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To be popular or not to be popular, that is the question

By MaryLu Tyndall


Our culture is obsessed with fame and popularity. Just look at all the reality shows that have sprung up over the past twenty years where ordinary people compete to win a prize and potentially become famous. Survivor, The Great Race, Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, to name just a few. Everyone wants to be famous! To be a star! To have people accept them, love them, and give them value. Honestly, who wouldn’t want that? It feeds a deep ravenous need within all of us to be somebody, not just another of the billion or so people who inhabit the planet. We want to be special. To be unique and valued. We want what God has implanted in each of our hearts—to be loved unconditionally for who we are.

This need begins to truly manifest itself in High School. At least it did for me. If your High School was anything like mine, it didn’t take long for each kid to be assigned a label. Jock, Cool, Skater, Grunge, Emo, Nerd, and a million other “groups” which separated everyone and predetermined their behavior based on stereotypical ideas.  My shyness and good grades automatically put me somewhere between the nerd and weirdo groups, where I stayed my entire High School years! At the time, I thought that was entirely unfair and couldn’t understand why I couldn’t join the “cool” and “popular” kids. They got all the attention, got invited to all the parties, had all the fun. (Or so it seemed). I wanted to badly to be accepted in their group—to be liked. But that never happened.

This longing to be valued extended well into my adult years as I grew and matured and tried to fashion myself, both in speech, dress, and behavior, into the kind of person who would fit in with the crowd everyone liked and looked up to.  For a while I even succeeded. I began dating a man who was in that crowd, and I quickly became one of them.  But I was still empty inside. Hanging out with these people wasn’t me. I didn’t enjoy the things they did, the parties, the dinners, the conversation. In truth, I wanted so badly for them to like me, that I had molded myself into someone completely unrecognizable. And in the process I had denied the unique-self God made me to be.  In essence, I made these people my God instead of worshiping my Creator.

This is the theme of my new release, Veil of Pearls. The fear of man. When you crave human opinion and accolades more than you crave God’s approval, then you have a problem with the fear of man.  And if you continue down that course the results can be a devastating—a complete loss of the person God made you to be and a gnawing emptiness inside. Not to mention the worse result of all, a weakening of your relationship with God himself.

That’s what happens to Adalia, the heroine in my story. She hid her heritage, the essence of who she was, in order to become part of the Charleston Elite—to enjoy their lavish lifestyle of delicacies, parties, plays, and the approval of people who wouldn’t have given her the time of day before. But in the process, she lost touch with her true self and with God.

Fortunately for Adalia (And for me!), we both came to our senses and returned to the only ONE who can fill that need for value. God Himself. He is the answer to this burning desire to be somebody. You see, everyone is somebody in His kingdom! He knew who you would be, all your talents, quirks, personality, likes, dislikes, humor, etc.. before he even formed you in your mother’s womb. You are unique and precious to Him. He has something He needs you to do here on earth that only You can do. He loves you boundlessly. Maybe you’ve heard that before. Maybe you haven’t, But once you really believe it and get it deep down inside of you, you won’t have any desire for fame or praise from anyone else this world but God!



MaryLu, with a degree in Math and fifteen years spent in a software engineering career, what led you into writing Christian fiction?


I’ve always written. I had a poem published in my High School Year book. I wrote a novel at age 16 and another one in my twenties and had several started but never finished. Believing I could never get published, I never submitted any of them and ended up choosing a career that made money.  Of course God had a HUGE work to do in me before I could write for Him.  It wasn’t until ten years after I committed my life to Him that I distinctly heard Him tell me to write a novel about a Christian Pirate. Yes, I thought I was hearing things too!  Yet even though I was working full time, I obeyed. That book was The Redemption, my first published novel!

Where do you get ideas for your books?

From History, from life, from God.  Many times while I’m doing research for one book, I’ll come across a story or event in history that really piques my interest and I’ll mark it to investigate later on. This happened with my Surrender to Destiny series when I read about what a huge role Baltimore, Maryland played in the War of 1812 and how if they had been defeated, the US would probably be under British rule to this day.  I also get ideas from people and things going on around me, in particular ideas about human struggles and our quest for meaning. And of course, God plops a lot of strange ideas in my head! My very first book, The Redemption, was a result of Him telling me to write a story about a Christian pirate. J

Do you feel that your life experience before becoming a Christian helps you add depth to your characters and their stories you might not have had without it?

Absolutely! In fact, I’m not sure I could write the type of stories and characters I do without my BC (Before Christ) life. If you’ve read any of my books, you know that my characters normally start out in pretty rough places, some of them doing some pretty bad things. My characters are usually the down and outs, the forsaken, the hurting, rejected. Some have partaken of, or at least have witnessed, the seedy side of life. Even so, they are searching for meaning, purpose, and hope, ultimately finding them only in God.  Their stories mimic my own dive into the world as a youth, my own search for meaning, and my own realization that everything the world offers is nothing but meaningless chaff. Only God fills every longing of the human soul.


Your tagline for your collective works is “Swashbuckling Romances Anchored in Faith.” What do you attribute to your strong interest in all things nautical?

Hmm. Good question. I suppose part of it had to do with growing up on the beaches of South Florida. I spent many a day snorkeling and body surfing in the warm waters and lying upon the sand dreaming of pirates and tall ships!  There’s just something so mysterious, enchanting, and romantic about the sea! Also, my grandfather graduated from the US Naval Academy and served until he died in a tragic air accident aboard a US carrier, so I suppose I have navy blood flowing through my veins as well.

What’s your secret to staying on deadline (chocolate, coffee …)?

Prayer!  And definitely coffee!  In fact with prayer and coffee, I believe you can do anything you set your mind to do! LOL

But honestly, I’m a pretty disciplined person. I treat my writing like a regular 8-5 job, barely even breaking for lunch!  How would you like me to be your boss? LOL


Where can fans find you or your books on the internet?







Thank you,MaryLu for spending time with us and our readers today! What a pleasure to have you visit with us again.



A Christy Award finalist and best-selling author, MaryLu Tyndall dreamt of tall ships and swashbuckling pirates during her childhood years on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. She holds a degree in Math and worked as a software engineer for fifteen years before testing the waters as a writer. Now, while writing her twelfth novel, she manages a home, husband, and six kids while battling three cats who have decided that her keyboard is the best place to sleep!  She believes that without popcorn and chocolate, life would not be worth living, and her sole motivation in life is to bring others closer to God.





  • Publisher: Barbour Books (July 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616265779
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616265779

An Epic Romance of the Old South 

It is 1811, and the prosperous port city of Charleston is bustling with immigrants like Adalia. But she has a secret: her light skin belies that she is part black and a runaway slave from Barbados. She lives in terror that her owner will come looking for her. Instead Morgan, the son of a plantation owner, finds her. He is handsome, charming, bored—and enamored of the beautiful Adalia. Soon she is swept into his glamorous world, a world in which the truth about Adalia’s heritage would ruin her—and Morgan. This epic romance reveals the beauty and tragedy of the Old South.

  • A Runaway Slave and a Plantation Owner’s Son Fall in Love.
  • A Romance with Characters Straight from the History Books
  • From an Acclaimed Christy Award Nominee

Watch the book trailer:


She thought she could outrun her past. . .

It is 1811, and the prosperous port city of Charleston is bustling with plantation owners, slaves, and immigrants. Immigrants such as the raven-haired Adalia Winston. But Adalia has a secret: her light skin belies that she is part black and a runaway slave from Barbados. Skilled in herbal remedies, Adalia finds employment with a local doctor and settles into a quiet life, thankful for her freedom but still fearful that her owner will find her.

Born into one of Charleston’s prominent families, Morgan Rutledge is handsome, bored—and enamored of the beautiful Adalia, who spurns his advances. Morgan’s persistence, however, finally wins, and Adalia is swept into the glamorous world of Charleston high society.

But Adalia’s new life comes at a high price—that of denying her heritage and her zeal for God. How far is she willing to go to win the heart of the man she loves? And when her secret is revealed, will that love be enough, or will the truth ruin Morgan and send Adalia back into slavery?


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