Category Archives: Linkity linkity link

Here, linky linky linky…

To watch a new Simon’s Cat video and have a chance to win a copy of the new Simon’s Cat book, head over to ModernCat before October 11.

Author Julie James is celebrating the anniversary of the release of her first book (Just the Sexiest Man Alive, which is a great romance!) by giving away a $25 B&N/Border’s/Amazon gift certificate, plus signed copies of the book. For your chance to win, leave a comment (by 10 pm CST, October 11) about the book that first opened your eyes to reading.

How many books will Nicole read by the end of the year? Leave your guess by midnight PST, October 12, for your chance to win one of the books that Nicole reads this year.

Largehearted Boy is giving away a copy of Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. For your chance to win, leave a comment (by midnight CDT, October 13) about what your Halloween costume plans are this year.

Anna’s got several great contests running – you could win one of two copies of Kylie Brant’s Waking Evil (comment by October 13) or a complete set of Linda Wisdom’s Hex books (comment by October 14).

As always, both Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) and Jackie at Literary Escapism have lots of interview, release, and contest info.


Evil, now conveniently packaged

I know that I definitely appreciate this about kittehs.

If you’re looking for cat music (as I gathered many of you are, based on your comments yesterday!), check out the Cat Coverfolk post over at Cover Lay Down.

Speaking of free music, if you like folky stuff, Jeremy Messersmith (an excellent musician from the Twin Cities) is giving away his first album, Alcatraz Kid, for free if you sign up for his email list. My favorite song from that album is “Day Job.”

Which ewe are you?

Aw, a knitted LEGO minifig!

I love this way of starting from the center of circular knitting.

Lynn Viehl has some great links to free software, including some to help NaNoWriMo participants.

Not that I’d ever go to this much trouble on a cup of coffee, but the cat stencils are cute.

Looking for speedy image resizing from a single right-click  in Windows Explorer? This might do the trick.

Very cool – you can “Polaroid” your pictures online.

Books! And… books! And, um, book links and contests!

Don’t forget to leave a comment on the contest post before 7 pm CDT, Tuesday, October 6, for your chance to win a copy of Marliss Melton’s new romantic suspense novel, Show No Fear!

Tracey’s friend Dave is going to run a marathon to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. If you make a donation to his team before midnight EDT, October 6, and let Tracey know, you’ll be entered in a drawing for a $20 Loopy Ewe gift certificate.

Mel’s holding a Raffle for Marriage Equality to help raise money for the No on 1 campaign in Maine. If you donate by November 3 and let Mel know, you’ll be entered for a chance to have him knit you a pair of socks.

If you could splurge on anything, what would it be? Leave a comment by midnight CST, October 23, to let RC at Rambling Along know, and you could win a $50 gift card to AJWright.

Romance Reviews Today is giving away a copy of Marjorie M. Liu’s latest Dirk & Steele novel, The Fire King. Contest closes October 6.

Cecile continues to celebrate her birthday month by giving away a copy of Vicki Pettersson’s City of Souls (The Fourth Sign of the Zodiac). Contest ends October 8.

Largehearted Boy is giving away a copy of Nick Hornby’s new novel, Juliet, Naked (plus assorted books and cds). Contest closes midnight, October 9.

To celebrate the upcoming movie release, Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) is giving away five copies of Alice Sebold’s novel, The Lovely Bones. Contest closes 8 pm CST, October 11.

If you’re a fan of the tv series Blood Ties and would like to win the second season dvds, head over to Suburban Vampire before noon PDT, October 18, or to Vampire Wire before the evening of October 18.

Anna’s giving away five signed copies of Sue-Ellen Welfonder’s A Highlander’s Temptation and one signed copy of the Tails of Love anthology. Leave a comment by October 9 for your chance to win.

The Eclectic Reader is celebrating her blogiversary with a contest – you need to follow her blog in order to be eligible to win one of the pictured books. Contest closes October 31.

Check out all of the October giveaways that J. Kaye has going!

Both Jackie at Literary Escapism and SciFiGuy have great information on contests, interviews, and new releases. Book Reviews by Jess also has a long list of current book contests.


I think this one should be on the FAIL Blog – what do you think?

Just because I read a lot of m/m fiction doesn’t mean I plan to redo my condo with any of this furniture

The kid who lost his class notes when Amazon deleted 1984 from all those Kindles just won $150,000 from Amazon. This has led Amazon to clarify when it will remove books from Kindles.

TeleRead has a good article questioning why ebooks are so expensive, when the costs of production and distribution are so much less than for print books, and another good article about ebook piracy.

Aw – how cute is that minion hat?!

Reading Update
Blaze of Memory (Psy-Changelings, Book 7) by Nalini Singh. I had the great good fortune to win an ARC of this book (scheduled to release on November 3, 2009) over at Dear Author a few weeks ago. Blaze of Memory focuses on the Forgotten, those Psy whose ancestors chose not to follow the Silence protocol. It focuses more specifically on the enigmatic Devraj Santos, director of the Shine Foundation, which attempts to find Forgotten children before the Psy Council does. Dev’s had to do hard things in order to protect the Forgotten – things which have been eroding his own ability to feel. Will a mysterious Psy woman whose memory has been destroyed turn out to be Dev’s salvation? Or his destruction? If you enjoy masterfully written paranormal romance (with nary a vampire in sight), I highly recommend Blaze of Memory and the Psy-Changeling series.
Tall, Dark and Fangsome (Immortality Bites, Book 5) by Michelle Rowen. I read the first two books last year, but I have to admit I’m not sure why I didn’t read the third and fourth books in this paranormal series about Sarah Dearly (who was turned into a vampire on a particularly bad blind date). Fortunately, Rowen skillfully wove backstory details into Tall, Dark and Fangsome, so I never felt as if I was lost during this enjoyable final installment of the series. In fact, I think I’ll be reading the previous books in the not-too-distant future! As an aside, I definitely got more out of this book after my recent visit to Toronto, where the series is set. (Beware, Lorraine, sounds like there’s a demon-possessed wizard living out your way!)
Finger Lickin’ Fifteen (Stephanie Plum, Book 15) by Janet Evanovich. Evanovich must be writing these on autopilot now. Predictable. Boring. Past time to end the series.
Instant Gratification (Wilder Adventures, Book 2) by Jill Shalvis. Doctor Emma’s staying in Wishful just long enough to take care of her father’s patients while he’s recuperating from a heart attack, then she’s going to return to her life in New York City. Good thing Stone Wilder isn’t looking for a serious relationship with her… 😉
Bottled Up by Andrew Grey. ebook. This was a sweet and involving m/m romance with a some editorial problems. Several of these problems were relatively minor, such as occasionally referring to the main character as “Shawn” instead of “Sean” and talking about something that happened yesterday as if it had happened today. More significant were the ongoing unclear pronoun references (particularly problematic in an m/m romance!) and the paragraph formatting that made it hard to determine who was speaking. Perhaps these are only issues in the ebook edition?
By Degrees by J. B. MacDonald. ebook. Very well done and involving m/m romance about a doctor who’s been keeping his emotions so tightly under wraps since his parents died when he was eleven that he has trouble feeling anything.
A Matter of Necessity by T. D. McKinney. ebook. Decent m/m romance about two FBI agents who begin a relationship as part of a deep cover operation.
Putting Out Fires by Sienna Black. ebook. Ok m/m romance about a fire djinn and a firefighter.
An Imitation of Life by Karma Eastwick. ebook. I won this at Jessewave’s last week. Good m/m romance about two actors in NYC who are hoping for their big breaks. My main complaint about this ebook is that it needed a bit more editorial polish.
Because of the Brave by Laura Baumbach, Z.A. Maxfield, and Josh Lanyon. ebook. This three-story collection about being military and gay was very, very well-written. Sadly, the editing was a bit sloppy on the first two stories. Even with those editorial issues, I’d recommend it.
Arresting Developments by James Buchanan, Josh Lanyon, and L. Picaro. ebook. Collection of m/m romances about cops and the power of the past. While the stories were good, most had editing issues – I’m beginning to see that as a pattern in ebooks from Aspen Mountain Press…
Deadly Nightshade, Deadly Wrong, Deadly Dreams, and Deadly Slumber (Deadly Series, Books 1-4) by Victor J. Banis. Excellent m/m mysteries set in San Francisco. Gay police rookie Stanley must be the perfect guy to work on solving murders committed by a transvestite, right? While the SFPD thinks so, straight cop Tom, who gets stuck with Stanley as a partner, is not at all convinced. Highly recommended, especially if you enjoyed Josh Lanyon’s Adrien English series.


“What do you mean, get off my furry butt and do something cute for the blog because my vacation is over?!” -Mayhem

Go get a cup of coffee before you start this linkfest, eh?

So… it’s been sort of a while since I did a books and reading post. Brace yourselves. 😉

Don’t forget to leave a comment on the contest post before 7 pm CDT, Tuesday, October 6, for your chance to win a copy of Marliss Melton’s new romantic suspense novel, Show No Fear!


Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) has an amazing list of new releases and contests. So does Jackie at Literary Escapism.

Lea’s celebrating her first blogiversary with a week filled with contests. She’s giving away an Amazon gift certificate and books and who knows what else! Stop by each day to enter the latest contest.

Book Junkie’s having several contests. The first is her follower appreciation contest, which runs until October 2. She’s also giving away a copy of Kimberly Killon’s Highland Dragon. The second contest runs until midnight, October 5.

Jackie at Literary Escapism is having a contest for two Chloe Neill books and assorted other goodies. I really, really enjoyed Chloe Neill’s excellent vampire romance, Some Girls Bite, and am looking forward to reading the sequel, Friday Night Bites. Contest closes midnight, October 6.

Suburban Vampire’s giving away three signed copies of the graphic novel Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer. Contest closes 8 am PDT, October 13.

It’s Banned Books Week, and numerous bloggers have some great posts about it, including Neil Gaiman, The Book Smugglers, Wendy the Super Librarian, Lauren Dane, Love Romance Passion, Romance Book Wyrm, TeleRead, Dottie (My Blog 2.0), and many more.

Make sure you check out the interactive map of censorship attempts in the US from 2007-2009, too.

Kresley Cole is giving away a pdf copy of her short story “Warlord Wants Forever,” which is the first story in her excellent Immortals After Dark series. You can download the story here (link is directly to the pdf).

Harlequin Mills & Boon has ten ebooks available for free download, plus you can enter to win a Sony Reader.

How cool is it that CJ, who lives mere blocks away from me, has a shiny new urban fantasy coming out next year?!

Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) wonders whether it’s possible to tame that TBR (to be read) pile. I have my doubts! One of the unadvertised features of an ebook reader is that it makes your TBR pile far less visually overwhelming.

Dear Author debunks eight myths about ebooks.

TeleRead links to a nice roundup of available ebook readers and a comparison of the various Sony Reader options, then points out that Amazon is not dominating the ebook market.

Um……. a fake blood energy drink? Ewww!

Reading Update
Breaking Point and Into the Storm (Troubleshooters, Books 9-10). Suzanne Brockmann. audiobooks. These romantic suspenses made my drive to and from Toronto fly by! (Although Into the Storm was a serial killer book and I generally avoid serial killer books…)
The Stone Prince by Gena Showalter. ebook. Sweet paranormal romance about a woman whose kiss awakens one of the statues in her er0tic statue garden.
Destined for an Early Grave (Night Huntress, Book 4) by Jeaniene Frost. Paranormal romance. Although I adore Bones and Cat, I wonder how long I’ll be able to keep reading this series because of the relationship angst…
Stolen Fury by Elizabeth Naughton. Very good romantic suspense about an archeologist and an antiquities thief and ancient statues of the Furies. (Thanks, Lea – you were right!)
Soul Bonds, Rush in the Dark, and Edward, Unconditionally (Common Powers, Books 1-3) by Lynn Lorenz. ebooks. The first book in this paranormal m/m romance series never really engaged me, but the next two were better.
I Heart That City: Naked Richmond by Ally Blue. I Heart That City is a bar and Naked Richmond is but one of the stories (each by a different author) centered around the bar. This one’s an m/m romance about a bike messenger who crashes into a guy he has a crush on.
Passion and Satisfaction by M.L. Rhodes. ebooks. Related m/m romances about a high-powered businessman and a bartender.
Falling by M.L. Rhodes. ebook. This paranormal m/m romance had a vaguely Harry Potterish storyline… (Sorry to those of you who are now quietly whimpering.)
Like Coffee and Doughnuts by Elle Parker. ebook. Sufficiently good m/m romance about a PI and a mechanic that I’ll be looking for more from Parker.
The Name of the Game and It’s How You Play the Game by Willa Okati. ebooks. Decent related m/m romances. I liked the first better than the second, which seemed rather choppy.

The Tiger Within by Viki Lynn. ebook. Meh paranormal historical m/m romance set just after WWII.
Notturno by Z.A. Maxfield. ebook. Intense and engaging paranormal m/m romance about a professor who tracks down ancient er0tic texts and the vampire who wrote one of those texts.
The Elegant Corpse by A.M. Riley. ebook. This was another of A.M. Riley’s intense but not comfortable m/m romances. It’s very good, but very graphic.
Chasing Victory by Tory Temple. ebook. Decent m/m romance about a stock car driver who discovers that there’s a lot more to life than racing.
Bound by Love by T.A. Chase. ebook. Ok m/m romance about lusty cowboys.
Out of Bounds and High Line (Love of Sports, Books 1-2) by T.A. Chase. ebooks. Good m/m sports-related romances about a pair of twins and the guys they fall for.
Tabloid Star by T.A. Chase. ebook. Excellent m/m romance about a bartender and an up and coming Hollywood actor. Has a bit of a connection with the Love of Sports books.
Allergies by T.A. Chase. ebook. So-so paranormal m/m romance – who knew the IT guy was a werewolf, anyway?! Looks like this is going to be a series… that I probably won’t follow.
Love and Loyalty by Tere Michaels. ebook. Very good m/m romance about a cop who won’t let himself care for anyone so he can’t get hurt. I highly recommend both this and the previous book, Faith and Fidelity.
The Vampire and the Man-Eater by G.A. Hauser. ebook. Somewhat painfully written paranormal m/m romance. Let’s just say I won’t be reading anything else from this author, hmm?
Body and Soul, Secrets, and Camp Hell (Psy-Cop, Books 3-5) and Striking Sparks (novella related to Psy-Cop) by Jordan Castillo Price. ebooks. This is a great paranormal m/m series. Price is one of those authors on my must-read list.


“I’ll humor you for now, Mom, even though this is absolutely not an authentic SRM. Die, fake SRM, die!” -Chaos

What? Where’s Mayhem? She’s here. But hey, let’s not begrudge Chaos spotlight time during his birthday week, mmm?

Absalanche!*

Don’t worry – even though today is supposed to be a day without cats on the internetz, you’ll still get your daily dose of Chaos and/or Mayhem here. Because, really? I’d be a-feared for my life otherwise. (Others are stepping up their cat blogging in reaction, too.)

Congrats to the contest winners, who will receive a copy of Michelle Rowen’s Tall, Dark and Fangsome from Hatchette Books:  Cyn, Donna S, Books on the Knob,  Chelsea B, and Mishia! Stay tuned for another contest or two when I get back from vacation later this month. 🙂

Zonda and her team the Skeleton Crew (they work in x-ray!) are going to be in the Relay for Life in October if you’d like to donate to support the cause.

Lots of book news and many contests! Donna (Fantasy Dreamer), SciFiGuy, Literary Escapism, and Book Reviews by Jess have great summary posts.

Make your own ebook reader case and stand.

Wow, look at the improvement in the eink display between the older Sony PRS-500 and the new PRS-300!

Squee! If I had an iPhone, this case would definitely tempt me.

Just say no. Please.

Huh. Loud music might be bad for your ears, but good for your brain.

I had no idea there was a drink called a black cat.

Ain’t this the truth?!

Probably Mayhem couldn’t play poker, either.

If you have a cat and you’ve ever wondered why you can’t find yarn you know you had…

Sad that you missed out on the food oddities of the Minnesota State Fair? Live vicariously through Amy at A Closer Look at Flyover Land. (Yes, there are butter sculpture pictures.)


Before y’all freak out over the number of books in this reading update, remember that I didn’t post a reading update last week! Plus, these are the abs that have to sustain you during my vacation. 😉

Reading Update
Demon Inside by Stacia Kane. The second in this decent paranormal romance series about psychologist Megan Chase, who’s trying to adjust to leading her little group of demons while dating another demon.
The Darkest Whisper (Lords of the Underworld, Book 4) by Gena Showalter. This was Sabin’s (Lord of Doubt) story. It was a solid addition to the series… but when will Paris’s torment end?! When is his book???
Heiress for Hire by Erin McCarthy. Contemporary romance sequel to McCarthy’s A Date with the Other Side about a disinherited heiress stranded in a farming town.
The Bachelor (The Chandler Brothers, Book 1) by Carly Phillips. So-so contemporary romance about a world-traveling reporter who returns to his small town home and runs into the only woman who ever broke his heart. Probably the most telling thing about this? I don’t care if I read the next two books or not.
Fated (Doomsday Brethren 1.5) by Shayla Black. Free ebook novella. Ho hum. I liked the first Doomsday Brethren book (hunky wizards!), but this story didn’t pull me in. Possibly reading Amor en Retrogrado immediately prior negatively affected my perception…
Amor en Retrogrado by A.M. Riley. ebook. Excellent m/m romantic suspense about an author who loses much of his memory in an attack. This was a powerful read – I even cried a few times. Highly recommended.
What Matters Most by Lisa Marie Davis. ebook. So-so, somewhat sappy slightly paranormal m/m romance – the writing never really engaged me.
Lovers, Dreamers, and Me by Willa Okati. ebook. Meh m/m romance about an oblivious bookstore owner and a psychic. I wanted to slap characters around by halfway through, which I find is never a good sign.
The Best Vacation That Never Was by Lynn Lorenz. ebook. Decent m/m romance about a firefighter and the guy he rescues and takes home with him…
Holed Up by Hank Edwards. ebook. Well done m/m romantic suspense about an FBI agent protecting a man who overheard information about a terrorist attack.
Crossing Borders by Z.A. Maxfield. ebook. Good m/m romance about a cop and a skateboarder/college student, although waiting to find out what the big dramatic tension was going to be about killed me. (“Now? Is it now? Not yet? Sigh.”) However, this book did get bonus points for the Rurouni Kenshin references.
Drawn Together by Z.A. Maxfield. ebook. I think it’s safe to say that Z.A. Maxfield is a manga/anime fan, since this m/m romantic suspense was about a guy who travels across the country to a con to meet the manga artist he idolizes and believes is female. I really enjoyed this one and I even got sniffly a few times.
The Last Bite by Evangeline Anderson. ebook. Paranormal m/m romance about a demon hunting werewolf and his protege, who is bitten by a demon and lies dying.
Immortality is the Suck and What to Buy for the Vampire Who Has Everything by A.M. Riley. ebooks. Paranormal m/m sort of romance. The protagonist, former crooked cop and now vampire Adam, is such an antihero that I was surprised at how involved I got in the story. Recommended, although be warned that these are not light’n’fluffy easy reads.
High Country by Michael Barnett. ebook. Ok paranormal m/m paranormal romance about a scifi writer who rents a cabin on a Colorado high country ranch for a month so he can work on his latest book.
Claimed by Darkness by Mia Watts. ebook. There just wasn’t quite enough story mixed in with all the steam to support this paranormal m/m romance. And maybe it was my imagination, but the prose seemed to deteriorate as the story went on.
Altered Heart by Kate Steele. ebook. Pretty good paranormal m/m romance about a werewolf enforcer who kills a psychotic alpha werewolf and rescues the young man/werewolf being kept as a pet by said psychotic alpha werewolf.
To the Highest Bidder by Kate Steele. Sweet m/m romance about a bookstore owner whose friend buys him a lunch date with a Hollywood actor in a charity auction.
Faith and Fidelity by Tere Michaels. ebook. Powerful m/m romance about a widowed cop, his kids, and how things can get very complicated when you fall in love with your best friend. Recommended.


“A day without cats on the internetz? As if! Cats are the internetz.” -Chaos

*Thanks to Van for suggesting this title lo! those many moons ago.

Peeking out from under the work to bury you in (mostly, but not all) book contests and links

Don’t forget to leave a comment on the contest post before 7 pm CDT, Thursday, September 3, for your chance to win a copy of Michelle Rowen’s forthcoming paranormal romance, Tall, Dark and Fangsome! (Another of Michelle Rowen’s vampire romances, Bitten and Smitten, is a $1.99 ebook from Hatchette Books in September.)


Books on the Knob reports that Kindle owners can pick up China Mieville’s urban fantasy novel Perdido Street Station and Keri Arthur’s first Riley Jensen novel, Full Moon Rising, for free. (Actually, these aren’t just for Kindle – they’re the Suvudu free books for the month and are in pdf.)

Dear Author has posted their list of ebook specials for September.

Many contests listed over at Book Junkie II!

Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) has a great list of contests, too, along with information on new releases, interviews, and more.

A Journey of Books is giving away Mr and Mrs Fitzwilliam Darcy and Loving Mr Darcy to one lucky winner – you have an assortment of different ways to participate before September 15.

Ellora’s Cave is giving away a Sony or Asus netbook. Contest runs through the end of the year… and you need to tell Ellora’s Cave how their erotic romances have improved your sex life. 🙂

Fran at Romancing the Yarn is giving away some Patons sock yarn. Leave a comment before September 8 for your chance to win.

ModernCat’s giving away a nifty cat bed – leave a comment before September 6 for your chance to win.

Frank at Chromewaves is giving away a VTech Wifi Internet radio. Leave a comment before midnight EDT September 7 for your chance to win.

For your chance to win a copy of the vampire collection By Blood We Live (cover obviously inspired by The Lost Boys), leave a comment at Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist – no end date listed.


Check out SciFiGuy’s list of September urban fantasy, paranormal romance, romance, and scifi releases.

Dear Author has some great tips on how bloggers can get into book reviewing.

Sony’s eBook Library software (Windows and Mac) is freeware and you don’t need a Sony Reader to use it. Calibre (Windows, Mac, Linux) is another free ebook library manager that has lots of options for converting non-DRM ebooks into different formats.

Consumerist sort of got answers to their questions about Kindle licensing.

TeleRead linked to an interesting article on what Amazon’s competitors might want to consider if they plan to beat the Kindle.

Asus could have an ebook reader out by the holidays.

I like the idea of “crowd sourcing” ebook error corrections. I could put together a list! 😉

Awful Library Books found a pretty scary knitting book still on the shelves…

Dang, this is way too long already. Hmm. How about some gratuitous abs?


“Please come home from work, Mom. I miss you!” -Mayhem

“Oh, never mind. The big kitty said we have to be mad at you.” -Mayhem

Reading, contesting, and linking, oh my!

Congrats to the commenters who won copies of Dark Hunger: Tink, Anne, Morning Glow, CC, and Dottie! Thanks to everyone who participated – stop back tomorrow for a new book giveaway.


All About Books has a copy of Karen Marie Moning’s Dreamfever up for grabs – comment by 11:59 pm, EDT, August 27, for your chance to win.

You have several chances to win a copy of Devyn Quinn’s latest release, Possession: at Love Romance Passion (comment before August 29) and at Anna’s Book Blog (comment before August 30).

SciFiGuy is giving away two signed copies of Annette McLeave’s new release, Drawn into Darkness. Leave a comment by midnight, August 31, for your chance to win.

For your chance to win a copy of Jory Strong’s Ghostland or Spider-Touched, leave a comment at Literary Escapism by midnight, September 1.

A Journey of Books is giving away copies of Highland Rebel – you have until midnight EDT, September 15, to participate.

Fantasy Dreamer has a great list of book news and contests. So does Cecile!


Sony announced a wireless ebook reader yesterday. Gizmodo compares the major wireless ebook readers and has some info about the virtual library ebook checkout that Sony mentioned.

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any crazier than Mr. Darcy, Vampyrehere comes Jane Bites Back.

LOL – if you’re brave and need some laughs, head on over to The Thrillionth Page to read about Miss Doreen’s sordid reading discovery

How about a random but adorable link to a little black kitty boy?


Reading Update
Blue Fire, ePistols at Dawn, and The Long Way Home by Z.A. Maxfield. ebooks. M/m romance. Blue Fire and ePistols at Dawn were ok. Sadly, The Long Way Home would definitely have benefited from more editorial attention – the basic story was good, but it rambled, wandered, and fell down more than once due to structural issues.
St. Nacho’s and Physical Therapy by Z.A. Maxfield. ebooks. Related m/m romances about the somewhat mystical and strangely healing California town of Santo Ignacio, known as St. Nacho’s. (And hey, there’s a detour to River Falls, Wisconsin!)
Fire on the Mountain by P. D. Singer. ebook. Smokin’ hot m/m about two guys fighting forest fires in the Rockies.
Black Hills by Nora Roberts. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned how much I love the Black Hills, so I was particularly interested in the latest from Nora Roberts. Alas, it’s set in the Deadwood area, which isn’t the area of the Black Hills with which I’m familiar. As usual with the Nora, it was well-written and suspenseful until almost the very last page.
Dead and Gone (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 9) by Charlaine Harris. Oh, my, just when you think that Sookie’s life can’t get any more complicated and crazy… another book comes out.
Somebody Killed His Editor (Holmes & Moriarity, Book 1) by Josh Lanyon. ebook. Mystery writer Christopher Holmes is trying to revitalize his career at a writing retreat and things don’t go quite as planned… This was really well-done and poked fun at publishing and crazyily targeted mystery niches. Speaking of Josh Lanyon, Love Romances & More is deep in their m/m focus series and had a great interview with him yesterday.


May appears to have forgiven the toy basket… mostly.

“I’m keeping an eye on this toy basket, and keeping one foot on the floor. Just in case.” -Mayhem

We’ve been squirrelized!

Don’t forget to leave a comment on the contest post before 7 pm CDT, Monday, August 24, for your chance to win a copy of Rita Herron’s paranormal romance, Dark Hunger! (And hey, you can download the ebook of Herron’s paranormal romance Insatiable Desire for $1.99 this month.)

Crap. Apparently this is post #1000. Um… rah?! 😉 I know I should throw a party, but I think that’s going to have to wait until after the work craziness winds down. Anyway, many thanks to all of you for making the past nearly four years so enjoyable and interesting. The small, near-daily acts of creativity that blogging requires (taking photos, editing photos, captioning photos, writing posts) have been good for me. And getting to know all of you – through my blog, through your blogs, through email exchanges, through face-to-face meetings – that has been the very best thing of all. So, again – thank you.

Ok, enough mushy stuff. Onward! 🙂


Anna’s giving away a lovely hanging bookcase – leave a comment by August 26 for your chance to win.

Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) is giving away two books from Jeanne Stein’s Anna Srong Vampire Chronicles. Leave a comment by August 25 for your chance to win.

Author Kelly Moran’s giving away five copies of Karen Rose’s new romantic suspense, I Can See You. Leave a comment for your chance to win.

Lea explains what exactly The Great Western Drive is and includes a link to a related contest. Hmm. The closest I’ve gotten to reading any Western romances is the sort of cowboyesque Love at First Bite vampire series by Kimberly Raye. Not sure that really counts! 😉

Book Junkie has links to more, more, more book contests!


Hee hee – several people have pointed out that this seems perfectly Chaos. It does indeed!

Awww, look at the cute little black kitty

Hmm. An artist who works with the fur of her black kitties. Creative use of cat hair, I must say!

Marketing for pre-owned cats

Looking for a good, inexpensive book light? J. Kaye has a review of one she liked.

Kindle humor over at xkcd.

Minnesota publishers talk about ebooks.


Reading Update
I Spy Something Bloody, The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks, The Adrien English Mysteries, Books 1-2 (Fatal Shadows & A Dangerous Thing), The Hell You Say, and Death of  a Pirate King (Adrien English Mysteries, Books 3-4) by Josh Lanyon. ebooks. More excellent mystery and romantic suspense from m/m author Josh Lanyon. I really can’t say enough good about the Adrien English series. I devoured the books, and yet had to put them aside periodically because of how emotionally invested and worried I got about Adrien English. It’s been a while since I spent so much time (outside of reading the book) thinking about a character and caring so much about what happened. Highly recommended. (And check out Elisa Rolle’s feature on Josh Lanyon!)
Partners in Crime 4: The Art of Dying by Josh Lanyon and Jordan Castillo Price. This ebook contains suspenseful, non-series m/m stories from the always excellent Lanyon and Price.
Bring the Heat and Out of My Mind by M.L. Rhodes. ebooks. Well-done and steamy m/m romance, with excellent covers. 😉
Double Play by Jill Shalvis. Contemporary romance about a major league baseball pitcher and a reporter who’s supposed to find out dark secrets about the team. Shalvis definitely knows how to write a solid and enjoyable story and I’m looking forward to the next book in this series.
How To Tame a Modern Rogue by Diana Holquist. Kudos to Diana Holquist for her absolutely delightful contemporary and Regency romance mash-up! Highly recommended.
Skin Deep (Laura Blackstone, Book 1) by Mark Del Franco. Very well-done urban fantasy set in the same world as Del Franco’s Connor Grey series – I’ll definitely continue to read this series. (But I still prefer the Connor Grey series!)


Many thanks to Jeanne for “squirrelizing” this picture for me:

“Dang, he looks tasty, but he’s as big as I am!” -Chaos

“Who are all you people?” -Squirrel

*dreaming of birds* -Mayhem

A shocking number of book contests

Don’t forget to leave a comment on the contest post before 7 pm CDT, Monday, August 24, for your chance to win a copy of Rita Herron’s paranormal romance, Dark Hunger!

Congrats to the winners of the So Into You contest: Limedragon, Park Avenue Princess, Catie, CursingMama, and Marie!


I Read Romance is offering the chance to win a Cool*er eBook Reader. (Please note that you will be added to some authors’ mailing lists by entering.)

For your chance to win a copy of The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, leave a comment with your favorite ghost story at Literary Escapism by midnight, August 25.

If you’d like the chance to win three of Roxanne St. Claire’s romantic suspense novels, leave a comment at Jaci Burton’s blog sharing the title of your favorite romantic suspense novel. Contest closes Friday, so stop back after that to see if you’ve won.

ScifFiGuy’s giving away two copies of John Shirley’s new urban fantasy novel, Bleak House. Leave a comment by midnight, August 24, for your chance to win.

You have many opportunities to win a copy of Julia London’s latest, Summer of Two Wishes: Seductive Musings (closes 11:59 pm EST, August 22), Park Avenue Princess (closes September 9), A Journey of Books (closes midnight EST, August 31), and Book Binge.

Dear Author’s giving away an assortment of Bantam titles – head on over and check out the details.

For your chance to win a copy of Dawn Halliday’s historical romance, Highland Obsession, leave a comment at Yankee Romance Reviews by the end of the week.

Not enough book giveaways for you? Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) has links to more! So does Literary Escapism.


I love it – two librarians rummage around in the stacks at Awful Library Books, including such classics as a title about cats’ sex lives

Could by Mayhem, but not quite

This is an amusing cover for your Kindle or other ebook reader.

Check out the linked picture of how one ebook title looks on an assortment of different screens.

Ah, the joys (not) of ebooks with DRM. This is going to be the same issue I have with my Astak EZReader/Hanlin V3.


“The toy basket totally started it, Mom! I’m sure it’s out to get me!” -Mayhem

Books and links and books and links and books and…

Thanks for the fun captions you’ve been leaving on that picture of Chaos from yesterday! I definitely needed the giggles. 🙂 Mayhem did her part by sending one of her toy mice along with me in the bag of library books to be returned. Chaos… um… well, he didn’t succeed in tripping and killing me while I fed him. 😉

I know that there’s a heckuva lot of book linkity going on in this post – fear not, as it’s meant to tide you over until my next post on Monday, August 17. I’m leaving for da cabin up nord bright and early Thursday morning.

Don’t forget to leave a comment on the contest post before 7 pm CDT, Monday, August 17, for your chance to win a copy of Sandra Hill’s So Into You!


For your chance to win a copy of Mr. Darcy, Vampyre (yes, you read that right!), leave a comment over at Yankee Romance Reviews.

If you’d like a chance to win a copy of Robyn DeHart’s romance Seduce Me, leave a comment at Park Avenue Princess by midnight EST, August 30.

Need a new bookcase? Temple Library Reviews is giving one away – comment before September 6 for your chance at it.

J. Kaye’s usually has over a dozen various book/audiobook giveaways going at any given time, covering a breadth of genres. You should subscribe to J. Kaye’s blog. 🙂 (Speaking of good stuff from J. Kaye, is your library part of Library Elf?)

Fantasy Dreamer Donna has links to many, many more book-related contests!


An interesting post about the benefits of print and ebooks at Embrace the Shadows.

Looking for free ebooks to fill your reader? The Finding Free Ebooks blog might be just the thing for you.

Author Monica Ferris is giving away a free short mystery about a female police investigator and the Minnesota State Fair. (It isn’t a Betty Devonshire mystery, for those who follow that series.)

Some tips for how to read faster. I hadn’t thought of it before, but I guess when I’m reading books, I don’t subvocalize. I do for other sorts of reading, such as blogs, emails, etc. Teaching yourself to knit while you read (or is it read while you knit?) might have a similar effect to the technique in the linked post.

Which of the top ten hero types is your favorite? My answer won’t surprise any of you…

Need a giggle? Carolyn shows how adding vampires would spice up an otherwise ho hum spam email.

And while you’re giggling, you simply must check out this hysterical historical romance-themed cover from Minnesota Monthly magazine.

It ain’t your mama’s romance – and that’s not a bad thing.

Notice anything similiar about the cover of Lynn Viehl’s Darkyn novella, Master of Shadows, and the cover of Lynda Hilburn’s book, The Vampire Shrink??

Dear Author always has informative and thoughful posts. Some that caught my eye recently were on buying ebook readers and a wonderfully snarky book news roundup.

Did you hear that Sony’s coming out with some new, less expensive ereaders? They’re pretty cute. Astak’s also coming out with some comparable looking ebook readers in the same price range.

Hmm. Could Kindles go the way of Betamax? (Really too early to assess things like that, but it’s always fun to speculate.)


Reading Update
Spin a Wicked Web: A Home Crafting Mystery by Cricket McRae. I couldn’t resist the cover when I saw this book at the library, and I’m glad I didn’t! Spin a Wicked Web was a well-written and enjoyable read; it managed to avoid the cloying sweetness to which many craft-related novels succumb. I plan to read the other books in this series – and I wish I’d read the others first, as this turns out to be the third book.
Personal Demons by Stacia Kane. Enjoyable paranormal romance about a psychologist who starts a radio show promising to banish people’s personal demons and gets more than she bargained for.
Watch Over Me by Lucy Monroe. Latest contemporary romance in her Goddard Project series. I read half the book, realized I didn’t care about any of the characters and that I’d napped through a s3x scene, and put it in the pile going back to the library. Also, while using the word “adamantine” (and helpfully clarifying it as “diamond-like” within a few sentences) to refer to someone’s abs does showcase your vocabulary, it’s not a common word and using it twice (complete with “diamond-like” reference) in the first half of the book? Sticks out.
Boys of Summer by Cooper Davis. ebook. Sweet m/m romance about how scary falling in love and coming out can be.
Don’t Look Back, Dangerous Ground, The Dark Horse, and The White Knight by Josh Lanyon. ebooks. Suspense and m/m romance by one of the masters of the genre. Well-written, vividly characterized, deeply involving, and definitely steamy hot – what’s not to like?
Among the Living and Criss Cross (PsyCop, Books 1-2) by Jordan Castillo Price. ebooks. More excellent romantic suspense and m/m romance, but with a titch of paranormal!
Protect and Defend by Francesca Hawley. ebook. A steamy paranormal romance about a cop who’s a shapeshifter and a writer who turns out to be his mate. Unfortunately, there were far too many pages used for the amount of story available, and the draggy bits were too sappy for me. (But hey, it has a great cover and it wasn’t even m/m!)


“I’m sure you heard wrong. No way would Mom leave us for four days!” -Chaos

More book contests and links than really seems reasonable

Don’t forget to leave a comment on the contest post before 7 pm CDT, August 6, for your chance to win a copy of Diana Holquist’s How to Tame a Modern Rogue!

Head over to Fang-tastic Books to read an interview with Barbara Bretton and then have a chance to win one of five copies of her latest paranormal knitting romance, Laced With Magic. Leave a comment before August 9 and make sure you stop back at Fang-tastic Books to see who won. (I loved the first book, Casting Spells, and am looking forward to this one.)

Valerie is giving away fabric and Handmaiden yarn to two lucky commenters on her blog. She’ll select the winners on August 10.

Jodi’s celebrating her blogiversary by giving away books, something handknit by her, and maybe yarn. Leave a comment before August 9 for your chance to win.

Anna (a fellow Minnesotan!) is clearing off her shelves and giving away an amazing list of books. Leave your comment with which two books you’d like to win, and Anna will select five winners on August 17.

Author Nancy Harkness is giving away a bright skein of Stacel merino lace to celebrate the reopening of her local yarn shop. Send her an email before August 17 for your chance to win.


Aarti of Booklust is looking for guest bloggers for her Rosie the Riveter series on riveting women in literature. Stop by,  check out the series, and let Aarti know if you’re interested in writing a guest post. Last week’s post was by Carrie K!

*sniff* This xkcd made me sad!

Author Michele Hauf will be spotlighting author and editor to-be-read piles this week.

Jodi discovered a free Edward Gorey font!

Dear Author has a great news round-up, including a statement from the RIAA that might make your brain explode. If that doesn’t, the tale of an author freakout on Amazon might do the trick.

Check out Dear Author’s list of August ebook deals, too. Smart Bitches has a similar, but not identical list with pictures.

The monthly Literary Escapism newsletter is up, featuring a mind boggling amount of book, author, and contest information. If that’s not enough information for you, head over to SciFiGuy’s list of the August urban fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction/fantasy releases.

Now there’s a lawsuit against Amazon by a student whose notes on 1984 became useless when Amazon deleted 1984 and Animal Farm from all Kindles a few weeks ago.

Smart Bitches has a nice list of accessories for the Sony Reader, some of which can be used on other ereaders, too. Smart Biches also has a report from a new Sony Reader owner, complete with comics! Hmm – will the rumored new Sony Readers break the $200 price point?

Huh. Barnes & Noble is inexplicably wrapping DRM around public domain books.

All About Romance has a thoughtful post about book piracy.

Although the contest is over, the Heaving Mantitty Contest post at Deadline Dames is still an amusing read.

Reading Update
My Forbidden Desire by Carolyn Jewel. This is the second book in the series that began with My Wicked Desire, and it kept me as enthralled as the first book! If you’re looking for a steamy paranormal series without vampires or werewolves, you’ll love this one.
Hidden Current (Drake Sisters, Book 7) by Christine Feehan. I couldn’t read it. I got a chapter or two into it, and just could not keep reading about Elle being raped and tortured. Nope.
To Fat and Back by Beverly Rae. ebook. Cute story about a woman who has a crush on a hunk who won’t look at her twice, but I was aggravated by all the passive voice. I was surprised – Samhain usually does better with the editing.
Huntress by Christine Warren, Marjorie M. Liu, Caitlin Kittredge, and Jenna MacIaine. Solid paranormal collection about butt-kicking heroines. The stories from Kittredge and MacIaine are set in ongoing series, while the stories from Warren and Liu are not.
Demon in Blue Jeans by Toni V. Sweeney. ebook. Basically a short story, kinda cute, but too! many! exclamation! points!
Unholy Night by Candice Gilmer. ebook. Nicely done, somewhat steamy paranormal romance about good werewolves and a bad vampire. Need to pick up the rest of this series.
Marked and Feral by Joely Skye. ebooks. Paranormal m/m romance series about werewolves in Canada. Very good, although I got frustrated at times because so many of the conflicts and misunderstandings were caused by people being cryptic with each other, to the point that it felt unrealistic. Hmm. Not sure that makes sense to anyone other than me!
The Darkest Prison (Lords of the Underworld) by Gena Showalter. ebook. This was an ok paranormal novella about the Titan Atlas and the Greek goddess Nike. (And actually not at all about the Lords of the Underworld, other than the Prologue and passing references.)
Total Eclipse of the Heart, Big Girls Don’t Die, It’s Raining Men, and Crazy Little Thing Called Love (In the Heat of the Night, Books 1-4) by Crystal Jordan. ebooks. Extremely steamy paranormals about the best magical bar in L.A. and the interactions of some of the owners and patrons. Not a big fan of the multiple partner thing, which two out of the four have, but the writing and characterization are great.
Demon Dreamer (Captive Souls, Book 3) by Vivi Anna. ebook. Paranormal romance about a woman who dreams of a demon lover and how her dreams become reality. It was ok, but I have no interest in reading the other two. Love the cover, though!


“Why are you upside down? Isn’t that uncomfortable?” -Mayhem