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Monday, January 28, 2013

Guest Post with Author Jennifer Shirk and Giveaway

Today I would like to welcome author Jennifer Shirk to RFTC. Jennifer is celebrating the recent release of her book Kissing Kendall and has stopped by to chat. Please give Jennifer a warm welcome.
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 (and sometimes even funny) romances for Samhain Publishing, Avalon Books/Montlake Romance and now Entangled Publishing. She won third place in the RWA 2006 NYC's Kathryn Hayes Love and Laughter Contest with her first book, The Role of a Lifetime.

Lately she's been on a serious exercise kick. But don't hold that against her.

Places to find Jennifer:


Hi, all! Jennifer here. Thanks so much for hosting me today!

Let’s talk reading--from the first time you pick up a book to the time you read the last word.

You know, beginnings and endings.

I raised this topic a few years ago on my own blog, but I thought it’d be fun to discuss it again—especially since people’s opinions always change.

Obviously as a writer, it's very important to have both those two things going for you: a strong beginning and a strong ending. Duh. Otherwise, who would read your book? (I mean, besides your mother)

But...if you had to choose, which do you think weighs more heavily on a reader? The beginning or the ending?

Don’t answer yet!

Let me give you MY answer and reasoning first. I think the ENDING is more important than the beginning of the story. I know some of you are grabbing your hearts. But here’s why:

Scenario one: How many have of you have picked up a book, read the first 1/3 of it and loved it? Absolutely loved it! Then something happened along the way and then by the end, you wanted to throw the book up against the wall.

Got that? Ok. Would you give that author another chance?

My answer would be no.

Scenario two: How many of you picked up a book, wasn't that thrilled with the beginning but somehow decided to persevere and continue reading only to be overjoyed that you did because the rest of the book and the ending was phenomenal?

Got that? Ok, now, would you give that author another chance?

Ah. Kind of hard to answer now, huh?

I was reading a book once and was so-so with it for about 5 chapters into it then by the time I got to the end I was SO glad I kept with the book because when I finished, I loved it. And after that I did read other books by that author.

The feeling I’m left with is very important to me. Because when I close that book the ending is going to be in my mind for a good long time.

What about you? IF you had to choose, which do you think is more important, the BEGINNING or the ENDING of a book?


Kendall Grisbaum is finally taking charge of her life—pouring her heart into opening a new bakery business and even allowing her best friend Georgie to play matchmaker for her. Trouble is, the one guy she secretly wants is Georgie's older brother, Brad, who is decidedly off limits.

Brad can't seem to get his little sister's best friend out of his mind. He and Kendall used to be close friends, too, and as a local policeman, Brad can't help but play protector, looking out for Kendall. When he offers to help her renovate her new bakery space on the side, their friendship—and their attraction—flares back to life.

Amid the temptation of doughnut muffins and blueberry cobbler, a new temptation draws them both closer. Can they take a chance on love when it means risking their friendship, even when not doing so risks everything?

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

1 lucky winner will win a eBook copy of Kissing Kendall


To Enter:
  • Leave a comment answering Jennifer's question: IF you had to choose, which do you think is more important, the BEGINNING or the ENDING of a book?
  • Fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

Good Luck =)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

41 comments:

  1. The beginning because it makes you want to keep reading to see what the ends like :-)

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  2. The beginning because it makes you want to keep reading to see what the ends like :-)

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  3. Hmm, I would have said the beginning, but you make a strong argument. And once a start a book, I do tend to keep with it. I'm definitely going to pay more attention to my own endings! :)

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  4. I think the beginning as that's what hooks me and without that, I wouldn't read the book!

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  5. The end!! Sometimes a book starts out slow then gets better, but if it has a stinky ending, you feel like you just wasted all that time when you could have found a better book!!!

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  6. As long as the beginning is good enough to keep me reading, I agree that the ending is more important. That's the impression the reader is left with, and it better have enough impact to make picking up the next book worthwhile. :)

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  7. I'm going to cheat and say both are equally important - as is the middle! Great argument for endings though.

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  8. HA, Nina! I knew there'd be at least one cheater. LOL!

    Great discussion! I love hearing what everybody thinks!!

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  9. I would have to say that the beginning is most important as that's what gets me reading. The ending is important as well, as that's the reason for reading the book - to see how it ends.

    To me a great book has both a good beginning and ending. The ending doesn't have to be a happy one, just needs to tie up all the loose ends.

    cindialtman(at)gmail(dot)com

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  10. I agree! I dont mind if a novel doesn't pull me in immediately. I always give books a fighting chance. The ending is definitely most important! Like Mickey Spillane said, "The first chapter sells the book; the last chapter sells the next book."

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  11. Hi

    I like the beginning of a book - the promise of what is to come and of course meeting all the characters and finding out the plot.

    Thanks for the chance
    Pam
    tpibrew@msn.com

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  12. The ending is most important to me.

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  13. Hi Dani and Jennifer! I was going to say both, too. But I totally see your logic, Jen, and agree. However, I'd like to think that as a reader if I love any part of a book, but might not be thrilled with another part, I'd still give that author another shot. :)

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  14. The ending for me is always important. The ending has to either make me feel like I have closure to the story or has to leave me NEEDING to know more (if it's a series). But I can't stand when books build up and build up...just to have an ending that isn't significant or one that just feels overly rushed.

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  15. Super hard question. Without question, the beginning must be good enough to make me keep reading. It doesn't need to be great, but it must be good. If it isn't "good enough" I won't keep reading no matter how great the book may be as a whole. There are well-known authors I will no longer try because I cannot get into their books.

    But the ending...that really seals it for me. There is a certain legal thriller writer I will no longer read because his endings suck for me. It's as if he says 'Okay, I'm tired of writing this now. I'll just wrap it up. And he goes from huge questions to The End in a few pages. Totally unsatisfying. The flip side is another Very Famous Author who doesn't know when to stop. The climax comes. The denouement. And she keeps on going and going and going. Like she's powered by the little pink bunny. Or the other Very Famous Author whose endings never fit the rest of his story. I no longer buy these authors either.

    So I think these are equally important.

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    1. Ooh, now I'm intrigued by what authors... LOL

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  16. The ending because it brings the book together. That's the part of the book if its a good one that makes you want it to never end.

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  17. This a tough one to answer cause you need a good beginning to engage the reader and suck (sorry, my brain is fried and it has been a LONG day...)them in to read the book but also you want to have a great ending that doesn't leave the reader hanging on unanswered questions either..but you also want the reader to want to read more...
    The best answer that I can give you would be saying that its a balance of both..

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  18. The ending definitely. I don't want to waste my time on a book with a bad ending. You feel cheated.

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  19. The beginning is ALL important. I need to be drawn in from the very beginning.

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  20. I totally agree with you, Jennifer, on this one. I read a book recently that was quite good and gripping throughout but the ending wasn't that positive and left me with so many questions. I know some writers think it's more realistic to write like that, but for someone who is addicted to happy endings, it really gets to me! It's like eating a lovely meal which leaves a bitter taste in your mouth afterwards. I think I'd rather eat a mediocre meal with some great pudding to end it off to leave a good taste in the mouth afterwards.

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  21. They are equally important. If the beginning does not get you.... you never get to the end. So the end is nothing without the beginning. Plus if the end does not leave you satisfied, you regret picking the book up and starting it in the first place, so the beginning becomes moot.

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  22. Oh gosh equally I guess. If the beginning is bad I don't know if I would keep reading it even when the ending ends up awesome, cause let's face it.. I would not get far enough to learn. But the ending, a bad ending can leave a sore taste in your mouth when it comes to buying another book from that author. I guess.

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    1. If the ending ends up bad I mean :)

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  23. The first page makes someone buy your book. The last page makes them buy your next one. :)

    In other words, both. Depends on what you're going for.

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  24. The ending because that's what your last impression is and therefore you'll remember it most.

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  25. Hmmm. Interesting question. I'd have to say both. If a book doesn't grab me in the first say ten pages and I find myself drifting I tend to but it down. But a book that doesn't really ends just kills me. You know when you finish it and the ending leads straight into another book. I want an ending not a 'guess you're going to have buy the next book to see what happens ending.' That's an author I'm wary of.

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    1. I'm not too fond of the you-must-buy-the-next book to get closure either. But it does seem to work for some authors. :)

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  26. I think both are equally important. If pressed, I would have to say the ending is a little more important because of the reasons you stated. I have not finished several books because the beginning was just not giving me what I wanted or the author's writing style wasn't too my liking. But if the ending is good, then it makes the time I invested in the book worth it.

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  27. I also think that both are important. I do have to say that if the book seems slow, I usually go to the end of the book to see if I like the ending. If I do like the ending, I finish the book.

    kscathyATyahooDOTcom

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  28. While both are important, I think the ending is more important. There have been books recommended to me that started slow, but I kept with them and loved them because of the ending. I'm much less frustrated with these books than with ones that start strong but end poorly (ending doesn't make sense based on character development throughout the story, story ends abruptly with no closure or denoument, ending is farfetched and unrealistic, etc).

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  29. the ending I hate it when you get a rubbish ending

    katrina day-reilly

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  30. I do need a good beginning because I won't read far if it's not there, but I definitely love an awesome ending. In fact, if I read a TOTALLY AWESOME BOOK with a horrible ending, I'd be so mad. Really, author, make me love your characters and get all invested in them and then check out on me before the book ends? *STOMP!*

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  31. The ending. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  32. I ageee with you, Jennifer. The ending is the most important!

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  33. I ageee with you, Jennifer. The ending is the most important!

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  34. I try to be open and keep plodding through a book if it lags. Once in a while I'll just stop reading if I can't get into it. And then sometimes, like you said, you keep reading and it turns out to be great!

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  35. I would almost say that they are both equally important, but I think the ending is slightly more importan. The beginning is what draws a reader in and affects if he/she will continue reading or pick up the book in the first place. However, the ending has affects how the reader feels about the book as a whole and if they will recommend it to others.

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  36. The ending. Some books start out promising, but if the ending doesn't deliver, it makes me not want to read other books by the author.

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