Monday, November 2, 2015

Lazy Sundays and Quality Time


Most of us enjoy a lazy Sunday, knowing Monday is only a few hours away. The work week calls, with all its daunting responsibilities. Why can't I have one more day? I've been evangelizing the four-day work week for years, but no one seems to be listening. Just one more day...

After much snuggling Sunday morning, my husband and I opted out of household chores. Instead, we took a stroll in our little downtown area, just the two of us. We’d stayed in bed well past brunch and lunch and were just in time for a late lunch.

Clouds hinting at rain overhead, our little hometown remained warm, making it perfect weather for a walk. Holding hands, we chatted about nothing and everything. We left the kids at home (both old enough to stay home alone for an hour or so,) and focused on each other.

Family time is important. In this day and age when everyone is constantly working, parents and children need as much quality time together as possible. But adults also need quality time away from the kids. Just as children need to play together, so do the adults. There's something about connecting one-on-one, away from the kids, that’s necessary for every relationship. Parenting may be our most important role, but we’re not just parents.

We’re also friends, lovers, and companions in need of attention. We talk daily about homework, dinner, household chores, finances, and all the other things that take up the majority of our time. But what about our dreams? What about goals? Feelings? Failings? I consider my husband my best friend, and there are times when I just need to talk to my friend. To laugh, cry, and reminisce.

Don’t make bedtime the only quality alone time you have with your partner. Make time to spend with each other, away from friends, relatives, and even the kids. Talk, go for a swim, enjoy a picnic in the park, or go for a drive and gaze at the stars on a clear night. Human beings need to connect and not just on digital devices. Remember why you fell in love with your partner. Give them your undivided attention. You both deserve it.
When was the last time you and your partner connected (I mean outside the bedroom, geez) without kids, friends, or relatives present?
 

I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and have a husband and two children. Music is an addiction. I can often be found in the car, singing along at the top of my lungs to whatever is playing. I work full time, and I split my spare time between family, reading, blogging, and writing. I’m a habitual quoter. Lines from films and TV shows constantly pop into my head—my kids are the only ones that really get it. I’m an only child, and so of course I married a man who is one of ten children. Other than English, I speak Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. I love to travel, but don’t do enough of it. Reading has been a passion for most of my life and I now love writing. I’m klutz, and in my own mind, I’m hilarious.
Signup to join My Dream Team: http://eepurl.com/bjAzz1
 

Monday, October 26, 2015

R&R - Rest and Romance


If I’m not working, I’m writing. If I’m not writing, I’m networking. Family time comes down to homework and dinner time. There’s also cleaning, cooking, laundry… There never seems to be enough time in the day or week to get all the things done I want to. I don’t see my family enough. I don’t see my friends nearly enough. My husband and I are often like ships passing in the night with our different work schedules. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I’m sleep deprived.


This past weekend I was feeling a bit under the weather. Saturday, I should have been writing, but I spent the day on the sofa watching television instead, with no energy for anything. Sunday, I slept in and then went to brunch with the family. I had a ton of things on my to-do list; color hair, laundry, two blog posts, fine tune the outline for my current WIP, a few scenes I should’ve been working on… Instead, I asked my husband to take a nap.

And so we did. We snuggled for a bit, talked, and flirted with doing something more. But relaxing in each other’s arms was so much more enticing than anything else. The phones were put away and the television was turned off. Birds chirping and kids playing outside in the distance floated on the cool breeze whispering through our bedroom window. And eventually, we snoozed.

It was heaven. Romantic. It’s something we should do more often.  Note to self: Must make more time for naps.

Take time to snuggle. Make time to caress and exchange sweet words with your partner. It doesn’t always have to lead to sex. Give your bodies the rest they need as you connect with your partner on a more intimate level.

 

I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and have a husband and two children. Music is an addiction. I can often be found in the car, singing along at the top of my lungs to whatever is playing. I work full time, and I split my spare time between family, reading, blogging, and writing. I’m a habitual quoter. Lines from films and TV shows constantly pop into my head—my kids are the only ones that really get it. I’m an only child, and so of course I married a man who is one of ten children. Other than English, I speak Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. I love to travel, but don’t do enough of it. Reading has been a passion for most of my life and I now love writing. I’m klutz, and in my own mind, I’m hilarious.
Signup to join My Dream Team: http://eepurl.com/bjAzz1

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Healing Heartbreak - Take Two


There’s more to healing a broken heart than, “get over it.” I admit, my previous post, Healing Heartbreak, was slightly rushed. I can only say that I was sucked into a Harry Potter marathon weekend, on top of pumpkin picking, and an award ceremony for my daughter. It was a bit brief. Let’s dive in a little more, shall we…

One thing I want to make perfectly clear: Loving yourself is number one. Loved ones should lift you up, not bring you down. That means stepping away from a relationship that is not good for you.

How do I define an unhealthy relationship?

·         Do you compromise your morals?

·         Are you constantly trying to change yourself into what you believe is your partner’s ideal?

·         Does it seem as if you are constantly asking for more from this person than they are unwilling to give?

·         Have you lost sight of your own goals and dreams?

·         Do you only know who you are when with your partner?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan of all-consuming love and the kind of love that makes your world complete. I’m a romance novelist, for crying out loud. What I’m not okay with is putting someone else’s feelings so far ahead of your own that you lose yourself.

Whatever the reason for the breakup, in my opinion, the best way to get over someone is to get back to yourself. Let’s reverse the damage.

·         Figure out what your boundaries are. What’s your moral high-ground and what are your limits.

·         Discover your beauty. It’s easy to start spouting off what we perceive as our flaws. Instead, make a list of things you love about yourself. Fall in love with you again. It’s okay to be a bit of a narcissist. You should absolutely love yourself for who you are.

·         Understand the difference between giving and receiving love. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be on the receiving end. You’re not being greedy. You’re being honest.

·         Remember the things outside a relationship that make you happy. Make a now-list, not a bucket list. Start checking things off this list now. Take that class you’ve been thinking about. Learn a new language. Travel. Go to the museum. Do what brings you joy. Remember who you are.

·         Be confident in who you are as a person. What makes you tick? What do you like? What annoys you?

I’ve said it before; confidence is sexy. Relationships come with their own set of compromises: A compromise on who makes dinner or where we go for the holidays this year. These are normal. Do not compromise your very being. You want someone who loves the real you.
So, figure you out. Find yourself. Love yourself. Be yourself. You will get over it and find you have a lot more to offer than you thought.

What is the best advice you can give for getting over heartbreak?


I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and have a husband and two children. Music is an addiction. I can often be found in the car, singing along at the top of my lungs to whatever is playing. I work full time, and I split my spare time between family, reading, blogging, and writing. I’m a habitual quoter. Lines from films and TV shows constantly pop into my head—my kids are the only ones that really get it. I’m an only child, and so of course I married a man who is one of ten children. Other than English, I speak Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. I love to travel, but don’t do enough of it. Reading has been a passion for most of my life and I now love writing. I’m klutz, and in my own mind, I’m hilarious.


Signup to join My Dream Team: http://eepurl.com/bjAzz1



Monday, October 19, 2015

Healing Heartbreak

For those of us who have loved and lost, we know how crippling heartbreak is. Your chest concaves, sucked in on itself by the emotional pressure.

It consumes us. It’s more painful than any injury we can imagine. We feel as if our soul has somehow split into a billion pieces, never to be whole again.


But then, time passes, and we hurt a little less. We stand up. Walk. Run. And soon, we’re alive again. Ready for another chance at love.

The time it takes to recover is different for everyone, but most of us can look back with a sense of relief and understand exactly why it didn’t work out.


Sometimes, it’s timing. Others, it’s the relationship itself. One may not be ready for a relationship. The other may be too afraid to open up. Personalities, circumstance, past experiences… There are so many reasons a relationship can fail.

Whatever the reason, know that your heart will heal.

Fill your lungs with oxygen. Open your eyes to the sky above you.

Life goes on. We go on.

“Love is a risk. It’s putting your heart out there, giving it to someone completely. You risk a broken heart for a chance at the greatest happiness.” Excerpt from Choosing to Dream.


I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and have a husband and two children. Music is an addiction. I can often be found in the car, singing along at the top of my lungs to whatever is playing. I work full time, and I split my spare time between family, reading, blogging, and writing. I’m a habitual quoter. Lines from films and TV shows constantly pop into my head—my kids are the only ones that really get it. I’m an only child, and so of course I married a man who is one of ten children. Other than English, I speak Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. I love to travel, but don’t do enough of it. Reading has been a passion for most of my life and I now love writing. I’m klutz, and in my own mind, I’m hilarious.
Signup to join My Dream Team: http://eepurl.com/bjAzz1


Monday, October 12, 2015

Let Love In


Currently playing on iPod: Let My Love Open the Door by Pete Townshend

Like it or not, our life experience shapes the way we view the world and relationships. If you’ve ever had your heart broken, you’re less likely to be open to love. I believe, when it comes to relationships, everything happens for a reason. Remember your first heartbreak? Do you look back now still heartbroken or relieved?


The first time you touch a hot pan you learn to use a pot holder. It doesn’t mean that you never make the same mistake and get burned again, but if the burn is bad enough, you’re more likely to protect yourself from future injury. Does that mean you stop using the stove and never cook again?

Absolutely not.

But what happens when you let your fears of repeating the past prevent you from having a future?


You stop living.


A partner in your past cheated on you, but your current partner may be the definition of loyalty. Don’t project the mistakes of one onto another.

You grew up with divorced parents, but you can still have a successful marriage. “Happily Ever Afters” do exist. We love. We fight. We make up. Real love is worth fighting for.

You may have had a run of bad luck in the relationship department. The next one could be “The One.”

When you’re in a loving relationship, don’t let the worry that something will derail your happiness prevent you from being happy.


Self-sabotage happens. It’s a sad reality that many of us lose out on love because of fear. Sometimes, we put up walls to protect ourselves from further heartbreak. Be careful you don’t build those walls so high you miss the love of your life serenading you at the gate.

A good relationship is a gift. Don’t throw it away because you’re afraid of getting a paper cut. Open it. Cherish it.


You are entitled to love and be loved.


If you’ve survived an abusive relationship, there are certain red flags that you look for in possible partners. These red flags are important in preventing future injury, physical and emotional, and you shouldn’t ignore them.

Learn from the past. Don’t let it destroy your future.

Let love in.

 

I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and have a husband and two children. Music is an addiction. I can often be found in the car, singing along at the top of my lungs to whatever is playing. I work full time, and I split my spare time between family, reading, blogging, and writing. I’m a habitual quoter. Lines from films and TV shows constantly pop into my head—my kids are the only ones that really get it. I’m an only child, and so of course I married a man who is one of ten children. Other than English, I speak Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. I love to travel, but don’t do enough of it. Reading has been a passion for most of my life and I now love writing. I’m klutz, and in my own mind, I’m hilarious.
Signup to join My Dream Team: http://eepurl.com/bjAzz1

Monday, October 5, 2015

Romance on the Road


Ever read a romance where a couple serendipitously meets and falls in love while on a two week vacation? My novella, Sea Breeze (excuse the shameless plug) is one of them. It’s rather common for films or books to use this plot device to bring two characters together. Some may think it’s too farfetched to happen in real life.

I disagree.

There’s something magical that happens when we’re far from home and away from the practicality of the daily grind. We become more adventurous, less inhibited. We take chances we wouldn’t normally take at home. Whether it’s zip lining, trying new exotic foods, or flirting with a stranger, these things do happen while on vacation in real life and in fiction.


I met my husband on a fifteen-day trip to Morocco. It was love at first sight, or at the minimum lust. There was an urgency in our acquaintance because we knew our time was limited. Instead of getting to know one another over several weeks of dates, we crammed it all into a few intense days together. Makes for a powerful connection.

I believe traveling and experiencing new places and cultures is one of the most rewarding and eye-opening things we can do with our lives. But this also applies to our romantic lives. Sometimes, we need adventure, we need the freedom to set aside our daily responsibilities and allow the romantic inside us to burst forth.


Isn’t it romantic to think about strolling along the Champs Élysées or taking time to sip coffee in Montmartre? I haven’t been to Paris, it’s on the list, but romance is all about discovery. That new, stomach-flipping fire inside to discover everything about a person: What makes them tick, what makes them unique, what makes them so much more freaking attractive than what we have at home. It’s similar to discovering a new place and the desire to pack up all your belongings and move there.

My experience with romance on the road turned into an overseas romance, which eventually resulted in marriage; fifteen years and counting.

So get out and get moving. Romance on the road doesn’t only happen in movies or romance novels. It’s real. If you’re not finding what you’re looking for at home, pack your bags. Take a trip. Maybe you’ll find the love of your life, or maybe you won’t. But isn’t the adventure and the possibility of romance worth the effort?


“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain.
Have you experienced an epic romance on the road? Comment with your story. It could inspire others to take their own trip.

I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and have a husband and two children. Music is an addiction. I can often be found in the car, singing along at the top of my lungs to whatever is playing. I work full time, and I split my spare time between family, reading, blogging, and writing. I’m a habitual quoter. Lines from films and TV shows constantly pop into my head—my kids are the only ones that really get it. I’m an only child, and so of course I married a man who is one of ten children. Other than English, I speak Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. I love to travel, but don’t do enough of it. Reading has been a passion for most of my life and I now love writing. I’m klutz, and in my own mind, I’m hilarious.


Signup to join My Dream Team: http://eepurl.com/bjAzz1

Monday, September 28, 2015

Debunking Sexy


What is sexy on screen or in books doesn’t always translate in real life. I’m in favor of sweet and spicy romance in fictional and real life, but some things may be best left to fiction. Number one example: Shower sex. If you’ve done it, you know that it’s much more erotic to think about than the contortions we have to assume to make that act possible in such a small space. Doesn’t mean I think we all shouldn’t still keep striving for perfection though.

But what about the little things…

Biting the lip: This little tidbit of body language is often expressed in books or films to portray a demure flirtation, shy hesitation, or sense of thinly veiled desire. I’ve never been a lip biter, or so I thought. This morning, while walking to the train station, I realized I am a lip biter. Except I bite my lip in the morning because of allergies. I wake with a stuffy nose most days. I become a brisk-walking mouth-breather in the morning. I can’t breathe through my nose until after 10am. Not very sexy.

Lathering up in the shower: We’ve all seen those shampoo commercials and scenes in films in which the woman or man rubs mounds of soapy bubbles over their bodies. A tantalizing invitation for any spectator to join them in the above mentioned awkward shower sex. Yes, I’ve done this when my husband has happened to walk into the bathroom while I’m showering. He’s also done it to me. Sometimes, it pays off, but most of the time we just laugh at each other. Because the reality is most of us only truly enjoy our shower time by standing under the warm spray, shoulders hunched like zombies. We lather, rinse, stand lifeless as water pours over our tired bodies, and then repeat before begrudgingly turning off the water and going through the tedious efforts of drying off. Not very sexy.

The blush: Why is it when a man accuses a woman of blushing on film, her cheek never actually changes color? I’m a blusher. I’ve spent years trying to control it. It does not look like petals blooming on my alabaster skin. Nope. It’s more lobster meets tomato meets worst sunburn ever. Never subtle and usually unpredictable. It will overtake me at the most inopportune moments; like speaking in public. It’s very difficult to deal with in a professional setting. Yes, it prevents me from lying because I’m too easy to read. But cute? Demure? Sexy it is not.

So sexy in fiction is not always sexy in real life. Do I write about shower sex? Yes. My Sunset Dreams Series includes more than one steamy shower scene. Hey, I did say we should all keep striving.

Have a good example of something that’s perceived sexy in fiction, but in real life sucks? Leave a comment.
I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and have a husband and two children. Music is an addiction. I can often be found in the car, singing along at the top of my lungs to whatever is playing. I work full time, and I split my spare time between family, reading, blogging, and writing. I’m a habitual quoter. Lines from films and TV shows constantly pop into my head—my kids are the only ones that really get it. I’m an only child, and so of course I married a man who is one of ten children. Other than English, I speak Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. I love to travel, but don’t do enough of it. Reading has been a passion for most of my life and I now love writing. I’m klutz, and in my own mind, I’m hilarious.


 

Signup to join My Dream Team: http://eepurl.com/bjAzz1

Monday, September 21, 2015

Romance for singles and how to meet your mate by accident


Romance and relationships, in my opinion, are not to be found in the local meat market. Maybe you get lucky with a one-night stand that leads to more, but most likely not.

I’m not an outgoing person. I'm reserved and friendly to those who know me, but I’m not the type to put myself out there. But I’m married. I’m not single. I was horrible at being single. So how did I find my partner? By accident, when I was least expecting it, on a trip to Morocco. Have I mentioned how much I love to travel?

Okay, so why is a married woman giving advice to single people on romance? Because romance is not just for people in relationships.

It’s for everyone. Single, married, poly, dating, etc.

First piece of advice: Do what you enjoy. Find activities that interest you. If you're into wine, join a wine club. If you're into books, go to book signings. If you're into art, go to gallery showings. If you love to travel, do it. More outdoorsy? Join a hiking or biking club. Sports lover? Go to games or join and adult league sports team. Romantic film buff? Search and find those old movie showings in the park or at your local theatre. Enjoy gaming or cosplay? Find a group in your area and embrace your geek.

See where I’m going with this. Instead of spending your time at bars, waiting to pick up your next regret, get out there and do the things YOU love. Engage in activities or hobbies that interest you. Don’t spend your weekends mopping around the house because you don’t have a date. Go do something. Enjoy yourself. You'll find others that share your interests and have a lot of fun.

Second piece of advice: Self-love is key. Yes, making sure you have the tools or toys to keep yourself satisfied while you wait for the love of your life to appear and rock your world is helpful. But I’m talking about taking time to love yourself in other ways. Pamper yourself. Take a sensual bath. Go get a massage. Get your hair or nails done. Doll yourself up. Treat yourself to an expensive dinner out and take a book to read if you’re self-conscious about sitting alone in a fancy restaurant. Enjoy a nice glass of wine or a cocktail. Take a cab home. Why do you need a date to go out for a nice dinner?

Third piece of advice: Value yourself. Confident, happy people are sexy. Don’t sell yourself short. If you’re a list maker, make a list of your positives. Leave out all the negatives and focus on the things that make you the awesome person you are. Hold your head up and smile. Be friendly and be yourself. No one likes a phony. Sincerity goes a long way.

I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and have a husband and two children. Music is an addiction. I can often be found in the car, singing along at the top of my lungs to whatever is playing. I work full time, and I split my spare time between family, reading, blogging, and writing. I’m a habitual quoter. Lines from films and TV shows constantly pop into my head—my kids are the only ones that really get it. I’m an only child, and so of course I married a man who is one of ten children. Other than English, I speak Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. I love to travel, but don’t do enough of it. Reading has been a passion for most of my life and I now love writing. I’m klutz, and in my own mind, I’m hilarious.


Signup to join My Dream Team: http://eepurl.com/bjAzz1
Find me and all my books at http://www.yoursweetandspicyromanceauthor.com/

 


Monday, September 14, 2015

How to find the romance that's missing in your relationship



What does romance mean exactly and how can I find it?

Well, romance is different for everyone. What I find romantic may cause you to gag and vice versa. But the point is to find and implement those romantic ideas into your own relationships or lives.

Why?

Because… in my opinion, love is the meaning of life; to love and be loved. Love is what makes the world go round. You could have money, fame, intelligence, but it all means nothing, again in my opinion, without love.

Love comes in many forms: Love between children and parents, brothers and sisters, our fellow human beings, pets, etc. There is also love for my country, the earth, the wonder that is the universe, and of course self-love.

However, today I’ll be talking about that oh-so-hard-to-find relationship love, between two adults, or more if you are poly amorous. It alludes many people and seems that only a few are lucky enough to find true love; the kind in movies and romance novels.

Romance is not hard to create or find. It all comes down to thoughtfulness. Putting your partner’s needs and feelings above your own. Bring flowers home just because. Give an unsolicited massage or foot rub. Light some candles. Take a drive to gaze at the stars. Cook a sexy meal and eat dessert off of each other.

Take time to observe your partner in a casual setting. On a daily bases, it’s so easy to complain about all the little things that drive us crazy. But what about the reasons you fell in love with that person? If you’re a list maker, make a list, and then tell your partner all the reasons you love them. In a relationship that has expired its “new” stage, like my marriage of fifteen years, it’s important to remember why you chose this person to begin with.

For example: I was at a birthday party recently with my husband. He is very outgoing. The kind of guy that knows everyone and everyone knows. I’m not. I’m friendly to those I’m acquainted with, but much more reserved in social settings than he is. I certainly wouldn’t call myself outgoing by any means. I mingled and talked to those I knew. I played with my nephews and watched my son swimming. At one point, I sat down and observed my husband as he laughed and talked to a few of his friends. He was freaking hot as hell in his element. So handsome and his smile made me light up just watching him. He didn’t notice, but on the way home I told him I had been watching him. When he asked why, I let him know that I was fascinated by how exuberant he was and so damn sexy. It made his day.

On the flip side, my husband is one of those that calls constantly. He doesn’t like to be alone, unlike me who covets my alone time. So when he’s bored, he calls me. At work, at home. All the time. It drives me nuts. I spend most of my time at the day job on the phone, and I can’t stand phone calls. But he never gets tired of calling. Now, I try my best to see it for what it is; not only a cure for his boredom, but that he’s thinking of me and wants to connect. Still frustrates me to all hell, especially when I’m busy, but I love him for the attention. He reinforces this during our time alone by telling me he’s not sure what I’ve done to him, but he can’t get enough of me. Makes me feel like the luckiest woman on earth.

Romance is easy to come by. Stop looking at the negatives and focus on the positives. Take time to focus on your partner’s needs and don’t forget to tell them why you love them. It’s the most romantic thing in the world to hear why someone loves you.
 
I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and have a husband and two children. Music is an addiction. I can often be found in the car, singing along at the top of my lungs to whatever is playing. I work full time, and I split my spare time between family, reading, blogging, and writing. I’m a habitual quoter. Lines from films and TV shows constantly pop into my head—my kids are the only ones that really get it. I’m an only child, and so of course I married a man who is one of ten children. Other than English, I speak Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. I love to travel, but don’t do enough of it. Reading has been a passion for most of my life and I now love writing. I’m klutz, and in my own mind, I’m hilarious.
 
You can find me and all my books at www.jennifersenhajiauthor.com
 
Signup to join My Dream Team: http://eepurl.com/bjAzz1

 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Back in the Saddle


Hey there all you romance lovers, long time no see. I’ve been taking a break; a break from writing, blogging, and marketing. But I’m back in the saddle.

My last release, Choosing to Dream, took a lot out of me. I love my book and am thrilled it’s out there in the world looking for love from romance readers like you. But the week I took off from the day job to push the release, left me with a month-long marketing hangover.

Marketing, for lack of a better term, is a selfish bitch. She takes and takes until there’s nothing left, but it’s part of the package when you’re a writer who wants actual human beings to read your work. So, I did it. Yay!

Now what?

Now I’m finally ready to re-enter the writing world. I never left completely, but I haven’t written anything new for quite some time.

Time to face my laptop again and organize all the ideas that have been swimming around in my head for my next book. I have a general outline, but I’ve been thinking a lot about backstory and specific scenes. With the way this book has been coming together in my head, I may end up writing it scene by scene instead of in order. I’ve never written that way before as my stories always come to me in chronological order, but sometimes it’s hard to control the creative juices, and there are scenes toward the end of the book that I want to get down on paper as soon as possible.

So what did I do as soon as I sat down at the park on Sunday with pencil and notebook in hand? I wrote the first draft of chapter one. Go figure.

The truth about my writing life is I don’t write every day. But I wrote yesterday, and am hoping to write another scene out tonight. Time to dust off my riding boots, or writing boots…

Do you find taking breaks help or inhibit your creativity? Sound off.

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Sunday, August 2, 2015

A Local Escape


Taking a break from… everything, sure does help a lot. As most of you dear readers know I recently published two books: Sea Breeze and Choosing to Dream. Exciting yet exhausting. As soon as I was done, I cut way back on my writing and marketing efforts. Why?

For my own sanity.

I love writing, love learning the ins and outs of the business, but sometimes I just need to get away. Since I recently used my vacation time to publish and market aforementioned books, I couldn’t actually take a vacation. So I escaped into the comfort of reading. I’ve been reading a lot.

It’s no wonder the theme song from that beloved sitcom set in a charming Bostonian bar has been running through my head all week.

Here’s a rundown of what I’ve read over the last ten days:

 
 
 
The Brannock Siblings Series, Books 1-4 by Jessica Wilde. Fabulous romance series, with a touch of suspense. I enjoyed every minute of all four novels. Jessica Wilde really knows how to write a hero. I can't decide which one of these guys I enjoyed  most. I highly recommend this series. 


Shades of Blue by Dana Tanaro Britt. A lovely romance set on a tropical island with characters who have a knack for random trivia. Not unlike an annoying yet hilarious mail carrier who could be found at the end of a bar each Thursday night. Coincidently, the hero of this book is the owner of a bar.


Oceans Over You by Melina Gillies. A sweet and quick novella set on the high seas. What do you do when you get a second chance with your first love? Great read.


Lost and Found by Kay Blake. Another quick read set on the high seas (my way of escaping on a cruise ship without leaving the house) about an artist and a man who lost his daughter and his wife.

The Half Killed by Quenby Olson. I’m currently reading this historical thriller and completely under the author’s thrall. Fabulous from the get go, I can’t wait to see what happens. I highly recommend everyone one-click this one right now.

If you were counting, that’s eight books. Good times. Now I just need a beer. Where’s Malone?

I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and have a husband and two children. Music is an addiction. I can often be found in the car, singing along at the top of my lungs to whatever is playing. I work full time, and I split my spare time between family, reading, blogging, and writing. I’m a habitual quoter. Lines from films and TV shows constantly pop into my head—my kids are the only ones that really get it. I’m an only child, and so of course I married a man who is one of ten children. Other than English, I speak Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. I love to travel, but don’t do enough of it. Reading has been a passion for most of my life and I now love writing. I’m klutz, and in my own mind, I’m hilarious.


Signup to join My Dream Team: http://eepurl.com/bjAzz1
 
 

 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Marketing is freaking exhausting


 
I just released a book last Friday. If you haven’t heard, then you’ve either been living under a rock or all my marketing efforts were a waste. Either way, I’m exhausted. Was it worth it? Let’s see…

Writers and aspiring authors everywhere: Please be advised that writing is the easy part. Marketing, spreading the word about your wonderful books, finding readers, is the hard part.

Really hard. Suck-all-your-energy-away-until-you-are-rocking-in-a-corner hard part and have no energy left to write.

I love interacting with readers. I enjoy social networking. I enjoy blogging, tweeting and posting to Google+ and Facebook. I do these things on a regular basis to make connections, interact and build relationships with readers and fellow writers.

While working on the release of Choosing to Dream, I pushed my marketing into high gear on all my social networks, hopefully enough to get the word out and not too much that I started to annoy people. Crosses fingers.

I also ran an ad on Facebook while putting my first book in the series, Sweet Dreams, on sale for $0.99 for the four days before my release of the sequel.

In addition to the above, I submitted my book to a few bloggers for review, which haven’t come back yet, created and promoted a book trailer, and submitted the sale of Sweet Dreams to a few sale sites that offer free ads.

Next, I organized my own blog tour. I have a beautiful group of writing friends who agreed to host a guest post, excerpt, or interview on their blogs, hopefully extending my reach to their followers.

Lastly, I had a seven-hour release day bash on Facebook, hosted by PageCurl Publishing and Promotion. It was awesome. We had thirteen hosts, including me, each with a thirty-minute slot. Great interaction from readers, a ton of giveaways, and great authors, all made the event a success, not to mention the tireless work of my PA, Melody. By the end of the event, my eyes were read, sore, watering, and I could barely keep them open, I was so exhausted.

The results: Great exposure for my new release, new subscribers to my mailing list, new followers on social media, and new romance lovers reading my books, not to mention a huge bump in my ranking on Amazon. I couldn’t have done any of it without my awesome team at PageCurl Publishing andPromotion. But I am exhausted. My friend ran a 3 day marathon, I just feel like I did. It was worth it and I will do it all again for the next big release, but between then and now, I will be taking a little break. Oh, I’ll still be blogging and posting on social, but I will be cutting way back on my marketing efforts. I should probably continue full steam ahead, but honestly, I need a break. I want to start writing again. I haven’t written anything new in quite some time. Time to write.

Oh, and if you’d like to read my books and newest release, you can find them here.

Because the marketing doesn’t ever really end.
Jennifer Senhaji was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and is married with two children. If she’s not singing along at the top of her lungs to whatever is playing on the radio, you can find her making music playlists at home on her laptop. She works full time and splits her spare time between family, reading, blogging, and writing. Other than English, Jennifer speaks Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. She loves to travel, but doesn’t do enough of it and will weave places she has gone or wants to go into her stories. Reading has been a passion for most of her life and she loves to write. She calls herself Your Sweet and Spicy Romance Author because she loves the sweet nuances of new love, but also is a bit of a voyeur and wants to be in the bedroom when the characters finally come together. You can find Jennifer and all her book links and social media links on her website at www.jennifersenhajiauthor.com
 
 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Real Romance



The romance novels of old spoke of refined ladies, dapper gentlemen, saucy wenches, and sexy scoundrels. In today’s contemporary romance novels, you’ll still find all of the above, but you’ll also find strong heroines, capable of saving themselves.

But romance isn’t always romantic, just like people aren’t always perfect. That’s what makes it and them genuine.

What do I mean?

·         Heroes aren’t perfect. They are flawed beings that have heroic moments. When put to a test, they may fail a few times, but eventually will do the right thing.

·         Sex is messy. Yep, there’s this thing called gravity and physics and fluids don’t stay where you want them to. I write great sex. Maybe not always realistic, but fan-freaking-tastic. However, there will be times when things get a little awkward. Because in real life, that happens.

·         Bodily functions: Yep, we all have them, including fictional characters.

·         Insecurities. You may be a strong person, but everyone has insecurities. Love is one of the easiest things to misread. Why? Because we are all so ready to believe something negative than something positive, we overlook that person who is head-over-heels in love with all our flaws.

Does this mean that my books are full of self-depreciating assholes who fart while having sex?

No. But there will be real doubt, real flaws, real problems, and maybe an occasional fart, because sex can also be funny.
Do you enjoy real life quirks in your romance novels or do you want it all to be fantastical bliss?

I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and have a husband and two children. Music is an addiction. I can often be found in the car, singing along at the top of my lungs to whatever is playing. I work full time, and I split my spare time between family, reading, blogging, and writing. I’m a habitual quoter. Lines from films and TV shows constantly pop into my head—my kids are the only ones that really get it. I’m an only child, and so of course I married a man who is one of ten children. Other than English, I speak Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. I love to travel, but don’t do enough of it. Reading has been a passion for most of my life and I now love writing. I’m klutz, and in my own mind, I’m hilarious.
Find me at www.jennifersenhajiauthor.com


Choosing to Dream, Book 2 in the Sunset Dreams Series, Releases Friday, July 17th, 2015. Join my release day bash by clicking on the photo below.

https://www.facebook.com/events/905508526174145/