SPRING FLING ROMANCE AND MORE GIVEAWAY #amreading #giveaway


SPRING FLING ROMANCE AND MORE GIVEAWAY

ENTER FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN!

 

 

Grand Prize is a designer Coach Tote filled with books and swag, ebook prize packs, including award winners and New York Times and USA Today Best Sellers! All you have to do is enter the rafflecopter HERE. The more profiles you like and follow, the more times you’re entered.

 

Good luck and happy reading!

 

 

About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk is a USA Today bestselling sweet romance author for Montlake and Entangled Publishing who also happens to be a mom, pharmacist, Red Sox fan, P90x grad, and overall nice person. 🙂

Write like a Runner #writetips #writerscommunity

I write like I run—slow and steady with much complaining.

I think that’s why when my author friend introduced her method of getting her word count in for the day, it resonated with me so much. She told me to simply write short word count goals on a piece of paper and then cross out with an X those goals as you hit them.

Simple. So I decided to try it. And believe it or not, it worked.

Here is an example of my sheet:

10,735 10,985 11,235

I obviously set 250 word count goals. As I wrote, and hit each goal, I took a pretty gel pen color and made a X over the number. It’s amazing how satisfying it is to do that. Just like Tony Robbins said, “Progress is the ultimate motivation.”

So true.

I soon found myself wanting to write a little more just so I could cross out a number. And then I found myself squeezing in writing time so I could simply hit a goal and cross out a number.

All mind games, really. Much like running. But little by little, I hope to end up completing a 5K (word count) before the end of the month. J

As I explained to my critique group, this little trick isn’t reinventing the wheel, but sometimes just looking at writing differently, can help change your progress.

Try  it and let me know if it helps you!

Do you have any writing tricks to help you write more?

About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk is a USA Today bestselling sweet romance author for Montlake and Entangled Publishing who also happens to be a mom, pharmacist, Red Sox fan, P90x grad, and overall nice person. 🙂

MEGA VALENTINE’S DAY #ROMANCE #GIVEAWAY

MEGA VALENTINE’S DAY ROMANCE GIVEAWAY

ENTER FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN!

 HERE

 

Grand prize of High Def Kindle Fire and more than fifty romance novels, including award winners and New York Times and USA Today Best Sellers! All you have to do is follow us and/or other romance authors on BookBub.

The more profiles you like, the more times you’re entered.

 

Amazon Gift Cards for two lucky runner ups!

 

About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk is a USA Today bestselling sweet romance author for Montlake and Entangled Publishing who also happens to be a mom, pharmacist, Red Sox fan, P90x grad, and overall nice person. 🙂

Plan to Write…or Plan to Fail

In the past, I’ve always used my phone to plan my writing time and word count for the week. That has worked for the most part. However, on some days, I’ve noticed it’s a little easier to “forget” to check my phone.

We call those non writing days.

Unfortunately, the non writing days became more frequent. I needed to get back on track. Then quite a few of my critique partners began singing the praises of actual paper planners.

Huh. Actual physical planners?

Since the invention of Smartphones I had thought they’d gone by the wayside. But no. (Thank goodness) I guess much like physical books after the ebook surge, they have come back stronger than ever. And I can see why.

There is something immensely rewarding about sitting down with your planner at the beginning of each week and planning it all out in front of you. Physically writing down what I intend to do makes me feel so much more accountable. And now, I’m actually getting more writing done, even though I don’t have any actual deadlines!

The next step is gel pens. I have yet to use different colors. But I feel it’s imminent.

Do you use a planner? What’s your favorite?

 

About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk is a USA Today bestselling sweet romance author for Montlake and Entangled Publishing who also happens to be a mom, pharmacist, Red Sox fan, P90x grad, and overall nice person. 🙂

Hello 2020

When two worlds Implode at the same Time: A personal and a business story, with one outcome. 

I’m going to tell you a secret. My period was 6 days late, expected on the 25th or 26th of December 2019. So, imagine me…pretty much freaking out the entire week of Christmas. By the 30th, I was imagining not being done with kids. I was imagining a bigger van and diapers… By Monday after Christmas, I’d decided that on Friday, the 3rd, I was going to take a test and just get it over with. I mean…I’m not young, so it could be a tumor, right? However, my new year started a new cycle on January 1st [TMI, I know…oh well. There’s just so much TMI on the internet and this seems tame in comparison].

I might have been freaked out but I wasn’t devastated. If you’d asked me, even two weeks ago, what I’d do if I got pregnant, I probably would have gone pale, laughed in your face, and thought it was the worst thing that could ever happen to me; so much so that adoption might cross my mind. I mean, I’m finally at a point where my youngest is in kindergarten, and I have time to solidly write during the day, to work out without waking at 5am, to even just sit and have coffee. I’ve been consistently making dinner 3-4 times a week. I mean…life is good. Throw a baby in there and more than half of that would disappear, except the parts where I’m “working”, and I do mean making dinner and doing laundry and cleaning shit. However, I was kind of excited. I mean, I’m in the best shape ever, and I was starting to think…I could do this as an experiment. Like, how fit can I stay during a pregnancy. Plus, babies. <3 <3

Here I am with a seriously new perspective. And yes, I have it because I’m not pregnant. And I know that if I’d been pregnant, the internal workings of my psyche would be different, but I can only tell my story, so…

January 1st, I was given a gift. A message in the form of a [not] baby.

STOP F*CKING AROUND. [oh! haha. literally and figuratively]

As my personal life was sending mixed signals, a part of the business life around me was imploding. That’s the word everyone has used for the coming demise of Romance Writers of America. I’ve watched this organization for years. I joined in 2006[ish], shortly after I began writing. For me, I believed its value was in the relationships I’d gained. But as I look back, even that value is far smaller than I give it credit for… I only have 3 close friends from my association with RWA. Most acquaintances have come and gone as I’ve moved.

If you are really interested in what went on in RWA, just Google RWA 2019 Scandal and Courtney Milan. Something will pop up giving you a hint, but maybe nothing unbiased–this is the way of reporting today–so, just read with caution. My blog post here isn’t about the Scandal of RWA in 2019, though. So I’m not going to go on about it.

Instead, I will share how it affected me.

There’s always been an underlying current of politics and social reform within the members of RWA. Years ago, it was the fight for equality between print and digital. The idea that only B-rated porn was being offered as ebooks came from the fact that…yes, lots of porn on the internet. But it just didn’t remain so and really might never have been an accurate assessment because when new things arise, people fear. Change is hard. But digital publication and self-publication fought hard for respect and earned it. RWA fought against it. They fought and feared this uprising of authors who may or may not be approved. They lost the focus of supporting the writer, any writer, and became an entity who drew lines.

And they continued to draw lines for everyone, influencing not just writers but publishers, editors, and agents alike. And every year or few years, in the last fifteen, have been rife with the latest social uprising, which leads to accusations, debates, sides being taken, and discontent. For example, the contests of RWA have gone from having 4 categories to many, too many. Because heaven forbid someone not be represented. There should be 4 categories–contemporary, suspense, historical, paranormal/sci-fi. That’s it. It shouldn’t matter what kind of suspense you write or what kind of historical. Whether your characters are straight, gay, white, hispanic, Christian or Buddhist; whether the writer is they, black, white, Atheist or JW.

There is ONE type in a writing group, a WRITER. Period.

Writers for Writers: On Writing. <– this should be the name of the organization, the WWW.

Not Writers for Conform, or Writers for Reform, or Writers for Readers, or Writers for Equality!  No!!

We are artists, each with our own mission, passions, and goals, taking the issues that drive us and putting them to words. As soon as we start letting other people tell us what to do, we become robots. We become anti-artists.

I follow God. I pray every day. I ask Him to show me what He wants of me. He asks me to use my gifts for His glory. My gift is writing romance, writing stories about love between two people. The joy within me comes from penning stories of redemption and forgiveness and love, sex included!

And in the last two years, I have failed my passions and my gifts. I have struggled to separate the politics from the art. I have let doubt and uncertainty bind me and trap me in this corner. No more.

My RWA membership will expire this year–for good. I’m pulling myself up out of the pool of social norm and conform–in RWA, online, and in real life. It’s too crowded. Jumping on the bandwagon is the most unindividual effort an artist can make. I teach my children to be independent and have a mind of their own. Don’t follow the crowd! If your friend jumped off a bridge, would you?

Sound familiar?

Well, who am I to not follow my own advice?

My advice to you, Writer and Artist. Don’t waste time, it could be gone in an instant. This year, move forward! Get excited! Find joy. Unfollow the people who are killing that joy. Reinvent your support group. Don’t write what is expected, don’t write what other people tell you is romance!

I will not box my creativity in with lines drawn by society and culture. This isn’t the way of the artist.

To me, this is the death of dreams.

So, your entrance might not have been as [melo]dramatic as mine, but WELCOME to 2020!

I wish you freedom of mind and spirit in which to create. I wish you a hope-filled, energetic, and amazing NEW YEAR!

About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

Merry Christmas

Just two days left.

My family went to Grandma’s this year. The funny thing is that we keep moving, and we’ve yet to move ‘away’ from Grandma. Three years ago, to Georgia we went, over the river and through the woods, and 3.5 hours to Grandma’s. When they told us we would be moving last summer, we warned the family… we’re moving. People need to step up and get down to Grandma’s. We won’t be so close anymore.

Wrong.

Over the river and through the woods and 3 hours to Grandma’s in Mississippi. Actually closer than we’d been. We’ll be moving in 2020 [yay, another move]. But don’t worry, we’ll only be 5.5 hours from Grandma!

I have two thoughts behind this.

How lucky we are! They Italians have such rich traditions in food and faith. Our kids will remember being at Grandma’s. They won’t forget so quickly as military families and families who live far from each other often do. They’ll have crazy stories to tell. Experiences to share as they grow older.

Yet, it makes me apprehensive, as if God knows something we don’t. He wants us close to Grandma’s for a while, until…what? Morbid, but it’s life, too.

There’s only one sure thing in life, right? Are you ready?

I’m working on it.

Don’t miss out on my Christmas story, Letters From Home, available from Entangled Publishing!!

An Army doctor, Lena Rodriguez has always been too busy with school or the Army for romance. But the letters she received during deployment have captured her heart. Back home for the holidays, she awaits Christmas morning to meet the man who has turned her life upside down.

When Zack Benson watched his best friend’s sister, Lena, leave for Afghanistan, he knew he had to tell her he loved her. So he sent her anonymous love letters. Now that she’s home, he realizes he’s made a tactical error. Lena has fallen for the man in those letters but still thinks of him as a brother. He has to convince her otherwise because if he succeeds, he’ll get the best Christmas present ever. But if he fails, he could lose her for good.

About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

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