11 March 2013

MaryLu Tyndall--A Vow Fulfilled Chaper One in Serial

A Vow Fulfilled
This begins the serial anthology of "A Vow Fulfilled" which is set in South Carolina in 1800.  Contributors are: MaryLu, Roseanna White, Debbie Lynne Costello, Gina Welborn, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Patty Smith Hall, and Laurie Alice Eakes.

A VOW FULFILLED
Chapter One
1800, South Carolina


“Isn’t that Gregory, your fiancé?”

Celia Sheldon followed the direction of her friend’s outstretched arm to see Mr. Gregory Owens, III, only son of the largest and most successful merchant in all of Charleston, strutting down East Bay street in all his ostentatious glory.

“He is no longer my fiancé, Mabel,” Celia said even as Gregory’s blue eyes latched upon hers from across the street. They turned to ice.

 “Stop it, Celia. You do taunt me so.” Smiling, Mabel gathered the packages from their afternoon shopping venture closer to her chest, but her eyes remained riveted upon Gregory and his friend sauntering down the street. Celia couldn’t blame her. How could any woman pull her gaze from such a fine figure of a man? He filled out every inch of his brown silk-embroidered tail coat, white breeches, stockings and black boots. Even the red plume atop his cocked hat seem to swoon at his magnificence.

“I’m not teasing you. I called off our engagement last night.”

Mabel stopped her.  “I don’t understand. Why would you do such a thing? He’s absolutely perfect.”

Celia raised a brow. “That’s the problem, Mabel. He’s too perfect.” Shifting her gaze from the look of shock on her friend’s face, Celia took one last look at Gregory.

“How can someone be too perfect?” Mabel asked.

Gregory’s strong jaw quirked slightly as he leaned to say something to his friend walking beside him. The man grimaced, looked her way, and the two of them shared a laugh. Celia’s insides stormed. They scoffed her! But he had not scoffed her last night. No, at first he had begged her most ardently to reconsider. That was before a mixture of outrage and indignation twisted his handsome features and he stormed out the door of her plantation home.

Tearing her gaze from him, Celia swerved about and pretended to admire the hats displayed in the front window of the millinery. She hadn’t meant to hurt him. But now his pompous display only caused her fury to rise. His reflection strutted across the glass of the shop, finally disappearing to the right, leaving Celia staring at her own likeness. Pale blond hair hung in ringlets to her shoulders beneath her lace-trimmed bonnet. Her gown of gold linen made her skin glow—her mother had said—but all Celia saw was an outward beauty she did not feel within. What was it her cousin had called her that morning? A cruel coquette, a tease.

Mabel eased beside her. “Gregory is wealthy, intelligent, courteous, romantic, chivalrous and he adores you.”

“Precisely. That I fail to find a fault in him makes me suspicious.” Clutching her friend’s arm, Celia proceeded down the street, past a warehouse and a row of wharfs, before turning down Market Street. Bells rang and the briny scent of the bay drifted over her, twirling her hair and cooling the perspiration on her neck. She glanced at the sun floating atop the horizon in the west. 

“Then what was wrong with Jonathan, your last fiancé?” Mabel asked.

“He snorted when he laughed.”

“And Milton before him?”

“A milksop at the whim of an overbearing mother.”

“And Thomas?”

“He smelled bad.”

“Allen?”

“Oh bother, I’d forgotten about him.” Celia wove through the throngs of people strolling down Market Street. “Have I been engaged that many times?” She sighed. “Well I suppose I was too young when I agreed to marry Allen.” Celia bit her lip. She hadn’t meant to break all those men’s hearts. She hadn’t meant to go back on her word. Truthfully, she had no idea what was wrong with her.

“But you are all of two and twenty now, Celia. You cannot hold out forever.”

Celia knew her friend was right. Celia’s father had made that plain last night when he’d heard what she had done.

“You ungrateful, spoiled girl!” he had yelled, his face mottled red. “Gregory’s father and I had an agreement, and now you have dishonored our family.”

“I do not want to be part of any agreement, Father,” Celia had retorted. “I’m not ready to marry yet.”

Or ever, if she had her way. She’d watched her father rule over her mother for years, ordering her about like one of the slaves and then ignoring her the rest of the time. Yet, Celia’s sweet-hearted mother endured it all with humility and grace.

Two qualities Celia did not possess.

She would rather work on the docks than serve at the whim of a swaggering, petulant bully.  

“I bet your father was beyond furious.” Mabel said as if reading Celia’s mind.

“Indeed. Since I am an only child, he demands a grandson to take over the plantation. That’s all I am to him, a means to extend the family business.”

Mabel sighed as they turned the corner at Church Street. The rattle of carriage wheels and clomp of horse’s hooves joined the cacophony of voices filling the air. A late afternoon breeze coming from the bay pushed aside the muggy air, offering a reprieve from the hot summer day. “I’m sure he loves you, Celia, but you know how men with great possessions and power can behave at times.”

“I do. And that’s why I want no part of any man with wealth or position.” Celia said as a gentleman passed, tipping his hat their way. “I’ve been courted by nearly all of the eligible bachelors in Charleston and none of them are suitable.”

“Good thing you did not meet Miles before I did, or you would have snatched him up and I’d be the one fast becoming a spinster.”

“Miles is a good man.” Celia agreed. Although he was too short and persnickety for Celia, though she’d never tell Mabel that.

“No one is perfect. Marriage is never quite what we hope.”

“You are right, of course.” Celia huffed. “What does it matter who I choose as husband? All men are alike. I have found none who stir my heart—none who I trust to not rule over me after the vows are made.”

“Perhaps you should pray and ask God to send you the man perfect for you.”

“I have prayed. That’s when Gregory came courting.”

Mabel’s lips twisted as they stopped to cross onto Pinckney Street. “Then perhaps you should reconsider your decision.”

Grabbing Mabel’s arm, Celia darted between a carriage and a horse and rider. “I know what I will do,” she said. “I shall make a vow. The next man who says to me”—she searched for a phrase that was not too common but not too uncommon—“by your leave, that is the man I shall marry.”

“Don’t be a goose, Celia. That is silly.”

“No.” Celia lifted her chin. “It’s the only way I will ever marry. As you are my witness, I pledge before God.”

Horror crossed Mabel’s brown eyes. “You shouldn’t say such things, Celia.”

Celia shrugged. “What difference does it make? I must marry soon or who knows what father will do.”

They halted before Mabel’s quaint two story home, before which stood Celia’s footman and carriage.

“I won’t hear of such nonsense.” Mabel shook her head then faced Celia. “Do say you’ll come in for iced tea?”

Celia glanced up at the sun now spreading farewell ribbons of maroon and saffron over the western sky.  “I should get home. Mother will be worried.”

“Very well.” Mabel kissed Celia on the cheek, clutched her packages in one hand, her skirts in the other, and headed toward her front door.

Turning, Celia allowed Wilson to assist her into the carriage.

As the blur of buildings outside the window gave way to open fields, Celia pondered her promise to God. Foolish as it seemed, it nestled into her heart, soothing away her anxious thoughts for her future. Let God decide who she would marry. She was done with choosing.

Settling back into the leather seat, she allowed the evening breeze tainted with wildflowers and earth to waft over her as they entered a small stretch of forest before they would emerge onto the beginning of the immense Sheldon cotton plantation.

Someone shouted. The horse neighed and the carriage jerked to a sudden stop, nearly sending Celia toppling to the floor. With a huff, she leaned her head out the window to see what the problem was, but the moss-laden trees and dense shrubbery cast the area in darkness.

The carriage jostled. A man’s angry voice split the evening sky. Wilson shouted something. Then he moaned. A thud sounded. His body fell onto the dirt beside the front wheel.

Celia’s heart thumped against her ribs. Her blood ran cold. She had no idea who had struck her footman and for what reason. Sliding across the seat, she opened the opposite door. Perhaps she could dash into the forest and hide behind a bush before the ambusher knew she was here. She turned the knob ever so slowly then opened the door and lowered herself to the wooden step.

A man cornered the carriage and halted before her. He cocked his head and gazed at her curiously as if surprised to find her there. Hair as dark as coal hung to the tip of his white shirt that flapped in the breeze above a tightly banded chest. His dark eyes narrowed upon her even as a smile played upon his lips. “I wouldn’t move if I were you.”

A plethora of horrible scenarios played across Celia’s mind. Her legs wobbled. “Who are you, sir, and what do you want?”

“Turner Cane at your service, miss.” His eyes flashed their approval as they scanned her.

“You hurt my footman.”

“A necessary evil.” He grinned. “He will live.”

Celia swallowed. “I carry no money on me.”

“Indeed?” He scratched his stubbled jaw. “What do you carry?”

“Nothing that would interest you.”  She teetered on the step and nearly slipped. The last thing she wished was to tumble to the ground, petticoats in the air, before this ruffian.

“Please allow me to step to the ground, sir.”

He withdrew his hat and waved it before him in a mock bow. “By your leave.”

Contributed by MaryLu Tyndall, Author of Veil of Pearls, http://www.marylultyndall.com



A Vow Fulfilled Serial Schedule

   Blog                             Serial section author
3/11         Carrie Fancett Pagels OWG      MaryLu Tyndall
3/12         Laurie Alice Eakes        Roseanna White
3/13         MaryLu Tyndall             Debbie Lynne Costello
3/14         Patty Smith Hall    Gina Welborn
3/15         Roseanna  White       Carrie Fancett Pagels
3/18         Gina Welborn                 Patty Smith Hall
3/19         Debbie Lynne Costello Laurie Alice Eakes

Check this previous OWG link for all the great prizes: click here


Giveaway: We are giving away an extra copy of any one of MaryLu's releases including her latest, "Forsaken Dreams", which will also be reviewed this week!  So there are TWO opportunities to win MaryLu's books here this week. Plus, do the blog hop and you might be the winner of extra prizes or even the Grand Prize!!!  Blessings!


125 comments:

  1. Already hooked! Looking forward to the rest of the story!

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    1. Thanks for coming by, SANDY--please leave your email if you come back!

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  3. Can't wait for the rest of the story.

    Katie J.
    johnsonk133[at]yahoo[dot]com

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    1. I hope you will love it, KATIE!!! Have a blessed evening!

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  4. MARYLU This is wonderful, can't wait for tomorrow. :)

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  5. lol. That is great! Can't wait for the rest.

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    1. If u come back, leave your email--you don't want to miss out on the big giveaway package!

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  6. Love it already! Imagine her shock when he said those words!

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    1. MaryLu is so good, NANCY! Need your email btw!

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  7. This is so good! :) I love Marylu Tyndall's books and can't wait to read her new one!

    brpchristiangirl@charter.net

    Bianca

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    1. What a lovely name u have, BIANCA! Me, too!

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    2. My email is brpchristiangirl@charter.net

      Thank you Carrie. I appreciate it! :)

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  8. How dare you leave me hanging like that! Hahaha...something that you are very good at. Great start to this serial.
    Have a blessed week, me Cap'n and God bless!

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    1. haha Debbie--we love you, isn't ML great!!!

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    2. Yes, Carrie she is! Love and hugs!

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    3. Oh, and your grand prize is making me drool....

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  9. Monday, March 11th ...
    Hey there MaryLu.
    Oh my goodness .... loved what I've read so far ... and I definitely want to read more !!! Sounds terrific !
    Brenda Hurley brennie7@hotmail.com

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  10. Can't wait for the next chapter! I want to know what is going to happen next!! Sent shivers throughout myself in the attack to what might happen now to Celia!!

    In Christ,
    Tracy

    Blog: http://poetics-of-life.blogspot.com/

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  11. I am on board----I love these serials written by various authors! This one promises to be a great one! Blessings! Darlene
    spangldlady[at]gmail[dot]com

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  12. Aaaggghhhh, you teaser! I am hooked! This will definitely be a great read!

    sherrinda (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. SHERRINDA, so fun to get an opp to write with this bunch. Can't believe two years have passed since we did this! ML is a tough act for the rest of us to follow!

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  13. What a fun opening to this serial! Thanks, Carrie, for hosting MaryLu's excerpt.

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    1. Glad to start off this great serial, GINA! Blessings!

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  14. I've only read one of her books, but I really enjoyed it! I was wondering if this giveaway is for an actual copy or could be an ebook as well. Thanks for the shot!

    Emreilly303(At)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi Emma.. I believe the book giveaway is either an e-book or a paperback, your choice! Thanks for coming by...

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  15. Oh this is going to be great fun! I'd love to be in the drawing for MaryLu's book, as well.

    I salute you all and congratulate the one who came up with this idea.

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    1. LAURIE ALICE came up with this I believe, DEB! U will be in the drawing!!!

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    2. Hi Debra! Great to see you here. :-)

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  16. Hi Ladies!!! I'm so glad you enjoyed Chapter 1 !!! I was thrilled to be included in this serial story.. especially with such fabulous authors! I guarantee you're going to love this story! Also there is a GREAT grand prize with lots of fun stuff, books, jewelry, a Charleston Cook book, quill pen.. and I forget what else! But every time you comment on each of the chapters, your name is entered! God Bless!!

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    1. I would just like to say that you are one tough act to follow, MaryLu! =) I distinctly recall that, when you sent this to me many moons ago, I had to sit and stare for a loooooooong time, trying to figure out how to maintain the adventure that I so adore in your writing. =) You sure know how to start us off with a bang!

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    2. Ah.. you're sweet to say that, Roseanna!! But you did a stellar job!! It was easier for me to start a story than try to follow someone else's. I'm impressed with everyone's chapters!

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  17. Ooh, TERESA, a rogue! Not a pirate, but a handsome rogue nonetheless! What a tease you are, MaryLu Tyndall!

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    1. The word pirate is covered up above...ack!

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    2. DIANA a handsome rouge is the next best thing to a pirate I suppose. ;)

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    3. Indeed, and he may be a pirate for all we know, TERESA!

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    4. Hey OWG gals, I can't believe I wrote on this serial with ML and the gang before I met you two!!! Time flies with angels!!!

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    5. Pirate or rogue.. you have to keep reading to find out, ladies. (wink)!

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    6. I say Pirate!!! You ladies are cracking me up with your comments!!

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  18. So fun, what a great idea, looking forward to the other chapters!

    I'm in the middle of one of MatyLu's earlier books right now, and would love to read her newest.

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  19. Oh wow,sounds fantastic....can't wait to read the book! Please count me in! Thanks.
    jackie.smith[at]dishmail[dot]net

    Jackie Smith

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  20. I have to agree with MaryLu AND Roseanna!

    MaryLu set the bar high here!

    But taking a story that's already been started is a challenge. Which makes it all the more fun for the rest of us.

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    1. I agree.. I think the writers who had to play off someone else's story had the harder task!

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  21. What a great beginning and story.
    Curious to see how continues.

    arieljo12(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi J. Grace.. ! Thanks for coming by! Glad you liked Chapter 1. :-)

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  22. Thank you!

    Well kudos to Laurie Alice!

    debraemarvin (at ) yahoooooo

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  23. This is going to be fun. I look forward to it. Thanks to all of you girls! I would love to win Marylu's book Forsaken Dreams. So far, I have failed to be successful. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

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    1. Hi Maxie! I know.. I see your name popping up everywhere.. I'm so sorry you haven't won yet. :-( Maybe this time is your lucky time!

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    2. Here I am again. Forgot to say I am a follower. CQ
      Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

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  24. Oh my! Will Celia renounce her pledge after meeting Turner?! Great beginning, MaryLu :)

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  25. What a fun story! I can hardly wait to read the rest of it.

    pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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  26. I love this chapter! I'm excited to read more...it looks great!
    hbroadwayphann(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Don't forget to click on the link tomorrow for Chapter 2... There'll be more chances to win the Grand prize!

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  27. We have MaryLu's books in the Church Library. I would love to win her books for my personal library.
    Thanks for the opportunity to do so.
    Janet E.
    von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks, Janet, for carrying my books in the church library! I hope you win this one for your collection! :-)

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  28. MaryLu loved this chapter. Can't wait to read more . Love your books.
    Elizabeth Dent
    lizd225@gmail.com

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  30. What a fun beginning! Looking forward to reading how the others built on your rich foundation.

    dsks88 at gmail dot com

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  31. Can't wait to read the rest!
    michelle(hyphen)stockton(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

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  32. What a fabulous read here today thank you.

    OWG

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  33. Ohh! I knew she was going to hear that ill-fated phrase her friend warned her not to proclaim as "the phrase" to know of whom God wishes her to marry!! Serves her right! :) Laughs. What a pleasure it is to read a slice of Ms. Tyndall's writings, as I haven't yet had the proper chance to procure a copy of Forshaken Dreams by way of a bookaway OR up until Saturday, hadn't revised my final draft of ILLs!! Laughs. {mind you, ILLs are 'interlibrary loans'}

    Your serial project reminds me of how writers used to get their stories read, and I couldn't be more delighted to be a part of this exciting tale! I nearly dream of wharfs and buoys and salt air each time I dip into the dreamscapes, my heart longs to live towards a Northernly seaport! :) Ooh, wouldn't it be delightful!? A fully functioning harbour, with fishmongers, sailers, and barges all interchanging their brief stays whilst they pull in to shore!?

    Rogues and rebels are two of my favourite characters to run across in romances!! Cheers!!

    Consider me entered and entertained! :)
    What is the grand prize!? A collection of books, I dare hope!?

    inkand-blogaways(at)usa.net
    a new RSS feed subscriber too! :)
    //Florida

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    1. Jorie, are we sisters? LOL Because the way you described your love seaports and rogues... I do believe we must be related!! Thanks for stopping by... MaryLu

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  34. Loved it! What a great start to the story! I can't wait to read more!

    mandyerog(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  35. Love, love, love this chapter MaryLu!! You've sucked me in... but then you have such a way with words, you could suck me in with your shopping list!! ;) Looking forward to chapter 2!

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    1. Waving at Noela!!! Thanks, but honestly, my shopping list is pretty BORING! :-)

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    2. Waving back MaryLu, and blowing you a kiss!! :)

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  36. So ready for the next chapter!!!! Loved it!

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  37. PS: My email is southernbelle75@hotmail.com
    Thanks! :)

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  38. How funny! Excited to read more.
    rttl@mosquitonet.com

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  39. I enjoyed this 1st chapter and look forward to reading more! MaryLu did a GREAT job of grabbing our attention, drawing us in, and leaving us wanting more. Please add me to the drawing.
    Vicki
    vmarney(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. I appreciate your kind words, Vicki!! Enjoy the rest of the story!

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  40. WOW!! Love it already!! :)

    e-mail is ~ heavenlyflower7@ymail.com

    Lani

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  41. I loved Veil of Pearls!! Would love to win Forsaken Dreams!

    marissamehresman(at)aol(dot)com

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  42. Okay, what a fun idea! MaryLu, you did a superb job! I wanted to keep reading..lol. This is just great...I cannot wait to read the rest. Please do not enter me in the drawing as I have Forsaken Dreams and all of MaryLu's Books. She is a wonderful author....I just had to join the fun! God bless

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    1. Johnette, thanks so much for coming by!!! It is like getting some MaryLu candy isn't it, lol?

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  43. I'm so glad I don't have to wait longer than a day to read the next chapter in your serial!

    Book book book - have to have MaryLu's next book!

    missionwife@hotmail.com

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  44. Another wonderful serial! I love it!
    may_dayzee (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  45. MaryLu! I was sure I left a comment and here I didn't! I knew when you started the story it was going to be a fun one to continue. You made the characters come alive and so easy to continue their story.

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  46. This is so much fun! I'm back tracking because I missed day one and two and now I can't wait for tomorrow!
    sarpenner(at)gmail(dot)com

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  47. What a neat idea! Can't wait for each part to come out.

    amberthereader@juno.com

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  48. Oh my, Mary Lu, you've got me hooked!

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  49. This story has me hooked!!!! I can't wait to read what is next...the very last part made me laugh lol

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  50. I will enjoy reading this each day. Thank you.

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  51. Oh my gosh - I am just sitting here smiling...lol I started a few days late, but am looking forward to catching up as soon as I can!

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  52. Oh wow!! Love it! I can't wait for more! I started a few days late too, but that turned out to be a good thing, as I can read more of it today!
    Callie
    genuinegagirl(At) gmail (dot) com

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  53. Loved this chapter - love Charleston & books set in the south. Thanks for the opportunity to enter the giveaway.

    bonnieroof60@yahoo.com

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  54. I am enjoying this story so far....
    Helen
    hmmbailey@live.ca

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  55. Okay, that was awesome. Amazing set up. I'm hooked. By the way, Mary Lu, I don't know if I ever told you how much I loved Veil of Pearls :) It made my favorite list for 2012.

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  56. I love it when I am hookd byt he first chapter...great story


    truckredford {at} gmail (dot) com

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  57. Oh my! What characters! Loving it. Please enter me and I'm reading on, and on, and on.....

    godleyv [at]yahoo{dot}com

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  58. Wow, I'm liking it already!
    Jasmine A.
    montanamade(at)gmail(dot)com

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  59. Celia Cane! I should have known, looking out over that sea! You've given us the end before the beginning ~ and a seafaring man at that.
    I'm on to the next chapter! WhooHooo!
    Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House
    lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

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  60. So good. I'm jumping immediately to the next chapter.

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  61. This is such a neat idea... And I am loving the story so far :)
    Lisa
    deiselbuffs@yahoo.ca

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  62. Hi Carrie and Diana long time since I saw either one of you. This first chapter is fantastic. It's so good I've got to continue on right now. I love it MaryLu. I know this is going to be a bestseller. I can't wait to read Veil of Pearls but its going to be awhile as far as money wise.

    Please enter me in contest and good luck everyone.

    Mary Duff
    missniceguy@hotmail.com

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  63. MaryLu your writing NEVER fails to HOOK me right away! I have never read another author that has that effect on me! You were the RIGHT choice to get us started!!

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  64. Oh no, she's in hot water now. I'll have to read the next chapter to find out what happens next.

    (mylab1122) at (gmail) dot (com)

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  65. LOVE IT!! MaryLu, even in such a short space you've captured my attention and made me want a whole novel! :)

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  66. Lady DragonKeeperMarch 18, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    Ah, what a way to end the chapter! Famous last words ... =) I can't wait to read the rest!

    jafuchi7[at]hawaii[dot]edu

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  67. Great! It's rather humorous that the next man to say "by your leave" is this ruffian:-)

    aizess@christianbookreviewblog.com

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  68. I have looked all over the place for chapter 7 and have not been able to find it any where. I need my last chapter?!?
    Can anyone help me find the last chapter my email is hmmbailey@live.ca
    Thanks...

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  69. it looks like i'm not the only one late to the party. Well, actually, i don't really care for installment type stories, so thought i'd read them all together.

    mitziUNDERSCOREwanhamATyahooDOTcom

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  70. Actually, i'm really glad i did just start today! i'm hooked, and would have been too impatient to wait for the next chapter to come the next day!

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  71. Yes, i actually do often read a book in one sitting!

    mitziUNDERSCOREwanhamATyahooDOTcom

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  74. This is one of my favorite genres! I love the main character already...she'll learn a few life lessons, I'm sure!

    jrourke@smokyvalley.org

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