Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Book Tour for Clear As Day by Babette James (Guest Post & GIVEAWAY)

Another entertaining read that I'm excited to bring to you courtesy of Bewitching Book Tours is what's on tap for today.  Babette James is here talking about her new book Clear As Day and the foods of summer, so let's give her a big welcome..............

Thanks so much for letting me visit here today and share a little about my debut novel, Clear As Day.

Clear As Day is a sweetly scorching contemporary romance from The Wild Rose Press 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 bloom and come to life as a full-length published novel has been a dream come true. Receiving the 4 1/2 star scorcher review from Romantic Times and being able to hold my book in my hands have been truly thrilling moments.  I hope you enjoy Nate and Kay’s journey as much as I have.

Most of Clear As Day takes place at a campsite on the shore of Lake Mohave, a reservoir downstream from the Hoover Dam formed out of stretch of the Colorado River by the Davis Dam. It’s a vacation setting and my characters go backcountry camping at Lake Mohave every July to get away from it all for two weeks of friends, fun, fast boats and fishing. My cover shows a glimpse of the shoreline. It’s a starkly beautiful location and lets you feel you’ve gone somewhere completely remote even though the lake can be reached in only a little over an hour from Las Vegas. Their camping site is only accessible by boat and there are no amenities at camp beyond the sparkling 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 was definitely a challenge for more intimate scenes!

One thing that camp life always circled around when my family went camping, whether just ourselves or with a group of friends, was food. If you weren’t fishing, swimming, skiing or boating, you were eating or getting ready to eat. Breakfasts, lunches, suppers, snacks—someone was always hungry. A meal might be peanut butter quick slathered between two slices of bread and washed down with orange soda or a full breakfast of bacon, eggs and pancakes. If the fishing was good, supper was a full-out fish fry and boisterous talk about the ones that got away, or if the fish weren’t biting, it was hotdogs and boisterous talk about the ones that got away. Corn chips, potato chips, and onion dip were favored snacks, along carrot sticks and pretzels. Tart lemon drop candies were kept handy for just a little something sweet when out fishing or hiking. Dessert was usually cookies: oatmeal raisin, chocolate chip, and peanut butter. Or there might be marshmallows toasted over the campfire and made into messy, scrumptious s’mores.

I had fun reminiscing over those camping trips and writing some of my own experiences and favorite summer foods into Clear As Day. Here’s a recipe I like to make with tomatoes fresh from the garden or farm stand. It’s even better when you can use heirloom tomatoes.

My Tomato Salad

The measurements are all approximate, since it depends on the quantity of tomatoes and your tastes.
About 4 ripe tomatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks or slices
1 Onion, roughly chopped
About 1 clove Garlic, minced or chopped, to taste
Parsley and basil (About 2 tablespoons fresh. Less if dried), to taste
Salt and black pepper to taste (a little pinch of red pepper flakes is nice if you like a spicier kick)
About 2-3 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
About ¼ to ½ cup Olive Oil (you want roughly 1 part vinegar to 3 parts olive oil)   
Toss all in a bowl to mix and put into the refrigerator to marinate for about one half hour.
Serve up and enjoy.

And for a treat, here’s an excerpt sharing a little glimpse of suppertime at camp with Kay and Nate and their friends:

Dave frowned at the catch. “Got a lot of catfish in here. Knew I should have gone out with you three.”

Kay always wondered how an adrenaline junkie like Dave could hold still long enough for such a peaceful pastime as fishing, but he did. She’d done a portrait of him fly-fishing several years back for a birthday gift and the painting remained one of her favorite works.

Chuck whacked him with his Tigers cap. “Don’t complain to me, Mr. Fish Snob. Fish is fish. I’ll take anything legal that bites. I think we did damn good for the afternoon.”

Lloyd hoisted a catfish. “You want more bass, next time you come along and coax them.”

Margie grimaced, looking pale. “I didn’t know catfish were so big and ugly.”

“This one’s just a little baby.” Lloyd patted his “little baby.” The channel catfish weighed eight pounds, easy. “Have to be careful when you go swimming out in the deep water, Margie baby.” His voice dropped to a rolling old-pirate, tall-tale cadence. “They say there’s some out there a couple a hundred pounds, could just slurp a little thing like you right up.”

Margie looked wide-eyed at Christopher.

Christopher was choking down a laugh and trying to look serious and supportive at the same time, and failing miserably.

JoAnn rolled her eyes and flicked the back of Lloyd’s head.

“Ouch! Damn it, Jo.” He rubbed his head.

JoAnn grinned. “Margie, sweetie, don’t listen to Lloyd. He’s just pulling your leg.”

“Oh.” Doubts still flickered over her face. “What do you need pliers for?”

“You don’t scale a cat, hon. You got to skin them. Watch how Scott’s doing it.” Christopher dispatched his own bass.

“Oh, that’s the old way. Try it this way.” With a brisk, sure slip of his knife, a snap of the backbone, and a smooth pull head to tail, Dave had the smaller catfish in his hands neatly peeled and gutted.

A kittenish cry escaped Margie as she turned seriously green. Christopher quickly rinsed off his hands and hugged her close, murmuring something soothing.

She hid her face in his chest, and a hiccupping sniffle squeaked from her. “But there it’s wrapped and everything.”

He smiled and patted her back as he whispered into her ear, his craggy, lined face transformed by tenderness into something exquisite.

Kay stared, transfixed.

Christopher whispered more. Margie’s gentle laughter rippled out, and she tipped her face to him. He kissed her and her smile bloomed.

Patti and Olivia deftly fileted and portioned the cleaned catch, and Dave and Rich manned the fry pans.

Food was served up, seats taken, and the lively banter, jokes, and catching-up conversation flew around Kay.

Lloyd handed Kay the tomato salad. “Kay, we put this trip together per Nate’s request so we could all get some serious fishing in, and what does he do on the first day? Deserts us!”

Nate laughed. “Hey, I caught four fish today. Tell them, Kay.”

Kay merely smiled as she scooped the savory tomatoes onto her plate and passed the bowl to Nate.

“Took you all afternoon to catch four fish? You said you’d be right back with Kay for lunch.” Dave rolled his eyes and gave Kay a friendly wink.

“Got sidetracked. The fish, lunch…you know.” Nate grinned smugly.

A flaming blush rushed over Kay.

JoAnn laughed dryly. “Uh huh. ‘You know’ always takes some time, when done right.” She leaned over to whisper in Lloyd’s ear and, as Lloyd choked and flushed, turned smoothly to Nate. “Nate, honey, pass that salad on down here.”

What’s your favorite summertime or vacation food? Babette will be giving away an eBook copy of Clear As Day to one lucky commenter.

Clear As Day by Babette James
Genre: Contemporary Romance

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.

“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.

Wow. Whoa.


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.


“Alone at last.” Nate chuckled and kissed her lightly, dry-brushing his lips over hers. She softened into him with a smile. Pleased to hold her, he slid his hands over her back. The cool lake water lapped about them, the current swaying them together.

What a day. Life was good. The sun was shining and he had a smiling Kay in his arms. Life was damn good. He grinned and kissed her shoulder, licking at the sparkles of water on her skin, grazing up to nibble and taste and just tease her wild. Her hands caught at his shoulders, fingers gripping. He liked when she held on tight.

Taking her mouth again in a deep, all-the-time-in-the-world kiss, he let his hands caress over her until he clasped her bottom’s sweet curves, pulling her close, riding his hard-on against her, easy and lazy, tantalizing them both.

Just hold me tight, babe, don’t let me go. I’ll make this work. Just give me a chance here.

Purchase at:  WILD ROSE PRESS      AMAZON      B&N  

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. Babette is a member of New Jersey Romance Writers, where she has served on the Board. She is also a Pro member of Romance Writers of America, and the Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal, Celtic Hearts, and ESPAN Chapters of RWA, Liberty States Fiction Writers, and Romance Divas. 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 three extremely spoiled cats.

Web and social media links:

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Prize is an eBook copy of Clear As Day.

-Giveaway is OPEN TO EVERYONE!
-To be entered, just leave a comment ANSWERING BABETTE'S QUESTION (that's in bold print at the end of her post), along with your email addy.
-Winner will be chosen using and will have 48 hours to respond to my winner's confirmation email or a new winner will be chosen.
-Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM CST on 5/18.


  1. Hello, I'm delighted to be visiting here today!

    1. Thanks Babette for being at my site and for all the summery feelings. Your book sounds wonderful and I hope everyone runs out to get it!

  2. I love watermelon in the summer. I also love tomato salad and haven't found a recipe that I like, some recipes have some strange things in them. I know it sounds easy, but it's not. Maybe I'm just picky. Your recipe sounds yummy and I can't wait to try it.
    This book sounds fantastic. Can't wait to read it. Thanks for the giveaway.


  3. Hi, Joanne, thanks! I like this recipe because it's quick to put together and refreshing on a hot summer day.

  4. Cold fried chicken and cheese and a nice bottle of wine.I also make the recipe similar to the tomato salad and keep it in the fridge!

  5. Hi, Cathy, that sounds yummy. I could use a glass of wine right now. :)

  6. Great excerpt, Babette and that cover is gorgeous. I've passed by the exit for the campsite many times on my way to Vegas, and each time I've thought, next time I'm bringing the Jeep and going exploring. I'm going to have to make that happen soon! Best of luck and epic sales on your debut title!

  7. Hi Mac, thanks so much! I want to get back there some day, but my husband is not into camping, so maybe a day trip if we go to Vegas again.

  8. Wonderful excerpts, Babette! I look forward to checking this book out.

  9. Thanks for the double excerpt. Liking this book more and more.

    My favorite summertime food is fresh strawberries - even better if it is strawberry shortcake.

    bas1chsemail at gmail dot com

  10. Thanks for the giveaway! Gale

  11. I enjoyed the excepts. The book sounds good.


  12. Hi, Bas! I love strawberry shortcake. :)

    You're welcome, Gale! Thanks for stopping by.

    Thanks, BN, glad you enjoyed them.