I did it!!! I have a post going up in a reasonably timely manner! Ahhh!!! >.> So like … remember how down all of us were on/about 2020? And like … 2021 is in some (a lot of ways?) worse? Like a lot worse? So … yeah. That’s somewhat reflected in my reading … there were weeks [a month] where I just … didn’t read much. I binge watched all of Schitt’s Creek in literally a week in February … and there are a lot of books I didn’t get around to ~reviewing/writing my thoughts on. But 🤷🏻♀️ Here’s my list anyway. I think the biggest note of the bunch would be Tiffany Patterson – if you like contemporary romances, I think she’s definitely an author you should check out. Each book is so unique yet her voice is so strong. I loved that each character is so developed and distinct. As you see I read through almost her entire backlist in basically a month.
Hi friends! Today we welcome Amy Craig who wrote a truly lovely post for ALBTALBS <3 Her book A Winter Rose just came out yesterday (July 28, 2021 – yes! A post in real time at ALBTALBS! Put this on your calendar! 😉) This is her first time guesting at A Little Bit Tart, A Little Bit Sweet, so show her some love!
On A Winter Rose
The first time someone “published” my writing was middle school. Everyone in my class wrote a poem, submitted their poem to an anthology, paid a fee, and received a paperback copy. When I received my copy, I read my friend’s poems, reread my poem, and knew we’d been had. The anthology was a total scam that preyed on doting parents and ambivalent kids.
A few years later, my high school teacher asked me to write a piece for the National Council of Teachers of English. I flashed back to middle school, but I sat in the cold computer lab and pecked out a story using terms from my beginning ballet class, bad French, and a perseverance theme. I won recognition, but my teacher’s encouragement stayed with me through college and years of professional doubt.
When The Wild Rose Press accepted A Winter Rose, I dedicated the novel to my teacher. My grandma claimed the first indie publishing dedication, but my teacher roared into second place.Continue reading →
[This is Limecello here with the commentary … So first … *crawls into a whole* 😬 Aidee submitted this post on January 13, 2021. I was so sure I had formatted and posted this … but obviously not. My eye started twitching now at … just me. Ugh. My apologies to all.] Anyway, I want to highlight this is what Aidee read from July-December 2020. Anyway, without further mess from me… Aidee!
As per usual, this list is not in any kind of order. Books with an asterisk are books I’ve re-read. Continue reading →
… Yeah that’s not a typo. I’m seriously behind. (I mean … the end of 2020 and beginning of 2021 was just … not great. And then things got a little better, but … not that much… and this is just big picture stuff. For myself … my life is one constant migraine and I’ve said this ~summary before – “Why Am I Bleeding and Where Is This Blood Coming From?: The Limecello Story.” So anyway, I had wanted to do all these things in June but part of me also gave myself permission to just … “celebrate by not.” I did want to at least do this though – so … here we go. My list of every(?) book I finished reading in 2020. The symbols are pretty self explanatory I think. As always, the asterisk means I’m certain it was a re-read. the “x#” is how many times I re-read it that time. I am big on comfort re-reading. And the past months have IMO called for a lot of it, so yes in fact there were some book(s) I read or listened to literally five times in a row. Of course the note “♪” means it was an audiobook. Bad devices etc and being held hostage by them really led me to audiobooks since it was the only thing that could run in the background – and also some temporary loss of vision. (Scary!!)
It’s likely not exactexact – near the end of 2020 I got especially bad at logging books or ~reviewing them and rating them, so that’s why a bunch of books aren’t “graded.” As usual if you want to know more of my thoughts on the books I try to put them in GR. (Which is where I get my list from, so it’s tricky. It’s also not great at slotting in re-reads chronologically…) I do also want to say I’m a definite mood reader – so how I’m feeling can to a degree affect what I think of a book. And you can really see when things were getting rough cuz I went back to books I’d just read and listened to them over and over (and over) again.
I pointed out books I noticed are on sale – N.B. this is at the time of my grabbing the link so make sure you double check. Also those are mostly for kindle formats I believe. In case you didn’t know, Amazon changes prices on a whim – or publishers, or authors, so sometimes sales are just for 24 hours. Sometimes they’re there for a few days. YMMV. Usual disclaimers apply – the links are to Amazon because we’re an associate so if you’d be willing to kick us a few pennies, please click and buy! Thanks! Continue reading →
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 →
Hi friends! So I did this for Black History Month – created a list of Black Romance Authors which I hope you found helpful. So I wanted to do it for APAHM too.
With SAPAHM months I’ve had some international guests, so the lists might be slightly off – so apologizes if they are, please let me know what to change. (If I couldn’t find a webpage I linked to their Amazon profile page.) And … some of these authors write YA but YA romance, so I added you know – “(YA)” after their names.
Have you read these authors before? I know there are names I’ve missed – so do you have anyone I should add? (And thank you!)
And as always – if you want to be removed, please let me know.
*ETA: and unlike the other list, the italicized names are ones from crowdsourcing. So I switched it up. Just keeping y’all on your toes. 😉
*ETA² – Clarification after getting numerous comments – mostly on Twitter – Jackie Lau is not the only Asian Canadian author on the list. I included Canada in the “American” list because it’s in N. America, and is closer/much more similar than say someone who lives in Malaysia and has only ever lived in Malaysia. We’ll see how things change next year.
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
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.
Hi friends! If you follow me on social media you might’ve seen me share a bunch of deals before. I asked if anyone might be interested in a blog post listing them and people responded positively, so here we are! Enjoy!
First of all, Amazon is currently running another promotion where if you spend $25 on ebooks, you’ll get a $6 credit. Click here: amzn.to/3aKlw7a – make sure it tells you the deal is activated first before you start buying! It ends tomorrow, April 28, 2021.
Now, all the deals are priced as listed at the time of this post so I’d encourage you to double check because if you read/buy kindle books you’ll know pricing can change very quickly.
N.B. I haven’t read all of these books. Some I’m sharing because it’s a good deal, some I’m sharing because the deal but also I know others liked them. Or, I think people might enjoy the book. For ones I really liked I’ll sometimes comment or highlight it.
Taking His Shot (Hot Jocks Book 7) by Kendall Ryan is on sale for $0.99 (kindle) Marry in Haste (Marriage of Convenience Book 1) by Anne Gracie is on sale for $1.99 Sorcerer to the Crown (A Sorcerer to the Crown Novel Book 1) by Zen Cho is on sale for $1.99 Problem Child (A Jane Doe Thriller) by Victoria Helen Stone is on sale for $0.99 Jane Doe: A Novel (A Jane Doe Thriller) by Victoria Helen Stone is on sale for $1.99 The Last One Home by Victoria Helen Stone is on sale for $3.99 The Vanishing (Fogg Lake Book 1) by Jayne Ann Krentz is on sale for $2.99 A Lie for a Lie (All In Book 1) by Helena Hunting is on sale for $1.99 Unbreak My Heart by Lauren Blakely is on sale for $1.99 Rookie Move (A Brooklyn Bruisers Novel Book 1) by Sarina Bowen is on sale for $2.99 His Immortal Embrace by Hannah Howell, Lynsay Sands, Sara Blayne, and Kate Huntington is on sale for $1.99 A Heart of Blood and Ashes (A Gathering of Dragons Book 1) by Milla Vane is still on sale for $1.99 Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 8) by J.R. Ward is on sale for $1.99
Not the lowest price, but A Court of Thorns and Roses is on sale for $6.65 (kindle) – and you might want to snag it now because it seems the other books in the trilogy are now $10. Someone to Watch over Me (Bow Street Series Book 1) is on sale for $1.99 Dreaming of You (Gamblers Book 2) by Lisa Kleypas is still on sale for $2.99 – And if you’ve never read it and don’t understand the “DEREK!!! SARA!!!” tweets and the “debates” … well here’s your chance to get it at a bargain 😉 Romancing the Duke: Castles Ever After by Tessa Dare is on sale for $2.99 Say Yes to the Marquess: Castles Ever After by Tessa Dare is on sale for $3.99 Catch Me If You Can by Christina C Jones is on sale for $0.99 Finding Forever (Friends and Lovers Book 1) by Christina C Jones is on sale for $0.99 Only For A Night (The Lick Series Book 1) by Naima Simone is on sale for $0.99 Only For Your Touch (The Lick Series Book 2) by Naima Simone is on sale for $0.99 Only For You (The Lick Series Book 3) by Naima Simone is on sale for $0.99
(There are even more Naima Simone books on sale for $0.99-$1.99 so enjoy! You can check them out here.)
A number of Tessa Bailey books are on sale from $0.99 to $2.99 here. Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Love by Numbers Book 1) by Sarah MacLean is on sale for $3.49
A number of Grace Burrowes books are on sale for $1.99 here (kindle) Duchess in Love (Duchess Quartet Book 1) by Eloisa James is on sale for $1.99 Much Ado About You (Essex Sisters Series Book 1) by Eloisa James is on sale for $1.99 Desperate Duchesses by Eloisa James is on sale for $1.99 The Bachelor (Duke Dynasty Book 2) by Sabrina Jeffries is on sale for $0.99 Mistress By Mistake (Courtesan Court) by Maggie Robinson is on sale for $1.99 Badger to the Bone (The Honey Badger Chronicles Book 3) by Shelly Laurenston is on sale for $0.99 The Unleashing(Call Of Crows Book 1) by Shelly Laurenston is on sale for $1.99 Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles Book 1) by Ilona Andrews is on sale for $1.99 Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, Book 1) by Ilona Andrews is on sale for $2.99 Heiress for Hire (A Duke’s Heiress Romance Book 1) by Madeline Hunter is on sale for $0.99 The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. Jensen is on sale for $2.99
A number of books by Beverly Jenkins are on sale from $1.99-$2.99 (here) and if nothing else you should really get Destiny’s Embrace which is $1.99 right now. Crossing The Line (Wilde Ways Book 7) by Cynthia Eden is on sale for $0.99
So! Did you find this helpful? Would you be interested in me noting if the books are in KU too or no? Please let me know!
And 😅 finding all these deals etc does take time so if you’re so inclined … buy me a cup of coffee? *angelface*
Hi friends! We’re back with a WHM post! As you know I welcome any and everyone fro Smithsonian [Heritage] Month posts, and Morgan was someone who stepped up. Thank you, Morgan! I have to say – I didn’t know much about Mrs. Radcliffe. Of course I knew she was a very popular author. It seemed for a while you couldn’t read a historical romance that didn’t snark about her in some way – so I appreciated Morgan providing her take and more information. I also desperately need to know more about ~what happened to her … but that seems like something we’ll never know. Anyway – read on!
The Mysterious Mrs. Radcliffe
by Morgan Elektra
Most of you don’t know the name Ann Radcliffe, despite the fact that, in her heyday (1789-1797), she was the most popular novelist in perhaps all of Europe. However, this sad oversight is hardly your fault. Unlike names like Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, and the Brontë sisters, Radcliffe’s name is hardly ever uttered in a classroom setting. Prior to college and any specialization classes taken at that time, there is very little attention paid to the Gothic novel at all, despite how those authors, like Radcliffe, helped shape the world of both horror and romance.
So, who is Ann Radcliffe and why should you know her name? Born Ann Ward in Holborn, London on July 9, 1764, she moved with her mother and father to Bath as a small girl, where her father managed a china shop for the Wedgewoods. She married William Radcliffe, a lawyer who would go on to edit The English Chronicle newspaper. The two lived in seclusion in London and had no children. Little more is known of her life, aside from a few quotes about her shyness. Continue reading →
*Editor’s Note: Aidee sent this list on 12/28/2020. Some of the books are already available. For those yet to be published, I’ve included the release date.
I’ve organized this list by release date. I’m also sure there are books coming out in the second half of the year that I’m going to be excited about, I just can’t find official publication dates for them.
Blood Heir by Ilona Andrews Atlanta was always a dangerous city. Now, as waves of magic and technology compete for supremacy, it’s a place caught in a slow apocalypse, where monsters spawn among the crumbling skyscrapers and supernatural factions struggle for power and survival.
Eight years ago, Julie Lennart left Atlanta to find out who she was. Now she’s back with a new face, a new magic, and a new name—Aurelia Ryder—drawn by the urgent need to protect the family she left behind. An ancient power is stalking her adopted mother, Kate Daniels, an enemy unlike any other, and a string of horrifying murders is its opening gambit.
If Aurelia’s true identity is discovered, those closest to her will die. So her plan is simple: get in, solve the murders, prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled, and get out without being recognized. She expected danger, but she never anticipated that the only man she’d ever loved could threaten everything.
One small misstep could lead to disaster. But for Aurelia, facing disaster is easy; it’s relationships that are hard.
When she suddenly finds herself thrust through a doorway that asks her to “Be Sure” before swallowing her whole, Regan must learn to live in a world filled with centaurs, kelpies, and other magical equines—a world that expects its human visitors to step up and be heroes.
But after embracing her time with the herd, Regan discovers that not all forms of heroism are equal, and not all quests are as they seem…
The Devil Comes Courting by Courtney Milan(Set for release on April 20, 2021) Captain Grayson Hunter knows the battle to complete the first worldwide telegraphic network will be fierce, and he intends to win it by any means necessary. When he hears about a reclusive genius who has figured out how to slash the cost of telegraphic transmissions, he vows to do whatever it takes to get the man in his employ.
Except the reclusive genius is not a man, and she’s not looking for employment.
Amelia Smith was taken in by English missionaries as a child. She’s not interested in Captain Hunter’s promises or his ambitions. But the harder he tries to convince her, the more she realizes that there is something she wants from him. She wants everything. And she’ll have to crack the frozen shell he’s made of his heart to get it.
The Route of Ice and Salt A translation of La ruta del hielo y la sal by José Luis Zárate. Translated by David Bowles A reimagining of Dracula’s voyage to England, filled with Gothic imagery and queer desire.
It’s an ordinary assignment, nothing more. The cargo? Fifty boxes filled with Transylvanian soil. The route? From Varna to Whitby. The Demeter has made many trips like this. The captain has handled dozens of crews.
He dreams familiar dreams: to taste the salt on the skin of his men, to run his hands across their chests. He longs for the warmth of a lover he cannot have, fantasizes about flesh and frenzied embraces. All this he’s done before, it’s routine, a constant, like the tides.
Yet there’s something different, something wrong. There are odd nightmares, unsettling omens and fear. For there is something in the air, something in the night, someone stalking the ship.
The cult vampire novella by Mexican author José Luis Zárate is available for the first time in English. Translated by David Bowles and with an accompanying essay by noted horror author Poppy Z. Brite, it reveals an unknown corner of Latin American literature.
Big Bad Wolf by Suleikha Snyder They call him a monster. More wolf than man—more dangerous than any predator.
They have no idea.
Joe Peluso has blood on his hands. He took out the mobsters responsible for killing his foster brother, and that one act of vigilante justice has earned him countless enemies in New York’s supernatural-controlled underworld. He knows that shifters like him deserve the worst. Darkness. Pain. Solitude. But meeting Neha makes him feel human for the first time in forever.
Lawyer and psychologist Neha Ahluwalia knows Joe is guilty, but she’s determined to help him craft a solid defense…even if she can’t defend her own obsession. Just one look from the wolf shifter makes her skin burn hot and her pulse race. When a payback hit goes wrong, Neha’s forced to make a choice: help Joe escape or leave him to his fate. Before long they’re on the run?from the monsters who want him dead, from their own traitorous hearts, and from an attraction that threatens to destroy them.
Calculated Risks by Seanan Mcguire Just when Sarah Zellaby, adopted Price cousin and telepathic ambush predator, thought that things couldn’t get worse, she’s had to go and prove herself wrong. After being kidnapped and manipulated by her birth family, she has undergone a transformation called an instar, reaching back to her Apocritic origins to metamorphize. While externally the same, she is internally much more powerful, and much more difficult to control.
Even by herself. After years of denial, the fact that she will always be a cuckoo has become impossible to deny.
Now stranded in another dimension with a handful of allies who seem to have no idea who she is–including her cousin Annie and her maybe-boyfriend Artie, both of whom have forgotten their relationship–and a bunch of cuckoos with good reason to want her dead, Sarah must figure out not only how to contend with her situation, but with the new realities of her future. What is she now? Who is she now? Is that person someone she can live with?
And when all is said and done, will she be able to get the people she loves, whether or not they’ve forgotten her, safely home?
First Comes Like by Alisha Rai Beauty expert and influencer Jia Ahmed has her eye on the prize: conquering the internet today, the entire makeup industry tomorrow, and finally, finally proving herself to her big opinionated family. She has little time for love, and even less time for the men in her private messages—until the day a certain international superstar slides into her DMs, and she falls hard and fast.
There’s just one wrinkle: he has no idea who she is.
The son of a powerful Bollywood family, soap opera star Dev Dixit is used to drama, but a strange woman who accuses him of wooing her online, well, that’s a new one. As much as he’d like to focus on his Hollywood fresh start, he can’t get Jia out of his head. Especially once he starts to suspect who might have used his famous name to catfish her…
When paparazzi blast their private business into the public eye, Dev is happy to engage in some friendly fake dating to calm the gossips and to dazzle her family. But as the whole world swoons over their relationship, Jia can’t help but wonder: Can an online romance-turned-offline-fauxmance ever become love in real life?
Wild Sign by Patricia Briggs(To be released on March 16, 2021) Mated werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham must discover what could make an entire community disappear–before it’s too late–in this thrilling entry in the Alpha and Omega series.
In the wilds of the Northern California mountains, all the inhabitants of a small town have gone missing. It’s as if the people picked up and left their possessions behind. With a mystery on their hands and no jurisdiction on private property, the FBI dumps the whole problem in the lap of the land owner, Aspen Creek, Inc.–aka the business organization of the Marrok’s pack.
Somehow, the pack of the Wolf Who Rules is connected to a group of vanished people. Werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham are tasked with investigating, and soon find that a deserted town is the least of the challenges they face.
Death sings in the forest, and when it calls, Charles and Anna must answer. Something has awakened in the heart of the California mountains, something old and dangerous–and it has met werewolves before.
Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo(To be released March 30, 2021) The wolves are circling and a young king will face his greatest challenge in the explosive finale of the King of Scars Duology.
The Demon King. As Fjerda’s massive army prepares to invade, Nikolai Lantsov will summon every bit of his ingenuity and charm—and even the monster within—to win this fight. But a dark threat looms that cannot be defeated by a young king’s gift for the impossible.
The Stormwitch. Zoya Nazyalensky has lost too much to war. She saw her mentor die and her worst enemy resurrected, and she refuses to bury another friend. Now duty demands she embrace her powers to become the weapon her country needs. No matter the cost.
The Queen of Mourning. Deep undercover, Nina Zenik risks discovery and death as she wages war on Fjerda from inside its capital. But her desire for revenge may cost her country its chance at freedom and Nina the chance to heal her grieving heart.
King. General. Spy. Together they must find a way to forge a future in the darkness. Or watch a nation fall.
How to Find a Princess by Alyssa Cole(To be released May 25, 2021) Makeda Hicks has lost her job and her girlfriend in one fell swoop. The last thing she’s in the mood for is to rehash the story of her grandmother’s infamous summer fling with a runaway prince from Ibarania, or the investigator from the World Federation of Monarchies tasked with searching for Ibarania’s missing heir.
Yet when Beznaria Chetchevaliere crashes into her life, the sleek and sexy investigator exudes exactly the kind of chaos that organized and efficient Makeda finds irresistible, even if Bez is determined to drag her into a world of royal duty Makeda wants nothing to do with.
When a threat to her grandmother’s livelihood pushes Makeda to agree to return to Ibarania, Bez takes her on a transatlantic adventure with a crew of lovable weirdos, a fake marriage, and one-bed hijinks on the high seas. When they finally make it to Ibarania, they realize there’s more at stake than just cash and crown, and Makeda must learn what it means to fight for what she desires and not what she feels bound to by duty.
The Sea-Ringed World: Sacred Stories of the Americas A translation of Diccionario de mitos de América by María García Esperón. Translated by David Bowles Fifteen thousand years before Europeans stepped foot in the Americas, people had already spread from tip to tip and coast to coast. Like all humans, these Native Americans sought to understand their place in the universe, the nature of their relationship with the divine, and the origin of the world into which their ancestors had emerged.
The answers lay in their sacred stories.
Author María García Esperón, illustrator Amanda Mijangos, and translator David Bowles have gifted us a treasure. Their talents have woven this collection of stories from nations and cultures across our two continents—the Sea-Ringed World, as the Aztecs called it—from the edge of Argentina all the way up to Alaska.
The Em Querido list seeks to introduce the finest books in translation from around the world to an American audience. We feel lucky to be bringing you this book on our inaugural list, which we hope will be a true window and mirror.
Last Guard by Nalini Singh(To be released on July 20, 2021) Termed merciless by some, and a robotic sociopath by others, Payal Rao is the perfect Psy: cardinal telekinetic, CEO of a major conglomerate, beautiful—and emotionless.
For Canto Mercant, family and loyalty are everything. A cardinal telepath deemed “imperfect” by his race due to a spinal injury, Canto cares for the opinions of very few—and ruthlessly protects those he claims as his own. Head of intel for the influential Mercant family, he prefers to remain a shadow in the Net, unknown and unseen. But Canto is also an anchor, part of a secretive designation whose task it is to stabilize the PsyNet. Now that critical psychic network is dying, threatening to collapse and kill the entire Psy race with it.
To save those he loves, Canto needs the help of a woman bound to him by a dark past neither has been able to forget. A woman who is the most powerful anchor of them all: Payal Rao. Neither is ready for the violent inferno about to ignite in the PsyNet . . . or the passionate madness that threatens to destroy them both.