Handing the reins over to Babette:
Thanks, Cathie, for letting me visit here with you today! 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’m also a teacher, and I enjoy encouraging young readers and writers as they discover their growing abilities. My class cheers when it’s time for their spelling test! When not writing, teaching or reading, I dabble with bread baking and painting, and try to keep up on weeding the garden beds. I live in New Jersey with my wonderfully patient husband and our three extremely spoiled cats.
Clear As Day is my debut novel, 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 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.
Clear As Day is set against 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. When I was young, my family took camping trips every summer to Lake Havasu or Lake Mohave and I loved those scenic desert places. 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 it’s accessible in only a little over an hour from Las Vegas.
My hero and heroine, Nate and Kay, and their friends go backcountry camping at Lake Mohave every July to get away from it all for two weeks of fun, fast boats, and fishing. 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!
Lake Mohave is part of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area and is a popular location for boating, fishing, swimming, water-skiing, scuba diving, sightseeing, hiking and photography. Named for the Mohave Indians who previously inhabited this region of the Colorado River valley, the lake was created in 1951 following the completion of Davis Dam near Laughlin, Nevada, and Bullhead City, Arizona.
The lake is 67 miles long, but only 4 miles wide at its widest point in Cottonwood Basin and straddles the southern Nevada and northwestern Arizona border. Lake Mohave lies between the Black Mountains to the east in northwestern Arizona, and the Eldorado and Newberry Mountains to the west in southern Nevada. The northern end of the reservoir runs between the steep rock walls of Black Canyon for 22 miles and is narrower than 300 feet in places. The water temperature can be in the low 50’s at the upper end of the lake by the Hoover Dam and as the water opens up into the main lake area some 45 miles south it begins to warm up, and in the summer gets into the 80's at the surface.
Located in one of the hottest and driest areas of the US where rain is scarce and summertime air temperatures can exceed 110 degrees, it is home to animals such as bighorn sheep, mule deer, coyotes, kit foxes, bobcats, ringtail cats, desert tortoise, numerous lizards and snakes, and a wealth of bird species. Threatened and endangered species such as the desert tortoise and peregrine falcon are found here, as well as ancient Colorado River fish species.
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.
You can find Babette at:
You can find Clear As Day at:
The Wild Rose Press– Paperback & eBook http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=952
Amazon.com – Paperback & Kindle http://amzn.com/B007RN9STW
Barnes & Noble – Nook http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1109990576?ean=2940014230902
Come fall in love at the river.