We have a special guest today, author Roxanne St. Claire! She is no stranger to our blog--she have featured her Barefoot Bay books last year. Besides contemporary romance, she also writes fantastic romantic suspense including the Guardian Angelinos series which we have also featured here in the past.
Today, she will be talking about her new contemporary trilogy called the Barefoot Bay Brides. The books are about three women who run a destination wedding service but haven't found their own happily ever after. Yet.
The trilogy is the perfect summer read! Read our interview with the author to find out more about the books.
Can you tell us a little about the Barefoot Bay series for our readers who are new to the series, as well as tell us about the new Barefoot Bay Brides trilogy?
With a total of 8 stories set on this fictional island off the Gulf Coast of Florida, I’m starting to feel like Barefoot Bay is a very real place! There have certainly been a lot of kisses, beach walks, proposals, and sexy times on these white sands. The first four books in the series centered on four women friends who come together after a hurricane ravages the area to help one of them build a small resort hotel. Eventually, they each move to Barefoot Bay and take a role in running the resort, and each woman has a love story. Of course the resort attracts some intriguing guests, so I wrote a trilogy of long novellas (The Barefoot Bay Billionaires) about three wealthy men who come to the island and have their lives and hearts changed. And naturally, there will be destination weddings staged at the resort, so for the Barefoot Bay Brides, we have three wedding planners who’ve yet to find their happily ever afters. But that’s about to change with the next three novels.
Barefoot in White tells the story of Willow and Nick's journey to happily ever after. How is this couple different from the other couples in the Barefoot series? Did you have any challenges while you were writing about them that was unique from writing the other novels in the series?
There are always challenges! Willow is a former “big” girl who has lost 120 pounds since she last saw Nick, when they were in college. So, capturing the essence of a person who’s been through that kind of transformation -- but still has yet to tackle the “inner” transformation (that’s where Nick comes in) -- was definitely a hurdle for me. Also, the hero in the book is trying his hand at writing a novel and I’ve never tackled a “writer” character before. That was both fun and daunting. The heroine becomes his “muse” and critiques his work, so I was able to channel a lot of my own insecurities into those scenes, which made them more lively and fun, I hope.
For long time fans of the Barefoot series, who can we expect to make a cameo in the new trilogy? Are we also going to be meeting new characters?
Lacey and Tessa show up in Barefoot in White, and I’m sure all of the couples from previous books will get a page or two, as it fits the story. (I’m still writing the second book in the trilogy, so I’m not certain who it will be yet.) Of course we’ll meet new characters! That’s the fun part for me.
The new trilogy focus on a bridal company run by three women. Did you do wedding research? Any interesting facts that came up through your research?
I met with a wedding planner prior to writing the series and asked a lot of questions about the job, to capture the essence of what is entailed. One thing I learned is that every bride can be a pain in the butt, LOL! It’s a stressful day, with incredibly high expectations, and a lot of that stress falls on the planners. So I use that element a lot in the story, giving the three heroines lots of jokes about managing bridezillas. (And Mother of the Bridezillas.)
Can you give us a little taste of Barefoot in White via a short (and maybe steamy) excerpt?
“I could have lied,” Willow said. And maybe she should have, because Nick’s gutted expression made her remember how she felt when something she said, did, wanted, or wore didn’t stand up to her mother’s rigorous expectations. “But that book’s too good to lie.”
“You just said it sucked.”
“No, no.” She shook her head vehemently. “I did not. I said it could be even better. Would I be out here cooling myself off if that make-out scene didn’t...affect me?”
And by affect, she meant turn her entire lower half into a pool of liquid lust. His language was evocative and tantalizing, the imagery completely sexy without being corny.
“It affected you?” A spark of hope lit his eyes, but she didn’t get to enjoy it, because he snagged the bottom of his T-shirt and ripped it over his head. Speaking of evocative and tantalizing…
His abs were so defined, there were shadows in between the muscle cuts. His chest, damp with sweat, heaved with a deep breath, drawing her gaze to the blue ink near his left shoulder, the semicircle that represented the earth and single star high above it.
This wasn’t the first time she’d seen a fan with the Zenith album graphic tattooed on him, but it was definitely the first time she’d had the urge to...lick it.
He toed off his sneakers and tipped his head toward the water. “I’m hot.”
“I’m going in.”
“Actually…” He pulled at the waistband of his sweats. “Unsuit myself is more appropriate.”
Her jaw unhinged. “You’re going in naked?”
“You’ve seen it before.”
“Doesn’t mean I want to see it again.” Liar, liar. But, still, after reading that kiss, she wasn’t sure her libido could stand the pressure.
“I hate clothes.”
Just her luck. She leaned back on her palms, squinting up at him. “Sadly, our society requires them.”
He thumbed his sweats lower, revealing more skin and muscle. “If it offends you, look away. I’ll be in the pool in a second.”
“I don’t think the word is ‘offend.’”
She waited for his grin or quip, but his expression was still dark. He inched the sweats down, following that sweet strip of dark hair, sliding over those narrow hips, across the ripped muscles that led right to...
She really ought to close her eyes. Or turn her head. Or peel off her dress and join him.
“You’re killing me, Nick,” she admitted.
“Punishment for hating my book.”
“Oh, yeah, looking at you bare-ass naked is absolute torture.”
Finally, he smiled. “As bad as the book?”
“Would you stop? I didn’t hate it. I think it’s amazing and could be even more amazing.”
He didn’t answer, but in one smooth move, he dove into the deep end in a way that gave her a perfect view of his ass. Which, even upside-down, made her mouth go bone dry.
Thank you to Roxanne St. Claire for answering our questions and providing that funny/steamy excerpt. We can't wait to read more!
Just fyi, the Barefoot Bay Brides novels are available on Amazon, B&N, Google Play and your other favorite online e-book retailers. You can also check out the full synopsis and reader reviews of Barefoot in White on Goodreads.
Roxanne St. Claire Bio
Roxanne lives in Florida with her family, and can be reached via her website, www.roxannestclaire.com or on her Facebook Reader page, www.facebook.com/roxannestclaire and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/roxannestclaire.