Falling Down the Christmas Romance Rabbit Hole

It’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays and my favorite thing to do at Christmas, besides watch Christmas movies or bake cookies is read Christmas romances. There is nothing like a good Christmas romance anthology. Over the years I’ve read many, and each season a new one becomes available for the masses.

There’s the historicals, which are always marvelous because who doesn’t love seeing how in a time when couples had difficulty falling in love in the first place, let alone being alone together, a pair of romantically matched people find themselves declaring love for one another in less than forty thousand words.

Here’s a few of my favorites:

Christmas in the Duke’s Arms by Grace Burrowes, Carolyn Jewel, Miranda Neville, and Shana Galen ~ All the tales occur around an inn, in a small town. My favorite is a friends to lovers tale. twg-final-large

The Heart of Christmas by Mary Balogh, Nicola Cornick, and Courtney Milan ~ Delicious romance with rakes, benefactors, and unlikely heroes

All I Want for Christmas Is a Duke by Valerie Bowman, Vivienne Lorret, Tiffany Clare, and Ashlyn Macnamara ~ Dukes. Need I say more?

I’m mighty proud of the fact I’ve offered you stories by 11 different Historical romance authors, and they are all fabulous. This is just the tip of the romance iceberg because several other historical authors offer up full-length Christmas tales, including an entire series from Theresa Romain, which right now they are all together as a Holiday Pleasures Bundle in an ebook steal deal.

Then I have that ‘but wait; there’s more’ moment. Because I haven’t discussed contemporary romance. There is plenty of holiday joy to be shared around there. The ones I fell in love were the typically full length and the run the gauntlet from sweet to steamy. Regardless, they are all romances and feature Christmas in some capacity.

A few more favs:

Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis ~ first in the Lucky Harbor series.maybe-this-christmas

Last Chance Christmas by Hope Ramsey ~ part of the Last Chance series.

Maybe This Christmas by Sarah Morgan ~ a friends to lovers tale and part of her Snow Crystal series.

And, if you haven’t heard a fellow HSG blogger/author, Jennifer Shirk has her latest release in the Christmas contemporary romance category. Check out Wrong Brother, Right Match. A shameless plug, but I’ve already got it pre-order and on my list of holiday romances to indulge in.

Of course, as with all things, these are just a handful of Christmas romance books available. I’m leaving out Maisey Yates and her cowboys, and Jessica Lemmon with her Bad Boy for Christmas book. I could go on and on, but I do believe that will cut into my reading time.

Do you have a favorite Christmas romance book? If so, tell me, I’d love to add it to my list.

About Landra Graf

Landra Graf consumes at least one book a day and has always been a sucker for stories where true love conquers all. She believes in the power of the written word, and the joy such words can bring. In between spending time with her family and having book adventures, she writes romance with the goal of giving everyone, fictional or not, their own happily ever after.

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.

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.

Happy Birthday to Me

WeddingsecretcoverHi, all!

Today is kind of a birthday…it’s a BOOK Birthday!

I have a new novella out today —THE WEDDING SECRET–based on Lucy Kevin’s “Four Weddings and a Fiasco” romance series.

This exciting for me for a whole new reason besides just having a new release. This is the first time I’ve ever written a Kindle Worlds story. What is that? Basically, there are certain stories or licensed “Worlds” created by other authors and a new author can sort of piggyback on that created world and write a new story out of it.

I was very excited to be invited to participate in Lucy Kevin’s world. Thank you so much for the opportunity! If you would like to read the first book in this series, it’s free now on Amazon. · The Wedding Gift ~  http://lucykevin.com/KW_Kevin1

I’m thrilled to be sharing this release day with these wonderful authors as well, so don’t forget to check out their sweet romances, too:

· A Wedding Miracle ~ Melissa Storm: http://lucykevin.com/KW_Storm
· The Wedding Arrangement ~ Stacey Wallace: http://lucykevin.com/KW_Wallace
· The Wedding Bridesmaid ~ Jennifer Conner: http://lucykevin.com/KW_Conner
· The Wedding Chaos ~ Isabel Micheals: http://lucykevin.com/KW_Micheals
· The Wedding Charade ~ Melissa McClone: http://lucykevin.com/KW_McClone
· The Wedding Day ~ Sharon Kleve: http://lucykevin.com/KW_Kleve
· The Wedding Do-Over ~ Jennifer Faye: http://lucykevin.com/KW_Faye
· The Wedding Gem ~ Ann M. Richardson: http://lucykevin.com/KW_Richardson
· The Wedding Fountain ~ Kathryn Le Veque: http://lucykevin.com/KW_LeVeque
· The Wedding Photo ~ Pamela Kelley: http://lucykevin.com/KW_Kelley
· The Wedding Secret ~ Jennifer Shirk: http://lucykevin.com/KW_Shirk
· The Wedding Snafu ~ Aaliyah Burke: http://lucykevin.com/KW_Burke
· Wedding Rules ~ Dee Tenorio: http://lucykevin.com/KW_Tenorio

Happy reading!!

~The Wedding Secret~

Ten years after a high school pregnancy left her abandoned by her family, single mother Brenna March is finally getting her life under control. In possession of her dream job as a florist at the Rose Chalet, one of the premier wedding spots in San Francisco, she’s about to prove her worth and take on her first wedding as head florist. Unfortunately, the best man is none other than Senator Ashton Mirenda—her old high school sweetheart and the father of the daughter he knows nothing about.

Ashton doesn’t have time for marriage or a family. He has other aspirations and the first is winning the next senate seat election. Or so he believes until he meets a woman from his past. Seeing Brenna again stirs something inside him he’d thought long dead, and he knows that he wants her beside him all the way to the White House. But Brenna is holding a ten year old secret, one which could not only hurt his chance for re-election but also their chance to rekindle the love they once shared.

 

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.

  • OUR LATEST BUZZ!

    Lori Sizemore's Infamous released on December 14. *** Julie Jarnagin's Cowgirl in the Kitchen is available now. *** Bethanne Strasser LETTERS FROM HOME from Entangled Publishing is available now! *** Nina Croft's latest books, Her Fantasy Husband, a hot contemporary romance from Entangled's Brazen line, and The Order Boxed Set, a compilation of the three full length novels, plus a new novella, exclusive to the boxed set, both released in April 2016 *** Debora Dennis's holiday novella, CUPCAKES & CUPID is available.