It is release day for Tabitha Bouldin! I’m so excited about her new book, Stealing the First Mate. It’s such a fun story filled with ALL of my favorite romantic tropes. Plus PIRATES. I have this thing for pirates like soo much lol.
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Welcome Tabitha! Congrats on your new release. Tell us a little about it.
Stealing the First Mate is Nigel and Darcy’s story. Nigel works for Darcy’s father on a Christian, pirate-themed tour boat that cruises around the Independence Islands. Darcy is looking for Mr. Right, never once considering that her best friend, Nigel, might have already cornered the market on her heart. Nigel is keeping a secret from Darcy, and it’s one that he believes will end even their friendship.
I absolutely loved this story because my favorite trope is that unrequited, oblivious love that one person has for another character. What’s your favorite romance trope and why?
Friends to something more is my favorite, and I loved getting to write that into this story. There’s something romantic about knowing someone as a friend first. You think you know everything about them, but then, suddenly, you realize you don’t. There’s a whole new world to explore.
The cover is adorable. I know you also create covers. Tell me how this cover came together.
Thank you. I had a great time finding the perfect picture for this cover. I knew I had to include Shep, Nigel’s sheepdog, the image was too perfect not to use. Chautona Havig does our covers for the Independence Islands series, and I had an idea what the base color would be, which made picture searching even more challenging. But once I saw the sheepdog on the beach, I knew I’d found my perfect shot.
Who is your favorite character in Stealing the First Mate and why?
Nigel. Definitely. He’s a little angsty after loving Darcy for so many years, but doesn’t believe he’s worthy of her. His ability to be who she needs in spite of his feelings gave me a look at how deep his love was. Even though I’m the author, Nigel surprised me. Then, there’s the whole pirate aspect of the story. Nigel being a pirate for a Christian-themed boat tour made this story a little extra special because it allowed me to remember the time my boys went on a similar tour. Memories are powerful things.
Who is your favorite side character and why?
That’s a tough one. Most of the side characters end up with a story of their own. From Stealing the First Mate I guess I’d have to pick Trent, who gets his story in the next book. Trent only has one scene in this story, but it’s one that means a lot for him as a character. Trent operates the only animal shelter on the Independence Islands. Like Nigel, Trent has a past he’s trying to make up for and he’s a bit of a prodigal son though he’s been home for years. What can I say? I like writing moody, angsty male characters who employ sarcasm as defense mechanisms. Though I make certain they’re never mean with their witty words.
This story is part of the Independent Island series and features some characters from past novels. Are there any more in the series coming up for you?
I have three more books in the series after Stealing the First Mate. The next is Footprints on her Heart followed by From Shore to Shore and Waiting on the Tide. I’ve tried to keep many of the previous characters active in the series, slowly building and incorporating as many as I can as the series progresses. Book five should be filled with an entire cast of previous characters. The characters from the other authors in the series even make cameo appearances when they can. Mel is the key character who is pretty instrumental in each book, so she shows up quite regularly.
What is something you’ve learned about yourself or about your writing process, through writing and publishing this story?
I feel like each story has taught me something different. There’s a particular scene in Stealing the First Mate where Nigel thinks all hope is lost. The entire time I was working on this book, the story of Jesus walking on the water stayed front and center in my head. During Nigel’s crisis, I was able to use the scene with Jesus and Peter to help Nigel. It wasn’t until I finished the scene that I realized how much it meant to me too. I often cling to what I can see instead of trusting God to be there ready to hold me up. It was a powerful thought and something I’ve been working on since then.
What is your favorite social media platform and why?
I love Instagram. I’m more active on Facebook, but making images and taking pictures for Instagram is my favorite. It’s also more fun, to me, to scroll through Instagram and see all the pretties everyone else has made.
Where can people find you online?
I’m all over. Here are the links if you want to see what I’m up to.
https://tabithabouldinauthorhome.wordpress.com -book review blog
https://mailchi.mp/336c3621e5e7/tabithabouldinauthor -newsletter signup for author news
What’re you giving away today?
I’m giving away one signed paperback of Stealing the First Mate to one US resident.
What a great giveaway! Thank you so much for stopping by and chatting with me.
Your turn, readers! What’s your favorite romantic trope? Do you agree with Tabitha?
This giveaway is open to US residents. You must comment AND enter the rafflecopter, in order to be entered into the giveaway.
Stealing the First Mate
About Tabitha Bouldin
Tabitha Bouldin has a Bachelor’s in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and an avid reader. Tabitha is a contributing author to Chicken Soup for the Soul and the Independence Islands series with Celebrate Lit. Tabitha’s genre of choice is Contemporary Christian Romance which she describes as: Adventure with heart