Friday, January 25, 2013

Book 1 is FREE on SW and KOBO!

Since I want as many people  to read my books as possible, I'm offering the first one "Murder in Half Moon Bay" FREE on Smashwords and Kobo! I'm sure both have a file for your reader, so pop on over and download this mystery today! Now, I really must get back to work on "The Ruby of Siam."  I'll see you later. Enjoy!
Free on Smashwords!

See you in my books!
 ~Nancy Jill

Mystery novelist Nancy Jill Thames began publishing Christian fiction in 2010. The author of six books in the Jillian Bradley series, she is an award winning blogger and is listed numerous times on the Author Watch Bestseller’s List, this in addition to winning first place for her Chocolate Cream Pie.

When she isn’t plotting her next book, she spends time with her six grandchildren in two states, tags along with her husband on business trips, and plays classical piano for her own personal enjoyment. She is an active member of the Leander Writers Guild and supports the Central Texas SPCA with a portion of her book sales.

Nancy Jill is busy working on book 7 "The Ruby of Siam" a mystery taking place in London, England.
To learn more about the author and check out her books, please visit her blog at  
Cozy Mystery Author, Nancy Jill Thames.

To view and purchase her books on this site, please visit the Cozy Book Store.

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Nice Cup of Tea and a Jillian Bradley Mystery

Go Jillian and Teddy!

After you let the dog out for a moment, why not come back inside, order a Jillian Bradley Mystery (downloading it on your reader couldn't be simpler) and settle in for an adventure.  With six books available in the series, and book 7 "The Ruby of Siam" due out at the end of June, this is a great time to catch up on the adventures of Jillian and her precious companion, Teddy, before too many factors and faces appear. For instance, where did the baby come from? (Book 6) And is the present Teddy the original dog in the series? (Book 4) What about Cecilia's father, Douglas? Do they ever find him? (Book 4) How did Jillian ever get mixed up with murder? (Book 1) When does Jillian go horseback riding to find a clue? (Book 3) Does Jillian ever take a vacation? (Book 5) What does an endangered species of orchid have to do with murder? (Book 2) The answers lie waiting...

The Cozy Book Store
Did the woman jump or was she pushed over the balcony? When the shocking murder disrupts the West Coast Garden Club Society's second annual conference, Jillian Bradley and her garden club friends join with Chief Frank Viscuglia to find the killer. Jillian and her friends move through the Ritz-Carlton hotel to private mansions searching for the truth, pausing for afternoon tea along the way, of course. The unlikely team helps the chief uncover a series of mysterious events that lead to solving several murders, both past and present. Could it be the mean spirited conference director? Perhaps it's the wealthy widow on the make for her next husband; or maybe the killer is the haughty business woman who shows no regard for her brow beaten husband.
Murder in Half Moon Bay, first book in the Jillian Bradley Mystery series, introduces Jillian's little  companion 'Teddy,' a Yorkie who falls prey to danger but rises to become sleuth dog in the next book.

The Cozy Book Store
It's been eight years since gardening columnist Jillian Bradley helped solve a string of murders in Half Moon Bay. But when a friend and colleague in Scottsdale, Arizona finds a young technical assistant dead on the floor of his private office, Jillian doesn't hesitate to answer his plea for help in the investigation. After all, a $2 million research grant depends on it.
    Together with Detective Jack Noble and Jillian's clue sniffing dog, Teddy, the three set out to track the killer who leaves a porcelain orchid over the wound as the only clue. Even though it means personal sacrifice for Jillian, she is determined to uncover the truth. A faith-based novel.
     Christmas – the busiest time of the year! And on top of everything, Jillian is throwing an engagement party for two dear friends. But on a final errand before the party begins Jillian witnesses a horrific car crash and notices two witnesses leaving the scene of the accident. She and Teddy pull a survivor from the wreckage, and together they attempt to solve the mystery of the amnesia victim, a 17-year-old boy she and Teddy take under their wing. After one of the witnesses is found brutally murdered, Jillian discovers an ominous connection between the boy and a string of heinous murders in a nearby remote farming community. And when Jillian stumbles across a mysterious compound, she is determined to unlock old family secrets to solve the mystery of his identity even though taking the risk creates the ultimate test for her and Teddy's survival. 

The Cozy Book Store
After a frantic call from a couple on their honeymoon, Jillian returns to Half Moon Bay to help. Two elderly men have been found dead in their recliners, and now another man is missing—the distraught father of the bride - Jillian's personal assistant. Their investigation must be incognito since the groom is a detective and can’t work on the case due to conflict of interest. The clues the threesome find lead Jillian and Teddy to take a cruise to Catalina Island, but it’s only an entrĂ©e into a strange clinical world, where she almost becomes a victim herself before she identifies who is responsible for a bizarre series of deaths. Will Teddy be in time to save the day?
The Cozy Book Store
The quaint surfing town of Pacific Beach becomes a destination for murder when a young starlet and her mother are found brutally murdered at the Pacific Terrace hotel where Jillian’s family reunion is taking place. Their reunion takes a terrifying turn when Jillian's nephew is arrested as a prime suspect and Jillian must move quickly to find the real killer and prove her nephew's innocence. There is no shortage of suspects, including an unsavory doctor who attended the popular teen star and a mysterious guest at the party where the starlet dies. But why is her mother murdered with her? Working at Jillian's side to find the perpetrator of these bizarre killings are her faithful assistant Cecilia Montoya, and Teddy, Jillian's Yorkie companion who sniffs out his own clue.

The Cozy Book Store
The family has gathered to celebrate Christmas at Jillian’s house in Clover Hills, but Jillian’s plans for a lovely Christmas Eve are rudely interrupted by a power failure. And a homicide. Not only does Aunt Jillian find herself with a house full of company to entertain in the dark, but she also receives a call from Detective Walter Montoya who finds himself in the dark trying to solve the bizarre murder of a worker found dead in a maintenance shed at the power station. With Teddy at her side, Jillian is determined to solve the mystery.
Please click the sidebar links or go to The Cozy Book Store to purchase. If you enjoy the reads, please leave a review on your favorite reading site -,, or  Thank you!

And Coming Soon! 2013

Jillian and Teddy travel to London, England where they find themselves embroiled in a jewel heist that leaves behind a wake of dead bodies in their path. Can they solve the crimes in the midst of Jillian’s wedding?

An old acquaintance from San Diego offers his assistance. But will his help be enough to solve the mystery?

Perhaps the jewel is cursed after all.

See you in my books!

~Nancy Jill

Mystery novelist Nancy Jill Thames began publishing Christian fiction in 2010. The author of six books in the Jillian Bradley series, she is an award winning blogger and is listed numerous times on the Author Watch Bestseller’s List, this in addition to winning first place for her Chocolate Cream Pie.

When she isn’t plotting her next book, she spends time with her six grandchildren in two states, tags along with her husband on business trips, and plays classical piano for her own personal enjoyment. She is an active member of the Leander Writers Guild and supports the Central Texas SPCA with a portion of her book sales.

To learn more about the author, visit her blog at or email her at

Monday, January 7, 2013

Queen of Afternoon Tea Celebrity Author Interview with Ben Woodard

Celebrity Author Ben Woodard
Queen of Afternoon Tea Author Nancy Jill Thames

Welcome! Let me pour you a nice glass of iced tea since it’s your preference. I’ve concocted your special recipe of Black English, green, and Celestial Seasonings Lemon Zinger Teas according to your recipe. Would you care for some sugar? I take three teaspoons in mine. Please help yourself to some sliders – I know your favorite is a good ole hamburger, so I’ve done my version for our tea today. I made your recipe for shortbread for dessert. Readers can find the recipes at the end of our interview. Shall we begin?

Where do you live? Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I live in Lexington, Kentucky with my wife Lynda. Our children are somewhat nearby and we have six grandkids that invade from time to time. We have a special basement room for the kids, but I’m sure the room is bipolar. When the boys come, it is a playroom with trucks and trains and planes. It morphs into a sedate tearoom when the girls come. And me? I can be a truck driver or tea sipper.

Are you a traditionally published or Indie author?

Indie, at the moment. I still send queries to agents and editors and would like to be traditionally published. However, I wouldn’t want to give up self-publishing. Fortunately, in today’s book world, writers can do both.

What are your hobbies? 

Right now, I have no hobby. I’m only writing and trying to sell books, but come summer I’ll take a break from writing and take to the outdoors. I love hiking, backpacking, bicycling, and just walking in my one hundred year old neighborhood with my wife.

Tell us about your current book. What was your inspiration?

$2.99 on
I grew up almost living in the local library. Reading was my escape and the library was my portal. I loved boys’ adventure stories and have been amazed at the reports that say boys don't read. So I decided to write the kind of stories I remembered. The result is “A Stairway to Danger.” The book sprang from stories that family members told me about growing up in a small town in Kentucky. Tales of lost gold and river caves, and fun. And of friendship that endures through adversity and danger. Boys don’t get a chance to read many stories like this anymore.

How did you become a writer? When did you start?

I became a writer thanks to my wife. She is a former bookstore owner and when she heard me make up stories for the grandkids, she asked me to write them down. This was about six years ago and I’ve written over twenty short stories since, and I’m constantly adding to them. I also joined a group called Spellbinders whose members tell stories in the local schools.

How long did it take you to finish your first book?

I wrote a short novel that took me almost a year. I rewrote it almost fifteen times. What a struggle, but I had no idea of what I was doing. But I did finish it and self-published it. I felt like I had won the Pulitzer Prize.
My next was a full novel that I wrote during NaNoWriMo and I was amazed that I could complete a book in thirty days. I haven’t tried to publish this one yet, but I’m planning for it to be the last book of my series. 

Where do you like to write? 

I can write anywhere, but my favorite place is in the woods. Either at a park near my home or at a state park. I often escape for a couple of days, especially this time of year, and go to a state park and do nothing but write and walk. Since I dictate much of my writings, I walk into the forest and talk to myself. Thanks to cell phones, I don’t appear completely crazy any more.

Favorite author(s)?

From the classics, I like Mark Twain and Arthur C. Clark. Both can take you to new places and you will be convinced that you are there. I remember floating down the Mississippi with Huck and Jim, and glimpsing the first kangaroo-like creatures on “The Sands of Mars.”

As a boy, I loved the Rick Brant series written by John Blaine aka Harold Goodwin. They were true boy’s adventure books. The two young protagonists drove cars, flew planes and traveled around the world while they worked with scientists and fought the bad guys. I have almost the entire collection of books and I can still enjoy them.

For more contemporary writers, I have to mention Martha Bennett Stiles. Her writing is literary without being boring and I’m constantly astounded by her incredible use of language. She writes in many genres including those for children and adults. My favorite picture book is “Martha’s Island Magic.” She has a new middle grade book “Sailing to Freedom” written from two points of view.

My favorite children’s book author is Marcia Thornton Jones. Marcia has written 131 books. I think her middle grade book “Ratfink” is as good as many of the Newbery Books, and I’ve read all the Newberys of the last ten years. The book’s first line is one of the best ever. And the story teaches without being preachy. I recently bought two of her Bailey School Kids books for my grandsons for Christmas. They are chapter books, but I had to read them before giving them away.

On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta is my favorite YA. She’s an Australian novelist and I sent her an email praising her book. I’m not completely sure why the book grabbed me. It’s not the type of story I would normally be drawn to, but I couldn’t put it down. I guess that’s the hallmark of good writing.

How many books have you written, so far? Do you plan to write more?

I have completed and self-published three short stories, one short illustrated book and one YA/Teen, my latest. I have rough drafts done of six more full-length novels. And tons of ideas. I will write more.

Would you like to share a link where we can purchase your books?

Sure, here is my Amazon page:
What about a link to your website?

Ben’s Hamburger Recipe

My favorite sandwich is the good ole hamburger. Made with lean beef, a thin whole-wheat bun, fresh tomato, pickle, stone ground mustard and mayo. Cooked rare.

Ben’s Recipe for Scottish Short Bread

I spent two years in the US Navy stationed in Scotland. This recipe was given to me by my Scottish landlady. While the recipe is simple, there are a few tricks.

3/4 cup of unsalted butter (use real butter, the best you can find)
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups of flour - not self-rising
dash of salt

Cream butter and sugar, work in the flour cutting in and blending with your hands (important) Spread onto a flat pan with the dough 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Baking is the key. Too short of a time and the shortbread is doughy. Too long and it’s too dry. You have to experiment. Thinner cookie-like rounds can be made, but need to cook less. Only until they start to brown. Enjoy!

Notes on tea photo

The tray is a Shaker design from Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill, Kentucky. The tankard is from England, and, yes, I drink tea out of a tankard.
The arrangement is by my wife Lynda


I hope I don’t stop the hearts of the tea purists out there, but my favorite tea is a mixture that I usually drink iced. It has black English tea steeped four minutes, green tea steeped two minutes and Celestial Seasonings Lemon Zinger steeped six minutes. Good cold or hot.