March 31, 2017

Upcoming Appearances!

Because I want to be able to see you if you're near me, here's a list of where I'll be either appearing or speaking at for the rest of this year!  :)  I'd love to see you!!!  I feel like I haven't left my house in months... literally. I don't think I have. HA!

APRIL 22, 2017
Authors in the Bluegrass
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Commonwealth Stadium
Facebook Event Page:

AUGUST 5, 2017
Bookish Denver
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sheraton Denver Downtown

Facebook Event Page:

SEPTEMBER 29-30, 2017
Write or Die Retreat
Hard Rock Cafe Seattle
Website Information:

NOVEMBER 11, 2017
Four Brits Book Fest
Manchester Piccadilly Hotel
Facebook Event Page:

March 13, 2017

Another giveaway!

You can win over 60 New Adult Romance books AND a kindle fire just by entering!

This collection of books is fantastic! I want to win them all!  lol  No Bad Days is included!  :)  Good luck and tell your friends!  The contest ends March 20th!

March 6, 2017

Beauty and the Beast Giveaway!

In case you missed it, I'm currently giving away a **Limited Edition** Lumiere from the upcoming Beauty and the Beast live action movie! 

*see picture below*

He is super cute, heavy and holds real candles! Did I mention that there were only 2000 made??  
So why on earth am I giving Lumiere away when it's such a hot commodity? Well, as you can see, I bought both Cogsworth and Lumi.... and when they arrived I realized that I didn't really "need" both of them. I thought about how awesome it would be to give one away because I know how hard they were/are to get and I know how many of us LOVE LOVE LOVE all things Disney and their films!  

So yeah!

Lumiere could be yours!

All you have to do is head over to Instagram and find my post there!  Make sure you're following me ( @RealJSterling ) and tag 2 friends to enter. That's it!  That's all you have to do!  

I hope you're having a great week!  

March 1, 2017

Self Discovery and Lists

I am on a journey right now. It's true. I'm on a serious journey of self-discovery where I am desperately trying to clear out all the negative crap in my life. It's funny because if you know me at all, then the last thing you'd ever associate me with is the word negative.

I am not a negative person.

But things in my life lately have sent me down a path where I'm being forced to look within myself- I mean REALLY look within myself. I want to break old cycles and put a stop to the patterns that have become so normal to me I don't even see them anymore.

Are you with me at all or am I totally speaking jibberish here? lol

Alright, example time... let's just go straight for the gusto- right to the heart- and talk about love (again). I've never been the type of person to think that I was really messed up when it came to love and relationships. Don't get me wrong, I knew I wasn't perfect, but it's like I never took the time to see the things that really affected me, my choices, my decisions and how certain behaviors made me feel or why they made me feel certain ways. Basically, when you fall in love with someone it brings out a lot of fears. Falling in love makes you feel vulnerable and if you're anything like me, feeling vulnerable is very foreign and super uncomfortable. You fight against it. But have you ever wondered why?

This past weekend, I sat down with a notepad and started writing a list. To be honest, the first list I made was in regards to my books and the themes that recurred within them. I realize that I wrote all the stories in my novels, but it was still interesting to me to see the things that I wrote about over and over and over again. It was like I channeled some deep hurt from within me and I was trying to get over it by writing it out in different ways or something?! I'm not entirely sure, but the messages and themes were clear.

I tend to write a lot about guys messing up, screwing up, doing the "wrong" things for what they think are the "right" reasons, keeping their feelings to themselves and shutting the girl out, leaving the main girl in the story (God, my guys ALWAYS seem to leave- abandonment issues anyone?), and then **SPOILER ALERT** the guys always come back, they right their wrongs, make grand gestures to prove their love, admit where they screwed up and the couple lives happily ever after- after she forgives him of course- because forgiveness is key and he absolutely refuses to quit on her.

So I read over that list a couple of times and I started breaking down my feelings about love and relationships. Why did I continually write these specific actions and themes in my books? Where were they coming from? Before I knew it, I was making another list. And this one hurt to write. Because I was trying to figure out my authentic feelings about love and my own worthiness, or lack thereof.

Look, I know we all have fears when it comes to romantic love. The greater the love grows, the greater the fear of losing that love becomes. We all have issues. We all have baggage. But we don't always realize just how heavy that baggage has become because we're so used to carrying it. Our emotional scars become a part of us that we simply expect whoever loves us to accept them, instead of trying to work through or resolve them if possible.

This new list horrified and surprised me, but I wrote it all down anyway. If it entered into my thoughts, I put it on paper. You must understand that I do not see myself as a weak person. I do not consider myself a victim of any kind. And I would never choose to think of myself as someone who wasn't "worthy" of real love or true happiness. Ever. (I think i'm awesome and should have all the awesome things in the world. lol)

But holy shit you guys, I think I figured out that somewhere deep down inside of me, there was this belief that I wasn't worth fighting for. I believed that I wasn't worth sticking around for- that I would truly never be enough for someone. Somewhere along the line of my life, I had accepted as fact that anyone who loved me would eventually leave me. That whatever words they had told me throughout our time together would cease to matter or hold any weight because their actions would say everything. My list was long, filled with short sentences that were truly eye opening. Did I really believe that I didn't deserve to be happy?

It was on the list.
I had written it down.
Who the hell doesn't deserve to be happy???

I didn't even realize that I'd been crying the whole time I was writing that list until I finished writing it.

I sat there for a little while longer, reading over the list and asking myself where those feelings had come from? I wanted answers. I mean, if I was going to do this kind of work, I wanted it all figured out so I could fix it. I'm super patient. lol  But really- why did I not feel worthy of the fight? Why was I so convinced everyone would eventually leave me? I got my answers pretty quickly. I discovered exactly where the feelings had come from initially and how they had been reiterated throughout my life so many times that I started to believe them, simply accepted them as fact instead of a possibility.

I couldn't stop thinking about how gratifying it was that I had done the work to see these things within myself, but I hated that they were sitting there on paper, like they were the bullet points to who I was as a person. I didn't want this list to define me. I didn't want this list to define my heart. I didn't want this list to define my thoughts, my beliefs or my feelings about myself. Everything on it was so negative. There was nothing self loving on that list. Not a single thing. It was all woe is me, no one loves me, no one stays, no one fights for me, i'm not worthy, i'm not deserving, etc etc. And when I read it again later that night, it bothered me. It bothered me so much that I knew what I needed to do.....

I flipped it!
I flipped the script!

I took that piece of paper and I ripped it out of my notebook. And I wrote the exact opposite on another list. I even gave it a title: "Positive Affirmations in Self Love." And that list said things like I am worth staying for. I am worth fighting for. I am deserving of true happiness and authentic love. I give myself permission to give and receive love. And as I wrote down each thing, I did it with a smile on my face. I couldn't stop smiling. This felt so right! This is how I wanted to see myself when it came to love, relationships and my place in them! This is how I wanted to live my life!

I set the original negative list on fire and I watched as the ashes flew away into the night, hopefully letting them go for good.

I'm not sure why I felt so compelled to share this with all of you. To be honest, this is a really personal journey that I'm on and admitting to anyone (especially myself) that I didn't feel worthy of anything is weird for me because I truly try not to see myself in ways that aren't positive and loving- but like I said in the beginning, I think our baggage becomes a part of us that we don't recognize we're carrying it anymore. Maybe I just hoped that if any of you are going through the same kind of thing, you could relate? Or maybe my list idea might spark an idea of your own?

Would love to hear your thoughts or if you think i'm crazy in the comments. Be gentle though, apparently i'm sensitive.  lol  :)


February 17, 2017

Do you lead with your head or your heart?

I mentioned a few blog posts back that my girlfriends recently pointed out to me that I let my head overrule my heart when it comes to relationships and love. They said that if I didn't think it was good for my heart.... I could literally talk myself out of anything, no matter how badly I wanted it or how strongly I felt about it. They made it real simple for me- they broke it down into two sides- you either led with your heart or your head. It was one or the other and they were adamant that I was purely head based. They told me how they would follow their hearts no matter what, no matter the cost and I sat there shaking my head in vehement disagreement. Follow your heart no matter who you hurt? No. Follow your heart no matter the consequences? No, no, no.  

Shit. Maybe they were right?

It sounds funny to say out loud, but I had never realized that about myself before. I write romance novels for fucks sake! I consider myself a pretty emotional person. I feel things so deeply at times that it causes me physical pain. How could someone who was capable of feeling that strongly not do everything from her heart? I'd never even considered myself the type of person who was more logical than emotional when it came to love. Isn't love, of all things, supposed to be completely heart based?  Everything else I do in my life seems to come from my heart- the decisions I make, the way I write, the stories I tell, where my soul leads me.... it all comes from a place of love and not always logic. You know?

So I sat on their observations for a little bit and let them sink it. They gave me examples. They compared me to themselves. And I absorbed their words. I thought about situations I'd been in in the past, situations I was currently in, the way I saw things, etc... And you know what?

They were right.
They were absolutely fucking right. 

I really do let my head talk me out of things, but there's a reason for it (lol). If I don't think it's the right thing to do, then I'll walk away. Or at least I'll try. I'm pulled to do the right thing, to do unto others and I'm always thinking about all the people in situations as opposed to only thinking about myself. Now that's not to say that I've never hurt anyone or made a bad decision because I'm human and sometimes I make decisions out of my own selfishness instead of the greater good. I know that it can't always be helped- that sometimes the pull to another person is greater than all the logic in the world. And I know that even the best person, with the best of intentions, can falter when it comes to love.

It's a powerful thing, that emotion. The most powerful thing ever, I think.  It's always the exception. Or maybe the right person is always the exception? I don't know. I'm still figuring it all out.  But what I do want to know is which are you?  Do you lead with your heart when it comes to love or your head?  

Talk to me in the comments!  Have a great weekend. <3 


February 13, 2017

I hate Valentine's Day! I think.


For as long as I can remember, I've always claimed to hate Valentine's Day. It's stupid. It's cheesy. It's dumb- I would say to anyone who listened.

But I think the truth is that I don't hate it. At all. It's just that I've either been single whenever the day rolled around, or I've always been disappointed. And there's nothing worse than a shitty valentine's day when you have a damn valentine. You know?  (Yes. there's plenty worse. I know that. Just go with me here).  So yeah, you have a valentine, you have have a husband, a wife, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, whatever... you have someone in your life... and with that comes expectations, whether you intend to have them or not.  You expect that your Valentine's day will be the stuff of dreams... the kind of things people like me write about in our books. Or you at least expect flowers. Or candy. Or a romantic dinner somewhere. Or something! God, ANYTHING!

And then it doesn't happen. For whatever reason. It's not romantic. You don't get roses. You don't go out to dinner. You don't feel special on this hallmark holiday. And even if your brain gets it, rationalizes it, knows this day means "nothing"... your heart doesn't. A part of you still wants that romance. You want to feel special. You want to feel thought about. And even though you know that everything is three times more expensive on this day than on any other..... you want to be worth the extra money. I know I do. I absolutely do. One of the least romantic things someone can do is make you feel like you weren't worth it. And you know what? I'm tired of that. I'm tired of the excuses for why I wasn't worth shopping for, buying something for, for being thought of, etc.  When guys insist that it's a bullshit holiday that's made up, it's just their way of getting out of getting you something.

I want more than that.
I deserve more than that.
And I sure as shit give more than that.

So yeah. I don't hate this holiday at all. I think I've always pretended to hate it so that I wouldn't feel so disappointed when it didn't live up to my expectations. And trust me, it never did. You get tired of being let down all the time. I do. I have. I'm over it. I'm starting to realize that I've lacked A LOT when it comes to the real life romance and passion department. I have a lot to learn. But you know what?  I'm excited about what's to come. Because I'm not settling anymore.

So tell me... do you love or hate, or just pretend to hate, this holiday?  Talk to me in the comments!  :)

February 6, 2017

Where do my stories come from?

People are always asking me where I get the inspiration for my books. They want to know how much of what I write is real and/or how they can help inspire my next one (that's usually from dumb guys. Shocking, I know. HA).

It's a simple question and I totally get the intrigue. Some books leave you desperate for all the non-fictional truth. I've sent numerous author friends emails before asking things like, "WAS THAT PART REAL?" "DID THAT REALLY HAPPEN?"  "TELL ME WHO THE REAL <insert character name here> IS RIGHT NOW!"

So see... I'm just like you.  :)

But to answer the question about where my inspiration comes from...
I write what I know.
I write what I've been through.
I write what I've seen.
I write what I've experienced.
I write what I wish would have happened.
I write entire stories based around one real life event.
I write what's in my heart.

There are plenty of authors who can create entire worlds from scratch just from the confines of their beautiful mind. I'm not really one of them. lol No really. I tend to draw my inspiration from things that have happened in my life. I base characters off of people I know and relationships I've had (even if they were a million years ago). Now that's not to say that there isn't a lot of fiction in my books because trust me, there is. It's just that what pulls me the most to write are the experiences I've gone through and the emotions I felt.

I think it's our human experiences that connect us. My biggest hope after I finish writing a book is that you'll read it and be able to relate to it on some level. I want my stories to feel like something that could either happen to you or someone you know.  I want them to feel real.

I really hope that they do. And I hope that you love them.

Do you have a favorite type of romance novel that you read? Do you like them to feel real, or do you like getting totally swept up in a fantasy world?

Chat soon,