Friday, November 1, 2013

Blog Tour: Barefoot by the Sea by Roxanne St. Claire

Barefoot by the Sea Blog Tour

I loved Roxanne St. Claire's Barefoot by the Sea (see my review here), so I'm delighted to have been invited to participate in this blog tour! Ms. St. Claire's publisher, Forever, has gifted me with some absolutely wonderful content to share, so scroll down to read an interesting Q&A with Ms. St. Claire and read an excerpt from Barefoot by the Sea.

Never read any Barefoot Bay books? You're in luck! Simply comment on this blog post to enter for your chance to win a complete set of ALL FOUR Barefoot Bay books. US entries only, and please leave your email so I can contact the winner for their shipping info.

Q&A with Roxanne St. Claire

How do you come up with the names for your characters and titles?Roxanne St. Claire

Names can be fun...or frustrating! My characters brew for a long time and during that period, their names usually come to me. Sometimes I hear a name out in the world and I know immediately that has to be a character. But I have to be careful with that...I have used names of people I barely knew and then became friends with them. I’m still waiting for one of my daughter’s friends to discover I used her name as the villain in one of my old romantic suspense novels. I didn’t know the girls would become friends when they were in the same dance class ten years ago! Her name was so perfect for the bad girl villainess and now I hope she never reads that book.

When I’m stuck for a name, I dig through character name books -- I use The New Age Baby Name Book and The Baby Name Personality Survey -- to find ideas. Sometimes, as was the case with the hero of BAREFOOT BY THE SEA, I ask my Facebook Fans for ideas! They named Ian!

And, yes, I have given characters the wrong name. I usually know it a few pages into the story, but I have been known to get much further when I realize that I’m struggling with a character who doesn’t have a name that reflects their real nature or backstory. For a long time, Clay, the hero of BAREFOOT IN THE SAND, was named Elliott (all wrong for him). The heroine, Lacey, was Lily. Very early into the book, I realized that Lily didn’t capture her whimsical personality. “Lily” felt a little too elegant for this strawberry-blonde heroine who thinks her boobs are too big. Lacey felt brighter and more alive, so I changed her name before I hit chapter two. Clay took a little longer. His backstory was a moving target for a while, since he wasn’t a character that came fully formed. (Oh, I love those gifts from God!) As that hero took shape, I realized that this southern boy wouldn’t have such a northeastern name and Elliott didn’t fit him. I changed his first name to Clay and loved the transformation. I kept his last name Walker, and never Googled “Clay Walker” to learn that is a country music singer. No one ever caught that during editing, so now my hero has a famous name.

The trickiest thing about writing a series is once a name is published, it can’t be changed! So I have to be careful naming secondary or even tertiary characters...they can be a hero or heroine of their own book in the future and I don’t want to be stuck with Lucretia or Agnes. (Not that I don’t love those names -- in fact, I’m using in a book I’m writing right now!!)

Excerpt from Barefoot by the Sea

Barefoot by the Sea Cover“Tessa,” he said softly, looking from side to side for a second. “I have to tell you something about me. Something you didn’t ask in your interview.”

Interesting, since he didn’t even answer the questions she did ask. Still, she waited, dying to see where he’d go with this.

“I don’t shy away from anything,” he finally said. “When I see something I want, I get it.” He gave her a hard, straight look.

Did he mean the job as chef or…her?

“So, what are you here to get?”

“My plan is that we start all over again.” Reaching down, he lifted her hand and very slowly drew off the gardening glove, sliding one finger out at a time out of the rough canvas. She couldn’t do anything but stare at his large, tanned, masculine hand undressing her much smaller one, her throat parched and every nerve ending dancing at the touch.

“We could shake on it,” he said, dropping the glove to the ground but still holding her hand. His skin was warm. A little rough, a little dry, but very warm. “But I’d rather do this.”

He lifted her fingers to his lips, barely brushing the knuckles, the sensation shooting fireworks down her arms. “To new beginnings, pretty Tessa. A new job, and a new…” He looked up from her hand and met her gaze, his own so serious she forgot to breathe again. “Friendship.”

For a moment, she stared at him, a thousand emotions erupting like a volcano in her chest. Disbelief and excitement and desire and disbelief and longing and—yeah, mostly disbelief.

“What is it?” he asked.

“Well, I’m not really trusting by nature, so I’m fighting the sensation that you might be full of shit.”

He laughed. “I deserve a chance.”

Did he? “And you’ll probably get one, but what happened?”

He lifted both brows. “I want the job.”

“So you’re suddenly Prince Charming? After being guarded, evasive, and walking out in the middle of an interview?”

He curled his fingers around her hand and sighed with resignation. “I guess I’m going to have to do some seriously high-quality groveling.”

“Major high,” she agreed.

“Let’s start with dinner tonight. We can finish the interview.”

Obviously, he didn’t know she’d called all his references and they glowed like polished gold, and he certainly didn’t know about the wedding planners and the urgent need for a chef. Instead, he’d come to grovel and take her to dinner.

“I’ll give you time to clean up and change for our date,” he said, as if she might be looking for an excuse to say no.

As if a groveling man offering dinner and looking like a sex god fell into her lap on a daily basis.

“I thought it was an interview,” she said.

He shrugged. “You call it an interview, I call it a date.”

“I call it a pretty remarkable turnaround for the guy who suggested a one-night stand of tongue-tattooing the last time we talked about going out.”

His smile was sinfully slow and so damn confident. “Haven’t you ever changed your mind about something, Tessa? Ever looked at a situation in the light of day and realized you’d need a new approach to get what you want?”

She tried to ignore the little thrill of his words and be smart about this. “What about trust?”

He lifted his brows. “What about it?”

“Did you change your mind about the advice you gave me in the bar? Or don’t you remember when your one word about trusting you was ‘Don’t’?”

She could have sworn a little bit of color left his face.

“How else are you going to know if you should or not unless you have dinner with me?”

She couldn’t argue with that logic. Or maybe she just didn’t want to.

Purchase Barefoot by the Sea here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | B&L Books (autographed copies)

Barefoot by the Sea Blog Tour
Don't forget to comment on this post for your chance to win the entire Barefoot Bay quartet! US entries only and please leave your email so I can contact you if you win.


Raonaid Luckwell said...

Names can be tricky. Especially in my WIP because I have to use uncommon and unusual names which I love. LOL. I got the one name from a dream. But I have to admit that I love Tessa and Zoe's name so different.

Modokker said...

You wouldn't think names would be that complicated. I didn't pick up on Clay Walker and i KNOW he's a country music singer. He doesn't have any new stuff out so he's not as mainstream anymore though. Great book!

Lisa B

Shari said...

Names can be tricky. Love the names that Rocki has picked out. Love Barefoot Bay series!

Connie B said...

I loved all of the Barefoot Bay books... there's gonna be more!!!
Every one of the girls Lacey, Jocelyn, Zoe and Tessa have their own unique very well developed story. Every one pulled me in and I resented each time I had to put it down!
I'm giving 2 of my friends a 4 book series for Christmas!

bn100 said...

Interesting info about names

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Sue G. said...

I love this series! Roxanne St. Claire writes her stories with wonderful characters and even better story lines. You go through all of the emotions of these characters and by the end you feel so much for them in your heart that you feel like they are your friends.

If you haven't read any of these books, get the first. I'm sure that after you finish it you will be going back to get the rest.

Don't include me in the giveaway because I already own all four books.

hregtvedt said...

With all the books, and all the names out there it is hard to come up with something unique. I remember when Roxanne asked for suggestions for names!

This series is a favorite of mine and I will read it over and over. Each book is unique yet connected through the four friends. They are emotional and funny and pack just enough heat. It is a great series and I totally recommend it.

Laurie G. said...

I think naming characters could be a fun part of writing. I can understand how the name needs to fit the character and even the location. I loved the Barefoot Bay series. Lots of laughter and tears. Absolutely a must read!