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

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

End of Year blah blah blah

So it's that time when everyone does their round-ups of this that and the other thing, so why should I be different right?

On the site statistics front:

The most popular post in 2011 was the one about cowboys. Naughty naughty readers. ;-)

Levi Poulter and "guys with long hair" are popular search terms. And really, why wouldn't they be?

Top 3 countries from which visitors stop by: US, Canada and UK.
Book stats as per Goodreads:

Number of books I've read (to date, may be a few more before the 31st): 444 (take into account I read a HUGE amount of short stories)

Number of pages read: 32,725 - My goal was 30,000 so I can't complain. If we translate that, it's 444 books of 73 pages each.

Ratings: The majority of the books are almost equally divided between 3 and 4 stars, 214 - 4 stars, 193 - 3 stars.

And how many 5 stars? 20 which is about 1.5 per month really. What were they you ask? I'm not saying these were necessarily my favourites, because some books I really enjoyed got 4 stars for a variety of reasons but I can only give 5 stars to so many, and I'm finding I'm more discerning as I read more. I've noticed authors are showing up more than once on my 5 star list. If you want to know what I said about these, you can find my reviews on Goodreads (aka I'm too lazy to link to all the reviews). So those books/authors were (in no particular order):

Ginn Hale - Lord of the White Hell #1 & #2 and Wicked Gentlemen

JL Merrow - Muscling Through and Hairy, Horny and Over Here

Josephine Myles - Barging In and Insta-Love

Anne Tenino - Whitetail Rock (FREE)

PD Singer - Prep Work

Jordan Castillo Price - GhosTV

KZ Snow - Mongrel

Vic Winter - Pearls Before Swine

Ryan Loveless - Off the Page

Vincent Diamond - Holding the Reins

ID Locke - Ermine & Bougainvillea

Clare London - How the Other Half Lives

Sue Brown - Prey Time

Eden Winters - The Match Before Christmas

Jay Lygon: Unbound: Bonded II

As a special mention, I am listing the last 12 Petit Morts books. I only have the pic for the last seven but it was an amazing series with great authors Jordan Castillo Price, Josh Lanyon, Sean Kennedy and Clare London. All of them were enjoyable and maybe not all of them were 5 star, but close enough for the whole series to merit a mention this year

Oh and I suppose on the publishing side, I had two of my own short published and thanks to all those who gave me support on those and are pushing me to get more submitted. Laziness, thy name is Tam.

Winterlude and The Santa Problem 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Gravity by Sean Michael

Title: Gravity (Hammer #12)
Author: Sean Michael
Length: 210 pages
Publisher: Torquere Press


It's never easy to run into an ex-lover, especially when the break-up was a bad one. That's exactly what happens to Hunter Barrister one evening at the Hammer, though, and he's more upset over seeing the amazingly beautiful Forrest Greune again than he ever thought he could be. When he finds out that Forrest is not only back in town for good, but wants to join the Hammer Club, board member Hunter balks and refuses to give his consenting vote.

Forrest, a now retired model, isn't the same flighty young thing he was when he and Hunter were together, and he wishes Hunter could just move on. When that doesn't happen, he finds himself amusing himself, elsewhere with disastrous results. Broken and injured, Forrest is surprised to find Hunter the one at his bedside, the one who sticks with him and offers support through everything.

Can Forrest and Hunter put their history behind them and be what they need for each other, or will guilt, fear and the past put an end to the relationship neither of them seem to be able to abandon?


This is rather typical of the Hammer series, although with less sex than usual, which is a good thing. Hunter is still hurting ten or so years later, because his soon-to-be-permanent sub Forrest, a model, cheated on him the night they were going to sign a contract. Out of the blue, Forrest shows up at the Hammer club applying for membership. Hunter vetoes it, because he's certain Forrest is just a flighty feckless jerk. However soon after Forrest is attacked by three men and badly injured, nearly dying. He is suffering from numerous stab wounds and his face is cut badly, along with rectal and throat tearing and his hands were smashed with hammer and are broken. Hunter realizes it was his fault because if he'd not banned Forrest from the club, he would have been there rather than out somewhere else he could get targeted, and finally admits he still loves him and intends to take care of Forrest and help him recover.

I said there was less sex than usual, because if Hunter had had the amazing healing cock, I would have been really annoyed. Forrest is deeply depressed and wishes he'd died in the attack. He was a model, although he'd just retired, and hates the scarring he now has, and has nightmares and emotional trauma he has to deal with daily. However Hunter continues to help gently push him back into the world. I don't think there is any sexual interaction between them for nearly 6 months or something close to that and Forrest is natural afraid he can never be sexual again and has many of the irrational fears that I think a victim of that type of attack would have.
I did find the middle dragged a bit, because not much happens. Forrest apologises a lot and Hunter says don't. Forrest freaks out asking for reassurance and Hunter gives it, over and over and over. While I think that's realistic, it does get a bit repetitive for a reader to see it play out over and over. There is no miracle cure. Forrest's hands will never work properly again, he has trouble holding a wine glass or opening buttons, he'll always have emotional issues probably, but I think that fit rather than just "whee, now you're okay".
For those who like Jack and Oliver, Jack is Forrest's friend and they spend some kinky time at the beach house toward the end of the book. So it's certainly not sex-free, but it makes sense in the context of what happened. The description of his attack is really awful and it comes up in bits and pieces as Forrest reveals more and you find out there was more to the whole cheating incident than Hunter knew all those years ago, leading to a big ugly mess at the end. But on the whole I thought it was some of the more realistic portrayals of someone who has been attacked. Totally realistic? I can't say, I've never known anyone who endure that, nor thankfully had to myself, so perhaps not perfect, but there was no magical cure. Also unlike some Hammer books where the crime plot is rather ignored, this one does come to a head at the end when Forrest has to face his abusers, so it wasn't just brushed under the rug in favour of the relationship.
One of the better Hammer stories I've read lately (if a bit repetitive at times), but if the whole attack thing makes you uneasy, while it's not described in detail, it doesn't really pull any punches and his emotional reaction is quite visceral on the page so it may be a factor for some readers.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas to All

Christmas is here. Wow. How the year has flown by. It didn't really feel like Christmas for us, because until yesterday, we didn't have a lick of snow. Now we have just enough to cover the grass so it looks mostly white outside, and is definitely Christmas temps. It's -15C this morning. Brrr.

The gifts are all wrapped, at least mine are - don't think my kid is finished, the tree is decorated, the food is bought. I have to do some tidying up today and I'm working on some laundry I've been letting go, but it will be a lazy day for us and I hope we won't have to go anywhere. That is my intention. I'm also looking forward to being off work until January 3.

I wish all of my friends a most wonderful holiday, whatever you celebrate, and if you celebrate nothing at all then have a super weekend. :-) I have appreciated all the support I've received from everyone this past year and you are the best friends a girl could ask for, whom I may or may not ever meet in real life.

Love you all and may these little elves put something special under the tree for you this year. ;-)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Authorly/Readerly Stuff

So I was thinking yesterday, as I was writing something, how much my emotional state affects not only what I'm in the mood to read, but what kind of drivel turns up on the page. 

I'm going through some rather stressful (if idiotic) stuff at work (with the complete backing of my immediate managers thankfully), but that combined with PMS means that what I wrote the last two days is totally angsty and I cried while I wrote it. LOL Definitely not my usual light fluffy ha ha stuff. I mean it's not like the guy is undergoing torture and abuse, but I know at certain times I write much more emotionally angsty stuff. Last fall, when my job was REALLY bad and I actually filled a prescription for an anti-depressant (which I ended up not taking), I wrote something quite long, several hundred pages that was an emotional train wreck and did involve memories of childhood abuse. (Which I never suffered so don't panic.) When I'm feeling good, it's all light and fluffy and fun. 

When I feel like this though, I want to read light and fluffy and fun. The last thing I want to do is ADD to it when I'm feeling emotionally rather "fragile" for lack of a better word. It's like writing it down gets it out, but I don't want to read it which would bring someone else's emotional angst in, and compound it. At times I have plenty and don't need any more. Thanks anyway purveyors of angst. ;-)

So authors, do you find yourself writing different emotional types of stories depending on your own emotions or can you pretty keep an even keel? When you guys read, do you tend to wallow and read stories that have a similar tone to your mood, or do you read something that is the opposite, for example better able to handle a dark emotional story when you are in a good mood and life is going well? 

I may have to rewrite this little story when I'm a better mood, because the tone of this little trilogy is getting darker and more serious and not likely what people want/expect. 

Have a great Friday. Two more sleeps until Christmas. Guess I should wrap some of those gifts huh? 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Random Stuff Again

So we finally got our tree up on the weekend. Whew. Of course the new string of lights I bought was the wrong type so I had to get dressed Sunday morning and go and get another string which seemed to come with a wreath, tree topper and bows. :-D Ooops. I think it looks good, although we can't use tinsel or we just have to run around dragging it out of the cats' mouths. Not healthy for them.

What else is going on? (Click on the pictures)

Go to Cocky and Rude and check out Michelle's "12 Days of Whatever". I'm riding a reindeer y'all!

There is also the voting going on for the readers' choice awards at the m/m group on Goodreads. Click on the button below to take you to a VERY long poll. I'm actually amazed how many of the books nominated I HAVEN'T read. It's crazy. So many books, not enough time.

You can win a copy of I'll be home for Christmas by Alex Whitehall over at Brief Encounters. Jenre reviewed it here. It's an historical Christmas romance. Stop by and leave a comment.

Dreamspinner is having lots of goodies for the next 12 days. 
  • Dec. 20 - 30% off all historicals
  • Dec. 21 - Free copy of Infected: Prey by Andrea Speed
  • Dec. 22 - 30% off all Westerns
  • Dec. 23 - Free copy of Bounty of Love by Scotty Cade
  • Dec. 24 - 30% off all Mystery Suspense
Looks like some good deals there. I'm definitely picking up the Bounty of Love and will check out some mysteries.

I should be finishing my shopping today. Knock on wood. Both things I need to get are in stores about a block or two from where I have a meeting at lunch so my plan is to go 20 min early, run and pick them up and then be FINISHED! Except for wrapping.

Hope everyone is having a great week and are nearly final prep for the holiday if you celebrate.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Daddy, Daddy & Me by Sean Michael

Title: Daddy, Daddy & Me
Author: Sean Michael
Length: 200 pages
Publisher:  Torquere Press


 When Jeff agreed to be the sperm donor to his best friend Beth, he never expected a tragedy to leave his newborn and three year old motherless. That's exactly what's happened, though, and it's totally thrown his life into chaos: his lover has left him, his house isn't anywhere near childproof and his boss feels the restaurant has been patient enough with the time off.

Donny has always known he wanted to be in childcare, and he just finished his degree in early childhood education. He didn't count on people being less than thrilled to hire him when they find out that not only is he a male nanny, but a gay one at that. Job hunting has been frustrating to say the least, so when he knocks on Jeff's door and is greeted by the sounds of things breaking and a pair of screaming children, he thinks, just maybe, he can begin this particular interview with a trial by fire.

Becoming the nanny to Jeff's children just might be a dream come true for Danny, and exactly what Jeff needs, but are either one of them ready to really be a family?


The story jumps right into the chaos here, with Donny arriving to find a disaster in the making, however he quickly takes control and gets things settled down before he can even be interviewed. Jeff is completely exhausted and frazzled and is happy to hand things over to the more experienced Donny and pretty much hires him on the spot. Before long they are getting into a routine, although Jeff works until very late because of his restaurant job, however on his days off he tries to spend as much time with the kids as possible and often invites Donny to be a part of family outings. Before long ... well, you guessed it. The two men are having fun after the kiddies are in bed and then .... the ex comes back, wants Jeff to dump the kids and let him come back or at the very least give him half of the dream house they lived in, but that Jeff bought and built.

When on a weekend away, the house burns to the ground, Jeff completely loses it and Donny is forced to pick up the pieces again as Jeff spirals into a depression. While I thought these two moved a little fast, I think it was within a couple of weeks (hard to say as it's not spelled out - at most a month), and Jeff had only broken up with his lover of seven years, it didn't bother me too much. It sort of seemed natural given that they spent all of their time together outside of Jeff's work. I rather enjoyed the fact that while Jeff was older and supposedly more stable with a job doing something he was very good at, when the pressure came, it was younger Donny who stepped up and put on the big girl panties and did what needed to be done, while Jeff flailed around emotionally.

I didn't find the kids overwhelmed the story as can happen sometimes. The little guy had tantrums, and they got thrown up on, although I have no idea anymore how a 3 year old really talks or behaves (my how quickly we parents block it out LOL) but I didn't find the kids intrusive to the romance, which would have been a bit sweet perhaps if Jeff hadn't had his breakdown and Donny had to give him a metaphorical kick in the ass. On the other hand, the kids weren't ignored in the story until convenient, they interrupted sex, they ended up in bed with them, they got sick, it was what most parents of small kids deal with while trying to keep a relationship as a couple.

There were some nice female characters in Jeff's sister who was freaked out by kids, and also the kids' grandmother who quickly accepted Donny and didn't have a problem with Jeff having custody after her daughter died. So that's a pleasant change, although the psycho vindictive ex is rather cliche.

One thing I'd not come across, was when Donny told Jeff he was gay, Jeff said "you're family" and then later the gay couple who ran the B&B they stayed at said they wanted to sell it to "family". Is that a new thing, to call the gay community family? Am I just out of the loop on that? I'd just never seen it before and at first I was confused that somehow Donny and Jeff were related.

Still, if you liked stories with kids and or the boss/nanny trope, it was an easy enjoyable read.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Oops, I forgot ...

Cryselle posted a pic on her "1000 Word Thursday" post which reminded me of my Christmas story The Santa Problem. You can click on the inspirational picture for a little x-rated excerpt from the story.

Thanks Cryselle for the opportunity to promote my story and your inspirational pic of course. :-)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Guest Posting & Give-Away at Keira Andrews Today

Hey guys. I'm over at Keira Andrews' place today talking about which Santa songs my guys Lane and Gavin would enjoy. You can also tell me your favourite song and win a copy of The Santa Problem as well. So come on by. Just click on the banner.

There are lots of other posts this month as well that have give-aways, so surf around her site and see what else you can win.

Have a great weekend. I will get my tree up today, I will.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Change on the Fly by Stephani Hecht

Title: Change on the Fly (Blue Line Hockey #5)
Author: Stephani Hecht
Length: 104 pages
Publisher: eXtasy Books


From a very young age, Aldrich knew two things: he'd grow up to play professional hockey and he'd make his mentor fall in love with him. After years of hard work, both are within his grasp. Not only has a professional team called him up from his farm club, but the man he's dreamed of for years has finally noticed him.

Then everything is brutally torn from him when he suffers a career-ending injury and finds himself dumped before the relationship has even really started. Depressed, he retreats to his childhood home, where he runs into his former best friend and hockey buddy, Nobel. They rekindle their friendship and grow closer...in more ways than one. Aldrich is shocked to realize that, not only has he been overlooking what could be the best thing in his life, but love may always have been right in his own backyard.


I read this some time ago but it seems more relevant with all of the news lately about hockey injuries, the  young man who died and it seems his brain is so damaged (possibly from playing hockey) that he likely would have had dementia in middle age, Sidney Crosby who has not played in nearly a year due to a severe concussion and who is not playing yet again due to symptoms and other players who are starting to question if their health is due to injuries sustained "on the job". Not all have the tragic outcome that Aldrich had in this story, of severe medical problems following the injury, but it happens and likely if the player is not super-famous, they just disappear and no one thinks about them again, except their family and friends who put back he pieces.

In this case I really liked that Aldrich did not have any miracle cure. Nobel did not possess the magical healing cock of some romance novels. He would always have impediments as a result of his injury, he'd never be normal, he'd certainly never play hockey again. I also loved that Nobel didn't care. He liked Aldrich, he wasn't ashamed to be out and about with him in public or to acknowledge them as a couple which I think Aldrich needed to see that his life was not over, just very different.

Aldrich's sister was quite the girl with her pink house, and Nobel's flamboyant younger brother was a character who I hope we'll see again. But for those who want a romantic story that includes a darker side of hockey, of those who've had their dreams completely ripped away forever after spending their entire lives, literally fighting for it, it broke my heart a bit, but Nobel was there to help him adapt to his new life. So I think a very timely story these days, with a lovely happy ending as all this author's stories do.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Release Day!

Hey all, it's happy release day for my Christmas short. You can pick it up at Torquere for the low price of $2.49. :-) I am also spending the day popping in and out of the Torquere Social LiveJournal today. I am going to be talking about Santa. Santa on TV, Santa in movies, Santa in song and of course, Santa in underwear. Ahem. Check in and out during the day and anyone who leaves a comment will be eligible to win a pdf copy.

The Santa Problem

Lane would do most anything to make his live-in love Gavin happy, but this is taking things too far. Just because Gavin can’t find someone to play Santa at his office building, doesn’t mean it’s Lane’s problem too. But Gavin can be very persuasive when he wants his way, and Lane may be taking on more than he can handle in order to keep his man content.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

High Scores - The winner is ....

So one day, for no apparent reason, I decided to see which authors I have given the highest ratings on Goodreads. I decided I had to have rated at least 8 books, because just having one book with 5 stars skews things. So everyone on my list I've read at least 8, possibly more depending on the author if they had something in an anthology or a freebie somewhere I may have missed.

So who are my high scorers? (in ascending order) *drum roll*

Amy Lane - 10 books - 4.0 average

Lynn Lorenz - 12 books - 4.0 average

  Josh Lanyon - 18 books - 4.05 average

 James Buchanan - 8 books - 4.12 average

K.A. Mitchell - 8 books - 4.12 average

 Eden Winters - 8 books - 4.12 average
 KZ Snow - 16 books - 4.31 average
 Sean Kennedy - 11 books - 4.36 average

 Jordan Castillo Price - 32 books - 4.43 average

So what does this mean? Nothing much I suppose, but I think my scores line up pretty securely with authors who have a reputation for being superior writers. Oddly enough all of the stories I used covers from  have not been added to my scores yet. In fact I've only read one of them. Must get on that.

Friday, December 9, 2011

To practical for my own good?

Sometimes I wonder if I'm too practical for my own good. Most of the time when I'm reading I can let stuff go and not even really think about it, and then I start obsessing on something and want to tell myself to get a grip. 
Case in point. I read a Christmas story which I actually really liked. I'm going to do a review of, and when you read this you'll think, OMG, horrible, but it wasn't. I even reread it later that day because I enjoyed it but .... 

My kids is great for letting me vent on this stuff. So the guy gets back to work and has an important meeting thus, making him very late (after midnight Christmas Eve - Christmas morning?) to get to the love interest's place, and because of the second blizzard he had to abandon his car in a snowbank and walk the last little bit. 

My first reaction: OMG, what if he had died trying to get home in a blizzard on Christmas Eve? They could sue his company for forcing him to work when there were unsafe conditions. That's just irresponsible. 

So later in the car I get caught up in the whirlwind. Okay, they made him stay late because there was an issue with an article in a trade magazine that they had to fix right away because the video game was coming out. Wait. Magazines don't print on Christmas day. What are you going to do at 10:00 at night on Christmas Eve. 

My kid then says: Well, they had to get the game out. Noooo. I could understand if it was a game release. Hell those people pull 4 days straight to get the game to market. He was a marketing guy dealing with a magazine who was not going to get his message until the 26th at the earliest. Did they REALLY need to stay in a blizzard and risk their employees lives? Seriously? (Notice how I'm spiraling into practicality here?)

So my remark to the kid: I expect reality in my books. Her reply: It's a fantasy. Me: No it's not. Her with a dose of sarcasm: It is now. Smart ass. 

As I said, I really enjoyed the story, the relationship between the two guys was smokin' hot with a BDSM edge and it was the geek and the smooth guy and at the time when I read it, save for the "OMG, he could have died" moment I never even noticed the other, and then I start obsessing. 

So do you get caught up in that or can you let it go? Most of the time I don't even notice, but sometimes I think I'm out of control with my practical side. "Normal people wouldn't do that." "Clothing stores aren't open at 10:00 on Christmas Eve." and so on and so on and so on. :-/

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What's going on around the net in my little world

So I got nuthin'. Haven't been reading much, well nothing but shorts as I attempt to feel like I'm on top of the Christmas shorts at BER. It's an illusion but it makes me happy.  In addition to the promo at Keira Andrews that I posted about yesterday, there is some other stuff happening around the blogosphere believe it or not.

At Reviews by Jessewave there is a "favourite author" contest as chosen by readers. You can go and vote for your fave author. You have the choice of:
  • Josh Lanyon
  • Marie Sexton
  • Abigail Roux
  • Abigail Roux/Madeleine Urban
  • Jordan Castillo Price
  • J.L. Langley
  • K.A. Mitchell
There is a little poll on the right hand side. Just click your fave and voila.

Also at Wave's, any author who has not yet done so, can donate books to the great Christmas give-away. A great way to thank our readers and show our appreciation. Just leave your e-mail and what you would like to donate (hard copy or e-books) in a comment under the post.  I don't envy Lynn who is trying to keep it all straight.

You can win a copy of my new Christmas short The Santa Problem coming next week over at Stumbling Over Chaos, just stop by and leave your name.  Chris always has tons of give-aways so snoop around and enter your name for more great books.

KZ Snow is over at Jadette Paige's blog today talking about her new novel The Zero Knot (of which I am now the proud owner of a signed cope - twirls in glee). Stop by and read a never before seen excerpt and say hi to KZ.

For those following Stephani Hecht et al's plans to develop the Safe Reading Zone, the site is almost up and running. You can pick up a button there to place on your own site and people of all persuasions will know your blog is a safe place for them and there will be lots of resources at the new site to help people and also to let it be known that you are there as a friendly ear when they feel there is no one to listen and understand. If you would like to join the m/m authors and bloggers already on-board just give Stephani a shout and she'll hook you up.

 Do you have a thing for parakeets? Not a thing thing, just like them. My friend Michelle M's little boy Cooper has his own blog now. Michelle is very funny and Cooper is adorable and smart. Stop by and check out his stuff at Cooper's Corner.

Over at Joyfully Jay you can win a copy of LA Witt's new book Search Me. Just leave a comment before Friday night.

My friend Polt does a hilarious Christmas video every year. This year with some special cameos. The best part sometimes is the out-takes after. Good stuff.

Speak Its Name is doing an advent event (hmmm, odd moniker I've given it). And our own Jenre was behind yesterday's door. Stop by and check out all the posts. You can win all kinds of prizes and goodies.

For those who were fans of Thorny's posts, he's back on a lovely new blog being himself and sharing his life with those of us out here in bloglandia.

Kris asked who some of your new favourite reviewers are that you found this year.  Either official or someone on GR that you find you share similar tastes with.

My friend David just got the lead in a new musical his community theatre group is doing in New York City, Utopia, Unlimited. The production is late April so if you'd like to check out a great show (and David is a great performer as we got a chance to see him perform two years ago when we were in NY purely by chance) mark the dates on your calendar. It's a Gilbert & Sullivan musical so you know it will be good fun and sounds sharply witty given the current political climate. 

Smexy and Fiction Vixon have a promo where you can win a Kindle Fire. I think you have to answer a bunch of questions and know your m/f, but if that's your thing as well, check it out.

And really people. Do you not follow Cakewrecks yet? If not, what are you waiting for. Haiku day with radio active tampons. You can't lose.

Something else good for a laugh is Damn You Auto Correct. Warning. Do NOT check out this site at work or in a quiet space where others are around you. Stifling laughter is not healthy. I love the ones where something is accidentally said in a typo, only to be revealed as true. Like pregnancies accidentally revealed or vice-versa, people excited about reveals which were only typos. Ouch. My stomach hurts.

The largest Ikea in Canada is opening in my city today. They expect 17,000 insane people to show up there today. Ack! I'll give it a month to settle down.   It has 400,000 square feet, spread over two floors, it will feature 55 decorated room settings (the old store only has 15) and a restaurant with seating for 640. Swedish meatballs anyone? The new store will now carry all 9,500 products the Swedish retailer sells. The first person in the door wins a $10,000 gift certificate. Wonder how many days that first person has been glued to the doors refusing to move?

So that's it. Have a great hump day!