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.

 

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

Zombies in the Grass – Work In Progress

Zombies in the Grass will be Book 4, Time of Zombies series. Although it will have many familiar faces I’m introducing two new characters; Captain Willa Zara knows the army is wrong with using forced soldiers, but the army is all she’s ever wanted and known. Danny Lopez is a woodland Robin Hood with his band of children who he will do anything to keep out of the army and the senseless deaths of fighting hordes of the undead who just don’t stop.

Chapter One (unedited)

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.

Willa threw her pen down. 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 she feared, the behavior condoned to keep the men in the service.

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

She turned in her chair. “Orders are to turn all refugees away, send them to Sacramento.”

“This group is being escorted by our guys.”

Slamming her chair under her desk, she grabbed her cap and followed the soldier to the front gates. Her eyes widened. These weren’t refugees. They were too well-fed and clean for one, even the small children. 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.

A tall man in army-issue 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, his whole appearance screamed career army.

Willa sighed deeply. They could use someone like him, but they were being brought in as prisoners. The delta region had been swept and only Ryde had managed to fend off the radio orders for over a year to join the army or die. Her heart fell to the pit of her stomach. Too much killing. Too much everything. They had to make him and his group fall in line. With the lack of grown soldiers under her command, she didn’t have a choice.

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

“Honorary title or real,” she said, writing on a pad in front of her.

“I served in Iraq and Afghanistan before the zombs. General Richard Stone gave me the field promotion before the army deserted us in Brentwood.”

The man stared straight ahead, not even bothering to look at her. She added a check beside his name in the military experience column. If they could get through his anger issues he could be an asset to the camp. She glanced at the group as they crowded around the man and watched his every move. Their eyes said they’d followed him to hell and back and would continue to do so. She allowed herself a small smile. This didn’t have to be any more difficult than it was. If he went with the program, the others would follow.

“Any dependents?”

He pulled two females forward and wrapped arms around them. “My wife, Lila and our daughter, Selena.”

Willa couldn’t prevent another small smile. The young daughter glared down at her with her father’s attitude.

In mere minutes, they had the small group processed in and handed tent assignments and maps of the camp.

“Is this all of your group, or can we expect more to show up later?”

Tears formed in the wife’s eyes as the commander’s jaw tightened with a crack and a vein pulsed in his temple.

“This is all that’s left once your boys got done attacking us. We had over forty people at the Ryde Hotel. Eighteen is all I have left and most of them are children.”

She stood. “I’m sorry, sir, but the governor’s orders are clear. Join or die. Be thankful the army needs soldiers or you all would already be in front of a beheading squad and the children trained to go to war.”

The wife grabbed his arm as he tried to step into Willa’s space. “Jack, don’t,” she whispered.

“What about the children and the mothers with small children?”

“We have quite a few children and a need for teachers and babysitters.”

He smirked at her but the smile didn’t reach his bloodshot eyes. “And what counts as a child these days?”

Wincing, she caught her breath. “Fifteen is the conscription age these days, but it may be fourteen by the end of summer.”

***

Zombies in the Grass should be available by late summer/early fall.


Jill James, romance writer

The Zombie Book

LoveintheTimeofZombies 200x300Okay, I know many of you think this book will never be done. And I’m right there with you. But (fingers crossed) I am working on it again. The wedding boxed set is up and selling well, so back to the zombies. LOL I’m hoping to finish at the end of July and to put it on pre-order via Smashwords for August so it can be released September 2nd. That is the plan so far!!

So here is a  little excerpt for my friends who are waiting oh-so-patiently–I love you all.

Love in the Time of Zombies excerpt (unedited)

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Brentwood, and the surrounding small towns, was a farmer’s market dream. Orchards for miles and farms galore. With the population down to one or two thousand, there was plenty for everyone.

Food wasn’t a problem. Harvesting and transporting it was. It’s hard to pick a row of corn if you’re afraid the man-eating walkers are in the next row over. I’d never been the growing type. If it needed care and tending, I would probably kill it. Fortunately, I was an excellent shooter. Who knew? I’d never shot a gun in my life. Why would I? San Francisco was the land of anti-gun belief. Maybe if we’d had more gun-toting citizens we might have held the city.

When we got here, they put us through a bunch of tests; agility, strength, skills, and shooting. I’d scored a hundred at all distances. No picking apples for this girl, I was made a member of the undead hunting patrol.

Breakfast out of the way; I cleaned up my section of the roof. Gathering up my dirty clothes, and believe me, you haven’t seen dirty until you try to get zombie guts out of your shirt, I took them to my friend, Michelle, who had laundry duty this month. Michelle Greggs had been on the wild ride with me out of San Francisco. We’d clung to each other all night as the horde of undead tried to get to the fresh meat inside the fortified school bus. We’d been friends ever since. Shit like that is a real bonding moment.

She stopped me with an upraised hand, and then grabbed a pair of surgical gloves before taking my clothes. We’d all told her countless times that she couldn’t get the mutated virus from simple contact; we pretty much all ready had the virus, but she continued to use the gloves. We all have our idiosyncrasies since this all started and we let her have hers.

She curtseyed. “And would madam like these pressed and folded as well?

I played along. “Yes and any spots left will come out of your pay.” I put up my chin and looked down my nose at her.

Michelle laughed. A sound I would play any silly game to get out of her, even if it was a mockery of my pre Z life. Unlike me, she’d loved her husband and had to kill him when he turned. She’d told me about it on the bus with the caveat that she would never mention it again.

“Now, go kill those skinbags,” she ordered.

“Yes, ma’am,” I replied, giving her a snappy salute. We all had our names for the zombies we had to kill. Some used other names to make it easier. Parents in our group used funny names to make it less scary for the children. Way back when, there had been a late-night local show; Creature Features, and the parents had taken to calling the zombies Black Lagooners. But for the life of me, I couldn’t see how anything made what we were going through less scary. Maybe kids had a defense mechanism I was missing. I was scared shitless most days.

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Love in the Time of Zombies – September 2014

Jill James, contemporary and paranormal romance

Sneak Peek Sunday

Sneak Peek Sunday Banner

So, I signed up for Sneak Peek Sunday for the first time. I’m supposed to show off 6 paragraphs of a WIP and then send you back to see the rest. Jill

Love in the Time of Zombies by Jill James (coming in June)

Guess you just never know. Who would have thought something as terrible as the zombie apocalypse would bring me something as wonderful as Seth Ripley?

Of course, the zombies got Momma, and Daddy, and my husband, Carl. Pretty much, my whole family. Okay, my husband Carl was an asshole so he was no great loss. Never could keep it in his pants, if you know what I mean. If he could’ve kept it in his pants he might have kept that appendage all together. But, it was the early days of the Z mutation and how was he to know the hooker he took to the cheap, by-the-hour motel had the sickness? I’m sure he didn’t realize anything until the woman ripped it off. He never was a great one for paying attention during sex as it was.

Five years of him spreading it far and wide and all I was left with was a one-sheet police report and a blurred photo of Carl with one between the eyes. The police had stopped trying to take sickies to the hospital a couple of weeks before. By the time Carl was attacked it was kill ‘em, identify ‘em, and burn ‘em in a pile. K.I.B. was the order of the day. A few weeks more and they skipped the identify part of the acronym.

Six months later and the police were all gone, along with the military. Now it was survival of the fittest. Never in a million years would I have pictured myself; little, bored society wife, Emily Gray, in that category. Guess you never know.

Your day can start so shitty and end so . . . well, not great, because there weren’t too many great days anymore. There were get bitten by zombies days and not get bitten by zombies days. But this day would turn out better than most.

I got zombie patrol for the morning, which is so not my best time of the day. But zombies don’t have an off switch so we have to hunt first thing in the morning to clear a perimeter around the strip mall.

Now, back to the rest of Sneak Peek Sunday.  http://sneak-peek-sunday.blogspot.com/

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LoveintheTimeofZombies 200x300Jill James, author of contemporary and paranormal romance

Whip That W.I.P.

In Romancelandia WIP stands for one thing – Work In Progress. This is whatever is your current manuscript you are working on. Right now I’m doing edits on a paranormal romance, writing a short story for Truly Madly Deeply Romance Authors blog, and working on another paranormal romance and contemporary romance. I think there is one more thing, but can’t place it at the moment.

For writers, it is our writing. For other people a WIP could be a project, looking for a new job, losing that last 10 pounds, or a new way of looking at yourself. Actually, writers do all those things too. We just don’t always think of them as our WIP. Really, a person is a WIP – always. We try to better our education, our livelihood, our body image, etc.

So, I told you all my WIP’s. What is yours?  Jill

Editing and Life

This is not one of those posts about life getting in the way of my editing. It is more about my style of editing and how it compares to life.

I edit slowly. For the edit for my current work in progress (WIP) I’ve been highlighting and going through and getting rid of filtering words; the words that distant the reader from your character. Like thought, felt, noticed, recognized, etc. These words make you one step removed from the story. Kind of like if you distant yourself from your life and don’t notice everything going on around you. Writing is great. Getting published is great. But it is only a slice of your life.

Most men, if they are smart, leave their jobs at the workplace. As a writer, that is a little harder to do. My current story or a new story idea is always in my head. So, random thoughts or ideas will just jump out, during long rides, or at the dinner table. The inner writer is never asleep.

Next, in my editing I need to dig deeper into my characters. One, the heroine, is from the Midwest. Living in California I don’t know a lot about the Midwest except from my trips there. Thankfully, my editor is from there and gave me tremendously great ideas to make my heroine seem like she is from the Midwest. Just like in life, dig deeper, know what you are doing and why. Know your family and friends. Are they on an even keel right now, or do they need a shoulder to cry on, a leg up with troubles in their lives, or just a hug. Pay as much attention to what your family and friends are doing and why as you do your imaginary characters.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”  – Ferris Bueller

Jill James