In which Mayhem taunts all of you and I include a few links

Contests

  • 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

  • Nicole found some great links – make sure you follow the one to Librarysarie’s post about her new favorite Dewey number.

Learn & Do

Things I Found Amusing

Cute!

Reading Update
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

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Lost in the linkity again

Congrats to Orannia, who won the copy of Freeze Frame (Faerily Imperfect, Book3) by Mia!

Many thanks to Kris, as I was one of the winners in the Kris’n’Good Books m/m rut challenge!


Contests

  • Author Laurie R. King wants to know what your fantasy library would be like. If you let her know by April 9 and she falls in love with your library, you’ll win two pieces of literary art, plus she’ll send a box of her books to the public library of your choosing.
  • Leave a comment for author Julia Rachel Barrett in which you pitch a romance novel in 500 words or less. (Please note that this contest does not commit you to actually writing said romance novel!) Ten winners will receive a signed copy of The Cougar Book steamy short story collection, two winners will receive ebooks of Beauty and the Feast, two winners will receive ebooks of My Everything, and one winner will receive a raincheck for Daughters of Persephone (Books 1-4). Contest runs through April 21.

Reading and Beyond

  • “Hey, Chris, how come you aren’t posting all about that exciting new iPad gizmo?!” Well, two main reasons. First, I’m not an Apple fangirl. Yup, they’ve come up with some cool new stuff, but anything that’s going to force me to use iTunes (which I hate with a hatey sort of hate) isn’t going to appeal to me. Second, I think this we’re at a point of big change for ereaders. Maybe the iPad will change everything. Maybe it won’t. But as Gizmodo notes, there are more contenders out there than just the iPad.
  • CursingMama found a wonderfully thoughtful and eloquent post on simply blogging for blogging’s sake.

Learn and Make Stuff

Things That Amused Me (or Made Me Go “Huh?”)

Teh Cute

Reading Update
Duty and Devotion by Tere Michaels. ebook. Very good m/m romance primarily about the guys from Faith and Fidelity and how their relationship and lives develop. Recommended, but you must read both Faith and Fidelity and Love and Loyalty first. That shouldn’t be a hardship. 🙂
Downtime by Tamara Allen. ebook. Excellent time travel m/m romantic suspense about an FBI agent from the present who ends up back in 1888 London. I don’t want to say anything more about it (besides my getting rather tearful at one point), except that, yes, it was rather historical. And I don’t read historicals. I guess I’m mellowing!
Freeze Frame (Faerily Imperfect, Book 3) by Mia Watts. ebook. Fun’n’steamy paranormal m/m romance about a half-faery PI whose unpredictable ability to freeze time might be more hindrance than help as he becomes involved with a guy he’s supposed to be following. Hijinks ensue. 🙂
Can’t Hurry Love by M. Jules Aedin. ebook. Another fun paranormal m/m romance, this time about a guy who, as his probation from the Easter Bunny Department, is assigned to help a guy in the Cupid Department who isn’t meeting his quotas or completing his paperwork.
Windows in Time by M. Jules Aedin. ebook. Very well done m/m romantic suspense/ghost story about a writer, convalescing in his apartment after breaking his leg, who sees a guy in the apartment across from his do a striptease… and then dissipate.
All the Things You Are by M. Jules Aedin. ebook. Sweet (but not too sweet!) m/m romance about a guy who’s just finished college and moved to San Francisco from Alabama. He’d been hoping to play pro football, but a knee injury ended that possibility; instead, he plans to explore life uncloseted, which he wouldn’t have been able to do as pro football player.
Simple Men by Eric Arvin. ebook. Decent m/m romance about a straight college football coach who finds himself inexplicably attracted to the new college chaplain. There’s another storyline about two of the football players who are best friends and roommates.
Drawing Closer by Jane Davitt. ebook. Good m/m romance about a professor who tries to resist a slightly younger painter because he doesn’t believe the painter could be attracted to a D/s lifestyle. (I find this cover very disturbing, because it looks like the guy lying down is missing the lower half of his body.)
Pineapples & Chocolate by E.M. Lynley. free ebook short. Nicely done m/m short story (and free!) about a guy out grocery shopping, hoping to score.
Last Chance by Viki Lyn. ebook. This m/m paranormal romance really drew me in and I’m glad I didn’t start reading it right before bed, because I might have stayed up too late. A sexy science major is desperately trying to find a cure for his encroaching vampirism, so he certainly doesn’t need the distraction of a straight football player as his time runs out… or does he?
Hearts Afire: January by Bonnie Dee & T. A. Chase. ebook collection. I enjoyed Bonnie Dee’s paranormal m/m romance about a guy who inadvertently starts fires when he gets stressed, excited, etc. Will the sexy firefighter he meets believe him, or think he’s an arsonist? T. A. Chase’s m/m romance about a firefighter, an architect scarred by fire, and an arsonist stalker was ok… but, oh, am I ever sick of stalker stories…
Hearts Afire: April by Emery Sanborne & Jamie Craig. ebook collection. I thought that both of the m/m romances in this collection were very good. In Emery Sanborne’s, two firefighters in the same station don’t fight their mutual attraction very much, but things are complicated by them being just about the worst communicators ever. (Possibly worse than me! Impressive, that.) In the Jamie Craig story, a guy who was blinded in a car wreck looks up the firefighter who talked him through the rescue…
The Messenger by Adrianna Dane. ebook. Ok m/m holiday romance with some slightly squicky voyeurism and another darn stalker! Ack! Please. No more stalkers! (Also, I’d figured out what the big reveal was going to be by the time I’d read half of the story…)
Timeless by Patric Michael. ebook reread. Good m/m romance about two guys, one straight, one gay, who become friends in high school and stay friends, helping each other through the ups and downs of their lives and loves.
Reckless by Rick R. Reed. ebook short. Good, albeit disconcerting, short m/m story about a guy accused of passing HIV on to a one-night stand.
Moving Day by Jaime Samms. ebook. Nicely done m/m romance about a guy afraid to take a chance on love, and his best friend, who has loved over and over and watched too many of those loves die.
Apron Strings by Jaime Samms. ebook short. Well done m/m romance short about two guys in a relationship that’s gone a little stale over time.
The Best Man by Jenna Jones. ebook short. Hmm. Another well done m/m romance short about two guys in a long-term relationship that’s gone a little stale over time.
Wild Lickins by Amber Skyze. ebook. Between the title and the author name, I should’ve been warned, eh? Meh m/m romance about a guy who goes to a gay resort in an attempt to get over his attraction to his business partner, with whom he owns the ice cream shop Wild Lickins. It wasn’t too bad at first, but after some rather twisted duplicity was revealed, I was over the story. And it got worse as the dialogue deteriorated.


*sigh* “Always with the ear cleaning, big kitty…” -Mayhem

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Linkity from the land of ice and snow

Contests: Reading

  • Have you heard about the League of Reluctant Adults’ Reading Challenge and Contest? Why not?!

Contests: Knitting

  • JessaLu will give away some of her handspun yarn to one lucky person who completes a short form to help her husband’s car club get some additional funding. The form must be completed by January 31.

Reading News & Bits

Knitting

Fun & Games

  • Many thanks to Marta Acosta, who put together an Amazon playlist of my Vampire Mix in her sidebar! Please note that the playlist is of Amazon’s song samples, which are about 30 seconds each.

Black Kitties Running Amok

Reading Update
Faith and Fidelity by Tere Michaels. ebook. Good grief. You’d think, since I was rereading this excellent m/m romance, that I wouldn’t cry. You would be so, so wrong.
Love and Loyalty by Tere Michaels. ebook. Another reread. Tere Michaels can write a darn good m/m romance, even if this one didn’t have as much impact on me as Faith and Fidelity (i.e., I didn’t cry).
Catnip Crazy (Cat House, Book 2) by Julia Talbot. ebook short. Not Talbot’s best, but sort of a cute (if a bit silly) m/m paranormal.
Jumping into Things (Thatcher Brothers, Book 1) by Julia Talbot. ebook. This book actually contains two pretty good m/m romances. The first is about pilot Jed Thatcher who falls for a prickly fire jumper. The second is about Army Airborne instructor Ross Thatcher, who hasn’t ever been attracted to another guy before.
Open Sesame (A Not Quite Wicked Tale) by Mia Watts. ebook short. Fun and very steamy m/m romance based on Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves, updated with insider trading and many fewer thieves.
A Wolf in Men’s Clothing (A Not Quite Wicked Tale) by Dakota Rebel. ebook short. Very enjoyable m/m paranormal romance based on Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf, with Red now being a guy in a red hoodie and the Wolf now being a werewolf.
One of Those Days by Zathyn Priest. free ebook short. Nicely done short m/m romance about a chiropractor who discovers the jock who bullied him in high school is his next patient.
Entanglements by Fae Sutherland and Marguerite Labbe. ebook. Decent m/m romance about whether it’s worth risking everything to maybe have it all.
With This Ring (Tabloid Star, Book 1.5) by T. A. Chase. ebook short. Ok m/m romance about the guys from Tabloid Star tying the knot. I fear it exceeded my syrupy sugary quotient…
Leftovers by Treva Harte. ebook. Good m/m romance about two guys who only see each other once a year, at Thanksgiving. After eight years, that isn’t enough for either of them anymore.
Loving the Rain by Drew Zachary. ebook short. Decent m/m romance (set in Ottawa) about an environmentalist and an artist who uses recycled materials who meet while they’re waiting out a cloudburst in a coffee shop.
The Painted House by Drew Zachary. ebook. Nice, non-angsty m/m romance about a location scout who meets an artist while looking for a location in Nova Scotia.
Once Upon a Veterinarian by Drew Zachary. ebook. A cop and a veterinarian meet when the cop starts investigating a string of pet poisonings in this m/m romance.
Summer Fever by Catt Ford. ebook. Pretty good m/m romance about a guy staying at a lake cabin and the cop he asked for directions on the way there.
Feeding Dragons by Misa Izanaki. ebook short. Ok m/m paranormal romance about a dragon shapeshifter who takes a liking to a young Japanese cook. (For those of you who really enjoy descriptions of food in your reading, this might be of particular interest.)
In the Heat of the Moment by Kim Dare. ebook. Steamy and kinky m/m tale in which a dominant works to convince a submissive that there’s nothing shameful in being submissive.
All’s Fair in Love and Advertising by Lenore Black. ebook. I really enjoyed this m/m romance about a hyper advertising exec who knows better than to get involved with a prospective client… usually.
Broomsticks and Stones by Jane Davitt. ebook short. Cute paranormal m/m romance short about two wizards.
Change of Heart by Kiernan Kelly. So-so paranormal m/m romance about a vet (who’s a werewolf) who hasn’t been doing a very good job getting over his evil ex.
Feeling Safe by Sonja Spencer. ebook. A cop rescues a guy from an in-progress burglary, then takes the guy home. My biggest complaint was the sometimes dizzying point-of-view changes – every paragraph for a while… including the cat.


“I think that more books should include the cat’s point of view. That’s what everyone’s interested in anyway.” -Chaos

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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. 😮
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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