Posted by Calisa Rhose
Oooh! I’m a horrible rancher! Bad- I tell ya. Someone get the rope! I offer profuse apologies to my sister Rose, Babette James! We were SUPPOSED to feature her debut release, Clear As Day by the Wild Rose Press on April 24th and I completely forgot to schedule her!!! Maybe I had a good reason for becoming totally Old Timers afflicted (my granddaughter lives with hubby and me and she fell at her Daddy’s Saturday the 21st and seriously broke her arm) but that’s still not an excuse. So I’m sucking the sour lemon of shame (because rose apples are just too gross), and apologizing to Babette and featuring her beautiful book now.
And Clear As Day really does have a lovely cover. Welcome Babette! Thank you for not boycotting the ranch for my blank-mindedness and sharing your book today.
Thank you, Calisa, for letting me visit and share a little about my debut novel, Clear As Day, a sweetly scorching contemporary romance from The Wild Rose Press.
Clear As Day is about two friends with benefits facing the fears and uncertainties of their changing relationship. 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.
When I was young, my family took camping trips every summer to Lake Havasu or Lake Mohave and I loved those scenic desert places. Later, when I was in college, remembering those trips, I wrote a short story, written from Kay’s first person point of view, as an exercise featuring that setting of the summer heat and cool waters of Lake Mohave, and the little story was born that would eventually grow into Clear As Day.
I never quite found a place for that short version, but in January of 2010, I took the story out once more, thinking to expand it into a small novella for a publisher’s call. 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. The resulting novella, now in Kay’s third person viewpoint, was rejected, but I received the nicest letter from the editor who took the time to briefly explain what she liked about the story and what she believed would improve the story. I took her comments and ran with them. The biggest change and challenge was adding in Nate’s viewpoint, and once I did that, the story just blossomed into the novel length it is now. Their simple friends-with-benefits relationship proved not so simple and from there grew the beginnings of their conflict, love story, and their tight-knit group of friends. I enjoyed exploring how Kay was the one resistant to commitment and how sweet and certain Nate was in his love for her.
There were more bumps and rejections in the road to publication, but I kept working to improve the story, and I didn’t give up, despite the doubts the rejections caused. The day I received that email from The Wild Rose Press saying they wanted Clear As Day was amazing. Now, with the 4 ½ star review from Romantic Times and being able to hold my book in my hands, I am so glad I never gave up on my story. 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.
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.
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.
Babette loves hearing from readers and you can find her at:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BabetteJamesAuthor
You can find Clear As Day at:
Come fall in love at the river.
Thank you for forgiving me, Babette, and for sharing the wonderful excerpt! Awesome! Congratulations on your release and I wish you many, many happy sales, my friend. 🙂