Sunday, May 25, 2014

Ten Things I Love About Writing Romance by Babette James

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 remember carting home armloads of books from the library, loving all the different stories and worlds and I wanted to write the stories I imagined, too. I remember playing out complex tales with my dolls and studiously writing out pieces of stories in spiral-bound notebooks and on backs of school papers. 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 fell headlong in love with writing romance. I fully admit to being a sucker for "and they all lived happily ever after. So, what do I love about writing romances?

1. Exploring a setting. Whether it’s my contemporary romances or my fantasy romances, I enjoy researching the different settings and choosing the details that build the world my characters live in.
2.  I like writing characters you could actually meet and be friends with, and who have familiar faults, problems, and joys. Exploring emotions and working with my heroes and heroines dealing with life’s up and downs despite their flaws and pasts. Watching the hero and heroine’s relationship grow and seeing their mutual respect and trust developing as they help each other on their journey.
3.  Love scenes. I love writing love scenes. (Well, I love them more after I’m done writing them. While I’m writing them, there tends to be hair tearing and crying to my writing friends. J But it all works out in the end.)
4.  How romance encompasses so many different stories. It’s so much more than boy meets girl, rinse and repeat.
5.  Romance heroines. Getting to know them as I write their story is like making new friends.
6.  Romance heroes! I fall a little bit in love with my heroes every time. You can never have too many book boyfriends lol
7.  The challenge of solving problems and the fun of learning new things. I’m a pantser and sometimes write myself into corners, but it’s a great feeling when the plot and threads finally all fall together.
8. Getting through the emotional, heart-wrenching scenes. Tissues!  
9. Writing the humorous scenes. I love having fun along with my characters. (And maybe tormenting them a little, too.)
10. The happily-ever-after!  I love romance for the happy ending. Sometimes, like in life, it’s a difficult road getting my characters there, but in the end the journey is worth all the twists and turns and traumas it takes to get there. It’s comforting. I love seeing that problems will be solved and wounds begin to heal.
What do you love most about romances?
Blurb for Summertime Dream
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 an 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.
Come fall in love at the river:

Summertime Dream is available at: (Print and Kindle):

Barnes & Noble Nook:

All Romance Ebooks:

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! 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 lives in New Jersey with her wonderfully patient husband and extremely spoiled cats.

You can find Babette at:

Amazon Author Page:


Jannine Gallant said...

Really nice scene. You did an excellent job painting a picture of the setting. Best of luck with sales!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Well done. You pulled me into the moment. Like Jannine says, best of luck with sales.

Leah St. James said...

Great excerpt, Babette! I was right there with you. Where in Jersey do you live?? (I'm a Jersey Girl, now living in southeastern Virginia.) :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Roses, for letting me visit here today.

I'm so glad you enjoyed the scene, Jannine and Margo. I loved writing this story. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, Leah, thanks. I live in central New Jersey, up at the intersection of the Turnpike and Parkway. I love Virginia.

Ashantay said...

I love reading about characters so entertaining and passionate that I want to hang with them after the book ends. Margie and Christopher look to be those kind of people. Best wishes with your newest release!

Alicia Dean said...

Very nice excerpt! I could really picture being in the setting.

What do I love about romance? I love the conflict and the struggles and the angst the characters must go through to earn their Happily Ever After. Yep! Make them suffer... Uh, yeah, I also write suspense, so I might be a little sadistic.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Ashantay. I love books like that too. :)

Anonymous said...

Lol, Alicia! We do put our characters through the winger sometimes. :)

Leah St. James said...

Babette, I'm from "the Central Jersey Shore." I grew up in Little Silver and raised my family in Middletown (Monmouth County). I love Virginia, but I miss good pizza, good cheese, good bakeries...and my friends. :-)