Tag Archives: Candy Cane Guy

Misadventures in Stock Photography: Part the Seventeenth (Candy Cane Guy Tries Different Hairstyles)

As I’m sure you all know by now, Candy Cane Guy has short dark hair.

Previously, we’ve also seen him with slightly longer dark hair

and with shoulder-length blond hair.

But he’s continually trying new hairstyles, such as this short multicolored ‘do:

Then he wondered whether redheads really do have more fun…

If that pale, creepy guy is the “more fun” he found, I don’t blame him for immediately trying blond again, although, happily, with much less blood this time.

Finally, he went back to (roughly) his natural hair color, but left it long.

So, which hairstyle is your personal favorite? Mine? Um… torso picture with his head cut off. ๐Ÿ™‚


“Mom, I know I wanted more books about black kitties. But you shouldn’t make that poor black kitty hang out with that bad, bad boy. You are mean.” -Mayhem

Misadventures in Stock Photography: Part the Fourteenth (The Candy Cane Guy Tank Top Edition)

As usual, Candy Cane Guy has been up to no good whatsoever since the last time we checked in on him.

he veered

and started to do some

work, ultimately ending up

. (Will he never learn that long hair isn’t a good look for him?! At least it wasn’t blond this time…)

Alas, things didn’t work out, so our unhappy

went out and found himself a

. Only,

was he ever in for a

as one of

until he and the other cowboy decided that they wanted to be

together and rode off into the sunset, leaving Christie behind.

Whew!

Please note that this post was completely and totally not approved by Miss Doreen.


“What? I wasn’t doing anything. Really. Nothing to see here. Move along.” -Chaos

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰
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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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

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? ๐Ÿ™‚


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

Misadventures in Stock Photography (Part the Eighth, Being But a Few of the Further Adventures of Candy Cane Guy)

Congrats to Lynn, Anita, Patti, Linda, and Wanda, who all won copies of A Black Tie Affair!


Crap. I’ve gotten behind in the Candy Cane Guy posts and now have enough pictures for two or three new posts. Workingest guy in stock photography?!

While we were otherwise engaged, Candy Cane Guy went through a tartan phase.

Which also included his tattoo and tanning phase.

I really had no idea how similar a kilt was to a tiny hand towel. Did you?

Candy Cane Guy thought that maybe he gained a little weight while he was recovering from the no doubt arduous tattoo removal. His plummeting self-esteem sent him out advertising himself in less-than-subtle ways… O_o

Then he got sort of skinny, but he felt a lot better about himself and was putting his …sign to other uses.

For reference, here’s what he looked like before his weight started to yo-yo:

Looks like he also picked up a few things at the store… probably too much to expect him to have any clothes in those bags, eh?

Oh oh, I spoke too soon… Although he did buy some clothes (hmm, nothing to cover his infamous chest and abs and belly button*, I notice), he bought guns! And a home cloning kit! This can’t end well…

Tune in at some indeterminate future point to find out what happens next!

*Yes, his unusual belly button is the key to identifying him on covers. Now you all know my secret. Woe.


“Mom, I just don’t understand why this boy is so naughty. It must be because he has thumbs. The big kitty would like to be really wicked, but he can’t be because he doesn’t have thumbs.” -Mayhem

New and even more improved linkity post, now featuring bullets and subheadings!

Look for Misadventures in Stock Photography (Part the Sixth) tomorrow! Although I already have enough new covers of Candy Cane Guy for another post (or two…), we’ll give him a break and meet someone new tomorrow.


Contests

  • Chappysmom is having a Chuck (tv show) trivia contest – check out the details and participate quickly, because the deadline to enter is January 15 at noon EST. Prizes include 12 skeins of Sublime yarn, Chuck Season One on Blu-Ray, and a dvd on knitting cables.

Bookity Stuff

  • TeleRead also has a good beginner’s guide to using Calibre, an open-source ebook management tool. I don’t actually use Calibre to transfer books to my Astak (because the Astak’s directory structure isn’t maintained when using Calibre), but I do use it to normalize file names and convert formats.
  • Fun – a book cover archive… not for ebooks, alas. (I was hoping it would be a good research tool for my Misadventures series.)

Randoms

  • Oh, look, you can make your own Twinkies (hmm, nice that this is right after the fitness item). Since the cake recipe only has 1/3 cup of flour, it should convert to gluten-free quite easily. Hmm.
  • This link is here for no other reason than that I thought the picture was cute.

Humorous Bits

Reading Update
True Colors by Clare London. ebook. This turned out to be a very good and intense m/m romance after a sort of shaky start – I almost put the book away because there were so many different people introduced in the first few pages and I couldn’t figure out who was important and who was peripheral. But in the end? Totally redeemed, because Clare London deftly tied in those seemingly extraneous introductory bits.
Broken by Dawn Kimberly Johnson. ebook. Excellent m/m romance about a guy who was seriously injured when his partner was killed during a gay bashing two years before the story starts.
Miss Me? and Coming Out for Christmas (Miss Me, Book 2) by Mel Spenser. ebook and ebook short. Miss Me? is a decent m/m romantic suspense about Andy, a librarian who gets involved with Nick when Nick is in the library looking for cookbooks. Both of them then have to deal with a dangerous stalker who’s been harassing Andy for the last year. In Coming Out for Christmas, Ryan, one of Andy’s relatives, is staying with Andy and Nick over his college’s Christmas break when he realizes he’s gay. Miss Me? is definitely the stronger of the two stories.
Giving Thanks by Maura Anderson. ebook short. Ok Thanksgiving m/m romance about a couple dealing with the after effects of one of them coming out to his family and getting punched by his dad.
Bittersweet by Maura Anderson. ebook short. Very good m/m romance about a chocolatier making chocolates for a bridal shower who becomes fascinated by the man of honor when he picks up the chocolates. Both Bittersweet and Giving Thanks are also part of the Hot Comfort collection (next). (I already had these shorts when I won Hot Comfort over at Reviews by Jessewave last month.)
Hot Comfort by Luisa Prieto, Kimberly Gardner, Jet Mykles, and Maura Anderson. Collection of food-related m/m romances, with a cover that might look a little familiar. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Although I already had the Maura Anderson and Jet Mykles stories, I hadn’t read the delightful “Cooking with Ergot” by Luisa Prieto (who signed my copy of Hot Comfort!) nor the very enjoyable “The Shape of a Heart” by Kimberly Gardner.
One Way Street by Laney Cairo. ebook. Very good m/m romance about a closeted Aussie rules footballer who gets really sick and turns to the guy he left without a word the previous year.
No One But You (Shining Victory, Book 2) by K.C. Kendricks. ebook. Whoops. I haven’t read the first book. Oh well. I’m not sure that would have helped me be less annoyed by the guys in this May-December m/m romance.
Give Me One Night by K.C. Kendricks. ebook. This was another m/m romance that I was “meh” about – the insta-love didn’t work very well for me. Plus I still had some big questions left at the end, things that really felt as if they needed to be tied up before the story ended but weren’t.
Beautiful Disaster by J.M. Snyder. ebook. Pretty good m/m romance about two guys who are in a pop duo.
Just Friends by Anne Thomas. ebook. Surprisingly good, slightly kinky m/m romance about a guy who’s had crush on his best friend for a while, then follows him to a leather club… I picked up both this and Beautiful Disaster when they were Amber Quill Press Daily Deals – I’m much more willing to try a book that I’m not sure I’ll like or that might be a bit outside my comfort zone when it’s 75% off.
Taming the Wolf and Unleashing the Jaguar (Animal Attraction, Books 1 & 3) by Michelle Houston. ebook shorts. Look! Do you recognize those abs and that towel on Unleashing the Jaguar?! Darn it. I missed this one before. Anyway. I read the second book (Embracing the Leopard) last summer, but it doesn’t matter, since these are all completely unrelated, other than all being short m/m romances about shapeshifters finding their mates and all inspiring the same “ho-hum” response from me.
The Wolfe Proxy by T.D. McKinney and Terry Wylis. ebook. While the storyline for this m/m romance had potential, the intermittently overdone writing kept pulling me out of the story as I flinched at particularly florid phrasing. Add insta-love, and… *sigh*
Weighted Measure by Chris Owen. ebook short. Nicely done m/m romance short about a computer geek who nearly lives online trying to find balance with a drummer who nearly lives out and about.


“Whoa. That must’ve been some of the spiked ‘nip the big kitty was talking about.” -Mayhem

Misadventures in Stock Photography (Part the Fifth, or Hello, Again, Candy Cane Guy)

I know, I know, I thought we were done with Candy Cane Guy, too! Apparently he’s not done with us…

Remember when he lost his trademark jeans in that tragic fire? Apparently he didn’t have any trouble finding a place to stay after the fire.

But then he learned about the dangers of hunger and got really worried…

…so he had to grab some breakfast.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

…he was up to no good, I’m sure.

And then things got a little crowded and complicated. O_o

But in the end, he was left out in the cold, all alone.

Maybe he’s learned a lesson?! Nah. I bet we’ll see him again someday…

So it’s kind of fun to see some of the original stock images. Does this look familiar?

How about this?

And of course, how could we forget that classic pose that started it all?


“My goodness, Mom, that boy seems very naughty to me. Probably even naughtier than the big kitty.” -Mayhem

Misadventures in Stock Photography (Part the Fourth, being an update on our friends from Parts 1-3)

So I’ve discovered that once you start looking for overused stock photography, it’s a bit like falling down the rabbit hole… Shall we start with our old friend Slouching Guy? Here he is… with long hair, which looks so very natural, don’t you think? *snort*

We’ll be revisiting the other guy in the picture (Open Black Jacket Guy) in a future installment of this series. [Edited: They are the same person! Slouching Open Black Jacket Guy as his own twin?!]

Moving right along, let’s see what Shoulder Guy’s been doing.

I’m not even going to try to guess.

Weirdly, the next book involves a chocolate bodysuit somehow (I didn’t really want to know more on this one, either).

Hey, check out the advanced photoshopping technique below. Shoulder Guy, no longer floating alone in space and chocolate.

Finally, let’s see how Candy Cane Guy’s been keeping busy… Guess he took up vampire hunting. (Nice, um, stake.)

That must not have gone so well for him, based on the next cover. I had not idea that becoming a vampire with sloppy eating habits caused your hair to grow!

Unfortunate, that. Even the other cover model looks horrified.

Somehow he got his blood lust under control and got a haircut.

Whew!

Then, um, he took up macrame.

But was forced to flee offworld due to a crafting misunderstanding.

When he finally returned, he went on vacation and his trademark jeans were lost in a tragic fire! O noes!

He was forced to get a job at a moving company so he could afford new jeans.

The end. I hope. (Although you’ll be seeing Looking Down Guy from the cover above again, too.)


Taking revenge can be exhausting….. zzzzzzzz….” -Chaos

Misadventures in Stock Photography (Part the First)

While some book covers probably use original photographs taken specifically for that book, many use stock photographs. Stock photos get used over and over – to the point that you might have a sense of deja vu even when faced with a cover you’ve never seen before. Take a look at this first cover:

Nice candy cane. *ahem* But the smiley face in the next two variation of this photo? Puzzling. (And yup, the second guy back there does mean that this is an m/m title, which Hot for the Holidays is not.)

The hole in the jeans is a nice subtraction, isn’t it? And hey, in the next cover, the photo has been so cleverly disguised that you can’t even tell it’s the exact same cover…

…or maybe you can. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Do the candy cane and smiley face cover a tattoo or a mole or??? Does anyone have other examples of this particular shot used on other covers?

Many thanks to Sydney, who tracked down the original stock photo! To sum up, the jeans did have holes and thereโ€™s no mole or tattoo being covered


Stop by my contest post or The Thrillionth Page by 10 am CST, December 6, to vote for the Softest Kitteh Evah on Our Street!

Yes, there’s been more taunting.

“My tummy is super soft, too, Oblio! Plus I have a bikini on my tummy, so there! (Oh, and Mom says if you click on my picture, you’ll almost be able to feel how soft my tummy is.)” -Mayhem