Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

I signed my first print autograph recently … and promptly spent the rest of the afternoon dancing in my seat. My coworkers probably thought I had ants in my pants.

One of  my coworkers bought a copy of DIVA IN THE DUGOUT and brought it to the office for me to sign. Such a thrill!

It was the first time I’d seen the print version. I ordered copies for the RITA judges, but had them shipped directly to RWA HQ to beat the early deadline so I’d have a chance to win either an iPad or conference registration. I haven’t ordered my own print copies yet.

Soon, though. I’m headed to the Chocolate Affaire in Glendale in February, and am taking DIVA to sign.

It looks great, by the way. Can’t wait to get a copy for my keeper shelf!

Want one for your shelf? Click here.

January 1, 2014


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I’ve said it before: I’m a writer, not a math whiz.

Still, I enjoy looking at my blog statistics. That’s why I look forward to seeing what the WordPress stats helper monkeys come up with every New Year’s Eve.

As I look ahead to 2014 (TMP’s releases of BEAUTY AND THE BALLPLAYER and SLIDING INTO HOME this March and April, followed by the indie publication of BLIND DATE BRIDE in June), take a peek at their summary of 2013.

Among the highlights:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,000 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 33 trips to carry that many people.

In 2013, there were 49 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 144 posts.

The busiest day of the year was July 18th with 38 views. The most popular post that day was I have big news.

Since July 18 was the day I announced my first sale/signing a contract with Turquoise Morning Press, it’s not surprising that was my busiest day of the year.

Thank you all for reading and commenting and following me on Twitter and my Facebook Author Page.

Here’s to a 2014 that’s just as successful—or more so.

December 27, 2013


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I admit, I’ve been nervous about book reviews.

Who wouldn’t be after reading the horror stories about authors who refuse to read their reviews … authors devastated by one-star—or, worse, no-star—reviews …

Putting my books out there, in the world at large, wasn’t hard. I’ve wanted to be a writer, to tell my characters’ stories, since second grade.

Opening them up to strangers’  criticism was a different story. That scared me to death. I get that my voice won’t appeal to everyone. There are some authors I love and some that I struggle to read. But the fear that someone will dub one of my heroines “too stupid to live” or hate one of the heroes that I love? Those worries are the ones that keep me up at night.

I’ve been lucky so far, though. Not that I have a ton of reviews (yet), but the ones I’ve received have been positive.

Arlene_HomeHolidays_300dpi(1600x2560)My holiday novella, HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, just received a lovely 5-star review from Brianna at Girl Seeks Place. Among her thoughts:

This was another novella that left me wanting more. I like novellas because I can read ‘em quickly, especially when I don’t have a ton of free time, but I also dislike the short length of novellas. Ms. Hittle’s story left me wanting more and I look forward to reading her other book in the future.

On Amazon, a 5-star review from Firefly Girl had this to say about HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS:

This little romp to Willow’s Grove is the perfect read for the holidays or any time. Short, sweet and punctuated with Ms. Hittle’s trademark wit, it’s the perfect length for a quick getaway when you can’t handle another minute of the holiday rush.

Diva-Dugout-AHittle-LGThe reviews for DIVA IN THE DUGOUT are also good. From the book’s Amazon page:

I love baseball. I love romance. So what’s not to love about a baseball romance? I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Ms. Hittle created lovable characters who make mistakes, but find a way to rise above. I fell in love with Dave, whose life revolves around baseball’s seedier side until he’s given an ultimatum. In the end you will swoon with his maturity and love for his family that outweighs all else. Mel is spunky, cautious and will do anything to protect her daughter. Tara is smart and insightful and way too cute! Fun, easy, heartwarming read. I’m looking forward to reading more from this author.

(Firefly girl might well be my biggest fan!)

And from Patty:

I bought this book because I love romance. I finished the book because I believe in true love. A one night stand can b just that, one night or it can change your life. For Dave and Mel it was the one love that never was or was it? True love conquerors all and families are made with acceptance and of course love. I highly recommend this book and can not wait to read more by Arlene Hittle.

My stories are faring slightly less well on Goodreads. DIVA has an average rating of 3.5 (with a 2-star and 3-star factored in); HFTH is at 4.67.

I find that a bit odd, considering my roommate, who’s read both, said she enjoyed them both but liked DIVA a little bit more.

Thanks for reading, everyone. And for taking the time to leave a review. You’ve helped make my 2013 a year to remember. And for someone who until recently hated the number 13, that’s no easy feat.

December 17, 2013



I know, I know. You don’t need me to tell you Christmas is a mere nine days away. Countdowns are everywhere, inexorably ticking off the days, hours and minutes.

With no children of my own to make holiday magic for, I don’t find the holiday season quite as hectic as some, I’m sure.

Yes, I still try to do some baking. Since I’ve been sidelined with a cold/flu/mysterious ick  for a week now, my Mom’s butter cookies are still unbaked. I hope to get to them before this weekend, but it’ll depend on when I can stand for extended periods without trying to hack up my spleen.

And kids or no, I still love watching all the holiday specials. I’m afraid I’ve missed “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” this year. (Pouting will commence … NOW.)

The one show I absolutely will not miss? “A Christmas Story.”

In fact, this year I spent $8.50 to watch it on the big screen. I needed to take a longish dinner break, and Harkins just happened to be showing “A Christmas Story” as its “classic” Tuesday night flick. I couldn’t pass it up.

The movie is a family favorite for one big reason: Although it was filmed in Ohio, it’s set in Hammond, Indiana, on Cleveland Street. My grandma and grandpa Kiger lived on Cleveland Street in Hammond, Indiana. 3003 Cleveland Street, to be exact.

That’s right. Young Ralphie could have been my mother’s neighbor. I think he’d have been a few years older, but still … everything about the movie — tone, humor, everything — is spot-on.

I’ve seen it once already this season, but that won’t stop me from watching it at least one more time during TBS’ 24 hours of “A Christmas Story.” (I’ll probably catch it more than once, to be honest. Like classic episodes of “Twilight Zone,” it never gets old.)

And if anyone wants to get me a present, I have just the thing:

"The soft glow of electric sex …"

“The soft glow of electric sex …”

My very own Leg Lamp! (As seen at Walgreen’s.)

“Fra-gee-lay. It must be Italian.”

“I think that says ‘fragile.'”

I’m so tempted … But I have nowhere to put it, so I’ll have to content myself with Leg Lamp butter cookies instead.

ButterCookies6-764x1024Yes. Leg Lamp butter cookies. I found the cutter last year at Target. For only $1, I HAD to buy it.

Tell me: What’s your favorite, can’t-miss “I’ll watch it a thousand and one times and it never gets old” holiday movie?