Linkity bells, linkity bells, linkity all the way…



Congrats to Courtney S, who won Eight Nights by Keira Andrews!

Congrats to Heather C, who won Let It Snow by Devon Rhodes!

Congrats to kasjo_peja, who won Jesse’s Christmas by RJ ScottJesse’s Christmas will be released by Silver Publishing on December 25.


There will be no Misadventure on Monday, December 26, as it’s a holiday for me – but maybe on Tuesday. Happy holidays to all of you, from all of us. :)



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Wha…?

LOL

  • xkcd on brand identity… looks an awful lot like some generic brands I’ve seen! (Remember to hover your mouse cursor over the comic for additional text.)

Teh Cute

Reading Update
A Gift of Mistletoe by Alex Whitehall. ebook short. Very good short m/m historical holiday romance about a young man returning home from university for the holidays, hoping he’ll be brave enough to tell his former tutor of his attraction.
The Santa Problem by Tam Ames. ebook short. Steamy short m/m holiday romance about a bouncer whose boyfriend guilts him into dressing up as Santa for his office building.
Holiday Outing by Astrid Amara. ebook. reread. Another delightful Hanukkah 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 Hanukkah.
Hopes and Fears by Rowan Speedwell. ebook short. Very good short m/m holiday romance about an investigative journalist going to physical therapy for his injured knee who’s very attracted to his physical therapist.
Melting Mr. Mowburrey (The Whole A-Z #1) by Kim Dare. ebook short. Very good kinky short m/m story about the titular character who’s staying at a friend’s house and is tempted by a young sub he believes to belong to his host. (And I took the picture that inspired the story!)
You Melted Me by Kari Gregg. free ebook short. Steamy short m/m romance about an office worker who was sleeping with one of the executives, a known player, but has been trying to avoid the guy and protect his heart.
Patchouli for Christmas by Bren Christopher. ebook. Good m/m holiday romance about an event planner putting together a Christmas party for a wealthy client, who wants her grandson’s very dark paintings displayed at the party.
Russell’s Reversal (Lost Shifters #14) by Stephani Hecht. ebook. Good paranormal m/m romance about Russell, a Wolf shifter and crime lord, who decides to clean up his act because of his feelings for Lynx shifter Dalton.
Fangs, Fur and Snowballs (Lost Shifters #15) by Stephani Hecht. ebook. Good m/m holiday paranormal romance that catches up on many members of the Feline Coalition, focusing particularly on Keegan and Colby.


“Diva? Moi?” -Mayhem

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The linkity post in which I realize I missed my sixth blogiversary



Congrats to elaing8, who won A Gift of Mistletoe, by Alex Whitehall!

Congrats to Wendy, who won Dreams of a Stolen Child (Stolen Child #3) by Anna Mayle!


D’oh! My sixth blogiversary was November 22. The blog now bears little resemblance to the blog then, other than regular cat photos. :) Of course, it was just Chaos back in those days… Anyway! Thank you all so much for visiting and commenting – you make each day a little brighter for me.



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Holidity

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Cool or Wha…?

  • Hello Kitty toaster. (The comments on that post have other fascinating things, like a bubblewrappish waffle maker.)

Wha…?

LOL

Teh Cute

Reading Update
The Gift by Kim Dare. ebook. Sweet kinky m/m holiday romance about a dom who’s visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past and shown how his sub has interpreted their time together…
An Australian Christmas in New York by Sean Kennedy. ebook short. Very good short m/m holiday romance about an ex-pat Australian living in New York City with his American boyfriend and feeling homesick for a properly hot Christmas. Tim Minchin’s “White Wine in the Sun” made an excellent soundtrack for reading this.
Carol of the Bellskis (Bellskis #1) by Astrid Amara. ebook. reread. Very good m/m Hanukkah romance about a paralegal who breaks up with his boyfriend (also his boss) because his closeted boss is backing out of their vacation plans. The paralegal heads off on vacation to his aunt and uncle’s kosher B&B alone… and finds himself taking care of all the guests, with his aunt and uncle nowhere to be found.
Miracle of the Bellskis (Bellskis #2) by Astrid Amara. ebook. Very good m/m Hanukkah/Christmas romance that takes place several years after Carol of the Bellskis, as Seth meets Lars’ somewhat icy parents for the first time… because Lars’ parents are staying with Lars and Seth for the holidays.
Fire Thief by Jordan Castillo Price. ebook short. Very good steamy short m/m story about two guys who strike some sparks together in a bar.
Numbers by Theo Fenraven. ebook short. Very good, very short m/m romance about two guys who are acting together in the musical Grease and dancing around each other offstage.
The Housekeeper (Will Crawford) by Theo Fenraven. ebook short. Good short m/m romance about a housekeeper from Mexico who falls in love with his movie star employer.
Picture This (Will Crawford) by Theo Fenraven. ebook short. Good short m/m story about a discreet photographer who’s hired to take nude photos by a closeted movie star. I wish I had realized that this is a series of sorts, and that The Housekeeper was the most recent one – I read The Housekeeper first and kept wondering if Will was cheating scum as I read this one.
Love at First Sight (Will Crawford) by Theo Fenraven. ebook short. Pretty good short m/m romance about a closeted actor who pursues a bookstore owner who isn’t interested in one night stands. I’m still confused about these “Will Crawford” books. In this one and in Picture This, Will gets involved with a guy and the story ends with the sense that they’re in a relationship, trying to make things work. The Housekeeper begins with Will not involved with anyone and ends after Will makes a commitment to someone and follows through with it. Are the three books to be taken together as Will’s journey to finding love and coming out? Note: The author just posted the order of these yesterday, and I read them exactly backwards. :)
Zombie Wonderland by Piper Vaughn. ebook short. Very good short paranormal m/m holiday romance about a waiter who’s rescued from encroaching zombies by the customer he’s been crushing on for weeks. I’m not a fan of gruesome stories, but I am fan of Piper’s writing, so I braved it.
Christmas Baby by Johnny Miles. ebook short. This short story takes place right before Christmas in 1957 and is told from the perspective of a teenager whose parents drive off to a holiday party, never to return. Suddenly, an uncle he’s never met before is the only person he has in the world.
Secret Santa by Clare London. ebook short. Good short holiday m/m romance about two guys who are always fighting, including over the mysterious Secret Santa presents they received.
NYPD Christmas by Eden Cole. ebook short. Meh m/m romance about a guy whose sister sets him up with a cop. Although he ditches the cop after they screw, he can’t get seem to get the guy out of his mind. Near instalove and awkward writing make this one to miss.


“That was a very suspicious noise, big kitty!” -Mayhem

“I agree, May, I agree. Stay alert!” -Chaos

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In which I can’t think of anything remotely clever for a linkity title and even begin to wonder if I’ve already used this title before



Congrats to Laura/Adara, who won Cup Check (Blue Line Hockey #3) by Stephani Hecht! Cup Check will be released by eXtasy Books on May 1.



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Reading Update
Carbon and Ash by Chris Owen. ebook short. reread. This was a short but sweet m/m romance about slowing sliding into something other than friendship without being fully aware. And it’s one of my comfort rereads.
The Morning Star (Shadow of the Templar #1) by M. Chandler. ebook. reread. Ok, yeah, so I just read this the first time last month and I already reread it. I’m ok with that.
Lovers Destined by HM Broussard. free ebook. Good paranormal m/m romance fanfic that finally brings together Qhuinn and Blaylock from the Black Dagger Brotherhood!
Hell Cop by Astrid Amara, Ginn Hale, & Nicole Kimberling. ebook collection. Very good m/m urban fantasy/romance collection featuring three related stories revolving around the hell cops – the bad ass sorcerers who try to keep order in demon-infested Parmas City.
Hell Cop 2 by Astrid Amara, Ginn Hale, & Nicole Kimberling. ebook collection. Very good m/m urban fantasy/romance collection about the hell cops (and their guys) introduced in the first book.
Flesh & Blood (In the Flesh #2) by Ethan Stone. ebook. Ok m/m continuing the story of Reno police detective Cristian Flesh as he works on a case that shakes free all of the demons from his past. While I really loved In the Flesh, this sequel felt flat and lacking in both mystery and romance.
Hellbourne 2: Bound & Determined by Amber Kell. ebook short. So-so short paranormal m/m romance, during which I realized I didn’t particularly care about any of the rather shallow characters.
Hellbourne 3: Heart & Soul by Amber Kell. ebook short. Meh short paranormal m/m romance, during which I couldn’t figure out why I kept reading.
Craven by Eden Cole. ebook. So-so m/m romance based on multiple big misunderstandings… not my favorite plot device. This is my favorite sentence from the book: “His cock, which had gone down, hardened immediately, and rushed over to his side of the car.”
Catch/Caught by Vivien Dean. ebook short. Ok short m/m romance about a corrupt cop and a musician who witnesses something he shouldn’t have seen.


“Maybe you should cut back on the nip, hmm?” -Mayhem

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Sometimes I absolutely cannot come up with a clever title for linkity… this would be one of those times



Congrats to Tam, who won Possession (Devlin Island, Book 1) by S. W. Vaughn!

Congrats to Natasha, who won Opposites Distract by Stephani Hecht! Opposites Distract was released yesterday by All Romance Ebooks as part of its Perfect Strangers series.

Congrats to Otter, who won How the Other Half Lives by Clare London! How the Other Half Lives will be released by Amber Allure on February 6.

Congrats to Carmel, who won Chocolate Dreams by Em Woods Chocolate Dreams will be released by Total-E-Bound on February 7.



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Teh Cute

Reading Update
Rubbing Vignettes: The Wrong Way and the Right Way by Wren Boudreau. free ebook short. Cute short m/m Valentine’s romance split into two scenes as Greg tries to figure out how to celebrate his first Valentine’s with Finn, and then as they celebrate. I really hope that the first scene was the set up for a sequel to Back to Normal, featuring a couple of guys who rub each other the wrong way…
One Night Stand by Cassandra Gold. ebook short. Very good short m/m romance about a guy whose friends drag him to a club to help him get back out there after a few years. He seems to have a real connection to the guy he brings home… until the guy freaks out about having stayed over night and leaves. (This short story was originally part of the Friction anthology.)
Love Ahead: Expect Delays by Astrid Amara. ebook. Very good m/m romance about two guys driving a 1989 Geo from Seattle to drop off in Boulder, hoping to get there for part of Hanukkah, until the drive turns into the roadtrip from hell.
Half Pass by Astrid Amara. ebook. Good m/m romance about a horse phobic guy who inherits his aunt’s boarding stable and moves back to the small town in which he grow up so he can get the stable ready to sell. Unfortunately, it felt like all the details about the horses and their training and care overshadowed the actual story.
Handcuffs & Spreader Bars (Rawlings Men, Book 5) by Kim Dare. ebook. Very good kinky m/m romance about a dom (and police officer) who’s had his eye on one of the newer constables for a while, but has only just learned that the constable equates submission with being taken advantage of due to a prior bad experience.
MIA Case Files 1: Wolfsbane by K.C. Burn. ebook. Very good paranormal m/m romance about a closeted agent who works in a secret government agency (MIA) that investigates dangerous paranormal activities. While he and his partner are trying to figure out what’s going on in the small town of Rothburg, he meets and becomes fascinated by a gorgeous young man working at a coffee shop.
MIA Case Files 2: Blood Relations by K.C. Burn. ebook. Ok paranormal m/m romance about another MIA agent who gets involved with a young man who seems too good to be true. I didn’t enjoy the second book in this series nearly as much as I did the first – it was just too predictable.
Del Fantasma: Duck Fart by Jade Buchanan. ebook. Good paranormal m/m romance about an innocent Siamese cat shifter who just tracked down the best friend he’s had a crush on for years, only to discover that his friend is now mated to someone else. He thinks his heart is broken – so why is he leaving with that duck shifter and that human?!
High Flow (EMS Heat, Book 7) by Stephani Hecht. ebook. Good m/m romance about a medic who was gay bashed and now can’t let anyone get close or touch him. But maybe the handsome doctor in the ER will be patient enough to past his defenses…
True Hollywood by James Buchanan. ebook short. Good short m/m romance about two stuntmen who haven’t seen each other since their breakup years before until they run in to each other at their former mentor’s wake.
Second Helpings (Table for Two, Book 2) by Scarlet Blackwell. ebook short. Ok short m/m romance continuing the story of Luc, the arrogant French chef, and Daniel, the closeted British food critic, as Daniel’s obnoxious mother (who doesn’t know he’s gay) arrives for a visit and ratchets up the tension.
Beach Reading (Book 1) by Mark Abramson. ebook. Ok m/m mystery about a waiter in the Castro who spends a lot of time wandering around stoned and picking up guys. I did enjoy being able to picture the various locations mentioned. I didn’t enjoy the rambling brain dumps from everyone in the story.
A Bid for Love by T.D. McKinney & Terry Wylis. ebook. Ok m/m romance about an FBI agent who participates in a charity auction and is “purchased” by an anonymous bidder he assumes to be a woman. Ah, the surprise that awaits him when he and the bidder meet up in Italy. Sadly, the language was too flowery and overwrought for my tastes.
Knight or Daye by Jude Mason. ebook short. Ok short kinky m/m/m romance about a guy who infiltrates a human slavery ring, hoping that he can reconnect with and rescue the lover he drove away.
Howl by Lacey-Anne Frye. ebook. Ok m/m paranormal romance about a couple who stays at an isolated B&B in the middle of the woods. The proprietor tells them not to go outside after dark… Why don’t people ever listen??
What You See by C.J. Black. ebook short. So-so short m/m encounter between a waiter and an older man who always sits in his section at the restaurant.


“I’m hiding in my Plastic Tub of Invisibility. You can’t see me.” -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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