Thursday, June 11, 2015

"The Reckoning" by MaryLu Tyndall

A book review of "The Reckoning" by MaryLu Tyndall

You know when you pick up a historical novel and you travel back in time? How you wish you were actually there? From the moment I had heard that MaryLu Tyndall had written a novel based on time travel back to the 17th century, I couldn't wait to read it. I mean, someone from the 21st century having to live in a time without electronics and modern medicine, surrounded by pirates and trying to absorb the culture. MaryLu didn't disappoint. A captivating read!

Morgan Shaw

She had it all. Rich parents, a good job, a handsome boyfriend. But did she really have it all? When she gets some devastating news that shakes all that she knows, she feels even more lost and alone than she ever had before. Dragged by her friend onto a pirate ship replica in San Diego harbor during a festival, she wanders to the depth of the ship to be alone, and suddenly finds herself transported back in time. Or is she? Morgan thinks her father has payed for an extravagant distraction, and is thoroughly convinced that everyone on the pirate ship is under her father's employ. Will something happen to her due to naivety, or will she find out that everything is real, and discover she has no way to return back home? Plagued by fears and anxiety, will Morgan ever learn to trust God the way she needs, and what will happen to this growing attraction to the devilishly handsome pirate that she seems to have no fears of?

Rowan Dutton

Rowan, having stolen a ship from his sister, has become a pirate and roams the seas looking for ships to plunder. Everything seems to be going perfectly, when he discovers a stowaway on his ship. Who is she and what is she doing on his ship? With a strange way of speaking, ridiculous male clothes, and speaking to a mysterious father in thin air, Rowan fears she is either crazy or possessed. No longer believing in the God who made him, his goal in life is to become rich, famous, and to eventually reconcile with his sister. As time goes on he begins to wonder if that will ever satisfy him. What is Rowan supposed to do with this mysterious woman, and what will happen when his womanizing ways catches up with him?

Morgan and Rowan. Two completely different people from two different worlds. One, a pirate and womanizer, and the other a software engineer who seems destined to fall for the wrong guys. Will Morgan learn to ever trust Rowan, and put her faith in God, and will Rowan ever learn to love one woman and to put aside his pride and reconcile with his family?

From the first moment I picked up the novel I felt a connection to Morgan. I mean, a distant father, a mother distracted by life and fears, the discovery of an illness that pushes all her fears to the forefront, and a penchant for dating all the wrong men. I loved how MaryLu Tyndall input all of her characteristics at the beginning. Some characters you slowly learn more about throughout the novel, but Morgan I felt I understood and got from the very beginning. I felt myself nodding or remembering times in my life when I felt the same as her, I may have even cried at one point in the novel. 

I never considered how difficult it would be to write a time travel book, but as I was reading the more fascinating I found it to be. MaryLu meshed the two worlds perfectly, catching everyone's confusion over the simplest of terms that we use today. Too often you read an historical fiction novel and the speech that you and I use today is the speech that they use, which bothers me because it makes it seem less real. Somehow MaryLu captured both modern language and 17th century lingo, meshing it so well that you truly felt you had been transported through time along with Miss Shaw.

A book of sacrifice, of courage, love and redemption. A book where you realize your dreams of living in the past may not be as easy as you always thought. Do you have the courage to step into a world of vicious pirates?  If you do, I recommend picking this phenomenal book up. Preorder today!

-- I received a copy of this book from the author and was asked for my honest opinion. I am under no obligation to give a good review of this book --

Saturday, November 29, 2014

"Tears of the Sea" by MaryLu Tyndall

A book review of "Tears of the Sea" by MaryLu Tyndall

Have any of you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a fantasy world? To be a mermaid or to have things like spells and curses a part of every day life? Well you have to wonder no more! MaryLu Tyndall once again created a master piece in which I was thoroughly impressed.

Perdita was cursed by an evil warlock Forwin to be a mermaid, wandering aimlessly, being alone for all eternity. The curse has a chance of being broken every 10 years, when Perdita becomes a human once again for one month. Her goal, to find a man who is willing to die for her. All she desires is to once again be a human, have a chance at love, family, and acceptance. Just when she is about to give up all hope, and once again attempt to rid herself of the never ending suffering she must live through, knowing she will never be loved, she sees a chance to make a difference in one mans life.

Savion Ryne
Having been deceived by a beautiful woman and kicked out of his father's kingdom to join in the battle against Nata, Savion has resolved to never again trust a woman. Savion's greatest desire is to once again impress his father and make him proud, bringing him back to live in Nevaeh. To do that he knows he must complete his mission of helping others, but when, where, and whom must he help? Savion gets tossed out to sea during a storm, and awakens mysteriously on a beach healed and having vague memories of a beautiful mermaid tending his wounds. Soon after, he meets a woman begging for protection, and he can't help but feel he has met her before.

Every moment Perdita spent on shore she spent trying to sell her beauty to men, trying to get them to pledge their love for her, promises that were never kept. These men slowly stole her joy, her will to live. After 300 years Perdita had given up the hope of ever being loved. After meeting Savion, a man unlike all others she had met before, she begins to question her tactics at making others fall in love with her. He seemed to be able to resist her beauty and all attempts she made to make him love her, therefore making her wonder if she had lost her ability at making others fall in love with her. She was soon to discover that love was not what she had expected, and nor was it something that she had ever experienced fully before.

I'm not going to lie, I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this book. MaryLu Tyndall is known for her gripping tales and incredible reads, but she has never before ventured into the realm of fantasy. And this is where I can tell you that I was thoroughly impressed.

From the moment I picked the book up I was unable to put it down. I know I have said this before, but I read the book in one sitting. Why? Because the characters were believable, the way they reacted to situations was realistic, and the feelings expressed were relatable. The struggle that Perdita went through, the feelings of unworth and abandonment are very real, and very present in our day and age. I couldn't help but feel drawn to what she was going through, to relate my relationships with the lives that she had lived. I couldn't help but compair the choices I had made in life with the choices Perdita made continually, and forever ending in her being abandoned by those who claimed to have loved her.

If you look deeper than the surface of this book you may find that there is a message of hope, a chance at redemption, and a sacrifice for love. This isn't a normal read, a normal book, or a normal message. I hope you take the time to pick up Tears of the Sea and learn about one man and one woman's struggle to find acceptance and to find love in a world that seemed so unforgiving and forsaken.

-- I received a copy of this book from the author and was asked for my honest opinion. I am under no obligation to give a good review of this book --

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Cinnamon Raisin Harvest Muffins

You know when you have that extra apple on the counter or in the fridge drawer that is just starting to get wrinkly and soft, and the thought of eating it is no longer appetizing? Well I had one of those on the counter this morning, and I figured out exactly what to do with it. I made this amazingly delicious muffins!

Cinnamon Raisin Harvest Muffins

2 c. almond flour (you can use any variation for this - I used 1/2 C brown rice, 1/2 C gf flour bend, and 1 C almond flour)
1 T. coconut flour
1 T. cinnamon
1 1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 t. baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 c. pure maple syrup
1/3 c. coconut milk
3 eggs
1/4 c. coconut oil (I had to melt mine)
1 peeled, cored apple - shredded
1 c. raisins

Note: I used an equal mix of coconut sugar and cinnamon to sprinkle on top of the muffins after baking.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with paper cups (yields 12 muffins)
2. Stir all the dry ingredients together in a bowl (except raisins)
3. In a larger bowl, mix together all wet ingredients. Shred the apple with a cheese grater and add to the wet ingredients.
4. Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients and blend well. Mix in the raisins.
5. Pour mixture into muffin pan and bake for 20-23 min (checking with a toothpick).
6. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cinnamon dry mixture while still warm. Cool before eating.
7. Keep refrigerated or frozen.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Grain Free Garlic Rosemary Flat Bread

So I was sitting at home... wondering what I should do, when I smelled supper baking in the crockpot. You see, my sister-in-law was making a roast, which got my brain a whirring. I searched Pinterest for a good 30 min before I found what I was looking for. Flat bread. Yup. This was my first attempt and I must say I was thoroughly pleased with it.

Grain Free Rosemary Garlic Flat bread (Paleo, nut free)

1 c.      Tapioca Flour
1/4 c.   Coconut flour, sifted (I had my doubts, but after doing this, I noticed it made a huge difference)
1/2 t.    unrefined sea salt
1/2 c.   full fat coconut milk
1/4 c.   ghee or coconut oil (I used coconut oil in my recipe, but next time I think I will use ghee... I found it tasted too coconuty for me)
1          egg, beaten
1 t.       finely chopped fresh rosemary (its autumn... I used dried)
1-2 t.    finely chopped garlic, depending on your love for garlic (I used a powder garlic, and I would use a little bit less next time. All of the brown on top, yup that's garlic. I went a little overboard)
olive oil & extra salt for garnish (I used a wild mushroom and sage infused olive oil.... oh my goodness delicious!)

1. Preheat oven to 450 F and place a pizza stone, cast iron skillet, or very thick pizza pan into oven to heat up.
2. Gently heat up coconut milk and ghee in small sauce pan until very warm but not boiling.
3. Combine tapioca flour, sifted coconut flour, and salt in a large bowl. Pour the coconut/ghee mixture on top. Mix until thoroughly combined. Allow to sit for a couple of minutes to cool and for the coconut flour to absorb. (I got impatient and put it in the fridge for a few minutes).
4. Add beaten egg and mix again until fully combined.
5. CAREFULLY remove hot stone/pan from the oven, cover with parchment paper, and pour mixture into the center. I used a spatula to spread the dough until it was about 1/4 inch thick. The previous recipe recommended that you could also prepare your flat bread on a cutting board lined with parchment paper and then carefully slide it onto your hot stone in the oven.) Sprinkle with rosemary and garlic.
6. Bake for 9-12 minutes, depending on how crispy you like it. Garnish with olive oil and sea salt. Enjoy!

I got this amazing recipe from this wonderful blog: 

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Apple Pie

Well it is almost fall.... depending on who you ask, and with the autumn season comes delicious baking that I am looking forwards to, apple pie being one of my favorites. So here goes. I just tried this recipe and I must say it turned out amazingly.


2 cups of King Arthur's Flour (I used the Perfect Flour Blend)
½ cup Palm Shortening (I used Virgin Pressed Coconut Oil)
1 egg ⅔ cup water
½ tsp salt (or season to taste)
2 tsp sugar or alt. sweetener for desserts if desired (or sweeten to taste) (I used Xyla sugar)

1. Mix together Gluten Free Flour along with optional Salt & Sugar
2. Add in Shortening (or butter), and mix until crumbly (I used my hands)
3. Add in Egg and mix until well incorporated - mixture will still be crumbly
4. Add Water by stirring in 1 TBSP at a time until dough holds together for rolling - better a little moist, then too dry.
5. Cut Mixture in Half and roll into 2 balls (one for each crust or topping). (I put the extra ball into the freezer until next time as I only have one pie pan)
6. Shape dough balls into disc with floured hands and place onto a sheet of floured parchment or wax paper.Cover with an additional sheet of parchment or wax paper. Roll crust out to slightly larger than your pie tin.
7. Remove top parchment/wax paper and Slip hand gently under the bottom paper to flip into pie tin... carefully peeling back the paper as you press it into the pan. Don't worry if it breaks apart a little, you can always press it together and it will look great!
8. Crimp edges of crust to make a decorative edge... or top with an additional crust layer after adding your pie filling.Pierce bottom slightly with fork (and slit top layer with knife to vent).
9. Pre-Bake for approx. 15 minutes at 425 degrees.
10. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before pouring in the apple filling.

Apple Filling
1 cup of water
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup of sugar (I used Xyla sugar and it actually tasted pretty good)
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
dash of salt
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup cornstarch (or if you do not have cornstarch you can use 1/3 cup of sifted flour adding slowly)
5 small Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled and chopped (I used golden delicious apples and I didn't peel them)

1. In a large saucepan combine all ingredients except vanilla and apples. Stir over medium-low heat until thickens (about 2 minutes), constantly stirring.
2. Add apples and vanilla and simmer on low about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into the pie crust.

Oatmeal Crumble
1/2 tsp baking powder
2/3 cups rolled oats (I used wheat free oats)
2/3 cups flour (I used Perfect Flour Blend by a company I can't remember)
1/3 cup brown sugar (I used Coconut Palm Sugar)
1. Using your hands, rub thoroughly through the dry ingredients

1 ½ cups butter, cut in small cubes (I used Soy Free Earth Balance)

2. Sprinkle the crumble evenly over the fruit filling. 
3. Bake at 375 degrees F for approximately 30 -40 minutes or until the crumble is evenly golden brown. (You may need to put aluminum foil over the edges to prevent the crust from burning) 
4. Allow the pie to cool to room temperature before cutting and serving. 

Feelin' the fall spirit
Not-So-Princess Lizzy

Saturday, August 23, 2014

"Abandoned Memories" by MaryLu Tyndall

A book review of "Abandoned Memories" by MaryLu Tyndall

The third book of MaryLu Tyndall's series "Escape to Paradise" won't disappoint with its incredibly gripping tale. Set in 1866, the newly settled colony of New Hope can't seem to catch a break with disasters striking from all sides, and old memories seeming to take form before their very eyes.

Angeline Moore
Although she seems like the epitome of a perfect lady, something dark and sinister remains hidden from sight. She is running from the past and from the law, and with New Hope being her last hope, Angeline is desperate to reshape who she is before her secrets are found out and she is once again an outcast. With Wiley Dodd's repulsive glances and strange visions from her past, Angeline's new life is threatened more than she thought possible. Will she be able to turn to God and allow His forgiveness to make her clean, or will she be forced to leave her new home behind and return to the filthy streets of her past.

James Callaway
A doctor, a preacher, a drunk? James is hoping to put his past behind him and become the spiritual leader of the colony, but with no other doctor around, he seems to be forced to fill a role that he no longer feels he can do, and his strange reactions to those situations is threatening the good opinions of those in the colony. James is determined to create a utopia in Brazil, an area without immorality that was on every street corner back home, and ruined his life, and he hopes to stay on the right track with Angeline Moore at his side; a refined woman. With the bizarre disasters that keep striking the colony, James is pushed to the limit to discover what spiritual forces are at work before it destroys them all. Will James be able to overcome his fear of doctoring, his fleshly weaknesses, and become the spiritual leader that he has failed to become before?

Angeline's opinion of James is uncertain, but James wants to change that. He doesn't understand her distrust of him, and why she keeps spurring his advances. When her secrets are threatened to be revealed; being the one thing that will turn James away from her once and for all, she resolves to never allow them to become involved, turning him away from her life forever.

Something is strangely amiss in New Hope, and is setting the colonists on edge: haunting visions, crypts with chains beneath an ancient temple, an archaic Hebrew book. With the murder of one of their own, the colonists begin to believe that they have been brought to Brazil to defeat an evil that is wreaking havoc on the colony and the place they have begun to call home. Are they right? Is there an ancient evil, that if released, will destroy the known world?


I read MaryLu's latest book in one sitting... literally! I sat down after supper and didn't put it down until I had finished. For some reason all of her novels have affected me this way, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Once again MaryLu has created an amazing read, full of biblical truths and worldly issues that is absent in Christian fiction today. Too often I put down the book, wondering if the main characters are followers of Christ, or they are just Church goers in our world. I want to be challenged in my faith, given an example of how to live, and given biblical examples to compare my life to. I want to read a novel that challenges me to read more of my bible than I do of novels, which is hard to find now-a-days.


Killer ants, mysterious wolves, flash floods, and visions seem the last of their worries when the colony is visited by pirates and the lives of those they love have suddenly been threatened with their lives. Definitely a book I recommend to read as you will have a hard time putting it down as you will find yourself relating to those in the book and  the struggles they face.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

"The Ransom" by MaryLu Tyndall

A book review of "The Ransom" by MaryLu Tyndall
Time travel may not exist, but MaryLu Tyndall has come close to accomplishing the impossible in her book "The Ransom." On page one you will find yourself taking a step into a tavern in Port Royal, 1692, and I guarantee you will be enthralled until the last page.
Juliana Dutton
Betrayed by her father's health and her brother's immaturity, Juliana is forced to try to run the family business in order to pay the bills. In a world where women are considered a wall flower, not capable of intelligent thought, Juliana struggles to hide her day to day activities, all while her brother is determined to spend all of her hard earned money at the gambling tables. To top it all off, she seems to have acquired an unwanted suitor who is threatening to uncover her secrets. There seems to be only one man who can help her, Lord Munthrope, someone she considers to be a buffoon, and she may be forced to accept his bizare engagement to stave off the rumors that being to encircle her life.
Alexander Hyde
Disenchanted with the world as his infamous father, Captain Edmund Merrick Hyde, one of the most feared pirates in Port Royal, raised him to believe in, Alexander steps away from the family faith and sets out to create his own destiny. The Pirate Earl is the man he becomes upon the Caribbean seas and in the dark alleys of Port Royal, but the pleasures no longer satisfy as they once did, and Alex becomes more desperate to find a way to stave off the emptiness lodged in his heart, all while battling an enemy from the past who threatens to take his life.
With an enemy out to destroy Alex and capture Juliana for himself, they both must struggle to overcome their fears and rely on the Divine while all seems to be lost. 
Take a step back into Port Royal, Jamaica in 1692, as MaryLu Tyndall once again weaves a tale that will leave you unable to walk away. Although I have never been to Jamaica, I felt as if I was there, visualizing the whole novel page by page.
MaryLu Tyndall creates a gripping story, and not just some feel good novel, but an accurate telling of what life was like in Jamaica in the 17th century. I am so tired of reading books that skim over the filthy, and sordid facts of the past. I must say I was impressed on the first page, when MaryLu threw her character into the brothels and proceeded to not skip over the lewd facts that permeated the docks of Port Royal in the 1600s.
Another thing that has impressed me with MaryLu Tyndall's writing is that although she has been pressured by the publishing companies to tone down the message of our salvation in Christ, she refused and has now branched out on her own, publishing her own books. Too many Christian books now-a-days have perhaps a paragraph worth of the Christian message, and MaryLu refused to be brow beaten into submission to what Satan's plans are for our world. An admirable feat to be sure.
I will conclude that if you are looking for a book filled with pirates, murk, mire, and mayhem, you have found the right book, and the right author. Go pick up one of her books at your local library, bookstore, or order online at amazon, barnes & noble, christian book store, or many other sites. You wont be disappointed!
Thoroughly emursed in the pirate world,
Not-So-Princess Lizzy