Category Archives: Thoughts

Happy 4th of July!

Colorful Fireworks

 

 HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!

Stay safe!

kyle_chandler

*sigh*

Riggins

Taylor is just the bomb!

What Harlie’s Summer Plans are or not

 

Please?

Please?

 

*reposted from Sweet N Sexy Divas*

 

I’m so boring right now.  Between baseball games/practice, getting my 3rd grader to not have an anxiety attack over a state mandated test and life in general…yes, I’m boring.

I used to not be boring.  My 20’s were wild as hell.  A sometime marvel at how I manage to survive them at times.  At 47, I look back now and realize that my 20’s were a romance book.  But without the HEA…just a HFN.  Some people have asked me to write a book about it but I promised my brother that I wouldn’t until after our parents are buried.  They don’t need to know just how wild I was.  I was considered the good kid.  Never got in trouble, went to church, taught Sunday School, never missed a family event.  Underneath all that, yep, I was wild. 

The stories I could tell about hanging out with the regional rock bands of the 90’s in the Dallas music scene.  Yes, ladies and gents…it would make your toes curl.  Plus, just not at this time.  Yes, hanging out with Zak Wyde from Ozzy’s band, watching my friends from Drowning Pool finally make it and then the lead singer and friend of mine dying of a weak heart.  The stories I could tell you about Pantera.  Yep, lots of stories.  Great guys but I couldn’t hang.  LOL! 

Why am I telling you this right now?  Well a couple of reasons.  The biggest is that I’m writing again.  I know, shocker.  I’m taking the summer off from reviewing (still blogging and promoting) to finish some stuff that I’ve started.  This is what I have to finish:

1.  An anthology call for a publisher.  Its a Bad Boy story at least 5k.  So far, I’ve written 2k and my hero/heroine haven’t had sex yet.  Word count limit is 12k.  Woot!  Oh and the hero might be a “bad boy” but the heroine is the one that takes the lead in the bedroom.

2.  Finish the outline to a YA/NA crossover series.  I’ve outlined book #1 (YA/high school).  Book #2 is the college based book (mature YA) and then the NA after college story.  Need to finish the last one and polish the second one.  Hint:  these books are semi-autobiographical.  At least the first one is and the characters are based on real people that I grew up with.  *sigh*  Nothing worked out, so this is my way of making it work out.  LOL!  But I will tell you, the hero and heroine stay the same.  Each book will be able to stand alone. 

3.  Finish a short romantic suspense w/paranormal elements.  I’ve waited too long to NOT finish it.  Think Andrew Dice Clay (don’t judge) as the hero as an angel.  Yes, as an angel.  But he doesn’t smoke (much) or treat women like dirt.  ;)  But he does drive a 1985 Black Trans Am with t-tops. 

4.  If I have time, write some on the small town contemporary that has some people interested.  This one is a tough one for me.  It deals with my uncle’s death and the fallout but with different occupations.  I’ve already cried during one scene.

So there you have it.  What I planned for the summer in terms of writing.  Yes, reviewing has to take a backseat.  I can’t be put under that much calendar restraint right now.  I don’t have an assistant anymore, just me so it was a decision that I had to make. 

Meanwhile back in Lindale…Only 4 more weeks of regular baseball and then the month of June is All Star baseball.  Yes, baseball takes over from February until the end of June. 

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Happy Easter!

Foil Wrapped Easter Eggs

 

I’m in Dallas celebrating with my family!  Hope you find all of your eggs!

 

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A post from Harlie’s Books!

Totally stole them!

 

On Harlie’s Books, I have the wonderful Babs Hightower and Barb Drozdowich today.  I have reviewed some self help books that they have written that every author, newbie or seasoned should read.

 

Here is the linkage:

http://www.harliesbooks.com/posts/review-of-books-that-every-author-should-read-by-barb-drozdowich-babs-hightower/

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Happy Birthday to Me! Woot!

happy birthday cake

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.

New entries:

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.

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Happy Christmas and Merry New Year!

Christmas tree with presents

It’s time for a break…

It’s time for a break….

via It’s time for a break….

Yep, major announcement.  :)

Branding Myself…finally!

oklahoma_soonersAs 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?

Harlie

Coach approves of the brand.

Coach approves of the brand.

Sorry, just had to have a picture of Riggins.  *sigh*

Sorry, just had to have a picture of Riggins. *sigh*

Goodreads Update – O.M.G. Stats

goodreads

Okay, I can be completely stupid sometimes.  I know, shocking but I was cruising Goodreads last night and look what I found:

Goodreads Link

Basically, I’m now #251 out of #512 in the Listopia of Best New Author Books.  Okay, didn’t know this existed and Holy Cow!!!  The reviews have been very good on Goodreads, too.

I won’t talk about my ranking over at Amazon…its sad, very sad but again, the reviews have been excellent.  I still don’t know if the book has made a dime and won’t until next month.

Anyway, just thought I would share my good news.

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Updates and sorry for the MIA

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.

Pitch Contest

You’re welcome!

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