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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Go get a cup of coffee before you start this linkfest, eh?

So… it’s been sort of a while since I did a books and reading post. Brace yourselves. ;)

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!


Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) has an amazing list of new releases and contests. So does Jackie at Literary Escapism.

Lea’s celebrating her first blogiversary with a week filled with contests. She’s giving away an Amazon gift certificate and books and who knows what else! Stop by each day to enter the latest contest.

Book Junkie’s having several contests. The first is her follower appreciation contest, which runs until October 2. She’s also giving away a copy of Kimberly Killon’s Highland Dragon. The second contest runs until midnight, October 5.

Jackie at Literary Escapism is having a contest for two Chloe Neill books and assorted other goodies. I really, really enjoyed Chloe Neill’s excellent vampire romance, Some Girls Bite, and am looking forward to reading the sequel, Friday Night Bites. Contest closes midnight, October 6.

Suburban Vampire’s giving away three signed copies of the graphic novel Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer. Contest closes 8 am PDT, October 13.

It’s Banned Books Week, and numerous bloggers have some great posts about it, including Neil Gaiman, The Book Smugglers, Wendy the Super Librarian, Lauren Dane, Love Romance Passion, Romance Book Wyrm, TeleRead, Dottie (My Blog 2.0), and many more.

Make sure you check out the interactive map of censorship attempts in the US from 2007-2009, too.

Kresley Cole is giving away a pdf copy of her short story “Warlord Wants Forever,” which is the first story in her excellent Immortals After Dark series. You can download the story here (link is directly to the pdf).

Harlequin Mills & Boon has ten ebooks available for free download, plus you can enter to win a Sony Reader.

How cool is it that CJ, who lives mere blocks away from me, has a shiny new urban fantasy coming out next year?!

Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) wonders whether it’s possible to tame that TBR (to be read) pile. I have my doubts! One of the unadvertised features of an ebook reader is that it makes your TBR pile far less visually overwhelming.

Dear Author debunks eight myths about ebooks.

TeleRead links to a nice roundup of available ebook readers and a comparison of the various Sony Reader options, then points out that Amazon is not dominating the ebook market.

Um……. a fake blood energy drink? Ewww!

Reading Update
Breaking Point and Into the Storm (Troubleshooters, Books 9-10). Suzanne Brockmann. audiobooks. These romantic suspenses made my drive to and from Toronto fly by! (Although Into the Storm was a serial killer book and I generally avoid serial killer books…)
The Stone Prince by Gena Showalter. ebook. Sweet paranormal romance about a woman whose kiss awakens one of the statues in her er0tic statue garden.
Destined for an Early Grave (Night Huntress, Book 4) by Jeaniene Frost. Paranormal romance. Although I adore Bones and Cat, I wonder how long I’ll be able to keep reading this series because of the relationship angst…
Stolen Fury by Elizabeth Naughton. Very good romantic suspense about an archeologist and an antiquities thief and ancient statues of the Furies. (Thanks, Lea – you were right!)
Soul Bonds, Rush in the Dark, and Edward, Unconditionally (Common Powers, Books 1-3) by Lynn Lorenz. ebooks. The first book in this paranormal m/m romance series never really engaged me, but the next two were better.
I Heart That City: Naked Richmond by Ally Blue. I Heart That City is a bar and Naked Richmond is but one of the stories (each by a different author) centered around the bar. This one’s an m/m romance about a bike messenger who crashes into a guy he has a crush on.
Passion and Satisfaction by M.L. Rhodes. ebooks. Related m/m romances about a high-powered businessman and a bartender.
Falling by M.L. Rhodes. ebook. This paranormal m/m romance had a vaguely Harry Potterish storyline… (Sorry to those of you who are now quietly whimpering.)
Like Coffee and Doughnuts by Elle Parker. ebook. Sufficiently good m/m romance about a PI and a mechanic that I’ll be looking for more from Parker.
The Name of the Game and It’s How You Play the Game by Willa Okati. ebooks. Decent related m/m romances. I liked the first better than the second, which seemed rather choppy.

The Tiger Within by Viki Lynn. ebook. Meh paranormal historical m/m romance set just after WWII.
Notturno by Z.A. Maxfield. ebook. Intense and engaging paranormal m/m romance about a professor who tracks down ancient er0tic texts and the vampire who wrote one of those texts.
The Elegant Corpse by A.M. Riley. ebook. This was another of A.M. Riley’s intense but not comfortable m/m romances. It’s very good, but very graphic.
Chasing Victory by Tory Temple. ebook. Decent m/m romance about a stock car driver who discovers that there’s a lot more to life than racing.
Bound by Love by T.A. Chase. ebook. Ok m/m romance about lusty cowboys.
Out of Bounds and High Line (Love of Sports, Books 1-2) by T.A. Chase. ebooks. Good m/m sports-related romances about a pair of twins and the guys they fall for.
Tabloid Star by T.A. Chase. ebook. Excellent m/m romance about a bartender and an up and coming Hollywood actor. Has a bit of a connection with the Love of Sports books.
Allergies by T.A. Chase. ebook. So-so paranormal m/m romance – who knew the IT guy was a werewolf, anyway?! Looks like this is going to be a series… that I probably won’t follow.
Love and Loyalty by Tere Michaels. ebook. Very good m/m romance about a cop who won’t let himself care for anyone so he can’t get hurt. I highly recommend both this and the previous book, Faith and Fidelity.
The Vampire and the Man-Eater by G.A. Hauser. ebook. Somewhat painfully written paranormal m/m romance. Let’s just say I won’t be reading anything else from this author, hmm?
Body and Soul, Secrets, and Camp Hell (Psy-Cop, Books 3-5) and Striking Sparks (novella related to Psy-Cop) by Jordan Castillo Price. ebooks. This is a great paranormal m/m series. Price is one of those authors on my must-read list.


“I’ll humor you for now, Mom, even though this is absolutely not an authentic SRM. Die, fake SRM, die!” -Chaos

What? Where’s Mayhem? She’s here. But hey, let’s not begrudge Chaos spotlight time during his birthday week, mmm?

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Absalanche!*

Don’t worry – even though today is supposed to be a day without cats on the internetz, you’ll still get your daily dose of Chaos and/or Mayhem here. Because, really? I’d be a-feared for my life otherwise. (Others are stepping up their cat blogging in reaction, too.)

Congrats to the contest winners, who will receive a copy of Michelle Rowen’s Tall, Dark and Fangsome from Hatchette Books:  Cyn, Donna S, Books on the Knob,  Chelsea B, and Mishia! Stay tuned for another contest or two when I get back from vacation later this month. :)

Zonda and her team the Skeleton Crew (they work in x-ray!) are going to be in the Relay for Life in October if you’d like to donate to support the cause.

Lots of book news and many contests! Donna (Fantasy Dreamer), SciFiGuy, Literary Escapism, and Book Reviews by Jess have great summary posts.

Make your own ebook reader case and stand.

Wow, look at the improvement in the eink display between the older Sony PRS-500 and the new PRS-300!

Squee! If I had an iPhone, this case would definitely tempt me.

Just say no. Please.

Huh. Loud music might be bad for your ears, but good for your brain.

I had no idea there was a drink called a black cat.

Ain’t this the truth?!

Probably Mayhem couldn’t play poker, either.

If you have a cat and you’ve ever wondered why you can’t find yarn you know you had…

Sad that you missed out on the food oddities of the Minnesota State Fair? Live vicariously through Amy at A Closer Look at Flyover Land. (Yes, there are butter sculpture pictures.)


Before y’all freak out over the number of books in this reading update, remember that I didn’t post a reading update last week! Plus, these are the abs that have to sustain you during my vacation. ;)

Reading Update
Demon Inside by Stacia Kane. The second in this decent paranormal romance series about psychologist Megan Chase, who’s trying to adjust to leading her little group of demons while dating another demon.
The Darkest Whisper (Lords of the Underworld, Book 4) by Gena Showalter. This was Sabin’s (Lord of Doubt) story. It was a solid addition to the series… but when will Paris’s torment end?! When is his book???
Heiress for Hire by Erin McCarthy. Contemporary romance sequel to McCarthy’s A Date with the Other Side about a disinherited heiress stranded in a farming town.
The Bachelor (The Chandler Brothers, Book 1) by Carly Phillips. So-so contemporary romance about a world-traveling reporter who returns to his small town home and runs into the only woman who ever broke his heart. Probably the most telling thing about this? I don’t care if I read the next two books or not.
Fated (Doomsday Brethren 1.5) by Shayla Black. Free ebook novella. Ho hum. I liked the first Doomsday Brethren book (hunky wizards!), but this story didn’t pull me in. Possibly reading Amor en Retrogrado immediately prior negatively affected my perception…
Amor en Retrogrado by A.M. Riley. ebook. Excellent m/m romantic suspense about an author who loses much of his memory in an attack. This was a powerful read – I even cried a few times. Highly recommended.
What Matters Most by Lisa Marie Davis. ebook. So-so, somewhat sappy slightly paranormal m/m romance – the writing never really engaged me.
Lovers, Dreamers, and Me by Willa Okati. ebook. Meh m/m romance about an oblivious bookstore owner and a psychic. I wanted to slap characters around by halfway through, which I find is never a good sign.
The Best Vacation That Never Was by Lynn Lorenz. ebook. Decent m/m romance about a firefighter and the guy he rescues and takes home with him…
Holed Up by Hank Edwards. ebook. Well done m/m romantic suspense about an FBI agent protecting a man who overheard information about a terrorist attack.
Crossing Borders by Z.A. Maxfield. ebook. Good m/m romance about a cop and a skateboarder/college student, although waiting to find out what the big dramatic tension was going to be about killed me. (“Now? Is it now? Not yet? Sigh.”) However, this book did get bonus points for the Rurouni Kenshin references.
Drawn Together by Z.A. Maxfield. ebook. I think it’s safe to say that Z.A. Maxfield is a manga/anime fan, since this m/m romantic suspense was about a guy who travels across the country to a con to meet the manga artist he idolizes and believes is female. I really enjoyed this one and I even got sniffly a few times.
The Last Bite by Evangeline Anderson. ebook. Paranormal m/m romance about a demon hunting werewolf and his protege, who is bitten by a demon and lies dying.
Immortality is the Suck and What to Buy for the Vampire Who Has Everything by A.M. Riley. ebooks. Paranormal m/m sort of romance. The protagonist, former crooked cop and now vampire Adam, is such an antihero that I was surprised at how involved I got in the story. Recommended, although be warned that these are not light’n’fluffy easy reads.
High Country by Michael Barnett. ebook. Ok paranormal m/m paranormal romance about a scifi writer who rents a cabin on a Colorado high country ranch for a month so he can work on his latest book.
Claimed by Darkness by Mia Watts. ebook. There just wasn’t quite enough story mixed in with all the steam to support this paranormal m/m romance. And maybe it was my imagination, but the prose seemed to deteriorate as the story went on.
Altered Heart by Kate Steele. ebook. Pretty good paranormal m/m romance about a werewolf enforcer who kills a psychotic alpha werewolf and rescues the young man/werewolf being kept as a pet by said psychotic alpha werewolf.
To the Highest Bidder by Kate Steele. Sweet m/m romance about a bookstore owner whose friend buys him a lunch date with a Hollywood actor in a charity auction.
Faith and Fidelity by Tere Michaels. ebook. Powerful m/m romance about a widowed cop, his kids, and how things can get very complicated when you fall in love with your best friend. Recommended.


“A day without cats on the internetz? As if! Cats are the internetz.” -Chaos

*Thanks to Van for suggesting this title lo! those many moons ago.

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Reading, contesting, and linking, oh my!

Congrats to the commenters who won copies of Dark Hunger: Tink, Anne, Morning Glow, CC, and Dottie! Thanks to everyone who participated – stop back tomorrow for a new book giveaway.


All About Books has a copy of Karen Marie Moning’s Dreamfever up for grabs – comment by 11:59 pm, EDT, August 27, for your chance to win.

You have several chances to win a copy of Devyn Quinn’s latest release, Possession: at Love Romance Passion (comment before August 29) and at Anna’s Book Blog (comment before August 30).

SciFiGuy is giving away two signed copies of Annette McLeave’s new release, Drawn into Darkness. Leave a comment by midnight, August 31, for your chance to win.

For your chance to win a copy of Jory Strong’s Ghostland or Spider-Touched, leave a comment at Literary Escapism by midnight, September 1.

A Journey of Books is giving away copies of Highland Rebel – you have until midnight EDT, September 15, to participate.

Fantasy Dreamer has a great list of book news and contests. So does Cecile!


Sony announced a wireless ebook reader yesterday. Gizmodo compares the major wireless ebook readers and has some info about the virtual library ebook checkout that Sony mentioned.

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any crazier than Mr. Darcy, Vampyrehere comes Jane Bites Back.

LOL – if you’re brave and need some laughs, head on over to The Thrillionth Page to read about Miss Doreen’s sordid reading discovery

How about a random but adorable link to a little black kitty boy?


Reading Update
Blue Fire, ePistols at Dawn, and The Long Way Home by Z.A. Maxfield. ebooks. M/m romance. Blue Fire and ePistols at Dawn were ok. Sadly, The Long Way Home would definitely have benefited from more editorial attention – the basic story was good, but it rambled, wandered, and fell down more than once due to structural issues.
St. Nacho’s and Physical Therapy by Z.A. Maxfield. ebooks. Related m/m romances about the somewhat mystical and strangely healing California town of Santo Ignacio, known as St. Nacho’s. (And hey, there’s a detour to River Falls, Wisconsin!)
Fire on the Mountain by P. D. Singer. ebook. Smokin’ hot m/m about two guys fighting forest fires in the Rockies.
Black Hills by Nora Roberts. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned how much I love the Black Hills, so I was particularly interested in the latest from Nora Roberts. Alas, it’s set in the Deadwood area, which isn’t the area of the Black Hills with which I’m familiar. As usual with the Nora, it was well-written and suspenseful until almost the very last page.
Dead and Gone (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 9) by Charlaine Harris. Oh, my, just when you think that Sookie’s life can’t get any more complicated and crazy… another book comes out.
Somebody Killed His Editor (Holmes & Moriarity, Book 1) by Josh Lanyon. ebook. Mystery writer Christopher Holmes is trying to revitalize his career at a writing retreat and things don’t go quite as planned… This was really well-done and poked fun at publishing and crazyily targeted mystery niches. Speaking of Josh Lanyon, Love Romances & More is deep in their m/m focus series and had a great interview with him yesterday.


May appears to have forgiven the toy basket… mostly.

“I’m keeping an eye on this toy basket, and keeping one foot on the floor. Just in case.” -Mayhem

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