Tuesday, July 25, 2017

My Novel Freshman Experience—Part 2 Orientation



Orientation

If you missed it, I'm starting back to school and my first official school even was orientation. About a dozen adult students and grad students gathered and listened to the Adult Ed people talk about schedules, dates, parking...  Travis headed the team.  He asked who was nervous...no one raised their hands, but I glanced around the room and a few people seemed to fall into that category.  He talked about making sure you got the best grades you could in every class.  Scholarships and Grad programs rely on it.  I've got to confess, I wasn't nervous.  I'm in this weird position.  Most of the adult/grad students are working toward a specific degree with a specific goal in mind.

I have no goal.  I'm going back to school for fun and for personal growth.  And while I'd like to get good grades, I will confess, I'm sort of ambivalent about the idea of someone else judging what I learned and accomplished in a class. I've spent my entire adult life taking classes and learning new things.  From my work advising lactating moms, to learning sign language, to beer classes, herb classes, composting class, water conservation class, basketweaving classes...and oh yeah, writing stuff.  You've seen some of my eclectic learning reflected in my books.  I covered composting in Her Second-Chance Family, sign language in Do You Hear What I Hear?...

But here's the thing, none of those learning experiences came with grades. My kids have assured me that years of working at home in a fictional world has ruined me for the real world.  I'm my own boss. I create my work environment every day.  I create my coworkers...otherwise known as my characters.  I choose my projects, set my schedules and basically learn what I need (want) to learn for fun.  And I'll confess, even though I will be graded on this first ceramics class, I'm going in with that same sense of learning for the joy of it...for the glee of it if you will.

I plan to blog the experience, so watch for my first day of class at the end of August!

Holly


Thursday, July 06, 2017

#Ham4All

If you followed my spring NYC trip, you'll know I saw Hamilton AND Dear Evan Hansen this spring.  Oh yeah, I was living large.  Well, imagine my glee when I saw that there's a new #Ham4All Challenge on Twitter and Evan Hansen's cast did Guns and Ships...if you missed it, well, you're welcome!


Oh, I know.  Amazeballs.  After watching it I fell down the rabbit hole and looked up the hashtag on Twitter and there were so many amazing videos. Actors, singers sure, but fans as well.

It reminded me of Erie. Yes, I know, readers are used to the fact that Erie, PA creeps into my books and so many of my social media posts.  But there it is.  I love my town!  So do immigrants.  We have a vibrant community here supported Erie International Institute.  And The Erie Art Museum has an amazing program I've talked about before...Old Songs, New Opportunities!  I bought the CD a while ago and have enjoyed it...so have the kids in my life.  If you're from Erie or somewhere else, you need to check out this unique project and buy a CD.  

And when you're done, you need to check out The #Ham4All Challenge!  Watch the videos and make a donation today.  Let's face it, unless you're a Native American, you come from immigrant stock! I've been thick into my genealogy and I'm Irish, English, German and a bit of Scandinavian.  I think about my family who left everything they knew behind and came here to build a new life...one that led to me.  They had such bravery and optimism.  I hope I carry those qualities on.  And I think about all of Erie's new residents who come here with that same bravery and optimism.  I made a donation for them...and for every other person who comes to this melting pot full of hope and a vision of the future! 

Holly

PS As long as I'm mentioning The Erie Art Museum, congrats on John Vanco who retired from it and had John Vanco Way named after him.  John, you've made a wonderful, powerful impact on Erie...thank you!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Why I want to be Steve Martin when I grow up!

I've been listening to Steve Martin's music lately.  As I was listening yesterday, I realized, I want to be Steve Martin when I grow up.  Why?  Because here's someone who does what he loves.  You can see the joy on his face when he plays his banjo.

I really love that he's allowed himself to grow and change as he gets older.  (No Steve, I'm not calling you old.)  Comedian, actor, author and Grammy-Award winning musician.  He hasn't let himself be pegged by labels.  He said, "I don't like to look back, and I'm always worried about the next thing rather than resting on the laurels."  


That resonates for me.  I know a little about a lot of things...and look forward to continue to learn new bits and find new passions to chase.  I'm heading back to school in August.  Who knows what I'll discover?  Yes, I want to be like him...maybe we should all try to be a little like Steve Martin?

Holly


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Everything But... Daycares and Nursing Homes

Everything But a Mother is available on audio. 5 in the series down...1 to go! Nana Vancy and the Silverbells are volunteering at a daycare in a nursing home in this one.
I've been going to nursing homes for...well, for decades. My grandmother had Alzheimers and was in an amazing home a block away from the kids' school. We stopped every day. My youngest basically grew up in that nursing home. And that's one of my inspirations for adding a daycare center in my fictional nursing home in Everything But a Mother. Whenever my kids went into the home, they were rockstars. All the residents got so excited to see young faces in the building.

It's nice to see that my idea is catching on. PBS did a great what happens when a nursing home and a daycare share a building piece. The Everything But series are lighthearted romps, but even in my frothiest stories, you can find things I'm passionate about. From how society deals with our elderly, to healthy eating, to CSA's, to dual-flush toilets and compost piles, oh, and Heinlein, Tolkien and Trixie Belden...I touch on all of it!! I hope you'll check out the Everything But... books on audio. If you bought the Kindle version, you can buy the Audible edition on Amazon for $1.99.


Everything but a Groom - 5/2/2017
AmazonAudibleBN and iTunes

Everything but a Bride - 5/9/2017

AmazonAudibleBN and iTunes

Everything but a Wedding - 5/16/2017

AmazonAudibleBN and iTunes

Everything but a Christmas Eve - 5/23/2017

AmazonAudibleBN and iTunes

Everything but a Mother - 5/30/2017

AmazonAudibleBN and iTunes

Everything but a Dog - 6/6/2017

AmazonAudibleBN and iTunes



And while you're shopping don't forget my newest releases:

Not Precisely Pregnant
The Book
Same Time Next Summer



My Award Winning Words of the Heart series 



Carry Her Heart
These Three Words


Hold Her Heart



When you're done reading (or listening) to a book, I'd so appreciate it if you'd leave a review!  As always, thanks so much!!  Keep an eye out...new Views of My Garden videos are in the works!

Holly

PS if you read down this far...I just gave some free books out to my newsletter subscribers (if you're not one yet, you can sign up here...I always have something new going on for subscribers) and I have a few left.  If you'd like one, send me an email at HollyJacobs1 (at) gmail (dot) com. First come, first serve!



Saturday, April 29, 2017

Everything But... Audiobooks!



I wrote a series of short, sweet, fluffy romances for Avalon Books, a small publisher that mainly sold books to libraries.  The books got a new life when Montlake Romance bought Avalon's backlist.  Montlake published them as ebooks.  And now, they're coming out as audiobooks!  Yes, a bossy Hungarian grandmother who cursed her family to bad weddings is still moving!

The first three Everything But... audiobooks are available now on Amazon.  They'll be released on other sites over the next month.  Here are the dates and links!  You can preorder them now.


Everything but a Groom - 5/2/2017

Everything but a Bride - 5/9/2017


Everything but a Wedding - 5/16/2017


Everything but a Christmas Eve - 5/23/2017


Everything but a Mother - 5/30/2017


Everything but a Dog - 6/6/2017




And while you're shopping don't forget my newest releases:

Not Precisely Pregnant
The Book
Same Time Next Summer



My Award Winning Words of the Heart series 



Carry Her Heart
These Three Words


Hold Her Heart



When you're done reading (or listening) to a book, I'd so appreciate it if you'd leave a review!  As always, thanks so much!!  Keep an eye out...new Views of My Garden videos are in the works!

Holly



Friday, April 21, 2017

I've got a Confession...Confessions of a Party Crasher is out today!

I've got a Confession...a new book is out and there are more subscriber treats!
Open the newsletter to find out more...
Happy Spring, everyone!! If you hang out with me on social media, you'll know I've already been out in the garden and working out at camp! I love this time of year!!  Especially when I have good news. Are you ready?  


Confessions of a Party Crasher
is out today!!

...and I have a confession, the party is just getting started!

Morgan Miller is out of work and out of luck. She’s moved back home to Pittsburgh to try and put her life back in order. When she agrees to attend wedding reception with her mom for she's appalled to learn her mother’s invitation is far from legitimate. Her mom has turned her into an inadvertent party crasher.

When her friends agree that party crashing is a great way to meet men, Morgan's life goes from crazy to completely crazy. Wedding photographer Conner Danning keeps shooting her swoon-worthy glances and Morgan's ex is trying to de-ex himself.

Coming home and falling in love might just be the one party Morgan doesn’t want to miss as she discovers that sometimes what you think you want isn't what you want at all!

 
Reviews:

"...a funny tale of falling in love when you least expect it, best friends, and off-beat mothers..." We Write Romance

"...a sweet, entertaining romance..." ~RT Bookclub

"Hilarious situations, deep emotions, and lots of love make this one party you won't want to miss." ~Cat Cody, Romance Junkies

"Confession of a Party Crasher is an entertaining frolic. I know whenever I see Holly Jacobs name on a book I can be guarantee that I am are going to have one laugh after another..." Writers Unlimited

"Confessions of a Party Crasher is a book about relationships and life. As always, Holly Jacobs uses plenty of zany humor to enhance the story and make it dazzle." ~© Kelley A. Hartsell All rights reserved.

"CONFESSIONS OF A PARTY CRASHER is a charming romantic story, where love is made even more special with laughter." Cataromance.com 


Buy Confessions of a Party Crasher!!
Last newsletter, subscribers were given a free short story, The Book.  It's up now for sale. If you missed it, or enjoyed and want to pass it on and/or review it, you can find it at:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2kJfWWx
Nook: http://bit.ly/2kwL3nv
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2l7sk3K
(Yes, I listened to you all and I'm trying to publish more books for other platforms!)


BIG NEWS!! By Popular Demand, the entire Everything But... series is being published in audio!
Here are their release dates. They're all available for preorder now!
Everything but a Groom - 5/2/2017
AmazonAudibleBN and iTunes
Everything but a Bride - 5/9/2017
AmazonAudibleBN and iTunes
Everything but a Wedding 5/16/2017
Amazon, Audible, BN and iTunes
Everything but a Christmas Eve - 5/23/2017
Amazon, Audible, BN and iTunes
Everything but a Mother - 5/30/2017
AmazonAudibleBN and iTunes
Everything but a Dog - 6/6/2017
AmazonAudibleBN and iTunes

Here's a treat for all of you! My friend, Susan Gable, has a free book out now as she relaunches her Hawkin's Family series!  You can pick it up here.
 
That's it for now!  There are more books coming out this year, so you'll hear from me shortly!  Thanks as always for all your support! I hope you enjoy Confessions of a Party Crasher and that you pick up the Everything But series...on audio!

Holly

PS. You can get my newsletters directly by signing up at http://eepurl.com/4OPQL. Not only will you never miss a new release, you'll be eligible for all the subscriber giveaways and specials!  


 






Friday, April 14, 2017

My Novel Freshman Experience—Part 1

I am a Novelist?  No, that sounds pretentious.  A Romance Novelist?  No, not really accurate since I sometimes kill people, too.  (Don't gasp...I'm talking cozy mysteries, though I've killed people in romances, too. Bwah ha ha.) Author? Still pretentious.

I am a Writer.


Yes.  That's probably an accurate description.  I've written a lot of books and those books have gone to more than twenty-five countries now.  I've written short stories, novellas and novels.  I've written articles and poems even.  Yes.  I'm a writer.

Add to that, I am a lifelong learner.  I know little bits about lots of things.  And most of those bits find their way into my books.  Let's see, I'm a closet science geek who celebrates Pi Day every year.  I am a basketweaver.  I've worked with breastfeeding moms and taught about it (remind me to tell you the story about a certain Monday when I was guest-speaking in a college freshman psych class about the psychological benefits of breastfeeding...uh, I'm pretty sure the football team was in the front row. SIGH.)  I'm a baker, a gardener and according to my kids, a hippie.  (Geesh, put in a rain barrel, compost pile, a dual flush toilet and an organic garden and you get labeled.)  I know how to fingerspell and a bit of ASL and braille.  I'd say I know French, but mainly I can ask if you have a friend in French class and ask for a cheese omelet, so I'm not sure that counts.  I am a sci fi/fantasy nerd.  Oh, and I loooooovvvve Broadway (just saw Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen...totally awesome)!!  Sometimes I'm a public speaker.  I'm always an advocate for my city (Erie, PA...it rocks!).  And last, but honestly at the center of all of that, I'm devoted to my family. My family has always been at the heart of everything I do. 


Thursday, April 13th that list is expanding...today, I'm a college freshman!! (I know...I buried the lead on this one!)  Well, I'm a college freshman on paper at least.  I don't start classes until fall.  And to be honest, I'm only taking one class.  

Why just one?  Because honestly, I don't have time for even one, but here's a basic truth I learned a long time ago...no one has enough time.  When you want something, sometimes you just have to stretch time to make it accommodate it.  Einstein said that time was relative.  (He said it much more technically however.)  I hang onto that thought when I'm trying to fit one more thing into an ever-jam-packed calendar.  Time stretches. So yes, I'm starting back to school after years away.  

I put my application in last month.  After some run-around with the transcript (my theory was the high school had transcripts that old in the sub-sub-subbasement) my paperwork was done and I was in.  I went up today and signed up for that first class.

What class you asked??

Drumroll please...

Ceramics.

I wanted pottery but there wasn't a class scheduled for fall.  I keep telling Himself I want a degree in pottery.  He says I can have an art degree, but probably not pottery.  SIGH. He's so logical.  LOL  Seriously, I have no idea what my eventual diploma will say, but I feel like a kid in the candy store.  So many classes to try.  So many new ideas to discover.  I'm so utterly jazzed!


I met with adult admissions today.  He was very nice as he talked about orientation this summer, web access, and my student ID. As we looked through the fall schedule, I realized that this is going to be such a fun adventure.

I've never stopped learning. You all remember my recent beer adventures?? (I'm moving my second batch of beer to the other carboy Sunday.) What I learn doesn't get graded. But to be honest, I'm not worried about grades in my new classes either.  If I learn something, I win no matter what grade a teacher gives me.


Maybe that is a huge advantage to coming back to the classroom later in life (not that I'm late in life...I'm decidedly middle in life, thank you very much).  I realize that how a professor weighs and measures my success in a class really doesn't matter. (To all my teaching friends, I apologize...I love and adore you and I hope that all my professors consider me a delight and success in their class!)  But what really matters is what I get out of a class. That's what has mattered in every class I've taken and every lecture and workshop I've attended over the  years.  It's what has mattered in every book I've read (and there have been a lot) or written (a lot of those, too).  Coming into college as an adult student gives me a unique perspective.  I have a career that I love.  I don't need a degree for that work to continue.  More than a career I love, I have a family I love and adore.  I'm coming at these classes just for me.  Just because I love to learn new things and skills.  So what I walk away with at the end of a class...that's how I'll weigh and measure my success.

And yes, I'm starting with ceramics.  I have this idea for something I want to make.  I've been spending time at the Erie Art Museum the last few months and this idea has been nagging at me.  So stay tuned.  I thought I'd keep a running section in my blog about My Novel Freshman Experience.  Get it..novel??  LOL 


Oh, man, I hope I can avoid that Freshman Fifteen!  LOL

Holly . . . who's not sure the University is fully prepared for this experience with me!
PS. Keep an eye out for some of my books (now that I'm a poor college student it's even more important LOL) and if you've read one recently, please take a moment to review it!

Just One Thing

Words of the Heart Series
Confessions of a Party Crasher

Carry Her Heart
These Three Words
Hold Her Heart

Everything But...series
(audiobooks next month!)


Same Time Next Summer
Not Precisely Pregnant
I Waxed My Legs for This?

And if you're looking for those people I killed, try:
Can't Find NoBODY
Maid in LA Mysteries

Something that shows short stories don't lack emotion...
The Book (check out my science geekiness in it!)
13 Weeks