MEGA VALENTINE’S DAY #ROMANCE #GIVEAWAY

MEGA VALENTINE’S DAY ROMANCE GIVEAWAY

ENTER FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN!

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Grand prize of High Def Kindle Fire and more than fifty romance novels, including award winners and New York Times and USA Today Best Sellers! All you have to do is follow us and/or other romance authors on BookBub.

The more profiles you like, the more times you’re entered.

 

Amazon Gift Cards for two lucky runner ups!

 

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

Hello 2020

When two worlds Implode at the same Time: A personal and a business story, with one outcome. 

I’m going to tell you a secret. My period was 6 days late, expected on the 25th or 26th of December 2019. So, imagine me…pretty much freaking out the entire week of Christmas. By the 30th, I was imagining not being done with kids. I was imagining a bigger van and diapers… By Monday after Christmas, I’d decided that on Friday, the 3rd, I was going to take a test and just get it over with. I mean…I’m not young, so it could be a tumor, right? However, my new year started a new cycle on January 1st [TMI, I know…oh well. There’s just so much TMI on the internet and this seems tame in comparison].

I might have been freaked out but I wasn’t devastated. If you’d asked me, even two weeks ago, what I’d do if I got pregnant, I probably would have gone pale, laughed in your face, and thought it was the worst thing that could ever happen to me; so much so that adoption might cross my mind. I mean, I’m finally at a point where my youngest is in kindergarten, and I have time to solidly write during the day, to work out without waking at 5am, to even just sit and have coffee. I’ve been consistently making dinner 3-4 times a week. I mean…life is good. Throw a baby in there and more than half of that would disappear, except the parts where I’m “working”, and I do mean making dinner and doing laundry and cleaning shit. However, I was kind of excited. I mean, I’m in the best shape ever, and I was starting to think…I could do this as an experiment. Like, how fit can I stay during a pregnancy. Plus, babies. <3 <3

Here I am with a seriously new perspective. And yes, I have it because I’m not pregnant. And I know that if I’d been pregnant, the internal workings of my psyche would be different, but I can only tell my story, so…

January 1st, I was given a gift. A message in the form of a [not] baby.

STOP F*CKING AROUND. [oh! haha. literally and figuratively]

As my personal life was sending mixed signals, a part of the business life around me was imploding. That’s the word everyone has used for the coming demise of Romance Writers of America. I’ve watched this organization for years. I joined in 2006[ish], shortly after I began writing. For me, I believed its value was in the relationships I’d gained. But as I look back, even that value is far smaller than I give it credit for… I only have 3 close friends from my association with RWA. Most acquaintances have come and gone as I’ve moved.

If you are really interested in what went on in RWA, just Google RWA 2019 Scandal and Courtney Milan. Something will pop up giving you a hint, but maybe nothing unbiased–this is the way of reporting today–so, just read with caution. My blog post here isn’t about the Scandal of RWA in 2019, though. So I’m not going to go on about it.

Instead, I will share how it affected me.

There’s always been an underlying current of politics and social reform within the members of RWA. Years ago, it was the fight for equality between print and digital. The idea that only B-rated porn was being offered as ebooks came from the fact that…yes, lots of porn on the internet. But it just didn’t remain so and really might never have been an accurate assessment because when new things arise, people fear. Change is hard. But digital publication and self-publication fought hard for respect and earned it. RWA fought against it. They fought and feared this uprising of authors who may or may not be approved. They lost the focus of supporting the writer, any writer, and became an entity who drew lines.

And they continued to draw lines for everyone, influencing not just writers but publishers, editors, and agents alike. And every year or few years, in the last fifteen, have been rife with the latest social uprising, which leads to accusations, debates, sides being taken, and discontent. For example, the contests of RWA have gone from having 4 categories to many, too many. Because heaven forbid someone not be represented. There should be 4 categories–contemporary, suspense, historical, paranormal/sci-fi. That’s it. It shouldn’t matter what kind of suspense you write or what kind of historical. Whether your characters are straight, gay, white, hispanic, Christian or Buddhist; whether the writer is they, black, white, Atheist or JW.

There is ONE type in a writing group, a WRITER. Period.

Writers for Writers: On Writing. <– this should be the name of the organization, the WWW.

Not Writers for Conform, or Writers for Reform, or Writers for Readers, or Writers for Equality!  No!!

We are artists, each with our own mission, passions, and goals, taking the issues that drive us and putting them to words. As soon as we start letting other people tell us what to do, we become robots. We become anti-artists.

I follow God. I pray every day. I ask Him to show me what He wants of me. He asks me to use my gifts for His glory. My gift is writing romance, writing stories about love between two people. The joy within me comes from penning stories of redemption and forgiveness and love, sex included!

And in the last two years, I have failed my passions and my gifts. I have struggled to separate the politics from the art. I have let doubt and uncertainty bind me and trap me in this corner. No more.

My RWA membership will expire this year–for good. I’m pulling myself up out of the pool of social norm and conform–in RWA, online, and in real life. It’s too crowded. Jumping on the bandwagon is the most unindividual effort an artist can make. I teach my children to be independent and have a mind of their own. Don’t follow the crowd! If your friend jumped off a bridge, would you?

Sound familiar?

Well, who am I to not follow my own advice?

My advice to you, Writer and Artist. Don’t waste time, it could be gone in an instant. This year, move forward! Get excited! Find joy. Unfollow the people who are killing that joy. Reinvent your support group. Don’t write what is expected, don’t write what other people tell you is romance!

I will not box my creativity in with lines drawn by society and culture. This isn’t the way of the artist.

To me, this is the death of dreams.

So, your entrance might not have been as [melo]dramatic as mine, but WELCOME to 2020!

I wish you freedom of mind and spirit in which to create. I wish you a hope-filled, energetic, and amazing NEW YEAR!

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.

Holly Jolly Hop!! #hollyjollyhop #romcom #giveaway

The holidays are coming up, which means it’s time for the Chick Lit Chat HQ’s annual Holly Jolly Hop!

Over 60 bestselling and award-winning authors in the Chick Lit and Romantic Comedy genres are participating in this fun-filled event and each one is doing an awesome giveaway. Books, author swag, gift cards, and other assorted holiday treats are all up for grabs. This event runs from December 2-8 2019.

Head over here: Facebook Holly Jolly Chick Lit Hop group page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1962370290669865/ to find the list of all the authors participating in the hop for that day on the group and you can enter to win a Grand Prize (a sleigh full of fun and fabulous holiday and winter-themed gifts) or one of the three Runner-Up Prizes (Christmas bath bomb sets in delicious, holiday scents) throughout the hop, which gives you SIX chances to enter to win the  Grand/Runner-Up Prizes!

Sound fun? IT IS!!!

 DISCLAIMER: This giveaway is not associated with or endorsed by Facebook.

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

Entangled for the Holidays Sale! #amreading #booksale #99cents

Calling all romance readers!

Entangled Publishing is have a super MONTH-LONG sale on over 20 books right now!

Head on over here to see all the great reads!  https://www.pinterest.com/entangledpub/entangled-for-the-holidays-2019/

Happy Reading!

 

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

Binge-Worthy, Female Positive TV You Should Be Watching

I was binge-watching TV shows before it was cool. I know, I know–who cares? Now, it is the thing. one. does. But my baby girl is home from school this summer, which gives us a little more time in the evenings. I write in the mornings, do this sort of things on the weekend, but… evenings, I spend with my daughter (who is 14.833).

Miss P is a binge-watcher that can blow you away. Years of Grey’s Anatomy? Give her 10 days. We both knew she’d fly through Stranger Things 3 before I’d get around to it (and tBinge-Worthy, Female Positive TV You Should Be Watchinghen we’d rewatch it together). A weekend. (Still haven’t gotten to that yet. I know, I know–I should.)

What have we been watching? I’m so glad you asked.

  • Agen Carter. After she and I both binged the Marvel movies (I beat her this time and went to watch Endgame with friends, then when she finished, I took her. We cried. Like, a lot.) Which is just a lead up to why you should watch this show. Peggy Carter is a badass. A classy badass and Jarvis? He is such a good, decent, honest, caring man who plays her sidekick. Even after watching all the movies, this show rooted me in the MCU like nothing else. It is criminal that it only got two seasons, but I promise you–those two seasons are phenomenal.
  • Veronica Mars, season 4. Years ago, I fell in love with Veronic Mars–the character and the show. She was so tough but vulnerable with a lot of snark. Anyway, the show got three seasons. Then, a few years ago, a movie (set ten years later) was crowdfunded in hours. A movie. Was funded. By fans. In hours. That’s how devoted we Marshamallows are, and with very good reason. Somehow, the TV gods smiled on us again and Hulu took up the mantle for season 4, set 5-6 years after the movie. Kristen Bell (oh, did you somehow not know the Kristen Bell got her start as Veronica Mars?) said, “I want my girls to have this character in their life.” She added:

“Now I see why a lot of young girls and women said, thank you for doing that show. It wasn’t just because we entertained them, it was because she was a force in their life,” the Good Place actress went on. “She was an example.”

  • Wynona Earp, season 3. Ok, I’m going to be honest–we haven’t started this one yet. But now that we’ve finished Agent Carter, it’s next on the list. Did you know this show almost didn’t get a season 4? Disastrous. I love the strong women on this show, the LGBT representation, the sexy Doc Holliday who is immortal (or was?) in this incarnation. It deserves to be on your queue.

And that’s it from me. Looking back, I can see I’m encouraging you to add some strong female positivity to your viewing. And that might be the best reason of all to try these shows.

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.

5 Summer Date Ideas For Any Couple

Whether you’ve been together almost 25 years, as with my husband and me, or this is your summer of love after all the losers, there’s always room to add some fun and sparks to your relationship. Here are some date ideas to take advantage of the beautiful weather summer offers.

  • Go see an outdoor concert – Even in the most rural of rural areas, we do have summer concerts at fairs and events that go on all summer long. If there’s at least one close to me, there’s one close to you. Go enjoy some great music, an easy-going atmosphere, and a balmy summer evening. (Don’t forget the bug spray though–mosquitos don’t play.)
  • Go to the drive-in – When my husband and I first started dating, our first official date was at the local drive-in movies. That place is gone now, but there are some still within driving distance. There’s nothing like rolling down your window a bit and listening to the crickets chirp as ambient noise, a breeze move over you, while you and your love take in a summer flick.
  • Get out early for an outdoor brunch – Several weeks ago, my husband and I took a trip to Charlotte, NC, just to get away. While there, we had the most delightful meal out on the patio. It was just the two of us, the food was delicious, and we were very connected. Sometimes a single meal in a pretty locale can reconnect you in this busy world.
  • Watch the sunset – Get in your mode of transportation (I’m hoping you have a car since buses don’t really go to quiet, deserted areas) and go somewhere that you can be all alone. Put a blanket out, maybe turn on some tunes from the radio, and just be for a bit. Watch the sun go down over a mountain, the ocean, or just the horizon. It’ll be a beautiful moment for you both.
  • Daytrip somewhere new – There are lots of small but interesting communities within a fair distance from us. Pick somewhere you haven’t been or even one of your favorite places and go. You’ll talk in the car (because what else is there to do–put your phone down), you’ll see somewhere charming or artsy or fun, have a meal, and then discuss your day as you head home. It’ll be something special.

These are my suggestions and I intend to try every one of them. Except maybe the concert one–my husband would love it, but that sounds awfully peopley.

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.

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