October 2009

Is it beer-thirty yet?

Or at least beer-thirty soon??

I’ve mentioned before that Lakefront Brewery’s New Grist beer is my favorite gluten-free beer. While I was in Toronto, I got Brigitte hooked on it, too, which would’ve been cruel if we hadn’t discovered that you could buy it from some of the larger LCBO stores (although not from The Beer Store).

Why is that? Well, strangely, New Grist isn’t considered a beer in Canada. The pictures below show the differences between the Canadian (left) and US (right) labels. In Canada, New Grist is “A crisp & refreshing alcoholic beverage” instead of “A crisp and refreshing session beer”.

Does anyone know how “beer” is defined in Canada? I spent a little time googling, but never did find the actual definition. (Thanks to Dotty, who discovered the reason!)

“I don’t know, Mom, it sure smells like that stinky stuff you like to drink but won’t share with us because you’re mean.” -Chaos

Gluten Free

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Kitties passing across the books, like two ships in the night (huh?)

Yeah, that title is pretty much the level my brain’s at after a day spent comparing cryptic data files at work. *blink blink*

“Doopity doopity doopity do!” -Mayhem

“Hmph. That Mayhem, always trying to get me in trouble. I’ll show her trouble!” -Chaos

Oh oh…

Those Cats

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The Great Kitty Grass Massacre of ’09

  • There aren’t any pictures of the Great Kitty Grass Massacre of ’09 because I cleaned up the mess before realizing how bloggable it was.
  • D’oh!
  • Picture light terra cotta tile looking as if it’s morphing into a grass mat, with puked-up kitty grass here and there to add to the ambiance.
  • Now I remember why I don’t buy kitty grass very often.
  • I’m trying to put together a mix cd about books and reading and am having a heckuva time. Any song suggestions?
  • Is it sad that one of the highlights of last week for me was taking my car in to get the tires rotated and telling them about the tire that I thought had a really, really, really slow leak (as in takes six to eight weeks to look lower than the other tires)… and having them find the leak and patch it?
  • Speaking of my car, I’d like to take a moment to have a bit of chat with it.
  • Dear beloved car – I’ve had enough of your intermittent radio shenanigans. If you want to continue receiving premium… Do we have an understanding?
  • We had sunshine and warmth over the weekend!
  • And now it’s raining and cold again.
  • This time, knitting was complicated by an ulnar tunnel flare up.
  • Hmph.
  • Darn, this bulleted list blog post looks a little skimpy, doesn’t it?

“Wha…? Kitty grass? Mess? Must’ve been the big kitty, Mom! Look at how cute I am!” -Mayhem


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Super Fantastic Mega Bookity Linkity!

For your chance to win in the Completely Out-of-Control, Over-the-Top Book Giveaway, comment on the contest post before 7 pm CDT, Monday, October 26. I will randomly pick at least three winners, each of whom will be able to select up to five books.

Congrats to Donna S, CC, Cherie J, Chey, and Jeannette Juan, who each won a copy of Shannon K. Butcher’s Love You To Death!

Anna’s giving away a big box of books, too. Enter before October 31 for your chance to win.

Fantasy and Sci-Fi Lovin’ Giveaways is giving away a copy of the short story collection Zombie Raccoons and Killer Bunnies. Enter by October 30 for your chance to win.

Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) is giving away three copies of the graphic novel Lenore: Noogies. Contest closes at midnight CDT, October 24.

Cecile is giving away a copy of Winter’s Desire, a collection of steamy stories related to the Solstice. Contest closes October 23.

SciFiGuy.ca is giving away an ebook copy of Roxanne Rhoads’ latest er0tic paranormal novella, Eternal Desire, along with some Fang-tastic Books goodies. Contest closes at 11:59 pm EST, October 26. He’s also giving away a copy of R.A. Salvatore’s The Ghost King; that contest closes at 11:59 pm EST, October 25.

For a chance to win a copy of Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, stop by Fang-tastic Books and leave a comment. Not sure when this one closes.

Abigail at All Things Urban Fantasy is giving away a copy of one of Marta Acosta’s Casa Dracula books. Leave a comment by midnight MST, October 27, for your chance to win.

Lots of blogs are participating in the Hatchette Book Group’s Spine-Chilling Book Giveaway, in which three winners (at each participating blog) will win copies of The Historian, BoneMan’s Daughters, When Ghosts SpeakSins of the Flesh, and The Heretic’s Daughter. Stop by Fang-tastic Books (winners selected October 30), Patricia’s Vampire Notes (closes November 8, 11:59 pm Hawaiian), Vampire Wire (closes November 4), and SciFiGuy.ca (closes November 1, 11:59 pm EST) to enter.

Knittymama wishes there were more knitting book and magazine reviews out there in knitting blogland. To encourage people to write some, she’s having a contest. Check out the details – if you participate before November 1, you could win a custom project bag or needle roll in your choice of fabric, plus other goodies.

Largehearted Boy is giving away five copies of Josh Bazell’s thriller, Beat the Reaper, along with a t-shirt that corresponds to the first line of the novel, plus assorted books and cds. Enter before the evening of October 23 for your chance to win.

Fantasy Book Critic is giving away three sets of Vampires by Joules Taylor and Werewolves by Jon Izzard. Contest closes at 12:01 pm, October 27.

Samhain Publishing’s giving away free ebook short stories every day from October 15 through the end of the month. Books are announced on the Samhellion blog each day. You send an email to the address in the blog post and get a download link back.

Gizmo’s Freeware has a list of nearly 200 places to find free and legal ebook downloads.

SciFiGuy.ca posted an exhaustive list of new releases, author interviews, and contests. Literary Escapism also has a good list. And today’s the day that Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) puts out her weekly newsletter post, which is always chock full of good stuff.

I’m amazed at how many vampire books are coming out in October.

Did you know it’s Teen Read Week?

Check out the directory of used bookstores featuring romances over at Book Binge. Smart Bitches has something similar, only as a map.

Interested in making your own color (LCD) ebook reader from a tablet PC for about $200?

I’m always intrigued by bookholders – Paperback Writer reviews one that’s new to me.

Follow Amy’s adventures over at A Closer Look at Flyover Land as she participates in the Twin Cities Literary Scavenger Hunt.

Looking for some Halloween music to listen to? Salad Days Music has quite the playlist posted, along with a really amusing carved pumpkin scene.

If you like indie/alternative music, check out the Daytrotter Sessions – free and legal mp3s of some of your favorite songs. I highly recommend Blitzen Trapper’s session from last fall, which includes a great version of “Furr” (“…a fantastic tale of lycanthropic yearning”).

Lots has been written about the new FTC disclosure rules for blogs, which go into effect December 1. Additional info suggests that small book bloggers probably won’t be affected. Anyway, I’m pretty sure I always mention when a book I’m reviewing was received from the publisher as a review copy, and I will continue to do so. And publishers? Sending me a review copy does not mean that I will give the book a favorable review. 🙂 My main sources for books are the library and my own purchases. I do belong to the IndieBound Affiliate Program, but as far as I know, I haven’t actually earned anything. I’m in it for the nifty book cover thumbnails and links, actually, and not to make any money.

Related to all of that, Racy Romance Reviews has an interesting post about book blogging and book promotion.

Reading Update
Must Love Hellhounds by Charlaine Harris, Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, and Meljean Brook. I only read the stories by Nalini Singh (good, set before Angel’s Blood) and Meljean Brook (good Guardians story). Since I haven’t read any of the Kate Daniels books by Ilona Andrews yet, I decided to save that story for after I had. And I don’t really care for the Britlingen stories by Charlaine Harris, so I didn’t bother with that one.
Dreaming of You by Ethan Day. ebook. Another good m/m romance from Ethan Day. This one’s about a guy who’s been in love the perfect man for years and years, but that man doesn’t exist outside of his dreams… or does he? Hope Ethan Day is busily writing more, because he’s on my must-buy list now.
Tall, Mean and Darkly by A.J. Llewellyn & Stephani Hecht. ebook. So you’re a guy whose beloved wife gets hit by a bus and as she dies in your arms, she promises to come back to you, somehow. And she does… as a guy.
Handyman by Claire Thompson. ebook. Decent m/m romance about a day trader who moves to a small town to get away from the stress of Wall Street.
Adder by Ally Blue. ebook. This m/m romance had Ally Blue’s usual excellent writing, but the two main characters (Adder and Kalil) and their completely messed up dynamic never really engaged me.
Making It Up by T.C. Blue. ebook. I have really mixed feelings about this m/m romance. Although the basic story and writing were fine, I was frustrated about two major points. The first was the shifting point of view – the story shifted around and was told from various people’s perspectives, often differing from paragraph to paragraph and with little or no warning. I found this more confusing than helpful. The second? I wanted to slap the three main male characters throughout much of the book, which isn’t conducive to a good reading experience.
Just for You by Jet Mykles. ebook. Really good m/m romance about a guy who pretends to be gay in order to get around his controlling female supervisor by talking to his company’s owners at an exclusive gay club. Too bad his feelings for his alleged boyfriend get so complicated…
The Heaven Sent series (Heaven, Purgatory, Hell, Faith, and Genesis) by Jet Mykles. ebooks. Very good m/m romance series about the band Heaven Sent. Each book follows one of the band members as he stumbles toward love.
Nick of Time by T.C. Blue. ebook. Next book in the m/m paranormal romance series that started with Allergies. I’m still sort of meh about this series. It’s ok, but it isn’t exactly drawing me in. Allergies was about werewolves; this one continues with the werewolves, but adds vampires and some other preternaturals to the mix. (I have to admit that I really like the cover at least!)

“What, Mom? No, of course I didn’t suggest knocking books off the bookshelves. Would I do that?” -Chaos

“You are so lying, big kitty. And so busted. I’m outta here!” -Mayhem

Linkity linkity link

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The Completely Out-of-Control, Over-the-Top Book Giveaway [CONTEST CLOSED]

It’s been a while since I did one of these. (Flashback to the Contest of BABEL.) I always seem to end up with a stack of books that I’ve accumulated through various means: being at the library’s withdrawn store or the thrift store without an inventory of my library, accidentally buying a duplicate, receiving a duplicate, or intentionally buying a used duplicate because I liked the book and hoped to pass it on to someone.

Comment on this post before 7 pm CDT,  Monday, October 26, for your chance to win some of the books pictured below. I will randomly pick at least three winners, each of whom will be able to select up to five books. Most of the books are used and, unsurprisingly, are likely to have a wee bit of cat hair on them. 🙂 (Please note that actual cats are not included in the giveaway.) (Contest open everywhere, although due to the cost of international shipping, international winners will only be able to select up to three books.)

“Is there a problem?” -Mayhem

Hmm. Trying again for an unobscured shot…

Plus this ARC, which didn’t fit into the picture above:

Please ignore my toe, which is holding down the curling cover. Here’s a list of all the books:

  • The Pajama Girls of Lambert Square by Rosina Lippi (hardcover, new); The Border Lord and the Lady by Beatrice Small (ARC, new); Bitten (Women of the Otherworld) by Kelley Armstrong (trade pb, used); Industrial Magic (Women of the Otherworld) by Kelley Armstrong (pb, used); Through a Crimson Veil (Crimson City) by Patti O’Shea (pb, used); Moon’s Fury (Tales of the Sazi, Book 5) by C.T. Adams & Cathy Clamp (pb, used)
  • Dark Symphony (Carpathians, Book 9) by Christine Feehan (used, pb); The Twilight Before Christmas (Drake Sisters, Book 2) by Christine Feehan (used, pb); After Dark (Ghost Hunters, Book 1) by Jayne Castle (used, pb); Wild and Hexy (Hex Series, Book 2) by Vicki Lewis Thompson (used, pb); Damien (Nightwalkers, Book 4) by Jacquelyn Frank (used, pb); The Iron Hunt (Hunter Kiss, Book 1) by Marjorie M. Liu (used, pb); I Thirst For You (Primes, Book 2) by Susan Sizemore (used, pb)
  • Lucky Charm and Lucky Streak (Lucky Trilogy, Books 1-2) by Carly Phillips (used, pb); Hidden Agendas (Tempting SEALs, Book 4) by Lora Leigh (used, pb); The Mercenary (T-FLAC, Book 1) by Cherry Adair (used, pb); Minion (Vampire Huntress Legend, Book 1) by L.A. Banks (used, pb); Rogue (Werecats, Book 2) by Rachel Vincent (used, pb); Hotter Than Hell, edited by Kim Harrison (used, pb, contains stories by Harrison, Tanya Huff, Lilith Saintcrow, Keri Arthur, and more)
  • Blood Price (Blood Books, Book 1) by Tanya Huff (new, pb); Hawkspar (A Novel of Korre) by Holly Lisle (new, pb); Desire Unchained and Passion Unleashed (Demonica, Books 2-3) by Larissa Ione (new, pb); Round the Clock by Dara Girard (new, pb); Murder at the Old Vicarage and The Murders of Mrs. Austin and Mrs. Beale (Lloyd & Hill Mysteries, Book 2 & 4) by Jill McGown (used, pb)
  • Knit the Season (Friday Night Knitting Club, Book 3) by Kate Jacobs (ARC)

“Big kitty, I don’t want these books to go away. I like sitting on them.” -Mayhem

“Don’t worry, May – after these go away, we can just knock more off the bookshelves for you to sit on.” -Chaos


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