Sunday, July 6, 2014

Blog Tour: Riding the Wave/The Red Bikini - Top Five Beaches + Giveaway

Welcome to The Red Biking - Riding the Wave Blog Tour! I will start by saying that I have read - and loved- both of these books. Today I have authors Lauren Christopher (The Red Bikini) and Lorelei Brown (Riding the Wave) sharing their Five Favorite Beaches. Enjoy their choices, a few photos, and the tour giveaway. I also have the book details below along with purchase links. Trust me, both are perfect summer reads!

Lauren’s 5 Favorite Beaches

Since I grew up in Southern California, my favorite beaches are all here within driving distance. There are about 50 named beaches in Orange County, all known for any number of fun seaside activities. But these are my 5 all-time favorites:
Laguna Beach: There are so many great things about Laguna, I’m not even sure where to start. But when my family goes to the beach, we usually go to Laguna. It’s quirky; it’s weird. It’s got great restaurants, shopping, and one of the coolest record stores ever. The main beach is pretty standard fare (although it has a cool old lifeguard tower there and some awesome volleyball). But there’s romantic Heisler Gazebo up on the hill, natural tidepools below, great art galleries up and down the street, a trolley running up and down Pacific Coast Highway in the summer, and an entire art festival going on in the eucalyptus canyon. I love Laguna so much I put several scenes from there in THE RED BIKINI!
My son on the Laguna Beach trolley

Treasure Island Beach in Laguna Beach: Although technically in Laguna also, I’m calling out Treasure Island specifically because my photog-loving teens and I like coming here to snap great photos. Amazing sunsets. Beautiful foliage. Craftsman style buildings. Teak benches looking out over the ocean. (You can see one on my website at You can take two different sets of stairs down to two surprisingly quiet beaches – one a nice beach strand great for skimboarding, and the other a quiet cove with a tidepool, a blowhole, and cool nooks to lay down a towel and enjoy some unbelievable natural beauty in peace and quiet. Love it here.

The Wedge in Newport Beach: Sometimes in the winter, my youngest son, hubby and I pick up a quick dinner and head down to The Wedge to just sit in the sand and watch some of the best surf theater. Due to the way the jetty comes in at an angle here, and when the swells come up from the Southern Hemisphere just so, The Wedge can see waves of up to 30 feet. You’ll know the days it’s big because the beach is packed with cameras and looky-loos like us, all watching the daredevils take on this craziness. Here’s one of my favorite videos of it.
Take a look for yourself


Huntington Beach: If you’re into surfing, Huntington Beach is a must-stop. The Surfing Walk of Fame is on the corner of Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway. The International Surfing Museum is one block north of Main Street. And the U.S. Open of Surfing is held right there, next to the pier, every July. It gets a little overcrowded in the summer, but if you can visit in the winter or spring months, Huntington settles into a more peaceful vibe, and you can enjoy places like “Dog Beach” in Huntington Cliffs, where doggies can run right into the surf, and the bird estuary across the highway, which has great walking and biking trails. And nothing beats roasting marshmallows at night around a fire ring here.
Crystal Cove: Crystal Cove is really made up of a bunch of tiny beaches, but they all form to combine a surprisingly quiet enclave that provides scenic hiking, amazing scuba diving and snorkeling (it’s called an “underwater park”), gorgeous tidepools, and even a romp through history with a small boardwalk of historic cottages. (One is where the movie “Beaches” was filmed.)Wildflowers, cliffs, and steep trails to the beach make this one of the prettiest and most natural places. I feel like this beach is one of Orange County’s best-kept secrets, but we’re all friends here, right? A day here is like a trip back in time.
Lorelie’s 5 Goal Beaches
Like Lauren, I grew up in Southern California too. (My time was almost exclusively spent at Huntington Beach. What can I say, I’m a loyalist.) Due to life circumstances, I now live north of Chicago! Which means I spent almost the entire Arctic Vortex day dreaming about beaches to hit up. So here’s my some-day list…
Bora Bora: I’m going to get one of those thatch-roofed bungalows out on the crystal blue water. How great would that be to be completely surrounded by the ocean? It would lull you to sleep. And in the morning you could dive off from your deck for your morning wakeup. Live in a swimsuit for the whole time you’re there, and never have to put on real pants. Bliss!
Banzai Pipeline, The North Shore, Hawaii: This is all for the view. I wanna see Pipeline going off. Even though I’ll likely be staked out on shore, because I wouldn’t have the slightest clue what to do in a wave that big. It’d break me! But I’d love to see it surfed in person, not just vids.
The Hidden Beach, Mexico: I just recently heard about this one. It’s got this volcano formed half-shell over it, but the sun peeks through. You can only access the sand from the water. You really have to check it out [] to understand the appeal. It looks like…magic. Like mermaids would frolic there.
The Gold Coast, Australia: Mostly because I want to go to Australia. Heh. It’d be way cool.
Now, this last one is sort of a cheat, because it isn’t really a particular beach. More like I wanna go to one of those really fancy, adult resorts. Where there are no kids for miles and a houseboy brings me fruity, boozy drinks on a tray while I lounge at the water’s edge. God, that sounds like heaven!
About the books...
Riding the Wave (Pacific Blue, #1)
Series: Pacific Blue #1
Genre: Contemp/Sports Romance
Publisher: Signet
Publication Date: 7/1/14

The gray-green swells of San Sebastian haven’t changed in ten years, but Tanner Wright has. The last thing he expects to find back on his home turf is the love of his life.... 

With a make-or-break world championship on the line, professional surfer Tanner Wright has come back to the coastal California hometown he left a decade ago, carrying only his board and the painful knowledge of his father’s infidelity. Now that Hank Wright is dead, Tanner intends to keep the secret buried to spare his mother and sister the burden.

The last time Avalon Knox saw her best friend’s brother, she was fourteen and he was a twenty-year-old surfer god. She’s never understood or respected the way Tanner distanced himself from the family that has embraced her. But now she has the professional chance of a lifetime: to photograph Tanner for the competition—if he’ll agree.

Out on the waves, they find in each other passion that’s impossible to resist. And Tanner’s not the only one trying to move forward from his past. As the competition heats up, secrets get spilled, and lust takes over. How close can Avalon get to this brooding surfer…without getting burned?


The Pacific Blue Series
Riding the Wave (Pacific Blue, #1)  Ahead in the Heat (Pacific Blue, #2)
(covers lead to GoodReads page)
  Purchase Riding the Wave
Barnes and Noble  |   Amazon  |  iBooks  |  Kobo  |   Powell’s

The Red Bikini
Series: Sandy Cove #1
Genre: Contemp Romance
Series: Sandy Cove #1
Genre: Contemp Romance
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: 7/1/14

A sparkling debut romance where a getaway vacation turns into an unexpected new beginning……

For the last five years, Giselle McCabe’s life has been about sippy cups and playdates. But when her husband suddenly leaves her, Giselle flees to her sister’s California beach house for a two-week getaway. Out of her element, she’s surprised to receive such a warm welcome—especially from gorgeous celebrity athlete Fin Hensen……

Fin is escaping his pro tour for a season, trying to lie low until all the hubbub over a huge mistake in his past blows over. And when he sets his sights on Giselle, he realizes that the beautiful good girl just might be the ticket to his success.

But Giselle never expected romance to enter the picture again—especially with a hot twentysomething from a completely different world. And even though it feels like Fin is everything she’s trying to run away from, she can’t help coming back for more……

Purchase The Red Bikini
Barnes and Noble  |  Amazon  |  iBooks  |  Kobo  |   Powell’s

About Lorelei Brown
Lorelie Brown

After a semi-nomadic childhood throughout California, Lorelie Brown spent high school in Orange County before joining the US Army. After traveling the world from South Korea to Italy, she’s returned home to California. Lorelie has three active sons and a tiny shih-tzu who thinks he’s son number three—not four, he’s too important to be the baby. Writing romance helps her escape a house full of testosterone.

Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  GoodReads 

About the Lauren Christopher
Lauren Christopher
After graduating with an English degree from UCLA, Lauren launched a 23-year career as a nonfiction writer and editor -- writing more than 100 newspaper, magazine, and online articles on everything from the history of auto racing to the origins of Santa Claus. Lauren lives in Southern California with her husband and three teenage children.

 photo AndreaSig_zps3f75055b.jpg


  1. Of course I love CA beaches, but the central coast is my home away from home. Pismo, Morro Bay, and Cayucos are my beaches. :D Ah these books sound SO GOOD!

  2. This just makes me want to go to the beach. As I'm on the East Coast in South Carolina, I have to vote for Folly Beach and Isle of Palms as my top beaches! And I'm totally with you -- Australia!

  3. These books sound great! I want to visit Bora Bora soooo bad!

  4. I've never heard of the Hidden Beach, but man, that looks like all kinds of amazing. Also, I seriously need to visit Laguna Beach one of these days.
    These look like really fun reads, Andrea and I love how they are set at the beach! I need to check these out. :)

  5. Wow those beaches look amazing... I would love to make it out to Cali one day. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Oh my - that last beach picture is the one for me.

    We have a really beautiful beach here in Fl called Caladesi Park. You have to take a boat to it and they only allow so many people at a time on it. It's gorgeous and natural looking.

    I'm looking forward to reading this series soon.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

  7. The Hidden Beach sounds really interesting, and it looks way cool.

  8. Loved the favorite/someday beaches. I haven't been to that many beaches, so I'll have to add a few of these to my bucket list. :) Thanks for sharing!

  9. I loved hearing about everyone else's favorite beaches! (I think I need to start a bucket list.) Thanks for having us on the blog, Andrea!


  10. Great post. I can't wait to read this one.

  11. Thanks for the giveaway. I am surrounded by the Pacific ocean, everyday I thank the heavens for it. Good luck:)


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