Have you ever wanted to get away from it all? Escape the everyday, humdrum, same old same old, day-to-day routine? Books are a great way to escape, and why not enjoy a little scintillating romance while you're at it? Emme Cross answers this call with her sizzling, steamy, sexy St. Bart's series. Oh my! Read on to learn more in my interview with the awesome author, Emme Cross.
St. Bart’s. Just the name of the Caribbean Island is evocative of sex and celebrity. Eight square miles of gourmet restaurants, designer shops, yachts and secrets.
Sunny O’Hara returns to her mother’s birthplace of St. Bart’s to establish roots after a nomadic childhood. Her long-term plan is to build luxury rental villas. Short term, she takes a job as a translator on a film set where she meets Sven Larson, an international movie star who is looking for something real in the midst of Hollywood fiction.
Anxious to change her romantic status from “untouched” to “on fire,” Sunny proposes “Lothario Larsen” act as her sexual mentor.
Win-win, right? She gets experience. He gets a chance to rediscover innocence. They agree this ends when the movie wraps and he leaves St. Bart’s.
Scorching sex turns to something much more complicated-love and Sven’s public declaration puts Sunny in mortal danger from a homicidal stalker.
WLY: When did you become a writer?
EC: I have been writing my whole life. I work as a journalist for the two biggest radio stations in Canada.
WLY: Do you consider your St. Bart’s series to be part of the romance or erotica genre?
EC: I prefer to think of what I do as romance rather than erotica, because the characters—not the sex—drive the plot. But then again, I don't necessarily believe in happily ever after, so maybe I fall through the genre cracks.
WLY: In your personal travels to the island of St. Bart's, what continues to inspire your "St. Bart's" series?
EC: We have been visiting St. Bart's for years. Every December, we pack up our books and go through the couch cushions and head south for a week. We discovered the island on a cruise. We'd stopped in St. Martin. I had to get off the ship. I discovered I was claustrophobic when our cabin was in the bowels next to the anchor. We took a day trip to St. Bart's and fell in love. It's a magical place. I can see why the rich and famous flock there. It's exclusive, hard to get to, and, yet, worth the effort . . . like anything worthwhile.
Sunny O’Hara and Sven Larsen fell in love on the Caribbean Island of St. Bart’s. But now they’ve moved to Los Angeles where he’s hard at work on a new movie. Sunny is at loose ends, trying to fit into his life while establish one of her own. When Sven is nominated for award after award, their life together becomes a whirlwind and cracks between their aspirations begin to show. Those cracks widen when Sunny discovers she’s pregnant, a situation exacerbated by Sven’s reluctant fatherhood and his ever demanding career.
Sunny returns to the island to wait out her pregnancy but tragedy strikes, driving the lovers even further apart both geographically and emotionally. Both face temptations and challenges as they try to fashion a mature relationship.
Return to St. Bart’s examines what happens when a holiday romance ends. Will their love survive all these challenges? Can two people with so little in common forge a future together or will their affair shatter like so many other summer romances?
WLY: St. Bart's has a mystique all on its own. Is this romantic tourist destination a character in your novels? What about book two's Los Angeles location?
EC: Book 2, Return to St. Bart's, begins in Los Angeles. Sunny has followed Sven home. I wanted to explore what happened after the rush of romance and lust—how you actually form a relationship when confronted with reality—going from beach sex to laundry, if you will. They start off in L.A. for Oscar season, appropriately, but then circumstances see her return to St. Bart's and he heads to Germany to film a movie. Can they get back together? Like anything, it's a crapshoot.
WLY: In your second novel, Sunny and Sven Return To St. Bart's to rekindle their romance. If a couple's relationship road turns a bit rocky, would you suggest they travel to an exotic location to reconnect with each other?
EC: I can't imagine a more romantic destination than St. Bart's, and this is coming from someone who was in the Maldives last year and is heading to Krabi, Thailand in March. The combination of scenery and food, and that French attitude . . . wonderful! The key is not to be intimidated. Pack a pair of walking shoes and sunglasses, and just hang out. You don't need to dress to impress. The really rich don't bother. It's all in the swagger and the attitude.
WLY: Does the storyline or characters in Return To St. Bart's bring any new twists or turns for the readers?
EC: There are a couple of out-of-nowhere twists in the second book. Both are based on research, but I know some readers will have trouble with them. Read the Author's Notes at the end of the novel, and I will explain how I came up with some unbelievable plot lines. To me, the most unbelievable is the idea that Sunny might cheat on Sven, but she's young, relatively innocent, and vulnerable. Linus is . . . WOW! Who could blame her?
Emme Cross is a veteran journalist who has worked at the biggest media outlets in Canada, and has met everyone from politicians to rock stars. She writes and reads the news on the biggest radio station in the country, and researches and writes for the biggest news station in Canada. She is an avid reader, gardener, world traveller, and foodie. She lives in Oakville, Ontario with her husband and her English bull terrier. You can read more about Emme and her amusing musings on her blog, "The Wife Says..." Social media types can like the Emme Cross Page on Facebook and find Emme Cross on GoodReads. The St. Bart's series can be found on Amazon.ca and Amazon.com, in paperback and ebook format.
Author Emme Cross has St. Bart's prize packs to give away to three lucky Bookalicious readers! Each winner will receive a copy of St. Bart's and Return To St. Bart's in their choice of either paperback or ebook format. To enter the BBGG draw, all you have to do is leave a comment in the "Click Here To Spill It" bubble below. Good luck!