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What Are Your June 2018 Goals?

Jill Kemerer's June 2018 Goals! Jillkemerer.com/blog

June!! This year is flying by. It’s time to check our progress and post new goals. Who’s with me?

First, I’ll update you on how I did in May.

Jill’s May 2018 Goals:

  • Finish drafting the fourth Wyoming Cowboys book.
  • Finalize all promo for Reunited with the Bull Rider. This means writing guest posts, creating graphics, contacting media, etc…
  • Begin plotting new series.
  • Health: Exercise 4-5 days/week AND stay at low end of calorie range to lose a few pounds.

HOW DID I DO?

Well….

  • Finish drafting the fourth Wyoming Cowboys book–yes! I squeezed it out a week later than I’d hoped, but I did complete it in May. Check!
  • Finalize promo–almost. I put some of my graphics and posts together the first week of June, but it all got done. Not quite check.
  • Begin plotting new series. Nope. A meeting was scheduled for early June which might have impacted the plot directions, so I decided to wait until after the meeting to plot. No check!
  • Health. Total fail. TOTAL FAIL!! Not only did I completely drop the ball exercising, I stopped tracking calories too. Ugh. NO CHECK!! 

Jill’s June 2018 Goals:

Although May looks like a lot of “no checks,” I regrouped and am mentally back in the game. That’s the key to goals–when you don’t meet them, you move forward. It’s okay to have setbacks. Just get back in it!

  • Finish plotting three books and write short synopses for each.
  • Write sample chapters for book one.
  • Health–exercise 4-5 days/week, track calories using MyFitnessPal app and stay within calorie range.

That’s it!

How did YOU do last month?

What are your June goals?

Thanks for joining me on this journey!

Paperback Release Day Reunited with the Bull Rider!

Whoop! Whoop! And Yeehaw!!

My new book, Reunited with the Bull Rider is in stores now!

Believe it or not, the original idea that sparked this book was really lame. I knew the characters were exes brought together in Sweet Dreams, but I had no idea why! Unfortunately, the first brainstorming sessions were duds. But a few long walks down by the river gave me better options, and one day I knew I’d hit the right story. In fact, I cried as I walked home because I felt so bad for Amy!

Needless to say, I had to write her story. Nash, Amy and Ruby all stole my heart. This is the second book in the Wyoming Cowboys series. The third book, Marshall’s story is Wyoming Christmas Quadruplets and will be available in October. The fourth book will be out next spring.

Here’s a little about the book:

Reunited with the Bull Rider. Wyoming Cowboys Book 2 by Jill Kemerer. June 2018

Goodbye rodeo, hello hometown. But is this Wyoming Cowboy ready to face his past?

Amy Deerson wanted to mentor a child. Her plan did not include former bull rider Nash Bolton—the little girl’s brother and guardian. It’s been a decade since Nash left town without a word, breaking Amy’s young heart. Now they must put their painful past aside to help fragile, traumatized Ruby. If only getting over their first love were that simple.

Reunited with the Bull Rider is in stores now. You can find it at Walmart, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, most major supermarkets and other book retailers. The ebook will be available on June 1, 2018.

For purchase links, click HERE!

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Upcoming Online Events and Giveaway Opportunities!

May 23, 2018: Guest on Faithfully Bookish Blog (w/Giveaway!)

May 25, 2018: Interview on Just Commonly Blog (w/Giveaway!)

June 1, 2018: Guest on Reading is My Superpower Blog (w/Giveaway!)

Week of June 4: Author host with Heidi McCahan on the Love Inspired Authors and Readers Facebook Group (If you haven’t joined this amazing group, please do! Every week different authors host! There are multiple giveaways!)

June 5, 2018: Seventh Book Release Extravaganza Facebook Event with Jessica R. Patch! (Lots of giveaways!)

June 6, 2018: Friendship Chat with Mindy Obenhaus on Seekerville  (w/Giveaway!)

June 8, 2018: Book Spotlight on Leslie McKee’s Blog (w/Giveaway!)

 

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Still Time to Enter the Gift Package Giveaway!

The Reunited with the Bull Rider Giveaway prize package includes:

  • Autographed copy of Reunited with the Bull Rider (Wyoming Cowboys Book 2)
  • Autographed copy of The Rancher’s Mistletoe Bride (Wyoming Cowboys Book 1)
  • Set of two inspirational dishtowels
  • Adorable notebook
  • Tin of toffee candies
The giveaway runs from May 2, 2018 at 6:00 am EST to June 1, 2018 at 9:00 pm EST. US only. 18+. See complete rules on the entry form.

Click HERE and scroll down for the easy entry form!

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Do you have fun plans for this weekend? (I get to see my sister and her family for Memorial Day weekend!)

What are Your May 2018 Goals?

Sharing May 2018 Goals! Jillkemerer.com/blog

Every month I share my new goals and let you know on how I did with my previous month’s goals. Here’s my update!

Jill’s April 2018 Goals:

  • Revise, polish and submit the proposal due later this month.
  • Prep and speak at Researching the Romance symposium sponsored by BGSU’s Browne Pop Culture Library.
  • Type background materials for a side project.
  • Continue preparing for June release by sending advance reader copies to street team.
  • Draft a short story that’s been running around in my head.
  • Health: Exercise 4-5 days/week and stay in calorie range most days by tracking food via MyFitnessPal.

How did I do?

  • I revised, polished and submitted the proposal. Check!
  • Prepped and spoke at Researching the Romance. Check!
  • Typed background materials. Check!
  • Sent advance reader copies out. Check!
  • Draft the short story. Not even close. NO check!
  • Health. I had some serious stress last month. While I stayed steady with exercising, I didn’t log my calories for over a week. No check!

Jill’s May 2018 Goals:

  • Finish drafting the fourth Wyoming Cowboys book.
  • Finalize all promo for Reunited with the Bull Rider. This means writing guest posts, creating graphics, contacting media, etc…
  • Begin plotting new series.
  • Health: Exercise 4-5 days/week AND stay at low end of calorie range to lose a few pounds.

 

How did YOU do?

Leave a comment! I love reading your goals. You inspire me!

Have you entered my giveaway? Go to my Reunited with the Bull Rider Giveaway BLOG post (linked) and scroll down for the easy entry options!

 

Reunited with the Bull Rider Giveaway!

Reunited With The Bull Rider Giveaway Package! Jillkemerer.com/blog May 2018

Twenty days! That’s how long it will be until my seventh novel, Reunited with the Bull Rider, starts showing up on store shelves! WHEEE!!!

To celebrate, I’m hosting a month-long giveaway. Here’s what one blessed person will win:

  • Autographed copy of Reunited with the Bull Rider (Wyoming Cowboys Book 2)
  • Autographed copy of The Rancher’s Mistletoe Bride (Wyoming Cowboys Book 1)
  • Set of two inspirational dishtowels
  • Adorable notebook
  • Tin of toffee candies
The giveaway runs from May 2, 2018 at 6:00 am EST to June 1, 2018 at 9:00 pm EST. US only. 18+. See complete rules on the entry form.

 

 

 

Here’s a bit about the book:

 

Reunited with the Bull Rider. Wyoming Cowboys Book 2 by Jill Kemerer. June 2018

Goodbye rodeo, hello hometown. But is this Wyoming Cowboy ready to face his past?

Amy Deerson wanted to mentor a child. Her plan did not include former bull rider Nash Bolton—the little girl’s brother and guardian. It’s been a decade since Nash left town without a word, breaking Amy’s young heart. Now they must put their painful past aside to help fragile, traumatized Ruby. If only getting over their first love were that simple.

Preorder today!

*

I loved writing this book. Full confession: I cried many times while I wrote and revised it. Amy, Nash, and little Ruby stole my heart, and I’m so thankful I was able to write their story. Amy runs a successful quilt shop, Nash just retired from the professional bull riding circuit, and Ruby has been severely neglected. Oh, and by the way, Nash broke Amy’s heart years ago. You’ll have to read it to find out how it all plays out, but every time I think of it, I smile!

What is making YOU happy this month?

Thanks for stopping by!

Goofy First Draft Stuff #WW

Goofy First Draft Stuff #ww Jillkemerer.com/blog

Writing a first draft for me is up and down. It involves wasted minutes (okay, hours) staring at the screen and having no idea what comes next. Then it’s manic typing when something so delicious happens I can’t get it on the page fast enough. Since first drafts are all over the place for me, I thought I’d share some goofy stuff I do to survive them.

Give secondary characters silly temporary names instead of taking the time to come up with a usable one. For instance, a few weeks ago I named a real estate agent Dexter Leatherface. Don’t ask why. I have no reason.

Binge on sugary candy. Right now there’s a box of little Gobstoppers on my desk. I also love hard candies and Bottlecaps. Chocolate is my first love, but I have to watch the calories!

Mangle Silly-Putty when I have no idea what to write next. Years ago my sweet friend and fellow author, Liz Johnson, sent me a care package with a plastic egg of Silly-Putty in it, and I’ve been having fun with it ever since.

Mentally berate myself. How could I have only written 257 words in one hour? Seriously, Jill? What’s your prob?

Blink several times when I’ve written far more than I thought. Can the word count be correct? Did I miscalculate? I’m always amazed when words pour onto the paper.

Sit there. And sit there. And sit some more until I get something on the page!

The big thing I MUST do when writing a first draft? Keep my buns in the chair! If I get up for any “good” reason like laundry, dishes, fixing the hole in my shirt that’s been there for months, organizing my pantry, going to the library to get research books (which aren’t for research in any way, shape or form–they are distractions!!), I might as well throw my goals out the window and light them on fire. The book will NEVER get done.

Now you know my weird habits. I’d love to hear if you do anything goofy while you’re writing a first draft!

How do you get yourself to stick with a project when it doesn’t always go as planned?

Have a terrific day!

Only one more month and REUNITED WITH THE BULL RIDER (Wyoming Cowboys 2) will be in stores! Eeeeekkk!!! 

Reunited with the Bull Rider. Wyoming Cowboys Book 2 by Jill Kemerer. June 2018

Goodbye rodeo, hello hometown. But is this Wyoming Cowboy ready to face his past?

Amy Deerson wanted to mentor a child. Her plan did not include former bull rider Nash Bolton—the little girl’s brother and guardian. It’s been a decade since Nash left town without a word, breaking Amy’s young heart. Now they must put their painful past aside to help fragile, traumatized Ruby. If only getting over their first love were that simple.

Researching Contemporary Settings Without Traveling #WW

Researching Settings Without Traveling, Jillkemerer.com/blog

On Saturday I gave a presentation at the Researching the Romance academic conference (#BGSURomCon18) hosted by the Browne Pop Culture Library at Bowling Green State University, which happens to be the official repository for Romance Writers of America (RWA). It was an amazing conference. I learned so much from professors, university librarians, archivists, grad students and others who traveled from all over the country. And, guys, Beverly Jenkins was the guest of honor. She blessed everyone with her insight, wisdom, graciousness and humor.

Since researching settings can be difficult, I thought I’d share my topic with you. Here it is!

Researching Contemporary Settings Without Traveling

A novel’s setting is important because it shapes the story and influences the characters’ thoughts and actions. Ideally, a writer will be able to visit an area before writing about it, but there are two big reasons why authors don’t always travel to research a setting. Time and money. We don’t always have time to jet off to Paris or drive to Georgia, and traveling can be expensive. But with the right tools, we can be confident we’re getting the setting right for our readers.

I take a three-pronged approach to researching setting–Internet, Print, People.  This method goes from big picture to small details.

 I usually have a general area or town in mind when I’m deciding where to set a new novel. The first thing I do is spend time on the internet and start gathering basic material.

1.Internet

  1. Print out a map of the area.
  2. “See” it through Google Earth/Google Images. Verify the images have been tagged correctly. Some images are clearly not what they say they are.
  3. Gather and print a year’s worth of weather data. It’s important to know typical highs/lows and precipitation.
  4. Find out what economics drive the area. Is it a dying town? Thriving? What are the demographics? What are the typical jobs? How much does it cost to live there?
  5. Read a brief history. Who settled it? What interesting facts emerge?
  6. Browse through travel guides/visitors info. What are the local attractions? These might trigger plot ideas.
  7. Check out homes through Realtor.com. What are the preferred styles? How much do they cost? Can I use this information as an area of conflict for a character?
  8. Search for blogs set there. For instance, when researching my Wyoming Cowboys series, I searched for “Wyoming ranch life” and found several blogs, full of pictures and rich details.
  9. “See” the area by searching YouTube—people GoPro everything!

 

At this point I have a good idea of the setting basics. I’m ready to narrow my research down to get “the flavor” of a place. So I move to print materials.

 

2. Print (Purchase or borrow from library)

  1. Memoirs set in the area (or general vicinity) will give you a more complete picture and plenty of details to make your setting come to life.
  2. Magazines. Regional magazines (Midwest Living, Alaska, Sunset, etc…) will give you fun facts and pictures.
  3. Ask librarian for help. Librarians know where to look beyond the travel section for information on specific places. Ask them!
  4. DVDs–documentaries and travel specials can be fun to watch!

 

Now I’m getting ready to write, but I usually have a list of picky questions I can’t find answers to. Example: How young is too young for a child to start riding a horse in Wyoming? Answer: Many children ride as soon as they can walk! How did I find this out? I asked people who live there (Thanks, Bree!!). How did I find these people? Social media.

 

3. People (Ask questions)

  1. Social Media. Get on Facebook, Twitter or even Google+ (there are communities for just about anything on G+) and ask specific questions “Hey, is anyone from X? I’m writing a book, and I’m wondering about Y.
  2. Put the word out to friends that you’re trying to find information about your setting. Chances are someone you know has a cousin/best friend/uncle’s first wife’s boss who lived there. Find out if they would be willing to answer a few questions. You can set up an interview (email, video, or phone) to pick their brains about the area.

 

Researching in person is ideal, but when finances are strained and you have no time, you CAN accurately reflect a setting if you work hard and DO sweat the details.

What are your secrets for researching a setting without traveling? Please share!

What Are Your April 2018 Goals?

What Are Your April 2018 Goals? Jill Kemerer Blog

On the first Wednesday of each month, I share my monthly goals and encourage you to in the comments.  Sorry I’m a week late this month! Before I list my April 2018 goals, I’m reviewing last month’s progress.

Last Month: Jill’s March 2018 Goals

  1. Start putting promo together for June release.
  2. Expand ideas for new series.
  3. Expand synopsis for next proposal.
  4. Health: Exercise 4-5 days/week and stay in calorie range most days by tracking food via MyFitnessPal.

How did I do?

  1. Yes! Promo is a never-ending task. Check.
  2. Yes, I’m very excited about the books! Check.
  3. Nope, but I wrote three chapters of the book instead. Kind of check.
  4. Yes. I recommitted to consistency, and it worked. I feel better about myself when I’m serious about the small, daily things. Check!

Next month: Jill’s April 2018 Goals

  1. Revise, polish and submit the proposal due later this month.
  2. Prep and speak at Researching the Romance symposium sponsored by BGSU’s Browne Pop Culture Library.
  3. Type background materials for a side project.
  4. Continue preparing for June release by sending advance reader copies to street team.
  5. Draft a short story that’s been running around in my head.
  6. Health: Exercise 4-5 days/week and stay in calorie range most days by tracking food via MyFitnessPal.

***

April is intense. My son plays baseball for the high school team, and I have a lot to accomplish in the next four months. I’m excited to meet my goals. And I’m excited for you to meet YOUR goals, too!

Although it snowed yesterday, the weather is supposed to start warming up soon, and nice weather always gives me a boost! Woohoo!

How did you do last month? What would you like to accomplish this month? I’d love to hear–share in the comments!

Move More; Write More

Move More, Write More. Jillkemerer.com. Blog

For two months I’ve been letting my exercise goals slide. I haven’t given up on them completely, but the 5-6 days a week turned into 2-3 days a week.

I noticed other goals of mine flitting away as well. My side writing goals are not getting met, and you know why? Because when one area of my life is off balance, the whole thing gets tipsy.

I’m convinced consistency is the key to success.

When I move more, I write more.

When I write more, I feel good about myself. When I feel good about myself, I eat healthier.  These successes give me a mental boost to do other things like reading a novel instead of scrolling Facebook.

It’s all connected.

Mind. Body. Spirit.

I always begin my day with coffee, a few chapters of the Bible and prayer. Exercising is scheduled next, before I  tackle my work. This is where I’ve tripped up. Instead of faithfully working out in the morning, I’ve been telling myself I’ll work out in the afternoon. Guess what? I’m tired in the afternoon. And I don’t want to work out, so I don’t.

The good thing, though, is that this cycle can be broken. I am determined to break it. I’ve written my exercise plan into my day planner, AND I scheduled when I will work on my side projects (this week will be one hour per day from Tuesday through Friday). I’ll let you know in my April goal post how I’m doing.

For me, following through with my morning exercise routine leads me to meet or exceed my writing goals for the day. It’s a motivation/mental thing.

If you’re having trouble in one area of your life, it tends to have a ripple effect on other parts. Whatever you’re struggling with goal-wise, work on making it a habit. Your writing output will thank you!

Do you write more when you move more? Or does something else trigger you to write more? I’m curious!

 

Internal Conflict: Digging Deeper #WW

Internal Conflict: Digging Deeper #WW Jillkemerer.com/blog

One thing I love about internal conflict is that a character recognizes she is emotionally protecting herself from something and thinks she knows why, but as the story progresses, she realizes the reason goes deeper. Until she’s willing to be vulnerable and admit the emotional walls she’s erected are stifling her, she won’t be able to emotionally grow.

Does it matter if she grows?

YES! When I’m reading a book, I fall in love with characters. I WANT to see them succeed. I want them to become their best selves and live full lives. If a character ultimately stays the same and shows no growth, I’ll be disappointed.

Of course, this doesn’t mean the character starts off with massive flaws that turn everyone off. No one will stick around long enough to read about her growth!

Internal conflict starts with a deep emotional need. This need has been complicated by previous experiences. The character has convinced herself the need will not be met because of the past complications. Throughout the story, this belief is challenged until she chooses to be vulnerable enough to have the ultimate need met.

Here are some questions to dig deeper with internal conflict:

  1. What happened in the character’s past that caused him to erect emotional walls?
  2. What reason does he give himself to emotionally protect himself?
  3. What deeper fear underlies this explanation?
  4. How can the plot further challenge and develop his conflict?
  5. How do other characters force him to question if he needs to continue to protect himself?
  6. What will be the catalyst for him to acknowledge the deep fear keeping him from living his best life?
  7. What decision will the character make to tear down the emotional wall for good?

Let’s take an example. We’ll look at Lauren’s internal conflict in my book, Hometown Hero’s Redemption.

  1. A former social worker, Lauren feels she failed to protect the two boys she’d been assigned.
  2. She can’t forgive herself and doesn’t want to work with troubled kids ever again, lest she repeat her failure.
  3. As a former foster child, she was shuffled to different homes and as a result, grew a false belief that she had to be perfect to be loved.
  4. She is asked, refuses, and is finally convinced to babysit a kid who has been emotionally devastated. Being around Wyatt challenges her beliefs–at times she feels like she’s failing him, other times she knows she’s helping–and it confuses her.
  5. Drew, Wyatt’s guardian, thinks she’s amazing. And as they grow closer, she opens up to him about her regrets. He helps her see herself in a more accurate light, and as she spends time with him, she starts to realize her emotional walls aren’t just because she failed the boys. She unpacks her childhood and sees how she’s equated being perfect with being worthy of love.
  6. Wyatt vanishes. In Lauren’s mind this proves she was right–she should never have worked with a troubled child. And it reinforces her fears that this is the proof that will drive Drew away. He’ll see she’s not perfect. She failed him and Wyatt and is not worthy of their love. She pushes Drew out of her life.
  7. Lauren comes to terms with the fact she’s not perfect, never will be, and doesn’t have to earn anyone’s love.

Internal conflict is rooted in fear. The character doesn’t want to face this fear and often tells herself a half-truth to explain it. But as the plot progresses and her beliefs are directly challenged, she is forced to acknowledge the real fear holding her back. And ultimately, she chooses to be vulnerable, allowing this deep emotional need to be met.

How do you deepen internal conflict? I’d love to hear YOUR best tips!

Have a terrific day!

What Are Your March 2018 Goals?

March 2018 Goals, Jillkemerer.com/blog

March is here! Yay! March is always cold here, but at least we’re on the tail-end of winter. It’s good for one thing–I get a lot of writing tasks accomplished!

 

March 2018 goals, jillkemerer.com/blog

 

On the first Wednesday of each month, I share my monthly goals and encourage you to in the comments. Before I list my March 2018 goals, I’m reviewing last month’s progress.

Last Month: Jill’s February 2018 Goals

  1. Finish drafting my work-in-progress.
  2. Start content edits when the draft is complete.
  3. Side writing project: meet weekly goals.
  4. *Possible* Final edits for my third Wyoming Cowboy book might arrive this month. In that case, I would move #2 (content edits) to March.
  5. Health: Exercise 4-5 days/week for 3o minutes, log calories in MyFitnessPal and stay withing calorie range most days (I don’t mind going over my range one day a week).

How did I do?

  1. Yes! Finished drafting my WIP! Check.
  2. Yes, started content edits. Check.
  3. Met 2 out of 3 goals on side writing project. Kind of check.
  4. Yes, I received and completed final edits for Wyoming Christmas Quadruplets (releasing October 2018!). Check.
  5. No. Just no. I had extra responsibilities this month, and I’m not proud of this, but my health goals were the first to go. NO check.

Next month: Jill’s March 2018 Goals

  1. Start putting promo together for June release.
  2. Expand ideas for new series.
  3. Expand synopsis for next proposal.
  4. Health: Exercise 4-5 days/week and stay in calorie range most days by tracking food via MyFitnessPal.

***

February brought some exciting challenges, and I’m more than ready to take a brief breather and focus on different aspects of writing this month. Oh, and I need to get my momentum going again on my health!

*Party Time!! Join Jessica R. Patch, me, and several other authors on Thursday, March 8, 2018 to celebrate Jessica’s new release, Secret Service Setup, with a Facebook Party!! The party runs from 7-9 pm Central time (that’s 8-10 pm Eastern time!). We’d love to have you join us, and, yes, there will be prizes and giggling!

Click HERE for the party link. Just click the “Going” button and you’ll be all set!

How did you do last month? What would you like to accomplish this month? I’d love to hear–share in the comments!

 

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