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Due to the US holiday, there won’t be a Misadventure on Monday!



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Reading Update
The Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger. Very good epistolary historical fiction about a 12-year old Jewish boy living in Brooklyn in 1940 who starts corresponding with the New York Giants third baseman, beginning a life-changing friendship for both of them. This was touching and funny and had me in tears at the end.
Gambling Men: The Novel by Amy Lane. ebook. Very good m/m romance about two guys who’ve been best friends and business partners since college, but suddenly up the ante to maybe being much more. I really enjoyed this… other than the pervasive sense of dread that things were going to become an angstfest at any minute. Fortunately, that didn’t happen.
Divide & Conquer (Cut & Run #4) by Abigail Roux & Madeleine Urban. ebook. Very good m/m romantic suspense in which Ty and Zane are kept continually off balance, by each other and by a series of bombings and bank robberies. I am very, very glad that I’d heard this was something of a cliffhanger and waited to read it until the next book was available.
Armed & Dangerous (Cut & Run #5) by Abigail Roux. ebook. Very good m/m romantic suspense in which Ty and Zane are sent to bring in Julian Cross (from Warrior’s Cross) for an old home week sort of read that ties things up well enough to end the series… but doesn’t.
Switch (True Colors #4) by Clare London. ebook short. arc. Very good steamy short m/m romance in which Zeke and Miles reconnect after Miles being out of town, returning just in time for Zeke’s gallery show.
Bomber’s Moon (Under the Hill #1) by Alex Beecroft. ebook. Very good paranormal m/m romance about a guy who contacts a paranormal investigator after an unsettling encounter with the Fae. This ends on a cliffhanger, so make sure you have the second book handy!
Dogfighters (Under the Hill #2) by Alex Beecroft. ebook. Good paranormal m/m romance that pulls together the threads from the first book for a dramatic, bittersweet finale. (There are three MCs, but only two end up together.) I think this book should’ve been part of the first book – and maybe it was at one point. There were also a few parts that felt as if they muddled rather than advanced the plot.
Learning the Ropes (Sex Sells #3) by Kim Dare. ebook. Good kinky m/m romance about an ad agency employee who’s assigned to put together an advertising campaign for a leather club owned by one of the agency’s partners. Although the employee isn’t into bdsm, he offers to do a scene so he has a better idea what the club is about.
Queen’s Man by KD Sarge. ebook. Good m/m scifi romance about Joss, a bodyguard who sees his one-night stand gunned down, then saves the guy’s daughter and spends the rest of the book protecting her, his boss, and his “stalker”. While it was a fun read, I couldn’t relate to Joss’ over-the-top perfection.
Event Horizon (Theo Bourne #2) by Evelyn Shepherd. ebook. Good paranormal m/m romance in which Detective Theo Bourne and his partner (in every sense of the word) Carlos Ramirez have to face both a mysterious mystical monster and Theo’s attraction to someone else.
Diva and the Frat Boy (Men of Holsum College #2) by Daisy Harris. ebook. Pretty good m/m romance about the rather serious president of a gay fraternity who finds himself unexpectedly attracted to a very flamboyant junior. While this story touched on issues like prejudice within the gay community, there wasn’t any real follow through. I also never got a sense of emotional connection between the main characters.
The City of Counts by Keira Andrews. ebook short. Short m/m paranormal about a tax accountant who meets a sexy guy while waiting at the DMV, then goes out with him. This felt more like a tease for a longer story than a complete story. :(
After the Fall (The Right Choice #1) by Talia Carmichael. ebook short. Ok short m/m romance about a bookstore owner who just wants to have sex with the contractor renovating his store, not start a relationship. But the contractor has other plans…
The Wolfing Way (Lifting the Veil #1) by Susan Laine. ebook. Ok paranormal m/m romance about a guy about to graduate from college who discovers he’s the fated mate of a werewolf and is afraid that all his choices are about to being taken away. As others have noted, this started promisingly, but deteriorated into near-purple prose and cliches.


Stylized May is stylized! :) (Embiggen for best effect.)

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In which we have linkity and no one is surprised at all



Congrats to Lora G, who won Smart Ass: Close Quarters from LB Gregg!

Congrats to Marie, who won the Uniform Appeal anthology, courtesy of Dreamspinner Press! Uniform Appeal will be released on April 11.



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Randonymity

  • Long ago (in the mid-1990s), I lived with a guy who made videos for local bands. I have a very, very tiny cameo in one of them: I’m at 44 seconds in the video for “Smile” by Arcwelder. Check out my long, spiral-permed hair (complete with crazy white streak from the sun) and my Lennonesque glasses. :)

LOL

Teh Cute

Reading Update
Taste (Horizons #2) by Mickie B. Ashing. ebook. Very good m/m romance about a San Francisco architect visiting friends (Jody and Clark from Horizons) when he meets a cute tattooed guy working at Taste of Chicago.
Mandarin Orange: Sweet and Sour by T.C. Blue. ebook. Good m/m romance about a guy who eventually realizes he might not be as straight as he’d always believed after he meets the guy who will be living in the apartment downstairs.
Three Alarm Fire (EMS Heat #8) by Stephani Hecht. ebook. Sweet m/m romance about an EMT who was in an abusive relationship a few years ago and since then has been afraid to let anyone that close to him.
Wrong Number, Right Guy (Celebrity #1) by Mia Watts. ebook. Cute m/m romance about a guy who misdials and doesn’t realize that he’s talking to a closeted movie star in town for a film shoot.
Getting Off the Ground (Postcards from Paradise #1) by L.A. Witt. ebook. Good m/m romance about a guy who was left at the altar by his live-in boyfriend of six years. He decides to use one of the honeymoon tickets to go to Hawaii by himself and meets a very intriguing man in the airport when their flight is delayed. Please note that this is just the first part of the story – the second part will be released in a few weeks.
Anything in a Skirt (Gay Until Graduation #2) by Kim Dare. ebook short. free. Very good short kinky m/m romance following up on the two guys from Gay Until Graduation (G-A-Y #3). (I took that photograph at Twin Cities Pride 2010!)
Handcuffs & Ball Gags (Rawlings Men #6) by Kim Dare. ebook short. Good kinky short m/m romance about a police constable who gets upset when his flatmate attends a potentially dangerous environmental rally, which leads to a most interesting discussion…
Cut & Run (Book 1) by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux. ebook. reread. Good m/m romantic suspense about two wildly different FBI agents who are tossed together to try to catch a serial killer. I think this would’ve been a better read if it had been tightened up – parts of it seemed to drag.
Sticks & Stones (Cut & Run #2) by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux. ebook. Very good m/m romantic suspense two FBI agents who can’t go back out in the field until they pass their psych evals, so their boss sends them on vacation to relax for a few weeks… Usually Urban & Roux’s headhopping doesn’t particularly bother me, but it did a few times in this book.
Fish & Chips (Cut & Run #3) by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux. ebook. Excellent m/m romantic suspense in which our two FBI agents are sent on a cruise to impersonate a high rolling couple. As usual, nothing much goes as planned.


“Put the computer down and feed me now and no one gets hurt… much.” -Chaos

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Let linkity leech away your life!

Congrats to Kaetrin, who won Priority One by Stephani Hecht! Priority One will be released on August 1 by eXtasy Books.


So, last Saturday evening CJ (aka urban fantasy author Carolyn Crane) and I sat down in my living room with some gluten-free beers, our laptops, and Google Docs to polish up a (hopefully) humorous post with a paranormal romance theme. Thanks to CJ’s tireless efforts, our post has been published at Tor.com. Stop by and check it out if you get a chance!


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Bookity

Ebookity

  • Confused about all the different varieties of epub? This primer might help.
  • If you’d like to digitize your print books and aren’t in a hurry to do so, here’s a setup you can put together yourself.

Learn, Make, Think, Do

  • Snickerdoodle cake! I don’t see why this wouldn’t work with a gluten-free cake mix…

Linkity Peeps

Huh

LOL

  • This is why the toilet paper at my condo is in the vanity and not easily accessible to people… or Chaos.
  • A little Frogger humor – make sure you hover your mouse pointer over the comic to get additional text!

Teh Cute

Reading Update
Bound and Determined by Jane Davitt & Alexa Snow. ebook. Excellent kinky m/m romance about a college senior who realizes he’s submissive, which is simultaneously difficult for him to accept and something he craves.
Blinded by Our Eyes by Clare London. ebook. Very good m/m mystery about a gallery owner who discovers an artist murdered in his gallery and slowly begins to realize that nothing he’d believed about the people in his life is as he thought it was.
Fair Game by Josh Lanyon. ebook. Very good m/m mystery about an FBI agent turned professor after being injured in the line of duty who’s asked to look into the disappearance of a student on campus. (I received this book via NetGalley. Fair Game will be released on August 2 by Carina Press.)
A Game of Chances (Farmingdale Gentleman’s Club, Book 1) by T.C. Blue. ebook. Very good m/m romantic suspense with lots of little twists and turns. The Farmingdale Gentleman’s Club is a private grey ops organization. And I don’t want to tell you anything else because being surprised by the twists and turns was a big part of what I liked! I’m definitely looking forward to the next book.
Safe in His Arms (Wicked Hearts, Book 2) by Claire Thompson. ebook. Very good kinky m/m romance about the seemingly irredeemable cruel and controlling “best friend” from the previous book, who’s slowly spiraling toward rock bottom. If you’d told me after I finished reading Wicked Hearts that Claire Thompson could make me care about and like this guy, I would not have believed you.
Ports of Call by Sean Kennedy. ebook short. Good short m/m romance about a couple on vacation at the beach, trying to get past one of them having been mugged.
Two Steps Up by Sean Kennedy. ebook short. Cute short m/m about a teen standing across the street from where a gay teens support group meeting will be held, trying to work up the nerve to go to the meeting.
Protests and Proposals by Sean Kennedy. ebook short. Another cute short m/m romance about two guys protesting Proposition 8 being repealed.
Blue Skies by Diane Adams. ebook short. Decent short m/m romance about a conservative businessman who’s very attracted to a flaming younger man, but stays away because he thinks being “so gay” brings the wrong sort of attention to the gay community.
Gay Best Friend (G-A-Y, Book 10) by Kim Dare. ebook short. Good kinky short m/m romance about an allegedly straight guy who kisses his gay best friend on a dare from his obnoxious coworkers, then realizes that he might not be as straight as he’d always believed.
A Limited Engagement by Josh Lanyon. ebook short. Good short m/m romance about an actor who gambles everything when he outs his closeted lover to end his lover’s engagement to a woman.
Bargaining by Rhianne Aile & Madeleine Urban. ebook short. Steamy short m/m romance about two friends who finally get together, only to discover they’re both tops. This story will work best for those unconcerned about realism in refractory periods or condom use.
Lilacs by Megan Derr. free ebook short. Ok free short paranormal m/m romance about two guys who hate each other due to a big misunderstanding… and then discover they’re about to become stepbrothers.
News at Eleven by Jack Greene. ebook short. Cute’n'steamy short m/m romance about a tv station manager who’s been admiring the very out star news anchor from a distance.
Cold Steel by Morgan Lee. ebook short. So-so kinky short m/m interlude about an undercover cop who’s “arrested” by his partner at the end of his assignment. This teetered on the edge of purple prose… and I’m pretty sure those handcuffs would’ve messed up the finish on the cop car…


“This is an advanced technique. Don’t try this at home without the assistance of a qualified kitty.” -Mayhem

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Pink fluff of linkity (I have no idea what that means, either)

Thanks to Ralph at The Dancing Dove, where I won a copy of Journey To Compromise by Mira Ismine, and to Kim Dare, at whose blog I won a copy of one of her books for only being a sort of bad guesser.


Contests

  • Authors Bronwyn Green and Paige Tyler gracefully dealt with both having released books called Just Right based on Little Red Riding Hood by having a joint contest! Visit both blogs by March 29 for your chance to win copies of both books.

Books & Reading

  • Really excellent post about DRM over at An American Editor. My favorite quote from the post: “Right now Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and publishers are able to ignore the consumer in the nascent ebook market. But the backlash is coming.” (As an aside, I’ve chosen to reward publishers and bookstores that make and sell DRM-free books and avoid those that don’t have DRM-free offerings.)
  • Nice post over at Dear Author reacting to the complaint that ebooks and “the loss of the public nature of the physical artifact will result in the loss of culture.”
  • Gizmodo had a blurb about “online music industry giants” making a plea to stop music piracy. I couldn’t help but read the following sentence while thinking about the publishing industry and authors: “…it’s tough to take an earnest plea for buying music seriously when it comes from business middlemen rather than, you know, musicians.” So, authors, keep spreading the ebook anti-piracy message, because you are the people most likely to be heard.
  • Emily candidly discusses that topic we all avoid – book addiction (and there’s a great comic included!).

Learn Stuff

Moment of Silence

Knitting

Things That Amused Me

Cute Burns

Reading Update
Reading Update Update: I’m slowly working on adding my wee reviewettes to my LibraryThing. (Would that I had thought of this quite some time ago…) Depending on the tone and formality of said reviewettes, they’ll either be in the Reviews or the Comments field. When you view my LibraryThing, click on the various available styles until you find one that shows the comments. (Which letter that will be varies by browser, weirdly.)
The Good, the Bad, and the Uncanny (Nightside, Book 10) by Simon R. Green. PI John Taylor’s back in another dark noirish urban fantasy; what else is there to say?
Almost Like Being in Love by Steve Kluger. Excellent m/m romance told in epistolary style about two boys (a nerd and a jock) who fall in love in high school and then lose touch with each other after going to college. I’d heard nothing but good about this book, yet I still wasn’t prepared for how it sucked me in. Highly recommended.
Hideout by Katie Allen. ebook. This excellent m/m romantic suspense is about a cop who’s guarding one of the characters from Private Dicks for seven months until he can testify in a trial. Really, why aren’t there more witness protection books that include remodeling the safe house? :) Highly recommended. Hopefully, now that Katie’s writing full-time, she’ll give us some more of her excellent m/m romance soon. (Oh, and you really need to read Private Dicks first to get the most out of this book! I promise, it won’t be a hardship.) As if you hadn’t guessed, highly recommended.
Sex and Sexuality by Willa Okati. ebook. Ok m/m romance about a professor who went through “homosexual deprogramming” when he was younger and is now trying to follow the straight life, complete with evil bitch fiancee (more caricature than anything else). Published in 2007, this is definitely not one of Okati’s stronger books.
From Afar by Ava March. ebook. Very good historical paranormal m/m romance about a vampire obsessed by a young lord who has to change the lord into a vampire to save his life. The ending was a bit abrupt – perhaps there’s to be a sequel? (I know, I know, another historical!)
The Hit List by Anne Brooke. ebook. This m/m romance was a mixed read for me. I found the first third very frustrating, not really knowing what the heck was going on. In fact, I put the book aside and read the previous two books. When I returned to The Hit List, the middle third wasn’t quite so frustrating, and the final third was quite good. In fact, I started to suspect that the first third was meant to put the reader into the very confused headspace of the narrator.
Paul’s D’Marco by Leiland Dale. ebook short. Ok short m/m romantic suspense about a police detective and the psychic that’s called in to help the police find a serial child killer. A titch more editing and fleshing out the story would’ve moved this from ok to good.
Persistence Pays by Mara Ismine. ebook short. Very cute m/m romance about a martial artist who’s been trying for years to avoid spending too much time with his irresistible but slutty best friend.
Emergency (A City Hospital Novel) by Drew Zachary. ebook. Typical sweet’n'steamy m/m romance from Drew Zachary about an EMT who’s good friends with a doctor going through a divorce and questioning his sexuality. Very low angst.
Caught Running by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux. ebook reread. Good m/m romance about two guys who went to high school together who are now teaching and coaching at that same school. (I noticed headhopping this time, but don’t remember noticing it the first time I read the book.)


“Pink fluff, I devour you!” -Mayhem

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Today’s forecast is for sunshine and linkity

Contest Update

  • JessaLu’s celebrating her blogiversary with a big contest – she’ll have five knitting related prizes, one for each year that she’s been blogging. The prizes are wonderful – some of her gorgeous box bags, socks knit for you on her sock knitting machine, or gorgeous sock yarn dyed by Scout. Contest closes midnight EST, February 19… and tell her I sent ya. :)

Reading & Beyond

  • What are your reading neuroses? A major one of mine is getting extremely anxious about what’s going to happen to characters in books, to the point that I need to put the book down and have a bit of a lie down.

Yay, Minnesota!

Get Your Geek On

Eh, Canada

  • Music blog Star Maker Machine is focusing on Canadian songs this week in honor of the Olympics.

Yum

Fun & Kitties & Goats, Oh My

  • Aww! How come my kitties have never slept in such a configuration?!

Reading Update
Thanks to jmc of Shuffling through a book-less desert, where I won a copy of the historical m/m romance, Seducing Stephen!

Love Ahead by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux. ebook collection. These two m/m romances were decent, but you can definitely tell that they were older stories from Urban and Roux. And, as Tam pointed out when she read them a week or two ago, how names are used in each story was definitely odd. In the first, both guys mostly used each others’ last names. That was ok, since they knew each other through their work at a construction site. Then, later in the story, when they started to use each others’ first names, it was obviously supposed to indicate their growing closeness and intimacy. I get that. But why the hell did they both have first and last names that could be first or last names?! It was so confusing. So very confusing. And in the next story? The name thing? Really? You never exchanged actual names after talking to each other on the phone for months? *headdesk*
Snow Plowed (Bay City Paranormal Investigations) by Ally Blue. free holiday short. This was a cute’n'steamy m/m Valentine’s short with the characters from Love, Like Ghosts. And if you haven’t read the Bay City Paranormal Investigations series, what are you waiting for?! It’s one of the series that sucked me into reading m/m romance. Hmm… Ok, maybe that’s why you haven’t. ;)
Petit Morts 1-5: Hue, Tint and Shade; Slings and Arrows; Moolah and Moonshine; Other People’s Weddings; Spanish Fly Guy (1, 3, 5 by Jordan Castillo Price; 2, 4 by Josh Lanyon). ebook shorts. These delightful little m/m romances are all loosely based around a mysterious chocolate shop and Chance, its equally mysterious proprietor. Although I enjoyed each and every one, I think that #4 (Other People’s Weddings by Josh Lanyon) was my favorite, with #1 (Hue, Tint and Shade by Jordan Castillo Price) following closely behind. Recommended. (Val at Obsidian Bookshelf has much more detailed reviews of the Petit Morts, as does Jenre of Well Read.)
Holiday Outing by Astrid Amara. ebook. Another delightful Hannukah m/m romance from Astrid Amara! A successful author of gay fiction, still closeted to his family, gets snowed in with his family (and a high school nemesis) for Hannukah.
Fantasies: Thanksgiving by Cassandra Gold. ebook. Enjoyable m/m romance about two guys, one gay, one straight, who have been friends for many years… and then something changes in their friendship. (We’ll be revisiting this cover image at some point in the future, too.)
True North (Lost Boys & Love Letters, Book 1) by Bethany Brown & Ashlyn Kane. ebook. Darn good m/m romance about a deeply closeted petroleum engineer and the new doctor in town, and about how limiting it can be to let your fears control you.
Picture Perfect (Lost Boys & Love Letters, Book 2) by Bethany Brown & Ashlyn Kane. ebook. Ok m/m romance that started out feeling like a freestanding story, but seemed as if, partway through, it suddenly needed to become part of a series (the few paragraphs that were apparently supposed to tie it to True North didn’t seem, to me, to fit)… probably right about the time it detoured into m/m/m for a bit. Very ambivalent about reading the third book.
Hero by Heidi Cullinan. ebook. This was another read for Kris’ m/m rut challenge. This was a fantasy (I guess sort of an urban fantasy, actually) based on the Japanese myth of the kitsune. Intellectually, I could tell it was a pretty good story, but I was fighting against the fantastical elements of the story the entire time. So, basically, I don’t think I can fairly rate this one.
Heart and Soul (The Assignment, Book 2) by Evangeline Anderson. ebook. Ah, this poor m/m romantic suspense got a bit caught in my expectations for it (sequel to The Assignment!) and my discomfort with parts of the story itself. Don’t get me wrong – it was a decent read and definitely worth reading if you enjoyed the previous book (and subsequent shorts) – but I had trouble reading around all the plot holes. *sigh*
Coach, In Bear’s Bed, Office Advances, and A Biker’s Vow (Campus Cravings, Books 1, 7, 8, & 9) by Carol Lynne. ebooks. Reading Carol Lynne is like eating potato chips – not very filling and you know they’re probably not good for you, but you just can’t stop. O_o As you might guess from the name of this series, it’s set on a college campus. (And yes, that is Candy Cane Guy In Bear’s Bed! That naughty boy…) Oddly, at the end of A Biker’s Vow, this series appears to be intersecting with Lynne’s Cattle Valley series.
Sonny’s Salvation (Good-Time Boys, Book 1) by Carol Lynne. ebook. See my comment on reading Carol Lynne books above. :) Sonny quit the FBI to run the family ranch in Nebraska after his dad died. Too bad there aren’t many gay men in rural Nebraska… (And I already know I won’t be reading past the third book in this series, based on the subject matter of the fourth book.)
Rules Were Made To Be Broken by Lenore Black. ebook. Pretty good m/m romance about a guy who recently took over running the family sporting goods store and his (straight) best friend who’s feeling a bit jealous of the store and all the time it takes up. Very nice review of this and Lenore Black’s other works over at Dear Author.
Dead Men Get No Tail by Misty Malone. ebook short. Ok m/m romance about two college roommates, one of whom decides to have a fake funeral for himself. This one left me sort of “Huh?”
Fool for Love by Cassandra Gold. ebook. I’m not a big fan of May-December romances, but Cassandra Gold does a nice job with this m/m romance between a professor and his college student neighbor.


“Sheesh, May, you totally missed this spot by your elbow when you were bathing. What a slob.” -Chaos

*strikes kitty yoga pose #742* -Mayhem

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