In which I shock all of you by doing linkity on a different day of the week than I usually do

Remember when I gave you an assignment last week? (You did splendidly and I thank you!) You were all helping Chaos and Mayhem prepare to interview Crazy Aunt Purl’s kitties during their visit here tomorrow. They’re supposed to be helping their mom promote her new book (reviewed below!), but you know how kitties are… You’ll also have the chance to enter to win one of five copies of the book (Crazy Aunt Purl’s Home Is Where the Wine Is: Making the Most of What You’ve Got One Stitch (and Cocktail!) at a Time by Laurie Perry), so make sure to drop by!

Contests

  • CJ and LB are at DIK, giving away a copy of each other’s forthcoming books (Mind Games (urban fantasy) by Carolyn Crane and Catch Me If You Can (m/m romantic suspense) by L. B. Gregg). Leave a comment answering their question for your chance to win. Contest closes 11:59 pm EST, February 28.

Of Things Bookish

  • It’s time to vote for the ugliest book covers in Jessewave’s Fourth Ugly Covers Competition! Please note that these covers are totally and completely NSFW and should not be perused by the easily offended. Bring your brain bleach and leave your comment about which cover you think is the ugliest before February 28. Why, yes, I did nominate the cover that has Candy Cane Guy on it. However did you guess? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Learn Stuff

Stuff That Didn’t Fit Elsewhere (Because I Didn’t Put Enough Effort into It)

  • This looks cool, but I have no idea how well it works for suggesting new music that you might like.

Meow Meow Meow Meow

Reading Update
Crazy Aunt Purl’s Home Is Where the Wine Is: Making the Most of What You’ve Got One Stitch (and Cocktail!) at a Time by Laurie Perry. Like its predecessor, Crazy Aunt Purl’s Drunk, Divorced and Covered in Cat Hair: The True-Life Misadventures of a 30-Something Who Learned to Knit After He Split, this is a book that, for all its humor and irreverence, is about personal growth. Follow along with Laurie Perry as she makes her New Year’s resolutions (#7: “Try Something New [and Not Just a New Food]”), then tries to achieve them throughout the year. This was a great read – and you definitely do not need to be a knitter to enjoy it, although there are some fun (and funny) knitting and crochet patterns at the end of the book. (I am so going to make the braided icord rug.) My favorite lines from the book are about meeting and speaking with sock knitters: “Eventually they found me and talked soothingly to me, and told me stories about how easy it was and how quick, portable, and fulfilling sock knitting could be. I’m sluttish and easy when it comes to craft cults, so it didn’t take much convincing.” *ahem* I may have said those same things to knitters who’d never tried knitting socks before. ๐Ÿ™‚ (Please note that I received this book from the publisher for review.)
When Irish Eyes Are Sparkling by Tom Collins. ebook. Very good m/m romance about a bi-curious artist with a heart of gold (whose family own the Irish Eyes pub) and a paramedic who avoids emotional entanglements. I was briefly afeared that there was going to be squicky twin action in this book and am very glad there wasn’t! My only complaint is a plot thread involving a voicemail and an attack that never went anywhere. (If it sways anyone’s opinion on the book, there are kilts. Yum.)
Brindisi Bedfellows by Jamie Craig. ebook. Enjoyable m/m romance about a guy who gets dumped by his boyfriend the night before they were supposed to leave for three weeks in Italy. While drunk, he invites his ex’s best friend along in place of the ex, and things get a bit complicated (but interesting!).
Dress To Impress by Jodi Payne. ebook. Good m/m romance about a financial adviser who meets a mysterious guy at a bar and takes him home for the night, then can’t forget him.
Sweet Treats by Stormy Glenn. ebook. So-so m/m romance about a doctor and a baker (but no candlestick maker) that was so sugary sweet I barely stayed conscious. Also, the main characters were called Nicky and Brandon, which was a problem for me. (See Cheating Chance by James Buchanan…)
Fundamental Things (OC Pride, Book 2.5) by Stephanie Vaughan. ebook short. I loved the previous two books (Jumping the Fence and Crossing the Line) in this m/m romance series, but this short didn’t do much for me.
Handle With Care by Mallory Path. ebook short. M/m romance short that left me completely “huh?” and “ooooooooooookay…”
Crimes of Passion by Mel Keegan. ebook short. Ok m/m romance about a couple dealing with difficult in-laws coming to visit.
The Guardian by Mary Calmes. ebook. This fantasy m/m romance qualifies for Kris’ m/m rut challenge! I’m trying and trying, but I fear the fantasy enjoyment channel in my brain might be permanently damaged. ๐Ÿ™ Again, as with Hero, I don’t really feel as if I can evaluate this. I loved Mary’s paranormal m/m romance (Change of Heart) and her four-part m/m romantic suspense, A Matter of Time, but this just didn’t immerse me to the same extent.
Seducing Stephen by Bonnie Dee & Summer Devon. ebook. I read this m/m historical romance for Kris’ m/m rut challenge because I tend to avoid historicals like… the Plague. *pauses for groaning to die down* But then I won it in a contest last week, which seemed like a portent of some sort. So I hunkered down and read it. (Tam, you’ll notice that although this is a whole bunch of sentences, I haven’t actually reviewed anything yet.) And… I loved it! Possibly because there weren’t all sorts of dreary historical details, true, but the authors also managed to portray the secrecy and discretion that being gay in the mid- to late-18th century demanded. Highly recommended.


“I am ignoring you and your nonsense about unobscured pictures, Mom.” -Mayhem

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‘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! ๐Ÿ˜‰


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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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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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,ย  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. ๐Ÿ™‚ (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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In which you can discover sordid details about my past if you follow the (in)correct link

Congrats to MrsPao and Cecile, who were winners in my Rain Mix contest! Donโ€™t forget to leave a comment on the other contest post before 7 pm CDT, Friday, October 16, for your chance to win a copy of Shannon K. Butcher’s new romantic suspense novel, Love You To Death!


Remember I mentioned that I hung out with CJ at Uncle Hugo’s on Saturday? Well, CJ blogged about it, too, complete with photographic evidence:

Not only does she have mad Photoshop skillz, her post is funnier than mine. Curses.

And then I discovered that what happens at Estes does not stay at Estes

Dang, Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) has an absolutely amazing list of bookish contests posted. Wow. (Plus links to interviews, new release news, and more!)

As always, Dear Author has great links to all sorts of ebook news, including to an article about upcoming ebook readers.

Eeeeek!!

Doesn’t the kitty in this moderncat contest (for an eco-friendly scratcher/lounger) look like Chaos?! (Although, according to CarrieK, this would be more his style.)

Reading Update
The Pregnancy Test by Erin McCarthy. A sweet romance about a woman, pregnant and on her own, and her boss, who has a lot of emotional baggage.
Storm Watch (Harlequin Blaze) by Jill Shalvis. I had a lot of trouble with suspension of disbelief on this one. The hero (National Guard guy) and heroine (ER nurse) spent way too much stopping to make out and have heart-to-heart talks while struggling through flood waters to rescue a woman who was nine months pregnant. Focus, people, focus! Stay alive and rescue people now, nookie later.
Damned By Blood (Faustin Brothers, Book 3) by Evie Byrne. ebook. Alas, poor Mikhail is not a happy vampire prince when his mother prophesizes that his mate is none other than the first girl he loved, who now, 30 years later, is his sworn enemy. If you like well-written, enjoyable, and hot vampire romances, I highly recommend this trilogy.
As You Are by Ethan Day. ebook. Very good m/m romance. This one totally sucked me in. I was sniffly. Definitely recommended! (No, I’m not going to tell you anything more about it, because if you know what happens, it won’t have as much impact. Really, there is a method to my madness.)
Self-Preservation by Ethan Day. ebook. Good m/m romance, but dammit, I cried. I can see that Ethan Day’s going on my “must-buy” list.
Alternative Treatment by Claire Thompson. ebook. Another good m/m romance, about a doctor and a guy doing community service because of a DUI.
Gobsmacked, Happy Ending, and Cover Me (Men of Smithfield, Books 1-3) by L. B. Gregg. More good m/m romance. If you’re brave and not at work, I highly recommend Miss Doreen and CJ’s take on the opening scene in Cover Me. (That’s a totally NSFW link, people.)
Pas de Deux by Jamie Craig. ebook. Dang, I was totally on a roll this week! Intense m/m romantic suspense about a cop and a lawyer seemingly on opposing sides of a high-profile case. Highly recommended. (Trivially, “Jamie Craig” is actually Vivien Dean and Pepper Espinoza.)
Wranglers: Discovery andย Wranglers: Voir Dire by Vivien Dean. ebooks. These are the first two parts of the three-part Wranglers story, which is an m/m romance about two adversarial lawyers. The third part will be out later this year.
What We May Be by Vivien Dean. ebook. Ok m/m romance about a former model turned fashion designer who gets involved with a guy who’d rather wear t-shirts and jeans than high fashion.
My Only Home by Pepper Espinoza. ebook. This m/m romance had enough impact on me to have me crying… So, have you figured out yet that I’m a big mushpot and that it takes very little emotional trauma in a book to set me off?! Just get me engaged with the characters enough to care…
Most Likely To Succeed and At Long Last by Shawn Lane. Hmm. This was apparently m/m lawyer romance week! Yup, two more (unrelated) lawyers in love stories.
White Flag by Thom Lane. ebook. Sweet and powerful m/m romance about a travel writer and a French vintner.
Unlikely Hero by Sean Michael. Another sweet m/m romance – this one’s about a teacher whose daughter is abducted, and the only person he can think to turn to for help is his ex.
Unholy Matrimony by Audra Beagle & Chloe West. ebook. Decent m/m romance… sometimes what happens in Vegas follows you home. Whoops.
Dreaming in Color by Cameron Dane. ebook. Very good m/m romance. For the past two years, Colin’s been having very hot and vivid dreams of a faceless man and a house with a red door. Will fate help bring them together outside of his dreams?
The One That Got Away by T. C. Blue. ebook. Lots of assumptions and miscommunication made things rocky for two roommates in this ok m/m romance. (Really, so many problems in fiction could be solved by a short conversation. Hmm. Probably in real life, too, huh?)


“ROWR!!!” -Mayhem

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