Read an eBook Week March 1-7

read an ebook week 2015

*Read an eBook Week 2015*

You can check out my ebooks at Smashwords. I have two FREE stories; Divorce, Interrupted – Book 1 of The Lake Willowbee Series and The Christmas Con, my short story. Also, for Read an eBook Week you can get the boxed set The Lake Willowbee Series Books 1-3 for 50% off at Smashwords.

Just Click Here! to see all my books at Smashwords.


R.I.P. Bertrice Small

Anyone who knows me, knows I will go on and on about Skye O’Malley by Bertrice Small. Ms. Small wrote of a heroine who took on Elizabeth I and won. She was my first view of what it meant to write a kickass heroine. And hot?! Her books gave new meaning for me of what a romance novel could be.

Unfortunately, this week the romance world, no, the world as a whole, lost Bertrice Small. At last year’s RWA National in Texas she was awarded the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award. You can view it here on YouTube.

God Bless you, Ms. Small and thank you for so many hours of historical romance enjoyment.

Jill James, writer and lover of the romance novel


Stages of Life

Each part of our lives is a stage; infant, childhood, school-aged, college or out on your own, married, with children, empty nest, sandwich generation and so on…

We spent this past weekend and we will spend next weekend helping my mother-in-law move from her mobile home into the sister-in-law’s house. At one point she got very sad and commented it was like she died and was looking down from above as we divided her stuff. I will admit that I got a little weepy at that. But then I told her that she wasn’t dead, she was just moving to the next stage in her life. Each stage is a big transition and probably all of them are done with some tears along the way.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAYou start as an infant and have to learn to do every single thing you will need to know to survive. Walking, talking, and eventually potty training. Whether you are the kid or the parent, there are some tears involved in that process to move on to childhood.

By the time you are five years old you will learn the majority of knowledge you will know. Beyond that you are just building with the blocks you already have. Past that is just harder concepts and deeper thinking. You will work your way through school this way and yes, there will be tears along the way with homework, the opposite sex, and life in general.

There will always be happy tears and sad tears as kids grow up and leave for college or out on their own. Until they are also married and/or with children they will not understand why you were so sad at this stage. They were all ready to leave and spread their wings.

Empty nest/Sandwich generation is sometimes happy, sometimes sad, but definitely a new stage in life. Sometimes the empty nest is fluid as children return to the family homestead, sometimes with spouses and children of their own. Sometimes you have to care for an elderly/invalid parent and then you get to be that wonderful definition of the Sandwich generation, caring for children and parents at the same time! I’m doing my part with this stage of life now and in the recent past and will probably continue for some time, albeit without the parent part because both of mine are gone. Now my sister-in-law will get to experience this with a teenager at home and her mother moving in with them. Yes, there will be tears. Yes, there will be highs and lows, but we will hope for many more highs. But I can guarantee there will be many more pros than there will be cons.  And isn’t that usually true of most things in life?

What stage are you in? Are you part of the Sandwich generation?

Jill James, writer of romance

Unlucky 13 by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Unlucky 13 book cover book reviewI started The Woman’s Murder Club way back at the first book, First to Die. I love the characters that Patterson and Paetro have created. That said, this book, Unlucky 13, was a little hard to stomach. hahaha I didn’t so much mind the A story of Lindsay and gang trying to figure out who invented the belly bombs and planted them. I also didn’t mind the C story of Cindy and the return of Mackie Morales. Gotta love a loose-cannon spree killer. But the B story just seemed way, way out there. I don’t do spoilers so let me just say Alaska, cruise ship, unbelievable plot.

So overall, I give this one a B- but I will definitely still continue with the series. I love The Woman’s Murder Club with a passion and look forward to The 14th Sin.


Can dark romantic suspense be too dark?

scaryRecently, I was reading my fave author’s latest release and I started thinking it was too dark. Now I’m usually the darker the better, so why is this one bugging me. I hit on what I think is my problem: most of the book is in the villain’s POV (point of view). I’m sorry, but inside the villain’s head is not where I want to spend quality time. I’m always wanting to know the “why” of serial killers, but this book seems to be too much.

I know the villain is supposed to be the hero of his own story, but again, this is too much. I think it comes down to I want to know why, I don’t want to know why you (the killer) think it is perfectly fine and dandy to kill innocent women for your enjoyment to let off stress. Um, no! Unless you (again, the killer) are batshit crazy, that is not a good enough motivation to be a killing machine.

I never thought I would say it, but I’m thinking that dark can be too dark.

What is your mental line for dark fiction? How much is too much?

Jill James, writer of contemporary and paranormal romance

Guest Interview with Chris Redding

Today I’m interviewing Chris Redding, author of A View to a Nerd, part of her Nerds Saving the World Series. We are comfy, cozy in our soft chairs in front of a beautiful fireplace with a roaring fire, enjoying the view of Chris’s favorite vineyard. The fields are barren right now but come summer they will be gorgeous with the bounty of nature’s grapes, ready to be made into Chris’s favorite Malbec wine.

ChrisRedding vineyard

Jill takes a sip: Mmmm, this is delicious as promised, a deep rich, cherry taste. I’m so glad you agreed to the interview. Picking the winery was perfect. It is lovely here. Shall we get started?

Jill: So, Chris, please tell the readers a little about yourself.

Chris: I live in New Jersey with my husband, two kids, one dog and two show rabbits. I graduated from Penn State with a degree in Journalism and am still a diehard Nittany Lions fan. My books are filled with romance, suspense and thrills. When I’m not writing, I work for a local winery.

Jill: Oh, that must be why you know about this great wine we are drinking. Everyone wants to know, what do you like best and least about writing?

Chris: I love falling in love with a new story. I find the beginning is the most fun. I get to think about all the situations I can put them in and how to get them out of those problems. The worst is marketing. I’m not good at it at all.

Jill: I think we all feel that way about the necessary evil that is marketing. We all wish we could just write the books and let the readers enjoy them. So, what are you working on now?

A View to a Nerd PB cover small

Chris: A View to a Nerd has just been released. It’s the second book in the Nerds Saving the World Series. Why nerds? Because I am surrounded by them. My husband is a scientist. My oldest is majoring in computer science and my younger one is a gamer who wants to be a forensic scientist. I have examples and primary sources right in my house. I love romantic suspense. I get to have two people fall in love and put them in interesting situations.

Jill: Love the idea of a nerd being the hero. They are the problem-solvers of the world. We need to let them be heroes too. So, what is next in your writing world?

Chris: After this book, I’m hoping to finish writing the third in the Nerd Series and publish it. After that I want to write a trilogy about three brothers who inherit a winery. There will be murder and intrigue and of course love for all three of them. Each will get their own book. I have a good bit of it mapped out in my head.

Jill: Great idea for a series. I can’t wait to read it. Any last words for the readers?

Chris: I hope you enjoy my books and feel free to contact me.

Thank you, Chris for taking time for the interview. As we sit here and sip our fine wine let’s give the readers an excerpt of your new book to read. Enjoy!


A View to a Nerd © Chris Redding

Waking up next to a dead guy can ruin your whole day.

At least interior decorator Miriam Stokes’ thought so.

The Philadelphia Police Detective whose name she couldn’t remember talked soothingly to her, making her feel, not better, but at least calmer.

As calm as anyone could feel after finding a dead body. How did she get herself into these things?

Sipping coffee Miriam didn’t remember asking for, she eyed the cop as they sat in a flowered living room. Her friend Joe’s neighbor owned said living room. The friend she just found dead.

She tried to keep eye contact with Detective. . .Dasher, Dancer? Some reindeer name.

She could see him clearly now, her vision returning to normal.

“So you woke up and he was dead.  Didn’t you hear a shot?”

After swallowing the scalding liquid, she answered him. “No detective. I do sleep very soundly, but I think I had help from this bump on the side of my head.”

To indicate the injury, she pulled away the bag of ice she held to her head. The ice had appeared sometime after the first patrolman.  The lump began to throb, but Donner only glanced at her head. Instead, he scribbled some notes in a small pad.

How many murders does one have to see to get so matter-of-fact about them? Miriam shuddered.

“Could I at least get dressed? I feel a little vulnerable in my pajamas,” she told him.

Donner. The detective had introduced himself as Donner. He looked her over as if making a decision. He nodded, glancing around the apartment. “Do you have any clothes?”

She nodded towards Joe’s apartment.

“When they remove. . .” he murmured, then grimaced. She caught his meaning.

He turned his brown eyes back to her. “We’ll work things out. I just have a few more questions for you. Then we’ll go downtown.”


Find A View to a Nerd at:


Find Chris online at: