Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Friends and Writers: One-on-One with Jill Kemerer

by Mindy Obenhaus

I’m thrilled to welcome Jill Kemerer back to Seekerville. Not only is she one of my favorite authors, she’s also one of my very best friends. And she has a brand-new book out, Reunited with the Bull Rider. (Stay tuned for a book giveaway!)

Jill and I met online in 2015 when she made a comment on an email loop referencing a particular place in Michigan. I emailed her privately, curious if she was from the Great Lakes State, since that’s where I grew up. Well, she was, and as it turns out, we didn’t live that far apart, right, Jill?

Jill: You grew up about half an hour from where I grew up in mid-Michigan. When we met you were living near Dallas, Texas and I was living in my current home southwest of Toledo, Ohio. How in the world did we find each other? And do you think we really could be long-lost sisters?

Mindy:  Well, we’ve shared clothes and we are both blonde, so we might be able to pull off the sister thing. But as for how we found each other, that was only by the grace of God. I mean, I probably scared you with all of my emails.

Jill: It feels like we’ve been friends since birth. And, no you didn’t scare me! I was very flattered that you would go out of your way to nurture a friendship with me. Since then, you’ve become a dear friend, someone I rely on for emotional support, writing encouragement and lots of giggles.
Mindy:  One thing I find interesting about our relationship is that, while we’re both authors, we rarely talk about our writing, other than stating “I’m working on this today.” We’ve never critiqued each other’s work, we’ve only been together in person once, yet we talk weekly, if not daily, thanks to Voxer, texts, emails and the occasional phone call. We discuss aging parents, teenager and college age woes... You let me whine and listen patiently as I ramble about who knows what. Then give me honest feedback or advice.

Jill: I appreciate you. One of my most vivid memories is of driving home after a tough day visiting my dad at the nursing home, stopping at Arby’s and calling you. I could not stop crying. You said exactly what I needed to hear, and you lent the shoulder I desperately needed to soak with my tears. What is one of your “big” memories of our friendship?

Mindy:  Oh, great. You get me all choked up, then ask me a question. Hand me the tissues. Sniff, sniff. So, this isn’t necessarily a “big” thing, but a lot of little things that are “big” to me. You always call/Vox to check on me when you know I’ve had a particularly rough day or am going through a difficult time. And somehow, we always end up laughing, which, as we know, is the best medicine.

Jill: Laughing makes just about anything better! We’ve talked about a girl’s weekend in Ouray, Colorado where all of your books are set. You’ve got me hooked on the quaint town. Since you’ve been there, where would we go and what would we do?

Mindy: First of all, we would need much more than just a weekend. And it would depend what time of year. But let’s say summer. I’d take you Jeeping in the mountains to some of the most beautiful places you could imagine. Then we’d grab some chocolate at Mouse’s, visit Cascade Falls, get more chocolate…

Enough about that, though. I want to talk about your new book. Reunited with the Bull Rider is the second book your Wyoming Cowboys series, right?

Jill: Yes. The Rancher's Mistletoe Bride was the first one.

Mindy: I read that book, and I have to say, I really like the premise for this series. Four cowboys who met as kids when they ended up in the same foster home. All bearing wounds from their past. How did you come up with the idea?

Jill: I’m not sure! I’d read several memoirs of men who had grown up in dysfunctional and abusive families. Each one had spent time in foster care, and some had lived in group homes. The idea of four strangers whose friendships developed into a brotherly bond through a group foster home really appealed to me. All of the heroes start out thinking they’ll never get married or have families, but I think we all know how that will turn out!

The third book in the series, Wyoming Christmas Quadruplets, releases in October!

Mindy:  Quadruplets? Wow! You’ll have to come back later and tell us about that one, but I want to hear about Reunited with the Bull Rider.

Jill: Sure! Reunited with the Bull Rider begins ten years after Nash Bolton left his girlfriend, Amy Deerson, without a goodbye or explanation. Amy was heartbroken, and she found solace in quilting, eventually owning her own quilt shop. Now Nash is back with his much younger sister, Ruby, whom Amy was paired with to mentor through the church mentoring program. Nash and Amy have a lot of emotional baggage to deal with, and severely neglected Ruby provides the key for them to forgive each other. But will forgiveness be enough for them to try again?

Reunited with the Bull Rider

Goodbye rodeo, hello hometown. But is this Wyoming Cowboy ready to face his past?

Amy Deerson wanted to mentor a child. Her plan did not include former bull rider Nash Bolton—the little girl’s brother and guardian. It’s been a decade since Nash left town without a word, breaking Amy’s young heart. Now they must put their painful past aside to help fragile, traumatized Ruby. If only getting over their first love were that simple.



Mindy:  I have to admit, I started reading this book Friday and you had me hooked from page one. I have to force myself to put it down and do things like, oh, work and sleep.

Thank you so much for joining us here at Seekerville, Jill, and for being my friend. Oh, and you brought breakfast, right?

Jill: As long as you’re okay with bagels, donuts, and blueberry breakfast cake, then yes, breakfast is on me! Thanks for having me. Sending you a big hug for putting this together, Mindy!

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Reunited with the Bull Rider, be sure to leave a comment. Jill will give away a paperback copy to a U.S. winner OR, if you live outside of the United States, an ebook version. 


Jill Kemerer is an author and freelance writer. A multi-published inspirational romance novelist with Harlequin Love Inspired, Jill also writes nonfiction books, blogs, and articles. Her essentials include coffee, M&Ms, a stack of books, her mini-doxie, and long walks outdoors. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two almost-grown children. Please visit her website, jillkemerer.com, and sign up for her newsletter.

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95 comments:

  1. Did we forget the recipe for the blueberry cake? Because we need that now!

    JILL!!!! Welcome to you!!!! It's always nice to see that pretty face hanging out in Seekerville!

    And I'm all over the excursion into the hills and chocolate... and then talk and chocolate.... and then retail therapy including chocolate.

    This is my kind of get together!

    In these days of social media dividing people into angry camps, how lovely it is to treasure the friendships we've made through e-mails, facebook, writing groups...

    The Seekers got started because of online relationships and contest wins. This technology has the power to help and heal or to wrench things apart, and gals, you've shown the best side of it: Friendship!

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    1. Ruthy, you are so right. With all the anger flying around I social media these days, there is good that comes from it, the way it should be. And Seekerville is a great example. No divide and conquer, but strength in numbers. You original ladies created a bond that is not and will not be easily broken. You're an example to us all.

      And as for that trip. Y'all just say the word. I'm ready and willing.

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    2. Right again, Ruth. I would not know nearly as many writers if it were not for social media, this site in particular. I knew a lot of writers before I went on Social, I was in a number of groups, but they were everything from memoir writers to nonfiction writers to people writing poems about their cats, which they are now doing on Facebook. Seekerville and sites like it are much more focused. I have learned more in the three to five years I've been hanging out here than in all my other groups combined, and possibly my BA in English Literature too. My publisher, Pelican, also has a strong e-mail loop and I just prayed for someone this morning that I have never laid eyes on.
      The Internet and its various iterations are like television, can be used for evil or good. In my faith tradition, church families did not have television in the 1960s and early 60s. But the denomination finally realized that it's not the medium, it's what people do with it. You can always turn off something that's offensive. I do that a lot these days.

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    3. I meant 1950s and early 60s.

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    4. I don't know why my comment didn't go through earlier! UGH!! Hi Ruthy!! Thanks so much for having me today! I remember when Seekerville started. I loved it then, and I love it now!

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  2. Quadruplets?????

    OH MY STARS, I'M SO IN!!!!!

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    1. I could barely survive one baby at a time, so writing about four was a lot of fun!!

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    2. Quadruplets?????

      What editor thought having to change four sets of diapers at a time around the clock was romantic?

      Is this the dream you escape to when you take your Calgon bath?

      For a trip back in time:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yjGPgs0_S0

      Oy vey!

      I'm with Ruth.

      I'm all in to see how you pulled this off!

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    3. Well, the secret is I had the hero be a doting uncle and the heroine a baby nurse!

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    4. Hi Jill:

      Wow!

      Wait 'till Ruth sees that baby artwork!

      Too cute to take in with just one viewing!

      "Wyoming Christmas Quadruplets" has the cutest baby cover I've ever seen. It only took about three seconds to pre-order it. Each baby has its own distinct personality. The little girl on the left is going to be a real heartbreaker! October first seems like a forever away! I look at that little girl and see Julie's Charity.

      I just hope the poor heroine doesn't have to work 12 hour shifts in the neonatal ward only to come home to her motherly duties. :)

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    5. Oh, my goodness, Vince. I just went to look at the cover and you are right on every aspect. Ruthy would kill (not really) for a cover like that. But she'd be in a total dilemma, wanting to have those babies in her arms, hugging them, kissing them... total Grammy heaven.

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    6. I just checked the cover. Oh my gosh, those babies are adorable!!! Jill, you've taken the GOLD with your quadruplet story!

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  3. Good morning, Seekerville! I'm off to the gym, but y'all grab some breakfast and talk amongst yourselves. Jill should be here soon and I'll be back, sweaty and gross, but I'll be here.

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    1. Um...there is this thing called a shower...:) :) :)!!!
      Thanks so much for putting this together!!

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    2. Well, duh. But sometimes you have to prioritize, Jill. Greet guests, then shower. Sheesh.

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  4. Good morning, Seekerville!!

    Ruthy, I have the blueberry breakfast cake recipe!! I'll link it in a separate comment! I'm with you on the strife online. It's so nice to spread joy and friendship!!

    Mindy, seeing all these pictures makes me want to hop on a plane and spend a week with you!!

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    1. Come on, then, Jill. I've got a bedroom with your name on it.

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  6. Blueberry Breakfast Cake Recipe!! I found this on Pinterest. Every time I make it, it's delicious! And easy!!

    https://alexandracooks.com/2011/06/29/buttermilk-blueberry-breakfast-cake/

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    1. Thanks for sharing!! That photo made my mouth water!

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  7. Don't enter me in the drawing, I bought it last weekend and am about halfway through. Nice job.
    Jill, I am one of your goal-setting buddies! Nice to see you in this venue. I did meet the goal of finishing the draft of the sequel to my first contracted book. All my other goals are in a shambles, but I gave myself an extension through June.
    Writing friends ARE the best, and it's so cool when the friendship goes beyond writing.
    Going to Boston after lunch. My husband has a conference. Hope to come back stimulated and refreshed; the city seems to refresh and recharge me.
    Back later,
    Kathy Bailey

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    1. Kathy, congrats on meeting that goal. Yay! Sometimes goals do have to be adjusted, though, don't they? The important thing is that we do adjust. No melting into puddles. Well, you can do that for about a minute, then it's back to work, right? Oh, and Boston would be so much fun. I've never been there, but would love to go sometime.

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    2. Mindy, I live about an hour from Boston and I have a standing invitation to anyone from Seekerville: if one of you is ever in the area, I'm willing to connect there.

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    3. Kathy, enjoy your trip into the city!

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    4. Hi Kathy!! Congrats on finishing that draft!! Woohoo!! I appreciate seeing your goals each month!

      Enjoy the city!!

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  8. Jill!! Welcome! I was going to ask for the blueberry breakfast cake recipe, so thank you so much for including it. Reunited with the Bull Rider sounds like a great story! And I love that cover. How did you come up with making Amy a quilter? Do you quilt? We're heading to Berlin Ohio next week. Maybe I could make one of my characters Amish?

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    1. Sally, you bring up a great question. I was so focused on the hero (and rightfully so :) that I didn't even think about the quilting aspect.

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    2. Sally,

      Ooh, Berlin is a cute little town! I used to live only fifteen minutes from there.

      I've always wanted to create a character who designed her own fabrics (I love thumbing through Where Women Create magazine), so Amy became a quilter!

      Love Inspired wants Amish, so if you're thinking of writing one, I'd submit it there!

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    3. Sally, I stayed in Berlin last August. Love Holmes County. Are you attending the readers' weekend Connie Spradling Lynch put together? Wish I could join you. BTW, I left my Heart in Holmes County! Enjoy your visit to Amish country!

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  9. What a fun post! I'm amazed how many friends I've made on my writing journey, and y'all made me smile this morning.

    Last night, we made blueberry smoothies with no added sugar. We're trying to go Keto at my house, and your breakfast looks yummy.

    Have a great day!

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    1. Ooo, Jackie, I hear you on the keto. It's a challenge for sure, but once you get into a groove, it's not so bad.

      So glad we could make you smile. ;)

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    2. Jackie, I love smoothies! I'm glad you're trying the Keto plan. I hope it goes well for you!
      Writer friends are the best!!

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  10. What a fun post. I am so wanting this book. Plus the one with quadruplets can't wait. I love stories of multiples. One of the books I've completed a first draft has a set of quintuplets. it still has a long way to go in the polishing and revision stage but it was so fun to write.

    The blueberry breakfast cake sounds wonderful.

    I am waiting on a phone call from the doctor's office. My lungs are heavy this morning. thanks to all the smoke I inhaled yesterday after my little fire in the kitchen that filled the house with smoke. I go into bronchitis so quickly

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    1. Oh, no, Wilani! I hope the doctor can get you squared away quickly. And I'm so glad you weren't injured in the fire. I can't imagine the mess it must have left. Goodness. Stay safe.

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    2. Oh, no, Wilani! I hope your kitchen is okay, and that your lungs clear quickly without complications.

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    3. Oh no, Wilani!! I'm so sorry about the fire. I hope your lungs air out--pronto!! Your quintuplets story sounds great!!

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    4. Wilani, was there a lot of damage? So sorry about the smoke you inhaled. Take care of yourself!

      Prayers for healing!

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  11. Thanks for being in Seekerville today, Jill (and thanks Mindy for inviting her) In my itty-bitty town of Bennington Kansas we just had our rodeo weekend. Hot, but fun. I can't wait to read this book - cowboys are awesome and a bull-rider cowboy? They don't come any tougher or braver (perhaps smarter is questionable) but the bull rider in your book is most undoubtedly all those things and intelligent too if he's come back to the lovely heroine. You two do kind of look like sisters. I am so thankful for all of my writing sisters and all my friends here in Seekerville.

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    1. Cindy, I saw your contract on Facebook, way to go.

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    2. Cindy, we're thankful for you, too!

      Congratulations!! I, too, saw your post on FB. I've put your sale in the Weekend Edition to celebrate with you!

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    3. Cindy, yes, I've been meaning to congratulate you on that contract. Way to go!

      I'm laughing over your comment questioning bull riders intelligence. That is an activity most of wouldn't consider. I mean, being stomped on by a bull does not rank high on my list of things to do. I am loving this story, though.

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    4. Hi Cindy!! Rodeo days sound like a blast!! My hero is tough (and struggles with the safety/wisdom of bull riding issue!!) and all cowboy!

      Thanks for joining us today!!

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    5. Cindy, we're all so excited about your sale!!! Woo-hoo! Cheering you on!

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  12. We have our rodeo here, too, with an annual stock show including rodeo every night. Enjoyed the interview and would love the blueberry breakfast recipe to be posted!

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    1. Cathy, rodeos are always fun to watch. It's such an electric atmosphere. Although, I tend to cringe watching the bull riders and pray no one gets hurt.

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    2. That sounds like so much fun, Cathy!! Rodeo all the time--woohoo!! The Blueberry breakfast cake recipe link is in the comments!

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  13. JILL!!!!

    *HUG* So happy to see you here today! Good grief, you had me crying in my coffee as you described your special friendship with Mindy. Aren't those friends just THE BEST?! The kind you can just pick up the phone and call, no explanations necessary, and just share with and trust they "get" you.

    So happy for you and your writing success! Congratulations on another wonderful book! Can't wait to read it!

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    1. Cynthia, don't you just love friends like that? The ones that just get you are few and far between, but they are always the best.

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    2. Hi Cynthia!! I'm crying in my coffee missing you! You've been such a good friend to me! I miss you. :)

      I can't wait to celebrate your upcoming release!!

      Thanks so much!

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  14. Good morning, Jill!

    You, Mindy and I have common Michigan roots! It's so fun to see you here on Seekerville!

    I love the premise for your stories. I'm going to have to snag a copy of The Rancher's Mistletoe Bride to catch up. :-)

    Thanks for the blueberry cake!

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    1. Jan, that was a yummy story, too. And you know what they say, only the coolest people come from Michigan. :P

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    2. Hi Jan! The three of us have Michigan roots--for sure! I used to pick blueberries next to your husband's cousin's house! Crazy, isn't it??

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  15. Great post Mindy and Jill. So cool you developed such a great friendship online. I had to look up Voxer. I had never heard of it. But I love the online friendships I have made in Seekerville. I can't believe all the people I feel like I know so well that I wouldn't even know existed otherwise. That is the good thing about social media and the internet.

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    1. Hi Sandy!! I'd never heard of Voxer either, but my friend Jessica Patch told me to get on it, and I'm so glad I did!

      Seekerville is the best at bringing writers together!!

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    2. Sandy, Seekerville is a great place to build online relationships. As we gradually get to know people, we get invested and relationships grow from there. You never who might be going through something that you're going through yourself.

      Voxer is like a walkie-talkie meets voice mail. You can talk back and for as you would on a walkie-talkie or, if you're busy and can't get to it, you can listen and start your chat later. Jill turned me onto it.

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  16. This book sounds really good. So nice to read where the inspiration to write each book comes from.

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    1. Thanks so much, Joy! And thanks for stopping by!

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    2. Joy, that is especially true when the topic is so intense. I was glad I was able to pick Jill's brain on that one.

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  17. Such a fun post! I love to hear about friendships. I saw you lived in Ohio as well, Jill. :-)
    Have a great week.
    Becky B

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    1. Yes, Becky! I live outside of Toledo, Ohio. I really love this state. It's just beautiful. And I love the four seasons--except winter could be MUCH shorter!! What part of Ohio do you live in?

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  18. Well, pooh. Any comment that says it's by Seekerville was ME! I forgot to sign out after checking Seeker email this morning. LOL

    So, Jill, here's a belated welcome from me!

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    1. I was wondering who that was, Missy. Thanks for solving the mystery.

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    2. Yeah, I thought my comments had been eaten! Duh. haha

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    3. Hi Missy!! You're my mystery commenter--hahaha!!! Thanks so much!

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  19. I have read my fair share of books with twins and triplets, but never quads I can't wait for the first author to writes a story line with quads.

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    1. Kim, it looks like Jill's got you covered then. You can pick up your first quad book in October. :D

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    2. Yay, Kim!! I love books with babies! Researching the quads book was so much fun. I watched YouTube videos of new parents of quads--so enlightening! Aaaahhh!

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    3. YouTube is my go-to place for research, as well, Jill. Amazing what an author can learn! :)

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  20. I would love a copy of this book. I love reading about cowboys and rodeos. Thank you.

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    1. Linda, you'll love this book, then.

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    2. Aww, I'm so glad, Linda! There's something about a cowboy!!

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  21. I loved this post!! (Waving at Jill and Mindy!) I'm smiling because I had my photo made with each of you at the Love Inspired gathering in Nashville in 2016 - - and both of you are sweethearts! :) Hope to see you in September in Nashville again, and CONGRATS on this newest book, Jill! (No need to put me in the drawing---I will purchase a copy)
    Hugs from Georgia, Patti Jo

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    1. Yay, Patti Jo! I get to see you in September!!!!! I can't wait to hug your sweet neck again.

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    2. Hi Patti Jo!! It was so fun meeting you in Nashville!! I think the same of you--you're just a bright soul. :) Thanks so much!!

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  22. Thanks for the fun interview! You are both new-to-me authors; loved seeing your friendship in this post :)

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  23. Jill is one of my favorite authors. She gives me great encouragement in my writing, too. Thanks for a great interview with Jill. :-)

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    1. Melissa, you're the encouragement!! I appreciate all the ways you reach out and support me! I hope to do the same for you. :)

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    2. Melissa, Jill is the best, isn't she?

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  24. Ladies, today's post was/is delightful! I could feel the love! Friendship is so important and it sounds as if you two have a very special bond. Are either of you going to RWA? Is so, I'll see you there. Expect hugs!

    Congrats, Jill, on your success! Your bio mentioned non-fiction. I could do a google search and will later, but would love to hear about some of the other things you write.

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    1. I will be at RWA, Debby and I can't wait to see you!

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    2. It won't be long, Mindy! Glad you're going. Anyone else?

      Mary Connealy will be there, I know. Josee Telfer and I are rooming together!!! :)

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    3. Hi Debby! I wish I could make it to ACFW this year, but I won't be able to. Friendship IS important!

      As for my non-fiction, I wrote a self-help book for parents with kids in sports. Game On: The Christian Parents' Sports Survival Guide is to help parents overcome some of the negatives sports bring! https://jillkemerer.com/books/game-on/

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  25. Wonderful inspiring post! Thanks for sharing your friendship beginnings and continuing support. Nothing beats that friend-uplift!

    Social Media has allowed my 90-year-old mother to keep in touch with family scattered from one ocean to the other! She's always delighted to share with me about what so and so is doing. I can't keep up with her! (on Facebook or in reading books!).

    I love cowboys...always have and always will. One of my husband's cousin-once removed-or something- is a champion bull rider. Not too long ago, my granddaughter, my daughter n law, her momma and I got to see Shane Proctor ride in Las Vegas at the National Finals Rodeo...and of course, we met him and got that coveted autograph! What a terrific blessing it was!

    Love checking in with you all...have a beautiful day.

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    1. Kathryn, that is amazing about your mother. Sounds like she's better at FB than I am. Oh, and I bet that trip was one for the record books. I'm sure you all had a blast.

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    2. Kathryn, sounds like your mother is a woman after my own heart! God love her! Seniors rock! :)

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    3. Kathryn, Your mother is an inspiration! She sounds spunky! That is so cool you got to meet Shane Proctor!! I loved watching YouTube videos of PBR for this book. What a scary sport!!

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  26. I can't decide which sounds better ... the breakfast cake or the book!

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  27. Major dilemma, Amy, I know. So I propose that we eat the cake while reading the book. Sound good?

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  28. It's crazy wonderful that the both of you fostered a solid friendship almost solely through technology (phone, email, Voxer). Wow! Makes you think about how much more connected we are compared to 100 years ago. And though technology has it's pros and cons, I think we're better for it and I think your friendship can support that fact. :)

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