Category Archives: Lime

SWAG Questions + Updates

Hi friends! I’m back at home base. 😀

Still behind, but that’s not new. Right? :\ And, I know I’m really flippant about it… but it does bother me a lot. And I’m sorry about it.

Actually, I have a few questions. First, I’m gearing up for Social Media for Social Good again. (SMSG). I’m debating between an ALS Charity, or *ETA decided on a Human Trafficking one. Unless something big comes up (and I hope not, because that means there is a global tragedy, you know?) – so, anyone have strong feelings one way or another? [Or if Romance Man has his 501c3 set up, I already agreed last year on his…]

Anyway. Hopefully I’ll be posting winners soon, and emailing everyone and catching up on those.

My question is though – s.w.a.g. – “stuff we all get” – what’s your favorite from authors that you’ve seen or received? What would you like to get? I’m gearing up for another post, and I’d really like any feedback and suggestions. And I’m sure authors would too. (And hey, speak up! Cuz that means it might be happening, and you might get it!)

ETA: Ok guys? … you do know that books aren’t swag right? Swag is the promotional type items authors hand out – there is very little likelihood an author has hundreds of copies of books s/he can just give away to everyone. That’s a different topic – when I ask about prizes. Swag does not mean prizes. (Or, some authors give it as a prize… but that’s another shoddy story.) Thanks! 🙂

ALBTALBS Update

Hi Friends!

Just wanted to let you know – things have been crazy. And mostly crazy in a not so great way. I wanted to apologize for the sporadic postings. A lot has been going on, and then internet, and being ill, and then burn out. You might be surprised at how much diva attitude there is behind the scenes. And how quickly that makes you not want to do a damn thing.

I am trying though. And hope to back date and post a lot of reviews when I get back. There are supposed to be Thursday and Saturday posts, but I am not sure how the formatting went. (Maybe I’ll get access and be able to confirm, but I’m going to be without any sort of personal computer for a week.)

Next – for previous prizes; I recently noticed there were a lot of emails that got buried – so please know that from the ~February on? I’m going to double check. My apologies – that’s on me.

It’s 3:20 AM and I need to be up in 2 hours. … What up with you?

[Obviously being up SO late with such little prospective of sleep makes me really bitchy.]

Hopefully the rest of this week will be more of a recharge. And winners will be posted when I have computer access again as well.

And for your entertainment, remember to check the tags. We haven’t done this in a while.

Winners

I know. I’ve been bad. Things have been bad. And good. And then just burn out and anyway, here are winners, and I hope to change things up and that this will never happen again. The “this” I refer to being me sucking so hard.

However, I’m going to suck some, and you’ll have to deal with it, because hopefully my positives make up for it!

Anyway, I’m emailing all of February’s winners. Because I said I would. And I waffled on March, but you know what? I just don’t want to. I’ve said from the start I have a policy of not emailing winners – and I offer multiple ways to subscribe, or find out what’s going on here. So, you know. Fair warned is fair armed?

Here are all the lucky people that I’m jealous of, because you’ll notice that *I* never get to win! 😉

Melonie Johnson wins Sarah M. Anderson’s prize.
For Jennifer Haymore’s visit, her winner is Nancy Bristow (who gets major bonus points for checking out the “About” page!) <3
We know Lorelie Brown always offers a prize, and her winner is ki pha.
Heather Kumar and Sandy Xiong win a Lords of Vice book from Alexandra Hawkins.
Jillian Stone and her character Cate Willoughby visited with us on Valentine’s Day! But ALBTALBS was part of a blog tour – so that’s taken care of. Phew.
Cathy Pegau has two winners, and they are flchen1 and JoAnne.
ChattyCharry wins from Eden Bradley’s excerpt of Forbidden Fruit.

And now to the winners who have to email me themselves. [Responsibility!]
Maisey Yates and Vivian Arend share the same birthday and they had a mini bash here. Timitra, mathlady68,  and CrystalGB are Maisey’s winners. The three winner’s of Viv’s prize are jovialvampyre, Stella (Ex Libris), and Rebe.
The wonderful Carolyn Jewel visited and joytoread wins three of Ms. Jewel’s books.
Tracy March was nice enough to offer a giveaway with her excerpt, Shannon wins the book and a lovely bracelet!
Wow – my scheduling O_o well Christi Barth was here too! And Mary Preston wins!
Diane Sallans and Diane P. Diamond win from Valerie Bowman.
Stephanie Tyler was generous and awesome enough to visit with us on her birthday! Patoct and Evelyn win!

And now we’re into April. So I’m doing good here!
Manda Collins was our special author of the month. Jeanne Miro wins 😀
Aliquis wins from R.E. Butler.
Ok, I totally stopped myself from being vulgar (I think? :X) the first time… but we popped Amara Royce’s blogging cherry here at ALBTALBS! 😉 JenB wins.
Marquita Valentine’s winners are thebookqueen and bn100.
Linda wins from Cathy Ivan.
Jeannie Lin is going to give rinib a prize!
J. Kenner came to talk about staycations, and Rosarita Reader wins.
Cris was very eager, and luckily wins from Elle Kennedy.
I had a silly contest, and TrishJ wins. It’s also over, but I wanted to “leave it open” just so people could see what I had put.
I ALSO some how convinced Carolyn Jewel to visit with us again! On her birthday! So she generously offered three books. Donna Worthington, Barbara E.,  and Sebella Blue win!

All May contests are still open – until I draw winners, so you might want to revisit them. 😀

Please use the contact form, and list what your prize is to make things easier. You have until June 15th to contact me. (I’m giving it more time than usual because I want people to have a chance to stop by and see if they’ve won. However, anything after the 15th I reserve the right to ignore. I also reserve the right to ignore your email if you don’t say what your prize is. Because… you know, I don’t think it’s that difficult. I’d also really appreciate if you helped me out and included a mailing address if your prize is a print book – though honestly that’s better for you because you have a faster chance of getting your prize. :D)

And since I’m a total soft touch? Every author of the month from March through June – I’ll take entries until the end of June.

Remember, for any March or April winner, you have until 11:59 PM EDT to contact me to win your prize! Send your info, and what your prize is. Thanks!

Limecello’s Ridiculously Onerous and Excessively Laborious Giveaway (+ Winners)

Hi everyone! So, as you’ve gathered from the previous posts… I’m behind. So I’m kinda a liar I guess, but it’s winners to follow. But here’s a giveaway for y’all. I’ve noticed some seriously … I don’t even know ones on the internet lately. And being a brat, I’m going to poke fun at them. So here we go.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I also have this thing about timing so… I wanted to make sure this post went up while it is still April. I’ll be posting the February winners – and emailing them. But March winners will only be posted. Here. (I expect) – so keep an eye out for this space. I’ll also be updating site information too.

Thanks all! ;D

Tell me – what is the most ridiculous (or even offensive) contest you’ve seen out there? Are you willing to jump through hoops? Did you know a number of author contests are illegal? Does that bother you?

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Happy weekend, my friends! I thought about doing a serious post – and one that probably would get me in trouble … but I’m just not up to it today. I hadn’t written it yet, and my brain is floating around and my thoughts are even more scattered than usual. I have, however, been wanting to write one of these posts for a while. I did them at TGTBTU, and it’s just something that’s fun.

So – here’s a list of ten of my current favorite things.

1. The Clarisonic Mia2. I got this as a present. (Maybe I shouldn’t analyze why because it might upset me.) But, I love it. It’s fabulous. As you see, I was gifted the acne one, which … is fine. For a while, I was having major problems. “My face exploded” might be one way to say it, and I hated it. I haven’t run out of the wash that comes with it, so I can’t tell you how much that matters or not… but I’ve been told you can use it with whatever face wash you prefer. I love it. I use it once a day, and have noticed a huge difference in the past few months.

2. Dr. Scholl’s For Her Hidden Arch Supports Oh. My. God. These things are amaaaaaaziiinnnnggg. I have no arches. It’s terrible. Equally terrible, I have to wear heels to work. (Well, not have to, but I honestly am too short for flats. And, actually, yes, I did have LS professors that told me I had to wear heels in court. So…) These save my feet. When teaching I have to walk around and stand for over an hour, and it’s fine. Shoes that used to have me hobbling by the end of work, are now fine. I love them. I wish I could buy them in bulk. I would.

3. Philips Bliss Epilator. So, this is the one I have. Obviously (and sadly!) It’s been discontinued, or something, But I love it! OH! I just found it at Sephora – and for so much cheaper! $70 bucks! Seriously – say goodbye to shaving! I even :X use it on my face. Too lazy to tweeze or thread those brows? Epilate! Warning: not for the pansies. It might take some getting used to. And a measured pain threshhold. I don’t think it hurts that much, but I know others who have been traumatized. Not so here. Underarms etc too. Great for summer. I’ve had mine for years. (Like five?) It’s rechargeable, and wonderful. I’m always happy to recommend it.

4. Pour La Victoire + MyHabit. Well, MyHabit is amazon’s flash sale site. It’s got free shipping, and free returns, and often up to 80% (if not more) on designer brands. J’adore. I’ve checked, and they also have super reasonable rates for international shipping. (At least, last I looked.) Almost all my PLVs have come from Amazon. I’m addicted. And? Most of my shoes have been free courtesy of Swagbucks. (Which, if you have any questions about that feel free to ask!) This sandal (the Shanna) is from PLV’s spring collection. I’m not in love with it, but we all have to admit it is a very sexy shoe. And, we should all know, I have a major weakness for snakeskin shoes. Which, for PLV, they actually are. (Many other brands are a lie.)

5. 39DollarGlasses.com No joke – you can get prescription glasses – lenses and frames for $39. You can’t really beat that. Their frames aren’t bad either. And they’re durable. I’ve :X stepped on my pair like 6 times – they’re still good. Note, my eyes are horrible, so I had to pay a little bit more (I think 40something) for my first pair. They also often have deals – like 15% off, or $15 off. And in fact, if you use this link, it should get you 20% off your first purchase. The entire purchase. They of course also have the fancier lenses and frames, and that’ll cost you a bit more. Still, cheaper than normal retail, I imagine.

6. Lime La Croix. I love seltzer now. (Funny, because once when I tried it in elementary school, I spat it out. Of course, I was told it was like soda pop. So.) Now, I love it as a mixer. Almost all the La Croix flavors, but of course the lime, right? 😀 It really is the best one as a mixer. Also, however, I like drinking it straight. It often helps settle an upset stomach, and more generally, cut grease. You know, if you ate something like, pizza, or anything else bad for you. Chips, etc, a good follow up as a palate cleanser is seltzer. And it’s nice to have on hand.

7. Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup. No pictures here – I have none, and I’m not about to steal it from Panera. But yes – the soup from Panera. I adore it. But one day, I got the bread bowl for take out, and felt totally cheater. I only got a cup of it! And a big sour dough bowl. So, boo. After that I decided to make it myself. There are a number of copycat recipes online, and I recommend you look for and find your favorite. I got the one from all recipes – and personally, would add some fresh mushrooms diced the next time. The recipe calls for mirepoix, which then you add a roux to. I then added chicken breast that I diced up (and here I’d add the cream – just a bit; I messed up the first time and added it after the stock had heated. Eek! I’m lucky it didn’t curdle.) Then, stock, and the wild + long grain rice. I bought zataran’s mix because it was cheapest at the store. 😀 And done! So freaking delicious. Oh, also, I doubled, if not tripled the mirepoix amount from all recipes. I like a healthier soup. I also didn’t use butter, instead using olive oil.

8. First, DUDE! Did you guys know that amazon now sells wine?! No idea how long it’s been up, but I just saw it. But anyway, what I want to do is talk about one in particular.  Yellowtail bubbles. It’s a very drinkable sparkling wine. Beyond that, the price is great. You can usually get it for ~$8. Which, is a great thing. Next, it’s got a really fun “reusable” cap. So, you know how usually you have to finish a bottle of champagne? Not so here! You can seal it up and stick it in the fridge. You can also actually keep the top and use it for other bottles. (You know, other cork savers etc usually suck out the air; which, for bubbly isn’t very helpful. And flat bubbly is baaad.) Then also, sparkling wine is gorgeous with these hibiscus flowers in syrup. Add a teaspoon or two of the syrup, and drop a flower into the bottom of the champagne flute. Awesome cocktail, gorgeous, and simple. Of course, after you finish the cocktail, you get the treat of eating the flower too. Very nice. And fancy.One of these days I hope to buy a 50 flower jar. 😀

9. Tito’s Vodka. I actually first heard of it on the radio. (On the Elvis Duran on the Morning Show – my morning companions for many many years.) The host, Elvis was talking about this vodka – made in Austin! Austin being one of my favorite cities, and vodka also being a favorite, my ears perked. Awesome vodka? Made in the states? Yes please! No import cost! I finally went to the liquor store, and found a 1.75 liter bottle for a reasonable price … and I bought that bitch. Of course, this is after I asked twitter, and was told by some people after trying it, it’s the only vodka they’d drink. Good enough for me! I now have a new go-to vodka. Always a good thing.

10. Lime sugar. No pictures for this one either, because, well, it doesn’t photograph well. It’s prettier in real life, but more, it’s the amazing smell that really does it. What is it? Exactly what it sounds like. That, and it’s versatile. You can turn it into lime simple syrup. Use it in drinks. (Hello mojito?) And, I ran out of sugar while making a tres leches cake, and used a tiny bit of lime sugar. I have to say that I think it added and extra dimension and depth to the cake. (Of course I only used a little under a quarter cup, but still. Excellent.) Use it in pizzelles, as a garnish, really anything you like.

So! What would be on your current favorites list? Inquiring minds want to know! And if you have any questions about mine, please ask! I love dishing about stuff.

Debut of Men Who Read Romance: Enter Rock Star James Fox

YOU GUYS!!! I am so flipping excited to finally be able to debut this new ALBTALBS feature, after you know, talking about it for more than a year. I found our reading unicorn! 😉 Our first awesome guest is James Fox. He also writes. And more than that – what I care about – it being all about me 😉 is that he is the newest addition to the ALBTALBS review crew! (See?) So James Fox has been saving my bacon all week. He gets about 50 gold stars.

Without further ado… James.

Hi Everyone I’m James

I’m a Farmer living in Oregon. I have a wonderful Wife, and two great kids.
I have loved reading ever since I picked up my first copy of Calvin and Hobbes.
I would spend hours hidden in the crawlway beneath the stairs of our house reading by flashlight.

1. What’s the first romance that you ever read?
It Had To Be You By Susan Elizabeth Phillips

2. How did you get started reading romance?
When I was in middle school, my Grandpa would babysit me a lot. He was addicted to General Hospital, but wouldn’t let me watch it. Instead he told me to go grab a book off the shelf. There were only two kinds of books in my Grandparents house. It was either Louis L’Amour or Romance Novels. One day I was tired of reading about cowboys, so I picked up It Had To Be You. I remember that it had a lot to do with football, which I liked. It also had a great female lead character named Phoebe. In my head she always sounded like Madeline Kahn.

3. Who is your favorite author and what is your favorite romance novel?
Water For Elephants By Sara Gruen would be my favorite romance novel.
My favorite author is Joseph Heller who wrote Catch-22.

4. What would you like to see more of in romances? (What are your most and least favorite sub-genres?)
Miss Havisham from Great Expectations needs a reincarnation! What I’ve been reading has lacked that sort of punch.
I enjoy romantic suspense the most, but I hate it when the suspense swallows up the romantic storyline.
My current least favorite sub-genre is Vampires, with a permanent pass awarded to the Swedish novel Let The Right One In.
That book was a paranormal romance with young characters done perfectly.

5. What is something you hate (or dislike strongly) in romances?
I dislike it when a characters’ issues are magically solved by the end of the story.
Especially when a characters’ career makes a sudden U-turn. I think authors work too hard at a total happy ending.

6. Do you browse the romance section at bookstores? If you saw another guy there, would you offer recommendations, or ask for any?
This is a secret I’m not supposed to tell you. At the back of every book store there is a hidden room. Inside it’s wall to wall tough guys smoking cigars reading Nicholas Sparks aloud to each other. We haul out our new bodice rippers in hollowed out Harley Davidson coffee table books.
That way the ladies will never suspect us.

7. How involved are you in the romance community?
I follow a bunch of authors on twitter, and chime in on Goodreads.

8. Do your friends/family know you read romance novels?
It amuses my Wife who will point out to any visitor what I’m reading. She’ll point at a romance novel laying around, and then back away like its a hand grenade dipped in hot sauce.

9. What other genres do you enjoy reading, if any, and what are some of your hobbies aside from reading?
I enjoy thrillers, scary stories, and the occasional historical fiction.
Outside of that I enjoy hiking the trails here in Oregon with my kids. I try to run a marathon once a while, and I try to write novels.

Heh. He has a sense of humor, too. So! Let’s give Mr. Fox a warm welcome. And do you have any questions for him? I’m going to say – grill him! 😀 Anything is fair game!

Winners Like Never Before. Winners like NEVER Again.

I have been incredibly remiss in announcing winners. I apologize. I really am sorry. I never planned for it to happen, and never wanted it to. In August I spend most of my time at the hospital, and then I tried to catch up, then people kept dying – or being diagnosed with cancer. And then I was sick. So sick, for so long. I think I have mono. That’s not good.

So, with my sincere apologies, here are all the winners. I’m just going to list them all. You’ll have to forgive me.

I do want to let you know that I emailed everyone through February winner wise. I have said previously this is NOT ALBTALBS policy. But (shh – and don’t tell anyone!) I’m a soft touch. So I wanted to give people a chance. More details were of course provided to the winners.

This is a one off though – in the future, I do not plan to email winners. Even if I’m a month or two (or three+) late in announcing winners. I just can’t handle it. Obviously, as you can all see. Soooo this is also proof that you should enter contest with a legitimate email address. 😀

And some authors did of course take the initiative and announce their own winners/get the information from me to contact them. (I didn’t list those – makes it easier.)

Winners: Melanie, Shay, Kimberley, Timitra, Susan, Mary, Kim, Sheila, JoAnne, Larri, Tia, Patricia, Jessica, Nicola, VanillaOrchids, Annwitch, Jeanne Miro, Kelly, Marcie, Kimberly, Tess, Kathleen, Cherie, Janie, Mary, Sonya, Melody, elaing8, Maureen, Sarah, Carol, mathlady68, carreifort29, pc, Jane, gamistress66, lsureader, Lynda, Sierra, Mary,  and Cris.

For now. That’s everyone through January. >.> From August. That hadn’t already been doled out their prize/chosen.

Come back ~tomorrow for February winners. Which… I guess I’ll email too. Maybe.

You know what’s sad? I had help with this. I had an AWESOME supah sekrit killah minion help with randomizer.org and winners and it was glorious. Even so I just spent the last three hours checking things and emailing winners and I think my eyes are about to bleed and I have to be at work in like six hours.

So. How are all of you?

What did you do for St. Patrick’s Day? (I, of course, was green. ;))

Am Sick = Slight Break

Hi everyone;

I’m realizing there were posts with comments I never responded to. I’m very very sorry. 🙁 I’m trying to do better about that.

And as I said, I’m sick. Not even the “omg I think I’m going to die” sick that I often get struck with. (Having the immune system of a baby kitten. A dead baby kitten…) But it’s knocked me low.

I’m hoping to have everything back to normal, and updated by Thursday. (Maybe even with back posted stuff.) We can always pretend, right?

I’m also planning on emailing all the old winners from *wince* August on. And – I don’t plan on that happening again.

So how are all of you? What’s new? Anything good or exciting to share? Or, you know, just what you’ve been up to?

I miss you all. <3

New ALBTALBS Ongoing Contest!

Hi friends! This is something I am totally excited about and really really hope works out. Of course, this is where I depend on you! So please, please, join me! It’ll be fun for everyone!

You know how I’ve been trying to think of some way to make the “Guest Author & A Giveaway” feature more special? I think I’ve done it! A few years ago, Mad and I came up with something silly when I had a contest idea while I was blogging at TGTBTU. I’m re-sharing what we wrote with Sybil’s blessings.

Dear Larissa,

Thank you so much for writing your Demon books. I’ve been following the Demonica series since the first one, PLEASURE UNBOUND was released, and I can’t tell you how glad I am that I found them.
Finally!
An author is writing books that are specifically relevant to me! I, too, have my own special Demon who rocks my world. It’s so nice that you do too, and that you can understand where I’m coming from.
One of my problems with the series is when Wraith gave the Heofon to Kyran. Wraith would never have done such a thing because it would have been all about him and no one else. Why did you do that? You were wrong. Why would he do that?
And you’re wrong about Hell. I’ve been there. Satan is super cool. I’m going to tell him about your sucky books.
If I had more time, I’d tell you more about my Demon, but you don’t deserve to hear about him. I’m going to tell my demon to kick your demon’s ass the next time he sees him in hell.
I hope you learned your lesson. I’ll be looking for your next Demonica book, just to see if you did. Do not disappoint me in this. I do not like being disappointed.

Your #1 Fan

P.S. I’ve got my eyes on you.

And these were the two winning entries.

Dear Helen Kay,

Notice that I’m spelling your name the proper way. Why do you smash the Helen and Kay together? That’s really weird. Do you do it on purpose, or did your parents do that to you? Can they speak English?

Anyway, I wanted to write to you for advice. I keep trying to write a book but can never get past the first page. Can you help me? Maybe if you read my page you could give me advice. And don’t give me some bullshit legaleze about being unable to read unpublished work. No one has to know except you and me, and I’m totally trustworthy. I would never sue you, even if your next book was a complete ripoff of my ideas.

Thank you for your time, and I’m enclosing the page. Please read it. If you don’t, I’m going to make sure everyone knows how selfish you are, and no one will ever read your books again. (That’s not a threat, just a fact, because if you’re a selfish person, I just think people should know.)

Your fan,

Wanna Be

Followed by a generalized one:

Dear HelenKay Dimon, Larissa Ione, Jaci Burton, and Lauren Dane.

I know you receive a lot of fan mail. Some of it questionable. However, I am not a nutjob. I read your books, I put them up and other than sacrificing a newborn kitten every year on the release date, they stay on the keeper shelf waiting to be re-read.

I’m writing today about Limecello

For years now I’ve read her blog. Her reviews make my change purse jingle. Sometimes she’s made my Amazon account sob. And ooo the times I’ve giggled!! Even when she gets snippy and tart she’s still a wonderful blogger gal.

So in her honor I’m sending you this list of things to make out of limecello…

With Limecello juice you can make:
Margarita
Lime Pie
Lime Marinade to soak meat in

With any jiggly bits:
Lime Jello Mold

Crunchy bits:
Crispy Lime Cookies
Lucious Lime Crusty Chicken

So for the sweet, savory, jiggly and the crusty end this letter with a heartfelt appeal to you. Please Authors, send me Limecello’s address so I can GPS her and squeeze the juice outta her. Feel free to roll her around on the countertop to soften her up before I get there.

Signed,

Freaky Fruit Freak

These are just examples to let you know how ridiculous and hilarious you can be. The crazier, the better.

Now you’re (hopefully laughing) but also asking what is supposed to be crazy and wacky?! CRAZY FAN LETTERS!!! Yes! I’m bringing it back!

So each month, the Guest Author & A Giveaway author will be the subject. 😀 Yes, you will write the craziest, nuttiest, most stalkertastic fan letter possible to the “author of the month.” You don’t have to have read the author before – the authors websites should have sufficient information for you to come up with something. I just want to make sure everyone knows that everyone can enter each one.

It’s of course all new, so lots of material there. I’m thinking that I am going to keep the contest open until the 20th of each month – to give people enough time to enter. And we’ll see about prizes. I’m still debating if there should be a monthly one, a big annual one, or both. (Or maybe the author herself might pick one she loves.) But the point is, lots of fun and lots of laughs. And the additional incentive of some sort of prize! Maybe a $25 gift card and whatever contributory prizes I pick up along the way? [Sorry – but I’m poor. Like, literally painfully below poverty poor XD – so maybe life will be nice and I can offer a huge awesome prize. We can cross our fingers. But for now, it’s not determined.]

Nobody knows. But I’m excited about it. Are you with me?!

Incidentally, first up will be Jennifer Haymore. 😀 And now I have to go update the calendar… now to decide whether I delete the previous years info, or somehow bury/archive it… Thoughts?

Don’t worry – I’ll have more information soon on how I want you to enter. (Where to send the fan letter email, what the subject should be, and so on. And since I’m mean, I obviously reserve the right to automatically disqualify any and all incorrectly addressed entries.) 😀 I expect I’ll either be creating a new page for this, or adding it to one of those already in existence. Don’t worry – I’ll let you know!