Linkity for the April Fools (feel free to interpret that however you’d like)



Congrats to Kimberly, who won Three Alarm Fire (EMS Heat #8) by Stephani HechtThree Alarm Fire is being released today by eXtasy Books.

Congrats to Kero, who won Precious Possession by Clare London!

Congrats to Lily, who won Resisting the Temptation by Valentina Heart!

Congrats to Dana A, who won Taste by Mickie B. Ashling! Taste will be released by Dreamspinner Press on April 4.



Contests

  • Knitnzu’s having her annual Snow Melt Contest! Hurry and get your guesses in by 6 pm EDT today, April 1, for your chance to win yarn, a needle case, or a $25 donation to your favorite human rights, child advocacy, or animal welfare organization.

Bookity

Ebookity

Think, Do, Make, Learn

  • So back when I was in grad school and would clean my apartment instead of writing a paper, it was because I knew the clutter was reducing my mental focus! (Um, right. I was procrastinating.)

Crafty

Cookity

Cool

Cool or Wha…?

Wha…?

LOL

  • I hope my kitties remember the hungry part before they start such a project

Teh Cute

Reading Update
Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 9) by J.R. Ward. Well. It was better than Phury’s book, covered a lot of ground at breakneck speed, didn’t have any boring chapters focused on the lessers, and ended most unexpectedly.
Shades of Gray by Brooke McKinley. ebook. Excellent m/m romantic suspense about an FBI agent who’s spent his whole life looking at things in black and white and blocking out what he doesn’t want to see or acknowledge. Things get infinitely more complicated for him when he has to keep an ex-con alive to testify against a drug kingpin.
Concubine by Jill Knowles. ebook. Very good kinky m/m fantasy romance about a prince who suddenly and most unexpectedly finds himself as a demon warlord’s concubine.
Out There in the Night (Out There, Book 1) by Laura Baumbach. ebook. Very steamy paranormal m/m romance about a doctor working in Alaska for six months who’s rescued by a very mysterious and compelling man after being seriously injured.
Horizons by Mickie B. Ashling. ebook. reread. Very good m/m romance about a deeply closeted college football player with a homophobic family who finds himself falling (despite himself) for the very out ER doctor who cares for his broken arm. That bizarre cover does such a disservice to this book!
Accidentally His by Shawn Lane. ebook. Good m/m romance about two guys who sort of meet after a bus accident during their commute.
Breaking Point by Chris Quinton. ebook short. Good short m/m romance about a guy who’s supposed to meet his ex to accompany him to a book auction but gets upset and a bit vengeful when his ex doesn’t show.
Clue Game (Breaking Point, Book 2) by Chris Quinton. ebook short. Good short m/m romance about two guys who’d really rather spend the day in bed together, but get up to help an annoying friend with her scavenger hunt clues.
Breaking Logan’s Laws (Quinn Security, Book 4) by Cameron Dane. ebook. Steamy m/m romantic suspense about Quinn Security’s newest employee, Logan, who lives by a series of rules designed to keep his heart safe. The sex and romance are completely overdone and unrealistic in the usual Cameron Dane way.
Christmas at Reynolds Hall (With or Without, Book 4.1) by J.L. Langley. free ebook short. Good short paranormal m/m romance about Matt’s first Christmas dinner away from his family in New Mexico.
Attack of the Killer Dust Bunnies (With or Without, Book 4.2) by J.L. Langley. free ebook short. Cute short paranormal m/m romance about Aubrey, Matt, and Matt’s young twin brothers.
In the Light of Day by Sasha Devlin. ebook. Good m/m romantic suspense about a straight cop who’s been struggling with his feelings for the guy he went undercover with to break up some sort of porn film ring. I kept thinking there had to be a previous book about their undercover stint, but this is the author’s first book.
Mane Attraction by Sarah Masters. ebook. Ok paranormal m/m romance about a London man who see a lion change into a man on his fire escape. Little does he know that things are going to get stranger after that… This was obviously the first book in a new series (things were left really open-ended), but I can’t say that I have any interest in reading future books.
Undercover Sins by Hayley B. James. ebook. Trainwreck. This m/m romantic suspense about an undercover cop working as a rentboy in order to get close to one of the honchos in a human trafficking ring was extremely convoluted. The plot had as many holes as loops, no one behaved consistently or believably, and I never came to care what happened to the main characters. Be warned that there’s noncon and a complete absence of lube.


“What are you doing, Mom? I hope you’re not trying to sneak that tiara onto my head!” -Mayhem

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Kitty toes and linkity

Congrats to Kathy K, who won the copy of LB Gregg’s Catch Me If You Can (Romano & Albright, Book 1)! (Don’t forget about LB’s review contest, which runs through March 16.)


Contests

Books & Reading & Readers, Oh My!

Learn Things

Things That Didn’t Fit Elsewhere

LOL

Reading Update
The Larton Chronicles by James Anson. I heard about this delightful m/m romance when Josh Lanyon mentioned on his blog that it was one of his comfort reads. The book is about Robert, ex-policeman and mystery author who moves to the obscure village of Larton, and Michael, the horse-mad and out of control village “squire”. Written in a fabulously understated style that seems quite British indeed to me (Jenre and EH will have to confirm or deny this for me), the book chronicles the ups and downs of building a life together. (Also, all sex occurs entirely offsides and is only referred to in the most discrete terms.) I’d definitely recommend picking this up directly from the publisher and not from Amazon – the price difference is quite significant. Recommended.
The Dark Farewell by Josh Lanyon. ebook. As previously mentioned, I won this historical m/m romance over at Jessewave’s. This was an extremely well-done story about a reporter from NYC in central Illinois to follow up on a union-related massacre when he becomes intrigued by a medium who is staying at the same boarding house. From Josh’s comments on Jenre’s review of this ebook, I was sort of prepared for the abrupt ending to the story, which is modeled on ghost stories from the period (early 1920s), but I found myself really wanting to know more about these characters! Recommended.
No Souvenirs (Florida Series, Book 3) by K.A. Mitchell. ebook. Very good, steamy, and intense m/m romance about that mysterious ER doctor we met in previous books. Hard to go wrong with K.A. Mitchell! Recommended.
Custom Ride by K.A. Mitchell. ebook. Good m/m romance about a guy who has an anonymous encounter with a mysterious stranger at Pride (in Minneapolis!), then keeps encountering the guy again back home in St. Cloud.
Scared Stiff by Laura Baumbach, William Maltese, Josh Lanyon, & Sarah Black. ebook collection. This was a good m/m paranormal romance collection overall, although each story had its foibles. Baumbach’s was unfortunately plagued by egregious editing errors such as misused words, missing words, and randomly introduced names. (Wait, I thought that Eli and Mason were in bed together. Where did this “Josh” come from?!???) Black’s story suffered somewhat from the main characters overusing each other’s names in conversation, so their conversations seemed stilted. (Handily, author Patti O’Shea just posted about this very problem.) Lanyon’s story was very good, with just a condom use issue. I skipped Maltese’s story because I’m not a big fan of his style, plus it was fantasy.
Primal Passions (Lost Shifters, Book 1) by Stephani Hecht. ebook. Enjoyable paranormal m/m romance about a paramedic who suddenly discovers that the world is much weirder than he knew when he’s imprisoned by thugs and rescued by a feline shapeshifter.
Fire and Ice by A.J. Llewellyn & Stephani Hecht. ebook. I definitely like Stephani Hecht’s work on her own better. This m/m romance about a former boxer and a hockey goalie was all over the place, with instalove and bits of story that didn’t fit very well.
Garron’s Gift and Rawley’s Redemption (Good-Time Boys, Books 2-3) by Carol Lynne. ebooks. Ok m/m romances being the continuing story of the Good brothers, their guys, and dangerous homophobes in their small Nebraska town. It appears that this series, like Campus Cravings, also intersects with the Cattle Valley series. Apparently Cattle Valley is like the Borg…
Now and Forever by Addison Albright. ebook short. Sweet m/m romance short about a couple planning their wedding reception, during the all-too-brief time gay marriage was legal in California.
Moving On and Moving Along by Addison Albright. ebook shorts. These are sweet m/m romance shorts about a guy trying to move on after his lover was killed in a car accident a year ago.
Aidan and Ethan (Seeking Redemption, Book 1) by Cameron Dane. ebook. Angsty m/m romance about a guy who vanishes without a word after planning a life together with his best friend, then reappears over a decade later. I started out feeling as if the entire premise of the story was extremely flimsy, but that was actually addressed a bit later. (Also, not so good with the condom thing in this book.)
Private Dicks by Katie Allen. ebook. This m/m romantic suspense was a reread – it’s one of my comfort reads. Obviously I think it’s a good book! :) And you’ll have a chance to win a copy of the sequel in the not-too-distant future…


“Mom, do I really want to know why you’re taking a picture of my back toes?” -Chaos

If you commented on this post before 7:30 am CST, March 11, your comment has vanished. Sorry! My fault entirely.

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“Once in a very blue moon…”

Tonight – a very rare and special, once in 20 years blue moon! Looks like we’ll have cloudy skies here in Minneapolis, but maybe you will be luckier… Happy New Year!

Don’t forget to leave a comment on the contest post by 7 pm CST, January 6 for your chance to win a copy of Wren Boudreau’s new m/m romantic suspense, Ice Cream on the Side!

Janna’s giving away an ebook copy of Bronwyn Green’s steamy romance, Cuffed and Dangerous – leave a comment by midnight, January 7, for your chance to win.

Don’t forget to stop by Sweet Vernal Zephyr for her near daily updates on new book contests.

Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) shows us that it’s a big week for urban fantasy and paranormal romance releases. And SciFiGuy covers both in his weekend update, along with all sorts of other fun things. Don’t miss his overview of the January paranormal, urban fantasy, and scifi releases, either.

This is a great time of year to get reading ideas as people post their favorite books of 2009 lists. I’m sure we’ll see many more of these over the next few weeks. I might even put one together.

Keira’s got some great book links over at Love Romance Passion. So does Dear Author, including a link to free ebooks at All Romance eBooks.

Certain ebook readers make it very easy to track your reading habits – how much does your reading privacy matter to you?

Shrink Pic looks like a really useful Windows program to resize pictures on the fly.

HP ink costs more than blood?! This graph makes oil look like quite the bargain, doesn’t it?

How did I not know that the magnetic north pole now is shifting nearly 37 miles a year?!

Gizmodo has another handy flowchart of inappropriate times to use your smartphone. Plus a little Snuggie humour

Unsurprisingly, one of these calendars is on its way to me right now.

Evidence continues to mount that Chaos isn’t simply a minion, but is actually Basement Cat.

Those wacky engineers are at it again – this time they’re playing laser tag with cats.

I think we all need an antivirus kitten, don’t you?

Cute burn warning! (I know you’ll all click anyway…)

Reading Update
Deep Kiss of Winter by Kresley Cole and Gena Showalter. Kresley Cole’s story is part of her Immortals After Dark series, featuring vampire Murdoch Wroth and Ice Queen (literally) Danii. Since this story ties up all sorts of open storylines, it’s a must read if you follow IAD. This was also my favorite of the two stories. Gena Showalter’s story is part of her Alien Huntress story, and it too ties up some open storylines. While it was pretty good, I didn’t feel as invested in this one.
Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy. ebook. Excellent and highly recommended m/m romance about an Aussie Rules football player, a film festival director, and the complexities of getting involved with someone famous and closeted. If you’ve put off reading m/m romance because you’ve heard it’s all sex, sex, sex, Tigers and Devils would be a very good introduction to the genre – it’s touching and heartfelt: at times I was laughing out loud; at times I was sniffling. I did have some trouble with the Aussie phrases – famed Aussie m/m blogger Kris (and nearly neighbor of Sean Kennedy) directed me to several sites that helped with the lingo barrier.
Thaw and The Stroke of Midnight by Jordan Castillo Price. free ebook shorts. Two sweet holiday PsyCop shorts – one from Vic’s perspective, the other from Jacob’s.
Patient Eyes by Andy Eisenberg. ebook. Good m/m romance about a college freshman who is nearly starving until one of his housemates gets him involved in gay-for-pay pr0n. While I really liked the first 2/3 of this book (I figured I’d be gushing about it without reserve here), I found the last 1/3 disappointing – several critical scenes were skipped, then glossed over in brief flashbacks. There also was a sort of extraneous plot element (hello, stray stalker) that just didn’t feel fully integrated into the story.
Unrequited by Abigail Roux. ebook. Ok m/m romance about multiple unrequited love situations.
Caught Running by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux. ebook. Very good m/m romance about the star high school jock and the nerd, now back and teaching at that same high school ten years later.
Cut and Run by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux. ebook. This m/m romantic suspense about two wildly different FBI agents had a lot of potential, but it just didn’t quite work because it dragged on. Since I know that Urban and Roux can write some great stuff together, it was particularly disappointing.
Pyromancer by Amanda Young. ebook. After mentioning that Young’s m/m books haven’t seemed to really grab me, Tam convinced me to try Pyromancer, which is about a man who can control fire, but only to a certain extent. He can also be incredibly dangerous to the people around him. While I did like this more than the non-paranormals, I ultimately didn’t get completely drawn into this one either.
Burn Card by Laura Baumbach. ebook. So so m/m romance about a crime scene investigator and a guy who owns a security company. I did wonder whether this was part of a series… but not enough to go figure it out.
Seducing Light by K. C. Kendricks. ebook. Ok m/m romance – the title touches on one character being a photographer and the other a famous actor whose last name is Light. The next two books are also by Kendricks – I’ve concluded that while I may find the storylines intriguing, the excessively gushing language always ends up putting me off.
Tango in the Night by K. C. Kendricks. ebook. Another ok m/m romance, this time about two law enforcement agents, one of whom was seriously injured a year ago when his life partner was killed taking a bullet meant for him.
Taming Triton (Southern Cross Resort, Book 1) by K. C. Kendricks. ebook. Again, an ok m/m romance about a guy who’s always suspected that he’s bisexual, but has never acted on his attraction to men until he takes a vacation at the Southern Cross Resort.
Grey’s Awakening by Cameron Dane. ebook. Steamy m/m romance about a high-powered businessman who’s always kept his emotions in tight check. Will that change when he meets a sexy truck driver/artist while taking a vacation?
Time After Time, Liar, and Date Night by Jane Seville. free ebook shorts. These all take place after Zero at the Bone and provide some insight into life after the epilogue.
Tom or an Improbably Tail by Ruth Sims. free ebook short. This was a very cute m/m paranormal romance about a stray cat who isn’t always a cat…


“Ok, deep thoughts are boring. I wonder how this bag will taste?” -Mayhem

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TGIF… oh, wait, it isn’t Friday yet… *sigh*

Tell authors Diana Holquist and Julie James who you think People will pick as the sexiest man of 2009 and if you’re correct, you have the chance to win a copy of Holquist’s book The Sexiest Man Alive or James’ book Just the Sexiest Man Alive. Contest closes 10 pm CST, November 15, or before if People announces their pick early.

Don’t forget that J. Kaye always has at least a dozen bookish giveaways going!

Head over to Vampire Wire by November 22 for your chance to win a copy of Molly Harper’s Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men.

Author Heather Long is giving away $10 Amazon gift certificate over at Fantasy Dreamer. Enter by 8 pm CST, November 23, for your chance to win.

You could go to Moderncat for your chance to win kitty toys made from old sweaters and socks (drawing on November 17)… or you could go and look at the pictures and probably make your own. Moderncat’s also holding a contest for a cat toilet training kit… *blink blink*

The usual thorough weekend updates on urban fantasy and paranormal romance from SciFiGuy and Literary Escapism. Don’t miss Donna’s weekly news and contest post, either.

Smexy Books highlights some very steamy forthcoming books.

Dear Author links to a few of this month’s ebook specials.

Remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books? They look pretty cool as data sets for visualization.

If you’re NaNoWriMoing, I hope you’re reading author Lynn Viehl’s blog, Paperback Writer. She offers up tips, encouragement, and humor, all of which you probably need about now.

Hey, that sure looks like a handknitted hat! Of course, May would want it pink, furry, and sparkly.

This is exactly what would happen if I knit a kitty bed for Chaos and Mayhem.

Don’t these gf pumpkin pie bars look yummy? I wonder if I could make them dairy-free…

Margene alerted me to a holiday I missed – Chaos Never Dies Day, which was November 9. Thanks, Margene!

Reading Update
How To Score by Robin Wells. This was a light-hearted and fun contemporary romance that I think would score respectably on the CursingMama book readability scale (and since I just invented it, I’m sure CursingMama is as puzzled as y’all as to what that might be). I keep trying to summarize the plot and failing. The best I can do is tell you that this book involves an FBI agent pretending to be his life coach brother, a hitman on the loose, a woman who keeps injuring the guys she dates, a dog who will go to great lengths to devour leather, and art deco houses.
Paul’s Dream by Rowan McBride. ebook. Lawyer Paul doesn’t know that the puzzles he solves in his dreams are real, until incubus Kian shows up to thank Paul for rescuing Kian while he was dreaming. Decent, not great paranormal m/m romance.
Partners in Crime (Cards on the Table & Murder at the Heartbreak Hotel) by Josh Lanyon & Sarah Black. ebook. Two excellent stories of m/m romantic suspense.
Portrait of a Kiss by T.D. McKinney and Terry Wylis. ebook. Good paranormal m/m romance that had me sniffling a bit near the end. A cop inherits an old Southern house haunted by the ghost of a man believed to have murdered a pair of young lovers 50 years before. A very handsome and irresistible ghost…
A Bit of Rough and Roughhousing by Laura Baumbach. ebooks. Very steamy, yet romantic m/m romances about an architect and a guy who works in construction. Definitely worth reading.
Sympathy by Jordan Castillo Price. ebook. Sweet and well done m/m romance that wasn’t paranormal, which is unusual for Price.
Jumping the Fence and Crossing the Line (OC Pride, Books 1-2) by Stephanie Vaughan. ebooks. Two good m/m romances from Vaughan about figuring out who you really are and what you need to be happy.
IM by Rick R. Reed. ebook. Usually I avoid serial killer books, but I think I sort of blocked out the serial killer bit when I picked this one up. Since the tagline is “Instant Message… or Instant Murder?” I think I really had to work on blocking it out. ;) Anyway, this was a solid m/m romantic suspense offering from Reed that had me on edge to the very end.
Car Wash by Shawn Lane. ebook. Ok m/m romance about Kevin, who’s working at a car wash after getting laid off from his office job. I must admit that I got a bit frustrated at Kevin not standing up for himself.
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell by Cassie Stevens. ebook. Good m/m romance about finally taking control of your own life.


“Neener neener neener – I have my own holiday and you don’t! Ha!” -Chaos

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Halloween Linkity Horror Show! Eeeeeek!!

Vampire Wire’s giving away a copy of Bound to Shadows, the ninth Riley Jenson paranormal by Keri Arthur – that contest closes the evening of October 29. Anna also has a copy to give away – her winner will be announced October 31. Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) is giving away a copy, too – that contest closes 10 pm CST, November 1.

Largehearted Boy’s giving away a copy of Kids Go!, which is a book and DVD put out by They Might Be Giants. Winner will be announced midnight CDT, October 30.

Cecile’s curious whether you prefer bad boys or knights in shining armor. Let her know by October 30 for your chance to win a DVD of Supernatural.

Author Julie James is giving away a copy of Nalini Singh’s Slave to Sensation (Psy-Changelings, Book 1) and Colleen Gleason’s The Rest Falls Away to someone who comments before 10 pm CST, October 30.

For an assortment of fun prizes from Linda Wisdom related to her Hex series, stop by Night Owl Romance before October 30.

Book Junkie’s giving away a copy of the cookbook Chocolate, a Love Story. Contest closes 11:30 pm EST, October 30.

Sara at Urban Fantasy Reader is giving away a copy of Ann Aguirre’s great urban fantasy, Blue Diablo. Contest closes midnight EST, November 2.

*blink blink* Ok, there’s an entire book of kitty wigs, called Glamourpuss. Moderncat’s giving away a copy on November 3 – stop and leave a comment before then if you’re interested. Or you can just go look at the kitty sweater costumes

Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) is splitting her weekly news into new releases on Tuesday and contests/interviews/etc on Wednesday. SciFiGuy.ca posted another great news/interview/contest roundup over the weekend.


This is a dangerous week for kitties, especially for black kitties. Moderncat has some Halloween kitty safety tips.

Zombie kitteh!

Basement Cat knows what scares you

Aren’t these kitty jack-o-lanterns cool?

Dear Author thinks this is a good time to buy an ereader; TeleRead disagrees. (Don’t forget that there are other readers besides the Sony, the Kindle, and the Nook out there!)

Dear Author brings up an important point that has been very neglected in the world of ebooks: readers have rights under copyright law, too.

An interesting post on book piracy from the MLR Press authors’ blog. Remember that not all pirated books are pirated from authorized ebook editions – in France, 95% of pirated ebooks were not from authorized editions (so were from scans, etc).

Completely drool worthy cover here…

Amy of A Closer Look at Flyover Land visited Uncle Hugo’s and Uncle Edgar’s last week and took some great pictures of the interior.

Jackie at Literary Escapism desperately needs submissions for the Urban Fantasy stop of the Bookworms Carnival before October 29.

Reading Update
Knit the Season (Friday Night Knitting Club, Book 3) by Kate Jacobs. Review copy from publisher. So, um, I didn’t actually read more than 1.5 chapters before I realized that I had pretty much mentally finished with these characters after the second book. It happens. But! If you didn’t feel that way, Knit the Season will be out November 3. Oh yeah, among the recipes at the back, there’s one for gluten-free pumpkin muffins. :)
Becoming Us by Anah Crow and Dianne Fox. ebook. Wow. This m/m romance really took me by surprise. Very steamy, yet sweet, too, it’s the story of two guys in college – one out, one whose family with disown him if they found out he has a boyfriend. The only thing I didn’t like is that it felt like the book was building toward a big emotional crisis that never materialized. Weirdly, that was disappointing.
The Happy Onion by Ally Blue. ebook. I must confess that I avoided this good m/m romance for quite a while because I hated the name. The Happy Onion is a bar and vegan restaurant owned by one of the main characters.
Love, Like Ghosts (Bay City Paranormal Investigations) by Ally Blue. ebook. Very good m/m romance that takes place ten years after the events in An Inner Darkness. Bo and Sam’s son Adrian is at college, but remains distanced from those around him as he works to control his telekinesis.
Life or Something Scary Like That by T.C. Blue. ebook. Good m/m romance that totally sucked me in – enough so that I left a comment for the author asking whether there was going to be another book featuring one of the characters. (Hopefully, but not yet.)
The One That Was Lost by T.C. Blue. ebook. Decent m/m romance that takes place during and after The One That Got Away.
Mexican Heat (Crimes & Cocktails, Book 1) by Laura Baumbach and Josh Lanyon. ebook. Intense m/m romantic supsense – I thought I had it figured out, and I did, but only to a point. Recommended. Looking forward to a sequel!
Snowball in Hell by Josh Lanyon. ebook. Historical mystery and m/m romance. This very well done mystery was set in Los Angeles during World War II, when being outed could lead to being imprisoned or being committed. As CJ and I have both wondered, why the heck isn’t Josh Lanyon more widely known and available in my public library system?
VGL Male Seeks Same and NEG UB2 by Rick R. Reed. ebooks. Good m/m romances about a lonely guy in his forties who, in the first book, tries online dating, and in the second book, begins to blog. These definitely had a bit more substance than many m/m romances that I’ve read.
Cheating Chance and Inland Empire (Taking the Odds, Books 1-2) by James Buchanan. ebooks. Very good m/m romantic suspense about a closeted cop and a not closeted agent of the Nevada Gaming Commission who meet at a goth convention and then become entangled on a case. Highly recommended – I’m definitely looking forward to the third book, which isn’t out yet.


Basement Cat has his eye on you and he knows if you’ve been nice or naughty…” -Chaos, acting as Basement Cat’s agent…

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