Booking back to work after the holiday

Congrats to Lilibeth and BookJunkie, who won the copies of Eternal Lover from my contest last week!

For a chance to win a copy of Erin McCarthy’s latest NASCAR romance, Hard and Fast (which is quite good), leave a comment at Romance Reviews Today about whether or not covers influence you when buying a book…

More chances to win a copy of Michele Hauf’s latest book The Highwayman over at Fang-tastic Books (leave a comment before July 8 ) and SciFiGuy (signed copy – leave a comment by midnight, July 10) and My Blog 2.0 (leave a comment before July 14).

This week, Largehearted Boy’s giving away a 100-cd prize pack. Leave a comment before midnight CDT, July 10, for your chance to win.

Jackie at Literary Escapism is giving away Branded by Fire (Psy-Changeling, Book 6) by Nalini Singh (out July 7), Seduce the Darkness (Alien Huntress, Book 4) (just out – see my comments below), and At Grave’s End (Night Huntress, Book 3) by Jeaniene Frost. Contest runs through July 25.

Amberkatze’s giving away two signed copies of the excellent urban fantasy Greywalker by Kat Richardson. You have until 4 pm CET, July 12, to participate – and make sure you stop back to see if you won!

Author Barbara Bretton’s giving away yarn every day in July in her Endless Summer contest – details at Romancing the Yarn.


I really hope it’s just a rumour that Amazon’s considering putting ads into their ebooks.

Great article over at Dear Author about what ebook publishers need to do to improve their image.

The always amazing Escapist Newsletter is up over at Literary Escapism, with all sorts of links to author interviews, release dates, book news, and more.

If you’d like to listen to British actor Dominic West reading from Pride and Prejudice, head over to Smart Bitches for the link.

J. Kaye has a good post on how to increase the traffic to your book blog.


Reading Update
The Butterfly Tattoo by Deirdre Knight. ebook. I don’t even know what to say about this book. It’s tagged as a contemporary romance, but it has so much more depth than nearly any romance I’ve ever read. It’s about love and loss and fear and the postmodern family… and I cried quite a bit during parts of it. Powerful, potent, and recommended.
Touched by Fire and Touched by Light (Sentinels, Books 2-3) by Catherine Spangler. The Sentinels are reincarnated souls who help protect humanity from an ancient evil. The series draws on Trantric yoga a bit… Oh, yeah, and Touched by Light is an NK cover.
Awaken Me Darkly, Enslave Me Sweetly, Savor Me Slowly, and Seduce the Darkness (Alien Huntress, Books 1-4) by Gena Showalter. These futuristic romances totally sucked me in. Aliens coexist with humans, but when the aliens harm or kill humans, it’s up to alien hunters to discreetly take care of the problem. As with all Gena Showalter novels, these are very steamy.
Nature of the Beast by Hannah Howell, Adrienne Basso, and Eve Silver. Ok, actually I didn’t read any of the stories in this. I picked it from the library based on the cover (NK!) and the paranormality and was sitting down to read it before I realized the stories were historicals.
Insatiable Desire (The Demonborn) by Rita Herron. Yet another NK cover… I gave this one five chapters, couldn’t get into the book, and am merely including it here so I remember that I tried to read it (plus I needed the abs for the post).
Charmed by Jayne Castle (aka Jayne Ann Krentz), Lori Foster, Eileen Wilks, and Julie Beard. Fun paranormal romance collection that was originally released in 1999. All of the stories are related to Halloween – you think the title of the collection might reflect that a bit more, hmm?
Red Alert by Lynne Connolly. ebook. I much enjoyed this story, which mainly focused on dragon shapeshifters, although there were also some other shapeshifters, vampires, and even a sorcerer. I’ll be reading more from this author!
Through Her Eyes by Beth Kery. ebook. *fans self* Um, there’s a bit of story in there, somewhere. ;) Decent and very steamy paranormal romance about a psychic and an FBI agent. (To story editor: Please note that the country in South America is spelled “Colombia”, not “Columbia”.) Oh, and I won this over at Lea’s!
Tangled Up in Love by Heidi Betts. I quite enjoyed this knitting-themed contemporary romance, although this sentence made me cringe: “Ronnie dug into her homemade tote for her own thick, variegated wool yarn, which she was using to make a rather complicated cable-knit cardigan.” Emphasis mine… Please note that there’s easily as much s3x as knitting in this book!


*blank* -Chaos

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Contests and books and linkiness, oh my! (and abs, of course – duh)

Sydney’s giving away a copy of the science fiction book Burnout: The Mystery of Space Shuttle STS-281, written by her friend Stephanie Osborn. For your chance to win, comment by midnight, July 6.

Morbid Romantic’s giving away five copies of Carolyn Jewel’s My Forbidden Desire. (I won a copy from Kelly Moran’s blog last week myself.) For your chance to win, leave a comment before 11:59 pm EST, July 12. To increase your odds of winning a copy of this book, A Journey of Books is also giving away five copies. Leave a comment by midnight EDT, July 13, to enter. Not satisfied with your chances yet? Then head over to Seductive Musings before 11:59 pm EST, July 10, where there are another five copies available.

This week, Largehearted Boy is giving away 75 cds (no books). Comment by midnight CDT, July 3, to enter.

Author Nancy Herkness is giving away six skeins of Noro Gisha over on Romancing the Yarn. You have until July 3 to send her an email.

Author Suzanne McLeod is giving away copies of two collections (Mean Streets and The Eternal Kiss: Twelve Vampire Tales of Blood and Desire), plus signed copies of her own books. Leave a comment by the end of the day July 1 for your chance to win.


It looks cool, but I think making an inverted bookshelf sounds like too much work.

Dear Author has links to free Kindle books and the Alice Hoffman Twitter kerfuffle.

What are the ethics behind accepting review copies of books? And how will book bloggers be affected by the FTC’s promised crackdown on bloggers receiving freebies for reviews?

The NYTimes thinks that the smartphone is the future of ebooks. I have to admit I hate reading ebooks on my Palm Tungsten E2 – the eInk display on my ebook reader is much, much nicer (plus the battery life on an eInk device is amazing). What do you smartphone owners think? Here’s the Dear Author guide to using smartphones and netbooks to read ebooks – rumor has it the guide will be updated soon.


Reading Update
True Love and Other Disasters by Rachel Gibson. Solid if unremarkable contemporary romance featuring Gibson’s fictitious hockey team, the Seattle Chinooks.
The Vampire’s Bride (Atlantis, Book 4) by Gena Showalter. Survivor, the Atlantis edition. Eh.
Strange Bedpersons by Jennifer Crusie. Light contemporary romance that includes a black cat. Ok. Not one of the better Crusie books.
Hard and Fast by Erin McCarthy. *fans self* McCarthy can write smokin’ contemporary romance with the best of them. I’m enjoying her NASCAR series far more than I expected.
Shadow Hawk (Harlequin Blaze) by Jill Shalvis. Shalvis writes a decent romance, whether it be a Harlequin or one of her tasty trilogies.
Daring Time by Beth Kery. *more fanning* Very good time travel romance that had me utterly captivated. Be warned – it is very, very, very steamy.
Call of the Highland Moon by Kendra Leigh Castle. Enjoyable paranormal romance about a werewolf from the Scottish Highlands and a woman who owns a romance bookstore.
Edge of Desire (Primal Instinct, Book 3) by Rhyannon Byrd. This series. Argh! It’s well-written and I’m totally sucked into the storyline, but damn, I spend an awful lot of time wanting to smack characters for being so angsty and TSTL.
Edge of Craving (A Prequel to the Primal Instinct Series) by Rhyannon Byrd. Ebook. This explains why all the Markers are hidden throughout the world. It probably makes more sense to read this after reading at least the first two Primal Instinct books. The prequel’s a novella, which was nice because no one could go off into an extended angst-fest. Sadly, while the regular series is well-edited, there are some glaring fails in this ebook (is Alia nearly 24? Or nearly 20? Please, someone, decide).
Touched by Darkness (Sentinels, Book 1) by Catherine Spangler. Solid paranormal romance – I’ll be reading more from this series. (I think it’s interesting that this NK cover shows fine abs, but suggests love handles at the same time.)


More bookcase photos…

“Mom, why did you move our toy basket?” -Mayhem

And *gasp* – a bookcase photo with no cat bits?!


Hmm. No live cats, at least! Can you spot the cat in this last picture?

“Doopity doopity doopity do…” -Chaos

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Bookcase flash! (and some other book stuff, of course)

Congrats to the winners of my Contest of BABELMargy, Cindy, Chris S, Cristina N, and Kimmy L! Since I can’t resist accumulating cheap and good books from the library withdrawn store and the thrift store, I’ll definitely do this again sometime.

If you really wanted to win Larissa Ione’s third Demonica book, Passion Unleashed, in the Contest of BABEL, head over to Morbid Romantic’s blog – she’s giving away five copies! Leave a comment by 11:59 pm EDT, July 5, for your chance to win.

Largehearted Boy’s having a Largehearted Housecleaning and is giving away a 50 book + 50 cd prize package! Leave a comment by midnight CDT, June 26, for your chance to win (and cause your mail carrier or UPS driver to hate you forever).


Quite the kerfluffle over Amazon’s mysterious DRM book download limits for Kindles. And an interesting take on Amazon and ebook DRM, which points out that Amazon’s mp3 store is DRM-free and focused on working for any device, but not so with ebooks…

Extremely link-filled and very informative article about ebookstores, readers, and more at the Know Something Project.

Customize your Sony Reader!

Dear Author has a nice article about the components (correctness, stlye, taste) that shape a reading experience.

The July 7 Berekley Crime mystery releases are posted at Darque Reviews.

BookSeer is pretty cool – you fill in the author and title of a book you just finished reading and it suggests other titles you might like.

Twenty signs that you might be reading too much romance. This was my personal favorite: “You clip the covers off your romances and make a mantitty wallpaper collage.”


Reading Update
Even Demons Get the Blues by Maree Anderson. ebook. This was a well-written and steamy novella. More detail at Fang-tastic Books.
Sins and Shadows: A Shadows Inquiries Novel by Lyn Benedict. Very powerful urban fantasy about a PI dealing in the supernatural. No vampires, CarrieK! :) Plenty of gods (Greek, Christian), witches, and even an ancient being of riddles… My only real complaint was that it dragged a bit near the end. Well, that and that I sort of wished it was a paranormal romance, so I could get the HEA I wanted for the ending.
Pandora’s Box by Natalie Stenzel. Totally reading these out of order – this is the first book in Stenzel’s series about the puca brothers and associates. I’m sure I would’ve picked this up sooner if the cover was as, um, enticing
as those of the sequels!
What Happens in Vegas… After Dark by Jodi Lynn Copeland, Lauren Dane, Kit Tunstall, and Anya Bast. Excellent and scorching hot collection about the paranormal side of Las Vegas. *fans self* Oh, you’ll have to click through to see the cover – bit too scorching! Review at Fang-tastic Books.
The Highwayman (Silhouette Nocturne: Wicked Games) by Michele Hauf. This title might sound familiar. ;)
Heart of the Dragon, Jewel of Atlantis, and The Nymph King (Atlantis, Books 1-3) by Gena Showalter. The Greek gods created Atlantis to house their mistakes: vampires, demons, gorgons, nymphs, harpies, humans who can turn into dragons, and more. Although the two entrances to Atlantis are protected by veils of mist, humans manage to find the mythical land and Atlanteans occasionally make brief forays into our world. This is another good series from Gena Showalter. Of the first three books, The Nymph King was definitely my least favorite (I thought it was a bit weak), although I can’t fault the cover! ;) I also read The Amazon’s Curse, which is an ebook novella that takes place after the fourth book, which I haven’t read yet. Whoops. Hey, it was on my ebook reader and I’d forgotten The Nymph King at home. Be warned that The Amazon’s Curse does contain spoilers for the fourth book.
Just One of the Guys by Kristan Higgins. Nicely done contemporary romance. I cried a bit. In fact, my only real issue with the book (and I’m beginning to suspect this is just part of the author’s formula) is the main character’s obsession with her ticking biological clock. Also, please note that the dog on the cover in no way resembles the dog in the book, other than that they’re both dogs.
Too Hot To Handle by Robin Kaye. Another nicely done contemporary romance, featuring a male lead who’s a bit less alpha arrogant than in many romances.


Of course, what would be a bookcase flash from my place without a cat in the picture?

“Birds! Birds! Birds! There are birds out the window, Mom! Birds!” -Mayhem

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