February 2010

In which Mayhem explains why there’s not much of a post today

“What? Why are you bothering me? You want to know where Mom is? Well, she kept fussing about my grain when she was supposed to be writing this post, but to be honest, I never saw any of her grain. I think she was lying so she didn’t have to share any grain with us.” -Mayhem

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Today’s forecast is for sunshine and linkity

Contest Update

  • JessaLu’s celebrating her blogiversary with a big contest – she’ll have five knitting related prizes, one for each year that she’s been blogging. The prizes are wonderful – some of her gorgeous box bags, socks knit for you on her sock knitting machine, or gorgeous sock yarn dyed by Scout. Contest closes midnight EST, February 19… and tell her I sent ya. 🙂

Reading & Beyond

  • What are your reading neuroses? A major one of mine is getting extremely anxious about what’s going to happen to characters in books, to the point that I need to put the book down and have a bit of a lie down.

Yay, Minnesota!

Get Your Geek On

Eh, Canada

  • Music blog Star Maker Machine is focusing on Canadian songs this week in honor of the Olympics.

Yum

Fun & Kitties & Goats, Oh My

  • Aww! How come my kitties have never slept in such a configuration?!

Reading Update
Thanks to jmc of Shuffling through a book-less desert, where I won a copy of the historical m/m romance, Seducing Stephen!

Love Ahead by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux. ebook collection. These two m/m romances were decent, but you can definitely tell that they were older stories from Urban and Roux. And, as Tam pointed out when she read them a week or two ago, how names are used in each story was definitely odd. In the first, both guys mostly used each others’ last names. That was ok, since they knew each other through their work at a construction site. Then, later in the story, when they started to use each others’ first names, it was obviously supposed to indicate their growing closeness and intimacy. I get that. But why the hell did they both have first and last names that could be first or last names?! It was so confusing. So very confusing. And in the next story? The name thing? Really? You never exchanged actual names after talking to each other on the phone for months? *headdesk*
Snow Plowed (Bay City Paranormal Investigations) by Ally Blue. free holiday short. This was a cute’n’steamy m/m Valentine’s short with the characters from Love, Like Ghosts. And if you haven’t read the Bay City Paranormal Investigations series, what are you waiting for?! It’s one of the series that sucked me into reading m/m romance. Hmm… Ok, maybe that’s why you haven’t. 😉
Petit Morts 1-5: Hue, Tint and Shade; Slings and Arrows; Moolah and Moonshine; Other People’s Weddings; Spanish Fly Guy (1, 3, 5 by Jordan Castillo Price; 2, 4 by Josh Lanyon). ebook shorts. These delightful little m/m romances are all loosely based around a mysterious chocolate shop and Chance, its equally mysterious proprietor. Although I enjoyed each and every one, I think that #4 (Other People’s Weddings by Josh Lanyon) was my favorite, with #1 (Hue, Tint and Shade by Jordan Castillo Price) following closely behind. Recommended. (Val at Obsidian Bookshelf has much more detailed reviews of the Petit Morts, as does Jenre of Well Read.)
Holiday Outing by Astrid Amara. ebook. Another delightful Hannukah m/m romance from Astrid Amara! A successful author of gay fiction, still closeted to his family, gets snowed in with his family (and a high school nemesis) for Hannukah.
Fantasies: Thanksgiving by Cassandra Gold. ebook. Enjoyable m/m romance about two guys, one gay, one straight, who have been friends for many years… and then something changes in their friendship. (We’ll be revisiting this cover image at some point in the future, too.)
True North (Lost Boys & Love Letters, Book 1) by Bethany Brown & Ashlyn Kane. ebook. Darn good m/m romance about a deeply closeted petroleum engineer and the new doctor in town, and about how limiting it can be to let your fears control you.
Picture Perfect (Lost Boys & Love Letters, Book 2) by Bethany Brown & Ashlyn Kane. ebook. Ok m/m romance that started out feeling like a freestanding story, but seemed as if, partway through, it suddenly needed to become part of a series (the few paragraphs that were apparently supposed to tie it to True North didn’t seem, to me, to fit)… probably right about the time it detoured into m/m/m for a bit. Very ambivalent about reading the third book.
Hero by Heidi Cullinan. ebook. This was another read for Kris’ m/m rut challenge. This was a fantasy (I guess sort of an urban fantasy, actually) based on the Japanese myth of the kitsune. Intellectually, I could tell it was a pretty good story, but I was fighting against the fantastical elements of the story the entire time. So, basically, I don’t think I can fairly rate this one.
Heart and Soul (The Assignment, Book 2) by Evangeline Anderson. ebook. Ah, this poor m/m romantic suspense got a bit caught in my expectations for it (sequel to The Assignment!) and my discomfort with parts of the story itself. Don’t get me wrong – it was a decent read and definitely worth reading if you enjoyed the previous book (and subsequent shorts) – but I had trouble reading around all the plot holes. *sigh*
Coach, In Bear’s Bed, Office Advances, and A Biker’s Vow (Campus Cravings, Books 1, 7, 8, & 9) by Carol Lynne. ebooks. Reading Carol Lynne is like eating potato chips – not very filling and you know they’re probably not good for you, but you just can’t stop. O_o As you might guess from the name of this series, it’s set on a college campus. (And yes, that is Candy Cane Guy In Bear’s Bed! That naughty boy…) Oddly, at the end of A Biker’s Vow, this series appears to be intersecting with Lynne’s Cattle Valley series.
Sonny’s Salvation (Good-Time Boys, Book 1) by Carol Lynne. ebook. See my comment on reading Carol Lynne books above. 🙂 Sonny quit the FBI to run the family ranch in Nebraska after his dad died. Too bad there aren’t many gay men in rural Nebraska… (And I already know I won’t be reading past the third book in this series, based on the subject matter of the fourth book.)
Rules Were Made To Be Broken by Lenore Black. ebook. Pretty good m/m romance about a guy who recently took over running the family sporting goods store and his (straight) best friend who’s feeling a bit jealous of the store and all the time it takes up. Very nice review of this and Lenore Black’s other works over at Dear Author.
Dead Men Get No Tail by Misty Malone. ebook short. Ok m/m romance about two college roommates, one of whom decides to have a fake funeral for himself. This one left me sort of “Huh?”
Fool for Love by Cassandra Gold. ebook. I’m not a big fan of May-December romances, but Cassandra Gold does a nice job with this m/m romance between a professor and his college student neighbor.


“Sheesh, May, you totally missed this spot by your elbow when you were bathing. What a slob.” -Chaos

*strikes kitty yoga pose #742* -Mayhem

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In which I give you all an assignment

Congrats to Jody, who won the copy of FU! And congrats to Sayuri, who lucked out when Mia decided to donate a second copy! (Thank you, Mia!)


  • I have a very important assignment for all of you.
  • They need your help coming up with questions for Frankie, Soba, and Bob.
  • Brigitte’s kitties have already contributed some excellent questions. (Thank you, Malcolm, Gandalf, Atticus, and Mae!)
  • Please leave your question ideas in the comments and one of the kitties is sure to get back to you to express their appreciation. 🙂
  • Last week both Lily and Eyre had posts about some of their favorite songs.
  • I love music, so I always love posts like that.
  • My favorite songs definitely change over time, but here are a few that have staying power:

This Year” – The Mountain Goats (Kris! They’re going to be in Perth!!)

“Lovecraft in Brooklyn” – The Mountain Goats (alas, I couldn’t find a decent version for linking)

Coffee” – Aesop Rock ft. John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats (the video’s a little mini zombie movie…)

Transistor Radio” – Cloud Cult (or most of Feel Good Ghosts: Tea-Partying Through Tornadoes)

For What It’s Worth” – Placebo

Kingdom of Rust” – Doves


“I’m serious about the no more photos, Mo…. zzzzzzzzzz….” -Chaos

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Ebook Giveaway: The Guardian by Mary Calmes [CONTEST CLOSED]

Many thanks to author Mary Calmes, who has graciously donated an ebook copy of her new paranormal m/m romance, The Guardian, for me to give away to one lucky reader!

Jude Shea’s life is turned upside down when he rescues a dog he names Joe. Even though Jude has enough trouble taking care of himself – he doesn’t even have a job – he can’t resist the animal that needs him. Then one night, a man shows up on his doorstep looking to claim Jude’s new companion. As they run from a surprise attack, Jude finds out that “Joe” is not what he seems.

Eoin Thral is a guardian from an alternate dimension, and once he leads Jude through the veil that separates their worlds, he transforms into a handsome hulk of a man known for his fighting skills, not the capacity for love. Jude finds himself immersed in Eoin’s world, and he’s faced with the fight of his life to secure a happy future for them both.

Here’s what Mary has to say about herself:

My name is Mary Calmes and I have been writing since I was in the seventh grade. One of my first stories eve was about Demetrius and Konor, two big strapping gorgeous knights and while it was not historically accurate in any way, hello, seventh grade, the one thing that became glaringly obvious was that the guys liked each other more than the damsels in distress they were trying to save.

“Boys don’t sleep in the same bed when they’re grown-ups,” my mother said when I read it to her.

“Men don’t talk nice to each other like that,” my step-father said that night.

They do in m/m fiction which I was destined to write.

I tried really hard to write a female lead but it just left me flat. I read all kinds of different books and I have favorite writers in every genre but I can only write about men. The dynamics between two men are more interesting to me and as a woman, I like men and the idea of two men together, two beautiful men… I don’t understand the question.

When people tell you that they’ve enjoyed something you’ve written, there really is no greater feeling. I have technically written four books, Change of Heart, The Guardian, a new book to be released by Dreamspinner this spring, and A Matter of Time). Even though A Matter of Time was broken up into four books, it was written as one and that’s the way I think of it.

Contest Rules

  • To enter, leave a comment below stating that you are entering the contest. Leave your comments by 7 pm CST, Monday, February 22.
  • 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 counterintuitive espionage will salvage your entry…
  • If your comment is actually an advertisement or if your CommentLuv link turns it into an advertisement, your comment will be deleted. (Most of you do not need to worry – this refers to some pretty clever comment spam.)
  • Winner 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.
  • If you win, please respect the author’s intellectual property and don’t make copies of the ebook for anyone else.
  • This contest is open worldwide!

“Mom! We talked about this! No more photos!! Stop!” -Chaos

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Misadventures in Stock Photography (Part the Tenth: Oh oh)

So I’m starting to get this sinking feeling that maybe this is actually Slouching Open Black Jacket Guy with better posture and no jacket… Thoughts?! Until I’m sure (or you’re sure and convince me), meet Looking Down Guy. His hobbies include home remodeling,

collecting rent,

horseback riding,

painting,

hanging out with the guys,

taking moonlit walks,

being snowbound in the mountains,

raising werewolves,

I really wish I knew what this cover had been… all I know was that it was eXtasy Books…

and hanging out with Candy Cane Guy, helping him move

and decorate for the holidays. (Whoops! It’s Slave Boy in this next picture)

He also seems to be a bit torn between darkness

and light.

I wonder which way he’ll go? 🙂


“…zzzzzzz… Wha…? Mom, what are you doing? You aren’t taking more pictures of me, are you?” -Chaos

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