[Smithsonian Heritage] Pride Month Guest: Jason T. Gaffney (Plus Ed Gaffney & Suzanne Brockmann) AND a Giveaway!

Y’all!!! I know, that post title is a mouthful is it not?! But how fun and exciting, right? 😀 Seriously I hope you’ve checked out the other Pride Month posts here at ALBTALBS (all tagged), but I’m really excited about this new post, and how it’s delightful and different from what we’ve been seeing. (Diversity in all things! <3) 😀 I hope you’ll give a warm welcome to Jason T. Gaffney, Ed Gaffney, and Suzanne Brockmann who yes, are all first time guests! Thank you all for joining us! 

Classic Category Romance Tropes

Fixing FrankSuz Brockmann interviews Jason T. Gaffney and Ed Gaffney, authors of Fixing Frank, California Comedy series book #3, from Suzanne Brockmann Presents

Suz: So far, in your California Comedy series, you’ve used the “marriage of convenience” trope in Fixing Frank, where frenemies pretend to be engaged while contestants in a reality web series; the “friends to lovers” trope in A Match for Mike, where childhood friends meet again after a long-ago estrangement—and sparks fly; and the “Cinderella make-over” trope in Creating Clark, where a nerdy coffeeshop owner asks a hot actor friend to help him catch the eye of a another man. What do you think is the appeal of these tried and true romance tropes? Continue reading

Birthday Bash Guest: Sorcha Mowbray with a Giveaway

Birthdays and older and being old and even though it isn’t my birthday yet I feel like I’m 100 and so tired and oh my gosh BIRTHDAY AND ALL THE STUFFS. Right? Right. On that note >.>, we have Sorcha Mowbray visiting today! I’m also leaving this as all I say because she even included the question and everything. Yay!

Birthday – the anniversary of the day on which a person was born or the anniversary of something starting or being founded.

It is interesting to look at the cultural norms and customs that are associated with birthdays. The expectations and rituals vary across countries, families, and companies/entities. There are rituals that come with every birthday and some that only come on specific birthdays. Mental Floss had an article about it that included things like “antiquing” the birthday boy/girl in Jamaica, or essentially dousing them in flour in an organized fashion or by ambush. Some Canadians grease the birthday boy’s/girl’s nose with butter, again another ambush moment. In Mexico a child gets a candy filled piñata, and in Vietnam they do not acknowledge the day of your birth. Instead, everyone turns a year older on the New Year known as tet–not sure how I’d feel about that one. LOL! Continue reading

Team ALBTALBS TBR Challenge Review: A SEAL’s Salvation by Tawny Weber

Babs’ review of A SEAL’s Salvation by Tawny Weber
Contemporary romance published by Harlequin Blaze February 1, 2014

Subject: Navy SEAL Petty Officer  Brody Lane

Current Status: On leave

Obstacle: The one girl who was off-limits…

Where Navy SEAL “Bad Ass” Brody Lane goes, trouble follows. Being run out of his hometown years ago for misbehaving with Genna Reilly—the sheriff’s daughter—was one thing. Now Brody is about to step into real danger. Not the suggestive letters he’s been exchanging with Genna, but the kind of trouble that can send a soldier home injured and broken inside…

Genna’s entire life has been orchestrated by her family. The  right job. The right friends. Enough! Brody’s return offers the promise of lust-filled pleasures. Of flesh teased and tasted. She’s not expecting to find a soldier with distant eyes who has secluded himself from the world. But this good girl knows exactly how to bring a bad boy back to life….

Uniformly Hot!  The Few. The Proud. The Sexy as Hell.

A SEAL’s Salvation is a very satisfying read. The chemistry between Genna and Brody is off the charts. Besides friend’s brother/sister trope (one of my favorites and favorite trope is the TBR challenge theme for June), there’s also the “bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks with the town princess” thing, a dash of second chance romance, and “we’re just going to be friends (but not really)”. While “bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks” doesn’t always land well with me, it definitely worked here. Continue reading

Teaser Tuesday Exclusive Excerpt: Duke with Benefits by Manda Collins + Giveaway

Hi friends!! I’m very happy to welcome back Manda Collins, who is absolutely delightful. It also pleases me because Manda thinks I’m more sweet than tart. I’ve got her hoodwinked. 😉 Her newest release Duke with Benefits will be out next week! June 27th! The day before by birthday. So we’ve got an exclusive excerpt to whet your appetites. 😀 AND a giveaway from Manda too! See? I told you she’s wonderful! 😀

LADY + DUKE = TRUE LOVE?

Lady Daphne Forsyth is a brilliant mathematician with a burning passion for puzzles. When she learns that the library belonging to her benefactress houses the legendary Cameron Cipher—an encrypted message that, once solved, holds the key to great riches—Daphne is on the case. Unfortunately, her race to unlock the cipher’s code is continually thwarted by a deliciously handsome distraction she hadn’t counted on. . .and cannot resist.

Dalton Beauchamp, the Duke of Maitland, is curious as to why Daphne is spending so much time snooping around his aunt’s bookshelves. He’s even more intrigued by her bold yet calculating manner: She is unapologetic about her secret quest. . .and the fiery attraction that develops between them both. But how can they concentrate on solving a perplexing enigma once the prospect of true love enters the equation?

Continue reading

[Smithsonian Heritage] Pride Month Guest: Cathy Pegau

Hi everyone! I’m super excited to welcome back ALBTALBS friend Cathy Pegau! <3 Not only is she super awesome generally, she also helped bring in so many of the guest authors we’ve met this month! Thank you, Cathy, and thank you for guesting!

Queer Girls Belong Everywhere

RulebreakerOnce I started writing my science fiction romance Rulebreaker, I began seeking out more lesbian and bi women’s fiction to read. Though it wasn’t always so easy then, I found stories in a variety of genres: speculative fiction like Nicola Griffith’s Ammonite, historicals such as Sarah Waters’ Tipping the Velvet and Fingersmith, and contemporary stories in the vein of Georgia Beers’ Starting From Scratch or Carsen Taite’s Nothing but the Truth, among others. There are still difficulties with wonky results (bare, manly chests in my search for lesbian fiction, Amazon? Really?), but search engines are improving and getting your queer girl fix in whatever you like to read isn’t the time-sucking, frustrating slog it used to be. Mostly. Continue reading

[Smithsonian Heritage] Pride Month Guest: J. V. Speyer

I really really really hope you’re out there – you plural – you anyone, you everyone – are out there reading these posts, because there’s so much heart in them, and so many important things. Today’s post is more of the wonderful same. We have another first time guest, J. V. Speyer, and a very warm welcome, J.V.!

On Pride, Drunken Monkeys, and Labels

MidnightI’m sitting here at my computer and I’m trying to think of what I want to write. I’ve started this post three times. Everything looks pretentious, and I keep refreshing my social media timelines like a drunken monkey because that’s going to make this easier.

“Write about drunken monkeys,” suggests one friend (Lydia Stevens, another author.) Continue reading

[Smithsonian Heritage] Pride Month Guest: Stella Samuel

Hi friends! Today we have another first time guest, the delightful Stella Samuel who really saved my bacon (numerous times!) with this post. Thank you, Stella, and welcome to ALBTALBS! <3 

Don’t Give Up

I’ve always been a writer. And I’ve always been a lesbian. Sure, there was that high school boyfriend that angered me when he broke my heart. And there was even that college boyfriend who fit me like Romeo fit Juliet. One day he set me on his kitchen counter as we were listening to my favorite new band, Indigo Girls, and we pondered of whether or not the girls were lesbians. They are, of course. But this was in late 1991 when technology wasn’t what it is today. So few celebrities were out, at least not outside the community. He looked at me and said to me, “I’d be devastated if you broke up with me. But I’d kill myself if you left me for a woman.” He broke up with me because I wanted to have children and being a father was never on his agenda. Continue reading