Welcome to the beach, Babette! I’ve heard how cold it is in New Jersey, so I’m glad I can share some of our sunshine with you. Take off your coat and grab an icy fruit drink.
I’m delighted to be here today, Sandra. I think I’ll order a nice, tall mojito. The snow in New Jersey can be beautiful, but it’s lovely to thaw out here in all your toasty warm sunshine. I think this is why I love to write romance stories set during the summer. At least I’m thinking warm thoughts!
If you’d like to have a beach party of your own I’d be glad to share my beach. The first people on your guest list should be the three people who’ve inspired you most, (dead or alive). Who would they be?
First off, I’d invite my mother. She’s always been an inspiration to me in her capacity for love and her enthusiastic support of my writing. Plus, she’s a blast to have at parties and mixes a mean cocktail. J Then there are two authors among several I would have liked to have met: Mary Stewart and J.R.R. Tolkien. Both of them were favorites to read when I was young and their stories definitely inspired the direction of my writing throughout my life. I’d like to chat with Mary Stewart about the inspirations behind her stories and characters and the way she mixed suspense and romance. I love the complexity of the world Tolkien built and I’d love to hear him tell more stories of Middle Earth.
They sound interesting. What would be the three most delicious items on your menu?
Since this is a beach party and I’m in the mood for some summertime food, I think we should have some succulent shrimp and steaks grilled on the barbeque, a refreshing field greens salad with mango and a citrus dressing, and finish with a tangy sweet Key lime pie.
That sounds delicious! If I were to meet your characters, Christopher and Margie, at this party, what celebrities would they remind me of?
Oh, this is a hard one for me. Lol I don’t watch much television or many movies and I don’t have celebrities in mind when I write my characters. *Runs to IMDB and looks at faces* Um, maybe Bradley Cooper and Ashley Benson?
Great couple! Everyone is dying to hear what advice you’d give about writing. Give us your biggest DO and biggest DON’T.
Just write. Do it. Let the story pour out. You can fix it later. That was the best advice I ever received. The biggest don’t: Don’t let others belittle your dreams and don’t give in to doubt.
Very wise. The natives seem to be getting restless. They want to hear about SUMMERTIME DREAM.
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 challenges 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 Day. Summertime 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, February 11-15, 2014.
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?
I love a juicy secret! We’ll need a taste of what we can expect.
Hmm, there are a few secrets for Margie and Christopher to uncover in this story. How about this excerpt then?
This time, they hiked the spiraling tower stairs. Christopher led the way with a broom, sweeping down the jungle of webs. The view, even through grimy windows, was worth the climb and hot stifling air. The round windows offered a panorama over the treetops in four directions of the town, river, and fields, and the thunderstorm clearing off eastward.
“Oh, this is awesome. I think I see the roof of our restaurant.” She danced from window to window, her excitement keeping her attention away from noticing the webs and dead insects littering the curved sills.
What had Grandma Loretta thought as she looked out these windows? Had she seen a hometown she loved or merely a place she had to escape?
“Thank you! This is great!” She spun away from the window, delight sparkling in her eyes, and kissed him.
The press of her lips was a siren call and his mouth opened to hers before he could put himself on guard.
Going to keep denying you want her?
Somehow, he clung to enough sense to keep the kiss slow and sweet. Things had gotten way out of hand earlier. He must stay in control. He would. He clamped his hands onto the windowsill. I’m leaving. She’s too young. It’s just kisses. I’m not going to do anything stupid and complicate either of our lives.
Gathering his crumbling resolve, he pushed her gently away. “It’s roasting up here. We should head downstairs.” That came out too harshly.
She blinked, confusion filling her dreamy eyes. “Ah… right.”
As they descended in silence, he kicked himself for ruining a nice moment.
At the bottom of the tower stairs, she stopped abruptly. Puzzlement sharpened her expression. “I just realized something very strange. Come on.”
First, she led him to Reba’s room. She peered around, and shook her head. “Downstairs. I think I’m right. How odd.” He followed her into the sitting room. She scanned around the room. “Very weird.”
“Look around. There aren’t any photos. No family pictures of anyone. No painted portraits. No photo albums. My whole family has pictures of everyone everywhere. You’d think there’d be something. A wedding picture. Tintypes. A baby album. Something.”
That was weird. He hadn’t noticed any either, but he’d been focused on the scope of the mess, not the details. “Maybe they’re just put away. Or just buried under the mess. You could hide anything under all these piles.”
Framed paintings and prints decorated the walls, all landscapes or flowers. Not one family portrait from any era, just dead roses, bric-a-brac, books, and the creepy doll circle. He opened the top drawer of the nearest cabinet. Envelopes, pencils, a blackly tarnished silver fork, rubber bands. More jumbled clutter filled each drawer he opened. So much damned work loomed ahead if he intended to properly sort out the valuable family stuff from the trash.
The hunt reenergized Margie. Parlor, living room, room after room, not a single photo.
Depression slammed down. He was tired, hot, and desperate to get clean. If only he could see this place as Margie did, as if it had magic and mystery to explore. But in the end, clearing and disposing of the home was simply a messy responsibility he had to handle expediently.
Most of all, he hated how this place had made Grandma Loretta a stranger.
It sounds like a great read in any season. Our guests can find it by going where?
Come fall in love at the river:
Summertime Dream is FREE on Amazon Kindle February 11-15, 2014: http://viewbook.at/SummertimeDream
Our guests are enthralled. Everyone wants to get to know you better.
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! Born in New Jersey and raised in Southern California, she’s had a life-long love of the desert and going down the shore. Babette now lives in New Jersey with her wonderfully patient husband and extremely spoiled cats.
You can find Babette at:
You’ve been a terrific guest, Babette, and SUMMERTIME DREAM sounds fantastic. I hope you’ll come back for more parties in the future.
Thanks, Sandra! It’s been fun here at the beach. And I have a question for our readers: Christopher’s trip to Falk’s Bend leads him to love and his most memorable summer ever. Do you have a most memorable summer memory?
Before everyone runs off, feel free to ask Babette questions or give a comment below. Thanks for coming to the party!