Category Archives: Linkity linkity link

Books with kitty tummy

Excellent – a book blogs search engine. You can also check to see if your favorite book blogs are included and request that they be added.

Curious about what paranormal, urban fantasy, scifi, or fantasy releases are scheduled for April? has a great list.

Well, I just capitulated and ordered an ebook reader – I went with the EZ Reader (aka the Hanlin V3 and the BeBook), which is $229 after $20 mail-in rebate from Fry’s through April 3. It supports a pretty amazing list of formats. Yeah, yeah, I know, I was just saying that I was going to make my Palm Tungsten E2 last forever… but I finally got frustrated with 25 words/screen.

Like your book browsing to be atmospheric? Check out Obsidian Kitten’s post about some of the most beautiful libraries in the world and then look at pictures of some lovely bookstores. The Barnes & Noble  in the Historic Chateau Theater (Rochester, Minnesota) isn’t on that list, but it should be. (Bless flickr for having some photo sets of it.) I have fond memories of going to movies in that theater when I was very young and hoping a princess would come out onto one of the balconies.

Reading Update
A Taste of Magic by Tracy Madison. This was a completely delightful read! It’s classified as a paranormal romance, but only because there’s a bit of magic (along the lines of Like Water for Chocolate). I think I’d even recommend this to the dedicated contemporary romance reader.
The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance. This is an excellent collection containing 24short stories from authors including Kelley Armstrong, Carrie Vaughn, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Meljean Brook, and Rachel Caine.
Unusual Suspects: Stories of Mystery & Fantasy, edited by Dana Stabenow. This is a follow-up collection to Powers of Detection: Stories of Mystery & Fantasy, which I really, really enjoyed. I enjoyed some of the stories in this collection (such as the stories by Simon R. Green, Laura Anne Gilman, Dana Stabenow, and Donna Andrews), but I also skipped several stories I couldn’t get into. Sadly, the blurb on the front cover (“Includes a new Sookie Stackhouse story”) was the best part of said Sookie Stackhouse story.
Body Movers by Stephanie Bond. Romantic suspense. Probably a bad sign that I wanted to smack the two main characters for being stupid… throughout the entire book. I passed this one on to CursingMama – we’ll see if she has the character smackdown urge or not.
Master of Darkness (Primes Series, Book 4) by Susan Sizemore. Haven’t read the first three books in this series – I picked this one up solely because of the very nice Nathan Kamp cover. It was an ok paranormal romance. I might read some of the other books in the series. (Although I was amused that Nathan Kamp, with shaggy dark hair, was used as the model for the book’s hero, who had very long platinum blond hair. Heh.)
Passion Unleashed (The Demonica Series, Book 3) by Larissa Ione. Really, really good paranormal romance. I was utterly unable to put this book down and am glad I started reading it early enough so I didn’t have to stay up all night reading it, because I would’ve. I highly recommend this series! The only problem I have with this particular book, which is Wraith’s story, is that the dysfunctional Wraith feels a bit too akin to a mixture of Wrath and Zsadist from the Black Dagger Brotherhood. (However, Wrath’s and Zsadist’s stories were my favorite of the BDB, so…)
The Bride of Casa Dracula (Casa Dracula, Book 3) by Marta Acosta. Ah, Milagro De Los Santos, how complicated is your life! I’m eagerly awaiting the next book in this series to see what Milagro manages to get up to next. I think Acosta does a nice job of getting me thinking on issues of ethnicity and individuality, too, without beating me about the head with them.
One Hot Mess by Lois Greiman. Cocktail waitress turned psychologist Chrissy McMullen has a gift for finding trouble that’s second only to Milagro’s (see previous reviewette). And of course, brooding LAPD Detective Jack Rivera and his lecherous father, former California Senator Miguel Rivera, continue to spice things up. If you’re a fan of Lori Avocato or Janet Evanovich, you should give this series a try.

Mayhem was the long skinny upside down kitty in yesterday’s post. (While Chaos does love to sprawl upside down, he’s, um, not quite as svelte.) Here’s a tummy closeup for your tummy scritching pleasure. And her tummy fur is far softer than it looks. *scritch scritch scritch*

*sprawl* -Mayhem

Kitteh, kitteh, kitteh

Wendy’s giving away several copies of her new sock book – leave a comment by noon EDT, March 29, for your chance to win (although, since there were over 1300 comments by Thursday evening, I suspect you’ve all already left your comments!).

Author Barbara Bretton’s giving away some Elann Pure Bamboo yarn (color Devonshire Cream) – you have until the afternoon of March 28 to participate.

Neil Gaiman’s having a Twitter captioning contest with some very cool prizes – you have to submit your Twitter caption by midnight PDT, March 28.

Could that second picture be any cuter?! *head explodes from the cute*

These kitteh crayons are pretty darn cute, too.

The Romance Vagabonds celebrated Women’s History Month with a post about 12 influential romance writers, from Jane Austen to Nora Roberts.

How come my kittehs never helped me out like this when I was doing the online dating thing?! It might’ve gone better.

Hey tea drinkers – did you see the spiffy black kitteh tea cozy that Sydney found? (And she also had wildlife depredating her screens!)

Some cool typography tool and font download links from Lifehacker.

Please keep the folks along the Red River of the North in your thoughts as they brace for record-breaking water levels.

“Go away! I’m still embarassed about yesterday!” -Mayhem

Have a good weekend, everyone! Hopefully the intermittent snow spit we’ve had here will stop taunting us… but we are dry and warm and in absolutely no danger of flooding, so life is good.

If it snows today, I might whimper a bit

Wendy’s giving away a copy of Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Crafts. Leave a comment by March 26, 4 pm EDT, for your chance to win.

You have until March 29 to enter moderncat’s drawing for a cute Red Tango bowling bag, compact, and pillbox. (Does anyone remember that I have one of those cute little bowling bags?!)

If you’re interested in helping figure out why bees are disappearing, Marsha has some information about how to get involved with bee research.

Obsidian Kitten is looking for some test knitters for her lacy Easter egg cloth.

This is the basis of my wardrobe – how about yours?

Sometimes it’s best not to ask too many questions when you get home…

Wow – I’m not sure my cardboard construction skills are up to making this spiffy cardboard kitty house from Martha… The question is, of course – will they like it more than a plain old empty box?

I had no idea you could develop film with coffee and vitamin C. Anyone ever tried this?!

For you ebook folks – a comparison price shopping site (still under development). Looks like Samsung’s Papyrus ebook reader will be available later this year in the US. The Foxit eSlick is already available, but doesn’t seem to support the range of formats my dream reader will. (And that would be why I’m slogging along with Mobipocket on my faithful Palm Tungsten E2.)

A month or so ago, Marta Acosta (author of the Casa Dracula series and owner of the Vampire Wire blog) asked what songs people thought might appeal to paranormals. I started to wonder if I had enough songs to put together a non-goth/non-metal vampire mix. I did! You can see the song list over on Vampire Wire. And if you’d like to put together your own vampire-themed mix cd, you have until April 1 to sign up for this swap. I’m already signed up!

“And you woke me up why?” -Chaos

Now with 100% more tasty feet!

Jane is celebrating her fifth blogiversary with a contest! She’s giving away a gorgeous sock bag, Schaeffer Anne yarn, and one of her lovely photo calendars. For your chance to win, answer her question in the comments before midnight tonight (March 20).

Leave a comment for Wendy by noon EDT, March 22, for your chance to win a copy of Mother-Daughter Knits by Sally Melville and her daughter.

Lisa’s having another snow melt contest! Submit your snow pile melt date guess by 5 pm EDT, April 3, for your chance to win one of two extremely cool Nantucket Baggs. (These handy dandy tool bags will tempt nearly everyone, not just knitters.)

I have been listening to Swedish band The Chrysler on heavy rotation this week, particularly their song “First Blood.”

Happy vernal equinox to one and all. Unless you’re in the Southern Hemisphere – then happy autumnal equinox to you!

Eeek! I’m glad this light is only a concept. (Eye of Sauron moment, anyone?)

Did you hear the one about the sheep and the Welsh shepherds?

Chicken sweaters. Huh.

Aren’t these cool cat beds?

I’ll have to show this and this to Chaos and Mayhem so they can see how lucky they are to just have to model bibs.

I can so see Chaos doing this.

Bad kitty!

Hey you cats – looking for tips on how to annoy your people? Look no further!

“My foot’s pretty tasty, too.” -Mayhem

In which I have to write my entire post in html because WordPress is being daft

Think you can figure out what the mysterious items are from Eryka’s purse before March 20? If so, you could win a $50 KnitPicks gift certificate!

Over at Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist, you could win a copy of Peter S. Beagle’s novel A Fine and Private Place, plus a copy of his new short story collection, We Never Talk About My Brother.

Largehearted Boy’s giving away three classic Dickens’ novels – comment by March 18 for your chance to win.

So, so wrong.

Google’s tracking our browsing history in order to target ads better, but you can opt out.

The Periodic Table of Typefaces is pretty cool.

If you’re a Moleskinne fan, check out the desktop icons.

Very, very cool bookmarks.

Top 10 reasons that knitting is better than therapy.

Ah, yes, this reminds me of my attempts to keep Chaos off the counters and table. And really, have you given enough thought to your zombie attack survival plan?

Thanks for Cyn for the link to this Osaka cat cafe. *ahem* I’m sure some of us you could run one of these from home…

Beware – Red Tango has more cute kitty merchandise available…

Reading Update
Ravenous: The Dark Forgotten by Sharon Ashwood. Witches and vampires and werewolves and demons and ghouls, oh my! This looks like it will be the first book in a new series, and I can only hope that the next book is as intense and enjoyable to read. Definitely recommended.
Tempt Me With Darkness (The Doomsday Brethren, Book 1) by Shayla Black. Wizards! And a warrior cursed to immortality by Morgan le Fay. The writing’s a bit clumsy at times, but either it improved as the book progressed or I got so involved with the story that it didn’t bother me anymore. I’m off to see if there are more books in this series. Maybe it’s just me, but there were two characters who reminded me of Voldemort and Snape… (Oh, I won this book over at Midnight Moon Cafe.)
Wicked By Any Other Name by Linda Wisdom. The third book in the series that started with 50 Ways To Hex Your Lover is another enjoyable chicklitty paranormal romp.
Raven: A Novel of the Cleveland Undead by S. A. Swiniarski. An excellent non-series vampire novel written in 1996. Highly recommended, especially if you enjoy a good mystery with some amnesia tossed in. (This was part of Blood and Rust: Two Novels of the Cleveland Undead, but while The Flesh, the Blood, and the Fire was equally well-written, it was a historical mystery that never really captured me, so I didn’t finish it.)
The Red Heart of Jade and Eye of Heaven (Dirk & Steele, Books 3-4) by Marjorie M. Liu. Kick butt paranormal folks working for a mysterious detective agency. Recommended.
Night Fall and Night Shadow by Cherry Adair. More T-FLAC wizards! Woot. Much as I enjoy these, I must remind you that they are not the best-written books you’ll ever find.
Strong and Sexy (Sky High Air, Book 2) by Jill Shalvis. I’ve now finished this trilogy, which was okay contemporary romance/romantic suspense. But now I have to wonder if every main male in Jill Shalvis’ books has a scar across one of his eyebrows.
Mean Streets by Jim Butcher, Simon R. Green, Kat Richardson, and Tomas E. Sniegoski. Very good stories about Harry Dresden, John Taylor, and Greywalker Harper Blaine. I suspect the Remy Chandler story was good, too, but I’ve never been able to get into that series, so I skipped it. Definitely recommended if you’re a fan of any of these authors.
The Better To Hold You by Alisa Sheckley. A very different paranormal romance about werewolves. Parts of it had promise, but in the end, it was too disturbing for me and just not that good.
Magic in the Wind (Drake Sisters, Book 1) by Christine Feehan. I actually read this novella a while ago, as part of the Lover Beware anthology, but having read most of the Drake Sisters’ series recently, I picked up this standalone when I saw it at the library. While the later Drake Sisters books are better, I continue to just shake my head at the s3x scenes.

“I am a vampire panther girl! Rowr! (Were you really, really scared?)” -Mayhem

The work, it be killing me this week…

…but! I am employed! I mostly enjoy my job and my coworkers! Right?

Author Barbara Bretton is giving away some more yarn – enter before Sunday evening if you’re interested.

Make sure you stop by moderncat today and poke around through the posts from this past week – it was Toy Week and they’ve had lots of bonus giveaways of intriguing kitty toys. (Speaking of toys… beware!)

Read an Ebook Week is almost over, so you’d better hurry up if you’re interested in the ebooks that were free and/or discounted for the week!

Do you read TECHKnitting? I recommend it. The latest post has some great tips for the ordinary chain bind off on circular knits.

Brace yourselves – this is painfully, painfully cute. And isn’t “floofy” the perfect description? Black cat overload!

How to take pinhole pictures with your digital camera.

Yet another clever litterbox hiding technique from ikea hacker.

Readability looks a nifty little tool to add to your browser’s bookmark bar – click on it, and it will reformat a website to make it more readable. Sounds very handy for sites with weird colors or too-small fonts, doesn’t it?

Aw – a tulip USB hub, if you’re feeling particularly spring-deprived.

This doesn’t surprise me – DST may have negative health consequences. As someone who’s definitely not getting enough sleep this week because of it…

Some nice pictures from downtown Minneapolis during last week’s big snowstorm – the last picture is from behind the Mary Tyler Moore statue.

“Neener neener, big kitty! This is my toy and you can’t play with it!” -Mayhem

“Oh yeah? Who wants to play with your silly pink feathers anyway?!!” -Chaos

Can you tell we’ve had lots of feline discord this week?! Maybe it was the full moon… Or DST starting. Or a disharmonic planetary alignment.

*insert annual whining about springing ahead for Daylight Savings*

Author Barbara Bretton is giving away more alpaca silk – you can enter her contest until sometime March 10. (While you’re there, check out the picture of Laced with Magic, sequel to Casting Spells.)

*gasp* Betty Crocker gluten free baking mixes?!

This one’s for Margene and Carole.

I have to make some time to listen to This American Life’s explanation of the current financial crisis.

If you have a weakness for adorable black kittens… Beware. They need homes!

My kitties are more likely to knock the pictures askew… And they would totally kill me in my sleep if I did this to them.

This cat tail USB drive is kind of scary looking, isn’t it? And also? So wrong.

Who knew there were people out there who could certify a place as elf-free (or not)?

I definitely recommend Lynn Viehl’s hysterical post about a 911 hotline for writers and readers.

Dear Author has a nice point-by-point comparison of the Kindle and Sony ebook readers.

Do you ever lie about your reading habits and upscale them somewhat? You aren’t alone.

Reading Update
Things the Grandchildren Should Know by Mark Oliver Everett. This somewhat stream-of-consciousness autobiography from EELS frontman Mark Oliver Everett (more commonly known as “E” or “Mr. E”) was surprisingly readable and moving. Listening to the EELS while reading the book definitely enhanced my experience – there’s something eerie and very right about reading what inspired a particular song and having that song come on. The book’s title is from one of my favorite EELS songs:

I don’t leave the house much
I don’t like being around people
Makes me nervous and weird
I don’t like going to shows, either
It’s better for me to stay home
Some might think it means I hate people
But that’s not quite right

Divine Fantasy by Melanie Jackson. The latest installment in Jackson’s Divine… series features an immortal, lycanthropic Ambrose Bierce. The first book (Divine Fire) was pretty good, but at this point I’m mostly reading these out of a certain sick fascination. (Of course, if you are fond of books written in an eighteenth-century style, you might appreciate these much more than do I.)
Instant Attraction by Jill Shalvis. Nicely done contemporary romance set in the Sierra Nevadas at Wilder Adventures and Expeditions. Based on the setup, Shalvis has a few more Wilder Adventures romances planned and I’ll definitely read them. However, there was one thing that kept bothering me throughout this book – the attraction between the two characters was such that every time Cam looked at Katie, her glasses fogged up. As someone who wears glasses, I found that to be silly and unrealistic.
Superb and Sexy (Sky High Air, Book 3) by Jill Shalvis. Haven’t read Book 2 yet. Oh well. This was an ok contemporary romance that finished off the Sky High Air trilogy.
White Heat (The Men of T-FLAC, Book 11) by Cherry Adair. And now I’m all caught up with the men of T-FLAC.
Just Another Judgement Day (Nightside, Book 9) by Simon R. Green. John Taylor is back. What else is there to say? There are so many great lines in this book, such as this one: “Sharon led us down the hallway and ushered us into a nice comfortable parlour, which contained everything you’d expect to find in a cosy vicarage parlour, but rarely do outside of a Jane Austen novel.”
Tiger Eye (Dirk & Steele, Book 1) by Marjorie M. Liu. Nicely done paranormal romance about a woman with a telekinetic connection to/control of metal and a tiger shapeshifter cursed by an evil magician 2000 years ago.
Unfallen Dead (Connor Grey, Book 3) by Mark del Franco. If you enjoy Harry Dresden, I recommend giving this series a try. Connor Grey’s a druid and private investigator in Boston, 100 years after Faery converged with our world. These are involving and enjoyable reads. And I’m sure I’d say that even if Nathan Kamp wasn’t on the covers (sadly, covered with clothing).
Men of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong. There are three main segments to this book – the first is the story of how Jeremy came to be, the second is a lengthy look at Clay’s backstory (from being bitten almost to meeting Elena), and the last is a more current look at a slice of Jeremy’s life. A must-read if you follow Armstrong’s Otherworld series.
Pleasure Unbound and Desire Unchained (Demonica, Books 1-2) by Larissa Ione. Image ER run by demons, with a few werewolves and vampires thrown in for good measure, inspired heavily by J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood. Very good paranormal romance, but be warned – it’s also extremely steamy.

Fun and easy to do:

Hmm. The dishes in the sink are suspiciously black and furry…

Author Barbara Bretton (who wrote the wonderful Casting Spells) is giving away six skeins of alpaca silk to a lucky commenter. Leave your comments before the evening of March 6.

Bridget’s giving away a copy of Julia & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell. Send her an email or leave a comment by March 7 for your chance to win. (I read it a while ago and enjoyed it, although some of the cooking scenes left me queasy.)

There’s still time to contribute to Animal Rescue of Fresno (ARF) and participate in Concateknit’s contest! For every $5 you contribute, you get an entry in the contest, which ends March 7.

If you’re interested in the chance to win an iPod Touch and are willing to work for it a little, check out the latest contest over at Bitten By Books. Contest runs through March 20.

OMG! A real panther cub! The cute! The cute! It burns!

Eeep! Chaos?!

Dear Author has a list of recommended romance releases for March.

Check out the Random House Suvudu Free First Book Library, where you can download the first title of a series for free. Current titles are Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb, Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson, Settling Accounts: Return Engagement by Harry Turtledove, His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik, and Blood Engines by T.A. Pratt. I just downloaded Blood Engines myself.

While being able to find more information on every little thing that wanders through your head is a nifty aspect of the interwebz, keeping a tangents log can help you stay more focused.

IKEA Planner is a nifty little free Windows application that lets you play around with how different IKEA stuff will fit into your space.

If you’re like me, glasses shopping is fraught with peril (since you can’t actually see what you look like in various frames). The FrameFinder seems like it could be very handy for us.

Like to learn things but don’t really want to bother with credits and all that? Check out the list of 200 free online classes put together by the Online Education Database.

Eeek! If a kitteh like this shows up at your house, you should probably run away really really fast (taking your hard drives with you, of course).

“If I pretend I can’t see you, Mom, you can’t tell me I shouldn’t be in the sink. Besides, all panthers hang out in sinks. Really.” -Mayhem

Beware! There’s a dangerous predator hiding in the grape ivy.

Karen’s celebrating her new blog home with a contest – guess how many yards of finished 2-ply yarn she’ll get from the pictured bobbins and you could win some fibery goodies. Contest closes at midnight, March 5. Please note that the English translation of the post starts right after the photo.

The Largehearted Boy is giving away a set of Monty Python’s Flying Circus Megaset dvds. Leave a comment about your favorite television comedy character by March 4 to enter.

Just a heads up so there are fewer injuries this time around – I will be posting about knitting tomorrow. You have been warned. 😉

Wow – talk about an amazing transformation from garage to gorgeous crafting room!

Doodling might actually increase focus and concentration. *saves this one for work*

Lifehacker has an interesting list of ten useful tools for your blog.

Here’s an intriguing do-it-yourself cat bed/scratcher.

An ebook LOL that’s probably most amusing to those of us who read some variety of romance.

Hmm, maybe the paranormal romance genre’s a little out of control? Hee hee.

Literary Escapism has a truly amazing summary of forthcoming urban fantasy and paranormal romance releases, upcoming author interviews, and more.

Reading Update
Mine to Possess and Hostage to Pleasure (Psy-Changelings, Books 4-5) by Nalini Singh. Surely you’re tired of listening me to wax rhapsodic about this author and series? Don’t forget that Angel’s Blood, the first book in the Guild Hunter series, comes out tomorrow. You can also read an interview with Nalini Singh at Bitten by Books and maybe win a copy of Angel’s Blood!
In Too Deep (The Men of T-FLAC, The Wrights: Book 4) and Hot Ice (The Men of T-FLAC, Book 7) by Cherry Adair. Hmm, I think I’m all caught up through Book 10 in this series now. Books 8-10 were definitely my favorites – love those anti-terrorist wizardly Edge Brothers. (But I think Hot Ice has a major plot inconsistency that surfaces nearly at the end, alas.)
The Good, the Bad, and the Sexy by Emily Carmichael. Enjoyable non-paranormal romance about a movie star hiding out at a ranch in Arizona with his incorrigible tween daughter.

Oh no! Be very, very careful passing near the grape ivy as you attempt to water it…

“I am a fierce panther girl, lying in wait for my prey, the wicked and wily furry pink mouse! Quake in fear, FPM!” -Mayhem

And then there was thundersnow…

Let’s just admire this traditional postcard shot (from last July) of downtown Minneapolis (taken from the Sculpture Garden with Spoonbridge and Cherry in the forefront) until spring arrives, shall we?

It’s very snowy here at the moment. *sigh* (And the Cherry’s been removed from the Spoonbridge in order to be repainted. Probably the Dish will run away with the Spoonbridge before all is said and done.)

I have to admit that I felt a little silly yesterday at 11:30 when I left the office to do a few errands on my way to work from home for the rest of the day. Sure, the sky was a bit ominous, but it wasn’t precipitating. I stopped at the library. When I came out 10 minutes later, a few scattered snowflakes were falling. Next I stopped at the Wedge Co-op. When I came out 20 minutes later, I had to brush about 0.25″ of snow from my car windows. By the time I got home at 12:30, conditions were near whiteout! In fact, around 4″ of snow fell in the next hour or two. I felt a lot less silly at that point. 🙂

This looks like a lot more fun than badminton.

Poor baby!! Eeep!! has posted a list of the urban fantasy, paranormal, fantasy, and science fiction releases for March. And the new Uncle Hugo’s (scifi/fantasy/paranormal) and Uncle Edgar’s (mystery) newsletter is out – I really look forward to receiving this each quarter.

Reading Update
Hot Mail by Janice Maynard. Extremely steamy non-paranormal romance. I got annoyed at one of the female characters, but maybe it’s because I could see too much of myself in her. 🙂
The Cat’s Meow by Emily Carmichael. I confess I picked up this romance/mystery solely because it had a black cat on the cover. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this well-written story of a high-powered attorney who develops amnesia and starts to hear her black cat Nefriti talking to her and giving her advice. I’ll be reading the other interconnected books.
Smart and Sexy (Sky High Air, Book 1) by Jill Shalvis. A nice solid non-paranormal romance. The male characters featured in these books own an air-charter business in California.
Caressed by Ice (Psy-Changelings, Book 3) by Nalini Singh. This is a very, very good paranormal romance series. Definitely recommended. The next book is already waiting on my book stand!
Angel’s Pawn: A Companion Novella to “Angel’s Blood” by Nalini Singh. Ebook. A decent read, but without the punch of Angel’s Blood. I’d recommend reading Angel’s Blood first to get familiar with the world. But then again – maybe it was just the ebook format, giving the reading experience a very different feel. Guess which reading experience I prefer? 🙂

You put your left paw in, you put your left paw out, you put your left paw in and…. zzzzzzzzz….” -Chaos