Welcome to Babette James!

February 11 2014

First of all I have to declare my admiration for Babette James’ beautiful website. Nice work!

I took a peek at Babette’s new release, “Summertime Dream” and loved the description, “sweetly scorching.”

Now for the questions:

Thanks, Anne! Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m delighted to visit here today.

Where are you from?

I was born in New Jersey and raised in Southern California, which gave me a life-long love of the desert and the shore. I live in New Jersey with my wonderfully patient husband and two extremely spoiled cats.

 

When did you start writing stories? Do you write the kind of stories you like to read?

I love write and read contemporary and fantasy romance, and I’ve always loved writing and making up stories, beginning back when I used to act out epic fantasy tales with my dolls. (My Barbies had swords and knew how to use them.) I even have a degree in Literature, but it wasn’t until 2004 that I wrote my first full rough draft of romance novel and began gathering up my nerve to pursue publication. I fell in love with writing romance and have focused on that ever since.

Do you yearn to write a different kind of story? What would it be?

I have a partial draft of romantic suspense story that I’d like to finish writing someday.

What do your friends and family think of your career?

I’m very fortunate that my family and friends are all very supportive. While my husband doesn’t read my books, he’s very happy to tell people about them. J

Where do you set your stories?

All the stories in my River series derive from a circle of friends who vacation together every July at Lake Mohave, which is a stretch of the Colorado River below the Hoover Dam. However, Summertime Dream is the only story in the series where the hero and heroine don’t actually make it to the annual get-together—All because of Margie, but Christopher’s not complaining. ;) Summertime Dream is set in Missouri. Future stories will be visiting Oregon, Florida, Lake Mead, and other US locations. I’m also having fun with a contemporary novella series that is set in four New Jersey shore towns.

Tell us about your most recent book and/or about your favorite.

Summertime Dream is my new spicy contemporary romance novel from The Wild Rose Press, about a workaholic consultant who simply wants to unload the dilapidated house he inherited, but a writer struggling with her overprotective family, his grandmother’s mysterious past, and unexpected love challenge him to reassess his lifestyle and he discovers the home he never knew he needed. It’s the second novel in my River series, which began with Clear As DaySummertime Dream is a prequel to Clear As Day, and occurs the summer before, but the stories can be read in either order. Summertime Dream is FREE on Amazon Kindle http://viewbook.at/SummertimeDream   February 11-15, 2014.

 

I hesitate to ask this question, because your answer could make me feel inadequate. Do you have a daily word-count goal and/or a time spread when you write each day?

This year I’m trying a daily word count goal and trying for 800 words a day. It’s a stretch, and some days are just impossible, but I did decently overall in January. However, for the month of February, I’m participating in a word count challenge with my NJRW chapter to do 30k in 28 days. We’ll see how that goes. I don’t write for a set length of time, but I do write in the morning before work and in the evening.

What was the best part about being published the first time?  Seeing your name on the cover? Telling people you are an author? Telling people you write romance?

There are so many wonderful aspects to seeing my first book published. My debut book was Clear As Day, my first contemporary romance from The Wild Rose Press. I loved writing Clear As Day, it’s been a story of my heart in many ways, so seeing that story published is proof a dream can come true. 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. There were many times over the years that I felt like giving up, but I kept on writing and the once short story bloomed into a sweet and sexy novel. Being able to hold my book in my hands for the first time and receiving the 4 1/2 star review from Romantic Times and 5 Stars Top Pick review from The Romance Reviews were particularly thrilling moments. My heart still does a little happy dance at the memories. Most of all, I love being able to share the story and the characters I love.

Do you write straight through a story and then rewrite? Or do you edit as you go along?

I’m a pantser and, so far, can’t write in a neat, linear way. I write more in a hop, skip, and jump fashion, trying to draft the story in full first, even if it leads me in circles. If I get stuck in one place, I’ll just jump to another scene and work there, and keep at it until it all fills in. I will edit a little as I go, but I save the heavy editing until I have the full rough draft. Then I go back to fill in, layer in, and clean up. My first draft will be heavy on dialogue, and thin on description, so there will be a good number of layering passes.

Tell us about your book signings.

I enjoy book signings. My very first book signing was at the Romantic Times convention in Chicago. I love talking with the readers and visiting with the other authors.

If there’s a question you wish I would ask, please pose it and respond.

Many of the settings in my books are inspired by places I’ve lived or visited. What has been a favorite place you’ve lived or visited? What makes it so special to you?

Please include a blurb from your book and a passage that will lure us.

Blurb:

 

The Fourth of July is over, but for these summer lovers the fireworks have just begun.

 

An unexpected inheritance brings business consultant Christopher Gordon from Los Angeles to quaint Falk’s Bend. He’s carved a week from his demanding schedule to list his great-grandparents’ house for sale and explore his roots. However, disturbing family secrets and the sweet temptation of writer Margie Olsson derail his plans, challenging him to seize the elusive dream missing from his hectic life— love.

 

A recent brush with death shook Margie’s life, but not her dreams and she’s ready to move forward. Only, standing up to her loving, over-protective family isn’t easy. Helping Christopher explore the derelict mansion and unravel his grandmother’s mysterious past should be a harmless fun taste of independence. But when her experimental summer fling ignites into unexpected love, how can her small town dreams work with his big city life?

 

Excerpt:

Margie opened the peeling gate, wincing at the screeching hinges.

The men may have kept the front and side yards mowed, but dandelions and crabgrass had conquered the lawn and the abandoned garden beds had gone downright wild. Time and neglect had reduced Mrs. Falk’s prized roses to sucker-choked, unkempt tangles of sprawling canes with only a few scattered blooms hinting at their former beauty. Vines of trumpet creeper, bright with orange flowers, twined over the porch rails along with the shaggy brown remains of last year’s morning glories.

She led him up the cracked flagstone walk to the sweeping front porch steps. A porch like this called for rocking chairs, ice-cold lemonade, and a dog or cat or two sleeping in the sun.

As they stepped onto the porch, Christopher caught her arm. “Careful, some of the boards don’t look safe.”

Some boards were spongy, creaking under their steps, loud in the quiet afternoon, but on the whole, the porch was surprisingly solid.

Two panels of peeling plywood closed with a padlock hid the ancient screen doors and ornate arched double front entry. Oh, if he only had the keys. Would the leaded glass windows still be intact? They had once sparkled like cut glass jewelry and the screen doors had fanned out like butterfly wings on either side.

More plywood covered each window. Faded, cracked, and peeling pale yellow paint on the siding hinted at previous coats of white, green, and peach.

They reached the rear of the house. Christopher muttered a serious cuss under his breath. She didn’t blame him.

Vandals had paint-balled the boarded windows and doors. Beer cans, bottles, broken glass, and cigarette butts littered the flaking porch boards and trash lurked in every nook of the weedy, overgrown beds. Falk’s Bend was a nice town, but still had its share of bored kids looking for a little illicit thrill.

The crabgrass- and dandelion-choked drive led to the carriage house and small sagging barn, both structures boarded up, paint-splotched, and swathed with honeysuckle and trumpet creeper.

He finished his beer and looked around the littered porch with a clenched jaw, pacing sharply. “Hell, I suppose one more bottle here won’t matter at the moment. Might as well leave yours too.” He took her empty bottle and set the pair neatly by the back door. “Looks like chore one is trash bags and a shovel.” One more look around, and he shook his head. “I better make that a Dumpster.”

Margie touched his shoulder and had him turn away from the mess to focus on the view toward the river.

Here the picturesque natural beauty of the property began: the land sloped gently down past the ancient summer house and purple martin houses to the reedy pond where a duck flew in and landed with a quack, and stretched on through weedy tangles of wild blackberry and rogue saplings to the ancient apple and plum trees sagging with unripe fruit, and beyond to the river invisible in the distance, marking where the Engberg’s farm began on the far bank.

Appreciation softened his tense face.

“Beautiful, isn’t it? I fell so in love with this place when I was little and dreamed I’d live in a house like this someday.” Margie laughed. “Of course, in my dreams it was a bit less rundown.”

“I’d imagine so. Interested in buying?”

“Oh, if only I could, I would in an instant. I’m sure the property alone is worth far more than I can afford. It’s a huge piece of land. And the repairs and restoration...” Longing swelled. She sighed. Someone else would buy and live in her dream home.

Quiet fell between them for a while. Bees buzzed in the clover. Birds sang, chirped, and flitted. A hummingbird whizzed past. Two more ducks joined the first amid quiet bickering quacks. Dandelion fluff drifted by on an unfelt breeze.

A truck rattled down the lane, breaking the moment.

“Suppose we ought to head back...” Christopher turned, so close their arms brushed, but instead of retreating, he hesitated. Their eyes locked. Where dismay and frustration had filled his green eyes, want simmered. The heavy air electrified.

You need a change.

On a surge of bewildering crazy courage, she stretched up and kissed him. The brief brush of lips to lips left her shaken and her heart pounding, like she had just come up for air.

His eyes widened in his serious, craggy face.

No, oh, no. Blowing out an unsteady breath, she pressed a hand to her stomach. She’d carried her day’s adventure one impetuous step too far. Her heroines were the daring part of her. She’d never even kissed on a first date before, and this wasn’t even a date.

Before the apology fluttering in her mind could break free, he cupped her cheek and touched his mouth down on hers.

Thinking faded as feeling soared. His gentle touch sweet and fascinating, his lips warm and firm played over hers, unhurried in his caresses and enticing brushes. He laced his fingers into her hair, cradling her head in his hand. He tenderly nipped her lip and licked at her mouth, inviting her rather than taking.

She sighed, delighting in this lovely, reckless rush. Yes. Yes. Yes. Forget that they had just met. She could want again.

Gripping his shoulder, she accepted the heady invitation, and the kiss deepened into perfect.

Please include your Buy link and attach your book cover and photo.

Come fall in love at the river

 

A Valentine’s gift for you! Summertime Dream is FREE on Amazon Kindle February 11-15, 2014: http://viewbook.at/SummertimeDream

 

Clear As Day

What’s a girl to do when her summer lover wants forever?

Available for purchase at Amazon http://viewbook.at/ClearAsDay and all other eBook retailers

 

About the Author:

Babette James writes sweetly scorching contemporary 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. As 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!

 

You can find Babette at:

 

Website: http://babettejames.com/

 

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/ltvyP

 

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BabetteJames

 

Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/BabetteJamesAuthor

 

 

Thank you very much! I look forward to reading your answers and to posting them on my website, www.aystratton.com