Category Archives: Giveaway

Blogiversary Version Guest Author & A Giveaway: Shannon McKenna

Hi friends! I’m very excited to welcome back Shannon McKenna. She’s written some of my favorite romantic suspense books (I know! It’s not even a genre I generally read but her McCloud books – man. Davy 😻. Anyway) Please give her a warm welcome! Shannon very generously offered to be participate, and chose to do a “Guest Author & A Giveaway” post, so here are her Blogiversary questions and answers! 

What was your favorite book as a child? And what is your favorite book now?
I was an Anne Of Green Gables freak. I just adored that book and all the rest of the Anne series as well. I related to her so completely. Not only how imaginative and lost in her head that she was, but how hungry she was for love and acceptance. But there is Jane Eyre, too, which I was introduced to as a Classics Illustrated comic way back in the long-ago time when I thought that the whole Mr. Rochester story was dumb and boring and the only interesting part was Jane’s time at the awful Lowell School with Helen Burns and the evil Mr. Brocklehurst. That book is the breeding ground of a million incredibly compelling romance tropes that still have me in their vise-grip today. The lure of the trash-talking bad boy, My Love Will Save Him, etc, etc. But the great thing about Jane Eyre is, she knows how to say ‘no.’ Even when it tears her to pieces, she maintains her own integrity as a person, over and over again. And then, thank God, the story rewards her for it with a happy ending. WHICH IS AS IT FREAKING SHOULD BE. ALWAYS. Oh dear now I’m getting worked up about random things that have nothing to do with anything. I will stop now.

Favorite book now…I am in a terrible state of not having enough time to read, and having not had it for such a long time that I have gotten out of the habit of reading. Awful, for a writer. The last book I read was the Jack Reacher thriller Blue Moon, and I enjoyed the hell out of it. I have lots of thoughts and strong opinions about Jack Reacher and his issues, (I wish he would get therapy, how fun would that be? Don’t you want to read that chapter?) but enough about that. I would say, the last book I had time to read that absolutely blew my mind was All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Incandescently beautiful writing. Just huge. And the latest romance I had time to read was Robin Covington’s latest, Taking On The Billionaire, a Harlequin Desire, which was heart-felt, red-hot, crackling fun that I would recommend to everyone. Continue reading

Blogiversary Version Guest Author & A Giveaway: Christie Kelley

Hi friends! I’m very excited to welcome Christie Kelley to ALBTALBS. I believe she’s a first time guest, so I hope you all give her a warm welcome! I do also want to note that this post was initially supposed to go live on January 9th, but … well. Anyway! What’s important right now is that A Little Bit Tart, A Little Bit Sweet turned 10, and Christie Kelley is kind and generous and offering you a prize! Remember those ~zany interviews I used to do as part of the monthly “Guest Author & A Giveaway” series? Christie opted to do one of those, so here are her questions and answers!

Ten Ways to Ruin by Christie Kelley book coverWhat was your favorite book as a child? And what is your favorite book now?
When I was a child, I devoured the Little House on the Prairie books. I think I’ve always felt like this was not my time period, which is probably why I write historical romance.

Learning about my family as I was growing up, my mother always talked about her how her relatives had crossed the Appalachians by the early 1800s, and finally settled in Missouri and Kansas so I felt an affinity toward Laura Ingalls.

I’m not sure I have a favorite book now. I love Pride and Prejudice but my favorites change depending on my mood and what is happening in my life. Lately I’ve been reading a lot of cozy mysteries.

If you could create any movie mash up – which films would you combine? (Why?)
I have to be honest here, this is not something I think much about. So I did a little Googling and saw a movie post for The Bounty Hunter staring Jennifer Anniston and Boba Fett (from the Star Wars franchise). Admittedly, as a Star Wars fan (not fanatic like my sons), I thought the idea of Boba Fett finding out his ex-wife is his next bounty was great. I don’t think he’d be as easy to get away from as Gerard Butler.

What inanimate object would you eat if it was safe to do? Why?
Hmm, well as I write this, I’m staring at my Christmas tree, which fills me with happiness. So why not munch on a Christmas tree. Maybe not full size, though. I’m assuming the ornaments would be little candies that could be pulled from the main tree, which would be cookie or cake. And now I’m hungry. Continue reading

Blogiversary Guest Ainsley Wynter: Sliding Into 2021 and Leaving the Ghosts of 2020 Behind

Hi friends! I’m very pleased to welcome [back] Ainsley Wynter to our blogiversary celebration! (Especially since 😬😅 I still owe her a review… reviews?) And seriously – I think we’re all in on this topic, yeah? [I think … it might be important to note that she sent it to me on January 4th…]  So without further ado, Ainsley!

SLIDING INTO 2021 AND LEAVING THE GHOSTS OF 2020 BEHIND
By Ainsley Wynter

Kissed at Midnight by Ainsley Wynter book coverAs the door closed on 2020, I was one of the people who slid out without saying much of a goodbye. At midnight on New Years Eve I sat on the couch with my kids and husband and watched the ball drop—twice, since I live in the Midwest—and then went to bed. I did that heroine thing of holding a breath that I didn’t know I was holding. Some time later on the morning of January 1st, I carefully blew it out. Maybe 2021 wouldn’t be a total shitshow. Maybe we could leave some of the awful in the past year behind. Continue reading

Blogiversary Guest Jody Wallace: Cats Are As Perfect As Books

Hi friends! I can believe it less than you, possibly, A LITTLE BIT TART, A LITTLE BIT SWEET HAS TURNED 10! I put out a few calls on social media asking for people to help celebrate, and the wonderful Jody Wallace was all over it, so a big thank you to Jody! <3 She’s also got some pretty amazing prizes up for grabs, so read till the end. Yes, every guest post in January will have a giveaway! (And some of the other ones too …)  We’re starting out 2021 right here at ALBTALBS! So without further ado … Jody!

Cats Are As Perfect As Books

Curled up PipLimecello told me I could write about whatever I wanted, so let’s talk about cats. Specifically, our new cat, Pip. She’s five pounds of sass and attitude, and we have not yet fully integrated her into our household of four people, one bearded dragon, and two dopey dude cats and two old lady cats. First we maintained a general ‘getting a shelter cat healthy’ quarantine and now we’re having to maintain a ‘turns out the sad little shelter cat has a ton of attitude once she feels better’ quarantine. Continue reading

We’ve Hit Double Digits! AKA ALBTALBS Turns 10!

Happy 2021! We made it! Limecello here. 

Hi friends! I’m writing this as I watch the game. There are less than 5 minutes left. I “opened” this post just as the game started so … my emotions have been ALL OVER the place. Which … is kind of how A Little Bit Tart, A Little Bit Sweet has been since its inception.

The past few years, if you’ve stuck around, you know have been slow. For various reasons. First and the biggest being blogs are a “bygone” thing … but also there’s just … a lot going on here with the crew. I’m a mess. Others in the review crew have a lot going on. At least one of us is still in school.

So! I really wanted to thank you for sticking with us! <3

I’m really going to try to post at least a BIT more regularly. Definitely Aidee and Babs are really consistent with providing reviews. Faster than I post them. 😬😅 So there’s that to look forward to.
I’d like to revive the Smithsonian Heritage Months … we’ll see how that goes. (If anyone would be interested in participating, PLEASE LET ME KNOW!)

As a thank you, nearly every post will include a giveaway this month. All the guest author posts will, definitely. And you know what? SO WILL THIS ONE!

I want to be clear, anyone is always welcome to enter any A Little Bit Tart, A Little Bit Sweet giveaway. Sometimes there will be US-only giveaways because of location, or different prizes… and/but here’s one for the authors. I’ll do a 50 page beta read of anything you send me. I might do more, but I promise to read and comment on at least 50 pages. I tend to edit as I go, so you’ll get that too. I’ve beta read and edited for NYT and USA Today best sellers in the past, and was the editor-in-chief of a law journal.

Comment on this post, and throughout the month … I’ll be drawing a name at the end of the blogiversary. If you’d like me to do a beta read, drop a comment here and if you want, the gist of your story. The winners will as always be drawn randomly to keep things fair.

Anyway, thanks for sticking around, I hope you win a prize or two, and you’re also always welcome to write a guest post or review!

*ETA: As some clarification … Please add in your comment if you want to enter the beta read giveaway. I’m going to assume everyone who has already commented is a yes, just in case, unless I personally know the person or they tell me not later … but anyone after 6 PM on Saturday, January 2nd, please indicate whether or not you’re interested in the beta read. Thanks!

Release Day “Guest Post” Jeffe Kennedy on The Orchid Throne + Giveaway!

Hi friends! So uh, if you care, you’d probably have noticed we’ve been a bit MIA over here in ALBTALBS land. Just a lot yet nothing going on. Which … in part might explain this post.

The Orchid Throne by Jeffe Kennedy book coverIn the Forgotten Empires magic is forbidden, dreams are destiny, and love is the greatest power of all…

A PRISONER OF FATE
As Queen of the island kingdom of Calanthe, Lia will do anything to keep her people free—and her secrets safe—from the mad tyrant who rules the mainland. Guided by a magic ring of her father’s, Lia plays the political game with the cronies the emperor sends to her island. In her heart, she knows that it’s up to her to save herself from her fate as the emperor’s bride. But in her dreams, she sees a man, one with the power to build a better world—a man whose spirit is as strong, and whose passion is as fierce as her own…

A PRINCE AMONG MEN
Conrí, former Crown Prince of Oriel, has built an army to overthrow the emperor. But he needs the fabled Abiding Ring to succeed. The ring that Lia holds so dear to her heart. When the two banished rulers meet face to face, neither can deny the flames of rebellion that flicker in their eyes—nor the fires of desire that draw them together. But in this broken world of shattered kingdoms, can they ever really trust each other? Can their fiery alliance defeat the shadows of evil that threaten to engulf their hearts and souls?

Continue reading

Guest Author Anna Kashina on Romance in Blade Fights + An Exclusive Excerpt of Shadowblade AND a Giveaway!

Hi friends! You might know that [adult] high fantasy romance is totally “my thing.” So when Anna Kashina contacted me about reviewing her upcoming book I was first, pretty starstruck, then [pretty immediately] was like “DOES IT FEATURE ADULT CHARACTERS AND IS THERE ROMANCE?!” And when she answered “yes” I was like “WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO BE A GUEST AT ALBTALBS?!!?” And she said yes!!! So here we are! I’m so excited to welcome Anna Kashina today! Her newest book Shadowblade is out today!

Romance in blade fights

There are two things I find irresistible in fantasy novels. One is a good romantic subplot, well balanced and integral to the story. The other is a good blade fight – especially the kind with a lot of cool technique behind it. It’s an additional bonus – as well as a challenge – to make these fights emotionally gripping, as well as being technically cool. But if one manages to achieve all this, there is only one more step to the ultimate prize: to combine the two, using blade fights as a tool to advance the romance. It’s so rewarding when it’s done well.

I am a sucker for a dark and dangerous male lead with a morally complex character. A superb swordsman, trained to become an elite assassin, in my mind, cannot fail as a romantic hero. In my books, I love to match these kind of guys with strong women who can stand up to them, and have hidden strengths of their own. When developing these characters and their relationships, a sword fight can become more engaging than a love scene, and so much more effective in showing off their strengths and limitations, as well as their morally complex sides. Continue reading

*Team ALBTALBS TBR Challenge Release Day Review + Giveaway: Devil’s Daughter by Lisa Kleypas

*Whew that title is quite the mouthful, isn’t it?! 😛

Devil’s Daughter by Lisa Kleypas
Historical romance released by Avon on February 19, 2019

Although beautiful young widow Phoebe, Lady Clare, has never met West Ravenel, she knows one thing for certain: he’s a mean, rotten bully. Back in boarding school, he made her late husband’s life a misery, and she’ll never forgive him for it. But when Phoebe attends a family wedding, she encounters a dashing and impossibly charming stranger who sends a fire-and-ice jolt of attraction through her. And then he introduces himself…as none other than West Ravenel.

West is a man with a tarnished past. No apologies, no excuses. However, from the moment he meets Phoebe, West is consumed by irresistible desire…not to mention the bitter awareness that a woman like her is far out of his reach. What West doesn’t bargain on is that Phoebe is no straitlaced aristocratic lady. She’s the daughter of a strong-willed wallflower who long ago eloped with Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent—the most devilishly wicked rake in England.

Before long, Phoebe sets out to seduce the man who has awakened her fiery nature and shown her unimaginable pleasure. Will their overwhelming passion be enough to overcome the obstacles of the past?

Only the devil’s daughter knows…

This book was like a warm hug. I loved cousin West in Hello, Stranger and I squee’d when I read the excerpt included in the final of Hello Stranger, so I knew I absolutely wanted to read Devil’s Daughter and was desperate to get my hands on it. (I even liked him from his very short appearance in Devil in Spring!) Cousin West! Phoebe! I adore the Challons too – I’m Team Sebastian + Evie forever. While I hadn’t read many historical romances in the last few years, exactly, (although I’d venture to say high fantasy romances are also historical…) I always want to read the new one out by Lisa Kleypas. And as I said, this one didn’t disappoint. If a book could be a hug, Devil’s Daughter would be it.
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BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS!!! … For Shipping. Another Partial Giveaway

Hi friends!

So I f i n a l l y :X mailed out books that I got/were promised from RWA. Which I guess has … spurred me on to some USPS trips?

Basically – I wanted to know if anyone would be interested in boxes of books for the price of shipping. Most are new, never read. Some might have been very gently read once. (Although those are much fewer and far between.) There are some titles from 2018 … but the books I’m mostly talking about are from the 00s. There are a LOT of Harlequin titles – Harlequin Presents, Silhouette Desire, Special Editions, and Harlequin Blaze. Then also a bunch of single title mass market paperbacks. Also some hard covers and trade paperbacks. Some of them may be signed as well. Some books I did list are here/there are some still available. 

If you’re interested only in particular genres I can try to accommodate that – I’m not going to list each title because I probably have 300 books or more stacked up and I don’t have the time/energy to make lists. Also you know, free box of new books for media mail prices. Unless you want me to ship it first class, or something else.

Would anyone be interested in a box or as many boxes as you like?

Let me know please and we can discuss details! Thanks!

 

 

A Partial Giveaway

Hi friends! So you may know that I went to RWA this year. I didn’t get to many of the signings – not exactly spritely here … but I did pick up some books. I don’t read print books, so there’s that too … but I know there are people out there who do like print books, and I want you to have them! … I’m also poor though (and hate going to the post office because of terrible luck) so … here’s where the “partial” part comes in. If you’re willing to pay for the shipping, you can have any/all the books you want. I’ll ship anywhere. Some of these books aren’t even available yet! 🙂

In alphabetical order, these are the books I have. There may be more that I’ll be adding on – so feel free to check back. All of them are signed unless otherwise noted. Continue reading