Hi friends! So I was all “I’m definitely going to be on top of writing TBR Challenge reviews in 2022!” And like … I just hesitated typing 2022 because my fingers wanted to type 2021 and that’s how things are going, described in the gentlest way.
I’ve been doing very little reading the past few months, in a way. And in another … well, I’m fixating – hard. I listened to the same audiobook, once a day if not more, for well over a month. I’ve shifted to the same audiobook for a week (or so), on repeat, but they’re comfort re-reads. In January I went back to Beverly Jenkins historicals. <3 (Indigo, Vivid, Night Hawk…)
Which … gets me to this. While my TBR both languishes and grows – you’re all readers – you get it – I just … have no focus. And I’m not even branching out on comfort reads because what if I pick up a book I loved 20 years ago but it’s just terrible now? (Maybe it just wasn’t that good, maybe it was super racist and I had no idea. I don’t know.)
… So yeah. You’re almost paralyzed with “what ifs.” But also trying a new book just … is too exhausting and what if it’s not good and then you wasted time and then also have to figure out what else to read to avoid it.
That’s enough of that.
ANYWAY. I said I went back to Beverly Jenkins re-[and re and re and re] reads…. and what came to mind for “the sexiest low key scene” – I mean it’s a grand gesture but it’s not something you’d normally think of as sexy. It’s when Galen quotes scripture to Hester in the church.
… if you’ve never read Indigo you might be thinking “uhhhhhh Lime?” But come on. Imagine it’s 1858, and the most handsome man you or anyone else has ever seen stands up in church and quotes.
“Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse…thou hast ravished my heart… Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense …” “Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue…Thy navel is like a round goblet which wanteth not liquor…The joints of your thighs are like jewels…”
Which are from Chapters 4 and 7 of Song of Solomon. It made me think of the infamous Darcy hand flex in the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice that is regularly trotted out in social media and people lose their minds over. It’s iconic.
So my question is … what is the tamest/most innocuous yet sexiest/most “*fans self*” scene you’ve ever read? What’s your favorite one in a book or movie?
Inquiring minds wish to know!
And if you’ve never read Indigo … do yourself the favor and start now. Now!
As a child Hester Wyatt escaped slavery, but now the dark skinned beauty is a dedicated member of Michigan’s Underground railroad, offering other runaways a chance at the freedom she has learned to love. When one of her fellow conductors brings her an injured man to hide, Hester doesn’t hesitate…even after she is told about the price on his head.
The man in question is the great conductor known as the “Black Daniel” a vital member of the North’s Underground railroad network. But Hester finds him so rude and arrogant, she begins to question her vow to hide him.
When the injured and beaten Galen Vachon, aka, the Black Daniel awakens in Hester’s cellar, he is unprepared for the feisty young conductor providing his care. As a member of one of the wealthiest free Black families in New Orleans, Galen has turned his back on the lavish living he is accustomed to in order to provide freedom to those enslaved in the South.
However, as he heals he cannot turn his back on Hester Wyatt. Her innocence fills him like a breath of fresh air and he is determined to make this gorgeous and intelligent woman his own…
Yet…there are traitors to be discovered, slave catchers to be evaded and Hester’s heart to be won before she and Galen can find the freedom that only true love can bring.
… 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! 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 →
I’m doing this on my phone for the first time ever and hoping it works so this’ll be bare bones and hopefully updated once I can get to my computer (providing it cooperates).
If you’ve been around ALBTALBS you know I also make charitable donations specially based on how the Buckeyes do, so now that the season is here, I wanted to get this post done before the game is over.
I’ll donate to charity each time the Buckeyes win. (This year I don’t have a set number yet – I need to look at my finances as I was again on unpaid medical leave for a period.) Anyway, if the Buckeyes win and break 70 points I’ll probably make a larger donation.
Last year I believe I gave to the ACLU and SPLC. In the past I’ve donated to any non-profit charity the first commenter suggested.
No decisions yet but I’m always looking for worthy causes, so what charities do you think need more love?
Keep this post in mind for updates and interaction, especially if I decide to do game donations by comment. ❤️
Hi friends! Please welcome Vanessa Riley to ALBTALBS!! I first began emailing with her back in early January. We were hoping for February, but she was swamped with deadlines, she sent me the post in May (APAHM!) so … here we are now! Yay!
Who Gets to Decide?
I’ve been a romance reader all my life. It’s been my refuge, my happy place. When I wanted to try my hand at putting the stories running rampant in my head on paper, I went to a Romance Writers of America conference. I saw Kristan Higgins up on stage. I was close enough to see the tremor in her cheek on the big screen when she described her readers, the love affair she has with them and how they tell her how one of her books touched their lives. The woman made me cry, right atop my half-eaten salad and rubbery chicken. I remember thinking I want to do that, write romances that matter. I’m one of those lives, one of those women who has needed romance novels to make it through the night.
You see, to keep my sanity, I’ve read romance between calculus finals. To block out the sounds of my parent’s marriage disintegrating, I read Beverly Jenkin’s stories of people, people like me, finding love, building towns and fighting to keep their unions strong. While dear hubby was deployed, I read tales of peace. When good old Dr. Fine told me to sit down and do nothing, for your health and that of your babe, I poured myself into women’s journeys who were active and kept moving, like Heyer’s who fell out of windows or dozens of others wonderful author’s like Eakes, Milan, MacLean, and Klassen who kept me swirling in ballgowns. Even in a hospice room listening to a clock tick away, my eyes drifted to my kindle app to escape.Continue reading →
Olivia Bennett is not having a happy birthday. Instead of blowing out her twenty-nine candles, she’s stuck in jail, caught red-handed in a graffiti incident that (perhaps) involved one too many strawberry margaritas. Worst idea ever. The only bright side is that she ended up in the strong arms of the most gorgeous lawman she’s ever seen.
Pete Sampson (aka Deputy Hot Stuff) faces intense pressure from the sheriff to find out who’s behind a string of vandalisms. And after her spray-painting spree, Olivia is suspect number one. Still, Pete can’t stop thinking about her. Wanting her. Now he’s torn between his duty and his overpowering desire for the vivacious waitress. But he may have to bend the rules because true love is more important than the letter of the law…
Ever Afteris book 3 in Rachel Lacey’sLove to the Rescueseries; however, it can be read as a standalone.Itis a very sweet, well written, contemporary romance set in small town North Carolina. I love small town romances with their interesting mix of quirky characters and fun goings on. However, I’m not a sweet kind of gal. I like my romances down and dirty with lots of the same in regard to the sex on the page. And, shame on me, I have also been known to judge a book by its cover. The cover of Ever After is…sweet. However, the hot guy and the dog on the cover roped me in, because guys who love dogs are just that much hotter, right? So I gave myself a lecture to stop with the judging and eye rolling before I’ve even read a chapter. And I’m glad I did because I truly enjoyed this book. Continue reading →
So … if you’ve been around ALBTALBS for any amount of time you know I always LIKE to and TRY to do it up big.
No idea how that’s going to pan out, or if scheduled things are going to happen in 2015 as planned… and I kinda can’t find it in myself to care at this very moment. I tried last night, and it just resulted in me wanting to set things on fire … so you know what? Why would I want to do stuff that will only make me suffer, in an attempt to celebrate? Not only was I sick for about a month, the first time I think “hey – I can almost breathe normally again and only wheezing when I laugh!” … I’m relapsing.
As such, my gift to ME this month, is the freedom to fuck up as much and as often as I like. And to feel – at least less guilty than I normally do. If authors I arranged to guest send their posts in, then awesome. I’ll do my best to have it go live when it should. If not … well, we’re all adults. Sometimes shit happens like death or other tragedy, and sometimes we don’t know how to use calendars. I don’t care to figure out which happens when right now.
My prize to you … um, random snarkery and posts like this that I’ll probably regret in the morning? Continue reading →
I know you’re all “WTF, Lime? A Wednesday post?!” Or… maybe not. Maybe just confusion – cuz I’m the one here who swears like a sailor. XD I think all of you are … not? :X WE HAVEN’T TALKED ENOUGH LATELY, YOU GUYS. Stay with me.
So one of my favorite reads in 2013 was I Married the Duke by Katharine Ashe. I loved it so much I even wrote a review of it. Which … I mean if you’re around ALBTALBS you know is rare. I write a review for the site maybe like 4 times a year. [So I’m really bad at reviewing now! … Which … needs a whole other post to explain it.] But you can read the review here if you so like. (Which man – remember when people used to comment? Even on reviews?!)
Hi lovelies! So, I don’t know if you know, but ALBTALBS has advertising space. I don’t make a huge deal about it, but it’s to help cover costs. (Website hosting being the biggest … >.> only… because giveaways that I do come out of my own pocket…) But anyway, Michelle M. Pillow has been pretty much the sole support of A Little Bit Tart, A Little Bit Sweet for the past year+. I wanted to draw your attention to her, and say – thanks for keeping me (us) going. <3
In case you missed it – and I know 2014 was a funky year, these are all the ads she had every month. (She also advertised in 2013 – so you know, extra <3)
March & May
So, to thank her – I’m giving away a kindle copy of The Pirate Prince to someone who comments.
I’m also running a promotion on ad space until the end of the year – buy a static monthly ad for $15. Space is limited. If interested, email me.
Hello hello! Saturday is here and this month is just flying by! Today we have Jayne Denker – a first time ALBTALBS guest! We’ve chatted on twitter about TV and such, and that inspired her to write a post about that topic! … Kinda 😉 So without further ado … Jayne!
Chick Lit: You Cannot Kill It (But Why Would You Want To?)
I’m a “contemporary romance” writer, but whenever I can get away with it, I write chick lit. Not out in the open, though, because the official party line is chick lit is dead. Stone cold. Six feet under and pushing up daisies. Nobody wants to read stories about young or young-thinking, strong women making their way in the world!
Yeah, all right. *wink*
Oh, the entertainment industry did believe it drove a stake through chick lit’s heart a while back. Well, first they created the monster by encouraging it to flourish in the ’90s, in the wake of Bridget Jones’s Diary. Then came the dark days, when the entertainment industry (yes, book publishing, but mostly I’m looking at you, Hollywood) threw gobs of money at anything remotely resembling chick lit. Even the bad stuff.
And lo, the dark days spread and overwhelmed the earth.
Horrified at what a Frankenstein monster chick lit had become, the publishing world and Hollywood rose up against it and killed off their own creation. Never again, they said, shall the beast that is chick lit be allowed to propagate. Yea, those who speak its name shall be put to death.
And so the edict stands. The foul term “c***k l*t” is no longer uttered. No, really. Try it—I dare you. You’ll see. You’ll end up with the business end of a stiletto in your temple.
However, as with all good sagas, forbidding something doesn’t mean you can kill it off entirely. Come on, we all know that chick lit is about as unstoppable as a zombie that’s scented freshly-exposed brain matter. Better yet, let’s call it the hydra genre of literature—chop off its head, and it grows two more. Ooh! Ooh! How about the Obi-Wan Kenobi genre? Strike it down, and it becomes more powerful than you could possibly imagine.
Yeah, that’s it: Chick lit is the Zombie-Hydra-Obi-Wan-Kenobi genre. You just can’t kill it, It’s not hiding in a dark cave, Gollum-like, either. (Why yes, I am the equivalent of a pop-culture-reference oil spill. Proudly mixing memes since 1978.) That so-called forbidden chick lit is actually all around us. Right now. And you probably don’t even know it!
Because the publishing industry still considers chick lit The Genre That Shall Not Be Named, now we call it “romantic comedy.” Kind of like how Blackwater gets a new name every couple of years, in the hopes that everyone forgets what it was responsible for back in the Aughts. It works, too. Who doesn’t like romantic comedies, right? Sometimes it’s called women’s fiction, although I always think of WF as a bit more serious overall. Could just be me, though.
Chick flicks are still verboten, and with good reason. Wow, there were some real stinkers at the end there, weren’t there? Phew, the memories are still polluting the joint! But the genre is still in Hollywood, and not lurking in dark alleys off Sunset, either. Nope, “visual chick lit” is operating right out in the open. What, you go to the multiplex in search of a decent romcom, only to end up drowning in the glut of superhero flicks? You’re right. So think smaller.
I’m talking TV, people. It’s all over the small screen. And it’s popular! A young (or, hey, not so young—the genre is nothing if not elastic), single woman struggling with the challenges of getting her career rolling, navigating the social scene, hanging with her besties, trying to find a guy who’s not a total cretin? Oh, it’s there, baby.
It’s always been there, really. I could go into the history of young-female-centric TV shows down through the ages (I’m old enough to remember That Girl and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, although *koff* I was a mere zygote at the time), but if I got that thorough, I’d end up writing a thesis—or a book—instead of a blog post. Ain’t nobody got time for that—wait. Come to think of it…dibs on the history of chick lit! Called it!
TV’s recent history has been filled with chick-lit-type shows. I don’t care that Lorelai Gilmore had a teen daughter; there’s chick lit at the bottom of that Luke’s Diner coffee cup. Ally McBeal? 30 Rock? Durr. And those four women in New York…what was that show called, again? (I keed, I keed.)
Best of all, there’s been a huge resurgence of chick lit on TV, like, right now. The Mindy Project. Hart of Dixie. New Girl. Girls. 2 Broke Girls. Young & Hungry. I’d even throw in The Mysteries of Laura, although it’s mainly a detective procedural. And Parks and Recreation, even though it’s an ensemble comedy, because Amy Poehler.
Then there’s the queen mother of all current chick-lit-on-TV: Jane the Virgin. Have you seen it? (If you haven’t, there’s the door. Go forth and do not return until you’ve caught up with all the eps. Most of them are on The CW site and Hulu. I don’t care how you get them—just go! Go now!) Sure, the premise put people off—a young woman, who was “saving herself” till her wedding to her detective fiancé, is accidentally artificially inseminated and is now carrying the baby of a guy she had a crush on five years before—but it works. Seriously. Not kidding. It’s crazy-funny (if you don’t laugh out loud at Jane’s goofy estranged father, somebody’d better check your pulse) and it also has heart. You find yourself pulling for Jane as she tries to figure out who she is and where she’s going in life. Best of all, she wants to be a romance writer!
Of course, not every chick lit-flavored show escaped the wildly swinging Cancellation Axe of Doom. RIP A to Z, Carrie Diaries, and Selfie. (*Sob!* Selfie!) But thanks to the hydra effect (ooh, that’d make a great title—dibs on that too), we’re getting more soon, including The Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt, and Younger. I’m sure there are more; it’s just difficult to keep up with the onslaught.
Onslaught is good. It means that no matter what you call it, quality entertainment featuring laughs, good plots, and clever women is always in style.
About the Author: Jayne Denker divides her time between working hard to bring the funny in her romantic comedies and raising a young son who’s way too clever for his own good. She has published four rom coms with Kensington (and another is on the way). Jayne lives in a small village in western New York that is in no way, shape, or form related to the small village in her Marsden novels Down on Love and Picture This. When she’s not hard at work on another novel, the social media addict can usually be found frittering away startling amounts of time on Facebook (Jayne Denker Author) and Twitter (@JDenkerAuthor). She’d like to say she updates her website, quite often, but most of the time when it crosses her mind, she shouts “Can’t you see I’m writing?!” and puts it off till another day. But you can find links to all my books there.
Hey, One of My Books Is on Sale:
I got away with writing pure chick lit once. It’s a Hollywood-set romcom called Unscripted, and it’s on sale for 99 cents for the entire month of December. Here’s the info:
One of Hollywood’s hardest working women is about to discover there’s a lot more drama behind the camera than in front of it…
Faith “Freakin’” Sinclair probably shouldn’t have called her boss a perv…or grabbed his “privates.” But as creator of the hit dramedy Modern Women, she’d had enough of his sexist insults. Now she’s untouchable in the industry—not in a good way. The only way to redeem herself is to convince Alex, the wildly popular, wildly demanding former star of her show, to come back. But there’s one obstacle in her way—one very handsome, broad-shouldered obstacle…
Professor Mason Mitchell is head of the theater department where Alex is studying “real” acting. The only way he’ll let Faith anywhere near Alex is if she agrees to co-teach a class. It’s an offer she can’t refuse—and as it turns out, the professor just might end up teaching Faith that there’s more to life than work—and that real-life love scenes are way more fun than fake ones….
What do you think? About chick lit? Or “chick lit”? Or any of those shows on TV? 😀