Attention! Social Media for Social Good 2017 – Year Nine Kicks Off!

Hi friends! If you’ve been around social media for a while you’ll know I try to do a charity campaign each year. I call it Social Media for Social Good. I don’t think I came up with the phrase, but I can’t remember who did, so my apologies. The purpose of it is to use social media to raise awareness for a particular charity, and then also to make it a group effort.

Initially, I made it a “per comment” goal and fundraiser, and people got upset about it. (Of course people get upset about everything, but who needs that sort of negativity in their lives?) It was also super depressing, so in 2015 I tied Social Media to Social Good to Ohio State Football. I (perhaps optimistically) expect them to have a winning season, so that makes things easy.

Apparently in 2016 I did everything on Facebook or Twitter – but this year I’m going to use the blog. Time snuck up on me, so I don’t have all the details ironed out yet, but the purpose of this post is to see if anyone would like to join me in this years efforts.

I’m also taking suggestions as to what charity or effort(s) you think the focus should be this year. Does anyone have ideas? Would you like to join in? Let me know please!

Thank you! <3

Give Me Your Book Recommendations Please! Talking Adult High Fantasy Romances

Impossible ThingsHi friends! So I’m always looking for book recommendations, and this summer I’ve been on a massive adult high fantasy romance kick.

Do you know how difficult it is to find books in this particular subgenre?!!? [Very. Very, very very very very difficult.] There are a lot of YA fantasy stories… some are romance … but most “adult” high fantasy romances are more romantic elements than romances.

What is high fantasy? I took that definition from wikipedia.

High fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy, defined either by its setting or by the epic stature of its characters, themes, and plot. High fantasy is defined as fantasy set in an alternative, fictional (“secondary”) world, rather than “the real”, or “primary” world. The secondary world is usually internally consistent, but its rules differ from those of the primary world.

But yes – not set in the real world. It’s different from low fantasy, pararnormal, or magical elements. Although a lot of fantasy stories often have magical elements.

An example of high fantasy would be the A Song of Ice and Fire series, possibly better known as the Game of Thrones TV series. However, while it’s an adult high fantasy, it isn’t a romance.

I’ve read Grace Draven, Jeffe Kennedy, Elizabeth Hunter, Amanda Bouchet, C.L. Wilson, Elizabeth Vaughan, Maria V. Snyder, Kate Johnson, the ACOTAR trilogy by Sarah J. Maas, Lisa Blackwood, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Michelle Sagara West, Patricia Briggs, Robin McKinley, Anne Leonard, Tanith Lee, Amy Harmon, Jill Myles, and I’ve even gone so far as to read YA; Leigh Bardugo, Rae Carson, Robin LaFevers, as well as Erika Johansen – although this last was a mistake. I’ve linked each author to either the series I read or my favorite book/series by the author.

I’m currently reading Sharon Shinn, then I’m going to read book(s) by Melanie Rawn, and also have Sara Raasch on deck. There are a few more authors but I can’t think of them off the top of my head. Oh I’ve also read the Black Jewels books by Anne Bishop ages ago.

I’ve also read the Sevenwaters series by Juliet Marillier – although I wouldn’t say those are high fantasy exactly, as the books are set in Ireland, although it’s an alternate reality “Erin with magical creatures” and more romantic elements stories than romance in my opinion. (I didn’t read book three.)

So! Does anyone have adult high fantasy romance recommendations for me? I’m willing to read series too but only if they’re complete. The way I read I blow through books and I not only hate waiting, I’ll forget things, so I need to be able to glom all at once. 😀 I do also love twisted fairy tales, so those I might make a special exception for – it’s what made me start the Sevenwaters books.

I know – I’m difficult. I’m not looking for paranormal romances, or time travels either.

However – if you’ve read a romance novel lately that is OH MY GOD SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS AMAZING … I’d like to hear that as well, because as of a month ago I’ve also started reading some other romance subgenres as well.

Thank youuuu!! (And if you’d like to discuss any of the books I’d mention I’d love to chat too!)

Review: Silver Silence by Nalini Singh

Babs’ review of Silver Silence by Nalini Singh
Paranormal romance released by Berkley Books on June 13, 2017

Nalini Singh returns to her extraordinary Psy-Changeling world with a story of wild passion and darkest betrayal…

Control. Precision. Family. These are the principles that drive Silver Mercant. At a time when the fledgling Trinity Accord seeks to unite a divided world, with Silver playing a crucial role as director of a worldwide emergency response network, wildness and chaos are the last things she needs in her life. But that’s exactly what Valentin Nikolaev, alpha of the StoneWater bears, brings with him.

Valentin has never met a more fascinating woman. Though Silver is ruled by Silence–her mind clear of all emotion–Valentin senses a whisper of fire around her. That’s what keeps him climbing apartment buildings to be near her. But when a shadow assassin almost succeeds in poisoning Silver, the stakes become deadly serious…and Silver finds herself in the heart of a powerful bear clan.

Her would-be assassin has no idea what their poison has unleashed…

I’m a huge Nalini Singh fan and loved this book. I was super excited when it was announced this would be Silver Mercant’s book and include bears! Things move quickly from the very beginning and don’t really slow down. Valentin, the alpha of StoneWater bear changelings, has bear stuff he’s dealing with. His crush on Silver is cute and his playful pursuit of her is the only time he gets away from Denhome. I love that through everything, he always believed Silver could do anything. Silver is changing careers, standing up a new organization under the Trinity Accord, and cementing her place in the Mercant family hierarchy. Basically being a badass. Both the Mercant family and the bears fascinated me. I hope we get more of both in this new arc, Psy-Changeling Trinity. Continue reading

Release Day Teaser Tuesday Exclusive Excerpt: The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

Hi friends! It’s Tuesday which means a bunch of new romances are available today! I’m super excited to share from The Duchess DealTessa Dare was kind enough to provide an exclusive excerpt to ALBTALBS, and I hope you enjoy! Thank you, and congratulations on your newest release!! <3 

When girl meets Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…

Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.

His terms are simple:

  • – They will be husband and wife by night only.
  • – No lights, no kissing. 
  • – No questions about his battle scars.
  • – Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.

But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own:
– They will have dinner together every evening.
– With conversation.
– And unlimited teasing.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…

Continue reading

Guest Review: The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

Jo’s review of The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
Historical romance released by Avon on August 22, 2017

The Duchess DealWhen girl meets Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…

Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.

His terms are simple:

  • – They will be husband and wife by night only.
  • – No lights, no kissing.
  • – No questions about his battle scars.

– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.

But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own:

  • – They will have dinner together every evening.
  • – With conversation.
  • – And unlimited teasing.

– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…

When Lime offered me the chance to get my greedy little hands on The Duchess Deal early, I was all over it (my eyes might have even misted over). So first and foremost, thank you Lime 😀

We have two characters that couldn’t be more wrong for each other turning out to be exactly what each needs in a partner. Ash is scarred, jaded, self absorbed, and frankly a bit depressed; he knows his duty and is ready to fulfill it. Emma is used to hard work and grasping for every opportunity that comes her way while never losing her positive outlook and caring nature. They fit beautifully. Continue reading

Team TBR Challenge Review: The Billionaire Next Door by Jessica Bird

N.R. Lines’ review of The Billionaire Next Door by Jessica Bird
Contemporary romance released by Silhouette Special Edition on August 1, 2007

The Billionaire Next DoorTake-no-prisoners deal-maker Sean O’Banyon ate Wall Street financiers for lunch. So why was he losing sleep over a fresh-scrubbed nurse in old jeans and a too-big T-shirt? Maybe it was those warm green eyes. Or the way she blushed when he got personal. There was no denying the serious chemistry between them. But sooner or later Lizzie would learn his deep, dark secrets: First, he had trust issues. And second–he’d rather not go into the whole family thing. He didn’t do relationships…but amazingly, Lizzie made him want one anyway.

When Lime approached me about reviewing a book for the TBR Challenge, I jumped on the chance. Then spent a million years looking at my ever growing TBR for the perfect book to review for the Kicking it Old School theme. And there it was, the book I have been putting off reading for ten years.  Continue reading

Teaser Tuesday Exclusive Excerpt: Scot on the Run by Janice Maynard

Hi friends! It’s Tuesday again! And for now, the last scheduled Teaser Tuesday spot on the calendar for now! I think we all know the drill – it’s supposed to be a minimum 1,000 word excerpt of an new or upcoming book that isn’t posted anywhere else. Because at ALBTALBS I care about you getting things that are fresh and new. 😉 Right? Heh. So without further ado, enjoy!!!

Bella is housesitting in Portree, Scotland, for her brother, Finley, while he’s on his honeymoon.  She expects a quiet time, enjoying the harbour town’s breathtaking views and quaint shops. So imagine her surprise when one of Great Britain’s most eligible bachelors comes pounding at her door in an attempt to evade both the paparazzi and a flurry of female fans. Unaware of his celebrity status, Bella reluctantly gives him sanctuary. Yet the surprises keep coming, and soon she’s persuaded to accompany him to Edinburgh . . . as his faux fiancée. But while helping him fend off his ardent admirers, Bella just may gain one very authentic admirer of her own . . .

Continue reading