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

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Really behind in reviews

I have been reading, just not very motivated to write about them. There always seems to be something else to do instead. Plus I've read a couple of stories out of sequence so I'm kind of waiting to read the missed ones before I do anything about them. (Rationalize much?)

It's Halloween weekend here which of course in North America is a big deal. My daughter has a party tonight, but not a costume party. They are doing that the weekend AFTER Halloween. Whatever. They all have to leave the party today at 11:00 and my party animal wants to go somewhere else and was having issues getting commitment so I said they could come back here. So I may have a few kids over late tonight. Not that many I imagine. At this age there is lots of talk and usually not much action. At least we aren't getting snow like many in the US, so I'm not complaining.

So here are two of the books I've read.

Galen and the Forest Lord by Eden Winters (119 pages)
Torquere Press

Galen is a young village man hiding his sexuality and finds his friend has taken on a baby of a young unwed woman from another village. However if the village believes it to be hers, she'll be banished or the baby will be sold to traders. When Galen is betrayed by his village crush so that he is banished (with the babe) allowing his evil uncle to inherit his land, Galen runs for it, being told that the babe will keep him safe from the wolves in the forest and he can seek shelter with the Forest Lord. Oh he finds the forest lord, and all those stories about wolf creatures, all true. The villagers banished haven't been eaten, they've been living happily with the werewolves and mating and babies aren't sold (usually half-breeds), they are brought to be raised. Everyone in the forest is trying to steer Eric, the Lord, towards Galen who is his mate, but both he and Galen aren't quite on board with that, despite the smoking' hot sex that turned Galen into a wolf. Okay, first off, this is not a story to be taken seriously. Eden said she wrote it a bit tongue in cheek and I found myself smiling all along the way. Neither Galen nor Erik are that bright. They aren't stupid, they just aren't very swift. I imagined lots of eye-rolling as their advisers waited for them to "get it" sometimes. The wolf villagers are all hilarious, the pregnant women everyone are terrified to cross, the aunt with the super hairy legs, Galen teaching the wolves how to be civilized, it's all done with a bit of a wink and a nudge and I was quite annoyed when I had to go to work and stop reading just as Galen was surrounded by the wolves. So when you are in the mood for something to lift your spirits with that traditional fantasy feel it's a perfect choice, and Eden always writes very appealing characters.

Chance's Vindication by Stephani Hecht (117 pages)
eXtasy Books

Things are going "ok" for Chance with the coalition. He's not getting beaten up but he has no real friends either and although he's crushing on Thomas who is supposed to watch over him, he knows Thomas hates the ravens for causing his brother to be caught in a permanent animal form. However when Dalton decides to befriend him, life gets more interesting, especially when they are attacked in the mall and Chance refuses to shift and heal himself and Thomas realizes that Chance means something. After Chance is accused of trying to hurt Riley (he was trying to keep him from hurting himself) he finally changes and Thomas is fine with it. He then decides that to help Thomas he needs to get the poison that caused the early shifts so that Owen can find the cure. I too am a sucker for the character that no one wants around and is lost and alone. I totally adore Dalton and how he sees things that no one else does in his own bouncy lynx way. I was glad that Thomas was supportive of Chance, sometimes when the prospective mate treats them badly I'm not too keen on them getting together. But it was a nice addition to the series and I still adore Riley and his bipolar problems, that aren't made to be no big deal or a joke. They hurt him and the people who care about him, but they just keep struggling through to find the best solution.

Friday, October 28, 2011

I'm guesting over at Rarely Dusty Books today

Please stop by Janna's today and see my entry into her series about GayRomLit in New Orleans. I'm feeling a bit low-brow given the very thoughtful, literary and touching entries of the other participants. Oh wait, it's me, no one should be surprised. (No judging 'kay?)

So come say hi and see what I enjoyed about New Orleans. Just Click on the banner below.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Getting back in the reading saddle

Seems like I haven't read much since I came back from New Orleans. I haven't actually read much since I left for New York. A bunch of yaoi, but I haven't really kept track of it.

I've been kind of blah on the posting front. Okay, on all fronts. Just kind of recovering I guess from two back-to-back trips. I was in theory going to Toronto this week for three days, but to be honest, if I was my boss I would have said it wasn't worth the money. I just couldn't justify spending it. We are going to Montreal the week after so that will be plenty for a while. I get to drive with my supervisor for 2.5 hours there and back. I like him, but I can't very well just ignore him and curl up with an m/m book. So I have a bunch of stuff I HAVE to take care of next week which I didn't do this week.

I am also getting more involved in my union now that I'm on the executive. We spent 5 hours on Saturday deciding what are priorities are for the year, beyond contract negotiation since our current on is expired. Our current employer is rather anti-union at the moment so ... but we are a small union so don't have much power. It will be interesting to see how it plays out and part of the reason I joined.

That's my life. Seeing my child get a full-blown social life. Hanging out, kind of blobbling. I did get some stuff read so not all bad.

A Prideless Man by Amber Kell (103 pages)

This is book three in the series. Town sheriff and bear shifter Lou finds himself attracted to human James who takes a lot of medication for arthritis. When he accidentally overdoses on his super strong meds, it's discovered that he's actually a shifter and it seems his father who runs an anti-shifter organization has been giving him drugs since he was a child to restrict shifting. Now James has to deal with being a shifter and finding himself mated to Lou and it seems his father's organization is a lot more sinister than he was led to believe. Once he confronts his father they get to the heart of the matter and James is kidnapped by the bad guys to be an experiment. It was what it was. It was kind of interesting that James was physically handicapped by his chronic pain (even if once he figures out he's a shifter he's cured). I'm not sure if I was happy the father was not the bad guy so as not to fit the cliche, or whether I was disappointed because it was rather anti-climactic once they talked. Can't please me huh? This one had a bit more story going for it than the last one so it was an improvement.

Haunted by Your Soul by Marguerite Labbe (380 pages)
Dreamspinner Press

This is a continuation of My Heart is Within You. Kristair died in the firefight in the warehouse, transferring his soul and heart into Jacob. Jacob has not been dealing well, sometimes he feels Kristair's heart beating, he has his memories and knowledge. Meanwhile Kristair is dealing with the collective, sort of a bunch of souls who drift around the universe seeking knowledge forever and ever. However he is spending his time trying to get back to Jacob and finally convinces them to let him go back for two weeks to break his bond. Meanwhile, Jacob's friend Tony who turned into a vamp is back and the syndicate is still after Jacob believing he knows some secret to immortality. They then have to deal with fighting the syndicate and figuring out how to get Kristair back on the human plane. Honestly, toward he end I became more interested in Tony. The collective kills Tony because they believe he'll reveal their secret and he actually seems to be smarter than all of them up there. I wanted him to come back and let's follow his story. LOL In the end, Tony helps Kristair find his way back as a human, the syndicate is defeated by another group of vamps and ... I guess we'll see what happens in book three now that neither Kristair nor Jacob have any paranormal abilities and no longer share a mind meld.

Happy Birthday Steppenwolf

I hope you will join me in wishing a happy birthday to my Tumblr friend Steppenwolf (NSFW) today. He is the grand old age of 24 and lives in Santiago, Chile (which is undergoing some hard times these days which you can read about here and here.) But today is a day to celebrate the birthday of a super young man that I'm glad I met on-line.

So happy birthday Sweetie and I hope your day is wonderful. I've provided you with a delicious birthday cupcake and a few hotties to keep you company on your special day. ;-) Hugs from Canada.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Orleans pictures

Okay, I seem to have very few pictures of people. Huh. I'll have to grab those from others.

In this set there is a picture of Janna, Leontine and Tracy, me and Clare London, me and Cole and I think another Clare. Most of the pictures of the park/open area are Jackson Square, not far from the hotel. There are fortune tellers, musicians and artists all around it. The river boat was not ours, but passed us. Lots of pics of the interesting tombs at the cemeteries. The first pic is the memorial garden (and graves you can't see) of the unclaimed victims of Katrina.

I think most of the pictures of houses were on Bourbon Street or Royal Street in the French Quarters. That's about it. Lots of houses with Halloween decorations and many of the balconies covered in plants which I'm sure helps blunt the noise and heat in summer.

If you see something you want to know what it is, you can stop the slide show and note the picture number at the bottom and I'll try to figure it out.

Monday, October 17, 2011

I didn't die in New Orleans ...

although Sunday morning that seemed like a viable alternative to what was happening. Ugh.

I'm not sure how much posting I'll do. I haven't even looked at my pictures. But generally:


I arrived at midnight, crept into the apartment and crashed.


Got up and met Kassa. Headed downtown with Kassa and Chris. Wandered down Bourbon Street then met Leontine, Janna, Tracy and Kris for lunch. We registered for GayRomLit and wandered some more then went to the opening ceremony. This was followed by a trip to Lafitte in Exile for our first of many visits there. Naked boys on the bar, but there were issues. No dancing skill, but much nudity. (I will be doing a post on Lafitte's for Janna so y'all have to wait for details). Home at midnight, pretty drunk with all the free booze and what wasn't free was cheap.


Off to the conference some author readings. Then we went for a stroll further down Bourbon street and I had jambalaya for lunch. Then we walked further to the Riverboat cruise/author signing. We didn't really get out on the boat much because we were in a glass enclosed portion and at times security didn't even want to let people up the stairs. *sad face* But it was cool to put faces to the names of all the authors. We then went back to the apartment and ordered pizza from the wood fired pizza place/health food store next door. 

We headed back for the pretzel party and Kris and I stopped at Lafitte's to drop off some weird Aussie cigarettes for the bartenders. And hey, it was super happy hour and Brandon knows how I like my "vodka and fruity stuff" so we had a couple of drinks then went to the pretzel party, talked to some more people and went home.


We got up early to go on the cemetery tour. It was cool. I find the whole concept of above ground tombs kind of creepy, but I'm sure it's cultural. Then we took the street car back downtown and I headed off to do some shopping and found the sex toy store. Wheee. I didn't buy anything because I was terrified customs would search my bag, but they had some freaky "no way that's for real use" stuff.

Then I went back to the hotel and I went for my author lunch with author Rachel Hamowitz and my new friends Jackie, Angel and Catherine. It was an okay lunch, the restaurant had a line so they kind of grabbed your plate as soon as you were finished and slapped the bill on the table. Still, thanks to the author for lunch.

After hanging by the pool for a bit, I went back to the apartment to "rest". We headed back for the MLR hurricane party. Had a drink and chatted with Clare London for a while. Also started talking with John and Kelli and ended up going out for dinner with them and Clare and her son David. After dinner we went back for the wine and cheese party and gabbed some more and introduced Kelli to Kris. Kris swooned because Kelli personally knows Samuel Colt and Chris Porter. Honest to fucking god. I'm getting together with her when I go to SF in March. Whether she liked me or not. LOL

After being bored (texting Adam and Polt) and wanting to get the GAY bar crawl going it finally happened, then promptly didn't. The first stop was some bar in the straight part of Bourbon street, it was totally unorganized, no one knew what was happening, so Kassa, Kris and Chris and I said screw this and went back to Lafitte's. We were met by the joyous cries of Jimmy (it was like Cheers when we walked in) and then we proceeded to drink and watch go-go boys and drink some more and flirt with go-go boys and anyone else within walking distance and each other and did I mention we were drinking? Yeah. Stay tuned for Janna's post. Some people from the bar crawl finally made it there but around 3:00 we went home.

This was not one of the boys we saw, for one, he`s got way more clothes on. Touching however was encouraged.


Umm, yeah. I became intimately acquainted with the toilet bowl. We went back to the hotel (6 of us in a cab, seriously) because Chris was sick or there would have been 7. I couldn't face the smell of the brunch so I sat in the lobby and chatted with Clare and David some more. Then after some very tearful good-byes and huge hugs I left for the airport.

I got a call from my daughter saying the flight was delayed while I was in the cab. Grrrr. But I made it and they said I'd still make my connection. Later it was delayed again and there was no way I'd make it. I was told they could fly me to Philadelphia, then the next day I would get to Ottawa at 3:00. Arrgghh It turned out I could stay another night in New Orleans and still go to Philly in the morning and catch the same flight home. No brainer. I made them give me taxi vouchers and headed back to the apartment. I was glad we had it one more night.

We walked back to the hotel to drop some stuff off for Lori from GR and then picked up a slice of pizza and some cheesecake for dinner. I could barely keep my eyes open and finally at 8:00 gave it up and went to bed.


All the flights were on time and I got home around 4:15. Then had to run my daughter to her riding lesson and go and get groceries since we had nothing at home and made dinner and showed my kid all my loot and now typed this. I`ll upload pics tomorrow maybe.

I thought I'd be more exhausted but it's not that bad. The best part of the weekend was meeting some people from on-line that I know like John and Cole. I also met some new people like Jackie and Angel and Laura, Kelli and Catherine. There were also some authors I was stoked to meet and I refuse to name due to leaving someone out who will be hurt I didn't say them. :-) 

I heard next year is Albuquerque. Huh? I'm not sure if I'll go. Part of the appeal of this year was the chance to get a bunch of people I know in one fun place. Half the appeal was the city. I'm sorry, but Albuquerque holds no appeal for me. Santa Fe, yes. So we'll see if I attend next year or not. It's a long way off.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

New Orleans, here I come

So I'm off to New Orleans tonight for GayRomLit. I managed to get out of work extra-early since I had taken care of everything. I think everything is ready at home and just have to make it to the Big Easy. Let's hope all the flights are on time, so far they say they are.

I'm looking forward to seeing some old friends, and meeting some new. It's going to be great fun and I've never been to New Orleans so I'm looking forward to it. I've head that Bourbon Street is a sight to see and I've heard about all the great food. Hopefully I'll be able to post some pics as I got, but it's a pretty packed schedule. If I see any vamps I'll steer clear, unless they are hot of course. :-D

Just for fun, Thorny posted some inspirational pics today and asked for flash fiction. Clare London and I responded (likely when we both should have been getting ready to leave town LOL). Clare's is absolutely perfect and appropriate. Stop by and have a read. Only 300 words each so should take about 5 min.

Catch y'all later.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New York, the end ... of my trip, not the world

Although I see Mr. Psycho Old Guy has claimed that the end of the world is coming on Oct 21 (since May 21 didn't pan out). Yeah right. He had a stroke and is obviously suffering dementia. Shouldn't he be committed to a nursing home or something? Anyway.

Sunday we got our butts out of bed and off to the Wall Street area to meet up with Enrico and David for brunch. And ... sigh ... I got no pictures. They looked the same as last summer. :-) We had a fun brunch, talking about movies and celebs and jobs and moving and all that good stuff. And I had gingerbread pancakes which were yummy.

These were not MY pancakes but they are a pic from the restaurant with the pumpkin butter. Considered some of the best pancakes in New York City. So they say.
We then planned to meet Kris at the Apple Store at the corner of Central Park and check out the boys. It was a HOT day. Whew. As we came out of the subway there was a parade. We THINK it was the Columbus Day parade but we're not sure. It was mostly Latin American groups divided by country. The Bolivians were amazing with the costumes and hundreds of participants and we took some pics of Chile for my Tumblr bud Gefallener Engel who lives in Chile.
Huge Bolivian groups. All the guys had bells on their boots and it sounded very cool.
More crazy Bolivian costumes. It was 29C (very hot), I can only imagine how sweaty they were getting.

The Chilean delegation

The parade was VERY long and slow so after Chile we crossed to the park and walked through Central Park. It was such a gorgeous day and tons of people. We found the open area of the park and sat down for a while to enjoy the scenery. :-D
After some struggles with a subway line that didn't appear to be running, Kristen and I went to H&M to do some shopping and to Macy's to buy her a bag since Delta managed to completely destroy the wheels on her's. Grrrr. On the way back home Kris sent a text that the fire alarm was going off and there was water everywhere. ACK!!! Luckily we were about 5 min. away in a cab. Seems there was a leak in the apartment above us and the water poured through the ceiling and started the smoke detector freaking out. Sigh. So Kris had mostly wiped it up and I went hammering on the neighbor's door. She claimed it wasn't her, she was in the shower. No, it was you. When the shower stopped upstairs, it also stopped in our apartment. So we had the super there and was on the phone with the apartment owner. Sigh. What a nightmare. But at least it stopped and didn't happen again in the night or before we left. Oh and it wasn't our fault. Yay for innocence. :-)  Update: Just got an e-mail from the owner offering me 50% off our last day. I'm good with that.

Kris left early Monday to catch the train to Washington and we left around 10:30 to take the subway to JFK airport. Seriously, how does luggage seem to weigh twice what it did when you arrive and we didn't buy that much stuff? Anyway, it took us about 90 min. to get to JFK, but we made it in time, caught out flight home and despite losing my parking ticket thingy at the Syracuse airport we easily got on the road and headed home. We stopped for some food and the border wasn't too busy yet so made it home by 7:00. Long day though.

We had a great time to be with Kris and see the gang. I'm looking forward to New Orleans this week as well. Crazy busy but lots of fun stuff. I've heard New Orleans has a "smell". So does New York. LOL

Monday, October 10, 2011

New York Day 2 and 3

Here are some pics from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Another gorgeous day in the big city so we stopped to have a fresh hot pretzel on the steps of the museum. Yum.

Then since we all have separate interests we kind of split up a bit. My daughter is totally into ancient Egypt and I'm into ancient Greece so the two of us headed off that way while Kris went to explore the Asian art exhibits.

This is a Cycladic statue that I am totally enamoured with. When I saw one in Athens I nearly swooned and was thrilled to see another in New York.

I love these black and red pottery pieces. However, as we were wandering around that exhibit room I overhead this guy leading a tour group. Normal. But then he's starting to use Greek culture and art to make a religious statement. They had a large jar they would fill with alcohol and get drunk and that's immoral and they did these horrible things while under the influence of alcohol. He points to a statue of Heracles and states that the fact that he is carrying a spiked club is a sign of an immoral, violent and dangerous personality. WTF? My kid had to pretty much shove me out of the room before I could go over and ream him one for using ancient Greek culture to somehow "reinforce" his religious views. Sigh. Don't be perverting my ancient Greek culture or face my wrath.

Then we went to the store and when we realized they had a particular Van Gogh painting we quickly ran upstairs to the Impressionist section. It is probably my fave era in painting.

Then we had our dinner with KB and went home.

Saturday, Kris went to see the High Line which is a park built on an abandoned rail line and the kid and I headed down to Times Square, with a billion other people.
Walking was reminiscent (I imagine) of a salmon swimming upstream.

After my kid posed with the girls promoting Priscilla Queen of the Desert, we saw they had tickets for the matinee show so we grabbed tickets, then some lunch on the stairs in the middle of Times Square and hit the show. It was lots of fun with fab costumes and I kept thinking "OMG, Polt would sooooo love this show." ;-) Lots of shirtless mostly pantsless hotties.

We then met up with Kris again, headed down to Whole Foods and picked up some dinner and snacks and waited for the gang to come over. And I have zero pictures. (ducks from Michelle's flying fists of fury) They are on Adam's camera, so soon, I said I want some. Mike, Ty, Adam, Drazen, Chris D and FDot all came by and we laughed and gabbed and mocked musicians on the music channel and ate snacks and probably freaked Kris out. :-) Things got really wild when Drazen and Kristen started doing yoga. Wish some others could have come, but hopefully next time.

Tomorrow I'll post about our last day and the return trip. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

New York, New York

So we arrived unscathed on Thursday and Kris met us at the apartment. After pausing for about 5 min. my kid was ready to hit the town and wanted to see the Wall Street protest so we headed down there while my kid wandered through the tent city and took pictures. It was pretty quiet, people making signs, talking to media types, just hanging out. Lots and lots of cops.

Some protesters cuter than others.

After seeing all there was to see there, we headed down to Times Square. We went to Toys RUs where Kris bought some Lego which is apparently much cheaper here than in Australia and then on a whim we checked out what was still available at the Tkts booth since we were right there. They had tickets for How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying with Daniel Radcliffe which my daughter really wanted to see. Kris is still adjusting to the time so I just got tickets for my daughter and I. Pretty expensive even at 40% off (paid $80 each) but we had great seats in the balcony but the theatre is so small you have a great view anyway. The show was fun, Daniel Radcliffe did a great job and John Laroquette was freaking hysterical.

However after the show as over they came on stage and we happened to be there on a night when the Trevor Project was associated with the show as Daniel Radcliffe works with them. So a portion of the proceeds went to the project and then they auctioned off some items which I was blown away by the price. Two cast autographed posters went for $1,100 each, two autographed baseball caps for $700 each and then Daniel took of his blue bow tie he wears and said that plus the chance to meet with him after the show went for $2,500. They then let the audience ask the whole cast questions. It was great fun and a real bonus to get the extra interaction. One young girl was there for her 16th birthday and she had her Harry Potter book which already had Rupert Grint and Emma Watson's signature and he said he's sign it for sure. I'll bet she was in heaven later. So it was an extra special performance that we were lucky to hit.

Yesterday we dragged ourselves out of bed and eventually headed out to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We split up and the kid and I went to Ancient Egypt and Greece and Kris headed off to Asian. We also grabbed a quick look at the impressionists then ended up on the roof top garden in the absolutely perfect New York weather with an over-priced cocktail and just relaxed and people watched. We saw a young man get down on one knee and propose to his girlfriend, we saw some slutty chick picking up a guy who was buying her champagne and just generally relaxed until it was time to head off to dinner.
We met up with KB whom many of you might now from around the net and had some New York pizza and enjoyed a good chat, then we walked on home as it was not that far from our apartments.

We also stopped at the Big Gay Ice Cream Store which is a block from us and had ice-cream. They have crazy stuff. I had a cone covered in curried coconut. Smelled like that yellow curry in a can, but tasted very good.

Today I have sore feet. LOL But I think we are probably going to go to a matinee show today. And some of my NY friends are coming over this evening to hang out so I have to buy some supplies and get ready. Having a great time though. Hope everyone else has a super weekend.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

LA Witt-day

Which is kind of like a Tuesday but with more butt-secks. (Thankfully)

Infinity Pools by LA Witt (153 pages)
Amber Allure

This is the continuation of Getting Off the Ground. After a wild night with Derek following getting stood up at the alter, Elliott decided to go off and spend his two weeks in Hawaii with Derek. This totally threw him out of his comfort zone of research and list making but he wanted to do it anyway. The story is basically just the guys hanging out, having hot sex and getting to know one another. Derek also encourages Elliott to try out being single, but they end up at the end of the night with each other. There is also time for Elliott to think, about his relationship and whether it was as great as he thought and worthy of marriage, and what he wants when he goes back home. Because the story is told from Elliott's first person POV you never really know what Derek is thinking beyond what he says, it worked well. It was nice to see commitment-phobe Derek admit that he felt something for Elliott and the reason why he didn't want to connect to anyone was kind of sad, but in the end, there was a very romantic ending as they decide to bring their long-distance romance to a close. The descriptions of Hawaii were also amazing and I liked the banter between the two men and Derek's friends which was snarky and fun.

On the List by LA Witt (67 pages)
Amber Allure

Things continue (with a great shout-out to Jenre) and Elliott and Derek have decided to get married in Seattle where their families are before Derek moves to Hawaii permanently. They have to do the usual family get-togethers before the wedding and when they get to Derek's family the reception is chilly to say the least. He's surprised since they had met Elliott and knew about the wedding, but they declare that they don't support him and won't be attending. Derek is left reeling by his family's rejection and starts to question the whole concept, however he doesn't want to disappoint Elliott who got stood up once. After a sniffle inducing conversation with his brother on the eve of the wedding, he decides they don't need his family and proceed. This story is told from Derek's first person point of view since most of the story revolves around him coming to terms with his family's feelings about not just his relationship with Elliott, but his whole life. Word of warning. I read these one after the other, like "finish page 153, start page 1" and it took me a very long time to wrap my brain around the fact that it was Derek speaking. I kept thinking "Why would he say that?" Oh wait. It's Derek. Right. Makes sense now. This had nothing to do with the writing, because it was out of character for Elliott so it was not a case of both characters being "the same", it was my brain. So maybe take a day between unless you are able to switch gears faster than I am. :-)

Loved this series and how Derek was a calming and relaxing influence on Elliott. He still had his lists, but he was also able to go with the flow more often and not get so freaked out. Also you find out Derek isn't quite the slacker he comes across as. When he needs to suck it up and do his job, he does and does it well.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Saturday Update

So our Indian Summer is over. When from 30C with the humidex on Wednesday and to about 9C today. Brrrrr. Kind of gray and damp too. Oh well. No big plans for the weekend. Try and get laundry and some stuff done up as we leave Thursday morning for New York. Ack! It really snuck up on me. Looking forward to seeing Kris and the guys in New York though. Hopefully it will be nice weather. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Just Like Cats & Dogs by BA Tortuga (200 pages)
Torquere Press

This is a shifter story with a bit of a different feel. Sam is a cat shifter who was adopted by a wolf family. In fact they are a bit of an odd-ball family. His one older brother is blind, his older sister can't shift but things were particularly hard for Sam growing up. He was forced to be locked up during the moon shift because the other wolves in the pack would attack him. Growing up, Gus was Sam's best friend's older brother who delighted in making Sam's life hell. However when Sam comes home for his father's funeral, Gus is in for a surprise. Sam is now a very successful choreographer and he's not taking any crap. They happen to run into each other months later and the attraction is strong but cats and dogs can't be together so they move on, until they run into each other again and finally admit they are mates, however the cats in the city Sam lives in hate Sam because he smells like wolf and decide to make him pay. Gus manages to get him rescued and they need to work out where their life will go from there. What was different is the shifters still have many animal traits while in human form. Most shifters are completely human, but Sam would go nuts when Gus would scratch his lower back like a cat and Gus loved having his ears scratched and they made animal sounds, purred, etc. in human form. I liked seeing a more animalistic human. Also after Sam is attacked, he's injured very badly and there is no magical shifter healing, he's permanently damaged for life. No easy solutions. But while Gus started out as a total asshole, the way he treated Sam when he was injured and at the end made me fall totally in love with him. So for a little different look at shifters, it was a good read that I quite enjoyed.

Slow Bloom by Anah Crow & Dianne Fox (490 pages)
Torquere Press

I believe this story was originally a serial and should probably have tripped one of my major squick buttons, HUGE age gaps but it worked. Go figure. Ricky is 19 and looking after his reclusive neighbours yard for the summer. He's been crushing on 47 year old Jack and one day he ends up making a move. They spend the summer having sex but no strings. Jack has his own baggage as he used to be a dom who had things go badly when he couldn't take the pressure of keeping up the mask he felt he had to wear. He's now cautious. This story takes place over about a year and while Ricky goes back to University they continue to chat and see each other periodically, gradually growing closer. When Ricky comes home the next summer he finally confesses to his parents and his mother does NOT take it well, but his father is supportive. I thought his father was great. It's hard to summarize because its nearly 500 pages, but even though they often mention how old Jack is, it didn't bother me, maybe because I didn't feel even at the end that it was necessarily a forever thing, especial Jack knew that, maybe in 10 years they'd go their separate ways, who knows. I did find I was skimming the sex at the end so I could get to the plot part. I realize that there was a lot of sex because each month it was released there was probably a sex scene but when you string them all together it got a bit much. Ricky and Jack were hot and sexy and I loved how Jack would try things with Ricky he never did before and wanted to make him happy and how Ricky changed Jack's crabby ways. If you don't like sex with other people once they hook up this could be an issue as they are not exclusive that first year, but it fit with their relationship and I enjoyed it.