Can’t blog. Assembling furniture.

Happy fourth blogiversary to Carole! Stop by to congratulate her before noon EST, February 2, and you could win a kpixie gift certificate.

Author Rachel Vincent is giving away copies of her books, a B&N gift certificate, and Godiva chocolates to celebrate the release of her latest book Pride on February 4. I haven’t read any of the books in Vincent’s Shifters series yet, but they’re on my list to read.

If I had seen this tableau (which is somewhere in my neighborhood!), I would’ve taken a picture, too.

Minneapolis made the top 10 in the Forbes list of America’s most wired cities.

Truly the most unusual color chart ever

Creepy skeleton bicycle – fortunately, it’s art and not an actual bike! Can’t even imagine how many accidents it might cause due to the gawk factor.

Will this be the year I make it out to look at the art shanties on Medicine Lake? It’d sure help if they were open during the week, since they are very close to where I work. had a nice list of upcoming urban fantasy, paranormal, and scifi/fantasy books.

Lifehacker had an article about how to cut down on book hoarding. You’d almost think it was a bad thing, wouldn’t you? We’ll see who’s laughing in the midst of the great book shortage – I’m pretty sure it’ll be me and Carrie K. Who’s with us?!

Hmm. I’m hoping that neither PBS nor the BBC feel the need to make a miniseries from the forthcoming book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

“I am a princess! Worship at my paws!! (Shut up, big kitty.)” -Mayhem


“Y’know, Mayhem, I have to say I’m not pleased with Mom deciding to rip apart our living room just because she wants some stupid new furniture.” -Chaos

“No kidding, big kitty. She didn’t even ask us about it! She really hurt my feelings.” *sniff* -Mayhem

“Hmm. I wonder if I can open these doors…” -Chaos

“But big kitty, Mom is giving away this cabinet! What if you get locked in and given away?! What if she gives the cabinet to the vet???” -Mayhem

Books with bite?

Trek’s collecting Box Tops for Education again and is holding a contest through the end of February as part of it.

Wendy’s giving away a Signe mitten kit – leave a comment by 4 pm, EST, January 29, to be entered in the contest.

Knittymama’s hosting the Knitter’s Coffee Swap again and there might even be a few spots left!

O noes!

Reading Update
Angel’s Blood (A Guild Hunter Novel) by Nalini Singh. Please note that I received this as a bound galley in a contest held by the author and as part of that have promised to write something a bit longer more than my usual “short, pithy reviews.” The book will be available in early March.

Wow. I haven’t read any of Singh’s previous books as her Psy-Changeling series never intrigued me, but after discovering how involving and well-written Angels’ Blood was, I have to admit that I’ll be checking out more of Singh’s other work.

Some basics – this is the story of Elena, who’s a natural born vampire hunter living and working in New York City. Vampires are created by angels (who are not the usual heavenly host) and in payment for the angels’ doing so, vampires are basically indentured for the first 100 years of their lives. When vampires renege on their service, it’s up to Elena and the others in her guild to track them down. I didn’t get totally sucked in until the second half of the book (after all the story set up was complete), at which point I could not put it down.

I don’t want to tell you too much about the plot because I personally hate hearing a lot about a book before I read it, beyond someone I trust telling me it’s worth my time. So, if you enjoy paranormal romance, this book is definitely worth your time.

Demon’s Kiss (Compact of Sorcerers, Book 1) by Eve Silver. Hmm. I’ll give this series a book or two to see if the writing smooths out a bit.
Passionate Thirst, Luscious Craving, and Eternal Hunger (Candace Steele, Vampire Killer, Books 1-3) by Cameron Dean. This is a trilogy. This is only a trilogy. I’m ambivalent about it. It was a decent read, but the ending of the final book frustrated me.
My Sister Is a Werewolf (The Young Brothers, Book 4) by Kathy Love. I actually read this a year or so ago, but hadn’t read the first three books. Definitely got more out of it this time. A quick, fun, chick litty paranormal romance.
Over the Moon by Angela Knight, MaryJanice Davidson, Virginia Kantra, and Sunny. Ok collection of werewolf stories, although I confess to not reading the story by Sunny, because I would really need to read the prior books in her Mona Lisa series for it to make sense.
Season of Strangers by Kat Martin. Not your usual paranormal romance – no vampires or werewolves at all! This was about alien abductions.
The Twilight Before Christmas and Dangerous Tides (Drake Sisters, Books 2 and 4) by Christine Feehan. The Drake Sisters are seven daughters of a seventh daughter and they all have mysterious powers. This reminds me a lot of something Nora Roberts might have written, although the writing isn’t quite as smooth as The Nora.

I was at Ridgedale Library last week and found an interesting display in the young adults section – Love Bites (Vampire Love), complete with vampire reading list and a tub of plastic fangs to take home. How could I resist?!

*sniff sniff sniff* -Mayhem

“I’m waiting to see if those things snap onto your nose before I get any closer, Mayhem.” -Chaos

“Well, May’s ok, so they must not be dangerous.” -Chaos

“What the heck are they, anyway?” -Chaos

“I have no idea either, big kitty!” -Mayhem

“Well, let’s see how they taste. Maybe they’re kitty treats.” -Chaos

“Mmmm… kitty treats…” -Mayhem

“Nope, they sure aren’t kitty treats. I’m stumped.” -Chaos

“Me, too, big kitty! These things are silly.” -Mayhem

Most stealthy Chaos ever?

Some of you noticed that I was wearing the Shaped Cardigan in the party pictures. I started this sweater in August of 2007 and finished it on January 13, 2009. I have no good excuse for why it took me such a long time to finish this sweater. I quite like knitting with Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece and don’t mind knitting with black. I think I just got really bored knitting stockinette back and forth, especially since I added several inches to the length. Whatever. It’s done now!

I iz dork.

Be scared that’s the best picture I got from multiple photo sessions. But I had to include it since you can barely tell it’s a sweater from the floor shots below…

“A-ha! Perfect Chaos camouflage!” -Chaos

“No one will ever suspect!” -Chaos

“I think this is probably my best plan ever.” -Chaos

“Hee hee!” -Chaos

“I am Stealth Chaos!” -Chaos

“I hope you’re not trying to hide, big kitty, because if you are, I have to give you a FAIL.” -Mayhem

“You can’t see me, May, so stop pretending you can.” -Chaos

Knitbloggers are herd animals. Who knew?

As you may have read already, Wendy was in town for the opening of the Bohus Exhibit at the American Swedish Institute. Catherine and her husband hosted a party in Wendy’s honor at their condo, which had the most amazing view of downtown Minneapolis. (Please excuse the graininess of my pictures – I was using the “available light” setting on my camera for most of the shots.)

Here’s a picture of the knitbloggers gathered together (yes, I know, everyone who was there has a variation of this picture on their blog – but in this one, my eyes are open!) – from the left, Wendy, kmkat, me, and Susan.

And now… the blackmail shots! 😉 Probably best if no one tells Lucy that her mom was consorting with strange Ragdolls, hmm?

Over the weekend, I stopped at IKEA and couldn’t resist picking up a new cat bed. I think Chaos likes it.

“Don’t let that paw get any closer to my new cat bed, Mayhem!” -Chaos

“But Mom bought that for both of us, big kitty!” -Mayhem

*zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz* -Chaos

Tequila Sunrise, Tequila Sunset

The Tequila Sunrise Socks are done! First a cat-free picture, for those of you who actually want to see the knitting.

While it is a bit of a pain to separate the two strands of yarn in the Knit Picks Sock Blanks (the blanks are knit double-stranded), you sure do get nice matchy-matchy.

“I thought there would be treats.” -Chaos

“Alas, my toys don’t match these socks as well as I thought they would.” -Mayhem

“Nope. Those aren’t treats. Sigh.” -Chaos

“I don’t know how Mom can call these socks matchy-matchy. Sigh.” -Mayhem

Reading and thrifting and hallucinating, oh my!

For plenty of urban fantasy and paranormal romance-related contests, I recommend subscribing to Literary Escapism.

Congrats to Ann-Marie, who won a spiffy mp3 player through a contest link I posted last week!

If you’re a fan of chick lit books and movies, you might enjoy this new blog from author Marta Costa. I also recommend her Vampire Wire blog if you’re into urban fantasy and paranormal romance.

Hmm – I could do this with the remains of the lurid baby blanket

Whoa. Check out the LEGO Inauguration.

Happy National Thrift Week!

You don’t need fancy machines or gym memberships to get in shape. (I’m a big believer in this – when I rediscover my exercise mojo, that is. Have you seen it?)

I can’t be the only one who thinks this is an intriguing idea, but fears a splattering buttery catastrophe in the microwave, right?

Three cups of coffee make you three times more likely to hallucinate? Dude! No wonder it’s the favored drink of office workers…

For the first time in 25 years, reading is on the rise!

These results will surprise no one. 🙂 (Assuming the darn thing posts properly…)

What Kind of Reader Are You?

Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Book Snob
Literate Good Citizen
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?

Reading Update
Dark Desires After Dusk and Kiss of a Demon King (The Immortals After Dark, Books 5-6) by Kresley Cole. Sadly, I thought the sixth book was probably the weakest one. *sigh* But weak in this series is still a really good read. I wonder when book 7 will come out?!
New Tricks by John Levitt. The sequel to Dog Days – another solid urban fantasy.
I Only Have Fangs for You (The Young Brothers, Book 3) by Kathy Love. I can already tell I’m going to have to reread the last book in the series (My Sister Is a Werewolf, which I read a year or so ago) now that I’ve read the rest of the series.
One Bite With a Stranger (The Others, Book 6… although the cover says “The first novel of the Others”), The Demon You Know, Howl at the Moon, and Walk on the Wild Side (The Others, Books 3-5) by Christine Warren. Mediocre to ok paranormal romance. Walk on the Wild Side (Book 5) is about a totally different group of Others than Books 1-4 and 6.
Tall, Dark, and Kilted by Allie MacKay. Paranormal romance set in a Scottish castle (Dunroamin) with a resident ghost, Sir Hardwin de Studley of Seagrave (aka Hardwick). Um, yeah, the puns are a little out of control here. Couldn’t tell you why I actually read the entire book.
Evil Ways (Quincey Morris, Book 2) by Justin Gustainis. Excellent urban fantasy, with a special treat for fans of a certain Chicago-based wizard… Highly recommended, but definitely read the the first book (Black Magic Woman) before you read Evil Ways.
I Shall Not Want: A Claire Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mystery by Julia Spencer-Fleming. The latest installment in this series is as intense as the others. Highly recommended – but read them in order!

*groom groom groom* -Mayhem

“What are all of you looking at?! What’s a girl gotta do to have some privacy on this blog anyway?! Sheesh.” -Mayhem