Author Archives: ALBTALBS

Original Retro APAHM Guest Hudson Lin on Diversity 201: We Are Not a Monolith

Hi friends! If you’re wondering about the title … well, Hudson originally sent me this post in 2019. I cringe even now thinking about it. I nearly (figuratively) died when I saw earlier this year I’d totally dropped the ball, so I contacted Hudson and was graciously given permission to post it now. (I will say … in May 2019 I was recovering and re-learning how to walk again so … it wasn’t as if I was totally just not doing anything…) But I still feel terrible. So – my apologies to the wonderful Hudson Lin, and thank you!

Diversity 201: We are not a monolith
By Hudson Lin

When I think of the words Asian American, I get a very specific picture in my mind. This person has yellow skin, grew up in North America, speaks English fluently and perhaps a second Asian language. This person fits most of the mainstream stereotypes of Asians in the West. This person looks like me. 

But my mental picture of an Asian American is wrong. Because not all Asians have yellow skin, not all grew up in North America, not all speak a second language. Not all Asians are good at math and excel in school. Not all are quiet keep our heads down hard workers. Not all Asians are good at badminton.  Continue reading

Guest Author Stacey Agdern: Thoughts on History and Jewish American Heritage Month

Hi friends! Please welcome Stacey to ALBTALBS! She’s our first JAHM guest ever! This is really exciting. 😀

Thoughts on History and Jewish American Heritage Month:
By Stacey Agdern

Jewish American Heritage month was established in 2006 by presidential proclamation.  Which means that it’s the most recent of the heritage months, now sharing space with an already well established month.

Which means it’s hard to talk about it. 

It’s not that Jews aren’t proud of who we are. We are.  

It’s that we don’t want to take away from the important conversations that surround  AAPI history month. These days, as anti Asian prejudices increase, it’s even more important to focus on and celebrate the history and achievements of East Asians, South Asians, Southeast Asians and Pacific Islanders. 

But at the same time, these days, a great deal of conversation in Jewish spaces involves putting ourselves back into the narrative and reframing conversations where we’ve been erased.  It’s happening in so many different spaces, for so many different reasons. Continue reading

Guest Review: Gilded Age Cocktails: History, Lore and Recipes from America’s Golden Age by Cecelia Tichi

Gilded Age Cocktails: History, Lore and Recipes from America’s Golden Age by Cecelia Tichi
Released by NYU Press on May 4, 2021

Gilded Age Cocktails book coverA delightful romp through America’s Golden Age of Cocktails

The decades following the American Civil War burst with invention―they saw the dawn of the telephone, the motor car, electric lights, the airplane―but no innovation was more welcome than the beverage heralded as the “cocktail.”

The Gilded Age, as it came to be known, was the Golden Age of Cocktails, giving birth to the classic Manhattan and martini that can be ordered at any bar to this day. Scores of whiskey drinks, cooled with ice chips or cubes that chimed against the glass, proved doubly pleasing when mixed, shaken, or stirred with special flavorings, juices, and fruits. The dazzling new drinks flourished coast to coast at sporting events, luncheons, and balls, on ocean liners and yachts, in barrooms, summer resorts, hotels, railroad train club cars, and private homes.

From New York to San Francisco, celebrity bartenders rose to fame, inventing drinks for exclusive universities and exotic locales. Bartenders poured their liquid secrets for dancing girls and such industry tycoons as the newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst and the railroad king “Commodore” Cornelius Vanderbilt.

Cecelia Tichi offers a tour of the cocktail hours of the Gilded Age, in which industry, innovation, and progress all take a break to enjoy the signature beverage of the age. Gilded Age Cocktails reveals the fascinating history behind each drink as well as bartenders’ formerly secret recipes. Though the Gilded Age cocktail went “underground” during the Prohibition era, it launched the first of many generations whose palates thrilled to a panoply of artistically mixed drinks.

Lime asked me to review this book because vintage cocktails have been my pandemic quarantine project. I have amassed a collection of books on the subject, and I am happy to add this one to my bar shelf.

The subtitle of this book says a lot. It contains more history and lore than recipes, and I found it fascinating. As Tichi writes in the introduction, “the Gilded Age might also be known as the Golden Age of Cocktails” (p. 3), especially in the pre-Prohibition USA. She explores some of the reasons for that early in the book, and then she goes on to take a closer look at individual people, groups and places that were particularly significant and influential in cocktail culture from 1870-1910. Continue reading

SAPAHM Guest Author Cathy Yardley on being Asian-ish

Hi friends! I’m so happy to welcome back Cathy Yardley. I really hope you read her post – I’m grateful for what she has to say, and that she was willing to share it with us. Thank you, Cathy. <3

Asian-ish

When Lime asked if I could write a guest post for APAHM, I was thrilled. And then I was sort of terrified. Because I have a very complicated relationship with my own Asian heritage.

So I was talking with my (white) father last month, and I mentioned something – don’t remember what exactly– that my brother and I had been talking about. I think it was being Asian parents. How funny it was that, now that we had kids of our own, a lot of Mom’s habits had stuck despite out best efforts. Hovering about grades, especially.

And my father said, “It’s not like you’re really Asian, though.” Continue reading

Guest “Lightning Reviews”: The Billionaire’s Kittens by Karen Booth & Piper Trace

With a little sweet and a lot of heat The Billionaire’s Kittens series offers up gorgeous billionaires, spicy happenings in the boardroom and bedroom, and lots and lots of cute cuddly kittens. For those unfamiliar with the series here’s a quick recap in time for book eight which releases today.

The Billionaire's Kittens by Karen Booth & Piper Trace coverThe Billionaire’s Kittens – He wanted her body but he fell for her kittens.

Thurston Howard knew he was in trouble the first time he saw the little furry kitten in the lobby of the building he lived in and owned. The kitten looked exactly like one he owned as a child. He wasn’t prepared for the kitten’s owner to be even cuter than her furry feline companion. 

This book is told in alternating POVs of Thurston and Amber Darling who owns her own feline rescue, Amber’s Darlings. It works well here since they are so different but it’s those differences that make this book work. This is a friends to lovers romance that will find you rooting for the couple to realize that friends do indeed make the best lovers. Plus who can resist a man who loves kittens? Continue reading

Valentine’s Guests: Bobbi Romans Interviews Carolyn Hector

Hi friends! With time being fluid here in ALBTALBS land, and mixed up dates on my part, I’m glad this all worked out and we’re welcoming the lovely Bobbi Romans who is interviewing her delightful friend Carolyn Hector. I do want to say first – Cocoa Dreams, Carolyn’s newest book just came out this week! Congratulations on your newest release, Carolyn! Anyway, you gotta love a pair who just take care of everything! So without further ado…

Bobbi Romans Interviews Carolyn Hector for Valentine’s Day

Her Mistletoe Bachelor by Carolyn Hector book coverWhoop-Whoop, its Bobbi Romans here interviewing the fabulous Carolyn Hector Hall, AKA my little cuddle buddy, about all kinds of juicy tidbits both Valentines Inspired as well as just nosey darn questions.

Lets jump right in.

Bobbi: Hey cuddle buddy!
Carolyn: I miss you! I can’t wait until we can sleep in the same bed together! And before we start… Happy Birthday weekend to you! 

Bobbi: So for y’all reading this and us for the first time, twice a year (pre-covid) Carolyn, and I, along with some other awesome romance authors got together for a lake house retreat. At these retreats we do get a lot writing done, but we also have fun. One year Carolyn brought us all our own barbies. And let’s just say when we woke up in the morning, someone one (thou shalt not be named) posed the Barbies in some pretty wicked poses. 
Carolyn: What happens at the lake house, stays at the lake house….. or it ends up in a novel or on Facebook.  Continue reading

Guest Jeannie Lin: Hacking my own Brain and Writing for my Id

Hi friends! I’m very excited to welcome Jeannie Lin back to ALBTALBS! Also also! Did you know Jeannie just had a new book out yesterday?! And that it’s the Lunar New Year tomorrow? I mean, all the stars [or you know >.> celestial body singular?] aligned for this post! Congratulations on the release of Tale of the Drunken Sword and welcome!

Hacking my own Brain and Writing for my Id

The Hidden Moon by Jeannie Lin book coverMy family has a bunch of different superstitions around Lunar New Year, the most pervasive one being that whatever you do on the first day of the year will be the nature of the mojo you get for the rest of the year. We eat a bunch, spend time with family, get showered with money and act cheerful in order to set ourselves up for posterity and wealth and happiness for the new year.

I’m not superstitious, but I am in my head a lot which can sort of amount to the same thing. I play mind games with myself all the time because I know my brain is super analytical, but I also know my brain likes novelty and whimsy so it CAN be convinced to do things even though it knows it’s being tricked.  

So, I thought it would be a good way to jump start a productive writing year by starting out the year with a book release. It’s something I think my brain can be convinced of. 

I’d just quit the stressful day job and Lunar New Year was less than month away, so if I was going to make something happen, I’d better make it happen quick.  Continue reading

10th Blogiversary Wrap Up: Last Call to Enter ALL THE GIVEAWAYS

Hi friends! All the giveaways close today unless otherwise stated. What’s up for grabs you might ask? Well let me tell you!

Unless otherwise noted, all giveaways are open internationally! We want you to win, so please comment! Join in the fun!

Blogiversary Guest: Janice Maynard!

Hi friends! I’m so thrilled to welcome back Janice Maynard on the last day of January! We’re just doing things all over the place and offering giveaways galore here at ALBTALBS! 😀 It’s been ten years! We do what we want! 😜 Anyway Janice was kind enough to write a post and offer a prize, so read on!  <3

Happy Blogiversary to Limecello! I’m honored to be here today celebrating such a fun milestone!

As I was debating what to share with you, it occurred to me that Valentine’s Day is coming up soon. It will look different this year, of course. (My husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary in a restaurant parking lot eating carry-out.)

Whether you’ll be observing Gal-entine’s Day, or maybe you and your significant other are lifting a glass, because you’ve managed not to strangle each other during quarantine, this year’s events will be unlike any others.

Instead of reporting on a new release, I’d like to tell you about an older book that takes place in exactly this time of year. As you probably know, publishers “buy” the rights to publish books for a certain period of time. Eventually, those rights revert to the authors who can then re-publish the books. Continue reading

Blogiversary Guest: Kali Anthony On the Little Things

Hi friends! I can’t believe January is coming to a close! It’s gone by so quickly but also has felt like 10,000 years. I’d like you all to welcome one of our last 10th Blogiversary Guests, Kali Anthony! She’s a first timer at A Little Bit Tart, A Little Bit Sweet, and has been very kind, patient, and generous. We’re grateful to have her as a guest, and all the other authors who were happy to help celebrate. I hope you all give a warm welcome to Kali!

IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS

It all started whilst I was watering the grass. To be fair, the grass had just been freshly laid, and I was trying to keep it alive in our bakingly hot Australian summer during a brief lockdown. But watering said grass took over an hour of my time, twice a day, so I had lots of that time to contemplate…things.

My thoughts centered on how life had become somehow small over the last twelve months. No travel, no grand adventures. Ignoring the fact that the world was going to hell in a handbasket, life out of necessity seemed to be about hearth and home. It got me thinking that the media fetes the life lived large. It’s always about how much you can pack in rather than what happens if that’s whittled away to almost nothing. And what I realised during my grass watering musings, was that I wasn’t unhappy about my smaller life.  Continue reading