Jessica James believes in honor, duty, and true love—and that’s what she writes about in her award-winning novels that span the ages from the Revolutionary War to modern day.

She is a three-time winner of the John Esten Cooke Award for Southern Fiction, and has won more than a dozen other literary awards, including a Readers’ Favorite International Book Award and a Gold Medal from the Military Writers Society of America. Her novels have been used in schools and are available in hundreds of libraries including Harvard and the U.S. Naval Academy.

Beverley: Which genre or genres do you write or prefer to write? And why?

Jessica: I live in Gettysburg, Pa., so began my career writing historical fiction in the Civil War era. I have since found a passion for suspense/thrillers because of my love for the military. My latest novel, Lacewood, is women’s fiction, and combines everything I enjoy…history, mystery, small towns, old houses, and contemporary romantic fiction.

Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?

Jessica: I began my writing career as a journalist so I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. The influence to write fiction came from the characters in my head who would not be quieted.

Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?

Jessica: I spent many, many days tramping around the Virginia countryside while doing research for my first Civil War novel, Shades of Gray. I find that driving down the dirt roads of Loudoun County is still good for my soul and my creativity.

Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?

Jessica: Strange fact: I have never enjoyed cartoons.

Beverley: Who would you love most to meet ‘in person’ and why?

Jessica: Rick Rigsby, the author of “Lessons from a Third Grade Dropout,” because I believe his father raised a great man.

Beverley : If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?

Jessica: That is hard for me to imagine, but maybe visit some museums within an hour’s drive that have been on my bucket list to see.

Beverley: What are you working on now?

Jessica: Still mulling over my next project, but my fans want me to write another book in my Phantom Force Tactical suspense series, so that’s where I’m leaning.

Blurb for Lacewood:

Sometimes love is just too powerful for one lifetime…

MOVING TO A SMALL TOWN in Virginia is a big change for New York socialite Katie McCain. But when she stumbles across an abandoned 200-year-old mansion, she’s enthralled by the enduring beauty of the neglected estate—and captivated by the haunting portrait of a woman in mourning. Purchasing the property on a whim, Katie attempts to fit in with the colorful characters in the town of New Hope, while trying to unravel the mystery of the “widow of Lacewood.” As she pieces together the previous owner’s heartrending story, Katie uncovers secrets the house has held for centuries, and discovers the key to coming to terms with her own sense of loss.

The past and present converge when hometown hero Will Durham returns and begins his own healing process by helping the “city girl” restore the place that holds so many memories. As the mystic web of destiny is woven, a love story that might have been lost forever is exposed, and a destiny that has been waiting in the shadows for centuries is fulfilled.

A powerful and poignant tale that vividly conveys the heartache of war, the tragedy of loss, and the fulfillment of destiny…even when souls are separated by centuries. Lacewood takes readers on a journey that connects the past with the present—and the present with eternity.

EXCERPT from Lacewood:

     Turning in a circle, Katie studied the room again. Faded wallpaper curled and peeled above the dusty wainscoting, but the walls themselves appeared sturdy. On the far side of the entryway, and dominating the wall, stood a mammoth fireplace with an ornately carved hearth. Her attention was immediately drawn to a painting of a woman in nineteenth century dress that hung prominently over the mantel.

“Who is she ?”

The sheriff turned to the dusty, sun-bleached portrait in the heavy carved guilt frame. “One of the previous owners, they say.” He shrugged. “The family history kind of got lost with the house.

Everyone around here calls her the Widow of Lacewood.”

     “She looks so sad.” Katie spoke without removing her gaze. “And so young. How could she be a widow?”

The sheriff had already started to walk away, but he turned back and glanced at the painting. “Not sure, but they say she never remarried. She’s the one out in the cemetery, too, I reckon.”

Katie’s heart suddenly struggled to beat. The anguish in the woman’s eyes kept her riveted. She could see the pain. Feel a heart ripped apart. Something was missing that could never be replaced. Katie had felt such loss before. In a way, that’s why she was here…

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