Now doesn't that title just scream euphoria? :) A beach made or full of chocolate. Heaven for most women. However, there are times when euphoria might fade a bit, and that's what happens in this week's spotlight author's debut novel. Let's hear a bit from her.
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Julie Carobini is a long time freelance writer, a new novelist, and a beach lover! She lives with her husband Dan and their three children in Southern California. Please stop by her beach pad on the web at www.juliecarobini.com.
1. You've seemingly ventured into a somewhat new branch of chic lit with your beach lit debut book. What gave you the inspiration for this story?
Well, it’s true that my heroine, Bri, is more into Reef flip flops than Jimmy Choo shoes! But that’s life at the beach, really. So I guess you could say that the setting and character complement each other. As for the nitty gritty of the story, we hear all the time that people are attracted to their opposites. So I thought, why not write about what happens years later to a couple like that?
In Chocolate Beach, she's a laid-back beach chick; he's a distinguished, suit-wearing gentleman. After years of marriage, are they still smitten with each other's differences? Or not so much? And when things get tough, what do they do?
2. How much of your own experiences influenced the characters of Bri and Douglas? What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?
Hm, let's see. I love the beach, my dessert of choice is chocolate, and my husband is a "smidge" older than me, so those influences came out of my own well. But you know that part about Bri hosting bus tours? So not me. I'd rather eat liver than stand at the front of a bus and tell jokes. Also, one of my kids, who shall remain nameless, bluntly told me that I was nothing like Bri because "she's laid-back." Ahem.
3. What themes exist in Chocolate Beach that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?
Let me answer that this way. As a Christian, I know there's hope. There's always hope. So while my novel contains missed cues and unintended consequences, it's ultimately a story of grace—wrapped in an entertaining and delicious package (at least, I hope readers think so).
4. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?
The most difficult part was keeping up with the various story lines and making them flow for the reader. As for my favorite, that's tough because I enjoyed writing so much of this story. I did crack up when she and her Fabio-meets-Dilbert boss had their "odd" lunch at a Greek restaurant, so I'd consider that scene to be one of my favorites.
5. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?
My next book, Truffles by the Sea, will be released by Bethany House in Feb. 08. It's a sequel featuring Bri's best friend, Gaby, who resolves to be gullible no more! You can read more about it on my website.
Thanks so much for inviting me here today, Tiff! And congratulations on your own big news—so exciting!
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Thank *you*, Julie, both for being here and for your congrats. It is an exciting time. Now, readers, don't forget to post a comment to Julie for your chance to win a FREE copy of her debut novel. She'll be at Mt. Hermon conference for the next few days but will check in at some point before next week.