UPDATE: The winner is ButtonsMom!
* * * * *
The original spark of an idea for my His Girl Next Door series was inspired by many summers spent at the shore in Lavallette, New Jersey. My brother met his wife there, his own “girl next door.” I adore writing friends-to-lover stories and I thought it would be fun to write a romance series where my heroes discover love is just around the corner, literally. I set the stories in four New Jersey shore towns and four different seasons and I’ve had a wonderful time exploring some favorite and sentimental memories while writing these romances.
Friendships have been an integral part of my writing, both the friends around me here at home and on-line—and the roles friendships play in my stories.
I frequently write while in an online chat with my critique and goals group and other writing friends. I can’t thank them enough for the advice and support they’ve given me over the years. Their friendship and support has been invaluable in my journey to publication. Our members hail from different states and countries, different romance genres, and different stages of our writing careers. They are a critical editing eye, encouraging sounding board for ideas, mentors, cheering squad, shoulder to whine and cry on, and very great friends.
I also belong to New Jersey Romance Writers, and without the support and friendship (and not a little nagging and genial pushing) of my friends at NJRW, I might never have made those first terrifying attempts to pitch and submit.
As for my romances, it seems no matter the couple, my stories revolve strongly upon all kinds of friendships and the support that you get from them, from friends turning to lovers, and old friends that are closer than family, to discovering new friends, and discovering new facets to familiar friends.
In the very early stages of writing Kissing Katie, I hadn’t planned on a series, but characters don’t live in a vacuum, and as one friendship can lead to another in real life, my characters’ friends immediately opened up ideas for more stories. It’s been fun writing the connections and interactions, silliness and seriousness, as one couple leads to the next and getting to share little glimpses into their lives as the series moves along. I particularly loved writing my heroes and heroines discovering just how much deeper their friendships would become and all the emotions of anticipation, hope, fear, worry, rejection and enthusiasm that an unexpected tumble into love and commitment brings.
What’s your favorite memory of a friendship? Have you ever had a friendship shift into romance? I’ll give one commenter an e-book copy of Kissing Katie (His Girl Next Door – Book 1)
CONVINCING CAMI (His Girl Next Door – Book 2)
Sometimes love is just around the corner.
When Cami Alexander moves next door, it’s time for Jack O’Malley to concede the sweet and sexy fellow teacher is more than a long-time friend—she’s the one he’s been looking for in all the wrong places. He’s ready to put his footloose bachelor days behind him, but between his past, Cami’s doubts, her overprotective family, and well-meaning blind date offers from friends, convincing Cami they’re meant to be together is going to get complicated. Good thing Jack likes a challenge.
Cami’s always had a little crush on the dashing, blue-eyed Jack, but when the heat in a spontaneous kiss surprises them both, she’s afraid to risk their friendship over mere desire. Passion proves irresistible, and one explosive night ups the ante on their dilemmas. Jack vows his love and to stand by her through every trouble, but she’s been burned by promises before, and this time more than her heart’s at stake.
The old wooden ladder creaked and rocked with loose joints as Cami climbed. The thing must be as old as the house. She stretched, screwing in the first bulb. The step under her feet creaked, cracked—
And gave way. She shrieked, dropping the light bulb, but grabbed only air. Oh, this was going to hurt—
“Cami!” Jack shouted. Strong arms clamped around her. “I got you.”
Shaken from the close call, she melted into him. “Thanks. That was too close.”
“I knew I should’ve brought my ladders over. You okay?”
“Yes. Just a scare.”
He let her slide to the floor, but held her snug against his body. He would release her, any second now. She should step away. Instead, she wrapped her arms around his waist. She shivered, this time less from the scare and more from realizing just how close he held her. How he’d never actually touched her before beyond a social hug or handshake.
Her quiet little crush speared into a hot rush of want. How warm and sturdy he was. How perfectly they fit together.
She caught her breath and looked up to find Jack studying her with a puzzled, serious expression that she’d never seen on his face before. The twilight added a deceptive privacy to the dim room and made Jack’s eyes appear dark and deep with—
“This is a really bad idea,” Jack muttered. Tightening his arms, he crushed his mouth down on hers.
She gasped, and he seized full advantage of her mouth opening under his in the hungry, demanding kiss.
Oh, Jack was right, this was a really bad idea, but the surprising kiss was far too amazing to rally any effort to break away. With the curiosity of six years pressing her, Cami recklessly surrendered to the pleasure, not caring he had a girlfriend, not caring they’d just careened over the friendship line . . . and his warm body was hard against hers.
What a kiss! Far from a perfect kiss—too hot and rushed—but wonderful, wonderful, fierce, and toe-curling.
Curiosity killed the cat, remember.
Well, she wasn’t a cat, and this was just a kiss.
* * * * *
Come fall in love at the shore
CONVINCING CAMI is available in ebook and print at:
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/convincing-cami-babette-james/1121027833?ean=2940150265530
Google Books https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Babette_James_Convincing_Cami?id=Nk0JBgAAQBAJ
Createspace Print: https://www.createspace.com/5217804
About the Author:
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! Babette lives in New Jersey with her wonderfully patient husband and extremely spoiled cats.
You can find Babette at:
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.com/e/B007KDJWV8
My husband and I were friends for 3 years before I fina asked him on a date and we’ve been married going on 8 years now
Never had a friendship turn into more.
Kissing Katie sounds wonderful!
Hi Delilah! Thanks for letting me visit and share a peek at Convincing Cami.
Hi Angel – That’s great that you asked him out. 🙂
Hi Jen – Thanks! I had a wonderful time writing these stories.
I guess my husband I were technically friends first. We were back-door neighbors and played baseball and football together with other neighborhood kids. We went to different schools so we didn’t see too much of each other other than on weekends as he had an afternoon paper route. How it happened is a long story but he ended up taking me to my Jr. High graduation dance. That was in 1970 (yes, we were young 14 & 16) and we haven’t been apart since. We married in 1974 and it will be 41 years in April.
Your book sounds like one I would enjoy very much. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
Aw, what a great story, ButtonsMom! Thanks for sharing. 🙂
My husband and I were friends for a year before we started to date. At first it felt too weird. I didn’t want to give up the guy I told all my horrible date stories too, but he convinced me that he would still listen to all my stories, I just wouldn’t have any more horrible date ones to tell. That was 30 years ago, and he still listens. Your book sounds great and one I am going to buy.
Thanks for sharing
Hi Lynda – He sounds like a terrific guy. Thanks so much!
I love the “girl next door” idea, and look forward to checking out your books!
I once had a friend I thought would turn into more but my family moved out of state before things progressed…all for the best! I wouldn’t have the wonderful hubby I do if we hadn’t moved!
Thanks, HiDee. Life brings all sorts of interesting surprises, doesn’t it! 🙂
The winner of a copy of Kissing Katie is ButtonsMom! Congrats!
Thank you so much! I look forward to reading it. If you need my email address use delilahdevlin at susanr dot com.