Category Archives: General

July 4th in America

Hi friends! So … I thought about doing something like I did four years ago, sharing the entire text of the Declaration of Independence. However, it’s easy enough to just click over.

Also, the state of the country is just … such a mess now that … well, it’s more important than ever to celebrate the ideas of democracy and to work for one. A lot of people are feeling burnout and such, and I can’t even articulate how I feel about this administration so … here’s this.

Enjoy the tongue in cheek “America Yay” – I hope if you’re stateside you have a lovely, safe, and fun holiday. (And hat tip to Manda Collins for bringing the video to my attention.)

SHM Pride Guest: Renée Dahlia on Learning To Feel Valid

Hi friends! So Renée actually sent me this post in early June … and you’ll probably have noticed we’ve been q-u-i-e-t here for some time now. That’s mostly on me, so my apologies, and my apologies to Renée on this delay. I’m so excited to have at least one Pride post in 2019 though, so I’m very appreciative you were willing to write this post and share with us! Thank you!

Learning to Feel Valid

Renée Dahlia

Liability by Renee Dahlia Book CoverIt took me forty years to figure out that I was bisexual. There are many times that I’ve wondered what different paths my life would have taken if I’d worked this out earlier. How many times did I dismiss certain feelings or reactions I had because I’d been taught that those feelings were wrong? Far too many.

CW: I’m going to discuss some of the things I was taught by the church as a child, but I will be keeping the worst of the slurs out of this. However, some of the things I discuss hurt me, and may hurt others too. Continue reading

From the Owners of Love’s Sweet Arrow

Hey all! So Marissa emailed the site “Hello!” about the Kickstarter for Love’s Sweet Arrow … which was unfortunately unsuccessful but they persevered and decided to open anyway! Also, she and her mother eventually sent other articles … so here we are though! Today is the grand opening of Love’s Sweet Arrow, and this is what Marissa and Roseann sent!

From Roseann:

It all started last summer, the lottery was up to some really high millions and millions, and as people are won’t to play when it gets really high, we all start dreaming! Well our dream was, we would open a Romance Exclusive Bookstore, well, we did not win. However once a seed starts to take hold, the dream becomes a reality. So for a couple of months we kicked around ideas, brainstormed, had a lot of back and forth discussions with family and decided to do it!

Continue reading

Guest Author Lorelie Brown on the Book that Took Six Years to Write

As a reader there is nothing I love more than a trilogy or series I can really invest myself in. Knowing that I’ll be able to revisit characters or settings over multibook arcs make me giddy with joy! Sometimes life grabs us by the throat and enough things go awry to the point where the author may not be able to deliver that next installment as quickly as we readers may want. We’re very grateful to author Lorelie Brown for sharing with us a piece of her journey as she completed the third book in her Wayworth Academy series, A Too Suitable Duchess, which will be delivered to e-readers everywhere on June 14th!

Book cover for A Too Suitable Duchess by Lorelie Brown

Some books are invigorating to write. Some are more of a slog. A Too Suitable Duchess, the book I have coming out on June 14th was a weird beast. I originally started it in 2013. Yup, you read that right. Six full years ago. It was a fairly normal book at first. The usual stuff to work through, plot, motivation, you know it. I wouldn’t have called it either invigorating or a slog at first.

And then my life circumstances changed in a pretty big way. Problem number one. I concentrated on writing 200 words a day, something to keep my toes in. The book started to feel like a slog. Victoria and Spencer felt like gentle pandas who I was trying to make mate. They were too nice. I like to write characters who are complicated and friendly, but these two had taken it too far. They also had this annoying tendency to talk reasonably and not hold grudges.

It made the sagging middle…well, REALLY sag.Book cover for Wayward One by Lorelie Brown Continue reading

SAPAHM Guest: Ekaterine Xia On the Portrayal of Mothers … and then Confucius!

Hi friends! I’m glad to welcome back Ekaterine Xia to ALBTALBS! She’s going to be out APAHM hero this year, and has written other really thoughtful posts before, which  I hope you’ll check out of you missed them. (Lime, WTF are all those letters and what do they mean? SAPAHM = Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Heritage Month!) So without further ado… another incredible post by Ekaterine!

On the Portrayal of Mothers … and Confucius!

I have mommy issues.

Specifically, I have issues with how mothers are portrayed in fiction, particularly science fiction and fantasy.

Even within Romancelandia, SFFR has a lot of mommy issues. Contemporary does much better, and I have to ask if it’s because contemporary wasn’t influenced by men and their favorite tropes in the same way science fiction and fantasy romance was.

It took me a long time to put that niggling unease into concrete examples, but once you start the list, things start to look pretty bad really quickly. Continue reading

“Desperately” Seeking: [Privately] Pierced Heroes

Hi friends! So … usually these posts are OMG I WANT/NEED THEM NOW! But … this one happened because of twitter. If you follow me you might know periodically I tweet [kindle] freebies and books on sale. It’s ~scary out there in bookworld now (so much to eventually talk about…) but anyway – so these lists are more and more curtailed – but! This was one I’d read before and enjoyed:

Rock Me by Cherrie Lynn book coverAt the time, Rock Me by Cherrie Lynn was free for kindle. Anyway, this was the tweet that set it off – and people began listing other books, but I’m in recovery and this didn’t happen as quickly as I’d like so… whatever. Good news, Maneuver by Chelle Bliss (I haven’t read/finished this one yet) also has a pierced hero.

I want to say this was a “trend” that was pretty popular in the late 00s/early 10s but it seems to be less common now. I know there are more but these are the books off the top of my head I remember… and some crowdsourced from conversations where people gave me permission to use their replies. 🙂 Continue reading

10 Tenacious Questions with Lorelei James (In Which Lorelei Interviews Herself)

Hi friends! You know what? I can’t believe that Lorelei James has never been an official guest at ALBTALBS before! How is that even possible?! And you know what else is fun? She’s not the first author to have interviewed herself. (Yes there’s even a tag!) ANYWAY. 😀 Please let me welcome Lorelei and see what she has to say!

10 Tenacious Questions with Lorelei James

That got your attention, didn’t it? When I was chatting with the lovely, sweet Limecello and she asked if I’d be interested in doing a blog post, I said sure…can I interview myself? Luckily she didn’t balk at my request, or think it was weird 😊

Why did I choose this type of format? Because honestly, I’ve been published for 14 years and I get the same questions over and over and over. And it really blows when I get a set of generic questions right before a new release and I know damn well the blogger/reviewer hasn’t read my book. I knew Lime hadn’t read this one yet, so I thought it’d be fun and less promote-y given the fact I do have a release this week–1st book in a new contemporary romance series, I Want You Back, buy it now!!—to do something different. Thanks to Lime and A Little Bit Tart, A Little Bit Sweet for letting me have my dirty, wicked way with this post. Continue reading

Desperately Seeking: Smitten Heroes

Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas Book CoverHi friends! Back with a quiet feature of ALBTALBS – where I (and anyone else can!) look for recommendations from the community. It’s pretty self explanatory … but I am desperately seeking them! I’m in a Mood what with recovery and such, and … I just want books with a strong strong strong romance/pursuit from the start.

Merriam Webster defines smitten as: deeply affected with or struck by strong feelings of attraction, affection, or infatuation

Which … yeah. I want your favorite books where the hero is taken from the start. He’s head over heels for the his love interest, whether overtly or not – but he’s now pursuing her, courting her … or him! M/F or M/M … or other pairings are welcome. I just want a romance where one of the characters is gaga for the other(s) from go. If you have F/F recs I’d love to hear them too. F/F is definitely a genre I’m not very familiar with, but I’m very glad to see there are more stories being written in Romanceland/more visibility.

Off the top of my head … Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas would be one such book. In fact … I’ll list them, in no particular order. Continue reading

About Avon’s KissCon Weekend Affair!

Hi friends! So I know this is coming down to the wire (like a lot a lot) – it was meant to go live on March 5th, but timing didn’t align – but if you’re a procrastinator or were on the fence… hopefully this gives you information/the push you need! While this is the first ever KissCon Weekend Affair … I will say I’ve been to other Avon events, and a KissCon, and they were all great. Avon puts together fabulous events for readers – where you get actual time with authors, but not just that, there’s the swag, treats, everything is really well done. Anyway, without further ado, info from Kayleigh about the event! 

Avon Presents KissCon Weekend Affair

I’ve always thought there was something magical about cons. For one weekend, like minded individuals are brought together to celebrate something that they love so irrevocably, that it’s deeply rooted in their soul.

For some, it’s comic books. For us? It’s romance novels.

Avon has been hosting regional KissCon events for years, bringing a panels of 6-8 authors to indie bookstores (and libraries!) around the US for a two-part ticketed event filled with cheeky games, Q&As, a signing, and for VIP ticket holders, a wine and cupcake mixer that allows for more intimate mingling with their favorite authors. Basically, these small one day affairs are four hours of pure romance bliss, where you’re definitely going to go home with an HEA moment (and a lot of really great swag).

After the continued success of the regional KissCons, we began to wonder: what would happen if a KissCon lasted the entire weekend? Could we take four hours and stretch it into a full weekend of romance and wonder? Being the overachievers that we at Team Avon, we could say only one thing: YES! Continue reading

WHM: Cynthia Sax on Trailblazing Women In Science Fiction Romance

Hi friends! We have Cynthia Sax back with us today, and I’m thrilled to have our first official Smithsonian Heritage post of 2019, for Women’s History Month, and such a great topic. I’m out of it so you’ll have to forgive me on timing and mistakes etc – especially when we’ve got such a wonderful guest and post!

Trailblazing Women In Science Fiction Romance By Cynthia Sax

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley book coverWhen Limecello suggested this topic, I immediately agreed to cover it, thinking it would be an easy post to write. I’d search on Google, read a couple of posts on the history of Science Fiction Romance, add my own experience in this wonderful subgenre and bam, my post would be done.

Except when I searched on this topic, very few posts were mentioned. Wikipedia’s coverage of Science Fiction Romance was sparse and mentioned only one book, a book I knew couldn’t have been the first Science Fiction Romance.

This can’t be right, I thought. There must be more articles. My mad Google skillz must be failing me. So I put out a call in a SciFi Romance group for reference articles. A couple more resources were mentioned (including Heather Massey’s A Brief History Of Science Fiction Romance) but it was clear much of the history of this female writer dominated subgenre hasn’t be recorded and, if it isn’t recorded soon, it might never be noted. It would be lost. Forever. Continue reading