When I was trying to figure out what to blog about today, it was a toss-up between writing about the current coronavirus pandemic from a Christian perspective and escaping into my latest novel that will be released in ten days on March 31, 2020. Since there’s so much scary news out in real life, how about let’s take a free vacation to somewhere with sun, sand, and surf? After all, summer is coming soon.
As you might already know, many of my contemporary Christian romances are set in coastal cities, beach towns, and idyllic islands. I grew up on an island in the sun, and while I have been living in a landlocked metropolitan city for a few decades now, I still think of beaches with much nostalgia.
So I thought, hey, why don’t I interview some of the supporting cast members of my latest novel? Feel free to comment on your favorite supporting casts in your favorite contemporary Christian romance books. A randomly drawn commenter will win an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this novel.
LOOK FOR ME is the fourth novel in my Vacation Sweethearts series, where my characters travel to the beaches and mountains in the Western Hemisphere, and find love in unexpected places. In this novel, however, Martin MacFarland already knows who the love of his life is. He just has to find her again. Having ghosted him four years ago, Corinne Anderson cannot imagine Martin taking her back, after what she has done: keeping very bad company, getting pregnant twice, and now running for her life.
I am going to save my main characters, Martin and Corinne, for the novel itself, which I hope you’ll be able to read (it’ll be in Kindle Unlimited) when it’s released.
Today, I would like to introduce you to some of the supporting cast populating this story. There are a number of characters with speaking parts in the novel, but I just want to highlight several people and interview them briefly to get their thoughts on the main characters.
I’m going to play the part of the interviewer, and I’ll ask these characters some questions and see what they have to say. Let’s get started.
Little Dahlia is only three years old, but she has gone through a lot. Her mother, Corinne, is very protective of her, but since she has to work during the day, Dahlia is left with the landlady, who babysits her when she’s not in preschool at church.
Interviewer Jan: Tell me a little bit about your mommy. What is she like?
Dahlia: Mommy has long hair and she always smiles even when she has a boo-boo.
Interviewer Jan: She has a boo-boo?
Dahlia: Mommy has a very hard life. That’s a big boo-boo.
Interviewer Jan: I heard you had a boo-boo too?
Dahlia: Yeah. Some ants bit me. Mommy took me to the doctor and made me all better now.
Interviewer Jan: Your mommy must love you very much.
Dahlia: Of course! She brings me chocolate, but not everyday. Mommy still loves me even when I don’t get chocolate all the time.
Speaking of church, Corinne takes Dahlia to a little church by the beach, where Pastor Butler sometimes preaches outdoors when there’s not enough room for everyone in their small building. They would take chairs outside, and sometimes people stand around to hear his sermon.
Interviewer Jan: Pastor, what do you know about Corinne Anderson and her daughter?
Pastor Butler: To be honest, they just appeared out of nowhere about a year ago. Scared and tired and all.
Interviewer Jan: Nice of you and your wife to make them feel welcomed in town.
Pastor Butler: People from all walks of life and different pasts come to town and visit our church. Some of them, like Corinne, get saved at church.
Interviewer Jan: Praise the Lord!
Pastor Butler: Credit needs to be given to God, first and foremost, for saving Corinne when she was at the bottom of her life. God brought Corinne to Wanda, who rented a room to the mother and daughter, invited them to church, and then led Corinne to the Lord.
Pete and Angelina
Two of the church members who love to help people are retirees Pete and Angelina. Pete likes classic cars, and he hits it off right away with Martin. Angelina is busy with her prayer meeting today, so she is not available for any interview. Pete says he can fill in the blanks, so we shall see if he does.
Interviewer Jan: Why do they call you Old Man Pete?
Pete: Ah, you’ll have to read the novel to find out. I’m not going to tell you, but let’s just say it has nothing to do with my age. You’ll find the answer in the same chapter as that hymn we sang in church on the day I met Martin, “This is My Father’s World.”
Interviewer Jan: Speaking of Martin, what was your first impression of him?
Pete: He showed up at church on Sunday, just like that. Somehow he figured out I work on old cars. His father does too, so we hit it off right away. He seems to have a history with Dinah–I mean Corinne.
Interviewer Jan: Tell me more about Angelina. What does she do when she’s not helping with the prayer group at church?
Pete: She’s always praying, but she cooks after church for us sometimes. You’re thinking there’s more, and you might be right. But I can’t tell you or she might kill me.
This secondary character is hard to reach. In fact, Interviewer Jan had to go through many layers of security at an undisclosed location that she almost gave up on getting an interview. Her impression of Flavian is that he is a complex man, and yet Corinne has a soft spot for her ex-boyfriend. Few people can see what she sees in him.
Interviewer Jan: When was the last time you saw Corinne?
Flavian: Corinne? Who’s she? I only know Gail. And my daughter, Dahlia. Have you seen her? I missed her last birthday. I’m not happy.
Interviewer Jan: Please don’t point that dagger at me. I’m just the interviewer.
Flavian: This? It’s nothing. I peel apples with it. Do you want me to show you something that can really hurt? No? Okay. Anyway, do you know where Gail is?
Interviewer Jan: Maybe you should go to the police and ask them?
Flavian: The police? Are you kidding? They’re looking for me. I’ll find Gail myself. You can leave now. And don’t come back!
In Key Largo, Corinne works in a chocolate shop. Do you like chocolates? Even though Corinne buys chocolate for her daughter, she herself tries to exercise it off by walking home as much as possible every day. There are several other people working in the shop with her, but we’re out of time for more interviews.
Beyond the people who work in the chocolate shop, there’s a private investigator, and there’s also an FBI agent. That’s all I’ll say about those two. They refused to be interviewed so we won’t talk about them. In fact, Interviewer Jan couldn’t get a proper photograph of one of them. This is what the PI sent, which looks like a generic stock photo from somewhere, you know? Clearly, the PI is hiding behind that hat and does not want to show her face for some reason. As for the FBI agent, she is on assignment and can’t be reached.
And then there are other people in the novel from previous books in the same series: Martin’s dad and his stepmother, plus Martin’s sister, Tina, and her husband, Byron Moss.
Do you like to read books with a big cast of supporting characters? Do comment for a chance to win one eARC for LOOK FOR ME. This giveaway ends on Tuesday, March 24, 2020.
Thinking of the beach,