Special thanks to Leontine from Leontine's Book Realm for the super header.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday Summary

Well, it's the last day of the Olympics. Canada had an amazing last couple of days. Friday night Charles Hamelin in short track got two gold medals within an hour. (The one with the beard.) One in the 500 metres where Ohno was disqualified for shoving the Korean just before the line so we got the bronze in that too. Then in the 5000 relay we were ahead the whole way so Charles, his brother Francois and the other guys got the gold. US, the bronze. Those short track guys are really tiny, but our men looked huge. Especially our dread locked rasta man. LOL
It was adorable when Charles won the 500 m his girlfriend (who won a silver at the Olympics) came flying down from the stands and leaped up on the edge and he leaped up from the other side and they were hugging and kissing. We also got a sliver in women's curling, the gold in men's curling, the gold in men's speed skating team pursuit, a bronze in bob sled (we had a bad crash too which took one of our teams out) and then the gold in men's parallel giant slalom. My daughter and I were having a heart attack here. It was pouring rain and our guy was .75 behind and had to make it up and pass the guy on the second run. Ack!!! I can't believe he did it. So we ended on a high note. Of course we still have a medal waiting in hockey today and there is the 50 km cross country (I'm dying just thinking about skiing that far) but I'm not sure we seriously have a chance there. I believe Canada has now received the most gold medals of any one country in a winter Olympics. We are third in total, but have the most golds. Really can't complain about how well we did, just took us a while to get going. So no more Olympic updates from me.

I did some reading too. Surprise.

Regularly Scheduled Life by K.A. Mitchell (387 pages)

I have put off reading this because I knew it was an angst festival even though I love KA Mitchell's work. Yep angst galore. Almost needed a tissue a few times. Amazing story, but if angst isn't your thing you may not enjoy it. Sean is a teacher who's been with Kyle for 6 years. The day of their anniversary there is a school shooting and Sean tackles the shooter getting shot himself. He survives and is deemed a hero and a PR guy starts getting him on Oprah, etc. where he can try and change the image of gay men. It's basically 300 pages of watching the slow erosion of a perfect relationship due to dealing with the physical aftermath, the emotional crap and how people are changed irrevocably. Also Sean refuses counseling which doesn't help and Kyle walks around saying "fine" to everything. I swear if I heard "fine" one more time I was going to slap someone. LOL But I think it was amazingly well done and depicts what often does happen after a life-changing event. People are never the same and working through it doesn't always happen in a nice steady way. So a fabulous story but not something you read when you want something light and fluffy.
From Afar by Ava March (64 pages)

Raphael is a vampire who has basically been stalking Aleric since he moved to London three years ago. He just feels compelled to be near him. One night he rescues him from some muggers but Aleric is stabbed and the only way to save him is to turn him into a vampire. Amazingly it goes pretty well, Aleric has always had a thing for guys and they burn up the sheets. However the vampire clan in London is run by a woman. It's very bad to create a new vampire without her permission but Raphael lives on the outskirts of the clan. He takes Aleric to meet her and see the great big gay orgy that is living with the clan. Aleric is not impressed when he finds out Raphael was stalking him, but on the whole he wants to stay with him and not live in the porn palace but they know they have to leave London (for somewhere warm, smart men). Yes, it was historical but it was set in a very specific world and only takes place over a couple of days so I quite enjoyed it. I like paranormal historicals I think I'm finding. I enjoyed Raphael and you got to know the real Aleric, not just Raphael's image of him from afar. I also think the guy on the cover at that book is swoon-worthy. So if you like vampires or historicals or both I think you'll enjoy it.

Oh yeah, the pdf version says 80 pages but the story is only 65 or so. What's in the back you ask? Well, I knew this before I read it because Jenre commented on it in her review so I wasn't overly annoyed. Also there is an excerpt from the author's other m/m book which I did read (sounded interesting), then there was an excerpt from Charlie Cochrane's book and Mychael Black's book, again both m/m so I can live with this. At least they are in the same genre and might catch the interest of the reader

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Wrap-Up

I would sooooo win the gold in the last sport. I can out relax anyone I'm sure. Our figure skater got the bronze last night. I was happy for her able to pull that off with her mother dying suddenly a few days ago. Talk about focus. I imagine now that it's over she will crash emotionally. The gold medalist from Korea? Meh. Sure she was great but it was almost so perfect it was boring. She's only 19, where else does she have to go, she's peaked and it's all a big ball of blah to me.

We got the gold in women's hockey. Ho hum. I know that's kind of unpatriotic but seriously, there are only two teams who even have a chance, that's not the Olympics. We are guaranteed another couple of medals as our curlers are both in the finals so silver at least and there is a bunch of short track speed skating tonight so maybe we'll pull something out of our hats. I can't believe it's almost over. Sigh. I'm kind of looking forward to getting back to a normal routine though. We were up until after midnight to watch the skating and we didn't even stay up for the medals. I had to practically use a crane to get my daughter out of bed this morning. Got some reading done though.

Blue Murder by Emily Veinglory (75 pages)
This is set in the future where the existence of vampires and werewolves is common knowledge. In the US, however they must be registered and are treated as lesser citizens. They live in ghettos and have low paying jobs. I love when Canada is mentioned in a story and this one goes: "Our neighbors to the north behind the billion dollar wall built to keep the Canucks and all their free range freaks out of the star spangled land." HAHAHA, isn't that what some Americans already wish you had? There are also two types of paranormals, those who are born that way and those who are made. The "borns" feel they are superior and would love to kill all the mades and vice-versa, so not only are they all discriminated against by humans but they are at war amongst themselves. The mades however have stronger senses, weres can shift at will whereas naturals shift during a full moon.

Okay, now that I've set it up, Bern is a made-vamp who works at the front desk of the police station taking reports about stolen bikes and the like. Kerry is a cop/werewolf but Bern knows he's unregistered. Bern and Kerry start having a little fling when suddenly the spot testers are there checking for unregistered supes. They figure out they are after Kerry and it's the full moon so he's going to change and has no control. The police are looking for him and Bern freaks and they head for Canada. They are separated and Bern turns to Kerry's family for help. They manage to rescue them both, although his mother would rather slit her wrists than help Bern, Kerry forces the issue. He doesn't want to be in a war against the others, he's tired of the fighting and just wants to be with Bern and have lots of sex. Hey, don't we all. I'm not sure if this going to be part of a series or not. It says at the end it's an "expanded" story so maybe it was in a shorter version somewhere. This seemed like a lot of world-building which I had to explain and it would be interesting to see how Bern and Kerry deal with shunning Kerry's family, dealing with the internal war, finding a place to live as supernaturals, etc. It was a decent read but with a lot of information packed into 75 or so pages.

Baby, It's Cold Outside by Nicole Kimberling (64 pages)

This is the follow-up to Primal Red but you really don't have to have read it first. There are a few little things that you might understand if you did, but you can read it fine without. Reporter Peter agrees to go snow-camping with his live-in artist lover Nick. He is sooo not an outdoorsy guy. But he's doing fine when they find one of the other campers murdered. They all end up at a lodge New Year's eve as they await a way to contact the police and it's a bit like a Miss Marple mystery (whom Nick accuses Peter of being). Peter just can't let it rest and you have the two friends of the murder victim (young men), the sister of a young woman who died in an avalanche due to the drunkenness of the victim and her husband, Nick's cousin, a painter left paint on the dead man's jacket. Who done it? Also, Peter finally tells Nick that he has a job interview in Texas for a more high profile job and Nick doesn't want to leave his life in Washington. So you have the murder mystery plus the two guys trying to figure out their relationship. The whole story takes place over two days and there is a fair amount of humour at times and Nick and Peter are total guys who NEVER talk about feelings and don't want to. Nick gets pissed off at Peter for his nosiness and Peter gets self-righteous over his career so it seems more "normal" for a long-term couple. The smexin' is hot, even in a quinzhee. I enjoyed the little mystery that as I said, reminded me of Miss Marple but with more sex.

Second Chance by Selena Kitt (37 pages)

Ty works at Walmart and everyday this huge biker guy comes at lunch and buys a 64 pack of crayons, some slim jims and crackerjacks. Ty is intrigued but his female friend/coworker Lucky thinks he's creepy and a pedophile. Ty is covering for Lucky one weekend and he gets to talking with Jonah and they have lunch. Ty refuses to ride on his motorcycle and after they have some raunchy sex he finally admits why. He was in an accident that killed his partner and they had been raising his young daughter. When he awoke from the coma the daughter had been returned to her mother and he had no rights. Eventually he finds out that the crayons are for Jonah's daughter whom he sees everyday at lunch at her school as he only gets her one weekend/month. Ty has to decide whether he's willing to take a second chance, especially with someone with another child. I liked Ty and Jonah okay, although their relationship is a bit porny at first (I mean not so romantic - more sex driven) but I HATED Ty's friend. She just kept insisting that because Jonah was a biker who liked kids that he was a pedophile and she kept being obnoxious until he had to save her ass from her abusive boyfriend then she liked him. Grrr. Anyway, it was an okay read.

[start rant] Here we go. The book in pdf is 66 pages. You'll notice I said the story is 37 pages, so what are those other 29 pages you ask? I haven't had one of these rants in forever. LOL I did feel like the story should have gone on, not only because in my brain I expected another 25+ pages but he found about the daughter, the end. Anyway, following the usual bio there is an excerpt from one of the author's m/f books of 6 pages. Then it says "Buy these books by the author" and there are blurbs for 18 other books. ONE of which is m/m/f, the others are all m/f, f/f and many contain incest or non-con. So I just got an m/m romance and you really think I'm going to be interested in 17 other books that have not so much as a whiff of m/m and contain non-con? Ummm. Not likely. The only upside is they are all the original author's work so I suppose her, book - her stuff promoted, but it's not even in the same sub-genre. And it seems to be more erotica than romance from the blurbs, especially all the incest and non-con. Anyway, another example of a way to piss me off eXcessica Publishing. [end rant]

Thank you for listening. Back to your regularly scheduled life. Have a great weekend all.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mystery Wednesday and yet another Olympic Update

So first the Olympics. We got a gold in women's ski cross Monday and we had a very productive day yesterday. We got the bronze in speed skating. Clara Hughes has won medals in both summer (cycling) and winter Olympics and she plans on retiring so a nice finish for her. We also got the silver in women's short track speed skating relay and then we watched our bob sledding women take both the gold and silver last night. There were some amazing wipe-outs. Seeing that woman go flying out of the sled and skidding down the track at 100 km/h was pretty wild.

I HATED our female commentator. She used to be bobsledder so knows the women but she kept saying personal stuff about the competitors " So-and-so told me she had some serious personal problems that led to her results". Oh gee, thanks, I'm sure she wants EVERYONE to know her personal life was in the toilet. Then when the British team was up she starts laughing about "oh she had a great behind as everyone on YouTube knows." So of course we googled and the woman's suit split during a competition and you can see her butt. But really, I'm sure she's embarrassed by that but you felt compelled to share it so people like me would look. Arrgghh. I shouldn't have I know, but it's human nature. You leave me wondering what the hell you're talking about I'm going to look. I just thought her personal comments were really too far and that I'm sure things people shared thinking they were only talking to a former colleague they never dreamed would be broadcast to the world. Very unprofessional. Rant over.

For other countries, Australia, that winter sports powerhouse ;-) got a gold in women's aerials.

I seem to be in a mystery reading mood, or finishing mysteries because I had started Partners in Crime forever ago but never finished the second story. Done. I re-read the first one quickly as well.

Pas de Deux by Jamie Craig (270 pages)

James is a high powered media friendly lawyer who has taken on the case of a young man accused of killing a ballerina pro bono because he has a gut instinct. The detective on the case has a heart attack and Owen, a star of the department, is assigned. He meets James and is impressed and vice versa. Some quick research on James' part proves that his client is innocent and when suddenly his client is accused of killing his cellmate and James is shot at on the street, they start working together to find out what the heck is going on and not only who killed the girl but why they are determined to keep James' client in jail for something/anything.

I did enjoy the mystery and although it's revealed early on "who done it" the question is can they get the evidence to prove it. The two guys moved very quickly on the relationship front but they admit that it's a bit freaky that within three days they are both very attracted. Maybe they are a bit perfect, James is the rich lawyer on partner track but isn't arrogant and cares about his clients. Owen is the detective who always gets his man but cares about justice and not going about things in a ham-handed fashion, so they each respect that the other is not the negative stereotype that they expect. I liked their relationship and how they interacted and worked together. What I didn't like? Sigh. The name thing. Their names are Owen Duke and James Scott. Sometimes they are referred to as Duke and Scott, sometimes James and Owen. When they speak to each other they use their first names (as in called out at the height of passion) but in the narrative it changes, sometimes within the same paragraph or sentence to sentence. I'm not sure the POV type but you are inside each guys head, or it feels like it. So the narrative will be "He felt that James was the best thing that ever happened to him. Duke turned over and shut the light off." Why would you refer to him by his first name AND his last name in the same thought? Why not just "he turned over ...."? And why are their last names and first names interchangeable? Their names could have been Duke Owen and Scott James. I found it needlessly annoying, not confusing because I knew who was who but why not just use first name once they started being friends? So despite my nitpicking on the name issue, I did enjoy the story, the characters and even the mystery quite a bit.

Partners in Crime by Josh Lanyon and Sarah Black (231 pages)

This is two stories in one books, both mysteries of course. Cards on the Table by Josh Lanyon. Tim is an author writing the story of an unsolved murder of a Hollywood starlet 50 years ago. He finds a tarot card on his door one day which is a factor in the case, and he consults with his neighbor and one-time date Jack who is a cop. Seems they had a date and when Tim had an epileptic seizure (a result of an accident he was in several months earlier) things didn't work out. Tim is still attracted but figures Jack is freaked by the epilepsy. However Jack starts helping him when Tim is attacked twice and told to stop writing the book. Jack also tries to explain why he backed off and still wants to be friends but Tim isn't so sure that's a good idea but they do end up in Jack's water bed yet again. LOL Trying to figure out the mystery of who killed the starlet was interesting, sitting in on Tim's interviews and I kind of understood why Jack reacted as he did to Tim, but they had a chemistry and you could tell that Jack genuinely liked Tim. I enjoyed this one the most of the two.

Murder at the Heartbreak Hotel by Sarah Black. Peter runs a hotel in Alaska that caters to gay clientele. He usually doesn't sleep with guests but he has a brief fling with Jacob, a young cellist who is heading to Montreal to escape an abusive lover and start a new life. The day he is to leave he is murdered and they have to figure out why/who. Seems Peter has been in a relationship with Sebastian for 20 years, but every year Sebastian takes off to live in the woods and race his dogs. He just can't hang around so that's why Peter had the affair with Jacob when Sebastian was gone for 6 months. His sister, a local cop, informed Sebastian when she found out about Jacob and Peter (small town) and he arrives back just as the murder investigation is getting underway. After that it's them trying to find out who killed him and figure out more about Jacob and who he was to try and determine who might have wanted him dead. The relationship is also a catalyst for Peter and Sebastian to really decide what they want. Peter is tired of being left alone but he does love Sebastian and they have to get past the fact he slept with Jacob, but he also understands why. For some reason I didn't relate as well, maybe because Sebastian's "hang around 6 months - I have to be alone - show up for 7 months - I have to be alone" thing annoyed me. I would have dumped him years ago. LOL I did like how they found out more and more about Jacob as it went and you got to know him through that and even though he was murdered in the early pages. All in all for those who like mysteries this is a great read with two good authors.

A Shot of Jack by JT Whitehall (15 pages)

This is not a mystery in the traditional sense, I was just mystified by the plot. LOL Ridge hangs out a local gay bar run by Jack who's long-time partner died of cancer several years ago. When Jack gets in the mood, he gives a free shot of Jack to someone in the bar which means "let's go fuck". EVERYONE knows and one night Ridge gets the shot. He's a bit freaked because he noticed that no one who gets it ever comes back and he likes it there and his friends but he agrees after some prodding. So Jack informs him he's only interested in sex, no strings. Ridge agrees and they have sex in his office. A few days later Ridge comes back and gets a bit freaked when he sees the bartender pouring another shot because he realizes that he did like Jack and now someone else is going to get lucky. But it seems that Ridge is the first person to ever come back and that really Jack WANTED to date the guys he gave the drinks but he just said he didn't and if they never came back he takes that as a sign they really weren't interested but since Ridge came back he wants a relationship with him. WTF? What kind of logic is that. You tell the guys "sex only" and then when they don't come back you are disappointed because you really DID want a relationship? I'm so confused. Hence the mystery. Kind of weird logic if you ask me.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Dream Man

Janna of Erotic Romance Reader tagged me in the "build-your-own-boyfriend" thing so here are my criteria for my dream man.

1- Hair colour and style

I really have a preference for dark hair. I mean I wouldn't turn down a blond but I like a shade of brown. Occasionally I like longer hair but 9 out of 10 time I go for shorter but not military cut, I like some length on top, sometimes scruffy. A little curl is nice, not uber-kinky but some curl (since I have none I find wavy/curly hair fascinating).

This guy has great hair, well, great everything but I chose him for the hair.

2- Eye colour and facial features

Okay, see this guy? Like this, EXACTLY. I love his eyes, the strong brows, the scruffy beard, the lips. Yeah, clone this sweetheart kay?

3- Height and body type

I think not too tall. I am 5'3" (160 cm) and I was with a guy who was 6'2" (188 cm) and to be honest it was a pain. I'm thinking someone around 5'9" (175 cm) or 5'10" (178 cm) tall. I like a slim athletic type, not bulging muscles, more twinky. Nice defined abs are nice but not required (no beer guts please) and a nice rounded butt. Some hair is okay, no bears, but I do like a smooth chest, but leave me a treasure trail. This guy is pretty good. Oh, definitely tattoos. I like something kind of tribal and big. See the tattoo down lovely Aussie Daniel's side? LOVE it. To know that hidden under his clothes just waiting to be discovered yum. Oh a few piercings are okay, no belly button but nipple is nice.

The guy on the left has a great body type, the tattoo on the right is perfect.

4- Visible age

As opposed to his invisible age of 19? LOL Okay, anytime in the 30's is good, I'm not fussy though.

5- Bangability ie: kinky/bi/size

Definitely dominant in the bedroom (not the S/M side of it though), but the man knows what he wants and isn't afraid to take it. I'm not interested in someone who wants me to be in the driver's seat. Not afraid of toys, adventurous, not afraid to push the boundaries. He can be bi as long as he's faithful when it counts. Confident in his sexuality and not freaked out by alternatives. Size? Well, not massive, but the upper side of normal would be good.

6- Human or other

I'm thinking just human would be fine.

7- Paranormal skills

If this won't conflict with him being human, I read a book about a genie who could simply think about things like cleaning the bathroom and voila, finished. I want that. No more laundry, no more cleaning and mundane chores. We could spend all our time focusing on each other rather than the crap that drags a relationship down.

8- Interests

MUST be willing to travel, non-negotiable. If you don't have a passport do not apply. Reading is good so he won't be annoyed when I ignore him for fictional boys. Sports is okay, I like sports in general. Otherwise I'm pretty open as long as I'm not forced to share EVERY interest with him. Sexy-time fun is a given.

9- Habitat

City boy. I don't mind if he has a cottage in the country for get-aways but I'm definitely a city-girl now. Big city, NYC penthouse would be right up my alley. I like to be in the heart of the action. He doesn't have to be a suit and tie guy though, I prefer jeans and t-shirts with sneakers.

10- Special skills

Ability to not get freaked out when faced with unexpected occurrences. Someone who can take it all in stride, won't panic when the flight is cancelled, the dishwasher floods the kitchen or the electricity goes off. Who'll be able to calmly handle it with a sense of humour and know that in the big picture it's small stuff.

I'm only going to tag my friend Polt because I think everyone else I know in the m/m circle has been, but if you haven't feel free to steal this and design your own guy.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tuesday Celebration

So last night our ice dancing pair won the gold medal. It came pretty much down to the wire. Their performance was GORGEOUS. Just beautiful and smooth with never a falter or pause when going from one move to the next. The Americans who got the silver were also very good, the Russian? Well, I guess they are good but it was the ones with the weird Australian Aboriginal costumes so I wasn't too impressed. We stayed up until after midnight so we could see them get their medals. Very nice. You could tell anyone though from Russia or anywhere in Eastern Europe. Shredded chiffon and sequins out the wazoo. They would make good third rate strippers in Vegas (even the guys) as they already have the outfits. Most of the skaters from North America and Europe were much more refined and let the skating do the talking not glitzy costumes. I did manage to get some reading done though in the last day or so.

Tails and Teapots by Misa Izanaki (45 pages)

Yes, I'm still reading the stories about the strip clubs. I think this is the last one I have. Frankie who works as a bartender in the club is dumped by his boyfriend on Christmas eve. He's depressed but his Mom sent him a weird teapot from Japan for Christmas. He takes it up to his apartment and when he peels some paper off it, it turns into a tanuki which is a shape shifter raccoon dog thing that was trapped as a teapot 200 years ago. He's really cute but Frankie's not interested in any "wishes" so the tanuki leaves. Frankie goes down to the club and decides to drown his sorrows by finding a hot guy for the night. He sees a cutie who comes on to him and they go upstairs and get freaky. In the morning he wakes up to find his date with ears and a tail. Ack. He freaks which causes Aki to hide under the bed in his fuzzy form but they talk it out and decide to give it a whirl. The end. To be honest I liked this one more than the others about the threesome. So just a little tale about another couple at the club. It was it was.

Can't Hurry Love by M. Jules Aedin (? pages - shortish)

Vincent is an Easter bunny who gets himself in trouble at work by screwing a satyr in the supply cupboard. As punishment he's sent to motivate "on strike" cupid Charlie. Charlie is surly and basically ignores him for weeks until they finally get an assignment. They get to go to earth and get a lesbian couple together. Things go wrong in the case and Vincent gets in more trouble than he thought possible, can he get his fuzzy tail out of it. This was a VERY funny story. I chuckled and smiled all the way through but there were some poignant moments too. Vincent takes the phrase "fucks like a bunny" to heart, but after hanging around Charlie for a while he starts to wonder if that's all there is and he tries to be good, but it's hard for him. And the reason Charlie is refusing to do his job comes to light and maybe he has good reason. So while it is very funny and light there are also some more serious themes running through it. But on the whole I enjoyed it a lot and loved Vincent. The cover is adorable too.

Breakfast at Tiffany's by Lynn Lorenz (89 pages)

I won this book this week at Wave's. Yay me. Scott lives in a homeless shelter in New Orleans and has since before and after hurricane Katrina. He works at Tiffany's Waffle and Wing place where they are like his family, Miss Tiffany keeps an eye on him and some of the regulars from the drag bar are his friends. One morning he is mugged by a junkie and as he's about to get beaten a large black man saves him but takes him money. Tony lives in an abandoned house and has no job but refuses to sell drugs or himself in memory of his Grandma. Tony lost his family in Katrina. He feels bad for taking Scott's last $5 and after earning a little money unloading trucks he gives Scott his money back and walks him home to the shelter. Scott then agrees to move into Tony's house with him and they start a relationship.

This was a very interesting book as you are dealing with two essentially homeless young men (20) although Scott has a savings account at the bank and works 12 hour shifts with tips so he's not broke. While Tony's house has water, there is no electricity and it's boarded over. The only niggle I had was going over the time-line. Scott is mugged on Saturday morning, actually meets Tony on Sunday afternoon and moves in with him the same night and they declare their love on about Tuesday night. Whoa. What I liked was how wanting to be with Scott made Tony a better guy, he went to the fruit market and started offering to work rather than stealing and he started a relationship with one of the vendors. Scott was also the more aggressive sexually in that it was his idea to go to the drug store and get condoms which kind of shocked Tony. Not that he was inexperienced but wasn't so open about it. So what about the timing thing? This book had me laying in bed this morning thinking about this so Lynn obviously did her work and it stuck with me. These are two young guys, both abandoned by their families, both homeless and lost and looking for a connection, so yeah, no time to waste pussyfooting around and dating for 3 months, who knows what can happen, you've seen your life nearly snuffed out in seconds. I could also see Scott wanting out of the shelter, even if it's to an abandoned house where he doesn't have to live with a bunch of other people. So perhaps from that perspective it seemed normal for them to move that quickly. It made Tony start to think about having a real apartment and a home, not a squat somewhere, they kind of brought out the best in each other. So I enjoyed this book and as I said, it made me think about how different life experiences affect the decisions you make. So if you're looking for a book with a different vibe to it, I recommend it. Oh and the cover is prefect even if Scott was skinnier.

Rules Were Made to be Broken by Lenore Black (? pages)

Aaron and Dale have been best friends since age 8. Aaron took over his parents sporting goods store when they retired and is working himself to the bone. Dale works when he needs beer money and is getting annoyed that Aaron doesn't want to party any more. He gets a call from Dale saying he needs help in the middle of the night. He goes over and finds Dale handcuffed to his bed with his wallet stolen. He manages to get him free but when Dale suddenly realizes that Aaron has the hots for him he turns the tables and handcuffs Aaron to the bed and has his way with him. It's a very humerous book as Aaron has many rules as to how he should behave around Dale so as not to give away his attraction. He's never told Dale he's gay and Dale is a total slut. The only thing I found a bit odd was that when the chips are down, seems Dale is not so straight and has had some gay sex experience but Aaron was clueless. So there was a bit of suspension of disbelief there, that if they were THAT good of friends they didn't notice either thing, but still, they were a cute couple and it was a feel-good read with lots of humour to lighten your day.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Mommy Brag and Olympic Update

I don't talk about my kidlet all that much but she made these over the weekend since we are both addicted to the Olympics. I thought I'd share them as I was pretty impressed by her mad photoshop skillz. We do not have the fanciest schmanciest version of photoshop but she managed to work it out. Oh, she'll be 15 in May. So she's not some 6 year old genius or anything. :-P

The Dutch won a couple of more gold medals in speedskating. Surprise. LOL We got the silver in the women's 1500. We lost the hockey game to the US last night as KZ noted but it was a pretty exciting game and seriously, if one game is going to destroy your confidence you don't deserve the gold medal. Get back in the saddle and kick Germany's ass. Ski jumping had amazing little Simon from Austria taking the gold again. I was kind of hoping the old dude from Poland would win. One, we lived there so I kind of have an affinity for the Poles and two, it's his last Olympics but he got the silver. Not too shabby.

We are looking forward to the ice dance finals tonight and it's hard to believe they are halfway over. There was tragedy for the figure skating team in that our female champion (who starts tomorrow) had her mother die suddenly of a heart attack yesterday. She had just arrived at the games to watch her daughter skate when she basically dropped dead. The skater says she is going to continue in her Mom's memory but I can only imagine the difficulty in thinking about skating when your life is in turmoil.

On with the Mommy brag part.

This is Maelle Ricker, the Canadian who won the gold medal in women's snowboard cross.

This is Scott and Tessa our ice dance couple who are now in first place. Mojo for a gold tonight.

This is Patrick Chan, our male skater who couldn't quite get it together, but he is only 19, so he's got time yet.

She is a fan of American Shaun White and while this is pretty busy, I think it fits the whole image of the snowboarders. Of course he won gold in the half-pipe with a near perfect score.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday Summary

Haven't done much this weekend except for an unbearable amount of laundry. When you run out of clean underwear you know it's time. Watching figure skating tonight. The little cowboy Americans were cute.

Del Fantasma: Duck Fart by Jade Buchanan (112 pages)

For those unfamiliar, these books are set around a supernatural bar in San Diego run by vampire Cody who has a way of getting people together using cocktails. Each book is named after a cocktail. There are m/f and m/m and menage (this one is m/m/m) in the series. This is a follow-up of sorts to Jade's book Black Wolf. Seems a friend dared her to write a story using the cocktail Duck Fart.

Siamese shifter Bailey has come to Del Fantasma to find his Tabby cat friend Andy whom he was caught kissing to the consternation of both families. He arrives to find that Andy is mated to a wolf and he's devastated. He propositions a human (Keith) but in the end goes home with a mallard shifter named Drake. When Drake gets a cock cage stuck on Bailey, he phones Cody (who had given them the cocktail) who sends Keith to help. Of course this leads to them spending the weekend together. Drake is a total twink with a chip on his shoulder. He was abandoned by his family at age 5 and gets offended easily. Bailey is innocent and polite and gives into his domineering father. Keith is a human who's parents are both married to "supes" and is more dominant but not alpha-like, but he tries to corral Bailey and Drake. Bailey is totally clueless to the mate thing as he's still stuck on Andy and Drake keeps expecting everyone to leave him and of course Keith being human is oblivious until his vamp step-Mom puts him straight and he has to find a way to get them all together. On the whole it was a fun little read. I could just imagine Drake getting all testy. Bailey is telling Keith he can cook and he says "Well, it's not like I can bone a duck or anything" while Drake is beside him. Needless to say that causes some commotion. So there was lots of humour as Keith tries to figure out how to deal with the two young ones and Drake has a lot going on under his tough guy exterior. It was a cute story that I quite enjoyed. You don't need to read the other stories to get this. I have read Black Wolf by Jade and also Unicorn by Jet Mykles.

For those who are curious, a Duck Fart is a shooter with Canadian Whiskey, Bailey's and Kahlua.

Petit Morts 3: Moolah and Moonshine by Jordan Castillo Price (48 pages)

Emmett's depressed because his best friend is moving to Paris. He decides to buy her chocolate (which will go straight to her ass) and of course meets Sam who is a handyman, just what Emmett needs to help him with his money pit of a house. They are exploring in the basement when they find a hidden room which has an old still. They follow a tunnel and somehow end up in the past during the era of prohibition. That's all I'll say about that but I laughed out loud a few times reading this. Emmett was hilarious. One my favourite lines "He pulled a three-pronged hand tool that was either a cultivator or a baby-disemboweler from the wall." and "Emmett considered adding the epitaph “Not Dangerous, Just Annoying” into his will, if he ever wrote one." He constantly had a smart-ass response for everything and Sam was a total glass half-full kind of guy, they made a good pair. So I quite enjoyed this one.

Petit Morts 4: Other People's Weddings by Josh Lanyon (48 pages)

Griffin is a wedding planner in a small North Dakota town (double hell I suppose) and he's dealing with a HORRIBLE bride who just happens to be marrying the guy Griffin has been sleeping with on and off for years. Not good. The nightmare of dealing with rich clients who expect him to do everything is contrasted with another couple he's working for who are a dream. When the mother-of-the-bride is murdered at the wedding rehearsal dinner Griffin is a prime suspect and has to face his arch nemesis from high school who is now the sheriff. I enjoyed this, I always thought I'd like to be a wedding planner, but only if the couple does what I tell them. LOL

Petit Morts 4: Spanish Fly Guy by Jordan Castillo Price (59 pages)

Ryan works at a t-shirt printing store at some seaside town that has no internet. Huh? Such places exist in the US? Anyway, JP whips into town and he's a con-man. He makes batches of "Spanish Fly" and sells them as love potion. He gets Ryan to print him some labels for free and they get freaky in the back. Ryan's Dad tells him that due to a bad business investment he won't be able to pay for his college tuition and after and impulsive night with JP (including sex in a parking lot - really?) he agrees to leave town with him. I found this one a bit more vague as you never really got a handle on JP or what his story was. But JP and Ryan has some awesome chemistry.

What I especially liked about these books is that at the end of each one was a little explanation by the author of why they chose that particular theme, what inspired them. Sometimes you wonder how authors come up with their ideas so that was fun. Overall a great little series and I get the impression there maybe be more down the road.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday Reviews

Well, I've done a fair bit of reading even getting to bed at 10:00 last night. Of course that meant my cat thought 7:30 would be a good time to wake up. Grrr. These Olympics are kicking my butt on the sleep front. We won the gold medal in men's skeleton. Everyone expected the Canadian woman to medal but she didn't make it and she was just crying after during the interview. Break your heart. I think there can be so much pressure on them to perform. Congrats to the Brits who did win women's skeleton (yay Jen) and to the Australian woman who got the gold in women's half-pipe (yay Kris). Today is ariels and ski jumping. On with the books. I will say I'm not going to do very in-depth reviews (not that I ever do LOL) of the Petit Morts books because Jen did an amazing job of it but I'll give you my impressions, what I liked, etc.

Petit Morts 1: Hue, Tint and Shade by Jordan Castillo Price (43 pages)

This is the story of socially inept Tommy who is trying to fix it through a variety of means. While in a psychiatrists office he sees a window washer and gets his number. They hook up and Nathan is everything Tommy is not. Brave, flamboyant, a risk-taker. He brings out Tommy's confidence and they have a pretty unusual first date. I really enjoyed this little story and it was nice to see how Tommy could be confident when the situation was right.

Petit Morts 2: Slings and Arrows by Josh Lanyon (59 pages)

Carey gets a heart shaped box of chocolates from a "secret admirer". His friends tell him about a murderer on campus who would send girls chocolate then kill her on V-day which is quickly approaching. Carey has a crush on his teaching assistant Walter who is kind of weird. His friends think he's nuts to pursue the guy and even he starts to wonder if Walter is a weird stalker or just an odd guy. I have to say until nearly the end I wasn't sure either. I kept thinking "nah, he's just odd" then something would come up and I'd think "Ohhh, maybe he'll be a stalker after all" so the uncertainty certainly worked for me, although Walter would make me crazy.

Soothe the Burn by T.A. Chase (186 pages)

Alvix (and I do like that name) is trying to get his ship fixed when a man of metal offers to help him in exchange for transporting him and his men to rescue their team. Cooper and his team are part of a military experiment where their skin as it is damaged turns to flexible titanium metal. They get captured on the rescue mission by a fire people but Alvix offers to be the king's play thing in exchange for letting the others go as he is a fire eater and can't be killed by fire. Cooper doesn't want to leave but they then come back for Alvix who grew up a street kid and no one ever came back for him. Cooper and Alvix hook-up but once word gets out what Alvix is, the military wants him for experiments, the high ranking general who's son Alvix helped rescued sends him to earth with his son and another damaged soldier for protection. After being set up one too many times and nearly killed Cooper and his guys quit the military and go to find Alvix and the other two who have dropped off the grid. They then have to face down the military who have found them. I thought the whole idea of metal skin was kind of weird but was well done. I really liked Alvix, he was spunky and street smart and only wanted to live his life. The story took place over a period of time and Alvix was not expecting a relationship, Cooper was more the one chasing after him so I liked that it wasn't insta-love. It was a very complex story that I quite enjoyed and the metal skinned guy wasn't as "weird" as I thought it would be.

Love means ... No Boundaries by Andrew Grey (200 pages)

This is a continuation of Love Means ... No Shame and takes place about 5 or 6 years later. Joey who was in the other books went to college and is now living and working with Levi and Geoff. He was in a motorcycle accident and his face is very scarred which bothers him. At the last minute they are asked to host a youth orchestra member. Joey is sent to pick up Robbie who turns out to be blind. He's also lived a very sheltered life and has never been allowed to do anything. He loves it at the farm as they let him plant the garden, ride a horse and make bread and be "normal". Joey is attracted to him and obviously Robbie doesn't care about his scars. The start a relationship but Robbie has to go back to Louisiana to his family after two weeks. After a month of moping Joey takes a chance and goes to visit and has to deal with Robbie's family who didn't know he was gay and an over-protective mother. He asks Robbie to come back to the farm with him but he's afraid to leave what he knows. Can they figure out a solution? Well, you know they do because it's a romance. LOL I loved watching Robbie get to do stuff he never had been allowed and I was glad when he stood up to his friend who treated him like his mother. I thought it was well done to show how when Robbie when home he changed from a confident capable guy to someone who couldn't even go from his room to the dining room on his own. No big conflict, just them working out their differences and finding a way to make it work. I quite enjoyed this one. I still have the one which is a prequel with Geoff's dads' story to read.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Back in the Reading Saddle

So I finally got back to some reading, nothing too exciting on Olympics last night until our Canadian figure skater was performing at the EXACT SAME FREAKING TIME as we were getting our gold medal in speed skating. Arrggghh. What are the odds of that? Anyway, on to the books.

Savage Awakenings by Stephanie Hecht (207 pages)

This is a continuation of the Lost Shifter series and is Rat's story. He's the gothy IT expert who can't hold his shift if he gets nervous, scared, etc. so is looked down on and generally harassed by everyone which he counters by being a snarky asshole. Love it. They are still looking for the lost children when he gets a phone call from one of Mitchel's brothers whose rescuer has disappeared and left the phone. There seems to be an info leak so rather than tell anyone Rat goes to fetch him personally. Soon as he sees Keegan it's all over. Keegan returns the sentiment and Rat knows he'll be in trouble if he sleeps with the alpha's baby brother but .... You know how it goes. I really liked Keegan. Everyone thought he was all innocent and fragile but when you hear his thoughts he basically says he's never NOT been able to get someone in his bed and he'll get Rat (whom he insists on calling Carson, his real name). So Keegan is getting exactly what he wants, there's kind of a D/s overtone to their relationship. There is the mystery of who the info leak is, the conflict when Keegan finds out Rat slept with his brother Brent and also had a crush on his brother Jacyn. Ooops. There seems to be a problem as the kids are shifting sooner than they should and freaking when it happens as well which I presume will be explored in later books. I really liked Rat/Carson and Keegan as well. He was a bit snarky and knew his own mind despite being thrown into a world of shifters. My only issues were some editing things. Mitchell turned into Michelle in one paragraph at the end. A couple of other times I found weird sentence structure that I understood how it happened, but it should have been caught and came was game, little things. Oh and cover? Where is my long black haired goth boy with the eyebrow ring, nose ring and fingernail polish? Granted the cover is lovely and they are hot, but neither one is Rat.

Between a Fox and Hard Place 2: Geas by Misa Izanki (45 pages)

This follows up on the last book which told how Itzuke (the fox shifter) Aoi (the elf stripper) and Aya (a young elf) got together. They head off to Japan to meet Itzuke's family which is pretty non-traditional. He's got two dads and a mom. Everything is going great when suddenly Itzuke is stuck in his wolf form and has a curse (geas) on him. Seems Aoi's grandmother is determined he will take his place as guardian of the temple and has cursed Itzuke. If he agrees to stay she'll remove the curse. He does but he's useless at being a soldier. He step-mom's son wants the job so they conspire with his uncle to prove that the other kid would be better and release Aoi from his commitment. Oh, there's a fisting scene in this one, which is pretty unrealistic, but hey, the guy is a fox shifter and they other two are elves so I guess it's not that out there. It was okay, the plot with the Grandmother and how they would get out of it. But the plot to smexin' ratio was pretty skewed.

Between and Fox and a Hard Place 3: Home by Misa Izanki (40 pages)

So they are back in Seattle, everything is fine more or less when Aoi attempts to rescue a kitten in the street and is hit by a mini-van. He is badly injured and stuck in the hospital for nearly a month with a broken leg which is not healing well. He is depressed, his physiotherapist keeps telling him now he can quit stripping and find a real job, he doesn't spend much time with the guys because they are working to pay the bills. He eventually gets back to work. The end. Not much to this one. Just them dealing with the aftermath of his injury and having lots of sex and some fighting. You did find out slightly more about the club but I had been kind of hoping that these books would set up the scene more for the club and the people there but it really didn't. It focused almost entirely on the three guys with some throw-away stuff. So it didn't quite give me what I was hoping for when I bought the series as they were the first books to be set in that world.

And just for fun, some more skiing boys. I was reading a bit of the article that came with the pics last night and seems these guys are from the Canary Islands and they hadn't ever spent time in the snow really. I guess it was above freezing for most of it but not for all. I presume they must stuff those undies because shrinkage would be a major issue when lying in the snow. Does keep the nips nice and tight though. LOL

Winter Sport Books

Since I'm not actually reading but merely thinking about it, I started thinking about books that feature winter sports athletes/activities. What's out there, what have I read, what have you read, blah blah blah. To be honest I couldn't find much. There seems to be a TON of m/f romance (erotica?) out there with hockey players but very little with the boys. Lots of football players, baseball players, gynmasts, swimmers, divers, etc. Maybe because the primary market for romance is American and summer sports are more popular than winter there hasn't been a push by publishers or readers for winter sports books.

I have a brilliant idea for a publisher though (or course my idea came a day late and dollar short), but they do the series/anthologies like the DSP Christmas one or weddings or what have you, so around the Olympic theme they should have had a series of books, one romance for each different sport (not necessarily Olympic related but feature that sport). Figure skating, luge, skiing, snow boarding, etc. Then each day of the Olympics you could have received a new short story. Is that not freaking brilliant? I suppose it could still happen in 2012 for summer Olympics. Do I get a cut of the profit if some publisher steals my idea?

Anyway, these are the only three books I could find/think of with a winter sports theme (and not simply just taking place in winter or somewhere snowy but the sport actually features in some way). So tell me if you know of some that I haven't been able to find.

Slap Shot by Dianne Fox (Torquere)

A little sip about a vetern hockey player in the minors who has to share a room with the young whipper snapper who thinks he's hot stuff. He teaches him the way of the butt secks and the way to stay in the closet in the hockey world.

Snow on the Mountain by PD Singer (Torquere)

This is the follow-up to Fire on the Mountain and you really need to read that one first to have this one made sense, or more sense. Kurt and Jake have finished their summer job as fire rangers and are now working at one of the big ski resorts with Kurt as an instructor at a very upscale "school" and Jake learning to ski and working on the lifts. Some mystery and excitement as mother nature tries to do them in yet again and you see their relationship moving forward. A great series.

Melting the Slopes by Ethan Day, Jason Edding and William Maltese (MLR Press)

I have not read this one, but it's three short stories that surround skiing or a ski resort. I know it was reviewed at Wave's with mixed results. I'm not sure I'm ready to pay $7 for it at this point.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I got nuthin'

I have read very little these last couple of days. We've been pretty much been glued to the three 24/7 Olympic channels up here. Tonight we were freaking, the women's 500m short track final with two Canadians was on at the exact same time as Maelle Ricker was getting her gold medal for winning the women's snowboard cross and the Canadian was doing the first run in men's half pipe. Arrgghhhh. We got the silver in short track which was thankfully delayed due to a wipe-out so we could see Justin do half pipe and managed to see the anthem played. Shit. We need one of those TVs that lets you watch 5 channels at once. LOL

Curling has started and seriously, are the Norwegians on crack? Who the fuck thought these were a good idea? The rule is black pants people, it's the Olympics not the circus. There is actually a facebook fan page for these pants and a link where you can buy them. I dare one of ya to buy them, wear them in public and take a pic for me. :-D

On the book front, I've been mostly rereading books because I can read and watch TV at the same time. I don't lose my place or lose my concentration. I know the characters and what happens. LOL So I re-read Edward Unconditionally by Lynn Lorenz. I won her new book Breakfast at Tiffany's about post-Katrina New Orleans today, so looking forward to that. I also re-read The Tin Star by J.L. Langley. A great classic read. I bought the Petits Morts series by Josh Lanyon and Jordan Castillo Price but I don't want to start until I can give them the attention they deserve. I'm trying not to read any reviews so they are pleasant surprises. I've heard many good things. I had a bitch of a time registering for eXtasy books today. Arggghh. Seven tries later and an e-mail to the company I finally got in and got Stephanie Hecht's new book Savage Awakening in the Lost Shifter series but again, I will wait until I can give that the attention it deserves rather than read with one eye. Looking forward to Rat's story and no Chris, he's not a cat shifter with a hairless tail. Sheesh.

So that's about it. Here is some eye-candy.

The gangster of love on the slopes.

Man down! Man down! Someone rush to that boy's rescue.

Nipple ring? Check. Belly button ring? Meh. Nice package? Oh yeah.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Monday!!! Olympic Update and book stuff.

Alex 1

Usually Mondays are not my happy day, but hell, after last night's Olympic results I'm a happy camper even on a Monday. So Canada won it's first gold medal at an Olympics held in Canada. Cutie patootie Alex Bilodeau won the gold in men's freestyle moguls. Australia got silver but he used to be Canadian so we'll take partial credit. :-) US got the bronze and he's a total newbie so I'm always happy when that happens. Canada was also 4th and 5th and while I would have loved to have seen a sweep we were still pretty happy. All of the guys on the team live together and it was funny they were interviewing them all and the one guy goes "We live together, eat together, sleep together ...." They all looked at each other and burst out laughing. So we'll just let my imagination run with that. You can see some amazing shots of the competitors, not just Alex here. Some of the aerial shots are amazing and a couple of the crashes too. Ouch.

Alex is a pretty special guy. His older brother has cerebral palsy and they are really close. He says his brother is his inspiration and if he's whining about practicing he thinks of him. Afterwards they showed video of them hugging and they were standing with foreheads together talking and it was so sweet. So I'm really glad it was him who broke our dry streak and now we can go on and focus on some other medals. We got a bronze in speed skating and we had a couple of other great results, 6th in biathlon which is the best we've ever done and he's a cutie (must post pic) and our luge guys had best ever results for Canada as well. No medals but it's not always about the medals. Our figure skating pairs are in good position as well so hopefully we're set to make some other great memories.

Alex 2

It looks amazing with the dark sky behind him.

Alex winners

The Australian guy is NOT a happy camper. LOL The American is tickled pink. I saw the scores and Alex was behind the Australian by .1 in one aspect, ahead by .01 in another and it was really those tenths of a seconds in time that made the difference between gold and silver.

Needless to say I spent most of the day glued to the TV and didn't read too much but I did finish a couple. I had talked about the world created by Misa Izanaki and how it interested me but I felt like I kept getting bits and pieces so I finally went to her website to see how I was suppose to read the books to see if it made sense. Not really. LOL It starts with a Torquere Chaser series and then various add-ons, but there's not really one that sets the scene of the club. I did find out it's in Seattle. So that was useful. Anyway, I got some of the books to see if it helps me figure thing out rather than piece them together.

Between a Fox and a Hard Place: Threesome by Misa Izanki (63 pages)

Aoi is an elf who works at the strip club (that the stories all revolve around) and his lover is Itzuki a kitsune, a fox shifter. One day Aya shows up and claims to be Aoi's 20 year old son. Seems he's not although Aoi had an affair with his mother (who abandoned Aya at 14) years before. Aoi takes him in though as he has no family or means of support. All three seem to get along when Itzuki starts encouraging Aoi to go for it with Aya as long as he can be part of it. After a hot night of smexin' Aoi gets freaked and is not sure he should have as he feels kind of like a father-figure (albeit a bad one). Also Aoi's grandmother and father show up demanding he take up his role as guardian of some temple which he refuses. They then talk about going to visit Itzuki's family in Japan which are the next two books. Meh. I guess it's mostly a set-up for these guys, some family background, etc. but it didn't suck me in like some of the other characters I've come across in the series. But we'll see how books 2 and 3 go. Maybe I'll care about them more then.

My One and Oni by Misa Izanaki (68 pages)

Ugh, that cover - HATE IT! Anyway, this is not part of the series above but I bought it because I appear to be binging. Bad me. Alexi grew up in Hawaii where he was always freaked as a kid about the monster in his closet who would eat him. His mother tells him it's an Oni, a Japanese ogre who is there to watch over their family but as a kid he never believes it. He's now 25 and living in Seattle going to university when he comes home to clean out his room. Kai, the Oni, reveals himself and after Alexi initially freaks they get freaky (cause Kai is the hottest ogre ever). Kai is upset when he realizes Alexi is leaving but follows him to Seattle where they move in together and have to adapt to Kai being a pushy stubborn bastard while having tons of hot sex. They then try to find a way to stay together and Kai is almost killed by Alexi's professor who is an ogre hunter (yep LOL) but he tells them for him to be human he simply has to snap his horns off. Easy peasy. There is this whole subtext of Alexi and his father not getting along but it's not really spelled out why. His Mom knows he's gay and knows about Kai but I'm never sure if his Dad does or not. Anyway, it was okay. Not amazing. One word that came up here is bo-ya which Kai calls Alexi and in the other book they call Aya that which I assume is some kind of Japanese endearment like "boy" because I googled it and could only find reference to some historical figure called Boya.