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Friday Extra! First Peek at Natalie Walter’s Cover!

I know I don’t usually post on Friday, but I’m so excited to share with you the cover of Living Lies, the debut novel of Natalie Walters! I had to do a Friday extra. 🙂

Here’s a little about the book, an inspirational romantic suspense (available for preorder now, releases May 21, 2019)!!

LIVING LIES

In the little town of Walton, Georgia, everybody knows your name–but no one knows your secret. At least that’s what Lane Kent is counting on when she returns to her hometown with her five-year-old son. Dangerously depressed after the death of her husband, Lane is looking for hope. What she finds instead is a dead body.

Lane must work with Walton’s newest deputy, Charlie Lynch, to uncover the truth behind the murder. But when that truth hits too close to home, she’ll have to decide if saving the life of another is worth the cost of revealing her darkest secret.

Debut novelist Natalie Walters pulls you to the edge of your seat on the first page and keeps you there until the last in this riveting story that will have you believing no one is defined by their past.

Are you ready to see the cover? *rubs hands together*
Living Lies by Natalie Walters May 21, 2019
Ooh-la-la!! Looks creepy and good!! I know I wouldn’t want to be on that dark path!
Check out Natalie Walter’s website (linked) for more information about her and her book!

What are you doing this weekend?

I’ll going to writer’s group tomorrow! If you’re in the Toledo, Ohio area, check out www.MVRAI.com!

Are You a Comma Master?

Are You A Comma Master? Jill Kemerer Blog

Commas. Where do they go? Why did I throw one there? Does this phrase need one? Are seventeen commas in one sentence too many??? (Yes.)

I consider myself at intermediate level when it comes to comma placement. No matter how much I edit, I always find spots where I’ve misplaced them.

Are you a comma master?

Since I’m in the line-edit phase of a project, I’m overthinking the whole comma thing. Yesterday I got out my cheat sheet, a grammar book, and a CMOS style guide. I still had to look up specific examples online!

Let’s tackle the basics (thank you, Jan R., for graciously sharing these with me years ago!).

Commas go…

  • before a coordinating conjunction joining independent clauses.
  • after introductory phrase, especially if dependent.
  • between items in a series.
  • between coordinate adjectives.
  • on either side of a nonrestrictive word group.
  • to set off parenthetical expressions.
  • in dates, addresses, titles, etc…
  • where there might be confusion without one.

For a more thorough breakdown of comma usage, are a few sites I’ve bookmarked.

The Punctuation Guide

Grammar Book

Grammarly

How are you with commas? Do you have any tips, sites, or books to recommend? I’d love to hear!

 

Get More Done with a Plan #WW

Get More Done With A Plan #ww Jill Kemerer Blog

When you wake up on Monday, do you have a general idea of what you want to accomplish?

This is typically how my thoughts run…

Keep writing the new book. Put together the guest blog. Create graphics for the new release. Oh, and write my blog post. And what about social media?

Instead of anticipating the week, I start to feel crushed because of the sheer amount of things to do. I tend to focus so intensely on the writing that I end up cramming promotion or not doing it on a regular basis. And forget all the other writer duties. They get shoved aside to that fruitless land called “when I have more time.”

I know, you’re laughing right now. We never have a day with more time!

This summer, I stopped the gerbil-on-a-wheel approach to my writing life. I was nervous about it, but it ended up working out better than I could have imagined.

There IS a better way, and I’m living it as we speak.

I realized I have all the time I need right now. I just have to be very, very deliberate. No more hoping I’ll get everything done. Now I plan to get everything done.

Think about your writing life. What MUST get done each week?

For me, it’s the actual writing (or plotting, revising, editing). Then it’s ongoing promotion like posting to social media and my blog, and admin duties (emails, income/expense report, updating website, etc…).

Additionally, what do you want to get done each week?

For me it’s freelance writing, continuous education, long-term marketing, and brainstorming ideas.

How can you fit ALL of these categories in on a regular basis?

Every Monday, I assign duties to each day. If I have appointments, I assign less to those days. I’m very clear about what I’ll be doing, too. For example, Friday I will be doing admin work from 9-9:30am, revising a novella from 9:30-noon, taking thirty minutes to an hour for lunch, going back to the novella from 1-4:00pm, and drafting a freelance story from 4-6:00pm. Not having to think about it frees my brain to just do it!

In the past, I would have worked on the novella all day, gotten exhausted by 4:30 or 5:00pm and quit. I’m still tired in the late afternoon, but I can always push myself to switch gears and either work on a shorter piece or study a writing craft book.

The result? I’m writing/revising as much as I used to, AND I’m fitting in the other things on my list. I can’t believe it, but I’m actually getting more done.

**I do take five-minute breaks twice a day to check Facebook, Twitter and my emails. I do NOT linger. It kills my productivity and eats into my time.**

What do you want to get done but never have time for? Do you think planning it into your week would help?

Have a terrific day!

 

 

An Hour with a Blank Notebook #WW

An Hour With A Blank Notebook #ww Jillkemerer.com

How often do you find a quiet spot and let your imagination play?

Part of the writer’s life is exploring ideas. For a long time, I neglected carving out an hour to sit with a notebook and just explore. But I overhauled my approach to my workweek and now have dedicated time every week to do this.

I usually don’t stay at home for this creative session. I like to go to a local park or, if the weather’s bad, I’ll head to a coffee shop. I bring my idea notebook and a black Pilot G-2 pen. Sometimes I have an agenda–a plot that isn’t cooperating, a short story starter, a future workshop brewing in my head–but other times I just sit and let my mind wander.

I’m finding that an hour with a blank notebook:

  • is relaxing.
  • untangles the stories jumbling up in my head.
  • provides clarity about my current work-in-progress.
  • reminds me of being a kid.
  • helps me prioritize.
  • makes me laugh when a weird idea jumps on the page.
  • goes by quickly.
  • but also goes by so slow–a good slow.
  • makes me feel like I’m taking care of myself.
  • is necessary. Absolutely necessary.

When I think of all the weeks I let slip by without intentionally tending to my ideas, I get sad. I mean, it’s one hour a week. I can find a measly hour.

It’s skipping one television drama.

Cutting back on social media.

Working smarter to fit my writing in for the day.

Since I made this mandatory–I even gave it a firm day and time–I can’t believe how much simpler other parts of my life have become. Suddenly I have a blog plan for the rest of the year, two short stories ready to be plotted, a deeper conflict for an upcoming book, and a lot of random thoughts that might go nowhere! Who cares? Imaginations are there for a reason. Ideas breed more ideas. What’s not to love about that?

Do you set aside time to just sit and think and let your imagination skip around? If yes, what works for you? If no, why not try it?

A HUGE thank you to everyone who purchased my current release (still in stores!), Wyoming Christmas Quadruplets! It hit #18 on the Publisher’s Weekly mass market paperback bestseller list on October 1! What a dream come true–thank you!!

What are Your October 2018 Goals?

What Are Your October 2018 Goals? Jill Kemerer Blog

October already? I feel like I blinked and missed September! And you know what that means–blink twice and Christmas will be here. We’ll have to make the most of the days we have between now and 2019!

How did your September go? Mine rocked. Buckle up!

{Please share your progress and new goals in the comments!}

Jill’s September 2018 Goals:

  • Revise the novella (February 2019 release).
  • Plot a Christmas novella.
  • Create a production plan for the remaining months in 2018. (If you’re new to production plans, check out my post “Creating a Production Plan.”)
  • Take notes on four more sessions of the online writing course I’m taking.
  • Health: Workout DVDs at 8am Monday-Thursday, log calories every day and stay within calorie range.

How Did I Do?

  • Revise the novella? Check! Line-editing and polishing, here I come.
  • Plot a Christmas novella. Check!
  • Create a production plan for rest of 2018. Double Check! I not only created a production plan, I created an entirely new approach to my schedule, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.
  • Take notes on four more sessions of the online writing course: Check! I’m enjoying the class so much, I ended up studying eight sessions. Score!
  • Health: Check! It’s about time…I think it’s been four months since I met this particular goal. Feels good to have a win!

Jill’s October 2018 Goals:

  • Start writing Christmas novella
  • Line-edit and polish February novella
  • Final edits, His Wyoming Baby Blessing, Wyoming Cowboys Book 4
  • Put Sugarplums and Second Chances up for preorder (previously released novella)
  • Submit two freelance projects
  • Health: Work out M-F at 8am to exercise DVDs, log calories, stay within range.

I have a lot of nitty-gritty work this month. I’m looking forward to it!

What about you? What are you working on? Share in the comments!

Join me today at Seekerville for my tips on how you know if an idea is book-worthy! There’s a giveaway, too!

What Being an Author Really Means

What Does It Really Mean To Be An Author? Jillkemerer.com/blog

How many hours a week do you work?

This is a question I’m asked often. I don’t mind. I’m curious about people’s jobs, too! The person always seems surprised when I tell them I work roughly fifty hours a week. The only conclusion I can come to, based on the frequency of the question and the surprise at the response, is that people assume being an author is not very time-consuming.

Being an author IS time-consuming.

Many writers have full-time jobs in addition to their writing careers. For some authors, writing is one of their part-time jobs. Others are stay-at-home parents fitting writing in around their children’s schedules. I was the latter for years. Trust me, it isn’t easy! For other authors, writing is a full-time job.

I now write full time, and I do not take the blessing of my open schedule for granted.

No matter what your schedule, if you’re an author, you’re sacrificing time and money to pursue this career. You are, essentially, your own boss.

What does being an author really mean?

  • Authors are small-business owners. We keep track of our income and expenses. We buy our supplies. We determine where and when we work. We promote our products. We make decisions–and wonder if we’re making the right decisions–about our books. We plan, we budget, we write.
  • Authors are self-motivated. We don’t have a boss breathing down our necks to get the words written, and we don’t have a weekly paycheck to motivate us, either. Some of the books we write are not contracted, meaning we might never make a dime off them. Retirement plans, 401K, and paid vacations are incentives that keep many employees committed to their jobs, but we don’t have those either. We write because it’s what we do.  We know any retirement plan or vacation will be funded by us and us alone.
  • Authors are marketers. We promote our work and network to get the word out about our books. We have websites and social media accounts, and whether we want to or not, we spend time adding content to keep readers informed and interested.
  • Authors are creative. We find time to explore ideas, and if we don’t? The ideas hijack our showers, our walks, and our going-to-sleep routines. Well, ideas do that no matter what. We can’t really turn off the imagination, and we don’t want to!
  • Authors are vulnerable. We care what readers think of our books. We feel bad when we get rejections. We compare ourselves to other authors and tell ourselves not to, but we can’t help it sometimes. We hit dry creative spells. We worry we’ll never meet our full potential. We fear something will break us, and we’ll quit writing for good. The idea of not writing depresses us more than you could ever know.
  •  Authors are generous. We want to help fellow writers. We love helping new writers. We share our knowledge, volunteer our time and energy and money to help other writers.
  • Authors are hard on themselves. We feel guilty taking time off at Christmas or for a vacation. We always think we should be writing more–more pages, more words, more books. We see other authors and think we should be doing it like them. We wonder why we can’t get it together and write more, promote harder, build the career we want. We struggle to celebrate the process. We lose sight of how far we’ve come in our quest to get where we’re going.
  • Authors are in-tune to the human condition. In order to write characters readers will actually care about, we have to care about what makes life wonderful and tragic and beautiful and ugly. We see the world around us, and we process it through our characters. We learn while we write. We grow with each story.

I love being an author. I’m grateful and humble that I’m blessed with a life that allows me to write full-time (the credit goes to my husband, who has supported me for years). I hope you have as much joy in your work as I do in mine.

What did I miss? What else does it mean to be an author?

My Wyoming Christmas Quadruplets giveaway is still going on! Click HERE and scroll down for the easy entry options (US residents, 18+ only)!

Thank you for stopping by!

Wyoming Christmas Quadruplets Release!

Wyoming Christmas Quadruplets By Jill Kemerer October 2018

Guess what? My new book is in stores! Woohoo!

Wyoming Christmas Quadruplets is the third book in the Wyoming Cowboy series. It features cowboy Marshall Graham as he helps Ainsley Draper–a very, attractive baby nurse–take care of infant quadruplets.

Look at that cover! Aaah! Believe it or not, the story isn’t all Christmas delights. Marshall has a tendency to put his twin sister, Belle (the quadruplets mother), above everything else in his life. He’s working as a ranch hand on her husband’s ranch, and she’s behaving out of character. It isn’t until Ainsley arrives to help take care of the babies that he begins to understand his sister might have postpartum depression. Needless to say, neither Marshall nor Belle’s husband, want to tackle that issue.

I adored writing this book. Ainsley is a vulnerable, kind, very strong woman, and Marshall is loyal and selfless. I loved watching them interact, and I hated to see their story end!

 

A nanny at Christmastime…
Will she find love in this Wyoming Cowboys novel?

Six weeks on a ranch caring for quadruplets—aspiring nurse Ainsley Draper’s prepared for a busy Christmas. When the children’s handsome uncle opens the door, her task gets extra complicated. Marshall Graham is upholding his promise to look after his twin sister, the babies’ mom. But as family loyalty clashes with new love, will the perfect present include a future with Ainsley?

Click HERE for Purchase Links!

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Do you picture the characters in novels? See if your idea about what they look like matches mine! My Pinterest board features all kinds of inspiration, including Sam Hunt (my Marshall!) and Ashley Benson (my Ainsley)!

Click HERE for Pinterest board!

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I’m hosting a giveaway until the end of September. You could win all three books (book 4 releases next May) in large print, a cute picture frame, ornaments, candy sticks and a $10 Starbucks gift card! (US residents, 18+) Go to “Wyoming Christmas Quadruplets Giveaway” and scroll down for the easy entry options.

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What are you looking forward to this fall?

What are Your September 2018 Goals?

Four more months–just four more months until 2019. Sobering, isn’t it?

I’m excited, though. It gives me plenty of time to work on new projects. All the fun holidays are coming up, too, so I’ll be motivated to finish projects early. Now that my fall schedule is in place, I’ll be blogging every Wednesday. Goals will be the first Wednesday of the month.

Before we get to September goals, I want to bring your attention to two things.

1.Melissa Henderson’s adorable children’s book Licky the Lizard is available now! It would make a super cute Christmas gift.

Licky the Lizard by Melissa Henderson

2. To celebrate Wyoming Christmas Quadruplets, my eighth Love Inspired novel releasing next week, I’m hosting a giveaway until September 30 (US residents only) and would love for you to enter! Click HERE and scroll down for the easy entry options.

Okay, back to goals…how did I do last month? Let’s see!

Jill’s August 2018 Goals:

  • Set up promotion for Wyoming Christmas Quadruplets, releasing September 18, 2018.
  • Plot and begin writing a novella–part of a fun collection releasing in February 2019.
  • Relax and enjoy time off with my family!
  • Health: Exercise 4-5 days/week. Track calories every weekday and stay within calorie range.

How Did I Do?

  • Set up promo? Check! I still need to create a few graphics, but the heavy hitting is done.
  • Plot and begin writing a novella? Check! I finished drafting it yesterday, and it was a LOT of fun!
  • Relax and enjoy family? Check! This was the easiest goal of the month and desperately needed. 🙂
  • Health? For three months running, this got a NO Check. Needless to say, I plan on changing that.

Jill’s September 2018 Goals:

  • Revise the novella (February 2019 release).
  • Plot a Christmas novella.
  • Create a production plan for the remaining months in 2018. (If you’re new to production plans, check out my post “Creating a Production Plan.”)
  • Take notes on four more sessions of the online writing course I’m taking.
  • Health: Workout DVDs at 8am Monday-Thursday, log calories every day and stay within calorie range.

How did you do? Please share your goals in the comments!

Allie Pleiter and I wrote a blog post Monday on Ladies of Love Inspired that might help you stay on track–“Top 3 Tips to Stay Productive This Fall.” Check it out!

Wyoming Christmas Quadruplets Giveaway

Wyoming Christmas Quadruplets Giveaway By Jill Kemerer

*Please stop back at 2pm EST to enter the giveaway!*

It’s giveaway time again! Yay!!

I hope you had a lovely summer. Mine was busy writing! Nothing wrong with that. And I’m very excited for my upcoming release–Wyoming Christmas Quadruplets! This is book three in the Wyoming Cowboys series and follows Marshall’s bumpy road to love. The babies on the cover are his sister’s, and he and the new baby nurse are helping out with the infants. Needless to say, this holiday season will be memorable for them all.

 

Here’s the back cover description:

Six weeks on a ranch caring for quadruplets—aspiring nurse Ainsley Draper’s prepared for a busy Christmas. When the children’s handsome uncle opens the door, her task gets extra complicated. Marshall Graham is upholding his promise to look after his twin sister, the babies’ mom. But as family loyalty clashes with new love, will the perfect present include a future with Ainsley?

 

Purchase links and extras HERE!

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The book will be in stores starting September 18, 2018! The ebooks will be available on October 1, 2018. To celebrate, I’m giving away a gift package! One winner will receive large print copies of Wyoming Christmas Quadruplets, Reunited with the Bull Rider, and The Rancher’s Mistletoe Bride. The package also includes three Christmas ornaments, a cute picture frame, candy sticks, and a ten dollar Starbucks gift card. The easy entry options are below!

*US Residents only. 18+. Giveaway is open from September 04, 2018 at 2pm EST through September 30, 2018 at 9pm EST. Winner will be notified via email. See entry form for complete rules.*

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What are you looking forward to this month?

Have a terrific day!!

What Are Your August 2018 Goals?

August 2018 Goals - Jillkemerer.com/blog

It’s that time again! It’s been a busy summer, and I haven’t been blogging much, but I LOVE seeing your goals! You all motivate me. I’ll review my plan for last month, share how I did, then state my new goals! Please share yours in the comments.

Jill’s July 2018 Goals:

  • Content edit, revise and polish the fourth Wyoming Cowboys book.
  • Revise and polish the three-book proposal drafted in June.
  • Health–exercise 4-5 days/week, track calories, stay within range.

How Did I Do?

  • Content edit, revise and polish the fourth Wyoming Cowboys book. CHECK! It felt GREAT to submit it!
  • Revise and polish the three-book proposal drafted in June. CHECK! Woohoo!
  • Health–exercise 4-5 days/week, track calories, stay within range. NO CHECK. Wah-wah. For two weeks, I stopped tracking calories, and I averaged only 3 exercise days per week all month. *sad face*

Jill’s August 2018 Goals:

  • Set up promotion for Wyoming Christmas Quadruplets, releasing September 18, 2018.
  • Plot and begin writing a novella–part of a fun collection releasing in February 2019.
  • Relax and enjoy time off with my family!
  • Health: Exercise 4-5 days/week. Track calories every weekday and stay within calorie range.

What were your goals? How did you do? What would you like to accomplish this August?

Enjoy!

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