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

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday Tumbling

No I haven't taken up gymnastics, however I have taken up ungracefully falling in the street. I went to cross the street this morning while fiddling with my ipod and reading my phone (bad I know) and kapow, flat on my face. What was worse was the guy who ran out to help me. Ugh. So graceful. Amazingly my phone and ipod were unscathed, my hands not so much. The right one bore the brunt. Owy. My elbow is also hurting, I think from jarring it when I landed on my hands.
This should be Monday, not Tuesday. And I swear I shall never complain of the cold again. It's going to be 37C with the humidity here today. That's 100F for you down south. I told me daughter not to go to her volunteering today as it's gardening outside in the sun. Too hot at 3:00 in the afternoon. I actually got my act together and put my window a/c unit in my bedroom this morning so at least our upstairs should remain cool even if the main floor gets hot.

Also it's my kiddo's final English presentation. What a freaking nightmare. They had to do something CREATIVE as a visual aid. No, she can't just bring in a baseball bat (Shoeless Joe by WP Kinsells - basis of Field of Dreams with Kevin Costner), it's not creative enough. So she decided to cut out a bat out of fabric and write passion on it, then a cloud and write dreams to represent that theme, and then something to represent the balance between lyrical prose and the minimalistic style. Ummm Yeah. What item do you propose we cut out of fabric for that? Arrgghhh. Ended up being  square piece of fabric with a painted balance scale on it and the words balance. Then they are rolled up on paper toweltube, attched to a 5 foot dowel and she can unroll the pieces as appropriate. OMG. What's wrong with a PowerPoint? I have NEVER had to do something like that in the real world. And her speech has to be between 6:30 and 7 min. She was practicing last night but is a bit nervous. I think also being the only Gr. 10 in a class of Gr. 11's she feels kind of obliged to be their equal if not better. So not sure how much lunch she'll eat today since her presentation is right after lunch. I thought once we got out of elementary the stupid projects were finished. Apparently not.

Okay, enough whining. I did a bunch of reading on the weekend, so time to catch up.
Kevin's Alpha by Amber Kell (120 pages)
Silver Publishing

This is book 2 in the Wizard's Touch series staring Jaynell's roommate Kevin and pack alpha James. Although they've been to bed, Kevin is freaked out by commitment due in part to the fact his father was an elf and they don't do monogamy and he feels he's not much of a wizard, therefore not a good mate for an alpha. So while Kevin is waffling over whether he wants to mate and the significance of that, James spends his time trying not to freak Kevin out by being too possessive. However when a female friend who started dating one of the triplets is killed and her magic sucked out, things go haywire, in combination with a supposed investigation into Jaynell killing the Senate member who tried to kill him. When Jaynell is kidnapped by mysterious wizards, they have to find him, even if it means confronting the wizard Senate and dealing with a nasty cult on campus. This was an okay story, but Kevin was kind of wishy washy and I wasn't enamoured with the cult story-line and why they were doing it, but I liked his avatar Crag, a gargoyle. I'm wondering what's going to happen with the triplets, 3 stories or less? *wiggles eyebrows*

How to Keep the Love of your Life (After Mistaking Him for a Serial Killer) by Maureen Willman (85 pages)
Dreamspinner Press

This book started out hilariously. Randy is just kind of odd, he sees a guy on the street, and is sure he's a serial killer who seems to follow him home. He's shocked when he realizes it's his neighbor across the hall, and embarrasses himself further by trying to apologise. His social skills are lacking to say the least. He's invited to party by his best girlfriend, and unfortunately it's at Dave's place, however Dave seems willing to forgive him. Dave is an international student from New Zealand, and they start up a relationship, only problem. Dave has to return home in a few weeks and Randy's ex has shown up since the restraining order ran out. As I said, it started out very funny, I must have laughed several times in the first few pages, and when Randy ended up drunk in the hallway rolling around outside Dave's door, it was very funny. I know it's hard for an author to maintain that kind of humour for the long haul, but I was disturbed by Randy's response to his ex, and how he didn't want to phone the police and kept letting the guy in. You had a restraining order, but you don't seem to get it. His girlfriend was mixed for me, one she seems to find it hilarious that Dave is leaving, haha big joke on Randy, and then again she finally helped him get his shit together with the ex. So on the whole, I enjoyed this, but I have to say that I loved the first half, liked the second half. Still worth a read just for that first half though.

Galaxy's Heart  by Sean Lane (92 pages)
Amber Allure

Galaxy (yes, he had hippy parents) has moved to Sutter's Bay to help his younger brother who was abused by his step-father for years. (younger being 19 but damaged). He moved there because he remembered the first guy he ever had sex with 10 years ago mentioned he came from there and it stuck. In search of a part-time job since being an artist isn't paying the bills, he goes to the diner which happens to be run by that first guy, Adam, who returned home to run his father's business. There is instant attraction again and they start dating. Things are going well and while there is an incident with homophobic graffiti, Galaxy who sufferers from migraines and a type of glaucoma faints, burst and he needs brain surgery. Luckily his friend Tony from 10 years ago is there and along with his brother and Adam they get him through the health crisis. There's not a lot of outside conflict beyond the health incident, but when you are in the mood for a non-angsty read with nice normal "older" guys (Adam is around 40 and Galaxy is 30), it's a good book with a "feel-good" ending. I'm assuming Galaxy's brother and possibly his friend Tony have a story coming. It was kind of hinted at.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday Mumbling - Get Your Bite On

It's vampire day. :-) We are rather suffering a dearth of vampire books in the m/m genre these days. There was a vampire glut there for awhile a year or two ago, but not so many these days. I do enjoy a good vamp story and as with most paranormals, you can make up the rules as you go along. Yes, they have live swimmers. *gives Kris the hairy eyeball* And they can be as alive or dead as you like.

Some of my favourite vampires, in no particular order:

The Bonded books by Jay Lygon.

Poor former Viking Brandr forced to deal with a house full of young vamps he never wanted. All done with a touch of humour that made me love this series.

The Soul Mates books by Jourdan Lane

Super sexy and you have vamps, humans, shifters, demons, you name it. For those who like their characters to stick with one partner the whole way, not so much, this world has a fluid sex thing going on, so may not be for everyone.

The Smoke series by Tanya Huff

Okay, technically the main couple is not Henry the vamp and Tony the new wizard, in theory it's not even really a romance, but I just adore this series with all my heart.

Blacque/Bleu by Belinda McBride

An interesting take on a closeted shifter and a vampire who's getting weaker. Sexy with a bit of a D/s twist, an interesting coupling.

The Channeling Morpheus/Sweet Oblivion series by Jordan Castillo Price

Okay, I probably list this one on nearly ever list I have, but I just love Michael and Wild Bill. Sexy, freaky, scary, innovative, funny, it's got it all. Anyone who loves vamps will love these guys.

So tell me who your favourite vamps are out there? I'm sure I missed lots as I have 76 books listed on my Good Reads book list under "vampires", so obviously I have a soft spot in my heart for the toothy guys.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Updates

So, another week another dollar (or two). It was a short week for me being a holiday Monday, but it was a loooong week. Not sure why it dragged. Maybe the weather which is more England-like than Canada-like. Rain and cool and I'm tired of it. Really.

Tuesday my excitement was I took my bunny to the vet. He has been coughing (maybe sneezing? hard to tell) for a while, but on the weekend he would have a fit where he couldn't seem to stop for a few minutes and would stand on his hind legs as if it helped him catch his breath. (I'm inserting human reactions here.) He has not been to the vet in nine years since *whispers* "the surgery". He's about 9.5 years old and not very many bunnies make it to 11 or 12. So he's a senior, but apart from his cough, he is very healthy and weighs 1.19 kg which is about 2 lbs. The vet said it COULD be some kind of bacterial infection that is getting stronger or as he ages has reared it's head so he gave me some medicine for 10 days and they'll call me and see how he is. If he's no better we could do x-rays and see if there is anything more.
So I brought him home and ... he coughed once all evening. LOL I said I should have merely taken him for a car ride and bought $120 shoes. I might have had the same effect. I was worried how I would get medicine down a rabbit, but he loves it. I just put the syringe in his mouth and he laps it right up. Perhaps it's carrot flavoured. He's not had any coughing fits since the vet and the meds, but we're only home a few hours a night so we'll see on the weekend if he has any more or if it's helping. He's eating fine and jumping out of his cage (or trying) on occasion so unless he appears "sick" I don't want to spend big bucks to find out he's just "old".

Anyway, that was my excitement. And tomorrow is my kiddo's 16th birthday. I can't believe it. Ack. When did I get so old? She going out to dinner at a burger place with 8 friends and that's about it. I may try and clean up our house a bit in case they decide to come back after. At least vacuum. LOL So I won't even have dinner with my kid on her birthday. Sigh. I'm leaving her with her friends, because seriously, who wants your mom at dinner with you. :-) We'll go out another night. I have to stop and pick up her gift after work tonight. When did buying a gift for your kid get so hard? I kind of yearn for the days of Barbies and My Little Pony. Now the stuff she wants like a car (hahahahahaha riiiiight) are a bit out of my range.

On with the books. Seems to have been a Sean Michael week.

Playing with Fire by Sean Michael (156 pages)
Torquere Press

This is a fantasy which start with sorcerer/ruler Zujan can control fire and has many fire fairies that do his bidding. He also has a lovely harem of young men. At a party, he is insulted by uppity prince Wintras, and basically says he has to stay for a year or he'll kill his parents. Wintras is pissed, and decides he'd rather starve than comply, and nearly does. However eventually he agrees that he'll submit. Everyone seems to like Zujan and Wintras doesn't get it. How could they not want to be free and go home? He's basically a pain in the butt, until upsetting Zujan so badly he burns down part of his castle and sends Wintras home. A couple of years later, Wintras has managed to gather the neighbouring kingdoms and defeat Zujan and he's determined to take his revenge. Only Zujan is nearly dead, drained by the fire fairies and encased in ice. Just to be contrary, Wintras rescues him and when he finally thaws him out, he's not the same man which confuses him. Okay, Wintras was a typical arrogant 19 year old who knows how it all should be. Zujan took in people whose families had died and gave them a home and a job, but Wintras thought they should all go if they want. Go home. To what? It took him FINALLY getting stuck with Zujan, to really understand he wasn't that bad, and that his people weren't suffering all that much. Zujan is night and day once he thaws, he's more like an innocent child than an evil sorcerer, and you get to know the whole magical back story. It was interesting and for a fantasy I enjoyed it. The world is pretty typical of most castles and magic stories so you don't have to stretch to imagine it. I slid in quite easily. Now if you like your heroes to only be with each other (sorry Kassa - rampant sex ahead) that's not the case. In fact Zujan and Wintras don't have much beyond some oral sex until the second time they are together (and even then there was always another party involved), however he has sex with his harem, Wintras has sex with the harem, the harem have sex with each other and even a third is invited to their bed after they finally get down to it. So if that kind of casual sex thing makes you crazy, this might not be for you, but it seemed to fit the feel and it's a harem for god's sake. What else would they do? :-) I enjoyed the story though.

Keeping House
Breathless Press

Mischa is the youngest wild-child son of a Hollywood media company family, including famous parents. He lives off his trust fund and his brothers bet him he can't find a job and live for a year without using his trust fund. He's pissed and takes them on. Unfortunately his last chance at a job, as he's evicted and his Porche repossessed, is as a housekeeper for Donovan, an ad agency exec. He's instantly attracted but figures he'll scare Mischa off with the tasks, but he agrees and moves in. He's amazing at using the net to figure things out like laundry and cooking, and two of his remaining friends (once he was broke, all his Hollywood hangers-on deserted him) help as well, and Donovan falls in love. That's the end of day 2. I thought this had a lot of potential. I could see a young punk who's never had a job screwing up, and Donovan was quite funny at first. But within three days they were "partners", deeply in love and facing off against the brothers, who only thought Donovan was after Mischa's money. Oh and there was some twincest-lite thrown in for titillation (Mischa's friends). So I liked the concept, but I thought once it got to the part where he took over the housekeeper, it just raced ahead to a HEA within days, and within months baby came home. Hello? So ultimately it didn't deliver what I hoped would be some amusing scenes of two opposites learning to live together, because the excerpt sucked me in and I liked the style. Not bad, but as good as I thought it could have been.

Sold by Sean Michael (210 pages)
Torquere Press

Another Hammer novel. No, I can't stop. Matt is new in town and is being "tested" to join the Hammer club. Adam is a professional sub. He does demonstrations, scenes with people for cash and works for the club trying out new doms to see if they fit. He's very remote and centered and does his job. However instantly Matt doesn't want to be a client, but wants to date Matt who doesn't date or kiss, ever. But strangely he agrees and they start seeing each other. Matt is not thrilled with the idea that Adam goes on scenes with others, but he learns to live with it. Adam also has the habit of not taking care of himself. He's very thin, rarely eats, exercises 20 hours a week, I think you see where this is heading. Anyway, Matt more or less takes over, and things are going okay. After a scene he takes care of Adam as most doms just send him on his way, which is difficult, however apparently he never has sex with clients (although why he had to be clean "inside" and out then I didn't get, but whatever). Things are going okay until one of his clients gets really pissed when he wouldn't reply (Matt makes him take days off and Adam just can't say no) and I could see this coming a mile away, he goes on a scene with angry man and gets very badly beaten. Now what do they do? This is pretty typical of the Hammer books. I really liked Matt though, he tried to accept that it was Adam's job, and not be jealous. Anyway, in the end after Matt gets Adam to give up some of his steely reserve and even allows Matt to take care of his health, they find a solution to their problem of Adam's job. It was okay, some inconsistencies, but not much about the club for fans who hope to see more past characters, only Marcus a bit and I never did find out what they did to the guy who beat Adam. I want to know. LOL It was "taken care of". Those who like the Hammer books with lots of sex (most of it very much on the lite side of BDSM if at all) will enjoy it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Quick Tuesday Top-Up

Seems I missed the Monday Mumbling yesterday. Ooops. Having Friday afternoon off and all day Monday threw me off kilter. It was a super lazy weekend. Got some tidying up done, groceries and laundry and that's about it. Which is not a bad thing. Now if only someone would come and do my ironing I'd be happy.

I read a couple of longer books, I do seem to find myself reading like mad for a couple of weeks then blahing out for a week or so, then reading again. Maybe it's hormonal? Can't women blame everything on hormones? that works for me.

Uniform Appeal - DSP Anthology (300 pages)
Dreamspinner Press
on sale for $3.50 - about a cent a page - good value even if you only like half

This whole anthology revolves around stories featuring uniform wearing heroes. This includes fire fighters, police officers, soldiers and even a mailman. I can't go into detail of each one, there are too many, I've copied the table of contents below:

Chasing Jamie by Eric Arvin
Famished by Lou Harper
Delayed in San Diego by Pepper Espinoza
Hot Stuff by Maria Albert
Duty by Emily Moreton
Discovering Columbus by Shae Connor
Firehouse Flame by Paul Taylor
Sold! by K.R. Foster
Heat of the Moment by Dawn Douglas
Double Cross by Lesley Hastings
The Night Shift by Louise Blaydon
Jean-Paul by Ryan Loveless
Walk a Mile by G.R. Richards
Secrets and Lies by Jay Starre
The US Male by Lisa Worrall
Good Things Come… by Rowan McAllister

Like all anthologies, some will tickle your fancy and some less so. A couple of the ones that really caught my attention were: Famished, about a young man who purposely gets himself pulled over so that he can meet the hot motorcycle cop who pulled him over a few days ago, only he doesn't get a date, he gets a $175 ticket. Delayed in San Diego, about a young man going home to Utah after losing his savings in a bad investment, stuck at the airport due to weather, who meets a marine returning to Utah from Afghanistan. Heat of the Moment, about a doctor doing a 30 hour shift because of a bad building explosion, and the fire fighter brother of a badly injured fire fighter whose family shuts him out. The Night Shift, about a property clerk at the police station and the cop he strikes up a friendship with, and they dance around their attraction for months until an injury finally kick-starts them into a relationship. Jean-Paul, set in WWI Paris, a young man heading into battle questions his abilities and finds a young man in Paris to spend his last day with. (non-graphic m/f in this one but it fit). Good Things Come ..., about a fire fighter who wakes up very hungover, unsure what he did with a young art student who is NOT his type. His only thought is getting out of there fast, until he gets to know him, and maybe he might be his type if he opens his heart and mind. This last one was longer, a few chapters so you got to see the relationship develop more, even if it took place over about 24 hours.

So I'm sure there is something for everyone. A few historicals, all types of men in uniform and I have to confess, fire fighters are my fave, with police officers close behind. :-)

From Morocco to Paris by Lydia Nyx (320 pages)
Torquere Press

This story follows two couples, although you only get to see the one couple from the perspective of the main pair which was interesting. Zane wants to be a director but as taken the job of personal assistant to one of the stars Elliot in order to get his foot in the door. They seem to hang out with Davey, a costume assistant and Cristiano the costume designer. Zane is straight (he doesn't count those men he was in bed with), Elliot is in the closet as many actors are, Davey and Cristiano are out and proud. Zane is attracted to Davey, and tries to avoid it until eventually he gives in to Davey's pursuit. Meanwhile Elliot and Cristiano start up a relationship as well. The story starts in Morocco where they are filming, then goes to Cairo and eventually Paris. The parts about how awful it was filming in the desert were great. Hot and dirty and you felt it. Zane runs hot and cold with Davey. Pushing him away, apologising and doing it over again. When Zane's out brother Ian arrives to visit, and hits on Davey, things come to a head and Zane finally confesses to his brother that he's sleeping with Davey, but by then Davey has dumped him for his behaviour. Ian insists they pursue Davey and win him back and ... oh god. Ian was great, his idea of romantic meant Zane ends up with a broken nose. Zane had his reasons for not wanting to admit he was Davey's boyfriend (that was a BIG deal for him - "I'm not his boyfriend" - Honey, you're bare-backing, exclusive and sleeping together every night, you're his boyfriend). As a rule the hot and cold, I'm not gay or freak out if anyone finds out, characters make me nuts and I hate it, but for some reason the author made me understand why Zane did it and while I didn't agree, I wasn't so annoyed I wanted to stop reading. I think it helped that Davey didn't take too much crap and called him on the carpet, and was willing to leave him if he didn't change. He wasn't a door mat. The story-line with Cristiano and Elliot was kind of running along with it's own drama and I really hope there is a follow-up story of Ian, who couldn't understand why Zane was pushing away an amazing guy who loved him, something he'd give anything for, just because people would know he's gay. So despite my reservations about in-denial-Zane, I ended up really liking this one.

Friday, May 20, 2011

How a Dare Turns Into More

Well, way back in the day ... I don't remember when, someone who shall remain nameless but has curly red hair and lives in Perth, kind of dared/cajoled/encouraged me to write a story with a were-kanga. Then I may have gone onto other tangents writing stories that people said couldn't be done. A shifter who was a hamster, a villain who collected Chia Pets, three good friends on a vacation, a hero who knits and freaky GFY secret babies. :-) Along the way I dabbled in some other writing that has never seen the light of day.

So I screwed up my courage and sent something to a publisher a couple of weeks ago and ... ACK! The contract is signed the edits are done (I swear to god I'll learn to add more commas), and the publication date is set. Holy crap! I'm not ready. Someone write me a blurb!

It's just a little Sip at Torquere called Winterlude. Yes, it's set in frigid heart of winter, which seems rather odd to publish in June, but perhaps it will help cool off those who are starting to melt. It's also set in my city, but they don't spent much time out of doors. Who does when it's that cold? I don't have a finalized blurb or anything, but the main characters are Eric Johanson and Omar El-Alum and it's just a little story of two people meeting and seeing if there is the chance for something more. (No freaky were-animals this time.)

What else to say. Ummm. Eric has piercings and tats and blue in his hair, Omar is a tech guy with long hair, a French-Canadian mother and a Libyan father who works for the Department of Defense. So June 18, Winterlude will hit the web.

What this means for my reviews I'm not sure. At this point, one little story of a few thousand words I don't think means much, but I'm playing it by ear. The joy of not being a paid reviewer is I can do whatever I want. :-)

I want to thank everyone out there in cyberland who encouraged my flights of fancy. It's been great fun to create characters using someone else's parameters along with my own imagination. :-) I don't ever see myself doing this as a career, I don't want the pressure of HAVING to write something to pay the bills, but it's a fun pastime that keeps me amused and my brain flexible. Oh and if my kid still plans on going to school in the UK I'm going to need every extra cent I can squeeze out from wherever I can. Now I need to figure out that whole US withholding tax thing. Ugh.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Werewolf in Red (A Sylver and Steele Story) by Mimi Riser

Because this story is too long for Brief Encounters Reviews where I reviewed parts one, and two of the series, I will be reviewing this installment here and then moving back to BER for number four.

Title: The Werewolf in Red (A Sylver and Steele Story)
Author: Mimi Riser
Length: 30,000 words (115 pdf pages)
Publisher: Amber Allure
Genre: m/m fantasy sci-fi paranormal (shifters, vampires)
Rating: B


Buckle up your seatbelts! Mismatched lovers Sylver Starr and Hunter Steele are back in a brand new adventure, and it’s going to be a very bumpy ride...

For starters, Sylver suspects Hunter is cheating on him. Again. Hunter, you see, is a cat-shifter, and we all know how tomcats are, right? They’re not famous for fidelity. Sylver, on the other hand, is a werewolf, faithful to the core. Wolves mate for life, for better or worse. Still, if it ends up the latter, and the worse gets bad enough... Well, hell, he’s a man, too, isn’t he? If Hunter’s doing him wrong, could anyone really blame Sylver for seeking a little extracurricular comfort? Especially since he knows just where to look for it.

Sylver’s not your average werewolf, after all. When he’s not wearing fur, you can usually find him in a dress. He used to be a professional drag queen, the star attraction of Philadelphia’s Red Banana Revue. Since marrying Hunter, however, Sylver has been a secret agent for Earth Guardians, Inc., Hunter being the founder and chief of that covert corps. But Sylver doesn’t much like playing secret agent. The hours suck, and people are always trying to kill him. It’s an excessively nerve-wracking gig. Given the choice, he’d much rather return to his first love—The Stage.

That’s how Sylver ends up in the “City of Brotherly Love”—without Hunter—for a night of gaudy décor and bawdy entertainment at Philly’s très gay answer to the Moulin Rouge. Maybe he’ll find solace by joining in the club’s grand finale cancan. If Hunter doesn’t find him first.

Meanwhile, there’s a megalomaniac vampire plotting to take over the world, a crazy countess with her own hidden agenda, a Plain Jane Cinderella who needs a fairy godmother (or four), and a basset hound-shifter butler who’s just met his predestined life-mate, but isn’t happy about it. Somehow, Sylver and Hunter must sort out their own problems while helping their friends—and saving the world, of course.

Did you ever have one of those nights?...


This book picks up a sometime later and Sylver and Hunter are still at it, fighting that is. When Hunter refuses to go with Sylver to Philadelphia and walks out on them, Sylver decides to go and visit his family alone, assuming Hunter is cheating yet again. However things are not quite as they seem. It seems that Hunter's multi-gazillion dollar empire is under financial attack by an ancient vampire, the original Dracula, who is determined to take over the world, literally. When he finds out that Dracula is after Sylver, Hunter rides to the rescue, sort of. He's finally forced to tell Sylver the truth, that he is broke and the Earth Guardians have been disbanded, which Sylver is fine with since he wanted to quit anyway.

I am pleased to see these stories taking on a slightly more serious feel. Sure, there is still lots of comical banter between Sylver and Hunter, and they both drive each other crazy, usually culminating in crazy hot sex, but the issues are no longer as over the top SyFy like attacking crocodile-human hybrids. The enemies seem to be more serious threats, and a few laser blasters no longer do the trick to save the world.

I thought the fight scenes were very well choreographed, even if Sylver's lack of focus during a battle is less than stellar. I also liked very much that Hunter seems to be a bit more soft and understanding of Sylver's position on some things, and gets it more what a relationship is really like. I nearly fainted along with Sylver when he heard that. :-)  It's a complex tale of vampire intrigue, where even once you've vanquished the bad guy, things may not be all sweetness and light. There is also a cute Cinderlla-esque side-story of the sister of Sylver's cousin's wife (does that make sense?) and Sylver's butler.

While I liked the first book okay, it seemed to just a little too "much". I like how the story has settled down and it's still retaining it's quirkiness, but taking on some other challenges in a more serious, if still bigger than life way. I'm looking forward to seeing how things go in the next installment.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday Mumbling ... What I've learned about myself reading m/m

Self analysis and therapy through reading.

Rather than focus on a genre or theme I like in m/m, this week got me thinking about things I've learned about myself by reading different types of books.

A) While in theory a May/December, March/November?, relationship doesn't bother me, hey more power to ya old dude, I've realized that at some point it squicks me out. When a 23 year old and a 50 year old hook up, permanently, I start thinking ... When boy A is my age *coughmid40scough*, his spouse will be ...... 75!!!!! Arrgghhhh *runs screaming visualizing being in a relationship with someone my Dad's age* I'm sure people can give me examples of cases where they know real-life people who have BTDT and were deliriously happy, but it's hard to enjoy a story when I keep thinking "Oh my god, oh my god, my Dad's age, oh my god". It would appear I'm not as tolerant as I thought I was on the age thing. 10-15 years I don't even blink, once it hits 20 I start to get jittery. (I should clarify, not that I would ever tell someone it's wrong, but it makes me doubt the long-term viability of the relationship.)
Okay okay, so the old guy is half-horse,
I couldn't find a good pic I liked.
B)  On a similar theme, but not so much age related is the "My son/daughter's friend" theme. Ugh. That is so Letters to Penthouse. Ick. Dating someone the same age as your kid? Fine. A friend of your kid's, their age? Noooooo.

Aren't they just cute as a button ...
and off limits if one is your kid!
C) My need to create a conflict free zone in my life seems to spill over into fiction. I just read something where the one guy seemed to take great delight in poking his potential life-partner with a sharp stick. (not literally because that would be weird) But the Latino guy would get all pissed off and throw a hissy fit and be upset and the other guy found it just amusing as hell and regularly said/did stuff (or didn't say stuff) just to get a reaction. It reallllllly made me uncomfortable. It made me not like the stick poker. Why would you WANT to make someone you supposedly care about or love angry? I spent many years of my life running around trying to control the outside world so I wouldn't have to deal with an angry spouse. It just triggered all sorts of "stuff" inside that made me feel kind of ookey, even though I enjoyed the book on the whole. Obviously I still have issues.

D) For years I have said, "I don't like scary books, I don't like horror, etc." When in reality I maybe do, a little bit. I like Dallas Coleman's books, because they are freaky and creepy but often not graphic. I know many people consider Jordan Castillo Prices' Wild Bill and Michael books to be horrorish (as opposed to whorish), but when some reviews would go "ooooh, it's really gross and freaky" I was kind of "eh". It was good, but I wasn't freaked out. Though as a rule I'd say I'm anti-slasher, anti-pain for fun (aka Saw movies). It needs a purpose I guess. Or maybe it was all those years of reading detective stories about serial killers that delighted in describing their crimes. I never considered that horror and yet I would never read a Stephen King because it's too scary. :-)
He looks kind of scary creepy,
although I've read an interview with him,
and he's not, seems rather pleasant on the whole.
So what has reading (m/m, m/f, any genre really) taught you about yourself, your beliefs, inner secrets you don't reveal to the world. We'll keep it just between us. No one will ever know.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Quick Sunday Update

Still having fun in Toronto, but we are off home this evening. Lots of shopping and walking, and stupid rain. A good friend of my daughter's came into the city and they got to spend the day together. Non-stop talking. :-)

Strangely after I added these pics I noticed how similar they are, shades of blue, naked man torso, another item in the pictures. And it wasn't that I chose two similar books since I read the second one a couple of weeks ago and had lost track of it.

The Trouble with Angel by JM Cartwright (222 pages)
Torquere Press

Angel has fought his way out of East LA. He's now a fashionista who works for an entertainment agent. When his boss has other commitments she sends him to help out client Brandon, a pro baseball player. Angel has always found Brandon attractive, but Brandon comes across as arrogant and aloof and straight. Brandon's a bit freaked out when Angel shows up and starts acting weird and all sort of flirty, and he won't tell Angel what is going on. Soon Angel finds out that Brandon has been given custody of his old coach's grandchildren whose parents had died just before he did. Brandon has decided that being in a couple would be a good idea, he intended to pretend it was Angel's boss, but suddenly casts Angel in the role of spouse, much to Angel's dismay. His boss also approves him working for Brandon for as long as he wants, and before long Brandon's confessing to being gay and has whisked Angel and the two kids (9 and 6) up to Oregon to a rundown old house in the country. Angel is pissed (as he well should be) but can't seem to resist when Brandon makes the moves. I had a few issues, one, getting kids who have just lost their parents attached to a pretend person is NOT smart. Of course they live HEA, it's a romance, but that was the stupidest thing ever. And Brandon took great delight in goading Angel to lose his Latin temper, which pissed me off to no end as well. On the upside, I think their struggles to figure out how to be parents of a sort to the kids was good, I liked Angel a lot and even Brandon had his moments (we'll discuss this more tomorrow :-), and I stayed up way too late reading it, so it definitely sucked me in. I loved Angel's mom when she showed up and the local vintner who seemed to rub Angel the wrong way. So there is lots to enjoy here and some of the things that bugged me others will probably find amusing and cute. Ah, personal taste. Still it was a good read.

Surviving the Change by Cari Z (122 pages)

Blythe is a student who works nights in a bar to support himself. It's a shifter bar and he hasn't much use for shifters but it pays the bills. One night a new wolf shows up and decides to follow him home. He is NOT impressed and even though Dan is flirty and non-threatening, Blythe is not interested. However there are two rival packs in town (not all wolves, Dan's friend the one alpha is a lion and the rival alpha is a snake). Dan offers to fix Blythe's car in exchange for space on the couch as he's kind of homeless. They become friends but Blythe doesn't give in. You do eventually find out that Blythe had his reasons for being anti-shifter, it wasn't just to be contrary. There are problems though. As an unbonded male, Dan can't stick around too long as packs see him as a threat, however Blythe isn't coming around as quickly as would be useful to allow him to stay around. After a fight breaks out between the two groups at the bar and Dan saves Blythe but injures himself, Blythe finally gets with the problem, but when Dan kills the rival alpha's brother saving Blythe, Dan gives himself up to save Blythe, leading Blythe to band together with the good alpha to get Dan back, although they are nearly too late. I think those who enjoy shifter stores (aka me) will enjoy this. It started out kind of slow (not in a negative way) but with you getting to know Blythe and Dan and them becoming kind of friends and then flips into high gear once the other pack goes on the attack and Blythe has to make a stand. So if you like furry boys, a good read.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Toronto Part 2

Well, my business part of the trip is over. Sat in on some good seminars, met some interesting companies and had a chance to talk with my colleagues from Mexico to New Brunswick and everywhere in the middle.

Today my daughter came on the train and I picked her up and we went out for dinner. I think she missed me because once I got her fed she started talking and didn't stop for about 2 hours. Just sat on the hotel bed and talked my ear off. :-) Tomorrow a good friend of hers she met at riding camp a few years ago is coming into the city and we are going to meet at the big mall and they will giggle and hang out. I guess I'll be relegated to hanging with the Mom. I've met her but don't really know her.

So Tuesday night I had two receptions to attend. The first was hosted by Atlantic Canada and it was held at the Hockey Hall of Fame which was very cool. I've never been there and it's quite small so we had the run of the whole museum. That was fun. This guy was a chef from Nova Scotia who explained lobster aquaculture to us, how to know which lobster is a boy or a girl and a demonstration of mating using cooked lobster. 0_0

For Stephani Hecht, the Red Wings Fan.
Who the hell knew the Australians had an ice hockey team?
Then we raced over to another reception hosted by the Niagara region. They had great food as well and it was held on the 35th floor of an office tower and the view was amazing. You could see right out to Lake Ontario and see the CN Tower. I was really impressed.

Then with very sore feet I trudged back to my hotel which was only a few blocks from the CN Tower. On the way back I found this chair in a store in the tunnels. It's a bit large to send to Kris, but I thought of her when I saw it. It was kind of cool and red.

Hopefully it won't rain as much as they are predicting. Of course it was nice all week and now rain. Sigh. We head back to the airport at 4:00 Sunday. Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

It's Fight Club time again.

Only this time it's my kidlet up against the "singer" known as Rebecca Black. Click on the graphic below and stop by and lend her your votes and/or leave a comment.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


So, I haven't been around much. I'm in Toronto for work so am busy most of the day. Monday night I walked around and ended up at the giant bookstore they have downtown. It's one of the few places they have a rather large GLBT fiction section. I looked for books by people I "know", there were a few and I found these ones had a rather large selection in particular.

 Most of the KA Mitchell oeuvre.

Charlie Cochrane's Lessons series.

Several books by Ally Blue
There were a few other individual books by authors I've read. It's kind of nice to see them not tucked away in an obscure bookstore somewhere by right there one shelf over from the traditional romance. Although across the aisle from the erotica and it felt kind of weird that I was there next to two men in their 70's browsing the erotica section. Awkward.

Also saw a young man on the street asking for a cigarette who then loudly declared he would give a blow job for a cigarette. Almost wished I'd smoked. I would have offered him a cigarette if he'd let me watch him give someone a blow job. LOL

Yesterday I had my big meeting all day and I was really pleased with how it went. Lots of good discussion, my speakers were all excellent and inspired conversations and then some other people joined us at the end of the day and people were just talking and talking. So a good meeting. Oh and I managed to get the projector and computer running without having to call my help desk back home. :-) Go me.

That's about it. I went for a walk down to the CN Tower last evening. It was also a Blue Jays baseball game so there were tons of people heading to the stadium. If you look at the pic above the white glowing dome is the stadium. They are both 10 min. walk from my hotel. I was hoping there would be a baseball game this weekend when my daughter is here we could go to. I've never been to a pro baseball game but of course they only have away games this weekend. Grrr.

I haven't really gone out to eat. I hate eating alone in a restaurant so I grabbed a piece of pizza the other night and last night I grabbed a sausage from a cart by the CN Tower. I wasn't that hungry anyway as we'd gone out for a good lunch. Today I am hitting a food trade show and have to meet some people and have two receptions later tonight. A bit of a crazy night with two events the same night, but what can you do.

So there is my Toronto update. Kind of boring, but then work often is. :-) Have a great week all.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Monday Mumbling ... Are you sure your hand is supposed to be THERE!?

So I won't say I'm a "fan" of fisting but I've read some scenes that seemed to work okay for me. I'll be honest, before I read m/m, fisting was some kind of ethereal urban legend. I'd never run across it in any of the PNR I'd been reading and certainly not in my bodice-ripper days of my youth.(I'm not even sure those women gave blow jobs back then.) I think I was a bit "surprised" the first time it cropped up and I may have only been reading with one eye. Then later I went back and read it with both eyes and ... well, I could see the appeal for both parties, despite possible ouchies. So these are a couple of the books I've read where it worked okay for me. Feel free to share your own favourites or your opinion on the practice (in fiction ;-). Do you refuse to read anything with more than 3 fingers involved in the nether regions? 

So this was rather like flinging myself into the deep end. I think it was my first m/m/m and twincest to boot. Oh wait, fisting. Ack! However Chris Owen is one of my favourite authors and I confess this is an often reread for me. What can I say, I like the pervy stuff.

Given that I like Chris Owen, stands to reason I'd like Drew Zachary. In Loving the Rain (stupidest cover ever) two normal young guys (in my city) suddenly decide on some fisting one night. Umm. Okay. Anyway, I liked the short so much it didn't throw me off but it was kind out of the blue which Kassa addressed on post.

 Ally pulled in a bit of Crisco realism and humour into her scenes in Where the Heart Is. It probably fit more than it did in the previous book as there was the whole D/s thing going which seems to go hand in hand (HAHAHAHAHA) with fisting. 

These are the only ones I can think of off hand. As I noted, it's not something I've heard of it m/f romance, but maybe I just don't read the right books. :-) I don't go searching them out m/m though. I know there was a book lately that had a fisting scene on the side of the road with no lube. Ack! At least these put the emphasis on prep, not just ram it up there. I think this is one of those practices for me that I can enjoy in fiction on the page, but am happy to have it stay here.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

NSFW Thank you cookies!

Thanks to everyone who voted for me in the smack-down with Paula Deen. Thanks to you y'all and my own mad clicking skills I soundly trounced the old broad and as promised, here is your NSFW (and SFW) thanks. Huh. Just noticed I seem to have a mostly torso theme going. Oh well, loves me some sexy torsos.

You can see my results by clicking on the logo again.

Have a super Sunday.

 You can never have too many naked pics of Levi.