February 2017 - New York Times Bestselling Author, J. Sterling

Do you lead with your head or your heart?

I mentioned a few blog posts back that my girlfriends recently pointed out to me that I let my head overrule my heart when it comes to relationships and love. They said that if I didn't think it was good for my heart.... I could literally talk myself out of anything, no matter how badly I wanted it or how strongly I felt about it. They made it real simple for me- they broke it down into two sides- you either led with your heart or your head. It was one or the other and they were adamant that I was purely head based. They told me how they would follow their hearts no matter what, no matter the cost and I sat there shaking my head in vehement disagreement. Follow your heart no matter who you hurt? No. Follow your heart no matter the consequences? No, no, no.

Shit. Maybe they were right?

It sounds funny to say out loud, but I had never realized that about myself before. I write romance novels for fucks sake! I consider myself a pretty emotional person. I feel things so deeply at times that it causes me physical pain. How could someone who was capable of feeling that strongly not do everything from her heart? I'd never even considered myself the type of person who was more logical than emotional when it came to love. Isn't love, of all things, supposed to be completely heart based?  Everything else I do in my life seems to come from my heart- the decisions I make, the way I write, the stories I tell, where my soul leads me.... it all comes from a place of love and not always logic. You know?

So I sat on their observations for a little bit and let them sink it. They gave me examples. They compared me to themselves. And I absorbed their words. I thought about situations I'd been in in the past, situations I was currently in, the way I saw things, etc... And you know what?

They were right.
They were absolutely fucking right. 

I really do let my head talk me out of things, but there's a reason for it (lol). If I don't think it's the right thing to do, then I'll walk away. Or at least I'll try. I'm pulled to do the right thing, to do unto others and I'm always thinking about all the people in situations as opposed to only thinking about myself. Now that's not to say that I've never hurt anyone or made a bad decision because I'm human and sometimes I make decisions out of my own selfishness instead of the greater good. I know that it can't always be helped- that sometimes the pull to another person is greater than all the logic in the world. And I know that even the best person, with the best of intentions, can falter when it comes to love.

It's a powerful thing, that emotion. The most powerful thing ever, I think.  It's always the exception. Or maybe the right person is always the exception? I don't know. I'm still figuring it all out.  But what I do want to know is which are you?  Do you lead with your heart when it comes to love or your head?  

Talk to me in the comments!  Have a great weekend. <3 


I hate Valentine's Day! I think.


For as long as I can remember, I've always claimed to hate Valentine's Day. It's stupid. It's cheesy. It's dumb- I would say to anyone who listened.

But I think the truth is that I don't hate it. At all. It's just that I've either been single whenever the day rolled around, or I've always been disappointed. And there's nothing worse than a shitty valentine's day when you have a damn valentine. You know?  (Yes. there's plenty worse. I know that. Just go with me here).  So yeah, you have a valentine, you have have a husband, a wife, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, whatever... you have someone in your life... and with that comes expectations, whether you intend to have them or not.  You expect that your Valentine's day will be the stuff of dreams... the kind of things people like me write about in our books. Or you at least expect flowers. Or candy. Or a romantic dinner somewhere. Or something! God, ANYTHING!

And then it doesn't happen. For whatever reason. It's not romantic. You don't get roses. You don't go out to dinner. You don't feel special on this hallmark holiday. And even if your brain gets it, rationalizes it, knows this day means "nothing"... your heart doesn't. A part of you still wants that romance. You want to feel special. You want to feel thought about. And even though you know that everything is three times more expensive on this day than on any other..... you want to be worth the extra money. I know I do. I absolutely do. One of the least romantic things someone can do is make you feel like you weren't worth it. And you know what? I'm tired of that. I'm tired of the excuses for why I wasn't worth shopping for, buying something for, for being thought of, etc.  When guys insist that it's a bullshit holiday that's made up, it's just their way of getting out of getting you something.

I want more than that.
I deserve more than that.
And I sure as shit give more than that.

So yeah. I don't hate this holiday at all. I think I've always pretended to hate it so that I wouldn't feel so disappointed when it didn't live up to my expectations. And trust me, it never did. You get tired of being let down all the time. I do. I have. I'm over it. I'm starting to realize that I've lacked A LOT when it comes to the real life romance and passion department. I have a lot to learn. But you know what?  I'm excited about what's to come. Because I'm not settling anymore.

So tell me... do you love or hate, or just pretend to hate, this holiday?  Talk to me in the comments!  :)

Where do my stories come from?

People are always asking me where I get the inspiration for my books. They want to know how much of what I write is real and/or how they can help inspire my next one (that's usually from dumb guys. Shocking, I know. HA).

It's a simple question and I totally get the intrigue. Some books leave you desperate for all the non-fictional truth. I've sent numerous author friends emails before asking things like, "WAS THAT PART REAL?" "DID THAT REALLY HAPPEN?"  "TELL ME WHO THE REAL <insert character name here> IS RIGHT NOW!"

So see... I'm just like you.  :)

But to answer the question about where my inspiration comes from...
I write what I know.
I write what I've been through.
I write what I've seen.
I write what I've experienced.
I write what I wish would have happened.
I write entire stories based around one real life event.
I write what's in my heart.

There are plenty of authors who can create entire worlds from scratch just from the confines of their beautiful mind. I'm not really one of them. lol No really. I tend to draw my inspiration from things that have happened in my life. I base characters off of people I know and relationships I've had (even if they were a million years ago). Now that's not to say that there isn't a lot of fiction in my books because trust me, there is. It's just that what pulls me the most to write are the experiences I've gone through and the emotions I felt.

I think it's our human experiences that connect us. My biggest hope after I finish writing a book is that you'll read it and be able to relate to it on some level. I want my stories to feel like something that could either happen to you or someone you know.  I want them to feel real.

I really hope that they do. And I hope that you love them.

Do you have a favorite type of romance novel that you read? Do you like them to feel real, or do you like getting totally swept up in a fantasy world?

Chat soon,

Going Back To My Roots

Most of you probably don't know that before I started writing books, I was a blogger. I was one of the first "mommy bloggers" before we got saddled with that title. And even though the majority of my blogs weren't really even about being a mom, I was still considered a mommy blogger because I had a kid.

I was also one of the only bloggers who never wanted to write a book. LOL No really, it's true. While all the other bloggers were talking about writing books, getting book deals, defining writing outside of the blog as one of their biggest aspirations... I always looked around and thought "I'm happy writing my blog posts! I don't want to write a book. Y'all are weirdos!"

Now look at me.

But here's the thing... once I decided to start writing novels and making that my career, I immediately let go of blogging. It was the first thing I shut down, turned off, and stopped giving any attention to. Which is kind of weird now that I think about it-  because blogging IS writing and why would I stop doing what I so clearly love to do?

I suppose looking back I assumed that blogging would get in the way of the stories I wanted to tell. I'm sure I believed that I only had so much creativity inside my brain and if one of the outlets had to go, it would be the blog. I was also in a really difficult time in my life back then, so I'm sure I also felt tapped out and at the end of my rope. But more on that later....

You might be asking what my point is....  and well, here it is.... I miss it. I miss blogging because it connected me to other people. It connected us to each other. Blogging was my personal outlet where I talked about all the things that plagued me. And so much of the time, they were the things that plagued you as well. We bonded. We emailed. We talked to one another in the comments. We supported each other.

Blogging created connections.
And I want that back.

So, I've decided to start blogging again. But i'm doing it here, on my author blog because I want to get to know you all. And I want you to know me. I realize that that isn't typical author behavior, but I've never really been one for doing things the way you're supposed too. I'm not afraid to talk about personal things. I'm not scared to bare my heart and soul to you.

I'm still going to talk about my books, what I'm working on, the people and things that inspired them, but we'll also talk about life-  and love-  being mom's and anything else that comes up!  I'm open to questions, personal and business ones. Anything you want to talk about just post it in the comments!

First things first though ... Introductions:
Hi! I'm Jenn! I'm a single mom, My son's name is Blake. He's 18. He's a baseball player and he's awesome. I'm divorced. I want to believe in the things I write about in my books, but it's really hard sometimes. I want to say i'm a hopeless romantic, but I don't think I am. It was recently pointed out to me that I allow my mind to talk me out of ANYTHING I don't think is good for my heart. I never realized that about myself before, but it's so true. All of my stories are based on real life and things that I've been through, experienced or witnessed. I write contemporary romance novels and I really, really hope that you read them.

Now it's your turn!  Tell me a little about yourself in the comments and if there's anything we should address or talk about here... let me know!  :)

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate you,