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. ;) 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

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Linkin’ to books, bookin’ to links

Donna’s giving away two copies of John Brown’s new fantasy novel, Servant of a Dark God. Contest closes 8 pm CST, November 29. Plus, check out her post that’s chock full of giveaway and free read info. (Many thanks to Donna – I won a $10 Amazon gift certificate in a recent contest over at Fantasy Dreamer.)

Pat (of Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist) is giving away a smorgasbord of fantasy (including some urban fantasy) books, such as The City and the City by China Mieville, Black and White by Jackie Kessler & Caitlin Kittredge, and an ARC of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Galileo’s Dream.

Former Samhain editor and current Carina Press editor Angela James is having a contest to celebrate her four years at Samhain and new job at Carina. She’s giving away several goodie bags and will draw winners on December 7.

Amazon’s giving away $3 worth of mp3s (your choice, use by November 30) (via Lifehacker).

Don’t miss SciFiGuy’s weekly overview of contests, news, and more.

Dear Author suspects there are some unannounced Kindle book sales going on and provides tips on how to find them.

Some numbers on ebook piracy, again pointing out that ditching DRM and getting ebook buyers used to the idea of buying easy-to-use content is probably the best way to handle piracy.

Top 10 myths about ebooks, from literary agent Nathan Bransford.

Jackie at Literary Escapism (as part of Weekly Geeks) is interested in your lists of the top 10 books you’ve read in 2009. (She has info on how to submit your list.)

Harlequin manages to spectacularly damage their brand with an ill-considered venture into offering vanity publishing services. Whoops.

One reader charts her path from reading m/f romances to reading m/m romances.

Hee hee – a fine bit of book geekery at xkcd.

How good or evil is your blog? Discovered via the more-evil-than-me Kris’n’Good Books. ;)

Aw, look at the cute black kitty, all prepared for the possible pumpkin shortage.

All teh tiem!

Yay! Google Reader added favicon support!

If you’re thinking of shopping on Black Friday (are you crazy?!?), you might want to read Gizmodo’s tips on anti-deals.

Reading Update
Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx. A bit more literary m/m than what I’ve been reading. No HEA (happily ever after) or even HFN (happy for now) with this one. But y’all know that already.
A Really Nice Prom Mess by Brian Sloan. I’m pretty sure this young adult novel plays homage to the shenanigans in all those teen movies like Sixteen Candles. The narrator, Cameron, is going to his senior prom with his boyfriend… sort of. Funny and heartfelt – it’s not often that a book has me alternately laughing and sniffling.
Shady Ridge and the Neon Sky by Chris Owen. ebook. Good m/m romance about two cops in a small-town in Texas. Bit of a rough start, but fortunately the menagey bit wasn’t ongoing. :o
Carbon and Ash by Chris Owen. ebook. This was a short but sweet m/m romance about slowing sliding into something other than friendship without being fully aware.
Cheek to Cheek (911, Book 2) by Chris Owen. ebook. Another sweet m/m romance from Owen, this time about ballroom dancing firefighters. :)
Collision Course by K.A. Mitchell. ebook. Wow! Really well done m/m romance about a social worker and a paramedic who has a lot of issues with social workers. Recommended. I’m definitely picking up more K.A. Mitchell titles. (And yes, I now know that I should’ve read Diving in Deep first, but darn it, Samhain sure doesn’t make that clear on their site…)
Inking Aaron by Cheryl Dragon. Ok, very weird that there was an Aaron Chase in Collision Course and now in this book… Sadly, while the premise of this m/m romance was intriguing (a seemingly uptight hotel manager gets involved with the guy who owns the tattoo shop in the lobby), the writing was extremely choppy (transitions aren’t a bad thing, really). Additionally, it seemed like the story needed to be fleshed out more. And then there were the unclear pronoun references, which I’ve mentioned is a very bad thing in m/m romance.
Lord and Master and Taking Work Home (Lord and Master 2) by Jules Jones. ebooks. Comfortable m/m romances about a PhD student working as a research and personal assistant for the owner of a London company. A nice break from the usual high angst of many m/m romances! (“Lord and master” refers simply to being the boss…)
Out of the Past by Sean Michael. ebook. Hmm. This one’s hard to summarize. Ten years ago, Andy was in a bad car accident and when he woke up in the hospital, a lawyer told him that his boyfriend Steven didn’t want to see him anymore because of his injuries and scars. However, Steven was told that Andy died – went to his funeral and everything. Quite the surprise when they run into each other again…
Making Your Own Luck by Sean Michael. ebook. Fun short m/m romance about Friday the Thirteenth and trying to break a string of very bad luck. (Here’s a good place to confess that I get squicked out by tooth injuries. Stephen King and The Tommyknockers, I’m looking at you!) But hey, there’s a gigantic black cat named Demon in the story, too. It’s all good, right?
Quarterback Sneak by Pepper Espinoza. ebook. Touching m/m romance about two pro quarterbacks in a decade-long relationship who are outed.
Kegs and Dorms by Stephanie Vaughan, Tory Temple, Jane Davitt, & Kiernan Kelly. ebook. The title of this m/m romance collection does it a disservice. It is about guys in college, but the stories are much better than one would guess from the title!
Hemovore by Jordan Castillo Price. ebook. This paranormal m/m romance was definitely a cracktastic read (as in completely addictive and will keep you up too late). What if vampirism was caused by a virus? A really, really contagious virus? There’s a reason Price is on my must-read list!
Payback, Vertigo, Manikin, Tainted, & Rebirth (Channeling Morpheus, Books 1-5) by Jordan Castillo Price. ebooks. All five of these paranormal m/m ebooks probably equal one regular paperback, so don’t get too excited about my reading five books here! These are the first five books in the raunchy adventures of vampire Wild Bill and non-vampire Michael, which continue with the Sweet Oblivion series.


“Sheesh, now you want me to move so you can wear the socks? I grow weary of your unreasonable requests, Mom!” -Mayhem

For those in the US, have a happy Thanksgiving tomorrow! To all, this is the last post until Monday, November 30. :)

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In which May discovers the wonders of white sparkly feathers (and there are lots of book links)

Congrats to Dana, Kelly B, CC, elaing, and Marjorie, who all won copies of Lisa Dale’s It Happened One Night! (I’m amazed at the number of readers I have from Ontario. At least one, but usually two Ontarions have won in each of my Hatchette Book Group giveaways.)

Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) is giving away five Nancy Holder books (plus a tin of Wicked mints) – leave a comment by 8 pm CST, November 27, for your chance to win.

Donna’s also got a great list of bookish giveaways – head over and check it out. Sweet Vernal Zephyr keeps up with many of the latest contests in her Contest Bar (in the sidebar).

The latest Bookworm’s Carnival is up over at Literary Escapism.

Eeeek! How desperate are you for a free ebook? Desperate enough to read Shatnerquake (oh, bummer, looks like it isn’t available for free anymore). Maybe it would be less painful to sign on with Fang-tastic Books as an ebook reviewer.

Beware – Fictionwise has (for an unknown amount of time) all of their er0tica ebooks on sale for 30% off… and they categorize all their m/m as er0tica. (Tangentially, I’m amused that my m/m meme post from Friday is zooming up in page views, albeit low in comments. I can hardly wait to see the search terms on that one…)

The Minneapolis Public Library’s Holiday Clearance Sale runs from Wednesday, November 25, through Saturday, December 19, at the main library downtown.

Hee hee – the shortlist for the bad s3x in books award is out and includes such authors as Philip Roth, Paul Theroux, and Nick Cave.

Wow – too bad this ebook reader from Qualcomm is only an early prototype.

Interesting comic about ebook reading.

Check out the Gizmodo list of gift ideas for readers.

For you iphone people, this sounds like a fun app. Too bad you can’t add your own cats.

This wedding cake caused a spit take (definition 1, people!).

Oh, how I wish I could’ve attended this book signing event

I am not surprised.

Squeee!!!!

This would definitely be May’s idea of paradise.

Completely how I remember it when Chaos ate a coffee bean as a kitten.

Tofurkey and gravy flavored soda. Bacon flavored envelopes. *blink blink* Please,  just say no.

If you’re poking around in my archives, trying to find posts with Reading Updates, I’ve added a “Reviewettes” sub-category to the “Reading” category. I’m working backwards to update posts and 2009 is done.

Reading Update
So Into You by Sandra Hill. I have the sense that this is probably one of a number of related books set in the Louisiana bayous? (I haven’t read any Sandra Hill before.) Anyway, this was a well-written contemporary romance and it totally sucked me in… even though I wanted to slap the main female and male characters more than once. Or twice. Or three times. :) (I received this copy from the publisher for review.)
Loves Me, Loves Me Knot (Chicks with Sticks, Book 2) by Heidi Betts. This well-done contemporary totally sucked me in – I sniffled more than once while I was reading it. I definitely recommend this series to anyone who enjoys a bit of yarn’n’steam with their romance reading. (Interesting. I see that the Kindle and mass market pb versions are $6.99, but at Diesel Ebooks, the mobi version’ll set you back… $12.03, after $1.97 discount. WTF?!)
To Serve and Protect by Chris Owen, C. B. Potts, Tory Temple, and Alexa Snow. ebook. Decent m/m romance collection about firefighters and cops.
Man of Mystery by Madeleine Urban. ebook. Happy father and downtrodden househusband Alan transforms into Terence, man of mystery, after an accident leaves him with amnesia. Recommended – Madeleine Urban definitely knows how to write an intense m/m romance.
Old Poison (Dangerous Ground, Book 2) by Josh Lanyon. ebook. Very intense and very well-done m/m romantic suspense from Lanyon. You definitely need to read Dangerous Ground before you read this. Both are highly recommended.
Another Dream (Dreams, Book 2) by Addison Albright. ebook. Good m/m romance. Really, my only complaint about Albright’s books are the number of times the characters use each other’s names in conversation. Way, way more than is normal – and enough to be annoying.
Surrendered Victory by K.C. Kendricks. ebook. Nicely done m/m romance about two guys who work for rival construction companies – one who has been afraid to admit that he might be gay, the other very comfortable being gay.
Somebody To Love by Carolina Valdez. ebook. Ok m/m romance about a helicopter pilot/firefighter who is very intrigued by the masked Chippendale dancer who wanders over to kiss him after the show (at a combined bachelor/bachelorette party in Las Vegas). (I bet this cover rates way up there on the MamaTulip Abs Approval Meter.)
Son of a Preacher Man by Jamie Craig. ebook. Ok m/m romance about a man who returns to the town where he lived briefly as a teen, hoping that another encounter with the son of a preacher man will help him sort out his confusion over his sexuality.
My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys by Lynn Lorenz. ebook. Fun m/m romance about a New Orleans dress-up party in which attendees are told whether to attend in drag or stag.
Superstar by Rick R. Reed. ebook. A story of obsessive love unfolds through flashbacks as a man standing on Seattle’s “Suicide Bridge” tries to decide whether to end things.
Through the Closet Door by Rick R. Reed. ebook. Touching story about a married man in his 20s who’s struggling with coming out.
Man-Amorphosis by Rick R. Reed. ebook. Amusing, tongue-in-cheek tale of a gay man who wakes up to discover part of his body has changed its configuration, so the first thing he does is get into drag and head out to bag straight guys. Dang, Reed is definitely a versatile writer!
Mind F*cked (Faerily Imperfect, Book 1) by Mia Watts. ebook. Very nicely done and ever-so-steamy m/m paranormal romance about a stunning half-fae security expert who can read minds and a bank manager who doesn’t believe in magic or that anyone so gorgeous could find him attractive. Recommended.
She’s Got Balls by Mia Watts. ebook. Enjoyable m/m romance about an FBI agent and a cop who have to go undercover as a married heterosexual couple. My only complaint was that the story needed a bit more fleshing out near the end.


“Pretty sparkly feathery snowy toy!! Yum!!” -Mayhem

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