Tag Archives: New Release

Guest Author: Nina Bocci on Disregarding the Advice to “Keep Politics Out of Your Books”

Hi friends! So Nina Bocci‘s newest book just came out this past Tuesday! On the Corner of Love and Hate has such an interesting premise, and I’m about to start reading it soon. 😀  It’s also the first of the “Hopeless Romantics” series. Anyway, Nina is a delight, and I hope you enjoy this post, and pick up her newest book! So without further ado … Nina!

On the Corner of Love and Hate by Nina Bocci book coverWhen Emmanuelle Peroni’s father—and current mayor of Hope Lake, Pennsylvania—suggests she help with Cooper Endicott’s campaign, she’s horrified. Cooper, one of her (former) oldest friends, drives her crazy in every way possible. But he’s also her father’s protégé, so Emma reluctantly launches her plan to help him win the local election.

It’s not as easy as it looks. Cooper’s colorful love life is the sticking point for many voters, and his opponent is digging up everything he can from his past. It seems that every time Emma puts out the flames from one scandal, another one flares up. Emma knows that if Cooper wants to win, he needs to keep his nose clean. The only problem? She might just be falling in love with the one person she promised never to pursue: the mayoral candidate himself.

Don’t write a book with politics.

You’re a debut (basically), you’re going to kill your chances of people picking it up.

My God, you’re an idiot, why didn’t you listen? Continue reading

Guest Author Lorelie Brown on the Book that Took Six Years to Write

As a reader there is nothing I love more than a trilogy or series I can really invest myself in. Knowing that I’ll be able to revisit characters or settings over multibook arcs make me giddy with joy! Sometimes life grabs us by the throat and enough things go awry to the point where the author may not be able to deliver that next installment as quickly as we readers may want. We’re very grateful to author Lorelie Brown for sharing with us a piece of her journey as she completed the third book in her Wayworth Academy series, A Too Suitable Duchess, which will be delivered to e-readers everywhere on June 14th!

Book cover for A Too Suitable Duchess by Lorelie Brown

Some books are invigorating to write. Some are more of a slog. A Too Suitable Duchess, the book I have coming out on June 14th was a weird beast. I originally started it in 2013. Yup, you read that right. Six full years ago. It was a fairly normal book at first. The usual stuff to work through, plot, motivation, you know it. I wouldn’t have called it either invigorating or a slog at first.

And then my life circumstances changed in a pretty big way. Problem number one. I concentrated on writing 200 words a day, something to keep my toes in. The book started to feel like a slog. Victoria and Spencer felt like gentle pandas who I was trying to make mate. They were too nice. I like to write characters who are complicated and friendly, but these two had taken it too far. They also had this annoying tendency to talk reasonably and not hold grudges.

It made the sagging middle…well, REALLY sag.Book cover for Wayward One by Lorelie Brown Continue reading

Guest Author Anna Kashina on Romance in Blade Fights + An Exclusive Excerpt of Shadowblade AND a Giveaway!

Hi friends! You might know that [adult] high fantasy romance is totally “my thing.” So when Anna Kashina contacted me about reviewing her upcoming book I was first, pretty starstruck, then [pretty immediately] was like “DOES IT FEATURE ADULT CHARACTERS AND IS THERE ROMANCE?!” And when she answered “yes” I was like “WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO BE A GUEST AT ALBTALBS?!!?” And she said yes!!! So here we are! I’m so excited to welcome Anna Kashina today! Her newest book Shadowblade is out today!

Romance in blade fights

There are two things I find irresistible in fantasy novels. One is a good romantic subplot, well balanced and integral to the story. The other is a good blade fight – especially the kind with a lot of cool technique behind it. It’s an additional bonus – as well as a challenge – to make these fights emotionally gripping, as well as being technically cool. But if one manages to achieve all this, there is only one more step to the ultimate prize: to combine the two, using blade fights as a tool to advance the romance. It’s so rewarding when it’s done well.

I am a sucker for a dark and dangerous male lead with a morally complex character. A superb swordsman, trained to become an elite assassin, in my mind, cannot fail as a romantic hero. In my books, I love to match these kind of guys with strong women who can stand up to them, and have hidden strengths of their own. When developing these characters and their relationships, a sword fight can become more engaging than a love scene, and so much more effective in showing off their strengths and limitations, as well as their morally complex sides. Continue reading

Teaser “Tuesday” Exclusive Excerpt: Played by Beverley Kendall

Hi friends! So I know it isn’t Tuesday, but whatever! It’s the same deal. 😀 And – we have a new release TT Feature today! Played just came out on the 25th! Beverley Kendall was kind enough to share an exclusive with ALBTALBS, so I hope you enjoy it! Congratulations on your newest release, Beverley! And y’all – read the whole post for a freebie at the end! 😉

Played by Beverley Kendall book coverThe summer Josh and I got together, we agreed to keep things strictly physical.

And it was.

Until our casual hookups stopped feeling casual.
Having sex with him stopped being just about sex.
And the thought of calling a halt to it left me feeling empty and cold.

But Josh doesn’t “do” relationships, so I called it quits before I started to fall. Luckily, I was able to move on from the experience completely unscathed, my heart fully intact.

Or so I thought.

Until I saw him again.

His arm was wrapped around her. And unlike me, she isn’t a hookup or a “booty” call.

No, she’s the girlfriend he told me he didn’t want. And she’s getting from him everything he’d said he couldn’t give any girl.

So it turns out that Josh isn’t averse to being in a relationship after all. He simply hadn’t wanted to be in a relationship with me.

Exclusive Excerpt

I’m in the zone, my muscles looser, my breathing even and my emotions calmer when the chirping of my cell phone sounds. It’s on the dresser where I left it, too far and inconvenient to warrant me getting up to answer it. I let the call go to voicemail.

Not even ten seconds after it stops ringing, it starts again. Continue reading

Teaser Tuesday Exclusive Excerpt: The Austen Playbook by Lucy Parker

Hi friends! I played around with what day to post this, as Lucy Parker sent me this post on the 7th … but I figure the day after release is good, and we already have that graphic I made ages ago. 😛

Anyway! I’m really excited to read this book. I quite enjoyed Pretty Face and I’ve had Making Up in my TBR. The Austen Playbook is obviously slated too. 😀 I’m super excited that Lucy sent this exclusive excerpt for us to enjoy, so without further ado … the book!

The Austen Playbook by Lucy Parker book coverIn which experienced West End actress Freddy Carlton takes on an Austen-inspired play, a scandal at a country estate, an enthusiastic search for a passion outside of acting…and the (some people might say icy*) heart of London’s most feared theater critic.

*if those people were being nice

Freddy Carlton knows she should be focusing on her lines for The Austen Playbook, a live-action TV event where viewers choose the outcome of each scene, but her concentration’s been blown. The palatial estate housing the endeavor is now run by the rude (brilliant) critic who’s consistently slammed her performances of late. James “Griff” Ford-Griffin has a penchant for sarcasm, a majestic nose and all the sensitivity of a sledgehammer.

She can’t take her eyes off him.

Griff can hardly focus with a contagious joy fairy flitting about near him, especially when Freddy looks at him like that. His only concern right now should be on shutting down his younger brother’s well-intentioned (disastrous) schemes—or at the very least on the production (not this one) that might save his family home from the banks.

Instead all he can think of is soft skin and vibrant curls.

As he’s reluctantly dragged into her quest to rediscover her passion for the stage and Freddy is drawn into his research on a legendary theater star, the adage about appearances being deceiving proves abundantly true. It’s the unlikely start of something enormous…but a single revelation about the past could derail it all.

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

Freddy glanced at him, then away. “Fortunately, most people in the West End aren’t like Sadie. She’s in a class of her own.” In the interests of honesty, she added, “She’s, like, next-level talented, though. I was twelve when I worked with her for the first time, and I still remember being literally speechless with awe watching her.” Continue reading

Exclusive Excerpt Upcoming Release: In My Skin by Shannon McKenna

Hi friends!! I’m super excited to share an (as you see) exclusive excerpt from Shannon McKenna here today! She’s been a guest at ALBTALBS a few times, and is a total sweetheart. And if you haven’t read her books before oh my gosh you definitely need to!!! … Shannon was kind enough to send quite the scene from In My Skin so I hope you enjoy it! 😀

Welcome to the secret world of the Obsidian Files! Book after book, the stakes keep getting higher for my genetically and biotech-modified heroes and heroines.

Luke has plenty of his own inner demons to fight, to say nothing of the long deadly shadows of his past, and the constant looming threat of his former captors and mortal enemies, The Obsidian Group.

The last thing he needs is to get broadsided by a feisty, gorgeous, indomitable woman. The stupidest thing he can do is give in to temptation.

But Dani makes him burn … and he just can’t resist the heat.

More than human …

Years ago, a group of stray teenagers were swept up into a top-secret experimental research program funded by The Obsidian Group, a shadowy cabal of super-rich global moguls. Brain stimulation, nanotech, gene modification and cybernetic implants were used to mold the runaways into lethal supersoldiers … and expand the boundaries of being human.

Obsidian’s attempts were spectacularly successful—if not quite in the way the researchers had intended. Their captive test subjects rebelled, burned the Midlands Research Facility to the ground, and vanished.

Now, years later, this band of rebels live under deep cover and keep their incredible abilities secret, trusting only those in their own tight-knit group.

But the shadow of the past keeps getting longer. The Obsidian Group hasn’t forgotten them—and they will never give up the chase.

The Obsidian Files are their stories …

In My Skin by Shannon McKenna Book CoverCome back to me…

Luke remembers a few things. Just not his last name, or anyone he ever knew. He knows that he’s a supersoldier, genetically enhanced and loaded up with brain implants. He just escaped from a year-long hell of captivity, and to protect his family and friends from his tormentors, he blocked his memories. Now he needs those memories back, fast…or he and those he loves will die agonizing deaths.

Luke’s dangerous plan to reconnect with his past—and stay alive in the present—has drawn his enemies’ attention to the tough and sexy Dani LaSalle. He’s duty bound to protect the luscious beauty from the evil pursuing them, but he can’t control the scorching desire she awakens in him.

Dani’s strict routine has been trashed by Luke’s explosive arrival. This rock-hard slab of valiant, smoldering manhood appears out of nowhere, saves her life, spirits her away to his mountain lair and bewilders her with tales of sadistic researchers, enhanced assassins. Is this gorgeous, problematic sex god just plain crazy—or is she? But Luke can do things with his mind that are just as wild as what he can do with that body…and she can’t say no.

And there’s no time to wonder. As their passion burns hotter, Obsidian moves closer…and Luke and Dani must place their lives and their hearts on the line just to survive…

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT Continue reading

Teaser Thursday Exclusive Excerpt: Catch My Fall by Jessica Scott

I am so excited to have Jessica Scott with us today, sharing an excerpt from her upcoming book Catch My Fall, the fourth book in her Falling series! 

I’m so grateful to Lime for hosting an excerpt from my new book CATCH MY FALL. For people who aren’t familiar with the series, it follows a group of Army veterans adjusting to life around a prestigious southern college campus. In many ways, the series reflects some of my alienation that I felt while attending grad school and when I first started teaching at West Point.

My novels tend to deal with some of the more real aspects of coming home and deployment because for me, they reflect an opportunity to process everything – the good and the bad.

I decided to incorporate cadets into this book because I wanted to reflect some of the really difficult questions they ask and the ways that we as instructors and mentors struggle with providing them with answers.

And yeah, there’s a romance involved too. Because it wouldn’t be a true romance without smoldering looks between the two protagonists.

I hope you like this glimpse of Deacon and Kelsey’s classroom and some of the struggles they’re working through! And thanks again to Lime for hosting me!

Former Army Sergeant Deacon Hunter is trapped.

Trapped in the friend zone. Longing for the woman who captured his heart when they were deployed in Iraq.

Former Army Sergeant Kelsey Ryder has scars, the kind of scars she hopes that no one ever sees. Working around the guys at the Pint, she’s reminded of everything she lost when she left the Army behind.

But some scars refuse to stay hidden.

One fateful night changes everything and neither of them know if their relationship will ever be the same.

All Deacon knows is that he’ll be there to catch her when she finally falls.

Continue reading

Exclusive Excerpt: A Deep and Dark December by Beth Yarnall

Hi friends! So I’m out and about and you know how this past ~year+ has been … so I’ve got open spots in the calendar! (Which considering I used to schedule two years in advance only makes sense…) But that’s fantastic, because it means that we have something from Beth Yarnall today! As you see she’s sharing an exclusive excerpt of her newest book that just came out Monday. Yup – A Deep and Dark December is now available! So everyone remember to congratulate Beth on her newest release! Continue reading

Teaser Tuesday Exclusive Excerpt: The Duke of Dark Desires by Miranda Neville

You guys!!! Today we have the always fabulous Miranda Neville visiting with us today! She’s got a super exciting new book coming out on December 30th (yes, only a week away) – and The Duke of Dark Desires has gotten a lot of good buzz. And even the guy(s) at NPR are reading it! No shit!

See? Ok so it’s from an article about [a burger] from Shake Shack … but doesn’t that kinda make it more awesome?

Ok, so you know, the book information now – which is why you’re all here. 😉

The Duke of Dark DesiresWanted: Governess able to keep all hours . . .

Rebellious Julian Fortescue never expected to inherit a dukedom, nor to find himself guardian to three young half-sisters. Now in the market for a governess, he lays eyes on Jane Grey and knows immediately she is qualified—to become his mistress. Yet the alluring woman appears impervious to him. Somehow Julian must find a way to make her succumb to temptation . . . without losing his heart and revealing the haunting mistakes of his past.

Desired: Duke skilled in the seductive art of conversation . . .

Lady Jeanne de Falleron didn’t seek a position as a governess simply to fall into bed with the Duke of Denford. Under the alias of Jane Grey, she must learn which of the duke’s relatives is responsible for the death of her family—and take her revenge. She certainly can’t afford the distraction of her darkly irresistible employer, or the smoldering desire he ignites within her .

But as Jane discovers more clues about the villain she seeks, she’s faced with a possibility more disturbing than her growing feelings for Julian: What will she do if the man she loves is also the man she’s sworn to kill?

Jane found Oliver Bream thoroughly amusing. She couldn’t take his declaration of passion seriously, and wondered how good an artist he was. The duke didn’t strike her as a man who would accept inferior performance in anyone he hired. Then she thought of the way he’d engaged her as governess with the slimmest of qualifications. On second thought Bream might be a complete incompetent.

“Does the duke buy your pictures?” she asked.

“Oh no! Julian would never do that.”

“What happened to the pictures in here?” She pointed at six dark rectangles in the paint where art had been removed. “There are similar marks all over the house.”

“One of the dukes was a patron of Hogarth. If that’s what hung there it is a tragedy. Julian’s taste in painting is execrable.”

“Maligning me again, Oliver?”

The sight of him in the doorway, color heightened by exercise and his black hair so disheveled she itched to sweep it off his forehead, made the slight, fair-haired artist fade from her consciousness. Denford grinned at Bream with an unveiled affection that presented a new facet of the dark duke, and a most appealing one. Not that she needed a new reason to find him attractive.

“Julian!” Bream said. “I’ve been making the acquaintance of Miss Grey. She is a goddess, an Aphrodite or Artemis.” He showed no embarrassment at speaking in such extravagant terms, and the duke merely cast his eyes heavenward. Jane would have done the same but she didn’t want to hurt Bream’s feelings. He was quite harmless, she was sure, and she wasn’t a woman to object to being addressed like this. She knew men, Denford included, found her beddable; she also knew that she wasn’t a great beauty.

“What is your name, Miss Grey? I cannot think of you like that. It’s such a barren name. I’m sure your Christian name reflects your matchless beauty.”

“I am afraid it is Jane.”

“Never mind. You need no adornment. From this day forth, Jane is the finest of names and shall belong only to you.”

“There may be a few thousand ladies who will object.” She stole a look at Denford to share her appreciation of the nonsense.

Their glance of amusement turned hot and dark. She wrenched her eyes away and sipped her cooling tea.

“Are you in love again, Oliver?” the duke said.

“I have never been in love before, never! Jane has made me forget every other woman.”

“Doubtless true, until the next one comes along. I don’t wish to make light of your charms, Miss Grey, but I think I should mention that Oliver finds a new object of his adoration on average once a week. If his passion for you lasts a month you can claim to have inspired an exceptional degree of devotion. Héloïse and Abélard, Romeo and Juliet, Beatrice and Dante, Oliver and Jane. You will join the list of the world’s most celebrated lovers.”

Jane couldn’t help it. She started to laugh. Fortunately Bream seemed undisturbed, merely continuing to gaze at her as though moonstruck. “I am honored to have inspired you, Mr. Bream,” she said, shooting a duke a warning look. “I shouldn’t laugh but His Grace is quite droll in his way. Please believe that I do not mean to mock you.”

“Don’t worry, Jane. I’m quite used to Julian and never take the least notice of him.”

“True enough,” the duke said.

“Your Grace,” Jane said. “I have a request if you can spare me a few minutes.”

“I do hope it’s one I’ll enjoy fulfilling. If so, I’ll agree to anything.”

“I doubt this matter will affect your pleasure either way.”

“You disappoint me again. Oliver, just this once do what I ask and leave. Go up to the Blue Saloon to prepare for your pupils. I need to speak to Miss Grey.”

“My request is not a private one.”

“You’ve made that perfectly clear, alas. Go, Oliver.”

“You will be coming, Jane, won’t you?”

“Of course, Mr. Bream. I won’t be long. The young ladies will be down soon with their drawing materials.”

She watched him go with some trepidation, leaving her alone with Denford. He took a place at the table and, as though he had all the time in the world, poured himself some coffee. She ought to be safe from her unruly desires at nine o’clock in the morning with the humdrum accouterments of breakfast spread on the table; nevertheless she averted her eyes from his lips on the rim of the china cup.

“Oliver doesn’t always show such good taste,” he remarked. “The array of women he has loved in the five or six years I’ve known him is positively dizzying. They have only one trait in common: that of being unattainable. Women always seem able to resist him.”

“What makes you think I could? Mr. Bream is a very agreeable young man. For all you know he could be the kind of man I prefer.”

“No, he isn’t.”

“What kind of man do you think I prefer?”

She peeked at him from lowered eyelids and found him staring at her with a wolfish smile. “The matter is still under investigation but I am making progress. You are flirting with me.”

“I am not!” But she was, of course. Dalliance should be the last thing on her mind, especially with a member of the Fortescue family. She stiffened her spine and tried to think like a governess. “Last night,” she began, “I was up late.”

“Do go on. Your bedtime habits interest me greatly.”

“I found Laura crying in bed.”

“Oh.”

“She was well, thank you for your concern, merely missing her mother. But had she been ill no one would have known. Miss Bride was, as usual, in a drunken stupor.”

“Is this your request, that I dismiss Bridey? I won’t do it. For your information, Miss Grey, Bridey suffers badly from rheumatism. If she were a fine lady maybe she’d dose herself with laudanum. It happens she prefers a nip of whiskey to make the aches and pains of age easier to bear at night.”

“Not just at night, but that’s not the point. I wouldn’t presume to recommend you dismiss one of your servants. I was going to suggest, rather, that I sleep up in the nursery, where I can keep an eye on your sisters’ well-being.” She didn’t mention that this morning she’d been woken on Laura’s bed by the sound of Fenella trying to sneak out. She didn’t want to get the girl in trouble again. “They need more attention than Nurse Bride can give them.”

“You can give them attention when they aren’t asleep.”

His patent indifference raised her hackles. “They are your sisters,” she said, striving for calm. “They would appreciate more attention from you too.”

“I promised to take them to the theater, didn’t I? Under certain circumstances.”

“Your Grace,” she said, as politely as she could. “I am asking you for permission to move to the nursery floor. It’s more suitable than the room you gave me.”

“You don’t like your quarters?”

“Of course I like them. Who would not?”

“Then keep them. I’ll hire a maid for the nursery to watch the girls at night. Better still, you choose someone. You’ll have to work with her. Pick someone alert.”

“The rooms you gave me should belong to your duchess, not to a governess.”

“Since I have no duchess, it pleases me to have you use them.”

“I’ll be honest, Your Grace. I do not feel at ease in the rooms adjacent to yours. The door between the dressing rooms is locked, but I don’t have the key. I presume you do.”

“I thought I’d made myself clear last night,” Denford said with a look that made her think it better not to arouse his enmity, “but apparently it bears repeating in daylight. You have nothing to fear from me. I am not interested in unwilling women and you may sleep in peace, knowing that I have no intention of using that door.”

“Good,” Jane said. There wasn’t much more she could say or do, apart from speaking to herself very firmly about wishing the door to remain closed. “Now I must go. It’s time for the lesson, and I shouldn’t leave the young ladies alone with Mr. Bream.”

“Heaven forbid,” the duke said, pouring more coffee. “He’s a danger to all womankind.” She turned her back smartly, but he called to her when she was halfway to the door.

“One more thing, Jane. Should you decide to knock on my door, I will welcome you in.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Yeah? What’d you think?

Make sure you check out Miranda’s super sleek sexy awesome site while you’re at it. Especially since you can read another excerpt here, in case you weren’t convinced yet. We’ll wait. … Ok done? Now go buy a copy. 😀

Special Guest: Carly Phillips

Hello my lovelies! We’re slowing time yet rushing along here at the same time! And today we welcome the totally fabulous Carly Phillips! I’m so thrilled to welcome her back to ALBTALBS. Not only is she a superstar author, she’s also one of the nicest people I’ve met at any conference. <3 Her newest book Dare to Love is out now, and y’all know I’m not normally big on blog tours (or you know, at all) – but for Carly, I’m happy to make an exception. 🙂

I meant to crowd source here too, but we know how that has been going, so these are some questions twitter friends wanted to ask Carly. I hope you enjoy!

Dare to Love Official Blog Tour

1) Do you wear pajamas when you write or do you wear “real clothes”? (Georgina really hopes it’s the latter! XD)
Comfortable leggings during the day, and sweats or pajamas on the weekends! Either way it’s comfy clothes all the time. It’s such a luxury being home, I do enjoy not dressing up!

2) What inspires you to come up with your new stories?
It really depends.  Sometimes it’s something I’ve read in a magazine or seen on TV.  Other times it’s a news clip.  Sometimes it’s pure imagination. 🙂

3) Who is your favorite author? [Or authors/stories]
I have SO many auto-buy authors it isn’t funny and I’m such a voracious reader that I always have something new on my iPad mini ready to go.  Too many to pick just one!

4) As madly successful and a veteran writer – do you still get nervous with each book release?
OMG YES! I’m a basket case with each and every new book.  It never gets easier and it never gets old. I’m just so grateful to be able to do what I do … and I always want to please readers with each and every book.

5) Since your background seems very big city, what do you love about writing small towns?
I love the intimacy of the characters and how wacky I can make the neighbors, LOL.  It’s familiar and everyone loves the familiar. I’m not a big city girl, so small town comes naturally.  That said I understand the city and can write it too.  Dare to Love is set in Miami.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Remember to enter the giveaway! And also, what questions would you have asked? Who knows – maybe the fancy will hit and Carly will stop by. 🙂

Also, have you read Carly Phillips before? Do you enjoy contemporary romances? And of course, we can’t forget the most important part. The book!

Dare to LoveNew York Times Bestselling Author Carly Phillips turns up the heat in her newest sexy contemporary romance series, and introduces you to the Dare family… siblings shaped by a father’s secrets and betrayal.

Since finding out his father had another family on the side, Ian Dare swore to be the upstanding, responsible man his cheating parent had never been. When it comes to his relatives, he gives his all but in relationships he offers the bare minimum. But one glimpse of sensual Riley Taylor arouses his dominant and protective instincts and Ian is entranced. He will do anything to possess her … and does. But any future with Riley must include him extending an olive branch to the half-brother who is a constant reminder of the pain he’d rather forget.

Independent and always in control, Riley Taylor makes no apologies for choosing men carefully. Relationships have never been a priority and she believes herself hardened to domineering men – until she meets charismatic Ian Dare. He manages to turn a simple kiss into an all out assault on her senses and when he takes control in the bedroom, she’s stunned to discover she likes it. As their affair heats up, they soon realize they complete each other in ways neither imagined. But Riley’s past is closer than she cares to remember, and her struggles with Ian’s dominance might just cost her everything.

You should totally buy a copy today! (If you haven’t already…) 😉