Category Archives: Guest Post

Guest Post: On Fat Heroines (in Romance) by N.R. Lines

Hi friends! So this post was inspired by just an offhand comment about how fat heroines are [rarely] actually fat in romance, or there’s something ridiculous about them – e.g. the “fat heroine” has visible ribs the hero counts or runs his fingers over. Anyway, I then asked N.R. in the spring if she wanted to write a post, this was sent to me back in June, but I’m basically awful and had to put this off because scheduling and then time got away with me, so if anything is off, this is my fault. And also, thank you N.R. for your patience! I really hope you all take the time to read this post. <3

I’d also like to note that all covers shown here are recommended romances, regardless of placement in the post. I just like pictures, ok? 😉 

On Fat Heroines (in Romance) 
By N.R. Lines

We have a problem in the romance genre. It’s been a problem for as long as I’ve been reading romance back in1981, and likely much longer than that. It’s a problem that impacts many women , whether they know it or not. And few people seem to be talking about it. The problem: Romancelandia lacks fat heroines. Or at least fat heroines who are written well.

I have divided the fat heroines I’ve seen in romance novels into the following categories:

  • The Fake Fat Heroine
  • The Confident Curvy Girl
  • The Full Figured Fat Heroine

There are three types of Fake Fat Heroines. First is the heroine who the author is authentically trying to write as fat, but uses descriptors that could never apply to a fat heroine. For example, a truly fat, or even curvy girl will never be described as having jutting hipbones. A partner would never loving run their hands down the fat heroine’s ribs and feel the outline of her rib bones. These Fake Fat Heroines make me shake my head and laugh at the absurdity of it all. To fix this we need to be better at describing a fat heroine in a manner that is both realistic and affirming. We can do this, I know we can!

The second type of Fake Fat Heroine is the heroine who describes herself as fat because she is insecure about an aspect of her body. Fat or slender, we’ve all been there. But what if we stopped doing that? What if instead of making your heroine feel and see fat when she thinks about those insecurities we give her an insecurity that she overcomes. Pick one thing about herself, not her entire body. I get it, fat is that ubiquitous descriptor that is used to describe a woman who doesn’t feel right about her body. I’m in no way minimizing the issues we have as women, but as romance writers, perhaps we can do better and can find other ways to describe these insecurities. And we can write the stories where these insecurities are overcome in positive ways that don’t inadvertently put us fat girls down.

The final type of Fake Fat Heroine is more damaging. This is the heroine an author presents as a woman who believes she is fat, who sees a big girl when she looks in the mirror, but as we get into the story we come to realize the heroine isn’t a plus sized gal at all. Maybe the heroine has been called fat by family and friends because she’s a size eight instead of a size two. Maybe she was fat at a different point in her life, but has been at a lower weight for some time and is suffering from body dysmorphia. Maybe she is a trans woman who has some dissonance between how she feels in her skin and what she sees in the mirror. All we get from the heroine’s inner dialogue, and maybe dialogue with her evil family and friends, is that she is fat. Continue reading

Birthday Bash Guest: Vivian Arend

Hi friends! We’ve got Vivian Arend with us today, and instead of it being her birthday, it’s mine! … Well, in a few days. But in ALBTALBS world we all know time is fluid. (*coughs* definitely it has nothing to do with my own scheduling issues or needs… >.>) Anyway, come join us! She’s even got all the giveaway stuff covered, so just check it out – and COMMENT. BE LOUD. And remember, there are tons of other giveaways going on too! Remember to check them out, comment, and win!

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I’m so excited to help Limecello celebrate her birthday. *blows noise makers*

I’m Vivian Arend, New York Times Bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. I love writing about sexy cowboys and other blue collar heroes, as well as wolf and bear shifters searching for their fated mates.

On July 18th, I’ll be releasing the final book in my popular Six Pack Ranch series, all about the Coleman family in Alberta, Canada. Rocky Mountain Home features Jesse Coleman, one of the younger brothers of the Six Pack Ranch Coleman boys. Readers of the series have been waiting for Jesse’s story since he first appeared in Rocky Mountain Heat. (Which is currently free for kindle!) Continue reading

[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

SAPAHM Guest: Lisa on The Importance of Diverse Representation in Media

Hi everyone! Yes, APAHM is still going on, and today we welcome back Lisa!! I think this is a really interesting topic, and I hope you will too. 🙂 Without further ado… 

The Importance of Diverse Representation in Media

First of all, I want to thank Limecello for giving me the opportunity to guest blog and commemorate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! I decided to talk about my favorite Disney movie, and Asian representation in media more generally.

The year was 1998. The new Disney movie Mulan had just come out. To say I was beyond excited would be an understatement. For the first time, there was a movie coming out that represented my culture, people with faces that looked like me. (Yes, The Joy Luck Club came out five years prior, but I was too young then, and hadn’t read the book yet). When I finally saw the movie, it lived up to my expectations, and more. Continue reading

SBHM Guest: Lynn Balabanos on Lesser Known Heroes & Heroines of Black History Month

Hi friends! So we’re doing this! Celebrating Smithsonian Heritage Months again! I’ve been asking anyone and everyone to participate, and today we have a contribution from Lynn Balabanos. 😀 I hope you’ll check out what she has to say!

The numerous contributions the Black community has made to the fabric of our country are inspiring and instrumental. Most of us learn about the heavy hitters in school, individuals like Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriett Tubman and Rosa Parks. Important people, absolutely, but they were not alone in their struggles for equality and freedom. In honor of Black Heritage Month, I’d like to share just few of the lesser known heroes and heroines. Continue reading

Guest Review: The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean

Liza’s review of The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean
Historical romance released by Avon on December 29, 2015

The Rogue Not TakenLady Sophie’s Society Splash

When Sophie, the least interesting of the Talbot sisters, lands her philandering brother-in-law backside-first in a goldfish pond in front of all society, she becomes the target of very public aristocratic scorn. Her only choice is to flee London, vowing to start a new life far from the aristocracy. Unfortunately, the carriage in which she stows away isn’t saving her from ruin . . . it’s filled with it.

Rogue’s Reign of Ravishment!

Kingscote, “King,” the Marquess of Eversley, has never met a woman he couldn’t charm, resulting in a reputation far worse than the truth, a general sense that he’s more pretty face than proper gentleman, and an irate summons home to the Scottish border. When King discovers stowaway Sophie, however, the journey becomes anything but boring.

War? Or More?

He thinks she’s trying to trick him into marriage. She wouldn’t have him if he were the last man on earth. But carriages bring close quarters, dark secrets, and unbearable temptation, making opposites altogether too attractive . . .

I’ve enjoyed Sarah MacLean’s books in the past so I was excited to get a new book from her. I wanted to learn more about Sophie Talbot and see if she could find her happiness. I absolutely love reading about a rogue in historical romances, and Kingscote, the Marquess of Eversley fit the bill completely. Continue reading

Guest Deelylah Mullin: WTF Was I Thinking?

Hi friends! The Universe has been treating me to a lot of WTFery so I felt this was the perfect post to share here. As you see we’ve got Deelylah Mullin visiting with us, so enjoy! [Yes, I’m trying to tie things all together and honestly I know Deelylah is going to much more entertaining and interesting that I am today. So THERE YOU HAVE IT!] WHEE!

WTF Was I Thinking?

The BossMany thanks to Limecello for letting me guest post today! Y’all are getting a bit of stream-of-consciousness about stuff today. 🙂

I am a teacher. Anyone that’s ever been a teacher knows it’s much more work to get ready for a substitute than to actually show up for work. Teachers work all the time when they’re sick, stressed-out, and a host of other reasons normal people don’t go to work.

I *chose* to be a teacher. This is all on me. Continue reading