Monday, July 28, 2014

Men and Romance

So last week I posted the following question on Facebook and Twitter... Does reading or writing romance affect your relationship with your partner?

The responses I received were interesting and so I decided to follow it up with the following post...
Men, single, married, in a relationship, you want to know what women want, what they think about, what they dream about? Pick up a romance novel. It will be an enjoyable eye opener. If one of your buddies gives you crap about it, just tell them it's research. You will be glad you did. Just a suggestion from Your Sweet and Spicy Romance Author 

That post also generated some great response. So here I am, deciding to again follow up, this time on my blog.

In this exploration I am going to use my own views on this subject instead of generalizing since, I hope you will see by the end of this post, that is part of the problem.

What reading genres do we, sorry do I, (boy it is hard not to generalize on this subject, so forgive me if I slip up here and there) expect men to read? 

Mystery, suspense, horror, fantasy, scifi, literary fiction, how to books, maybe history? 

Ok that is a fair assumption, but why not romance? 

Women read all the genres above (not to generalize again, because I'm sure there are women who don't read romance) and also read romance and all it's lovely sub-genres. 

So in a day and age when men and women strive to be equals, why do men shy away from romance? I mean there are male romance writers out there, but I don't see a lot of men reading romance.

And so I ask, why the hell not? 

Guys, you are missing out on some great literature, all for the sake of not appearing, what, girly? 

I say, you are doing yourselves a disservice. Let me explain.

As far as diversity goes, romance has one of the largest groups of sub-genres. That means within the romance genre there is contemporary, historical, classical, paranormal, suspense, scifi, fantasy, and the list just keeps going. Oh, and did I mention erotica, hmmm.

That means it is not all sonnets and roses guys, not by a long shot.

In this day and age with ereaders, and apps like kindle, nook and IBooks, for reading ebooks on your phone, you don't have to worry about anyone seeing the actual book cover, not that you should be  ashamed, by any means. 

Let me again spell this out... You will read how to make a grand gesture, get insight on why some women may say or do the crazy things we do, know how to be romantic in so many different ways, all while maintaining your manliness and sex appeal. You are basically getting the inside scoop, that other men, who don't read romance, miss out on. All of this extra bonus life material all while being thoroughly entertained. Plus, you get the sex stuff too, let's not pretend that does not make a difference. Just seek out the sub-genre that appeals to you most, fantasy for example, and pick up a fantasy romance novel that grabs your attention from the book blurb. Do it as an experiment if you will. Look for one that has been on the best sellers list to ease your way into it, before venturing into unknown territory. Unless of course it's my book, then by all means enjoy.

As for the guys who think women who read or write romance have unrealistic expectations of their partners, I say there is nothing wrong with wanting grand gestures, romance, and great sex. I think my author friend pretty much sums it up below.

"The fellas that are worried about expectations because their gal reads romance might want to consider upping their game." Michael Simko

Thanks for the wise words Michael.

Feel free to leave a comment, I love comments. Thank you.

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I tweet under @jsenhaji13

Monday, July 21, 2014

Group Love-Something for Everyone

Relatively new to the writing community, I had no idea there were so many people out there in the world that I could connect with online. Open minded, wonderful writers, published and not yet published, who support each other.

I have stumbled upon a few writing groups that have become so important to me, I don't know how I have done without them until now.

Twitter is my favorite platform for making new connections. Through Twitter, I found the first group I joined called 10 Minute Novelists that commune on Facebook and Twitter. I was welcomed with open arms and have since been enjoying all the chats on both Facebook and Twitter. These are writers, men and women, who are in all stages of their careers. Some are published, some not, some are poets, some write non fiction, some fiction... the list goes on. But each one of them is there to contribute, learn and cheer on their fellow members. I feel like I have found a second home there and truly enjoy my time interacting with them.

I also joined a group on Facebook called Women Writers, where the feeling is similar. They share their struggles and successes and help one another through it all.

My romance writer friends at 10 Minute Novelists have also created a group called Writing Wenches, of which I am also a member. We can talk romance writing specifically and get tips and feedback from each other.

In each of these groups, we discuss editing, publishing, story development, marketing, resources, you name it, we discuss it. Even the famous K.M Weiland, yes I am name dropping here, author of best selling fiction and writing guru, has stopped by to host a chat.

I, of course, am a member and author on Goodreads, which everyone should join. It is like having an online book club to discuss and review your favorite books. There are so many groups and discussions happening on Goodreads, that everyone, no matter what genre or taste, can find what interests them.

There are a few groups on Google+ that I have also joined, although I am still getting used to using Google+, that I like and follow. I haven't really started interacting too much with those folks yet, but they are there and their numbers are growing like weeds.

Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, the point is there are so many groups out there that writers or aspiring authors can join, that need to join, that should join, there is no reason to feel alone. If you don't have a writing circle or group that you meet with in person on a regular basis, it's ok. There are plenty of online communities to join and feel the love.

Go out there and find your group love.

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Basking in the After Glow of a Release

Today marks 1 week since I have become an officially published author.

I started this blog with the purpose of documenting my self publishing journey and now I am self published.


When I started writing my book, I knew I wanted to publish it. A goal that was big, but I knew I wanted to do it.

When I tried the traditional route of quering literary agents and publishers, I wasn't really sure what to expect. I sent out my letters and received some rejections.

Then I researched self published authors and the process of self publishing and even though there was a ton of information to learn and the process wasn't easy, I decided I could do it.

And I did.

So here is my week in review.

Monday, July, 7, 2014, my debut novel, Sweet Dreams was released to the public. It went on sale at all major online retailers, including but not limited to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple Ibooks, Kobo and a few more.

My friends and family helped me celebrate with champagne and brought me their copies so I could sign them. Pretty cool.

On Tuesday, life went on as usual. Work, Home, Eat, Sleep.

On Wednesday, I went to a book signing for one of my favorite authors, Jamie McGuire, who that day hit #1 on the NY Times Best Seller's List. She signed my new copy of her book and congratulated me on my new release as well. That was a great moment.

On Thursday, I participated in my weekly Twitter chat with my friends over on 10 Minute Novelists, some of the best writers and people I have met. They encourage and support each other and I got to read a work in progress by one of my fellow members Colleen Laughlin, which was an amazing piece of fantasy/fiction.

On Friday, I participated in my first blog hop with a few fellow authors. It ended up being an awesome experience. I can't wait to do it again.

On Saturday, I spent most of the day by the pool at my apartment complex with my kids and started reading Mud Vein, by Tarryn Fisher.

On Sunday, I finished reading Mud Vein, which blew my mind it was so good, and then celebrated my step-mom Patty's birthday with my kids and my Dad.

Oh, and I worked Monday through Friday from 8-5 at my day job.

So yeah, it was a pretty good week.

I have published my first novel...Tell everyone!!!

Thanks you guys, Cheers!

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Writing Process Blog Hop

I'm It! Thanks Ariel Gordon Berstein for the tag. Check out Ariel's Blog at

So this is my first Blog Hop and I jumped at the chance to participate, pun intended.

The premise is pretty simple.
There are four questions, all the same for each author's blog, so you reader can learn a little more about me and my writing process.

The cool thing is, each author has their own process, so in the process of writing this and reading their blogs, you and I, we, get to all know each other a little better.


So let's get hoppin!

Question 1: What am I working on?

Right now I am basking in the afterglow of the release of my first novel, a contemporary romance entitled Sweet Dreams. All the information is on my website

I published on 7/7/2014 and after all the work to get to that point, I am enjoying it. That doesn't mean the notebook I carry around in my purse, with the outline for the sequel, hasn't been reminding me and my shoulder that it is time to work on the next book.

I am writing a sequel to Sweet Dreams and pretty much have it plotted out and need to get working on it. 


No more blogging!

Wait, I love blogging!

Ok. More blogging, but I want to see more work on the sequel to Sweet Dreams for the foreseeable future. 

Well, no time like the present. 

Ok, ok! Geez, so pushy...


Question 2: How is my work different from others in its genre?

If you write a sub-genre that is awesomely unique, than this is where you sing your praises. Like-science fiction western meets vampire time traveler from the Regency Era.

Me, I write contemporary romance-a romance that could happen now, in our current time. 
This is one of, if not the most popular genres and as such, just like movies, every story has been done.

They meet, they fall, something keeps them apart, they find their way back to each other or something along those lines. 

The trick is to try to stand out amongst the crowd. I think the only way to do that is to tell the love story in your own unique voice/way. I have a rather loud internal voice and my characters do as well. I like hearing their inner thoughts.

Sweet and Spicy is the name of my game.

Sweet-two real people, finding each other in a real way, that makes you laugh, route for them, want to scream at them to get their heads out of you know where. The characters need to be believable people, people that you may like or dislike, but are relatable.

Spicy-the chemistry has to be on point. You have to feel your stomach flip while reading the intimate moments between the characters. I want your breath to quicken as you read my words. 
Yeah, it has to make your stomach flip.

Question 3: Why do I write what I do? 

I read romance and all its sub genres, sci-fi, fantasy, suspense, literary fiction, you name it. I write contemporary romance, because it just flows. I have a book that has been on the back burner for some time, that I will finish. It is closer to literary fiction and when I and it is ready, that one, I hope, will be amazing. For now, contemporary romance is what's flowing.

Question 4: How does my writing process work?

Once the story is in my head, I need to get it out as quickly as possible so I don't forget it. Not that I am forgetful, but the details that come to me in a fit of inspiration, can be easily forgotten as I try to get it all out on paper. So, I basically bullet point my outline from beginning to end by hand in a notebook. Next, I hand write out a short sentence or paragraph for each bullet point. Then, I go back and review timing and timeline. I look for room to add scenes and where to switch around scenes so the timeline I have works. Then, it is first draft time on the laptop...and then a million more drafts. Each draft I complete, I print out and edit by hand and then transfer edits to the digital file in my computer. I do save each draft in case I decide to delete out a scene that I want to bring back later. After a million edits and revisions, I send it out to my alpha readers to give me feedback on flow. After that, it is all about the editing. I have learned that I need to step away from the story, once I get close to the finished product, between edits so I can actually see, with fresh eyes, what needs to be done, since by that time I have it all memorized on a loop in my head.  Then it's off to the proof readers for a final read through. Final edits. Then it is time to format.


G.K. Moore, Tag you are it! Check out her website at 


Monday, July 7, 2014

Release Day!!!

Extra, Extra, Read All About It! It's Release Day!!!

Sweet Dreams is available for purchase at all major online retailers today 7/7/2014!!!
What an amazing feeling. I, Jennifer Senhaji, am now a published author.


So now my book Sweet Dreams is out there for the whole world to read.

I feel truly blessed and have met so many great people during this process.

For those of you who don't know, I started writing Sweet Dreams in October 2013.

I finished writing the book in January 2014 and started sending out query letters to literary agents.

In April 2014, I decided to self publish.

Since then I have been editing, revising, editing and revising and trying to soak up as much information on self publishing as possible.

It has been an amazing journey.

Soon I will be updating my website with helpful links for anyone embarking on their own self publishing journey.

Thank you so much to all my friends and family for your support.

For information on Sweet Dreams please visit my website at

Sweet Dreams Everyone!

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