Jennifer Anderson's Blog

October 26, 2016

The other day I mentioned how I planned to participate this year. *fingers crossed*

For some of you, NaNo is new. Maybe you've heard about it but never actually attempted to tackle this month long endeavor. In fact, I have a dear friend who has tried but because she's so awesome with all her contracts, she has to set the NaNo aside and work on something else. And these things happen. Not to me... but they happen! (I think I've convinced her this year!!!)

So, for those that are wanting to participate, here are a few steps to get you ready.

1. Get Registered.
Visit and get signed up. It's super easy. In fact, I just updated my status to my newest project.

2. Get Connected.
Once you are registered, you can connect with others. But if you are not sure if you want to be all out there, you can always hit up Twitter and search our hashtags. Keep a watchful eye out for the #1k1hr tags for 1000 words in 1 hour. I love these little speedy exercised.

3. Game Planning.
So basically, you need to write like 1,333 words a day for the entire month to meet the 50K goal. Easy-peasy! But, we all have lives. In fact, I have 3 kids, 1 husband and a household to manage. We are busy. In order to meet my goal, I need to establish how many words I can write each day. And yes, WRITE EACH DAY!

And if you haven't done so, I recommend an outline for your story. I'm more of a pantser but I like the idea of being a plotter. Having an outline will force me to also establish a word count goal for each day.

4. Scene Setting.
You know how you like to write so make sure you have surrounded yourself with all the tools, and snacks, to keep you motivate. Make sure your music list is updated if you're a music writer. Do you need chocolate to write those steamy romantic scenes, well stock up on Dove. You know yourself the best and whatever will keep you motivated and creative, get it!

These are just a few things that I use to keep me going. If you have questions, shoot. I'm here to help and connect! You can find me on the NaNo site at JenAndersonAuthor.
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Published on October 26, 2016 06:00 • 4 views

October 21, 2016

I have been a terrible person by not blogging and there is a reason. A boring reason so I shall create a better one!

I've been on sabbatical in Asia, scouring rice fields for the Fountain of Youth. While I will always look like I'm 16 (I was actually carded yesterday!) I fear the world does not benefit like I do from my Asian heritage, so I sought out the cure. For the world.

Alas, I have failed and the cosmetic industry is safe!

But seriously, I'm sorry for being away, but I'm back and I'm gearing up for NaNo!

Who's joining me this year?
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Published on October 21, 2016 11:27 • 3 views

January 18, 2016

At my local RWA meetings, we do a Grin and Groans segment that allows authors to either cheer or complain about their writing career. Well, I'm going to try and explain why I've been MIA since October with my own presentation of  Grins and Groans
My rights were reverted to me because my publisher closed: GroanAt the same time I had to get a "Day Job": GroanHowever, I enjoy what I do during the day: GrinHaving my rights, I was forced to empower myself and self-pub my books: Grin and GroanBecause I'm completely spent after a day at work, I barely have the energy to take a shower at night, let alone write or upload books so my progress has been slow: GroanAnd the book that was supposed to release, I decided to keep it, edit it and cultivate a new series from it and use it as an agent submission book: GrinI've recently started training my 14 year old daughter to assist me with author housekeeping work: GrinShe's an aspiring writer so she might post on my blog: Grin for me, Groan for herAfter attending my first local RWA meeting in months, I feel energized and ready to get my book career in order: Grin
So you see, I do have a good reason and I ask that you stick with me. And for aspiring writers out there, life throws you curve balls but it's what you do with them that counts. Is it all getting to be too much? Step back; figure out what you want and how you can achieve it. For me, I'm committing myself to working at least an hour each day on my books. That can be writing, editing, marketing or blogging. But I know I can do an hour. 
When life gets in the way, what do you do?

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Published on January 18, 2016 10:50 • 7 views

October 7, 2015

Taking a cue from a fellow author, I'm sharing my thoughts about a big change in my publishing life. As you may know, I owe my entire career to Turquoise Morning Press. Back in 2011, they took a chance on me and offered me a contract for Ice Princess. A novella based in Honey Creek, Ohio. That little book lead me to add 3 more to that same line creating my Honey Creek Royalty YA series. All because a few women believed in me and my story.

Last week, I learned that Turquoise Morning Press is closing their doors and returning all rights to my books to me. Shocked. Sad. Angry. Confused. These are just a few of the emotions rolling through me since I heard the news.

Shortly after my first contract, I was offered part-time employment as the Marketing Coordinator, followed shortly by Senior YA Acquisitions Editor. Both jobs I loved and took very seriously. I've read some amazing submissions and made lasting connections.

What do I do now? Well, I asked myself that same question and fortunately, I asked fellow authors. I have an opportunity to test my hand at self publishing and I even have a fully edited story I can either publish or try to sell to other places. Tweeks are needed on my Honey Creek stories, since the publisher owns the name of the town, but otherwise, I'm starting to see a very small light winking at me at the far, far end of a tunnel.

Not only was TMP my publisher, but I met some of the best authors, who are now my closest friends. I learned more than my fair share of information about publishing and I grew to love that company. Tears were shed, expletives were yelled, but I think, in the end, we'll all come out strong and confident.

Good luck to my fellow TMPers. I will always wish for your success and pray when you are in pain. Keep in touch.
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Published on October 07, 2015 07:00 • 17 views

September 23, 2015

The Wedding Rescue was a delightfully sweet and funny read. As soon as we learn about the slightly irritated attraction Jack Walker has for his soon-to-be sister-in-law, Lexi, I was curious to find out how the entire story was going to play out, especially with Jack in-lust for her sister, Grace. Did I mention Grace and Lexi are twins!

Megan Kelly did a wonderful job of making a kind of unreal situation work out and be completely manageable leaving me utterly satisfied with my HEA. I also greatly appreciated that she didn’t make it where everybody was fooled by the rouse, especially the father. And the crazy uncle was great. I can’t get enough of a story that adds a little humor with a crabby relative because we all have them. I love snark in my books! A+!

The Wedding Rescue isn’t just a sweet romance. No! There is an element of mystery/suspense mixed in. Nicely done amping up the creep factor. From the first chapters, you can see the love Lexi has for Jack’s daughter and I think that element added a realness to the book. Often kids are involved and keeping it true to human nature is always a plus in my book. I am curious to find out if Ms. Kelly will have a spin-off book involving the cousin and brother. I’d be the first in line to read that as well.

The Wedding Rescue is nice mix of a yummy rancher, sweet intentions and funny circumstances.

Barnes and Noble Create Space (print copy)
Smashwords iBooks
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Published on September 23, 2015 07:58 • 8 views

September 16, 2015

For the past couple of months, you may have seen tons of talk about writing conferences for just professionals and readers. In fact, I just came back from a multi-media event in Kentucky. While the names change, the concepts are the same. Bringing like-minded individuals together for the love of writing or reading, or in the case of the one this weekend, music, gaming and short films.
If you are planning to attend a conference this year or next, there are a few steps I recommend taking before you pull into the parking lot where you'll call home for a few days.
1. Know the address.This may seem like a no-brainer but you'd be surprised how easy this little bit of information can get away from you. Plug that address into MapQuest and make sure you have print copies as well as electronic. I had two GPS going and I still got turned around, heading in the wrong direction. My print copies? In the back of my van! 
2. Schedule your schedule.A few weeks prior to your departure, sit down and figure out what panels you're on, what panels you want to watch and when you can sell your books. And then schedule in down time. You need to eat, rest and recoup so you're at your best because these events are long hours with little breaks. 
And one thing I've learned while attending these things is to try and bring a friend or find someone that will work with you. For example, if an expo hall will be open for 10 hours to sell books, you can't sit there all day alone, especially if you need to speak on panels. Join forces with another author or bring an assistant, or heck, a spouse. This will allow you to take those breaks and fully enjoy the event.
3. Make connections.I'm an introvert so stepping into a room full of unfamiliar faces throws me into a mini stroke. But, about five years ago, I pushed past my fears, bought an event ticket, reserved a room and drove 5+ hours to a reader/writer event. Did this increase my chances of getting a contract? No because the publisher there had already decided to offer me my first contract but I made lasting connections with bloggers, authors and other industry people. Folks I still work with today.
4. Smile.Again, this might seem simple, but you'd be surprised how differently a little teeth showing can make things. Sure, you may be scared out of your mind, but they  might be, too. I met a really nice author at this last one and I think we shared a common personality trait. We were both shy but we connected, traded books and agreed to share reviews. 
Conferences can be fun and relaxing as long as you take care to be prepared. If you've attended an event, please share your experience. 
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Published on September 16, 2015 07:52 • 2 views

June 23, 2015 a MORWA meeting! (a little romance writer humor)

I attended my first MORWA meeting this weekend and I'm thrilled to see that seal broken. Okay, that's the last one, I swear!

First off, I want to stress how wonderfully nice everyone was. I walked in feeling like the new kid in school and instead of wetting my pants (never happened), they gave me a name tag, paired me up with another author and included me in every discussion. 

But it wasn't braiding hair and holding hands (actually, we did none of this unless I missed it. Did I miss it??? Buehler. Buehler). They got down to business and offered an informative presentation with Barbara Samuel, who discussed "strong" female characters.

Throughout all of this, I learned a few tips that all newbie meeting attendees should remember.

1. Be on time! 
Here was our schedule:  
9:30am - Coffee Talk - Amanda Heger on Query Letters and Everything Else (this topic changes each month)10:00am - 11:00am MORWA business meeting11:00am - 12:00pm Barbara Samuel program part 112:00pm - 12:45pm (approx) Lunch12:50pm - 1:50pm Barbara Samuel program part 22:00pm - Booksigning
These ladies don't mess around. I was a little bummed that my schedule wasn't open enough to be there at 9:30 but I'll get 'em next time.

2. Buy that raffle ticket early.During the short break between the business meeting and the program, they sell raffle tickets for prizes! And if you don't buy them early, you'll miss out! I learned the hard way and was busy meeting new people.

3. Dress for the camera.Can't make a meeting because you're stuck at  home because of the flood. No worries. You can join the rest of this group via GoToMeeting. You may be able to lay around in your undies while attending (I wouldn't recommend) but us attending better wear something...anything. Lucky for me, I didn't come in my sweats!

4. Come to share.There's a part of the meeting called Grins and Groans where the authors share their good and bad news. Got a book signing? Grin! Was rejected by a press? Groan. Either way, these authors are right there with you cheering you along. 

And that's the best aspect of this group. Encouragement. Writing is hard and the road to publication is bumping but with a good group for support, you can do it.
If you were at the meeting, thank you for being their for my first time! 
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Published on June 23, 2015 11:01 • 4 views

May 21, 2015

If I lived in Australia, I know this lady and I would be besties, although, she'd be the cool friend. Honest! But even with the miles between us, that doesn't hurt our blossoming friendship. She's funny, clever and always with a Dr. Who catch line (some I get, others I don't!) And that accent. Get's me every time! (I totally read her emails with an accent.)
Welcome YA author, Cassandra Page. I asked her a few questions and she answered!
Coffee or tea? It’s a tough call. It’s almost winter here; the weather is certainly acting that way, and when it’s cold, I drink more cups of tea a day than coffee. Tea is my comfort drink on a cold evening. BUT I struggle to start the day without coffee, although I limit myself to two cups a day so I don’t get the jitters. Or maybe three. Never more than four!If you could have lunch (not dinner; that's personal!) with any one writer, alive, who would it be?This is also a really hard question to answer. I’d like to say Stephen King, but I’d be so intimated I wouldn’t even be able to talk. I’d just sit there and tremble, and probably spill pasta sauce all over myself. So instead I’ll name another fabulously successful author: JK Rowling. She seems lovely, and I like to imagine that we could bond over the fact she was a single mother when she wrote Harry Potter, since I wrote my first novel, Isla’s Inheritance, after my divorce. Paper and pen or computer with mouse?Computer and mouse. I do use a pen and paper when I get stuck, to write down plot notes and for the occasional change of scene—some days the idea of sitting in the study again is off-putting. But I do the vast majority of my writing on the computer. I’m a touch-typer, which means it’s much faster. I also tend to edit as I go, first while doing the initial drafting and then again when I sit down for the next writing session a few days later. Coke or Pepsi (your answer may determine our friendship)?Um. Well, the answer is Coke. Specifically Coke Zero, because I don’t need the fifty bajillion teaspoons of sugar in the full-strength version, and Diet Coke is too frothy and saccharine for me. Are we still friends? O.OYes, I'm a Coke kind of a girl, although, I drink the Diet. Maybe I'll give Zero a chance! -JenI watch a lot of nature shows and they are always talking about how dangerous it is to live in Australia. Tell us, do you constantly battle poisonous spiders and snakes all day? Are kangaroos wanting to pick fights? Do you have a monkey problem?Not constantly. They’re more a background presence. Well, except for the monkeys—we don’t have those. This week my son brought home a book from the school library talking about poisonous Australian arachnids. We read it last night and it was both reassuring and a little worrying. It turns out of the two fatal Australian spiders, we only get one where I live. (We get a bunch of others that will make you have a bad day if they bite you, but only one deadly one.)Of course, the other fatal spider lives in Sydney, which is only a few hours drive away. And I found a baby Eastern Brown snake in my back yard a few weeks ago. Fortunately a bird had already killed it, because even the babies are deadly…As far as kangaroos go, the worst I’ve seen one do is scratch its chest aggressively at me. They are more of a peril on the road, because they tend to hop in front of cars and cause accidents, especially in winter. Cake or pie?This is a complicated answer, because in Australiapie is usually a savoury, meat-filled dish. It’s a bit like comparing apples and oranges, because I wouldn’t have cake for lunch (usually) or a meat pie for dessert (ever). But if I assume you mean American desert-style pie, then I’d choose pie. Unless the cake was cheesecake. Then I’d have to think about it.Yeah, I’m sitting on the fence on this one!Ideal vacation spot anywhere in the world?Somewhere by a beach. I live in Canberra, which is in a series of valleys in the highlands, so the nearest beach is about a two-hour drive from here. I miss it. I just find the feeling of sand under my toes and the sound of the waves the most relaxing thing in the world. I’ve never been to a tropical island, but my friends just got back from a holiday at a five-star resort in Fiji, and the photos look amazing. So if I could go anywhere in the world, I’d probably go there!Print or ebook?Usually print. I’m an old-fashioned girl. I do read ebooks in instances where the print book would be too expensive to get hold of, such as books published through Createspace. (Amazon doesn’t offer free shipping to Australia and, once you add the cost of postage, a POD book from them is prohibitively expensive.) I know this isn’t what you asked, but I’ve really started getting into audiobooks over the past six months as well. I spend about 40 minutes in traffic on the average workday, and being able to “read” in the car is great! It’s also far less stressful than listening to the news.If you weren't a writer, what other profession do you think you'd be?In my day job I’m an editor. I review technical reports for a government department. It’s not exactly riveting in terms of the content, but I get a kick out of tightening sentences and streamlining a message. So I’d probably still be an editor. It’d be fascinating to edit fiction, though; if I could pick an editing job, I’d work on novels. The other thing I really enjoy is playing in Photoshop. If I couldn’t write or edit, I’d design book covers. Favorite genre to read?Urban fantasy: vampires and werewolves and fae, oh my! I used to really dig fantasy, but these days I don’t seem to have the attention span for an epic tale of heroism and bravery. I’ve always loved urban fantasy (back from before I knew what it was called), and it’s definitely my favourite … although I have been flirting with a bit of contemporary from time to time too. Favorite genre to write?Urban fantasy (surprise)! The four novels I’ve completed are all urban fantasy, including the three that have been releasedby Turquoise Morning Press, and a fourth I’m looking at self-publishing later in the year as a hybrid author experiment. I’m currently working on my first non-urban fantasy, a historical fantasy inspired by Ancient Greece. Writing something not set in the current day—or at least a variation on the current day—has been a challenge, but I’m really enjoying it.Yahtzee or Scrabble?Scrabble. I don’t think I’ve played Yahtzee in my life!On the playground, what was your favorite thing to play on?The swings. I loved seeing how high I could go, looking at the clouds and imagining that I could fly. But my primary school didn’t have swings, so there I loved playing on the old wooden fort, pretending it was a pirate ship or a castle. Captain Americaor Thor?Thor, for a few different reasons. Captain Americadoesn’t resonate with me because, well, I’m not American. (He is nice eye candy, though.) And since Thor is played by an Australian these days, I feel a certain patriotic obligation towards him.He’s also nice eye candy too. ;)
BioCassandra Page is a mother, author, editor and geek. She lives in Canberra, Australia’s bush capital, with her son and two Cairn Terriers. She has a serious coffee addiction and a tattoo of a cat — despite being allergic to cats. She has loved to read since primary school, when the library was her refuge. When she’s not reading or writing, she engages in geekery, from Doctor Who to AD&D. Because who said you need to grow up?
All three books in her ISLA'S INHERITANCE young adult trilogy are now available.
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Published on May 21, 2015 05:59 • 89 views

May 13, 2015

Welcome Constance! Instead of the same old interview questions, let's change it up and ask the questions we are all dying to know the answers to.

Let's begin!
Snow or Sun?  Definitely Sun. I’m a warm weather gal.
What is the one food that you could not live without? Pasta
Ketchup or mustard? Since I have a real aversion to Ketchup, it has to be mustard. (Yeah, my kids think I’m crazy too.)
Ideal vacation? Anywhere warm, preferably a beach.
When you’re not writing, what do you do to pass the time? Reading or watching movies. It’s all about the story with me.
Out of all The Avengers, who is your favorite? Tough one, but I’m going to go with Iron Man.

Reality TV shows? Or fictional drama? I have a thing for the Reality shows that air on Discovery, History, TLC, etc. I’m a huge Deadliest Catch fan.
Favorite subject in school?  Loved English (Obviously) for the creative writing. I also had a World History teacher who made that subject very fun.
Guilty pleasure? 80s pop music.
Burgers and fries or filet and escargot? Burgers and fries.
Constance is mine kind of lady! You had me at 80s pop music!
Now, for the business. Constance writes wonderful romance stories full of compassion and her latest, All That's Unrealized is no different.

It’s what the doctor ordered for Rhonda Gables, owner of three successful boutiques: four weeks of rest between winning this season’s Retail Project and claiming her prize. Rhonda must decide if being a TV reality show star is worth leaving behind her loved ones, including the increasingly 6 appealing Trevor Collins.

In a month, fashion mogul and reality TV judge Conrad Ryse, of The Retail Project fame, has promised to take Rhonda Gables under his wing and invest in her fledgling career. That’s her grand prize after a winning season on his show. Too bad exhaustion has sent Rhonda out of her city apartment, away from her three successful boutiques, and into her cousin’s guest room for a month of recuperation in her hometown.

She’s on the cusp of everything she’s ever wanted, but what will it cost? Doctor’s orders be damned, she balks at first. But soon Rhonda is both delighted and disconcerted by the attentions of her friend-maybe-lover, Trevor Collins, and the contentment she is surrounded by back home. She must realize all she’s willing to compromise and what her heart truly desires.

Buy links: Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes and Noble |ibooksTurquoise Morning Press Store | All Romance E-books

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Published on May 13, 2015 07:01 • 8 views

April 30, 2015

Let me start out by saying that I'm a Nicholas Sparks fan. I have been since The Notebook (duh!) and while many find his stuff predictable and soft, those are the things I look to and enjoy. I know there will be a HEA but the journey is the best part. I fall head-over-heels for the heros and want to throw darts at the bad guy. And I always end up crying at some point.

Last year, I bought The Longest Yard, realizing I hadn't read one of his books in awhile. But after twenty or so pages, I put it down, shocked that I wasn't as engrossed as usual. Then I saw the previews for the movie and became determined to finish the book. I owed it to myself and NS to finish.

(Cover from GoodReads)

So I did, and while there was a HEA I wasn't as pleased with the entire book. I did read the acknowledgement and understand, while reading, that much research and feeling went into this book. Even making me wonder if when writing, was the author going through his own personal stuff and reflecting.

I couldn't get a good read on Luke, finding his speech a little staggered and short but not in the "I'm a tough guy and I don't speak much". At times, the romance or relationship between Luke and Sophia felt awkward and uncomfortable.

I did enjoy most of Ira and Ruth's story even though I skimmed some of the internal monologue. You truly felt that he was a guy completely in love with the woman and reading his last letter did make me cry a little.

A few years back, a writer friend shared with me that she gets so frustrated with typos in published books and at the time, I never really paid attention. Maybe its because I hadn't grown as a writer, but now I do notice but I usually don't comment. And I could be mistaken, but parts of this felt head hoppy and I was a little taken back on what POV the chapter was focusing on. And why were Ira's chapters in 1st person (for the most part) and the others no?

All in all, I give this a 3 stars because while I didn't love it, I did enjoy certain parts.
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Published on April 30, 2015 09:40 • 5 views