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

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Quick Update

Here are just a few shorts I've read lately.

Broomsticks & Stones by Jane Davitt (57 pages)

Peter is a lawyer and magician. His boss tasks him with carrying a magical family jewel to the family castle where it will be claimed by the newly selected head of the family. He explains that Peter can only use magical means to get there which equals traveling by broomstick. In a snowstorm he's forced to land in a forest were he seeks refuge with Jamie. He's instantly attracted but Jamie drugs him and hides the jewel. He fears he'll be chosen next and if he doesn't claim the stone the family castle will crumble and he can avenge his mother's mistreatment by her family. After some hot smexin it seems this has all been a set-up by Peter's boss and Jamie must make some hard decisions about family revenge or love. This was an okay paranormal but there were things I wish had been explained. It talked about Peter being a summer child and Jamie an autumn child and that came with special powers but it was just kind of referred to then nothing. So even though it was 60 pages there were lots of ideas and concepts thrown out that I would have liked to see developed more fully.

Taste Test: Chocolate & Power Tools by Vic Winter, Jennifer Joyce, Angel (41 pages)

This is three stories that combine chocolate and/or power tools.

You Don't Bring Me Chocolates by Vic Winter - Dylan and Eric have been together 10 years (it follows their relationship) and Eric, a total romantic, refuses to celebrate Valentine's Day. In fact he leaves and comes back the next day refusing to tell Dylan where he's going. Finally after 10 years Eric insists he tell him. There as a paranormal twist which took me by surprise but I was getting pissed right along with Dylan. I would not have waited 10 years to find out what my BF was doing every Feb. 14. (I can't remember nor find any power tool reference in this one.)

Laying Plans by Jennifer Joyce - Bex and Terry are fashion designer partners (in both senses). On V-Day Terry sneaks out to buy a drill and installs some D-rings on their bed. Bex a former chef makes a superb dinner including home-made chocolates. Terry gives him a gift of hand/ankle cuffs which they put to good use. This is told in present tense 1st person which took me awhile to adjust to, but it was a sweet story about an established couple.

Stolen Chocolate Tastes Sweetest by Angel - Rafe is relieving the patrons of an AIDS benefit of their excess jewels and cash when he's caught by his old History prof. He makes Rafe give the stuff back and takes him home and they start a relationship although Rafe continues his life as a thief. For V-day, Damian makes a chocolate cake and has also made a special "toy" for Rafe that involves an old cake beater and a silicon mold of his penis. I didn't really relate to this because I found Damian a bit odd that he would accept Rafe's "career" because he had the hots for him, but you don't read about homemade sex toys very often.

Pineapples and Chocolate by EM Lynley (12 pages)

This a freebie at ARe that Chris pointed me to. Ben is at the supermarket hoping to find a hook-up. He sees a hottie and makes his move but embarrasses himself with a pineapple trying to hit on the guy. He figures he's lost his chance but at the check-out Derek agrees to come home for a drink. They barely get in the door when they take full advantage of the condoms Derek bought. The ending to this story left me smiling. So if you like shorts you can't go wrong with the price and it's a very cute read.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Who Doesn't Love Comic Books?

So I recently received Crimson Spell 1 & 2 from Tracy and finally opened Black Wade. It was so nice and fresh I hated to open it. I had 20 min. at lunch during training so I was sitting at my table and I whipped out Crimson Spell 2. (Don't people realize if you have a book open they aren't supposed to talk to you?) Anyway this older guy (65) I work with was also reading and the conversation goes like this:
Him: So what are you reading?
Me: Umm. It's a manga book for adults. It's Japanese, well, not in Japanese, but originally.
Him looking at the cover: So is it like old style comic books?
Me showing him the 18+ rating tag: Yeah sort of but definitely for adults.
Him: Oh, so it's really explicit?
Me: Yeah.
Him: Oh really.
LOL I'm sure he assumes it's m/f but I just let it go.

I enlightened him as to the Book Depository. I know he reads a lot. Then the yappy woman at my table goes "Ewwww. That sounds awful. I wouldn't buy a book there." It's depository, not suppository. And for free shipping and amazing delivery I'd buy from something called suppository and tell the world about it. Sheesh. How old are you? 12?

So comic days at my house (and on the bus and at work).

Black Wade by Franz & Andarle (69 pages)

Everyone (aka Kris) bullied me until I bought this. Freaking expensive but Book Depository is amazing. About $10 cheaper than Amazon and actually had it in stock. Jack is in the British navy when he is taken captive by pirate Black Wade (BW). BW has his way with him and eventually Jack gets with the program. When BW feels himself getting attached he sets him free. Jack is about to marry his fiance he finds out BW has been captured and is being abused (aka raped). He can't stand it, frees BW and they sail away. I assume there is room for a sequel as another Navy guy was pretty pissed, maybe that ship they stole did it. So was it amazing? The story was okay and if you have serious issues with non-con depicted or dub-con, then there might be issues but the artwork is freaking amazing. It's not like old Superman comics, the inside is as beautiful as that cover and yes, VERY explicit. I paid about $22 at BD, but it's hardcover and just gorgeous.

Crimson Spell 1& 2 by Ayano Yamane (160 pages each)

Everyone has been raving about these so I was eager to get them and see what all he hubbub was about. Vald (who I keep wanting to call Vlad) uses a sacred sword to protect his kingdom being attacked by demons. Unfortunately the sword is cursed and he turns into a demon when he gets angry or is asleep. He must go and find Halvir, a wizard who can maybe break the curse. They start out on an epic journey to find a way to break the curse. Halvir (Havi) finds that he can tame the inner demon of Vald with his magic cock. :-) But when he's human again he can't remember. After a few adventures Havi is captured by an evil wizard who wants to use Vald for evil. As mystified as he is by his feelings for Havi he knows he's his and sets out to rescue him. End book 2. So I can see why everyone is looking for Book 3. I want to know what happens. The story is compelling and I love the artwork style and Vald gets tattoo type marks all over his body when he's a demon. Sigh.

The top picture is by the same artist/author. I wish these books were as much in color as Black Wade. I would pay lots for that. This author is going to be at Yaoi-Con in SF in October which is suddenly more appealing to me. I told my daughter and she goes "So are you going to get the book autographed?" Hmmm. I might have to invest. :-) I have to say for yaoi I tend to find the fantasy ones more appealing which is the reverse for me in m/m where I don't care for fantasy as a rule. Maybe I'm more visual for created worlds and monsters. I highly recommend.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

I started thinking the other day that I started yammering here about a year ago. I thought it was possible I missed the date but nope, it was today, March 29. I did it when I joined a reading challenge, the same one I'm in now over on the side. It was a way for the organizer to track what we read. I didn't expect anyone to read it except her because I didn't tell anyone, but I didn't keep it secret either though. I nearly died when I got my first comment, from none-other than Charlie Cochrane. My second comment was from James Buchanan. Holy shit! I don't start small do I? :-) Jenre was my first non-author comment. :-) And she's still sticking around silly girl.

It was still only the odd author who would find their names or a comment here and there from Jen. Then suddenly last fall things started picking up and people started finding me. I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do with that. It wasn't my plan to have people read what I wrote, I was sometimes a bit too snarky maybe. I don't consider myself a real review site, not like Jen, Lily, Val, Kassa, Wave, or others who really look at structure and characterization and that type of thing. I'm more of the I know if I liked it camp of reviewer. Can't say why sometimes (although I'm learning) but I either did or I didn't. I love that people stop by to say hi and have some fun and then go off on tangents. Always feel free to talk amongst yourselves here. My blog door is always open.

I have learned a lot about writing and books (especially yaoi 0_0) and about myself from the people I've met on-line connected with the m/m community. I have made lots of amazing friends; authors, reviewers, readers, and I'm thrilled that I'm going to get to meet some this fall. I'm so excited to be going to San Francisco and I'll get to meet Kris, and Chris and Tracy and Jen and hopefully Clare London and Aunt Lynn who reviews at Wave's and I have another friend who lives in the Bay area. I'm definitely going to need more than 5 days. :-) Plus time for being a tourist with my daughter. I can't say THIS blog is the reason I know all these amazing people but it doesn't hurt. So there's my big *smooch* to all my on-line friends. I love you all.

So in honour of my special day, just like in first grade, I'm bringing treats for the whole class. :-)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I/R Romance Sunday

I swear to god I have some kind of weird ability to read books with a theme without being aware of it. Okay, I knew that Only in His Dreams was I/R (the cover makes it obvious) but had no clue about Night Shift and read them back to back. It was like the psycho ex theme, totally oblivious to it until after I was done. Maybe I can wangle this amazing talent into some extra money somehow. Not sure how but you never know.

Night Shift by Jenna Byrnes (62 pages)

A serial killer is picking off drug dealers and Ryder (another book where they go by last names) and his team are having no luck. Stone is a hotshot up and coming AA detective brought in to lead a task force. Ryder isn't thrilled and he and Stone get off to a rocky start but within hours are fucking each other's brains out. So they work together while sleeping together and arrest a suspect that Stone is sure is guilty. Ryder knows something is hinky and his snitches offer him some info that supports this. As well, Stone has big aspirations and as no desire to be an out and proud cop like Ryder is. Seems Ryder was right about a conspiracy and Ryder's snitches manage to help them catch the real killer at great risk. My biggest complaint is this book moved really fast. They meet at 2:00 pm and are in bed by 6:30. Whoa. I also wanted more info about the murder case because I didn't really understand it all and why the killer and his henchmen did it, but it was only 60 pages so I guess you can only fit so much in. But it was an okay story about two cops working together. Oh and yes, both guys on the cover are white, but that cover is used for tons of books at that publishers.

Only in His Dreams by Shawn Lane (68 pages)

Darrel, an accountant, has been crushing on his boss Travis, a partner at the law firm since he started but figures he'd have no chance. Finally, one fateful night due to a broken down car they spend some time together and with the help of the machinations of Trevor's flamingly gay secretary they start a relationship. Everything is going great for a few weeks when they go for dinner with Darrel's Mom. She is not thrilled her son is gay but is really put off that Travis is white. Travis is then worried about coming between Darrel and his family. It was a cute story about two guys who both thought the other wouldn't be interested and the only thing that annoyed me was Travis' reaction to Darrel's Mom. He was a high powered lawyer, in his 30's, and yet he acted like a teenager who'd been warned off by a vengeful Dad with a shot gun. He didn't even try to talk to Darrel about it until he forced the issue, but until that I thought it was a sweet story about the guys. I'd be curious if Travis' secretary Barnaby and his law partner Nathan get a story as they were dancing around that one.

I have two days of training coming up Monday and Tuesday so I won't be around the net much since I won't have computer access except for my phone which doesn't work for most blogs. Sigh. I'll be seeing little pink computer mice climbing the walls I'll be in such severe withdrawal. :-)

Hope everyone is having a great weekend.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Nom de Plume

I haven't been reading much lately, I've been working on some other stuff but I've been thinking about this. Pen names, nom de plumes, aliases, whatever you want to call it. Not about whether authors should or shouldn't or the choice of an ambiguous gender name vs one that clearly states sex. But about the process of how people choose names.

There seem to be a lot of .... creative names out there. Some examples: Sapphire Blue, Mynx Malone, Roxi Romano? Also some very unusual first names, some of which I have no clue how to pronounce: Taige, Ciar, Mlyn, Cyna, Kaenar, Kama, Talya, etc. Granted, you are unlikely to forget an author named Mynx but I seriously doubt her mom named her that.

So then I started thinking (not always a good thing); What would I call myself if I wanted to use a nom de plume? First would I need one if I chose to write an m/m story? Okay, there is stuff out there on the internet with my name on it, generally only my first name but my e-mail is also flying around out there with my real name on it and it's associated with the on-line me so it would take an 8 year old about 4 min. on the internet to figure out who I am but we'll ignore that for now. What would I have to consider when making the decision:
  • my nearly 15 year old (ack!) daughter - She knows what I read (in general terms) and it's not going to have any impact on her life. Later in life? I can't control that.
  • my spouse - well he's an ex so he can suck it, no other SO to consider.
  • my parents and other family members - I caught my Mom flipping through Crossing Borders and my yaoi collection so she likely wouldn't be too shocked. They might not "get it" but it wouldn't bother them in the sense that they'd be shocked or upset by it. Other family (I'm an only)? Like it or lump it, I don't care.
  • my job - the only concern for me here would be conflict of interest and as long as I don't use things from my job in a story (most boring book ever) they don't care what I write or sell. And it would have no bearing on my job/promotions/etc.
  • my friends - those who have issues would likely just ignore it, most couldn't care less, some would be supportive.
So in general I don't think I would need a pen name but it's fun to imagine. So what would I choose? I would try and avoid the stripper names like Glitter McLeggie or something too cutesy like Sunny Dayes or Royale Icing. I always wanted to be called Tabitha like that little kid in Bewitched. So I'll be Tabitha .... Hmmmm. My middle name is Lee. But then people might think I'm Asian but I suppose if I'm trying to hide my identity it would be good to throw off the scent with an ethnic name when you aren't of that ethnicity.

So there is my imaginary nom de plume. Tabitha Lee (Royale Icing is a close second) If you use a pen name can you share with us how you chose it? Not if it will "out" you but I'm always curious how people come up with names. Just a fascination with a name like I have, or maybe a favourite book or movie character? Your maiden aunt's name. Random name generator? If you had to create a pen name what would you choose? You can be as wild and out there as you like just for fun.

This is how I imagine all those unknown authors looking when they're working on that next story. Very mysterious.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday means almost the weekend.

I haven't been reading that much the last couple of days. I've been working on some other things, but I did read these two, both of which I enjoyed.

Our wonderful spring weather has departed for ... somewhere. Maybe down to Australia and Kris and Sean where it will turn into autumn. Not sure but winter is back with a vengeance. I had to dig out my winter coat and mittens today. Waaaaah. Hopefully by mid-week it will have moved on to Greenland or Iceland or some suitably wintry clime.

I have zero plans for the weekend beyond the usual household chores. It's the last Sunday I have to drag my child to the country at 7:50 on a Sunday morning for riding lessons. Yay! That is ungodly early to get up on a Sunday. We are NOT morning people. Hope everyone has a great weekend and gets to do something fun or at least semi-interesting.

Private Dicks by Katie Allen (129 pages)

I read this after everyone was raving about the sequel. Rhodie is a former cop (more or less forced out after he is outed) who works with Wash as a PI. (They have first names but I'm not sure what they are. LOL) He's had a crush on Wash forever but he's straight. One night he finally confesses he's gay which doesn't go down well at first, but eventually things settle down and Wash confesses he's not exactly straight either. Hmmmm. Meanwhile a young teen comes and asks them for help finding his 14 year old brother who disappeared and Rhodie's old partner asks them to look into the murder of a young girl (who went to the same community center as the missing boy) and a suspected pedophile. So it's the joint story of the two guys trying to figure it out (Wash isn't sure he wants to deal with the hassle of being gay - but likes the benefits) and finding the missing boy and uncovering a pedophile ring. I really enjoyed this book, I liked both characters, Wash was really funny and flip but they were both smart and good at what they did. You meet Trevor who is a bouncer at the club where a lot of the action takes place. He has a crush on Rhodie who kind of likes him too, but he is the star of the sequel. I know Chris is going to smack me for this, but I was kind of hoping for a one-off threesome with Trevor. LOL Sorry. It would have been hot. What can I say? So I'm definitely getting the second book. I really liked the author's writing style and the characters were very appealing.

Emergency by Drew Zachary (122 pages)

Brian is an EMT who has been friends with married ER Dr. Stephen for a couple of years. One night Stephen admits his marriage is basically over. Later at the bar when Brian takes him out for a drink he confesses that he thinks he is gay. Brian is blown away because he's always had the hots for him but doesn't want to push. He invites Stephen to live with him and offers to help him figure things out, just friends, no pressure. That lasts for awhile until they finally go for it and Stephen takes to gay sex like a duck to water. He's like a kid in a candy store. LOL I really liked that the guys were friends first for a few years so the fact that they liked each other beyond hot sex came though. There was some humour and while the second half was very nearly a non-stop sex-fest I thought it made sense. Stephen was finally free to try things he'd only thought about and he was determined to try it all. They made a pact to try something new everyday and while both their jobs meant they sometimes didn't see each other for days, when they were together they were exploring lots of different fun including lots of porn watching which you don't often see in m/m romance. I thought maybe they talked about feelings a bit much, but Brian's female partner was always giving him advice and pushing. I thought she was well done though, not overly pushy but just enough to get them through the awkward moments of which there were a few. So a nice light read, without a lot of angst or drama, two guys deciding to give it a whirl with some chemistry. I like Drew Zachary's style in general and this is set in Toronto so it's always fun to hear street names and things you are familiar with. (I don't live there but have visited enough to know the basics.)

And since it's Friday and I posted that other ASL video, here is a different guy doing Womanizer by Britney Spears. It's much sexier and videoier (more like a music video with cut scenes and acting) than the other one. He lost it when his computer crashed and had to redo it so the video doesn't really start until :35, there is some random music and stuff at the beginning but you can just zip ahead. Enjoy.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Threesome Thursday

I thought I'd do a special menage post today. Plus I could use some kick-ass alliteration up there. I found this picture looking for three guys and they are described in the blog that posted it as "ballet boys" who apparently did some kind of act climbing down a wall getting into all kinds of cool positions. I found it quite intriguing to look at, just following the lines to see who's body part was whose and how they held together. A neat idea.

I've read some other stuff too (tomorrow's post) and I know this isn't Chris' cup of tea but I do enjoy a good menage. Okay I love a GOOD menage, I like OKAY menages too. Stormy Glenn and I have an interesting relationship. She is like twinkies. No wait, I've never had a twinky. Maybe Doritos. I know exactly what they will taste like because every bag is pretty much the same even if the flavour is slightly different. I know you'll never see them served in a high class restaurant because they just aren't that good, they are bad for you in large quantities and contain stuff that you probably shouldn't eat, but at the time you enjoy them and lick your fingers and go "that was more or less satisfying" and you let it go until next time. So I don't expect high literature, I expect a certain amount of formula (especially this particular series), I know I'll find a fair number of editing errors, but in the end, I usually like the characters and situations enough to have a satisfied feeling when I'm done. As was the case here and since I read the first three, I like to finish a series. I also find I am more forgiving of menages in a paranormal situation as here (wolves), because you can avoid those pesky things like jealousy, logic and common sense all in favour of the mate bond.

Stolen Desires by Stormy Glenn (115 pages)
Saul and Ryce have been mated for 5 years but every Friday night Saul goes off to have a one night stand. He was upfront from the beginning so Ryce has accepted it but it's getting harder. Finally he has enough and goes to a bar to get laid himself and finds Cary who he recognizes as his mate as well. He's sure Saul will be pleased. Saul comes home to find them cuddled in bed and freaks. Seems he's NOT out screwing around but won't tell anyone what he's doing. Ryce and Cary agree to "break-up"with Saul and plot to find out exactly where he goes Fridays and win him back. Well I knew what he was doing right away once I realized he wasn't screwing around because think formula people, where would a guy go in secret, come home exhausted and tired and looking rough if he's not having sex? I won't "spoil" it but I'm sure most of you figured it out. It was of course the big secret which drove me crazy, the "I must protect you by treating you like shit and not telling you what's going on" theme which I didn't particularly liked but I did like it when Ryce grew a spine. Cary was a typical tri-Omega in these books, small, effeminate, giggly, trouble-maker. His mates, two strong manly men. I told you the Doritos taste the same even if you change the name on the bag.

Unspoken Desires by Stormy Glenn (179 pages)
All of the wolf packs are going for some kind of confab and this includes Daniel from book 1. They get to the island retreat (book 3) and he sees his mate who rejected him 5 years ago and forced him to leave his pack. His mate Brom is now married with a two small kids. He approaches Daniel and there is the same "I told you to leave to save your ass and kept why a secret" thing going on but the truth comes out a bit sooner. There is also 19 year old Jaryn whom Brom recognized as their third mate and has been protecting from his highly homophobic pack and his father. His Dad's basically a giant dick and his wife is sleeping with her FIL. Ewwwwww. After he mates Daniel he grabs the kids and Jaryn and asks for asylum and they have to go before the Council to petition for the kids. I found some major errors here including one where they said Micah's special talent was A and I literally yelled out "No that's wrong!" (to my daughter's dismay) because it was Cary's talent. There were other less egregious errors but that one stood out. ALL of the characters from the other books were in this one and from time to time I had trouble keeping them all straight there were 5 sets of tri-mates and one set of two and 5 kids. So when they were all together it was a bit confusing for me.

So if you like Doritos and menage and wolves and are in the mood to let some editing stuff just slide by, they are okay reads. I wouldn't scream "run out and buy these now!" but if you happen upon them, they are typical Stormy Glenn and okay reads.

A comment about Siren Publishing formatting. They have the weirdest format to me in pdf. It has VERY large margins all around the edge. So I thought I'd compare a page of pretty heavy text with a couple of other publishers. So the Siren page had 374 words, A Torquere page had 513 and a Samhain page 520. Quite a difference. I guess that's where word count really means more than page length, because obviously 179 pages in one book is quite a shorter read than 179 pages in another. Just my little random comment for the day.

If one of these guys was smaller, blonder and twinkier they'd probably fit the books well.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Picture Meme

Mikey and Adam tagged me over at Cocky and Rude. The deal is you go to your picture file, choose the first folder and the 10th picture in that folder and give the background of it. Now most people following this meme have pictures of them and their friends doing all kinds of wild and fun things on vacation. Do I have pictures like that on my computer? Nooooooo. Not me. There are very few pics of me on my computer. Yeah, guess what I do have pictures of? Ding ding ding. Correct guess. Menz. What is the 10th one in the first folder? One that I had to block out his junk before I posted it. Sigh. I could have cropped him but I really liked the way the rope was tied around his thigh.

Okay, what is the background of this pic. Ummm. Well, I was probably doing a search for one of two things, bondage or tattoos. Possibly piercings but I'm thinking likely tattoos. Who is he? Well, as you can see his name is Trevor Wayne, he is a gay actor (ER, Buffy, Nip/Tuck, etc.) and model. If you want to find out more about Trevor there is an interview and some pics in The Advocat magazine. He seems like an okay guy. His website is also on the pic below you could check if you want.

I'm not going to tag anyone on this one because I have a sneaky feeling many of the people I tag would run into the same issue I had. A) needing to photoshop it first or B) having no story to tell except "he was hot". :-) But if you'd like to give it a whirl, try it and see what picture you'd come up with. If it's particularly appealing or has an interesting story behind it, post it on your blog and share with us.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy Stalker-Day

I didn't even realize I had been reading in a theme more or less until I uploaded the covers and it hit me, they all had psycho exes. Weird how that happens, especially as I didn't notice it while reading. I guess they were all unique enough that it didn't trip my stalker switch. I don't mind a stalker story though, although I know some people are "over it".

I seem to do the theme reading purely unintentionally. I'll find I read a bunch of vampire stories, or in this case stalkers/exes, or one time I read a bunch of high school jock-geek stories in a row. Probably some subconscious need I'm fulfilling. After a boring weekend maybe I was craving the excitement of someone fire-bombing my house. Hmmm. Or not. I hope.

Turquoise: Somethings Gotta Give by Kiernan Kelly (46 pages)

Heath came home to find his car and all of his furniture gone, even his pots and pans. He's let his ex-con childhood lover stay with him and foolishly gotten involved only to pay the price. Policeman Bill stops by and asks him out. Heath isn't sure, he's just been burned badly but agrees to try. Bill tells him he's looking for a relationship so be warned. Things are going well, about a month later when Heath gets a phone call from the ex ranting about him being with a cop and threatening him. It's obvious he's been watching Heath and Bill. They go to Bill's place and find the entire house trashed. They go to a hotel to hide but even that's not far enough from psycho boy. This was a bit different from other Kiernan Kelly books I've read. Not as much of her trademark humour but it was still a good story. I didn't really care for the part where Heath remembers how he got sucked into a relationship with the ex, but I guess it explained their past some, I just wanted to get on to the new relationship. So it's a good read especially if you like the wacko ex theme.

Diamond in the Shade 2 by DJ Manley (59 pages)

Diamond and Sebastian are living happily ever after, killing rogue vamps and smexin' it up. Suddenly there is someone killing at random it seems. Oh wait, it's Sebastian's ex. It was another slayer he had an affair with back a couple of hundred years that turned into a vampire without his knowledge. The guy stole Sebastian's blood and now wants him back and plans to kill Diamond to get him. After Diamond very nearly does die, Sebastian agrees to stay with David as long as he promises never to hurt Diamond. Diamond thinks he killed Sebastian due to mind tricks of David and when he finds out he's alive, even though he's told Sebastian is with David and never wants to see him, he refuses and goes back to have it out with David and win back his man, um vamp. For some reason I really had trouble getting into this one. Took me forever to read 60 pages. Diamond was raised to have no feelings at all but he and Sebastian were sending me into a sugar coma sometimes they were so freaking gushy. Also they joke about Diamond not really understanding the nuances of English being Hungarian but I thought he talked pretty normally. Anyway, they seem to be HEA now for sure.

Wanna Be Your Dog by Glyn SoitiƱo (36 pages)

Evan is a dog shifter who has been living in an animal shelter for 3 months after being on the run. He could leave if he wants but has food and a place to sleep so hangs out. On his last day before being put down he finally agrees to be rescued by Luke. They goes home only to be confronted by Luke's (married with kids) controlling ex. He attacks Luke but Evan (now known as Jet) saves him. Things are going well until a Molotov cocktail comes through the window. Luke freaks and Evan shifts to human to save him. After the commotion dies down, Luke confronts Evan and he explains about being a dog shifter and what happened to have him on the run. Amazingly Luke takes it fine and proceeds to drag him off to bed. Meanwhile the psycho ex is watching and sees that Evan is a shifter and plans to blackmail Luke to keep from pressing charges for rape and the firebombing. I have read some of this author's other works and really enjoyed it. I did enjoy this but I thought Luke's calm acceptance of Evan as a dog and immediately taking him to bed made me go "whoa". Talk about taking it well. Maybe he reads paranormal romance so the shifter idea doesn't freak him out? I'm not sure I'd be hauling the guy off to bed within minutes, but hey, maybe he was that hot. It was a good enough short read, you just have to let some things go.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Confessions of a Torquere Short Story Slut

I really shouldn't be allowed to go shopping at Torquere on my own. Sigh. I am such an impulse buyer. Yes, I am the woman who buys chocolate bars and gum at the grocery store check-out. Ah well, this is better for me than chocolate.

Persistence Pays by Mara Ismine (29 pages)

Asa is a martial arts sword enthusiast who works at a library and would rather stay home and read. Tan, his friend, is the exact opposite, outgoing, sees casual sex as a sport and tries to get Asa into bed. Asa finds him wildly attractive but doesn't want to be a casualty of Tan's lifestyle so pushes him away. Tan shows up soaking wet and manages to wangle an invitation to sleep on the couch. The next morning Asa's parents show up unexpectedly. His parents were very accepting when he came out and figure Tan is his boyfriend, despite his denials, and invite him to join them at the museum. Tan and Asa's parents get along great and finally that night Tan reveals that he wants Asa for more. The story of the surly quiet guy and the slutty outgoing friend who really love each other is pretty standard, what stood out in this book, an author I'd never read, were Asa's parents. I was chuckling out loud. His parents were brilliant. His mom had been reading up on gay sex and relationships, she was ogling Tan's ass, his Dad was laughing at the whole thing, Asa was dying at the idea of his parents imagining him having sex. Funny line:
"Why couldn't you be normal parents and disown me for being gay?" I didn't really mean to say that, it just sort of slipped out. I didn't want them to disown me. Not most of the time.

"Sorry, son, you just aren't that lucky," Dad said in a commiserating voice. "You are stuck with us."
So if you are looking to try a new author and a story with some humour and the kind of parents you hope to read about it's worth a read.

Flame by Eden Winter (12 pages)

This was recommended by Jen in her Saturday Shorts and I'm a sheep. :-) But I'm glad I was. This is a fantasy story about Kai and Rayken. Rayken and his tribe save Kai's village, however he is left with no family so Rayken takes him with him. When Kai is of age he mates with Rayken and is very happy. However now Rayken and his tribe are about to enter a battle against a violent enemy. I won't go into details of what happens to keep it a surprise, but I was really impressed by this story. I loved how it used Kai's memories of what happened to explain how they got be where they are. Rayken and Kai's relationship was filled with love and Kai was totally accepted by Rayken's tribe and he was learning about was myth and what was real about these legendary warriors. The ending was very touching and almost led to a sniffly moment, a happy sniffle. As Jen noted, so much background and story was there in 12 pages. A really excellent little story.

Head over Heels, Inches of Trust 5 by A.R. Moler (13 pages)

Did I not say that I wouldn't spend more money on this series? Sigh. I'm an eternal optimist. This is more of cop Tristan and architect Brian. Late at night Tristan shows up at is door with a black eye and sprained wrist. He got pushed down a flight of stairs and had nowhere to go. Brian takes him in and takes care of him. He finally finds out why Tristan is so stand-offish. Tristan's partner died in a car crash (work partner) and his boyfriend left him because he didn't get why Tristan would be upset. He seems to finally get it in this one that Brian is not going to bail on him but I'm not really sure that it was the end. Although under the influence of some good drugs Tristan says the L-word but they don't discuss it. So I'm not sure if #6 is going to show up, I'm torn between being pissed off and desperate to see them truly HEA.

On Call: Dancing by P.D. Singer (16 pages)

This is the continuation of the story of vet Dante and doctor Keith. They've been dating for a while and Dante wants to go dancing. Keith HATES dancing, and has two left feet but when Dante insists he agrees. On the way to the club they witness an accident and stop to help the injured people. They also find an injured dog and end up back doing surgery rather than dancing. They do some private dancing and after some satisfying smexin' Dante confesses why he wanted to go dancing THAT night. It pushes all Keith's buttons and he as to work through feeling betrayed. I think this was a nice follow-up to the first and while I suppose there could be a third story, I would be happy to have it end here with a satisfying conclusion.

Friday, March 19, 2010


This has not turned out to be the Friday I expected. Yesterday I had a nice lunch out with my daughter at the Hard Rock Cafe (neither of us had ever been - it was okay, but nice to go out together), and today I was going to take the day off but since she sleeps till nearly noon anyway, I thought I'd work until 1:00 and then we'd spend the afternoon together. Wrong.

I get in to find panic. Big task assigned after we all leave last night, due at 4:00 today. I'm the only one who can do it. No way in hell I can get it done by 1:00, it's now 3:40 and I'm in hurry up and wait mode because until someone sends me their input I'm stuck. Will I get out of here by 4:30? Who knows. So my daughter went to a friend's house for the afternoon. So much for getting my errands done and spening the afternoon together. Grrrrr. I am really annoyed with the whole thing. I should have taken the day off. So it's been the sucky Friday from hell. On the upside they had sweet potato fries in the cafeteria for lunch (since I hadn't brought my own.).

Anchors Aweigh by Janey Chapel (100 pages)

This is the follow-up to Maritime Men. Eli and Cooper are finished their training and waiting to get their assignments. They are almost guaranteed to be split up which sucks but is a fact of life. They agree to rent a house together and they find out that Eli is being deployed right away and Cooper is going to be a second in command with two of the remaining guys and stay behind.The tentative plan is that when Eli comes back he'd take over command of Cooper's group so they'd be together. It was quite interesting to see Cooper have to be the boss. He'd always relied on Eli and he questioned if they only reason they were any good, and he himself, was because Eli made them good. He had to do some growing up and stand on his own as did the other guys. It was also hard for them to be apart for months with zero contact allowed. They had agreed to remain faithful and rather than just float quite so much they actually acknowledged their relationship and how they felt. So it was a very nice conclusion to their romance and I really enjoyed it and I am quite sure I could never serve in the military. Too much work. :-)

Freaks in Love by TA Chase (101 pages)

James is a bodyguard for a crime boss in post apocalyptic city where bomb radiation has created mutants (freaks) who live in a ghetto behind a wall, the rest of the city controlled by 3 crime families. Magpie is the body guard of a rival boss but he and James get along. James is unusual, he's completely hairless, never talks and has tattoos all over his body. A meeting is called at which the crime bosses are killed. James grabs Magpie who has been shot and takes him to the North Side where he uses his contacts to heal Magpie. Seems James is a freak but I'll keep it a surprise just how so. He and Magpie start a relationship and are basically trying to stay alive in Freaktown. Someone is trying to kill James and he finds out the Freaks plan on rising up against the NFs (non-freaks). He and Magpie plan to get on a train to another city where freaks and NFs live together. They then have to manage to avoid getting killed, get past the checkpoints as the crime families think they are responsible and get on the train before the rebellion starts. It's quite the wild ride. It really sucked me in as I wanted to see how they were going to escape and who was after them. I thought it also gave me a good picture of what it was like in Freaktown with everything abandoned, no electricity, a kill or be killed environment. I also liked James and Magpie, they were both killers, that had been their job, but they knew they could rely on each other and Magpie was also realistic enough to admit that maybe the reason they were attracted was the "we must survive" thing and maybe it would burn out. So if you like books with a futuristic bent I think you'll enjoy this one. This is two TA Chase that I've read lately that are very different and I've liked them both.

Just to make my day the tiniest bit brighter, I'll post this video. I don't particularly love this song or Miley Cyrus but I adore the signer Stephen Torrence. He actually has several videos and even some duets. What I like about this one is they actually give you the subtitles of what he's signing and you can see how it's not verbatum but gives you a sense of what's being said. Everytime I hear the song I want to do the "butterfly flies away" hand motions and the "nodding my head like yeah". You can't help but want to sign along cause he's having so damn much fun.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Vampire Report

So a couple of vampire stories later it's time for a report.

No Rest for the Wicked by AM Riley (166 pages)

This is the continuation of Immortality is the Suck. It picks up about a year later, Adam is working with his "vigilante" gang taking out rogue vamps and saving kids and Peter is working like mad. Adam has made some changes. He's finally realized he cares about Peter and is making an effort to be a better boyfriend. He's faithful and the fact that Peter is still seeing his young Jonathon makes him crazy. On their date, Adam finds a dead body and Peter is pulled into yet another investigation along with Adam who reveals himself to the FBI. I really enjoyed this one as well. The mystery is interesting and Adam is not quite the jerk he was in the first one, he's still no angel but he seems to have picked up a bit of a conscience when he died and it's kind of nice to see him feeling insecure about Peter's affections and figuring out his future. Seeing his relationship move forward with Peter FINALLY after nearly 20 years was nice. I was still left with questions, Peter said he's looking younger, is he different than other vamps, did Caballo die, etc. But I could live with it being the end as well. Anyway, a super series that I recommend.

I forgot to add that model on the cover has a very nice bum. :-)

What to Buy for the Vamp Who Has Everything by AM Riley (16 pages)

This is a short told from Peter's POV. He's trying to find the perfect gift for Adam for Christmas. Adam is not thrilled to celebrate at all and of course Peter gets called in for a case on Christmas Day and comes back to Adam's hidey hole to wait for him. This was actually published BEFORE Immortality so it was a bit different. In my brain I was trying to fit it in to where it falls in the timeline and it didn't quite fit. Adam's personality was darker and Peter feared he'd simply disappear and Adam seemed to have some major angst which in the other books really wasn't his style. So it was okay and interesting to see Peter's perspective and insecurity, but I think because of the way they were written was less satisfying than if it was written now where the personalities of the characters were more established and fleshed out.

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patricks Day. No, I'm not Irish. I'm Scottish and English. But hey, I'll celebrate anyone's holiday if it involves alochol and food. I did wear a green t-shirt today. I was going to post a review of No Rest for the Wicked but I didn't want to get it lost in the hot buns so I'll do another post of that.

We're going to have a record temp today of 60F - 16C. Then next week a high of 29F - -2C and snow. WTF? You can't do that? You can't give us spring and then take it away again. So I'm hoping the weather man changes his tune before then.

For those who haven't had to Google anything yet today, I'm totally loving the St. Patty's Day Google logo. Very pretty.

I had to post this picture. I'm not sure it's supposed to be a Leprechaun or what, but I kind of like it. However if you want to see some really vicious St. Patrick's Day cakes, check out Cake Wrecks. It will have you rolling in the aisles, or wincing in dismay, or both.
So if you are wondering what to get that special man in your life for St. Patty's Day, how about some green undies? You can't go wrong with underwear. Patterns, plain, khaki, lime, briefs, boxer briefs, your choice. Give him a little surprise tonight and make some suggestive remark about his shilelagh. ;-) Maybe it will be your lucky night and you'll find that pot of gold.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday Randomocity

So I'm totally unmotivated and apparently not very bright. I phoned my daughter's school to talk to her guidance counsellor about summer school (cause I gotta plan my vacation people) and the receptionist goes "All the teachers are on spring break today." Ummm. Duh. I guess that would be why my kid didn't go to school either. LOL Smooth move Mom.

Then I was bloggity blogging around the interweb and I was goofing around told someone I loved them and I thought of this which I always found amusing.

She always called her mother lady. I'm easily amused. My daughter had a Nancy Drew computer game with a parrot that would squawk "Don't leave me, I love you!" and her and I would always say it in parrot voice. Yes, we're weird.

I'm booking the apartment in San Francisco for yaoi-con in October. I'm very very excited. Well, not cause of yaoi-con although that will be okay but because the Kchris' are coming. It's going to be so confusing at the apartment. Kris, Chris and my daughter is Kristen. Oh yeah. We're going to have to assign nicknames at the door. Kanga, Lumberjack and Kid. Too bad we have to wait until October. Oh well, always good to have something to look forward to. If anyone else is going let us know. I think I'm going to need more than 5 days.

What to do today. Well you could all go to Desert Island Keepers and see if you and Kris share any reading habits, good or bad.

Chris sent me this cartoon which so made my morning.

Wren finished her mini-story about Red and Wolfie. Great ending and super job Wren. If you haven't read it go and have a gander.

Here's some cookies. How about some nice European boys from Next Modeling Agency.

Sergi Agoretta (before he waxed off his chest hair)

Cheek bones sharp enough for ya Chris? I'm sure he's legal, it's a real modeling agency. They don't say their age, just their height and shoe size, cause we all know that's important.

Jozef Exner

For those squicked out by poor Jozef (who probably gets asked for ID constantly) here is someone who was definitely old enough.

Alberto Guzman

I do love me a scruffy boy.
Jacey Elthalion