2019 Golden Heart Finalist Angie Hockman on Motivation!

Today we’re welcoming Angie Hockman, another of the Omegas, whose manuscript THE HUSTLER is a 2019 Golden Heart Finalist in the Romantic Suspense category.

Angie Hockman writes modern romance with sizzling thrills…because what’s life without love and adventure? Her professional background includes stints in law, government, and education, but these days you can find her burning up the keyboard in the late hours of the evening, working her day job as a conservation manager for an expedition cruise company, or embarking on adventures big and small with her family. Angie lives in northeast Ohio with her engineer husband, young son, and two grumpy-old-lady cats.

Here’s a blurb for THE HUSTLER:

Tech-savvy Sage Peters is one of the most highly respected PIs in New York City. For her latest investigation, she’s spent countless hours poring over Ryder Thorne’s surveillance photos, enough to memorize the precise angle of his cheekbones and the curve of his Cupid’s bow lips. Ryder is a master thief and con artist—the fact that he also happens to be jaw-droppingly handsome is immaterial. Once she’s hired for a job, she delivers. Always. But when a routine night of surveillance unexpectedly ends with her father gravely injured in a shoot-out, Sage is thrust in the middle of a high-stakes conspiracy and has no choice but to go on the run with the handsome thief. 

Ryder Thorne has never met a woman he couldn’t charm. Once a member of an elite crime ring, now in hiding from his former partners, he’s always lived in the shadows. But when a small-time con job goes wrong and puts him back on the radar of the nefarious figures he once worked for, he finds himself relying on an unexpected ally: a gorgeous, sassy PI who matches him wit for wit.

As the danger heats up and sparks fly, Sage has to decide how much she can trust a con artist. Will she give the tenacious thief a chance to win her heart? And even if she does, will the two make it out alive?

Ooh, this sounds fun!! I love Thrown-Together-in-Crisis stories, especially when the couple are antagonists who match wits and each think they ought to be the one in control!! Definitely looking forward to the dialogue on this one!!

Angie’s with us today to talk about one of her favorite things: Motivational Posters! 

Take it away, Angie!! 


Some Not-At-All Corny Motivational Poster Advice

When I was a high school varsity field hockey coach, I routinely wore t-shirts to practice with corny sayings like “Dream | Believe | Achieve” and “Don’t Give Up. Don’t Ever Give Up.” I like to think that through forced repeated viewings of inspirational quotes, my players dug that much deeper during end-of-practice sprints or discovered an extra dose of determination during the final minutes of a tough game.

Or maybe they thought I was a hopeless cheeseball. We’ll never know.

One thing’s for sure, I do love a good motivational quote—inspiring, powerful, cheesy, or otherwise. So when I sat down to write this guest blog (huge THANK YOU to the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood for having me!), I thought I’d share a few of the quotes and mantras that have given me a boost over the years—brought to you by cats. Because everything’s better with a cat.

“Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” – Arthur Ashe

When the concept for The Hustler first slammed into my head in December 2015, I had no idea that the resulting manuscript would eventually final in the Golden Heart…or what it takes to actually publish a book. I cranked out my brain baby in ten months, entered some contests, did pretty well in those contests, and thought, boom, that’s it! The Hustler will be in bookstores by next Christmas! Weeee!

Then reality hit me like a cold, wet mop to the face.

After nearly three years of submissions, coffee, rewrites, wine, and more rewrites, my book still isn’t on bookshelves. But here’s the thing: I wrote a book. A whole, entire book. Before that, I’d dabbled in writing, reading craft books and blogs and tinkering with a half-finished YA manuscript (that will forever remain buried in the bowels of my hard drive because, woof, it’s bad), but this was the first time I’d actually typed “The End.”

I also found my writing tribe. I joined RWA and my local northeast Ohio chapter. I went to conferences, writer retreats, and workshops, and I connected with a wonderful critique partner and beta readers. I finished writing a second book—a romantic comedy called Chasing Sharks. And now, I’m part of the Omegas, an uplifting group of writers that inspire me on the daily and make me thank every lucky star in the sky that we’re sharing in this journey together.

What will the future hold for me as a writer? More books. More coffee. More wine. Besides that? I’ll just have to live the adventure to find out. Speaking of adventure…

“Adventure is worthwhile in itself.” -Amelia Earhart

I’m not the most intrepid person you’ll ever meet—I’ve never scaled a mountain and my bumper sticker, if I had one, would read “0.0” (or on a very ambitious day, “3.1”)—but I’m a dyed-in-the-wool sucker for adventure.

What do I consider an adventure? Anything and everything. Adventures can be big or small. Tangible or abstract. Picking the sultry red dress instead of your basic black. Test driving a new recipe. Travel is an adventure, one of my favorites. So is spelunking, not one of my favorites.

Writing is an adventure, as we know. It’s full of unexpected twists, the thrill of crafting a compelling story, and beaucoup creative challenges. But it has its low points, too (e.g. rejection, frustration, and that relentless fiend, Imposter Syndrome). So why do I write? Why do I choose to spend nearly every scrap of free time writing a book that may or may not snag a coveted traditional publishing deal or win much in the way of acclaim? Simple. Writing is an adventure for my soul. And life’s too short not to have adventures.

“The climb might be tough and challenging, but the view is worth it.” -Victoria Arlen

My last nugget of corndog advice I like to tell myself: don’t quit. Never be a quitter. Because the possibility of success vanishes the second you give up.

When the 2019 Golden Heart opened for entries last December, The Hustler was officially on ice. I’d entered it twice before with no luck, so I almost didn’t bother this time around. But a niggling voice in the back of my head that sounded suspiciously like my mother said, do it. This is your last chance, what do you have to lose?

So I dug The Hustler out of the freezer and decided to give it one final edit before entering it in the Golden Heart for the last time. And holy mothballs, Batman, it actually finaled.

Today, I’m a Golden Heart Finalist. Huzzah! Tomorrow, I could be the latest rejection in the slush pile. But whatever happens, I’m not abandoning the climb. Because who knows? The next mountain top could be the highest yet.

If you’d like to follow along on my journey, check out my website at or follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Okay, your turn. What’s your favorite, cheesiest, most inspiring motivational poster advice? Please share in the comments!

67 responses to “2019 Golden Heart Finalist Angie Hockman on Motivation!”

  1. Sarah Andre says:

    Good morning, Angie!
    I’m thrilled you’re spotlighted today and crossing my fingers you achieve the podium moment at the GH luncheon.

    I’m so hung up on this quote that as VP of TGN a few years ago I had motivational plaques made for all the retreat members:

    “Be so good they can’t ignore you.”
    -Steve Martin

    Which perfectly describes your work, Angie.
    Enjoy today’s outpouring of love on this prestigious blog.

  2. Congratulations on your Golden Heart nom, Angie!

  3. Great advice. I think we all find times we just want to put the pen down (so to speak) and walk away. Congratulations on being a finalist in GH. I have lots of favorite motivational quotes but, being from Florida, one of mine is a Jimmy Buffett line. When things get bad “Breathe in. Breath out. Move on.”
    Good luck at Nationals and congratulations on never giving up.

    • Jimmy Buffett does have some wisdom in his songs, doesn’t he? I’m also a fan of “if life gives you limes, make margaritas.” Thank you for your kind words and sharing your favorite advice!

  4. Danielle Haas says:

    Love it! Great advice and an inspiring story! Can’t wait for that GH luncheon!!!

    • Thanks so much, Danielle! And HUGE shout-out for your invaluable feedback on The Hustler before I entered the Golden Heart this last time around…you’re the best & your advice was gold (literally!). Can’t wait to celebrate in NYC with you very soon!

  5. Elly Kate says:

    Your book is ALL of my catnip… I hope see it on the bookshelves one day!

    My favorite motivational saying is simple: “Keep moving forward.” Easier said than done, some days…

    • Awwww thanks so much, Elly! And oh my goodness your book sounds amazing too — THE CINDERELLA FACTOR, yes please!

      I hear you…sometimes even taking a baby step can feel like the hardest thing, but the only way to go is forward, right? Like Dory says, “just keep swimming…just keep swimming…” 🙂

      Can’t wait to meet you in NYC in a few short weeks!

  6. Lark Brennan says:

    Hi Angie! Terrific post.

    One of my favorite quotes is:

    Happiness is what you choose to pay attention to.

    I have no idea where I read it.

    Good luck in NYC!

  7. Amanda Uhl says:

    BIG congratulations Angie! You are a star all the way and the best critique partner ever:) I’m so glad you are being recognized in this prestigious contest and so many others. I’m rooting for a Golden Heart win!!

    I’m a big fan of quotes, too, so much so I had my mantra stamped into a bracelet I wear frequently. It says: Creativity takes courage. Don’t give up!

    • Thanks so much, Amanda! I feel so lucky to have you as a critique partner and am so grateful for your support.

      I *love* that quote. Creativity takes courage, indeed! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  8. Really soak up these moments! A Golden Heart finalist–that’s huge!! Congrats! My motivational quote? “Don’t let your dreams stay dreams.”

  9. Aw, I love this! Congrats on your final and welcome, Angie! I’m a big fan of Thoreau’s “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams!”

    And the eternal Galaxy Quest mantra, “Never give up! Never surrender!” 😀

    Good luck in New York! Your book sounds absolutely fabulous.

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      That Thoreau quote is one of my favorites!

    • Thanks so much! And oh my heart, that Thoreau quote. Amazing. I’m imagining myself with my chin up walking in four-inch stilettos toward my goals, and it’s a powerful feeling.

      Also, I was *this close* to featuring that Galaxy Quest quote in this post…I love it!!!

  10. Laura Critchfield says:

    Can’t wait to see you walk across that stage. Thanks for always being so confident and supportive, you’re a credit to the writing community.

    • Awww Laura, thanks for the kind words. I’m just happy to be in the audience 🙂 Thank you for all your support! I really appreciate it! *high fives all around*

  11. What an adventure you have had! I applaud you by never giving up, and see, it worked. Congratulations to you and all your positive energy. You are an inspiration.

    • Thanks, Minette! I’m incredibly inspired by being part of such an uplifting community of writers — especially a community of women empowering other women. I feel so very blessed.

  12. Carrie Padgett says:

    Congratulations, Angie! Being a Golden Heart finalist so special!
    I like two quotes— Great things never come from comfort zones. And consider the pain of discipline vs. the pain of regret.

  13. Elisa Beatty says:

    Welcome, Angie!! This is such a fun post!

    One of my favorite writing inspirational quotes is “Write in a way that scares you a little.” Always challenges me to push the boundaries a little.

    See you in NYC!!

    • Thanks so much for having me, Elisa! I’ve been reading the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood blog for years, so to say this is an honor and a dream come true is an understatement. Thanks for inviting us Omegas to contribute!

      And ooo I love that quote. I need to make some sort of graphic with all these fantastic inspirational quotes folks have been sharing today because I feel like I’ve either been getting the chills or tearing up virtually nonstop. So powerful (thanks, all!).

  14. Sara Whitney says:

    Feeling smug because I’ve already gotten to read Angie’s fantastic GH book! *hair toss*

    A fave quote: She who laughs, lasts. Seems like that one would be Angie-approved. 🙂

  15. Wendy Lewis says:

    I can’t think of any inspiring quotes. Sorry, it’s too early for my wine (which always helps) 😁 Congratulations on your GH final, I hope I get to see you win!
    Oh, and yes, cats make everything better! Maybe that’s my inspirational quote, LOL.

  16. Sheri Humphreys says:

    Congratulations, Angie! Your post has made my day–and it’s still morning! I love motivational quotes (I have the Thoreau one on a bracelet) but the one that resides in my brain and speaks to me is one of my own: It never hurts to ask. All they can do is say “no.”
    Thing is, if you’re brave/confident enough to ask, they usually say “yes.”
    I can’t wait to read your book. It sounds like delicious fun.

    • Awww thanks, Sheri! And thanks for sharing your advice — it seems like this industry isn’t for the faint of heart, so I’ll definitely keep that in mind!

  17. Becke Turner says:


    Your GH decision sound very similar to mine. And people need cheesy inspirational quotes because this journey is hard!

    My great grandfather had an endless supply of sayings. The following applies to me:

    “I’m a hard dog to keep under the porch.” No matter how many times I’m rejected, I keep pushing another story out there–just in case.

  18. This story sounds amazeballs!

    I have a plaque hanging in my office–Don’t wish for it, work for it.
    Basically, a reminder to do the uncomfortable things, the hard thing, and put my work out there, even if I have a laundry list of reasons why I” probably fail.

    • Thanks, Janet! I feel that advice and I love that you have it on a plaque in your office. Work is definitely the only thing that will get us there in the end…thanks for sharing!

  19. Anna Collins says:

    Hi Angie – loved this post and your great message. Congrats on this pay-off to your perseverance!!

    A couple quotes I like are – “Sometimes later becomes never. Do it now.”
    And “When you feel like quitting, think about why you started.”

    See you in NYC! 🙂

  20. Tracy Brody says:

    Congrats on being a Golden Heart finalist and you owe that voice encouraging you to enter a little gift. 😉 Love the conflict in your story!

    Cheeseball saying? Hmm, “You have to be a little crazy or else you’ll go insane.” It’s good advice to not take yourself too seriously. And I totally agree with you about not quitting. That’s that only sure way to fail.

    Look forward to meeting you in NYC!

    • Angie Hockman says:

      Thanks, Tracy, and huge congrats to you too! Haha I really like that advice…if you couldn’t tell from the uber-cheesy cat posters in my post, I try not to take myself too seriously either😂 Looking forward to meeting you in a few short weeks!

  21. Kate says:

    Congratulations Angie!! I can’t wait to get a copy of your book in print and then read it!!
    A couple quotes:
    Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work – Thomas Eddison
    Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition
    -Marilyn Monroe

    I also had a shirt that said “second place is the first loser”

    Can’t wait to see you so soon!

    • Angie Hockman says:

      Thanks so much, Kate! Love the quotes! Marilyn Monroe was definitely on to something…why try to be equal when we can rule?😉 Can’t wait to see you!

  22. Karen Cullinane says:

    I looooove the Nietzsche quote, “I am not a man, I am dynamite.” So good! 🙌🏼

    • Me too! It reminds me of a t-shirt I saw pop up on a Facebook ad recently that said, “not delicate like a flower, delicate like a bomb.” BOOM.

  23. Erinn says:

    I enjoy the following quote: “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made… It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.” —Ruth Bader Ginsburg

  24. Congratulations on your nomination!

  25. Lena Diaz says:

    Congrats on your final! I think it’s so cool that you were a finalist after dusting off that manuscript and polishing it one last time. Good luck in your career.

  26. Congratulations on your perseverance and success!
    Fave quote today: “I’m not abandoning the climb.”
    Angie Hockman
    Wishing you the best (from one northeastern Ohio writer to another).

  27. Alice says:

    I love the Dream Believe Achieve motto! Your book sounds amazing. I can’t wait to read it <3

  28. Lisa Heartman says:

    Angie, congratulations on your GH final. Your blurb sounds great! Writing is an adventure for sure, and I’m so glad we’re all experiencing it together. That support is so powerful.

    The best views often come after the hardest climb, and no one can take that accomplishment away from you. I guess I would say “If you get tired, learn to rest not quit,” because getting to the top of that mountain is worth it.

    • Angie Hockman says:

      Thanks, Lisa, and huge congrats to you too! I really like that concept — learning to rest vs quit. Like, it’s okay to give yourself permission to take breaks as long as those breaks don’t last forever. Great advice, thanks for sharing! Can’t wait to meet you in a few short weeks!

  29. Liz says:

    “Winners never quit; Quitters never win”
    Keep writing, well done.

  30. Your journey mirrors mine a bit, and my journey IS my dream.
    One of my coach quotes I give my volleyball players is this one: “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”

    Best of luck in the Golden Heart! I’ll be rooting for you!

  31. Fenley Grant says:


    I loved your post…and the cheesy inspirational quotes! I worked as a corporate trainer at one point in my life and we had work-related posters up in the training room (extolling the virtues of SUCCESS, and MOTIVATION, and other attributes we hoped our employees would demonstrate.) Mixed success on those messages!

    One of my personal favorites is, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”-Walt Disney

    So glad we both entered and are living the Golden Heart dream. Can’t wait to meet you in NYC!

  32. Angie,

    Thanks so much for this. I secretly love me some cheesy motivational sayings. The right one at the just the right time can make a huge difference.

    The Hustler (pretend that’s italicized) sounds like a great read. So excited to be an Omega with you!

  33. Zalie says:

    Love your spirit! Wishing you huge success!

  34. Janet Raye Stevens says:

    Sorry I’m so late to this party — and sorry I didn’t get a chance to read this terrific post earlier! Not corny at all, my Omega sister! Congrats again on your GH final; aren’t you glad you took The Hustler out of the freezer?


Subscribe to the Blog

The Latest Comments

  • Autumn Jordon: You’re very welcome. I learned a lot.
  • Bev Pettersen: Such a helpful post, Thanks Autumn. And also thanks to Vivi, Rae and Judy!
  • Autumn Jordon: Everyone of these cover designers is so talented. I wish I had their eye for detail.
  • Autumn Jordon: I totally agree, Kate. I think it takes a certain eye to make an awesome cover.
  • Autumn Jordon: They did a amazing job answering my questions, didn’t they. I also learned a lot.