Monday, February 2, 2009

*****BOOK REVIEW: The Red Siren (MaryLu Tyndall)

After months of being away from writing reviews, I'm thrilled to be back in the saddle again. Most of you probably remember that I only read in the bathtub. I'm so busy writing my own books that my bathtub time is truly the only free time I have for reading. (You should see the edge of my tub - loaded with books!) When I stumble across a really great book, I'll sit in the tub for hours, forgetting about the time and any other obligations. For that reason, I've decided to develop a new way to score these books as I read them. I'm calling it my pruning system. A one prune book is one that I'm not crazy about. Two prunes means it's so-so. Three prunes means I enjoyed it. Four prunes. . .really good. Five prunes? Well, a five prune book is one that kept me in the tub so long that I came out of the frigid water completely wrinkled with a water-soaked book in my hand. A five-pruner is the sort to make me want to give up writing altogether. (No joke. . .every time I read a book that completely floors me, I always feel like giving up. Either that, or it motivates me to want to improve.)

I made a commitment at the beginning of 2009 to read books that are different from the norm. For me, the norm is inspirational romance or romantic comedy/chick-lit. So, when I received a copy of MaryLu Tyndall's new book, The Red Siren, I was a little hesitant. First, I don't read pre-19th century books. Second, I don't read pirate stories. Imagine my surprise to find out The Red Siren was both!

I publish with Barbour, just like MaryLu, so I must start by saying how ashamed I am that I've never picked up one of her books before. I'd heard of her, of course. Knew she was nominated for a Christy. But I wasn't sure I'd do well with her books because they're just so different from what I read and write. Boy, was I wrong! After reading only two pages of The Red Siren, I knew I would love this story. First, the writing is brilliant. Very intelligent, but not in a snobbish sort of way, as if often the case in pre-19th century historicals. Second, the story line is clever, different from any I've ever seen before. Finally, the characters are unique and well thought out, especially the heroine. (How many stories do you see where the heroine is queen of the manor by day, pirate by night?) I found myself caught up in the story very quickly and couldn't get enough. I'm a Pride and Prejudice fanatic, and this book definitely has that feel about it. It's got just enough of all the elements to keep the reader turning page after page. Conflict is key, and MaryLu does a great job of creating it. As you might imagine, I sat in the tub for an extended length of time, turning into a wrinkled mess. So, with those things in mind, I have to dub The Red Siren my first five-pruner of 2009. It's truly amazing!

Here's a synopsis of the story:

Worlds collide when a lady pirate meets a godly naval captain. Faith Wescott abandoned her shallow faith when a series of tragedies struck her family. To save herself and her sisters from forced marriages, this fiery, born-to-the-manor redhead is a lady by day and a pirate by night. How long can she maintain this dual identity before she's caught red-handed?

God-fearing Dajon Waite, who scours the Carolina coast, expunging it of pirates, is more-than-capable captain in the British Royal Navy. But when he is asked to take on the guardianship of Faith and her sisters, he's headed for deep water. Having vowed to avoid women, what will he do when he finds himself falling for Faith?

Sir Wilhelm Carteret has always gotten everything he desired, but Faith seems to be unaffected by his charms. When he devises a plot to rid himself of his competition, more than Captain Waite's reputation is at stake as alarming secrets are revealed.

Will Faith regain her trust in God only to find herself headed for the gallows? Will Dajoy scuttle his good name--and neck--to save her?

Run to your nearest Christian bookstore and pick up a copy of this beautifully written book today!


Marcia Gruver said...

Janice, you wouldn't need to contend with frigid water if you'd perfect the three-toe hold on the hot water faucet. My speciality, btw. Sorry, I haven't yet solved the wrinkled tushy problem. :)

I haven't read MaryLu's book, but now I must! Thanks for the great review.

Linda Kozar said...

What's all this talk about wrinkle tushies?


Linda Kozar said...

Hey. . .wait a minute. That rating system sounds slightly familiar:)

Category 5 Winners Announced at:

Category 5 Winners Announced at:
the Meet The Christian Authors Event!

Contest Deadline Extended!

Our Category Five Contest deadline has been extended to August 31st, 2011. If you missed the previous (July 31st) deadline, here's your chance to send your entry(s)!

Contest Details--UPDATE

Hi friends,

Janice Thompson here. I'm sending an updated version of an earlier email about our Writers on the Storm Category Five Fiction Writing Contest. We've added more information. We would like to ask three things of our WOTS members and/or Houston area writing friends:

1). If you are unpublished (on not traditionally published) please consider entering the contest.
2). Please help us spread the word to other writers by placing this information on your facebook page, blog, etc.
3). Please pray for our organization as we move forward with this, our first-ever writing contest.

Thanks so much for your support. Now, here's the updated information about the contest (per Linda Kozar):

Dear Writers,

Details for entry to the Writers On The Storm "CATEGORY FIVE" Writing Contest are below. The contest is open to unpublished and non-traditionally published FICTION authors, both members and non-members of the Writers on the Storm group. NOTE: If you have previously been "traditionally" published, you are not eligible. However, if you paid to publish your book(s), you are eligible and encouraged to participate.

Judges are all published authors and/or industry pros, though not members of our chapter. Entering a writing contest is a great way to get feedback or accolades, and we hope you will enter this one with great enthusiasm! The WOTS Chapter Board invite you to BLOW THE JUDGES AWAY with your fiction writing brilliance!

Our Cat Five Writing Contest OPENED on JUNE 1st and CLOSES on Friday, JULY 29th. Judges will receive entries for review on August 1st, 2011. Winners will be announced at our MEET THE CHRISTIAN AUTHOR event on September 17th, 2011 and winners will be notified by phone.
Our Five Categories (novels and/or short stories)
1. Romance (Historical and Contemporary)
2. Women's Fiction
3. General Fiction
4. Mystery/Suspense
5. Young Adult/Children's
Contest Fees:
Members-$20 per entry (Two or more entries $15/per entry)
NonMembers-$25 per entry (Two or more entries $20/per entry).

Make checks out to: Writers on the Storm

The overall grand prize (for the highest scoring entry) is the FICTION WRITING MASTER COURSE from, a $249 value. The grand prize winner will also receive a plaque, a press release he/she can share with others and a news splash on our website. The category winners will each receive a free edit of the first chapter of their book from a multi-published author, along with a certificate. Their names will be listed on our website, as well. We will also post the list to facebook, twitter, the ACFW loop, etc.

Send the first 15 pages of your novel or short story. If you have a prologue, you may send the prologue and part of chapter one or just 15 pages of chapter one if chapter one exceeds 15 pages. The total pages of your entries may not exceed 15).

Entries must be double-spaced, Times New Roman 12 point on white paper.
Entries should reflect a Christian world-view.
Entries with inappropriate content (i.e. profanity, pornography, extreme violence) will not be considered.
Entries will not be returned to contestants via the U.S. Post Office unless a SASE (self-addressed, stamped envelope) is enclosed with each entry submitted.
Judges are all published authors and/or industry pros, though not members of the Writers On The Storm chapter.
Send your entries via SNAIL MAIL to:
Linda Kozar
7 South Chandler Creek
The Woodlands, Texas 77381
Questions? Contact Linda Kozar at

Category Five Contest Entry Form

Registration Form Name:_____________________________________________________________ Address:_________________________________City_______State____ZIP_____ Email address:_______________________________________________________ Member of WOTS: Yes….. No….. Category Entered: 1. Historical/Contemporary Romance ______ 2. Women’s Fiction ______ 3. General Fiction ______ 4. Suspense/Mystery ______ 5. Young Adult/Children ______ Amount Enclosed: __________ Check:___ Money Order:______ Make Checks out to: Writers On The Storm Checklist: Correct Manuscript Form ___ SASE Envelope ____ Registration Form ____ Check or money order ____ Mail entries to: Linda Kozar 7 South Chandler Creek The Woodlands, Texas 77381 Contact: If you have questions. Linda Kozar: Martha Rogers: Janice Thompson:

SATURDAY, May 7th from 9:30-11:00 followed by a booksigning 11-12:30

The Multiple-Author Booksigning will feature Patrick Scott, Martha Rogers and Linda Kozar!

Patrick Scott currently serves as the Founder / Design Architect for Creative Solutions, Patrick Scott is the creator and author of the Archangels: The Saga™ comic book series. First published in 1995 - 2010; the series has sold over 1.2 Million copies.

Patrick Scott pioneered the Christian comic book market in 1995 and is a 12 time published author, a trading card game creator (Timestream: The Remnant™) and has developed and published 15 inspirational posters. Under his leadership, Cahaba Productions, Inc. received the International Christian Retail Show’s highest honor by receiving an “IMPACT AWARD” in 2003.

Patrick Scott has over 17 years of graphic design, venture capital fundraising and business experience within mainstream and the International Christian Retail Marketplace. Over those years Patrick Scott has developed a professional working relationship with Lovell-Fairchild, Dynamic Marketing, Focus on the Family, Propeller Consulting, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Dickson’s Inc., Cactus Game Design, Universal Designs, Lifeway Christian Stores and many more.

Writers On The Storm presents...

Writers On The Storm presents...
Category Five Writing Contest

Patrick Scott--May 7th Speaker

Patrick Scott--May 7th Speaker
Christian Comic Book Author

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