Teaser — Book #3

I’m also working on a zombie book. #4 in the Time of Zombies series; Zombies in the Grass.

The heroine is Willa Zara, a soldier in what is left of the U.S. Army and hero Danny Lopez, the Robin Hood of the Sierra Nevada foothills with a band of children he is saving from conscription into the army.

Chapter 1

Captain’s Log

Summer 0002 A.Z. (After Zombies)

Camp Natomas, California 

1300 hours. Last circuit of camp done for morning rounds. Three altercations stopped. One over water rations and two over fraternization with camp population. Pvt. Williams sent to Isolation bunker for instigating the incident. Captain Willa Zara

I threw my pen down, wincing as it broke, ink spattering across the table. At least it was blue, and not the red splattered over the sidewalk in the last fight this morning. The two privates had been arguing over the services of one of the civilian women. Right?! Why couldn’t they call it what it was—rape? The men were using the holding camp as their own personal brothel. Reports to the higher-ups were being ignored, or I feared, the behavior condoned to keep the men in the forced service.

“Captain Zara?” a voice whispered at my open door. “There are new arrivals at the gates.”

“Orders are to turn all refugees away, send them to Sacramento,” I replied, not bothering to turn around in my chair. I’d told Private Solares enough times for her to remember.

“This group is being escorted by our guys.”

Slamming my chair under the desk, I grabbed my cap and followed the teenaged soldier to the front gates. I skidded to a stop. These weren’t refugees. They were too well-fed and clean for one, even the small children. They looked like a road trip from before the virus. For the other, defiance shone in their eyes. They hadn’t been brought willingly to the camp. These were holdouts, defying the Governor’s Orders. Even in our far outpost we’d heard of the rebels on the river, encamped in an old hotel. They’d held out against the army for over eighteen months.

A tall man in army-issue camouflage stood in the front of the group. Anyone could get camo gear these days from army surplus and sporting goods stores, but this man wore his like a badge of honor. Along with the buzz-cut and ramrod stance, he screamed career army.

I pressed my arm to my side, two seconds away from saluting him. Until I got the lay of the land, so to speak, he was a prisoner of war.

I sighed deeply. We could use someone like him, but they were being brought in as hostiles. The delta region had been swept clean, down the river, and through every small slough, and only the microscopic town of Ryde had managed to fend off the radio orders for over a year to join the army or die. My heart fell to the pit of my stomach, bile roiling. Too much killing. Too much everything. We had to make him, and his group fall in line. With the lack of grown soldiers under my command, I didn’t have a choice. Our numbers stood two to one for forced versus enlisted from the before time. More disgruntled rumblings and we would fall apart on our own, without an incursion of the undead.

“Commander Jack Canida,” the man barked as a line formed to process them in.


If you’ve read the rest of the Time of Zombies series you will remember Commander Jack and his band of survivors. If not, get started with book #1, Love in the Time of Zombies.

 

Read an Ebook Week – March 3-9

This is Read An Ebook Week March 3-9, 2019. If you’ve never read an ebook before, this is an awesome time to start. If you love to read ebooks, you can get some AMAZING deals this week at Smashwords. Discount books, free books, series, any genre, and more!!

Just click the picture and check out all the great books available for great prices this week at Smashwords.


Jill James, romance writer

Teaser – book #2

So, the second book I’m working on is actually book #3 in the Ghost Releasers, Inc. series. It is called Ghostly Perceptions. The main characters are Rafe Elliott, a widower with a small son, Joey, being tormented by the ghosts of his murdered friends. Donna Collins is the main character in this story. She appears earlier in Ghostly Intentions and Ghostly Deceptions as a member of the Ghost Releasers, Inc. team. Her specialty is cameras to film the otherworldly and paranormal.

Chapter 1

Rafe Elliott didn’t believe in ghosts. It didn’t matter how much Joey cried in his room or how much it made his heart break to hear his son sobbing in his room. His hands clenched into fists on his thighs. He pressed to keep his feet firmly on the floor beside his bed. He wasn’t going into that room again tonight. The first time he’d done the open the closet, look under the bed routine. The next three times he’d opened the door and reassured his child the boogyman was not going to get him. The last time he’d yelled from his own bedroom that it was bedtime and he wasn’t going in there again.

His resolve lasted all of five seconds before the boy’s blood-curdling scream rebounded across the house and Rafe leapt off the bed and rushed out the doorway.

The sprint down the hallway seemed to take a lifetime as Joey’s screams ratcheted up another octave. Dogs howls echoed from the neighbor’s yards. Thumping came from his son’s room as if the bed were being moved across the floor.

He grasped the doorknob and hissed in pain at the intense cold of the metal froze his hand to the surface. With a scream of his own, Rafe ripped his hand from the knob, leaving a layer of skin behind.

Turning, he dove against the door with his shoulder. A crack sounded, but the door remained shut. Two more slams of his body and the door ripped open, bouncing off the wall as he stumbled into his son’s room.

Small for his age, Joey was a tiny figure in his bed as the covers whipped away from him and flew to the other side of the room. His hands held onto the headboard as if he would be flung across the room next. His son spotted him in the doorway, as his large blue eyes begged for help.

“Help me.”

The small whisper hit him like a sonic boom, piercing his heart. He was supposed to protect his son from everything, but how did you protect someone from what you couldn’t see or couldn’t understand. Like dealing with Elise’s cancer, he was out of his depth and clueless.

Ghostly Perceptions will be book #3 in the Ghost Releasers, Inc. series.

 

 

 


Jill James, romance writer

3 Meals Away

“No society is more than three meals away from anarchy.”  – author unknown

I’ve always used this quote as the basis of my zompoc romance novels. The speed that society would deteriorate if it fell apart is light speed. A few missed meals and the collapse of government and the masses would revolt. It would be every man/woman/child for themselves.

I enjoy movies and books that show it wouldn’t take much to bring us to “survival of the fittest.” I think this is why I love zombie shows and movies. When it comes down to it, I don’t need to outrun the zombie, I just need to outrun the guy next to me. We all have the barbarian inside of us, it just takes the right situation to bring it out.

At the end of the world as we know it, I’m protecting myself, my family, and my home. Because I’m damned sure, everyone else is doing the same.

Walk with the dead, Jill James

 

Nice surprise this morning.

I used the promo in Kindle Select to make my book free for a couple of days to get it into some readers’ hands. This is what I saw this morning;

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,365 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Very excited! Love to see my books up in the ranks, even if it is the free ones! Get it for free while you can. It will be free Thursday, Friday, and Saturday!!

Enjoy ghost hunting with Jack and Megan!


Jill James, romance writer

Do you believe in ghosts?

I do. The husband is a skeptic, but I’ve seen them and I’ve heard them. In our old house I would get the dark forms in corners and random door shutting sounds. It had an overall feeling to the house.

I’ve been sound asleep and family members who have passed on have visited me for one last time. It is a comforting feeling. A last good-bye. I wanted to use that feeling in my newest book, Ghostly Intentions.

When Jack O’Malley’s big sister dies, she visits him that night.


Shannon came to him that night. Not a dream, but a ghostly visit. Shivers still spiked down his spine when he remembered that event. His first paranormal experience. Falling asleep at almost dawn, Jack heard his mother’s soft cries in the room beside his. His father’s muddled murmurings to his mother added to his sense of unreality. In the predawn hours, their house was usually silent except for the creaks and groans of a settling home or the click of Mutt’s nails as the dog surveyed their house in the nocturne hours.

Something touched his arm. A chill covered the skin and goosebumps popped in the frigid air. He opened his eyes and his sister was there. Her light rose scent filled the room. Their mother had started letting Shannon wear cologne to be a big girl. His sister moved closer. She reached down and touched his arm again. Shivers shot down his spine. The bed jostled as she sat on the edge, his body rolling toward her. He should have been afraid, but he would never fear his big sister.

“Jack, it’s your job to watch over mom and dad now. I’ll always be keeping an eye on all of you, but I’ll be too far away. I wish I didn’t have to go, but I do.”

He touched her hand. Her skin was soft and real, although as cold as ice. Tears rolled down his cheeks. Shannon ran a hand over his head and ruffled his buzz-cut hair as she always did. The rose scent grew denser in the room, clogging his nostrils, and making him light-headed. Her wispy image fluttered in his teary gaze.

“Jack, you have to let me go. I can’t go unless you release me.”

He closed his eyes, pulling back his hand. “I will always love you, Shannon. You can go now.”

When he opened his eyes, she was gone, along with her floral scent he would recognize until the day he died. He cried as he hugged his pillow and whispered good-bye to his big sister.

What had he done? He wanted her back. He wasn’t ready to let her go.


You can check out Jack O’Malley, his Ghost Releasers team, and Megan-the haunted widow in Ghostly Intentions, Book 1 of the Ghost Releasers, Inc. series. It is available on Amazon at the special release price of 99¢ or read it for FREE on Kindle Unlimited.


Jill James, romance author and believer of ghosts

Jump into The Lake

Lake Willowbee, that is. I have several books set in my fictional town of Lake Willowbee in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. They are contemporary romance, set in a small town.

Click on the covers to go to the eBooks!

Divorce, InterruptedDivorce, Interrupted is Book 1 in the Lake Willowbee series. Todd and Lisa are a newly-divorced couple forced to clean out the memories of a lifetime at their mountain cabin. When a devastating flood hits, they must rely on the one person they don’t trust. Will love and memories be enough to help them survive?

 

Dare to Trust is Book 2 in the Lake Willowbee series. Evie is a domestic abuse survivor who doesn’t know if she can ever trust a man again, until Brady is accused of a murder the whole town thinks he committed. Can Evie trust her instincts and her heart, can she dare to trust in love?

 

Defend My Love is Book 3 in the Lake Willowbee series. Megan is falsely accused of embezzlement and sent to prison for 4 long years. That time with her husband and newborn child can never be replaced. Once free, can Daniel make up for lost time to rebuild his family and defend the woman he loves against new charges?

 

The Lake Willowbee Series is the 3 stories in one book!

 

 

The Reluctant Bride takes place in the Lake Willowbee world. Claire and Jimmy have been high-school sweethearts for 10 long years and no closer to the altar since a prom night proposal. With divorces and remarriages running rampant in her family, Claire isn’t willing to risk the good thing they have, but Jimmy wants more. Will an ambush wedding work or will Claire run away from the man she loves?

Waking Up For Christmas partly takes place in the Lake Willowbee world. The story is one of five holiday tales in the Christmas at the Inn on Main Street boxed set. Chase needs one thing for Christmas. For his comatose wife to awaken and remember all the love they shared before a separation and a near fatal car accident drove them apart. Can Chase and Darcy get their happily-ever-after holiday wish?

Enjoy the summer! Jump into the Lake Willowbee world for FREE! Divorce, Interrupted, Book 1 is always FREE!


Jill James, contemporary romance writer

Hidden Figures – movie review

A few years ago I wrote a blog post that talked about Looking Forward By Looking Back. it was about seeing where you are by looking at where you’ve been. That post was about writing and seeing your growth that you might not notice every day as you are writing and trying to get your books out there and noticed. But when the husband and I went this past weekend to see this movie on date night I thought the same thing. In our current world it may seem like we are at the same place we used to always be as a society, but when we look back to a sad and ugly time in our history we may see we have come further than we think.

hidden-figuresHidden Figures showed a history that people under a certain age in this country may not remember, but we should. Not only minorities, but women, were treated as second-class citizens. Yes, we have a far way to go to total equality, but maybe we should take a moment and appreciate how far we have come. The movie was rated PG so the true violence of the time was downplayed, but they still got the point across admirably.

There was laughter, tears, and applause. Definitely a movie I will see again and again. One that everyone should see at least once.

Jill James, romance writer

The Martian by Andy Weir

the martianThis book is amazing. The author’s voice shines on every page. There is an interview with the author: http://hankgarner.com/author-stories-podcast-episode-50-andy-weir-interview/

Reading the book/almost done and I can’t wait for the movie. This book is the definition of page-turner and unputdownable.

You should get a copy today. http://www.amazon.com/Martian-Novel-Andy-Weir-ebook/dp/B00EMXBDMA


Jill James, writer, reader, and lover of books.

Thank you for the zombie love!

LoveintheTimeofZombies 200x300

Thank you so much for the readers who have embraced Love in the Time of Zombies, a romance novel set in the zombie apocalypse. I hope everyone has enjoyed Seth and Emily’s story and are looking forward to Teddy and Michelle’s. (they will be book 2 in the series)

Yes, the paperback version is coming soon. Probably this week or next. One more copy to proof and then I can set it to sale.

Enjoy walking with the dead, Jill James

Show the love with the hashtag #zombietime on Facebook and Twitter

 

Cover Reveal – Bayou Bound by Linda Joyce

Everyone, it is my pleasure to host Linda Joyce and her beautiful new book and cover. Please welcome and say hi to Linda——Jill James

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Hi there! I am a self-appointed ambassador of Louisiana and the city of New Orleans. It’s a place steeped in magic…and may be little voodoo, too.

It doesn’t matter where you are—New Orleans, East Coast, West Coast or where—waiting is a cruel game. I’ve been waiting for THE email that would deliver my next book cover. Anticipation sent me to stress eating—popcorn every night.

A cover release, just like a book release requires the patience of a saint. But Lord knows, I’m not one.

But it’s here now! The cover reveal for Bayou Bound, the second book in the Fleur de Lis series.

perf5.000x8.000.inddIntroducing Biloxi Dutrey and Nick Trahan in Bayou Bound.

Biloxi Dutrey grounds her jet-setting photography career and returns to Mississippi when she learns her family home, Fleur De Lis, is headed for financial ruin. She plans to save it by scooping up the job of Keeper. But that means breaking tradition, and her family isn’t cooperating. 

 

Veterinarian Nick Trahan is new in town and wants folks to stop matchmaking. He won’t settle for just a pretty face. He wants the perfect woman, one who believes in family and commitment—the exact opposite of his parents.

 

Nick rescues Biloxi during a raging storm, but the squall is tame compared to the tempest between them. Soon they experience the backlash from the long-standing feud between their families. If Biloxi surrenders her dreams for Fleur de Lis and toes the line with tradition, will she also be forced to give up on “forever love” due to the hate their families still harbor?

Want to know more? Here’s an excerpt just for you:

While standing in front of the doors, he could see her eyes. He wished he’d invited her to his house for a drink and some music. He wasn’t ready for the evening to end.

“Dinner was wonderful. Thank you, Nick. I had a great time. The Chateau is an interesting find.” Biloxi held out her hand. She wanted a handshake?

Grasping her hand, he pulled her close. “Say ‘yes, Nick,’” he whispered close to her ear.

“To flying?” she whispered back, her breath quickening.

“To flying. And this.”

He cupped her face with his hands. His thumbs caressed the soft smoothness of her cheeks. He bent and touched his lips to hers. When she didn’t resist, he deepened the kiss. Everything about her felt right. The form of her body molded to his. Her arms circled his waist. She kissed him back. She was warm and smooth and heaven in his arms.

A porch light flicked on. The door opened. Biloxi pulled out of his reach.

“I don’t mean to interrupt,” Greta whispered. “Your great grandmother is asking for you.” Greta closed the door. The porch light snapped off.

The release date is still unknown, but soon, very soon. Stay tuned for news. I’ll be giving away lots of books!

In the meantime, if you’re behind in the story, Branna and James are waiting for you in Bayou Born. http://www.amazon.com/Bayou-Born-Fleur-Lis-ebook/dp/B00B9L1VAC/ref=sr_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1359997756&sr=1-9&keywords=Bayou+Born

Happy Reading!

Linda Joyce

www.linda-joyce.com

www.lindajoycecontemplates.com

FB: https://www.facebook.com/LindaJoyceAuthor

Twitter: @LJWriter  https://twitter.com/LJWriter

Please leave a comment and thank Linda for sharing her lovely cover!  Thanks, Jill James

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Which authors are your auto-buys? by Jill James

You know, those books that you get the new release from an author and it doesn’t matter what the story is about. I have a few; Allison Brennan, Lisa Gardner, Tess Gerritsen, Mira Grant and my husband has Stephen King. I don’t add new ones very often . . . until Mary Burton.

I was browsing the Romance section at my local Barnes & Noble a few months ago and this cover just leapt off the shelve. A vivid blue with what appeared to be a drowning girl. That was Before She Dies. A few pages and I was hooked. Over the next few weeks I got the rest of her books. I just recently bought The Seventh Victim. This book is beyond awesome. I looked the spunk and heart of Lara Church. She survived the Seattle Strangler and is finally getting her life back when similar killings start happened near Austin, Texas where she now lives. But, the kicker was Texas Ranger, James Beck. O…M…G! They grow them tall, dark, and strong in Texas. I love the twists that Burton adds to her stories.

the seventh victimThe plot is tight, fast, and sizzling. Ms. Burton writes a wicked romantic suspense that doesn’t skimp on the romance and doesn’t let go of your throat with the suspense.

An A+++ read

Jill James, reader of romantic suspense

Which authors are your auto-buys?

What Jill James is Reading

Let me start by saying I want to move to Barefoot Bay. Roxanne St. Claire has painted a picture of the perfect place to be; hurricane and all.

barefoot in the sandBarefoot in the SandLacey and Clay’s story. The book starts with a hurricane and builds from there. I so wanted Lacey and her daughter, Ashley to have all their dreams to come true, and St. Claire delivers. Clay, the hunky, slightly younger architect is just what Lacey needs when he blows into her life pretty much like the hurricane. I loved this sweet tale of getting what you need instead of what you think you want.

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barefoot in the rainBarefoot in the RainJocelyn and Will’s story. I didn’t think anything could be better than Barefoot in the Sand, but OMGoodness, Barefoot in the Rain is. This is a bittersweet tale of doing what you think is right for the one you love, even if it rips your heart out. It is a story of family and forgiveness, even when you don’t want to.

I can not wait for the rest of the group’s stories. Roxanne St. Claire gives you heartbreaking and heartwarming all wrapped up in true love.

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Jill James, author of contemporary and paranormal romance
and the upcoming Love in the Time of Zombies

Dangerous Shift – print

My paranormal romantic suspense is one step closer to being in print. I went to the post office and picked up the proofs I ordered from Createspace.

I thought I would have no problems. I’ve been doing this self-publishing thing for a little bit now, I have several published eBooks, what is the big deal about a paperback book? Ha! I got them out to the car and went to open the box and my hands were shaking. My breath caught and tears pooled in my eyes. OMG! I was one of my romance novel heroines. Must remember this feeling for the next time hero tells heroine something monumental. LOL

I’ve heard other authors say their books are like their babies and other authors say not to think of them that way. But, aside from holding my children, my grandson, and various other baby family members, holding that book with your name on it feels almost just as good!

It is something you created out of your imagination and to see it in tangible form is almost surreal. No wonder we work so hard to be writers; published writers. Seeing your book for the first time is magical.

Jill James, author of Dangerous Shift.

Dangerous Shift – Chapter 1

Another teaser of my upcoming release. Formatting this week!!!  Jill

Chapter One

San Laura,California

June 2016

   Dear Nikki,

   I know what is killing the Shifters.

   You have to come to California.

            Love, Bella

Lt. Nikki Hill folded the printed e-mail along well-creased folds and shoved it into her pants pocket. She closed her eyes and tilted her head back against the brick wall of the San Laura Police Station behind the bench. The sun shone on her face. Leafy branches overhead shifted in the wind, sending sunlight and shadow across her closed eyelids. The breeze carried the salty, cool scent of thePacific Ocean. The wind held a chill from the ocean. Definitely notMissouriin the summer.

Her best friend’s e-mail arrived two days ago. When Nikki tried to contact her, she’d received no reply. No return e-mails and her cell phone went straight to voice-mail. Yesterday, Bella’s mother came to see Nikki at the police station inColumbia. Bella was dead. Dead from whatever had killed Shapeshifters up and down theCaliforniacoast and elsewhere.

A sob built in her throat. Nikki swallowed it down. She couldn’t bring her best friend back, but she would find out who killed Bella and the others and make them pay.

Even in the Midwest they’d learned about the death of Shapeshifters in mostly the coastal areas of theUnited States. When her captain asked for a volunteer to go to San Laura, a small city up the coast fromSan   Francisco, to add to their depleted forces there, she jumped at the chance. She would have demanded to go if he hadn’t requested volunteers. Bella had been her little sister’s best friend their entire lives. Her own second little sister.

“Lt. Nikki Hill?”

A voice as rich and sinful as dark chocolate invaded her thoughts. She opened her eyes to drink in tall, dark, and handsome who stood in front of her. The only thing wrong with the view was his aura of red-hot anger. The color shimmered around him, only viewable by another shifter. Thank goodness, because if norms could see shifter auras, this guy’s would make them take a wide detour–maybe to the other side of the street.

He stood there in front of her. His aura wafting into a grayish black. Arms crossed a broad chest, and tension showed along his cheek.

Nikki nodded, stood up, and held out her hand. “Lieutenant Nikki Hill, Columbia Police Department, special task force.”

His arms remained crossed and tight. Nikki dropped her hand and glared back at him. Her cheeks blossomed hot with anger. Short breaths came in hard pants between her narrowed lips.

He moved closer and matched her glare. “Why aren’t you inside yet? Do you think we have time to catch some rays?”

Her mouth fell open. What a jerk. “When I got here, I went inside. But, I didn’t see any task force members.” Her voice lowered as she glanced around. “No Shifters,” she whispered. A cold breeze blew down the street. Nikki grabbed her arms and tried to rub some warmth into them. Her slacks and short sleeve top was no match for the unpredictable weather.

He settled back out of her personal space, his cheeks a slight red. She allowed herself a small, tentative smile at his discomfort.

He coughed slightly. “Our task force is on the second floor. The city cops are on the ground floor. I’m sorry you weren’t given better details for your arrival.”

She shivered, and tried to hide how cold she really was.

“Don’t you have a jacket? It can be cold here in June.”

Nikki laughed. “No kidding. At home it’s ninety with eighty percent humidity. Do you know the median temperature for San Laura in June is fifth-nine? It’s one thing to read that, quite another to experience it. Why, it’s downright chilly.”

“Ahem,” he coughed. “If you’re done with the weather report, we can go inside.” His fingers tunneled through his thick, black hair. “We’re all a little on edge here. It doesn’t seem to take much these days to set us off. Sorry if I bit off your head.”

Nikki reached down and grasped the handle of her suitcase. “Ready when you are, Lieutenant . . . ?”

He reached out and grasped her free hand. “Lieutenant Sean Evans.”

Electricity rushed up her arm from their clasped hands. A tingle she felt in her chest and shot heat straight to her limbs. It no longer felt cold outside. His fingers were smooth, but firm against her skin, his flesh hot. She glanced up to note Sean’s deep blue aura. Thank goodness she wasn’t the only one feeling something.

He dropped her hand as if she was contagious. His arms again crossed in front of him. “After you,” he muttered, with a nod toward the station’s front door.

Nikki shrugged, pushed open the door, and dragged her luggage behind her. So, tall, dark, and handsome had a crappy attitude. No skin off her nose, as her mom would say. The average Shapeshifter task force contained twelve or more members. Odds were pretty good she’d be partnered with someone else while she was here. She crossed her fingers. Please, anyone but Mister Snippy.

Her mind elsewhere, her ears still registered the sound of the friendly hellos from the cops in the room to the man behind her. Apparently, he showed others a different side of himself than the one he’d greeted her with.

Picking up her suitcase, Nikki climbed the stairs to the second floor. Her boot heels tapped on the linoleum-covered treads. Evans’ shoes clicked in echo beside her. Tap. Tap. Tap. Until they reached the second floor, and Evans pushed open the door to the shifter task force quarters.

The stress in the room hit Nikki like a brick wall. Her gaze darted from person to person, and she recoiled at the red auras. Even worse were the inky black ones. The ultra sweet tropical scent of Shifters under stress saturated the room. A usually, pleasant scent of pineapple and cocoanut, like suntan lotion.

Thankfully, only Shifters could smell that scent on each other. Nikki grasped to take in all the overwhelming stimuli at once. The smells, the auras, her heart beating a million miles a minute–her mind ricocheted in overload.

Lt. Evans pushed past her. She stood frozen, stock still in the doorway. “Are you coming in or going back toMissouri?”

An angry retort sat on the edge of her tongue. Nikki bit down on it, as she stared at Evans’s now dark as midnight aura. Her mother would tell her these people were beyond their limits and everything hitting her right now was their daily life. Think before you speak, as she’d been told often enough.

She set her suitcase down and grasped the handle to roll it along with her. The lieutenant’s broad shoulders shrugged as he moved away, and the door shut behind them.

Nikki followed behind him, watching Evans walk toward a glass-enclosed room in the far corner of the room. The sun’s reflection gleamed on the glass, making it the only brightness in the gray room. Gray furniture, gray floor, and gray suits. Columbiaor San Laura; all police stations were the same. She stopped at a door with the name Captain Carl Connors etched on the glass.

Captain Connors was a “norm.” A human. She could tell before she stepped into the room. She stumbled, tripping across the threshold. Every Shapeshifter task force she knew of was headed by a shifter. Only select humans in the upper echelons of the military, law enforcement, or selected scientific fields were even aware of the Shapeshifters existence. It seemed a big risk to let someone at the captain’s low level know of them.

She stood at attention, her eyes narrowed, as she studied the norm while he talked to Evans. Connors leaned back in his chair, his hands locked on the arms in a death grip. A sneer twisted his face as his gaze swept over her from head to toe. His nostrils pinched like a bad smell filled the room. She inhaled sharply. Could he be a recruiter? Perhaps he was one of a few humans who could actually detect the super-sweet smell of Shapeshifters? That might explain his position of captain of the task force.

“So, this is Lt. Nikki Hill?” Captain Connors turned his glare on her. “Or is it Nick?”

His apparent hatred of Shifters spewed out of him like a visible fountain of refuse. From his narrowed eyes to the curled lip, and the red flush on his angry face, his body language screamed bigotry.

Nikki smiled back at him. “Let’s see, shall we?”

She grasped her breasts in two hands, and cupped them suggestively. Inhaling deeply, she shapeshifted just enough to add two cup sizes to her chest. Anymore, and she’d bust her favorite bra. “I believe I’m Nikki today.”

Her smile widened as the captain had a coughing fit and Sean turned away, but not before she caught his smile.

Her hands traveled down her sides, past her hips, to her crouch. She grasped it tightly. “No Nick today.”

Captain Connors’s fist slammed on the desk. “Enough. Any more of that shit in my office, and I’ll have you on meter maid duty for a week.”

“I volunteered to come here, Captain. I could just go back toMissouri,” Nikki bit out as Sean grabbed her arm lightly and excused them out of the Captain’s office into the main room.

“Enough games, Hill,” Sean said, and pointed her to an empty desk under the window. He handed her a stack of files he’d scooped up on the way across the room.

“Captain Connors makes no bones about not liking Shapeshifters, but he’s a good man and a good leader. He doesn’t talk about it, but something in his past affected him. So, just do your work and just give him the respect his title calls for.” He indicated the folders on the desk. “Familiarize yourself with the situation. I’ll be at my desk.” He pointed halfway across the room.

Sean walked over to his desk, back ramrod straight and his shoulders tight. He propped his elbows on the desk, his hands cradled the back of his neck. His gaze glued on the papers in front of him.

Nikki bit the inside of her cheek. She needed to be calm. Antagonizing the captain of the Shifter Task Force would have her shipped back home. Sean Evans seemed honest. She would take him at his word and try not to push the captain’s buttons. She wasn’t leavingCaliforniauntil she figured out what and who killed Bella.

Nikki dug into the pile of papers and the hours passed as she read report after report on the deadly disease infestation. It was as if a tennis ball filled her throat, making it hard to breathe. She could all too easily picture her best friend suffering every detail of the virus’s tragic effects.

Her fingers dug into her hair, she rubbed at a pain in her neck. She knew a headache was coming. No connection between the victims existed except for being Shifters. The people came from different backgrounds, different jobs, and different towns. Young and old, in male form or female form, it didn’t seem to matter to the disease.

Nowhere in the reports could she find a way for the illness to be spread. The rate of death was 100% once the victim had the disease, but no one in the families caught it from their sick family member.

She was going around in circles. Scary circles. Shapeshifters were biologically tough. They could catch the diseases humans caught, but they got them less severely and almost always recovered. Even cancer didn’t take hold in their bodies.

Nikki stood up and stretched. She made her way to Evans’s desk. “Lieutenant, can I ask you a few questions?”

He nodded his gray eyes dull and tired. How would they appear if he wasn’t so stressed? Now, they looked like a storm cloud-filled day on the water, like her first view of the ocean this morning. “The reports are all Shifters. Have there been any human causalities at all?”

He shook his head, sadness etched in his rugged face. “Just Shifters, almost as if we are being targeted.”

Nikki nodded and made notes on a pad of paper. “The reports just have details. Have you seen an actual victim? What does this disease do to them?”

She stared at his Adam’s apple bobbing as he tried to swallow. “I wouldn’t wish their deaths on the worse criminal, lowlife, and scum inSan Francisco. They shift. Repeatedly. Without stopping.”

The blood left her face. She grew lightheaded. That was impossible. “But, they wouldn’t have the time or ability to hydrate or refuel.” Her voice caught. “They would waste away to nothing.”

Lt. Evans didn’t say a word, just leaned his head down and covered his eyes with a shaky hand. Nikki swallowed, remembering why she was here inCaliforniain the first place. The task force was severely depleted, the disease, the illness, whatever it was had viciously hit the department and taken some members.

She doodled deep, dark circles on the pad. Her mind traveled in a hundred directions at once. No reports had been filed of a deadly virus or illness among humans. Something this catastrophic would be front page news across the country. But . . . nothing.

****

Sean looked up to find the new Task Force Member staring into space. Certain her mind was sifting through all the new info he’d thrown at her, he left her alone with her thoughts. No matter what he told her, nothing could prepare Nikki for what a perpetually shifting shifter looked like. Her loved ones were probably all safe out inMissouri, safer than here, at least. A shudder ripped through his body. Soon enough she’d join the tragedy the rest of them shared.

He still had nightmares of the day at the hospital with Colin as they waited for Paulette to die. A horror he would see every time he closed his eyes until his dying day. His hands trembled. He grasped them tight to stop the movement.

The phone rang. It brought a welcomed reprieve from his thoughts. He rubbed his forehead as he took the call. “Lt. Evans, task force.”

“General Roberts. We have a new casualty arriving at the base. Will someone from the task force be coming in?”

“Yes, thank you, sir. I’ll be there ASAP.”

He looked over at Lt. Hill as he hung up. Her clear blue eyes gazed into his. “That was the general at the San Laura Military Base. They have a new arrival. We’ll leave as soon as I inform Captain Connors.”

In her eyes, he recognized gratitude over not having to face the captain again so soon and to leave the office for a while. Sean smiled. He realized he had grown used to the gruff old man. Conners made no excuses for his very un-PC dislike of his Shifter task force. Sean respected him for that.

Sean walked over and leaned into the office. “Captain, Hill and I are headed to the army base. Another shifter has been flown in.”

Sean turned to find Hill putting her suitcase under the desk, grabbing a jacket, and heading for the door they came in earlier.

“No. This way.” He pointed to the door on the other side of the office. “It leads to the roof and the helipad. We’ll be going to the military base by helicopter.”

Her face bleached bone-white.

“You aren’t afraid of flying, are you? You just flew halfway across the country to get here.”

She grimaced. “And gripped the armrests the whole way. It was my first flight. I’ve never leftMissouribefore today. I hate airplanes.”

Sean put his hand on her back and guided her out onto the rooftop. His other hand grabbed the door as the wind tried to fling it against the wall.

Nikki’s long blonde hair flew around her head while they ran to the helicopter. He laughed, seeing her grab and twist the long strands.

He hopped into the helicopter and smiled. Nikki was all ready in her seat, her seatbelt snug and tight, and her hand held the strap with the grip of death, each knuckle white as china. As the helicopter took off, Nikki’s hold tightened, and her eyes slammed shut. Sean talked to give her mind something else to think about.

“Did you notice in the reports that no family members of the victims contracted the disease? Means it probably isn’t airborne or saliva transfer.”

Nikki replied, her eyes opening slowly. “I read that. It’s almost as if it were purposely given to just the victims. Like a designer drug—the ones that target specific DNA or blood types?”

Her idea had merit. He hadn’t contemplated that angle yet. He’d be sure to mention it at the base, in case it wasn’t one of the current hypothesizes.

He looked up as Nikki spoke again. Her eyes were wide and focused on him. Open and bright blue, like a winter sky. Her fingers tangled in her long blonde hair as she concentrated on their conversation. His fingers itched to see if it were as silky as it looked. Then, with a mental slap, he pulled himself back to business.

Nikki’s sexy voice filled his ears, like low volume pillow talk. “So, if no humans are getting sick, it must be just us they want to hurt. As if, they don’t like us personally.”  She lowered her voice to a whisper. “As if, they want to wipe us out.”

Sean looked away and out the window. Yep, that was it exactly.

**** end of chapter

Upcoming Releases

Two weeks at the most (editing and formatting) I will have two new releases

Book 3 of The Lake Willowbee series, Defend My Love. DML is the story of Megan and Daniel. Megan is set-up to take the fall for an embezzlement scheme. Her husband Daniel and her daughter, Daisy, born on the day of her being sent to prison, wait patiently for her return. With all her heart, she wants to be the mother and wife she missed out on during her jail time, but she knows she is innocent and needs to prove to her family and friends she is, too.

Book 1 – Divorce, Interrupted is available at Amazon, BN.com, and Smashwords
Book 2 – Dare To Trust is available at Amazon, BN.com, and Smashwords

Dangerous Shift is my first paranormal romantic suspense. It is the story of two Shapeshifter cops; Lt. Nikki Hill and Lt. Sean Evans, who must race to stop a killer virus targeting only their species. Shapeshifters are in plain sight but unknown to the human population they live among. They say opposites attract and in Nikki’s and Sean’s case, it may be true. They butt heads in everything from proper police procedure to the ethics of euthanasia. As they draw closer together as a couple the virus hits too close to home and may pull them apart and destroy everyone they know and love.

Dangerous Shift will be available as an eBook and paperback book.

Sign up for my newsletter and find out what I’m working on and what is coming up. I only send it out if I have news or a new release. Tentatively, every 3 or 4 months.

Sign up on the sidebar. Thanks, Jill

Book Review – The Help by Kathryn Stockett

I loved this book. It was hard to read at times with the truth of the times it was set and the place; Jackson, Mississippi. This was a time in US History that I really didn’t know a lot about, being born in 1963. It was hard to read of what the maids put up with to have a job. The idea that these women were trusted to raise their bosses children but not trusted with the silverware was a world I had never seen.

Everyone should read this book.

Jill James

Zombies!!!

Anyone who knows me knows I love zombie books. Even better, there have started to be zombie romance books. No ewwws out there. Not zombie sex, hot zombie hunters sex. LOL

The latest I’ve read is Plague Town by Dana Fredsti. It is an amazing story of a slightly older, going back to college woman, complete with boy toy, until the zombie apocalypse hits in her small college town.

I loved that Ashley is older and slightly wiser. I love that this is the beginning of a series with Plague Country and Plague World coming soon. The zombie action is intense enough for zombie fans but most of all I loved Ashley’s interactions with the people around her, especially those in authority.

Definitely an A+++ read   Jill James

Allison Brennan is back!!

I love Allison Brennan’s Lucy Kincaid and her boyfriend Sean Rogan. They are available in a new adventure in her latest, Silenced. The plot of prostitutes and blackmail is gripping and things change from chapter to chapter. But best of all, is the relationship between Lucy and Sean. I love them together. Each book brings a new depth to their relationship and growing love.

The story is a roller coaster ride of blackmail, politics, families, and the evil that men do. I loved it!!!

Jill James