"I could not love thee, dear, so much, loved I not honor more."

- Richard Lovelace, Off to War

Award-winning novels!

Jessica James won the John Esten Cooke Award for Fiction in 2011 AND 2014.

Find out more about this Virginia writer on my Life in the Past Lane blog.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Successful crabbing expedition

It's been a busy summer - but not all work and no play. I spent two days at my brother's house relaxing in his pool and crabbing with my nephews and pop.

We didn't do too badly either - 32 crabs in just two hours on the water. They were some of the best crabs I've ever eaten--but then again there is nothing better than catching your own meal.

This season seems better than most in recent memory. We caught some really big crabs, but threw back dozens of small ones for every large one we kept. That means the season will only get better as those grow and mature.

I'm looking foward to next weekend when I travel to Welbourne in Upperville, Va. I will have plenty to write about upon my return!

Jessica James

Monday, July 19, 2010

Booksigning Events

2013 Events

January 8: Lake Heritage Club

Feb. 17: Washington County Museum of Fine Art 1-5 p.m.

March 9: Fairfax  150th Mosby Raid 4-5 p.m.

June 22: Page After Page Bookstore, Elizabeth City, N.C. 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

June 28 through July 7: Signing throughout Gettysburg, including Gettysburg Wax Museum on July 3, 5-7 p.m.

2012 Events

Feb.17 and 18: Amelia Island Book Festival, Amelia Island, Fla.

May 26: Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center Bookstore, 10 a.m. to noon.

June 8: Gettysburg Civil War Museum, 3-5 p.m.

June 15: 17 on the Square, 4-6 p.m.

Sept. 15: 150th Antietam Reenactment, TBA

Sept. 22: Edinburg 'Olden Days Festival, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

2011 Events
Feb. 14: Passion on the Plantation at Shirley Plantation, Charles City, Va. 1-3 p.m.

April 8: Boone Hall Farms a part of Boone Hall Plantation, Mt. Pleasant, S.C. 11-1 p.m.

April 9: Beautfort Bookstore, Beaufort, S.C. 1-3 p.m.

April 30: Pages of the Past Bookstore, Gettysburg, Pa. 1-3 p.m.

May 7: Washington County Library Reading Day, Valley Mall 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

May 14: Purcellville Heritage Day, Purcellville, Va. 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

May 28: Great Train Raid, Strasburg, Va. 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

May 30: Gettysburg Visitor Center Gift Shop, Gettysburg, Pa. 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

July 22: Prospero's Bookstore, Manassas, Va. 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Sept. 10: Inn at Kelly's Ford for Mosby Heritage Area Association's Mosby Ranger Reunion. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Sept. 24: Warrenton-Fauquier Heritage Day in front of the Warren-Green Hotel. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Nov. 17: Girls' Night Out at Turn the Page Bookstore, Boonesboro, Md. 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Nov. 18: National Civil War Museum, 297 Steinwehr Ave., Gettysburg. 2 to 5 p.m.


May 22: Aldie Bicentennial Celebration. Come out and shop at Treasures on the Turnpike on Rt. 50 in Aldie. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

May 29: NPS Visitor Center in Gettsyburg. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Oct. 17: Belle Grove Plantation, Middletown, Va. 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Nov. 20: Remembrance Day Weekend at Gettysburg Civil War Museum and Gift Shop


Nov. 21: NPS Museum and Visitor Center, Gettysburg, Pa.

Oct. 2: Waterford Fair 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Waterford, Va.

Sept. 26: Warrenton-Fauquier Heritage Day

Sept. 19: Edinburg Olden Day Fair

August 25: Red Hat Ladies, Biglerville, Pa.

June 27: Farmer's Market at Olden Days, 9 a.m. to noon, in Smithfield, Va.

June 13: Inn at Kelly's Ford, 16589 Edward's Shop Road, Remington, Va. for the Mosby Ranger Descendant Reunion sponsored by the Mosby Heritage Area Association.

May 2: Bluemont Vineyard, 1 to 4 p.m., 18755 Foggy Bottom Road, Bluemont, Va.

April 19: 17 on the Square, noon to 4 p.m. as part of the History Meets the Arts event in Gettysburg, Pa.

April 18: Manassas Museum, 1 to 4 p.m.
9109 Prince William St., Manassas

March 19: Virginia Festival of the Book, Charlottsville, Va.

March 7: Random House Book Festival at Carroll County Community College

Feb. 21: Civil War Authors Meet and Greet, 12 to 4 p.m.
Historic Blenheim, 3610 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax.
Come see this 1859 house that contains one of the area’s largest quantity and best quality of Civil War graffiti. The walls of the attic, first floor, and second floor contain more than 110 signatures of Union soldiers along with dates, regiments, sayings and drawings.

Jan. 8: Jessica James radio interview on The Authors Show.


Nov. 22: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Book Signing at Homespun Gifts and Gardens in Winchester, Va.

Nov. 10 through Nov. 22
Author Chat on LibraryThing

Oct. 3, 11 a.m.-2p.m.
Waterford, Va. for the Waterford Homes Sale and Crafts Exhibit

Sept. 28, 11 a.m-1 p.m.
Baltimore Book Fair

Sept. 27, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Warrenton, Va. for the annual Warrenton-Fauquier Heritage Day.

July 11, 9 to 11 a.m.
Duck's Cottage in Duck, N.C.

July 5, 4-6 p.m.
Patriot Point Village, Steinwehr Ave., Gettysburg

July 4, 9 to 11 a.m.
American Civil War Museum/Gettysburg Gift Center on Steinwehr Aveue in Gettysburg, Pa.

July 3, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Sheppard Farm in Hanover, Pa. for the Battle of Hanover re-enactment.

July 2, 4-6 p.m.
Union Mills Homestead, Union Mills, Md. for the J.E.B. Stuart Ride re-enactment.

April 5, 5 to 9 p.m.Molly's Meanderings, Frederick, Md.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Dear reader,

With so many books now on the market, many new authors get overlooked. I’ve compiled a short list of books/authors that are worth taking a look at—from non-fiction history to YA historical fiction. Of course, since I have an interest in the Civil War, many of these books are geared toward that, but I’ve also included some mystery and suspense novels, as well as two old classics that I highly recommend.

 Here they are in no particular order:

 Genre: Nonfiction/History

Confederate brigadier general J.E.B. Stuart entrusted a secret album to Laura Ratcliffe, a young girl in Fairfax County who provided a safe haven for Rebel forces. Mauro uncovers the mystery behind this album, identifying who the 26 soldiers and 14 loyal Confederate civilians who signed it were.

 CROSS OVER THE RIVER: Lives of Stonewall Jackson, by Bruce Weir Benidt

Genre: Historical Fiction

When Stonewall Jackson was killed by friendly fire at the height of his great victory in 1863, the course of the Civil War and American history was changed. This novel paints a passionate and realistic portrait of the Civil War's most enigmatic and daring general.

 RIDE THE WIND by Lucia St. Clair Robson

Genre: Historical/Adventure

In 1836, when she was nine years old, Cynthia Ann Parker was kidnapped by Comanche Indians. This is the story of how she grew up with them, mastered their ways, married one of their leaders, and became, in every way, a Comanche woman.

 FOR THE BIRDS (Tall Pines Mystery) by Aaron Paul Lazar

Genre: Mystery

After Marcella Hollister’s quarrelsome mother, Thelma, is kidnapped, Marcella must find her—somewhere in the tall pines of the six-million-acre Adirondack Park.  Bizarre "tips" from the parakeet Ruby help Marcella, much to the chagrin of the FBI, who wants her to stay out of the investigation.

Finalist in 2011 ForeWord Book of the Year Award in the Mystery category


 Genre: Christian-themed Suspense/Time Travel

 Maggie Poinsett has the opportunity to change history. When she steps through the rusty gate, she’s thrust into the middle of the Civil War. Disguising herself as a boy, she joins forces with photographer, Thomas MacKinlay, the man she traveled through time to save. Falling in love with him certainly complicates things.

 Nominated for Global Ebooks Award

DEATH ON DELIVERY by Anne K. Edwards

 Genre: Mystery

Jania Yewbanks never should have opened a package meant for her husband and decided to keep the contents for herself. She paid the ultimate price. It is her obit in a local paper that sets Hannah Clare on the trail of a murder for hire ring.

 CAVES, CANNON and CRINOLINES by Beverly McClure

 Genre: YA Historical Fiction

Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines is the story of Elizabeth (Lizzie) Stamford and her family's daily struggle to survive a changing way of life during the American Civil War. This is a story of fear, courage, and understanding that people, no matter where they live, have the same needs: love, peace and security.

Finalist in the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Novella Category
Honor Winner in the 2012 Eric Hoffer Awards, YA Category
Finalist in the Global eBook Award, YA

 Classics you may wish to try.

 NORTHWEST PASSAGE by Kenneth Roberts

 Genre: Historical Fiction

 This is the story of Major Robert Rogers and the early Rangers of the French and Indian War. Even if you’re not interested in the time period, the writing is so good, you’ll love the journey!

SHANNA by Kathleen Woodiwiss

Genre: Historical Romance

 Woodiwiss is the “founding mother of the historical romance” genre and I can recommend anything she wrote. The Flame and the Flower and Ashes in the Wind are two other favorites.

"Noble Cause" Book Trailer