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  • Jessica of Racy Romance Reads is having contests to get rid of her paper books. For your chance to win two of the pictured books, let her know what was the most recent addition to your keepers shelf. Contest closes 2/13.

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Reading  Update
Posted To Death (Simon Kirby-Jones Mystery, Book 1) by Dean James. This was a delightful and slightly twisted version of the British village cozy mystery, because Simon is a gay vampire (he can be out in sunlight and doesn’t need to drink blood, as long as he takes his medication) and well-known historian (who secretly writes romances and mysteries under several pseudonyms). Definitely recommended if you enjoy mysteries with a bit of snark and a complicated cast of suspects. (Also, for the wary, I would give this book a no-pepper heat rating – a very safe read.)
The Dickens With Love by Josh Lanyon. ebook. Very well-done holiday-themed m/m romance about a disgraced book hunter reduced to working for shady and unpleasant clients, one of whom has charged him to secretively and preemptively purchase a newly discovered Dickens’ Christmas story before it goes to auction.
Carol of the Bellskis by Astrid Amara. ebook. Another very well-done holiday-themed m/m romance (Hanukkah this time) about a paralegal who breaks up with his boyfriend (also his boss) because his closeted boss is backing out of their vacation plans. The paralegal heads off on vacation to his aunt and uncle’s kosher B&B alone… and finds himself taking care of all the guests, with his aunt and uncle nowhere to be found.
Falling by Cassandra Gold. ebook short. I really enjoyed this m/m short about a guy who gets accidentally knocked down the stairs at his apartment building and is taken to the hospital by his sexy firefighter neighbor.
Force of Law by Jez Morrow. ebook. Good m/m romance about a mechanic who believes he’s being used by his ex’s billionaire cousin for revenge. For the first third of this, I wasn’t sure I was going to keep reading, because the power dynamics were making me really uncomfortable. Things turned around after that, fortunately.
Melting the Slopes by Ethan Day, William Maltese, and Jason Edding. ebook collection. No surprise that there was at least some skiing in each of these tales of m/m romance, based on the title, huh? Ethan Day’s humorous romance “Snow Ho” was my favorite of the three stories, followed by the romantic suspense of William Maltese’s “Bottom’s Up”.
Let It Snow! by Michael Barnette. ebook. Kinda meh m/m romance – it actually was mostly ok for a while (bit of awkward language, etc, but not too bad), but then the story basically stopped, jumped to the epilogue, and everything was tied up in a nice tidy bow. *blink blink*
The Sound of Cicadas by Tory Temple. ebook short. Decent m/m romance short about two guys who see each other for the first time in ten years at their high school reunion – will they be able to get past their hurt pride and misunderstandings?
The Chocolatier by Elizabeth Jewell. ebook. Sweet (sorry, couldn’t resist…) m/m romance about a guy who makes chocolates that are rumored to make people fall in love. So how comes he’s still single?
To Find and To Keep (Book 1) by Serena Yates. ebook. Well, I won’t be reading the second book… The writing in this m/m romance was awkward and stilted, and the two guys? Read more like chick lit heroines.
The Mask He Wears by Fae Sutherland & Marguerite Labbe. ebook. Ok m/m romance about a lawyer, who has a marriage of convenience, confessing his feelings for his male secretary and really making a mess of it.
Hearts Afire November by Pepper Espinoza & India Harper. ebook collection. Two ok m/m romances about firefighters. The first was about a firefighter who starts to hang out with a street musician whose firefighter father died in a fire. The second is about a firefighter/investigator who becomes involved with the insurance investigator assigned to a series of fires… the insurance investigator who’s a former arsonist. The ending of this one didn’t work so well for me – I thought someone was way too quick to forgive something pretty major.
Silver and Gold by Devon Rhodes. ebook short. Enjoyable holiday m/m romance about a guy in his 40s whose first love wants to get together with him, at the same time he meets a younger man he really clicks with.
Sutcliffe Cover by Ariel Tachna & Madeleine Urban. ebook. Ignore the cover, as there are no mustaches or cowboy hats in this enjoyable m/m romance about a guy who owns a stable and riding school and becomes friends with an accountant who starts taking lessons at the school. If you’re looking for an angst break, this might be it for you. (Is it just me, or does that face look photoshopped in?!)
The Elf and Shoemaker by M. L. Rhodes. ebook. Nicely done m/m fantasy romance about the owner of a new age shop who’s about to lose his business when help comes from a most unexpected source. (If you have a mysterious old mirror wrapped up and tucked away somewhere, I’d really recommend you get it out and hang it up!)
FU by Mia Watts. ebook. This one was for Kris’ m/m rut challenge. I generally don’t read multiple partner books because it just doesn’t make sense to me how it could ever work. In this steamy tale, Parker is mistakenly assigned to a male dorm at Fullerton University (FU f’s up) and things get… complicated while Housing tries to sort it out. Ultimately, things do get simple in the end (whew!), but along the way, part of the story does qualify this for Kris’ challenge. So, I confirmed for myself that, while it was a fun read (Mia always puts together a fun’n’steamy read), I’m still a prude when it comes to multiple partner books, especially in regards to the power dynamics. O_o (I received this book from the author because she’s nice like that.)
Matchmen, Ltd. by T. C. Blue. ebook. Good m/m romance about the employees of gay matchmaking agency, Matchmen, Ltd. The book is split into three parts, each of which follows a specific employee. Hmm. I guess, since one section in this book turned out to be multiple partner, it fulfills the m/m rut challenge, too, because I kept reading and didn’t skip it, as I am wont to do in such situations. (Damn, Kris says no. Hmph.)
Ryland’s Sacrifice by Kim Dare. ebook. Good paranormal m/m romance about a PhD student who desperately needs money for tuition and food, so allows himself to be “thrown” to a pride of werelions, with unexpected results. Although this might sound like a multiple partner book, it isn’t. (I received this book from the author because she’s nice like that, too.)
A mysterious book that I can’t talk about yet, but which was a darn good read. 🙂


“What? Why are you laughing at me?” -Chaos

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Whole lotta linkity goin’ on

I’m going to experiment with this post and I’d like your opinions – is it easier to read linkity posts with or without bullets? Discuss. (And thank you for your input!)

  • J, Kaye’s giving away a $25 US Amazon gift certificate or up to $25 at the Book Depository in three separate contests: Canada, US, and outside the US/Canada. Read the rules carefully! Winners will be announced January 30 and are responsible for checking the blog to see if they’ve won.
  • If you sign up for the 2010 M/M Romance Challenge by January 31, you’ll be entered for a chance to win $15 ebook bucks from All Romance eBooks!
  • Author Marta Acosta has all sorts of fun blog sidebar badges, such as for the Naked David Boreanz Club, the Association for the Admiration of Edward Cullen, the Gerard Butler Is Hawt Society, and the Jacob Black Society for Werewolf Acceptance.
  • Do not click this link if you are easily offended by graphic ice sculpture. Please. I implore you. Yes, I took the featured photo, but you’ll notice I haven’t featured it on my blog. Consider the various book covers I have featured before you click, ok? (It is not a cat picture, if that helps.)
  • Although the experience of reading a physical book is different than that of reading an ebook, does it really matter to readers? (I gotta say that I’m liking reading ebooks more than physical books these days.)
  • TeleRead reports on the most pirated books of 2009The Kamasutra and Adobe Photoshop Secrets held the top spots. The only best-selling authors to make it into the top 25 were Dan Brown, Stephen King, Stephenie Meyer, and J. K. Rowling. None of Rowling’s books have even been released as ebooks, which instead of protecting them seems to be a lost revenue opportunity.
  • Even though I told Trek that I suck at guessing contests, I won not only her guessing contest of some months ago (dollar value of an unknown number of quarters that fit into a particular tea tin), but also Nicole’s recent contest (how many books she’d read by the end of the year). Hmm. Perhaps I don’t suck at guessing contests after all? (Thanks to Nicole and Trek!)
  • This DIY magnetized coffee cozy is very cool and very clever! Heck, I can see the potential for sticking my coffee to my car when I’m rummaging for my keys. (And, wait, I already have a coffee cozy from Caribou Coffee with a mysterious zipper pocket on it – this might actually make the pocket useful!)

Reading Update
Chicken Soup for the Soul, and All That Crap: A Tigers & Devils Short by Sean Kennedy. free ebook short. Very sweet short that takes place while Declan’s recuperating from his surgery.
Warrior’s Cross by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux. ebook. Very good m/m romantic suspense about about a waiter and the mysterious guy who sits in his section every Tuesday evening. I cried more than once while reading this. My only complaint is that I wanted just a little more substance (or maybe detail or maybe time) at the ending.
The One That Got Away (Second Edition) by Rhianne Aile and Madeleine Urban. ebook. Excellent m/m romance – I’d read the original version, but who could resist the new version with added scenes? (Although, sad to say, the second edition still has inconsistencies about David’s age – he fusses about how awful his 45th birthday was, but then is referred to as 42 for the rest of the book.) One of the differences I noticed was that Trace’s cat was now named Mabel instead of Gail and and she had an entire enjoyable subplot devoted to her. (Plus she’s a black kitty. Really, what’s not to like?)
Rules of Engagement by L. A. Witt. ebook. Very good m/m romance (that I had a hard time putting down) about a recently divorced guy who finds himself powerfully drawn to a guy he meets playing pool in a bar. Yes, I got sniffly, so you know there was some angst. I think my only complaint was the abruptness of the ending. I really liked this quote from one of the other characters: “If I knew how a lot of my relationships would have turned out, I never would have gotten involved in them…. And I would have missed out on some of the best times in my life.” (Of course, for me, I would also have missed out on some of the worst times in my life – you?)
Uncorked by Andrew Grey. ebook. This m/m romance is set several years after Bottled Up; Sam and Sean of Bottled Up play more of a peripheral role in this one. I’ll confess that while the beginning of this story didn’t really grab me, the middle did, but then I just wanted to smack heads together at the end. Make of that what you will. 🙂
Just Like Scrooge by Clare London. ebook short. Imagine The Christmas Carol redone (and redone well) as an m/m romance set in modern times.
In the Closet by Clare London. ebook short. Cute m/m romance about two feuding guys whose coworkers lock them in the cleaning closet to work out their differences… although maybe the coworkers didn’t expect the form that process would take…
Special Delivery by Cassandra Gold. ebook short. Sweet m/m romance short about a secretary and a delivery guy.
Fantasies: Independence Day by Cassandra Gold. ebook. Good m/m romance about a guy who’s finally had enough of his father running every aspect of his life, so he escapes to work as a waiter at a Hawaiian resort. (Total points for style on that one.)
Reunion by Vic Winter. ebook short. In this enjoyable m/m romance, the ostracized high school nerd returns for his ten-year reunion as a fit, handsome millionaire ready to shove his success in his former classmates’ faces.
Christmas for Gary by Vic Winter. ebook short. Gary’s spending some time with his very active grandmother and her friends, who are determined to find a boyfriend for him, no matter how much they embarrass him in the process.
A-Viking by Kiernan Kelly. ebook short. Ok time travel m/m romance about a Viking who mysteriously washes up on a contemporary Florida beach after his longboat capsizes.
Re-Ignition by A.R. Moler. ebook short. Good m/m romance about a former FBI agent who’s not doing so well after a career-ending injury, until he wakes up hungover, in bed with someone he doesn’t recognize.
When Work Is a Pleasure by Alix Blevins. ebook. While this m/m romance was well done, I had a problem (my very own problem and not necessarily that of the book) with how relatively easily a reporter dealt with his new boyfriend’s career as a pr0n star.
InDescent by K.Z. Snow. ebook. Another very good m/m romance that I had trouble with – this time, it was because of one of the main character being emotionally and physically involved with two other people. Not a menage (which I hate), but still – I kept getting stuck there. However! This was still a very cool story about a wizard/woodworker living in Milwaukee who notices that there’s suddenly an awful lot of paranormal activity in the city… (And really, what’s not to like about a story that has Baba Yaga’s hut in a Milwaukee city park?)


My life sucks.” -Chaos

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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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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,  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. 🙂 (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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