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May 2019 Goals!

April was a doozy! Wow, it was busy. And cold. And rainy. But who cares? Because May is here and I really hope it brings much warmer weather!

I have a lot of goals this month. Do you have anything you’d like to finish before summer unofficially arrives?

Let’s get to it. Here are last month’s goals.

Jill’s April 2019 Goals

  • Finish writing, revising and polishing the proposal for book 2 in the Love Inspired cowboy series.
  • Promote His Wyoming Baby Blessing, releasing April 16!
  • Prep for speaking engagement: I’m giving an Exquisite Planning workshop to Central Ohio Fiction Writers!
  • Health: Meet fiber goals, exercise 5 days/week.

How did I do?

  • Finish writing, revising and polishing the proposal for book 2 in the Love Inspired cowboy series. CHECK. Yes, indeedy, this got done!
  • Promote His Wyoming Baby Blessing, releasing April 16! CHECK. Love seeing my books out in the world!
  • Prep for speaking engagement: I’m giving an Exquisite Planning workshop to Central Ohio Fiction Writers! CHECK. Delightful meeting other writers.
  • Health: Meet fiber goals, exercise 5 days/week. NO CHECK. In fact, I gained five pounds, so there’s that. 🙁

Jill’s May 2019 Goals

  • Final edits of Her Cowboy Till Christmas, Book 1 in Wyoming Sweethearts series.
  • Draft rest of manuscript of Book 2 in Wyoming Sweethearts series.
  • Continue plotting another book.
  • Health: Meet fiber and calorie goals, exercise 5 days/week.

How did you do?

I spent a few hours by the river plotting and planning yesterday. And I buckled down and committed to my health plan again. Sometimes we just need to tell ourselves we’re doing it. No excuses. I hope you have a wonderful month and get a lot done!

In Stores Now:

His Wyoming Baby Blessing Jill Kemerer

She’s pregnant on his doorstep…

Saddle up for this Wyoming Cowboys novel

When his childhood friend Kit McAllistor shows up, widowed and pregnant, rancher Wade Croft offers her a place to stay…but he can’t offer her his heart. As old feelings begin to surface, past tragedies force Wade to ignore them. But on the brink of losing his ranch, will he also risk losing the woman he’s beginning to love…or can he cowboy up in time?

For Purchase Links Click HERE!

Have a delightful day!

His Wyoming Baby Blessing Releases Today!

His Wyoming Baby Blessing Releases Today Jillkemerer.com/blog

The fourth, and final (*sob*) Wyoming Cowboys book is hitting store shelves today! I love this book. Wade and Kit burrowed right into my heart. Their story touched me, and I hope it touches you, too.

His Wyoming Baby Blessing by Jill Kemerer

She’s pregnant on his doorstep…
Saddle up for this Wyoming Cowboys novel

When his childhood friend Kit McAllistor shows up, widowed and pregnant, rancher Wade Croft offers her a place to stay…but he can’t offer her his heart. As old feelings begin to surface, past tragedies force Wade to ignore them. But on the brink of losing his ranch, will he also risk losing the woman he’s beginning to love…or can he cowboy up in time?

Click Here for Purchase Links and Sneak Preview!

What Readers are Saying:

” Love love and love this story!! Sometimes it takes nearly losing everything to truly appreciate all that we have been given. Whether we realize it or not there are blessings all around us if we’d only take the time to stop and look…” Goodreads Review

” Jill Kemerer brings us the fourth book in her Wyoming Cowboys series and it’s a good one. There is a strong spiritual message here for her readers as well. Fear is not from God and He wants His children to walk in peace and mercy, not in fear. Watch as these characters figure this truth out from a loving heavenly Father. ” SimplySusan

Check out these interviews!

Thank you to Inkwell Inspirations for the lovely interview! You can access it HERE!

I was also blessed to be interviewed by NFReads! You can check it out HERE!

HIS WYOMING BABY BLESSING Pinterest Board!

Curious about what the characters look like and the setting I envisioned them in? Click “4WF-His Wyoming Baby Blessing” to see the Pinterest Board!

Finally, another fabulous Resort to Romance novella released today! Buy Jennifer Shirk’s A Match for Mr. Write for only $0.99!

What is going on in your life? Please share in the comments!

April 2019 Goals!

April 2019 Goals! Jill Kemerer

Spring is almost here! Northern Ohio is notoriously fickle with weather throughout April. We might have a sixty-degree day, or we might have snow. You never know!

But the promise of warmer weather is here, and soon we’ll see yellow daffodils, bright tulips, and flowers on the trees. I’m excited!

It’s time to review and set our goals. March felt like a whirlwind to me. I’m kind of glad. It’s always so dreary and cold–I’m glad it’s over.

Jill’s March 2019 Goals

  • Copy edits for Christmas novella
  • Expand plot for book 2 in the Love Inspired cowboy series
  • Draft proposal for book 2 in the Love Inspired cowboy series
  • Set up promo for His Wyoming Baby Blessing
  • Health: Track calories, meet fiber goals, exercise 5 days/week

How did I do?

  • Copy edits for Christmas novella: CHECK
  • Expand plot for book 2 in the Love Inspired cowboy series: CHECK (I still have some synopsis work to do for this, though.)
  • Draft proposal for book 2 in the Love Inspired cowboy series: NO CHECK. I’m still shy two scenes. Then the entire thing will need to be revised and polished.
  • Set up promo for His Wyoming Baby Blessing. CHECK
  • Health: Track calories, meet fiber goals, exercise 5 days/week. NO CHECK. I stopped tracking calories, and I’m maintaining my weight.

Jill’s April 2019 Goals

  • Finish writing, revising and polishing the proposal for book 2 in the Love Inspired cowboy series.
  • Promote His Wyoming Baby Blessing, releasing April 16!
  • Prep for speaking engagement: I’m giving an Exquisite Planning workshop to Central Ohio Fiction Writers!
  • Health: Meet fiber goals, exercise 5 days/week.

What are your April 2019 goals? I’d love to hear them!

The RESORT TO ROMANCE SERIES is still going strong! Yesterday, Match Me If You Can by Krista Phillips released! It’s only $0.99 until next Tuesday!

Links to all the books can be found at my RESORT TO ROMANCE page. Have a terrific week!

Why Our Characters Must Fail

Why Our Characters Must Fail By Jill Kemerer

This post was originally published on November 28, 2011 at https://jillkemerer.blogspot.com/.

I recently read a novel but struggled to get into the story. Each time I put it down, I had no desire to pick it back up. Tempted to stop reading, I decided to forge ahead and figure out why it wasn’t grabbing me. I made a list of its strengths and weaknesses.

Strengths:

– Excellent writing. The author balances dialogue, thoughts, action, and narrative with ease.
– Modern, relatable characters. The hero and heroine (it’s a contemporary romance) are realistic and have believable conflicts and goals. Plus, I liked both of them.
– Logical progression of plot. The story arc made sense and proceeded in a way I would expect.

Weaknesses:

– Too many characters introduced in first chapters. This book is the second or third in a series, so extra characters should be involved, but too many too soon only confuses the reader.
– Sunday drive pacing. While the plot progresses logically, it does not progress quickly. There doesn’t seem to be any urgency.
– The hero and heroine do not share enough scenes in the first half. They are in scenes together, but they rarely interact. How are they supposed to fall in love if they don’t talk to each other?

Not every book is perfect, and the strengths in this one more than offset the weaknesses. However, I pinpointed one major area that needed work.

Each scene had a point, but the stakes were never high enough for me to want to read the next scene. 

Jack M. Bickham discusses what an effective scene accomplishes in his excellent book, Scene & Structure. I’m paraphrasing here, but basically each scene should be told from one character’s viewpoint, and the character must have a clear goal, which is obvious from the beginning of the scene. The character will then experience conflict in reaching that goal until the scene ends with the characterfailing to meet the goal.

Summary of Scene Essentials:
1. Introduction of the viewpoint character’s scene goal.
2. Conflict threatening the character’s ability to reach goal.
3. Failure of character to meet goal.

But…the character has to win sometimes, right? Yes. This is why it’s important to be clear about the character’s scene goal. If the book requires your heroine to convince her coworker to attend a wedding with her, you might choose to split the section into two scenes. The first scene will be told from her viewpoint. She gets the courage to ask him, he puts up a fight, and the scene ends with him refusing.

1. She asks coworker to be her date for wedding. (Goal)
2. He gives lame excuses. (Conflict)
3. He refuses. (Failure)

But…he has to agree. It’s a vital plot point. Okay, no problem. The next scene will be in his point of view, and his scene goal will be to get out of the wedding invitation. But the heroine is very convincing, and he finds himself saying yes when he wants to say no.

1. He must not agree to this wedding invitation. (Goal)
2. She has lawyer-like convincing skills. (Conflict)
3. He accepts. (Failure)
If we ignore the scene essential of the character failing, we waste an opportunity to keep the reader on edge. We could have written the previous scene in the heroine’s point of view and had her ask the hero to the wedding. He could still put up a fight, but in the end he agrees. The problem with this is that the heroine wins. 

As readers, we like to watch our heroes and heroines suffer. We love that gnawing feeling in our gut when things go wrong. We need the hero and heroine to fail repeatedly for us to keep turning the pages. If they only win, what’s the point of reading more? Our goal as writers should be to provide a sense of urgency–regardless what genre we write–and have the reader constantly ask, what comes next? How is the main character going to handle this? I’ve got to find out more!

How do you keep readers on edge? Share your tips!

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

I’ve been eagerly anticipating Cal Newport’s new book–Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World. I finished reading it over the weekend, and it lived up to my expectations.

Learn more about DIGITAL MINIMALISM at calnewport.com.

Basically, the book underscored what I already know to be true–social media, various phone apps, online browsing and being available 24/7 have decreased the quality of my life.

The instant I feel a twinge of boredom, I reach for my phone.

Scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and various news sites often eat up precious evening hours. And I couldn’t tell you what I’ve gotten out of all the mindless scrolling!

Another problem I have? If I’m working on my laptop and check in on Facebook, I feel anxiety over unanswered private messages (I don’t use Facebook Messenger on my phone and only get private messages from my laptop). Ditto for unanswered emails–even if I get them at 10pm!

What happened to my free time? I willingly give it away and get nothing in return.

In chapter one, Cal Newport spells out how the technologies we rely on (texting, social media apps, online news sites, etc…) are designed to trigger our addictive behavior. Yes, he cites studies and sources. And it all makes sense. The longer we’re “on” or using a site, the more ad-revenue the site can potentially make. These sites/apps are designed to keep us there.

Scrolling through Facebook or Snapchat or Instagram feels harmless, but it isn’t. Our phones and apps have an addictive pull, keeping us from exerting the energy to do activities we deeply value and enjoy.

We signed up for these services and bought these devices for minor reasons–to look up friends’ relationship statuses or eliminate the need to carry a separate iPod and phone–and then found ourselves, years later, increasingly dominated by their influence, allowing them to control more and more of how we spend our time, how we feel, and how we behave. – Cal Newport, Digital Minimalism

The book provides a solution, and it makes sense.

Basically, we can choose to minimize our digital life.

  • The first step is to do a 30-day digital detox where you cut out all non-essential apps/sites/services and set rules around the ones you consider essential.
  • At the end of the experiment, you decide which of these you want to keep and set rules for how you’ll use them.
  • During the detox, you commit to aggressively fill your time with high-value activities. Think hands-on projects, actually being social (coffee dates, visiting friends), reading, returning to a hobby or starting a new one, even watching television or movies is fine as long as you’re enjoying them and not just zoning out.

Why is this important?

We only have one life. Our time is valuable. Using technology to relieve boredom can drag us into an unsatisfying cycle where we no longer have the “time or energy” to do things that add meaning to our lives. When we invest in activities that are meaningful to us, we’re less likely to feel unsatisfied with our lives.

What am I doing about it?

I haven’t started the 30-day detox, yet. But I already set rules around my cell phone usage.

  • I deleted about half the apps on my phone–many of them were there by default anyhow.
  • I also set times (and limits) when I could check in on my favorite sites.
  • I have an auto-reply set up in Facebook Messenger to let people know I don’t check my messages after 5pm or on weekends. They’re welcome to email me, though.

I also jotted down a list of activities I can replace my scrolling with. This will be the hardest part for me–sticking to things that require more effort than a quick swipe of the phone. One particular chapter in the book really stood out to me, and it was about physical work. It’s convinced me to add 30 minutes of cleaning, baking or organizing on weeknights. I hope I get the satisfaction promised!

If you’re at all conflicted about your digital life, I urge you to buy the book. It’s terrific and timely and needed.

Have you gotten sucked into the digital life? Are you conflicted about the way it’s changed your free time?

By the way, the fourth novella in the RESORT TO ROMANCE SERIES launched yesterday!! Try Moonlight Match by Kristina Knight!

Our mega-giveaway is still going strong! If you haven’t entered yet, go to my HOME page and scroll down for the easy entry options!

What Are Your March 2019 Goals?

March Goals 2019 Jill Kemerer #ww

March is here! Does this mean spring is coming soon? I hope so! It regularly snows here through mid-April, so I won’t hold my breath! In the meantime, I’ve been busy writing. Let’s review and set goals.

Jill’s February 2019 Goals

  • Revise and submit Wyoming Twins Christmas Reunion
  • Promote A Meddled Match
  • Health: Track calories, meet fiber goals, exercise 5 days/week

How did I do last month?

  • Revise and submit Wyoming Twins Christmas Reunion – CHECK!
  • Promote A Meddled Match – CHECK!
  • Health: Track calories, meet fiber goals, exercise 5 days/week -NOPE–NO CHECK.

In addition to my goals, I revised a novella and worked on art sheets for a cover. It was a very productive month! I let my health goals slide (again), but I still exercised three days a week, added fiber, and kept my calories in line.

Jill’s March 2019 Goals

  • Copy edits for Christmas novella
  • Expand plot for book 2 in the Love Inspired cowboy series
  • Draft proposal for book 2 in the Love Inspired cowboy series
  • Set up promo for His Wyoming Baby Blessing
  • Health: Track calories, meet fiber goals, exercise 5 days/week

How did you do last month? Do you work well this time of year? I usually get a lot done in these cold/rainy/snowy months.

What are your March goals?

The 10 Weeks of Romance Giveaway is still going strong! A winner is selected each week, and the prizes accumulate. The grand prize is all ten Resort to Romance novellas and a $150 Amazon gift card! Go to my HOME page and scroll down for the entry options!

Encouragement from the Blogosphere

Encouragement From The Blogosphere, Jill Kemerer Blog

My brain is covered in a thick fog as I do the final polish of my manuscript. I apologize to everyone in my life. I’m scattered and self-absorbed. I will be myself again soon–I promise!

Writers, you know what I’m talking about. It’s very difficult to turn off the world we’ve spent months building. As my deadline looms, I worry I’ve missed key themes the book needs. Little things ping me.

Did I overstate his conflict? Is hers clear? What word/phrase did I overuse but have no clue I did?

Anyway, I scrolled through blogs on Feedly this evening, and my breathing slowed. My heart stopped racing. My brain relaxed.

I was encouraged.

Encouragement from the Blogosphere, Jill Kemerer blog
  1. “A Letter for D” by Wendy Paine Miller. I love this beautiful post. Wendy and I have been friends for years. She’s an amazing person, a brilliant writer, and her words always ring true.
  2. “The Importance of Alone Time” by Mary Manners via Seriously Write. Mary acknowledges the time-consuming aspects of the writing life that aren’t actual writing, and she makes no apologies for shutting the office door and getting things done. Love that attitude!
  3. “My Book is Being Made into a Movie!” by Belle Calhoune via Love Inspired: A Story for Every Reader. Have you read Belle’s Love Inspired novels? They are brimming with romantic optimism! One of her books, An Alaskan Christmas, is being made into a movie! Congratulations, Belle!
  4. “It’s Monday. What are You Reading?” by Cheryl C. Malandrinos via The Book Connection. Recommendations? Lists? Covers? YES! I’m always encouraged when I see what other people are reading.

Blogs make me feel connected in a way social media sites don’t. I think it’s a combination of focusing on one thing at a time and knowing the title of the post before I read it–I know what I’m getting.

As soon as this book is turned in, I’m treating myself to a long library visit where I’ll check out a towering stack of books. Oh yes…I’m ready!

What has encouraged you this week?

***

RESORT TO ROMANCE WEEK 2!

A Messed-Up Match by Jessica R. Patch released yesterday! It’s the second installment of the Resort to Romance Series. It will be only $0.99 until next Monday–then the price goes up!

You can pre-order weeks 3-10 of the series for $0.99 each–click RESORT TO ROMANCE SERIES for all the links!

If you missed the first release, my novella, A Meddled Match, is $2.99!

Have you entered our mega-giveaway? Go to my HOMEPAGE and scroll down for the entry options!

Enjoy your week!

A Meddled Match Releases Today!

10 Weeks Of Romance Giveaway! Jill Kemerer A Meddled Match

It’s here! Today the RESORT TO ROMANCE SERIES launches, and I’m so excited!

About a year ago, Jessica R. Patch and I were joking around on the Voxer app, and we started throwing out silly ideas for a multi-author series. We weren’t planning on creating one–we were just having fun.

Somehow a private island got tossed in. Then a couple of eccentric spinster sisters. Then Matchmaking Week with couples paired by experts. And rules–no sex, no cells, no switcharoos! We were rolling on the floor in laughter. It was one of those days when we really wished we lived near each other! Alas, Jessica lives in Mississippi, and I’m in Ohio…

By the end of the day, we’d decided we were putting this series together because it was too fun NOT to do it!

And here we are…release day. Woohoo!

A Meddled Match: Resort to Romance Series by Jill Kemerer

My novella, A MEDDLED MATCH, kicks things off.

Gavin Sterling wants no part of Matchmaking Week, but his eccentric great aunts insist he fill in for a no-show or he won’t have a chance at inheriting their island resort. Surprisingly, his match intrigues him. Mollie is blunt, sassy, and best of all, has no idea he’s the son of a billionaire.

Mollie Macomb needs a relaxing vacation without the dating drama. A relationship with Gavin would never work in the real world, anyhow. He’s a gorgeous businessman. She’s a quirky failure. But even the unlikeliest couple can find love during Matchmaking Week…

A Meddled Match is a SWEET romance. Basically, it’s clean and wholesome without the faith thread.

Purchase A MEDDLED MATCH for only $0.99!

Each week, another book releases! Jessica’s book, A MESSED-UP MATCH, will be available Tuesday, February 26, 2019. You can pre-order all ten books now for $0.99 each! Don’t wait, though, because a week after the book releases, the price goes up to $2.99.

Here’s the Resort to Romance series premise:

Get ready for ten weeks of romance in the Bahamas with a new series brought to you by some of the best authors in the inspirational and sweet romance genres…

Ten delightful – and standalone – novellas linked by one matchmaking week. You’ll want to devour each one!

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!

For links to the entire series, go to the RESORT TO ROMANCE SERIES page!

Mega-Giveaway!!

To celebrate this series, all ten authors have joined forces to host the 10 Weeks of Romance giveaway! The sweepstakes begins today. A winner will be selected every Tuesday, starting February 26, 2019, with the exception of 03/19, and the grand prize winner will be selected May 7, 2019!

Here’s how it works: Register at the rafflecopter below. 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–all ten books PLUS a $150 Amazon Gift Card!!

This week’s prize is: A Meddled Match by Jill Kemerer!

Enter the 10 Weeks of Romance Giveaway below!

Due to complicated international laws, this sweepstakes is only open to US residents, eighteen and older. See complete rules in the giveaway form.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to stop by Jessica R. Patch’s blog next Tuesday to see what book is being added to the giveaway!

Also, Faithfully Bookish is hosting me today! Stop by for more inside scoop on the series!

If you could go on a vacation right now, where would you go?

Have a great day!

Pre-order the Resort to Romance Series Now!

It’s less than a week away, and I couldn’t be any more excited! The first novella in the ten-book series releases February 19, 2019–and guess what? It’s my novella!

RESORT TO ROMANCE SERIES

A Meddled Match kicks off the RESORT TO ROMANCE SERIES. I’m sure you have lots of questions. Let me help you out!

What is the Resort to Romance Series?

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!

Get ready for ten weeks of romance in the Bahamas with a new series brought to you by some of the best authors in the inspirational and sweet romance genres…

Ten delightful – and standalone – novellas linked by one matchmaking week. You’ll want to devour each one!

What is A Meddled Match about?

A Meddled Match is a sweet romance (no sex or cussing–it is clean and wholesome), not an inspirational (faith-based) romance like my Love Inspired novels.

Here’s the back-cover copy.

Gavin Sterling wants no part of Matchmaking Week, but his eccentric great aunts insist he fill in for a no-show or he won’t have a chance at inheriting their island resort. Surprisingly, his match intrigues him. Mollie is blunt, sassy, and best of all, has no idea he’s the son of a billionaire.

Mollie Macomb needs a relaxing vacation without the dating drama. A relationship with Gavin would never work in the real world, anyhow. He’s a gorgeous businessman. She’s a quirky failure. But even the unlikeliest couple can find love during Matchmaking Week…

Where Do I Find the Series?

Each book is available for Kindle on Amazon. They are all at the bargain price of $0.99! But the price won’t last. One week after each book releases, the price goes up to $2.99, so pre-order them now!

Links to all ten books can be found at the Resort to Romance Series page!

Will I like it?

I hope so! Here are what some early reviewers have to say about A Meddled Match.

“One paragraph into this novella and I was all in! Loved every minute. Jill Kemerer has a hit with this one! If the rest of this series of novellas set in a matchmaking resort is anything like the first two, that will be wonderful…” ~ Susan (Goodreads)

“Oh my goodness!! What a fun read. I found myself laughing out loud and wishing I was on that Joy Island watching this all happen. I loved the cast of characters, the story line and the sweet and clean romance. This novella can be read in one sitting. ” ~ Dana (Goodreads)

“These two are a riot to watch and made me laugh at their antics! The witty banter alone endured me to Gavin & Molly. They fight the attraction between them at every turn, but everything conspires against them to prove that real love can be found anywhere! Ginny & Goldie are the eccentric aunts that are over-the-top hilarious; deep down they care a great deal for Gavin and only want to see him happy. I haven’t laughed so much at a story for a long time!” ~ Trixi (Goodreads)

Any questions? I’d love to answer them! Come back next week because we’re celebrating release week with an EPIC giveaway!!

Oh, and early Happy Valentine’s Day!

What are Your February 2019 goals?

What Are Your February Goals? Jill Kemerer Blog

Well, that went by quick! After last week’s Polar Vortex, I’m thankful February is here. The sooner winter is over, the better!

January was a blur of planning, busy work, and writing a first draft. February, for me, will be all about two things: launching the Resort to Romance series and revising a contracted Love Inspired book. Oh, and roses and chocolates…Valentine’s Day will be here soon!

First, let’s see how I did with last month’s goals.

Jill’s January 2019 Goals

  • Finalize A Meddled Match: Resort to Romance Series to prepare for February launch! This includes setting up promo, sending out ARCs, uploading to Amazon, etc…
  • Replot and draft rest of book one in the new Love Inspired series! It’s now going to be a Christmas book releasing this December. Aaah!
  • I’m the 2019 president of Maumee Valley Romance Authors, Inc. and need to do several administrative tasks to start the year off right.
  • Health: Log calories daily in MyFitnessPal, stay within calorie range, workout for 30 minutes 4+ days/week.

How did I do?

  • A Meddled Match is ready to go! CHECK
  • Book one (working title is Wyoming Twins Christmas Reunion) is drafted. It needs A LOT of work! CHECK
  • MVRAI administrative tasks? Yep. These will be ongoing throughout the year, but I’m off to a good start. CHECK
  • Health. *Giggling* Okay, three weeks I stayed on track. Last week? Nope. NO CHECK

Jill’s February 2019 Goals

  • Revise and submit Wyoming Twins Christmas Reunion
  • Promote A Meddled Match
  • Health: Track calories, meet fiber goals, exercise 5 days/week.

How did you do last month? What are your February goals?

Have a terrific day!

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