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.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Sorry I haven’t been here much this year. Lots of things happened and I’m back on the track with writing, life and a whole lot more!

Promise I’ll be back to tell you all about it starting next month!

About Lynn Crain

Award winning author Lynn Crain has done it all in her life. From nursing to geology, her life experiences have added to her detail rich stories. She loves writing full time as she weaves contemporary, fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers. Her home is in the desert southwest and she’s just returned from her latest adventure of living in Vienna, Austria while her husband worked his dream job. You can find her hanging out online at www.lynncrain.blogspot.com, https://www.facebook.com/LynnCrainAuthor, and on Twitter, @oddlynn3. She loves hearing from her readers at lynncrain@cox.net.

The Perfection of the Parody

Happy December, everyone!

I’m a sucker for parody songs. Who doesn’t smile when they see/hear something funny played to the beat of a familiar tune? As a child, I’d sit with my cousins and we’d spend hours making up our own fun lyrics to existing songs. The sneaky Bunny (done to the music of Two Princes by Spin Doctors) or The High School song (done to the music of Nirvana’s Smells like Teen Spirit). To this day, Weird Al is one of my favorite human beings 😉 His work always makes me smile.

Today I’d like to share a couple of my favorites in hopes of making you smile!

This parody of Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty” is one of my go-tos when I’m feeling low. I’m big into gaming and this video is just pure awesome. 🙂

 

Another favorite is Dark lord Funk (an Uptown Funk parody)

I’ve got no video skills, and trust me when I tell you, you wouldn’t want to hear me sing–but I still love to write my own parodies.

Since I’m currently in the editing phase of the book I’m working on, and it’s the holidays, here’s one I wrote a few years back (because, for some reason, I always seem to be editing something during the holiday season…).

The Twelve Days of Edits

On the first day of edits, my CP gave to me a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the second day of edits, my CP gave to me:

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the third day of edits, my CP gave to me:

three crutch words

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the fourth day of edits, my CP gave to me:

four repeated phrases

three crutch words

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the fifth day of edits, my CP gave to me:

five pointless scenes

four repeated phrases

three crutch words

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the sixth day of edits, my CP gave to me:

six clichéd themes

five pointless scenes

four repeated phrases

three crutch words

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the seventh day of edits, my CP gave to me:

seven subplots hanging

six clichéd themes

five pointless scenes

four repeated phrases

three crutch words

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the eighth day of edits, my CP gave to me:

eight too many hotties

seven subplots hanging

six clichéd themes

five pointless scenes

four repeated phrases

three crutch words

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the ninth day of edits, my CP gave to me:

nine more swoony scenes

eight too many hotties

seven subplots hanging

six clichéd themes

five pointless scenes

four repeated phrases

three crutch words

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the tenth day of edits, my CP gave to me:

ten sharks jumped

nine more swoony scenes

eight too many hotties

seven subplots hanging

six clichéd themes

five pointless scenes

four repeated phrases

three crutch words

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the eleventh day of edits, my CP gave to me:

eleven weak descriptions

ten sharks a jumped

nine more swoony scenes

eight too many hotties

seven subplots hanging

six clichéd themes

five pointless scenes

four repeated phrases

three crutch words

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the twelfth day of edits, my CP gave to me:

Twelve cheesy villains

ten sharks a jumped

nine more swoony scenes

eight too many hotties

seven subplots hanging

six clichéd themes

five pointless scenes

four repeated phrases

three crutch words

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday, and a very awesome new year!

 

About Jus Accardo

JUS ACCARDO spent her childhood reading and learning to cook. Determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps as a chef, she applied and was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America. But at the last minute, she realized her true path lay with fiction, not food. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald.

Going Christmas Tree Crazy #christmas2018

Hi, all! Jennifer here.

Well, I finally did it. I bought a second Christmas tree.

So why two Christmas trees, Jen? Two very good reasons

WHITE LIGHTS   For over 20 years, I’ve wanted white lights on our Christmas tree. I always get shot down by the family every year. Is it too much to ask?

HOMEMADE ORNAMENTS  So, last year when I was about to hang all the homemade ornaments my daughter had made when she was younger, she wouldn’t let me. WHAT?! Yes, she thought they were ugly and ruined the tree.  Um…THEY ARE VERY GORGEOUS TO ME!!!

That’s when I decided that I would buy myself a little tree to house my white lights and homemade ornaments. Actually, it’s not that little. It’s 7 feet. But still.

Here it is:

 

I love it! Fits just right in my dining room and makes me so happy. I just need a few more ball ornaments to get and then it’ll be perfect.

And for the record, here is the family tree:

Honestly? I’m thinking of getting a third tree and decorating it in all seashore ornaments!

(Somebody stop me!!!)

Merry Christmas and happy tree decorating!

How many Christmas trees do you have in your house?

 

 

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. Check out her latest sweet romance: CATCH HIM IF YOU CAN

When Christmas is the New Fall Goal

Hi, all.  Jennifer here!

I can’t believe it’s fall already. But maybe I’m so surprised the year has been flying because I’ve been so busy with writing projects! Truth be told…I’m getting a little burned out.

Well. I’m trying to not let that happen. So I’ve created a new fall goal. 🙂

See, last December was terrible. Not TERRIBLE terrible, mind you. Just that I really didn’t get to enjoy Christmas like I normally do. I didn’t bake cookies and I watched maybe one Hallmark Christmas movie. (Yeah, I know. Really bad.)

So this year, my new fall goal is make sure I have ALL my writing projects completely done before December 1st. Then I’m going to take the entire month off and just ENJOY the holidays.

Sounds heavenly, yes?

Here are my plans:

  • I will make my normal 8 different kinds of Christmas cookies
  • I will make a gingerbread house (from scratch!)
  • I will host a girls Christmas get-together/cookie swap
  • I will watch EVERY NEW HALLMARK CHRISTMAS movie made
  • I will read Christmas books
  • I will spend most of my days in yoga pants and try not to eat all the cookies I make
  • Oh, and I will research on Pinterest and make really creative food gifts to give away

That there is motivation! (For me)

I can’t wait!

Have you thought about Christmas yet? Have you made any fall goals for yourself?

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. Check out her latest sweet romance: CATCH HIM IF YOU CAN

My Grown-Up Christmas TBR List

Hi, all! Jennifer here.

I don’t know about you, but I love READING Christmas books almost as much as I love WATCHING Christmas movies on TV this time of year! It just gets me in the spirit for the holidays.

There have been so many great choices of Christmas books I’ve seen on Goodreads and Instagram it’s hard to choose. But choose I did. Some of these books I bought in paperback and some are on my Kindle now waiting to be read.

So just in case you want to know what’s on my Christmas To-Be-Read List, I’ll share it with you now!

  1. Coming Home for Christmas by Jenny Hale — this is actually a Hallmark movie now. I haven’t watched it yet. I waiting to read the book first!
  2. Holiday Wishes by Jill Shalvis— this was recommended to me by one of our fellow authors here, so I downloaded it. Can’t wait!
  3. A Bramble House Christmas by CJ Carmichael— Ok, so this is a Hallmark movie too. But one I already watched and loved so I HAD to go and buy the book. 🙂
  4. An Ex for Christmas by Lauren Layne— love a good friends to lovers romance so I bought.

And if you happen to be looking for yet another holiday read, don’t forget to check out my book:

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.

What Holiday books are on your To-Be-Read list?

 

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. Check out her latest sweet romance: CATCH HIM IF YOU CAN

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