I want to welcome Babette to my blog today and say Thank You to her again for being such a supportive soul who stepped forward and helped a stranger when she reached out. I'm astonished and delighted at how many times other authors have shown that not only do they have wonderful imaginations, but also, good hearts
Bio: Babette James writes contemporary and fantasy romance and loves reading nail-biting tales with a satisfying happily ever after. When not dreaming up stories, she enjoys playing with new bread recipes and dabbling with paints. A teacher, she loves encouraging new readers and writers as they discover their growing abilities. Her class cheers when it’s time for their spelling test! She lives in New Jersey with her wonderfully patient husband and three extremely spoiled cats.
Thank you, Mimi, for letting me visit here and share a little about Clear As Day, my spicy contemporary romance coming from The Wild Rose Press on April 4, 2012. It’s been exciting preparing for the upcoming release of my debut, and I was delighted to learn last week Clear As Day received a 4 ½ stars and scorcher review from the Romantic Times Book Reviews. Between that and being able to hold my first book in my hands, I’m still happy dancing.
Clear As Day started life years ago as that little “story under the bed you love but can’t do anything with.” I had originally written it as a short story back when I was in college, as an exercise featuring the desert setting of Lake Mohave, which is a stretch of the Colorado River below the Hoover Dam, and the little story was born that would eventually grow into Clear As Day. I never found a place for it in its short story form. Too sexy, not sexy enough. Too long, not long enough. I’d take it out every now and ponder what to do with it, only to file it back away. There were many times I felt like giving up, but I kept on writing new stories and improving my craft and, now I can finally share this story and the characters I love.
In January of 2010, I took the story out once more, thinking to expand it into a small novella for a publisher’s call. That did not work out, but taking that step pushed me forward to really write Nate and Kay’s story, and the once short story bloomed into a sweet and sexy novel and even germinated several ideas for sequels. I loved writing Clear As Day and I enjoyed exploring how Kay was the one resistant to commitment and how sweet and certain Nate was in his love for her. It was a delight to see their love story evolve. I adore Nate, his loyalty and his humor, and had so much fun writing him. I love Kay and all her caution and uptight habits she uses to hide her vulnerability and that she’s never chosen the expected routes in her life but made her own. And the fun part is I don’t have to say goodbye to them just yet. I’m currently working hard to finish and submit the next story featuring a couple from Nate and Kay’s circle of friends, tentatively titled Love Burns. I love this couple, and I’ve enjoyed seeing their story come to life as they work through their personal trials and find their own happily ever after together.
What’s a girl to do when her summer lover wants forever?
Haunted by dark memories of her parents’ volatile marriage, artist Kay Browning keeps her heart locked behind a free-spirit facade and contents herself with the comfortable affair she has every summer with easygoing photographer Nate Quinn.
The only trouble with her plan? This summer Nate’s come to Lake Mohave to claim the lover he can’t let go. He’s done with the endless traveling and settling for temporary homes and temporary loves. Kay’s always been more than just a vacation fling, and now he must convince this woman, who sees love as a course to certain heartbreak, to take that leap of faith and learn how safe love with the right man can be.
She trailed her fingers over his collection of pebbles on the table, polished by sand, wind and water. Be happy. Be happy. How could she feel so happy and terrified at the same time? You’d think one would cancel out the other.
She would be happy. They would talk. She would sort out her mind.
Don’t worry, be happy.
She slipped on her leather sandals and picked up her sunhat, sunglasses and beach bag. “All set.”
As Kay and Olivia arrived at Spider Camp, Nate was talking and taking casual shots of Dave sitting on his boat. Dave waved. Nate stopped talking the moment she came into sight, his attention fixed on her in a way that rushed heat through her and kicked a happy tumble in her heart.
He waved. “Hey, babe!” He raked his gaze over her. “Stop right there.” He raised his camera and made swift adjustments. “Okay, move.” Rapid shutter clicks followed his order. “Oh, yeah. Beautiful. Slower. Perfect.”
He met her halfway and kissed her hot and hard. “I was about to track you down. You look great.”
“And you look happy.”
“Life is good.” He gave her another quick kiss. “I took some awesome shots today.”
Be happy. Kay smiled. She just needed to practice. Starting now. “Want a beer then to celebrate?”
“Sounds great.” Nate slid an arm around her waist and whispered in her ear, “Damn, I love this suit on you. Why does it always make me want to peel you out of it?” He caressed his hand down over her bottom, holding her close. He softly nipped her earlobe. “Between this one and that yellow-dot one, I am one happy man.”
Desire twisted and heated through her. Wanting him was so easy. That, at least, she never doubted.
“Let’s go swimming, so I can play. Hmm?” he murmured, with more little nips. “Please?”
Go on, practice being happy. Go swimming. Play. Relax. Enjoy. Love.
What was so hard about all that?
Kay tugged the knot of her pareu free and tucked the wrap into his hand. “Okay.” She pulled away from him and strolled off, slipping off her shirt and tossing it, her sunglasses and hat on a chair as she passed, kicking off her sandals as she reached the damp sand.
Running feet pounded up behind her, and Nate scooped her up in his strong arms. He charged laughing with her into the water and threw them both in, the cool shocking splash against her sun-heated skin driving a giggling shriek from her.
Laughter and friendly catcalls rang behind them from their friends.
Nate tugged her to her feet, his body hard and warm against hers. He shook the water from his hair. A big smile, alive with affection and delight, lighted his face. Mischief danced in his eyes. “Come on, follow me.” He swam with lazy strokes toward the moored boats and flipped around, floating on his back, waiting. When she followed, he kicked farther on, putting Lloyd’s and Dave’s boats between him and the shore. She caught up with him. The water here was breast deep. He snagged her wrist and drew her close.
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Note from Mimi - Babette's story got me thinking. My career happened very similar to hers. How many of you started in the same way as we did...with a story half written, a dream put on hold until the time was right?