Spotlight on the Author: Julie Arduini, Port of Call: Cozumel with Nora Laing
The spotlight today is on the author of the first heroine the reader meets in The Love Boat Bachelor. Julie Arduini is an author with a passion to encourage readers to find freedom through surrender. Her first Adirondack contemporary romance, Entrusted, gives readers hope to surrender fear. A Walk Through the Valley will soon be available as an infertility devotional with 5 other authors. She blogs every other Wednesday at Christians Read and is the contributing fiction editor for the new digital magazine, Imaginate. To learn more about her writing and love of chocolate, visit http://juliearduini.com. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two children.
Julie’s going to share the inside scoop with us on her chapter: Port of Call: Cozumel.
In The Love Boat Bachelor Nora Laing and Brent meet on board and have a lot of fun shopping and bartering in Cozumel. My hope is readers will read their story and enjoy the laughs they share and see the potential for healing in both their lives.
Like Brent, Nora’s been hurt. She’s dropped everything to help her sister, Claire, raise her son, Jimmy. The cruise marks Claire’s transition as a newlywed and now Jimmy has a stepdad. Where does that put Nora? She isn’t sure, and the wedding brings back too many bad memories. Brent comes along in a perfect time to distract her.
Nora was a blast to create. I knew I wanted a character that was good with kids, but I wanted to do something unique. Having her be the “fun aunt” that devoted her life to her sister and nephew that now didn’t seem to need her as much was a fun conflict to explore. Given Brent’s volunteer work with kids, I thought it gave them common ground. Their soul searching was another aspect they shared.
Yet, there had to be something different between them. One of my favorite quotes comes from the late Larry Burkett who said, “If both of you had everything in common, one of you would be unnecessary.” Although Nora is a more behind-the-scenes character, everything changes when she’s bartering. Brent gets to see Nora in a new way that he found amusing. As a writer, I had so much fun with their Cozumel scene.
There is a little bit of Tom and Julie Arduini in Brent and Nora. For instance, when Brent becomes ill, I know that feeling first hand. Our first full day at sea was quite rocky and there was a lot of sickness. I was violently ill to the point of needing medicine from the infirmary. Once I took that and a nap, I was ready for sight seeing in Cozumel.
The “Papi” scene is real as well, except it was my husband who was the shrewd negotiator. I’d never experienced such bartering, and it was amazing to watch. I knew I wanted to use that in The Love Boat Bachelor, except I switched the roles. My husband still has the hat, and we continue to laugh at the woman who said in her thick accent, “Papi, you’re killing me!”
Choosing Nora’s name was fun, too. I was working on ministry things around the same time I was plotting. I flipped through my church directory app and saw a little girl that lights up a room whenever she enters. She’s blonde with beautiful blue eyes and her name is Nora. Another flip of a page and I saw the last name of a family that is known for taking care of each other and being full of love. Nora Laing it was. Then I tried to think of names that went well with Nora for her family.
Nora’s a teacher ready to love again, even if she’s taking baby steps by going on the cruise. Will Brent be the one?
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.
Don’t miss Julie’s awesome romance, Book 1 in her Surrendered series, Entrusted:
Jenna Anderson, sassy city-girl from Youngstown, Ohio, plows–literally–into Adirondack village, Speculator Falls, with a busted GPS. She gets a warning from the sheriff but has ideas for the senior center to prove she belongs in town as their director. Town councilman Ben Regan is as broken as the flower box Jenna demolished. He’s grieving and wants to shut down the center before there’s too much change and heartbreak. They work on community projects and build a slow relationship, but the council needs to vote on the senior center’s future. Can Jenna show Ben both her and the center are worth trusting?