The manuscript hit my inbox with an electronic thud that still rings in my ears. No joke. Secret Beach Boyfriend. What had I gotten myself into?
Seriously! One of the best things about these Independence Islands Series books is that I’m the content editor. That means I get to read them first. Or, in the case of Secret Beach Boyfriend, I have to read them first.
Yep. That’s how I saw it. I’m not proud of that… but it’s what it is.
Here’s the thing. I knew I’d like the book. I really did. What I didn’t know is that I would absolutely fall in love not only with the characters, their plots and quirks, but I’d fall in love with the book itself, too.
That’s the sign of a great writer, folks–when they can take something you’re not really interested in and make you a raving fan… look out!
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3 Things I Love Most about “That Boyfriend Book”
In Secret Beach Boyfriend, you’ll find raw, real characters with the kinds of flaws and uncertainties that we all have in some way or another. They’re recognizable, infuriating, and endearing.
Yes, Secret Beach Boyfriend is a contemporary Christian romance. Most definitely. But it goes beyond “boy meets girl” and tackles real issues that many of us face in our daily lives: abandonment, mental health, and compensation to start. Annie and Rafe come from deeply dysfunctional pasts, or rather, their pasts have created dysfunction in some instances. Not only that, but this all created a twist that I did not see coming. Brilliant.
One of my common complaints about contemporary Christian romance is that often the faith element feels tacked on as an afterthought. This isn’t what you find in Secret Beach Boyfriend. Instead, you have a woman trying to live her faith even in awkward and difficult circumstances and a guy who just doesn’t get that faith isn’t something you check off your life to-do list.
Secret Beach Boyfriend releases today!
And do the authors have a great celebration planned. Since Kari’s main character is an event coordinator (party planner), we decided to have a contest among ourselves. We’d all create a table centerpiece/setting and share it with you guys. You can go from blog to blog to see which one you like, and on the last one, you can vote for your favorite! Your votes get you entries into a fun giveaway including gift cards, e-books, and audiobooks!
First, we were given a list of items and required to use at least SIX of the items on this list.
- Table Theme
- Something silver or gold
- Something crystal
- Or maybe something unique to you
- Something that represents your writing
- Something floral
- A gift
- Something that offers light
- Something borrowed
- Food-related something or other
And this was my entry. I’ll explain each thing below.
I chose “Time to Write” as my theme. I confess that this is a bit of a cheat on the right side, because most of that sit just like that on my desk in my room. Still, it is me and I loved it. I had decided to use some super-cute vintage figurines (phone, radio, phonograph, camera, etc.) that Sandy had given me, but they just didn’t work–were too small.
Something silver or gold:
I chose… shockingly enough, “silverware.” I know it’s kind of cheating, but really, nothing realy worked. So, I put all two of my “silver” things away and went with simple.
Okay, so technically that hourglass isn’t “crystal.” However, the only crystal thing I have just did not work at all. So, I left it out and called this glass “crystal.” #4daughter said I could, so I’m going with it.
Or maybe something unique to you:
I’ve slowly begun a random bottle collection. None of them are worth anything or are even that pretty. They’re just random things like #4daughter’s leftover face cleanser bottles and such. They just make me smile.
Something that represents your writing:
That little Brownie camera I bought off eBay as a memento of my Madeline. and while it is a much newer one than the tiny cardboard box one she had, it makes me smile every time I look at it. Additionally, I have this little resin typewriter that doesn’t take up much room, but is a representation of my little typewriter logo (because I’ve never seen the little one that I actually use!). Besides, black looks better against my duck blue walls. 🙂
While lavender isn’t my favorite flower (that would be lilacs or even daisies), I love the scent, flavor, and of course the sprays of lavender. #4daughter allowed me to use her potted lavender and I brought in my little bottles with faux lavender sprigs in them. #becausebottles.
The feather pen in the bottle was a gift to me from #4daughter from her trip to Ireland. It got a bit “ruffled” in the suitcase on the way home, but despite Neville’s best efforts to save me from the evil feather, it is one of my favorite decor items (and the nib really does work). Additionally, that same daughter bought me the small book on another trip. I use that one as a commonplace book as I shared in THIS post.
Something that offers light:
I forgot to put the candle on the table! Unfortunately, I cannot see the light! 😉
I borrowed the lavender pots from #4daughter, as mentioned above with the floral one.
A food-related item:
Okay, so we stretched it a bit with the tea bag and the pumpkin, but hey. I couldn’t get the single piece of chocolate I wanted, which turned out to be a good thing because…
That “tablecloth” is a door curtain. The “napkin” is a tieback. Because, you see… nothing I have matches the new plates I got for my birthday (two years ago). It works… right?
Be sure to check out all the author’s tables before heading over to Celebrate Lit to vote on your favorite!
Meanwhile, be sure to get your copy of Secret Beach Boyfriend.
I seriously LOVE this book. Here’s more about it.
Synopsis: Annie Roman believes love is a fairytale.
She met Rafe on the beach when she was just five and it seemed like fate tied them together. When a chance encounter returns him to the islands twenty years later, Annie finds her beach friend has grown up and now needs her help.
Damaged and scarred from a past that still hasn’t healed, Annie needs help of her own. True to character, Rafe comes up with a perfect solution, but a temporary island romance does not fit into his agenda at all.
Will an offer to be her secret boyfriend give her heart a second chance? How can it turn into something more and prove there’s power in prayer and that love can triumph over a painful past?
He was Annie’s hero long ago, but can the man he has become save her now?
Secret Beach Boyfriend is the third “Merriweather book” in a new series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.
The Independence Island Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.