‘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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O noes! I’m running out of ideas for overly exuberant bookity linkity post titles!

Congrats to Limedragon, Jeanette Juan, Joder, Jason, and Bella F, who all won copies of Sins of the Flesh!

The Deadline Dames are giving away several recent urban fantasies. Contest closes December 19.

M/m romance author Ally Blue’s giving away an ebook of Adder if you answer a question in the comments. Contest closes December 20… and the answer is drums. ;)

Donna’s giving away two copies of Kelly Meding’s Three Days To Dead. Contest closes at midnight CST, December 20. Donna”s also participating in Teresa D’Amario’s blog tour (grand prize is a $50 gift card to an online bookstore), so stop by to get the details on that.

If your kitties need you to win them a postmodern kitty bed, head over to moderncat and leave a comment by December 20.

SciFiGuy’s giving away two copies of Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s latest Saint-Germain paranormal romance, Burning Shadows (closes December 21). And you have until December 27 to leave a comment at Vampire Wire for your chance to win one of two copies of Burning Shadows.

Head over to Vampire Wire by December 21 for your chance to win an ARC of Sarah Jane Stratford’s The Midnight Guardian.

Patti’s giving away her copy of Colters’ Woman by Maya Banks. Contest closes December 22. (And she warns everyone that the placement of the apostrophe in the title is critical…)

Anna has a set of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s League novels to give away. Contest winner will be announced December 25.

Jackie of Literary Escapism is giving away several ebook copies of the forthcoming space opera Happy Snak by Nicole Kimberling. Contest closes by December 31. Jackie’s also giving away Judi Fennell’s Mer trilogy plus several other books – this closes December 31, too. You also have a chance to win an ebook of Ningaloo Nights by Tracy Cooper-Posey if you let Jackie and Tracy know what your favorite sort of book is to read at this time of year – this closes December 24.

Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) has her usual great post of free reads, news, and contests.

All Romance eBooks is giving away a different romance title every day during the Christmas season.

TeddyPig featured Cory Doctorow’s recent essay, “How To Destroy the Book”, about how ebooks are replacing copyright with licensing.

Dear Author posted about how delaying ebook releases isn’t going to save the trade publishing industry. BitsBlog also had a really good post about how book publishers are fighting the future. And now that there’s a DIY $300 book scanner, it might be smarter to get legit ebook versions out before pirated versions show up…

CJ posted her first holiday gift giving guide (what not to buy for werewolves this holiday season). She promises that the vampire gift guide will be available soon.

Check out the 11 different crazy bookcases featured at the Huffington Post (you’ve already seen a few featured here).

Is science fiction dying?

Oh dear. Poor Jane Austen. Will it never end?

Awful Library Books found an archaic tome about England this time… And hey! I even remember our reel-to-reel tape player.

It’s possibly wrong how much I love this poster. Do. Not. Sparkle!

I keep adding new holiday music discoveries to the holiday music post if you’re interested.

A new Simon’s Cat episode!

Cute burn alert!

Brainz

Reading Update
A Note in the Margin by Isabelle Rowan. ebook. Really intense m/m romance about a high-powered businessman who’s been told to take it easy for a year because of his migraines. He’s not doing so well on that until he slowly gets to know a homeless man. (Um, I might’ve sniffled more than once while reading this one.) I liked it. The title’s in reference to reading used books and how sometimes the notes in the margin can provide as much or more insight than reading the “main” story.
Change of Heart by Mary Calmes. ebook. Wow! Excellent m/m paranormal romance about werepanthers. I usually get impatient when there’s some specific language to learn for a paranormal or a fantasy (hello! That’s why I like urban fantasy – our world, not some complicated Tolkeinesque realm/language), but although I was initially a little cranky about it (wait, what the heck does that word mean again? Why do I have to remember some special word?), I got totally sucked into the story and was quickly very fine with everything. Please note that this book (and the Matter of Time books by Mary Calmes) have a yaoi dynamic going, if that squicks you out.
Matter of Time (Books 1-4) by Mary Calmes. ebooks. Ok, Mary Calmes is totally on autobuy for me now. Dang, these were good. I’ve even (mostly) forgiven her for ending each book with a cliffhanger – possibly because I started reading them on the day the final book was released. :) I think that Jory might even give Adrien English a run for his money in the angsty love life and general drama department. Scary, huh? Anyway, my major complaint with this series is that somewhere, somehow, there’s an ebook with an excess of commas… all the commas missing from here.
Death or Life by T.A. Chase. ebook. Ok m/m romantic suspense about a senator’s son whose father hires someone to kill him. I’m pretty sure there’s going to be another book about two of the characters introduced in this one, but I’m not sure I’ll read it.
On Fire, On Fire II: Still Burning, and Joys of the Season (An On Fire Christmas) by Drew Zachary. ebooks. Very, very steamy m/m romances about a college student who hooks up with a firefighter on Canada Day in Victoria. The second book picks up with their lives seven years after the first; unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first because several plot points felt unfinished to me by the end. And then Robert never got to open his present in the Christmas book! Hmph.
Heart Doctor by Drew Zachary. ebook. Sweet, steamy, low-key m/m romance about the head cardiac nurse and the new doctor of cardiology getting to know each other a bit better. A nice break from angst. :)
Razor Burn (Romentics) by Scott & Scott. ebook. Hmm. I’m not sure what to say about this m/m romance. I don’t want to tell you to much, because part of what I liked about it was not knowing what was going to happen and having the story unfold and surprise me, even when I was sure I had it all figured out. At points it was a little bit sappy, but I really enjoyed it anyway.
Reckless Passion by Amanda Young. ebook. Maybe it’s just me, but Young’s m/m romances never fully engage me – the writing style doesn’t click for me or something. But! If you’re feeling a sense of deja vu, it’s because this was one of the Slouching Guy covers I featured.
Sammy Dane by Stormy Glenn. ebook. M/m romance about a writer and a cop who hook up at a bar and then it turns out that their brothers (who are a couple) were planning to hook them up. Toss in a stalker just to make things a bit more complicated. This actually had a lot of potential and some serious editing might’ve helped pull it together.
If I Were a Lady… by Bryl R. Tyne. ebook. Ack! Editing! Editing! Editing! Please, by all that is holy, recognize that it’s not optional, especially for a story with potential. This is the first m/m romance I’ve read with a transgendered main character.
Your Cheatin’ Heart (Sylver & Steele) by Mimi Riser. ebook. Hmm. I think this book might be kicking off a new m/m paranormal/scifi series. (Cross dressing shapeshifters! Sentient crocodiles from another planet! Secret organization trying to keep the world safe from sentient crocodiles! Exotic space resort headquarters for secret organization! Shifter vs crocodile shootout, OK Corral style in west Texas!) Unfortunately, this book just didn’t feel quite long enough for the amount of backstory information crammed into it. Also, the “Sylver & Steele” thing seems a bit too reminiscent of Marjorie M. Liu’s Dirk & Steele series, in which shapeshifters, pyschics, and others have formed a secret organization to help keep the world safe…


“I had no idea it would be this exhausting to be the Supreme Softest Panther Princess Kitteh of the World™! Good thing I’m cute even when I’m tired.” -Mayhem

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Contest links, book links, knitting links – eeeeeek!

I’m going to break my bookity linkity into two days, because otherwise your heads will explode. There are some goodies for the knitters in here, too!

Congrats to Cathy M, Sydney, Miranda, and GSM, who all won copies of Devyn Quinn’s Soul of the Wildcat in my recent contest!


I found another cover example of our old friend Slouching Guy! Sorry the picture is blurry, but that’s what happens when you expand a teeny tiny picture to make it a bit more visible…


Mary Lou’s celebrating her blogiversary and the anniversary of her Tiger Hat knitting pattern (sales of which have raised nearly $2000 for Heifer International). Leave a comment by December 13 for your chance to win enough Malabrigo to knit your own Tiger Hat!

Head over to CJ’s to read her interview with author Penny Watson and leave a comment by 6 pm CST, December 10, for your chance to win a Santa bag of regular and chocolate Rice Krispie treats.

Author Carolyn Jewel is giving away signed copies of Elizabeth Hoyt’s Prince Trilogy. Contest is open until December 10.

For your chance to win an advance, signed manuscript of Beth Kery’s forthcoming romance, Release, leave a comment at her blog by December 11. Beth’s also going to give away a Sony Reader on New Year’s Eve to someone who purchases a copy of her books Holiday Bound, Paradise Rules, or Release during the month of December.

Answer Nalini Singh’s question over at the Book Smugglers and you could win a copy of her books Angel’s Blood and Blaze of Memory. Contest closes 11:59 pm PST, December 12.

Can you figure out what the amorphous holiday cookies at Julie James’ blog are supposed to be? Guess by 8 pm CST, December 13, for your chance to win a $25 B&N gift certificate. Speaking of Julie James, she’s over at the Book Smugglers, too – comment by 11:59 pm PST, December 12, for your chance to win signed copies of her excellent romances, Practice Makes Perfect and Just the Sexiest Man Alive.

For your chance to win your very own Demon Sheep (and books), head over to Babbling About Books and leave a 100-word demon sheep story in the comments by December 13.

Dear Author is giving away copies of the forthcoming releases from Ace and Roc. Fifteen random commentors will win books.

Danger! 40-60% off all multiformat (non-DRM) ebooks at Fictionwise through December 31! More ebook deals and freebies at Dear Author and also at Suvudu.

Knitters – don’t you think everyone you know needs a pair of elf slippers for the holidays?

Curious about B&N’s Nook? Use the locator to find out where you can try one. Gizmodo’s detailed review of the Nook might help, too.

*blink blink* Some bizarre theories from the sworn enemies of ebooks…

Iz monster! Eeek! Dark secrets of black kittehs revealed! Or maybe just dark.


Weirdly (for me), I was feeling the holiday spirit on Saturday, so I listened to gwfgwf (generic winter festive gathering with food, coined by Superguppy Kat) music on my laptop and read an assortment of ebook holiday shorts.

Holiday Reading Update
The Gift of Giving by Ann Somerville. holiday ebook short. This sweet and completely safe for work m/m romance (although the link to the pdf didn’t work last time I checked) was one of last year’s holiday freebies from Samhain.
Wand’ring Home by Maia Strong. holiday ebook short. Another of last year’s Samhain holiday freebies, but the download link works for this m/m romance!
Mistletoe on the Mountain (Fire on the Mountain, Book 3) by P.D. Singer. holiday ebook short. It’s Jake and Kurt’s first Christmas together… (Interesting that the only holiday shorts from Torquere Press that I picked up were from the “Nice” collection and not from the “Naughty” collection!)
Snowed In, Las Vegas Style by Aaron Michaels. holiday ebook short. Apparently it doesn’t take much snow to close the Las Vegas airport, so two guys decide to make the most of being stranded.
Just My Luck by Cassandra Gold. holiday ebook short. Greg’s having a string of really bad luck on Christmas Eve (car breaks down, apartment building starts on fire, the usual) – will the sexy guy who comes to his rescue turn his luck around?
Christmas Intervention, Phase 1 by Mara Ismine. holiday ebook short. When the guy who usually really loves Christmas is down on the dumps on the holiday, what’s his best friend to do but stage a Christmas intervention? (I never did figure out what Phase 2 might be.)
One Night Stand by Clare London. ebook. holiday ebook short. Whoops – Teddy has too much to drink at the office Christmas party and wakes up in bed with his boss…
Four Gold Rings by T.A. Chase. holiday ebook short. Ok (but very sweet) story about all the guys from Chase’s For the Love of Sports series.


And now back to our regularly scheduled feline programming…

“Wheeeeeeee!” -Mayhem

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“See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the Dancing [Princess]”*

  • Congrats to elaing, GSM, CrystalGB, Estella, and Little Lamb Lost, who all won copies of Kate Perry’s Chosen by Desire in my recent contest!
  • At long last I have finished notifying winners in the Completely Out-of-Control, Over-the-Top Book Giveaway (and should finally mail books on Monday). Congrats to Moonsanity, Eve S, blodeuedd, Guinifer, Anne Marie, and KitKatKnit! Amusing trivia about the winners: two winners were from Finland and one winner lived close enough that we met for coffee yesterday so I could deliver her books! *waves at Guinifer* And I even knit a few inches on my second sock (no longer a protosock!) while we had coffee and chatted. (Hey, can someone pass Jeanne some ice? Looks like she bumped her head pretty hard when she read that I was knitting.)
  • I’m taking today off from work to enjoy the hopefully warmish and sunnyish weather – have a great weekend, everyone!

“I am a Dancing Panther Princess!” -Mayhem

“Get your ghost paws out of there, May. I’m locked and loaded – that toy is toast!” -Chaos

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