Wednesday, October 12, 2011

5 Easy Questions with Jennifer Shirk!

Every Wednesday, I ask a writer the same five easy questions. In an effort to support and promote fellow wordsmiths, I feature authors who write a variety of genres, from sweet inspirational to mainstream thrillers. The writers themselves may be aspiring, published, or  best-selling--all have made an impact on my life.

Thank you for joining me in welcoming… Jennifer Shirk!

I've followed Jennifer's fun, quirky blog, Me, My Muse, and I, for years. It's like heading over to your best friend's house for a cup of tea and a brownie--it just feels right. Jennifer has two "fun, feel-good, romantic fiction" books out: Georgie on His Mind and The Role of a Lifetime, and later in this post you'll learn how you can enter to win a copy of The Role of a Lifetime! Woo-hoo!

Let's get to it!

1. Beverage of choice?

Water. (I know, boring. But you asked.) After I read how good water is for you, I’m now hooked. However, if I’m out in a nice restaurant or bar, you would find me drinking a Stoli Doli for sure!

2. Any pets?

Yes, four hermit crabs. What the? Yes, hermit crabs are the way to go if you want low maintenance, except I think I need to get a heater for them this winter.

3. Dream vacation?

Portofino or Rome, Italy. *sigh* I’ve never been to Europe, but since my hubby is Italian (half) we’re planning on going there first. Someday…

4. What are you listening to right now?

Music? Ha! My kiddo has the TV cranked to an insane volume and it’s on the Disney channel.

5. What's for dinner?

Mexican black bean lasagna. (It’s my one day a week to pretend to be a vegetarian.) The hubby and kiddo dubbed themselves “meatatarians” but they do enjoy this recipe.
Jennifer, hermit crabs are the one pet I've been able to prevent from entering my home. The kids are experts at pushing my "let's get another pet" button. It's sad, really! Your dream vacation sounds extra special since your hubby is part Italian. I hope you can make it happen soon.

Disney and I are not on friendly terms right now. If I have to hear that song with monsters in it one more time--maybe by the star of Ant Farm?--I'm borrowing an air-soft gun and shooting our television. But I will say, your dinner is making the "meatatarian" in me drool! I'll take anything with layers of gooey cheese! Thanks so much for being my guest today.

Sandra Moyer has a good reason to distrust actors. She was once married to one who left her and her child. However, she’s desperate for publicity to help her struggling preschool. Hollywood playboy Ben Capshaw’s request to access her classes to prepare for a role is an offer she can’t refuse.

Sandra second guesses herself on that decision until she sees Ben in action with the children. Her apprehension turns to wonder, and then to feelings she’d thought were closed off forever. Yet how can she trust that what she’s seeing is real?

As a boy, Ben learned that acting was the answer to everything. The role he’s up for now will enhance his career and, he’s sure, secure his happiness. But spending time with Sandra and her daughter stirs up emotions that—for once—aren’t pretend.

Ben’s ready for a lifetime role as husband and father—if he can convince Sandra not to typecast him.

Here's your chance to win a copy of The Role of a Lifetime. Head to Goodreads, linked here, to enter! Contest deadline is October 16, 2011, so don't delay!


Jennifer Shirk has a bachelor degree in pharmacy-which has in NO WAY at all helped her with her writing career. But she likes to point it out, since it shows romantic-at-hearts come in all shapes, sizes, and mind-numbing educations.

She writes sweet romances for Samhain Publishing and Avalon Books. She's also a board member for Straight Ahead Ministries, an organization involved in helping spread the gospel and aiding medical and pharmacy students in Russia. She resides in a beach resort in NJ, and when she's not involved in all the above, she's taking care of her most treasured possessions: her husband, daughter, and four hermit crabs.

For more information about Jennifer, head to her website, her blog, be friends with her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

Who has spotted Christmas decorations in stores? Anyone counting the days until Christmas yet?

Have a wonderful Wednesday!


  1. First, well done on the water. I need to take a page from your book.

    Second, HERMIT CRABS!!! I went through a phase in my life where I was obsessed with hermit crabs. I had three. And let me tell you, I made a low maintenance pet into something high maintenance! I did all this research on how to take care of them and I went all out in a ridiculous way. Buying them these toys and heaters and climbing nets and who knows what else. Let's just say I got burnt out after five months and gave them to a student. I'm a bit whackadoo when it comes to pets.

    Fun to read more about you Jennifer!

  2. Mmmm... Mexican black bean lasagna! Sounds good! I still like to cook vegetarian once in awhile - a leftover habit from when I tried to make the family to meat-less. (My youngest is still not happy with me about that!)

    And Christmas!?! Ack! I guess I'd better crack down on that 'to-make' gift list I have!

  3. Jill: Thanks for having me. And I LOVE that Halloween song! My daughter gets annoyed when I start jamming to it. LOL!

    Katie: I did research on the crabs too! I've even chopped carrots and lettuce for them as a treat. as a result they've lasted and even molted. Very spoiled. :-)

  4. That black bean lasagna sounds divine! And I'm a big fan of water, too - eight cups a day is nowhere near enough for the human body!

  5. Any low maintenance pet is the way to go!!! Great interview. I've always loved Jennifer's blog. :)

  6. Good morning!

    Katie: I love that you go all out with your pets, including crabs! I spoil our little dog. I really want to buy her a little University of Michigan jersey for game day (I already made her a "Go Blue" collar), but I'm being cheap!

    Ayda: I do that sometimes too. I have a yummy recipe for stuffed shells I justify as being "healthy." They're not!

    Jennifer: Thanks for sharing today, Jennifer! And you know I'm with your daughter on this one. They play it every four minutes. Aaack!

    E Louise: You are not kidding. I need way more than 8 cups of anything a day. Between all the tea I drink and the water, I'm sure I'm hitting double that mark.

    Laura: Low maintenance pets are the way to go. Our guinea pig is not all that low maintenance, but he's cute and sweet, so we keep buying bedding, food, and hay... :)

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  7. Heeeheee, a heater for the hermit crab! lol That's hilarious!
    I like water too, Jennifer. :-) And I can vouch for her book. It was adorable and made me laugh!

  8. Water? Isn't that a mixer? Sorry that was a line from one of my favorite English comedies. I like water as well - honest - I even add it to my white wine sometimes, so long as it's fizzy.

    I like the sound of Hermit crabs though - I hope they appreciate their heater.

  9. I escaped the whole hermit crab thing when my kiddos were little, thank goodness. Though I'll bet the maintenance on them is easier than cats or dogs. Still, not much fun to cuddle with. ;)

  10. Glad I am not the only water drinker! Love it.
    I loved this interview since I really enjoy her blog. I read her other book and loved it too!

  11. I will not even address the hermit crab as a pet *shudders* - but, I will need the recipes for both a Stoli Doli and that mexican black bean lasagna (I'm a vegetarian hiding out in a meat loving house as well!)

  12. Ok, Hermit crabs are a no go! LOL And I ought to drink more water too. Dinner sounds yummy as I am a fan of lasagna and black beans.

    Jill, I was humming that monster song yesterday too! Drives me nuts, but the girl can SANG! :) The show: Obnoxious.

    Anyway, have a great Wednesday, ladies!

  13. Jessica N: The things we do for animals... I really must put my cup of coffee down and pick up a glass of water!

    Nina: HA! Just laughed out loud, and I am in public right now! Great line!

    Linda: I'm trying to escape it too. So far, so good! I love cuddly pets. Our mini-doxie would live on my lap if I let her!

    Terri: I know! Jennifer's blog is the best! Good for you drinking water. :)

    Debora: That mexican lasagna does sound fabulous. Mm-mm!

    Jessica P: Since my daughter was home sick yesterday, I got to hear it several times. Yay.

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  14. Okay, Jennifer, it's settled. We are packing up and going to Italy together!

    Love these interviews and Jennifer is one of those women that make you feel like you've known her forever (it's why we're going to Italy together).

    ~ Wendy

  15. No hermit crabs here either-at least not yet. I did pick up a pretty shell in Alaska once only to have it's angry owner stick his little legs out, wiggle out of my hand!

    I love the idea of a cup of tea and a brownie (may I have two?) with a friend, and I enjoyed this visit immensely:)

  16. Not so much on the hermit crabs, but Katie's version of high-maintenance pet-care is hilarious. And so Katie!

    Lovely to get to know you better, Jennifer.

    Yes to Christmas decorations in stores. No to counting the days til Christmas.

    I've got too much to do before then!

  17. Wow. You got the hermit crabs to molt? Very cool. They sound like fascinating low-maintenance pets.

    Coffee before noon, water until five, wine until bed.

    Enjoyed the interview!! Your book sounds like a great read.

  18. Loved this! Fun and informative!

    We had two hermit crabs -- Lucy and Ethel. *sigh* They, um, are no longer with us... not by choice, either. It was a very sad day for The Little Girl.

    Your book sounds great, Jennifer.

    Great post!

  19. NICE! And hey, where's the recipe for the Mexican black bean lasagna?!? :D

  20. Great comments, Jen. I would love to try hermit crabs. They are so cute. And I love the Disney channel. I think it is almost as good as vintage Disney. (We're talking the early morning shows, not the ones with people on them.)

  21. Your post made me hungry, Jen. That black bean lasagne sounds yummy.

    No hermit crabs for me, although I did have a tiny white mouse when I was in my late teens. Why, I'll never know since I don't like rodents. Momentary insanity perhaps? I think I'd need Jeannie Campbell to figure that one out. =)

  22. Great interview! I so want to visit Italy too, Jennifer.

    I love Christmas, but I can't get into it (listening to Christmas music/decorating my house) until after Thanksgiving.

  23. You closet vegetarian you!
    But if you do go to Italy -- make absolutely sure you go to Florence as well.
    Frankly, to an American, Italy is going to seem tiny. :)

  24. Wendy: Well, I'm in on that trip too. Don't even try to stop me! :)

    Valerie: Two brownies for you! And two for me too. :) So you found a crab in Alaska? How awesome! What an experience!

    Erica: I know--I can't even fathom Christmas is around the corner. Way too much to do!

    Sutton: I didn't know hermit crabs could molt, either. It would be cool to see! Or gross? Not sure! Love your beverages--cheers!

    Tina: Oh, so sorry for your daughter's loss. But am I right that it wasn't as devastating for you? My husband and I keep joking that our guinea pig should "go to the light." :)

    Christina: I know! Let's chant: We want lasagna!

    Nancy: Disney has some great cartoons. Unfortunately, we're out of the cartoon phase and into the "live people" stage. :(

    Keli: Yeah, I had a hamster when I was in college. It wasn't a great pet! I'm more of a cat and dog gal!

    Stacy: Same here. I won't unleash the Christmas tunes until after Thanksgiving!

    Silke: Florence...*sigh* I want to travel, and Italy is a top destination.

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  25. Wendy: It's settled. Once the kids are grown, we are so going to Italy together!!

    Waving to all my PC buddies: Nina, Sutton, Tina, Silke, and Deb! Thanks, ladies!!!

    I should post that recipe:

  26. Thanks for sharing this blog, Jill! Wishing you much success, Jennifer, with The Role of a Lifetime!

  27. Hi Jennifer and Jill! Fun interview, ladies! And nope, no hermit crabs entering my house any time soon (or ever). :)

  28. Hey, and i thought I was the only one who liked water. I always get that "your either crazy or your cheap" look at restaurants, but I like water and it's good for you.
    April Dawn

  29. I love these interviews because they're short and sweet. Thanks. Oh, Christmas. Ba-humbug.

  30. Thanks Jill, for this interview with Jennifer! It's fun to learn more about her. I have to agree, hermit crabs are pretty low maintenance, my kids had many over the years. :) And Italy...yes, would love to go there too!

    Thanks ladies!

  31. Um, yeah, hermit crabs didn't survive our household. *sigh* Kidlet is trying desperately to convince me he needs a lizard. Not happening. Mmmm. The lasagna sounds yummy. And I think I have Nina talked into a writers retreat at her house in Spain!

  32. Jennifer: And we have a recipe!! Can I get a "what-what"?? Sorry, my 90's inner-city girl came out on that one... Thanks!

    Cheryl: Aw, thanks!!

    Sarah: I'm with you. If I can't pet it, it's not here!

    April: Yeah, why is such a healthy drink so frowned upon at restaurants? I have to confess, I always order a Coke!

    Jill: Thank you! And I'm not anywhere near thinking about Christmas yet!

    Karen: How fun! I'm sure your kids loved you for it, too. And, cool, we have another taker for the Italy trip! :)

    Chelle: Yes, I feel your pain. I keep hearing about how we need a gecko. Soooo not happening!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  33. Chelle: A Lizard? For real? Must be better than a tarantula, which is what a little boy my kiddo knows has.

    April: I know! I feel cheap ordering water too, but that's what I like. :)

    Hi, Karen and Sarah!!

    Thanks, everyone!

  34. Sounds like you have very exotic taste, Jennifer! :o) Nice.

  35. I love Jennifer. She's an encourager to everyone she knows. Thanks for this extra peek into her life!

    P.S. Sorry I missed your wonderful cooking last night--rats!

  36. Jessica: Yes, I do with food especially!

    Jeanette: YOU are the encourager. *hugs*

  37. My grandma used to keep hermit crabs in her kindergarten class. I loved them :)

    And so heading over to see about winning that book!

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  38. Jessica B: Yes, and very good taste!

    Jeanette: I agree--Jennifer is an amazing encourager (and so are you!).

    Sarah: Aw, how cool! I would have loved them too. :)

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  39. Her book sounds great. And like Jennifer, I love water and Italy. But instead of hermit crabs, we have a leopard gecko!

  40. Hi Jill, I really enjoyed your interview with Jennifer today! I used to work in pharmacy too, I was a technician in a hospital for several years. I love the questions you used in the interview. What a nice way to get acquainted with someone! I hope that you have a lovely evening ahead and thank you for the kind comment you left on my blog the other day. It was very encouraging! Delisa :)

  41. Fun interview, ladies! I like the premise of Jennifer's book. I'll have to check it out.


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