Work In Progress — My Mistletoe Hero

I’m currently working on my story for the Authors of Main Street Christmas 2020 boxed set, Christmas Heroes on Main Street. My story is My Mistletoe Hero.

Tara Early is a frazzled, stay-at-home mom of two rambunctious boys. Her husband, Brent is a world away with Doctors Behind the Lines. All she wants for Christmas is her husband home by Christmas Day so he can be the town’s Mistletoe Hero this year. When he is reported missing, will all her hopes and dreams disappear like melting snow?

Chapter 1

“If only I could bottle that energy,” Tara Early muttered to herself as her sons sped through the living room for the hundredth time in the past hour. A yelp and a clatter of toys announced enough was enough.



Their crestfallen faces let her know her voice had ratcheted up an octave too far. A deep breath brought her heart rate down and the heat leaving her face. It wasn’t their fault school was out for vacation and Christmas was just a week away. And their father was away on the other side of the world. How did single mothers do it?

She glanced at their anxious faces and sighed. Eight and four years old was too young to spend a gorgeous winter day inside. Tara bit her lip. She had to get this letter done, but her children were only children for a short while. A blink and their childhood would be over.

Staring out the window, she made up her mind. “Let mommy finish this letter to the mayor and we will go get the Christmas tree. Joel, help Robby with his snowsuit and I’ll be all done.”

“What are you writing, Mommy?” Joel asked.

She smiled at his eager grin and Robby hopping up and down in anticipation. “A letter to the city council to have your daddy be the Mistletoe Hero this year.”

“You’re a hero, too, Mommy,” Joel intoned sincerely. Robby nodded.

Her cheeks heated with a blush as she swept her hair out of her face. “I’m just a mother and a wife. Your dad is across the world, saving lives. Now, let’s get ready to go.”

My Mistletoe Hero will be part of the Christmas Heroes on Main Street boxed set from the Authors of Main Street.

Jill James, romance author

Dead Moon – book review

Frank will do anything to find his wife, Jill. Even traverse a New York City full of murderous creatures and the end of the world as we know it.

I read a lot of apocalyptic fiction, usually with zombies. But, once in a while, a story grabs me from the very first page. Dead Moon by Matt James is one of those books. I was holding my breath, gripping the ereader, as Frank raced across the city, fighting creatures intent on killing him, eating him, maybe both.

Matt James did not create the typical zombie. These humans are alive, intelligent, and learning to fight, plan, and trap. The addition of a meteorite as the catalyst was unique and amazing.

Even as I turned the last page, I was off looking for book 2 in the series.

A+++++ read!!

Jill James, romance writer and reader of massive amounts of books


Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

I refuse to use the term “The New Normal.” Maybe I’m naive or overly optimistic, but I won’t believe we will be wearing masks for the rest of our lives, sports will be no more, and the simple pleasure of dining out will be such a chore of what to do and not to do to eat a meal with friends.

I want to believe that this is an ‘in-between’ stage. A time of not quarantined in our homes, but not back to regular either. That watching my nephew and grandson graduate on the television and computer screen will be a fluke, a memory to look back at in the future thinking about what 2020 was like, not the new way of doing things.

I want the grocery store to have the things I need, that you need, that everyone needs. A trip to the store shouldn’t be a roll of the dice if they have bread, cereal, rice, or beans today.

I know these are first-world problems and small in the face of what is going on in our world today, but small comforts can go a long way in making each day just that little bit better. Although, going through all of this has made me appreciate my life a whole lot more.

Seeing family. Seeing friends. A break at a coffee shop. Going to a music event or amusement park. Enjoying a day at a park.

I don’t think I will ever take any of them for granted again.

Jill James, romance writer
author of the upcoming My Mistletoe Hero

Graduate Grandson

In 2020, graduation is just not the same. But I thought the grandson’s school did a pretty good job. It was a drive-thru ceremony. Kids were dropped off on one side of the stage, gave their card with their name, heard their name and got photographed and cheered, walked down the other side, and got picked up by family.

Congratulations, Alex!!

Jill James, proud Nana.

The Graduation That Wasn’t

To the class of 2020, I am so sorry. Sorry you missed your prom. Sorry you missed a class trip. Sorry your graduation isn’t all it should be. We have three graduations in our family today. Our grandson, nephew, and goddaughter.

Know that we are there in spirit and thoughts. We applaud your accomplishments and yell them out to the world.

So proud of Alexander Crouse, Ed Fernandez, and Briana Larsh. Love you all!!

Congrats, Jill James

Cover Art Appointment

Discussing a new cover with my cover artist is always an exciting day. I love how I can give Elaina Lee a general idea of what I’m looking for and she sends me the most amazing cover.

Sometimes it is just as I imagined and sometimes it is nothing like I imagined yet it is just perfect for the story (as if she read my mind). LOL

Soon I will have a cover for my Christmas novella for the next Authors of Main Street boxed set for Christmas 2020.

If you want to see it before everyone else, sign up for my newsletter and get to see it first.

Jill James, romance writer

How I Accidentally Read a Book.

And fell in love with it!!

Back in the 1980s I belonged to the Doubleday Book Club. You know the one, where you got 12 books for a penny to get started and got selections to pick from each month. I loved it! So, I must have transposed a number when I ordered, because in with historical romances I had Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. I had never heard of it. I didn’t read westerns at all.

Since it was too much trouble to return I just put it on a bookshelf and forgot about it. Time passed and I read and read and read. One day, I had nothing to read so I pulled Lonesome Dove off the shelf and decided to give it a try. Hey, I could always donate it if I didn’t like it.

Oh my goodness! I was thrust into a world of the last days of the wild west, cattle rustling, and soiled doves. It was amazing. I loved it. It was the first time I learned to never say never. Sometimes you think you don’t like something, but you’ll never know until you try.

Try something new today!!

Jill James, romance writer and mostly romance reader

Another week, same old stuff

Another week of quarantine down, who knows how many to go. Still staying home except for grocery shopping and necessary needs. Never thought I would get to a point where a trip to the grocery store is the highlight of my week. LOL (but not really laughing)

I am enjoying baking cakes, but do look forward to the day that we can leave our homes, have fun, and see other people.

What are you looking forward to when we can leave our houses?

Jill James, romance writer

Getting Older

I had a doctor appointment this week for my yearly physical. I have to get one to get my prescriptions refilled. So, I took the opportunity to mention some aches and pains I’ve ignored for months. My right knee and my left heel.

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

After x-rays I got an appointment for the knee at Sports Medicine. The doctor said it could be just a ‘bum’ knee, but gave me exercises to do to see if I can strengthen the knee so it doesn’t unexpectedly buckle again. Scary!! I’ve become afraid I’ll fall.

First day of exercises and I realize how out of shape I am. LOL Each one was 3 sets of 10. I managed 1 set of 10 of about half the exercises and I was exhausted.

I’m too young to be old. I will be pushing myself to get to those 3 sets of 10 of ALL of the exercises. When I go back in a month, I want the doctor to see I’ve been working at this.

Hoping for better exercising for me.

Jill James, romance writer

Quarantine Day 12,345,678

Image by Hank Williams from Pixabay

Actually it is day 30 in Reno, Nevada, but it seems much, much longer. Have been shopping with mask on. Not fun! Can’t breath. Fogs up my glasses.

Shopping sucks when half the things on your list are not on the shelves. It took almost a month to get flour so I can bake. This has to end soon. This can not be the new ‘normal.’

The husband is missing sports like an actual ache in the heart. This month we would have been seeing our minor league team, the Reno Aces. So thankful we went on our baseball stadium trip to Ohio and Pennsylvania last year. This year would have been cancelled and we might have got refunds on tickets and hotels, but who knows for sure?!!

Daily walks and bike rides are helping some, but it’s not enough. The weather turned nice this week and I want to go places and see people. We haven’t seen our family in California since Christmas. We had two April birthdays and we would have seen them then.

I just have to remember each day: This Too Shall Pass. In the meantime, I will watch movies, bake cookies, and work on my family tree.

Keep safe. Keep well. We will get through this.  Jill


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A Time to Kill Zombies

A Time to Kill Zombies is book 3 in the Time of Zombies series.

Commander Jack Canida is one of my favorite characters I’ve written. He is the glue holding his group together in the terror of the zombie apocalypse.

When I decided to give him a romantic interest, I was at a loss. Jack wouldn’t hook up with one of the people under his protection. So, I wrote him a backstory with a lover he thought was lost forever. Lila Sterling comes back into his life with a bang and a child he didn’t know was his, to boot.

This is hotter than my usual books – Romance heat level 4/5.

Books 1 and 2 are available in this series as well. I’m working on book 4.


Also available in print and audiobook!

Jill James, author of the Time of Zombies series

The Zombie Hunter’s Wife

The Zombie Hunter’s Wife is book 2 in the Time of Zombies series.

In book 1 I came across a great character, Teddy Ridgewood. Teddy was one of my favorite characters to write. Hard, muscled, gravelly voice on the outside. A marshmallow on the inside. Kind to kids and animals. Protective to his mate, willing to die for her. I knew when I wrote book 2 he had to be the main character. But who to pair him with?

Michelle Griggs lost her husband at the beginning of the zombie apocalypse. Now she has put a figurative wall around her heart and refuses to risk herself and others outside the walls of the protective compound. But in the ZA there are no safe places; for your heart or your body.

This is hotter than my usual books – Romance heat level 4/5.

Books 1 and 3 are available in this series as well. I’m working on book 4.


Also available in print and audiobook!

Jill James, author of the Time of Zombies series

Love in the Time of Zombies

Love in the Time of Zombies is book 1 in the Time of Zombies series. I love zombie movies: Dawn of the Dead, Zombieland, and Shaun of the Dead. I knew I wanted to write a zombie series.

I believe that true love is out there for everyone. If you can be facing flesh-eating zombies, have limited food and resources, fight mad men determined to take all you have, and still find love–anyone can.


Emily Gray believes surviving the end of the world as we know it is enough. She has learned skills. She has a few friends. For the first time in her life she is someone that others depend on. Until she meets Seth Ripley and realizes that there is more to life than just surviving.

This is hotter than my usual books – Romance heat level 4/5.

Books 2 and 3 are available in this series as well. I’m working on book 4.


Also available in print and audiobook!

Jill James, author of the Time of Zombies series

Dangerous Shift

Dangerous Shift is book 1 in the Shifters of San Laura series. The idea of the story started with watching Jurassic Park with my kids for the millionth time. There is a scene where Dr. Grant is discussing about amazon tree frogs being able to change gender if the male/female ratio is unbalanced. I thought it would be so neat if humans could do that. A light bulb went off! I could write a story like that. Awesome!!


Most people get up in the morning and decide what to wear. Lt. Nikki Hill decides if she will be male or female. Shapeshifters live among us but apart, known only by the highest echelons in law enforcement, the military, and the science community. When an Extinction Level virus hits shifters, she will team up with Lt. Sean Evans to save their families, their friends, their entire species.

This is hotter than my usual books – Romance heat level 4/5.

I’m working on Stolen Shift, book 2 in the series.


Also available in print!

Jill James, author of the Shifters of San Laura series

The Reluctant Bride

The Reluctant Bride is book 4 in the Lake Willowbee series. The idea of the story started with my best friend’s tale of her wedding and how it took being deathly ill for her now-spouse to get her to the altar. But like most stories, it morphed as I wrote it and became its own story.

Ten years have passed since Jimmy proposed to Claire on prom night, but he isn’t giving up. He will utilize all his friends, his family, and hers, to get his reluctant bride to the church on time.

Romance heat level 3/5.

Also was part of the Weddings on Main Street boxed set with the Authors of Main Street.


Also available as an audiobook!

Jill James, author of the Lake Willowbee series

Defend My Love

Defend My Love is book 3 in the Lake Willowbee series. It is a tale of a woman falsely accused of embezzlement, forced to leave her husband and newborn child, to go to prison for a crime she didn’t commit. I love Daniel and Megan’s story and I hope you do too.

Romance heat level 3/5.



Defend My Love is on most retailers. Enjoy The Lake today!


Also available as an audiobook!

Jill James, author of the Lake Willowbee series