It’s a beautiful day for some linkity, don’t you agree?

Congrats to SusieQ, who won Woke Up in a Strange Place by Eric Arvin! Woke Up in a Strange Place is being released today by Dreamspinner Press.

Congrats to Marsha, who won The Tourist by Clare London! The Tourist will be released by Carina Press on Monday, February 28.




Learn, Think, Make, Do




Teh Cute

Reading Update
Lessons in Power (Cambridge Fellows Mysteries, Book 4) by Charlie Cochrane. ebook. Very good historical m/m mystery/romance in which events conspire to bring up a dark event from Jonty’s past that continues to haunt him.
Lessons in Temptation (Cambridge Fellows Mysteries, Book 5) by Charlie Cochrane. ebook. Very good historical m/m mystery/romance, which finds Jonty and Orlando in Bath for academic pursuits, mostly. This one had me quite anxious (the temptation bit).
Putting Out Fires (Coda Book 5) by Marie Sexton. ebook short. Very good short m/m romance about Matt trying to figure out what he can do for Valentine’s in order to make Jared feel appreciated.
Promises (Coda, Book 1) by Marie Sexton. ebook. After reading Putting Out Fires, I really wanted to read more Matt and Jared, so I read Promises and The Promise again. 🙂
The Promise (Coda, Book 3.5) by Marie Sexton. free ebook short. Very good short m/m romance about Matt and Jared, after they’ve been together for about 18 months. Reread.
First Impressions by Josephine Myles. ebook short. Very good short m/m romance about an artist who becomes fascinated by the guy wearing a suit and crazy socks who he sits across from on the train every day.
Nowhere Ranch by Heidi Cullinan. ebook. Excellent kinky m/m romance about a guy who stays on the move since his family discovered he was gay and started praying for his soul. When he starts working at Nowhere Ranch, he certainly was not prepared for the interpersonal complications… but will he stay or will he go?
Long-Term by Angelia Sparrow & Naomi Brooks. ebook. Very good kinky m/m romance about a university president who takes in a sub whose top kicked him out with not much more than the clothes on his back.
Finding Sanctuary by D.C. Juris. ebook. Good kinky m/m romance about a guy who’s felt only half alive for a long time, even though he has all the trappings of success (nice house, lovely fiancee, good job). He’s slowly beginning to realize that what he actually needs are things that his father beat into him as being wrong.
Eros Rising by Ally Blue. ebook. Good m/m romance about a guy who’s staying in his not-so-good  relationship out of complacency, until he becomes friends with a stripper…
Ten Percent by R.J. Scott. free ebook short. Good m/m snippet (covering maybe an hour) about a guy sitting at his desk, thinking about what being out at work would mean.
Another Little Secret (Sandpipers, Book 1.5) by Jade Archer. free ebook short. Sweet, steamy short m/m/m romance that takes place some months after Sandpipers’ Secrets, at Valentine’s.
Granite: A Rocky Start by G.H. Worth. ebook. So-so m/m romance about a police detective and an assistant district attorney who’ve had the hots for each other for months, but neither realized the other was gay.

“Look at how cute and snuggly I am! You’re jealous, I know.” -Mayhem

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Linkity means that I can happily overindulge in exclamation points!!





Do, Learn, Think, Make





Teh Cute

Reading Update
My Summer of Wes by Missy Welsh. ebook. Really sweet story about figuring out what you want, coming out, first love, and dealing with bullies. (Although I don’t like this cover at all…)
Lessons in Love (Cambridge Fellows Mysteries, Book 1) by Charlie Cochrane. ebook. Very good historical m/m mystery/romance set at a small Cambridge college in the early 20th century. The newest English fellow at the college starts to get under the skin of a repressed mathematics fellow… and then they find themselves working together to help the police try to figure out who is murdering students.
Lessons in Desire (Cambridge Fellows Mysteries, Book 2) by Charlie Cochrane. ebook. Very good historical m/m mystery/romance in which Jonty drags Orlando off to Jersey for the first holiday Orlando’s ever taken.
Lessons in Discovery (Cambridge Fellows Mysteries, Book 3) by Charlie Cochrane. ebook. Very good historical m/m romance/mystery – influenza and amnesia and a centuries-old murder, oh my!
The Back Passage (Mitch Mitchell Mysteries, Book 1) by James Lear. Delightfully raunchy m/m mystery in the best 1920s English country house style. Protagonist Edward “Mitch” Mitchell manages to be endearing as he attempts to solve the mystery… when he’s not distracted by sex.
Hot in Here (Time To Do, Book 2) by Kim Dare. free ebook short. Steamy short m/m interlude that takes place as Brennan and Rigby move into a flat together after graduating from university.
A Thread of Deepest Black by Finn Marlowe. ebook. Very good kinky paranormal m/m romance about a werewolf and a shifter who become involved with each other in a very complicated fashion, even though their people are mortal enemies. Some pacing issues in the first half of the story prevented me from rating this higher.
Dead Men Don’t Wash by Ally Blue. free ebook short. Completely insane (and fun!) short paranormal m/m romance about an octopus shifter and his soap thief lover.
Oscar’s Soul by Missy Welsh. free ebook short. Wickedly funny free short paranormal m/m romance about the devil collecting a soul and realizing he’s fallen in love.
Dinner and a Movie by Alex Marcus-Jacobs. free ebook short. Sweet short m/m romance about a straight guy who’s more than little surprised that the blind date his coworker set him up on is with a guy.
The Queen of Wands by Jenna Jones. ebook short. Good short May-December m/m romance about a guy who’s spent the last 15+ years working as the behind-the-scenes problem fixer for his vast family, atoning for a night he can’t quite remember – the night his best friend drowned. The ending felt a bit too quick and tidy for me.
Whatever It Costs (Whatever You Want, Book 2) by Taylor Lochland. ebook short. Ok short holiday m/m romance about a guy who loses his job, which makes it seem impossible that he’ll be able to afford to take his boyfriend to Ireland for Christmas so his boyfriend can see his grandfather before he dies.
Keeping Secrets by L.D. Madison. ebook short. Ok short m/m romance about an injured police officer who won’t take off his shirt and reveal his dark secret.
A Fated Love by Diana DeRicci. ebook short. Ok short m/m romance about a guy whose vintage car is damaged in a hit-and-run. Fortunately, an attractive stranger was able to snap a few pictures of the accident… I think I would’ve liked this one a bit better if it hadn’t been for all the unclear pronoun references and ongoing editing/writing oddities.
Raising Seth (First Time, Book 1) by Eden Cole. ebook short. So-so short m/m romance about a straight guy whose foster sister dumps her 18-year old ex-stepson on him for a month…
Lemon Kisses: A Yaoi Anthology edited by Augusta Li; A. Steele, Eon de Beaumont, Imari Jade, & B.J. Franklin. ebook collection. So-so collection of yaoi-inspired short stories.

“Oooooooh, shiny!” -Mayhem

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Linkity for an interminable winter

Congrats to Juni, who won Yearning (Green’s Hill Werewolves, Book 1) by Amy Lane! Yearning will be released by Torquere Books on February 12.




Make, Think, Do, Learn

  • A very good post about what gay marriage means, from L.A. Witt. (This does the same thing, but be aware that you’ll likely hit NSFW stuff if you wander from that link.)




  • I’m not sure I’m ready for Monopoly Live, which is controlled by a tower in the middle of the board.
  • Nose vibrator?! (Completely SFW. I know you’re surprised. But really, it is.)


Teh Cute

Reading Update
Rinse and Repeat by Amberly Smith. ebook. Excellent paranormal m/m romance about a guy who’s a Repeater, stuck repeating the same day over and over again until he can change some key event from the day. Things are different on this Repeat, because he’s started to care way too much about a skateboarder he’s watched die far too many times. (Hi, Pouty Guy!)
These Haunted Heights by Ally Blue. ebook. Very good paranormal m/m romance about a photojournalist who’s staying alone at his aunt’s house on the Oregon coast while he shoots a story about the area. Mysterious crying from the empty tower room and a handsome brooding neighbor complicate things in interesting ways…
How the Other Half Lives by Clare London. ebook short. Very good short m/m romance about two guys, one very tidy and the other very untidy, who exchange flatsitting duties with each other, but never actually meet… until they do.
A Russian Bear by C.B. Conwy. Very good kinky m/m romance about a grad student and a Dom who meet through a case of mistaken identity that leads to the Dom helping the grad student explore his attraction to submission.
Maleria, Cholera and Bubonic Plague (A Russian Bear, Book 1.5) by C.B. Conwy. web short. Good short m/m romance about Mischa waking up with hangover. (Although I would’ve eaten toast first, not chili!)
Call Me Sir, Boy! by Kim Dare. ebook short. Cute kinky short m/m romance about a dom who loses a bet and is stuck wearing a hat that says “Call Me SIR, Boy!” at the club for an evening when he’s approached by a submissive he’s never seen before – a submissive who seems perfect for him.
Opposites Distract by Stephani Hecht. ebook short. Sweet short m/m romance about a party boy who’s really attracted to a geeky guy he sees at their college’s GLBT student center, but the geeky guy doesn’t trust the party boy’s intentions.
Chocolate Dreams by Em Woods. ebook short. Sweet short m/m romance about an accountant who’s been burned by love before and lies about having a boyfriend to the chocolatier he finds attractive.
Sagittarius Blues by Katrina Strauss. ebook. Good holiday m/m romance about a college student whose inflammatory vlog personality has unexpected negative impacts on his life. For some reason, this never really came together for me and I haven’t been able to figure out why.
Into the Light (Clear Water Chronicles, Book 1) by Scarlet Blackwell. ebook. Ok m/m romance about a sheriff who’s a good man now, but was part of a bullying gang when he was in high school… and other members that gang raped a gay student while he stood by and did nothing. Now the victim of that rape has returned to town and wants the sheriff to pay for his part in the unreported crime. This was a really mixed read for me – I felt that it started out strongly, but by the end had turned into a melodramatic soap opera. 🙁
One True Thing by Amanda Grayson. ebook short. What an unsatisfying read! This m/m romance about an agent who has to go into deep cover by having his cover story planted in his brain was frustrating, particularly since it had so much potential. There was way too much story for a short, so the story had no depth and often seemed to jump around. And then the story just stopped, so you have no idea if they successfully completed the mission (i.e., the purported reason for the story).

“Go away. Being noble and dignified was exhausting.” -Chaos

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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.


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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‘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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