Hi friends! I’m reviving an old ALBTALBS feature today, with the fabulous Avery Flynn! She just had a new book come out on Tuesday – Tomboy which I really enjoyed (I’m even going to review it! I know!!! Gasp you should!!!) But first, we’re here for some fun, wherein we do 0 book talk (yeah I don’t know how that happened either) – but I asked Avery a bunch of off the wall questions and challenged her to answer them. The crazier the better right?!
But first, I mean, we can’t >.> have no book talk… so you know. Info! Tomboy is the third Hartigan book. (Although I still really considerThe Charmer to be the “first” Hartigan book … >.> I mean Felicia Hartigan is the heroine … and that book might be my favorite by Ms. Flynn … so far… *whispers* so hybrid series Harbor City/Hartigans and all thus Tomboy is Hartigan 4…) BUT ANYWAY!) N.B. while each book can stand alone I think it’d be helpful to read the Haritgans books in order. You definitely don’t have to though. … But you should read Harbor City book 2. The Charmer. I really liked it – can you tell? :P) The other two preceding Hartigan book are Butterface, and Muffin Top (which I reviewed.)
How exactly has one good deed landed me in the penalty box?
Ice Knights defenseman Zach Blackburn has come down with the flu, and my BFF—his PR manager—begs me to put my nursing degree to use and get him back to health. Of course she would call in a favor for the most hated man in Harbor City.
But when he’s finally on the mend and I’m sneaking out of his place, everything goes sideways. Paparazzi spot me and pictures, plus accusations that I slept with him, fly faster than a hockey puck.
At first, all of Harbor City wants my blood—or to give me a girlie-girl makeover. But then…the team finally wins a game. And now this fickle town wants me with the big jerk twenty-four seven.
Argh. I never slept with him the first time! But no one will listen. Then the grumpy bastard goes and promises to break his no-fan-appearances rule to help raise money for a free health clinic—but only if I’m rink-side at every game. That’s not a deal I can turn down.
But when the team keeps winning, and I realize there’s more to him than his bad reputation, suddenly remembering to keep my real hands off my fake date gets harder and harder to do.
If you could be any one character in any book or series, who would you be?
You know, I wanna be Kinsey from Kate Meader’s Flirting With Fire because Luke should be all mine. Seriously. That man. *faints* Continue reading →
It’s that time of year when I start to turn to holiday themed romance novels to help put me in a cheerful holiday spirit. Today ALBTALBS friend <3Sophie Barnes is joining us to share how her new Christmas novel almost wasn’t and what she did to make sure this story got into the hands of her readers. And I for one am thrilled that Christmas at Thorncliff Manor is out today!
My road to becoming a published romance author began in 2009 when I made my first attempt at writing a novel. Once finished, I submitted it to every publisher I could find and received more than fifty rejection letters in return. It wasn’t easy being told my story wasn’t good enough, but being the determined sort, I wasn’t about to give up either. So I put that story aside – re-reading it now I’m glad it never saw the light of day – and went to work on a new one, the one that would turn me into an established author.Continue reading →
Runaway bride Katya Dostoyevna escaped to Nocturne Falls ten years ago. She’s lived a quiet life since then, establishing a much-needed animal sanctuary. It’s good work for a shy witch who prefers to talk to animals, both supernatural and mundane.
Scorned groom Danil Leonov has finally tracked down the girl who fled from their arranged marriage. He doesn’t want to marry her any more now than he did then, but she left with something he desperately needs. The fate of the fae world depends on it.
But he’s not the only one after the microchip he developed. And after he and Katya connect, Danil starts to wonder if it’s the tech he really wants, or the woman he didn’t realize he loved.
Hi friends! It’s Tuesday which means a bunch of new romances are available today! I’m super excited to share from The Duchess Deal – Tessa Dare was kind enough to provide an exclusive excerpt to ALBTALBS, and I hope you enjoy! Thank you, and congratulations on your newest release!! <3
When girl meets Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…
Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.
His terms are simple:
– They will be husband and wife by night only.
– No lights, no kissing.
– No questions about his battle scars.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.
But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own: – They will have dinner together every evening. – With conversation. – And unlimited teasing. – Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…
Hi friends! We’ve got Jill Shalvis!!! Ish. Well an exclusive excerpt, which is still awesome. I have to tell you, this post has been a long time coming. Almost six months ago I emailed Jill … and we were going to do a birthday post for her, and then you know the holidays and life and this and that and now it’s April! But guess why that’s awesome? Because Still the One is out today.Continue reading →
Hello my lovelies! We’re slowing time yet rushing along here at the same time! And today we welcome the totally fabulous Carly Phillips! I’m so thrilled to welcome her back to ALBTALBS. Not only is she a superstar author, she’s also one of the nicest people I’ve met at any conference. <3 Her newest book Dare to Love is out now, and y’all know I’m not normally big on blog tours (or you know, at all) – but for Carly, I’m happy to make an exception. 🙂
I meant to crowd source here too, but we know how that has been going, so these are some questions twitter friends wanted to ask Carly. I hope you enjoy!
1) Do you wear pajamas when you write or do you wear “real clothes”? (Georgina really hopes it’s the latter! XD)
Comfortable leggings during the day, and sweats or pajamas on the weekends! Either way it’s comfy clothes all the time. It’s such a luxury being home, I do enjoy not dressing up!
2) What inspires you to come up with your new stories?
It really depends. Sometimes it’s something I’ve read in a magazine or seen on TV. Other times it’s a news clip. Sometimes it’s pure imagination. 🙂
3) Who is your favorite author? [Or authors/stories]
I have SO many auto-buy authors it isn’t funny and I’m such a voracious reader that I always have something new on my iPad mini ready to go. Too many to pick just one!
4) As madly successful and a veteran writer – do you still get nervous with each book release?
OMG YES! I’m a basket case with each and every new book. It never gets easier and it never gets old. I’m just so grateful to be able to do what I do … and I always want to please readers with each and every book.
5) Since your background seems very big city, what do you love about writing small towns?
I love the intimacy of the characters and how wacky I can make the neighbors, LOL. It’s familiar and everyone loves the familiar. I’m not a big city girl, so small town comes naturally. That said I understand the city and can write it too. Dare to Love is set in Miami.
Remember to enter the giveaway! And also, what questions would you have asked? Who knows – maybe the fancy will hit and Carly will stop by. 🙂
Also, have you read Carly Phillips before? Do you enjoy contemporary romances? And of course, we can’t forget the most important part. The book!
New York Times Bestselling Author Carly Phillips turns up the heat in her newest sexy contemporary romance series, and introduces you to the Dare family… siblings shaped by a father’s secrets and betrayal.
Since finding out his father had another family on the side, Ian Dare swore to be the upstanding, responsible man his cheating parent had never been. When it comes to his relatives, he gives his all but in relationships he offers the bare minimum. But one glimpse of sensual Riley Taylor arouses his dominant and protective instincts and Ian is entranced. He will do anything to possess her … and does. But any future with Riley must include him extending an olive branch to the half-brother who is a constant reminder of the pain he’d rather forget.
Independent and always in control, Riley Taylor makes no apologies for choosing men carefully. Relationships have never been a priority and she believes herself hardened to domineering men – until she meets charismatic Ian Dare. He manages to turn a simple kiss into an all out assault on her senses and when he takes control in the bedroom, she’s stunned to discover she likes it. As their affair heats up, they soon realize they complete each other in ways neither imagined. But Riley’s past is closer than she cares to remember, and her struggles with Ian’s dominance might just cost her everything.
Hey y’all – I know. I owe another update. I’ll be back dating posts and listing winners, as well as some explanations. But we have J. Kenner with us again, because Sue G. asked, and what she asks, she gets. 😉 And also? It’s release day! So yay for that – you can now get your hands on a copy of Complete Me! 😀 Everyone wish Ms. Kenner a very happy release day!
Inspiration in the World of Damien Stark
As if Damien Stark isn’t inspiration enough (sigh), I have to admit that there are a lot of things from the trilogy (Release Me, Claim Me, and Complete Me) that were inspired by real life … or real life with an imaginative twist. (No, not that! Or at the very least, I’m not going to be talking about that!)
No, I’m talking about scenes, settings and even a few events and brief moments.
Take the very first scene in Release Me. There’s Nikki, standing on the patio and looking out over an absolutely breathtaking sunset. But it’s also me, because back when I lived in Los Angeles, I was fortunate enough to not only be able to go to the beach (as everyone in LA can) but to have clients and employers with the means to live, if not as Damien lives, then at least on par with Evelyn. And that meant private beaches with amazing views.
Or Damien’s cars. Now there’s life inspiration for you. My childhood memories of sitting in a Model-T that my dad was rebuilding. Or, later, visiting him during my law school years and watching him oh-so-carefully rebuild a glorious Bentley, the elegance of which took my breath away.
Years ago I went to a desert spa with a boyfriend and had the most spectacularly relaxing massage. Of course a steamy version had to make it into the book! And my old town of Redlands was inspiration for a restaurant scene in Release Me, the actual restaurant being an amalgamation of several local haunts.
In Claim Me, Damien takes Nikki up on the Santa Monica Pier Ferris wheel.
I laugh, delighted. Not only have I never been in this Ferris wheel before, I’ve never been in any Ferris wheel. It moves slowly, but the basket sways, which would be unnerving except for the fact that it’s Damien beside me, Damien with his arm around me. And now— as the basket stops at the very top— Damien reaches for the backpack he set on the floor beneath his feet.
“What are you doing?” I cry. “Don’t let go!” I glance out at the world around us. The sun is down now, and the lights from the Pier glow. It’s like living inside a fairyland. A little too high up in a fairyland, actually. “Why aren’t we moving?” I ask.
I love the Ferris wheel in Santa Monica—I miss it, though I don’t miss the crowds! And it’s been far too long since I’ve been up on the top of that wheel, looking out at the edge of the ocean and the city lights beyond.
I’m sorry to say that the German hotel in Complete Me is not based on real inspiration. I wish it were! I spent hours on the website for the Hotel Kempinski in Munich, and I can imagine spending hours in those fabulous rooms or having a drink in that amazing bar. Ah…
Heck, maybe the story has inspired me! Road trip anyone?
Are you a writer? How often do you pull from real life? A reader only? How often does a scene seem to mirror your own experience?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author J. Kenner (aka Julie Kenner) has published over forty novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres. You can find out more about her at her website, or connect with her through social media on Twitter or Facebook (Julie Kenner/ J. Kenner).
And if you want more official bio-y stuff, read on!
Praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations,” J.K. is also a two-time RITA finalist, the winner of Romantic Times‘ Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Contemporary Paranormal of 2001, the winner of the Reviewers International Organization’s award for best romantic suspense of 2004 and best paranormal of 2005, and the winner of the National Readers’ Choice Award for best mainstream book of 2005.
She writes a range of stories including sexy and quirky romances, young adult novels, chick lit suspense and paranormal mommy lit. Her foray into the latter, Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner, is in development as a feature film with 1492 Pictures. Her popular dark paranormal Shadow Keepers series originally issued as author J.K. Beck has been reissued as J. Kenner titles.
The first book in her current Stark Trilogy, Release Me, was a multi-week New York Times and USA Today bestseller. Book two, Claim Me, debuted at number two on the New York Times list and remained on that list and the USA Today list for multiple weeks. Book three, Complete Me, will be on sale July 30. The series has sold to over a dozen countries.
Julie lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and two cats.
Quite a bio, isn’t it? Thankfully I could just c/p it ;). So – you can answer the questions that J. aka Julie has. I made the text green so they stand out. And guess what? J. or Random House is offering one lucky commenter from the US a copy of Complete Me. (Sorry, their rules.)
But of course I (we!) hope international friends will chime in too! Cheers!
Hi friends! We’ve got Tamara Morgan with us again, sharing a special excerpt of her new book that is out today! Whee! So happy release day to her – and enjoy!
A life of crime is easy…until love goes all ninja on your ass.
Asprey Charles has always assumed he would one day take his place in the family art appraisal and insurance firm. “His place” meaning he plans to continue to enjoy his playboy lifestyle, lavish money on his Cessna, and shirk every responsibility that dares come his way.
But when a life of crime is thrust upon him, he is just as happy to slip on a mask and cape and play a highwayman rogue. After all, life is one big game—and he excels at playing.
Poppy Donovan vows that her recent release from jail will be her last—no more crime, no more cons. But when she learns that her grandmother lost her savings to a low-life financial advisor, she’s forced to do just one more job.
It’s all going smoothly until the necklace she intends to pawn to fund her con is stolen by a handsome, mocking, white-collar thief. A thief who, it turns out, could take a whole lot more than money. If she’s not careful, this blue blood with no business on her side of the tracks could run off with the last thing she can afford to lose. Her heart.
Warning: This book contains masked crusaders, a remorseless con woman, and plans to boost a ten-million-dollar painting. Expect high speeds and fast hands.
“When you say you’re good at poker, do you mean you can play five-card stud with your accountant, or do you mean you can play poker?” Poppy warily eyed the way Asprey held the deck of cards. “Todd’s no card shark, but he knows his stuff. He once lost his speedboat to the Yakuza.”
Asprey cut the deck cleanly on Tiffany’s computer table, lifting his arm to reveal an ace poking out the sleeve of his old-man sweater. “There’s no need for insults. No one has ever invited me to play with the Japanese underground, but I’ll have you know I’ve been barred from every reservation casino within a two-hundred-mile radius.”
“That doesn’t speak very well of your technique.”
“Not my fault. I have very large hands.” He held them up as if to demonstrate. They were an odd combination of masculine and girly, his thumbs wide in all the right places, but with the kind of soft skin that belonged to someone who didn’t regularly plunge his hands into the dirty dishwater.
“Besides, cheating at cards isn’t really my thing,” he added, eyes glinting. She gulped and forced herself to look away. Asprey Charles was the last man in the world who needed his ego stroked. It was already at full attention and dangerously close to poking her in the eye.
“Oh? Is cheating too dishonest for the likes of you?”
“Don’t get me wrong,” he bragged, his chest puffing with misplaced pride. “I can count cards with the best of them. But actually getting in there and messing with the deck during gameplay? Not my style. I’m better at providing a distraction.”
No kidding. It had been a long time since she’d met a man with the ability to disarm her with just one laugh—and that was more dangerous than she cared to think about. Laughter was one step away from camaraderie, which put her on that dangerous and slippery slope toward friendship.
They all knew what came after that.
“So how is this going to go down?” she asked. “I told you Todd’s weakness is gambling—and I’ve been setting him up for weeks to believe I might be able to make a high-stakes game happen. If I want to take him for the full amount, that’s where he needs to be hit.”
“And that’s exactly where we’ll hit him.” Graff took the seat opposite Poppy—far enough away that he was out of arm’s reach, but still keeping her squarely in view. She nodded once, showing her understanding.
She hadn’t been lying when she said telling Graff about Todd had been the tipping point in moving things her direction—but that didn’t mean she liked the guy any better. He was too drunk on his own power, too much the master of the situation. There were very few men in this world who used that kind of power wisely, and she seriously doubted he was one of them.
Asprey set the deck of cards aside. “You never did tell me what it is you have against the guy.”
“He’s a crook,” Poppy said. “He might look like an upstanding financial broker, but in addition to the regular work with his firm, he runs a side scheme that purposefully tanks investments that are then rerouted to his personal account in the Cayman Islands.”
Asprey’s eyes widened. “And you know this for a fact?”
“No. I overheard it at the nail salon.” She placed her palms face up on the table, her way of showing a clean hand. “Of course I know it for a fact. He targets older investors, gaining their trust and then crushing all their retirement plans to fund his gambling addiction.”
Asprey let out a low whistle. “You’ve done your homework. Tiff didn’t uncover any of that stuff when she dug around in his records.”
“There’s no reason why she should have come across anything out of the ordinary.” Poppy wasn’t without pride as she told him what she’d learned from piecing together files lifted out of his home office and a visit to the Securities Exchange Commission in a deceptively secretarial suit and glasses. “He accesses the money only after it’s been laundered through his firm and put into accounts that fail on a spectacular level. In the eyes of the SEC, all is right and tight in his world—he has no more complaints lodged against him than any other financial broker, and everything always comes back clear. It’s only the unfortunate investors who pay the price.”
“A crook,” he said, echoing her previous words. But then he added, his eyes crinkled at the corners as he appraised her, “How exactly is that different from being a con woman, if you don’t mind my asking?”
Those were fighting words. She shot back in her chair, her hands grasping the table for support. “Because I don’t steal from people who can’t afford it, that’s why. I con people like you, Asprey, not the homeless man on the street corner looking for someplace warm to sleep. Besides, who are you to be casting stones? You’ve got enough loot in here to enjoy three lifetimes of luxury.”
Asprey spread the cards out in front of her. He’d somehow managed to get all the suits matched up and in order, and they unfolded in a clean, colorful line. “Fine. One deceitfully rigged poker game coming right up.”
Poppy looked to Graff. He was the unknown in all this, the wild card, as it were. “And you’re absolutely sure you’re on board? This is something you can handle?”
Graff bowed his head in a slight nod. “I told you. I don’t necessarily like it, but we can play our part if you play yours.”
BIO: Tamara Morgan is a romance writer and unabashed lover of historical reenactments—the more elaborate and geeky the costume requirements, the better. In her quest for modern-day history and intrigue, she has taken fencing classes, forced her child into Highland dancing, and, of course, journeyed annually to the local Renaissance Fair. These feats are matched by a universal love of men in tights, of both the superhero and codpiece variety.
Her home is in the Inland Northwest, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and variety of household pets. Feel free to drop her an email at tamaramorganwrites (at) gmail (dot) com or follow her on Twitter at @Tamara_Morgan.
(And hey, if you’d like to get your very own shiny new copy, you can do that here :D)
Hallo! Today we have one of my favorite people, Lorelie Brown visiting with us today! Whee! She’s a regular here now, and I’m glad to have her. So everyone chat her up, okay? 😀
Hello Little Lime-ettes! I’m so happy to be here. I always make sure I hit up Lime’s joint when I’ve got a new book out, and plenty of times in between. I just lurve her so.
I’m fully caffeinated, can you tell?
I’m also currently writing the third book in my current Victorian series. (These two facts are related.) Wayward One comes out today. YAY! (Well, on Tuesday.) I have a new solo book out. It’s been more than a year! My naughty co-written Katie Porter books have kept me too busy.
Anyway. Wayward One is about Seraphina Miller, an orphaned charity case at an expensive boarding school. Except she discovers her bills aren’t being paid by some noble charity, but rather an underworld crime boss, Fletcher Thomas.
Except when I was writing Wayward One and setting everything up, I didn’t want her to be completely alone in the world. She was an orphan, sure, because there were more orphans running around Victorian times than, say, there are today. But that didn’t mean she had to be alone, did it? I kinda hate that. It’s not enough that the heroine has no family—she has no friends, either!
All I keep thinking is if your heroine’s so fab, why hasn’t she made a friend in the break room at her job, huh? Or if she’s a historical heroine really so awesome that the hero’s penis is acting like a divining rod, she could meet someone at the myriad balls and musicales and functions good little debutantes are taken to. So many opportunities for meeting fellow females!
So I gave Sera friends. Of course I did. I like my own friends, I want my heroine to have some too.
There’s Sera, the prim and buttoned up one who’s trying to keep a lid on her own possibly less than honorable origins. Then there’s Miss Charlotte Vale, who’s wild and fun and completely outrageous. Last is Lady Victoria, the daughter of a duke who’s already engaged to another duke and who is completely level headed and sane. The one of the trio who keeps both Sera and Lottie from flying off the handle.
Remind me never to come up with a level-headed heroine again. Sounds so nice in theory. In execution…this is one of the most difficult books I’ve ever written. I’m kinda tempted to shoot her in the foot, just to create some drama.
Maybe that’s not such a bad idea…
Sorry. Got distracted. Three friends. They’re thicker than thieves and all those sorts of clichés. In the first draft of Wayward One, I had this awesome scene where they sat around drinking wine and being besty friends and generally being super cool. Kind of like those most spectacular sorts of evenings where you’re just so very happy because everyone is clever and funny and you’re just chillin’.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t exactly make for the most compelling drama. I had to cut it. And I thought about offering it as an excerpt, but after I made that cut, there were some motivations that needed fine tuning and I don’t think the pages would make much sense out of context.
But rest assured, they’re awesome! Or were. As the case may be.
(By the way, you should thank me. I just came thisclose to inserting YouTube code for “Friendship” from Anything goes. Except I couldn’t find the 1956 version uploaded and that Sutton chick with the two Tonys has an annoying voice. OMG annoying. I don’t like her version of Reno. *sad panda face*)
TL;DR = heroines with friends, good. Heroines completely alone in an island of misery, bad. (Ok, not bad. Just overdone.)
To win a copy of Wayward One, hook me up with some recommendations of books you love where the heroine isn’t alone in the world! A family, good friends, a job occupied by real human coworkers? Bring it on!
My website (Lime will probably tell me it sucks, were I to ever ask her for an honest opinion. This is me, not asking.), my twitter, my book, for the buying (hopefully).
You see why I like her, yes? 😉 So please answer her question(s) because inquiring minds want to know!