This sizzling hot event will run throughout the summer and feature many best-selling authors. Of course, all participating stories include hot summer nights! Keeping in theme, they either take place during the steamy summer months or in parts of the world where it’s toasty all year round. And, naturally, every author will be giving away a little something extra to those of you who comment!
Today it’s my pleasure to welcome over romance author, Babette James. She’ll be sharing a bit about why she wrote her latest novel, Clear As Day. It sounds amazing! Don’t forget, one lucky commenter wins an Ecopy of this book.
Let’s hear from Babette…
Thanks so much for letting me visit today and share a little about my debut novel, Clear As Day, a sweetly scorching contemporary romance about two friends with benefits facing the fears and uncertainties of their changing relationship.
Clear As Day began life as a short story years back when I was in college, an exercise featuring the July desert heat and cool waters of Lake Mohave, a reservoir downstream from the Hoover Dam formed out of stretch of the Colorado River by the Davis Dam. I grew up in Southern California and I’ve always had a love of the deserts of the Southwest. I had fun with the story, adding in bits of my family’s trips to the river, other camping and fishing experiences, and my own enjoyment of watercolors, music, photography, and the desert. Lake Mohave is a starkly beautiful location and lets you feel you’ve gone somewhere completely remote even though it’s accessible in only a little over an hour from Las Vegas. My cover shows a glimpse of the shoreline. The backcountry camping site in Clear As Day is only accessible by boat and there are no amenities beyond the sparkling, cool lake water, scenic desert, and wide blue sky. You pack in what you need and leave only your footprints behind when it’s time to head home. It definitely provided a challenge for more intimate scenes!
But a story needs more than a setting, and my artist character Kay appeared in her lakeside campsite, already independent, reserved, and commitment-shy. Then the man who would become easy-going, globetrotting photographer Nate showed up to disrupt her careful, comfortable rut in life. Their simple friends-with-benefits relationship proved not so simple and their conflict, love story, and their tight-knit group of friends they meet every July to get away from it all for two weeks of fun, fast boats, and fishing turned the once sweet short story into a fun, spicy romance novel.
I loved writing Clear As Day, it’s been a story of my heart in many ways, so seeing this story published is a dream come true. Being able to hold my book in my hands and receiving the 4 1/2 star scorcher review from Romantic Times truly have been a thrill. I hope you enjoy Nate and Kay’s journey to love as much as I have.
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.
With a splash, she erased the frustrating daydream. This wishful imagining fixed nothing. Her sheltered little camp would still be empty. Should she give in, pack up the camp, and hit the road north to Lake Mead instead? Just break her routine for once.
No, but it was definitely past time to get her tush out of the water and do something constructive. This lonely gnawing in her bones and brain was unacceptable. Kay pushed to her feet, facing out to the scenic lake created out of a stretch of the Colorado River and the rugged land beyond shimmering with heat.
Work, right, but it was too early in the day for the hard afternoon light she needed for the Coyote Point painting. She was too restless to read or fish and not in the mood to take the boat over to the marina, chat with George, and buy ice.
She rolled her shoulders and stretched, enjoying the hot air licking over her wet skin. As she wiggled her feet in the sand and gravel-bottomed shallows, a flurry of minnows darted past her ankles, and her silver toe ring glinted beneath the clear water. She paused, caught by the possibilities in the sparkling sun on water and the intricate, shifting reflections over gravel.
Yes! Exactly the distracting challenge she needed. Shaking the water from her ears, she pivoted toward camp.
“Kay!” That male voice was not her imagination.
“Oh, shit!” She twisted and dropped into the water, sinking neck-deep.
Mother always said, among other things, that a lady never goes skinny-dipping and must always wear a proper hat. Kay was only half skinny-dipping, but she fervently wished she’d worn something a bit more substantial than a baseball cap and the bottom half of the quintessential teeny-weenie yellow polka-dot bikini.
Shit, oh, shit, oh, shit. She so hated when Mother was right.
Okay, time to find out who’d just gotten an eyeful. The guy had called her name, so she should know him. Oh boy, if she’d flashed old George…
She wiped water from her face, sucked in a breath against her pounding heart, and peeked around.
She must be sun-dazed. Nate? With a beard? Hair curling over his ears? No way.
Just because a familiar slouchy fishing hat topped those unruly, sun-bleached blond curls and just because this guy possessed the same deep-water tan and footloose taste in clothes as Nate with his electric blue Hawaiian shirt, bright orange swim trunks, and beat-up deck shoes didn’t mean—
“Hey, babe. Now that I’ve finally caught your attention, how about a hug from my girl?” He opened his arms. “Am I coming in after you or are you coming out?” Only Nate’s voice held that mellow timbre like chocolate for her ears.
“Nate! What…” Giddy delight flushed over Kay, clearing her shock. She dashed from the water and into strong arms, a wonderful hug, and a better kiss that launched her mind into a blissed-out whirl of oh, yes and why?
The oh, yes won out until the need to breathe forced them apart.
Nate gave her a long look, his usually easy gray eyes holding a new, simmering heat.
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.
Visit Babette's Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook
View the book trailer for Clear As Day HERE.
Purchase Clear As Day at The Wild Rose Press, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Come fall in love at the river.
One lucky reader who leaves a comment will be randomly selected to win an eBook copy of Clear As Day. Good luck!
Contest ends Thursday, July 12th, 12 AM EST.