Book Review – The Berlin Girl

It is not often that a historical fiction so captures my attention that I feel like I’m reading a biography of a real person living through a real time in history. The Berlin Girl is just such a book. The time of the world on the edge of war was frightening enough. Add Nazis and a young woman who wants to do what is right and you have a story full of danger, intrigue, and a belief in doing the right thing. No matter the cost.

I haven’t read the other books by this author. But I will!!

I wish I could give it many, many more than 5 stars!

Jill James, author of My Mistletoe Hero

Winter Writing

Winter is my favorite writing time. It’s cold and windy outside. Not as much to do but hunker down, get cozy, and write. January to March is my most productive time.

This year I’m finishing up Zombies in the Grass – book 4 – Time of Zombies series, Ghostly Deceptions – book 2 – Ghost Releasers, Inc. series, Ghostly Perceptions – book 3 – Ghost Releasers, Inc. series, and Stolen Shift – book 2 – Shifters of San Laura series.

Do you enjoy the slower pace in the winter? Do you get more stuff done?

Jill James, romance writer

Book Review – What Vengeance Comes

Every once in a while, a great read comes along. The kind that has you glom onto an author and buy their whole series. That is what happened to me. Book 5 in this series was on sale, so I got it. It was so good, I had to go back and start the series at the beginning. A memorable main character is serendipity. You know it when you read it. It is magical for the author when they write it.

John Decker is just such a character. Much like Jonathan Maberry’s Joe Ledger and James Rollins’ Grayson Pierce, John Decker is a character you can’t forget when you turn the last page and close the book. When I finished book 1, I rushed, ran, galloped to get book 2.

A 5 star read–and then some.

Jill James, writer and voracious reader

Word for the Year

Every year I pick a word to be my word for the year. Something that symbolizes what I want to accomplish, what I wish and dream for the year.

This year’s word is Completion. This year I want to end 2021 with all my projects; writing and otherwise, completed. No lingering works in progress, no half-finished family trees for family members, no unfinished whatever I decide to start this year. I want to see my projects through!

Do you pick a word for the year?

Jill James, wishing you a Happy New Year!!

The Other Wife – book review

The Other Wife by Claire McGowen was an excellent read. In the vein of Gone Girl and Girl on the Train, it is an ‘unreliable narrator’ story. You’re not sure if the person is to be trusted. Are they telling the truth? Or just their version of the story?

The characters were real, flawed people just doing the best they could in the situation they found themselves. There is some gaslighting, but you aren’t quite sure who is doing what to whom.

A definite page-turner. The twists and turns kept me enthralled to the last page.

A five-star read!

Jill James, voracious reader

End of the Year

Sorry, no “2020 is the year from hell” jokes. I was just thinking about my personal and writing end of the year chores.

Years ago my husband made me Excel files to track sales, word count, and other stuff. I still use them. At the end of each year, I have to update and copy them to make new ones for the new year.

About this time of year, I contemplate. What did I finish? What did I not finish? What do I want to accomplish next year? I lay out what books I want to write for the new year. Are some in the process? Are some plotted? Are some just in the thinking stage?

My husband does end of the year stuff too, for the household. He cleans out his desk drawers. He puts some stuff in folders to save for tax stuff and some gets shredded. He grumbles, but by the time the new year rolls around, he is very happy with his clean desk and office.

Me too.

Do you do any end of the year stuff?

Jill James, romance writer

My Mistletoe Hero – Release Day

Today is release day for My Mistletoe Hero, the story I have in the boxed set, Christmas Heroes on Main Street by the Authors of Main Street

I enjoyed getting to know Tara Early and her boys, Joel and Robby. They live in Mistletoe Valley, a small town in the Sierra Nevada mountains. My Mistletoe Hero is book 1 in the Mistletoe Valley series.

The story is about being a hero; not because you think you are, but because you don’t think you are. We all have the capacity of being a hero. We each can rise to the occasion and help others before thinking of ourselves.

I hope you will get My Mistletoe Hero and discover Mistletoe Valley!

Jill James, romance writer

Holiday Traditions

Every family has them. The things you must do. The foods you must eat. Even the order things must be done.

When I was first married, the husband’s mother and grandmother were in charge of Thanksgiving. Over the years that changed and now the sister-in-law does Thanksgiving and we do Christmas. Usually…

But this year is different. How many times have you had to say that in 2020?

With all the restrictions, it is not possible. I want to be thankful for what I have and not resentful of what we are missing. But it is hard! Everyone says, “skip this year so we can all be together next year.” Let’s be truthful, shall we?! Some of us will not be here next year, Covid or No Covid. It is a fact of life. And it hurts.

So, I will try to be thankful, but in my heart–I really want to spend time with my family!!

Jill James, romance author

A Month of Birthdays

November is the big birthday month in our family. There is the nephew, the grandson, and the daughter. We fit Thanksgiving in there too. LOL This year grandson’s birthday (#18) is on Thanksgiving Day.

There was a grandpa’s birthday in there too, before he passed in 2001.

Is there a month with lots of birthdays in your family?

Jill James, author of My Mistletoe Hero in the Christmas Heroes on Main Street author anthology

The Thing – horror movie

I love horror movies. One of my favorites is The Thing. I’ve seen the original black and white version on Creature Features, a horror-movie show broadcast in the San Francisco bay area back in the 70’s. Late night Saturday movie watching with my dad is one of my favorite childhood memories.

My favorite is the remake with Kurt Russell. I believe he is the most underrated actor in Hollywood. The special effects in that movie are still excellent in this day of CGI overload. The movie took suspense to a razor-edged line. What is it? Where is it? Who is it??!!

Recently, I caught the remake-remake (LOL) with Mary Elizabeth Winstead who will always be Lucy McClain for me! (BIG Die Hard fan) It was very good. Winstead was tenacious and outstanding in her role. The CGI was excellent. But, I didn’t feel the tension and suspense of the Russell one. The creature was seen very early and very quickly they realized what they were dealing with.

So, I felt the missing suspense made it a good movie, but not a great movie.

Jill James, horror movie (really any movie) lover.

Nanowrimo 2020

Another year of Nanowrimo!!! I love doing Nano. This will be my 9th year, I think. 50k of words in 30 days.

I’m a little behind this year. I did editing on Sunday and other author stuff on Monday so I’m starting with 345 words.

But it doesn’t matter how many words you get. Not really. Just have more words at the end of the month than at the beginning of the month.

Onward and upward.

If you Nano, find me at

Jill James, writer

Evil Night

Evil Night: a poem by Jill James copyright 1997

Trolls and specters
haunt this witches night.
Rising moon the color of blood
beware the awesome sight.
Gruesome and evil,
too terrible to tell.
The Devil is coming!
Have you a soul to sell?
Unborn child
of a mother unwed.
Of this the carrion
will tonight be well-fed.
Angels of mercy
have no place here.
For their pristine souls
they had best beware.
For this eve is the night
that evil rules the land.
All will tremble in fear
of Satan's wrathful hand.

Happy Halloween!!

Nanowrimo 2020

November is here again. Time for Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month), where writers try for 50,000 words in one month. This will be, I think, my eighth year. I’ve won a few years, missed a few years, but always have more words on November 30th than I had on November 1st.

This year I’m working on my Christmas 2021 book, Trapped in Christmas. Can’t wait to write about Laura and Andy and the traditions that make Christmas so special.

This week I’m plotting with the help of Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody. Excellent writing book.

If you Nano too, find me at

Jill James, romance writer

Don’t be stubborn

Image by M W from Pixabay

Like me!! Our bodies aren’t supposed to hurt. A new pain. One that won’t go away is a signal to see a doctor. Don’t be stubborn like me and at the point of not being able to dress yourself to go see a doctor. A day of muscle relaxers and some drug to take care of the calcification and I’m 80% better.

Jill James, romance writer and terrible patient!

Why I haven’t been writing?!!

Image by HeungSoon from Pixabay

Thankfully, I’m not all bandaged up, but I did hurt my shoulder in my sleep. Woke up in agony, couldn’t move it, and when I tried to move it, it felt like the muscles were ripping away from the bones. I was in tears getting dressed.

I’m stubborn and thought it would go away. LOL Finally went to the doctor yesterday and got x-rays. I have calcification on and between my arm bones and shoulder bones. So I got pain pills. Yay!! and another pill to help with the calcification. After one day of pills I’m feeling about 80% better.

So, I’ve been limiting my computer time, no writing, and watching lots of television.

Hoping (fingers crossed) by the time the pills are done I will be back to normal.

Jill James, romance writer