Interview with Author Christi Barth

Christi Barth

Today we’re very happy to welcome Christi Barth to Basia’s Bookshelf.  Christi is the multi-talented author of Carolina Heat, Act Like We’re In Love and the recently released Cruising Toward Love, so she sat down with me to chat about her latest book and of course, taking cruises.

B: Welcome, Christi!  Tell us a little bit about yourself.  I see in your bio that you’ve taken a cruise or two like Nate and Zoe.

Christi: My first cruise was with Royal Caribbean, and it convinced my husband and I that we 1) love cruising; 2) love the Caribbean, and 3) needed a cruise line with better food. Don’t let this deter you from going with RC, though – they are lovely, but we are massive foodies. So we upgraded to Celebrity for the next one, which REALLY does treat you like a star, and the food is delish. Island hopping is absolutely the best, but my favorite part may be the at-sea days, where I sit on a (completely shaded) deck chair and read for 8 hours straight with a fruity drink in my hand.

B: Cruising Toward Love has mystery, intrigue, not one but two swoon-worthy romances, some light comedy and it’s all wrapped up in a travelogue. Tell us a little about the story.

Christi: Can an unexplained breakup and ten years of heartache be cured by the romance – and endless buffets – of a tropical cruise? When her sister is left at the altar, small town librarian Zoe Balis jumps at the chance to take the bride’s unused ticket for the honeymoon cruise. But she didn’t count on sharing a cabin with the man who broke her heart ten years ago!

Cruising Toward LoveArmy medic Nate Hyatt never told Zoe goodbye when he enlisted – or the real reason why he dumped her on prom night after a year as high school sweethearts. And he never stopped dreaming about the girl he left behind. Could this voyage be his chance to fix the worst mistake he ever made? After all, a Caribbean cruise should be romantic… if he can convince her to move past ten years of bitterness and hurt.

Once aboard the luxury liner, Zoe befriends a bored Internet mogul with more heart than tact. Nate vents his problems to a ship’s photographer battling PTSD. The four team up on an island hopping treasure hunt. The stakes grow higher with each of Zoe’s mysterious brushes with death. They race to discover why she’s a target and who’s behind it, while still competing in the treasure hunt.

Zoe’s never gotten over her first love, and is tempted to let Nate back into her life. But she already lost him once. She’s not willing to risk loving a man whose career keeps him in a combat zone. Can Nate breach her defenses and suture her broken heart? Grab a deck chair and see if they survive the stormy relationship seas as they cruise toward love!

B: Significant secondary romances can be tricky to pull off, but I loved Callie and Reed’s. When you started writing had you already decided to make them such a large part of the story or did it just happen as things went along?
Carolina Heat
Christi: My first book Carolina Heat was a huge learning curve. I knew nothing about writing and the thought of churning out even 50,000 words required for a category seemed impossible. In order to pad the word count, I panicked and added a secondary love story. It more than worked – that book clocked in at 98,000 words. In my viewpoint, the more love & lust you can smush into a book, the better! So yes, I plot their romantic arc just as carefully as the main hero/heroine. For Cruising, since they’re essentially stuck on the boat for 3/4 of the book, I felt a secondary love story was imperative to keep it interesting.

B: How much research did you have to do for this book? It seemed to be full of all sorts of things that would help me kick butt at Trivial Pursuit.

Christi: That is the beauty of the Internet. The biggest piece of research fell in my lap at a picnic. A friend who used to be in the Army cut me off when I started talking about the hero’s gun. She made it quite clear that soldiers always refer to it as their weapon. Huge save for which I’m quite grateful! Really, the only other thing I researched were Army bases, so I could figure out where he’d been stationed for the last ten years. Oh, and what sort of drug trafficking occurs in the Caribbean. I promise the book isn’t as serious as this research makes it sound. It is a funny, sexy romp through the Caribbean!

B: I know it’s a little evil of me, but having known a Bridezilla, I was laughing a bit at Zoe’s sister Stella’s antics. As a former wedding planner, did you ever actually come across any Bridezillas of your own?

Christi: Oh yes, but very few. Weddings are full of love and joy, and most people rise to the occasion. My favorite example of bad behavior was a bride who insisted I apply her lipstick for her during dinner, because she didn’t want to leave her table. I just finished a book about a wedding planner, and there are a few bad behavior stories sprinkled in there – but the names have been changed to protect the happily married!

Act Like We're In LoveB: Do you take any books with you on a cruise? Or if not…pretend I’m making you take three books. 🙂 Which three would you take?

Christi: Hmm, I’m a speed reader, so I usually take at least 2 books for every day of a trip, if not more. I think I took 14 books on my 9 day cruise. I try to save the latest Nora Roberts for whichever trip I have coming up, so that would definitely be on my list. I’m voraciously zipping through Victoria Dahl’s new trilogy, so that would be on the list, as well as Louisa Edwards. And a funny travel memoir, to change things up.

B: Since it’s the holiday season, I have to ask – have you ever been on a cruise during the holidays? Since I live in frigid Wisconsin, I think I might consider it!

Christi: My first cruise left on Christmas Eve. It is not an exaggeration to say the speakers on board ship played Feliz Navidad approximately 672 times on that 9 day cruise. But having grown up in California, I crave cold weather for Christmas. The more blustery, the better! It didn’t feel like Christmas being in shorts and digging my toes into the sand.

B: So what’s next for you? Are you working on any new projects?

Christi: Of course – a writer is always writing. I’m a third of the way into a new paranormal, set in Cape May, NJ (yup, I just can’t stay away from those ocean settings!), full of fallen angels and sex demons. Over Thanksgiving I took a field trip up there for research. 74 pictures later, I can tell you it takes exactly 203 steps to get from the waters edge to the road. Ah, the things a writer must do!


Thank you so much to Christi for being here today!  You can also find her in these places:
All of Christi’s books are available in ebook format from Bookstrand and in addition to ebook, are available in print from Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Christi Barth spent years performing in musicals, singing about love and giving people a happy ending in every performance. Then as a wedding planner she spent every day immersed in romance. Now she writes it! Cruising Toward Love is her third book. While the cruise depicted in this book is wholly fictional, she does love to float around the Caribbean, eating and drinking and relaxing…while safely shaded under a huge hat and wearing SPF 50. Christi lives in Maryland with the absolutely best husband in the world (sorry ladies, but it’s true!).
Bio courtesy of



  1. I have never been on a cruise, but am dying to go. Although, I get motion sickness in a pool so I'm not sure how that would work being on a big boat. ;-)I'll have to check out Cruising Toward Love, it looks like the perfect read for these blustery winter days!

  2. I loved CRUISING TOWARD LOVE and felt like I was on a cruise. So funny that your next story is set by the ocean, too. Can't wait to read your next book. Best wishes for much continued success. 🙂

We love your comments and do our best to respond to each of them. This is an awards-free blog but we do occasionally take chocolate tributes (okay, kidding).

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s