December 2009

‘Twas the night before the night before Christmas and all through the blog, not a creature was stirring, not even a… cat

Congrats to Keziah, who won the copy of Faery Surprising! Many thanks to Mia Watts for donating the ebook. Apparently, Mia had such fun running amok in the comments that she will be back! 😉


Remember that book cover with the guy in mistletoe underwear? Smart Bitches, Trashy Books is having a caption that cover contest for it! Winner receives a $50 gift certificate to the bookstore of their choice. Contest closes midnight EST, December 24.

Anna’s running a holiday contest and giving away ten different books. Leave a comment before December 25 for your chance to win.

Jill Myles is giving away signed copies of her forthcoming paranormal, Gentlemen Prefer Succubi. Comment by noon on December 29.

Marta Acosta’s giving away two Keri Arthur gift packs. Each includes Australian chocolates, Tim Tams, and a signed copy of one of the Riley Jensen novels. Contest runs through December 30.

Literary Escapism is now two years old and Jackie’s celebrating with a contest. First prize is Maria Snyder’s Glass series (signed) and second prize is T. A. Pratt’s Marla Mason series. Contest runs until December 31.

Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) is giving away three books of up to $20 each, winners’ choice. Contest closes midnight CST, December 31.

The weekend urban fantasy report from SciFiGuy has links to all sorts of fun and contesty goodness.

Not enough book links in this post for you? Anastasia has more!

Ever wonder what would happen if you lost all your gmail, blogger, flickr, or other online data? Backupify can back up that data, and if you sign up before January 31, you get unlimited storage free for life.

TeddyPig addresses some of the issues that he found with the recent LA Weekly article about the writers of gay romance, and some well-known m/m writers left great comments on his post.

Desert Island Keepers (DIK) will hold the DIK Reading Challenge next year – head over to the island for the details, but the grand prize will be a $50 gift certificate to the online bookstore of your choice.

Love Romance Passion has an interesting post about the emotional payoff of angst in books.

Gizmodo posted about the history of Christmas lights.

Need to make some last-minute Christmas gifts? Don’t make anything out of this book.

Make sure you check out CJ’s gift guides before shopping for the vampire or werewolf on your Christmas list. It could save your life… literally.

If you’re looking for some more serious (and inexpensive) last minute gift ideas, check out Lynn Viehl’s list over at Paperback Writer or the list of Lifehacker DIY gifts.

Best New Moon review evah, because it has kittehs! Thanks, Nicole. 🙂

SciFiGuy discovered that The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Undead will be coming out next August

Book pr0n as you’ve never seen it before… guaranteed. Not as NSFW as you might think. 😉

Den of the Ogress speculates what the covers and titles might look like if Harlequin were to start an m/m romance line.

Remember the news item about some book publishers planning to delay ebook releases in the hope of reviving their hardcover and trade pb sales? Smart Bitches, Trashy Books has some Suessian commentary on that.

During her literary scavenger hunt, Amy took some pictures of Wild Rumpus, the wonderful Twin Cities bookstore for kids. What’s not to love about the purple door with a kid-sized door inset in it?

TeleRead has an intriguing post by an apartment dweller who’s switched from paper to ebooks for very practical reasons.

Here’s another good TeleRead post about tracking down fan fiction (free) for your ebook reader.

iPhone people – there’s now a Simon’s Cat application. Sadly, it isn’t free, but I’m sure it’s cute.

Do you agree with the ten netbook positions of exquisite pain? How do you sit or lounge to comfortably use your netbook or laptop?

Beware the Christmas Ninja!

Could be Chaos, if the nose was a bit longer.

Oh my.

No. No wigs for Mayhem or Chaos.

Reading Update
Untamed Heart by Ally Blue. ebook. Good m/m romantic suspense about an assassin who’s in Alaska to get his head together. After an attack, he’s rescued by a mysterious stranger… but will their individual mysteries be too much to surmount?
Easy by Ally Blue. ebook. Decent m/m romance about a closeted construction worker who rescues a rent boy and helps him turn his life around. I was left with one unanswered question at the end of the book, which I really felt needed to be answered.
Forbidden Desire by Carolina Valdez. ebook. M/m romance about a cop who was tortured while undercover and falls for the doctor who treats him. Eh. It was ok.
Wranglers: The Defense Rests (Book 3) by Vivien Dean. ebook. Ok m/m romance that’s the ongoing story of two lawyers. I found the ending a bit abrupt – I thought there’d be more information about the case that was introduced. I had the impression that this was the last of the Wranglers books – if so, that ending’s particularly unsatisfying.
Dead Man’s Curve by Vivien Dean. ebook. Another ok m/m romance that I might have liked better if it had a different title. It’s part of a collection of Amber Allure books named for song titles, so it’s intentionally using the title of the Jan & Dean song. Unfortunately, that titles evokes (for me, at least) the made-for-TV movie about Jan Berry’s car wreck, which kept interfering with my perception of the story.
Strangers in the Night by Christiane France. ebook. You guessed it – this m/m romance is part of another song-title named collection from Amber Allure. Because this title isn’t as evocative for me, I was able to enjoy the story more.
The Gallery on Main Street by Christiane France. ebook. Ok m/m romance about two guys who each inherit part of an antiques gallery, but can’t stand each other.
Ice Cream on the Side by Wren Boudreau. ebook. Very nicely done m/m romantic suspense about an architect who meets an artist and thinks this might be more than a casual thing… if they can avoid psycho exes and murder and stalkers, oh my! Make sure you stop back on Wednesday, December 30, when I’ll kick off a contest to give away an ebook copy of this book, donated by Wren!
TLC 101 by Janey Chapel. ebook. Decent m/m romance about a college football coach who breaks his ankle and reluctantly admits he needs assistance. This was definitely an HFN (Happy For Now), not an HEA (Happily Ever After) sort of story. The ending seemed a bit abrupt to me.
Heat, Flashover, Tinder, and Embers (Oceanside Fire, Books 1-3.5) by Tory Temple. ebooks. Very enjoyable m/m romance series about some of the firefighters of the Oceanside, California, Fire Department. I definitely got sniffly during the first two books.
The Best Gift by Shawn Lane. ebook. Ok, I got the giggles that one of the characters was named Jordan Castillo (Jordan Castillo Price, anyone?), but according to Shawn Lane, commenting over at Erotic Horizon’s blog, it wasn’t intentional. Sweet m/m romance about being in love with your best friend, but the timing just isn’t ever right to admit your feelings. Leave a comment over at Jessewave today (December 23) for your chance to win a copy of this ebook.
Calendar Boys January: Miami’s Perfect Weekend by Jamie Craig. ebook. I just can’t take this cover seriously… This was one of the Amber Allure Daily Deals (as in 75% off and a good way to take a chance on a book you aren’t sure about).
Half of the Other by Joanne Kells. ebook. This holiday-themed m/m romance was ok, but I never really got into the first person narrative.
If I Must by Amy Lane. Another holiday-themed m/m romance – I enjoyed this one, although I was a bit nervous of the editing at the beginning when the cat’s vet appointment was on Tuesday, then on Monday a page later…


“You people aren’t still lurking around out there, are you?! Sheesh. How’s a panther princess supposed to get any sleep?!” -Mayhem

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Book Giveaway: Shattered by Joan Johnston [CONTEST CLOSED]

Many thanks to Planned Television Arts for donating a copy of Joan Johnston’s forthcoming romantic suspense novel, Shattered (A Bitter Creek Novel), for me to give away!

Nine years ago Kate Grayhawk Pendelton walked into Wyatt Shaw’s life—and out of it the next morning. Now Wyatt’s back—and has the power to shatter Kate’s future with the man she loves. By reputation, Wyatt Shaw is a brutal killer who always gets what he wants. And he wants Kate and her twin eight-year-old sons.

Texas Ranger Jack McKinley is hot on Wyatt Shaw’s trail. The presumed heir to the D’Amato crime syndicate is threatening to steal the woman he loves.

Holly McKinley is fighting to keep Jack from leaving her for another woman. Now the secret she’s kept for over twenty years may save their son’s life, and cost her the only man she’s ever loved.

Contest Rules

  • To enter, leave a comment below stating that you are entering the contest. Leave your comments by 7 pm CST, Tuesday, December 29, which is the release date for Shattered.
  • 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 and sacrificing some dust bunnies 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 are eligible to win.
  • No PO Boxes.

Good luck!


“Somebody woke me up from my nap yesterday. Was it you? You look pretty guilty to me.” -Mayhem

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Shhhh… Sleeping Princess Alert!

  • My poor brother – he celebrated his birthday Friday with stomach flu… exactly how he celebrated his birthday last year.
  • I’m trying to work up support for celebrating his birthday in July instead.
  • Yup, we picked those stores because they’re within walking distance.
  • We each got catnip slugs at Twin City Green (hmm, they’re $1.50 cheaper in the store and don’t have packaging).
  • The catnip slug has easily the most potent catnip ever in it.
  • The kitties love it with much bunny kicking and rubbing over their heads.
  • It was a day of strange conversations, with random strangers oversharing in Kowalski’s.
  • CJ and I also took a short walk through the neighborhood, but we got chilled pretty fast.
  • Before we wimped out (it was +19F/-7.2C) and walked to Spyhouse for hot cider, we saw this very interesting bus:

  • Here’s a closer look at the front:

  • Goth band? Punk rock band? Parking in a sedate residential neighborhood near Lake of the Isles? Huh.
  • Last Saturday I went over to Jeanne’s for dinner and took a really crappy picture (with my phone) of the Christmas spectacle next to her house.

  • Please note that this picture missed at least a half dozen glowing inflated snowpeople off to the left, plus the display that wrapped around the house, plus the loud Christmas music.
  • It’s much easier for Jeanne to give directions to her place in December: “Head toward the unearthly glow on the horizon…”
  • Recently, I was asked how to get avatars to show up in the comments. My blog uses gravatars (globally recognized avatars). You can register at Gravatar to create or upload your own gravatar and associate it with your email address(es). That’s it. After that, blogs that have gravatar support, such as many WordPress blogs, will display your gravatar next to your comments.
  • Wish me luck finishing my Christmas shopping over lunch today…
  • And try not to get too rowdy while you’re reading, ok? Mayhem’s catching up on her sleep.

“…..zzzzzzz…..” -Mayhem

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Lap queue forms to the left, please

*waiting patiently* -Mayhem

*not ever planning to move* -Chaos

“Chaos, do you think you could move over and share with Mayhem, please?” -me

“Yeah, you selfish big kitty, you!” -Mayhem

“Are you f…ing kidding me? Ha!” -Chaos

*gazing dramatically off into the distance* “Woe. Woe.” -Mayhem

*grumping* -Chaos

*sigh* -me

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O noes! I’m running out of ideas for overly exuberant bookity linkity post titles!

Congrats to Limedragon, Jeanette Juan, Joder, Jason, and Bella F, who all won copies of Sins of the Flesh!

The Deadline Dames are giving away several recent urban fantasies. Contest closes December 19.

M/m romance author Ally Blue’s giving away an ebook of Adder if you answer a question in the comments. Contest closes December 20… and the answer is drums. 😉

Donna’s giving away two copies of Kelly Meding’s Three Days To Dead. Contest closes at midnight CST, December 20. Donna”s also participating in Teresa D’Amario’s blog tour (grand prize is a $50 gift card to an online bookstore), so stop by to get the details on that.

If your kitties need you to win them a postmodern kitty bed, head over to moderncat and leave a comment by December 20.

SciFiGuy’s giving away two copies of Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s latest Saint-Germain paranormal romance, Burning Shadows (closes December 21). And you have until December 27 to leave a comment at Vampire Wire for your chance to win one of two copies of Burning Shadows.

Head over to Vampire Wire by December 21 for your chance to win an ARC of Sarah Jane Stratford’s The Midnight Guardian.

Patti’s giving away her copy of Colters’ Woman by Maya Banks. Contest closes December 22. (And she warns everyone that the placement of the apostrophe in the title is critical…)

Anna has a set of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s League novels to give away. Contest winner will be announced December 25.

Jackie of Literary Escapism is giving away several ebook copies of the forthcoming space opera Happy Snak by Nicole Kimberling. Contest closes by December 31. Jackie’s also giving away Judi Fennell’s Mer trilogy plus several other books – this closes December 31, too. You also have a chance to win an ebook of Ningaloo Nights by Tracy Cooper-Posey if you let Jackie and Tracy know what your favorite sort of book is to read at this time of year – this closes December 24.

Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) has her usual great post of free reads, news, and contests.

All Romance eBooks is giving away a different romance title every day during the Christmas season.

TeddyPig featured Cory Doctorow’s recent essay, “How To Destroy the Book”, about how ebooks are replacing copyright with licensing.

Dear Author posted about how delaying ebook releases isn’t going to save the trade publishing industry. BitsBlog also had a really good post about how book publishers are fighting the future. And now that there’s a DIY $300 book scanner, it might be smarter to get legit ebook versions out before pirated versions show up…

CJ posted her first holiday gift giving guide (what not to buy for werewolves this holiday season). She promises that the vampire gift guide will be available soon.

Check out the 11 different crazy bookcases featured at the Huffington Post (you’ve already seen a few featured here).

Is science fiction dying?

Oh dear. Poor Jane Austen. Will it never end?

Awful Library Books found an archaic tome about England this time… And hey! I even remember our reel-to-reel tape player.

It’s possibly wrong how much I love this poster. Do. Not. Sparkle!

I keep adding new holiday music discoveries to the holiday music post if you’re interested.

A new Simon’s Cat episode!

Cute burn alert!

Brainz

Reading Update
A Note in the Margin by Isabelle Rowan. ebook. Really intense m/m romance about a high-powered businessman who’s been told to take it easy for a year because of his migraines. He’s not doing so well on that until he slowly gets to know a homeless man. (Um, I might’ve sniffled more than once while reading this one.) I liked it. The title’s in reference to reading used books and how sometimes the notes in the margin can provide as much or more insight than reading the “main” story.
Change of Heart by Mary Calmes. ebook. Wow! Excellent m/m paranormal romance about werepanthers. I usually get impatient when there’s some specific language to learn for a paranormal or a fantasy (hello! That’s why I like urban fantasy – our world, not some complicated Tolkeinesque realm/language), but although I was initially a little cranky about it (wait, what the heck does that word mean again? Why do I have to remember some special word?), I got totally sucked into the story and was quickly very fine with everything. Please note that this book (and the Matter of Time books by Mary Calmes) have a yaoi dynamic going, if that squicks you out.
Matter of Time (Books 1-4) by Mary Calmes. ebooks. Ok, Mary Calmes is totally on autobuy for me now. Dang, these were good. I’ve even (mostly) forgiven her for ending each book with a cliffhanger – possibly because I started reading them on the day the final book was released. 🙂 I think that Jory might even give Adrien English a run for his money in the angsty love life and general drama department. Scary, huh? Anyway, my major complaint with this series is that somewhere, somehow, there’s an ebook with an excess of commas… all the commas missing from here.
Death or Life by T.A. Chase. ebook. Ok m/m romantic suspense about a senator’s son whose father hires someone to kill him. I’m pretty sure there’s going to be another book about two of the characters introduced in this one, but I’m not sure I’ll read it.
On Fire, On Fire II: Still Burning, and Joys of the Season (An On Fire Christmas) by Drew Zachary. ebooks. Very, very steamy m/m romances about a college student who hooks up with a firefighter on Canada Day in Victoria. The second book picks up with their lives seven years after the first; unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first because several plot points felt unfinished to me by the end. And then Robert never got to open his present in the Christmas book! Hmph.
Heart Doctor by Drew Zachary. ebook. Sweet, steamy, low-key m/m romance about the head cardiac nurse and the new doctor of cardiology getting to know each other a bit better. A nice break from angst. 🙂
Razor Burn (Romentics) by Scott & Scott. ebook. Hmm. I’m not sure what to say about this m/m romance. I don’t want to tell you to much, because part of what I liked about it was not knowing what was going to happen and having the story unfold and surprise me, even when I was sure I had it all figured out. At points it was a little bit sappy, but I really enjoyed it anyway.
Reckless Passion by Amanda Young. ebook. Maybe it’s just me, but Young’s m/m romances never fully engage me – the writing style doesn’t click for me or something. But! If you’re feeling a sense of deja vu, it’s because this was one of the Slouching Guy covers I featured.
Sammy Dane by Stormy Glenn. ebook. M/m romance about a writer and a cop who hook up at a bar and then it turns out that their brothers (who are a couple) were planning to hook them up. Toss in a stalker just to make things a bit more complicated. This actually had a lot of potential and some serious editing might’ve helped pull it together.
If I Were a Lady… by Bryl R. Tyne. ebook. Ack! Editing! Editing! Editing! Please, by all that is holy, recognize that it’s not optional, especially for a story with potential. This is the first m/m romance I’ve read with a transgendered main character.
Your Cheatin’ Heart (Sylver & Steele) by Mimi Riser. ebook. Hmm. I think this book might be kicking off a new m/m paranormal/scifi series. (Cross dressing shapeshifters! Sentient crocodiles from another planet! Secret organization trying to keep the world safe from sentient crocodiles! Exotic space resort headquarters for secret organization! Shifter vs crocodile shootout, OK Corral style in west Texas!) Unfortunately, this book just didn’t feel quite long enough for the amount of backstory information crammed into it. Also, the “Sylver & Steele” thing seems a bit too reminiscent of Marjorie M. Liu’s Dirk & Steele series, in which shapeshifters, pyschics, and others have formed a secret organization to help keep the world safe…


“I had no idea it would be this exhausting to be the Supreme Softest Panther Princess Kitteh of the World™! Good thing I’m cute even when I’m tired.” -Mayhem

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