About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk is a 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. Check out her upcoming sweet romance: WRONG BROTHER, RIGHT MATCH releasing December 5, 2016.

My Obsession with Hallmark Christmas Movies

Hi, all! Jennifer here.hallmark

Well, we are officially now into the “Christmas season”, which means decorating for the holidays, shopping, wrapping, making cookies, reading Christmas books, and of course (my personal favorite): watching Hallmark Christmas movies!

Yes, HALLMARK CHRISTMAS MOVIES. you might even say I’ve been a bit obsessed with them. 🙂

Why? They are the ultimate feel-good kind of comfort people like me like to wrap themselves into this time of year. It’s a time and place where love always wins, people are more important than money or things, kindness can never be overdone, and memories are to be made and cherished. A good part of that is why I read romance novels too. Because in a world where there is nastiness, sorrow, pain, and ugliness, these vehicles are the perfect escape and the perfect reminder that there is a lot of good in the world too.

My FAVS (so far) this year have been:

  1. The Mistletoe Promise (I liked it so much, I bought the book!)
  2. A December Bride (will buy this book too)
  3. Fir Crazy
  4. Snow Bride
  5. Debbie Macomber’s Trading Christmas
  6. Love Always, Santa
  7. The Christmas Ornament
  8. A Very Merry Mix-Up
  9. Best Christmas Party Ever
  10. Family For Christmas

It should also be mentioned that my husband is a huge fan of “A Grandpa for Christmas”. 🙂

I haven’t had time to watch them all, but rest assured that I have been taping them and will slowly make my way through all of them by the end of the month. (I may even have to re-watch a few of them in January!)

In the meantime, enjoy the holiday season in whatever way you like!

Do you love/watch Hallmark Christmas movies too? What is your favorite one?

 

wrrmsmallAlso, if you love Hallmark Christmas movies, don’t forget to pick up my new Christmas sweet romance  which releases tomorrow, December 5th!

WRONG BROTHER, RIGHT MATCH

Matchmaking guru Kennedy Pepperdine’s life is perfect. Perfect job. Perfect friends. Perfect boyfriend. Except…when she gets trapped in an elevator with a handsome stranger, she accidentally confesses a secret: maybe her perfect boyfriend, Justin, isn’t so perfect for her after all. But a matchmaker should be able to successfully match herself, right? Thankfully, she’ll never see the handsome stranger again. Until she heads home with Justin for the holidays and learns that the sexy stranger is none other than Justin’s older brother, Matt.

Matt Ellis is trying to be on his best behavior for his mother—it is Christmas, after all. But when he recognizes the beautiful woman from the elevator—the one he hasn’t been able to stop thinking about for months—his best behavior is being held by a thread. Matt’s always sacrificed for his family, and nothing is more important than their happiness, but the more time he spends around Kennedy, the more he wonders if her supposed “right match” might just be the wrong brother.

About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk is a 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. Check out her upcoming sweet romance: WRONG BROTHER, RIGHT MATCH releasing December 5, 2016.

How to Save an Author

Hi, all! Jennifer here.save-an-author

I’m here with a friendly service reminder to all you book lovers out there and that is THIS:

Write a review.

You’ll save an author.

Wha?? Yes, it’s true. Book reviewers are just as important to authors than buying and reading their books. Why? Well, here are a few reasons:

  • Around 20-25 reviews, Amazon starts including the book in “also bought” and “you might like” lists. This increases your chances of someone finding your title.
  • Around 50-70 reviews, Amazon looks at your book for spotlight positions and the newsletter. This is IMPORTANT.
  • Number of reviews may affect Amazon sales ranking.
  • Some websites will not consider or promote your book unless you have a number of reviews on the page
  • And, of course, readers may read through your reviews and decide to purchase or not purchase the book based on this.
  • The book market is extremely competitive and extra reviews might tip the scale for another reader to purchase a book or not

But what does all this mean, really, for an author and how does it save them?

If people are reading books but not reviewing then an author can’t compete and earn an income. Unfortunately, if that happens then an author will have to decide if a writing career is truly viable for them or not if they don’t have support to help them.

Now you might be thinking, “But Jennifer, I don’t know HOW to write a review or WHAT to write for a review.”

No problem! The talented author Nancy Herkness has written a step-by-step guide on HOW to write reviews on Amazon which will take you only a minute or two and WHAT to write. It really is that easy. Check them out!

So give it a try. You might just save an author. 🙂

Are you intimidated to write a (good or bad) review for an author?

About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk is a 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. Check out her upcoming sweet romance: WRONG BROTHER, RIGHT MATCH releasing December 5, 2016.

Pumpkin Butterscotch Muffins

pumpkinHi, all! Jennifer in the house today.

Well, fall is officially here and with it comes all the pumpkin goodness under the rainbow. LOL

And really, what is it about pumpkin that makes everything so tasty? I’ve given up trying to figure it out. But there really is nothing pumpkin doesn’t make better. So when I saw this pumpkin muffin recipe on Facebook combined with butterscotch, I had to see if that theory held.

It totally does.

Pumpkin + butterscotch = AMAZING

So, please, make these muffins and see for yourself!

PUMPKIN BUTTERSCOTCH MUFFINS

  • 2 1/2 c flour
  • 1 tBsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 c brown sugar ( I used light)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 3/4 c pumpkin
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 c oil (I used vegetable)
  • 2 cups butterscotch chips

Combine all dry ingredients. Add pumpkin, eggs and oil. Mix until smooth. Add chips.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes or until done.

Happy fall!

Do you have any favorite pumpkin recipes to share?

Also, I have a new release coming December 5th called WRONG BROTHER, RIGHT MATCH. Sign up for my newsletter for a sneak peek, chance to win an ARC, and more! eepurl.com/Q6TH1

 

About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk is a 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. Check out her upcoming sweet romance: WRONG BROTHER, RIGHT MATCH releasing December 5, 2016.

Four Ways to Stop Overthinking and Start Writing

Hi, all, Jways-tooennifer here!

Recently (and by recently I mean currently) I’ve been taking a wonderful course on writing and plotting. Great info. Lots of charts and spreadsheets and romance beats to think about and so forth… Good stuff.

Sort of.

Except that it’s frozen my writing. Yes. Completely stalled it. It’s depressing. Imagine putting your muse in neutral and then gunning the gas pedal. Yeah, and my head hurts too.

The good news is that I’ve slowly been coming out of my funk thanks to the good support and great ideas provided by the lovely ladies here at The Heart-Shaped Glasses blog. So I figured just in case anyone else was going through some similar problems, I’d share some insight on how to combat it and get the muse to start talking again.

There actually is an order to it.

  1. Stop plotting and/or thinking about writing all together.  Huh? Yes. I’ve set aside ALL my wonderful notes and outlines and placed them in a folder. Then put that folder in my desk. As soon as I did that, the pressure to create dropped significantly.
  2. Take walks, naps or long showers. Why? Because when you’re at your most relaxed state, good things start to brew in your head–including ideas for future books.
  3. Read. Better yet, read something that isn’t in your genre. It has helped me remember what I love so much about writing and the joy I get in doing that. (NO plotting or writing books, please!)
  4. Look up some story generators. Maybe something will spark your excitement for writing by having some scenarios given to you. Here are a few I’ve liked: http://www.plot-generator.org.uk/ and http://thejohnfox.com/2016/05/story-idea-generator/

I feel immensely better already and have a few ideas that I’m almost ready to start working on. YAY!!

Hope this helps you as well.

Have you ever been in a writing rut? What helped you through it?

About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk is a 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. Check out her upcoming sweet romance: WRONG BROTHER, RIGHT MATCH releasing December 5, 2016.

The Importance of Reading as a Writer

Hi, all, Jennifer here!steking

I’ve had a revelation this summer. (Of sorts)

And here it is: Reading makes me a better writer.

Wow, hardly earth-shattering, right? I know. We’ve all heard this before. But not until a few months ago have I really seen it affect my writing. But what I also realized was that this summer I’ve read more books outside my own genre. I’ve read young adult, women’s fiction, and A LOT of non fiction.

I saw my writing change when I had to do major edits recently. Without much effort at all, I was able to add 8,000 words to my manuscript. And best of all, my editor loved what I wrote.

With one more month left to summer, I plan to take advantage of this time and add even more books to my reading list. It’s actually been kind of fun finding books I wouldn’t normally read.

A few of my favorites have been:

NIGHT by Elie Wiesel  The author reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forgets man’s capacity for inhumanity to man. Night offers much more than a litany of the daily terrors, everyday perversions, and rampant sadism at Auschwitz and Buchenwald; it also eloquently addresses many of the philosophical as well as personal questions implicit in any serious consideration of what the Holocaust was, what it meant, and what its legacy is and will be.

ME BEFORE YOU by Jojo Moyes Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane. Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.
What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.

Do you have a favorite book you’ve read this summer?

Also, my romantic comedy WEDDING DATE FOR HIRE is on sale right now for 99 cents for one more week.

Grab me while you can!InstagramWDFH

 

About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk is a 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. Check out her upcoming sweet romance: WRONG BROTHER, RIGHT MATCH releasing December 5, 2016.

Happy July 4th!

Hi, all! Jennifer here.

To those in the United States, Happy Independence Day!

The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays because 1) it is in summer and 2) it’s such a proud, patriotic holiday.

I just recently visited Philadelphia a few days ago because I do love all the history and went to the old Christ Church. I actually sat in the pew where George Washington worshipped. The bells in the church today are the original bells that rang on July 4, 1788 bells to celebrate the ratification of the Constitution.

Cool, huh?

Today we’ll be having our annual neighborhood BBQ–we are expecting about 25-30 people–and then we’ll all walk down to the beach a few blocks away and catch the fireworks. (Hopefully the rain will clear by then)

If you are celebrating, hope you have a fun and safe holiday!

What are your plans for July 4th?untitled

About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk is a 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. Check out her upcoming sweet romance: WRONG BROTHER, RIGHT MATCH releasing December 5, 2016.

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