Second Chance in Laguna
by Claire Marti
Genre: Contemporary Romance
When Sophie Barnes’s fiancé jilts her at the altar, her carefully planned life implodes. Considering her ex’s betrayal to be a rude wake-up call, she leaves everything she knows in San Diego and flees to Laguna Beach. She vows to transform her life by avoiding men for a year and by fulfilling her dream of writing a wildly successful novel.
Sophie’s new landlord, Nicholas Morgan, is a gorgeous, successful architect with a player reputation. He makes it tough for Sophie to remember that she’s sworn to be single. Nick’s avoided the intimacy of a long-term relationship–until Sophie’s independence, courage, and beauty touch his guarded heart. Both Sophie and Nick are terrified of being hurt again, but can they resist the pull of true love?
Why choosing your setting is so important by Claire Marti
A book’s setting is the world a reader chooses to enter. An author commits to provide an escape, whether it’s to a distant universe, to your childhood hometown, or to the glittering lights of New York City. Setting evokes mood, accentuates character, and can make or break a story.
I chose to set my contemporary romance series in Laguna Beach, California, because of its romantic atmosphere. With its gorgeous green hills, charming architecture, breathtaking beaches, and proliferation of art galleries, Laguna feels like a sanctuary. The first time I visited the tiny beach enclave, I felt transported to a magical new world.
In Second Chance in Laguna, Sophie Barnes embarks on a journey of self-discovery after she’s jilted at the altar. She quits her job and moves to Laguna to follow her dream of writing a wildly successful novel. Not only is she seeking a refuge to heal her broken heart, she’s also inspired by the unique, sophisticated artists’ colony. Unlike Los Angeles or other larger towns in Southern California, Laguna offers an elegant yet quaint setting.
While some authors create a fictional world, I chose Laguna to provide a sense of authenticity for Sophie and Nick’s romance. I took advantage of the ability to set scenes in real places, like the iconic Surf and Sand Hotel and Thalia Street Beach. Many readers tell me they love to read about places they recognize or would love to visit. Within the real town, I also created fictional spots, like hero Nick Morgan’s architecture firm, Morgan Designs, and Vines Wine Bar.
In addition to the town itself, Sophie’s new residence also contributes to the mood and enriches her story. She rents a secluded cottage that offers the serenity she craves and the quiet she needs to write. This comforting haven also supports her need to lick her wounds and rebuild her confidence. Similarly, she prefers solitary walks on isolated cliffs and remote beaches in order to reflect.
On a personal note, Laguna holds a special place in my heart: I got engaged on the beach there. My passion for Laguna fuels my writing and hopefully sparks the same enthusiasm in readers. If you’re in the mood to escape to a romantic seaside, check out Second Chance in Laguna, the first book in the Finding Forever in Laguna series.