Veteran’s Day

My son reenlisted into the Air Force on November 1, 2019. A few days beforehand, he asked me if he could use Grandpa’s military funeral flag for the ceremony. My heart filled with emotion. Without hesitation, I said, “Of course!” I’m sure my dad would have been honored to know he was part of his ceremony. My son also chose to stand in front of a memorial for a fallen EOD comrade. As he made his commitment to serve again, he paid respect to a veteran and to one who gave his life in the line of duty.

For those who’ve served our country and continue to serve our county, I thank you for your strength and commitment.

Beth M James

Author of novels based on strong characters and elements of romance.

Writing: Coloring Outside the Lines with Books and Genre

Genre is how a novel is categorized to help the reader know what the book is going to be about. Different genres include romance, crime, mystery, woman’s fiction, historical, fantasy, Sci-Fi, paranormal … and the list goes on. And within each genre, like romance, you can have different subgenres. Experts believe that writers/authors should stick to one genre/subgenre. For me, I like to color outside the genre lines. For my books, all five have romance but it’s not the only reason for the story…

All Five Books

Gitana Life Plan: I wrote this book as a contemporary romance. Its about a woman’s struggle with finding herself again after her husband divorces her for his pregnant girlfriend. As I wrote the story, I added a secondary story that fits the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender) genre. Toward the end of the story, I realized that this book also falls into the Crime genre.

The Calling – Is it a Dream or Reality Trilogy: The three books are about a woman who wakes from a coma and has to tell her fiancé that she’s in love with another man from a different world. We go through her journey as she struggles with reality when she wakes in the hospital (Contemporary) and then when she survives in the other world (genre could be Adventure, Arthurian or Medieval). I classified this book as a Romance/Fantasy. Paranormal also includes other worlds, but this story just didn’t fit that genre.

Peaceful Plots: This is my latest release about a woman who returns to her childhood home after her sister calls with the news that their dad has committed suicide. Besides dealing with work and an upcoming promotion, she has to manage her dad’s estate along with allowing herself time to grieve. But when signs show that her dad may not have committed suicide, she’s in for another level of emotions as she tries to figure out what really happened. This book is a definite mystery/suspense.

As you can see from above, my books can be tagged with different genres. I like to tell the story by the way it unfolds. The romance part of the story is fun to write because they always have a happy ending (or promise of a happy ending) and the relationships are complex. I love that. But will my next book be a romance? I’m not sure. We’ll have to see how it unfolds.


Beth M James

Author of novels based on strong characters and elements of romance.

New Release: Peaceful Plots


I’m happy to announce the release of my fifth book: Peaceful Plots

Unlucky in love, Riley Walsh focuses on her career at an Arizona investment firm and an upcoming promotion. When her sister calls to tell her their dad committed suicide, Riley immediately returns to Wisconsin and her childhood home to help with the funeral arrangements and the estate.

In her grief, Riley finds comfort at the cemetery next to the house where she discovers ghosts, random shots of whiskey and a good bottle of wine. She also meets Geo Le Monte, an ex-detective with an edge, who lives in the old hunting shack on their property … something her dad had never mentioned. Geo hints that maybe her dad’s death wasn’t a suicide at all.

Riley is torn, dealing with the pressure she’s getting from work and needing to find the truth about her dad. Will she learn what matters most in life? Can the attraction she feels for Geo prevail? Or will she be the next victim to greed.

Now available on Amazon in eBook. Print soon to follow.

Writing: Keep Plugging Away

The last eight months have been hectic as I sat at my desk on nights and weekends to write my next book. I was definitely challenged by having a deadline and needing to complete the book on time. It’s tricky because I have two lives – daytime job (my stability for income) and author (my sanity check). At the beginning of summer, I wasn’t sure if I’d make the October deadline set with other authors on the Common Elements Romance Project.

Common Elements Logo

Instead of panicking, I created a list of what I needed to do for each week. Some weeks, I missed my goal. Others, I won a blue ribbon for exceeding. I’m not done yet, but I can see the finish line. The final edits are with my editor, and the book cover and story blurb are in process.

I’m glad I kept my focus and continued to plug away, getting the story written. I had fun weaving the five common elements – a guy named Max, a lightning storm, a haunted house, a lost set of keys, and a stack of books – into the novel. Oh, and to top it off, I threw in a cemetery, a hunting shack, shots of whiskey, and plenty of wine. What could go wrong?

Oops! I have to go. Need to write a draft of the blurb before the night is through.

Cover reveal soon!



Diversity and Writing

I belong to the WisRWA, the Wisconsin Chapter of RWA – Romance Writer’s of America. Yesterday we had our meeting and the program was about diversity in writing. When I did my research on the topic, the definition of diversity usually states “the inclusion of different types of people – race and culture.”

Image result for diversity images free

Diversity means so much more. For a writer, the best way to build characters is to create their personal story by thinking about diversity and how it can play into the uniqueness of their role and life. The different types of diversity include:

  • Age
  • Culture
  • Ethnicity
  • Experiences
  • Gender
  • Job Level
  • Language
  • Nationality
  • Perspectives
  • Physical Abilities
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Skills
  • Thinking Styles

Just think of the possibilities of how you can make your characters interesting by defining them with the above list. For example, not everyone has to be in a high level job or wealthy. You could build a character who is frail, after dealing with childhood cancer. Going through cancer would give them a different perspective on life as well.

And remember, diversity brings awareness as well. It can help bring out an issue in your character to learn from it and overcome it.

Beth M James – Author of novels based on strong characters and elements of romance.

New Year – New Project

Happy New Year!

This year I’ll be busy working on my fifth novel. I’ve signed up with other authors to work on the Common Elements Romance Project. Each author writes their own novel, novella, or short story. The story that you write must include all of the five elements:

  • A lightning storm
  • A person named Max
  • A stack of thick books
  • Lost keys
  • A haunted house

Author Cora Lee provided the concept and asked if other authors would be interested in doing the project. With my trilogy almost complete, I was up for the challenge. I signed to join the project in April, 2018, knowing that I’d have some time to write the book with an October/November 2019 timeframe for publishing.

Now with all three books of the Dream or Reality trilogy are available in eBook and print, I’ll be working on this project. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

I hope everyone has a great 2019!

Beth M James – Author of novels based on strong characters and elements of romance.

Common Elements Logo

Lessons Learned: Enjoy the Season

Fall is here. I love the crispness in the air, going to apple orchards, having fires at night, and curling up with a nice, warm blanket. Okay, I curl up with a blanket no matter the season. My point is that it’s nice to enjoy what nature has to offer. Take a look around you. Enjoy the change.


And remember, each season can bring new thoughts, new goals, and new energy.

Beth M James

Author of novels based on strong characters and elements of romance.

Well-travelled Nuts

From Hawaii to Minnesota…My husband and I went on a Hawaiian cruise at the end of February. One of the stops we hit was the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Farm and Factory. We bought six boxes of chocolate-covered macadamia nuts to bring home. One of those boxes was for my son.

From Minnesota to Germany to Africa…At the time, my son was deployed to Africa. I sent him a care package with food and items he requested. I included the box of macadamia nuts. As it turned out, his deployment ended early. The care package with the nuts arrived on the day he left.

From Africa to Germany to California…The care package was sent in the next crate with their equipment back to California. I’m happy to say, after travelling thousands of miles, my son received his care package in August—six months later. The gift box of well-travelled nuts was finally opened.

Mauna Loa Package

Beth M James

Author of novels based on strong characters and elements of romance.

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