Sometimes I absolutely cannot come up with a clever title for linkity… this would be one of those times



Congrats to Tam, who won Possession (Devlin Island, Book 1) by S. W. Vaughn!

Congrats to Natasha, who won Opposites Distract by Stephani Hecht! Opposites Distract was released yesterday by All Romance Ebooks as part of its Perfect Strangers series.

Congrats to Otter, who won How the Other Half Lives by Clare London! How the Other Half Lives will be released by Amber Allure on February 6.

Congrats to Carmel, who won Chocolate Dreams by Em Woods Chocolate Dreams will be released by Total-E-Bound on February 7.



Contests

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Do, Think, Make, Learn

Valentine’s

Cool

Huh

LOL

Teh Cute

Reading Update
Rubbing Vignettes: The Wrong Way and the Right Way by Wren Boudreau. free ebook short. Cute short m/m Valentine’s romance split into two scenes as Greg tries to figure out how to celebrate his first Valentine’s with Finn, and then as they celebrate. I really hope that the first scene was the set up for a sequel to Back to Normal, featuring a couple of guys who rub each other the wrong way…
One Night Stand by Cassandra Gold. ebook short. Very good short m/m romance about a guy whose friends drag him to a club to help him get back out there after a few years. He seems to have a real connection to the guy he brings home… until the guy freaks out about having stayed over night and leaves. (This short story was originally part of the Friction anthology.)
Love Ahead: Expect Delays by Astrid Amara. ebook. Very good m/m romance about two guys driving a 1989 Geo from Seattle to drop off in Boulder, hoping to get there for part of Hanukkah, until the drive turns into the roadtrip from hell.
Half Pass by Astrid Amara. ebook. Good m/m romance about a horse phobic guy who inherits his aunt’s boarding stable and moves back to the small town in which he grow up so he can get the stable ready to sell. Unfortunately, it felt like all the details about the horses and their training and care overshadowed the actual story.
Handcuffs & Spreader Bars (Rawlings Men, Book 5) by Kim Dare. ebook. Very good kinky m/m romance about a dom (and police officer) who’s had his eye on one of the newer constables for a while, but has only just learned that the constable equates submission with being taken advantage of due to a prior bad experience.
MIA Case Files 1: Wolfsbane by K.C. Burn. ebook. Very good paranormal m/m romance about a closeted agent who works in a secret government agency (MIA) that investigates dangerous paranormal activities. While he and his partner are trying to figure out what’s going on in the small town of Rothburg, he meets and becomes fascinated by a gorgeous young man working at a coffee shop.
MIA Case Files 2: Blood Relations by K.C. Burn. ebook. Ok paranormal m/m romance about another MIA agent who gets involved with a young man who seems too good to be true. I didn’t enjoy the second book in this series nearly as much as I did the first – it was just too predictable.
Del Fantasma: Duck Fart by Jade Buchanan. ebook. Good paranormal m/m romance about an innocent Siamese cat shifter who just tracked down the best friend he’s had a crush on for years, only to discover that his friend is now mated to someone else. He thinks his heart is broken – so why is he leaving with that duck shifter and that human?!
High Flow (EMS Heat, Book 7) by Stephani Hecht. ebook. Good m/m romance about a medic who was gay bashed and now can’t let anyone get close or touch him. But maybe the handsome doctor in the ER will be patient enough to past his defenses…
True Hollywood by James Buchanan. ebook short. Good short m/m romance about two stuntmen who haven’t seen each other since their breakup years before until they run in to each other at their former mentor’s wake.
Second Helpings (Table for Two, Book 2) by Scarlet Blackwell. ebook short. Ok short m/m romance continuing the story of Luc, the arrogant French chef, and Daniel, the closeted British food critic, as Daniel’s obnoxious mother (who doesn’t know he’s gay) arrives for a visit and ratchets up the tension.
Beach Reading (Book 1) by Mark Abramson. ebook. Ok m/m mystery about a waiter in the Castro who spends a lot of time wandering around stoned and picking up guys. I did enjoy being able to picture the various locations mentioned. I didn’t enjoy the rambling brain dumps from everyone in the story.
A Bid for Love by T.D. McKinney & Terry Wylis. ebook. Ok m/m romance about an FBI agent who participates in a charity auction and is “purchased” by an anonymous bidder he assumes to be a woman. Ah, the surprise that awaits him when he and the bidder meet up in Italy. Sadly, the language was too flowery and overwrought for my tastes.
Knight or Daye by Jude Mason. ebook short. Ok short kinky m/m/m romance about a guy who infiltrates a human slavery ring, hoping that he can reconnect with and rescue the lover he drove away.
Howl by Lacey-Anne Frye. ebook. Ok m/m paranormal romance about a couple who stays at an isolated B&B in the middle of the woods. The proprietor tells them not to go outside after dark… Why don’t people ever listen??
What You See by C.J. Black. ebook short. So-so short m/m encounter between a waiter and an older man who always sits in his section at the restaurant.


“I’m hiding in my Plastic Tub of Invisibility. You can’t see me.” -Mayhem

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New and even more improved linkity post, now featuring bullets and subheadings!

Look for Misadventures in Stock Photography (Part the Sixth) tomorrow! Although I already have enough new covers of Candy Cane Guy for another post (or two…), we’ll give him a break and meet someone new tomorrow.


Contests

  • Chappysmom is having a Chuck (tv show) trivia contest – check out the details and participate quickly, because the deadline to enter is January 15 at noon EST. Prizes include 12 skeins of Sublime yarn, Chuck Season One on Blu-Ray, and a dvd on knitting cables.

Bookity Stuff

  • TeleRead also has a good beginner’s guide to using Calibre, an open-source ebook management tool. I don’t actually use Calibre to transfer books to my Astak (because the Astak’s directory structure isn’t maintained when using Calibre), but I do use it to normalize file names and convert formats.
  • Fun – a book cover archive… not for ebooks, alas. (I was hoping it would be a good research tool for my Misadventures series.)

Randoms

  • Oh, look, you can make your own Twinkies (hmm, nice that this is right after the fitness item). Since the cake recipe only has 1/3 cup of flour, it should convert to gluten-free quite easily. Hmm.
  • This link is here for no other reason than that I thought the picture was cute.

Humorous Bits

Reading Update
True Colors by Clare London. ebook. This turned out to be a very good and intense m/m romance after a sort of shaky start – I almost put the book away because there were so many different people introduced in the first few pages and I couldn’t figure out who was important and who was peripheral. But in the end? Totally redeemed, because Clare London deftly tied in those seemingly extraneous introductory bits.
Broken by Dawn Kimberly Johnson. ebook. Excellent m/m romance about a guy who was seriously injured when his partner was killed during a gay bashing two years before the story starts.
Miss Me? and Coming Out for Christmas (Miss Me, Book 2) by Mel Spenser. ebook and ebook short. Miss Me? is a decent m/m romantic suspense about Andy, a librarian who gets involved with Nick when Nick is in the library looking for cookbooks. Both of them then have to deal with a dangerous stalker who’s been harassing Andy for the last year. In Coming Out for Christmas, Ryan, one of Andy’s relatives, is staying with Andy and Nick over his college’s Christmas break when he realizes he’s gay. Miss Me? is definitely the stronger of the two stories.
Giving Thanks by Maura Anderson. ebook short. Ok Thanksgiving m/m romance about a couple dealing with the after effects of one of them coming out to his family and getting punched by his dad.
Bittersweet by Maura Anderson. ebook short. Very good m/m romance about a chocolatier making chocolates for a bridal shower who becomes fascinated by the man of honor when he picks up the chocolates. Both Bittersweet and Giving Thanks are also part of the Hot Comfort collection (next). (I already had these shorts when I won Hot Comfort over at Reviews by Jessewave last month.)
Hot Comfort by Luisa Prieto, Kimberly Gardner, Jet Mykles, and Maura Anderson. Collection of food-related m/m romances, with a cover that might look a little familiar. ;) Although I already had the Maura Anderson and Jet Mykles stories, I hadn’t read the delightful “Cooking with Ergot” by Luisa Prieto (who signed my copy of Hot Comfort!) nor the very enjoyable “The Shape of a Heart” by Kimberly Gardner.
One Way Street by Laney Cairo. ebook. Very good m/m romance about a closeted Aussie rules footballer who gets really sick and turns to the guy he left without a word the previous year.
No One But You (Shining Victory, Book 2) by K.C. Kendricks. ebook. Whoops. I haven’t read the first book. Oh well. I’m not sure that would have helped me be less annoyed by the guys in this May-December m/m romance.
Give Me One Night by K.C. Kendricks. ebook. This was another m/m romance that I was “meh” about – the insta-love didn’t work very well for me. Plus I still had some big questions left at the end, things that really felt as if they needed to be tied up before the story ended but weren’t.
Beautiful Disaster by J.M. Snyder. ebook. Pretty good m/m romance about two guys who are in a pop duo.
Just Friends by Anne Thomas. ebook. Surprisingly good, slightly kinky m/m romance about a guy who’s had crush on his best friend for a while, then follows him to a leather club… I picked up both this and Beautiful Disaster when they were Amber Quill Press Daily Deals – I’m much more willing to try a book that I’m not sure I’ll like or that might be a bit outside my comfort zone when it’s 75% off.
Taming the Wolf and Unleashing the Jaguar (Animal Attraction, Books 1 & 3) by Michelle Houston. ebook shorts. Look! Do you recognize those abs and that towel on Unleashing the Jaguar?! Darn it. I missed this one before. Anyway. I read the second book (Embracing the Leopard) last summer, but it doesn’t matter, since these are all completely unrelated, other than all being short m/m romances about shapeshifters finding their mates and all inspiring the same “ho-hum” response from me.
The Wolfe Proxy by T.D. McKinney and Terry Wylis. ebook. While the storyline for this m/m romance had potential, the intermittently overdone writing kept pulling me out of the story as I flinched at particularly florid phrasing. Add insta-love, and… *sigh*
Weighted Measure by Chris Owen. ebook short. Nicely done m/m romance short about a computer geek who nearly lives online trying to find balance with a drummer who nearly lives out and about.


“Whoa. That must’ve been some of the spiked ‘nip the big kitty was talking about.” -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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Books! And… books! And, um, book links and contests!

Don’t forget to leave a comment on the contest post before 7 pm CDT, Tuesday, October 6, for your chance to win a copy of Marliss Melton’s new romantic suspense novel, Show No Fear!

Tracey’s friend Dave is going to run a marathon to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. If you make a donation to his team before midnight EDT, October 6, and let Tracey know, you’ll be entered in a drawing for a $20 Loopy Ewe gift certificate.

Mel’s holding a Raffle for Marriage Equality to help raise money for the No on 1 campaign in Maine. If you donate by November 3 and let Mel know, you’ll be entered for a chance to have him knit you a pair of socks.

If you could splurge on anything, what would it be? Leave a comment by midnight CST, October 23, to let RC at Rambling Along know, and you could win a $50 gift card to AJWright.

Romance Reviews Today is giving away a copy of Marjorie M. Liu’s latest Dirk & Steele novel, The Fire King. Contest closes October 6.

Cecile continues to celebrate her birthday month by giving away a copy of Vicki Pettersson’s City of Souls (The Fourth Sign of the Zodiac). Contest ends October 8.

Largehearted Boy is giving away a copy of Nick Hornby’s new novel, Juliet, Naked (plus assorted books and cds). Contest closes midnight, October 9.

To celebrate the upcoming movie release, Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) is giving away five copies of Alice Sebold’s novel, The Lovely Bones. Contest closes 8 pm CST, October 11.

If you’re a fan of the tv series Blood Ties and would like to win the second season dvds, head over to Suburban Vampire before noon PDT, October 18, or to Vampire Wire before the evening of October 18.

Anna’s giving away five signed copies of Sue-Ellen Welfonder’s A Highlander’s Temptation and one signed copy of the Tails of Love anthology. Leave a comment by October 9 for your chance to win.

The Eclectic Reader is celebrating her blogiversary with a contest – you need to follow her blog in order to be eligible to win one of the pictured books. Contest closes October 31.

Check out all of the October giveaways that J. Kaye has going!

Both Jackie at Literary Escapism and SciFiGuy have great information on contests, interviews, and new releases. Book Reviews by Jess also has a long list of current book contests.


I think this one should be on the FAIL Blog – what do you think?

Just because I read a lot of m/m fiction doesn’t mean I plan to redo my condo with any of this furniture

The kid who lost his class notes when Amazon deleted 1984 from all those Kindles just won $150,000 from Amazon. This has led Amazon to clarify when it will remove books from Kindles.

TeleRead has a good article questioning why ebooks are so expensive, when the costs of production and distribution are so much less than for print books, and another good article about ebook piracy.

Aw – how cute is that minion hat?!

Reading Update
Blaze of Memory (Psy-Changelings, Book 7) by Nalini Singh. I had the great good fortune to win an ARC of this book (scheduled to release on November 3, 2009) over at Dear Author a few weeks ago. Blaze of Memory focuses on the Forgotten, those Psy whose ancestors chose not to follow the Silence protocol. It focuses more specifically on the enigmatic Devraj Santos, director of the Shine Foundation, which attempts to find Forgotten children before the Psy Council does. Dev’s had to do hard things in order to protect the Forgotten – things which have been eroding his own ability to feel. Will a mysterious Psy woman whose memory has been destroyed turn out to be Dev’s salvation? Or his destruction? If you enjoy masterfully written paranormal romance (with nary a vampire in sight), I highly recommend Blaze of Memory and the Psy-Changeling series.
Tall, Dark and Fangsome (Immortality Bites, Book 5) by Michelle Rowen. I read the first two books last year, but I have to admit I’m not sure why I didn’t read the third and fourth books in this paranormal series about Sarah Dearly (who was turned into a vampire on a particularly bad blind date). Fortunately, Rowen skillfully wove backstory details into Tall, Dark and Fangsome, so I never felt as if I was lost during this enjoyable final installment of the series. In fact, I think I’ll be reading the previous books in the not-too-distant future! As an aside, I definitely got more out of this book after my recent visit to Toronto, where the series is set. (Beware, Lorraine, sounds like there’s a demon-possessed wizard living out your way!)
Finger Lickin’ Fifteen (Stephanie Plum, Book 15) by Janet Evanovich. Evanovich must be writing these on autopilot now. Predictable. Boring. Past time to end the series.
Instant Gratification (Wilder Adventures, Book 2) by Jill Shalvis. Doctor Emma’s staying in Wishful just long enough to take care of her father’s patients while he’s recuperating from a heart attack, then she’s going to return to her life in New York City. Good thing Stone Wilder isn’t looking for a serious relationship with her… ;)
Bottled Up by Andrew Grey. ebook. This was a sweet and involving m/m romance with a some editorial problems. Several of these problems were relatively minor, such as occasionally referring to the main character as “Shawn” instead of “Sean” and talking about something that happened yesterday as if it had happened today. More significant were the ongoing unclear pronoun references (particularly problematic in an m/m romance!) and the paragraph formatting that made it hard to determine who was speaking. Perhaps these are only issues in the ebook edition?
By Degrees by J. B. MacDonald. ebook. Very well done and involving m/m romance about a doctor who’s been keeping his emotions so tightly under wraps since his parents died when he was eleven that he has trouble feeling anything.
A Matter of Necessity by T. D. McKinney. ebook. Decent m/m romance about two FBI agents who begin a relationship as part of a deep cover operation.
Putting Out Fires by Sienna Black. ebook. Ok m/m romance about a fire djinn and a firefighter.
An Imitation of Life by Karma Eastwick. ebook. I won this at Jessewave’s last week. Good m/m romance about two actors in NYC who are hoping for their big breaks. My main complaint about this ebook is that it needed a bit more editorial polish.
Because of the Brave by Laura Baumbach, Z.A. Maxfield, and Josh Lanyon. ebook. This three-story collection about being military and gay was very, very well-written. Sadly, the editing was a bit sloppy on the first two stories. Even with those editorial issues, I’d recommend it.
Arresting Developments by James Buchanan, Josh Lanyon, and L. Picaro. ebook. Collection of m/m romances about cops and the power of the past. While the stories were good, most had editing issues – I’m beginning to see that as a pattern in ebooks from Aspen Mountain Press…
Deadly Nightshade, Deadly Wrong, Deadly Dreams, and Deadly Slumber (Deadly Series, Books 1-4) by Victor J. Banis. Excellent m/m mysteries set in San Francisco. Gay police rookie Stanley must be the perfect guy to work on solving murders committed by a transvestite, right? While the SFPD thinks so, straight cop Tom, who gets stuck with Stanley as a partner, is not at all convinced. Highly recommended, especially if you enjoyed Josh Lanyon’s Adrien English series.


“What do you mean, get off my furry butt and do something cute for the blog because my vacation is over?!” -Mayhem

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