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.


6 thoughts on “Things that bother Harlie in the blogging/book world

  1. Harlie, I’m glad you’re still around, girl! I hadn’t heard from you in awhile. I mostly agree with you, especially your first few points. I don’t have a street team (it shows), so I’m good there. I like my Nook, too, also have a Kindle Fire, and when I get to be a bigger name (maybe never), I will make the leap to put everything wide. But I will tell you, from an author’s perspective, it might not just be KU that’s making Amazon so dominant. Have you ever tried to load your own book into B&N? It’s not a pleasant experience, and there’s just NO customer service. I wish it were different, I believe in competition, but ugh, B&N’s upload can be really bad. Have a close author girlfriend who tried to go there, and her upload went into a 2 week spiral and never loaded. She emailed them three times, and no response. It’s a sad, sad tale but true!

    1. Oh, I’ve heard horror stories about Barnes & Noble, too. Create Space, Smashwords… *sigh*

      I miss you Hebby. I’m around. I’m pretty much full-time substitute teaching. I relish my rare day off and when it comes to the summer…I count the days until school is out. Of course, now I have a bored, soon to be a 7th grader. He is already driving me insane. LOL!

      I’m always around. I just post on FB like I used to.

      Email me sometime. I’m trying to write again.

      1. Glad to hear from you, Harlie, and I appreciate you didn’t take my comment too negatively. On everything else, I totally agree with you. I just wish B&N could get some “umph” behind them and some customer service for us poor authors doing our own uploading.
        So, you’re subbing now. It does give you that occasional welcome day off. Me, being obsessive/compulsive had trouble with it, although full time is really worse. I just could never plan when I was subbing, and I’m big on planning!!!
        Don’t you love middle schoolers? I think they’re the worst, come summer time. They count down the days until they’re out of school, and then, after a week home, they’re moping around, bored. Really? You have to sign them up for multi-camps or they don’t know what to do with themselves. High schoolers, if they manage to get a summer time job, are a little bit more manageable. However, once they have a driving license, watch out!!! And just think, you have that to look forward to. Aaaargh!
        I’m glad you’re back into writing. That’s awesome! I’ve managed to churn out 6 books in the past 13 months, which for me, is some kind of a record.
        Now I’m re-writing, heavy editing, one of my loooong historical romances that I pubbed with Kensington. I’m still bound and compelled to finish getting my back list up, one way or the other. Only this one and my very first one to go.
        I’m assuming you’re writing a Harlequin book. They’ve got quite a few bestsellers in the cowboy category. What are you writing about?

  2. Love this post!!! Seriously, every single thing you said is exactly how I feel as well! I’m a huge category reader! I used to be ashamed to say so but now I’m not!

    Can’t wait to hear about what you like. 😉

  3. Loved this! One of the things that makes me sad about the book community, is for the the most part, we spend so much time promoting and trying to get promoted, that we don’t really get to know one another. I think you said some things that a lot of people believe, but are too timid to say. Maybe your summer sabbatical is good for all of us ❤️️

    1. Or authors are too busy cutting other authors down. I’ve seen it and it’s ugly. My sabbatical is going well but I’m a bit bored. Been ready for my own pleasure and it’s been awesome.

      I’ve always spoken my mind and it has gotten me into trouble but I just don’t care anymore. Life is too short to put up with drama, bad books, and b.s.


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