New Year, New Book, and a Treasure Hunting Story!

It’s 2014, and Costa Rica is out! It’s available in Kindle, Smashwords, and Kobo, with print and other ebook retailers coming soon. A funny thing happened the day before I launched it…

We kicked off the new year with a family hiking trip on the 1st. It was clear and fairly warm here for January, especially after the icy weather we’ve had the last two months. Our hike included many steep hills, and a giant tree sat on top of one of them, with wide, spreading branches that made perfect seats. (I must keep the type of tree secret so I don’t give away too many hints.) The boys and I climbed up the tree’s fat branches, and I looked around us and spotted a yellow tackle box in an old, hollowed out tree trunk. So of course I scrambled down my tree to go investigate.

I LOVE finding things. Don’t you? I’ve always kept an eye out for interesting little treasures out in the woods, and I’ve found mushrooms, flowers, berries, an elk shed, unique rocks, and other little things in the forest floor. Many people watch for arrowheads. It just always feels like I’ll find something cool.

So this time I actually found a treasure. Well, a geocache treasure. Normally you get the coordinates from a club or website like and then hike out to look for the cache. We happened to stumble upon it.

fishThis cache had a bag full of things: ping pong balls, sharpie markers, bug repellent, coins, tiny notebooks with pretty pictures, and other little trinkets. One trinket was a little beaded fish on a keyring. How cool is that? I totally fell in love with it, so we traded a pair of batman sunglasses for it.

So does that relate in any way to my new release? Well, in my world, everything is somehow related. Call it writer’s brain or something, but that’s just how it works around here. I found this tropical fish on the 1st and launched my new book, Costa Rica, on the 2nd. I couldn’t wish for a better lucky charm!

So here’s my new book, a romantic family drama set in Coos Bay, Oregon, and the west side of Costa Rica:

Costa Rica by Kristen James     Costa Rica – Kindle Link            Preview the First Chapter on my website

Annalisa and Drew have always dreamed of going to Play Flamingo, Costa Rica, with their best friends, Vincent and Melinda. But now they’re out of time.

Annalisa feels their marriage is just a shell for others to see–there’s nothing left inside. She wonders if they can rekindle their love in paradise, but there’s so little left. They gave up on their marriage along with their dream of having children.

Time is literally slipping away from Vince and Mel. Vincent’s cancer is back–his tumor is inoperable and he won’t do chemo again. This trip is now or never.



I’m releasing this one across multiple ebook retailers to reach more readers. In fact, I’ll be releasing some of my backlist across various retailers throughout this coming year, and posting the links on my Novels page. (While you’re there, check out the new cover for More Than a Promise!)

I pushed things with this story; it’s literary/women’s fiction/romance/travel and looks at several emotionally charged issues. It’s Annalisa’s story, but also a romance between her and Drew. Their best friends, Melinda and Vince, have a storyline too. Costa Rica is similar to Point Hope (with Trey and Rosette), but I wanted to lighten the mood just a bit. It was also fun contrasting the coasts from Oregon and Costa Rica. I always get giddy excited about sharing a new book, and I hope you enjoy it.   🙂

Happy Friday and weekend!   XXOO ~Kristen


Merry Christmas! Cover Reveal. And Looking Ahead.

There’s a lot stuffed into that title! I wanted to send out a big MERRY CHRISTMAS to everyone – I hope you’re enjoying a bright, wonderful holiday season. Does it feel rushed to you this year? We had a short season between Thanksgiving and Christmas! I just got my tree up yesterday and started my Christmas shopping.

I also hope it’s been a good year for you. For me, a lot happened but then again, things slowed down this year. I published Point Hope and a lot happened with that book, but I didn’t finish another until autumn. (I did publish a novella this summer called A Wedding to Remember.) So Costa Rica will be out early next year, which is actually just weeks away now!

Front CoverHere’s the cover.

You might notice something a little different about this cover, compared to my other books. There’s just one person on this cover. I’ve been writing romance for several years, yet more and more my stories are focusing on family drama and married romance. I love including romance in my stories, but it’s a different kind of romance than you find in, say, a romance novel. The story in Point Hope centered around an entire family. It was actually an in-depth, close up and personal story about the trouble between Trey and Rosette, their own struggles, and the family dynamic. I love that story! I loved writing it and sharing it with readers. It’s the kind of story I look for when choosing books, and the kind of story I wanted to write for so long.

Costa Rica, too, is about family with a twist. It’s about two families, but it’s also about Annalisa’s personal journey. There’s romance, but much more, and I wanted the cover to reflect the feel of the story.

The other big difference is this cover shows Costa Rica and not somewhere in Oregon. It actually begins in Coos Bay (like Point Hope) and then moves to Costa Rica. (I’ll post the description and first chapter soon!)

My next book, In a Field of Oranges, is more of a romance with some heavy personal struggles. It has a feel like Point Hope, but Lance and Sierra are almost strangers when the story opens. I’ll share more about that story in the next few months, and I plan to release it in the first half of 2014. I’m having a great time writing this one, and I have to admit it’s thrilling to write different kinds of stories. Working on In a Field of Oranges feels fresh and new, and I think it’ll improve my stories that much more to have a spectrum of story types.

I’m going to write A LOT next year. I’m itching to share my next story idea, but I’ll wait until I’ve actually started it.   🙂   Stay tuned!

Much Love,




Montlake Romance acquires Point Hope

It’s been a huge pleasure to share with you along the way and hear from readers all over, and I have exciting news to share now.

First I’d like to provide a little context. I’ve been successfully self publishing for almost three years, but “Self” or “Indie” publishing  isn’t a solo operation at all. I’ve utilized a team of freelancers to help with editing, proof reading and cover design, and I feel I’ve continuously improved the quality of my writing and book production. I’m also working with A.K. Waters at Zulu 7 Productions, who has helped with several projects including Point Hope.

I published Point Hope in the middle of June, and I’ve been happily overwhelmed with reader response!  It sold 5,000 copies in less than two months. It’s also been picked up by Montlake Romance, an Amazon Imprint. Montlake will relaunch the book this fall, but it’ll remain for sale on Amazon until we’re ready to switch over.  This feels like a natural next step.  I’m very excited to to work with Montlake because I can reach even more readers.  And of course, I’m looking forward to sharing more of my writing journey with you!


Walking in my Character’s shoes – with Trey and Rosette


One of the most fun aspects of being an author is stepping into the world of my characters. Trey and Rosette from Point Hope live in an old family home overlooking the Oregon coast. This weekend I walked on “their beach,” drove on their road and through their town, thinking about their story, their home and their lives. It surprised me just how powerfully I felt the connection they would experience between their family, traditions and home. Everywhere I looked, I was reminded of different family trips and special moments from my childhood and from trips with my kids. This weekend we were having a great time with our six kids, playing on different beaches and going to our favorite restaurants.

I have to agree with Trey – spring and autumn are awesome seasons on the beach. It’s not as windy as in the summer and there aren’t nearly as many tourists. (Although the local economy probably loves the summer crowd!) We enjoyed two days of great weather, with sun and clouds but not rain, and just a hint of wind on the beach. The kids had to run to keep the kites up in the air!

Here’s a few pictures from the beach as the clouds broke up, making it seem almost like a moonscape in some shots.



Happy New Year! A look back and forwards.

Wow, I did a lot of writing and publishing in 2012 and I don’t plan to slow down any time soon! This last year, I published:

  • A Spy for Christmas
  • A Special Ops Christmas
  • More Than a Promise
  • Un vaquero para navidad – the Spanish version of A Cowboy for Christmas (Spanish books have lower case titles, in case you’re wondering)
  • The Enemy’s Son – republished actually – it was with a small Canadian publisher before that
  • In The Land of Huckleberries and Wokas – a Native American novella similar to my novel The River People.
  • and a children’s book called Even Animals Get Their Own Room. This was a special project because my sons Isaac and Caleb illustrated it.

Possible Cover three

Yes, this is on Amazon if you want copy or want to search inside to see their artwork.

This project spanned two years. We’d pull out the art supplies and work on it a Saturday here or an afternoon there. Isaac and Caleb each took copies to school to show to their friends. They donated a copy to their library and another kid checked it out that same day. So we had a ton of fun working on it, and we were all proud of the final product. The printed book actually looks like you could feel the crayon on the paper; I was just amazed at the quality.


Every year I learn more about storytelling, writing and using my strengths as a writer, so I owe a big thanks to all my readers for sharing your thoughts on Facebook, here and in reviews on Amazon. This last year I learned to listen to my own heart on storytelling and not on the usual rules and expectations. I thought about what kind of story I want to experience, write and read, not what big publishers or all the Writer Rules say you should write. I let readers guide me too, through comments and reviews.

2013 – A new year and new opportunities

I’m already working on a new novel for this year. It’s an emotional story of romance, commitment and family, similar in theme to More Than Memories, More Than a Promise and A Special Ops Christmas. I love looking at family relationships, rekindling and rebuilding love, and making a better future. I’ll tell you more about the story soon and share the cover in the next couple of months.

My goals and plans are much the same for this year. I want to keep writing, keep improving and grow my readership. Even my personal goals are the same – I love spending time with my family and experiencing life to the fullest. There are a few things on the agenda, like riding in a hot air balloon and the local trolly that goes on a winery tour. If you saw this big red trolly around your town, you’d understand!

Thanks so much for joining my journey. I hope this is a fantastic year for everyone!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!


Merry Christmas!

From my family to yours, I hope everyone has a warm, happy holiday season!

Can you imagine the dark months of winter without holiday cheer? Without twinkling lights, ringing bells, Christmas trees and holiday treats? I love the music–the old time Christmas music that first came out on records.

Have a holly, jolly Christmas…it’s the best time of the year…

I love it so much that when my kids hear Elvis or any 50s singer, they ask if it’s Christmas music! I’ve been known to pull out the Christmas music and decorations on December first; I can’t wait to get into the spirit.

This time of year, when we count our blessings, I’m extremely grateful for the many awesome readers who make my dream possible. Thanks for being a part of my journey! I appreciate the support on Facebook, the comments and your emails. I always love to hear what people think of my stories.

Winter is my busy writing period. I write year round, but the wet, possibly cold, and short winter days here in the Pacific Northwest seem perfectly suited for writing. It gets dark around 5!

This holiday season I published A Spy for Christmas, with a perfect holiday setting at a snowy mountain cabin, and I’m working on another holiday novella to share with you soon. What can I say? This time of year gets me into the mood to write about Christmas. I’m also working on Promises Fulfilled, Book 3 of the Second Gift Series. I hope to have it ready this month, or maybe January by the latest.

Oh, I also put together a box set with a special price! The info is in the previous post.

Take care and have a wonderful holiday season!   ♥♥♥   ~Kristen