Today we're closing out the virtual tour for C.B. Lee and
Seven Tears At High Tide
Kevin Luong walks to the ocean’s edge with a broken heart. Remembering a legend his mother told him, he lets seven tears fall into the sea. “I just want one summer—one summer to be happy and in love.” Instead, he finds himself saving a mysterious boy from the Pacific—a boy who later shows up on his doorstep professing his love. What he doesn’t know is that Morgan is a selkie, drawn to answer Kevin’s wish. As they grow close, Morgan is caught between the dangers of the human world and his legacy in the selkie community to which he must return at summer’s end.
They wander into the house, wipe their wet feet on the welcome mat, climb up the stairs and giggle as they pass Ann’s bedroom. She’s dancing with her headphones on, oblivious to the open door, swaying to the beat.
In Kevin’s bedroom, he quickly scrounges up some clean shirts and shorts. “Here, you can wear this,” he says, handing an outfit to Morgan and then ducking into his bathroom to change. He peels off the wetsuit and hangs it up in his shower, then leans his surfboard carefully against the wall, eyeing the crack. He’ll have to fix it tomorrow.
When he returns, Morgan is holding onto the wet board shorts, wearing the outfit Kevin gave him. He looks curiously at the rock collection prominently displayed on Kevin’s bookshelf. “These are beautiful,” he says.
“Here, I’ll take that,” Kevin says, holding out his hand for the bedraggled board shorts to hang in his shower. He’s certain now that they’re the ones from the lifeguard’s lost and found. Kevin’s starting to worry that Morgan doesn’t have any other clothes, but he doesn’t know how to bring it up. Money can be a touchy subject.
Morgan holds Kevin’s favorite specimen, a piece of green olivine on basalt. Kevin once almost convinced Ann it was an avocado roll—it certainly looks like one, bright green speckled with sesame seeds, wrapped in dark seaweed.
“That’s from Mexico. My family went on vacation to Baja last year, and I got that out of an old volcano.” He tries his best to describe the sweltering heat and the excitement of finding geodes and cracking them open with a hammer. Morgan listens in rapt silence as Kevin talks about the find and tilts the olivine so it catches the light. He sets it back in its spot behind its label, slowly so as not to disturb the other specimens, and Kevin is quietly pleased with Morgan's careful appreciation.
“I changed my mind,” Kevin blurts out.
“I do want this to be a date. For us, to do that,” he says, blushing. “I like you. A lot.”
Morgan’s face breaks into a bright, happy smile.
“And what do we do differently, for this to be a date?”
Kevin can feel the heat on his cheeks. “We can hold hands, if you like. Um, or kiss, if you want to. But we don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. I’m fine just hanging out and watching a movie with you.”
Morgan tilts his head and steps closer. “I want to,” he says, not specifying what, but Kevin knows immediately.
It’s just the quickest brush of lips, but Kevin feels it all the way to his toes. A warm curl of excitement blooms throughout his body, and Morgan’s mouth is warm and wet against his. It’s not like any kiss he’s had, chaste and sweet and over in a second, and yet his heart is still pounding after Morgan leans back. He’s close enough for Kevin to be able to count the eyelashes dark against his cheek.
Morgan ducks his head and asks, “Was that okay?”
Kevin's a little dazed, but he finds his voice. “Yeah. Yeah, that was great.”
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We had a chance to ask the author a few questions...
Hi C.B., thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Hello, thank you so much for having me on your blog today! I'm C.B., a bisexual woman from California. I'm a graphic designer by trade but a writer at heart, and I am so excited to introduce these characters to the world. My first novel, Seven Tears at High Tide, is the story of Kevin and Morgan, who meet under the supernatural circumstances of a wish for a "summer love," and they have some difficult choices to make when summer is over.
- What book do you wish you could have written?
I think the line of thought that comes with "oh I wish I came up with that idea" is probably more descriptive for people who invent products and things like... those little sleeves for your hot coffee cup. I don't really think this applies to writing much because whatever idea, every person would execute it differently, and it would become a different story in someone else's hands. I do admire a number of works, but I don't at all wish I had written any of those novels, because then I would not have had the pleasure of enjoying them as a reader.
- How important are names to you (in your books)? Do you choose names based on liking the way it sounds or meaning? How do you choose your names?
Both for sound and meaning, and sometimes there's that feel of a name is just right for a character, you know? Kevin's name means "kind and gentle, beloved." It's a simple and strong name that I thought his parents would have given him when he was born, and for his surname, it's actually shared with a number of people in my extended family. Morgan's name means "bright sea," which I thought was an apt descriptor of his personality and his supernatural heritage. I choose names by coming up with a few options and writing it as it goes, speaking it out loud, imagining holding a conversation with that character, if it feels natural talking to them with that name.
In Seven Tears, Kevin and Morgan have always been Kevin and Morgan since the very first draft, but there were a number of other characters who went through several tries before I got what felt right. Another character whose name I just instinctively picked was Mike, Kevin's father. Mike is named for my late grandfather, who was incredibly supportive and kind, and went through so much in his life just to get his family to freedom. When he came to America and decided he needed an English name, he picked out Mike, because it was his favorite name. I thought it was a fitting little tribute for Kevin's dad, who is also very supportive and wants the best for his family.
- Were you already a great writer? Have you always enjoyed writing?
I think the process of becoming a good writer is something that is constantly ongoing; people who have written amazing works have gotten there with practice and hard work, and I hope to improve as time goes by.
I've always enjoyed telling stories and writing them down ever since I was young. I was a voracious reader as a child; I'd check out twenty books from the library a week, and every week come back for more until I read the entire children's section. And then the young adult section and then whatever I just happened to be interested in. I did start writing my own stories quite early; I still have some of them, actually. There are a few journals, smudged in pencil, words crossed out, pages ripped, filled to the brim with words and the starts of stories.
- How long have you been writing?
I tried to write my first novel at twelve. I still have it in a journal; it's all handwritten and extremely interesting to look at how far I've come. Also my handwriting was atrocious.
- What hobbies do you enjoy?
I love hiking, camping, backpacking and rock climbing. I'm very avid about experiencing nature and I just love everything about being out of the city, seeing the gorgeous views, the journey of putting one foot in front of the other and getting somewhere entirely new with just the power of your body. It's exhilarating and I love feeling alive in those moments.
About the author:
C. B. Lee is a bisexual writer, rock climber and pinniped enthusiast based in California. Lee enjoys reading, hiking and other outdoor pursuits. Seven Tears At High Tide is a first novel.
Connect with C.B. at cb-lee.com, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Goodreads.
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