Forsaken Dreams, Escape to Paradise Series #1Forsaken Dreams, Escape to Paradise Series #1
MaryLu Tyndall
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After witnessing the death and destruction caused by the Civil War, Colonel Blake Wallace is eager to leave his once precious Southern homeland for the pristine shores of Brazil and the prospect of a new utopian community. Widow Eliza Crawford seeks passage on Wallace's ship harboring a dirty secret-and a blossoming hope for a fresh start. But will dangers from the sea and from man keep them from the peace and love they long for?

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MaryLu TyndallMaryLu Tyndall: "I had written stories my whole life, but never had the confidence to try and get any of them published. But as God began to change my heart, He also showed me that writing had been His wonderful plan for me all along. Even though I was still working full time, He gave me the means to write a book, an agent, and a publisher willing to print it. And anyone who has ever tried to get published knows that any one of these things is a miracle in itself.

Favorite Verse:  John 10:10 (NIV) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.


 Our Interview with MaryLu Tyndall


How did you come up with the concept for Forsaken Dreams?
Actually, I didn’t come up with it! I was signing books at a conference and a reader came up to me and relayed the fascinating tale about how, after the Civil War, several Southerners left the United States and went to start a new Utopia on the shores of Brazil. She said it would make a great series. At the time, I was working on several other projects so I didn’t pursue it, but a couple of years later, I started doing research on it and became fascinated with the history.  We aren’t talking just a dozen or so Southerners. We are talking thousands of people who left the South after the war and headed toward Brazil and some to Mexico. Their struggles, trials, heartaches and successes are a huge part of our history, a history that, I believe, needs to be told.

What a beautiful cover!
Thank you!! I give all the credit for that gorgeous cover to my publisher, Barbour. They’ve been producing some fabulous covers lately.  This cover definitely portrays the mysterious, adventurous feel of the book perfectly.
Have you been to Brazil?  What fascinated you about the time period and the setting?

Nope. Never been to Brazil, although now that I’ve researched it, I’m anxious for a visit!  It sounds like a beautiful, exotic place. Especially Rio de Janeiro.  In truth, I was more fascinated with the true story of these immigrants than I was with the time period or setting. I wondered what could have been so horrible to have made them pack up and leave everything they knew and head for foreign shores. Their courage, strength, and perseverance under such heartache and duress truly inspired me.
Most of your stories revolve around swashbuckling pirates and sea captains.  What draws you to write about them?

Actually I only have one pirate series, but a good majority of my books have several scenes set at sea. Ever since I was a child growing up on the shores of South Florida, I have loved the sea and especially the tall ships of old. To me, there’s something very romantic and adventurous about those magnificent sailing ships and the men and women who journeyed on them in search of new lands.

Do you have a favorite character Forsaken Dreams? Why?

Yes. The heroine, Eliza Crawford. She’s all the things so many of us want to be: Strong, Independent, Smart, Caring, Selfless. But she has a fatal flaw—one which I can relate to very much, and one I’m hoping others will relate to as well. She wants to live life on her own terms. She wants to do things her way and follow her own heart and will. She doesn’t want to be told what to do by anyone, especially God. Consequently, she disobeyed her father and ran off to marry a man who was all wrong for her, an action that cost her and others dearly. Still, she struggles with an independent spirit that refuses to submit to God, even when she knows His will is best.  Sound familiar? It does to me!


How much research did Forsaken Dreams take?
Quite a bit. There aren’t many books written about this particular historical event. I did find a few, but I also discovered some great resources online, some old diaries and day-by-day accounts of the journeys of some of these Southerners.  Then, of course, I had to research the climate, topography, flora and fauna of the region, and the history of Rio de Janeiro. I tried to talk my husband into funding a trip to Rio (For purely research purposes, of course) but he wasn’t buying it.  

What are the most interesting facts that you learned while researching and writing Forsaken Dreams?

There is a city in Brazil called Americana, which was founded by migrant confederates in the late 19th century.  To this day, the inhabitants still speak a mixture of English and Portuguese and celebrate American holidays by playing “Dixie”, while some of the local women dress in big-bustled skirts for dancing.  President Carter visited the city in 1972, after discovering its little known history, and he was reportedly brought to tears by the American influences he found there. 
What are some of the challenges you face as an author?

Meeting deadlines! I never feel like I can take a break and just relax when there’s a deadline shouting at me from my computer.  Other challenges come in the form of negative reviews and harsh comments, most of which I’ve learned over the years to ignore.  However, the occasional one slips through and stabs my heart. Then there’s the marketing aspect of being an author, which is most definitely my weakest skill. I’ve never been very good at selling myself, or in fact, selling anything, to anyone.  

What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?

The writing! Coming up with new stories and settings, and especially great characters. But my favorite part is putting those characters into impossible situations that I would never survive personally, but ones in which they must survive!  Those hours I spend at my computer with my head and my heart in a distant land, living life through my characters, are the happiest moments of my day. What a great job I have!! I get to live in a fantasy world of my own making. God is good!

What clubs or organizations are you involved with helping with your writing?

American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. However I receive most of the help I need from other writers who I’ve grown close to over the years. It’s so wonderful to have an online support group of people who understand what I’m going through and who can offer suggestions and help and who can lift me up in prayer when needed.

What new projects are on the horizon?

Forsaken Dreams is the first in a trilogy entitled Escape to Paradise, so I’m currently working on the last two books in the series. After that, I’ll be in God’s good favor as to what He wants me to write next. 

What message would you like your readers to take from reading Forsaken Dreams?
There are several messages woven into Forsaken Dreams. Forgiveness, letting go of bitterness, running away from God, but I would say the main message is that submission to God and His will is the only thing that brings true happiness.

What was your favorite book as a child?

Can I have three?  The Last of the Mohicans,  The Count of Monte Cristo, and Pride and Prejudice.

What is your greatest achievement?

My children. Although I really can’t take credit for them turning out as well as they have. That was God. But they are my life and my true loves, and I can’t imagine my world without them.

What do you do to get away from it all?

Go to the beach. Although it’s not as warm here in California as it was in Florida where I grew up, I love sitting in the sand and gazing out over the foamy waves and smelling the salty air and feeling the wind on my face. It makes me realize how big God is and how small I am, yet how much He truly loves me.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Just a warm thank you for the honor of being interviewed on Christian! 



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