What happens when two people swear off relationships? In a romance novel, they meet up. In a Christian Romance, they fight temptations hoping to avoid the same mistakes of their past. That alone provides the tension. The push and pull. And in this Romantic Suspense novel, this budding relationship gets especially problematic against the backdrop of human trafficking. With our vile bad guy targeting Carol’s shop employee, the relationship takes some complicated turns. But more on him later. John Taylor is the love interest of Carol Scape and the topic of our post today. She’s everything he’s not. She’s the crazy, free-spirit in town, and he’s … well, he’s the Mayor of Bay Town.
Is Romance About Opposites?
They say opposites attract, but these two couldn’t be further apart. Where Carol is a new Christian and excited about her faith, John has stepped away. He inadvertently blames God for his wife’s desertion years ago. This alone was tricky, as I’m not a fan of unequally yoked relationships, but … well, when you read Restored Grace, you’ll see how I worked it out.
Mayor John Taylor an easy character for me to write about. I based him on the mayor of our small town in Southern California. I’ve been acquainted with him for years. More so my husband than me. Many years ago, they coached Little League together, and he was my daughter’s AYSO soccer coach. As I said, small town. He’s rotated from town council member to Mayor and back, so he’s still quite prominent in the politics here. He also lives on a touristy street in our quaint historic district, much like Bay Town.
Will the real Mayor John Taylor please stand up?
Mayor John Taylor in Restored Grace is pure fiction, but when I describe John Taylor’s physical persona and amiable personality, they are based on the real-life former mayor of my town. But that’s as far as I take it. The rest of his character and backstory are wholly fabricated.
The mayor of Bay Town struggles with the bitterness of a broken relationship and the shame of failure in that regard. Will Carol free him of his past? She knows nothing of it, and she’s got her own problems. Her previous life was complicated, and she wrestles with the “he’s too good for me” syndrome. Ergo, the theme of grace. God’s loving, forgiving mercy. And ironically, Jesus is too good for us, isn’t He? Yet, through His suffering and sacrifice, He made it possible for us to have a wonderful, eternal relationship with Him. I’m driven to write about my character’s faith or lack of it, so I hope you’ll feel John’s pain and struggles but, most importantly, share in his spiritual growth.
A Fun Romantic Scene
Some of my favorite scenes to write are in some way inspired by actual events. One scene in Restored Grace takes place at a town council meeting. That again was easy to write, as my son’s Little League team was honored by the town council. The Mayor presented an award to the team, my husband, who was the coach and also to the team manager. They represented our city in the Little League District and Regional Championships and won. It was an exciting night, with a packed room, and I recalled that euphoric feeling when writing something similar. I took that happy night and turned it into a romantic moment between John Taylor and Carol Scape. So fun.
And fun describes where I live. I guess I can thank our mayor and town council for that. We have many family-friendly hometown events, and we’re sandwiched between two other small beach towns, so celebrations are endless. And seriously, it’s almost always sunny and bright with a cool breeze in coastal South Orange County, California. Except for June gloom…oh well.
It’s interesting that although Bay Town is a beach town in the South, much of what I remember and researched about the place is similar to where I live now. More about that in another blog. Take a look.
I embraced that hometown charm as I wrote Restored Grace. We live close to the beach but have a historic Main Street, just like Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, Bay Town’s inspiration. No wonder I love writing about Bay Town and its people. And I enjoyed creating Carol and John. He’s a native of the South, and Carol is a transplant from New Mexico. Although, she’s been there long enough to be considered a local.
Not me. I only lived in the south for two years, and It’s been too long since I’ve returned to the real-life city of Bay St. Louis, but I keep up with a local Facebook page and the local online magazine, Shoofly. Click the link and take a look at the fun events and beautiful photographs.
Well, that’s it for the love interest in Restored Grace. But Mayor John Taylor is more than a professional, suave and kind soul. He’ll surprise you!
Have you read Shattered Guilt? If so, you know all about Will Boudreaux, who, like Carol, returns. If you were in a melodramatic old-time theater, here is where you’d boo and hiss. Check back as I introduce you. I’ve not wanted to speak much of him before.
Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway. Click the link below. You can enter every day!