Spring Pinterest Board

Spring Pinterest Board

I am itching for spring! Itching for it, I tell you. We’ve had a gloriously mild winter. But…winter is still gloomy. Overcast skies, chilly temperatures, dead grass, no leaves or pretty flowers or any color to look at. So I’m sharing my Pinterest board with all things spring today.

 

Spring Pinterest Board

 


 

If the board doesn’t show up, here’s the link to it. http://www.pinterest.com/jillkemerer/spring/
 
I can’t wait to walk outside without wearing gloves, a hat or a winter coat. And I love it when our grass turns green. And when our flowers start to bloom. Well, you get the idea. I am DONE with winter!

What says spring to you?

Have a terrific day!

{Movie Romance} Inferno

{Movie Romance} Inferno

My husband and I have been watching a lot of movies at home lately. Last weekend we watched Inferno, the third installment of the Robert Langdon film series, loosely based on Dan Brown’s books. I haven’t read the books, so I can’t tell you how the movies compare, and I’m not reviewing the movie. Instead, I’m focusing on the romance elements in the film.

SPOILER ALERT!! If you haven’t watched Inferno but plan on doing so, do NOT read further! I give away several key plot points in this post!!

 

Dr. Robert Langdon (played by Tom Hanks) is the main character, and he interacts with two women throughout the movie. One is the ER doctor, Dr. Sienna Brooks (played by Felicity Jones), who looks to be in her late twenties and is thrust into a dangerous situation when she treats Langdon for a head wound. She’s a prodigy, a former child genius, and knows Dr. Langdon (he’s a professor) from reading his books and attending one of his lectures. The movie takes place in Italy. After a police officer tries to kill them in the hospital, they’re forced to go on the run, searching for clues to prevent a deadly plague from being released.

They are being hunted by several government agencies, and they don’t know who to trust. Langdon has few memories of the previous three days due to his head wound. He recalls meeting a mysterious woman but he doesn’t remember if he can trust her or not. Later, he remembers the woman was Elizabeth Sinskey, a World Health Organization agent and former girlfriend.

As the movie progresses, Sienna double-crosses Langdon, and we learn she was the lover of the man who invented the deadly plague. We also learn that Langdon and Elizabeth were in love when they were younger, but neither wanted the other to give up their life’s work to be together.

While the movie was action-packed and not a romance by any means, I was struck by the fact the writers never gave in to the temptation of letting an attraction blossom between Langdon and the much-younger Sienna. A decade ago, these two would most likely have made googly eyes at each other and possibly shared a kiss or, at the minimum, an embrace. Personally, I’m glad we were spared that. The only time a romantic connection was hinted at was by another character, and Langdon seemed appalled at the thought. It was very refreshing to have the older-man/younger-woman element off the table.

On the other hand, Langdon does  have a romantic past with Elizabeth, and the race to find the plague draws them closer together. Elizabeth is played by the talented actress, Sidse Babett Knudsen, whom you might have seen on the new HBO series, Westworld. She’s a fantastic actress–and get this–she’s in her late forties. Yes, Tom Hanks just turned sixty and that is still a sizable age gap, but the romance felt spot on. These are two mature people who shared a past and deeply cared about each other. It was very believable, and one of the reasons was because they shared common goals. They were both dedicated to helping others and willing to sacrifice their personal lives to achieve this.

The movie was entertaining and action-packed, if confusing at times, but the romance element was my favorite part. 

What movie have you watched recently? Was there anything about it that struck you as inspiring?

Have a terrific weekend!

Chapter Two: A Cradle for Christmas

The second installment A Cradle for Christmas, my FREE Christmas novella, released on Harlequin.com today!

 

A Cradle for Christmas Graphic

 

Here is the link to the chapter!

Chapter Two: A Cradle for Christmas

If you missed the first chapter…

Chapter One: A Cradle for Christmas

 

New chapters are released on Harlequin.com (Online Reads, Love Inspired) every Monday until December 26, 2016 and I’ll post them here each Monday too.

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Yuletide Redemption Tiny

A Mother’s Christmas Wish 

After an accident leaves Celeste Monroe to raise her baby nephew, all she wants is to provide one-year-old Parker with a happy life. She hopes taking a job caring for injured Sam Sheffield will help fulfill that goal. But Sam’s determination to avoid the world throws a wrench in her plans. Despite his best efforts, Sam can’t take his eyes off the pretty caretaker. Her strength and her loving nature has him falling for her—and her baby. But he refuses to burden them with a man who’s not whole. Can Celeste convince Sam he’s daddy—and husband—material in time for them to celebrate Christmas together?

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Enter the November Giveaway with lots of Christmas goodies and my December Love Inspired release, Yuletide Redemption!

 

Yuletide Redemption Giveaway

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Are you getting into the holiday spirit yet, or do you hold off until December?

Have a great day!

{Friday Five} Music and Candy

This week I worked through the final edits of my June 2017 release, watched the election coverage and got a nasty migraine. I turned to music and candy often!

Music and candy. My Friday Five.

1. “These are the Days” by Jamie Cullum. I love this song and the entire album. I’ve played it many times over the years. It’s a mix of jaunty optimism and reality. So good!

2. Bottlecaps. Soda flavored sugary candies? Necessary when I have a migraine. Nothing tastes right, and I get nauseous, so I’m thankful that Bottlecaps always taste great even with a headache.

 

3. “More of You” by Colton Dixon. Love this song. It’s a few years old, but the message speaks to me today. This contemporary Christian song has such powerful lyrics. More of you, less of me? Yes, please!

 

4. Peanut M&Ms. Shocking, I know, but I’ve been working my way through a huge bag of these little delights. Do I feel guilty. Nope. I love them!

 

5. Peppermint Trident. I’m not a big fan of spearmint or the really intense mint flavors of gum. I really like straight up peppermint. Mmm-mmm!

What’s your favorite candy? Any songs you’re listening to this week?

Have a terrific weekend!!

If you haven’t entered my November giveaway, the entry form is below! (US only, 18+)

Yuletide Redemption November Giveaway!

 

 

{Friday Five} Books & TV

{Friday Five} Books & TV

Fall is always fun for entertainment. There are new shows on TV, a few books I couldn’t fit into my summer schedule, and summer blockbusters coming out on DVD. With the weather getting wet and cooler, I don’t mind settling inside for entertainment.

 

Friday Five Books & TV

 

Friday Five: Books & TV

October 2016 Edition

1. This Is Us is a new drama on NBC, Tuesdays 9pm EST. I’m really enjoying this one. It revolves around adult triplets who all have interesting personal issues, and the series employs a flashback thread that is very well-done. All the storylines work together. The writing is excellent, and the acting is too. I’m not a big fan of Kevin at this point because his self-absorption annoys me, but I have a feeling I’ll like him more as he matures.

2. Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty. This women’s fiction came out in the summer. I ordered it through our library, and due to numerous holds, I was finally able to check it out. As with all of Ms. Moriarty’s books, it explores tricky relationships involving three women, their families and each other. It has a suspense thread and jumps back and forth between one eventful day and its aftermath two months later. I really enjoyed the realness of the characters and the tension throughout.

3. Ink Master is a reality show on Spike TV, Tuesdays 10pm EST. For years my husband and I have watched this reality show where tattoo artists fight to be named Ink Master. I can’t explain my fascination with it since I have an aversion to needles and tattoos! But it’s interesting to see the art the contestants come up with. This season features strong female artists, too. I’m rooting for Kelly and Ryan.

4. Where Two Hearts Meet by Liz Johnson. See Wednesday’s post, “{giveaway} Where Two Hearts Meet,” for the full feature. The giveaway is still open and will be until Sunday, October 23 at 9pm EST. Scroll to the bottom of the post for the easy entry options! (US only, 18+)

5. Michigan FootballMy husband and I watch games every Saturday. We bite our nails, jump up at each touchdown and wonder if this will be the year we beat Ohio State. Please let it be the year… 🙂

So that’s my Friday Five! What are you watching and reading right now?

Enter the giveaway below:

 

 

Have a lovely weekend!

Friday Round-Up

This week was short but busy. Tuesday was not my favorite. Let’s just say it involved the dentist, my email account being hacked, groceries and food prep and putting all that stuff away, and a missing license plate sticker from the vehicle registration I just ordered. How does the sticker go missing before I even take the registration out of the envelope? I’m scratching my head at that one. But, hey, I survived that day and moved on.

 

Friday Round-Up

 

The rest of the week was spent in deep, deep thought as I plotted more than one book and wrote synopses. Yes, that’s plural. I really feel I deserve a large iced coffee from McDonald’s! Actually, I can’t complain because I love plotting and thinking about stories. I accomplished what I wanted to this week, and tomorrow is the weekend with time to relax! Yay!

In between the errands, chores, synopses and what-not, I found a few things I thought you might enjoy.

  1. Becky Wade shares a terrific article over at Dani Pettrey’s blog about using Buffer to streamline social media. You can read the article here, “Writerly Wednesday – My Favorite Social Media Tool.”
  2. The fall colors won’t arrive for a while, but if you want to get into the spirit, here’s a gorgeous slideshow on Midwest Living by Hannah Agren, “25 Ultimate Fall Drives.”
  3. My youngest had a birthday yesterday, and I talked about birthday traditions over at Thoughts on Plot. Stop by and share yours, “Birthday Traditions – Heartwarming Thursday.”

Did you find anything interesting this week? I’d love to hear about it!

Have a great weekend!

Back to School Supplies! Writer Wednesday

My kids go back to school in a few days.  We have two freshmen–high school and college! Yes, I’ve hit “mom” mode where my brain spins with one part practicality (notebooks, parking pass, pens), one part relief (I get the whole house to myself to write again), one part dread (the alarm clock and I WILL battle), and several parts irrational fears (will they have friends, find their classes? And will they please stop growing up???).

 

School Supplies 1

 

The one bright spot in this for me (besides being proud that they are maturing into lovely adults and all that jazz) is the back-to-school supplies! I love them! I dragged/forced my son to a superstore to shop last week, and my soul lit like the Rockefeller Center at Christmas when I saw fifteen cent notebooks, cheap index cards, thirty-packs of pens, highlighters, binders–yippee!!

School supplies 3

 

Did my kids need eighty dollars worth of papers and pens? No. Did I? Yes. It’s all stacked and ready to go in my office closet. I go through a LOT of index cards, cheap notebooks and pens during the year!

School supplies 2

 

If you’re a writer, I highly recommend plunking down some cash to stockpile office supplies in August. I’d much rather spend fifteen cents on a notebook now than a dollar for the same one in three months. Ditto with pens! Full disclosure: my family tends to steal my pens. Every writing tool I own then disappears into the ether. I don’t even know what that means, but it happens. For real.

Do you buy school supplies for yourself? What is always on your “buy” list?

Have a terrific day!

Talking About Books on Television! Writer Wednesday

I was recently asked to appear on Rebecca Regnier’s local morning television show, Full Plate, and of course I said YES! The episode aired last Sunday, July 31, 2016. Whee! Since I’m not a television personality, I spent time preparing for it. You can read all of my handy-dandy tips– including the ultimate no-no STRIPES!!–over at the Pink Heart Society, “Tuesday Talk Time–Television Tips!

And without further ado, here is the clip!

If you can’t see the clip above, here is the link to it! Full Plate: Local Authors Share Their Summer Reads.

By the way, the books I recommended were Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? and Karen Witemeyer’s No Other Will Do. Both were excellent books, perfect for the beach!

Have you ever been on television? If yes, did it make you nervous or did you love it? If no, would you jump at the chance or turn it down?

 

Have a terrific day!

What Happens The Day After I Meet a Deadline?

Do you see me smiling? I turned in my fifth Love Inspired this week! YAY!!!

This year has been crazy. I’ve let so many things slide for months. But now that my son has been confirmed, my daughter has graduated from high school and already attended college orientation, and my book is turned in, I can resume normal life! (For a few days, at least!)

 

Happy Planner

 

Yesterday, I woke up and brewed a pot of coffee. Luxuriated in the knowledge I wasn’t on deadline and I had free time on my hands. Of course, I still had taxi duty for my son, bills, appointments, etc… But I followed the rhythm of life on MY terms for the first time in a long time.

So what did I do?

  1. Spent a relaxing hour in our living room, reading my Bible, watching the birds, praying and sipping coffee. The best!!
  2. Cleaned the house. Wait, those words don’t come out of my mouth often, but yes, they are true. I cleaned the house. Because I wanted to, not because we had company coming over!
  3. Chatted with a friend on the phone. So good!
  4. Read a few more chapters of my friend’s debut novel coming out in July. You all are in for a treat with that one!
  5. Dropped my son off at a high school baseball tournament. He wasn’t playing. He was helping take care of the fields between games.
  6. Shopped for my husband’s father’s day present. Hit the Bath & Body Works sale for 75% off lotion, and grabbed a Starbucks while browsing magazines at Barnes & Noble. There really isn’t anything better.
  7. Researched day planners. Mine runs out in two weeks, and I am SUPER PICKY about my planner! For years, I’ve been stuck with a planner plus a slim binder because nothing was customizable enough. But several friends clued me in to different options, and I decided to try a discbound system.
  8. Browsed Michael’s website to get a 50% off coupon.
  9. Made hot dogs and mac & cheese for dinner.
  10.  Drove to Michael’s, drooled over all the Happy Planners, texted a friend for moral support, and bought the planner and accessories necessary to make this planner rock!
  11. Rented a video game for my son who was having a friend over.
  12. Put my Happy Planner together. Got WAY too excited about it!
  13. Read several more chapters of the book I mentioned earlier.
  14. Bedtime!

There you have it! That’s what I did the day after I met my deadline. Not exciting to most people, but to me? The BEST!!

What do you do when you feel free?

Have a terrific weekend!!

Summer Vacation: A Pool and a Pudding Pop

When I was a teen, I couldn’t wait for summer vacation. I would daydream about all the exciting things we would do. In my fantasies, there would be a summer romance, parties, plenty of pool time, shopping and fun! It would never be boring.

 

Twizzlers

So far my summer vacation has consisted of a LOT of Twizzlers!

 

The reality of summer vacation? Well, the summer romance factor was low, like dead, most years. And parties? Few and far between. To be honest, summer vacay never turned out the way I’d fantasized, but looking back, I was blessed with something even better. FREE TIME!! I had hours of free time.

I would walk the mile to our library and come home with a stack of books. I got paid to clean the house for my mom (I know, I was  blessed!!), and the neighbors would have me babysit once a week or so, which took care of shopping/fun money. We had an above ground pool, and I never minded cleaning it. I knew it was a luxury!

We always seemed to have pudding pops in the freezer. Do you remember those? We would get a multi-pack with chocolate, vanilla, and swirl. They were yummy!

My friend would come over and we’d make brownies (and eat half the batter), lay out in the sun, act like goofballs, and talk about how great it was going to be when we grew up.

Now I’m grown up, and you know what? I fantasize about summer vacation. Give me a pool, a book, and a pudding pop. I’ll be the happiest woman in Ohio! Forget the parties, summer romance (although, I’m blessed with that every year with my hubby!) and excitement. I just want free time!

What are your grown-up daydreams regarding summer? 

Have a terrific weekend!!