Keira: The BAREFOOT BAY quartet is billed as sexy contemporary. What does this mean in terms of heat?
Roxanne St. Claire: There’s plenty of sizzle on the sand, but at the heart of the story is an emotional romance with two people who help each other overcome many obstacles on the way to true love. One of those obstacles might be how to have sex in the Gulf of Mexico…but mostly they are more emotional.
Keira: BAREFOOT IN THE SAND is the first in the quartet in Mimosa Key.. Is it based on a real location?
Roxanne: Although Mimosa Key and the quiet inlet known as Barefoot Bay is fictional, located in my imagination off the Gulf Coast of south west Florida, the setting is certainly based on reality. There are numerous islands along that coastline, including Sanibel and Captiva, which helped me get a good idea of what Mimosa Key might look like. In addition, my parents had a beach house in a small coastal town between Naples and Fort Myers, and I used that beach as the basis for Barefoot Bay.
Keira: The heroine, Lacey Armstrong, starts over when a hurricane destroys her home. Why start a hotel?
Roxanne: She had a lot of beachfront property and the island has no hotel or resort. At first, she wanted to build a bed and breakfast on the water, but her architect — that hot, sexy, persuasive younger man who sweeps her off her (bare) feet — helps her realize that she has an opportunity to build something so much bigger and better. Together, they design “Casa Blanca” which is a small but elegant resort with several private villas, all designed in North African/Moroccan style. I wish I could go there on vacation!
Keira: What do you like most about writing characters that need a second chance like your hero Clay Walker?
Roxanne: I love to force characters to face the darkest part of their soul — best if the person they are falling in love with is holding the mirror — and overcome the obstacles to happiness. That’s just at the root of every romance novel and is the reason I read and write books full of heartache and hope. Their happy ending is hard-won, and that makes it all the sweeter, especially if they have something in the past that made them believe they could or would never find love.
Keira: What’s next in the BAREFOOT BAY lineup?
Roxanne: BAREFOOT IN THE RAIN will be out in November and I absolutely loved writing that one. Jocelyn Bloom is the heroine, and she has a very dark past, and, it appears, a pretty dismal present. She heads to Barefoot Bay to avoid the media spotlight after being involved in a high-profile scandal and there, she comes face to face with that past…in the form of the “boy next door” — the only man she’s ever really loved. It’s a reunion romance with a ton of gut-wrenching heartache…I recommend a box or two of Kleenex with that one!
Thank you so much for inviting me here today! I’m happy to answer any questions in the comments section, too!
When all you hold dear is taken away . . .
When a hurricane roars through Lacey Armstrong’s home on the coast of Barefoot Bay, she decides all that remains in the rubble is opportunity. A new hotel is just what Mimosa Key needs, and Lacey and her teenage daughter are due for a fresh start. And nothing, especially not a hot, younger architect, is going to distract Lacey from finally making her dreams a reality.
A second chance is the only thing you have left.
Love has already cost Clay Walker everything. And if he’s going to have any chance of picking up the pieces of his life, he needs the job as Lacey Armstrong’s architect. What’s not in the plans is falling for the headstrong beauty. Her vision of the future is more appealing than anything he could have ever drafted for himself. Will Clay’s designs on Lacey’s heart be more than she can handle, or will she trust him to build something that will last forever?