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

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Another week, almost gone

Wow, February is almost over. How did that happen? It's crazy. Our weather has also been crazy. -20, +10, -15, snow, rain. Arrgghh. Pick a freaking season mother nature and stick with it. Oh well. Otherwise nothing too exciting going on in our neck of the woods, which given the horrible earthquake in New Zealand and the horrible things happening in Libya, I'm content to have a boring life.

For Love of War by Kiernan Kelly (116 pages)
Dreamspinner Press

This is the story of the God of War, Ares, who is tasked to kill a supposed half-breed Dion, by Zeus. However he quickly falls for Dion's charms and realizes he's no half-breed, but Zeus' son with Aphrodite and the only reason he wants him killed is because Hera will kick Zeus' ass if she finds out he sired a child. Ares soon realizes not only will Zeus be after them, but he might finally get the chance to have a good old knock out drag down war for a change. However when he's captured Dion, despite not really having a grip on his powers yet, rides to the rescue with the help of the Fates. I really enjoyed this and being a fan of Greek myths it was great fun to see the gods adjusting to life in modern days. There was lots of the author's humor and Dion's innocence and wonder at finding out he's a god at 21 was cute. Anyone who likes myths will love this I think. Great read.

Toy Box: Twins by Sean Michael, Chris Owen and BA Tortuga (53 pages)
Torquere Press

Three stories about twins. :-)

The Celebration: A Center Story by Sean Michael- This is a little slice from the Centre books where the three celebrate Grey's 5 years cancer free. I really find these guys too much. "I love you my Raine." "Touch our Grey my beloved." OMG, who thinks, talks like that? I never did finish the first book I'm afraid to say but I know some people love it.

Succulents by Chris Owen - Gil and Wayne run a landscaping business. Usually Gil does the books but he's been roped into helping outside at a client's. It seems that Gil is the more reluctant of the duo in their relationship, but after tripping and falling in the pool Wayne manages to convince Gil to get funky in the backyard despite Gil's natural reserve. I like this story of very opposite characters, twins who were very different.

The Good Twin by BA Tortuga - Mark and Luke got caught fooling around years ago, so Mark left, however has not had a great life taking on the role of the "bad" twin with Luke having a steady job, house, etc. When Mark catches his boyfriend with another guy he punches them and ends up calling Luke to bail him out. He wants Luke but is willing to leave so as not to destroy Luke's life. However Luke has come to the conclusion that he can't live without Mark and they decide to run off and start over somewhere new. It was one of the few twincest stories I've read where the couple is caught by others and censured for it. Usually it's never discovered.

Not the best twins stories. I was kind of hoping Jamie, Gent and Paul from Gemini would be the Chris Owen story, but they were okay for fans of the sub-genre. I know not everyone's cup of tea.

The Dance of Love by Vic Winter (77 pages)
Torquere Press

Brian is madly in love with Ricky, but he thinks he'd like more. Something a bit more kinky but Ricky seems to think that they wear eye-liner on the weekend is kinky, but he's so in love he is content to accept it. He would really like to get Ricky to move in with him even though he more or less lives there as well. When Brian's best friend hooks up with a big bear in a D/s relationship, suddenly Ricky is getting a bit more kinky and Brian's loving it, but afraid to talk about it for fear of it stopping. This is written in present tense which is sometimes a bit odd, but I thought it worked pretty well here and Brian's perspective was very clear as it's all told from first person POV. There were a few niggling questions. At Lucas and Bob's commitment ceremony Ricky makes a comment thanking Bob for the helpful hints which I guess explained the increase in kink (which was very tame by Bob and Lucas standards). But it was a sweet story about two guys totally head over heals in love with each other.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday Already

Very lazy weekend here. Didn't even leave the house yesterday. After such a beautiful day Friday I didn't want to go out in the cold. Looks like I have no choice today. Sigh.

Life Changes Everything by TC Blue (250 pages)
Torquere Books

This is a follow-on to Life or Something Scary Like That. Ben is still mooning over his room mates, but sure that nothing will ever happen. He goes to a Dr. appt. with Cliff and meets his hot Dr. Aaron, who he then runs into again later at the gay bar. A one night stand starts to develop into more and things are going really well until Ben's younger sister gets into trouble and it comes out that he raised her from birth. Aaron is calming him down and helping him when Cliff and Jack drop the bomb that they wanted to have Ben as part of a three-some, but now he's in love with Aaron. Ack! I liked this one much better because the first book at both guys presuming things (wrongly of course) leading to much angst. In this one Aaron and Ben were very open with each other and although Ben was only 21 he was very mature and while it might have seemed a bit unrealistic, once you learn about his childhood it all makes total sense. I have to say I cheered a little at Ben's response to his friend's revelation about wanting him with them. On the whole, this was a good read with most of the conflict coming from outside and not from silly misunderstandings. On a funny note, I was checking something on Good Reads and someone mentioned that Ben really likes showers and I likely wouldn't have noticed but they do spent a lot of time in the shower. LOL But it's sexy time which works for me and I'd rather they be clean than not.

66 Hours in the Devil's House by Jamie Freeman (73 pages)
Dreamspinner Press

Nick is a famous author and has been tasked to stay in a haunted house for 66 hours along with his two lovers, lawyer Oliver and much younger on-line porn star Andy and their best friend and her dog. Nick is sure that it's all a hoax to attract customers, however some a knife shows up in the hallway and the hammer that supposedly was used to kill a family in the house starts appearing randomly. I kept wondering if there was other stories with this trip explaining how they got together and I did some searching and there may be other stories with them but I wasn't certain. You don't need to read the others, it's quite clear how their relationship works and references are made to past incidences of infamy for the three. This is kind of like Scooby Doo meets m/m romance. It was quite funny but there was also a hint of real mystery. On the whole when you're looking for a lighter ghost story this is a good choice and I enjoyed giving it a read.

Friday, February 18, 2011

10 points of Friday randomocity

I thought I'd just throw out some randomocity and you can toss it back.

1) I saw a girl in the bathroom fixing her hair today and thought "I've never seen you on our floor before" then realized it was our co-op student without her hijab on. She really looked different and had gorgeous hair.

2) Speaking of the co-op student, please please please hem your pants. Nothing makes me crazier than people who have 6-8 inches of pant dragging underneath their shoes. Argghh. Except today she's wearing socks only? WTF? Put on some shoes.

3) I find it weird when authors I know by one name or initials start replying to e-mails using their real names or a shortened version. I know you as XY and calling you Lisa is just weird. LOL Shouldn't be, that's your name, but it always kind of freaks me out. I'm sure I'll adjust. Ignore me.

4) Speaking of names, when authors use initials I get so confused as to when to use periods between them. And if I'm searching on a website some will use the periods and some don't. If you put XY Zed and they have it in the data base as X.Y. Zed, then it tells you none exist. There should be a universal protocol on periods after initials. Just to make my life easier.

5) When watching House Hunters or such home buying shows, everyone always says "Oh this would be great for entertaining." Am I the only person who NEVER entertains nor has any desire to do so? I'm a reclusive curmudgeon I know.

6) Why does my cat only want to lay cuddled up beside me after the alarm goes off? All night I'm ignored, then when it's time to get up she goes on the side of the bed I get out of and cuddles up against me. It's not like she even likes me that much so wouldn't care if I stayed home I'm sure.

7) Why do I allow myself (or my kid) to watch Toddlers and Tiaras on TLC? Last night I literally lost my breath when the mother informed us that her 2 year old needed to learn about make-up because she wanted her to get married and have kids (hey, maybe she's gay, but before I could get that out) and she needs to know how to wear make-up because a man has "needs" and her husband will have "needs" and she has to keep herself up for him. I started gagging which caught my daughter's attention so that I could screech in outrage that the women's movement was obviously dead in the South and I wanted to call Child Welfare Services on the poor tot who at 2 is wearing false eye lashes to please her man.

8) My diet efforts have totally stalled out. Not being forced to reveal this publicly on the internet was obviously a factor. Ugh. Okay, I haven't gained but .... Bacon? Who has bacon? Ice-cream anyone? Pizza?

9) Why can't people just put their freaking vacation time on the form like they have been asked REPEATEDLY? Are those 3.5 minutes REALLY so valuable you can't put a V or B on the damn spread sheet? Why won't anyone listen to me? Do I work in an institute for the deaf? Sigh.

10) I'm considering finding some black electrical tape soI can handcuff and gag Pokey while Gumby administers discipline to the amusement of Pebble Chick and Penny Pig.

Share something random with me today.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hump Day

Kind of an average week here. Our biggest issue appears to be that my daughter needs finger waves in her hair (and a fake bob) for the school musical. Ack. So she's been watching videos on how to do this and we need a certain size of hair curlers which we can't find. Arrghh. Plus she has the straightest hair on the planet that does not take a curl. I've asked if I'm going to have to take 3 half-days off work to do hair. LOL We'll have to practice, practice, practice, and enlarge the hole in the ozone layer using cans of hair spray, buckets of gel and mousse.

Read a few things this past weekend.

Sugar Milk by Jaryuu Dokuro

I found this description on-line and it's pretty accurate. A series of mostly shounen-ai one-shots, with two stories and a special focusing on childhood friends Sho and Taichi. Taichi always thought they would stay together forever, until Sho decides to up and move away without telling him about it. They run into each other again when Taichi's in university and they end up working at the same diner. This time, Taichi is determined to make it work out. Even if Sho's bisexual. Moral of the story: alcohol can only make things better. I actually found this rather boring, well, I didn't mind the Sho/Taichi story but I found myself just wanting it to be over. Plus this is not the manga style that I generally enjoy. And there was hardly any sex. Hey, if it's going to be a boring story at least make it hot.

The Best Revenge by Andrew Grey (202 pages)
Dreamspinner Press

This is one of the Bottled Up books. Tyler is an antiques dealer who meets Mark when he buys some of Mark's mother's furniture. However when they are seen out on a date, Mark's mother kicks him out and he's beaten by his bully brother. He moves in with Tyler and someone starts sending threatening letters and they have to deal with the brother (and supportive sister) when Mark's mother dies and he's left as the executor of the estate. I liked both Tyler and Mark although I thought Mark cried quite a bit. Sometimes it was warranted and sometimes I thought it seemed a bit much and these guys were like bunnies. Holy sex machines. I actually skimmed a bit because it was a bit too much for me, but that might not be for everyone. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood. This is set before many of the other characters in the series so there wasn't much character overlap.

I thought I had one more for here but it was a short so will be on BE eventually. Hope everyone has a good week.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I got nuthin', so how about some referrals?

I don't seem to have much to review, well, a couple but they'll have to wait until tomorrow, but I thought I'd send you bobbing around the web to visit some friends.

So here are some interesting places you can visit if you haven't been.

Join Kris from Kris 'n' Good Books at Desert Island Keepers where she asks you what romance couples are you sure wouldn't have made it to their silver wedding anniversary, or their first. I'm sure there are a few we all shook our heads secretly while they cooed over each other.

Kassa and the gang over at Three Dollar Bill Reviews have zombie week. Yay. They are reviewing GLBT themed zombie fiction and talking about gay zombies in general. Stop by and toss your thoughts out there on the genre.

Back to Kris, Ally Blue posted her pick-your-own-mm story Dead Men Don't Wash this week. Dip your toe in the pond of tentacle sex. Very cute and funny and innovative use of the prompt for soap. A great story.

For the whole month of February Patti is dedicating her blog to m/m romance. So stop by and check out some of the reviews and guest posts. I will be doing a guest post next week. Monday I think. But I'll put up the link once it's up. Oh and she's giving away a couple of m/m books so you can throw your hat in the ring to win one of those too. Stop by and say hi.

On Sunday morning (Feb.20) at 11:00 EST KZ will be the guest of honour at the Good Reads m/m Group chat. If you're not a member of the group you can sign up easily or click on this link for the chat instructions on Sunday. You can ask KZ ANYTHING. You can even talk about books. ;-)

Val at Obsidian Bookshelf is showing off her great new cover for her upcoming release Call and Answer. Stop by and check out the blurb and our totally off-topic discussion about reptiles, phobias and weird shape shifters. Congrats Val.

And a cookie or three just cuz I love you guys. Have a great Tuesday.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Weekend Update

Bit of a crazy weekend. My ex-FIL had a heart attack yesterday. It's not looking good and my ex is on his way there now. His flight leaves shortly. I was never close to the man, but it's always a shock to the family when it happens suddenly. My daughter is not close either as she hasn't seem her Grandparents for 2 years either. Anyway, my thoughts are with everyone out west as they cope.

Nothing else going on really. My kidlet is starting to plan next year's classes already. She wants to take one more course on-line. They normally don't like to let kids take on-line along with their regular course load but she did it this year for civics and careers. When she met with the guidance counsellor yesterday, the woman called in the other counsellor and they were quizzing the kid about how it works, how hard it was, what the teacher was like? Umm. Are you guys not the experts? They asked her what she got and she said 88% in civics and 81% in careers. They were all "OMG, how did you do that? Everyone does horrible in on-line classes." Umm. Okay. But this means they'll allow her to take American History on-line next fall, and she'll have enough credits to finish high school in January instead of June 2013. Then she has to figure out what to do with that empty term and sleeping is not a viable option. LOL Life is always interesting with a teen.

Anyway, I got a little reading done this week, including yaoi on the bus when I took it twice this past week.

Mistletoe Science 3: The Mistletoe Experiment by Serena Yates (110 pages)
Dreamspinner Press

I have been following this series since it was first released as a Christmas piece. (Number 1, Number 2). In the last book Magnus and Lance went to Sweden to visit Magnus' family, got engaged and decided to move to Sweden. In this book they get moved there and Magnus is given an ultimatum by his bosses at the university, go on a 3 month field trip to study glaciers or else. He doesn't want to go and Lance is just getting comfortable in Sweden, but Lance encourages him. About a week before he's to come home for their wedding, Magnus goes missing on an expedition. This is a very sweet story and some might find it a bit too sweet, they have the perfect family in the perfect place with the perfect neighbor, well, except for the lack of a perfect job. It was a nice conclusion to the series.

Sandpipers' Secrets by Jade Archer (132 pages)

I won this at the Good Reads m/m Group celebrations. Thanks so much to Jade and the gang over there for arranging it. I had no clue what this book was about when I won it, but it was definitely a pleasant surprise. Brody has moved across the country to escape his horrible life with his brother and is in desperate need of a job. He gets a job in the kitchen at a restaurant and to his dismay finds himself attracted to both owners Lark and Zak. However he knows there's no chance. Lark and Zak have been together forever but both feel a need for something more and think maybe Brody is it but they know he's got a secret. After a blow-up in the kitchen when one of the chefs reveals that Zak and Lark are siblings, things come to a head and having seen some really ugly things in his young life, Brody doesn't care if the rumours are true, he thinks they have a beautiful relationship. Things are going okay, although the guys are being harassed and when Brody's apartment burns down he has to tell the guys the truth about his little brother and his past. I liked all three guys and thought it made sense for them to be a threesome. It took both Zak and Brody a while to come around to the idea, both admitting attraction but feeling guilty. The sex was hot and the little brother was cute. I really enjoyed this story. It was fun and sexy and a little bit angsty. A nice mix.

Steal Moon Vol. 1 by Makoto Tateno (160 pages)

It seems like the street-fighting champion Nozomi is invincible...until a beautiful stranger known only as Coyote shows up and beats him. Nozomi’s penalty? He must become the slave of a “peeping room” website where any perv can spy on his life 24/7. At first, Nozomi’s only goal is to raise the ransom needed to buy back his freedom. But a mysterious plot involving secret surveillance, the moon and ancient computers soon comes to light. That first part is from a blurb, this is set in the future and is kind of a sci-fi Big Brother type situation. My first concern was two young kids who were sold by their parents to the website and I first thought "Oh crap, kiddie porn yaoi" but it's not. However the two young kids factor into the whole moon surveillance plot and Nozomi is confused about his relationship with Coyote who makes his move on him. It was okay and I enjoyed the art style.

Steal Moon Vol. 2 by Makoto Tateno (155 pages)

This is a continuation where they are working to stop the surveillance of the computer on the moon and it plans to assassinate the president on election day. With the help of a gang leader (from another book series) they all come up with a plan to stop it, although Coyote is the son of the President and is determined to take his place and be killed instead. Nozomi figures out the system which is based on Egyptian gods and stops things just in time. Again, it was okay, didn't love it, didn't hate it. Pretty typical yaoi although a lot of the sci-fi stuff kind of went over my head.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Guest Posting Today

I'm off visiting again today. I'm over at Book Addict Patti's place today talking about m/m/m. Wheee. Patti has made February m/m month on her blog and it's been fun to see the guest posts along with reviews of some m/m books. Hopefully some of her loyal followers will give m/m a try. So stop by and say hi today and let me know your feelings about menage. :-)

Just click on Patti's banner above and come say hi.

Guest Posting Today

Please stop by Promises author Marie Sexton's blog today where Jenre and I are guest posting about "Why Short Stories Rock".

Just click on the banner of Marie's books below and it will take you to her blog where you can join us for the day. Today is also Marie's birthday, so make sure you send her some birthday wishes too.

Also don't forget to stop by Brief Encounters and enter for the chance to win Marie's short story Putting Out Fires which will be coming on Valentine's Day and is a little visit with Matt and Jared with cameos by Angelo and Zach. Just click on the cover below and leave us the name of your favourite flower and the winner will be announced on the February 14th release date.

See you there and have a great weekend.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Seeing Red

Ha! Tricked you. You thought I was on a rant didn't you? It's been a crazy 10 days or so. I spent 5 out of the last 8 days in a meeting room in a hotel downtown. If only it had been holed up in a hotel room with one of the following I would have been thrilled. As it was, not so much. After a day of being talked at or talking, I just can't seem to tackle a new book. So lots of easy on the brain re-reads and skims. Oh well, you get some cookies so I guess that probably works for you. :-) Happy hump day everyone.

And where all of these guys would look fine. In a Little Red Corvette.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Paranormal Thursday

What a week. I spent the last three days in a room with 50 or so of my colleagues from across the US, Mexico and Canada. Very cool to meet some people who were only names on e-mails or voices on a conference call, but the organizers really over-did it. 9 hours of being talked at with barely any time allowed to actually interact with people brought from all over the continent was tiring and not very productive. But the week sped by. I have something similar on Monday and Tuesday but only about 10 of us. Crazy busy and I thank god for a phone that can access the internet.

Wicked Gentlemen by Ginn Hale
Blind Eye Books

This is not really my genre, steampunk fantasy religion, all big no-nos for me as a rule. The results. Absolutely amazing. Yeah yeah, never say never. Belimai is a drug addicted Prodigal (demons no longer live in hell and are "people") and Harper is a priest, aka cop. The cops use torture in the name of religion to generally get confessions from people, often Prodigals. However Harper and Belimai end up teaming up to catch some serial killers who are preying on Prodigals, Belimai nearly getting killed in the process. This is a two part book and in the second, Harper stumbles across a murder that is being covered up by his boss and soon he's a wanted man himself, and he and Belimai are trying to find evidence to convict the bad guy, escape from the police and Balimai is trying to get off drugs. You also get to find out more about Harper and what makes him tick. It's hard to put it all here but it's gritty, graphic, sad, sweet in it's way. It's kind of like a super gritty crime drama on TV with a romance thrown in. All I can say is read it. It's not that graphic either and I'm trying to convince my teen she should read it. Apparently in exchange I have to help her with math. Umm, I doubt she'll read it if that's the deal.

Rinse and Repeat by Amberly Smith (188 pages)
Dreamspinner Press

Peat is a repeater. He is sent to various places around the country to stop a crime or catch a criminal and until that happens, the day keeps happening over and over again. He is sent to Idaho to save Jake who keeps getting shot at a skate park. Everyday he tries to figure out who is killing Jake, and soon he starts trying to throw himself in front of the bullet and it's up to about day 60 and he still can't figure it out, but there's a problem, he's falling for Jake even though every day, to Jake, Peat is a total stranger. However Jake seems to start remembering things, not clearly but he knows something is up and soon Peat's boss of sorts, shows up to help out and catch the bad guy. Jake and Peat are both in college and Peat has no idea why or how he's a repeater, it just started happening when he hit 19. It was kind of sad, because anything that happens while he's in a loop is forgotten. The first guy he had sex with didn't even remember it and it starts to happen with Jake and he hates it, but he has to save him. If you need to know exactly why he's a repeater and how it works this will make you crazy, because even Peat and his boss don't know. It just happens. I did start to suspect the killer and it was kind of a creeptastic ending, but Jake was a nice guy with nice granola parents and the story really sucked me in as Peat kept adapting and gathering information to try and solve the puzzle. So definitely a different premise as I've not come across it in romance before. Worth a read I think.

Last Call Europe: Black Wolf by Belinda McBride (110 pages)
Changeling Press

Brutus is a wolf shifter on an around the world chase of a brutal serial killer. (Lordy, I seem to have a crime theme going here too). He decides to hop ahead to London and get ahead of the killer, and ends up at a paranormal bar. A pack of huskies come in and they are celebrating Jasper's birthday. Huskies are annoying, but Brutus finds Jasper attractive. At some point there is a type of game at the bar where a patron chooses a drink at random and someone in the audience takes up the offer and they retire for sex in the back. When Jasper picks a "black wolf" Brutus "volunteers". It's not quite what he thought when he falls asleep and wakes up to find Jasper is a Dom at heart and he seems to be a sub. After some hot smexin', Jasper admits he knows about the crimes and he works for a mysterious demon. Despite Brutus' better judgment, when Jasper is nearly killed by a demon he teams up with Jasper's boss and his two tiger shifter mates to try and solve the mystery. This is a follow-on to the story of Jasper's boss and his two mates (m/m/f - Last Call Europe: Devil's Advocate), you don't really need to read it first although any questions I had were about the three others so I suppose that would solve my curiosity if I wanted to. I liked the D/s element with Brutus being big and strong yet admitting that sometimes he liked to let go and also his resistance to being bonded to Jasper. He was a lone wolf in all ways and it was hard for him to admit, and Jasper to accept that he wouldn't just take off. So if you like crime stories with shifters and demons and intrigue it's a good choice and I like the author's style.