Welcome, MaryLu! Tell us a little about yourself.
How long have you been writing? How many books do you have published?
I’ve been writing my entire life, though it was just a hobby of mine in my younger years. I wrote poems, short stories, and novels as a teenager but I never thought I could ever get published. Once I graduated college and started working and raising a family, I had to put my writing aside for a time. It wasn’t until five years ago that I felt God calling me to pick up my pen again. Currently, I have 7 novels published and 3 more under contract. God is good!
If you compared your writing style to any other Christian Fiction author, who would it be? Also, how would you rate the romance in your books?
I always get asked this question and I never know quite how to answer it. I don’t think my writing style is similar to any other author I’ve read. But if I had to choose, I would say perhaps Deanne Gist or Julie Lessman. My stories are not just romances, but full of adventure and action, intertwined around a strong spiritual theme. As far as the rating on the romance in my stories, I’d have to give it a PG. I would say my novels are a bit more on the edgy side than your normal Christian fare.
In your own words tell us a little about The Raven Saint.
The Raven Saint is an adventurous story of betrayal, pride, and the healing love of God. Set in the Caribbean in 1718, it follows the story of Grace Westcott, a virtuous lady who has spent her life serving God. When she is kidnapped from her home by a daring French captain who intends to sell her to the Spanish as a slave, she cannot understand why God has allowed such tragedy to befall her.
Captain Rafe Dubois hates nothing more than a religious pretence of piety. Fleeing a home of abuse and betrayal under the thumb of his self-righteous father, he became a mercenary upon the Caribbean. There isn’t any job, no matter how vile, he won’t undertake in order to amass the fortune he needs to build a hospital for the poor in his home town of Port-de-Paix.
Follow the adventures of Rafe and Grace as they sail from South Carolina to the island of Saint Dominique, to Columbia and face pirate hunters, betrayal, sword fights, seduction, and a voodoo curse.
The Raven Saint is the third book in the series Charles Towne Belles, although I don’t think you have to have read the first two books to enjoy this one. The series revolves around the parable of the seed and the sower in Matthew 13 in which each story represents one of the seeds. In this book, Grace Westcott, the heroine, represents the seed that falls on the good soil and produces a great crop. She is a woman who loves God and spends all her time in His service. But she has one tiny problem: her piety has turned into pride and her mercy into judgment.
Grace Westcott has spent her entire life serving God and helping the poor—not to mention trying to save the souls of her two wayward sisters. But while on an errand of mercy, she is kidnapped by a French mercenary and told she will be sold to a Spanish Don in Columbia.
Determined to hold on to her faith and see God in every situation, she believes she must have been sent to help someone find God’s love. But no one will listen to her please, warnings, and prayers.
When Grace’s situation grows far worse than she could imagine, she is forced to face her own human weaknesses. But she isn’t prepared to face her biggest weakness of all—falling in love with the nefarious captain, Rafe Dubois.
Will Grace discover god’s purpose for this harrowing journey? And what will she do when she realizes His purpose for her is not to redeem the captain and his crew, but herself?
What made you want to write this story?
When God first gave me the concept for this series from the parable of the seed and the sower in Matthew 13, I knew that I would have to write a story about the seed that falls on the good soil. The first two books in the series represent the seed that falls among the rocks and the seed that falls among the thorns. Honestly, I thought I would have a harder time writing this third book because I could identify least with the heroine. But what I discovered as I wrote Grace’s character was that I was more like her than I first realized. It is my desire that as people read this story, they will also see any hypocrisy and judgmental attitudes that exist in their own heart and allow God to burn out those seeds of pride which will keep them from loving others and growing in Him.
What research did you have to do for this book?
Quite a bit of research went into this book as well as the entire series. Specific to this story I studied the history of Saint Dominique (Present day Haiti) and what the religion of Voodoo entailed. For the entire series, I studied the workings and sailing of tall ships, the history of the Caribbean, history of Charles Towne, SC, and the clothing, customs, and language of the early eighteenth century.
Who would you pick to play the lead roles if this book was made into a movie?
How can readers get in contact with you?
What are you currently reading?
Angel Time by Anne Rice
Tell us something surprising about yourself that readers may not know.
I have a terrible fear of public speaking!
If you could be any animal, which would you choose? Why?
A deer. Graceful, yet timid and easily frightened.
TV show, and/or movie?
LOST / Counte of Monte Cristo
Place to go on vacation?
What is/was this book’s release date?
January 1st, 2010
**Giveaway open to any country**
Okay readers, here is your chance to win an autographed copy of The Raven Saint!
*Leave a comment with your name and email address (so I can contact you if you win).
*Please specify that you want to be included in the contest!
*If you want an extra entry, become one of my followers.
*The comment is mandatory. (Please, say in the comment if you are a follower!! It makes my job easier when you do.) You will not be entered unless you leave a comment. If you are already a follower, and then you leave a comment, you will still get two entries in the contest.
*The contest will run from today (Feb. 5) until 10:30 CST on Thursday (Feb. 11). I will announce the winner that night. The winner is always randomly drawn. I will contact the winner on Friday the 12th, and then that person will have one week to reply. If the winner doesn't reply within that time period, I will pick a new winner.
Good luck! Thanks for visiting.