Birthday Bash Wrap Up + More Giveaways

Hi everyone!

So for now this is a bit of a junk post – it’s the usual ALBTALBS post day but things were so crazy and I’m so tired so I’ll need to come back and edit. :X

HOWEVER. I wanted something to go live, and you know.

There are giveaways from Eva Leigh, Cecilia London, and Nicole Morgan up for grabs. Continue reading

[Smithsonian Heritage] Pride Month Guest: Soren Summers + A Giveaway

Hello hello my darlings! I cannot believe we’re nearing the end of June! Already! And… I’m going to be … older! However! The important person here today is Soren Summers! Yes! Another first time guest to ALBTALBS! So much fun and goodness this month! Everyone give Soren a warm welcome!

On Pride and Pen Names

When I was younger – much younger, way before I knew I could, or would ever write fiction – I wondered why people would ever want to hide behind a pseudonym. Isn’t your writing something to be universally proud of? The pen name, as it was, stood to me as a symbol of shame, even of cowardice.

Yet here I am today, struggling in my thirty-somethings to make a living off of pulling stories out of thin air and pressing them into little books that I fervently hope people will enjoy. And I do it all from behind the safety of a pseudonym. Initially I wanted to go with what I thought was the gayest pen name I could come up with: Apollo Summers. Interestingly, that alias had already been snatched up by a male entertainer based in Kentucky. Good for him. Continue reading

An Embarrassment of Riches: Massive Avon Books Birthday Bash Giveaway

Hi friends! The birthday approaches!!! … I wish I had a week to just sleep. Instead I’m reading like crazy and only getting two hours of sleep a night and stumbling around which we all know is especially not great for me right now. XD

So – I hope I get this all right! This giveaway will have two – count them TWO winners, who will each win nine books. … I know. It’s fucking crazy – and AWESOME!!!

What, Lime, are the books you ask? Well. Let me tell you!!! You’ll be getting sets of print books from Ilona Andrews, Lisa Kleypas, and Sarah MacLean.

And yo O_O SOME OF THESE BOOKS AREN’T OUT YET!!!! AHHHH!!!!

Ilona Andrews launches a brand-new Hidden Legacy series, in which one woman must place her trust in a seductive, dangerous man who sets off an even more dangerous desire . . . Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile situation. Nevada isn't sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire. Then she's kidnapped by Connor

*Pst the kindle version of Burn For Me is currently on sale for $2.99

The Hidden Legacy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews continues as Nevada and Rogan navigate a world where magic is the norm…and their relationship burns hot Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she's used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family's detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor

From Ilona Andrews, #1 New York Times bestselling author, the thrilling conclusion to her Hidden Legacy series, as Nevada and Rogan grapple with a power beyond even their imagination… Nevada Baylor can’t decide which is more frustrating—harnessing her truthseeker abilities or dealing with Connor “Mad” Rogan and their evolving relationship. Yes, the billionaire Prime is helping her navigate the complex magical world in which she’s become a crucial player—and sometimes a pawn—but she also has to deal with his ex-fiancée, whose husband has disappeared, and whose damsel-in-distress act is wearing very, very thin. Rogan faces his own challenges, too, as Nevada’s magical rank has made her a desirable match for other Primes. Controlling his immense powers is child’s play next to controlling his conflicting emotions. And now he and Nevada are confronted by a new threat within her own family. Can they face this together? Or is their world about to go up in smoke?

Wildfire will be out July 25, 2017, but you could get it early!

A twist of fate . . . Devon Ravenel, London's most wickedly charming rake, has just inherited an earldom. But his powerful new rank in society comes with unwanted responsibilities . . . and more than a few surprises. His estate is saddled with debt, and the late earl's three innocent sisters are still occupying the house . . . along with Kathleen, Lady Trenear, a beautiful young widow whose sharp wit and determination are a match for Devon's own. A clash of wills . . . Kathleen knows better than to trust a ruthless scoundrel like Devon. But the fiery attraction between them is impossible to deny—and from the first moment Devon holds her in his arms, he vows to do whatever it takes to possess her. As Kathleen finds herself yielding to his skillfully erotic seduction, only one question remains: Can she keep from surrendering her heart to the most dangerous man she's ever known?

A ruthless tycoon Savage ambition has brought common-born Rhys Winterborne vast wealth and success. In business and beyond, Rhys gets exactly what he wants. And from the moment he meets the shy, aristocratic Lady Helen Ravenel, he is determined to possess her. If he must take her virtue to ensure she marries him, so much the better . . . A sheltered beauty Helen has had little contact with the glittering, cynical world of London society. Yet Rhys’s determined seduction awakens an intense mutual passion. Helen’s gentle upbringing belies a stubborn conviction that only she can tame her unruly husband. As Rhys’s enemies conspire against them, Helen must trust him with her darkest secret. The risks are unthinkable . . . the reward, a lifetime of incomparable bliss. And it all begins with… Marrying Winterborne

New York Times bestselling author LISA KLEYPAS delivers the unforgettable tale of a strong-willed beauty who encounters her match in one of London’s most notorious—yet irresistible—rakes . . . An eccentric wallflower . . . Most debutantes dream of finding a husband. Lady Pandora Ravenel has different plans. The ambitious young beauty would much rather stay at home and plot out her new board game business than take part in the London Season. But one night at a glittering society ball, she’s ensnared in a scandal with a wickedly handsome stranger. A cynical rake . . . After years of evading marital traps with ease, Gabriel, Lord St. Vincent, has finally been caught by a rebellious girl who couldn’t be less suitable. In fact, she wants nothing to do with him. But Gabriel finds the high-spirited Pandora irresistible. He’ll do whatever it takes to possess her, even if their marriage of convenience turns out to be the devil’s own bargain. A perilous plot . . . After succumbing to Gabriel’s skilled and sensuous persuasion, Pandora agrees to become his bride. But soon she discovers that her entrepreneurial endeavors have accidentally involved her in a dangerous conspiracy—and only her husband can keep her safe. As Gabriel protects her from their unknown adversaries, they realize their devil’s bargain may just turn out to be a match made in heaven . . .

Lady 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 . . .

Lonesome Lily turned Scandalous Siren Miss Lillian Hargrove has lived much of her life alone in a gilded cage, longing for love and companionship. When an artist offers her pretty promises and begs her to pose for a scandalous portrait, Lily doesn’t hesitate . . . until the lying libertine leaves her in disgrace. With the painting now public, Lily has no choice but to turn to the one man who might save her from ruin. Highland Devil turned Halfhearted Duke The Duke of Warnick loathes all things English, none more so than the aristocracy. It does not matter that the imposing Scotsman has inherited one of the most venerable dukedoms in Britain—he wants nothing to do with it, especially when he discovers that the unwanted title comes with a troublesome ward, one who is far too old and far too beautiful to be his problem. Tartan Comes to Town Warnick arrives in London with a single goal: get the chit married and see her become someone else’s problem, then return to a normal, quiet life in Scotland. It’s the perfect plan, until Lily declares she’ll only marry for love . . . and the Scot finds that there is one thing in England he likes far too much . . .

The one woman he will never forget… Malcolm Bevingstoke, Duke of Haven, has lived the last three years in self-imposed solitude, paying the price for a mistake he can never reverse and a love he lost forever. The dukedom does not wait, however, and Haven requires an heir, which means he must find himself a wife by summer’s end. There is only one problem—he already has one. The one man she will never forgive… After years in exile, Seraphina, Duchess of Haven, returns to London with a single goal—to reclaim the life she left and find happiness, unencumbered by the man who broke her heart. Haven offers her a deal; Sera can have her freedom, just as soon as she finds her replacement…which requires her to spend the summer in close quarters with the husband she does not want, but somehow cannot resist. A love that neither can deny… The duke has a single summer to woo his wife and convince her that, despite their broken past, he can give her forever, making every day THE DAY OF THE DUCHESS

You guys! The Day of the Duchess is out today! So! Also, happy release day to Sarah MacLean! 🙂

How do you win? Two options. A) Tell me something fun or interesting about birthdays. A favorite birthday memory, present, whatever. B) Tell me your favorite Avon author or book! Both! 😀

I’ll keep this giveaway open until July 5th, and will name the two winners in the comments, so remember to check back to see if you won! (I will not be reaching out to the winners. I think we all know I’m not organized enough for that.) And while you’re here, please check out all the other wonderful birthday giveaways!!

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!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

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

Birthday Bash Guest: Sorcha Mowbray with a Giveaway

Birthdays and older and being old and even though it isn’t my birthday yet I feel like I’m 100 and so tired and oh my gosh BIRTHDAY AND ALL THE STUFFS. Right? Right. On that note >.>, we have Sorcha Mowbray visiting today! I’m also leaving this as all I say because she even included the question and everything. Yay!

Birthday – the anniversary of the day on which a person was born or the anniversary of something starting or being founded.

It is interesting to look at the cultural norms and customs that are associated with birthdays. The expectations and rituals vary across countries, families, and companies/entities. There are rituals that come with every birthday and some that only come on specific birthdays. Mental Floss had an article about it that included things like “antiquing” the birthday boy/girl in Jamaica, or essentially dousing them in flour in an organized fashion or by ambush. Some Canadians grease the birthday boy’s/girl’s nose with butter, again another ambush moment. In Mexico a child gets a candy filled piñata, and in Vietnam they do not acknowledge the day of your birth. Instead, everyone turns a year older on the New Year known as tet–not sure how I’d feel about that one. LOL! Continue reading

Team ALBTALBS TBR Challenge Review: A SEAL’s Salvation by Tawny Weber

Babs’ review of A SEAL’s Salvation by Tawny Weber
Contemporary romance published by Harlequin Blaze February 1, 2014

Subject: Navy SEAL Petty Officer  Brody Lane

Current Status: On leave

Obstacle: The one girl who was off-limits…

Where Navy SEAL “Bad Ass” Brody Lane goes, trouble follows. Being run out of his hometown years ago for misbehaving with Genna Reilly—the sheriff’s daughter—was one thing. Now Brody is about to step into real danger. Not the suggestive letters he’s been exchanging with Genna, but the kind of trouble that can send a soldier home injured and broken inside…

Genna’s entire life has been orchestrated by her family. The  right job. The right friends. Enough! Brody’s return offers the promise of lust-filled pleasures. Of flesh teased and tasted. She’s not expecting to find a soldier with distant eyes who has secluded himself from the world. But this good girl knows exactly how to bring a bad boy back to life….

Uniformly Hot!  The Few. The Proud. The Sexy as Hell.

A SEAL’s Salvation is a very satisfying read. The chemistry between Genna and Brody is off the charts. Besides friend’s brother/sister trope (one of my favorites and favorite trope is the TBR challenge theme for June), there’s also the “bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks with the town princess” thing, a dash of second chance romance, and “we’re just going to be friends (but not really)”. While “bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks” doesn’t always land well with me, it definitely worked here. Continue reading