I posted an update (wow exactly a month ago) although we all know I’ll pre-date this post. 😛 Anyway, my “things have been crazy” was a more vague and nicer way to say… all these people are dying. In the past ~2 months at least 8 people have died. Some in my family, some family of friends. It just hasn’t been a good time. There might actually be more, but I’m actively trying to not think about it, yet at least that many immediately come to mind.
Anyway I thought it was ok just to leave it with the July post, but then I kept getting all this crap about shit. So even though I didn’t want to – more because I didn’t want to think or talk about it than to awkwardly drop this into conversation and upset someone’s delicate sensibilities although that was part of it… I had other stuff to be dealing with, other than romance world and ALBTALBS.
Compounded by additional other bad stuff with work and general life excluding those tragedies.
That’s why I’ve been dropping the ball.
And a little bit of my upset and anger is at myself for not being more on top of things, but you know what? I think I’m going to have to give myself a pass. And as part of that, considering… I think I’ll also have to say a succinct “fuck you” to people who aren’t ok with that.
I do however plan on posting things that I missed on their original dates. I’m working out how to go about doing that – writing up a post with all the “hey look at these posts that won’t appear on the sidebar.” Or what? They should all still go to my Facebook, I’ll tweetlink them, and it should go to tumblr as well.
And I also want to make some changes with information updates, and make a few details even more abundantly clear, such as ALBTALBS communications and the way I [attempt] to run things.
But I guess this counts as an update and my rantypants. The above is also why it’s all more and more guest posts. I do want to have more general posts and less author things (although what do I know – “me” posts will mean less giveaways because I can’t afford that. :P) but I’ve said numerous times, I never intended for this to be solely (or even primarily) a promo site. In a way though it’s helped me out, because it’s been a mutually beneficial relationship, especially when I couldn’t have handled all the content on my own.
Annnnnddd to end at least on a marginally less awkward note – or an attempt to – do any of you follow me on twitter? Would you be interested in a different account solely dedicated to only ALBTALBS posts and updates? (As in, every time a post goes live here, it would post from say, “@ALBTALBS” – and that account would talk about nothing else?
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! 🙂
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.
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! 😉
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!
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.
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?
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 andframes 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.
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.
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!
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.)
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. ;))