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Today is the last day to enter the contests for Dead Shot by JL Merrow and A Guitarist in the Fae Queen’s Court by Amber Kell or the Unconventional At Best anthology! Both contests close at 7 pm CDT.


Stop by and enter the contest for One More Time by Shawn Lane! Contest closes 7 pm CDT, August 27.

Make sure you enter the contest for Maybe This Time by Shawn Lane! Contest closes 7 pm CDT, August 31.

Don’t forget to enter the contest for Men of Smithfield: Max & Finn by LB Gregg! Contest closes 7 pm CDT, August 31.

Then enter the contest for The Good Fight by Andrew Grey! Contest closes 7 pm CDT, August 31.


Over the next five to six weeks, I’m going to be buried in a big work project, so I won’t be commenting on blog posts as much as I usually do. My never-very-under-control inbox is now completely out-of-control. And we’ll just see how well linkity goes… :)



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Reading Update
Point of No Return by NR Walker. ebook. Very good m/m romantic suspense about a closeted cop who’s attracted to the new boxing coach at the gym, who turns out to be equally closeted. How handy! :) As they become closer, will they be able to survive the dangers involved in a cop’s job? I’ll definitely look for more from this author in the future.
No News Is Good News (Florida #3.5) by KA Mitchell. free ebook short. Good kinky short m/m encounter between Aaron and Joey from Collision Course that ends right as But My Boyfriend Is starts.
But My Boyfriend Is (Florida #4) by KA Mitchell. ebook. Very good m/m romance about a deeply closeted guy with a lot of guilt about his straight identical twin being gay bashed. Can he keep lying to himself about the attraction he feels to the guy who stepped into the fray and saved his twin’s life? This started out a bit rough for me, as I wasn’t feeling much sympathy for the closeted twin until about halfway through the book. Anyone want to bet that the next book’s about Tate? ;) Later: The more I think about it, the more I feel like I got cheated out of a couple of chapters that should’ve been between the last two chapters, or the last chapter and the “I’m really an epilogue, but I’m called the final chapter” chapter… :(
Bad Boyfriend (Bad in Baltimore #2) by KA Mitchell. ebook. reread. I needed a reminder of how good KA Mitchell can be… Excellent kinky m/m romance about a teacher who’s dumped by his closeted boyfriend of ten years, then picks up a hot younger guy at a bar to take along to the baptism of his ex’s baby. Things just sort of spiral from there. :)
Drunk Text by seventhswan. free online. Very good m/m romance about a straight college student who wakes up hungover one morning covered in finger paint with a text on his phone that suggests he had sex with a guy the night before… Reread. I enjoyed this just as much as the first time I read it in February.
The Square Peg by Jane Davitt & Alexa Snow. ebook. Good kinky m/m romance (with more potential than was realized) about an accountant who inherits a share in a bar from his estranged father and gets off to a rough start with the other owner.
Finding Forever (Sutter’s Bay #4) by Shawn Lane. ebook. Sweet m/m romance about Galaxy’s younger brother Leo, who meets a closeted guy with an abusive, homophobic father. Unfortunately, this felt rushed and incomplete, or maybe not fully developed. The amount of story definitely needed more pages.
Theory of Attraction by Cleon Lee. ebook. arc. Sweet m/m romance about a hunky teaching assistant who becomes fascinated with one of the other more geeky teaching assistants. Alas, the object of his interest rebuffs him and flees at every opportunity. Unfortunately, the choppy style (not enough sentence opening variety) started to wear on me after a while, but that’s something that may improve with more writing experience.
Little Squirrels Can Climb Tall Trees by Michael Murphy. ebook. Extremely uneven but ultimately meh m/m romance set in NYC about a short and excessively exuberant guy who woos a much taller and rather naive doctor from Oklahoma. The biggest problems I had with the book were the ludicrous number of exclamation points and the tendency to go into excessive detail during scenes that didn’t seem to belong in the book, then skim quickly over things that merited more detail.
Deadly Secrets (Dark Kings of Eternity #1) by Savannah Hartley. ebook. The saddest thing about this book is that there’s the hint of an interesting story buried deep, but even though this ended on a cliffhanger, I’m not inspired to read more.


“Your training is coming along well, young Mayhem.” -Chaos

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Lachrymose linkity



Make sure you enter the contest for Dead Shot by JL Merrow! Contest closes 7 pm CDT, August 24.

Stop by and enter the contest for winner’s choice of A Guitarist in the Fae Queen’s Court by Amber Kell or the Unconventional At Best anthology! Contest closes 7 pm CDT, August 24.

Then enter the contest for One More Time by Shawn Lane! Contest closes 7 pm CDT, August 27.


Congrats to Matthias, who won End Game by Jennifer Brooks!

Congrats to Tina, who won Snow on the Mountain (The Mountains #2) (2nd ed) by PD Singer! Snow on the Mountain is being released today by Dreamspinner Press.

Congrats to Ladypessi, who won Texas Heat (Texas #3) by RJ Scott! Texas Heat will be released by Silver Publishing on August 18.

Congrats to Ami, who won Nothing of a Son by L.A. Witt! Nothing of a Son will be released by Amber Allure on August 19.



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Reading Update
Blind Eye (Benjamin Justice #5) by John Morgan Wilson. Very good gay mystery in which Ben’s been given an advance to write his autobiography and is trying to track down a priest who made a big impression on his preteen self… These mysteries are good, but Ben goes through so much… and so much of it he brings upon himself.
Moth and Flame (Benjamin Justice #6) by John Morgan Wilson. Very good gay mystery in which Ben is hired to finish a brochure for the city of West Hollywood after the original writer was murdered. I realized after finishing this that the really horrific things have happened to Ben in the odd number books (excluding the first), so now I’m nervous about reading book 7…
Rhapsody in Blood (Benjamin Justice #7) by John Morgan Wilson. Very good gay mystery in which Ben and Templeton stay at a hotel notorious for being the location of the murder of movie star 50 years ago and the suicide of her daughter 25 years later. Templeton’s there to report on a film about the movie star’s life being shot at the hotel… and then things get messy.
Into the Flames by Mel Bossa. ebook. Engrossing but disturbing gay literary fiction in which Bossa skillfully pulled together her seemingly disparate plot threads. I’m still not sure what I think about this book. On one hand, I did sit down and read it straight through. On the other, I’m absolutely sure I’ll never reread it and I was reminded why I don’t particularly enjoy literary fiction. Your mileage may vary…
Connecting Flight (Turbulence #4) by Jordan Castillo Price. free ebook short. Very good short paranormal m/m romance in which we get to see both Paul and Dallas on their home turf after returning from Bermuda.
Locks of Love: A Modern Gay Fairy Tale (2nd ed) by Jordan Castillo Price. ebook short. Good short m/m fairy tale about a guy who can convince locks to open… but there have to be doors for his talent to work.
Hot August Nights by Kate Roman. ebook short. Ok short m/m romance about a grad student from New York who’s in Austin, Texas, for a week-long spring vacation and meets the cowboy of his dreams. This was very instalovey, which just didn’t work for me.


Can you figure out this Mayhem puzzle?! The white spot is on her chest, if that helps…

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Lack of lemurs lowers linkity



Since I never heard back from the original winner, elaing8 is the new winner of Four Corners by Kate McMurray!


Congrats to maygirl7, who won the Lashings of Sauce anthology donated by Josephine Myles!



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Reading Update
Diving in Deep (Florida #1) by KA Mitchell. ebook. reread. Very good m/m romance about getting a second chance with that guy you had a crush on as a teenager, who’s grown into an emotionally unavailable adult. I definitely got sniffly on this one.
Collision Course (Florida #2) by KA Mitchell. ebook. reread. Really well done m/m romance about a social worker and a paramedic who has a lot of issues with social workers.
No Souvenirs (Florida #3) by KA Mitchell. ebook. reread. Very good m/m romance about an ER doctor who takes an impulsive dive vacation in Belize when things go awry in his life. He gets to know the dive instructor really well…
By the River (Elementals #1) by Katey Hawthorne. ebook. Good m/m paranormal romance about a guy in his mid-twenties who feels drawn to return to his home town, where he becomes enthralled by a mysterious and naive college swimmer. As MandyM noted, while this was beautifully written, the HFN ending felt very tenuous… as if the “for now” might only be a few minutes or days.
In Search of Saints by Harper Fox. ebook short. Good short m/m romance about an academic who’s been too obsessed by his ex’s betrayal to realize what he has with his new boyfriend.
Inertia (Impulse #1) by Amelia C. Gormley. ebook. arc. Good m/m romance about an isolated handyman who hasn’t been with anyone since he was a teenager and started taking care of his sick grandparents. Then he’s hired to install some shelves by a sexy and strangely skittish accountant who might be flirting with him… While I enjoyed how things developed between the two men, the story seemed to bog down a bit during the last third. And I was a bit surprised when the story ended – it left me with the feeling that this might develop into a serial. :(
Dine & Dash (Cut & Run #5.5) by Abigail Roux. free ebook short. Steamy short m/m homecoming scene.
Fireman’s Carry (Carry Me #1) by Charlie Richards. ebook. Ok m/m romance about a gay firefighter who’s recently left his cheating ex and moves in across the street from a straight divorced cop and his kids. I read this after reading a beautifully written book, and the difference in writing between the two was a bit painful. Stalker alert. (So. Tired. Of. Stalkers.)
The Thirteenth Sigil (Section Thirteen Case Files #3) by JL O’Faolain. ebook. So-so paranormal m/m romance continuing the story of Cole, an exiled sidhe who works for a secret, paranormally focused division of the NYPD. The case in this one was pretty weird, the “romance” didn’t really work, and the sex scenes were p0rny and euphemistic. (Check out my status updates at Goodreads for specifics on the last.)
Picking Up the Spare by Heidi Champa. ebook. I read 3/4 of it and was too bored to continue. Plus the name overuse in conversation was irking me.


“…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…” -Mayhem

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Linkity lumps it



Congrats to Cheryl H, who won Earthly Desires by Keira Andrews and Leta Blake!

Congrats to Jonathan, who won His Gift by Clare London!

Congrats to Linda C, who won Indulging Ivan by Kim Dare!

Congrats to Juliana, who won Finding Forever (Sutter’s Bay #4) by Shawn Lane! Finding Forever will be released by Amber Allure on August 5.



Sorry that Linkity was late today! My web host had an upgrade go terribly awry last night, right as I was about to push the button to schedule the post.



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Reading Update
LA Heat (LA #1) by PA Brown. ebook. Very good gay mystery with a titch of romance about a sexy, slutty IT geek accused of murder and the deeply closeted cop conflicted between attraction and duty. Be aware that there are some graphic descriptions of mutilated bodies…
LA Mischief (LA #2) by PA Brown. ebook. Good gay mystery in which David and Chris and their relationship (or lack thereof) definitely take precedence over the rest of the story. Two steamy short stories are tacked on to the end of the book.
LA Boneyard (LA #3) by PA Brown. ebook. Very good gay mystery with a titch of romance in which I wanted to smack David for 90% of the book; for the other 10%, I wanted to smack Chris.
LA Bytes (LA #4) by PA Brown. ebook. Very good gay mystery with a titch of romance. In this one, Chris is trying to track down a hacker who nearly kills both he and David.
Bermuda Heat (LA #5) by PA Brown. ebook. Good gay mystery in which Chris and David go on vacation to Bermuda to check out a startling revelation about David’s past. Their vacation goes downhill after David is arrested for murder… This was definitely my least favorite of the series – I’m not a fan of books in which the main series characters are accused of murder. It worked ok in the first book with Chris because it was the start of the series; not so much now.
The Limits of Justice (Benjamin Justice #4) by John Morgan Wilson. Another very good and very dark gay mystery that starts about a year after the previous book. Ben’s not taking very good care of himself, but then he’s hired to ghostwrite an expose of a guy who writes sleazy bios of recently dead celebrities… and things get complicated. Now waiting for the library to get in the next book in the series!
Calling the Show by JA Rock. ebook. Very good kinky m/m romance about an extremely uptight and socially awkward stage manager for a college production who’s upset about a last minute technical staff change, but who slowly warms to the cute new guy running lights…
Indulging Ivan (The Whole A-Z #5) by Kim Dare. ebook short. Very good kinky short m/m romance about a dom who’s staying with a friend while he looks for work. He’s also trying to avoid the temptation of the friend’s younger brother, without much success…
Catching Kit by Kay Berrisford. ebook. Good paranormal m/m romance about a guy who works for the British government, capturing Ethereal Beings (aka elves). When he unexpectedly becomes close to one of his captives, everything changes. I was a bit frustrated by the epilogue, which took place a year after the main story, because all the stuff that was mentioned in the epilogue as having occurred during the intervening year seemed like it needed to be a story in itself!
Bossy and the Brat (Men of Holsum College #5) by Daisy Harris. ebook. Good m/m romance about an almost college senior from a conservative small Kansas town who can barely admit to himself that he likes guys… but he can’t keep his eyes off the dance major who lives across the hall in their dorm.


This is Chaos, pissed off about being at the vet. You can only see one of his eyes because he’s in pirate mode – he managed to scrape the cornea on his right eye, so he’s been wandering around with only his left eye open! He’ll be fine, but since I do have to put ointment in his eye four times each day for a week, I might not be…

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Linkity at your service



Congrats to Vicki T, Tina, and Lauren L, who won the Three Fates anthology by Mary Calmes, Andrew Grey, and Amy Lane. Three Fates is being released by Dreamspinner Press today.

Congrats to Pat N, who won Accounting for Luke (Dangerous Lovers #2) by Amber Kell!

Congrats to Sally, who won Summer School by Tam Ames! Summer School will be released by Silver Publishing on July 28.



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Reading Update
Wacky Wednesday by JA Rock. ebook. Very good kinky m/m romance about a dom and his younger sub who haven’t been connecting very well recently… and then they wake up to find they’ve switched bodies, which definitely gives them the chance to understand each other better!
Daddio (Horizons #3) by Mickie B. Ashling. ebook. Very good m/m romance that picks up six months after the second book as Lil and Grier settle into their relationship – Lil learning to parent, Grier working to control his anger, and both of them learning to communicate and compromise. Jody and Clark are back, too! Plus there’s plenty of smutty goodness to go around. :)
Marlowe’s Ghost by Sarah Black. ebook. Very good paranormal m/m romance about a former Marine turned history scholar who goes to England at the request of a professor to check up on the professor’s sickly, scholarly nephew and perhaps shepherd him back to the US. The lyrical writing was vaguely scholarly and packed with info about Christopher Marlowe, yet didn’t have the brain dump quality that some of Black’s other works have had.
A Better Man (The Men of Halfway House #1) by RJ Scott & Jaime Reese. Very good m/m romance about a contractor who’s been unable to find work and is about to be homeless, so he answers an ad for a handyman job that turns out to be much, much more. And what’s up with his secretive, prickly, and attractive new boss? I’m glad there’s a sequel planned, because I want to see what the next chapter of their lives looks like!
The Auspicious Troubles of Chance (The Auspicious Troubles of Love #1) by Charlie Cochet. ebook. Very good historical m/m romance about a guy who lost everything that mattered to him and has been living on the edge ever since. He knows he can’t keep going on as he has been, so… he joins the French Foreign Legion.
Roses in the Devil’s Garden (Fallen Rose #1) by Charlie Cochet. free ebook short. Very good short historical m/m romance about two NYC Prohibition agents who constantly have to be on the lookout for agents on the take. Definitely looking forward to reading the next book!
Lost in My Waking Dream by Charlie Cochet. ebook short. Good short sort of historical romance, sort of not (can’t say more without being spoilery) about a guy who feels as if he’s surely been going crazy since the Great War.

Latin Boyz by PA Brown. ebook. Good but unevenly paced m/m suspense with a tiny bit of almost romance thrown in. Actually, this reminded me of an Oprah book – the depressing stuff tended to overwhelm the happy moments and… it did not end so well.


People periodically ask how I get such good pictures of Chaos and Mayhem. (Aw, thank you!) The secret is to take lots and lots of pictures, crop, and don’t be afraid to tweak the pictures to make them more interesting (plus tweaking can hide a multitude of problems). I’m all about simplicity when I work on pictures – I use a simple photo editor to crop and then tweak in Picasa. Here’s a crappy original:

Here’s the crappy original cropped to focus on the cats:

And here’s the cropped and tweaked final version (still crappy, but more interesting):

“Quit taking my picture! I’m outta here.” -Chaos

“Yeah! What the big kitty said! You are trying to steal our souls!!” -Mayhem

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