Why I stopped watching Star Wars movies!



If you don’t know this about me I’m a HUGE Star Wars fan.  I remember my dad taking me and my little brother to go see a movie that he thought would be like Star Trek.  I was 10 years old in 1977 and in some ways, it defined my outlook on men.  Yes, men.  At that age, I didn’t quite understand boys but once I saw Harrison Ford/Han Solo, I got it.  He was dashing, a rogue that made mistakes and got the girl in the end.  Of course, I had to wait until the next one came out.  He was a loyal friend, a fighter to the end and knew what his fate was when he meet his son again.

Yes, I’m talking about THAT scene in The Force Awakens.  For most people, the new movies are all about Carrie Fisher.  Not me.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved Carrie Fisher/Princess Leia.  But as I’ve said in an earlier post, I was surrounded by strong women and therefore she is the damsel in distress…sort of.  I’m more of the romantic type when it comes to women in movies.  I loved Wonder Woman but I wanted to see the romantic relationship with Steve above all else.  I’m just wired that way.  I grew up that all women could do whatever they wanted to do but they also needed to be a bit of June Cleaver, too.  I’m over 50 years old now and I still feel that way.  Yes, I’m all for women’s rights but what I don’t get is all the screaming and shouting that women are doing now.  I think its a southern thing to just give someone “the look” and they knew what you are thinking and doing.  My mom says that I can tell someone off with just a look and a smile on my face.

So when the kids at school keep asking me why I haven’t seen the movie, I explain it to them like this.  My childhood was wrecked, over in that one scene in The Force Awakens.  My first love, my hero died and I’m still not over it.  I realize that all good things must go at some point but I feel cheated that I waited almost 40 years to see Han, Luke, and Leia together again and I didn’t get that.  Not one scene of them together in the movie and now with Carrie’s death, I will never get that.  Not to mention that Luke never utters a word AND we have to wait until the end of the movie to even see him.  I feel as if my Star Wars experience is over.  I love the new characters but it’s just not the same.  I’m one of those that read the authorized books afterward and the storyline just doesn’t do it for me.  JJ did such a fantastic job with the reboot of Star Trek but I feel as if the new people in charge of Star Wars missed the mark.  I say that but I will have to say that Rogue One is my second favorite Star Wars movie of all time.  I can watch that movie over and over again.  You know the outcome but the journey to get there is a beautiful one.  The characters came to life for me and the struggle that they went through and the sacrifices they made for the Rebellion.  I don’t see that in the new films.

So why am I writing this today?  Because people still ask me about the movies.  I tell them how Star Wars and Han Solo defined me as a woman.  There is one other fictional character that has defined my outlook on men and that is Jack Ryan.  Ironically, Harrison Ford played him, too.  See a pattern.  When I look at Harrison Ford, I see my dad.  I see strength, courage, a twinkle in his eye but above else, the ability to put people first.  Han Solo made the ultimate sacrifice but that doesn’t mean that I have to like it.


Entangled, Reviews, Thoughts

Best of 2017! @entangledpub @HarlequinBooks @nanamalone @Cathlanigan @katee_robert @karenrock5 @stephiewalls @MimiJeanRomance @minxmalone @MsMonicaMurphy @Regina_Kyle1 @RadioRico @evacharles37 @TotallyTabetha @CaraBristol @RachelBrimble @scarscoromance @PatriciaEimer @booksby_sarah @rebecca_norinne @christina_elle1


So I’ve done it for the second time in a row.  I know.  But I just couldn’t help it this year.  What’s surprising is what IS NOT on the list.  I didn’t read a lot of romantic suspense (at least for the blog) and only 3 books made the list.  A lot rom-com’s made the list.  I needed to laugh this year and I did…a lot!  Some New Adult books made it, too.  Some debut authors, new to me authors and personal favorites.  Another surprise is that a paranormal didn’t make the list at all.

I don’t want to get preachy this year but I’m not sure what is going to happen.  I’ll still be blogging and reviewing.  But I probably won’t be reviewing as much as I did.  Working as a substitute teacher is a full-time job for me now.  I work pretty much every day now and I love it.  Baseball season for Thad and Brian is going to start next month and let’s not forget that we are going on a 7-day cruise during our Spring Break.  We can.not.wait either.  Cozumel, Jamacia, and the Grand Caymans here we come.  If you can believe this, it will be our first family vacation EVER.  No family, no friends.  Just the 3 of us.

I did accomplish some things that most bloggers already knew how to do.  I’m old and a bit slow when it comes to being on trend.  This blog will be 10 years old in October and I couldn’t be prouder of what I’ve done, the authors that have been on and the friendships that I have made just blogging.  That said, here goes to what I’ve learned:

  1.  Goodreads – I was challenged last year in Monica Murphy’s group to sign up for the Reading Challenge.  I signed up to read only 50 books and ended up reading 87 books.  This year my goal is 75 books.
  2.   Hashtags – Still learning this but I’m getting more retweets because of them.  And followers.
  3.   Instagram/Pinterest – Still learning but I’m doing some Instagram only posts.  It’s been fun and interesting all at the same time.
  4.   Learning to say no to me.  One of the hardest things a blogger/reviewer can learn.  I’m not Wonder Woman and I have a life outside of the publishing world.  I intend to keep it that way.
  5.   No matter what I say or do, I’ll never be an author’s assistant, work for a publisher, or make a buck writing.  Yes, after too many “no’s”, being laughed at and then told no way in hell, I decided to just forget about it.
  6.   In reference to #5, this is also why I won’t be blogging as much as I have in the past.  I feel like, at times, that my blog is just a joke to some.  To me, it’s not.  You try to do this for almost 10 years.  Sure, I don’t have a posse of reviewers, authors beating down my door, networking at conventions/conferences but I think I do alright.
  7.   Its okay to review a book and post to Amazon, Goodreads, etc. and NOT the blog.  I’ve been doing that a lot lately and I love it.  No pressure to post to the blog because of scheduling.



And I’m loving using Gifs!

Here are my top 20 books for 2017 in no particular order.

  1.  Ethan’s Daughter by Rachel Brimble.  I know, she makes my list every year but this book is bittersweet.  It’s the second to last book of her excellent Templeton Cove series.  And yes, I have read book #8 and I cried a bit.  I can’t believe the series is over but I know that my English Rose won’t leave me hanging when it comes to her books.  But I will however still be in the corner trying to process it all.  (Contemporary, Harlequin, romance, series, sensual)
  2. Claimed by the Cyborg (Cy-Ops #5)  by Cara Bristol.  As I said in my review, why are you NOT reading this series?  It has alpha men, strong heroines, just enough sexy times and action/adventure.  Ms. Bristol doesn’t dumb down the sci-fi to her readers and the plots are relatable.  (Romance, series, spicy, action/adventure, Sci-Fi)
  3. OH Henry (OHellNo series #2) by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff.  I will admit that New Adult is finally growing on me.  The books that I have read last year are relatable, funny as hell, sexy and the characters just make sense.  I’ve told yall a million times.  My teens and 20’s were a blast.  Maybe too much of a blast but my life isn’t angsty like most books in this genre.  Ms. Pamfiloff just nails it with this series.  I can’t wait to see what she has in store with book 3.  (Contemporary, New Adult, series, romance, funny, spicy)
  4. Why the Earl is After the Girl (Ways of Love #1) by Tabetha Waite.  Debut author.  Took a chance.  Glad that I did.  Loved this book.  I have read the second book in the series and waiting impatiently for the 3rd one.  You really need to check her out.  (Historical, romance, series, debut author, sensual)
  5. Mr. Dirty (a London Billionaire standalone) by Nana Malone.  Ms. Malone is fast becoming an auto-buy author for me.  She writes funny, sexy as hell, fast-paced books about characters that you really care about.  Plus, there is depth to the story and characters.  (Contemporary, romance, spicy, series)
  6.  His Baby Dilemma (Indian Shores novel) by Catherine Lanigan.  This is one author to watch out for.  She writes for Harlequin Heartwarming and I just can’t get enough of her writing.  Her characters come to life for me and this book, in particular, is her best yet.  Yes, its sweet but trust me, you don’t miss the sexy times.  (Contemporary, romance, Harlequin, series, sweet)
  7. Nudes (Exposed #1) by Sarah Robinson.  Her book Not A Hero made my list last year and she didn’t disappoint me again.  Brilliant writing, engaging characters, and a plot that is on topic.  (Contemporary, series, romance, spicy)
  8. Girl Crush by Stephie Walls.  This book.  It was my favorite rom-com of the year.  I never laughed so hard at someone trying to bat for the same team because men just suck.  This one has stayed with me for a long time.  (Contemporary, romance, romantic comedy, spicy)
  9. Force & Enforce (The Force Duet) by Minx Malone and Nana Malone.  The only romantic suspense book to make the list this year.  I just so love this writing duo.  The Shameless duet was superb and my review of Deep is Monday.  Even though the books are duets, it centers around a security agency and the guys are just too hot, dirty talking, take no prisoners alphas.  Of course, the women are kick ass, too.  (Romantic Suspense, series, spicy)
  10. His Fake Alien Fiancee (Out of this World #2) by Patricia Eimer.  I challenged myself to read some sci-fi last year and let me tell I’m glad that I read this one.  It’s relatable, it happens on earth and our heroine is just flat out funnier than hell.  It read more like a rom-com but the sci-fi is there in spades.  If you are looking for a hilarious sci-fi romance, pick this one up.  You won’t be disappointed.  I will tell you that I haven’t picked up the other books in the series.  I know, I suck.  (Sci-Fi, Romance, series, spicy, comedy)
  11. Christmas at Cade Ranch (Rocky Mountain Cowboys #1) by Karen Rock.  Another Harlequin Heartwarming by one of my all-time favorite authors.  Ms. Rock never disappoints and this series is no different.  And yes, I’ve read the second book in the series.  This series deals with real issues that most people face every day.  Plus, it has cowboys.  (Harlequin, contemporary, romance, series, sweet)
  12. Ruck Me (a Dublin Rugby romance #2) by Rebecca Norinne.  A new author to me and it’s a New Adult.  OH.MY.GOSH.  Ireland, the accent, Rugby.  I was a goner before I even read a page.  This one deals with more real-life issues that people at this age experience and she doesn’t gloss over it.  It could be considered over angsty but I fell in love with the characters and couldn’t stop reading.  I’ve read the first book in the series and it was just as good.  Now I need #3.  Did I mention Ireland?  Pubs?  Rugby? (Contemporary, romance, New Adult, series, spicy)
  13. Leather Pants (Happy Pants Cafe #2) by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff.  *swoon* This book wasn’t what I thought it was going to be and I’m glad.  Ms. Mimi doesn’t disappoint with her contemporaries and this series is perfection.  You will definitely fall in love with Mr. Leather Pants.  (Contemporary, romance, series, spicy)
  14. Forever (a Friends Novel #3) by Monica Murphy.  #CuddlewithTuttle  This series has all the feels of what a Young Adult novel should be.  Angsty, a swoon-worthy hero and heroine, the friends that you want to slap and I really felt like I was back in high school.  Ms. Murphy just nails it with this book.  She must have snuck into a high school and took notes, like Cameron Crowe because a lot of what she wrote, I experience as a substitute teacher at our high school.  (Contemporary, romance, series, Young Adult)
  15. The Billionaire in Her Bed by Regina Kyle.  An Indulgence title that didn’t disappoint.  In fact, I kinda wish it were longer.  Ms. Kyle writes about a topic that is so newsworthy, relatable and being able to find the family that you were looking for.  Yes, these book is about rich people or the fact that come from money but she writes it in such a way, that money isn’t the issue.  This was my first book from Ms. Kyle and won’t be my last.  (Contemporary, spicy, romance)
  16. Meadow Shores series books 1-4 by Eva Charles.  Why are you NOT reading this series?  It’s about grown-ups.  Yes, real grown-ups and how they relate to their jobs, their families and ultimately, their love partner.  One book sticks out to me and that’s Petite Madeleine.  Drew and Cassie’s story is a second chance romance that just hits all the buttons for me.  But of course, all the books hit the button but this one…it just stuck.  Oh and Ms. Charles is redoing the covers.  (Contemporary, romance, series, spicy)
  17. Reckless Need (Hearts Temptation novel) by Scarlett Scott.  A spicy, well written historical that I just couldn’t put down.  This one dealt with a submissive man and a woman that just might be what he needs.  Yes, they are married, but their secrets almost consume them.  I loved the interaction between the other couples, too.  (Historical, spicy, series, romance, BDSM elements)
  18. In Walked Trouble (Under Covers @3) by Christina Elle.  Run. Don’t walk to get this book. Ms. Elle will surprise you with your dialogue, humor, action, pacing, and characters that you will become invested in that you will laugh and at times cry for them. Perfection in my book.  And it’s only her SECOND BOOK.  And the grandmas.  Too much.  (Romantic Suspense, comedy, military, series, spicy)
  19. Blame it on the Bet (a Whiskey Sisters novel) by L.E. Rico.  Hennesey, Bailey, Walker, and Jamieson walked into a bar.  Oh wait, they own the bar and seriously, those are their names.  This book has all the feels for me.  It’s character driven, the priest is hilarious, there are cats in costumes and Hennessey and Bryan are just too loveable but stubborn to ignore.  I can’t wait to find out about the other sisters.  (Contemporary, romance, series, sweet)
  20. Undercover Attraction (the O’Malley’s #5) by Katee Robert.  *thud*  This series.  Mafia and I don’t read mafia romances.  But there is something about the O’Malley’s that I just can’t get enough of at this point.  This is a must-read for anyone that loves action-packed, hard loving, dirty talking men and the women that somewhat tame them.  And the covers are totally lickable.  Just saying.  (Romantic Suspense, spicy as hell, series)

So there you have it.  I read more than 20 books but those are my top picks for last year.  I can’t wait to see what 2018 brings me to read.

If you are looking for me on Amazon, my reviewer name is Brian’s Mom.  I know, not original but it works.  On Goodreads, it is Harlie Williams.



Things to Harlie likes in the book/blogging world! @UTCbookblog @PrismBookTours @GoddessFish @GiveMeBooksBlog


I know, this blog was supposed to be up months ago and I’m sorry.  Life, vacation…you know.  Anyway, I didn’t take out a thing.  Enjoy!

I’m back!!!!!  This week is going to be busy.  The kid turns 12, in-laws coming in, and still don’t have a clue what the boy wants to do for his birthday!  *beats head on desk*  Oh to be 12 again…NOPE!

So, this week I decided to let you know what I actually like the book/blogging world.  Shocked, aren’t you?  Last week I had a list of what I didn’t like.

When I started to blog, I thought that it would just be a hobby.  Something to keep me occupied and busy.  I went into it blind.  We had recently moved from Dallas to East Texas and I was bored.  I went to Walmart and bought the book, Shadow Dance by Julie Garwood and I fell back in love with romance.  I went to the library and devoured everything that I could get my hands on.  The librarian and I became friends, too.  She would ask me for recs for books to buy for the library.  And yes, not just romance books.  I would also donate my old paperbacks to the library and watch them being shelved.  So blogging for me became a way for me to share my love of books.  I still love books.  My current library doesn’t have near the romance collection that I had before but OMG, their YA section?  Jealous.  Hell, even our high school library has more YA that I’ve ever seen.

But then, I found that I actually liked talking about books.  English was my favorite subject in high school and college because I got to read.  Score and the win for me.  I just treated blogging like writing a book report.  Of course, I didn’t do the whole spoiler thing and I still don’t.  What I didn’t anticipate was how much work actually goes into actually blogging.  Over the years, the blog has taken a life of its own and at one point I almost shut it down.  I just couldn’t say “no” to everyone.  My anxiety had anxiety and it was slowly eating away at me.  I took some time off and really thought back to the “why” I blogged and the blog itself.

I take breaks now.  Especially in the summer.  We go on vacation.  I know, it’s very old-fashioned.  But we do have two family reunions that we go to, also.  I realize that I substitute teach full time that maybe I should take the school year off but reading/reviewing/blogging is how I keep sane.  Taking the summer off, I can recharge.

So here is what I like about the book/blogging world:


I know that I will never be as popular as my all time favorite blog, Under The Covers ( and I’m okay with that.  Francesca is the best in the business.  She doesn’t put up with the b.s. and she is a great sounding board for me when I get frustrated.  She runs a tight ship with her ladies and the professionalism is top notch.  I’ve seen a lot of blogs come and go but her’s is consistent and up to date.  I used to worry about a number of followers, likes, comments, etc. that other blogs have.  Each blog is different and that’s what makes us unique.  Plus, when I stopped all the craziness about being popular in my head and discovered my niche…the blog took off.


Blog tour companies/Publicists

Blog tour companies come and go.  It’s just the nature of the business.  I’ve had some interesting companies that I have worked with over the years and the fly by nights are gone.  I feel bad for the authors that signed up with them but I learned a thing or two from them.  Like I said before last week when it came to publishers…clean up your own house before coming into mine.  I’ve had some truly dreadful ones that never got me stuff on time, not to mention never getting the book to read.  I used to completely stress out about it but I learned that it wasn’t my issue to deal with.  You can send email after email but when you get no response, you’ve done everything you could do.  Now, if I knew the author, I would definitely let them know what is going on.  Publicists are the same for me.  They are even more flighty than tour companies.

I have some companies that I will work with until they close shop.  Goddess Fish ( is the best in the business.  I had a few hiccups when I first started working with them but now…they are my go-to tour company.  Give Me Books  ( is my other go-to company.  And of course, my source for anything Harlequin is Prism Tours (  I have some publicists that I love, too and even when they have left one publisher, they always keep me in the loop.  I can sense the head-scratching right about now.  So what do I like about them?  It’s called professionalism.  Look it up.  It goes back to good manners, no b.s. and just doing their job.  And trust me, I’ve had publicists and tour companies drop me for THIER incompetency.  I still have the emails to prove it.

Aren’t they pretty?  *swoon*



Friendships made and lost

I know, it sounds weird.  I’ve made some wonderful friends through blogging and I’ve lost some, too.  Life gets in the way, blogs come and go; I get that.  I met some wonderful fans from other blogs, too.  I remember when Author Blogs were HUGE!  Social media was still new and no one was on Facebook or Twitter.  Yahoo groups still ruled the roost.  When I was going in and deleting some emails from 2009, I got really sniffly.  I was re-reading some group emails from Yahoo.  I can honestly say that most of the ladies that I was in groups with, I don’t talk to anymore.  Sad but that’s the way life goes.  Do I miss them?  You bet.  The authors, at the time, were new and fresh.  They appreciated each and every one of us in those groups.  But when I moved to Facebook, I made new friends and found new authors.  Do I try to keep up with all those authors from yesteryear?  Honestly…no.  I have a few (maybe 3) that I’m still friends with and buy their books.  I’ve seen some very BAD behavior from authors from those groups and I don’t associate myself with them anymore.



That’s about all that I’ve got right now.  I know that I had more dislikes but I picked my top 3 likes.  Tell me what you like about the book/blogging world.