The Gilded Curse by Marilyn Turk

Posted by on Apr 22, 2016 | 12 comments

The Gilded Curse by Marilyn Turk

If you love history, romance, and suspense, you will love meeting my guest, Marilyn Turk and hearing about her debut novel, The Gilded Curse. We want to hear your comments! Please sign in on the Rafflecopter at the bottom for even more chances to win a signed, print copy of this intriguing book!



Fabulous Fridays

Welcome, Marilyn! Tell us something about yourself and how you started writing.

Although I graduated with a degree in Journalism, writing was not my goal – advertising was.  So I wrote advertising copy for a while, but it didn’t pay well, so I went into sales. I’ve always enjoyed reading devotionals because they kept me grounded when my world was crazy, so someday I wanted to write some too. I never dreamed of writing something as large as a book until I began attending writers’ conferences and hearing about writing books. It wasn’t until I became an empty-nester after raising my three sons that I had enough time and brain power to start writing, but when I became single and alone again, I felt God telling me it was time to start writing. Because I love researching local history, especially around the Civil War, an idea started forming with “What would it have been like to live here at that time?”

Your first book was devotional. Do your roots in devotional writing have a bearing on how you write fiction?

I suppose in a way they do because I want there to be a spiritual takeaway from the story, an “aha” moment for the reader through the protagonist’s eyes.

The Gilded Curse is historical fiction. What is your favorite period in history?

I answered this above, but I’ve always been interested in Civil War history. Living in the South all The Gilded Cursemy life has made me sensitive to the events that happened right where I live. What soldier walked through these woods? What civilian was impacted by the war going on around them?

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?

That’s hard to answer, but right now I think I’d like to visit George Washington. A lot has been written about him, but I’d like to talk to him face-to-face and find out what he was really like.

How did you research and create the setting for The Gilded Curse to transport your readers back in time?

I had been to Jekyll Island a few times before when I lived in Georgia and was always fascinated by the Millionaires’ Village and the Jekyll Island Hotel and the history behind them. About three years ago, my husband and I took a vacation to St. Simon’s Island and visited Jekyll Island again. That’s when I found out more about the history. So when the idea for the story came together, we visited the historical research department on the island and got some specifics about what things were like there during the 1930’s and 40’s. So the setting is real, some of the people mentioned were real, some of the historic events are real, but my main characters are fictional … or are they?

What was the greatest problem/challenge you faced in writing this book?

Making sure my details were as accurate as possible for the year of the story. When you read the history of something, sometimes the events are blended. However, it was important for me to know what was current as of 1942, because some things had changed on the island since the exclusive Millionaires’ Club was formed in the late 1800’s.

How did you weave a spiritual thread through The Gilded Curse without being preachy?

That was relatively easy. There’s a gothic style chapel on the island, and gargoyles can be pretty scary.

How do you hope to inspire your readers?

Lexie, my main character, has formed some of her beliefs about things because of what her mother believed – right or wrong. Lexie, like everyone else, must decide for herself what truth is.

What lessons has the Lord taught you through the writing and publication process?

He’s been trying to teach me patience a long time. I was in such a hurry to get published, but now I see how long the process is and why. He’s also encouraged me with enough success to keep me from giving up.

Please share a favorite passage from The Gilded Curse with us.

They’re watching us, you know.

Her heart jerked. But the voice she heard wasn’t audible. It was her grandfather’s voice from many years ago as they rode the club launch to the island.

Who’s watching, Grandfather?

Up there. In the tower.  He’d pointed to the clubhouse turret. They’re looking to see who’s arriving, so they’ll be ready to meet us at the dock.

Was anyone watching from the tower now? She squinted through the mist and tried to catch sight of someone up there, but the tower faded in and out of the fog like an apparition.

Book Blurb:

In 1942, Lexie Smithfield becomes heir to her family’s vacation home on Jekyll Island, and a mysterious telegram beckons her return. Ten years before, tragedies convinced her mother the island was cursed, and the home in the exclusive Millionaire’s Club was abandoned. Russell Thompson knows what really happened, but swore never to tell. Will Lexie discover the real danger before it’s too late?

About the author:

Marilyn TurkMarilyn Turk has been published in Guideposts magazine, Guideposts books—A Joyful Heart and A Cup of Christmas Cheer, The Upper Room, Clubhouse Jr. magazine, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and Lighthouse Digest magazine. Her Coastal Lights Legacy novels feature stories with lighthouse settings. She has also written a Lighthouse Devotions book. She writes about lighthouses and writing @ She lives in Florida with husband Chuck and enjoys boating, fishing, tennis, and gardening when she’s not climbing lighthouses or playing with her grandsons.

Connect with Marilyn:


Twitter: @Marilyn Turk

Book Links:


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I have loved reading about the Civil War era for a very long time now. I am very pro Union, but can also see the south’s side of the story, as far as state’s rights go. I have never, and will never, believe in one man owning another. Great interview and thanks for the giveaway. Good luck everyone.

    • Hi Debbie, What many people don’t realize is that the average white person in the South did not have have slaves. They were just poor farmers or shopkeepers. Only wealthy people had slaves, which was a low percentage of the population. Not that it was justified, though, and in my CW book, the slaves were freed, but many chose to remain. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Very interesting interview. Thank you for sharing. Your book sounds quite interesting and I would love to win a copy.

    • Thank you, Robin. Maybe you’ll win!

  3. Hi Marilyn,
    I’m really into the WWII era, so am curious why you chose to set your story at the beginning of the war. The mix of history and mystery are a draw for me, and I certainly hear you on the length of time involved in publication. Smile.

    • Hi. There are some very important reasons why I chose the first three months of 1942 because these months coincide with some actual historical events about the island, the club, the war and the eastern seaboard of the US. When you read it, you’ll understand why.:)

  4. This sounds great for a Summer read by the pool. I love to escape to a different time and era. Sounds like a fantastic journey. Thanks for the chance!

    • Thanks for your comment, Jennifer. That’s why I enjoy reading historical fiction.

  5. I like reading historical fiction. Looking forward to reading “The Gilded Curse”. I enjoy reading about how people lived in the world before us.

    • I do too, Dianne. Hope you enjoy my book!

  6. I’m most intrigued by the setting & I love the cover!!

    • Hi Carrie, glad you like the cover, and of course, I love the setting!

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