Author of Young Adult Fantasy Novels, Creative Non-Fiction Books, and Murder Mysteries and a true story of her childhood........ JAN FRAZIER


Upon publication in August, 2003, Starlight Laser Express received the Tommy Award for excellence in teen fantasy. In 2009, I Visited Europe and Survived received a Illinois State Award from IWPA (Illinois Women's Press Association). In 2010, Destination Disaster recieved a first-place State of Illinois award as well as a first-place National award. In 2009, The Warmth of Opa's Blanket won a State of Illinois Award from IWPA.


Much of my work is based on real-life experiences. For example, my children -- Dara and Jenna -- have always believed that there is a playful ghost living in our house. At the time that I wrote Starlight Laser Express, I hadn't seen the apparition; nevertheless, it inspired the concept of Smitty, the ghost. In the past years that Smitty has become "a part of my life" through Starlight, he seems to have taken the opportunity to "play games" in my house from time to time, thus, making me wonder just how much my children have been fantasizing.

The places to which J.C. and Smitty journey are European cities that I have visited and enjoyed. Each of those cities held something special for me that I wanted to share with young adult readers.


If you are an author and seeking an editor, I recommend Marilyn Weis.

Venice means romance

Tivoli Gardens sparkle in Copenhagen

The Roman Colosseum

Eiffel Tower aglow in the Parisian skies.

In my second novel, A Ghost of a Chance, released in 2004, J.C. travels back in time to the Holocaust in Holland. The subject of WWII and the Holocaust have always attracted my attention, and the fact that I have lived in Holland gave me the basis for this novel.

In addition, I have done extensive research on Anne Frank, the young Jewish girl in hiding in Amsterdam. My interest in Anne Frank provided background information for this second novel. In the 1980s, my family and I had the honor and privilege of meeting Miep Gies, the woman who hid the Frank family in the canal house on Prinsengracht. What a thrill for my husband, two girls, and me to have the opportunity to talk with a lady that risked her life to save the Franks. Humbly, Miep insisted that she "didn't do anything special that hundreds of other good, Dutch people didn't do, also."

I must admit, however, that in the novel A Glimpse of the Netherworld, I have not actually visited the Netherworld! Many of the lands and creatures encountered are complete fantasy; however, some of the lands stem straight out of literture (The Canterbury Tales and The Legend of King Arthur)

My true inspiration for Destination Disaster was my visits to Pompeii. Learning about that devastation led me to learn more about other catastrophes that have happened in the world. All of us have lived through 9/​11 and so began my fourth in the series of J.C. van Winkler.

The Bells of Europe was inspired by the beautiful cathedrals abroad, and then on my third trip to Venice -- a truly remarkable city unlike any other in Europe -- I knew that the novel had to end there. I wanted the reading audience to "feel and see" the mysterious aura that surounds Venice.

The Patchwork Quilt, A Murder Mystery came about because of my love of mysteries and my desire to put J.C. into the center of one. I did some research on strange mysteries and murders, developing the plot around an eccentric couple whom no one would believe murdered anyone. Of course, my love of Holland is again portrayed in this novel.

A Magical Christmas was inspired partially because of my love of favorite holiday. Also, I have been involved in genealogy (as seen in Transatlantic Journey 1852) and Five Points in NYC was a part of immigration history on the East Coast of America.

Transatlantic Journey 1852 has a special meaning to me. It is based on my mother's family, Christian and Elizabeth Pollmann, from Hummersen, Germany. I had the pleasure of visiting Hummersen in 2006 and 2007, where the Pollmann family still lives. My cousins, Edith, Peter, Ruben, and Felix Eichleiter, were gracious enough to show me the beautiful area called Lipperland where my great grandfather, Christian Pollmann, was raised. I had the opportunity to see the church in Falkenhagen where he was baptized and confirmed. We went to Schwalenburg to see the Town Hall where Christian walked to get his papers to come to America when he was only 24. The two trips were awe-inspiring for me, and I started the historical novel upon my return from the 2006 trip.

I Visited Europe and Survived, A travelogue of fun and adventure has been a book that I've been writing in my mind since 1972. Through over 30 years of traveling with students and adults in Europe, I have encountered hundreds of hilarious events that have been put into this creative nonfiction. With the help of all of the journals that I have kept through the years, I was able to put some of the best of the adventures into this book. Enjoy!!

EUROPEAN ROOTS AND BEYOND was written because so many people seemed to like I VISITED EUROPE AND SURVIVED, and I knew that I still had adventures and crazy experiences that I hadn't shared. So another book was "a given." I wanted to include in this book the insane things that happened as I tried to locate my German relatives. If you are thinking as you read this book, "This couldn't have happened".....well, yes, it did!!

THE SECRET LAND OF GOGI was inspired by my love for myths, epics, folklore, and fairy tales. It seemed the perfect book to write to share that knowledge with young readers.

PILGRIMS, INDIANS, SHAKESPEARE, OH MY! was so much fun to write. I enjoyed researching to learn more about the pilgrims and Native Americans, and, of course, my love of Shakespeare could be shared.

BEYOND THE AUSSIES AND ROOS was inspired by my trip to Australia. I loved all that I saw and experienced. Upon returning home and doing research, I KNEW that I had to write a book.

My Works


The Christoph Dully family entered the New World in 1859 from Germany on the cusp of the Civil War, which would soon completely engulf the United States. Settling in Elm Grove, Illinois -- in the heart of the Midwest and the center of Abe Lincoln's homeland -- Christoph and his son Michael immediately become involved in the dangerous activities of the Underground Railroad, established to aid Black slaves escape bondage from the Confederate States. Based on true stories of not only the Christoph Dully family but also of those struggling, fighting, and surviving during the Civil War -- combined with actual scenarios from the Underground Railroad -- Prairie Points -- A Civil War Sanctuary is an historical novel that will enlighten as well as entertain. Available on Amazon as a paperback or ebook. Enjoy!!

Enjoy Prairie Points -- A Civil War Sanctuary


In 1617, eleven-year-old Jeremiah Clements arrived on the shores of the New World with his mother, Elizabeth, and three siblings. Geoffrey Clements, his father and stockholder in the Virginia Company, had unexpectedly died the previous year before his dream of coming to Jamestown could be fulfilled. Elizabeth -- courageous and filled with determination -- single handedly took her family to Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. As seen through Jeremiah's eyes, Catch the Watercolored Wind: Jamestown 1617 is an exciting story that explores the tragedies, adventures, and incredible achievements of those early colonists.

Can be purchased on Kindle or Nook. Hard copies as Amazon and BN.

Enjoy Catch the Watercolored Wind

Tasha Nelson -- romantic, inquisitive, charming and in need of a break from life after her husband dies -- asks for a leave of absence from her teaching job. She wants to get away for six months in order to "put her life together again." Little does she realize the extent of what she will discover about her inner-most self during her travels.
Tasha visits some awesome cities in Europe -- London, Amsterdam, Paris, Venice, Verona, Rome, and Salzburg -- and everywhere she goes, she makes friends who influence her and lead her to important discoveries about the person hiding within. Because of these friends -- who become lifelong -- Tasha's philosophy and understanding of life is changed forever. It is a page-turner which you won't want to put down.

Born to Travel is a creative non-fiction book

At the age of four, I sat in the corner of our small, modest living room, my knees pulled up under my plaid dress. As my mother vacuumed, my eyes searched the room for my Dickie Doll. If he sat on my lap, I wouldn't be alone. Fear -- that can be a huge factor in a child's life if he/​she is growing up in a dysfunctional family. With the death of my nine-year-old brother, my mother seemed to withdraw from life as we had known it and tried to comfort her agonies alone.
This is my true story that I have struggled writing. I didn't know if I wanted the world to know. However, I finally decided to share my journey in hopes that it can help others in their quest of healing the Inner Child.
It is available right now on Kindle as well as on sale as a paperback.

I hope that this book can be an inspiration to anyone struggling with childhood memories.

Visit J.C. van Winkler's book trailer. See her in action. Go to Jan Frazier (using Google) and scroll down until you see my name listed with J.C. van Winkler.

Starlight Laser Express

J.C. van Winkler, a girl reaching teenage years, finds a friendly ghost in her house who met sudden death during the Civil War. Needing to acquire peace within his soul after 150 years, Sergeant Lawrence Smith -- called Smitty -- needs J.C. to travel with him throughout Europe, helping people in the past, present, and future. The two travel via Starlight Laser Express, which takes them to the most exciting, fascinating cities of old-world Europe within five seconds.

The time-warp/fantasy novel takes the readers to such places as sevententh-century London during the Great Plague; to Paris, the home of an ultra-modern artist that needs encouragement to continue his work which will soon be world-renown; and Venice to ensure the adoption of a special child who will save the beautiful Italian city from sinking one day in the future.

Throughout the time-warp adventures, J.C. van Winkler gains an education far beyond her actual years, and in addition, acquires patience and understanding of life. The teenage readers view cathedrals, centuries-old buildings, secenery, and environment through the eyes of a young person seeing Europe for the first time.

Starlight Laser Express has been awarded the Tommy Award for excellence in young adult fantasy.

J.C. van Winkler re-enters the time-warp and goes to Holland during the Holocaust of WWII, helping the Jews escape from the devastation of the Nazi regime. During her time in Holland, she saves her uncle -- working to hide the Jewish refugees in his home -- from being discovered and killed. The book not only educates young adults about the Holocaust, but also takes them back into the fantasy world of J.C. van Winkler as she travels through time.

This page-turner was released by Sterling House Publisher in June, 2004.

J.C. van Winkler returns to England to save her cousin from a hit-and-run driver. The two get sucked into the Netherworld, traveling through real as well as imaginary lands as they learn to fight evil. Ghosts, spirits, spectre ships, Wicker -- the epitomy of evil -- and, yes, Smitty, all appear in this fantasy/time-warp novel. This third in the J.C. van Winkler fantasy series appeared in the summer, 2005, published by Sterling House.




J.C. and Smitty become a twosome again as they visit some of the worst disasters that the world has ever seen. From the first century in ancient Italy to modern America, Smitty and J.C. have a chosen few that they must save. Each person who is safeguarded from the horrific devastation -- be it a volcano, war, earthquake, or terrorism -- will be significant to solving the final puzzle and to the life of Ken Andrews, the hero of the twenty-first century. Published by SterlingHouse 2009



Wicker -- the evil immortal being of the Netherworld -- has been kicked out of the underworld and is bent on destryoing masterpieces in Europe, especially cathedrals. Hoping to save the churches, J.C. and Smitty follow him. However, Wicker not only defaces the cathedrals but also murders innocent victims. Finally, in the dark, mysterious city of Venice -- amidst the shadowy canals and labyrinth of alleys and hidden calles -- Smitty and J.C. enter one of the most gruesome medieval prisons in all Europe. In the dark, ominous cells located below the Venice canals, the two meet the sinister, satanic Wicker.

The bells of Venice ring for J.C. and Smitty


J.C. van Winkler becomes entangled in still another adventure -- this time a murder mystery. While in Holland, she and her cousin, Jacob, encounter a murder. Always intrigued with mysteries, J.C. encourages Jacob to become a sleuth with her. Soon, the two get a glimpse into the life of an eccentric couple and become entrapped in a puzzling, inexplicable situation with no way out except to plunge forward in hopes of solving the mystery.

Read J.C.'s latest and newest adventure -- a murder mystery


J.C. and Smitty go back in time to New York City during Christmas, 1864. However, they are not going to Macy's, Times Square, or Central Park. They are headed for Five Points, one of the most notorious, gangster-ridden parts of NYC in the 1800s. This lower section of Manhatten was the home of thousands of penniless immigrants from Europe, who faced a cholera epidemic in 1862 which changed their lives. The immigrants experienced the death of hundreds of friends and loved ones, causing those who survived to turn away from God and forget the joyous Christmas season. J.C. and Smitty return to the nineteenth century to try to bring peace to the gangs of Five Points as well as restore the blessings of Christmas through the creation of dozens of miracles. They must make December 25, 1864, A Magical Christmas for all!

It was truly a Magical Christmas

J.C. and Smitty enter into their eighth adventure -- not in Europe but in the Secret Land of Goji. A beautiful, peaceful paradise, the Land of Goji houses people who have been the focal point of myths, legends, folklores, fairytales, and epics. Unexpectedly, J.C. gets sucked into Goji to learn about and enjoy many of America's and Europe's childhood stories. King Arthur, Odysseus, Paul Revere, the Pied Piper of Hamelin, and Gulliver are a few of the characters that J.C. meets. Join her in this journey as you relive some of your favorite legends and fairytales.

Read J.C.'s latest adventure into the Secret Land of Goji


J.C. and Smitty find adventure during the 1846 Potato Blight of Ireland. With people trying to escape starvation by going to America, the twosome must save four stowaways on the ship Perseverance,which is bound for NYC. Helping the stowaways, though, is not the only adventure on this journey. Murder on board the ship keeps J.C. and Smitty on their toes, looking for the guilty party and hoping that there are no more victims. As the Perseverance lands in NYC's harbor, Smitty must create a plan to get the illegal stowaways off the ship. And then they find that even the New World isn't safe with its gang-laden Five Points of NYC, where the immigrants must spend their first night. In search of a new and safer location, the immigrants travel up the Hudson River and through the majestic purple hills and valleys of New England towards the city of Chicago, where their future awaits them.


J.C. van Winkler enters her tenth time-travelers' adventure as she and Smitty travel to Plymouth, Mass., 1620. They enter the time-warp to save two Pilgrim children, Catherine and Pierce, but experience so much more. J.C. becomes involved not only in the lives of the Pilgrim children but also in the lives of young Indians. Much to J.C.'s surprise, the Pilgrims as well as the Indians have all been involved in time travel, and so their new adventures take on a new dimension as they explore the Nation of Nadie, The Secret Land of Goji, the Netherworld, and the World of William Shakespeare. They find that evil Wicker, who has been imprisoned in the underwater prison of Venice, has a son, Tank, who enjoys exhibiting sinister, vicious acts whenever possible. The young readers of this latest novel learn about the struggles of the Pilgrims not only while they were in Europe but also during their first difficult year in the New World. It's a novel of fun, adventure, history, and fantasy.

Read the exciting 10th in the series!!

BEYOND THE AUSSIES AND ROOS...J.C.'s Adventures in the Outback
J.C. and Smitty visit a new and incredibly exciting place -- they go Down Under. Yes, Australia. It has amazing scenic views of mountains, ocean, and vast areas of nothingness called the Outback. J.C. get up-close-and-personal with such animals as the cockatoo, koala, kangaroo, echidna, and many more indigenous animals of Australia and with historic figures such as Ned Kelly, James Cook, Olympic champion Cathy Freeman, and Crocodile Hunter. She and Smitty become entangled with the arduous task of stopping Tank, the evil son of Wicker. Tank is after many people, but the Aborigines is at the top of his list. Smitty and J.C. are able to weaken Tank, but where is he going? Back to the underground prisons of Venice where his father, Wicker, is being held? Will J.C. and Smitty have the power and knowledge to to stop this demonic character??

Beyond the Aussies and Roos...J.C.s Adventures in the Outback

Newly developed is a board game that incorporates the first three books in the series. The players don't have to have read the books in order to play, but it, of course, makes it more fun. The game incorporates Euros instead of dollars as well as many aspects of Europe which the reader has learned from the books (Eiffel Tower, windmills, Rembrandt paintings, ration cards from WWII, etc). The game comes in a handy, personalized bag which the owner can decorate. Contact Jan Frazier if you would like a game. janfrazier47@​ or jfrazier@​ Soon, it may be available in stores.

Also available from Jan Frazier is a fun-filled activity book which incorporates all six books in the J.C. van Winkler series. There are mazes, crosswords, word searches, coloring pages, etc., from the fantasy series. Teachers as well as students will love this book!! Contact Jan Frazier at jefrazier@​



Anneka and Layna Zimmerman find themselves in Haarlem, Holland, searching for a house of which they only have a picture. Their Opa (Grandfather) had hidden a chest in the attic floor of his home during WWII, and the twosome are in search of that chest. Wending their way through the winding alleys and the cobblestone streets of Holland, the girls find that all traces of evidence lead to a deadend. However, some very mysterious happenings keep the girls looking, and they scour the labyrinth of streets and canals of the old-world village of Haarlem in search of the treasure. Follow Anneka and Layna in their enduring insistence and the climatic uncovering of the hidden chest.

The Warmth of Opa's Blanket is a State of Illinois award-winning novel 2009



It's the summer of 1972, and Dee and J.J. are about to embark on a nine-week saga in Europe that neither of them could ever envision. Trying for three days to get out of O'Hare, the two young teachers find how easy it is to lose their hotel on their first day in London. Amsterdam offers its own set of experiences, starting with the "staircase to hell" in their hotel followed by incedible adventures in the city of Amsterdam which never sleeps. In Paris, the two are put into a tiny, hot, attic room in the hotel, and they find that they have to jump the metro wall in order to find their exit out of the subway. They are faced with an unexpected turn of events at a bullfight in Spain, and they nearly see the inside of an Italian prison in Venice. After a multitude of other adventures, they conclude on the suicidal highways in Italy in search of Dee's ancestry. This is a creative nonfiction, based on hilariously true experiences of the author, who has traveled throughout Europe with students and adults for over 20 years.

Laugh your way through this European travelogue of hilarious adventures


Life was difficult in the mid-nineteenth century Germany with disruptive economic conditions, lack of religious freedom, famine, and political unheaval. The Pollmanns were enduring all of these tragedies. When crops failed in mid-1800s, Christian Pollmann reacted by planning a move to the New World. The journey aboard the Don Quixote was an arduous one. The desperate lives of the emigrants included lack of food, sparse medical attention, cramped living space, and unadulterated filth. In addition, an unexpected murder on board drove Christian to search for extra protection for his family. Also, discovering and attending to two stowaway urchins became a dangerously incredible task. The historical novel is based on true facts yet is intertwined with fictional stories, helping readers to envision the emigrants' unheavel in the Old World, the undaunted passage across the Atlantic, and their struggle as they settled in America.

A desperate murderer finds his way aboard the transatlantic journey of 1852.


J.J. and her cousin, Sophie, decide to venture to Europe to discover their German roots. Because of an unbelievable flight complication, it takes them three days to even get to Europe, and then finding the tiny village of Hummersen -- tucked away between mountains of northeast Germany -- is an adventure all in itself. From there, they travel southwest to Wilgartswiesen,. Discovering their ancestors' homeland would have been excitement enough, but actually finding living relatives (and many of them) is a dream-come-true. However, after "finding their routs," J.J. and Sophie travel on to Paris and Amsterdam, where they encounter one escapade after another. They endure an unbelievable "attic room" in Versailles and live through the chaos of European driving while in France. Paris is both a dream -- seeing the Eiffel Tour, Montmartre, and Notre Dame -- and a nightmare -- getting stuck on the commuter train, trying to flush the toilets, and attempting to find the hot water in the bathrooms. Holland offers its own set of trials and tribulations. Getting trapped in the Red Light District of Amsterdam and finding themselves stuck in a Safari Park are only a few of the capers. Based on true-life experiences, the book has an endearing quality that will allow the reader to become immersed in the excitement and adventures of traveling abroad. This is a great sequel to I Visited Europe and Survived


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Dane Jansen and Jenae Christianson -- both young teachers -- go abroad in the summer of 1993 in search of adventure. Being adopted by an American family, Dane's birth parents were Dutch, giving her a special incentive to visit Holland. The two become entangled in the web of mysteries and murders that are spun throughout the novel -- all taking place in the tiny seaside village of Urk, Holland. Voluntarily, the two girls try to solve the enigmatic situations, only to become seriously and deeply involved as the plot thickens. In trying to solve the murders, the most important mystery of all is unraveled for Dane....the key to her heritage and family.



Lisa Marie Fox searches for information about her birth parents whom she believes died in the terrible flood of 1978 in Holland. At that time, she was a toddler and sent to America for adoption. Now, as she arrives in the awesome city of Amsterdam, she finds that they died not in the flood but were blugeoned to death and discovered months later in a deserted farmhouse in northern Holland. Han van Bolen, a travel agent in Amsterdam, takes Lisa Marie under his wing, and together they attempt to unravel the enigmatic circumstances of the murders. An entangled web has been spun throughout the past twenty-five years, covering the horrendous murder of Lisa Marie's parents, and she and Han are about to learn the truth.

You won't want to set this page-turner down!


Fantasy for Young Adults
J.C. van Winkler along with Smitty -- a ghost -- enter a time-warp and travel throughout Europe, visiting some of the most fantastic cities abroad. By helping people in the past, present, and future, Smitty -- a Civil War soldier, who was killed unexpectedly -- finally finds peace with his soul.
Use time-warp travel to return to the Holocaust of WWII, and watch J.C. van Winkler help the Jews hide from the devastation of the Nazi Regime.
Enter the fantasy, time-warp world as J.C. van Winkler learns to fight evil in the imaginary Underworld.
Two young adults go abroad and find themselves intertwined in three murders.