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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Blue Enchantress Review and Giveaway


And now, for the romance lovers in the audience. There are Christian romances, and then there are Christian ROMANCES! The book I'm reviewing today is definitely the second variety.

I recently had the pleasure of reading Blue Enchantress by M.L. Tyndall. I couldn’t put the book down. Blue Enchantress featured humor, romance, and adventure on the high seas all tied together with a beautiful story of redemption.

By far my favorite aspect of the book was the exquisitely flawed heroine, Hope Westcott. She pulled me in from the very first page. Rarely have I met such a sin-ridden and self-destructive main character in a Christian novel. Unlike the tragic heroine in Francine River’s Redeeming Love, Hope is just a typical girl who makes a lot of mistakes, but she has a joy and brightness about her as well. Tyndall does an amazing job of weaving her complex and broken personality, providing the insight and motivation to make you fall in love with her and cheer her along.

Hope Westcott is one of the most memorable and inspirational characters I’ve ever encountered. She is real and vulnerable and longs for love and attention from the wrong sources just like so many young women I have met. Partnered with godly and handsome but wounded hero, Nathaniel Mason, there's never a dull moment between these two.

All this takes place on the beautiful seas of the Caribbean. The story opens with Hope being sold at a slave auction to the highest bidder. Nathaniel is forced to part with half of his hard-earned fortune to rescue the wayward heroine who has only ever shunned him. Next comes a hurricane, a shipwreck, a deserted island, pirates, and plenty of other action packed surprises. Add in a good dash of humor, and an ample serving of romance, and this book is sure to please.

The title, Blue Enchantress, takes on rich meaning as it represents not only a literal pirate ship, but also the allure of the sea, and the temptation Hope Westcott offers to Nathaniel Mason. Tyndall’s love of the sea is evident in her mesmerizing descriptions throughout the book. Her secondary characters pop to life and bring added interest to the story.

Blue Enchantress is book two in Tyndall’s three part Charles Towne Belles Series. After reading this novel, I had to go back and check out book one, The Red Siren. While I must admit I preferred the plotline and heroine in Blue Enchantress, The Red Siren was an incredible story as well, featuring Hope’s bold and brave pirate sister, Faith Westcott. I look forward with great anticipation to the release of book three, The Raven Saint, sometime this winter.

Tyndall is able to create a light and enjoyable read while taking a deep look into the human condition. Incredible! The spiritual content of this book is powerful and compelling, dealing with subjects such as spiritual warfare, supernatural healing, and forgiveness. This book powerfully illustrates the truth found in Ephesians 6:12. "For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." It also shows that sometimes believers must exert their spiritual authority and take the offensive rather than sit back and let the enemy destroy those we love.

Blue Enchantress is a great book to recommend to friends who are secular romance lovers and normally don't read Christian romance novels. I lent my copy to a friend who claims she doesn't like Christian books. Not only did she enjoy the book, she immediately asked for more.

If you have any questions or comments for Mary Lu Tyndall, please leave them. She should be stopping by today.

Question of the day: Who is your favorite fictional heroine and why?

Leave a comment for a chance to win your own copy of Blue Enchantress. We really need your email address in order to enter you, otherwise we will not be able to contact you!!Include your email address with spaces around the at for your protection. Winner will be drawn on September 29th.
Dina Sleiman
http://dinasleiman.com/

20 comments:

  1. Yay me! I'm first. I'm first.

    I think my favorite heroine is Irene Adler. The only woman Sherlock Holmes admired, she is brilliant and beautiful and talented. I especially like the mysteries by Carole Nelson Douglas with her as the heroine. Delicious!

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  2. My goodness. Making us pick 'One' heroine. This is going to take a lot of thought. I have to admit, Dina, that I put my fingers in my ears and hummed my way through your post. I'm sure it was well written, but as much as it's a review and doesn't give anything away, I'm sure . . . I want to wait and read it after I'm done with the Blue Enchantress myself which is next on my TBR pile. (I just won this book from Sandi Rog's blog. See? I know how these things work) (I admit I was virtually stalking her blog tour)

    I will say that Sandi and I had a conversation about Mary Lu's books. They remind us of what we wanted out of reading a romance, back when there were only secular romances. A wild ride of action with moments that made me sigh. All the passion without the consummation, shall we say? I can't wait to get to this book!

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  3. As I was reading the review - I thought this sounds similar to something I just read. So to the bookshelf - Beloved Castaway by Kathleen Y'Barbo. But I haven't read this book yet. I do have The Falcon and the Sparrow, which I enjoyed. But I didn't like what happened to her brother at the end. I was like Dominique"I cannot believe it"
    One of my favorite hero/heroine was Stephen in the O"Malley series by Dee Henderson. But I am like, Debra, picking only "one" Difficult.
    Please put my name in the hat for this draw
    mrstgr at msn dot com

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  4. Lael Click in THE FRONTIERSMAN'S DAUGHTER. A strong, spirited and surprising character, Lael is an amazing woman! Please enter my name in the drawing. gcwhiskas at aol dot com

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  5. I enjoyed your review and the comparison to one of my favorite books, Redeeming Love.

    Don't enter me to win. I've already read and reviewed MaryLu's book. I just wanted to come check out your review.

    Blessings,
    Mimi @ Woven by Words

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  6. Is the sea what brought Mary Lu to write these books or pirates? I LOVE pirates and the adventure of the high seas. I've also heard Mary Lu is a master of romance, which I love as well. I'd love a chance at getting my hands on her book!
    sherrinda(at)gmail(dot)com

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  7. Thanks everyone for stopping by. I've been thinking about the heroine for awhile. I think one of the heroines that affected my view of the world the most was Hester Prynne in Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlett Letter.

    Right now I'm reading Unspoken by Angela Hunt, and I'm totally enjoying a different kind of heroine, Sema the signing gorilla. I'm really hoping things work out with her and hot stud silverback Dakari :)

    Theresa, I haven't read Falcon and the Sparrow, but I'm pretty sure you'll find Blue Enchantress delightful.

    Dina

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  8. Beautiful review, Dina. Another one to add to my list. I would have to sift through a long list of heroines to pick a favorite. Off hand I might say Kathy in Mrs. Mike. It's a story that never left me--one which I've read many times. And I usually read and give. I don't do reruns!

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  9. Wow, thanks Dina for the awesome review! I'm glad you "got" my heroine. And thanks everyone for your comments! Growing up in South Florida, I've always loved the tropical sea and I'll admit, I've always had a thing for pirates. Weird, huh? However, this book is not really about pirates, although one does appear.
    One of the reasons I started writing Christian romance is that I grew bored with what was available. I enjoy adventure in my stories along with the romance. Plus I just couldn't relate to the perfect heroines I was reading about. My heroines are flawed people with real problems who struggle with real sins and temptations. Like me! Maybe that's why I like them so much.
    Currently I'm reading A Passion Redeemed by Julie Lessman. The heroine is spoiled and self-centered and used to having her way. Yet she shows hints of a kind heart. I love that! She's real. An though we may not like her at first, if we truly admited it, we all have some of those faults within ourselves. The point of any Christian story is to show God's redemptive power to change the human heart. That's what it's all about in my opinion. Throw in some hot hero, great romance, and lots of adventure, and you've got me hooked!
    Have a blessed Saturday, everyone!

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  10. Morning (or afternoon, depending...) Inkies & treasured readers... I have to agree with Debra's comment, Mary Lu Tyndall's books remind us of what we love about ROMANCE!
    As to my favorite heroine... I loved Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden growing up. More recently, Carina Maria DiGratia from Kristen Heitzmann's Diamond in the Rockies series. I think because in her I can picture my great-grandmother's frontier life in the Rockies.

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  11. Dina, you've managed to distract me from the many things I had to do today. After reading your lovely review, I went to Amazon and was quickly distracted by comparisons of the Kindle and the Sony E-reader. Then I read the few pages they allow you to read, both from this book and The Red Siren. Both books sound fabulous and I must read them. I think I'll read The Red Siren first, because I like to read a series in order. That said, after reading the first few pages of Blue Enchantress, I'll have to read the first book quickly because I really liked the way Hope stood up to the auctioneer.

    My favorite fictional heroine...I have so many, but I really love Ariel in The Little Mermaid. NOT the Disney verison of Mermaid, but in Hans Christian Andersen's version. She loved the prince so much, she refused to kill him in order to stay human. And though she became seafoam in the end, she found what she longed for: her eternal soul...because her spirit rose up to the kindgom of God.

    Thanks, Dina, for blessing me today.

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  12. Okay, I admit - I've never read one of MaryLu's books - yet. But don't choke - I do own them. I have her Legacy of the King's Pirate series sitting in my TBR pile - yes, I'm waaaaaaay behind in my reading - but this review and comments above have me itching to see what all the noise is about. So I'm moving them to the top of the pile.

    Now, which Inky sister am I supposed to tell what I'm reading...I think I've just decided. :)

    Thanks for the review, Dina. I'm off to check out MaryLu's site.

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  13. I met my other crit partner today for a trip to a historical reenactment in our area. She was reading one of MaryLu's books while she was waiting for me. Of course!

    No progress with the favorite heroine yet. I'm really trying not to say Scarlett.

    Have a great day, inkettes. I'm going to make Snickerdoodles and watch my netflix Jane Eyre. Life is great, huh?!

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  14. My all time favorite heroine was Angel, in Francine River's, Redeeming Love. She was such a strong character and spoke to my heart.

    Thanks for the review. This sounds like another great book.

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  15. I can't wait to get my hands on this book. Deb, was that you who beat me out of it on the blog tour? ;) What a fun, beautiful-sounding story.

    I don't know if I can pick just one favorite heroine...

    Thanks, Dina!

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  16. Nancy, I love all of Francine Rivers heroines. I really like the little girl in The Last Sin Eater and the young Jewish women in the Mark of the Lion Trilogy.

    Mary Lu, thanks for stopping by and sharing some thoughts.

    Deb, you can go for Scarlett. No one else has yet.

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  17. Hello,
    I've loved gutsy girls since Pippi Longstocking and am drawn to quirky characters as well.

    However, from time to time I meet a character with a heart for Christ and a soul that yearns to heal others. In the pages of Scared by Tom Davis, I met Adanna, such a protagonist. She lifted me up to where eagles fly!!

    Blessings on a great post!

    Patti

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  18. I like gutsy heroines too, especially in historical romance because they challenge our oft-held beliefs about women in earlier times. I found the heroine in Lisa Tawn Bergren's Northern Lights series, Elsa Anders, to be this kind of heroine.

    pwriter1 at yahoo

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  19. I would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks.
    wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  20. The winner of Blue Enchantress is...drum roll please...Wanda! Congratulations Wanda. I will email you privately for your street address.

    Dina

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