Hello my precious ones! You know I love getting feedback from you – so here’s what I’m thinking. *Do you ever have requests on books that you want to see an exclusive excerpt of? I’d love to hear what you think – if there’s anything you’re looking forward to, something that I can help provide?
And in the meantime >.> while you’re waiting for me to get everything else posted… you can distract yourself with this. *angelface*
My lovelies, let me wish you a Happy Halloween! I love candy, so this is a good day. 😉 [Actually I’ve never been big on Halloween and haven’t dressed up since well before elementary school was over… but I enjoy the festivities.] More to the point, I’m thrilled to welcome Sarah Morgan to ALBTALBS today! <3 She’s a fantastic author, and I’m crushed I didn’t get to meet her this past summer. She had a new book release just this past Tuesday (Sleigh Bells in the Snow), so I’m tickled we get her so close to the big deay. 😀
She and other authors are also very tricksies, getting around my interview rule by interviewing themselves. 😉 And here are hers.
Biggest fashion mistake?
I once went to a fancy dress party dressed as a tiger. The theme was ‘wild’ and I wore a tight stripy leotard, theatrical cat mask, face paint and whiskers. I travelled on the London underground. Ever been on the London underground? It’s like the New York subway. A tiger stands out. And a commuter sat on my tail.
Something you said and wish you hadn’t?
Yes of course I can write the book by next week.
Favorite Halloween film?
Which book of on your shelf is in the worst condition?
Northern Lights by Nora Roberts. I love that book. I love stories set in cold, snowy places and her characters are always real and interesting. My copy is almost falling apart.
Henry Cavill and peanut butter. But not together. Well, maybe together…
Secret Talent(I’d like to hear that … youtube video, perhaps? *angelface*)
I sing Soft Kitty beautifully.
If you weren’t you, who would you like to be?
Iron man (or girl). That would be so cool. No airport queues.
What are you really bad at?
What will you be doing on Halloween?
Trying to finish my next Cosmo Red Hot Read. There’s not a GHOST of a chance that will happen. And I’d eat the Halloween chocolate if I hadn’t already eaten it.
Hee! That’s her “Halloween Themed” one. Sarah was such a great sport, she re-wrote her post when I mentioned she’d be guesting on this spooky day. She also had one more book themed, considering the title is Sleigh Bells in the Snow, the following are some of her her original questions that I definitely think should be shared as well.
A film you’d have to be paid to watch again?
Disney’s Up. I think it should have been called Down. Visually it’s pretty but I found it miserable viewing. And now I’m going to get a million comments telling me why I’m wrong.
Best Christmas gift ever?
A diamond ring. I had a very romantic proposal!
Once upon a time, Christmas was Kayla Green’s favorite time of year. Now all the workaholic wants for Christmas is for it to be over—as fast as possible! So when duty calls her to snowy Vermont to close a deal with a new client, Kayla is grateful for an excuse to avoid the holidays for another year.
Jackson O’Neil left a thriving business behind to return home and salvage his family’s resort—it’s in his blood, and he can’t let it fail. Now that he’s got marketing whiz Kayla Green working with him to put Snow Crystal on the map, success is on the horizon. The fact they strike enough sparks off each other to power all the Christmas lights in Vermont is just an added bonus.
Kayla might be an expert at her job, but she’s out of her depth with Jackson—he makes her crave the happy-ever-after she once dreamed of, and it’s terrifying. As the snowflakes continue to swirl, will the woman who doesn’t believe in the magic of Christmas finally fall under its spell?
Sounds good yes? To throw your hat in the ring, just answer this question: Sarah wants to know “What is your favorite Halloween food?” (Sarah’s is tomato soup!). So tell us your favorite Halloween food – and candy – and offer a warm welcome to Sarah please! (And congratulations on your newest release!)
Oh and?! All the other books by Sarah I’ve included in this post are only $1.99 for kindle right now! So snatch those babies up!
My friends, today is Make a Difference Day. It’s the last Saturday of October each year. You might remember my SMSG charity drives. I planned on starting it today. (I still hope to have the post go live at some point today.) But we all know how the best of intentions go. Beyond that, this year is a little different … in that I was certain I knew what charity I wanted to support. I had everything planned out … and some of the information I had was lost, but more, the people I interacted with were terrible.
The focus of SMSG13 is Human Trafficking. This is a terrible global problem. I myself have seen girls we believe are victims of human trafficking at work. The FBI has been involved, and it’s complicated. Tragic. Worse? Oftentimes the individuals who are victims of human trafficking themselves pick up criminal charges and records … and worse they stick. (That’s yet another issue.)
In a way this is some crowd sourcing. At this point I’m leaning heavily towards Love 146. Other organizations I had looked into were UN-GIFT (The United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking. But I tried to contact them numerous times, called both the DC and NY office, and had a horrible experience. The NY girl was nicer, but useless – initially rude but better, but the DC girl (who I called first) almost gave me an aneurysm. So, you know. I had also considered the International Justice Mission. (I also researched at least 6 other charities, but you know, let’s stay focused.)
The difficult part is finding a charity that does international work, is as non-offensive as possible, has excellent ratings, and transparency. And of course, is an actual registered non-profit.
Which takes us to our next question. I was thinking of partnering with Crowdrise – I heard of them through a fundraiser DJ Tiesto did for (RED). Otherwise… through paypal? The latter requires you to trust me – that I’ll donate all fund for SMSG. (Which of course, I would do. And post the final lump sum donation.) I’m trying to get rates – although I think the trust is a bigger issue.
In short – would any of you be interested in or willing to pledge? I hope to get the “main page” up later today. Anyone who makes a pledge before that happens gets his/her named listed on that post.
Will you (or anyone you know) be willing to make a donation pledge?
Do you have a particular international charity that targets Human Trafficking in mind that you feel very strongly about/more than Loe 146?
How should we do the donations? Crowdrise or paypal?
ETA: At the moments, I have 3 pledges. Shiloh Walker will donate $50, and if we hit 100 comments on the charity drive post, another $50, for a total of $100. SpazP will donate $50 c² has pledged
And … of course I’m donating. I’m thinking a dollar per comment definitely on the first day, maybe the first week depending. I want to donate $600. And I realize things are tough. I made less than $7K last year, so I know it’s not easy to donate. Seriously, any amount is awesome. $5 instead of a cup of coffee or a meal out? Totally appreciated. <3
*ETA: I decided to close comments to end confusion on which post should be used to count comments. Also, I decided to go with a Crowdrise because I plan on asking anyone to donate, and friends of friends etc wouldn’t be as likely to donate to some random paypal account I’m thinking. I’ll figure out something for paypal if Crowdrise doesn’t accept it.
Hello my lovelies! Another fabulous author visiting with us on a Tuesday for special birthday month posts! As in … just superloading it. Because dude – the world has lost its shit. Or at least, my world. However, the wonderful Cynthia Eden is here! And she was fabulous and wrote an original post for us! Whee!
I can confess—quite easily—that I am addicted to romance novels. I’ve been addicted to them for most of my life. Maybe it’s the happy endings. The fairytale promise of love everlasting. That promise sure gets me each time!
But the romances that I read (and write) aren’t sweet, light tales. The heroes and heroines have to fight for their happy endings. Hey, if something is worth having, you have to fight for it, right? I enjoy watching characters overcome their obstacles in the pages of books. The heroes and heroines become stronger through their struggles, and I just find myself rooting more and more for them.
I will gladly read romance novels about vampires. About werewolves. About Greek gods or fallen angels. I can read about the boy next door or the rich CEO who is about to crumble for love. Paranormal, contemporary, historical—I’ll take them all, please. I’m a firm believer in variety being the spice of life, and when it comes to my romance novels, I’m all about reading different sub-genres. BUT…there is one thing that my books must have (and this just circles back to my addiction)—the promised happy ending.
Let’s be honest. All too often, real life sucks. There is sadness, there is death, there is heart break. When I open the pages of a romance novel, I want to know that things will end differently for the characters there. I want to know that happiness wins, love wins—and my romance novels never let me down on that promise.
In my latest release, Avenging Angel, I certainly put plenty of obstacles in the paths of my hero and heroine. My heroine, Marna, is a fallen angel who has recently lost her wings. She’s now in the mortal realm, helpless and desperate. But she isn’t alone. Because the hero of the story, a fierce shifter named Tanner, is by her side. Through the darkness and the danger, he is there, every step of the way. He is willing to fight for her. Heck, the guy is even willing to die for her, in order to prove to Marna that he can be the man she needs.
Ah, true love. It can be a wild and desperate (but beautiful!) thing.
But what about you? Are you addicted to romance novels? Is there a particular sub-genre that you prefer to read? Or, like me, do you enjoy a variety? One random commenter will be picked to win a $15 Amazon.com gift card.
Thanks so much for checking out the post. Have a wonderful week!
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?
I want to know what questions I should be asking these authors in the future? (And if you wouldn’t mind please spreading the word…) Upcoming we have R.E. Butler, Elle Lothlorien, Jax Cassidy, Beverley Kendall, Dee Tenorio, Laurie B. London, Ruthanne Reid, and Katy Madison. (Which actually takes us into the beginning of 2015! Eek!)
And are there any authors you’d like to see in the spotlight?
Thanks so much and I hope you’ll join me in these new and exciting ventures! <3
I wasn’t actually going to do this… but then I figured – oh why not? I did for previous months, and the book covers here are very pretty. Plus it’s the holidays, you know? So, here’s a feature for our lovely December friends, who help fund giveaways, inadvertently. 😉
Once a notorious rake, Camden Folk, Marquis of Warbury, is now consumed by desire for only one woman: beautiful young widow Frances Burdett. And the Yuletide festivities at his country estate present the perfect opportunity for seduction…
After her brief and unsatisfying marriage, Frances Burdett swore never to become tied to another man. Then a passionate kiss under the mistletoe reawakens longings she thought buried forever. But can she give in to the pleasures of the body with a rogue like Cam—without losing her heart?
Christmas Park is stuck in Seoul for the holidays when she should be flying home to Florida. Her parents break tradition and book a Carribean cruise, leaving her to seek a new holiday tradition. It’s Christmas Eve and “Rissa” finds herself in the spotlight—literally! Her plans to enjoy an uneventful, low-key night at the after-hours soju bar turns into a scheme for her co-workers to win the grand prize in a single’s kissing contest.
Nothing goes according to plan when Rissa is whisked away by the city’s notorious bad boy, Min Yoo, on an adventurous night around town. What they hadn’t expected was falling for the magic of the holidays—and each other—which all started with just a single kiss.
Warrior, bastard, outcast, traitor to his kind, these are all labels Lazar has worn for the past several years, since he took a stand against the actions of a mad king. He’s defended the Kingdom of the Hawks even though the blood of the Falcons runs through his veins. He’s bedded their women, drank their mead and protected their king. None of that makes him one of them. An empty pit has been in his stomach for years, believing his true mate perished long ago. When he learns she’s alive, he has to not only win her over, but also make her understand men who can shift into birds aren’t the things of nightmares. They’re real, and he’s one of them.
Sabrina lives a relatively sheltered life. Her overprotective uncle means well but can sometimes go too far. When he shows up with a sexy hunk she’s dreamed about, it’s all Sabrina can do to control her emotions. As old lies are uncovered, she has to decide if she should open her heart to a man who has made using women an art form and who also happens to have wings. Plus, he’s more than just any old shifter male. He’s the rightful king of the Falco, and it’s time he rose to his position and accepted his destiny, even if that destiny includes her.
WARNING: This book contains hot, explicit sex and violence, a dominant, alpha, bird-shifting male who has the rules of seduction memorized and who finally understands he has to take a stand for what he wants. It has a heroine who, while young, knows she won’t settle for anything less than she deserves and who finds herself being taught things that make her blush.
Speaking of a giveaway… Barbara Monajem has been a lovely mainstay at ALBTALBS, and I’d like to say thank you to her. And to share the love, so one lucky commenter will win her (or his!) choice of a kindle copy of one of Barbara’s Harlequin [Historical] Undone(s). What a mouthful, yes?
My question to you is – have you ever checked out any of the books featured in the ads? Ever buy one? What’d you think? Or what do you think of the ads in general?
And, if that doesn’t interest you at all… how is all your holiday planning and shopping going?
Lastly – unrelatedly, and yes I’m making up words and in a big hurry – would you check “backdated” posts? There are some things I’d like to say, and I think I might use them to fill in spots that weren’t blogged. Like all that time I was absent in August etc, because I was spending all my time in the hospital. Would any of you see them? Or should I just not do that?
Hello friends! Today we have the lovely and wonderful Portia Da Costa visiting with us! She’s been a part of the romance community for some time, and knows a lot about the changes, and is one of the star Black Lace authors. And she has stories with numerous other publishers as well. If you’ve never read a book by her before, you’re missing out – but no worries – here’s a chance!
In a publishing landscape of dominant billionaires, vampire warriors, Navy SEALS and other tough male leads, the eponymous ‘stranger’ in my new release from Black Lace, The Stranger, isn’t a typical hero, at least on first impressions. Paul – the name he later remembers – is something of a little boy lost, despite the fact that he’s a grown man in his twenties, or maybe early thirties. Turning up suddenly in the life of widow, Claudia Marwood, he’s an amnesiac in fancy dress, confused, clearly far from his home and his life, and grateful for shelter and a place to stay. The only things that are familiar to him are his senses and his body.
Claudia is a woman dwelling in loneliness, somewhat lost herself after the death of the older husband she loved, but after a period of mourning, she’s ready to embrace life and its pleasures once again. One look at the handsome stranger, who she first sees bathing naked in the river near her house, and her passion and her desires spring to life again in full flower, and she yearns to offer him solace and reassurance with her touch, and her body.
In this scene Claudia comes to the bedroom where the stranger is sleeping, ostensibly to check on him and make sure he’s not worried by a thunderstorm outside; but really, she’s drawn irresistibly to the sensuality and mysteriousness of the beautiful younger man who’s suddenly wandered into her life. It’s not long before she discovers that despite his amnesia and confusion, the stranger’s physical vigour and his powerful sex drive are still intact!
N.B. Something of a period piece now, The Stranger is a reprint of a title first written in the early 1990s, and thus predates a lot of the familiar technology we take for granted today e.g. mobile phones, high speed internet, GPS etc.
*** *** ***
Once she had got over the initial shock of the young man’s nudity, Claudia allowed herself to breathe properly again…
When Claudia finds a sexy stranger near her home she discovers that he has lost his memory along with his clothes.
Having turned her back on relationships since the death of her husband, Claudia finds herself scandalising her friends by inviting the stranger into her home and into her bed…
‘My name is Claudia Marwood.’ She twisted their fingers into the conventional grip of greeting, and her companion did the honours, shaking her hand.
‘And I’m…’ He grinned and shrugged.
‘The man with no name?’
He smiled again, then scrunched up his face, as if a physical effort might prise free elusive knowledge. ‘Is that from a film?’
‘Well, I’ve just remembered my first fact. Thank you.’ Leaning forward, he suddenly touched his lips to hers.
It was like being hit by the lightning outside. The fleeting contact of his mouth was electric, and filled Claudia with such a wave of passion that she couldn’t breathe for a moment.
This is insane, she thought. She was making a complete idiot of herself. ‘I’d better go now and let you get some rest,’ she said, and made as if to get up from the bed and run for it.
The hold on her hand turned to steel again. A carefully gauged, velvet covered steel, but steel nevertheless.
‘Stay.’ His voice was husky, already changing, ‘Please!’
She should have asked ‘why’, but she knew why. In the dim light, his blue eyes were steely too, almost polished; alive with a message that was unmistakable.
‘Are you sure?’ she asked, then had to smile, knowing that under any other circumstances this was a question the man would ask.
The stranger nodded, answering her smile with a beautiful and very male one of his own. ‘At the moment it’s the one single thing in the whole world I am sure of.’
Claudia was imprisoned by him. At the centre of their stillness, she felt the balance of power tilting on its fulcrum; her lost boy had found his way, and taken command.
‘Let me turn the light out,’ she said faintly.
‘Must you?’ His voice was teasing now: deep and intense, but flirtatious.
‘Yes, I think I must,’ insisted Claudia, fighting not to go under entirely. She drew a deep breath when he released her, then she reached out and flipped off the lamp.
‘I can imagine you,’ he said as she slipped off her robe, feeling glad of the darkness to hide her confusion. It was a long time since she had bared her body for a man, and even longer since she had been naked before a new man, a lover, not her husband.
The stranger lifted the covers, and shaking with nervousness and longing in equal parts, Claudia slid into bed beside him.
‘Don’t be afraid,’ he said, and then she was in his arms, her bare skin against the cotton of his pyjamas, her mouth sought by his for their first true kiss.
Expecting boyish haste, she was astonished when he began to kiss her quite slowly. His lips were gentle and mobile against hers, the pressure they exerted complex. Without thinking, she opened her mouth and his tongue darted forward, accepting her gift, searching and finding her own tongue with its tip. He tasted strongly of spearmint, the toothpaste she had left for him, and she wondered why she had never realised how such a common flavour could seem so exotic.
His hold on her was measured too, hands flexing just enough to keep her against him; no grabbing, no groping, no force. His body was warm and firm through the cotton that covered it, his erection a hot brand against her thigh.
Suddenly, his self-control seemed to rip away the years from her. She became the impatient adolescent, surging against him, anxious to explore his body, to touch and caress it. She scrabbled at the buttons of his pyjama jacket, trying to bare him, wanting to taste him, to devour him.
‘Hush!’ he whispered, reaching between them, taking both her hands in his. ‘There’s no hurry… I’m not going anywhere.’ He gave her fingers a little squeeze, then eased her onto her back and made her lie still, her arms at her sides.
‘You’re very lovely, Claudia,’ he said, letting his long hand settle at last on her breast, ‘So soft and warm. You make me feel so safe to be here.’
His fingers cupped her curves, first one, then the other, as if he were weighing and assessing her, the touch light and infuriatingly playful. Claudia longed for him to squeeze her, to be rough and forceful, to take her breath away, to ravish her. She shifted her thighs, trying to rub herself against him.
The stranger laughed softly. ‘I never realised I was so desirable. Did you want me this much when you were watching me by the river?’
Portia Da Costa is a veteran British author of romance, erotic romance and erotica, who’s been published since the early 1990s. She loves writing about sexy, likeable people in steamy, scandalous situations, and has penned novels, novellas and novelettes for Black Lace, Harlequin, Samhain Publishing, Carina Press and a number of other houses, plus over a hundred short stories for magazines and anthologies. Best known for writing BDSM themed stories with modern settings, she’s also written Victorian erotic romance for HQN. Her contemporary erotic romance IN TOO DEEP was a recent Sunday Times Bestseller.
When Portia isn’t writing or reading she loves to chill out and watch the television, or spend time online, chatting with friends on Twitter, and on message boards and elsewhere. She lives in the heart of West Yorkshire with her husband and her adorable cat Alice.
So! As I said – we have two giveaways today! One lucky commenter will win a signed copy of The Stranger as soon as Portia gets her author copies. In the meantime, another lucky person will her/his choice from Ms. Da Costa’s self published books! (You can check them out here.) Whee!
Also – this was supposed to be a GA&AG interview… but you all know how things have been going, so I didn’t get those to her, so I have a challenge for all of you! To enter the drawing – respond to Portia, and also, I want to see what crazy questions you come up with asking her! You know how these zany interviews normally are. The crazier and more off the way the question is, the better! 😀
Can you guys believe it?! I started my blog the first week of January in 2010, basically. And by February I was like “… I need to do something new – something different – so I thought about it, and went with what I love. Book excerpts. More than anything else, excerpts are what sell books to me.
So then I put out a few twitter calls, and emailed people, and most authors were all “sure I can share an excerpt. Hey I’ll do a giveaway too!”
And I was all “!!!” and so it was bornstarted. (Can’t say that “b” word because we all know how I hate the whole sentient beings vs inanimate objects thing.)
I’m curious though – what do you think about excerpts? Do you look for them before you decide to read or buy a book? Have you ever up and bought a book based on an excerpt you read here?!
I think it’d be >.> very important for you to answer. Of course I also think I should make some sort of clever/adorable graphic. And so I did, y’all!
And… just a little side note – but … what would you guys think if I started taking advertisements from [authors] here? Good thing? Bad? Like or dislike? Would you care or notice?
**ETA: Duh – haha, I thought this was clear but sometimes it is in my head and not to others… if you’d like to participate in a Teaser Tuesday, please contact me. I’d love to have you!