Great way to present a gift check

Need a graduation gift?


Silver Line is a fun graduation gift for a New Adult embarking on a college adventure — or for a college student wrapping up a busy year.

The story starts on a Boston campus where Jared is a journalism student and Alexa is on a poli-sci track. They accidentally discover they can revert to their former, older selves — a rugged miner and spirited dance hall girl living in an 1860s Colorado town.

Lured by the intensity of a mature relationship and the enticement of adventure, they continue to return, but in contemporary times, become consumed trying to find the missing art from the famous Gardner Museum heist. Here they meet a stalker, shady art dealers, and a homeless man who knows a lot. They finally realize that clues to the present lie in the past.

BUY NOW $9.99 paperback on Amazon.  $5.99 for Kindle, Nook, iBooks. (Costs less than a car.)





Spirited Dwellings

Sometimes fact is stranger than fiction, if you stop, look, and listen.


April 23, 2019 — I know the house he means. It sits at a corner, opposite a field. The front and side are obscured by overgrown bushes – lilacs, I think – and there’s a small window on the third floor. There’s an annex to the left, a garage or workshop it seems, which could easily have been horse stables at one time. The roof of the extension is tilted and caved in. The structure was built in the 1700s and is located on an historic road. If ever there were a haunted house, this could be it.

I hadn’t really been thinking of ‘spirited dwellings,’ when I struck up a conversation with Sam at a local networking event. He was a gregarious guy, a real estate agent, who works for a prominent company. He was eager to chat about the changing landscape in our suburban (still partially, rural) town. Someone next to us was talking about Tory Roof, so I gave Sam a quick summary – “real estate agent selling vintage home encounters a presence there.” I immediately clarified that this was not a ghost story, but that it allowed the reader to wonder, “what if.”

Sam was intrigued, so I asked if he had ever run into a haunted property, and he casually said yes. Now, that surprised me! While he was not personally involved with the transaction of said house, he was told by a colleague about unusual occurrences that took place there – unexplained sounds and the construction worker who ran out of the house, refusing to return. Sam did allow, that as a licensed real estate agent, if he were repping it, he would be obligated to reveal such details if asked.

I had never really thought about the impact of spirituality and superstitions on house buying, but apparently, it can be a determining factor. I have an acquaintance who claims to be sensitive to the deceased and insists on ‘smudging’ her premises with sage, in Native tradition, before moving in. This form of energy cleansing is also used by those following Feng Shui.

In talking about belief systems, Sam described one instance where prospective buyers refused to close on a purchase because the house number was foreboding according to their culture — to the point where they approached the town board to see if the number could be changed. (It could not, for emergency response reasons, so the sale fell through.) Sam also noted a situation where a sale was left pending until extended family could arrive to cleanse and bless the property, after which the sale went through without a hitch.

Knowing of homes with a history is not unusual in New England. My mother-in-law lived in a huge, antique, one-time farmhouse, that after WWI became a dormitory for nurses who worked at a local sanitorium. That explains the many small rooms on the upper floors.  Yet in all my time there, I never sensed a ghostly presence – just a keen awareness and respect for the past.

I recently ran into a woman who lives on a quiet lane in a house that used to be a candy factory, and I just learned that the basement of a local restaurant contains a working fireplace because it once was a speakeasy.

Much like the inn described in Tory Roof, Longfellow’s Wayside Inn, a few miles away, contains a room where guests leave notes in the walls to document their experiences while staying overnight. Here are some fun facts about its haunted reputation.

While I’ve never encountered anything ghostly there, I always feel a profound sense of the past, especially if I happen upon a muster of the Sudbury Militia in the old tavern (above). It’s like stepping back in time… which is what Sarah Sutherland does.  

Nearby, Stone’s Public House, located adjacent to a railroad track in Ashland, MA, is listed on the Ghostly Register. I’ve experienced several hair-raising sensations there — the feeling of being watched by the stern John Stone painting, the vivid, frightening dream which followed that night, and the smell of cigar smoke on a crisp autumn evening. Here’s some background about its spirited past. 

The Old Manse, in Concord, MA, (below) home to legendary writers such a Hawthorne and Emerson, is situated very close to North Bridge where Colonial troops marched to battle at the start of the American Revolution.

The docent claims there is a presence who rocks in the chair in the sitting room. Apparently others have stumbled upon other unexplained occurrences. (Hmmm, do I detect a Tory roof?)

Maybe a love of mystery was ingrained in me because I grew up in an old house in New York state that had a trap door in the ceiling, above a second-floor porch (inspiration for that scene where Mr. Randolph props open the access door in Tory Roof) … but I never, ever, saw what was up there. I was told as a child, it was too high to reach, and for some reason, I bought that excuse. Years later, I still wonder…

Fact is, that building had a colorful past which tangibly infiltrated my present. Imagine my excitement, when I found an 1873 ledger from the general store, once housed on the ground floor.

This worn, yellowed, water-stained book — beautifully scripted with brown ink — was tucked into a recess in the stone foundation of the basement, apparently having survived a fire that occurred long before my family arrived. It’s since been donated to the Amenia Historical Society.


While Tory Roof and Silver Line don’t dwell on the spooky aspects of vintage settings, I do have fun creating scenes that toy with the imagination.

From Tory Roof: “Downstairs in the dining room, the brass chandelier glowed; candles now replaced with small flame-shaped bulbs. How grand this room must have been hosting long-skirted women and powder-wigged men. A clavichord stood near an ornate Oriental screen. ‘Wonder if it still works,’ Sarah mused, pressing a key only to jump back as a clarion note rang out. Sarah was comfortable here and didn’t want to leave…”

From Silver Line: “Armed with his backpack, Jared headed toward Bay State Road for a scenic walk to the main campus. Sunlit brownstones stood in a pristine row just as they had done for hundreds of years. Hydrangea bushes, morphing from summer white to late season pink, were crammed into small gardens pressed behind wrought iron railings. A trim woman in fluorescent green yoga pants ran by with her dog in tow. In the shadows, he could see another woman, too – a figure dressed in a high-necked, cream-colored Victorian gown, standing on the stoop, sipping tea.”


For objectivity, before finalizing this post, I asked a different real estate agent, a woman who has her own real estate firm, if she had ever encountered a spirited dwelling. While she couldn’t recall anything she had represented, she did allow that a friend of hers was convinced, years after purchase, that she wasn’t alone in her house.

It’s certainly not for me to say where fact ends and fiction begins, but as a writer, I can tell you that it’s a lot of fun walking along the line where they blur.




Look For Us on Reedsy Discovery

April 9, 2019 — Jill C. Baker (and the Sutherland Series) will be participating in Reedsy’s Discovery Program for new and yet-to-be-discovered books. Tory Roof and Silver Line have been submitted for review consideration. In June and/or July, they will be included in the Discovery feed, at which time visitors can read a sample chapter and vote on the book. (Please do!  The more upvotes we get, the better our chances for additional publicity). At that point, a link to our profile page (which I’m allowed to preview here) will go live. BTW, there is no cost to sign up for  Reedsy Discovery. Would be a great way to get a jump on your summer reading selection. The site also offers many writing and publishing resources.



Profiled in Patch for Patriots Day 2019

In 13 towns west of Boston, Jill C. Baker and Tory Roof are being profiled in Patch, for four days leading up to Patriots Day. This is a state holiday in Massachusetts, celebrated on April 15th this year. Reenactments are scheduled in dozens of communities to commemorate the American Revolution and events leading up to it. On the 19th of each year, at 4:00 in the morning, contemporary Militia & Minutemen march from Wayland and Sudbury to Concord as they did in 1775.



Mention in Winning Writers

March, 2019 — Always nice to be recognized. Please scroll down to Recent Publications as we introduce Silver Line. Thanks, WW, for the opportunity to be included! For aspiring poets and authors, this is a great place to get the scoop on contests — prizes, deadlines, eligibility — and, maybe most importantly, ranking as to recommended or not.




Book Life News Promotes Author Podcast


March 6, 2019 — Book Life, the Indie Author arm of Publishers Weekly, offers a rotating feed of author announcements and book-related news. Happy to see our podcast (“A Few Words with Jill C. Baker”) picked up here. Check it out using the link below.


Podcast by Bob Cargill, interviewing Jill C. Baker, Author

March 5, 2019

Listen to the backstory about becoming an author, the process of writing a book, learning along the way, self-publishing, and ultimately, marketing.

Bob Cargill is an accomplished copywriter, social media guru, former NEDMA Marketer of the Year, and current president of the Boston, MA, Chapter of the American Marketing Association. His podcasts can be found on Podbean.

Jill and Bob are joined by Scott Myles, a content consultant and avid reader of the Sutherland Series.






Sudbury Publishing Group Press Release


February 22, 2019

Sudbury Publishing Group Announces First Two Releases in the Sutherland Series 

The Sudbury Publishing Group is pleased to debut Jill C. Baker’s Sutherland Series, available in paperback and ebook format for Kindle, Nook, Apple, and Android devices. These are works of historical fiction with a touch of paranormal to propel the plots — all of which interweave past and present, and end with a twist.

While each of these stories stands alone, they are connected by members of the Sutherland family, all of whom, enjoy a heightened sense of awareness and can traverse time.

Baker’s goal is to create an entertaining forum for guilt-free escape, giving intelligent readers permission to wonder, “What if?”  She anticipates at least four books, each focused on a member of the Sutherland family. Baker is an accomplished copywriter and media marketer who has worked for publishing leaders such as Hearst and Harte-Hanks. Most recently, she was Director of Marketing for a digital publishing provider serving the magazine industry.

Her first book, Tory Roof (released October 2018) is a woman’s story – a lush account of love and adventure that challenges Sarah Sutherland’s marriage and pits logic against longing. In trying to sell a vintage home, Sarah encounters Terrence, a fiery Revolutionary War agitator posing as a Loyalist. She is drawn to him physically and emotionally. Stepping into the shoes of her former self, she becomes a resister, a writer, and a soon-to-be mother. Parallel plots unfold in the course of year, connecting contemporary New England to true events in 1765, a time when the rumblings of independence were stirring. Forced to reconcile her two realities, Sarah begins to doubt her mental stability and turns to a psychiatrist for help. She eventually learns the people around her are not as they seem and that her life is in danger. But first, she has something important to do.

Silver Line (released February 2019) picks up with Sarah’s son, Jared, who is heading to college in hopes of becoming an investigative reporter. He had always repressed his precognitive skills, thinking them an unfair advantage, but when he meets Alexa, they discover they can revert to their older, former selves — a rugged miner and beautiful dance hall girl, living in an 1860s Colorado town. Lured by the adventure and heat of a mature relationship, they continue to return – facing a flash flood, mining accident, robbery, claim jumping threat, and smallpox epidemic. In present time, Jared is consumed by the unsolved Gardner Museum heist, bent on finding the missing artwork for an article he is writing. Unintentionally, he draws Alexa into a world of stalkers, shady dealers, and street people, including a homeless man who had witnessed the heist. Determined to propose three strong theories to help solve the crime, Jared struggles to consolidate his thinking until he realizes that clues to the present lie in the past.

Learn about Absent, the third book, at