Saturday, February 13, 2010

Welcome MaryLu Tyndall

Romance, it’s not for sissies!
By M.L. Tyndall

I’m a romance novelist, so you could say I spend a great deal of time thinking about romance! Fortunately for me, it’s a subject that fascinates me. I love to analyze relationships between men and women and figure out why some work and others don’t. I love to study the various roles each play in the relationship and the way our present culture has twisted them and changed them from what they were intended to be.

Do you know what I’ve discovered? Romance works best and is most enduring and exciting when men and women assume their God-given roles. Now, I’m not talking about keeping women home barefoot and pregnant while the men go out and work. I’m all for women having careers and getting equal pay for equal work. I’m all for women making themselves known in business, politics, and the arts. And I firmly believe God created men and women equal in all their rights. But let’s face it, He didn’t create us equal in our desires, temperaments, and needs.

Women want to be loved and cherished and taken care of. Men want to be admired, respected and depended upon. God made us fit together so perfectly! Why are we trying to change something that works so well? Why does the world want to make us equal in all respects? We aren’t. And personally, when we step outside of our roles, I believe it takes all the fun, all the romance, out of a relationship.

Who wants some wimpy, whiny man who’s so much in touch with his feelings that he seems more like a girlfriend than a husband? Who wants a man who falls apart during catastrophes, or one who cowers in the face of danger, or doesn’t work to support his family? I don’t know about you, but I want a man who’ll be stronger than me both emotionally and physically when hard times hit. Basically, I want a hero. And from the popularity of romance novels in our culture, I’d say most women agree.

Truthfully, there’s nothing more of a turnoff for me than a man who acts like a woman. And you can bet the same is true for men in regard to women acting like men. Men may respect a strong forceful woman, but you can bet if given a choice, they’d find the softer, more feminine, weaker woman far more attractive.

I suppose that’s why I love writing historicals. Times were simpler in days past. Men were men and women were women. Yes life was much harder and there were always bad guys, but what woman wouldn’t swoon with delight when her hero rides in on his black stallion, sword at his side, to rescue her from some imminent danger? Call me a hopeless romantic if you want. I guess that’s what I am.

If you spend some time examining some of the more popular romance novels today, you’ll see the men are strong, heroic, decisive. They rescue and care for their women. They cherish them and make them feel safe and loved. Take the popular series, Twilight, for instance. The hero is strong, sure of himself, powerful. Hey, he’s even immortal! He takes care of his lady. And although vampires are not my type, I can see why girls all over America are so infatuated with these stories.

In novels where the women are strong and heroic, the heroes are even more so. I’m not saying that women can’t be strong. Of course we can. Men don’t respect weakness anymore than we do. But be strong within the confines of your womanhood. When you’re with your husband or boyfriend, don’t take charge. Let him be the leader.

That’s just how it works. That’s how God created it to be. And it’s these differences between men and women that make the relationship so magical. It’s what makes romance so utterly divine.

Do you want to add some spark to your marriage, to your relationship on this special Valentine’s Day? Put on something feminine and lacy and let your man be a man. Let him protect you, kill the bugs, lift the heavy things, open the doors! Let him be the hero. And thank him for it. Depend on him, lean on him. I believe you’ll be surprised at his reaction. Never ever underestimate the power of femininity.

Charles Towne Belles series:

Book 1 - The Red Siren

Book 2 - The Blue Enchantress

Book 3 -  The Raven Saint


M.L. Tyndall, a Christy Award Finalist, and best-selling author of the Legacy of the King’s Pirates series is known for her adventurous historical romances filled with deep spiritual themes. She holds a degree in Math and worked as a software engineer for fifteen years before testing the waters as a writer. MaryLu currently writes full time and makes her home on the California coast with her husband, six kids, and four cats. Her passion is to write page-turning, romantic adventures that not only entertain but expose Christians to their full potential in Christ. For more information on MaryLu and her upcoming releases, please visit her website at   or her blog at


Anita Mae Draper said...

Good morning, MaryLu. I'm excited to see you here today. I've always loved a good swashbuckler whether in a book or a movie and your books do the trick for me. Your action scenes - especially between ship to ship fighting - are written in such detail I can feel and smell it as if I were there. Thank you for that experience.

In your post, you said, 'Who wants some wimpy, whiny man who’s so much in touch with his feelings that he seems more like a girlfriend than a husband?'

I love that! I do want my hubby to be sensitive to my every mood and tell me what he's feeling but not at the expense of losing his own masculine traits. Being a 'fraidy cat myself, I need to know I can rely on him in bad situations. Like when I hear a loud boom in the basement and guess it was the huge oil tank expanding but I'm too scared to check it out... so he goes. :)

Excellent post, MaryLu.

Vince said...

Hi MaryLu:

You might not be politically correct but I think you have the perfect philosophy for a romance writer. I love your picture. Is that a manuscript your arm is resting upon?

Women won’t buy wimpy heroes. This is nature’s way. Biologically men are expendable. It makes sense to let men take the biggest risks. A tribe that lost 80% of its men could repopulate in one generation. (Look what happened after WWI.) While a tribe that lost 80% of its women would probably never repopulate.

Men have to protect their females or their society collapses. Females who select men who are strong protectors make their societies more successful. God made Nature so I think we can safely say, this is God’s plan.

I do think ‘stronger’ and ‘weaker’ are loaded terms. In appraising there is the term “highest and best use” for when a property is used at its maximum potential. Sending a man to check a noise in the basement is just using him at his 'highest and best use'. It’s not that women are being weak; they’re just being smart.

I like to think of the man/woman situation as being like a jigsaw puzzle. If all the pieces were equal squares there would be no adhesion and the puzzle would not stick together as a whole. It wouldn’t make much sense as a puzzle. The key to success as a puzzle is being different while still fitting together. This provides adhesion and makes the puzzle a meaningful whole. I wouldn’t say one puzzle piece was weaker than another piece.

BTW, I love 19th Century naval stories. So my question to you is this: Have your read any books by, C. S. Forester, Patrick O’Brian, Alexander Kent, or Dewy Lambdin? They are favorite authors of mine.

Given all this, do you think I’d like your seagoing story? : )

Thanks, I’ve really enjoyed your post.


Helena said...

The man who swept me off my feet when I was in my twenties was definitely a take-charge kind of man, but he had a sensitive, caring nature. Perhaps I depended on him too much, as I found out when I was widowed and had to learn to look after everything (such as replacing or repairing faulty or worn out household items!), but it was a sharing relationship where we both had our strengths.

Times have definitely changed since I was young, and I sometimes think that young women make it harder for men to be the strong heroic person that those same women seek in romance novels. We can't have it both ways, ladies!

I should add that my husband had the utmost respect for women and their accomplishments. He was of European background and often told me that women there had greater status in many professions than they had (at the time) in North America. One of the keys to that, I think, is that men did not feel threatened by women in the professions or politics.

Welcome to the Prairie, MaryLu! I enjoyed your post, and based on it and Anita's enthusiasm for your books, would love to read your work as well.

MaryLu Tyndall said...

Thanks for having me here, Anita! I'm so glad you enjoy my books. And thank you Vince for your thoughtful response. I never considered the fact that biologically men were expendable! I don't think I'll mention that to my husband. LOL But I like your jigsaw puzzle anaology. Yes I have read quite a few books by Forester and Patrick O'brien. I also enjoy Frederick Marryat and Dudley Pope. But my favorite seafaring writer is Raphael Sabatini's Captain Blood! If you don't mind romance and a definite Christian theme, I think you'll find my books very adventurous and exciting.
Hi Helena, thanks for your comments. I agree that some women make it much harder for men to be men in this generation. That's why I wrote this post. Sounds like you had quite a guy in your twenties. It's rare to find a man who's both sensitive and macho.
Anyway, it's good to be here! Thanks everyone! And have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Anita Mae Draper said...

Well, I'm back from the city after a long day. Where is everyone today? Do you think it's because of the long weekend in Canada? Or is because everyone is watching the Olympics?

MaryLu, I love your website. The page on tall ships is a great resource when I'm reading your books and they sight a ship on the horizon. Or when they're in the middle of a battle and zipping around the deck.

The inclusion of Spyglass the cat in The Raven Saint is a very nice touch, especially the photo of him at the end.

Is there a 4th book in the series? About Charity?


MaryLu Tyndall said...

Hi Anita, welcome back! Yes, my poor Spyglass. She did indeed lose her eye to cancer about 3 years ago. Last year it came back and we had to put her down. She was a real treasure.
At this time, there is no 4th book about Charity but I get asked that alot, so I may have to work on that someday. :-) Thanks again for having me here!