Category Archives: writing

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. 

Harlie signature button

Writing Process Blog Hop

Excited Student With A Composition Book
Stormie Kent tagged me on this meme.  I haven’t really thought about these questions so it was a blast to answer.  Thanks Stormie!

Stormie’s Link

1. What am I working on?
Currently I have three things.  A YA/NA that could turn into a 3 book series about one particular couple has they go from high school, college to adulthood.  It is a sweet/sensual book series that anyone could read.  My heroine is snarky and a blogger.
A romantic suspense with paranormal elements.  Hero is based on Andrew Dice Clay (don’t judge) with the 80’s attitude.  And yes, he drives a Trans Am with t-tops.  Woot!
My last one is a bad boy short for an anthology.  Needs to be erotic in tone and I’m loving my characters.  Sexy can not describe this one.
 
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Honestly, I don’t know.  I don’t compare my work to other authors.  Every author has their process when it comes to writing.
3. Why do I write what I do?
My one and only book is a 3 flame short.  Writing the sex scene was hard for me.  It didn’t help that SpongeBob was on in the background while I wrote it.  LOL!  My YA/NA is based on my teenage years and what I envisioned for myself all those years ago.
The RS story is for my love of angels in a story.  Plus, when I started doing the characterization for my hero Tony…the Dice Man kept coming up.  ;)
The bad boy short…well, let’s just say I was challenged by another writer for this one.
4. How does my writing process work?
I write when I can.  I’m a bad writer when it comes to scheduling my time.  I’m a stay at home mom so you would think that I would write all the time and be a best-selling author.  Well, I’m married, we have a very active third grade boy whose into scouts, basketball and baseball.  Plus, I have my review site that is very active.
When I came up with the ideas for my current WIP’s, I always write my character descriptions first.  Then the settings, GMC, cars they drive, etc.  After that, I’m a totally pantser.  I sit down and write.  I don’t self edit either.  I might write a couple of hundred words or I might write just a sentence.
My best friend, who is an author, challenges me every day to write something.  Anything and its working.  I don’t use word counts or page counts to mark my progress.  I don’t like being put under the microscope like that.  Plus, to me it’s just bragging and I don’t like bragging.  Every author writes differently and at their own pace.  Why should I measure myself against other people?  It used to depress me but not anymore.
For me it’s not a race to see if I can write a book in a month, get it published and write the next one.  I have a life outside of the writing/blogging world and I will not apologize for it.  I love my life, even when its crazy and sometimes writing takes a back seat.  Do I wish that I could write every day?  You bet but I don’t beat myself up anymore because I don’t.  Too much stress and hey, when you have kids…that’s enough stress for me.
Harlie signature button
 

Sinful Saturday Promo Tour

Sinful Saturday VBT (1)

 

Perfect for the newbie or seasoned author.  I’m participating.  Are you?

Be sinful each Saturday!

The concept of Sinful Saturday is simple, just post 7-10 Sinful Sentences each Saturday on your site!

Each week a new sign up form goes up on Sundays and ends on Thursdays for the following Saturday.

All you have to do is fill out the form then post that Saturday!

Rules:

 Post must be live by 9 am EST. You must include 7-10 sinful sentences.

 Our banner and link to this blog must be in the post.

The Sinful Saturday Blog

 

 Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!

 

 

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*

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!

Blood Purple by Ashley Nemer – Guest Blog

Blood Purple Tour

Harlie’s Review of Blood Purple

If you haven’t checked out the review of Blood Purple, the link is above.  Great book and it was different from the usual vampire books.  Great start to a series.

In a world we think we know, live other races entirely hidden from the mortal perspective. Creatures of legend, of fable and myth, their very history and nature have allowed them to walk side by side with humans since time immemorial. They are warriors, they are hunters, and they are Algula Vampire. And in their own midst, a battle is brewing for supremacy, for dominance, that can and will affect all around them. Old hatred never dies and vengeance is a fiery sword that cuts a bloody swath.

Guest Post:

Writing…that hobby that will forever provide you enjoying. To me it’s the best thing that I could do to pass the time on a lazy Sunday, dreary Monday or a happy Friday. It doesn’t matter what day of the week it is or what is going on in the outside world there is always something for me to write. It is the hobby that will keep on giving.

How many of you keep your stress and frustrations pent up? How many have no outlet for the feelings inside and you keep them that way until you explode? Honestly I think that’s all of us, we all have things that stay hidden and we don’t know how to push them out and to the surface. It took me a long time to realize how valuable writing is to me. Well, not just writing, creativity as a whole. It comes together and with every facet of our being.

Writing…that hobby that will forever give you fulfillment. There are so many ways you can pick up a pen and bring joy to someone. It’s as easy as sending a letter to a long lost friend or relative. Jotting down a poem in the middle of the day when you’re feeling overwhelmed with some thoughts. Sitting down at your comfy desk and plugging out a blog or short story. You never know where writing will lead you.

One thing I love about writing is I can go anywhere and be anything I want. I don’t have to get dressed up and look fancy; I don’t have to fix my hair, hell I don’t even have to wear socks! Writing gives you that option to be as free as you allow yourself. I honestly believe that it’s this freedom that stirs creativity.

When I sit at my laptop I always write with my eyes closed. I visualize where I am, am I on an island in the Caribbean? Am I sailing the seas of the Atlantic? Could I be on a plane across the world going to see a friend? Yes, yes yes yes! All of the above. That’s the ability you gain when you write.

One thing just occurred to me while my eyes were shut and I was daydreaming about my plane ride to Ireland…the audience here is probably made up of mostly readers. Ahh readers…the key to any author’s success. Without the reader we are nothing. When I spoke about writing and the endless fulfillment it provides, it’s in part because of all of you readers. The lengths you will go to in showing an author you love their works is amazing. The support, loyalty and encouragement from the readers are a driving force in a lot of what is transferred onto the page.

Personally, I know without a few key words of encouragement from a few fans my author days would have been numbered. So let me leave you with this thought for the day, writer or reader, take ten minutes out of your day and jot down a story, poem or thought. Take a collection of the year and at the end see what you have. Maybe it’s a book of poetry, maybe it’s a book of inspirational phrases. Maybe it’s just a few short stories. But read through the years’ worth of work and see what you have – it might be the next great American novel.

Excerpt:

             Hamza walks into the room with his guard looking at Nikole’s still body lying on the table. “Is she dead?” he questions.

“No sir, she passed out while we were in the middle of the procedure. We were doing like you instructed and burning her body with the needles when she went unconscious.  We thought it best to come get you right away.”

Hamza looks over her body, placing his fingers to her neck and feeling only a small hint of life.  His lips curve up in excitement as he anticipates what is yet to come. “Good, leave us alone.” He starts to walk around the table staring at her naked and bloodied body.

The room emptied out while Hamza continued to circle the table. He tried to decide what to do with this dead weight prisoner. Leaning over her body, he backhanded her jaw, the cracking of her bones deafening in the silence of the room. He heard her moan in agony while she slowly came to consciousness.

“Nikole, I think it would be best if you just gave me what I asked of you.  As soon as you tell me what we want to know this pain will all stop.” Taking his knife from the sheath on his belt, he placed the cold blade to her cheek. “I will cut your pretty little face apart.  Don’t think I won’t.”  Taking the tip of the blade he breaks the skin at the top of her left cheek and slowly cut lines into her face.  Droplets of blood ran down her cheek staining her flesh as he slashed her face.  Nikole’s voice is gone from all the screaming she has done and all she can do is heave a cry.  Her eyes are still forced open, not even tears can form since she can’t blink.  “Come on little Princess, just tell me where Zayn is so I can kill him. I promise this will all stop.” 

About the Author:

Ashley is married and lives in Houston with her husband Tony. They have two dogs named Toto and Doogie. They have been together for almost 8 years and he brings her more joy than she could ever imagine as a child. She loves to read and has been hooked on the romance genre ever since her lifelong best friend Laura gave her “Ashes to Ashes’ by Tami Hoag to read when they were younger.

 

 

Ashley finds her strength through her family, especially her parents. They always support her in life and they push her to strive for greatness. There once was a motto that Ashley heard in her youth through her Taekwondo life ‘Reach for the Stars’ and that is what Ashley has always done. It was through her upbringing that the values Ashley has and display’s came from. With her Parents always cheering her on in life she was able to grow up having faith in herself and her ability to conquer the world.

 

Website  Blog  Facebook  Twitter 

Determination to the Tenth Degree

Determination to the Tenth Degree.

via Determination to the Tenth Degree.

 

I think she read my post from last week.  Eek…

 

I’m embarrassed now but what she has to say makes sense.  Just don’t want to come off as a Promo Wo in social media.  :)

 

Later,

 

Harlie Williams

Quality in E-Publishing

Quality in E-Publishing.

via Quality in E-Publishing.

 

Great post about the quality of editing with publishers from Jill Noble.

A question for authors and readers…

News, sorry its been too long

He’s pretty, isn’t he?

Okay, that wasn’t the question, sorry but feel free to comment.  :)

Here’s the question:

For readers:  What draws you to read a book?  Length?  Cover?  Blurb?  Author name?

For authors:  When you were a debut author, what got readers to your book?

The reason I’m asking these questions is because hardly anyone is reading my debut.  I know, I know, its been out a month and it takes awhile for people to find it.  I’ve already heard these from authors…you need a back list, don’t worry about your debut, concentrate on your next book, promo, promo, promo, did you have a mentor when you wrote the book (no I did not), have you joined a writer’s blog (tried but I’ve been rejected more times than I can count).

That’s all well and good and great advice but consider these facts that I have realized:

1.  No one pays that much attention to me on FB or Twitter, so any and all promo that I have done is ignored.

2.  I have/had ARC copies of my book and no one wanted them.

3.  I realize that my book is only 20 pages, it won’t win the Pulitzer but I’m proud of it.

4.  I know that most reviewers are backed up.  It happens, trust me.

5.  I know that the playing field is crowded out there with books, so I’m not sure how to stand out.

6.  I don’t have a posse.  Maybe I should get one…

You are probably thinking that I have sour grapes and in some respects I do.  It hurts when you do something that most people wouldn’t dream of doing, you are proud of it and it seems that no one cares.  It hurts that I have done everything right so far and nothing.  Nada…zip…crickets chirping.

Well, I know that there are people who have read it and liked it.  In fact I was told that I actually mislead them into thinking it was just hot and spicy and its more than that.  ;)

I have two blog tours that will start next month and I will post every day where I am for that day.  Hopefully, people will find me on the tours and want to read the book.  It’s all I can hope for now.

Have a great weekend y’all.

Its here!!! Well…

THECOUPLE333x500

In honor of my debut releasing today, I’m offering a $15 GC from either Amazon, B&N, MuseItUp, or Book Depository.  Just tell me what all 7 seven themes were during the week and on my actual release day just write them in the comment section.  Easy peasy.  Good luck!

OMG!!!!  I found out yesterday that my debut was already on Amazon and people were buying it!  Woot!!!  I’m still in shock.

Since I’m a bad newbie author, I’ve never shared an excerpt from the book so here goes:

Excerpt (PG-13 for language)

“What’s a girl like you doing at a bar like this?” he asked.

Her voice was a purr, like a cat well satisfied with its stolen pitcher of cream. “I’m looking for someone special.”

Hoping that she meant him he asked, “Did you find him yet?”

“Maybe.” The glint in her eye told him he was definitely in the running.  However, I’m not looking to hook up with just any old cowboy.  He must be able to go the full eight seconds and come back for more.”  She eyed him from head to toe.  “Think you can handle that?”

Oh, I can most definitely handle you sweetheart.

Not wanting to seem too eager he replied, “I’m not sure but I’m willing to try.”

“Do or do not.  There is no try.”  He struggled not to let his grin escape.  The fact that she was trying to seduce him made his dick twitch.

“Let’s just say I’m looking to burn off some pent up frustration. A little excess energy.  And I’ve got plenty to burn.”

The way she shivered at his words, he knew he almost had her.  He winked as she licked her crimson lips and blew out a small breath.  Damn what this woman is doing to him.

He pushed her knees apart with his left leg and was rewarded with the amazing scent of her arousal.  The knowledge she was wet for him had him close to going off in his jeans.

Houston, we have lift-off!

“Why don’t you have a seat cowboy and we’ll talk about it.”

She gasped when he shocked her with a brush of his lips against hers; fighting with everything he had not to deepen the kiss.

Patience, patience.

He would play her game for the moment but sooner or later, she would be his.  Tied up and begging for more.

He asked her, “Now about that eight second ride?”

So what do you think?  Trust me, its gets hotter!  If you are reading today’s post, thank you.  The contest will run until January 4th.  My author links and the buy links are listed below.

Author links:

Author site:  www.harliewilliams.com

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/marika67

Facebook Page:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Harlie-Williams-Writer/224885394212458

Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/marikaweber25

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/BriansMom

Linkedin:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/marika-weber/36/a20/a63

Buy Link from Publisher:  https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=636&category_id=69&manufacturer_id=295&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1

Amazon Buy Link

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