HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Hello my wonderful friends! <3

If you were (or are!) out and about, I wish you all the joy, fun, and safety.
If you’re recovering from a night out 😛 may you do so quickly and not have to deal with people or work.

And my hope for all of us is that we have a better 2019 than previous years. May we not continue on with “there is no bottom” and move onwards and upwards!

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” – Edith Lovejoy Pierce

And you know, ::insert fireworks or confetti gif I’m too lazy to find:: … and now it feels like a real and proper Limecello/ALBTALBS post, right? 😉

Also Belated Team TBR Challenge Review: Muffin Top by Avery Flynn

Muffin Top by Avery Flynn
Contemporary romance released by Entangled on October 29, 2018

Muffin Top by Avery Flynn Book CoverThe only thing about me that’s a size zero is the filter on my mouth. I’ve got a big personality, a big rack, and a big number on the scale. And I’m perfectly fine with that.

But when some random guy suggests I might not be eating alone if I’d ordered a salad instead of a hamburger I’m shocked silent, which is a feat, trust me.

That brings us to one sexy fireman named Frankie Hartigan. He’s hot. He’s funny… And he’s just apologized for being late for our “date” then glared at the fat-shaming jerk. Next thing I know, he’s sitting down and ordering himself dinner.

I have no problem telling him I don’t need a pity date…unless of course it’s to my high school reunion next week. Oops where did that last bit come from? And what do I do now that he’s said yes?!

Because this is no make-over story, and I think Frankie is using me for something. I just have to figure out what…

I actually read this book a few weeks ago, so bear with me if I mess things up. However, it’s stayed with me, and this book is the reason why I read a number of Avery Flynn’s other backlist titles. These Hartigans though – there’s something about them. However [November’s] challenge prompt was “cover love” and! While this isn’t one of those immediately eye catching covers, or eye poppingly (bad) ones … what I love about it is its simplicity, and the fact that there actually is a plus sized woman on the cover. I know we’ve all talked about problems where the models on a book cover are nothing like the characters in the book. And before authors start running in here with “well actually” … yes I also realize authors have varying levels of control in [traditionally] published books. With all that out of the way … I think this is a really great contemporary romance! Onward! Continue reading

Merry Happy Christmas!

I’m still not used to “new WP” so we’ll see how that goes. We’re also still around! Team ALBTALBS is scattered (or I am) but we’re still trucking along!

So Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it. Happy Holidays to all (and otherwise). No fancy text because again – WTF WP.

And if you’d like … you can send a holiday card to St. Jude families/kids of St. Jude. (The text is a hyperlink.)

I hope you all are well! Much love. <3

Team TBR Challenge Review: A Daddy Sent by Santa by Susan Carlisle

A Daddy Sent by Santa by Susan Carlisle
Contemporary category romance released by Harlequin Medical on October 16, 2018

A Daddy Sent by Santa by Susan Carlisle Book CoverWhen a small-town mom…

Falls for a big-city doc…

Nurse Lauren Wilson is used to doctors coming and going in her Oklahoma town — and doesn’t expect prestigious Boston doc Paxton Samuels to be any different. Until they’re snowed in together and their sensual tension reaches boiling point! But knowing Paxton is due to leave after the festive season, can Lauren risk giving him her heart and her little boy a daddy for Christmas?

This book was in my physical TBR pile and I received it in a book subscription box. I did not finish this book. I read a little past the halfway mark then couldn’t take it anymore. I would be hate-reading if I kept going. I underlined more and more sentences in disgust? Outrage? Disappointment? All of the above? These characters and story did not work for me. Continue reading

Very Belated Team TBR Challenge Review: Roaring Midnight by Colleen Gleason

Roaring Midnight by Colleen Gleason
Paranormal romance released by Avid Press on June 18, 2013

Roaring Midnight by Colleen Gleason Book CoverAmid the glitzy age of Jazz, when gangsters and bootleggers control the cities, there lies another, more insidious threat….the undead.
Macey Gardella is a typical young woman of the Roaring Twenties: she works a job, has her own flat, and loves to dance the Charleston. But when a mysterious man named Sebastian Vioget informs her she belongs to a family of vampire hunters, Macey is stunned and disbelieving.

Yet, strange and frightening things begin to happen, and when Macey comes face-to-face with one of the fanged creatures, she has no choice but to believe Sebastian. And when she learns his own soul depends on her willingness to carry forth the family legacy and hunt the undead, Macey capitulates and joins the fight.

As she begins to learn about her new calling, Macey encounters a handsome newspaper reporter known as Grady–who seems to know more about vampires than he should. And when he begins to ask too many questions, she has to juggle her strong attraction to him with the need for secrecy.

Slipping into speakeasies and sampling bootlegged whiskeys, dodging gangster gunfire and trying to keep her nosy landlady from finding the stakes in her flat, Macey Gardella must navigate through a world of stunning violence, passionate romance, and dark betrayal…

I have been reading Colleen Gleason’s books ever since I was lucky enough to hear her speak at the 2007 RWA Nationals conference. I snapped up her first two Gardella Vampire Hunters novels and became an immediate fan, following her writing into every genre she has written. She’s one of the few authors I’ll purchase even if I don’t have time to read her new releases right away. Which is how I found myself pulling out Roaring Midnight from my TBR pile for the September TBR Challenge. Continue reading

SNAHM = Smithsonian Native American Heritage Month

Hi friends! So I guess ALBTALBS is in partial hiatus – not really planned but it happened and is how things will probably be for the foreseeable future.

HOWEVER I do want to note that November is Native American/First Nations Heritage Month!

If anyone is interested in or willing to write a guest post or review please let me know! We’ve had a few guest authors and readers in the past, so definitely check those posts. I’m doing this via a mobile now but I hope to soon update this with a list of First Nations romance authors, once I have reliable internet and access to a computer.

  1. If you know any romance authors who are Native American feel free to mention them in the comments!

Release Day Guest K.M. Jackson Discusses & Shares an Exclusive Excerpt of “As Good as the First Time”

Hi friends! I’m so excited to welcome back K.M. Jackson, who has a new book out today! She’s absolutely fabulous, and I’m thrilled we get her on her release day too! 😀 Extra bonus, she’s provided ALBTALBS with an exclusive excerpt! *fist pump*

AS GOOD AS THE FIRST TIME

K.M. Jackson

Ladies Night

Though As Good as the First Time is at its core a romance, I had lots of fun exploring the family dynamics of this story, especially the female family relationships and how they intertwined throughout the romance.

As the oldest in my family and the only girl grandchild, I always wondered what it would be like to have a tribe of sisters and girl cousins to hang with, bond and of course argue with during my formative years. That’s why it was such a treat to create the female characters in As Good as the First Time.

We have the business minded, type ‘A’ baker sister, Olivia, then there is her opposite, carefree sister, Drea, next is their fun and exuberant cousin, Rena then there is their long suffering, wanna be southern beauty Queen cousin, Pearl.

Each woman is very different in her thinking and they often times butt heads, but at their core they are family though and through. And with that family always takes priority, so even though they have different outlooks on life and have grown up in different parts of the country they always come through for each other and have each other’s backs. Continue reading

TBR Challenge Review: Exorcising Sean’s Ghost by Beth Kery

Exorcising Sean’s Ghost by Beth Kery
Contemporary erotic romance re-edited and re-released on July 16, 2017 by Beth Kery

Exorcising Sean's Ghost by Beth KeryFrom the New York Times Bestseller Beth Kery comes this sizzling contemporary romance suspense, now re-edited and re-released after former publication by a previous publisher . . .

Belle is forced to mourn in secret after her lover, U.S. Attorney Sean Ryan, is murdered in a terrorist plot. When she has an irrational, intense sexual response to the mysterious stranger Jack Caldwell, Belle wonders if it’s due to delayed grief for Sean. Sean was the only man she’d ever responded to so completely, after all.

When she finds herself submitting wholly to Jack’s dominant, demanding manner in bed Belle begins to live on the sharp edge of doubt and uncertainty, even to the point of questioning her own sanity. Because Belle can’t let go of the crazy, impossible idea that Sean Ryan and Jack Caldwell are one and the same man.

So I never read the original – apparently it was published in 2007 … and I’m kind of happy about that, because everything – the edits etc, were new to me. I love Beth Kery’s writing. I think she’s one of the best authors of erotic romance out there. Even if (and when – because usually it does happen) the characters do something way out there to/for me … it’s still sexy because it works for them. The hero and heroine are always so in tune, and Ms. Kery’s writing has such depth and layers to it. It’s not just the sex – it’s the emotion, the cerebral connection – the full package. The “prompt” of the month’s TBR challenge is PNR or RS … and I’d say this is … peripheral RS? I kept thinking “this is the aftermath – the ‘everything else’ that happens around and after a RS.” It’s the thinking part of it, which makes sense because Ms. Kery (also) has a background in psychology. It’s suspense in and of the mind, not so much in action – as there is a lot of that … but it takes place “off page, off screen.” Can we call this an erotic low key psychological thriller? Because that’s what I’m doing. Continue reading

SHHM Guest Author: Jude Sierra on A Time for Introspection

Hi friends! Scheduling is off (my fault) so we’re sliding in here with a post to ~close out Smithsonian Hispanic Heritage Month with guest Jude Sierra. Jude has been kindness itself, and provided us with a wonderful post I really hope you’ll check out. Also of note, Jude is a first time guest to ALBTALBS, so roll out the welcome mats!

A Time for Introspection

 

  • Recently some painful truths have come out about the publishing industry’s perception of our value and how that continues to hinder access and visibility for authors of color who write Romance. This is a time for introspection, and it seems very clear, some changes need to be made,” PoC Queer Romance Authors Community

 

What It Takes by Jude Sierra Book CoverIn March of 2018 something uplifting and inspiring took root in our Queer Romance Community: a movement to raise the voices and visibility of authors of color.

As a Latinx author, and as a writer and book blogger, I was very excited by the sudden swell of activism, communication and organization undertaken to create community resources connecting authors with artists, editors. From the start of my writing career I felt it was vital to represent diversity in my stories, both responsibly and honestly. Continue reading

SHHM Guest Author: Taylor V Donovan!

Hi friends! In a surprise to nobody, my life is in shambles, and I’ve neglected the blog. (Not exactly one of the best intros I’ve ever done, but I wanted to be honest and clear that this is entirely my fault, I dropped the ball, and Taylor was very patient and understanding.) Here at ALBTALBS we’re trucking along with the Smithsonian Heritage Months, and I’m very happy to welcome new guest Taylor V. Donovan. Taylor shared a really heartfelt and informative post, so I hope you read on! <3 And please give Taylor a warm welcome! 

Every year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month and celebrate the contributions, histories, and cultures of American citizens whose ancestors came from Mexico, Spain, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. This originated back in 1968. First it was only a week, then it was extended to a month by President Ronald Reagan in 1988, a year before I graduated from high school. I was seventeen at the time. I was American, having been born and raised in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a territory of the United States. Yet the first time I heard about Hispanic Heritage Month was around 2010, a full nine years after moving to New York, and it got me thinking about my own heritage and my country’s past. Continue reading