Category Archives: Linkity linkity link

And then there was thundersnow…

Let’s just admire this traditional postcard shot (from last July) of downtown Minneapolis (taken from the Sculpture Garden with Spoonbridge and Cherry in the forefront) until spring arrives, shall we?

It’s very snowy here at the moment. *sigh* (And the Cherry’s been removed from the Spoonbridge in order to be repainted. Probably the Dish will run away with the Spoonbridge before all is said and done.)

I have to admit that I felt a little silly yesterday at 11:30 when I left the office to do a few errands on my way to work from home for the rest of the day. Sure, the sky was a bit ominous, but it wasn’t precipitating. I stopped at the library. When I came out 10 minutes later, a few scattered snowflakes were falling. Next I stopped at the Wedge Co-op. When I came out 20 minutes later, I had to brush about 0.25″ of snow from my car windows. By the time I got home at 12:30, conditions were near whiteout! In fact, around 4″ of snow fell in the next hour or two. I felt a lot less silly at that point. 🙂

This looks like a lot more fun than badminton.

Poor baby!! Eeep!! has posted a list of the urban fantasy, paranormal, fantasy, and science fiction releases for March. And the new Uncle Hugo’s (scifi/fantasy/paranormal) and Uncle Edgar’s (mystery) newsletter is out – I really look forward to receiving this each quarter.

Reading Update
Hot Mail by Janice Maynard. Extremely steamy non-paranormal romance. I got annoyed at one of the female characters, but maybe it’s because I could see too much of myself in her. 🙂
The Cat’s Meow by Emily Carmichael. I confess I picked up this romance/mystery solely because it had a black cat on the cover. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this well-written story of a high-powered attorney who develops amnesia and starts to hear her black cat Nefriti talking to her and giving her advice. I’ll be reading the other interconnected books.
Smart and Sexy (Sky High Air, Book 1) by Jill Shalvis. A nice solid non-paranormal romance. The male characters featured in these books own an air-charter business in California.
Caressed by Ice (Psy-Changelings, Book 3) by Nalini Singh. This is a very, very good paranormal romance series. Definitely recommended. The next book is already waiting on my book stand!
Angel’s Pawn: A Companion Novella to “Angel’s Blood” by Nalini Singh. Ebook. A decent read, but without the punch of Angel’s Blood. I’d recommend reading Angel’s Blood first to get familiar with the world. But then again – maybe it was just the ebook format, giving the reading experience a very different feel. Guess which reading experience I prefer? 🙂

You put your left paw in, you put your left paw out, you put your left paw in and…. zzzzzzzzz….” -Chaos

I am SO over this winter thing

Gladys and Dotty are celebrating their blogiversary with a contest. Leave them a comment (by midnight PST, March 1) and tell them about the extremes you’ve gone to for yarn or a project.

Aw, trek posted a purple house picture for me! (More purple houses from 2007.)

Kitty nirvana? Ah, if only it had a sunbeam, too.

Brilliant! O noes! And oh, the cute, it burns

Remember the Control-A-Cat Remote? Gizmodo weighs in.

Here’s a clever litterbox hack from ikea hacker – if I hadn’t finally managed to find an extra large litterbox for Chaos some years ago, I’d definitely try this out.

Nicola provides some interesting links if you’re wondering what exactly an alpha hero is.

Reading Update
Destiny Kills (Myth and Magic, Book 1) by Keri Arthur. What if there were sea dragons and sky dragons and each had human forms? This totally sucked me in and I’m looking forward to the second book.
The Magic Knot by Helen Scott Taylor. Fairies and piskies and a druid! I picked this up from the library because I’d read a raving review of it. The story was good, but the writing was simplistic. Meh.
The Wild Road (Dirk & Steele, Book 8 ) by Marjorie M. Liu. Excellent non-vampire paranormal romance. I’ve just reserved the first several books of the series so I can read them in order.
The Vampire’s Seduction (The Savannah Vampires, Book 1) by Raven Hart. Told alternately by two vampires, Jack and William, this book drew me in slowly and suddenly I couldn’t put it down!
Kiss and Tell, Hide and Seek, and On Thin Ice (The Men of T-FLAC: The Wrights, Books 2-3, 6) by Cherry Adair. Not paranormal at all, but I’m a sucker for interconnected storylines like this. However, I’m not exerting any effort to read the series in order.
Succubus Takes Manhattan by Nina Harper. The second in this series, it also suffers from the same “ohmigod-I’ve-run-over-my-page-count-and-have-to-end-here-even-though-it-doesn’t-make-a-lot-of-sense” feeling of the first book. It’s a shame, because these are clever and decently written… although plotting the story against a calendar might lead to fewer disconcerting time discontinuities.
Salvation in Death by J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts). A solid Eve Dallas/Roarke mystery. Mmmm, Roarke.

“Blog readers, blog readers, hiding somewhere beyond the vet, who’s the cutest kitty of all?” -Mayhem

In which Mayhem notices that her legs are missing

If you don’t live in the north country, brace yourselves before you go over to Knitnzu for Lisa’s contest. Big chunks of ice slid off a roof onto her car (no one was hurt! whew) and did a shocking amount of damage. Guess what the estimate will be and you could win a $25 Spunky Eclectic gift certificate or some superwash wool. Leave your guesses and commiseration by 5 pm EST, February 20.

If you’re a cat owner living in the US, you can win a one-year supply of organic soybean-based kitty litter over at moderncat. Drawing will be held February 23.

Tell the Largehearted Boy what book you’re carrying around in your pocket these days (or wish you could get to fit into your pocket to carry around), and you could win some books from Harper Perennial’s new Olive Reader series (specifically designed to fit into pockets). The completely non-paranormal contest closes sometime in the evening of February 18.

If you sign up to follow scrapbook mystery author Joanna Campbell Slan’s Twitter feed, you’ll be entered in a contest to win a big box of mysteries from her shelves.

Brainylady Alison has a nifty tutorial on making a hollow book to hide your special secret stuff.

Definitely not Mayhem – there would be more ends. Anyone who has a cat knows how true this one is!

Not sure if your pet needs to go to the vet or not? This resource might help you decide.

If you use Facebook, you should read a bit more about their new terms of service.

25 Things Meme: The Evil Edition.

Reading Update
Star Quality by Lori Foster, Lucy Monroe, and Dianne Castell. The title of this fluffy/steamy paranormal romance collection set in “Delicious, Ohio” is more than a bit puzzling, since the stories are all about the magic of a blue moon… Not worth exerting any effort to read, although I did giggle over this exchange: “Does everybody around here drive like a lunatic?” “It’s in all Midwest genes.”
Out of Sight (The Men of T-FLAC: The Wrights, Book 5) by Cherry Adair. I swear, the book was about 100 pages too long for the amount of material. I definitely like the T-FLAC books with a paranormal element better than those without (guess which this is).
Edge of Fear (The Men of T-FLAC: The Edge Brothers, Book 9) by Cherry Adair. More anti-terrorist wizards! Woot. And the right number of pages for the amount of story. Bonus.
Visions of Heat (Psy-Changelings, Book 2) by Nalini Singh. This series is definitely growing on me. Telepaths and hunky wereleopards and werejaguars. Yum.
Dark Warrior Unleashed (The Talions, Book 1) by Alexis Morgan. Ancient Vikings who need to absorb human energy to survive – while that sounds rather vampirish, it doesn’t read like it. An intriguing start to this new series set in Seattle.
Demon’s Hunger by Eve Silver. Demons and succubi and sorcerers, oh my! The sequel to Demon’s Kiss is an intense and involving read that kept me guessing until the end. Definitely a recommended series.
Wild & Hexy (The Hex Series, Book 2) by Vicki Lewis Thompson. Fun’n’fluffy’n’sexy paranormal romance about magical matchmakers (and a lake monster and a dragon and a very clever dancing black cat) in Big Knob, Indiana. (The next book in the series will be Casual Hex…)

“I think there’s evil magic afoot around here! Someone stole my legs and I am not pleased at all.” -Mayhem

One day while I was at work…

…Chaos taught himself how to open the nightstand drawer so he could steal earplugs. I discovered this when he dropped one at my feet so I could throw it and play fetch with him. Hmmm. The earplugs are now sealed into a plastic container, but he still rummages around in the nightstand every day. So, do I buy some sort of child-proofing device or simply remove the drawer handle? Maybe his protothumb project is further along than I realized…

For your chance to win the entire Kitty Norville (Colorado werewolf and dj) series by Carrie Vaughn, head over to Blood of the Muse before February 20, 11:59 pm PST. Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist is giving away the Kitty Norville series, too, plus some runners-up will receive a copy of Kitty Raises Hell (not out yet). Not sure what the end date is for this one.

Speaking of book contests, I’ve had a bit of luck myself recently, winning a copy of Hell’s Bells by Jackie Kessler from Urban Fantasy Land and a copy of Tempt Me With Darkness by Shayla Black from Midnight Moon Cafe. I highly recommend following a few book blogs in your favorite genres! And remember – “Reading: Not juz fur innterlectualls.”

Tetris art!

Isn’t this a clever little knitting gadget?

Brace yourself for a cute burn – wee kittens wrapped in knitting. *thud*

Lovely way to hide unsightly cables and cords by disguising them as vines – too bad plants and cables/cords are some of May’s favorite things, making it the ultimate Mayhem SnackPack.

Perfect! A remote control for your cat.

Simply change the cat’s name to Chaos or Mayhem… This could be Mayhem, too. And talk about truth in advertising!

Speaking of cats on the internet, Salon has a short article on “how the lowly cat became an online star.”

Hee hee – too bad you can’t actually rent an author.

Reading Update
Weddings Can Be Murder by Christie Craig. Nicely done contemporary romance/mystery.
Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand (Kitty Norville, Book 5) by Carrie Vaughn. Dang, I think it would’ve helped if I’d remembered more of Kitty and the Silver Bullet… I didn’t enjoy it as much as I’ve enjoyed the previous Kitty novels. (There are vampires in these books, but they are not the main focus.)
Sighs Matter by Marianne Stillings. You’d think the punnish title would’ve prepared me for the ongoing punnishment of this romance. Alas, no. As a romance went, it was lacklusterly ok, but the punnage, ah, the punnage was painful.
The Mercenary by Cherry Adair. Think this was a reissue of the first T-FLAC novel, without much paranormal to it. This was ok romantic suspense, but I felt that the ending was lacking a particular critical bit. (I’ll ruin the story for you if I mention what it is.)
Edge of Danger (The Men of T-FLAC: The Edge Brothers, Book 8 ) by Cherry Adair. Sexy anti-terrorist wizards. Eat your heart out, Jack Bauer.
Stay the Night: A Novel of the Darkyn by by Lynn Viehl. Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham as vampires (er, Darkyn) in the modern world. This is apparently the last Darkyn novel – looks like the next book will be a Kyndred book. Not sure it will make a huge difference.
The Pagan Stone: The Sign of Seven Trilogy, Book 3 by Nora Roberts. Whew! This was an intense finish to the trilogy.
Dogs and Goddesses by Jennifer Crusie, Anne Stuart, and Lani Diane Rich. If you liked The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes, which was another paranormal romance group writing project from Crusie, you’ll probably enjoy Dogs and Goddesses. It was fun and well-written, featuring talking dogs, cookies from a Like Water for Chocolate mold, and a Mesopotamian god and goddess or two. But, sadly, the last third of the book sort of fell apart.
Dream Warrior (Dream-Hunter) by Sherrilyn Kenyon. The latest Dream-Hunter/Dark-Hunter novel (because really, to have any clue what’s going on, you have to keep up on both) is another rather mediocre effort, alas.
Slave to Sensation (Psy-Changelings, Book 1) by Nalini Singh. Telepaths and wereleopards, oh my! I definitely like her new Guild Hunter series better, but maybe I shouldn’t judge this series by the first book… Very steamy stuff.

“I deny everything!” -Chaos

“…a deficiency of Mayhem.”

Dust off your haiku-writing skills and write KitKatKnit a humorous haiku about knitting and/or cats before noon PST, February 6, for your chance to win some “fiber goodies.”

Ruth is desperately trying to find some yarn – she’s looking for Berroco Ultra Alpaca Lite (Ocean Mix), Berroco Ultra Alpaca (Carnelian), and Koigu KPPPM P315 (sort of lightish earthtones, heavy on the grey). Let her know if you can help – she’s already tried Ravelry.

Limedragon has some information about knitting comics – one online and one in print. And don’t forget that Natalie Dee often has knitting-related comics – does this encompass the misguided power of denial or what?!

Hmm – is it just my imagination, or does this IKEA hack of turning a doll bed into a cat bed (about $30) result in something very similar to this $300 pet lounger?

Anyone who’s tried to decipher my handwriting probably thinks that this is a very bad idea indeed.

Tea hee! Just when you thought it was safe to drink your tea

Congrats to my neighborhood co-op, the Wedge, for making the 2009 Saveur Top 100! (It’s in the American Bounty section.)

The Uptown Mpls Blog has more gorgeous pictures of my neighborhood – these are from an evening cross-country ski race (with luminaria) on my beloved Lake of the Isles last weekend.

I’m pretty sure that this primer on Minneapolis skyway etiquette can be applied to numerous mass transit situations. (“Crazy people, y’all have got to stop talking to me.”)

The dismal science indeed – college is 248.4% more expensive than it was in 1990?! Yikes.

Harlequin’s giving away 16 free ebooks to celebrate its 60th anniversary. The paranormal title is Kiss Me Deadly by Michele Hauf. And is giving away a trip for two to Mexico. (Do read the fine print first!)

Reading Update
Oceans of Fire, Safe Harbor, and Turbulent Sea (Drake Sisters, Books 3, 5-6) by Christine Feehan. Dear Christine Feehan: You can definitely write a compelling story, but please go back to remedial author school and review the section on s3x scenes. I think you must’ve skipped class that day. Your reliance on the words “channel” and “sheath” (to their occurrence up to six times in two pages!) is distracting and contrived. Thank you.
Edge of Darkness (The Men of T-FLAC: The Edge Brothers, Book 10) by Cherry Adair. Not great, but definitely enjoyable paranormal romance about wizards.
Whisper To the Blood (A Kate Shugak Novel) by Dana Stabenow. I received this book as an advance reading copy through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program. I’ve been reading this series for a while now, and even in order (so you know I really like it). This is the sixteenth Kate Shugak mystery. I strongly encourage you to read the previous 15 (in order!) before starting this book (the first book is A Cold Day for Murder, just to get you started). If you like Sara Paretsky’s V.I. Warshawski mysteries, I think you’ll like the Kate Shugak mysteries.

Kate’s an Alaskan Native, part-time PI, and full-time “Park rat” (residents of a generic national park in Alaska, based on the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park). She’s nearly always accompanied by the mostly faithful Mutt, her half wolf, half husky. In Whisper To the Blood, a gold mining company is buying land and preparing to dig a massive open pit mine in the Park, while the Aunties shanghai Kate (more than the Aunties usually do, that is). During the first half of the book, I found myself getting cranky at Kate and companion (can’t say who that is, as it could detract from your enjoyment of the previous 15 books). But the last half of the book took me by surprise, swept me along, and left me looking forward to Book 17!

I highly recommend this series, not only for the vivid characters and intense action, but also for Stabenow’s clever writing and insights.

Oh yeah, and my favorite quote from this book? “What, you bored? Suffering from a deficiency of mayhem?” Yeah, that’d do it for me. 😉

“Huh. So that’s what’s wrong with her today.” -Chaos

Can’t blog. Assembling furniture.

Happy fourth blogiversary to Carole! Stop by to congratulate her before noon EST, February 2, and you could win a kpixie gift certificate.

Author Rachel Vincent is giving away copies of her books, a B&N gift certificate, and Godiva chocolates to celebrate the release of her latest book Pride on February 4. I haven’t read any of the books in Vincent’s Shifters series yet, but they’re on my list to read.

If I had seen this tableau (which is somewhere in my neighborhood!), I would’ve taken a picture, too.

Minneapolis made the top 10 in the Forbes list of America’s most wired cities.

Truly the most unusual color chart ever

Creepy skeleton bicycle – fortunately, it’s art and not an actual bike! Can’t even imagine how many accidents it might cause due to the gawk factor.

Will this be the year I make it out to look at the art shanties on Medicine Lake? It’d sure help if they were open during the week, since they are very close to where I work. had a nice list of upcoming urban fantasy, paranormal, and scifi/fantasy books.

Lifehacker had an article about how to cut down on book hoarding. You’d almost think it was a bad thing, wouldn’t you? We’ll see who’s laughing in the midst of the great book shortage – I’m pretty sure it’ll be me and Carrie K. Who’s with us?!

Hmm. I’m hoping that neither PBS nor the BBC feel the need to make a miniseries from the forthcoming book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

“I am a princess! Worship at my paws!! (Shut up, big kitty.)” -Mayhem