My latest read

My characters and I enjoyed the latest romance novel that I just finished. Smile.

Ayanna likes it because it took place in a hospital, and she is working in clinical chaplaincy. Helena likes it because she appreciates the importance of dating with integrity and care because of boundaries.


This wonderful and wholesome medical romance had me smiling and crying: link.

Lauren Taylor is a resident in clinical pharmacology at the local hospital.

On the day Andrew Bishop goes in for his informational session regarding his newly diagnosed Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Lauren bounces into him at the hospital cafeteria and spills her coffee.

Lauren was speechless at how hot he was, but she put it out of her mind, until she realized he was the patient she was supposed to see later that morning, the last day of her rounds in the unit.

Although Andrew is no longer her patient, she can’t help but wonder about him, and he can’t put Lauren out of his mind.

How to date–if at all–when she’s worried about violating boundaries? How to date–if at all–when he has no idea what his future will be? Can their attraction and interest in dating survive his cancer treatments?

I appreciated the characters’ maturity in negotiating their attraction with honesty and integrity. Their struggle for a happily-ever-after in the midst of his cancer treatments was heart-wrenching.

Copyright Barbara James. All rights reserved.

Reflections for the month of June

Sometime within the past year, I was invited by one of my online chapters of the RWA to draft reflections for the month of June: link. I signed up.

If I had a crystal ball, would I have done it? I don’t know.

Reflections for the month of June? Where do I begin? Covid cases, A quarantine that has persisted since mid March, and so many job losses because of the quarantine.

And now the protests that make me wonder about new Covid cases that might crop up. A group walked through our quiet residential neighborhood last week, but there was no violence. The violence took place near the post office and the high school. There were scuffles with the police and a police car was burned. A curfew is in place, but with the quarantine, people haven’t been going out much.

Distractions like these make it harder for me to write. And yet, I have persisted, not only with the writing, but with the revising. I have two different drafts I’m working with. Focus, focus, focus, the old saying, “butt in the chair.” I add, “close the web browsers and ignore the social media. Try not to read the news so much.”

One positive note is that I’m doing an editing class with Angela James, a former editor at a few well known romance publishing companies: link. She does freelance work now, including offering classes to writers on how to self-edit our work.

Every day I try to do something in light of the lessons she has available for us. It’s hard work, and so it’s going to be a tedious June. But this work is necessary, and will make my work with my critique group even stronger.

Another positive note. I attended the virtual ordination of some old friends from my ministry cohort. The folks ordained today were finishing their first year when I was was ordained two years ago. It was weird, everyone in masks, but I knew who they were. No crowds, nobody in the cathedral but them. No opportunity to meet anyone, because we were all watching from our computers.

I don’t know who is following in their footsteps. The folks who are within any one ordination cohort overlap by 1 to 3 years. They get to know each other at various gatherings during the time of their training. If you’re not training with them, you’re less likely to know who they are. You might hear of their ordinations, but the connection won’t be there.

I suppose it’s fitting that I’m done with the first draft of the manuscript for their story. The story of their romance inspired the fictional story I’ve been writing.

Copyright Barbara James, all rights reserved.