Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Author Interview: Jill Kemerer, Author of Unexpected Family

Jill Kemerer writes contemporary Christian romance novels with love, humor and faith. A full time writer, she relies on coffee and chocolate to keep up with her kids’ busy schedules. Besides spoiling her mini-dachshund, Jill adores magazines, M&Ms, fluffy animals and long nature walks. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Jill loves connecting with readers, so please visit her website,

Thank you for having me today!

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in farm country. We lived a few miles from Oakley, a small town in mid-Michigan. I spent a lot of time running around barefoot, playing with my sister and cousins and sitting around reading. We moved to Saginaw, Michigan when I was twelve, and I think I’ve been moving ever since!

When did you begin writing?

It was a cold January day. I was twenty years old. I’d finished my college homework, so I read a romance novel. Well, I didn’t like the book and figured I could do better than that! I grabbed a cheap spiral notebook and began writing. My characters would fall in love, and they wouldn’t have all those pesky problems the other fictional couples seemed to have. Twenty-two pages later, the book ended. Turned out the problems were the point! Yes, I had a lot to learn, but once I started writing romance, I never looked back. I’ve been writing them ever since.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

I write my books during the day, but I write blog posts, short stories and other projects whenever I can sneak a few moments.

What is this book about?

Unexpected Family is about a single mom who finally gets the guts to tell her ex-husband they have a daughter. Here’s the back-copy:

His Surprise Daughter

After five years apart, Tom Sheffield is shocked to find his ex-wife, Stephanie, on his doorstep. The news that they share a child he's never met sends him reeling. Four-year-old Macy has his eyes, his mouth and, from their first encounter, his heart. Things with her mother are much more complicated. He doesn't understand what went wrong between them or why she kept their daughter a secret. And he's afraid of falling in love all over again. Yet he feels a glimmer of hope that somehow he can convince Macy and Stephanie to stay in Lake Endwell—and with him—for keeps.

What inspired you to write it?

Inspiration comes at the worst time! I was trying to fall asleep, and all of a sudden, I thought what if a guy got a call from the police saying, “Your wife and daughter were in an accident,” and the guy responded, “But I don’t have a wife or daughter”?

I got up and wrote it down. The idea would not go away, and the basis for Unexpected Family was born.

Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

The road to publication was not only bumpy, it was steep! I wrote twelve novels and submitted nine before getting a contract. I’ve been writing for over twenty years, but I’ve only been writing full-time for eight. Last year, I finally got the call I’d been waiting for. My debut novel, Small-Town Bachelor, released in April. It, too, is set in Lake Endwell and features Tom Sheffield’s sister, Claire.

If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?

No. God used the time to draw me closer to him. I gained humility and confidence in my writing. I’m thankful for every step of my journey.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Readers can find purchase links to all major booksellers on my webpage for Unexpected Family. Paperbacks are available in stores such as Walmart, Barnes & Noble, Kmart and local grocery stores.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

Never give up! And don’t let worries and doubts keep you from writing. Some authors get published with their first or second book. Some self-publish. But if you’re like me and want a traditional publisher, just keep trying. I’m living my dream, and you can too!

What is up next for you?

The third book in the Lake Endwell series will release sometime next spring, and I’m currently writing the fourth book. I love my job!

Thanks again for having me today!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Back to School Tips for Busy Moms

I'm not sure how it is around your place, but this busy mom is balancing work and getting the kids ready to go back to school. Here are links to some back to school tips for all us busy moms.

Time management tips:

Great list of links for all kinds of good stuff: New School Year Resolutions, After-School Routine Checklist, Must-Have Apps for Moms, and more!

Ways to avoid Back to School signup chaos: 

Storage solutions:

Monday, August 24, 2015

Interview with Lisa Tillinger Johnsen, Author of STOP THE DIET, I WANT TO GET OFF! at The Book Connection

I thought my readers would be interested in an interview posted today at The Book Connection with author Lisa Tillinger Johansen, MS, RD, author of STOP THE DIET, I WANT TO GET OFF! You can find it at

Friday, August 21, 2015

As A Busy Mom Thinks: How I Embraced My Messy Bessy Side

I recall what a neatnik I used to be. That was long before the girls came along and way before I returned to work full time. Even when it was just John Boy and me or Paddy (what the girls call their dad), John Boy, and me things were fairly neat around here. As soon as the Lil' Diva and Lil' Princess arrived, my house exploded into a place filled with things, and lots of them too.

It wouldn't bother me so much if the girls would willingly part with the toys, games, and other kid stuff they outgrow or no longer play with; but they get their sentimental side from their dad, so they keep everything. And once I returned to working outside of the house, there was no way I could keep up the regular household chores, never mind bug them to donate some stuff.

So, for the time being, I am embracing my Messy Bessy side: keeping things just clean enough to be hygienic, but certainly not up to par with what the house used to be.

Now, if I could just reconcile myself to the garden full of weeds out in the back yard, I could be happy.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Mailbox Monday - August 10

Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

It's Monday again. My, how time flies when we're having fun. The real estate world is moving fast and furious. I am working 60+ hours and still can't keep up. Good thing I love it.

My girls are going on a short vacation with family on Wednesday, so at least I don't have to feel guilty they will be bored while I am working my tail off. We are also celebrating a birthday this week. The Lil' Diva turns 14 on Tuesday. Don't know how that happened.

Two books arrived this week. I'll let you think about what's been on my mind lately. The first one is for a virtual book tour that I am participating in.

The Paleo. The Zone. The Gluten-free. Another day, another diet. We’re caught in a never-ending merry-go-round of weight loss plans, fueled by celebrity endorsers, TV doctors and companies angling for a piece of a $60 billion industry. But do these diets really work? And how healthy are they?

Registered Dietitian Lisa Tillinger Johansen examines dozens of the most wildly popular diets based on medical facts, not hype. And along the way, she reveals tried-and-true weight loss strategies, relying on her years of hospital experience, weight-loss seminars and community outreach efforts. With insight and humor, Stop The Diet, I Want To Get Off shows that the best answer is often not a trendy celebrity-endorsed diet, but easy-to-follow guidelines that are best for our health and our waistlines.


My girls are huge Restaurant Impossible fans. The show was actually here in town not that long ago. Sadly, we weren't chosen as volunteers to help with the remodel and weren't able to get in to eat that night, but we knew the family whose restaurant was being renovated and got to see how much they were helped.

When my youngest heard that Fit Fuel was coming out, she insisted we pre-order so we could have an autographed copy.

With more than 25 years in the culinary profession, Chef Robert Irvine has cooked his way through Europe, the Far East, the Caribbean and the Americas in hotels and on the high seas. He's best known as the host of one of Food Network's highest-rated shows, Restaurant: Impossible, but equally recognized for his muscular physique and healthy lifestyle focus that once earned him recognition as one of the top 25 Fittest Guys in America by Men's Fitness magazine.

With the release of Fit Fuel: A Chef's Guide to Eating Well, Getting Fit, and Living Your Best Life, Chef Irvine translates his tough love tactics from the failing restaurant owner to the everyday man and woman struggling to get their health and fitness goals on track.

Developed from Robert Irvine's lifetime of training and nutritional knowledge, with support from distinguished fitness writer Matt Tuthill, Fit Fuel is packed from cover to cover with equal parts inspiration and information that can change your life forever.

The book is divided into three parts, the first of which examines the mental aspects of goal setting, habit forming, and long-term maintenance. Here, Chef Irvine provides encouraging, digestible ideas of how to change the way we see and think about food, ourselves, and our own unlimited potential. Just as he's done in season after season of Restaurant: Impossible, Chef Irvine provides readers with the same no-excuses encouragement and mental coaching in Fit Fuel, motivating with tools, resources, and inspiration every step of the way.

The second section of the book focuses on training, with an easy-to-follow resistance training program, demonstrated through A and B photography and well-defined techniques that the 49-year-old British Royal Navy veteran considers fundamental to his own lean and muscular physique. In addition to the main program, there are time-saving workouts, as well as a full starter s program for any beginner who might find the main program too daunting off the bat.

In its final section, Fit Fuel provides recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert, all illustrated with realistic photography and step-by-step instructions. Few dishes or main ingredients are overlooked, despite their unmerited reputations as no-no foods. From pancakes to salads, beef to fish, Chef Irvine challenges the idea of good vs. bad as it pertains to the everyday diet, emphasizing the fact that healthy eating does not require deprivation.

When you're finally ready to achieve your full potential, Fit Fuel awaits.

What did you receive this past week?