Guys & Galentines: This is For You

If the person you love literally looks like this (to the right), then you should be reading this post because I have some killer gift ideas for you for the month of love.

The Book Boyfriend candle smells delightfully “manly” scents of a light cologne, musky earthy notes, and clean cotton to remind you of the boys from your favorite books.

That’s a direct quote from the artisan’s etsy listing.  Who wouldn’t love to settle in with their favorite book (boyfriend) and light this candle? Boys in books aren’t just better, they smell better, too.

A beautiful vintage hardback book style e-reader and tablet cover handmade in England using 40 years of bookbinding experience.

Someone has taken their skills from the past into the next century to give us the ability to read any book, carry around hundreds in your pocket, all while looking like a beautifully bound cover of Pride and Prejudice (or what have you).

Any book reader will love the humor and your special appreciation of the joys a good book boyfriend can bring.

So, does your best friend/girlfriend take her book boyfriends seriously enough to wear this adorable t-shirt? Because, well, I do. “Try Living Up to My Book Boyfriend,” it reads. Try, indeed.

This is a small, easy reminder to love what you read and own it.

This may be my favorite (but in fairness, that could be because I collect coffee mugs). All the same, this is a winner for any romance reader.

This may be the best gift yet, especially if you’ve got the mouth of a well-educated sailor and (again) love coffee mugs and reading almost as much as I do.

In short, I hope my husband, daughters, and/or friends find this post because I basically low-key want every item shown here. Please?

About Lori Sizemore

Lover of nail polish, pens, her Kindle, and fresh coffee. She likes romance filled with messy, real characters and lots of snarky banter. Reading was (and still is!) her BFF; when she discovered writing she fell in love. Come for the snark. Stay for the story.

Romancing His Rival #PreOrder #Giveaway

Hey, favorite readers!

Romancing His Rival is almost here!

In celebration, I’m hosting an exciting

 PRIZE

1 Audio CD of Bargaining with the Boss (book 1)
plus
1 Audio CD Catch Him if You Can (book 2)

First: Pre-Order your copy of
Romancing His Rival (book 3)
(Pre-Order Links below)
Then, CLICK HERE to enter to win!

 

If you already pre-ordered, enter now! No purchase necessary to win. 

The winner will be announced here on my personal blog on 2/11.

Good Luck!

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. 🙂

Planning and the New Year

I’ve always been a reasonably good planner though these last few years have put a definite crimp in my normal routine. And just for the record, my word for 2019 is determined.

In 2017, my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer. We spent the whole year with surgeries and chemo and all the things necessary to get him cured. In 2018, I spent most of the time recovering myself but there was one thing I was interested in pursuing, and that was my MFA in Creative Writing.

In January 2018, I checked out the local program and was so impressed overall that I immediately submitted my application. Every time a deadline passed, I would email the office to see what was happening. Then I got wait-listed and felt I’d waited too long as obviously my chance was gone. With only six weeks to go, I was informed I had indeed gotten in and was given the dates for that July residency.

Sure, I jumped for joy, but I also knew that it would change everything as I would now have to ‘fit’ everything around my education. Fast forward to January 2019, and I’ve now completed my second semester and no longer am the stunned person I was in July 2018. I also learned that my first semester was excellent and easy to plan around. This semester, I have a new mentor who expects many different things from me, more difficult things and definitely much more polished.

After resting and getting my bearings for nearly two weeks, I realize I am going to have to plan more than ever. Last semester, I revamped older writing things to use but this time around, I’m having to start from an idea to getting it on the paper to critiques, and you get the idea.

A few years ago, I had designed a planner specifically for a writer’s productivity. While I do want to continue that project, I decided to go with a popular planner design from Erin Condren because it fit with my goals. I’m using her quarterly mini-planners as well as her goal planner.

Both of these will get me back into the habit of writing down what I need to do and when. It will also have a daily inspiration that perks me up. Today’s was: It always seems impossible until it’s done. I have space to make notes and then check them off as I complete them. I also use colors: purple is for writing and school things, hot pink is for my own writing life outside of school, and teal is for all things personal.

Every day, I can glance at it and see just how much or how little I might have to do that day from the colors alone. I’ve included a photo of my calendar, which includes today and the weekend. Notice not much is on the weekend and that is to accommodate my husband’s day’s off. Today, you will notice is full of things still not checked off. I usually go back over my daily items before writing in my nightly journal.

What do you do to combine and plan all areas of your life? Do you use separate planners for separate portions? Or do you just use one planner and try to make it work that way?

Can’t wait to hear your answers about planning and coordination of life and writing. Next month, I’ll be looking at the goal planner and how I’m using it to keep my writing, both regular and MFA projects, organized.

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.

Playing with Passion

In our last post, Jennifer talked about her word for the year. Finding our words for the year has become a bit of a tradition with our crit group and I wanted to do the same. Something to pull into my life, every day, to shade all my interactions, to push me a little bit further, to give a little bit more.

My word for 2019 is passion. In the last year, I started a new day job and I love it. I have wonderful friends there, I feel good about what I do, and I’m damn good at it.  All the same, my crit partners can tell you, I all but disappeared. No new writing, no new crits, nothing. I was desperately trying to find balance and I think I’m getting there. I’m writing every day again–even if it’s only a little–and I’m prioritizing the things I let fall away.

But I want to do more than that. I want to approach each new project, each new day, each moment with passion.

Wish me luck! I’m hoping you have the very best year, filled with success in all your endeavors.

About Lori Sizemore

Lover of nail polish, pens, her Kindle, and fresh coffee. She likes romance filled with messy, real characters and lots of snarky banter. Reading was (and still is!) her BFF; when she discovered writing she fell in love. Come for the snark. Stay for the story.

2019: The year of Jen

Hi, all. Jennifer here.

Ah, the New Year. So full of goals and promises. But for me,  2019 will be a bit more than checking accomplishments off a list. It will be about checking off more time for me. I feel as if I’m spent up. Not that this was a hard or bad year, but I’ve been neglecting myself a little too long without really realizing it. And now I need to concentrate on that.

Have you heard of OneWord 365? I love the idea of assigning ONE WORD that encapsulates how you want to live for the year and focusing on that.

My One Word this year is REPLENISH. Replenish means restore to the former level or condition. Yes. I need to be restored to where I was a few years ago. I need to take a little more time for myself and refill my “well” both spiritually, personally, and professionally.

That might mean  taking more time off from social media and from social commitments and even some writing commitments. But it’s just temporary. It’s only a year.

But I feel it will be worth it.

Have you set any resolutions, goals, or assigned a word for yourself this year? Please share!

 

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. 🙂

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.

  • Our LATEST Buzz!

    The first two books in the Cupid's Cafe series were released in June by Lori Sizemore and Landra Graf *** Lori Sizemore's Infamous was 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, A PROPOSAL & PUMPKIN PIE is on sale for .99 through Thanksgiving.