Category Archives: General

Blogiversary Version Guest Author & A Giveaway: Jennifer Bernard

Hi friends! I’m very excited to welcome back Jennifer Bernard as a guest to A Little Bit Tart, A Little Bit Sweet! When I put out a call for people to participate she responded immediately <3 As a[nother] personal thing, I realized when copying and pasting I did an oops in the questions I sent authors and none of them have called me out on it. 😅 So a general shout out for not embarrassing me I guess. 😜 (Thanks!) Anyway, Jennifer chose to do an “interview” so I hope you enjoy!

Mine Until Moonrise by Jennifer Bernard book coverWhat was your favorite book as a child? (Why?) And what is your favorite book now?
I’ve been an obsessive bookworm practically since birth, so it’s honestly really hard to pick out one favorite. Maybe A Wrinkle in Time. Little Women was up there, and the Narnia series. The Witch of Blackbird Pond was one of my all-time favorites. Lisa, Bright and Dark had a huge impact on me. Obviously I love the books that I grew up with, but I also think I would have devoured the young adult books coming out today. Right now I’m reading Legendborn, which I would have just inhaled back then – okay, I admit I’m doing that now as an adult.

If you could create any movie mash up – which films would you combine?
This isn’t a movie, but I’m currently binging on Insecure (so so good!) so I’d mash that up with… hm, maybe Crazy Rich Asians, so Issa Dee could have a happy ending?

What inanimate object would you eat if it was safe to do?
The moon, so I could glow on demand.

What is the first thing you learned how to cook? Do you have a go-to dish? And/or a signature dish? (What makes it so?)
Popcorn! With lots of butter and salt. And we didn’t have a popcorn maker so I learned with a frying pan (and a few burns.) My signature dish is something we eat all the time because I live in Alaska with a freezer full of salmon. You chop up pine nuts and herbs and salt and pepper, clump it onto the salmon and saute it in olive oil. Continue reading

Blogiversary Guest Renee Dahlia on 10 Years and Reflection

Hi friends! I’d like you to welcome back Renee Dahlia, who very generously offered to help us celebrate 10 years of blogging – and offer a giveaway! She took the time to write us this post, so I hope you enjoy!

Happy 10 years to A Little Bit Tart, A Little Bit Sweet
Renee Dahlia

Sometime in the middle of 2020, I was driving my car and people were calling in with stories of their worst cars. Someone rang up and talked about how they had a car where the CD got stuck in the player and they were forced to listen to the same CD over and over.

When I offered to write something for the tenth anniversary of this blog, it made complete sense to talk about Craving His Spotlight. This story is about having another go at life, about looking back at the past, and thinking about how to use those old experiences for good. The thing about anniversaries is they tend to make people think about the past and how far they’ve come in that time.

Craving His Spotlight opens with a voice and a memory.

Vince would know that voice anywhere. The rich dulcet smoky voice with sultry notes. Truly, it was the only good thing about the bloody pop beat of those songs. For two long years, he’d listened to it on endless repeat, because there was no other option. Hearing that voice meant only one thing—the lead singer of So You Think was here in the office of Vince’s advertising company, Kapow. It must be over a decade since the boy band was huge. He shuddered. That fucking car with the So You Think CD stuck in the dash represented some of the worst years of his life. Nah, not the absolute worst. They were the end of the worst and the beginning of now. Continue reading

Blogiversary Version Guest Author & A Giveaway: Shannon McKenna

Hi friends! I’m very excited to welcome back Shannon McKenna. She’s written some of my favorite romantic suspense books (I know! It’s not even a genre I generally read but her McCloud books – man. Davy 😻. Anyway) Please give her a warm welcome! Shannon very generously offered to be participate, and chose to do a “Guest Author & A Giveaway” post, so here are her Blogiversary questions and answers! 

What was your favorite book as a child? And what is your favorite book now?
I was an Anne Of Green Gables freak. I just adored that book and all the rest of the Anne series as well. I related to her so completely. Not only how imaginative and lost in her head that she was, but how hungry she was for love and acceptance. But there is Jane Eyre, too, which I was introduced to as a Classics Illustrated comic way back in the long-ago time when I thought that the whole Mr. Rochester story was dumb and boring and the only interesting part was Jane’s time at the awful Lowell School with Helen Burns and the evil Mr. Brocklehurst. That book is the breeding ground of a million incredibly compelling romance tropes that still have me in their vise-grip today. The lure of the trash-talking bad boy, My Love Will Save Him, etc, etc. But the great thing about Jane Eyre is, she knows how to say ‘no.’ Even when it tears her to pieces, she maintains her own integrity as a person, over and over again. And then, thank God, the story rewards her for it with a happy ending. WHICH IS AS IT FREAKING SHOULD BE. ALWAYS. Oh dear now I’m getting worked up about random things that have nothing to do with anything. I will stop now.

Favorite book now…I am in a terrible state of not having enough time to read, and having not had it for such a long time that I have gotten out of the habit of reading. Awful, for a writer. The last book I read was the Jack Reacher thriller Blue Moon, and I enjoyed the hell out of it. I have lots of thoughts and strong opinions about Jack Reacher and his issues, (I wish he would get therapy, how fun would that be? Don’t you want to read that chapter?) but enough about that. I would say, the last book I had time to read that absolutely blew my mind was All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Incandescently beautiful writing. Just huge. And the latest romance I had time to read was Robin Covington’s latest, Taking On The Billionaire, a Harlequin Desire, which was heart-felt, red-hot, crackling fun that I would recommend to everyone. Continue reading

Blogiversary Version Guest Author & A Giveaway: Christie Kelley

Hi friends! I’m very excited to welcome Christie Kelley to ALBTALBS. I believe she’s a first time guest, so I hope you all give her a warm welcome! I do also want to note that this post was initially supposed to go live on January 9th, but … well. Anyway! What’s important right now is that A Little Bit Tart, A Little Bit Sweet turned 10, and Christie Kelley is kind and generous and offering you a prize! Remember those ~zany interviews I used to do as part of the monthly “Guest Author & A Giveaway” series? Christie opted to do one of those, so here are her questions and answers!

Ten Ways to Ruin by Christie Kelley book coverWhat was your favorite book as a child? And what is your favorite book now?
When I was a child, I devoured the Little House on the Prairie books. I think I’ve always felt like this was not my time period, which is probably why I write historical romance.

Learning about my family as I was growing up, my mother always talked about her how her relatives had crossed the Appalachians by the early 1800s, and finally settled in Missouri and Kansas so I felt an affinity toward Laura Ingalls.

I’m not sure I have a favorite book now. I love Pride and Prejudice but my favorites change depending on my mood and what is happening in my life. Lately I’ve been reading a lot of cozy mysteries.

If you could create any movie mash up – which films would you combine? (Why?)
I have to be honest here, this is not something I think much about. So I did a little Googling and saw a movie post for The Bounty Hunter staring Jennifer Anniston and Boba Fett (from the Star Wars franchise). Admittedly, as a Star Wars fan (not fanatic like my sons), I thought the idea of Boba Fett finding out his ex-wife is his next bounty was great. I don’t think he’d be as easy to get away from as Gerard Butler.

What inanimate object would you eat if it was safe to do? Why?
Hmm, well as I write this, I’m staring at my Christmas tree, which fills me with happiness. So why not munch on a Christmas tree. Maybe not full size, though. I’m assuming the ornaments would be little candies that could be pulled from the main tree, which would be cookie or cake. And now I’m hungry. Continue reading

Blogiversary Guest Ainsley Wynter: Sliding Into 2021 and Leaving the Ghosts of 2020 Behind

Hi friends! I’m very pleased to welcome [back] Ainsley Wynter to our blogiversary celebration! (Especially since 😬😅 I still owe her a review… reviews?) And seriously – I think we’re all in on this topic, yeah? [I think … it might be important to note that she sent it to me on January 4th…]  So without further ado, Ainsley!

SLIDING INTO 2021 AND LEAVING THE GHOSTS OF 2020 BEHIND
By Ainsley Wynter

Kissed at Midnight by Ainsley Wynter book coverAs the door closed on 2020, I was one of the people who slid out without saying much of a goodbye. At midnight on New Years Eve I sat on the couch with my kids and husband and watched the ball drop—twice, since I live in the Midwest—and then went to bed. I did that heroine thing of holding a breath that I didn’t know I was holding. Some time later on the morning of January 1st, I carefully blew it out. Maybe 2021 wouldn’t be a total shitshow. Maybe we could leave some of the awful in the past year behind. Continue reading

A Pause for Unfortunate Reality

Look. It’s our 10th Blogiversary. I had posts with giveaways scheduled for every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday of the month. I was all set to go. I didn’t have things scheduled out early – I didn’t get posts early (although a few are in now) … and then Wednesday, January 6th happened.

Insurrection at the Capitol. While Congress was trying to essentially (and until now) basically ceremonially certify the electoral votes. A lot of information is still yet to come, and there are many other better, smarter people who have spoken about it.

So I’ll share Michelle Obama’s here.

I really meant to post Friday … Saturday … Sunday … but still. (And also other life things took over …
And if I’m being honest it’s sunday night and I’m distracted by sportsball, and I’ll be distracted Monday too.) But while part of us will be keeping an eye on this … I hope to also get blog posts going again too. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

Blogiversary Guest Jody Wallace: Cats Are As Perfect As Books

Hi friends! I can believe it less than you, possibly, A LITTLE BIT TART, A LITTLE BIT SWEET HAS TURNED 10! I put out a few calls on social media asking for people to help celebrate, and the wonderful Jody Wallace was all over it, so a big thank you to Jody! <3 She’s also got some pretty amazing prizes up for grabs, so read till the end. Yes, every guest post in January will have a giveaway! (And some of the other ones too …)  We’re starting out 2021 right here at ALBTALBS! So without further ado … Jody!

Cats Are As Perfect As Books

Curled up PipLimecello told me I could write about whatever I wanted, so let’s talk about cats. Specifically, our new cat, Pip. She’s five pounds of sass and attitude, and we have not yet fully integrated her into our household of four people, one bearded dragon, and two dopey dude cats and two old lady cats. First we maintained a general ‘getting a shelter cat healthy’ quarantine and now we’re having to maintain a ‘turns out the sad little shelter cat has a ton of attitude once she feels better’ quarantine. Continue reading

We’ve Hit Double Digits! AKA ALBTALBS Turns 10!

Happy 2021! We made it! Limecello here. 

Hi friends! I’m writing this as I watch the game. There are less than 5 minutes left. I “opened” this post just as the game started so … my emotions have been ALL OVER the place. Which … is kind of how A Little Bit Tart, A Little Bit Sweet has been since its inception.

The past few years, if you’ve stuck around, you know have been slow. For various reasons. First and the biggest being blogs are a “bygone” thing … but also there’s just … a lot going on here with the crew. I’m a mess. Others in the review crew have a lot going on. At least one of us is still in school.

So! I really wanted to thank you for sticking with us! <3

I’m really going to try to post at least a BIT more regularly. Definitely Aidee and Babs are really consistent with providing reviews. Faster than I post them. 😬😅 So there’s that to look forward to.
I’d like to revive the Smithsonian Heritage Months … we’ll see how that goes. (If anyone would be interested in participating, PLEASE LET ME KNOW!)

As a thank you, nearly every post will include a giveaway this month. All the guest author posts will, definitely. And you know what? SO WILL THIS ONE!

I want to be clear, anyone is always welcome to enter any A Little Bit Tart, A Little Bit Sweet giveaway. Sometimes there will be US-only giveaways because of location, or different prizes… and/but here’s one for the authors. I’ll do a 50 page beta read of anything you send me. I might do more, but I promise to read and comment on at least 50 pages. I tend to edit as I go, so you’ll get that too. I’ve beta read and edited for NYT and USA Today best sellers in the past, and was the editor-in-chief of a law journal.

Comment on this post, and throughout the month … I’ll be drawing a name at the end of the blogiversary. If you’d like me to do a beta read, drop a comment here and if you want, the gist of your story. The winners will as always be drawn randomly to keep things fair.

Anyway, thanks for sticking around, I hope you win a prize or two, and you’re also always welcome to write a guest post or review!

*ETA: As some clarification … Please add in your comment if you want to enter the beta read giveaway. I’m going to assume everyone who has already commented is a yes, just in case, unless I personally know the person or they tell me not later … but anyone after 6 PM on Saturday, January 2nd, please indicate whether or not you’re interested in the beta read. Thanks!

Happy Christmas [Eve too]! <3

Thanks for sticking with ALBTALBS, friends <3

Merry Christmas over a stylized artistic Christmas tree, with "2020 💀☠️" at the bottom

Merry Happy Christmas to all who celebrate. (And Christmas Eve which >.> is when this was posted.) To everyone else, happy Thursday and Friday. And happy holidays and such – peace to all and hopefully protection from Covid-19 or all side effects.

On behalf of the ALBTALBS crew, thank you from the bottom of my [our] hearts. We appreciate you!

P.S. because I was wondering what tags to use … I searched the blog for “Merry Christmas” and honestly? KRAMPUS. Check it out. Worth it just to re-use the tag. 😹

Guest Author Pam Rosenthal on Second Chances: Notes on Reissuing a Story Written Long Ago

Hi friends! Please welcome Pam Rosenthal to ALBTALBS! We’re very excited to have her – and just look at that book cover!

Second Chances: Notes on Reissuing a Story Written Long Ago

A House East of Regent Street by Pam Rosental book coverMy husband Michael and I have often worked together over the course of our more than 50-year-long marriage: from the joint film reviews we wrote in our twenties, to nine years together as booksellers, to our current copyediting business, where we charge by the word so we don’t have to worry about the cost to a client of the occasional time-consuming battle royal over a comma. (And yes, we love editing romance.) When I was writing erotica and romance, Michael’s part in the collaboration sometimes took the form of direct intervention, like his rewrite of my meandering synopsis of The Bookseller’s Daughter. It might also entail his bringing home some new book, casually remarking, as he put it on the coffee table, that I might find it interesting – most notably, an anthology called Erotikon: Essays on Eros, Ancient and Modern, which sparked the thoughts at the heart of my last romance, The Edge of Impropriety. Or it could mean taking my editor’s side when I resisted her request to change a scene in Almost a Gentleman. Bullheaded as I was, Michael changed my mind by convincing me that David and Phoebe would not have done that sex act at that point in their relationship. Continue reading