Babette James and a Summertime Dream

Join me in welcoming Babette James to the the round corral today. She 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.

Tell us a little about yourself, including something people might be surprised to

I write 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. I’m a teacher and I love teaching my class to enjoy reading and writing. I went kayaking on the Colorado River last year for the first time and I’d love to do it again. My husband and I are owned by two very spoiled cats. Pookie, my younger cat, has decided it is his daily duty to wake me promptly at 5:00 a.m. so I won’t forget to feed him or give him his cuddles. I hand-raised him from when he was one day old and he has been to school with me, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and Mystic Seaport, although he did sleep through most of those events.

       What three things would you never leave home without?

My glasses, my phone, and my rings.

       When you're not writing or reading, what's your favorite way to kick back and

With working on future books, I haven’t been away from the computer much lately, but I like to experiment with bread recipes for my bread machine, and once the weather warms up, I’ll be out in the yard trying to stay ahead of the weeds. I don’t watch much television, but I enjoy Once Upon a Time, Bones, and Castle.

       Which writers inspire you?

Among my favorites are: J.R.R. Tolkien, Mary Stewart, Inez Kelley, Toni Blake, and Eloisa James. I love them all for their story-telling and vivid description.

     Tell us a little about the premise of your book.

It’s a spicy contemporary romance 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.

     What was the hardest scene to write?

Probably the hardest scene to write was when Christopher confronts Margie about her secret and I needed to find the right balance in the push and pull of emotions. He was torn between wanting to be gentle and need to push and she was torn between her fear of rejection and her desire for Christopher.

     Tell us a little about your writing process. 

I’m a pantser who’s trying to learn to be a planner. I’m not ready to be a plotter, yet. Lol I try to write and/or edit every day. I’m doing well so far meeting my 2014 daily word count goals. Fingers crossed for the rest of the year. I like to write very early in the morning before work and at night. Morning is great. My husband is sleeping and cats are snoring, and it’s just me with my coffee and writing, sitting in the peace and quiet. I’m lucky to have my own office space with a nice view of a maple tree and the sky. I usually write while in an online chat with my critique group and other writing friends. We’ll often do timed challenges to work on writing or editing and share snips of our work.

 What do you find most appealing about writing contemporary romance?

Writing contemporary romance lets me explore the twists and turns and traumas of everyday, modern life. I like writing characters you could actually meet and be friends with, and who have familiar faults, problems, and joys. I fully admit to being a sucker for "and they all lived happily ever after."

      My favorite, the one I always ask—if you could have lunch with one woman, past or present, who would it be and what would you want to talk about?

I think I’d like to have lunch with Mary Stewart because her novels really were an early influence on my love of writing. I’d like to chat with her about the inspirations behind her stories and characters and the way she mixed suspense and romance. (Can I come, too? Can I? Ms. Stewart was an early and continuing favorite! - Liz)

And now, some fun stuff from Summertime Dream, Babette's newest release .


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?


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 a 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.

Come fall in love at the river:

Summertime Dream is available on Amazon:

“Summertime Dream is a perfect glass of Lemonade on a hot day. Simple, elegant and beautifully written. I enjoyed each scene. Loved the chemistry between the characters and the house. Great story!” ~ Deborah Diez

Clear As Day, (★★★★½ RT Book Reviews, ★★★★★ Top Pick The Romance Reviews) is available at:


And at all other eBook retailers

You can find Babette at:

Amazon Author Page:


  1. Babette, thanks so much for visiting the Wranglers today. I love the excerpt, and would really like to join you and Ms. Stewart for that lunch. :-)

  2. I also love Eloisa James' writing, especially her dry wit. Best wishes for success with Summertime Dream!

  3. Love the sound of the excerpt, Babette. And congratulations on encouraging your students in the love of reading--and learning! Best of luck with the new release. barb bettis

  4. Love that your Barbie had a sword. Mine rode a stuffed bear and carried a lasso made from a string of paper clips. Best of luck on the book. It sounds great.

    1. Hi, Linda. Love the visual of your barbie and bear. :) Thanks!

  5. Welcome to the Wranglers! Your book looks great!

  6. Hi Liz - I'm delighted to be here. that would be a fun lunch. :)


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