As many of you may know, our beloved sister hostess SHARON DONOVAN, tragically passed away on 11th April 2012. We who knew her, loved her, and were inspired by her courage and determination to face head on whatever life threw at her. When she could no longer see to paint she turned to writing and showed her amazing talent in the Inspirational Romance and Romantic Suspense genres, and her story 'Charade Of Hearts' was awarded the coveted Predators and Editors Award in January 2011.

This Blog was a source of great delight to her, she was one of the founder hostesses and she contributed to the fun and silliness in her own original way, and was kind enough to let her unique creation, the hunky butler 'Oliver' join us for our Friday romp and prepare 'virtual breakfast' for the guests on the following morning. It's beyond hard to have to go on without her, but we know that she would have been the first to insist that 'the show must go on.' She is, and will always be with us in spirit.
Sharon, dear friend, we will never forget you.
The Author Roast and Toast is part of the legacy you left us. Let's raise a Toast to you as well as all our guests.

Friday, February 14, 2014

'Summertime Dreams' by Babette James with a Valentine's Gift for You!

“Wow! This place is like stepping into the past. The decorations,
crepe paper, now that makes a party.  And so patriotic with the red, white and blue colors. Fourth of July in Falk’s Bend belongs in a Norman Rockwell painting. I remember as a kid…” Lyn phases out in a blast from the past.

“Besides the parade, there will be fireworks later on. That’s my favorite part.” AJ smiles, lost in thoughts of cascading colors that will soon fill the sky.

“I’m looking at the food! Barbecued steak, hamburgers, fried chicken, salads, ice cream, blackberry pie, apple crumb pie, coconut cake,chocolate cake. 

Apparently, according to Babette every resident took this day as some unofficial cook-off challenge, not settling for the usual picnic fare of hot dogs and hamburgers, but offering up ribs and anything else that could be barbecued, fried chicken, every variety of casserole, salad, pickle, condiment, and dessert.” Lilly gazes down at her now flat stomach. “I’m gonna regret the tight jeans, I just know it.”

“Well there is just about any summer drink you could imagine. I’ll try that lemonade, it looks home made.” Mac drools as she thinks about the sugary sweet lemonade she longs for.

“I’m looking for Babette, she promised to introduce us to some of Christopher’s friends. I love him as a hero in Summer Time Dreams.” Melissa grins at Babette as she approaches.

“Hi ladies welcome to the Fourth of July celebration here in Falk’s Bend. Isn’t there one of you missing?”

Babette gazes over the crowded streets. “We’ll have to hurry is we want a good seat in one of the grandstands.” Babette points to seating along the main road where the parade is soon to pass. “Well she’ll have to catch up with us.” The group quickly follows Babette and seats themselves in the front row. The cacophony off sounds goes off scale as the first of the marching bands begins its way down the street to cheers and good natured calls.

The band approaches, majorettes twirl their batons in short skirts and colorful costumes.
Shouts for the local high school band fill the air! The cheerleaders march in unison and stop to perform as small skit in front of the bandstand.

“Wait a minute,” Mac whispers to the others isn’t that Mary?” She points to a majorette in a baggy costume and with huge pom poms glued to her front that shake radically as she clumsily tries to twirl the baton. “Is that? No, it couldn’t be…It is!!!”

They all laugh and nod to those around them who are hysterical at the antics in front of them.

“Just pretend you don’t know her.” Lyn whispers as they as they watch the spectacle. “It wouldn’t be so bad if she had worn a top that wasn’t so bright and gaudy and those pom poms...”

Babette squeals in delight as she runs over, joins Mary, grabs a baton, and tries to twirl it. “Come on, she yells, it’s fun.”

The girls look at each other and sigh. AJ jumps up and yells, “Are you game?”

 “If you can’t beat ‘em, join, ‘em!”  They chorus and run to join the fun. “It’s a Summer Time Dream!”

Bio: Babette James writes sweetly scorching contemporary 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. 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! She lives in New Jersey with her wonderfully patient husband and extremely spoiled cats.

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? 

Excerpt – 
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. 

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! I have a Valentine’s Day gift for you all today. Summertime Dream is FREE on Amazon Kindle February 11-15, 2014: http://viewBook.at/SummertimeDream
And one lucky commenter will win an PDF copy of Clear As Day, the next book in the series.

Contest ends on Sunday and everyone who comments is eligible.
(We reserve the right to waive the prize in any week when there are not enough contestants for a draw to be deemed fair and unbiased)


  1. Hi all! So glad to be visiting with you here today. Enjoy the party!

  2. Hi Babette. welcome to your party, congratulations and wishing you much success and a Very Happy Valentine's Day!

  3. Hiya Babette. Hiya chickies. *Air kisses all around* I'm in Manhattan working. I've had about 7 hours of sleep in the past two days but I'm done now. Unfortunately I'm about to fall on my face and sleep until happy hour. Just wanted to pop in to say sweet excerpt! I have Clear as Day on my kindle waiting its turn and now I have Summertime Dream too. Squee! Okay, a shot in my lemonade would have me in dreamland in no time. Thank you very much. :-)

  4. Okay, I'm suddenly craving barbequed chicken and potato salad. LOL Fabulous to have you here today Babette! I've already got your book downloaded on my Kindle! Whoo Hoo! Off to share the great news!

  5. Hi, Mackenzie! Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you sleep well. Happy Valentine's Day.

  6. Happy Valentines day all! Any kisses yet, how about flowers? I think I'll gift myself with a copy of Summmertime Dream! I could use a few!

  7. Hi, Mary! lol You'll definitely find a few kisses, snuggles, and more between the pages. Enjoy!

  8. I could use a few of each! How about another excerpt for us???

  9. Here's a little snippet with a kiss: She caught his hand in hers and kissed his cheek. “I had a wonderful day. Thanks!”
    From that innocent touch, his resolve shattered, and sliding his hand over her silky, wind-tangled curls and touching his mouth down onto those soft smiling lips of hers was as simple as his next breath. And as necessary.
    She slipped her arms around him, her body pliant against his, and her welcoming sigh erased his last glimmer of restraint. Savoring her lips, tracing the seam of her mouth, brushing and tasting, relaxed and curious, coaxing her to open to him, taking it slow, long, and easy.
    So much for remembering he was leaving on Sunday.

  10. What a lovely, romantic snippet, thanks so much, Babette.

  11. Sorry I abandoned you ladies but I had to work a few hours this morning at the day job. So, I returned to February and the cold and the snow. Brrr. I even tried posting from my phone at work, but apparently, iphone doesn't work in July if I'm stuck in February. lol! So glad to be back with you guys at a July 4th picnic celebrating Babette's release. Can't wait to find time to read this one!

    1. Hi, Lilly. Welcome back to July. :)

    2. Happy to be here. I am so over this snow. lol!

  12. Here's a kiss and a snuggle for Mary: Margie’s soft mouth and her kisses, as sweet and shy as her voice, raised a tumult of unexpectedly intense and tender feelings.
    And they’d just met.
    Christopher groaned and wrenched his lips from hers. “I should probably apologize,” he murmured against her cheek. He hadn’t meant to kiss her, and he should get his hands off her. Now. But he held her close, relishing the soft, fascinating warmth of her in his arms too much to be sensible.
    “I should have asked, or—” Or something.
    “Truth? That was wonderful. And I would very much like another.”
    “Yes.” Yes, to both, for him as well.
    Determined to prove himself a gentleman, he held her lightly, taking only the kiss, sweet and slow and intense as the first.
    But this kiss too had to end.
    Christopher rested his forehead against hers. A big mistake, that kiss, but incredible.

    1. Oh, I love this Babette. Great excerpt!

  13. Aw, that was lovely, who could resist such a sweet and tender kiss|? Thanks for sharing, Babette.

  14. Hi Lilly, it's raining here, I woouldn't mind a little snow; But it's lovely to warm up at a 4th July celebration party!

    1. By the time I left work, it had warmed up quite a bit. So, now we have ugly slush and mud. But I think they are calling for snow on Saturday night/early Sunday. Yep, I'll just stay here in July for awhile. I am so done with winter!!

  15. Looks like a great party. Sorry I'm late. Busy morning...


This is an interractive blog - please feel free to pop in and comment throughout the Roast as much as you like - and remember to leave your email address if you wish to be put in the draw to win this week's prize.