- Author Carolyn Crane will be interviewed live on Write On Radio at 11 am CDT today (Thursday, April 8 ) – you can call in for your chance to win a signed copy of her recent urban fantasy, Mind Games!
- Leave a comment with the name of your favorite baseball team by midnight CDT, April 9, for your chance to win a $100 Threadless gift certificate, plus assorted books and cds from Largehearted Boy.
- Katiebabs is giving away a copy of Louisa Edward’s contemporary romance, On the Steamy Side, plus some other goodies. Leave a comment by April 10 telling her your favorite food to cook for your chance to win.
- Janna’s giving away a copy of Lorie O’Clare’s new romantic suspense, Strong, Sleek and Sinful. Leave a comment before April 13 for your chance to win.
- Anastasia’s giving away a copy of Kirsten Kelly’s new fantasy, Halith. Fill out the form by midnight MDT, April 15.
- Leontine is giving away nearly 20 books (romantic suspense, paranormals, historicals, and more) to someone who leaves a meaningful comment by April 30.
- Karen’s trying whip her knitting WIPs into shape. Answer the questions (how many WIPs will she have left at the end of April and will she be able to resist starting any new projects during the month) in her comments by midnight (Danish time), April 20, for your chance to win two skeins of Malabrigo worsted.
Books & Reading
- Information about new releases and contests: Lily’s I Love Books (m/m romance); All Things Urban Fantasy (144 urban fantasy contests!); SciFi Guy’s weekend report, fantasy and scifi releases for April, and urban fantasy and paranormal releases for April; and Literary Escapism’s April Escapist Newsletter (urban fantasy, paranormal, etc).
- Take a few minutes to complete the Book Smugglers’ survey about book covers.
- Oh, the drama! An ethicist at the New York Times suggested it was ok (ethically) to download electronic copies of books that you already own in print form if there isn’t an electronic version available.
- Lots and lots of iPad posts this past week. Some that I starred: Smart Bitches, Dear Author, and TeleRead.
- How do publishers decide the value of a book? And how is the new “agency model” going to affect publishing and bookselling?
- TeleRead has some examples of the “freemium model” in action and how it might apply to ebooks.
- What are the environmental impacts of ebooks?
- Lifehacker has a nice guide to converting ebooks to ePub format using Calibre.
- Nicole found some great links – make sure you follow the one to Librarysarie’s post about her new favorite Dewey number.
Learn & Do
- At the end of April, the US Postal Service will be releasing a set of commemorative stamps to help raise awareness of animals in shelters.
- Speaking of which… there are an estimated 300,000 feral cats in Miami Beach!
- The giant LEGO tarantula is pretty darn creepy.
Things I Found Amusing
- The city of Ely, Minnesota, always does something clever for April Fool’s Day and this year was no exception.
- If you’ve ever been addicted to Tetris, think twice before reading this xkcd comic, as it may cause twitching.
- A high-level explanation of computer problems. (As always at xkcd, make sure you hover your cursor over the comic to get additional text.)
- High heels made out of circuit boards?! They look scratchy to me…
- In which black kitty Maura turns out not to be pregnant.
- Do you have captafallaphobia?
- I sure wouldn’t try to take that toy away from that kitten.
- I love the last picture in this post.
Admit One by Jenna Hilary Sinclair. ebook. Wow. This m/m romance gutted me, because it was such a powerful read. And yet… I can’t tell you much about it, because part of its power and impact is in how the story develops and in how things are revealed. At the most simple level, it’s the story of a deeply closeted high school teacher in conservative rural Texas, who very occasionally drives to Houston to hook up with someone – but never the same someone twice. It’s a story of being afraid, of having extremely valid reasons to be afraid, and of living a life so constrained by those fears as to barely be alive. Definitely recommended.
Give and Take by Anne Brooke. ebook short. Good m/m romance about a guy who, two years after his partner of 13 years died, is out at a bar trying to connect with another guy for the first time in a very long time – and he so doesn’t want to have to make all the decisions…
Journey to Compromise by Mara Ismine. ebook short. Good paranormal m/m romance about a guy following an itch to travel. He’s had a bad year (lost love, lost job), but maybe things are starting to look up…
Healthy Obsession by Carolyn LeVine Topol. ebook short. Meh m/m romance about a player who’s finally decided he needs more out of life than one-night stands. While he’s at the gym, he meets a guy in the process of getting divorced and coming out and it’s twue wuv. (Hmm. Kinda snarky there. Possibly because I wanted to slap characters while I was reading.)
A Promise Given by Stormy Glenn. ebook. The usual m/m romance fare from Stormy Glenn in this follow-up to A Promise Kept. Can Alec possibly have a good reason for vanishing from Cooper’s life ten years ago? And if they have that pesky serial killer behind bars, who’s killing guys that fit the same profile now?
Blue Skye and Ryan’s Harbor by Viki Lyn. ebooks. After reading and enjoying Viki Lyn’s paranormal m/m romance, Last Chance, I decided to try this pair of m/m contemporary romances. Meh. Blue Skye was about an out artist and a closeted architect who meet again as adults. They were friends in high school, until they acted on their attraction and the architect fearfully rushed back into his closet. Ryan’s Harbor was about the architect’s gay assistant and the architect’s straight brother – this was a better read than Blue Skye, but be warned that the HFN ending suggests there could be more books in the future… *sigh*
Rescue by Sean Michael. ebook short. A quick little m/m about a guy who lost everything in a fire going home with one of the firefighters.
Purple Pen Diaries by Julia Talbot. ebook short. Fun m/m short about a mystery writer on a cruise who hooks up with a security guy trying to solve a mystery.
Landing with Both Feet (Thatcher Brothers, Book 2) by Julia Talbot. ebook. So-so m/m romance that had way too many flashbacks, between the Jed/Eli and Ross/Kevin stories. Too confusing. And I spent a fair amount of time being upset at people. Hmph. This felt like “Hey, that other Thatcher Brothers book did well – how about another one? Let’s mess up their lives to justify this sequel!”
Taking the Leap (Thatcher Brothers, Book 3) by Julia Talbot. ebook. Ok m/m romance tying up the last bit of the mess from the second book. After that angstfest, this book has no angst whatsoever.
Turguoise: Something’s Gotta Give by Kiernan Kelly. ebook short. Ack! Another stalker! Other than that, this was an ok romance about a guy who gets involved with a cop that he met when giving a statement about his ex stealing all of his stuff.
Texas Hold ‘Em, Slow Play, Pocket Pair, and Different Suits (Poker Night, Books 1-4) by Carol Lynne. ebooks. Decent m/m romance series about a group of guys who play poker together every other Saturday night. Each book focuses on one of the poker players as he finds love. As EH has commented, while you always know what you’re going to get with a Carol Lynne book, sometimes that works just fine.
Wild Raspberries by Jane Davitt. ebook. Very good m/m romance about a young man who runs away from home, then heads into the woods after some bad experiences on the road, where he runs into a cranky landowner.
Artistically Yours by Z.A. Maxfield, Andy Slayde & Ali Wilde, and C.T. Piatt. ebook collection. I enjoyed each of the three short stories in this collection of m/m romances about artists getting much, much closer to their models.
Rock Bottom by Celia Kyle. ebook short. Lyrically written m/m romance short about a guy whose partner died in a car crash and who’s been drinking to forget, until he hits rock bottom.
Night at the Office by Drew Zachary. ebook short. Nicely done, steamy short m/m encounter between a night watchman and a guy working late.
Playing the Market by Drew Zachary. ebook. Good m/m romance about a workaholic stockbroker and a footloose construction worker who find unexpected common ground.
“You know you want to rub my very soft and fluffy tummy! But you can’t! *neener neener neener*” -Mayhem