Book Giveaway: How to Tame a Modern Rogue (Contest Closed)

Contest is closed! Thanks to everyone who participated.

Many thanks to the Hatchette Book Group for providing five copies of Diana Holquist’s contemporary romance, How to Tame a Modern Rogue, for me to give away!

Commitment-phobic Sam Carson has only dated model-gorgeous women. But one stolen kiss from a plain-Jane schoolteacher and he’s hell-bent on stripping away her floral dresses and teaching her the art of being bad. If only her good-girl ways didn’t make him want to be a better man…

Ally Giordano is at the end of her rope. Her beloved grandmother actually believes that she’s living in her favorite romance novel in Regency England and Ally doesn’t have the heart to set her straight. But now Granny Donny’s last wish is for a retreat to the country and Ally can’t refuse her…until she demands that Sam accompany them. And though his smiles turn her knees into jelly, Ally knows better than to trust a playboy…and she definitely knows better than to try to change one. Or does she?

Contest Rules

  • To enter, leave a comment below stating that you are entering the contest. Leave your comments by 7 pm CDT, Thursday, August 6.
  • If you haven’t commented before, your comment will not be visible until after I moderate it. Please do not leave a second comment! 🙂
  • Winners will be selected by random number.
  • You must leave a valid email address in the “Email” portion of the comment form. (Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from!)
  • If a winner doesn’t respond to my congratulations email within 48 hours, I will select another winner.
  • Only residents of the US and Canada are eligible to win.
  • No PO Boxes.

Good luck!

Looks like Mayhem took to heart (mouth??) your suggestions that she quit worrying about the scary trucks, pick up her tiara, and remember that she’s a Fearless Panther Princess.

*mrmph* -Mayhem

“Man, May sure loves this tiara, doesn’t she?” -Chaos

All linked up and nowhere to go

Tune in tomorrow for a book giveaway!

Star Trek Red Shirt Cologne?! Um… Why would you want to smell like a doomed crew member?! I love the last line of Gizmodo’s review: “And we’re guessing it could be somewhat effective in your dating life should you wear it in substitute of your typical Star Trek uniform.”

Thanks to Mel for linking to Nietsche Family Circus, which is hysterical.

Wait, why is Mayhem moonlighting over at Knit Princess?! Or is she masquerading as a white kitty over at lolcats? (Nah, that’s not her – those mice all still have tails.) This is probably what she and Chaos do to entertain themselves while I’m at work.

If you’ve ever loaded software or copied files in an MS Windows environment, this cartoon will explain one of the major Windows mysteries for you.

Beware following this link at work. Although the picture’s just of a vegetable, it’s easily the most, erm, graphic vegetable I’ve ever seen.

Is cursive handwriting dead? Hmm. Lifehacker suggests that people born after 1980 have a distinctive non-cursive style of handwriting, which sounds an awful lot like my handwriting even though I was born before 1980 (heck, before 1970, too).

Turns out texting while driving is 23 times more dangerous than talking on the phone while driving. Eep. This cartoon sums things up, doesn’t it?

If the Altoids catapault wasn’t enough for you, how about the Altoids trebuchet?

Lifehacker reveals how to get rid of earworms.

Burn more calories by fidgeting and pacing and drive everyone nearby crazy!

Staple City is very cool. I’d probably only manage to complete Staple Trailer Park before my boss had a talk with me…

Still worried about the big scary noisy kitty-eating trucks!” -Mayhem

The view from the Basilica

I took a few pictures from the front lawn of the Basilica last month on a dark and stormy day. First, the Basilica itself.

Here’s the view looking southwestish from the Basilica toward the Walker.

Hmm. What’s that on the roof over there, to the southeast?

Ok, that’s what it looked like, but I’m still mystified! Anyone?

Um, I may have taken a few editing liberties with the next picture, but I couldn’t help myself – that elm is lovely!

“Mom, the big kitty told me that big noisy trucks driving by on the street could come in and eat me at any time, and that they know all my safe and secret hiding spots, and now I’m afraid to sleep!!” -Mayhem

Of book linkin’ and kitty prisons

Morbid Romantic’s giving away five copies of Robin Wells’ contemporary romance, How To Score. Contest closes at midnight EST, August 9.

A Journey of Books is giving away five copies of Michelle de Kretser’s novel, The Lost Dog. Contest closes at midnight EDT, August 17 – make sure you stop back to see who won.

Dude watchin’ with the Brontes… brilliant!

If you’ve read J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series and love it despite its faults, you’ll probably enjoy the chapter by chapter review going on over at Smart Bitches.

The Lifehacker’s Guide to the Reading Galaxy is a must.

Tele-Read provides some great thinking points about ebooks, reading, and ownership, as does Dear Author. Barnes & Noble’s new ebookstore (complete with their own DRM) gets some thoughtful criticism.

Jeff Bezos of Amazon apologizes for the Orwellian Kindle deletes of… Orwell. Tele-Read suggests that this would’ve been a far better apology.

Go vote on the five title finalists for the Orbit Books Worst Cover Ever!

For you iPhone folks, there’s now a free IndieBound app that sounds pretty cool.

Fantasy Dreamer found another source for physical books with no shipping charges (and no $25 minimum)!

A Minnesota-themed literary trivia contest?

Reading Update
An Inner Darkness (Bay City Paranormal Investigations, Book 5) and Where the Heart Is (related to the Bay City Paranormal Investigations series, should be read after Book 5) by Ally Blue. ebooks. And now I have finished reading all the books that are out (so far) for this m/m paranormal romance series. I really enjoyed this series and find myself still thinking about the characters.
Willow Bend by Ally Blue. ebook. Non-paranormal m/m romance that was good, but definitely didn’t have the impact as the Bay City Paranormal Investigation series.
Without Reservations, With Caution, and With Love (With or Without series) by J.L. Langley. ebooks. The first two books are about a group of friends (on an Apache reservation in New Mexico) and the third is set in the same world (but in North Carolina), with roughly the same premise – these are m/m paranormal romances about werewolves and are very well done.
Tidal Wave (Forces of Nature) by Vivian Arend. ebook. Very, very steamy paranormal about dolphin shapeshifters. It was ok, but let’s just say that the multiple partner configuration is not a configuration that I enjoy reading about.
Strange Brew edited by P.N. Elrod. It has a new Harry Dresden story! 🙂
The Fire King (Dirk & Steele) by Marjorie M. Liu. This was an ok addition to the Dirk & Steele series. (Dirk & Steele being the internationally known detective agency that allows telepaths and psychics and shapeshifters to hide in plain sight.)
Edge of Dawn (Light Warriors, Book 3) by Patti O’Shea. I really hate the cover – it looks incredibly awkward to me. But the book itself was a decent paranormal romance, this time set in Seattle instead of Minneapolis, as the previous two were.
Lucky Charm and Lucky Streak (Lucky Trilogy) by Carly Phillips. Generations of Corwin men have been cursed to lose their loves and their fortunes. Find out how the current generation of Corwins deals with the curse in this fun contemporary romance trilogy.
Surviving Demon Island (Demon Hunters, Book 1) by Jaci Burton. They think they’ve signed up for a reality tv show about hunting demons, which they assume will simply be humans in costume. Boy, are they ever wrong about that!

“It was nice of Mayhem to volunteer to keep an eye on Mom while I took a nap. I’m sure Mayhem will be vigilant about letting me know if Mom makes a break for the portable kitty prisons again.” -Chaos

*….zzzzzzzz….” -Mayhem

The weekend in bullets

  • The kitties continue to do well after their adventure last week. They slept most of Friday – understandable, since who can sleep in a hospital?
  • Both the vet and the vet tech commented on how Chaos was a bit, erm, crabby with them. Apparently he was fine until someone tried to touch him. (I was afraid to ask if he’d drawn blood.)
  • I suspect the above has something to do with why Chaos was crusted with dried activated charcoal from his chin on down and required a thorough washcloth bath after I got him home Friday.
  • May was perfectly clean. The vet tech mentioned that May had been very scared, but that about halfway through the night, her curiosity got the better of her (we’re not surprised, are we?) and she had to sit up and keep an eye on everything.
  • Thank you all so much for your comments and commiseration!
  • As I write this on Sunday evening, I have not been paged during my on-call week. *pauses to knock on wood, since I’m on call through 9 am Monday* Update: I didn’t get called! Woot!
  • This might actually be an historic event in the history of being on call at my workplace.
  • I am slowly increasing my cycling mileage as I slog along, trying to get back into shape.
  • Sadly, this seems to be at the expense of knitting – my neck can apparently handle knitting or cycling, but not knitting and cycling.
  • Weird cycling thing I saw Friday night – a 70-year old woman biking along in cycling shorts and… a very sturdy white corset. The sort of corset that’s no frills at all and, standing on its own, could probably support a VW Bug. *blink blink*
  • I saw her twice, so I’m sure I wasn’t hallucinating.
  • Best thing about bullet posts? No transitions required!
  • Mayhem woke up and stared at the computer while I was watching it – apparently the chirrups and meows sounded realistic to her.
  • Saturday I went to my beloved Uncle Hugo’s and picked up a few paranormals that technically release on Tuesday (The Fire King (Dirk & Steele) by Marjorie M. Liu and Edge of Dawn (Light Warriors, Book 3) by Patti O’Shea).
  • I finished reading them Saturday, too. Whoops. 🙂
  • My goodness, it sure doesn’t take much for these bullet posts to get out of hand, does it?!

“Even though I’m exhausted from my ordeal, I’ve gotta keep an eye on you, Mom. You’re sneaky with those portable kitty prisons.” -Chaos

*…zzzzzzzzzz…* -Mayhem

Cat parenting FAIL

Let me start by saying that both kitties should be perfectly fine and that I will update this post after I pick them up from the emergency vet Friday morning (between 7 and 7:30 am CDT). Or maybe that just freaked everyone out more. Update, 8:10 am CDT: Both kitties are fine! Chaos is alternating between mad at me and grateful that I rescued him. May is a bit subdued, but is also still alert and curious (her usual mode). Apparently Chaos was, um, a handful when the vet had to touch him, with much yowling and growling and biting and scratching (perfectly normal vet visit behavior for Chaos). May was quiet and scared, but partway through the night her curiosity got the best of her and she quit hiding so she could see what was going on.

I am so glad to have them both home! It was very, very odd not having them around last night. Even though they aren’t allowed in the bedroom while I sleep, I knew they weren’t in the condo and did not sleep well.

Anyway! I got home from work Thursday and discovered a gnawed and empty medication capsule on the living room floor. And some perfectly fine and unmolested tablets on the kitchen floor. Crap. Guess who put her meds out on the table this morning to take after breakfast and apparently forgot to take them?! Guilty.

Both kitties seemed fine, so I sat down and emailed Jeanne about it. Jeanne immediately pointed me to the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control website, where I discovered that the medication in question was one of the top ten sources of cat poisonings (link opens a pdf file). Eep. I called the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control hotline and upon their suggestion, took Chaos and Mayhem to the emergency vet for activated charcoal and overnight monitoring. The emergency vet thought that the kitties would’ve been showing effects already if they’d ingested more than a miniscule amount, but agreed that the activated charcoal and monitoring were wise, since it was an extended release medication.

Let’s just say that I’ll now leave my meds in their SMTWThFSa container and place that on the table in the morning instead of taking the pills out ahead of time…

“How could you take us to the vet, Mom?!! And leave us there overnight?!!” *sniff* -Mayhem

“Vengeance will be mine.” -Chaos

“I will be much, much, much more cranky than this after I get back from the vet.” -Chaos

Pictures from a cell

The camera on my (Nokia 6301) cellphone takes pretty crappy pictures. But sometimes, such as when I’m biking or when I’m sitting on the couch and the cats are being cute, my cellphone camera is my only option.

Such was the case yesterday while I was riding my bike when the following sign on a boxcar gave me the giggles:

Embiggening may or may not make that actually readable!

How about this spectacularly blurry picture of Mayhem vamping out?

Or yawning. Whatever. 😉

Some photos can be pretty cute after some tweaking.

“Why aren’t you throwing my mouse for me? I am displeased.” -Mayhem

“Aren’t I just the most adorable thing you’ve ever seen?” -Mayhem

“Really, it’s not a hard question.” -Mayhem

“Still adorable back here!” -Mayhem

“Hmph.” -Chaos

Secret Kitty Hideout, exposed!

Fang-tastic Books is giving away an ebook copy of Maree Anderson’s steamy and enjoyable paranormal romance, Even Demons Get the Blues. Leave a comment for your chance to win.

For a chance to win a copy of the young adult paranormal Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr, leave a comment at Book Smugglers by July 25, 11:59 pm. (Oh, and don’t forget that it’s Young Adult Appreciation Month at Book Smugglers!)

Barnes & Noble launched an ebookstore, complete with its own DRM (digital rights management) scheme. According to Dear Author, of the 700,000 books available, 500,000 are in the public domain… so B&N pretty much has the same non-public domain offerings as everyone else.

Oh, my. The Broomba?! Very Sorcerer’s Apprentice

We should’ve guessed it was coming after Pride and Prejudice and ZombiesSense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.

Learn how to load non-Amazon ebooks on your Kindle. Why would Kindle owners want to do that? Well, perhaps you heard about Amazon’s latest Big Brotheresque kerfuffle, in which they removed copies of 1984 and Animal Farm from Kindles without notifying those who’d purchased the books first. (Really, could they have picked a better book than 1984 for this shenanigan?!) Yes, the books weren’t legal for the US (still copyrighted here, not so in the rest of the world), but the sweeping unannounced delete was probably not Amazon’s finest moment. Also, apparently there’s a class action lawsuit in the works over the fragility of Kindles.

Signs that you might be reading too many romance novels… (although I can make a case for #7 and Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels!)

Too bad this reading lamp/bookstand is just a concept.

Did you hear about Book Blogger Appreciation Week? It’ll run September 14 – 18.

Head over to Lurv A La Mode to vote yay or nay for mantitty on romance novel covers. (Some covers will look familiar to you from this blog.) Can you guess what I voted? 😉

Reading Update
Red Fire and Red Kiss (Gods of Midnight, Books 1-2) by Deidre Knight. After how much I loved Knight’s book The Butterfly Tattoo, I had high hopes for this paranormal series about immortal Spartan warriors. I’m intrigued by the characters (enough to continue following the series), but the writing seems uneven and parts of the storyline annoy the heck out of me.
Animal Instinct (Men of Alaska) by Paige Tyler. ebook. Another story about a hunky Alaskan werewolf. What’s not to like? 🙂 This is the sequel to Animal Attraction.
A Fantasy Medley by Kelley Armstrong, C.E. Murphy, Robin Hobb, and Kate Elliott. Short stories, set in each author’s particular world. I liked the stories by Kelley Armstrong (no familiar Otherworld characters, alas) and C. E. Murphy (Janx! And Daisano! And Baba Yaga!) the best.
Tooth and Claw by Annmarie McKenna. ebook novella. Seth’s a vampire who can shift into jaguar form and faints at the sight of blood. He’s met his mate… only she doesn’t know it yet. Oh, and it’s too bad she hates vampires… My only complaint about this one? I wanted the story to be longer!
Forever Immortal (Immortal Series, Book 4) by J.K. Coi. ebook. Ok story about a demon hunter who finds himself in love with a demon who used to be human.
Called by Blood and Bound by Blood (The Faustin Brothers, Books 1-2) by Evie Byrne. ebooks. Very good, steamy paranormal romances about vampire brothers who live in NYC and whose mother has visions that send the brothers out to find their fated mates. I’m looking forward to the next book!
My Wicked Enemy by Carolyn Jewel. Very good paranormal romance about fiends (a type of demon) and magekind (humans who wield magic and often enslave fiends for nefarious purposes). Recommended.
Oleander House, What Hides Inside, Twilight, and Closer (Bay City Paranormal Investigations, Books 1-4) by Ally Blue. ebooks. This is another series I’m really enjoying. These are sort of hard for me to categorize – they’re definitely romances, although be warned that they are m/m romances. They’re paranormal, in that they’re about a group that investigates mysterious phenomena. Also, be warned that each book gets progressively more steamy.
Turn Left at Sanity by Nancy Warren. Delightful contemporary romance about a New Yorker who goes to Beaverton, Idaho, to see if it’s a good place to locate a kitty litter factory. The eccentric residents of Beaverton aren’t particularly pleased with the factory idea. Particularly notable about this book? The spectacular errors in the back of book blurb, where the town is referred to as Saunders, Idaho. Whoops.

“Mom! The top of the fridge is our Secret Kitty Hideout where we plan Kitty World Domination! Go away!! Bwa-ha-ha!” -Mayhem


Gosh, I can’t even remember the last time I did a bullet post. Surely it must be time.

  • I am on call this week for the first time in my life. Let’s everyone think happy healthy database thoughts, shall we?
  • Hee hee – the ice cream truck just drove by (playing a loud and chirpy song) at the same time my cell phone rang. Chaos growled and poofed and Mayhem hid. Apparently the Feline Apocalypse begins with the ice cream truck…
  • Grr. WordPress and I are fighting again. Really, I shouldn’t have time to read four pages in a book while saving a draft of this post.
  • Wow, I’ve had sort of a crazy week o’ winning. I think I’ll have to list each as a separate bullet item, due to the complexity of one prize.
  • First I won Misery and Cabernet from CursingMama’s Not So Humble Opinions.
  • Then I won a rather amazing goodie bag from author Lynn Viehl’s Paperback Writer blog: The Pajama Girls of Lambert Square by Rosina Lippi; Master of Shadows by Lynn Viehl; Animal Attraction by Charlene Teglia; The Missing by Shiloh Walker; Primal Male by Sasha White; Round the Clock by Dara Girard, Red Fire and Red Kiss by Deidre Knight; Pleasure Unbound, Desire Unleashed and Passion Unleashed by Larissa Ione; Hawkspar by Holly Lisle; The Iron Hunt and Darkness Calls by Marjorie M. Liu; and signed paperback copies of Lynn Viehl’s novels StarDoc and Evermore, as well as some other surprises.
  • Next was a copy of Lauren Dane’s Relentless from Romance Reviews Today.
  • Finally, I won a copy of Jaci Burton’s Hunting the Demon from Nice Mommy, Evil Editor.
  • Many thanks to CursingMama, Lynn Viehl, Patti from Romance Reviews Today, and Jaci Burton!
  • (begin foreshadowing) Of course, since I have several of the books in the goodie bag, I’ll probably need to have another book giveaway here in the not-too-distant future… (end foreshadowing)
  • The cats are not thrilled by the new toilet because there isn’t enough space behind the base for them to walk in circles around it anymore.
  • However, there is a mysterious porthole-like opening in the base, so now they stand one on each side of the toilet and touch noses through the porthole.
  • Don’t expect a picture of that anytime soon.
  • I’ve been slowly trying to get back in shape… after about three years of being an utter slug. Slowly because if I try to do too much too soon, my body fights back and I can’t exercise for several days while the aches and pains subside.
  • Did I mention that getting older isn’t so fun?
  • Or that I didn’t properly appreciate my level of fitness three years ago?!
  • Did you hear that the high temperature Saturday in Minnaepolis was 65F? We’re still having drought conditions, too.
  • On the plus side, neither mosquitoes nor humidity have been bothersome this summer.
  • I’m definitely going to have a scar from that sprocket incident a few weeks ago.
  • I’ve also added a lovely array of new bruises: dropping something on my foot, bike pedal to the shin, and skidding the toilet box (with toilet in it) down the front of my other shin to keep the toilet from smashing to the ground.
  • It’s hard to describe how much I love Placebo’s new song, “For What It’s Worth.” I can listen to it over and over and over and over…
  • My goodness, I’d best stop now. This got a bit out of hand, didn’t it?! 🙂

“I’m not going to look at you, Mom. That just encourages you with that silly flashing.” -Mayhem