An Interview with Jill James

I’m thrilled to have Jill James, author of Tempting Adam, Divorce, Interuppted, and Someone One to Trust.  She will be giving away 2 copies of Divorce, Interrupted Book 1, Second Chances series, so be sure to leave a comment to have a chance to win.

How did you get started writing?

I started writing short stories in the fifth grade. I had a wonderful teacher, Mrs. Whitaker. She said I would be published one day, and here I am.  Once my older daughter was grown and out of the house and my son was in junior high I knew it was my time. I joined RWA and sat down to get serious about writing.

Tell us about your current series.

My series, Second Chances, is set in the fictional town of Lake Willowbee in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The first two are published and the last one is in the WIP stage right now. When they are done I’ll bundle them and put them into print as well.

What is your typical day like?

I get up at 7 and do email and blogs. After breakfast I write all day with breaks to do housework or errands. By 3 I’m done for the day. In the evening I play on the computer.

How has your experience with self-publishing been?

I’ve enjoyed it for the most part. It is fun to be in charge, but a lot of work too. Everything about writing for a living has been a learning experience.

What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?

Do your homework. Read blogs, read advice wherever you find. Read the guide at the publishing platforms. Know what you can do and know what you will need to outsource. I loved learning to format for myself. I hired a cover artist, art is not my forte.

Do you have critique partners?

I have one critique partner. I trust her with my story totally. She knows what I’m going for in my story and she doesn’t change my voice at all. A good CP is priceless.

How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?

Everyone is fair game. LOL Just kidding, kind of. I do use phrases I hear. Lots of conversations at Starbuck’s are in my books. People say the strangest things in public.

Do you prefer to read in the same genres you write in or do you avoid reading that genre? Why?

When I’m in the middle of a story I won’t read in my subgenre. Almost all my reading is romance. So when I write contemporary I read historical or paranormal. When I write paranormal I’ll read contemporary or even some horror.

Do you write under a pen name?   Why or why not?

Yes, my husband is a cop and he requested it for safety reasons. Kind of had to accept that. I’ve gotten used to my new name. I answer to it at RWA meetings and conferences.

What did you want to be when you were a child?

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? Actually I wanted to be the first female astronaut. I still remember sitting on the living room floor, watching a black and white TV, and seeing Neil Armstrong step onto the surface of another world. I was hooked. It wasn’t until many years that I realized I didn’t like science enough to be an astronaut.

Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.

Someone To Trust is Book 1 in the Second Chances series. I wanted to write a story with trust, not love, being the ultimate emotion for the heroine to feel for the hero. Evie is a former emotionally abused wife and it takes a lot for Brady to break through her shell and to prove he is trustworthy with her heart, safety, and life.


Jill has loved to write since she first began putting on puppet shows in her garage for a nickel a person.  Her first love was poetry until she picked up her first romance novel, Lily of the Valley, after that it was all romance.  She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense and paranormal romance.  She is a member of RWA since 2004 and a member of the From the Heart chapter, Black Diamond chapter, Kiss of Death chapter, and ESPAN chapter.  She has been writing romance for a few years with a few poetry contest wins and a published short story, Lunch Break. She lives in Northern California with her husband, the inspiration for all her heroes.

She is a published author with The Wild Rose Press and as an Indie. Her books include Tempting Adam, Divorce, Interrupted, and Someone To Trust.


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’re not 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.

A car’s headlights traveled along the ceiling and she missed the lake even more than usual. Life in the little town wasn’t hectic. But the lake was so peaceful it made the town seem like a metropolis. She needed peace and quiet more and more as the nightmares returned. It was only a matter of time before the calls started up again and she’d be forced to change phone numbers yet again. A step closer to needing to find a new town again, praying it would be the last time.

Tears filled her eyes, rolling down the sides of her face and wetting her hair. He always found her and she always had to move on. Her thoughts ran in circles like a merry-go-round.

She threw off the covers and swung her legs off the bed. Even at four in the morning, the mugginess the day would later carry already filled the air. She strode down the hallway in her T-shirt and panties, all she forced herself to wear in the dog days of August in the sweltering foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Her footsteps pitter-pattered down the oak flooring of the hallway. The beats of her still-racing  heart pounded in her ears.

She flipped the switch on the wall and the kitchen flooded with light, banishing the not-yet dawn outside and the last dregs of her nightmare. Evie shuddered, wrapping her arms around herself. Thoughts of Mark Trudeau still haunted her.

Her eye started to twitch and she cursed her ex-husband for the millionth time. Grabbing a banana off the counter, she ripped the peel off and jammed it into her mouth, biting it with a snap of her teeth.

She stood at the counter and glared outside. Too early to go open the antiques store, and too late to go back to sleep. Even if she had been able to sleep. Shaking her head, she tossed the banana peel into the garbage and headed back to her bedroom to get dressed. The day was only going to get hotter; she could take advantage of the early hour and go for a run.

Once she was outside breathing in the fresh mountain air she felt her muscles loosen up,

Evie clipped on her ear buds and pushed the volume button on her iPod. The hard rock sounds of AC/DC blared into her ears as she set off down the street leading to the running path behind the houses.

Her long strides ate up the distance. Each pounding thump of her feet on the packed dirt pushed all her troubles far away. Nothing touched her when she ran. Birds flew overhead, flitting from tree to tree. Squirrels and gophers darted across her path, just in front of her. She giggled as a pair of ground squirrels paused on the edge of the path, waiting for her to pass by. A traffic jam, Lake Willowbee-style.

Looking up, all Evie saw was dark hair and blue eyes, just before she slammed into a rock-solid chest. Her breath left in an oomph and she backpedaled to stay on her feet. It didn’t work, as she lost her balance and hit the dirt with her backside.

She glimpsed an outstretched hand as she looked up. Then looked up some more. Seeing a giant towering over her. A shiver ran down her spine. At 5 feet 2 inches, everyone towered over her, but she tried to avoid tall, large men and the one standing over her looked like Paul Bunyan.

A quick glance showed warm, blue eyes and a friendly smile. She steeled her spine and took his hand. Hers was lost in his grasp. As soon as she was back on her feet, she yanked her hand away and stopped herself a nanosecond from wiping it on her sweatpants.

He wasn’t any smaller when she was standing in front of him. Her vision was filled with a tight blue T-shirt and a chest filling every scrap of material to the bursting point. He was—just too much for her to handle. She skittered back a step.

Yanking her ear buds off, Evie became aware of the total silence in the woods. Just the call of birds and the underbrush movements of small animals filled the still air. Her head whipped around. No one but her and the giant in sight. She took another slow step backward, ready to run at the smallest sign of danger from the man in front of her.

“Hey now, it’s okay,” he spoke in a quiet tone so at odds with his size. “I was just bird watching. You came out of nowhere. I tried to say something, but I guess you didn’t hear me with the earphones and stuff.”

She knew that voice. Racking her brain, it came to her. The carpenter working on her sister’s lake-front house. Brady Jackson. A groan escaped her. Here she was acting like he was a mad stalker at her heels and she recognized this man. She’d seen him several times now at the lake house, working on the cabinets.

She glanced at him from beneath her eyelashes. He was handsome, movie star action hero handsome. Dark hair waved in the breeze and framed a strong face. His blue eyes glanced back at her. A smile cut across his face and transformed him from handsome to devastatingly handsome.

Her heart skipped a couple of beats. She hadn’t thought a man was handsome in more years than she cared to count. After Mark’s tyranny, she’d been happy to be blissfully single. As her mom had been thrilled to say, ‘handsome is as handsome does.’ Evie learned the hard way a pretty face could hide a monster.

11 thoughts on “An Interview with Jill James

  1. Nice post. I can relate to not using your real name for safety reasons. My husband is a Sgt. in the Fire dept. Families of criminals are sometimes more dangerous than the criminals themselves. Your book sounds very interesting. I’ll have to amke it a Spring read while working in the garden.

    Cora Blu

  2. Karin and Cora, thanks for stopping by to say hi!

    Working on A Family Again right now. Hoping for a early March release since I’m helping a friend with her first release and we are aiming for end of February.

    Cora, hope you enjoy the book.

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