5 Benefits of Taking a Vacation from Writing


I’m going to be doing some traveling this month to visit family. I’ve been considering whether or not to take another kind of vacation while I’m away–a writing vacation. Here are five good reasons to take a vacation from your manuscript.

  1. Gives you time to have experiences that will inspire your writing. A weekend trip to the lake, a concert in the park, or dinner with interesting people are all the kinds of life experiences that can lead to new story ideas and fresh characters. If we spend all our time in our respective writing caves, we won’t have anything new to draw from.
  2. Helps you see your writing with a fresh set of eyes. Writing needs to breathe before the editing stage; otherwise, it’s difficult to see the forest for the trees. A break between the first draft and the edit can be just what you need to see your manuscript more objectively.
  3. Reminds your friends, family, and loved ones what you look like without a laptop glued to your fingers. Balance is vital, and we need to learn to protect our relationships. Being on The New York Times Best Sellers List won’t mean anything without the people we love there to share it.
  4. Provides time for reading. We all know writers should also be readers, but sometimes it’s difficult to find time to read for enjoyment when you’re writing. Take a writing break and fill your e-reader with all those books you’ve been dying to dive into. Not only will they provide wonderful information about trends in your genre, but a great book will remind you of the power of story and why you love to write.
  5. Gives your mind space for creativity. Just like a page layout needs white space, our minds need room to wander and play. Silence, quiet walks, and prayer or meditation can all improve creativity.

About Julie Jarnagin

Julie Jarnagin is a multi-published author of inspirational romance. She grew up in a small Oklahoma town where her family farmed and ranched. These days she lives in a not-so-big city with her amazing husband and two young sons who tolerate all her nerdy quirks. Julie earned a B.A. in Journalism / Professional Writing from the University of Oklahoma and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. www.JulieJarnagin.com

Welcome to a month of exotic locations and out of this world settings!

ws_Red_Surf_Board_1600x1200From sandy beaches to ski slopes or out of this world trips to the future, the month of August will find the ladies of Heart-Shaped Glasses thinking about exotic locations.

We hope you’ll stop by often to journey around the globe and the universe with us this month as we explore vacation destinations, settings in our novels or places we only wish we could visit!

And this month one winner will be chosen at random from all the comments to win a free digital download of their choice of a title from the new TEASE line at Decadent publishing – a big thank you to Clarissa Yip for donating the give away this month!

This month we’ll have guest blogs by Gina Conkle on August 15th and Robin Bielman will be stopping by on the 30th!

We’re looking forward to a fun month around here…how about you?


About Debora Dennis

A believer in second chances and that time should never be an obstacle to finding love, Debora writes time travels with modern snark and spice! When she's not writing, she's spending time with her family, reading or trying to figure out a way to get chocolate into every dish she serves.

Just for the Summer with Jenna Rutland

Please join me in welcoming today’s guest blogger, Jenna Rutland. Sit back, grab a cold drink and enjoy the visit…as always, all comments are entered for a chance at our monthly drawing, so don’t be shy!

I’d like to thank Bethanne and all the wonderful women here for their very generous offer of allowing me to be a guest blogger today!

I was excited to hear that the July theme is summer! We are smack dab in the middle, although here in SE Michigan the weather has been chilly the last few days with a hint of fall in the air. Of course, it doesn’t help when the stores are touting their back to school sales.

As a kid, we took one vacation every year. It was to a little place in Northern Michigan right on the Canadian border called Sugar Island. It was a family vacation, but centered on my father needing his much-earned two week vacation from work. It was a fishing vacation, which I learned to love. At an early age, I could even bait my hook and remove my own fish, it if wasn’t too big.

My family knew that even though I enjoyed being on the boat, I wasn’t a diehard like the rest of them. My mom let me take my best friend every year and that made all the difference. We spent time exploring the woods, sitting on the dock working on our tans, and the best part of all—reading late into the night, anything and everything romance. We didn’t care if it was historical, contemporary or suspense. We would read until the wee hours, and there were times that we’d barely gotten to sleep when the adults were up and getting ready to go out fishing and we’d sleep in.

Even though our annual vacation wasn’t going to Disneyworld or sightseeing in a foreign country, we looked forward to those two weeks every year. I can truly say that those summer vacations by the lake rooted my love of reading romance, and for that I will always be grateful.

Living in the north, there are things we get to experience for only a small part of the year—windows wide open to catch the smell of fresh-cut grass, digging and planting in our gardens, and eating outside at cookouts with friends and family.

When I began writing this story, I knew I wanted to include some of my favorite things so it didn’t take me long to decide to set it in the summertime. And guess what? My characters enjoy the same things I do about summer! At the last minute, my book title was changed to the current, Just for the Summer. I fell in love with the title immediately and am so thankful my publisher came up with this great title. Hope you enjoy reading about Dani and Matt’s unforgettable summer.

Take care, and enjoy the rest of your summer!
xoxo – Jenna

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Jenna Rutland lives in a small Michigan community with her husband, son and senior cat. Her daughter and son-in-law have recently given Jenna the awesome title of grandmother!

While her days are spent working as a medical transcriptionist, her nights are filled writing contemporary romance—stories of love, laughter and happily ever after. Guess which occupation is more fun?

She is a member of RWA and is active in her local chapter. After several years on the MVRWA board, she now chairs the group’s annual fall brainstorming weekend as well as acts as food coordinator for several other events.

Jenna takes pleasure in spending time with her family. She also enjoys reading, gardening and loves the challenge of a new recipe.

She welcomes the chance to connect with writers and readers. Head to her Connect page to join her on Facebook or Twitter, sign up for her newsletter, or e-mail her.

Website:     http://www.jennarutland.com

Facebook:    http://www.facebook.com/JennaRutlandAuthor

Twitter:       http://twitter.com/jennarutland

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/jennarutland

JRutland.cover * ~ * ~ *

His temptation. Her secret. Their summer.

Dani Sullivan has come to Lake Bliss to write her latest cookbook and take a breather. After the year she’s had, she deserves a summer retreat to reevaluate priorities and make peace with past decisions. But from the moment single dad and sheriff Matt Reagan shows up, she has a hard time convincing herself that a life away from Lake Bliss could beat the life she might have here.

Recently divorced Matt is ready for a new relationship, but he doesn’t want short-term—his son needs permanence, and so does Matt’s heart. Unfortunately, it’s the smart-mouthed and sinfully sexy Ms. Sullivan who catches his eye. But when Matt learns Dani’s secrets, will he still want her to stay? Or will her chance for love last just for the summer?

JUST FOR THE SUMMER is available as an e-book from the following retailers:


Barnes & Noble



Thanks for stopping by today and visiting with us and our guest! We’d love to know your favorite childhood summer memories and every comment gets entered into our monthly drawing!

About Debora Dennis

A believer in second chances and that time should never be an obstacle to finding love, Debora writes time travels with modern snark and spice! When she's not writing, she's spending time with her family, reading or trying to figure out a way to get chocolate into every dish she serves.

Heart-Shaped Glasses July Mash-Up!

2013-07-06 15.49.54Welcome to the monthly mash-up! It’s been a hot July were I live on Long Island and while I enjoy spending some time outside with my puppy, Toby, the lure of cooler air usually prevails.

If it’s hot where you are, I hope you’re finding a way to stay cool…and if you’re looking to spend some time surfing the ‘net, we’ve got a few hot links for you!

Jennifer’s Links:


6 Reasons Google+ Beats Facebook for Author Platform Building: http://bit.ly/11XIQRZ

Social Media: Have You Got It All Wrong? | Catherine, Caffeinated http://ow.ly/kKGzQ

Tina’s July Finds:

Where to Get Photos for Your Blog: http://meghanward.com/blog/2012/06/21/where-to-get-photos-for-your-blog/

22 Ways to Create Compelling Content When You Don’t Have a Clue (Infographic): http://www.copyblogger.com/create-content-infographic/

Debora Suggests:

Always looking for ways to improve or create an author newsletter?

Visit our July guests!

Here at Heart-Shaped Glasses we love our guests and we hope you do too! Here’s the links to their websites so you can visit them again! This month we welcomed Christy Gissendaner on July 15 and Jenna Rutland will be our guest on July 30th!

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That’s all we’ve got for this month – but if you have a great link you’d like us to check out or would like to see us feature…don’t be shy, add it here in the comment section and we’ll give you a shout-out next month!

As always, every comment is another chance to win our monthly giveaway! Thanks for stopping by and we’ll be back next month with more fun links!


About Debora Dennis

A believer in second chances and that time should never be an obstacle to finding love, Debora writes time travels with modern snark and spice! When she's not writing, she's spending time with her family, reading or trying to figure out a way to get chocolate into every dish she serves.

Summertime…Music to My Ears

This month at Through Heart-Shaped Glasses, our theme is summer. We’ve talked about everything from movies to favorite vacation spots and activities. We’ve talked about romances with summertime settings and our awesome vacations and staycations.

I’m a huge fan of summer. I love hot weather and our annual beach vacation. My birthday is in July. We’re no longer bound by the “school schedule.” For me, there’s plenty to love about summertime. I even have a summer playlist featuring some of my favorite songs that remind me of warm weather, vacations and all things hot and fun. 🙂

As a writer, a playlist helps me set the right mood for my writing. For example, if it’s the middle of winter and I’m writing romance set during summer vacation, my playlist helps me forget that softly falling snow and remember, in vivid detail, the feel of hot, grainy sand between my toes. Also, during warm weather, I love rolling down the car windows and blaring some of my favorite warm-weather tunes.

Here, in no particular order, are a few of my favorites.

Summertime, New Kids On The Block

Cruel Summer, Bananarama

Summer Breeze, Seals and Crofts

Sealed with a Kiss, my version is performed by Bobby Vinton

Cruise, Florida Georgia Line

Dirt Road Anthem, Jason Aldean

Carolina Girls, General Johnson and The Chairman of the Board

So, what are some of your favorite summertime songs?

Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered into a drawing to win a $5 Amazon e-Card and a digital copy of Nina Croft’s upcoming release from Entangled , Losing Control.



About Tina Vaughn

An award-winning journalist and contemporary romance author, Tina's writing career began in elementary school when she drafted her friends' love letters to their boyfriends in exchange for Mickey Mouse ice cream bars. After spending nearly fifteen years as a journalist and newspaper editor, Tina remembered she preferred fiction to fact and began writing what she loves most...steamy, contemporary romance.

Like Oil and Water


It NEVER looks so peaceful!!

Let’s face it…

After starting this blog entry three different times, I have to to admit, I’m not a summer person. I don’t like the heat. I’m not a fan of humidity.

My stories don’t often include The Beach…or boats, towels, pails, or pina coladas.

Once in a great while. That’s it for me. Like my story, Dark Summer, which takes place in Belize, during the late summer months. And also, Flashback, which is an early summer story set on the banks of North Carolina.

Give me a cozy cabin story, anyday. A hike through high altitudes when the rest of the country is sweltering, but I am enjoying wonderful 70 degree air. That’s me….

I remember being a kid and visiting Lake Michigan, during the winter months. Snow banks, ice, and COLD wind, blowing off the water.

Sybils_Cabin_Winter_Rear_2There are many things to like about summer, and I can enjoy a summer day just as much if not more than a winter day [when my husband’s with me], but over all, I’m a fall/winter kind-of-gal.

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.

  • 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.