opinion, Thoughts

Things that bother Harlie in the blogging/book world

Are you bored with me yet?  Wish I was reviewing more in the summer?  Tired of just a regular old blog post instead of the usual stuff?  Tough.  I told yall that I was going to blog more about stuff, rather it is personal or what I have found out in the 10 years since I started blogging.

Today I thought I would share with you why don’t read certain types of books and what completely turns me off, regardless of the author.

I’m a category reader.  There, I admitted it.  The tropier that better.  I’m a Harlequin reader to the core so those are the types of books that I’m more often going to read.  Sure, I branch out but when it comes to reviewing them for the blog, I get picky.  And let me remind you, that every reader and blogger is different.  I don’t have a posse to help me with the blog, so the opinions on the blog are solely mine and mine alone.  I don’t have guest reviewers or anyone helping me.  I’m sure that a lot of this post will piss some people off and that’s fine.  These are my thoughts and my alone.

So here goes the list:



I know, covers are tricky.  Honestly, I don’t like the bare, no hair chest.  I like hair on a chest.  I’ve never understood the whole manscaping thing.  I want a man that from the time they go to the shower, they are ready to walk out the door in 15 minutes.  If they spend more time in the bathroom getting ready, I’m out.  Plus, I’m not a big tattoo person.  I appreciate them but to be covered in them.  Nope.  Sleeves?  Seriously?  Where is your skin?  And don’t even get me started on the Roid Boys?  If you can’t hug yourself because of your arms?  That’s just gross.  Eat a carb.  Like a real carb.  Put down the shake and grab a real beer.  I want someone real on a cover.  Same goes for the women.  And please, stop with porn clinches when it comes to kissing.  No one kisses like that.  You know, they whole “his arms around me and I might just spontaneous orgasm from it”.  Just no.  Stop.


Authors and Publishers

Now, this is going to maybe piss a bunch a people off but it is something that needs to be said.  Authors and publishers that forget who brought them to the party in the first place.  Yes, debut publishers and authors that have gotten too big for their britches.  They decide that the people that followed them, read them, supported them from the beginning aren’t worth their time anymore.  As I said before, I have a list of authors that have crapped on me time and time again and they are no longer welcome on the blog.  In fact, I have stopped following them on social media.  Their bad behavior towards me and other people is not just unprofessional, it’s childish.  Just because I won’t become a minion to them and I have a functioning brain cell that I actually use, doesn’t make me the bad person.  This isn’t junior high.  You just lost a reader for life.  Karma is bitch and it will bite you in the butt sooner or later.

As for publishers, be kind to us.  We can make or break a book.  We bloggers talk.  Just because your marketing department has a turnover ratio like I change my panties, don’t get all pissy when we complain about not getting stuff and then come to us, the blogger, and blame us and then decide that we aren’t good enough for you anymore.  Mind your own house before you come to mine.  It’s the authors that lose in the end.  Readers, money…you are business, not a mean girl.  Oh wait, you are acting like one.  I’m out of your sandbox.  Why?  Because I can.  I don’t need that kind of drama.  I’m a grown ass woman and I act like one.  Maybe you should, too.


Street Teams/Reader groups

I belong to a couple of street teams that are beyond AWESOME!  You don’t have to give a kidney, your first born or your soul to belong.  They give you a task to do once a week or so.  Promo.  That’s all.  You don’t have to jump through hoops to become a member.  Once a week and you’re done.  Other teams…it’s back to the minion thing.  I have a life and it doesn’t revolve around that author.  I’m sorry if that’s cruel.  My life doesn’t consist of trolling FB every minute of every day.  Sometimes, I don’t even look at social media.  I’m lucky if I read email when I’m in school and the boy has stuff going on after school.  And please, don’t get pissy when I can’t participate all the time.  I still love you but I have other things that are more important.

Of course, this leads to the people in the groups/teams that instantly become the pets of the authors.  You know, the suck-ups, do-gooders and over achievers.  But I’ve said this before, this IS their life and I don’t judge them for it.  But the authors need to realize that the 75% of us on the team/group are fans, too and haven’t forgotten about you.  We’d like to be recognized, acknowledged every once in a while.  I’ve left teams/groups over less.



Genres/Sub-Genres that are tired

I realize that every reader has a different flavor that they want to read and that’s cool.  But what gets me is that for awhile now, I’m seeing the same plot/cover/blurb over and over.  Nothing is original anymore.  It’s like the authors are just cranking out books that seem to be selling and forgetting originality.  Again, I’m a category reader so it seems like I’m bashing my own reading tastes.  I’m not.  But I would like to branch out every now and then but I keep seeing the same thing.  Also, note that I hardly read erotic romance anything anymore and I think that’s where I’m having the most difficulty finding new books/authors to read.  It seems like my FB feed is nothing but erotic anymore.  I like it spicy but I also don’t need a sex scene in every chapter in full detail.  I want characterization and a plot.

Also when labeling the book erotic and it’s not?  Come on.  Erotic romance to me is the old Ellora’s Cave where there is sex before the end of the first chapter, BDSM/kink, menage, same-sex partners, sex in every chapter in graphic detail and I feel like I’ve read a porn scene.  I want emotion with my sex.  I also don’t need it shoved down my throat.  I have a functioning brain cell and I use it.  I can visualize the scene if written correctly.  My gauge for true erotic romance is the above.  Just because the couple goes down on each other and/or dirty talk doesn’t make it erotic to me.  And let’s not forget that is the hero is dominant in the bedroom, doesn’t make it BDSM.  Nor is it erotic.  Someone has to take the lead whether it be the hero or heroine.   That’s a 3 flame at best and pretty standard now.  Plus, I want the sex to be emotional, raw and move the plot forward.




KU/Kindle Unlimited/Exclusive

Here’s another topic that is going to piss some authors off.  I don’t do KU at all.  I have two readers.  One Nook (Samsung Nook) and a Kindle Fire.  I don’t like reading on my Kindle Fire anymore.  I need the bigger tablet (Nook) when I read anymore.  I realize that most review books are Kindle and that’s fine.  What I’m talking about are the sale/free books from Book Bub, etc.  I get all excited when I see a book that I have wanted to read and go to Barnes & Noble and it’s not there.  I understand that it’s a money issue and I get that but lately, I’ve been seeing books that were part of a series that I don’t have and low and behold, I go to B&N and they are not there.  Why?  Because they are now just available on Kindle.  Sorry but you just lost the sale/reader.  I don’t like how Amazon treats its authors and for that matter, it’s reviewers.  It is rare that I leave a review on Amazon anymore.  If you are an author, I post to Goodreads.  And yes, I don’t like Goodreads but they are less restrictive when it comes to reviewing. When I read for pleasure, I read on the Nook.



That’s it for now.  I had fun looking up gifs.  And yes, I’m a huge Star Wars fan and love Marissa Tomei.  Next week, I’ll blog about what I like.


Character Interview, Excerpt, Giveaways, Harlequin Spotlight, Interviews, Meme, New Release

Grand Finale for The Man She Knew by Loree Lough w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @LoreeLoughAutho

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Grand Finale for
The Man She Knew
By Loree Lough

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below…

Launch – Note from the Author

Researching this novel was different from any other I’ve written, because Ian Sylvestry is my first ex-convict hero! A very troubled teen, Ian got involved with some bad dudes, and didn’t realize just how bad they were until, one rainy night, he goes along with them as they commit a felony. He had plenty of time to think about his unwise, immature choices while he served ten years for the crime. Plenty of time to think about all the people his imprudent decision had hurt. Upon his release, he works tirelessly to become a respectable citizen, and earns the respect of family and friends. But is it too late to win back the heart of Maleah Turner, the love of his life…?

Rockin’ Book Reviws – Review

“The story is a very good one. The characters were portrayed well, the scenes easily visualized from familiarity, and had a steady smooth flow throughout most of the book. A few real social problems are addressed. It is also a story of strong family relationships and support, and of dysfunctional homes. It is often uplifting and has a few twists which adds to the drams. I truly enjoyed the quite predictable tale.”

deal sharing aunt – Interview

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

For The Man She Knew, I learned that everyone, no matter what terrible thing is in their past, deserves a second chance. I also learned a whole lot about life in prison, and what it’s like to return to a society that flat-out doesn’t trust you. Those who succeed in life after serving a prison term are to be commended, because my research and interviews proved…it ain’t easy!

Booklove – Review

“Amazing, beautiful and captivating with strong and lovely characters and a flowing and engaging plot. I loved it and would recommend it to everyone.”

Beck Valley Books – Excerpt

Those final moments in the courthouse were as vivid now as they had been that dreary morning: Ian, looking like a terrified boy as one guard slammed the prison van’s side door and another put the vehicle into gear. He’d raised a hand to wave goodbye, but the chain connecting handcuffs to leg irons stopped him. Tears filled his eyes, and unable to watch, she’d closed her own. By the time she opened them again, the driver had already made the first turn onto Lombard Street and started the hour-long trip Lincolnwood Correctional of Central Maryland…

Hearts & Scribbles – Character Descriptions

Ian Sylvestry:

Mid-30s, 6’2”, 190 lbs.; green eyes, dark hair (ponytail), diamond stud in left earlobe, tattoos; former convict, now owns a popular bistro in historic Fells Point.

Janice’s Book Review – Review

“Loved that beside that he owed and ran a restaurant that he also did search and rescue with his dog. Love the families on both sides and closeness. I definitely recommend this book.”

Katie’s Clean Book Collection – Introduction to the Series

“By Way of the Lighthouse” features heroes and heroines separated by hurt, anger, and disagreements.

Falling Leaves – Excerpt

Was this it then? The end?

When they tell her I’m gone, will she cry?

Ian hoped not. He’d only seen her cry once, on the day the carted him off to Lincoln.

Most awful thing ever…

Because he’d caused her tears, and it shamed him, even now.

If the powers that be decided to give him one more chance, he’d make things right.

Somehow, I’ll make things right…

Brooke Blogs – Character Interviews

Interview with Ian Sylvestry:

Q: So Ian, tell us what led up to your arrest…

A: I was a dumb kid with a big chip on my shoulder. After my mother ran off to England with another guy, my dad turned to alcohol to hide from what she’d done to us, leaving me to pretty much raise myself.

Q: And that’s how you got involved with what you’ve referred to as “some bad dudes”?

A: It makes no sense to me now, but back then, they were like brothers, there for me no matter what.

Reading Is My SuperPower – Review

“There are a lot of things going on in The Man She Knew – and it all combines to make a great read! An inspiring story of second chances, forgiveness and family, this novel more than lives up to its ‘heartwarming’ brand. It never gets sappy, though, or saccharine; instead, Lough has given us warm characters, a compelling plot, and a tender romance.”

Cinnamon Cindy’s Book Blog – Excerpt

It had been a mistake, asking Andy to drop him this far from her grandparents’ drive. Walking on flat ground had been a challenge with crutches, and then the cane. He took his time, but tromping through deep snow made him wince with every step. If you put yourself in the hospital, you’ll only have yourself to—

Becky on Books – Interview

Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

For some reason, I kept hearing stories about how difficult it is for the newly released—men and women—to return to normal lives. From reuniting with family to finding a job, they meet obstacles of every variety. Now, I’m no Pollyanna…I realize some of these people are hardened criminals that will return to their old ways and probably end up right back in prison. But some of them honestly want to leave that life behind, and do everything in their power to start fresh and stay on the right path. So I wrote a story featuring a guy like that, who made a stupid mistake—and paid for it—and wanted little more of life when he left prison bars behind than to prove himself a changed man.

Christian Suspense Author Mary Alford – Review

“This is a heartwarming story of love overcoming all obstacles. I thoroughly enjoyed the romance and the characters that Ms. Lough created in this epic story and I can’t wait to read what she has in store for us next.”

It’s All About the Romance – The Setting

All stories in the “By Way of the Lighthouse” series are set in and around Baltimore, and feature the quaint, picturesque, and historic streets, shops, and homes.

Bookworm Lisa – Review

“This book dealt with some real emotional issues. I was impressed the Loree Lough took a tough subject matter and turned it into a positive. There are so many psychological issues that had to be overcome for this book to succeed. I felt that it was done well.

If you like books about second chances, success in spite of obstacles, family loyalty, and honor, this may be a book for you to dive into.”

Heidi Reads… – Excerpt

He’d forgotten how good, how right she felt in his arms. If she kept looking up at him that way he’d kiss her, long and hard and…

Ian cleared his throat. “You look pretty good in an evening gown.”

“And you look pretty good in a tux.”

“Good thing it didn’t snow, like Marty Bass said it would.”

“In his defense, he said might.”

“So he did…”

“But you’re right. If it had snowed, I’d break my neck in these shoes.”

Nicole’s Book Musings – The Song that Changed Everything

On the night of the big charity ball, Ian and Maleah shared a dance. Just one dance. But it was enough to remind them both how perfect their young love had been…

Getting Your Read On – Review

“The whole premise of the book is such an interesting one and I was caught up in Ian’s struggle. There is just something about a story of second chances, especially one in the extreme like this one. It wasn’t just a second chance at love but a second chance at life.”

Thoughts of a Blonde – Review

“Redemption, turmoil and undying love are brought to life in Loree Lough’s latest release! We meet Ian, a tarnished man who has gone to great lengths to turn his life around and is such a joy to grow to adore throughout the book. The heroine however, is not easy to love. She’s a kind and generous soul to everyone else, but to him, she’s self-righteous and hurtful. In the end, we have to find forgiveness in our heart as well as we make our way through the story towards that happily-ever-after…”

underneath the covers – Excerpt

He missed hearing her sweet-yet-sultry voice. Missed those big glittery blue eyes, too. Once, that cheery smile had the power to light every dark corner of his life and make him forget that his mother had chosen another man over him and his dad.

Inside the Mind of an Avid Reader – Review

“This book has every thing you could want from a clean contemporary romance. You have heartache, love, laughter, and of course the Happily Ever After. If you looking for something to just make you feel good while your reading it and keep a smile on your face this book is perfect for you.”

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway below…

The Man She Knew
(By Way of the Lighthouse, #1)
by Loree Lough
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
June 1st 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Don’t they both deserve a second chance?

Fourteen years ago, one reckless act cost Ian Sylvestry everything, including the girl he planned to marry. Since then, he has fought hard to turn his life around. Returning to his Baltimore town after serving a prison term was the first step. Winning back Maleah Turner’s trust is a far more daunting challenge. From their first sparks-flying reunion, it’s obvious they still have powerful feelings for each other. In fact, they might be even stronger together now. But if their second chance is going to work, Maleah has to believe that Ian is a changed man. She really wants to believe…but she simply isn’t convinced.

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequin

Bestselling author LOREE LOUGH once sang for her supper, performing across the U.S. and Canada. Now and then, she blows the dust from her 6-string to croon a tune or two, but mostly, she writes novels that have earned hundreds of industry and “Readers’ Choice” awards, 4- and 5-star reviews, and 7 book-to-movie options. The Man She Knew, #1 in her “By Way of the Lighthouse” series, her 3rd for Harlequin Heartwarming, is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Harlequin.com.


Tour Giveaway

– Two winners will receive a $10 Amazon eGift Card (open internationally)
– Two winners will receive an ebook of THE MAN SHE KNEW (open internationally)
– Two winners will receive a print copy of THE MAN SHE KNEW (US only)
– Ends June 13th

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Cover reveal, Excerpt, Giveaways, Teaser Excerpts

Double Cover Reveal for Kennedy Fox’s This is Dangerous and This is Beautiful (Checkmate Duet Series (Logan & Kayla #1) by Kennedy Fox w/a rafflecopter! @kennedyfoxbooks


Title: Checkmate: This is Dangerous
Series: Checkmate Duet Series (Logan & Kayla, #1)
Author: Kennedy Fox
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Trope: Second Chance Romance
Photographer & Designer: Sara Eirew
Release Date: July 11, 2017

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2opDUMz

Introducing book 1 in the Logan & Kayla saga of the Checkmate series from a secret duo of romance authors who teamed up under the USA Today Bestselling pseudonym, Kennedy Fox! This second-chance romance will have you gasping and cheering this two on from the first to the last page! Are you ready to play the final game?

Logan Knight is a real life knight in shining armor.
A detective godsend in a sleek black suit has me thinking less than secretive thoughts. Brooding and mysterious, he’s the kind of guy every girl instantly notices. Between his seductive smirk and charming good looks, it’s no wonder I can’t help the way he makes me feel whenever I’m near him.
Too bad he’s unavailable—or so he says.

He thinks I’m a do-gooder who shouldn’t get involved with a guy like him. His past is messy and relationships just add to that. He insists the timing is all wrong and he’s devoted to his career, but I don’t buy that excuse for a second. I see the way his body tenses and his jaw ticks every time another guy is around me. He just won’t admit it, but I’m more determined than ever to show him what he’s missing.

I’m a devoted animal rescuer and I’ll risk everything to save them, but when a dramatic turn of events puts both our lives at risk, I’m positive Logan will write me off for good. But when he asks for my help with a personal crisis, I know it’s my last chance to finally show him I can handle anything he throws my way—messy past and all.

He might think he has me all figured out, but I’ll prove him wrong no matter what he thinks. This game of push and pull has me running in circles. One wrong move and we could both lose.

Checkmate, Knight.

*Recommend for ages 18+ due to sexual content and adult language.*
**This is book 1 in the Logan & Kayla Saga–a second-chance romance. You don’t need to read any of the other Checkmate series to enjoy this one, but is always recommended as they are both introduced in the earlier books.**

Every part of my body is on fire, fueled by the electricity between Logan and me as his lips glide across the softness of mine. The low hum in my stomach aches when he pulls us apart, and I fight the urge to press my lips back to his.

His lips are red and swollen, probably just like mine are right now. I don’t know what got into him, but Logan and I have never, ever kissed before. Hell, we’ve slow danced before at weddings, but nothing this intimate—ever.

“I think that did the trick,” he finally says, catching his breath. Fred left over two minutes ago.

“Yeah, I think so.” I take a small step back, trying to act unaffected, but the hard beating in my chest gives me away. I know he feels it, too. I just don’t understand why he pretends he doesn’t. “Thanks for your help,” I say, breaking the tension.

“Anytime. It was fun watching him sweat.” He grins, rocking back and forth on his feet, gripping the coffee cup tight in his hand. He’s just as nervous as I am.

“Don’t you get enough of that at work?” I tease.

“Can never have enough.” He flashes a pleased smile.

“You do have some sick fetish for that, don’t you?”

“I do. Gets all my juices flowing,” he quips.

And just like that, we’re back to our platonic friendship as if the kiss never happened. However, the ache between my legs knows otherwise. It happened, and it was hot as hell.

“What are you doing on a dating website anyway?” he asks after I grab another cup of coffee and sit across from him at the table.

“How else am I supposed to meet guys?” I ask, although it’s really a rhetorical question. “Guys in bars just want sex and one-night stands. I have a strict no dating guys from work rule and everyone else is taken or just wants me to be apart of their menage a trois.”

His brows lift. “What kind of people are you hanging out with?”

I sigh. “This city literally has no available, decent, single men. I might as well just move to another planet. Like Pluto. Get as far away from here as possible.”

“Actually, Pluto isn’t a planet anymore,” he tells me matter-of-factly.

I blink, unamused. “Great. I can’t escape this damn city.”

He chuckles, and I only slightly hate that he finds my pathetic dating life entertaining. “You’re still young. No need to panic until you’re like…thirty.”

I grab a piece of his pastry and throw it at him. “You suck.” I scowl. “I’m twenty-six, which means I’m almost thirty, and almost thirty means I should be with the guy I’m planning on marrying. Otherwise, I’ll be forty, my looks will be gone, my boobs will have fallen to my feet, and I’ll have gray hair,” I ramble, knowing I’m over exaggerating, but right now it feels true. Every date is a disaster. More than the last.

iBooks Pre-order: http://apple.co/2pu0dAR
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Nook Pre-order: http://bit.ly/2q5i9Sk
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Checkmate: This is Dangerous is live on all platforms,
please sign up here!

ARC Giveaway – Win 1 of 100 eARCs!

Title: Checkmate: This is Beautiful
Series: Checkmate Duet Series (Logan & Kayla, #2)
Author: Kennedy Fox
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Trope: Second Chance Romance
Photographer & Designer: Sara Eirew
Release Date: September 12, 2017

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2pbTtV1


iBooks Pre-order: http://apple.co/2s5M11F
Kobo Pre-order: http://bit.ly/2qMr5ck
Nook Pre-order: http://bit.ly/2sqMwRj
Amazon Pre-order Notification

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Checkmate: This is Dangerous is live on all platforms,
please sign up here!








A secret duo of romance authors team up under the USA Today Bestselling pseudonym, Kennedy Fox who share a love of You’ve Got Mail and The Holiday. When they aren’t bonding over romantic comedies, they like to brainstorm new book ideas. One day, they decided to collaborate and have some fun creating new characters that’ll make your lady bits tingle and your heart melt. If you enjoy romance stories with sexy, tattooed alpha males and smart, independent women, then a Kennedy Fox book is for you!

Instagram: instagram.com/kennedyfoxbooks | @kennedyfoxbooks
Twitter: twitter.com/kennedyfoxbooks | @kennedyfoxbooks
Facebook: facebook.com/kennedyfoxbooks/
Website: www.kennedyfoxbooks.com
Merch Shop: kennedyfoxbooks.com/shop
Email: kennedyfoxbooks@gmail.com
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cngqYT