Excerpt – The Christmas Con by Jill James

I’m working on a short story – 8,000 words – for an anthology with the Authors of Main Street. My story is The Christmas Con. A retelling of the Robin Hood myth with Robin Cappington and Ian Marr, two jewel thieves with a past history brought today to save the Christmas Rose necklace from a bad street gang. You will find Little John, Uncle Tucker Frye, and Willa Scarlett in this tale.

Excerpt – The Christmas Con – © Jill James


Chapter Two

Ian Marr squeezed his long fingers and cracked his knuckles. He closed his eyes and spun the dial on the safe. His breath came in and out in silent, slow inhalations. His mind shut down until the only thing he heard in the room was the tumblers of the safe, the clicks of the gears as loud as firecrackers in his head. Numbers flashed in neon in the dark behind his closed lids.

He gave the dial one big spin, and then turned it right, then left, then right again with his eyes closed, using only his fingers and his auditory skills to crack the lock. A final click sounded in the silent room. He pulled down the handle and the heavy steel door hissed open.

“One minute, thirty-two seconds,” Inspector Justin Lawe called out as he pushed the stop watch button. “That is how long a good safecracker needs to break in and get the goods.”

“Good safecracker?” Ian said, turning to the police inspector. “A great safecracker. A good one needs at least two—two and a half minutes.”

The inspector’s eyebrow quirked up. “Sorry. A great safecracker.” He turned back to the assembled officers. “Hopefully we will just get good ones.”


This story will be in a boxed set with the Authors of Main Street by the end of October. Once the set is out I’ll be publishing the short story on my own as well.

Jill James, writer of contemporary and paranormal romance

Excerpt – Love in the Time of Zombies by Jill James

Below is an unedited excerpt of my current w.i.p. Love in the Time of Zombies. This book has been the most difficult I’ve written. It is my first time in 1st person POV. It has been a difficult time in my life. It has become a much bigger story than I originally planned. I’ve also decided to do something different with this release. When it is done and I’m trying for a few quotes from some authors I will put it on pre-order via Smashwords to Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Kobo. They are doing that now and I think I’ll give it a try. With Indie publishing I think you have to try everything at least once to see what does and doesn’t work.

Emily Gray is off for a day of zombie hunting. Enjoy!

LoveintheTimeofZombies 200x300Unedited Excerpt of Love in the Time of Zombies by Jill James

We go out in a group of eight. A team of two in each direction on the map; north, south, east, and west. Nick and I have south for the day. It’s my favorite. We can walk straight down the old bypass with Mt. Diablo on our right. For the first few miles, the cars have been cleared and you can see for a good distance. Last week a fire whipped through the hills around us so the stubble is short, burned, with nowhere to hide.

The pop of gunfire starts as the spotters on the corners take out the undead outside the perimeter of the mall. Nick and I check out the area when the popping stops. Spotting no one, dead or alive, we shimmy down the rope ladder that will be pulled up as soon as we are clear. I’ve been doing this for months now and my heart still stops beating when we jump down and the ladder is pulled up.

I stand by the containers stacked to make temporary walls on what was the road into the interior of the shopping center. Putting the binoculars up to my eyes, I turn in a semi-circle to scope out the area. The teams from the shopping center across the road are starting their morning too. The faint pop-pop of rifles carry across.

Once Nick is down, I try to look elsewhere as the ladder is pulled up. I close my eyes and clutch my lucky necklace in my fist. The metal edge bites into my palm and reassures me by its very existence. The necklace was a thirteenth birthday present from my parents. The center is a fifty-cent piece minted in my birth year 1990, inserted into a fancy, silver filigree setting. It is never off my body. I sleep and shower with it.

We trek across a field to the broken asphalt of the Highway 4 Bypass. The first time we went this way, Nick told me of the grand plans and tax dollars used for a new road, but the economy didn’t just not bounce back from the recession, it sunk into a depression that made the former Great Depression look like a temporary dip in the Dow Jones Index. I’d been oblivious in San Francisco. Carl had come from money and I guess the city was better off to start with than the outlying East Bay. The zombie apocalypse was a great equalizer. Money was worthless and your skills put food on the table, clothes on your back, and a canvas roof, at least, over your head.

Love in the Time of Zombies is coming soon!

Someone To Trust by Jill James

Someone To Trust by Jill James

Chapter One

“Honey, it’s just a stupid business trip. You would be bored in Oregon.”

“Evie, sweetie. I love you, but you know you aren’t the smartest apple in the bunch.”

“Evie, where in the hell were you? You know you aren’t allowed out after dark. Only women out after dark are whores and sluts.” 

Blinking her eyes in the dark bedroom, Evie Grimes shuddered and took deep, cleansing breaths. Her ex-husband wasn’t here. He hadn’t been in her life for five, long, peaceful years now. Her heartbeat slowed, calmed, returned to a normal pace.

She turned on her side, hitting her pillow to relieve the residual tension in her shoulders. Cold sweat pooled between her breasts. Sighing, Evie glanced at the bedside clock. She refused to get up at four in the morning just because her sadistic ex-husband had invaded her dreams again.

–Someone To Trust is coming soon. The book is the story of a former verbally and psychologically abused woman who escaped her past but can’t seem to move forward into a brighter future. Evie Grimes doesn’t trust men until she meets Brady Jackson. The former Marine and now carpenter is as honest as the day is long and may be just what Evie needs to believe in love again. When danger comes stalking Evie she will have to learn Brady is someone to trust.

Jill James