Things that Make You Ask WHY #authorlife #writingcommunity

Hi, all

So, I was reading another author’s blog the other day and something she said on it has been sticking in my mind. She said one of the best things you can do for your mental health and to manage your time as a writer is to continuously ask yourself “WHY?”

For example:

Why am I not taking my writing more seriously?

Why do I care so much about reviews?

Why am I on Twitter?

Why do I want an agent?

I really think this is important to do, because sometimes we do things that zap a lot of energy or cause a lot of stress and have no reason why we’re even engaging in that activity that’s causing us so many problems!

That being said, there is no need to rationalize or defend our answers to these WHY questions we ask ourselves. That’s not the point! The point is to get rid of or change anything in our life that we don’t have an answer for why we’re doing it.

I probably should have done this at the beginning of the year, but better late than never! And to be honest, a little self-evaluation every few months is probably good for our mental health and the soul anyway.

And considering my joy has been dipping recently (although probably more due to the media than anything else), I now really need to ask myself WHY?

 

Question: When was the last time you’ve asked yourself why?

 

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

A Binge Worthy #SweetRomance Series Sale #99cents

A Binge Worthy Series Sale!
Hi, Favorite Readers!
Entangled Publishing, LLC is having a Binge Worthy Series Sale!! Over 40 books are on sale!! (Including MINE) Limited time only so hurry and check them all out!!

All three of my books in the “ANYONE BUT YOU” series is on sale.

#1 Fiancé by Fate (Jack and Sabrina’s story) : $0.99

Amazon #1 Best Seller in Romance Series
Their fake relationship is a twist of fate.
Sabrina Cassidy believes in fate. So when her fiancé breaks off their engagement, she’s convinced they’ll get back together eventually. But fate was not on her side when it brought Jack Brenner into her life–and work. Frustrating, gorgeous, and cocky, Jack has an offer that Sabrina can’t refuse. Not if it means getting the life she’s always imagined.
Despite being one of the town’s most eligible bachelors, Jack has a reputation that’s working against him. He has to convince his father–and his company’s board–that he’s ready to settle down if he wants a promotion. But convincing Sabrina to be his fake girlfriend turns out to be the easiest part. What he didn’t count on was their intense attraction and how easily their lie would escalate. Sabrina’s still hung up on her ex, and Jack will never settle down. But fate has other ideas…

#2 Wedding Date for Hire (Maddie and Trent’s story):$1.99A sweet category romance from Entangled’s Bliss imprint…

Hottie for hire…

Maddie McCarthy is single, between jobs, and (oh, the shame) lives with her mother. To make matters worse, she’s the maid of honor for her sister’s wedding, and desperately needs a date. Then she sees her salvation-Match Made Easy, a service for women in Maddie’s exact position. If she can’t find a boyfriend, she’ll do the next best thing…

Hire one.

Trent Montgomery isn’t actually part of Match Made Easy. He’s just doing a favor for his cousin, but one look at the blonde who hired him, and he’s totally hooked.
Now Maddie thinks that the attraction sizzling between them is just “part of the package.” And Trent is running out of time to prove to her that her date-for-hire might just be her happily-ever-after…

#3 Wrong Brother, Right Match (Kennedy and Matt’s story): $1.99Matchmaking 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.

Each book in the Anyone But You series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.

Grab me while I’m cheap! Prices go back up next week!

Enjoy!

Jennifer

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

A Match for Mr. Write is out now! #resorttoromance #sweetromance #99cents

Hey, everyone!

Welcome to WEEK 8 of the 10 Weeks of Romance Giveaways!

Ten of some of the best authors in the inspirational and sweet romance genres are hosting a 10 Weeks of Romance Giveaway to celebrate their new Resort to Romance series!

Here’s the series premise:

It’s Matchmaking Week at an all-inclusive resort on a private island in the Bahamas. Each guest has been expertly paired and is here to enjoy one full week with their match. While there’s no money-back guarantee on the paid trip, the participants are guaranteed to find love!

Each week beginning Tuesday, February 19th through the week of Tuesday, May 7th, a new book by a new author in the series will release, and you have the chance to win one, some, or the grand prize which includes all ten novellas plus a $150 Amazon gift card!

Here’s how it works: Register at the rafflecopter HERE. We’ll randomly select a winner each Tuesday. And the great thing about this giveaway is the books build with every author’s new release! That means your entries roll over each week all the way up the grand prize.

This week’s prize is: A Match for Mr. Write by Jennifer Shirk

 

Magazine editor Gemma Carmichael has been secretly in love with her co-worker Blade for 5 years and when he suddenly breaks off his engagement, Gemma decides this is her chance to woo her man. He signs up for a matchmaking getaway and she decides to do it too, positive they’re a match. But to her surprise, she’s matched with Sawyer Bennett, a brooding romance author who only came on the island to write and who doesn’t even believe in love. (Obviously the Sterling sisters have no idea what they’re doing!)

Romance author, Sawyer Bennett, did not sign up for this. He thought his travel agent cousin was sending him on a nice, normal vacation in the Bahamas, not to bad reality TV recreation. The only romance he’s interested in is the one between his characters. After all, family history has shown him that true love is just fiction, which is why he’s so good at writing it. But now, he’s stuck in a romance book situation, with contracts that can’t be broken and matched to the pretty but kooky redhead, Gemma. (Obviously, the Sterling sisters have no idea what they’re doing!)

However, the magazine Gemma works for would provide great publicity for his next release, so he agrees to help her win her true love in exchange for her putting his book on the reviewer’s upcoming list. Seems like an easy enough way to pass the week. Sawyer still doubts the existence of true love but by the end of the week, he can’t help but wonder if he could finally have found the write woman for him after all.

 

Be sure to stop by Julie Jarnagin’s blog next Tuesday to see what book is being added to the giveaway.

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

Jenn’s Top Ten list of Men with Beards #noshavenovember

Hi, all! Jennifer here.

Well, it’s November already! And you know what that means…

No-Shave November is a month-long journey during which participants forgo shaving and grooming in order to evoke conversation and raise cancer awareness.

I admit I LOVE this idea. What a wonderful cause. Although, truth be told, I’m not a big fan of facial hair on men. I do prefer a clean cut kind of guy and most of the heroes I write about in my books don’t have facial hair. Sorry.

However… every once in a while I do catch a glimpse of a celebrity who has recently grown some facial hair and I have to say, he looks good. Sometimes even better.

Thus, I decided to create a top ten list. So here goes:

Jenn’s Top Ten list of Celebrities Who Look Great (if not better) with Beards

  1. Chris Evans– Sexy scruff.
  2. Chris Pine— Oh, my. Even with that tinge of gray it gets a YES from me.
  3. Joe Manganiello—Whoa. Yeah, I think the beard works in this instance.
  4. Prince Harry—MUCH better with a beard.
  5. Drake—So adorable
  6. Bradley Cooper— That’s a lot of beard. But then again, he’s a lot of man so it all balances out.
  7. Ricky Martin—Ooh, a beard makes him look so sophisticated.
  8. George Clooney—Beard or no beard. Who cares? This man can do whatever he wants.
  9. David Beckham—Yes. Yes. Yes.
  10. Chris Hemsworth— I’m sorry. What were we talking about again? 

 

Gee, I feel somewhat inspired to write a character with a beard now.

How about you—do you prefer facial hair or clean cut on a guy? Or does it depend on the guy?

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

4 Books to Help Improve Your Writing Craft #writing #writetip

Hi, all! Jennifer here.

I talked a little about one-word goals last month. But this month I wanted to talk about some individual goals I have for the year.

Here within my critique group every year, we all post writing and personal things we’d like to accomplish.

One of mine was to improve my writing craft.

Even though I am a published author, I still feel as if I have only scratched the surface of what I know and where I want to be as a writer. So in conjunction with me attending conferences and taking online courses, I also made it a goal to read at least FOUR craft books this year as well. In fact, I’ve already picked them out and read one of them.

Here are the four I’ve chosen to Help Improve My Writing Craft this year:

Layer Your Novel: The Innovative Method for Plotting Your Scenes by C.S. Lakin

I liked this book. It gave loads of examples from various books on how authors build upon their plots.

Writing Deep Scenes: Plotting Your Story Through Action, Emotion, and Theme by Martha Alderson (Goodreads Author), Jordan E. Rosenfeld (Goodreads Author)

I just started this book. But I chose it because I heard good things about it and was interested in going “deeper” with my writing.

Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel (Before You Waste Three Years Writing 327 Pages That Go Nowhere)by Lisa Cron

Picked this beauty up because of a critique partner who was reading it. I’m about halfway through and so far I’ve been nodding and agreeing with everything that was said.

Characters and Viewpoint (Elements of Fiction Writing)  by Orson Scott Card

I picked this one up because I was looking for something beyond plot. I wanted to work on my characters. I hear this author is a master on this subject so I’m looking forward to reading it.

 

Hopefully I’ll be able to read more than just 4, but I haven’t found any other craft books that interest me.

Maybe you have some suggestions of your own! If so, please let me know!

Until then,

HAPPY WRITING

Jennifer

 

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

Four Great Apps to Create More Interesting Social Media Posts

Hi, all! Jennifer here!

You can tell that people take their social media posts pretty seriously nowadays.

Even my own daughter bought herself a $600 camera and a $800 lens for…

Instagram? Now, she’ll probably deny that until her dying day, but she’s in high school, she’s not taking a photography class and she’s not in any photo clubs. And she does post some really nice pictures online.

What would you presume?

Now, me? I’m way too cheap and go right for the simple (and FREE) phone apps.  I’ve been having fun playing around with my photos using these apps so I thought I’d share my four personal favs.

  1. Over  Over is great because it has a lot of nice choices for templates. But of course, if you want to spend a little more, you can really have a great selection.
  2. Color Pop  This is one of my favs because I love B&W and I love color. Now I can do both at the same time.
  3. Let’s Draw   Pretty much what the name suggests. You can draw or write directly on any photo.
  4. Pic Collage  Really fun site where I can create colorful ads with stickers and words and pictures or just do a collage of pictures.

That’s all I’ve really had to time to experiment with, but my daughter has some more she said she’d show to me.

Can’t wait!

So…until next time, have a great week!

Jennifer

XOXO

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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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