Category Archives: Thoughts
Yikes, I’m 47 years old today. Shocker to most people. When I tell people how old am I, they assume I’m much younger. I haven’t been married 10 years yet and our son is 8-year-old 3rd grader. What can I say? I married and had my son late in my 30′s. I waited or I should say, my husband waited for me to finally figure it out.
Anywoos…lately or I should say about a month ago on Facebook, the 14 Things You don’t Know about me made the rounds. Well, I put mine out there but I realized that I had few more thing to share about myself. So here is the original list and a couple of others.
1. Growing up I wanted to dance on Broadway. Fame, West Side Story and the movie The Chorus Line were my inspirations. Sadly when I tried out for the Kilgore Rangerettes (Texas), I was too short.
2. I’ve met Ozzy Osbourne, Zak Wylde, Ace Frehley, Pantera, and Drowning Pool. That was back in my rocker days. Sadly, I miss the music but not the scene. I buried two people and it was awful.
3. The hockey players that I have met are too long to list. I worked for the Dallas Stars Hockey Club from 1999-2004. I do have a cousin that married to Keith Tkachuk. He’s a great guy to talk to. When we met after a hockey game, it was like NO SHIT! We sat and talked for hours. Do I miss it? Not really but I do miss going to games. Its hard when you live in the sticks.
4. Refer to #2 & #3 and that’s why I don’t read these kind of romances for review. I had good and bad memories and they sometimes cause triggers.
5. I married when I was 37 and had my one child at 38. My husband is 7 years younger than me. LOL!
6. People are always surprised when I tell them I hate the Dallas Cowboys. I worked for Bum Bright when he sold them to Jerry Jones. Jones is ***** and he fired Tom Landry. Yep, hated them ever since. Yes, I’m that old. :)
7. When I meet Peyton Manning and Archie Manning at a lunch in Dallas, I damn near fainted. In fact, Archie asked me if I was okay. LOL!
8. I have ZERO confidence in myself. I’m my worst motivator. Comes from years of emotional put downs from people in my family. Long story..
9. I can cook but can’t bake. Unless it’s from a box. Sad but true!
10. I lived most of my married life in small towns.
11. I was diagnosed a Type 2 diabetic almost 3 years ago. My sugars have never been over 150 and I’ve lost 60 pounds.
12. My writing dream is to be published by Harlequin. I know, right?
13. My guilty pleasure is Zebra Cakes from Little Debbie. My vice is cigarettes. And yes, I need to quit. Sadly, I don’t drink anymore.
14. We named our son after a hockey player and football player. Brian Leetch, New York Rangers and Earl Campbell, Houston Oilers.
15. I love classical music. Yes, I’m a headbanger but I have played the piano since I was about 3 yrs old and violin since I was 8. I have also sang in choirs since I was young. I sing First Alto. My inspiration for the piano was Elton John and Billy Joel. Charlie Daniels was my inspiration for the violin. I still tear up when I hear the Alleluia Chorus by Handel. I sand it so much that I can just break out singing. In fact, my dad and I did over Thanksgiving. My son was impressed.
16. I worked in the corporate world for over 25 years. Sadly, no one wants someone with my experience anymore. :( I’m an old IBM’er, JC Penney corporate (women’s division) and banking.
17. I love Marvel and DC Comics. My favorites are Superman, Batman, Captain America and Thor. And yes, I can’t wait for the movie Superman vs. Batman. My favorite Batman: tie between Michael Keaton and Christian Bale. Superman: Christopher Reeve. Don’t get me wrong Henry was AWESOME but no one played Superman better than Chris. He defined the super hero role for everyone else.
18. I have two nicknames from my husband: Cliff (from Cheers) and Monica (from Friends). He He!
19. I hate being cold. My idea temp would be around 85 with a breeze. I live in Texas so I might have one day like that. LOL!
20. Are you bored yet?
Thanks for hanging out with me today.
As most people know or don’t know about me, I was born in the great state of Oklahoma. Boomer Sooner baby! I know, people actually think that I’m from Texas but I’m not. I bleed Sooner Red, not Teasipping burnt orange. It was drilled in my head from the cradle that the Texas Longhorns are the devil and that the Sooners are the bomb. Respect Tom Osborn, coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers, just don’t cheer for them. And its okay to cheer for Oklahoma State University when they AREN’T playing OU. LOL! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate the state of Texas at all. I married here in Texas, my son was born in Dallas and we now live in East Texas.
Everyone in the family went to OU except for my dad. My grandparents didn’t have the money to send him. Shoot, my mother was a Gamma Phi Beta at OU. One of my uncle’s was an OU football cheerleader and a Lamda Chi. My other uncles were Delts and my aunts were Chi Omega’s. Yes, Norman got a lot of money from both sets of grandparents. Then I had cousins that went there, too. Yep, more money.
Anywoos…the purpose of the family history is because when I was thinking of my “brand”, I had to figure out some things about myself and what stories I am writing. So here’s the short list:
1. Small town Oklahoma is the setting for my books.
2. My most cherished childhood memories are with my family and extended family and friends in Oklahoma. My books feature real honest to goodness people. The names of the *cough cough* innocent changed. Sorry cousins and friends…
3. When I think back to what I remember most about growing up, is Oklahoma. Yes, I have spent 43 of the last 46 years of my life in Texas but Oklahoma is where my heart lives. I can close my eyes and still remember places, things, people, smells from my childhood like it was yesterday.
4. Since my stories aren’t erotic in nature going forward, I needed a name that reflected that. Oh…in my family on the farm…pigs rule but that didn’t look good on the banners, so I opted for horses. The paint is the perfect picture of our neighbor’s horse when we lived in Gun Barrel City. I still miss walking out everyday and seeing Trinidad. *sigh*
As you can tell, Oklahoma is where my heart lies, so Sweet Heat from Oklahoma is my brand.
Again, I love Texas. Love my Riggins, Coach Taylor, Friday Night Lights, Houston Texans, Texas Rangers, Houston Astros and the Dallas Stars. Shoot, my husband is an Aggie fan.
We vacation in New Brunsfels and float the Comel River for a week every year in July. Our condo is right on the Comel River with Schlitterbaun Water Park on the other side. Yes, can literally walk across the Comel River and we are at the park. We can see Master Blaster water coaster from our balacony. Come on July 19th!!!! Woo hoo! I digress…
So there you have it. My reasons for my branding and the new banner. Be honest, what do you think?
I’m sorry that I’ve been MIA lately. Its been a difficult year so far for me on the writing front. My debut (in my mind) bombed. Yes, I’ve written about promoting my debut, the troubles that I have had with getting reviews, being taken seriously…blah, blah, blah. Well guess what? There has been an upside to me writing and publishing book. Yes, something positive as happened to Harlie…the review blog has exploded. Something that I never expected was that people finally discovered the reviewer site of me.
Let’s back up a bit…when I realized that my debut was not going to go anywhere, anytime soon, I put my energy into the review blog. I hired an assistant (LOVE HER), we set a schedule of what the blog would do every day, cleaned up the review form, emailing the authors that sent requests and basically slowed down. Well, I didn’t slow down on the blog. I decided to do a spotlight that is exclusive on Thursday. I figured why not do a Harlequin Spotlight on Thursday. I mean, I did pick my pen name and name my review blog in honor of Harlequin.
Okay, it has already exploded. Yes, the Harlequin Spotlight has exploded. I’m completely booked until May now. Oh and I have a very special guest that will be on the Thursday spotlight for the next couple of months…Sherryl Woods. I nearly fainted when her PR person emailed me to set up some spots for her new trilogy that starts releasing in March. I mean, really? Me…Harlie…the reviewer that most people ignore or sneer at times? I fist pumped so many times that my husband that I was crazy. After setting up the schedule with her and just basically pinching myself over this coup, I’m still in the clouds.
I realize that I’ve been too hard on myself as a writer but there has been silver lining to this all. People are starting to notice me and seek me out. In fact, I recently signed a contract with Secret Cravings to work as their Promotions Manager for the Southeast Region. It’s in the pilot program stage now but so far, I love it. I work with about 10 authors with their releases and basically helping them set up their blogs, FB pages, helping them with promotion and helping them any other way I can.
Don’t think that I have abandoned my writing. Oh no, I have to finish a book in about 4 weeks before my chapter conference. I’m pitching it to two different editors and it has to be done. The synopsis is done and the first three chapters are done. Still need to write about 7 more chapters or 15k in words left. I can do this, I know I can. The worst is over…the synopsis.
So now, did my debut do what I wanted it to? No, it didn’t but its very slowly being reviewed and the reviews have been excellent so I’m getting out of my funk as an author. But the flip side to all of this is that the review blog is getting its due and more.
To all the readers, authors, PR people and publishers, I can not thank you enough for the consideration and positive feedback that Harlie’s Books has gotten from my debut novel.
Keep it coming and get the fingers crossed about my two editor appointments in March. Maybe I’ll be a published author again.
Wow, do I wish it were Spring. Its cold and rainy in my part of Texas. I would like to see the sun soon. I hope that everyone had a great holiday season. Now, the cold hard truth of the new year is upon us. I’ve taken some stock in my life and here’s what I’ve come up with, so bear with me.
1. I have to finish my current WIP in the next few weeks. I’m pitching it to a well known publisher mid-month and I need to be prepared.
2. Re-work my synopsis on my romantic suspense for submission. This is going to be a tough sell for me. Its got a paranormal element that runs through it and its sweet.
3. My release came went with a wimper and a gasp. I got sick over the holidays and was out of town for it. Plus, it released two days early. To everyone that liked, tagged and bought it, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. It means a lot to me.
4. Write a couple of more blog posts for my two upcoming blog tours.
5. Spend more time on Facebook and Twitter as a writer and not my “real” self.
6. Try to find some help on the review blog. I need it badly right now.
7. Realize that what I really want to be when I grow up is to be a writer. Say it to myself every morning when I wake up.
8. Also, realize that I’m not going to please everyone and that I’m sure I’ve pissed some people off and that’s okay. I can’t make everyone happy and lately, more people have disappointed me than I have fingers and toes to count on. That’s life and a harsh reality to learn from.
9. To realize that I’m not one of the cool chicks and be okay with that. No one is beating down my door asking me to join their group, co-write with them or hang out with them. It hurts but I’ll get over it. I got over it in high school so why should now be any different.
10. Lastly, remember that I do matter and count in this world. I don’t have to everyone’s approval for everything that I do. Most people don’t but for some reason, *head slap*, I thought I did. Wrong0…I, Harlie, make my own happiness.
Whew, that’s a bunch and I’m sure that I’ve hit some nerves, too. But a few people have told me to live my life and be happy for me. Its okay to be selfish.
To the people that are still around reading this, thank you. I’ll be better in 2013 on the blog. Trust me, Coach and Riggins are not happy with me right now. Illness is NO excuse in their book. Damn it! I hate that a football coach and player has so much influence over me but hey, just look at them. They can do whatever they want and I don’t mind them anyway. Their punishment is…
Oh…in the next few days, Tammi and the teachers will have their review of The Couple.