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?

Book Giveaway: Show No Fear (CONTEST CLOSED)

Many thanks to the Hatchette Book Group for providing five copies of Marliss Melton’s new romantic suspense novel, Show No Fear, for me to give away!

FEAR HAS A WAY…
Lucy Donovan always gets her man. As a fiercely independent CIA agent, she’s survived hundreds of death-defying missions. But her latest may just get her killed. Weighed down with a secret she’s desperate to keep, the last thing Lucy needs is to be sent undercover with a man who brings out the best – and the worst – in her.

OF GETTING YOU KILLED
Navy SEAL Gus Atwater never turns down an assignment, even if it means working with the only woman he’s ever loved and lost. So with a volatile mix of desire and distrust, Lucy and Gus confront their tangled past. Pretending to be man and wife is risky enough, but now the clock is running out. As their mission escalates from desperate to deadly, will Lucy’s secret expose them both?

Marliss Melton’s latest installment in her Navy SEAL series will appeal to fans of New York Times bestselling authors Suzanne Brockmann, Christina Skye, and Lora Leigh.

Contest Rules

  • To enter, leave a comment below stating that you are entering the contest. Leave your comments by 7 pm CDT, Tuesday, October 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 because your first doesn’t show up! The blog gnomes will decide your comments are spam and then only luck will salvage your entry…
  • 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 stumblingoverchaos.com!
  • 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!


“I bet I could be a Navy SEAL, Mom! I’m very fierce and cunning and sexy, after all.” -Chaos

Now he is six*

Happy sixth birthday, Chaos Kitty! You’ve changed a lot…

and yet not so very much. (Still has that intensity, doesn’t he?)

“Whatever, Mom. Is this the year I’ll finally get tuna cake with ‘nip frosting?” -Chaos


And now for a few random pictures from his early days… Here he is with mom Riley and brother Diablo (and my foot).

Can you see his wee paw, helpfully circled in purple?!

Is it any wonder that one of his nicknames has always been “Clawboy”?

For more Chaotic history (and kitten pictures!), go read The story of the cat formerly known as “Hoho.”

*With apologies to A.A. Milne this time.

Oh, yeah, it is my first day back at work since, um, September 9. I’m sure it’ll be a shock to this system.

Home again, home again, jiggity jig!*

I got home Wednesday around 2:30 pm and have moved on to vegging for the rest of my vacation. Look for more regular blogging next week, including a book giveaway!

Mayhem proceeded to guard the front door so I couldn’t leave. Subtle, eh? (Ignore the messed up rug and gnawed tissue paper. Merely evidence of feline busyness.)

“My eyes are set for stun, Mom. You aren’t getting out of here again.” -Mayhem

Chaos hasn’t moved on to his usual mad at me for being gone phase. Keep your fingers crossed that he doesn’t!

*purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr* * biscuit making* -Chaos

*Hey, at least nursery rhymes don’t have earworm properties, right?!

“…strung out from the road…”

(Phrase first heard in Bob Seger’s song “Turn the Page.”)

Not quite home yet, but I will be tomorrow. Currently, I’m in a motel in Janesville, Wisconsin. I’m only five hours from home, but please refer to the title of this post for why I stopped here for the night. 🙂

What have I been up to since last I posted?

  • I spent more quality time hanging out with Brigitte and the Little Dudes. Waaah! I wish they lived lots closer!
  • I went to dinner at Lorraine’s house with Brigitte and got to meet Lorraine’s family and the famous Kitten Chow! Waaah! I wish they lived lots closer!
  • At Lorraine’s, I experienced the tasty Canadian phenomenon of Swiss Chalet chicken.
  • I met Lea! Waaah! I wish she lived lots closer!
  • I rode the subway and the GoTrain.
  • I met MamaTulip! Waaah! I wish she lived lots closer!
  • My love for Kuroi Neko has increased tenfold.
  • I saw Niagara Falls. Whoa. There will be pictures at some point. (When you see signs that say “Unusual mist conditions”? You better believe them!)
  • I spent the night at a motel in London. Ontario, that is.
  • That was the first time I’ve stayed in a motel room that didn’t have art on the walls.
  • Perhaps they realized that no art could possibly complement the brilliantly patterned bedspreads. (My eyes! My eyes!)
  • I was happily surprised to not have a wait at the US-Canadian border in Detroit Windsor.
  • I made the border guard guy laugh when I declared my five gf beers.
  • I’m still bummed that they don’t stamp passports for the US-Canadian border.
  • And… I’m creating a post that doesn’t have a picture of Chaos or Mayhem in it. Fear not – today we have guest black kitty Gandalf.

“Rumour has it on blackkitties.net that you are in so much trouble when you get home.” -Gandalf

Yesterday in pictures

How’s everyone doing?! I’m more than a little afraid to check my Google Reader at this point… 🙂 I’ve been having a wonderful time with Brigitte and the Little Dudes, and meeting Lorraine Tuesday was fantabulous (as is she, of course!).

Yesterday evening, Brigitte and I went on a little jaunt on the streetcar.

We had dinner at Fran’s…

and then walked over to Kensington Market.

We had a very specific goal.

It was great fun to meet Merika and Michelle (below), along with Dr. Steph, Megan, and Molly (not pictured).

And that other Stephanie, of course. Nope, I’m not giving you any context for this picture. Isn’t it more fun this way? Stephanie, please forgive me for the maniacal glint that Picasa seems to have added (or merely enhanced?!) in this photo…


“Mom? Ok, the joke’s kind of stale now. You can come out from wherever you’re hiding, Mom. Mom????”

Quick post, no pictures

Made it to Toronto Friday afternoon and am having a blast hanging out with Brigitte! And how fun is it that Brigitte expanded her family while I was here?!

Update on vacation in bullets:

  • I didn’t get a picture of the silo with the ginormous inflated jack-o-lantern on top while I was driving, but wished I had.
  • I’m still not over the fact that I’m using exotic Canadian money. Why the heck is US money so monochromatic and boring?
  • Toronto is lovely, although I’m really not sure how many streetcar pictures a person really needs.
  • How did I miss the fact that Lake Ontario is right there?! Brigitte and I are going to walk down to the beach tomorrow.
  • We had some tasty gf treats at a new cafe on Queen Street yesterday. Yum!
  • We also ate fabulous salads at the Green Eggplant. Perfect salads. Yum!
  • Rumour has it we’re going on a yarn crawl with Lorraine on Tuesday. Looking forward to that.
  • Gandalf, Atticus, and Mae all seem to like me. I am honored that the reclusive Mae seeks me out for pets!
  • Probably I will be sore from laughing so much with Brigitte.
  • I started a new sock and am half done with the foot. More details on that soon.
  • I have introduced Brigitte to the wonder of Lakefront Brewery’s New Grist gf beer. We have a mission to find it in Toronto now.

More later!

“On the road again, just can’t wait to get on the road again.”

– Willie Nelson (with apologies to those who now have an earworm)

For the next ten to 14 days, I’ll be on vacation. I’m sure I’ll post about my visit to Toronto, my journey there and back again, and the many wonderful bloggers I hope to meet, but said posts will be sporadic and eclectic. Stay out of trouble, ok? (And does this look like Chaos and May or what?! Too perfect.)

“Wait a minute… Mom, where are you going?! Why are you taking your pillow with you?!! Oh, this does not look good at all…” -Mayhem

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.