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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

What Makes My Heart Beat Faster by Shirley Jump - Guest Post & Giveaway

About Shirley Jump

New York Times bestselling author Shirley Jump didn’t have the willpower to diet nor the talent to master under-eye concealer, so she bowed out of a career in television and opted instead for a career where she could be paid to eat at her desk—writing.

She started out in journalism, selling her first article at the age of eleven and dreaming of being the next Jane Pauley. She hosted two of her own shows on the local cable channel and co-hosted a late-night comedy show. After writing 3000 articles and two non-fiction books, Shirley grew too dependent on her robe and fuzzy slippers, and decided a career as a freelance writer suited her better.

After having two kids, she sold embarrassing essays about her children to anthologies such as Chicken Soup for the Working Woman’s Soul and Chocolate for Women II.

Then she turned to the world of romance novels, where messes are (usually) cleaned up before The End and no one is calling anyone a doodoo head. In the worlds Shirley gets to create and control, children listen to their parents, husbands always remember holidays and housework is magically done by elves.

She sold her first book to Silhouette Romance in 2001. That novel, THE VIRGIN’S PROPOSAL, won the Booksellers’ Best Award for Best Traditional Romance of 2003.

Since then, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shirley Jump has written more than 50 novels for Berkley, Harlequin, Entangled and Kensington books. She has won numerous awards, including the HOLT Medallion, the Booksellers Best Award and Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence.

She’s been nominated multiple times for the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice award, most recently for THE RETURN OF BRODY MCKENNA, the last book in her McKenna Brothers series for Harlequin.

The first book in her new series with Berkley, THE SWEETHEART BARGAIN, has received a Top Pick from Romantic Times Book Reviews as well as a multitude of pre-publication praise from authors such as Jayne Ann Krentz, who called the book “real romance,” Virginia Kantra, who said, “Shirley Jump packs lots of sweet and plenty of heat in this heartwarming first book of her promising new series,” and Jill Shalvis, who called it “a fun, heartwarming small town romance that you’ll fall in love with.”

Though she’s thrilled to see her books in stores around the world, Shirley mostly writes because it gives her an excuse to avoid cleaning the toilets and helps feed her shoe habit.


Books by Shirley Jump

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What makes my heart beat faster 
Guest post by Shirley Jump

I’ve always been a romantic at heart, which is probably why I ended up writing romance as a career. Like most romantic women, I’ve dreamed of having a man in my life who was just as sappy as me. I’ve been divorced for several years now, and after my last relationship broke up, I had despaired of ever meeting anyone special and definitely didn’t think I’d meet someone romantic. I figured those guys were fictional and resigned myself to accepting that they only existed on the pages of my books.

Then I went to a farmer’s market on a warm, sunny Saturday, and met Joe. We got to talking at the cheese stand and realized we’d grown up in the same area. He took my number, called a few days later, and by the first date, I was as captivated as he was. Except when I have had to travel, we literally haven’t been apart since that first date. My friends tell me all the time that my face reflects the joy I feel in my heart.

But what makes my heart beat faster, and gets me choked up, are the simple things he does. Sending me a bouquet of just daisies and carnations, because I once said those were my favorite flowers. Picking up something for me at the store because he noticed I needed it. Sending me a sweet text when I’m having a down day. And putting fake plastic buckets and turtles in sand.

I have this ginormous coffee table that has a lip on it, and a few years ago, I bought some sand and a piece of glass and filled it with shells. Nerdy, silly, romantic me loved that darn table. When I moved in with Joe, the ginormous table I loved so much literally took up half our living room. He told me he loved it and not to get rid of it.

And then he began finding little things to put in there. A few shells from a walk on the beach. A plastic turtle to go with the glass one I’d found. A set of plastic pails. We took the glass off, and together, we set those shells and buckets and turtles in the sand. As time has passed, the collection under the glass has grown to include some starfish and crabs, a little boat, and a message in a bottle. Joe has talked about where we can go on our next vacation to find some things to add to ourtable.

It truly is ours. As with everything with him, there is no mine or his, not in his mind. Everything is ours, and what is important to me is important to him, too. He’s an IT guy, into Lord of the Rings and music and baseball, and if you imagined a romantic man, he probably wouldn’t fit that image.

But he is romantic, even if he doesn’t think he is. I was cuddled up against him one night, and told him how much I appreciated the table and him, and how romantic I thought the whole thing was. He said, “I never used to be that guy…until I met you.”

That is what makes my heart beat faster, and makes me smile that goofy smile that my friends call joy. The men I write about are fictional, but they were always based on a real-life hope for someone amazing. So excuse me for my nerdy, silly, romanticism, but I am so very grateful that sometimes, fiction becomes truth.


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One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a paperback copy OR a digital copy of The Secret Ingredient for a Happy Marriage by Shirley Jump (winner’s choice).

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. Bahaha. Love the first sentence about being able to eat at your desk as a reason for writing.

  2. Great guest post. Sounds like you have found a wonderful man.

  3. I've enjoyed every book I've tried by this author, and I'm sure this one will be no different.

  4. The Secret Ingredient for a Happy Marriage sounds like it will be an entertaining novel.

  5. I love the coffee table! It's gorgeous. What a lovely idea.

  6. hahahahah doodoo head! I love it! I laughed so hard reading this article that I got a stitch in my side. Looking your books up on Amazon

  7. Hi Shirley! Looking forward to reading your books. Thank you

  8. I enjoy reading your books. The covers are lovely.

  9. He's a keeper. I am loving the table and the books.

  10. The Secret Ingredient for a Happy Marriage sounds like a very interesting novel.

  11. What a lovely post - your books sounds amazing and intriguing xx

  12. Thank you for the lovely post :)

  13. I love the sound of the book and the cover is soooo pretty.

  14. Such a sweet post. I love that table.

  15. Awesome post, absolutely love the table!

  16. I just love the cover of this, I'd feel so happy reading this!

  17. Shirley, your coffee table may just be the best piece of furniture I've ever seen!

  18. Thanks for the great prize and competition. Good luck everyone!

  19. I love the coffee table! Happy to read your happiness on this post, it brings smile to my face. Thank you for the guest post and giveaway.

  20. Doodoo head? That's so funny! My little niece's worst insult was poo face!