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

Friday, December 31, 2010

Thank you to all who voted for me. Your NSFW reward.

Okay, I promised y'all some cookies, EXPLICIT cookies (which I normally don't do) if you voted for me and I won. Well, I was pretty close, one vote short but I'm so proud of everyone for stepping up for me. Love you. *sniff* *sniff* Anyway, hope you enjoy the cookies and have a wonderful New Year's Eve. Stay safe and may 2011 be all kinds of wonderful for everyone.

Oh they get more explicit about pic 4 so be warned.

This one is for Kris and Kassa and Mandi.

Another for Mandi

The end. :-) The end of this post and the end of 2010, an amazing year where I met some of the most interesting people out there, almost all of them courtesy of the internet. Thank you Al Gore. Hugs to you all from up north.

I lost.

By one stinkin' vote. *sob* :-) But it was fun. I am so not the competitive type as a rule. LOL Not sure what got into me. Anyway, Eyre thinks I should still give you all a full frontal reward, and I did find that picture of Levi Poulter, so when I get home I shall reward the faithful. They are letting us off our chains at noon today. Woohoo. I have to go and pick up a few groceries, then pick up my kidlet and then we are spending a lazy day/evening at home. I think. I am. Most of her friends are out of town so I think she's staying home as well. We'll be on-line, boring as ever. LOL

So check back later for pics. I will likely click that "this website might have nekkidness" button just because I don't want anyone to be "shocked" and I'll put NSFW in the title just in case. Thanks again for all the support and the votes and for giving poor Craig a heart attack. I'm so evil.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Help Me Win

Well hell, Adam screwed up the time. Voting is open again. LOL Until 9:00 tonight, so if you haven't, or you're now on a different computer, go and vote for me and you'll get a lovely treat (which you may or may not get anyway).

I don't normally beg for things, but what the hell, this is just to make the gay boys crazy.

There is a viewer voter contest going on over at Cocky and Rude where you can pick your favourite blog from among my bloggy friends. We all hang out but needless to say none of them are readers of m/m (or not much). We are now being encouraged to vote, get our friends to vote, log-in at various computers at work and vote, use your kids lap-top, your phone, etc. Seems all bets are off. So just for a lark it would be hilarious if by some freak of nature I won the popularity contest. LOL

So click on the Cocky & Rude banner below and take one minute to vote. You don't have to register or anything, just click on Tam's Reads and then vote and you're done.

If I should somehow come out the winner I will post 10 uber-delicious cookies and I may even be convinced to go full-frontal :-) You may get a treat just for voting but it will be less uber and less delicious. More like a high fibre vegan cookie rather than a double coat Tim Tam.

And just so you know I'll come through on my promise, here's a little taste to encourage you.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Post Christmas Update

Well, Christmas has come and gone and you'd think I'd have done more reading. Well, maybe I did. I got caught up on a lot of shorts for Brief Encounters and I did some shopping. Ooops. Oh well, what's Boxing Day without bargains? I was also kind of slugged out in a tryptophan coma so ended up skimming through a couple of old faves and Word Press ate a 1000 word post at Wave's so I had to start over. Grrrrr. So I guess keeping busy enough. Back to the office tomorrow. Ugh. I could get used to this being home all the time thing, if only someone would pay me what I make now to do that. :-) Anyone? Offers? I did get one "larger" book read which is really four "shorter" books, but whatever, a lot of pages.

His For The Holidays by LB Gregg, Harper Fox, ZA Maxfield, Josh Lanyon (480 pages)
Carina Press

Mistletoe at Midnight by LB Gregg - Owen has recently bought a vet practice in Vermont and his family is joining him at a local inn for Christmas. His mother is always trying to set him up with someone and sure enough, she's invited his ex no less but by chance his first love from high school happens to be there with a friend. Is this his chance to find love the second time around? This is typical LB Gregg with lots of humour although I had some serious issues with Owen's mother's behaviour. Sigh. I'm not saying I didn't like the story, I adored Owen, I liked Caleb even though you don't get to know him that well and I even liked annoying juvenile brother Ryan, I just had issues with their mother. It's hard to explain and I'm probably in a VAST minority with my feelings, maybe I'll do a post about that kind of thing. Vague I know but it really is a fine story and I'm sure 99.5% of readers will think I'm insane.

Nine Lights Over Edinburgh by Harper Fox - This definitely does not have the same light hearted themes of the other stories, but I was sucked in from the start. John is a detective inspector working undercover on a people smuggling ring when his cover is blown and he's badly beaten. He's told he is off the case and he has to clean up his act as since his divorce he's been drinking heavily and his ex wants him not to have custody of their daughter as she's afraid for her safety. He's reassigned duty protecting an Israeli diplomat and when it all goes to hell, Mossad agent Toby saves his life, getting shot himself and to top off the clusterfuck, the bad guy has taken John's daughter and has no intention of getting her back. Lots of great characters here that you really get to know and care about, or hate as the case may be. I was eager to see how John and Toby were going to get the girl back and be together if at all. Lots of local character thrown in.

I Heard Him Exclaim by Z.A. Maxfield - After a near heart attack, Steve has lost weight, quit smoking and lost his Christmas spirit. He always played Santa but is not in the mood so decides to head to Vegas. He runs into Chandler and his 5 year old orphaned niece Poppy who have car trouble and eventually he invites them back home to his place to have Christmas with his family as he acknowledges his attraction to Chandler and thinks maybe helping Chandler will give him the Christmas spirit. I enjoyed this one a lot, again, lots of humour and seeing Chandler's paranoia about being responsible for a little kid and his terror of getting it wrong was humorous and kind of sweet and Steve having a chance to take care of someone, which is what he's all about, was fun along with Steve's huge Irish family who quickly adopted Poppy and Chandler. A fun story about finding love at a rest stop and not being arrested for it. ;-)

Icecapade by Josh Lanyon - The book starts with jewel thief Noel in bed with the FBI agent who's been tracking him for years Robbie. It's been a bit of a game to Noel, to keep Robbie close but not too close. 10 years later, Noel is retired and a successful author writing a series of books about a jewel thief and the bumbling FBI agent who's been tracking him. He still thinks fondly of Robbie and feels a bit badly that everyone knows who the characters are, and Robbie paid a career price for it all, but on Christmas Eve Robbie shows up at his house accusing him of more recent robberies. Of course every whacko neighbor suddenly shows up needing Noel's help as he tries to convince Robbie he's innocent. I enjoyed this one, Noel was quite self-aware, he didn't feel badly for the robberies, he knew what he was doing, he did feel badly about Robbie but all these years later still wanted his approval of sorts and a relationship with the guy. Lots of fun with the wacky llama farmer and psychic neighbours as well.

All of these stories were outstanding. Most of them sweet and fun with the second being the most serious and the the last a bit of a combination. Definitely all of them worth a read even out of season.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

I wish all my wonderful internet and real-life (same thing really) friends a wonderful day with family, friend, delicious food and wonderful gifts this fine season. May all of your wishes come true in 2011 and I give you all wonderful hugs for being here through 2010 and supporting me in all my efforts in the past year. Love you all.

Oh and of course, what's Christmas without a few cookies?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pre-Christmas Update

So I've been enjoying my week off. I have to say it's going slower than I thought it would. Still have a couple of gifts to wrap and a bit of shopping for dinner but otherwise I think we are pretty much set. Oh wait, vacuum the stairs and clean the half-bath. But I can get that done tomorrow. We haven't done much, mostly just hung out at home but that's okay.

I've done some reading, some Christmasy, some not.

Red Lights and Silver Bells by Stephani Hecht (85 pages)
eXtasy Books

This is a continuation of Dylan and Kaleb's story. Things are going well for them as a couple, they've moved into a smaller apartment for financial reasons, but are happy, although Dylan's Christmas spirit is decidedly lacking. He's still known as a klutz at work and gets razzed, he's missing his family for this first Christmas away and he has to work on Christmas day so won't be able to spend it with Kaleb. When his sister shows up on his door step, also tossed out by their father for dating a Catholic *gasp*, she is determined to get him in the spirit and when he and Lucas are attacked by his father, it slips out that he hadn't told Lucas about the previous beating and it causes stress between the two brothers. This was a nice continuation of Dylan and Kaleb as you got to see Dylan more confident and capable but still dealing with old wounds. I found his sister a bit too perky and annoying (I would have been tempted to kick her out myself LOL) but another nice addition to the series.

A Shifter Christmas by Stephani Hecht (71 pages)
eXtasy books

Noah, Keegan and Andrew go to the mall where they are attacked by ravens after Noah. There is a bounty out for him and the raven who held him captive wants him back. They manage to escape (after trashing the mall) and Noah is feeling down because it looks like Seth won't make it back in time for Christmas, and when Andrew finds out Shane's new role he takes off in the blizzard leaving the others to chase after him. There is sort of a bit of everyone in this story. Keegan and his crappy gun skills comes into it after he shoots Andrew who is determined to teach him how at all costs. Cassie finally gets her HEA and stops being a martyr, but most importantly Shane, the psychotic leopard, is left alone at the apartment with Trevor. Is it bad that I was like "Yeah yeah, Noah's sad, Cassie's torn, Andrew's pissed, blah blah blah, get to Shane."? LOL Can't wait for his story. This was a chance to get to see a bit more about many of the pack and catch up with where they are and get a glimpse of Shane and Trevor. Fans of the series will definitely enjoy it.

Pricks and Pragmatism by JL Merrow (47 pages)
Samhain Publishing

Luke is an English major who manages to live rent free with a series of "boyfriends". He moves in until they tell him to move on. His latest has found "true love" not three weeks before finals and he has no money to rent a place. However he's hooked up with Russell who is totally not his type. He's not rich and to top it off he doesn't appear to be interested in sleeping with Luke. He's honestly giving him a place to stay and feeding him out of the goodness of his heart. Weird, to Luke. Despite his thoughts that Russell is just too strange, the end up becoming friends and when Luke makes a move while drunk Russell rebuffs him. When Luke decides to hook up with an old flame, Russell asks him to leave and they are both forced to confront their feelings. I really liked this, I enjoyed how Luke was confused as hell by Russell's behaviour, it was so outside of his range of experience. As some have noted I would have liked maybe another chapter to see them together as a couple a bit longer. I also wondered since Russell's friend's warned him about Luke and to "not get attached" why they even hooked him up with him. I really enjoyed it though, definitely worth a read.

Love Ahead: Expect Delays by Astrid Amara (84 pages)
Loose Id

Zach and Austin have been dating for a while and Austin wants him to move in. Zach has had some bad dating experiences and is leery but decides that a road trip might be just the thing to see if they are compatible and also means he can deliver his Grandmother's car to Denver. Austin is NOT thrilled given the age of the car, plus it's winter as they are going to celebrate Hanukkah with Zach's family. And really, everything that can go wrong, does go wrong. The car breaks down, they are confronted by drunk homophobic assholes on a hike, there is a snow storm, they stop to help someone in the storm and are carjacked with Austin left in the ditch in the cold. It just never ends. However, Austin's anger also comes to the front (not that I blamed the guy) and that is a real issue for Zach who has been in abusive relationships in the past and this causes stress between the two men on top of the road trip disasters. I really enjoyed this one and I thought that Zach's reticence about moving in and his fear of Austin's anger were warranted. I too have issues with people who get angry (although not for the same reason) and do you really want to live with someone like that? However Austin's acknowledgment of his anger and his own fear that he'd be like his father and his offer to work on it made me believe that these two could work it out and Zach's Grandmother was very funny. I really like Astrid's work and this is another great book which while covering what could have been very dark and angsty topics manages to keep it light enough to be very entertaining at the same time.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Well, I did it.

Yes, I finished my incredibly difficult story that Kris tasked me with. To be honest it wasn't too bad, but perhaps was a bit longer than I'd planned. Complex story-lines require complex set-ups which equals lots of words. :-) But then I've never been accused of using too few words for something.

So click on the amazing cover that Michelle M. made for me and you'll end up at Kris' place and then follow her link to the story. My apologies in advance to anyone I offended by using you as a character. I made sure you kept your clothes on. :-P

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Some Sunday Sweets with a Side of Crime

Ah, my vacation has begun and guess what? My coffee table is brown. Who knew under that sea of paper there was a brown top. :-) Today is HUGE pile of laundry and tackle the kitchen day I think. Or the dining room table. That may be brown as well. I've been doing a lot of Christmas reading, nature of the beast this time of year it seems. There appear to be waaaaaaay more Christmas releases this year or maybe I'm just more conscious of it but it seems every author has one or two out there. Oh well, some may be read in June.

Making His List by Devon Rhodes (71 pages)
Dreamspinner Press

Cory and Ken have had a casual thing for several months, however when Cory's drug addict sister and 5 year old daughter Bailey move in, he doesn't want Bailey getting attached to someone so tries to put up some walls for Ken. When Bailey falls ill Ken is pulled in and Cory is determined to push him out and he and Bailey make Christmas lists for Santa of what they want, Cory for what he wants in a partner. Once again a wicked stomach flu hits the house and Ken is unwittingly dragged into caring for Bailey while Cory pukes his guts out and her mother takes off for several days. But he finds the list and it's nothing like him, he also takes a message for a date Cory has planned. Ooops. When Cory finally drags his sick ass out of bed and gets the cold shoulder he starts to realize that while Ken may not fit the criteria on his list, he fits into his life. A vanishing act by the sister with the little girl brings the two men together and forces them to admit their feelings. A very nice story and I felt so badly for Ken. It wasn't that Cory was a nasty person, he was just stupid. LOL Ken thought not pushing their relationship was the way to go and realized as well that he may have screwed up some by not being clear. So in essence they were both a bit at fault but it was a sweet story and I'd love to know what happens and if they get custody of Bailey and I think the fight with her mother over that would be an interesting and far less sweet story to read.

Christmas Angel: A Hammer Story by Sean Michael (42 pages)
Torquere Press

I don't as a general rule follow the Hammer stories but have read a few and you don't need to read them to read this, but it probably would help you understand who some of the characters are. In this one Kien, a sub was left by his master 3 years ago. He's been out of the circuit ever since and is still very fragile but is convinced to enter the Christmas auction for charity. He's sure no one will want him but when Mac sees the frail gorgeous sub he bids on him and is smitten. However Kien has some serious self-esteem issues and his relationship with his other master was not very BDSMy, which Kien wanted and Mac is more than willing to provide. I am a sucker for the emotionally damaged character. My heart broke for how Kien felt about himself. Although the majority of the book is their one date, Mac realizes with Kien needs, both the reassurance and a different type of sex and manages to bring him out of his shell. The one thing I would have liked to see was Mac at Kien's house. When Kien sees Mac's gorgeous apartment he swears he'd never take Mac to his little house but I think it would have been nice for him to see Mac's reaction. But for those who like the Hammer series this is a nice addition to the series.

An Angel for Christmas by Lily Grace (86 pages)
Torquere Press

Sebastian is a guardian angel who watches over Kevin. He knows he's a bit too close to his charge but doesn't care. When Kevin is about to be attacked, Sebastian breaks the rules and intervenes, then screws up again and lets Kevin see him. Oooops. Once Kevin gets past the "I must be insane" they start to spend time together and Sebastian falls even more in love with his charge who looks for a way to fix Kevin's money problems (mother in the hospital and owes a loan shark money). The loan shark calls in the loan Kevin blames Sebastian for screwing things up even more and says some angry things. Sebastian is called back to heaven and knows he's going to hell but as a last gift to Kevin cures his Mom. Once Kevin realizes what happened he sends up a Christmas prayer that Sebastian not be hurt. This is a very sweet story. Sebastian is adorable and his fascination and interest in all things human is cute to watch. His confession that he hates being an angel and not being able to intervene is touching. Kevin is a bit on the extra-nice side perhaps, but on the whole this is definitely a sweet story where everything is a HEA for all concerned, bad guys punished, sick people cured, lovers reunited. If you're in the mood for a feel-good story though this is well written with likable characters.

And Hell Itself Breaths Out by AR Moler (182 pages)
Torquere Press

DC cop Evan starts investigating a couple of murders. Before long a mysterious federal agency called the SIS intervene but John, the head asks for Evan's help. Seems the SIS deals with rather otherworldly things and there is though that a series of murders may be related to something occult. There is also an awareness of paranormal abilities as Evan is empathic, John, has some psi abilities. The majority of the book is the guys trying to figure out what's going on with the murders, good old detective work although with a slightly paranormal twist where John and Evan can sometimes feel the evil. You know who the bad guys are, that's very much a part of the story so it's not a mystery, the mystery is how they will catch them. Both men are also bi and eventually get together. After reading all the sweetness that are Christmas stories I felt the need for some blood and guts (and you get that here, literally). I enjoyed the way they chased the criminals and you see how they put it all together. I would like to say I'd love to read more about them as they really only start out as a couple near the end and I know there is a sequel, however much to my dismay it brings in a third, a woman. *gasp* So unfortunately I won't be reading it but I did enjoy the two characters and in general I enjoy this author's writing style. So, sadly that's the end of the series for me, but it was a nice dramatic change from holiday sweets. :-)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I got nuthin'. How about some music?

So I've been reading Christmas stories like mad and posting on Brief Encounters. I've read maybe one other longer book but I don't really have much to say here. I've also been piddling around on-line, I blame Kris and Kaasa for distracting me and not getting much constructive done. My house? Ack! Thank god I'm off next week. It needs some serious maintenance. I'm looking forward to having a whole week off work and staying home. I've never done that I don't think. We usually go somewhere the minute I get more than a day off. I have lots of last minute Christmas things to take care of though so I'm sure the days will fly by. 11 days in a row off work will be nice though.

My daughter is finished school at 10:00 tomorrow. Why they even bother going for 2 hours is beyond me. LOL Oh well. Just so you don't think I've dropped off the face of the earth here are a couple of my favourite Christmas songs. Years ago, like 20, I got this cassette set of Christmas songs from Reader's Digest and they were all really old and I've been hooked on the old classics ever since. I'm no so much a fan of Mariah, Jessica Simpson and the other pop stars warbling out their songs, but Bing Crosby, Perry Como and Kate Smith. Sigh.

I can't believe I found this one. Woohoo. What an amazing voice. KATE SMITH sings CHRISTMAS EVE IN MY HOME TOWN

Perry Como - Silver Bells

This is a short version but I love when we can see the original performers doing it live. The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole

Maye next week I'll post a couple of more faves. Have a great Thursday everyone and hope all your holiday plans are going smoothly.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas is Near

So we spent the cold rainy icy day yesterday indoors and finally got some Christmas decorating done. I have to admit that as I get older I get less interested in decorating for Christmas. Sigh. It's not Scrooginess, it just seems like more effort than it's worth. I do it for the kidlet. I didn't put up any outdoor lights this year and probably decorated less than usual but she's content so I'm good.

No tinsel on the tree (cats eat it) but it looks pretty good. Those blue lights really light up. I think my mantle looks pretty good. The Santa right above the little tiny stocking (my daughter has a bigger stocking than that LOL) was one that my grandparents had when I was a little girl. He used to have an electric light inside him but now he just sits there. But he must be over 40 years old.

If you have a pic of your tree or menorah or festivus pole or whatever or a link to your blog with pics put it in the comments so we can all share the beauty of the season.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Nasty Weather Sunday

We are having some nasty weather here today, although I know now as bad as some places in the Midwest. But we have freezing rain and I think I'll be canceling my daughter's riding lesson which is out in the country. We need to get our tree decorated anyway. Every year I swear I have to buy an extension cord to plug in the lights. What the heck do I do with that thing every year?

Well, my update got interrupted by a power outage of nearly an hour. Ooops. Let's hope that's not the first of many. We started decorating in the dark (very dark outside) and once the power came back on we stopped for breakfast and internet. LOL We'll get back to it soon and I've been told no green balls on the tree this year. Okay, she's the boss. Hope everyone stays warm and safe if you're somewhere getting hit by the storm.

Just One Bite by various authors (54 pages)
All Romance E-books

This is a free book at ARe which has six m/m paranormal shorts in it. Hey, it's free, you can't go wrong. I'll just give a quickie about each story.

The Unlikely Vamp by Scarlet Blackwell - Zacariah is a shy vamp who has his servant bring him home a willing dinner. Unexpectedly, Andrew shows up for dinner, Zacariah is NOT gay, he's sure. I liked how this tipped things with the human pursuing him, having seen him in a vamp club. Sort of a GFY in reverse.

Sacrifice by J.L. Merrow - Hearing tales of virgin sacrifice at the stone circles from his mother, Damien is determined to sacrifice his own virginity to gain back what he lacks after his rich father's rejection of him when he came out. He picks up Rafe in a bar and has it all figured out. But maybe the riches he'll gain aren't monetary after all, but something deeper with Rafe. A cute story.

One Last Wish by Josephine Myles - A retelling of the genie in the lamp, when surfer dude Scott finds Xavier and his lamp. Rather than wish for things for himself, he eventually frees Xavier who grants Scott a few extra wishes. *eyebrow waggle*

Mayan Time by Erik Orrantia - Shane has always been compelled to travel to Mexico and visit the temples despite the misgivings on his family and boyfriend's parts. In a temple finds Hanab, his lover he left centuries ago to travel through time. To be honest I was a bit confused here as I wasn't sure he stayed, left, what really happened or was happening. I don't deal well with that kind of paranormal brain twisting. :-)

Fire Can Make Rain by Nix Winter - This is a fantasy story set in a kingdom experiencing a severe drought. To make it rain a prince must marry a virgin bard. Jewls is chosen and he's nervous but it turns out his husband has been watching him and wanting him for some time and must soothe his fears of their wedding night (which comes complete with an audience).

The Hunter & the Hunted by Stevie Woods - Damian is a vamp who's been pursued by hunter Aaron for some time. He tends to toy with him, often ending up in bed which makes Aaron nuts. Finally when Aaron knows that Damian could kill him anytime he wants, he tries to understand why and is surprised that vamps have feelings and fall in love too.

These were all pretty good little reads all by some m/m authors I've enjoyed or heard good things about. They are very short but on the whole I enjoyed them and they are like a nice light snack when you need a break and hey, as I said FREE!!!!

Hope and Fears by Rowan Speedwell (60 pages)
Dreamspinner Press

This is a follow-up to Finding Zach which I haven't read but you don't need to. Brian is the author who wrote Zach's book, he's now teaching in Chicago and wrenched his injured knee and goes to a physio clinic. He meets Jerry and he's instantly attracted but Jerry is clear, he doesn't do hook-ups and Brian doesn't do relationships. He also hates Christmas and is more or less estranged from his family since he came out. He runs into a drunk Jerry and ends up taking him home and Jerry starts to dig as to why he hates Christmas and his relationship with his family, acting as the catalyst to bring them together. What I loved what that I was just in Chicago and it described the physio clinic as right where I'd been, at the skating rink at Millennium Park, so I was all "squeee". :-) This one made me cry, although I thought maybe Jerry was a bit pushy about the whole thing and I likely would have walked out, but it's a sweet story about reconnecting and getting past old hurts and starting over. I'm sure fans of Finding Zach will enjoy this little peek as there is much reference made to Zach.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Yay, it's Paranormal Friday

It's been a crazy week. Hard to believe I was freezing my ass off in Chicago Tuesday and now I'm freezing it off back home. Sigh. It's supposed to get warmer, relatively speaking. We'll see. Busy weekend, time to put up the tree, we're going to some Charlie and the Chocolate Factory play on Saturday and Sunday is riding lessons again way out in the country. They do have the cutest kittens who like to walk on my netbook and type. Maybe I'll get a hit book out of them like the monkeys.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Stud by Brigit Zahara (73 pages)
eXtasy Books

Sasha is a high priced prostitute (who still works the street?) who gets picked up by mysterious Kyan who offers him $5000 for the night. He has the night of his life, but little does he realize that Kyan is a vamp and that he has chosen Sasha (fate has chosen?) to be his mate and does a little drinking, but not enough to turn Sasha. Meanwhile, one of Sasha's regulars, whom he doesn't really care for, is sure they are soul mates and is furious that Sasha turned him down for hottie Kyan and sets out to wreak his revenge, including attacking another prostitute. This was an okay read, but it mentions that all these guys coming to pick up men are rich, drive nice cars and are hot. Umm. If they are that great wouldn't they be able to get it for free, or if they want to pay I think they'd be using a reputable agency, not some possibly diseased stranger off the street. There was also a case of everyone being the most, Sasha the most beautiful, most talented prostitute on the block, Kyan the most handsome, most rich, most amazing lover (and vampire), the client the most evil, most demented jerk. And while Sasha's starting to weary of the life on the street, he's quick to grab Kyan's offer of forever more, after about 5 min. Oh and I think he had something like six or nine orgasms the night before. Wow. I will say it was an okay read but nothing that really stuck in my head for very long and is good for a quick read when you are in the mood for a vamp.

Delany's Catch by Diana Dericci (74 pages)
Purple Sword

Jake runs a book store and one morning, Delaney, who runs a body guard company, comes in to ask directions and is instantly smitten. It’s soon revealed that Delaney is a wolf shifter, and he realizes immediately that Jake is his mate, however he doesn’t want to freak him out. Jake has been celibate since his ex left him three years ago but is equally drawn to the hotness that is Del who commits to going slowly and not freaking Jake out with the shifter stuff. Things are going well for a couple of months, when he invites Jake to his family/pack BBQ. When one of the kids gets trapped in the forest in his wolf form, the truth comes out and Jake doesn’t take it very well, and Delaney retreated into a bottle unless his secretary kicks his ass. I do find I have a penchant for shifter stories. So sue me. J But I like the whole mate scenario and yes, the characters were pretty stereotypical - book geek, ex-army bodyguard. I liked that Del tried to be patient; he didn’t do the claiming thing because he wanted Jake to like him first, although by hiding it he obviously screwed up. So it’s an enjoyable read without much angst save for the short separation which is handled pretty quickly once Del sobers up. If you're in the mood for a shifter it's worth checking out. This is the second book I've read by this author and she has an easy to read enjoyable style for me.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I'm home and a reading update

Made it home yesterday. I really hate airlines. They make life so difficult. I tried to check-in using the kiosk and it said "your documents must be verified by an agent" so I get in line, wait wait wait, then the attendant goes "oh you have to be in that line". So I go in the other line which is the problem child line. People with every possession they own, tickets for the wrong day, pissed off at the service, expired passports, that kind of thing. I FINALLY get up there and said "Why am I here?" She had no clue. She printed out my boarding pass and I was done. Grrrrr.

Security? What security? I saw no one going through a scanner, saw one older woman patted down. As I was putting my shoes back on and gathering up my stuff I hear the guy who looks at the x-ray luggage going "Water bottle! Water bottle!" Where are the women who check your bag? Standing far away from the conveyor belt yakking about their weekend. Finally the guy walked over and tapped them on the shoulder to get their attention. Good think it wasn't anything urgent. Lame. But at least my flight was on time and I got home with only frozen feet (no heat on the floor of the plane). Due to a late furnace man I ended up staying home today.

I did get a bit of reading done. Well, I've been trying to keep up with my Christmas story commitments for the other blog, but I read these longer ones.

Stirring Up Trouble by ZA Maxfield (147 pages)
MLR Press

Toby is a bit of the wild child of the culinary scene in NY. Brilliant but always getting fired or quitting for some reason. His sister demands he pick up her kid and bring him to work, and it just so happens to be the night that a big food critic is there, when things go belly up, Toby is fired. He is blackballed by the chef but through a contact of his sister goes to a small diner that is on the verge of bankruptcy and more or less bullies chef/owner Evan into taking him on. Before Evan knows what hit him, Toby is making changes that are making them more popular and he's moved from sleeping in the basement to living with Toby, however Toby's impulsive charge-ahead nature doesn't go over very well with more pragmatic Evan. On their opening night, the critic who is out to ruin Toby shows up to make his life hell. I really liked Toby despite the fact that his behaviour manages to fuck things up, however his sister was oblivious. She got him fired once because she put her job above his, she had to work so couldn't pick up her kid and then she does it again on opening night. If she was such an important high powered lawyer she had to fly to Boston, did she not have a freaking nanny? I was starting to think it wasn't Toby who was sabotaging his career but his sister. You saw Toby go from youthful obliviousness of how his behaviour affected others, to realizing that he cared about Evan and wanted to make him happy not just charge ahead with his own agenda. A fun book and I see that Evan's twin's story is coming in 2011. I'll definitely be checking it out.

GI Joe Holiday by Amberly Smith (66 pages)
Dreamspinner Press

Deck is in training to be a Navy Seal. His family has served in the military for centuries and he wants to prove himself worthy. He believes if he can prove himself in the military then he can tell them he's gay and they'll accept him. He's called in and told he will be the model for a sculptor doing a commission, who happens to live near his parents so it's agreed he'll go during breaks. He's immediately attracted to Mason but he has a secret. Although things are rough with a long distance relationship, they grow closer until a mining accident near where Mason lives forces Deck to reveal his secret. I'll just say it's a paranormal secret which naturally freaks Mason out some. I really liked this one. I liked Deck who was very committed to being successful in the military, but he wasn't afraid to go after Mason once he decided it was what he wanted. I also enjoyed that his family was all about family, meaning when he revealed his sexuality, they were surprised but ultimately okay with him. I do think the whole paranormal angle could have been skipped and except for the big reveal it would have still been a lovely story about two very diverse guys getting together, but it didn't detract from the story either.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Chicago - My Kind of Town

Made it to Chicago Sunday. My flight was early. Go figure. Weirdest thing ever. Anyway, my friends picked me up at the airport and we did some touristy stuff. We went up in to the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) skydeck and had a look around.

This is that weird brown building in Chicago with the X's on it. I have no clue what it is. But you see it in pictures all the time. And the lake and other buildings. (Mikey told me it's the John Hancock building.)

Just another view of the lake and the downtown area.

Behind the tall apartment buildings is Soldier Field where they play football.

Just some weird triangle building I thought was very cool.

I loved this apartment building shaped like an S.

My feet, standing on glass 103 stories up. Eeep. It was really freaky to take that first step off the floor onto the glass. Your brain is screaming "No don't do it". Once I was out there it was fine.

The view from my hotel room window of the lake. Nice. I can also pretty much watch the TV's of the apartments to the left. I am that close. I should have brought my binoculars, I might have found something interesting.

Looking down there is this nice park near the hotel.

At night it looks even cooler. Beautiful city with all the lights. I imagine from the skydeck it looks amazing.

Part of the Macy's window display. My friends and I were all hyped to get to Macy's and see the "amazing Christmas displays". Umm. Yeah. It's the story of "Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus" but because we started at the wrong end it made no sense till we figured it out half way though. And beside the doll the background are all made out of paper. Interesting concept but to be honest I think my friend John's work puts this stuff to shame. It was average quality at best, I could probably have done some. So it certainly didn't blow me away and I didn't see very many people ooohing and awwwwing over it. Shame that.

Okay, the skeleton was pretty well done, but it's mostly just boxes and rectangles.

Tonight I discovered the all Hello Kitty all the time store. I did not enter. That much pink in one spot could have led to brain hemorrhage.

However I did go in the all Lego store and they had a lots of life sized (and beyond) sculptures in Lego. This was a full sized R2D2. Very cool.

And what's Star Wars without Darth Vader? He was HUGE. Probably at least 7.5 feet tall and all made out of Lego except his cape.

Apparently this giant sculpture has a name but it's referred to as "the bean". It's very cool, all polished metal and with the snow breaking up and sliding down it looked cool. That's very close to the hotel.

And that's about it. It's VERY cold here. Well, it seems cold. It was 10F this morning when I got up. I went shopping after training today and my legs were frozen. But not too much snow. Tomorrow is more training until lunch then I'm going to hit Macy's for a bit and maybe a couple of other shops and then head out to the airport which I hear might be a bitch of a ride during rush hour. I get home around 10:00 so it will be a long day.

I definitely want to come back though, but in summer. My daughter has been bugging me to come to Chicago so maybe this coming summer we'll see if we can swing it. Lots of fun stuff to do and my one friend is the nutritionist in a zoo so we can get a backstage tour which I would love. Hope everyone's having a great week.