The Bucket List

Everyone has one, right? Things you want to do before you die. My husband and I want to see all the MLB ballparks, all 30 of them. We take a vacation every couple of years and see one or two more. This year we hit 3 of them.

Cincinnati Reds (Great American Ballpark), Cleveland Indians (Progressive Field), and Pittsburgh Pirates (PNC Park) This year we managed to get tickets for the ballpark tour for all three parks as well.

The Reds have an awesome park, right on the river. The tour and the Hall of Fame were lots of fun. I love hearing all the inside stories of players, sportscasters, and owners.

We got to go to two games as well. The weather was beautiful and the games were fun. I love seeing and hearing what different teams do during their games.  There was a race with Mr. Redlegs (with moustache), Mr. Red (younger looking version), and Rosie Red.

And don’t forget the Skyline chili. Yummmmm!

 

What’s on your bucket list?


Jill James, romance writer and baseball fan

There’s no place like home.

Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, it was a wonderous journey but there is something to be said about sleeping in your own bed after a shower in your own room.

In 14 whirlwind days we drove to Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh. We saw ballparks, Halls of Fame, and ate some amazing food, then drove home again.

I love vacations, but I love coming home more. I hope to post some pictures this coming week.


Jill James, romance writer

Romance – sweet or sexy?

My Lake Willowbee Series used to be all one series until I realized it was actually two series set in the same world of the fictional Lake Willowbee, California, nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains. I have four books that are on the sexy side and I have four books on the sweet side with another one coming out in a boxed set this Christmas with the Authors of Main Street.

 

 

The Lake Willowbee Series – 3/5 heat level

Book 1 – Divorce, Interrupted     B005S9ZIN2
Book 2 – Dare To Trust     B007611ZVY
Book 3 – Defend My Love     B00AF3TD8W
Book 4 – The Reluctant Bride     B00KNAXUO0 (Weddings on Main Street)

The Sweet Lake Willowbee Romance Series – 1/5 heat level

Book 1 – Waking Up For Christmas     B01N2VQ4X3 (Christmas at the Inn on Main Street)
Book 2 – Baby Steps and Snowflakes     B077D1456Q (Christmas Babies on Main Street)
Book 3 – Retreat, Interrupted     B07FMBJQ63 (Summer Romance on Main Street)
Book 4 – In My Dreams     B07L355LSP (Christmas Wishes on Main Street)
Book 5 – Sugar Sprinkled Memories     coming soon!

Do you like your romance books sweet, sexy, or a little of both?


Jill James, author of the Lake Willowbee series

Did you know?

May is Zombie Awareness Month

Hi, folks. Jill James here in Reno, Nevada. In our neck of the woods, and I’m sure yours too, spring has sprung. Denver, you luck out, still cold and snowing for a little bit more. So you know what that means for most of us.

The zombs are thawing out and walking around again. So, be on the lookout for the undead digging themselves out of the mucky, semi-frozen tundra.

To help you deal with the zombie apocalypse in your neighborhood I’ve joined with a great group of zompoc authors to give you some free instruction manuals…umm books, I meant books, set in the zombie apocalypse.

Just head over to Zombie Awareness Month at Bookfunnel and get some awesome books to help you fight the undead.

I’ve included my short story, Rogue Vantage. If you read my Time of Zombies series it would be book 1.5, between Love in the Time of Zombies and The Zombie Hunter’s Wife. It is the story of four little boys and how surviving the zombie apocalypse makes them brothers.

You can also go HERE to get the books of the Time of Zombies series.

 


Enjoy a walk with the undead….Jill James

Happy Birthday to my son.

I can not believe it has been 29 years since your birth. I still remember you being overdue and going to play minature golf on April 1st and the pains starting and getting to the hospital to be told April Fool’s!! I was just dehydrated. It would be eight more days before you made your appearance.

In every life there are ups and downs, highs and lows, but overall, you have been the ups and the highs of my life.

Happy Birthday!!!


Jill James, mom and writer

The Boys of Summer are Back

At our house, we love baseball season. For quite a few years we had season tickets to the Oakland A’s. We had to give them up when we moved to Reno. It is TOO far to go for a baseball game.

Thankfully, Reno has the AAA affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Reno Aces. We still get baseball! This is our third year with season tickets. There is nothing like Opening Day.

It is fun to watch the up and comers and try to guess who will move on to the Show! The ballpark is clean and smaller than a big league stadium. But, there are sing-alongs, activities between innings, and fireworks every Friday.

Do you like to go to sporting events? Who is your favorite team?


Jill James, romance writer and baseball fan.

Renewing my RWA membership

Another year, another debate in my brain. Do I renew or not? I’ve had lots of friends not renew. They’ve stated monetary reasons, not-for-me reasons, I can get all of the info online for free reasons.

I got out the credit card and renewed once again. I belong for the people. My circle. Romance writers and readers. I need a place where they talk my language and understand my angst over something as simple as a book title or as complicated as running a small business as a one-woman show.

During this weekend of WTF on the RWA forums I mulled seriously over not renewing this year. I hate confrontation, I hate drama, I hate yelling (figuratively, it is online, you know). But, I finally decided, you can’t complain if you aren’t part of the solution. I want to be part of the solution. If you missed all of what is going on, I’m sorry but I can’t summarize what went down. If you participated and commented and explained to all, thank you for helping us to understand why we haven’t all reached happily-ever-after yet.

If you need a summary much better than I could ever do…RWA statement

All I can add is “be the solution, not the problem!”


Jill James, romance writer

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

Teaser – book #1

I’m working on three books at the same time right now. Book #1 is actually book #2 in the Ghost Releasers, Inc. series, Ghostly Deceptions. The main characters are Andrea Martin-Stovell, the sister of the main character, Megan, in Ghostly Intentions and Luke Tremaine, the friend of the main character, Jack, in Ghostly Intentions.

Here is the snippet of Ghostly Deceptions:

Chapter One

Andrea Martin-Stovall didn’t feel like herself this morning. Hadn’t felt like herself for weeks. An unknown voice rattled around in her head. Something hummed through her veins and crawled over her skin. Her body felt crowded and not her own.

She stared at herself in the bathroom mirror and wondered when she had become a frumpy old hag. Her hair was long and heavy. With a smile, she picked up the scissors and started cutting her hair off in handfuls. Chunk after chunk fell to the countertop and the floor at her feet.

When she placed the scissors on the vanity top two feet of glossy dark hair lay in piles and her airy-light strands swung at chin length. For the first time since she’d been a child, straight bangs sat on her forehead above dark brows.

Her eyes twinkled as she gazed into the mirror. “There you are Andi,” she whispered as she slicked on bright red lipstick across her lips.

She slid on the red silk dress she’d found buried in the back of her closet. The fabric clung to every curve like it had been sewn on her. No panty lines. She laughed. No panties.

Sitting on a bench at the foot of her bed, she placed red high-heeled shoes on her feet and stood. Her full-length mirror showed a woman ready to party. Perfect.

Andrea grabbed a small clutch purse off the dresser, knocking a framed picture to the floor. Sparing it a glance, she wondered who the two little girls were in the photo behind the shattered glass.

Megan, my sister. A voice whimpered from the depths of her mind.

She shook her head and ignored it. Andi controlled this body. Andrea had her chance. Now it was time for Andi to live.

Again.

***

I’m enjoying writing Andrea. She is a control freak. Everything has to be perfect, in place, the right way. When she is possessed by a ghost from the age of jazz her entire life goes off the rails. Only the people of Ghost Releasers, Inc. can help her before Andi takes over and Andrea is no more.

Ghostly Intentions is the start of Ghost Releasers, Inc.


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

 

No Candy Hearts

I was shocked to see that there will be no candy conversation hearts this year since the company went out of business or sold to someone else (not 100% sure which). Those little hearts were the joy of my childhood. Every Valentine’s Day in the classroom you knew you would get at least one or two of those little boxes along with the perforated, cardboard cards. It wasn’t that they tasted so great, they are actually kind of chalky. They aren’t chocolate after all. But, it was like a sensory memory of joy and friendship, along with the sweet messages imprinted on their colorful surfaces.

Since we are trying so hard to lose weight this year, there will be no luxurious red boxes of chocolates, but I’ll hold on to that joyful memory of candy hearts from a friend.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Jill James

Squish the Boobs

A little reminder to schedule your mammogram today. I’m getting mine done. Not my favorite task to do, but something we have to do. The anticipation and anxiety is worse than the 10 minutes it takes to get it done.

So, don’t forget to schedule yours.

 

 


Jill James, romance writer

Time of Zombies series

I blogged on Tuesday that I’m working on the paranormal ghost series. I’m also working on the next book in the Time of Zombies series.

Zombies in the Grass will hopefully be out before summer.

It is Willa and Danny’s story. Willa Zara is in what is left of the U.S. army outside Sacramento, California. The army is the only life she knows and following orders is what she does. Danny Lopez is the Robin Hood of the foothills, stealing from the army base to feed his ragtag band of children.

When Willa learns what the army is really doing at the base she will have to turn to Danny and his gang to save innocent children wanted for science experiments. With her army skills and Danny’s ability to disappear they just might escape a danger far greater than zombies in the grass.

Book 1 – Love in the Time of Zombies
Book 2 – The Zombie Hunter’s Wife
Book 3 – A Time to Kill Zombies
Book 4 – Zombies in the Grass ~ coming soon.


Jill James, romance writer

Work In Progress

Finally back to writing after the holidays. I’m working on books 2 and 3 of the Ghost Releasers, Inc. series. Book 1 is Ghostly Intentions. Book 2 will be Ghostly Deceptions. Book 3 will be Ghostly Perceptions. Book 2 has Andrea, Megan’s sister from book 1 and Luke, Jack’s business partner from book 1. Book 3 has Donna, who works with Jack and Luke and a new guy, Rafe and his son Joey.

 

Book 2 is Andrea and Luke’s story. Ghostly Deceptions is a ghost possession story. After her sister’s torment with a ghostly entity, Andrea is more unwilling than before to believe in ghosts and such until she starts having hours and days of time she can’t remember. Times when someone or something else is in charge of her body and her mind. Unwilling to turn to her sister and the head of Ghost Releasers, Inc. she is on her own until Luke realizes something isn’t right with Andrea.

Book 3 is Donna and Rafe’s story. Ghostly Perceptions is about a little boy, a poltergeist, and a father unwilling to accept his son’s stories of ghostly happenings. When he is confronted with the unimaginable he will turn to his neighbor Donna who works with the team at Ghost Releasers, Inc.

Working on getting both books out before the middle of the year. Fingers crossed for maybe April and May. We shall see.


Jill James, romance writer

Plotter or Pantser

The age old question for writers. Do you plot? Or do you pants? Which is basically write into the mist.

I’m a plotter. I’m also a linear writer. I start with Chapter 1 and finish with The End. I don’t write chapters or scenes out of order. I don’t write a piece of dialogue because it just comes to me. I know how the story starts with the characters in place. I know some of the things that will happen to them on the journey. I know how it will all wrap up at the end.

Still, surprises do happen. Characters I never dreamed of make an appearance. Things will happen that make me wonder if the end will happen how I think it will. Ah, the joys of being a writer.

My best tool for plotting is posterboard, Post-Its, and a brainstorming buddy.

I love seeing the colors in my office. Blue for hero POV, Green for heroine’s POV, Purple for antagonist POV, Yellow for locations or details of scene, and Hot Pink for passion moments.

This plotting board was for Dangerous Shift, a shapeshifter paranormal romance that is still one of my favorite books I’ve written.


Jill James, romance writer