Author Spotlight on Marji Laine: Port of Call, St. Maarten with Mercy Lacewell
Today’s guest is Marji Laine, the author who penned The Love Boat Bachelor’s last heroine, Mercy Lacewell and took our readers to St. Maarten. Marji is a homeschooling mom of two teenage girls, with two other graduates. She’s currently helping her oldest daughter prepare to move away to college and assisting with her son’s upcoming wedding. Though she loves collaborating over a heart-warming romance, her first love is romantic suspense or mystery. Her favorite things include laughing with family, singing harmonies, teaching high school writing classes, working with elementary-aged children, watching NASCAR, playing with her dog, and writing about the insurmountable adoration that the Father has for His people.
You can enjoy other author spotlights and the interviews with the heroines: Jerusha Agen, the author who started all the fun by putting Brent Teague on the ship, Julie Arduini and her heroine, Nora Laing, Betty Thomason Owens and her heroine Eliana Grayson, Joan Deneve and her heroine, Renee Kessler, Elizabeth Noyes and her heroine Alyssa LaRoche, Theresa Anderson and her heroine Sadie Graham, and Fay Lamb and her heroine Lacy Dickinson.
Here’s what Marji had to say about the creation of her heroine, Mercy Lacewell.
I have to tell you, Mercy is a character close to my heart. But she actually formed in my head from Brent’s issues. The Brent family history we were given mentioned his father had abused his mother and him. He carried bitterness because of that.
That ignited a memory of my own. Don’t get me wrong; I had a great daddy with no hint of abuse, but I didn’t know him very well at all until we became good friends after my second child was born.
I was brought up in a divorced family. I can’t use the typical term of “broken” because we weren’t. The Lord put a hedge around my brother and me, instilling a love for Him at an early age and protecting that budding faith.
Yet I grew up, from about the age of four, without a father in my home, though he tried to be involved in our lives as he could. As a result of his absence, I had no firm concept of the term father. Even when it came to the Heavenly One. That is, until I saw the relationship between my would-be hubby and his dad. They would talk for hours and enjoy their time together. My father-in-law was my hubby’s best friend (before I came along) and his best man at our wedding.
Seeing their example showed me the depth of the Father’s adoration for me. I had an epiphany about Him soon after hubby and I grew serious about each other and I started spending more time with his folks.
Mercy, as a grateful daughter taking care of her aging dad provided that same realization for Brent. He echoed the thoughts I’d had. “The relationship you have with your dad reminds me of the one I have with the Heavenly Father. Just like Him, your dad offers his best guidance and highest praise for his child.”
I guess you could say that I built Mercy out of Brent’s needs, and not so much out of his wants.
More About The Love Boat Bachelor:
Romance is a joke.
After the love of Brent Teague’s life came back into his world only to marry someone else, Brent is through with women. He might be through with being a pastor, too.
Brent was so sure that God brought Mara Adkins home to him so they could marry and live happily ever after. Six months after her wedding to another man, that theory is obviously a dud. If Brent could be so wrong about that, who’s to say he’s not mistaken about God calling him to pastoral ministry?
Tired of watching Brent flounder for direction, Brent’s feisty older sister boots him out of Spartanburg and onto a cruise ship. Brent’s old college buddy manages the ship’s staff, and he’s thrilled to finagle Brent into the role of chaplain for the two-week cruise.
As the ship sets sail, Brent starts to relax. Maybe a cruise wasn’t such a bad idea after all. But there’s just one little thing no one told him. He’s not on any ordinary cruise. He’s on The Love Boat.
What’s a sworn bachelor to do on a Caribbean cruise full of romance and love? He’ll either have to jump ship or embrace the unforgettable romantic comedy headed his way.
Marji was also one of the authors of A Dozen Apologies:
Mara Adkins, a promising fashion designer, has fallen off the ladder of success, and she can’t seem to get up. In college, Mara and her sorority sisters played an ugly game, and Mara was usually the winner. She’d date men she considered geeks, win their confidence, and then she’d dump them publicly. When Mara begins work for a prestigious clothing designer in New York, she gets her comeuppance. Her boyfriend steals her designs and wins a coveted position. He fires her, and she returns in shame to her home in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where life for others has changed for the better. Mara’s parents, always seemingly one step from a divorce, have rediscovered their love for each other, but more importantly they have placed Christ in the center of that love. The changes Mara sees in their lives cause her to seek Christ. Mara’s heart is pierced by her actions toward the twelve men she’d wronged in college, and she sets out to apologize to each of them. A girl with that many amends to make, though, needs money for travel, and Mara finds more ways to lose a job that she ever thought possible. Mara stumbles, bumbles, and humbles her way toward employment and toward possible reconciliation with the twelve men she humiliated to find that God truly does look upon the heart, and that He has chosen the heart of one of the men for her to have and to hold.