Tell Me About You

Today, instead of telling you something new about me, I want to learn more about YOU. Below are some simple questions to help us get to know each other better. I’ll post my answers in the comments too. I can’t wait to read yours.

1. Are you a dog or cat person?

2. What’s your favorite book?

3. Are you an only, oldest, middle, or youngest child?

4. What’s your favorite movie?

5. Do you prefer a paperback or ebook?

6. What was the last text message you sent?

7. Would you rather be too hot or too cold?

8. What’s the first concert you ever attended?

9. Where do you spend most of your time online?

10. What’s your favorite snack?

Please answer in the comments.

The Art of Falling Julie Jarnagin CoverAlso, I wanted to let you know that my novella, The Art of Falling, is currently FREE!


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.

Short and Sweet – Novellas

Julie Jarnagin here, and today I want to talk about novellas! When I first started reading and writing romance, it didn’t seem like there were many novellas available other than the occasional Christmas collection. It didn’t make much financial sense for publishers to print a shorter book. Now with ebooks opening up new opportunities, novellas have become a great way to release books of all lengths.

Here are a few reasons I love novellas:

* You can read them in one or only a few sittings. Our lives are busy these days. Sometimes we don’t have time to read a 100,000 word book, but we almost always have time to squeeze in a novella in the school car line or on the weekend.

* We get access to stories that may not otherwise get written. The hero and heroine in my novella, The Art of Falling, were secondary characters in another book. As I was writing my upcoming novel, Kiss the Cowboy, I realized Lucy, the cautious museum fundraiser, and Wyatt, the rugged bull rider, had a great story to tell. I proposed the idea of writing the novella to my publisher, and they were willing to add it to the line.

* Novellas provide a great way to get a taste of what the author writes without a big money and time commitment. There are so many great books waiting for me on my Kindle that sometimes I’m unsure about taking a chance on a new-to-me author. A novella gives us a chance to try some of the author’s writing and decide if we want to read more.

How about you? Do you like novellas? Why or why not?

Heather Tornsten needs a man…a celebrity, more specifically, for a fundraising gala for the Dallas art museum, where she works. And what better headliner than bull rider Wyatt Lawrence? Although why people idolize grown men who make their living falling off animals, she’ll never understand.

When his mom was diagnosed with cancer, Wyatt determined to focus on doing what she wants—like visiting some art museum. But when his mom teams up with Heather Tornsten to get him involved in a fundraiser, he knows he’s been set up. The more involved he gets with the pretty events coordinator, the more he realizes falling off a bull is far safer. Because falling for Heather–who has made it clear that she won’t risk her heart on any man who courts danger–might break a whole lot more than his bones.





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.

A Game of “Would You Rather…” with Jessica R. Patch

Jess color headshotThank you so much for inviting me today! “Would You Rather…” is so much fun to play. So here goes:

Would you Rather…

…Would you rather be a master of every musical instrument or be fluent in every language?

Jessica: I’d rather be fluent in every language because I’d love to travel all over the world. I’ve been to Thailand and the worst part wasn’t the food or heat but the language barrier.

Gabe: I’d say fluent in every language. I’m a pastor and I’d love to be able to share the Gospel easily to whomever I encounter or if I travel on the mission field. I was with Jessica in Thailand and I agree. Also, she was worse than I was at catching on.

Audrey: I want to be a master of every instrument. Sometimes I feel like I have no talent. Playing every single instrument would give me the opportunity to do something amazing. Plus music transcends every language.

…only be able to whisper or only be able to shout everything?

Jessica: I’m going to say whisper. I’m already too loud! Besides, I’ve found that people hush when you whisper and ignore you when you yell. Or maybe that’s just my family. Ha!

Gabe: Whisper. It’s the still small voice that can be heard.

Audrey: I’m beyond loud. And quite frankly, I like it. So I’m going with shouting. It’s just fun.

… go forward or back in time?

Jessica: Forward. I like moving toward something not going backwards. Looking ahead is exciting. Going back, while there are things I’d like to change, seems dreadful. Blech.

Gabe: Forward. We can’t change our past, but we can learn from it and shape our future. Plus, I believe if we ask, we’re forgiven our past mistakes. Every day, to me, is a fresh slate to start over.

Audrey: Past. I’d change some of the major messes I made that caused a lot of crap to the hit the fan in my present. I know God forgives us our sins. But I’d still like to go back and fix them myself.

Here’s a peek at the new novella. It’s FREE right now for a limited time. You can receive it by signing up for my newsletter, the Patched In and it will automatically come to your inbox after you confirm subscription! It’s the 2nd novella in the Seasons of Hope series. Also check out the Pinterest page and take a look around Mistletoe and take a peek into some of the fun scenes from the story.

Just the Way You Are - High ResolutionWhen Pastor Gabe asks Audrey Gilbraith to use her mad florist skills to help him design a prayer garden, she’s all in, especially since it helps take her mind off the fact she’s about to lose her job and her apartment. But working closely with Gabe and not falling for him is complicated. She’s not pastor’s wife material, and she has the past to prove it.

Gabriel Brookson wants out of Audrey’s friend-zone, but when he pursues her romantically, he ruffles more than a few feathers in his congregation. How much is he willing to give up for this wonderful, quirky woman, and will Audrey accept him if he risks it all?

Connect with Jessica on Facebook and Twitter.

Jessica R. Patch lives in the mid-south where she pens inspirational contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels. When she’s not hunched over her laptop or going on adventurous trips in the name of research with willing friends, you can find her sneaking off to movies with her husband, watching way too much Netflix with her daughter, dominating her son at board games, and collecting recipes to amazing dishes she’ll probably never cook. Her debut novel with Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense will release in early 2016.

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.

Interview with Jill Kemerer

Jill KemererJulie Jarnagin: I’m so excited to have you here today, Jill! I can’t wait for you to tell everyone about your awesome new book, but first, the important stuff – What are you loving right now? Give us some recommendations.

Jill Kemerer: I’m loving the television show, Portlandia. It’s on the IFC channel, and it’s so weird and random. I also can’t get enough of HGTV’s Fixer Upper. Chip and Joanna Gaines help people find homes to renovate. Chip does the construction, and Joanna designs everything. The results are so pretty! Since I’m on a health kick, I’m getting to know the MyFitnessPal app. It helps me stay on track calorie-wise.

Julie: Now I know why we’re friends. I’ve watched Portlandia, I love Fixer Upper, and I use that same app. Were we separated at birth? 🙂  Let’s move onto writing. What has your writing journey been like? What keeps you going?

Jill: I started writing twenty years ago, but I didn’t get serious until about eight years ago when I started writing full time. I think of my publishing journey as a cross-country car trip. At first I was thrilled to hit the road, but as time wore on, I grew weary of sitting in the car for days! I’m thrilled to finally be “published” instead of “aspiring.”

 As far as what keeps me writing, I’d have to say God does. I feel a deep pull to write, and every time I’ve considered quitting, I’ve prayed and felt let to continue.

Julie: So where have you done all your writing over the years?

Jill: I’m very blessed to have an office in our home. I treasure it! I do all of my writing there. I’m a planner and an organizer, so I spend a lot of time just letting a story come together in my head before I write it. Long walks help with this. Then I fill out plotting sheets to make sure I’m on the right track. After I put together a rough synopsis, I write the first draft. Revising is a huge part of my process, too, and I always have at least one of my critique partners read it before sending it to my agent or editor.

Julie: We definitely know the importance of great critique partners here at Heart-Shaped Glass! We also know the importance of great characters. What is your favorite kind of hero and heroine to write?

Jill: Heroes? Easy! I love strong, protective, and devoted heroes. And I enjoy heroines women can relate to—they drown their sorrows in ice cream but always pick themselves up and try again.

Julie: I know I can relate to that kind of heroine. 🙂 All the ladies here write different kinds of romance – from sweet to spicy. What made you decide to write inspirational romance?

Jill: My first novels were sweet romances, but I felt something was missing—my faith. I figured I’d try to write an inspirational romance, and I ended up loving it. It’s a perfect fit!

Julie: Okay. Now to the book (which I ADORED). I love that you have a pair of otters in your story. What inspired their role in the book?

Jill: Aren’t otters the cutest little things? My kids used to attend school at our old church, and the principal’s wife at the time worked for the zoo. Their backyard was next to the parking lot, so I was chatting with her one day and she told me she was caring for an otter who wasn’t adjusting well with the others. She had a baby pool for him and everything. He moved back to the zoo a week later. I’ve wanted to take care of otters ever since!

Julie: Such an awesome idea! I love when we find inspiration in unexpected places. Okay, now what we’ve been waiting for. Tell us more about your book.

Small-Town-Bachelor-Cover-smallJill: When Reed Hamilton arrives in Lake Endwell for a family wedding, he expects to do his part as best man then head back to the big city. But when a tornado postpones the wedding, the town is in shambles and Reed is injured. Thankfully maid of honor Claire Sheffield offers him one of her cottages to recuperate in.

Dedicated to her family and her dream job at the zoo, Claire is all about roots. She’s this city slicker’s opposite, yet as they help the town rebuild, Reed is captivated by her stunning looks and caring ways. He can’t ask Claire to leave the life she loves for him, but he also can’t imagine ever leaving her behind…

Interested in buying Small-Town Bachelor? Click on for links to purchase!

Thank you so much for letting me be your guest today!

Julie: Thank you for being here!

If you could have any animal in your backyard, which one would you pick?


About Jill ~

Jill Kemerer writes inspirational romance novels with love, humor and faith. A full time writer and homemaker, she relies on coffee and chocolate to keep up with her kids’ busy schedules.

Besides spoiling her mini-dachshund, Jill adores magazines, M&MS, fluffy animals and long nature walks. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Jill loves connecting with readers, so please visit her website and find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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.

Going from a Plotter to a Seat-of-the-Pants Writer

When writing books, I’ve always been a plotter. In the weeks leading up to beginning a new story, I would meticulously plot every scene of my novel. I loved the process. The analytical side of my brain thrived on creating a spreadsheet with scene summaries, POVs, motivations, etc. I completely nerded-out on this stuff.

On the last two books I’ve written, that all disappeared. I’ve written the last novel and novella as a seat-of-the-pants writer. With the novel, I had a blurb and a pretty good sense of my two main characters. On the novella, I had the synopsis that I turned into the publisher (that I didn’t stick to). But there was no spreadsheet and no scene-by-scene plotting of the story.

This was partly done out of necessity. I had my second child last year, so while writing is still a big part of my life, it hasn’t been my number-one priority. I’ve been too busy changing dirty diapers, taking the six-year-old to karate, and doing my best to survive on limited sleep to obsess about a plot. So with deadlines upon me, I just wrote – freely, quickly, creatively.

It was wonderful.

I’m shocked by how great it has been. I’m a planner by nature. For my own sanity, I thought I had to have a fully plotted novel before I started writing.

I was wrong. All this time, the creative side of me wanted to break free. I just didn’t know it yet. Here’s what I’ve learned:

1. Instincts will take over – Learning the craft of writing is important, but after years of reading, studying, and listening, I needed to trust that all of that was inside me somewhere and just write. I’m still going to continue to learn, but now is the time when I can begin to trust my own writing instincts.

2. Seat-of-the-pants writing is fun – I don’t always know what’s going to happen next. And that’s exciting. It keeps me interested in the story. Is he going to kiss her? Even I don’t know. 🙂

3. Edits are easier – This sounds backwards, but by trying to force my characters down a particular road, my motivations weren’t ringing true, causing me to have huge rewrites. Now when I get ready to start a new scene, I trust my characters to guide me.

I’m not saying that I’ll never go back to plotting. I think there’s definitely a happy medium for me somewhere, but at this stage in my life, I’m enjoying the thrill of jumping into stories with two feet.

What about you? Are you a planner?

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.

On Deadline

Julie Jarnagin

January 15 on my calendar has the word “Deadlines” written in big bold letters. Plural because I have two things due on this day–a novella and the content edits of my novel Kiss the Cowboy that releases in June. Deadlines are awesome because it means that the books are under contract! Having a deadline right after the holidays has proven to be a little challenging with busy schedules and a long to-do list.

But I’ve learned that a few strategies have been able to keep me on track to turn the manuscripts in on time.

1. Leaning on my husband for support – My husband is amazing. When I need him to pick up the slack by entertaining the kids or helping around the house more, he jumps right in. He doesn’t even complain when I don’t have time to go to the grocery store or he runs out of clean underwear. He just fills in everywhere I’m falling behind. I’m definitely blessed in the supportive spouse category.

2. Writing every day – For me it’s important to keep momentum going. I try to work on my writing every single day. I worked on my books on Christmas day after the kids went to bed. With a full-time job, a 10-month-old, and a six-year-old, I don’t have big chunks of time to get my writing done, so I have to make sure not to waste the time I have set aside, which is currently after my six-year-old goes to bed.

3. Taking baby steps – If I step back and think of everything I need to do before I turn the books in, I can get overwhelmed. I try to stay focus on one chapter, one scene, one line at a time. If I’m consistent and keep moving forward, I can get it all done.

4. Remembering why I write – Sometimes in the midst of an approaching deadline, I can forget why I do this in the first place. I have a passion for writing. I love giving readers an uplifting story about love and faith. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it.

How do you handle deadlines (writing or any kind of deadline in life)? Do you thrive on them or dislike the pressure?

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.