that bad things can't happen to christians and that if she prays it will all come to be when infact Christians still have to deal with bad things. 
I love the fact that during the book she starts to see people as who they are and not just what they are. I love this part of the book as it is a reminder to us about looking at people for who they are not what they are. I also have to say I love Spyglass the ships cat. Spyglass is a very good judge of character and has an important part in this story (in my view anyway). One thing I love about the story is the setting. I love the era and the beauty of the ocean although I realize it was a hard life and dangerous also.
Wonderful book.


Karen Lange said...

Thanks for sharing this!
Blessings to you and your readers,
Karen :)

MaryLu Tyndall said...

Thanks Karen! And thank you Jenny for having me on your blog.
God Bless!

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