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This Writer’s Inner Care

This Writer's Inner Care. Jill Kemerer Blog

In December we had several unseasonably warm days, and I took advantage of them by walking at a local park. I even took a long walk on a seasonably cold day–it was 19 degrees out! Every time I was out, I breathed in the cool air and noticed the bare branches. My mind kept circling around something I didn’t want to deal with, but finally, I admitted it. I’d been neglecting my inner care.

For two years I’ve followed a health plan that works for me. Sure, I get off track sometimes, but for the most part logging my food using MyFitnessPal six days a week and doing workout DVDs at home on weekdays has kept the weight off and added energy to my life.

But I’m not always great at the inner stuff–taking time to just sit and think. Using my off hours to recharge instead of scrolling on my phone or tackling a house project.

I love to read and always make time for it–there is that. I’ve also maintained a daily Bible reading habit for almost fifteen years. Reading the Bible is a must for inner care. But the silence I crave, the sitting and thinking about nothing? Feels so indulgent!

Inner care isn’t indulgent, though. It’s necessary.

My inner care involves:

  • Silent time to think.
  • Journaling or making lists
  • Long walks outside in every season
  • Listening to relaxing music
  • Puttering/tidying my office
  • Chatting with friends
  • Reading
  • Bible reading/prayer
  • Dreaming about vacations
  • Making a wish list

The things I crave might be the exact opposite of what you crave. We all have different personalities. This means what recharges me might give you the heebie-jeebies, and your go-to recharger might make me dry heave. That’s okay! The important thing is to figure out what your soul needs–and make time for it.

Are you good about inner care? What have you been craving? Is there any way to make it happen?

On a side note: I’ve found some great blogs that feature monthly Christian fiction releases, so I’m retiring my monthly roundup and will share the other blogs’ links as I come across them! Check out Batya’s Bits: January Book Releases!

Have a lovely week!

Let’s Set Monthly Goals {January 2020}

Let's Set Goals: January 2020 Jillkemerer.com/blog

I’m big on setting goals. By listing them and breaking them down into manageable chunks, I accomplish more than I could imagine. My process is to set monthly goals, then at the beginning of each week, I create daily goals that will work within my current schedule.

It’s really satisfying to check off my list each day. Last year I took the extra step of reviewing my week. I like to do this in a small journal on Sundays. The added bonus? It’s now a little time-capsule I can refer back to when I moan that I’m getting nothing done!

So now that the new month, new year, and new decade have arrived, are you feeling confident? Ambitious? I am! Let’s go back to December and see how I did.

How Did I Do? Jill’s December 2019 Goals:

  • WRITING:
  • Polish the third book in the Wyoming Sweethearts series and send it to my editor. CHECK
  • Revise/polish proposal and send to agent. NO CHECK
  • HEALTH:
  • Exercise 5 days/week. CHECK
  • Log calories using MyFitnessPal. CHECK
  • Attempt to implement homemade chia pudding as a snack. CHECK. (It’s kind of gross, though.)
  • OTHER:
  • Christmas shopping!! CHECK
  • Check out Christmas lights somewhere. The Toledo Zoo has an amazing display, but the crowds and traffic make me iffy! NO CHECK. I couldn’t handle the crowds this year!
  • Watch Hallmark Christmas movies and read the Christmas novels I bought! CHECK

I also took TWO WHOLE WEEKS OFF from work and social media! It was fantastic! The first week was all things Christmas and extended family. The second week was relaxing and cleaning out the scary closets in our house.

Jill’s January 2020 Goals:

  • WRITING:
  • Expand the plot, write the long synopsis, and draft the sample chapters of the fourth book in the Wyoming Sweethearts series.
  • Revise/polish proposal and send to agent.
  • Continue gathering ideas for new series.
  • All the first of the year business tasks.
  • HEALTH:
  • Exercise 5 days/week.
  • Log calories using MyFitnessPal.
  • OTHER:
  • Prepare presentation for speaking engagement at the end of January.
  • Read fiction for a minimum of 20 minutes every weekday. (I read tons of nonfiction and want to get more novels in!)

I love the new year! I hope you have a healthy, successful beginning to 2020! Please leave your goals in the comments!

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas! From Jill Kemerer

Christmas is almost here–yay! I’m enjoying the season. It’s been flying by! A few years ago I pared down my Christmas prep and festivities, and it’s been good for me. So far this December I’ve watched a few Christmas movies, read a few holiday novels, baked some cookies, wrapped some presents, and stared at twinkle lights.

I’ve been reflecting on 2019 and looking forward to 2020. I’m making a “20 for 2020” list of things I want to do. In the meantime, check out my fun stuff of 2019 video below!

I’m taking a blog break until January 8. I plan on continuing our monthly goals. Mine are never glamorous, often repetitive, but that’s what progress is–consistent steps. Thanks for keeping me accountable.

Have a very merry Christmas! What “fun stuff” from 2019 makes you smile?

See you in 2020!

Jill Kemerer’s Year in Review {2019}

Jill Kemerer's Year In Review 2019

Every December I try to look back and remember what I’ve accomplished. Usually, it involves some head-scratching. Sometimes I give up because I don’t feel like going through my planner to figure out what I did. But this year, it was pretty easy.

I have yet to meet a writer who is 100% satisfied with what they’ve accomplished for the year. I’ll admit, I’m hard on myself, too. I always overestimate how much time I have and underestimate how long things actually take me. By things I mean writing, revising, and promo. Definitely promo!

When I reviewed 2019, I was pleasantly surprised.

Jill Kemerer’s 2019 Year in Review

Books Written:

  1. Her Cowboy Till Christmas
  2. The Cowboy’s Secret
  3. The Cowboy’s Christmas Triplets

Books Released:

  1. A Meddled Match
  2. His Wyoming Baby Blessing
  3. Western Christmas Wishes (w/Brenda Minton)
  4. Her Cowboy Till Christmas

Books Plotted:

  1. Book one in an untitled series
  2. Book two in an untitled series
  3. Book three in an untitled series
  4. The Cowboy’s Christmas Triplets

Speaking Engagements:

  1. January: Exquisite Planning
  2. April: Exquisite Planning
  3. June: Secrets of Writing for Harlequin
  4. November: Creativity Workshop

Other:

  • President of Maumee Valley Romance Authors, Inc.
  • First romance story published in Woman’s World Magazine
  • Wrote the proposal for book one in untitled series

These three pictures sum up my writing life! The commute, the coffee, and the writing buddy.

I’m gearing up to plan 2020. I bought a new planner (!!), and I have a date planned with two close writer friends to discuss and set our goals for next year. I can’t wait!

The year-in-review exercise? I highly recommend looking back at what you accomplished. It’s easy to forget all the things we did!

Do you review your accomplishments for the year? Care to share them? Leave a comment!

And bless you during these final days leading up to Christmas!

Day 8 of 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway!

12 Days Of Christmas Giveaway! Jill Kemerer

Welcome to the 8th day of the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway! Eleven Christian authors teamed up to show our appreciation to you, our readers, by hosting a massive giveaway.

Day 8 of 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway! Jill Kemerer

The prizes are building, and today’s winner will receive ALL of the gifts below!

HER COWBOY TILL CHRISTMAS by Jill Kemerer

Her Cowboy Till Christmas (Wyoming Sweethearts Book 1)

The Painted Castle by Kristy Cambron

Recovered Secrets by Jessica R. Patch

A Glitter of Gold by Liz Johnson

The Governess of Penwythe Hall by Sarah E. Ladd

Her Last Chance Cowboy by Tina Radcliffe

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

You Belong with Me by Tari Faris

How Do You Enter This Awesome Giveaway?

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below by following some of your favorite authors on social media and signing up for their newsletters. We draw a new winner every day, and on December 12th, we’ll give away a $100 Amazon Gift Card in addition to all the other great prizes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don’t forget to stop by Lindsay Harrel’s (linked) blog tomorrow to see what prize is added then!

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The first book in my new series (Wyoming Sweethearts) is in stores NOW! Her Cowboy Till Christmas is my 10th Love Inspired novel!

Not sure if it’s for you? Here are what some readers are saying:

“Three cheers for disgruntled cowboys everywhere — especially the way Jill Kemerer writes them! Embittered and cantankerous. Prone to wallowing in the pain of the past. And none to happy about his former sweetheart showing up on his doorstep without any warning. What a gnarly reunion! But for all his grumpiness, Mason is a sweetheart. He’s a doting dad and a kind neighbour and a devoted friend. A man who can be counted on…” ~ Amazon Reviewer

“As with Kemerer’s other Love Inspired books, this story contains a sweet romance. Mason and Brittany are characters that the reader wants to cheer on to their happily-ever-after. They have both wrestled with hurt and failure. Will this time be any different? The secondary characters of Ryder, Noah, and Nan in this book are wonderful additions to the story. Kemerer creates a setting that draws the reader in and makes you want to be a part! I definitely recommend this book for reader who enjoy a heart-warming romance set around the holidays!” ~ Amazon Reviewer

Click HERE for more information about Her Cowboy Till Christmas including purchase links!

Have a delightful day!!

What Are Your Goals? {December 2019}

What Are Your Goals? December 2019. Jill Kemerer Blog

I haven’t counted down the days until Christmas yet (and I don’t want to!), but I know they’re dwindling. Am I ready for the holidays? Of course not!

We had a really nice Thanksgiving. Delicious food. Good times with family. Even some Black Friday shopping. Not bad! But the party is over, and I want to finish this month, year, AND decade strong. Let’s look at how I did with last month’s goals, and then I’ll share my December goals!

Jill’s November 2019 Goals: How Did I Do?

  • WRITING:
  • Revise/polish proposal and send to agent. NO CHECK. Not even close!
  • Promote Her Cowboy Till Christmasreleasing November 19! CHECK. YES! YAY!
  • Content edit the draft I wrote in October. Check!
  • HEALTH:
  • Exercise 5 days/week. Check! I’ve found that creating a simple graph to X off each day helps a lot.
  • Log calories using MyFitnessPal. Check! For whatever reason, tracking my food works.
  • Eat more produce! Check!
  • OTHER:
  • Make a Christmas list. NO CHECK.
  • Start buying presents. NO Check. This stresses me out!
  • Read one novel. Check! YES!
  • Check out the newly remodeled Main Library in downtown Toledo. Check! Loved it!!

Jill’s December 2019 Goals:

  • WRITING:
  • Polish the third book in the Wyoming Sweethearts series and send it to my editor.
  • Revise/polish proposal and send to agent.
  • HEALTH:
  • Exercise 5 days/week.
  • Log calories using MyFitnessPal.
  • Attempt to implement homemade chia pudding as a snack.
  • OTHER:
  • Christmas shopping!!
  • Check out Christmas lights somewhere. The Toledo Zoo has an amazing display, but the crowds and traffic make me iffy!
  • Watch Hallmark Christmas movies and read the Christmas novels I bought!

Looking ahead to 2020…

Two of my local writer friends and I are getting together soon to discuss our goals for the next year. I’m excited about this. By setting several hours aside and meeting at a casual restaurant, we’re making goal-planning a priority. All too often, I’m guilty of putting off formal planning until the last minute. When I devote a chunk of time to plan in advance, I get more done throughout the year.

Also, it’s great to discuss my goals with I trust. They’ll tell me if I’m being ridiculously overambitious or not ambitious enough. And they often have ideas I never considered. It’s a win all around.

Next week’s blog will be early–Sunday, December 8, because I’m part of a HUGE Christmas giveaway! You don’t want to miss it!

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How did you do with your goals? Want to set new ones? Leave a comment!

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s turkey time! I have to admit, I look forward to my sister’s stuffing even more than the actual turkey. It’s full of fresh herbs. So good! I love the whole meal. There’s nothing better than a table full of food, surrounded by loved ones.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! I’m thankful for YOU!

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My 10th Love Inspired novel is in stores now! Grab a copy of Her Cowboy Till Christmas and enjoy all the Christmas feels!

Her Cowboy Till Christmas Review Jill Kemerer

My 10th Novel Released Today!

Her Cowboy Till Christmas (Wyoming Sweethearts Book 1)

It’s celebration time! My 10th Love Inspired novel, HER COWBOY TILL CHRISTMAS, released today! I’m super excited about this book. Let me tell you why.

  • It’s Book ONE in a new series! Wyoming Sweethearts follows four friends who are all reeling from tragedies. They’ve formed a support group in their hometown of Rendezvous, Wyoming. Each book shows one of them navigating the complicated road to love!
  • It’s a Christmas book! And you know I love Christmas.
  • Reunion romance–Brittany and Mason were best friends growing up. The summer after high school, they became more than friends, but Brittany broke Mason’s heart, and he’s never forgiven her.
  • There’s the sweetest little three-year-old boy–Mason’ son. His wife died six months after giving birth to Noah.
  • Did I mention this is an identical twins separated at birth story? Yes, it is. I won’t say another word!
Her Cowboy Till Christmas (Wyoming Sweethearts Book 1)

Can a Christmastime reunion become forever?

She’s only home for the holidays…Can he convince her to stay?

The last person rancher Mason Fanning ever expects to see again is the girl who once broke his heart. Brittany Green is in town for Christmas and trying to convince her ailing grandmother—the only maternal figure the widower’s little boy has left—to move away. Can Mason show her all she really needs to fulfill her dreams is right here in Wyoming?

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The paperback is in stores as of today! Check your local Walmart, Barnes & Noble or any store that carries Love Inspired books. The ebook releases on December 1.

Purchase Links, my inspiration Pinterest Board, a sample of the book, and more can be found by clicking HERE!

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In other exciting news, I have a short story in this week’s issue of Woman’s World Magazine!!

It’s my first time writing for them! Aaaahhh!! Pick up a copy–they have tons of great recipes and tips. Oh, and my short romance to get you ready for Thanksgiving!

Thank you to everyone who entered my Her Cowboy Till Christmas giveaway! The winner will be notified by email.

Writing Romance 101: The Opening Pages #WW

Writing Romance 101: Opening Pages By Jill Kemerer

I’ve been reading romance novels since I was thirteen. Sure, some say that’s young, but I have no regrets. I would buy old Harlequin paperbacks at flea markets. They were typically from the 70s and early 80s–very clean and intriguing!

I was hooked. I still read a lot of romance novels, in addition to books in just about any other genre. What can I say? I love to read!

Here are some of the things I’ve learned about writing romance novels. The opening pages are important–vital, really–to establishing to the reader that the book is indeed a romance.

  1. Introduce the hero and heroine as soon as possible. Sometimes I pick up a book thinking it’s a romance, but when no clear hero and heroine have been introduced until chapter three, I assume I’m reading a different genre.
  2. Avoid too much early interaction with members of the opposite sex who aren’t the love interests. Romance readers instinctively root for the first woman and man who are introduced. This means you should avoid having the POV character interact with an opposite-sex character before their love interest. Chances are, the reader will expect the other character to be the hero or heroine!
  3. Hint at inner conflicts and what’s at stake. The hero and heroine should have clear reasons why they can’t instantly fall in love, the higher the stakes the better. Clue the reader in early–don’t make them wait until page 125 to worry how will these two ever fall in love?
  4. Set the tone. Setting details, introspection, narrative and even dialogue clue the reader in to the tone and subgenre of the book. A romantic suspense will be edgy and fast-paced. An Amish romance won’t be set in New York City (although, I suppose, it could be done!).
  5. Build Tension. Readers keep turning the page when they’re worried or curious. Keep them on edge. Leave questions unanswered. Create a sense of foreboding about unspoken issues. They’ll love you for it!
  6. Make the reader care. Characters coasting through life are boring. I’m sorry, but they are. Give your characters problems. They don’t even have to be enormous problems. We all have times when our worries crush us. Bring that intensity to life. Let the reader in on the anxiety your characters feel, and they will care enough to read to the end.

I’d love to hear YOUR tips on what’s important in the opening pages of a romance novel. Leave a comment!

And don’t forget, my fun giveaway is still going on! Click on HER COWBOY TILL CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY and scroll down for the easy entry options! US only. 18+.

In stores for one more week!

Western Christmas Wishes by Brenda Minton and Jill Kemerer

For purchase links and more, click HERE!

What Are Your Goals? {Nov 2019}

November 2019 Goals. Jill Kemerer. Blog

November is here! Only two months left of 2019–and I am ready to crush them. October was good. I pushed myself to finish the draft of my current project. Whenever I felt like stopping early, I’d think of Thanksgiving and Christmas and how much I want to enjoy the holidays. It motivated me!

Sometimes having a reason to finish early makes all the difference.

Let’s take a look at my October goals and how I did. Then I’ll share my November goals. Please leave YOUR goals in the comments!

Jill’s October 2019 Goals: How Did I Do?

  • WRITING:
  • Draft 50 pages of a new story. Check.
  • Continue drafting current project. Double check–I finished the draft!
  • Set up promo for December release, Her Cowboy Till Christmas. Check.
  • Promote Western Christmas Wishes, in stores October 15! Check. This was easy. I love having a new book in stores.
  • HEALTH: (Long-term goal – Lose 10 pounds)
  • Track calories 6 days/week with MyFitnessPal. Check, but my weight fluctuated all month.
  • Exercise 5 days/week. Check. I’m enjoying this routine. I do five different workouts each week.
  • Eat more high protein and high fiber foods. Half Check. Three weeks into the month I got really frustrated and decided to ignore the fiber. I’ve been a much nicer person ever since. 🙂
  • OTHER:
  • Check out a local park I’ve never been to. No check, but I did go to two other parks to see the fall colors!
  • Read the Jody Hedlund novel I ordered. No check. The book didn’t come in. 🙁 I’ve reordered it.
  • Watch Halloween Baking Championship (because it makes me happy!). Check!

Jill’s November 2019 Goals:

  • WRITING:
  • Revise/polish proposal and send to agent.
  • Promote Her Cowboy Till Christmas, releasing November 19!
  • Content edit the draft I wrote in October.
  • HEALTH:
  • Exercise 5 days/week.
  • Log calories using MyFitnessPal.
  • Eat more produce!
  • OTHER:
  • Make a Christmas list.
  • Start buying presents.
  • Read one novel.
  • Check out the newly remodeled Main Library in downtown Toledo.

November is a shorter month for me since we celebrate Thanksgiving with family over a long weekend. I will be following VERY detailed weekly plans all month.

I’m cheering you on! Let’s make the most of this month!

What are your November goals? Leave a comment!

Stop back next month to see how I did and what I plan to do next. Have a fabulous day!

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