Sunday, 31 January 2010

The Sunday Salon – It’s The Month End and It’s Business as Usual

 

It’s the last day of the month, the last Sunday Salon of the month and the last day of my non reviewing hiatus – and I am not ready to start reviewing yet.

However – the words are crawling around in my head to come out and there are too many pieces of paper with my thoughts on them just ready to be put into some order and get onto post… So I am pulling my socks up and getting on with business.

My first review should be up on Tuesday – I am doing my roundup of my day with the ladies on Monday, so all you guys wanting to know how I faired out – check back tomorrow.. (I’ll warn you now – it was not pretty)

Now that that is out of the way – I just want to say that book world seem to have more tittles and tattles everyday and it only gets worst every time a new one crops up…

This time last week, we were eagerly waiting on Apple’s big announce – by the end of the week, there was definately a feeling of lines being drawn for who love and who hate the Ipad…

Then to top that off – the Amazon – MacMillan debacle hit the fans and it’s not good.

Shiloh Walker has done two easy pieces HERE and HERE on this matter and the comments make for some enlightening reading.. Check out her twitter update post  as well.

Kindle Vixen as well did a great round up the whole situation and looking at the whole picture – just by Apple introducing a new product it seems to be the catalyst for alot of what is happening in the book world now..

 

The Creative Penn gives a nice drill down of what Amazon has been up to pre-empting the release of the Ipad, as well as some other book news especially if you are in the ebook industry.

Amazon

In the last few weeks, Amazon have proactively done the following, most likely getting ready for the hype around Apple:

© The Creative Penn (Please visit the article – it does make for an interesting read)

 

As for the month – I enjoyed my time just reading, doing the library thing every few days, blog surfing and visiting with my old girls as often as I can.

Not all of it was sugar and spice though – while blog surfing things that I normally overlook seems to jump out at me and became totally annoying – Check out my Discussion Point – What do you bring to your reading and What's with all the Twinks. On Wednesday I am going to be talking about comments…

I had a fun month learning more about Steampunk as well – I am looking forward to the next lot of books to be release for 2010.

I learned a whole lot about reviewing, and although I have always been open minded about a whole lot of things, I think the month away has really allowed me to put alot of things into context and things I didn’t used to look at before – I am now looking at and still earning more as I go along…

The last thing I want to say about my month is that I want to give a big shout to Chris – From Stumbling over Chaos, Sassy Britt from Alternative Reads and Jude Mason (Author), for just being great sports and really supportive during some of the low points of the month for me…

Thank guys…. even Chaos and Mayhem cheered along as well…

I hope January has been more than just cold for you and you are just about ready for February…  it’s of course the Valentine month…

 

 

Until next week – cheers

 

From The Sunday Salon site –

What is the Sunday Salon? Imagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them, and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....

That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book

 

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Saturday, 30 January 2010

Weekly Geeks - Winter Reading

 

If you're anything like me, the books you choose to read reflect your mood which is often reflected by the season in which you find yourself. I love reading Chick-Lit in the summer months when my mood is light and carefree, but in January and February I find myself immersed in classics, mysteries and chunksters.

Many of us are in the midst of winter - digging out snow laden driveways, bundling up in multiple layers of clothing, enjoying comfort foods, and curling up in front of woodstoves and fireplaces with a good book.

For this week's Weekly Geeks, share with us the books which call out to you during the cold, wintry months. Are there genres which appeal to you most? Why do you think you are drawn to these types of books during winter? Do you have some book recommendations for other readers who are looking for some escape from the blustery weather? Give us some of your favorites and tell us why you recommend them.

As "extra credit" why not share some photos of what the weather looks like outside your home...or where you curl up to read when 'the weather outside is frightening.'

 

 

I haven’t taken part in a weekly geek project in a while, but I had to join in this week as I am such a mood reader and nothing says mood reading like like winter.

I agree with the statement – winter does call out to me to drag out those heavier tomes and have ago at them. I already do a Monday sum up of what I read on a weekly basis, HERE.

However some books I have invested in them as a series, so I followed through on them during the winter months,  or some neat finds that just happen to call to me be during the winter month.

The list below are just some of the books that are not just run of the mill, they were really good.

 

My Winter Reading

Heart's Blood - Juliet Marillier

 And Call Me in the Morning - Willa Okati

The Solitary Knights of Pelham Bay – Claire Thompson

Kell’s Legend – Andy Remic

The Courtland Chronicles -Bk 5 –Triad - Cat Grant

Konigsburg, Texas, Bk 3 - Be My Baby - Meg Benjamin

 

 

Upcoming Releases I am looking forward to

Broken - Shiloh Walker

Steamed: A Steampunk Romance - Katie macalister

Velvet Haven – Sophie Renwick

King Maker: the Knights of Breton Court Bk1 – Mauruce Broaddus

Brotherhood of Blood - Collection of stories -  Bianca D'Arc

 

 

 

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Thursday, 28 January 2010

January 28th - Just For You on a Thursday….

image

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Discussion Point – What Do you Bring to Your Reading

 

 

 

This is another one of those Wednesday's where a topic just jump off the net at me – not planned..

Over the past few days due to my run in with my ladies, my reintroduction to Willa Okati’s work, reading all kinds of blogs and social network feeds and I am getting increasingly annoyed at what we as readers bring to our reading.

As a child growing up I was never allowed the luxury of not finishing a book, even after all these years – I might leave a books for a period of time but I always finish every book I read. What I was  encouraged to do was find my own niche, find what worked for me, be able to discuss what didn’t work for me – fairly, and with suitable info to back it up.

More and more I am reading where readers don’t read a particular genre, author or  storyline – without being able to explain themselves. Please don't get me wrong, as it would be hypocritical of me to say that this applies to everyone, because it doesn’t, most people have a tolerance level including  myself – but I would like to think that the majority of readers, especially book bloggers can and would quantify why they don’t like a particular genre, feels frustrated by an authors style or is just plain freaked out by certain  storylines.

Followers of my blog know I read just about anything, I however have gone gun shy on historicals – for the fact that it was my first sort of foray into the romance world – I need a change. I also generally find something wrong in these books and that bump me right out of the story – and lastly, they do tend to be too wordy, too long winded and almost always the heaviest sets of book in the romance genre… 

But -  I am not oppose to refreshing myself every few years…

I don't like Fiction books about child abuse, use of animals in questionable circumstances, the heavier end of BDSM and Horror. Otherwise I am good with anything.

Even the too stupid to live and the cute story line does it for me in the right authors hand…

Whilst I wont read the above mentioned books in fiction as a set rule, I will read a “little” non-fiction – now and then about them.

What really gets my goat is a combination of things - principle, personal dislike and sheer gall of bloggers and readers around the net.

After coming across a thread on a site the other day a reader wanted to know if a particular book has some things that was particularly offensive to the reader in it.

So far so good – that is probably something I would do as well. What totally infuriate me was the fact that after not actually finishing a particular book (that had more positive review than negative around the net) the same reader went on and on about the content, of why it didn’t work, the area that was objectionable to them and other pearls of wisdom and I thought – YOU DID NOT FINISH THE BLOODY BOOK.

Was I blowing this out of proportion, because I see it more and more on the net  - discussion happening on DNF or books that a reader had read without any knowledge of the genre or even the sub-genre they are reading or just bringing a whole lot of prejudices to the book or about the authors work.

As romance readers we all know the books in our genre are more than just smut and require some suspension of reality – but do you give yourself a fair shot to actually like/love/converse on the books you read. I know it sound harsh or idealistic but bringing personal issues to reading, without some underscoring knowledge or personal preference is liveable as it’s all a matter of what rocks your boat.. 

But to go as far  as to do a full scale rant and snark about a book that was not even finished is just too much..

Another concern I have is in regard to the new and upcoming genre eg. Steampunk.. I made a comment the other day to a friend..

I am hoping the reading public give them all the chance to get it right - I can't imagine the next year will produce anything stunning - as they are all feeling their way...

© E.H>

and I stand by that, but I am looking forward to the first set of discussion about the next set of Steampunk books available, as the reviews I see over the net now – most bloggers talk about them from the base line of what we know of sci-fi books…

Am I the only one that have a higher regard for a reader who actually makes the effort to see the full picture when reading a book and is open-minded about work that they might not even care about.

 

P.S. – I know this is a bit of a rant Discussion question today – but I am at the roll eyes moment ….

I expect so much more from book bloggers and I am constantly being let down by some of the attitude and snark that I see around…

 

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Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Release Day Promo

 

 

 

Title - Switching Gears

Author – Claire Thompson
Published  -  Romance Unbound

Buy the ebook

Jack told himself love was for losers, what he really needed was someone strong enough to show him the truth...

Jack Harris, a tattooed auto mechanic with roguish good looks, prides himself on being impervious to love. When challenged to reconnect with the one that got away, Alexei was the first to come to Jack's mind. It's been years since Jack walked away from the traditional leather scene, its rigid rules and conventions too confining for a man used to taking who and what he wants. Though they've lost contact over the years, he's always maintained respect and affection for his old mentor and scene partner, Alexei, the only man he ever trusted completely. Alexei hones in on Jack's anger and restlessness, with the same uncanny knack he always had. Alexei says he has the cure... Jack isn't so sure.

Marcos Savakis watches with disdainful amusement as Jack boasts of his sexual conquests at the monthly meetings of the Solitary Knights. Marcos has spent years in the scene, training submissives to serve others, his heart insulated from the process. At the request of a dying friend, he reluctantly accepts a new charge to train. The man he discovers waiting on his knees is the last person he would have ever expected, and the first person to touch his heart.

 

 

 

Title – Too Keen

Author – AKM Miles

Published Total Ebound

The instant attraction between Keen and Lance leads to some of the most bizarre and amazing occurrences, not to mention deep love and fabulous sex.
Chaos Magnets. That's the nickname Keen and Lance earned through several unexpected acts of bravery among madness and mayhem. They were drawn to each other upon first meeting. Good thing Lance would be staying next door to Keen while visiting his step-sister. It's a wonder they have any time for the relationship to develop, since every time they go out it seems something happens and they end up talking to the police and explaining things.
Lance's martial arts background and Keen's brains and brawn save the day more than once.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mammoth Book of Irish Romance

Edited by - Trisha Telep

 

An enthralling collection of romantic tales set amidst beautiful Ireland's lush ancient landscapes: pre-Christian ruins, green hills, rugged cliffs, and pounding Atlantic surf. These stories - by writers such as Roberta Gellis, Bertice Small, Jennifer Ashley, Claire Delacroix, and Mary Jo Putney - honor Ireland's rich heritage as a land of poets, magic, and mystery. The publication will be just in time for St. Patrick's Day.

 

 

 

 

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Monday, 25 January 2010

January 26 – A Day Out With The Ladies and Willa

 

 

Once a week for a good while now I visit a set of old girls at a care home and read to them and every couple of weeks I drag all my old books or books that I have collected over a period of weeks into the home for the ladies to read.

I try not to discuss them on here because for one – they are the bane of my existence – they are cheeky, opinionated and just plain embarrassing and I cannot imagine my life without them.

Something happened with us last week and for a few days I was not only trying to get over the fact that I had exposed these ladies to their first m/m books which they took it in their stride and like a duck to water, but that they still have what to takes to embarrass the hell out of me.

While delivering my latest set of books to the home – the girls decided to give my bag a  good old search, I have given up on them,  it’s no use telling them not to do it, I just check to make sure all the incriminating stuff is left at home.

Anyhow I had my ereader (Fitzroy) with me and the first book on top was none other than Willa Okati – And Call me in The Morning. By the time I came back to where we were set up to read they were already on page seventeen ( they do know how to manipulate my Fitzroy, we have all been together a long time).... So my entire plan to read Charlotte Lamb – Runaway Wife went right through the window.  

 

I should have realised that something was up when the care worker asked them what was up and their response was – “They were checking out my Alternative reads”…  That’s the code for risqué reading material (once again, we have been together too long, we have codes)

Anyhow it took me two lots of reading session to get through the books – but it was the discussion after that made this day one of the best and one of the most embarrassing since a long time.

I am just going to give the highlights of this book for me and the girls, but to read a sum up of the book itself check out Jesse review of it…

 

While they took the teasing in stride, at times it was frustrating that no one believed they were just friends. One day while out with their colleagues the constant teasing became unbearable so Zane suggested privately to Eli one way to put a stop to it. His plan: that they kiss each other and hopefully find it a horrible experience,…..

Jesse © Reviews By Jesse Wave 

 

Willa Okati

 And Call Me in the Morning

Genre: LGBT Erotic Contemporary
Length: Novel
Take two, and call me in the morning.
Eli and Zane. Colleagues at work and close friends, though on the surface it's an unexpected friendship between an odd couple. While Zane took the "high school to college to med school" track, medicine is Eli's second career and the best choice he ever made. He has work that he loves, an extended second family of colleagues and friends, and Zane.
So why does everyone make such a big deal about the pair of them?
Yes, they spend a lot of time together. It doesn't mean they're a real couple. When teased about it one too many times by their colleagues, Zane challenges Eli to set the record straight with a kiss to prove there's absolutely no chemistry between them.
Neither expected a spark to ignite between them. More than a spark. Desire. Passion.
Zane wants to try getting up close and personal again to see if it was a one-time fluke or something more. Eli thinks he's too old to jump the fence now, but he can't say no to Zane and he doesn't want to.
Truth be told, Eli's not so sure they can set the record straight after all.

 

Our thoughts

Let me declare straight off  that Willa Okati work is a hit and miss for me, but I was lead to the Book by Kris from Kris 'n' Good Books because of the cover  - I was loving it. It is following in the vein of a set of recent releases where the story line is about mature men and the cover is reflecting this. I was pleased.

Once the book was finished the girls wanted to know if this is what I read when I am home – I of course said yes and I have been reading it for a long time. This led to them wanting to know why they were not aware of this.

I cut straight to the point and told them I was not sure if they could handle it and I was not sure how open-minded they would be to m/m lifestyle and the books in general. I could see the hurt in a few of them, just by their shoulders and a little drop in their devil may care  attitude – but I explained as best as I could and we had a little chat about it and  I am not sure if we are OK, but we moved on and chatted about the book.

To say I was impressed by how they took this book apart is an understatement.

 

Highlights.

  • The book started with guys who are comfortable with each other and are not shy about this, so a good start.
  • Enough differences between them – but they are mature enough to appreciate the commonalities and have fun with it.
  • No double talk was in this – once the guys decided to have ago at figuring out what was between them, they didn’t pussy foot around - plain speaking all round.
  • Supports cast  - well done, well places, very defined and lots of balances at work eg.

                 .Younger guy being very insightful and counselling older guy

                 .Female cast was not the obligatory hateful creatures – I  loved the two ladies in this – they meant well and they acted it and made a difference to both Eli’s and Zane’ life.

                 .I Loved the sort of hero worship thing that was happening in this as well – so underplayed, but there none the less and it was really sweet.

                 .We got a look at the men at play and at work and it was clear they had something between them.

         

  • Some genuine issues were dealt with – topical, suited the plot and dished out in such a way that even the ladies who are used to a different type of health care system could understand.
  • One thing I absolutely loved in this book was that there was none of the standard overuse words – Like,  mine, yours, forever etc… not one was in this book…  such a refreshing change.

 

Where the ladies fell in love with Zane and Eli.

 

Zane waved from his position stretched out on the couch, arms crossed under his head.
He'd loosened his tie and rolled up his shirt sleeves, taken off his shoes, but was otherwise
ready for anything. Right now, that seemed to be lying still with his eyes closed, listening to
something jazzy and bluesy wafting from his speaker system. Eli glanced at the iPod dock
and wished, for a moment, they still did records. A phonograph and a scratch every now and
then would make the picture perfect.

Willa Okati© And Call me in the Morning

 

“Still in my scrubs. I was so fucking spaced I didn't even think to shower, much less
change to my streets. You had me all tied up in knots, you know that?”
“Yet you're here,” Zane said.
Eli was better with the silences, not the words—quelle surprise, that—and it took him a
second to interpret this. “Where else would I want to be?” he asked, stating the plain facts.
“After a rough day, all I want is to go home.”

Willa Okati© And Call me in the Morning

 

 

The embarrassing moments

The ladies range from the ages 67years to 82years and I was sure there was going to be some embarrassing questions and they didn’t let me down.

 

Eli chuckled at himself, took the washcloth back and did a proper—better, anyway—job of
clean-up. That done, he collapsed on his back. In the wet spot. Bah; he couldn't be bothered
to move. He held one arm out at his side, silently beckoning Zane in.

Willa Okati© And Call me in the Morning

 

When we got to this part – they promptly asked me why the wet spot would be such a big deal

This was how it was phrase -  “I have slept in loads of wet spot before”.

and I wanted to die…. 

I barely had time to recover before they wanted to know why the fingers were used….

At this point I thought  - just kill me and be done with it..

I couldn’t take anymore…

Yup – I did not touch that topic -  I packed up and told them next week we will discuss it…

I am dreading next week…

What did I get myself into.. 

 

Bottom Line

I got this book specifically because of the cover. The cover suited the book but I was even more impressed with the book itself. I thought Ms. Okati took a well trodden product, used what was available to her, namely the characters, the support cast and some well place angst and made this book a winner.

She drew me in with the fun loving, but practical attitude that she gave her cast, the straight talking that she allowed them to toss out at will and used some topical issues to explore the strength of their characters.

With little to no fluffing around she literally cut right to the chase and produced a tightly written books with barely anything to moan about.

If you are looking for a book with a hell of alot of difference this is it. For me this was a wonderful reintroduction to Okati’s work.

 

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What Am I Reading on Mondays – Another great week

 

A weekly event hosted by J. Kaye’s Book Blog to discuss your reading week ~ the books you've read and those you plan on reading in the coming week.

Books I completed last week are:

Devon Rhodes - Silver & Gold

Lynne Carol - Saddle Up and Ride 02 - Bareback Cowboy

Carol Lynne Saddle up and Ride 03 - Through the Montana Mist

Willa Okati - And Call Me in the Morning.

No Matter what – Erin Nicholas

Puppy Love – Jeff Erno

Too Keen – AKM Miles

 

This is the cover I fell in love with this week…

Griffin Penshine is always making wishes. But when a sinister old woman tricks her into accepting a box of eleven shiny Indian Head pennies from 1897, Griffin soon learns these are no ordinary pennies, but stolen wishes.

This box of labeled pennies comes with a horrible curse: People in possession of the stolen coins are Wish Stealers, who will never have their wishes granted.... In fact, the opposite of what they've wished for will happen. Griffin must find a way to return these stolen wishes and undo the curse if her own wishes are to come true.

But how can Griffin return wishes to strangers who might not even be alive? Her journey leads her to ancient alchemists, Macbeth's witches, and a chance to help people in ways she never imagined, but the temptation of the Wish Stealers' dark and compelling power is growing stronger. Can Griffin reverse the curse in time to save herself and the people she loves?

Tracy Trivas's rich and imaginative début novel introduces a talent as bright and sparkling as Griffin's pennies.

 

Books I am currently reading

The Solitary knights of Pelham Bay Bk3 – Switching Gears – Claire Thompson

Love By the Numbers – S.L. Danielson

image

 

Hoping to get through this week

Seeking Shelter – Rebecca J Vickery

Love Kills – My Bloody Valentine

 

 

 

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Sunday, 24 January 2010

The Sunday Salon – Steampunk, Willa, and a new friend - Another mixed blessing week

 

Another wonderful booky week for me.. and I am still on a natural high….

I started the week by making a journey to the library, to be honest that didn’t start so well but I am trying to use the library more and after asking the inquiry desk if and when m/m books will make the shelves (which did not go over well) I got stuck into finding my books and have pencilled that m/m topic to fight another day…

Although I did write a request to have yaoi books available in the library…. let’s see how that will turn out..

The most exciting thing that happened was that I found a real person who reads the same sort of books I read -  I was in cloud nine. I don't know how many of you guys have real people who you can just chat about books with – but I don't and it was so good to find this person.

We have chatted about, Spec Fic, Steampunk, fantasy – graphic novels, historical, cartoons and all the other stuff that I love…   I still cant believe my little ruckus in the library set off a chain of events that put him and me in the right place at the right time to meet each other…

It is the most wonderful feeling to literally sit down and talk to someone about a book or a plot or a character - there was actually a twinkle in my eyes… not all good I can tell you.

Midweek, I had a good chat with some of you guys about Steampunk on my Discussion Point post and spend a good portion of the last three days on the Romance Diva Steampunk workshop seeing how the published Steampunk authors and the upcoming Steampunk authors get their act together and the process behind their research…

A good session I thought..

Chris from Stumbling over Chaos once again pimped loads of ereaders my way via links and comment, as my eyes are starting to wonder from my Fitzroy and I am looking at all the cool and sexed up ereaders around….  With Amazon DX going global on the 19th January I am hoping some of these prices will come down.

On the other side of the coin – this week Apple is set to announce it’s newest creation – on some of the techy media that I follow there is speculation it could be a ereader, a tablet or a larger version of the iphone…

I await their announcement…

 

I am still on another week of no-reviews on the blog and I am loving the amount of books I am reading and the quality of the books as well – I had a wonderful if traumatic time with my old girls on Thursday over Willa Okati newest release.. Check back tomorrow I am doing a round up…

My little bookshop lady is getting inventive and dipping her fingers into other outlet to keep her little shop open. I am so attached to this place.

Second hand book is big business over here and she is trying to incorporate that into the shop and of course digital work/borrowing will only get bigger and bigger – so she is also doing loads of research on that to see how fair it is and how  accessible it is for everyone…

 

 

 

I have gotten my hands on the Gaymes, Anthology this weekend and I am planning to read the entire thing – for people who know me, I never read all the work in an Anthology.. But all my guilty pleasure authors are in this one – so I am looking for a fun read …

 

 

Highland Gaymes by Carol Lynne
There's more to a man than what's under his kilt.
Shaw Fitzgerald loves touring the United States with his brothers. A fiddle player since an early age, music is the only thing he's ever been passionate about. That is, until he sees Curt Macaula compete for the first time.
imageAs a competitor in the Highland Games, Curt knows how important it is to concentrate on the individual events. Getting distracted while tossing a one hundred and fifty pound pole isn't an option. Away from his events, Curt is free to ogle the very pretty member of the Brothers Fitzgerald band.
Toward the end of the season, Curt knows it's time to make his move. With Shaw being guarded by four macho brothers, it won't be easy, but Curt is determined to win the man of his dreams.


Good Cop, Bad Cop by Jenna Byrnes and Jude Mason
Two hot studs, an evening of scorching sex, a pub, and the gaymes begin...or have they?
Officer Kevin Sands and his lover get off on playing games - role playing games. When one of their escapades goes awry, will someone else pay the price for their fun? Or can the lovers solve a mystery that could mean the end of everything they hold dear?


Elliot's War by Kim Dare
The Welsh and the English. Celts and invaders. Captors and prisoners. Victors and slaves. Let the war games begin!
The woodland war is billed by the university as an important exploration of differing cultural traditions within the British Isles. As far as Elliot understands it, the game involves the local Welsh students and those who invade the university from across the border, waging a war in the woodlands that surround the university.
Elliot's not quite sure how he ended up agreeing to take part in the war game. Nor is he entirely sure how he ended up running through the forest wearing a skimpy toga while being chased by a dozen Celtic warriors - all of them painted a very historically inaccurate shade of blue woad.
For better or worse, Elliot's about to get an education that wasn't advertised in the university prospectus.


Crossed Hearts by Lisabet Sarai
When love is the prize, everyone wins.
For the past six years, Jason Hofstadter has attended the Four States Annual Scrabble Tournament. Jason comes to the Four States for two reasons - to play Scrabble and to get laid. Every year since his first, he has managed to hook up with one of the other players for some sexual fun. This year he has a chance at the grand prize in the tournament. Meanwhile, he figures he has hit the jackpot when he spots handsome, bookish Matt Sawyer, who's competing at the Four States for the first time.
Shy and seemingly innocent, Matt turns out to be full of surprises. First, he jumps Jason in the rest room at Starbucks. Then he reveals that he's into BDSM and encourages Jason to experiment with topping him. Finally, despite his lack of experience with tournament play, Matt ends up competing with Jason in the semi-final round. When Matt throws the game he should have won, Jason is forced to confront his own feelings - about winning, about casual sex, and about Matt.

Rough Riders by Devon Rhodes
Playing by different rules can lead to heartbreak, but changing the game plan can be the tiebreaker.
Luke Briscoe has a good reason to stay in the closet with his team, the Rough Riders. Bitter past experience has taught him to be cautious around athletic teams. But after Mario, his teammate and lover of ten years, leaves him, tired of the secrecy, Luke is forced to confront his fears, especially since the sexy and confident new member of the team, Derek Grimm, has no problem with being out and proud.
Derek has wanted Luke from the first moment he saw him. But he knows the timing is all wrong, and vows to let Luke have the time he needs to recover from his breakup. As time goes on, though, Derek becomes frustrated with Luke's determination to stay in the closet. Derek and Mario are out, and the team is fine with it. Why is Luke still holding back? Derek wonders if any amount of time will ever be enough. Maybe it's time to try a different game plan...


Contact Point by Gwendolyn Cease
When two men who have nothing to lose and come together for one night, they both discover a connection they never thought possible.
Jesse Chandler needed a place to get out of the storm. What he found was a bar catering exclusively to wolf shifters. Cade Reynolds, pack Alpha and bar owner, sees nothing but trouble when the small human wanders into his bar. When Jesse signs up for the pool tournament, Cade decides to let him participate, so he'll lose and leave. Instead, Jesse wins every game he plays until a storm puts the brakes on everything.
Jesse desperately needed to win the tournament prize money, but instead of a nice cosy room, he ends up squatting under a tree for shelter. When Cade invites him home for the night, Jesse has no choice, but to accept. Sit under a tree in the pouring rain or sleep in a house...No one ever said Jesse was a fool.
All Cade wanted was to offer Jesse a place to stay for the night. But one touch from the smaller male made him realise that sleeping wasn't what was on his mind. Cade wanted Jesse, but the wolf wanted to keep Jesse forever.

 

 

 

Until next week – cheers

From The Sunday Salon site –

What is the Sunday Salon? Imagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them, and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....

That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book

 

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Friday, 22 January 2010

To: Dr Jaden Monroe – From: E.H – Letter to A Character



No Matter What
Erin Nicholas
To Dr. Jaden Monroe
Dear Jaden,
I met you recently through the ladies from RR@H Novel Thoughts & Book Talk and from their description of how much they like you, I had to meet you myself…

Initially when you started having lusty thoughts about a customer in a diner – I was what the hell, get your thoughts and your act together woman – and you didn’t disappoint me. The real Jaden came out to play and met Adam’s demands and arrogant attitude head on.

I loved your spunk and how you held onto the things you valued in life.

While most of the interaction I had with you was during your time with Emily, you deserved every Kudos that has been heaped on your shoulders – you do have some style about you.. However I was amazed that you could keep things so professional while literally having a boss/secretary moment every evening with Adam, but you made it fun…

Teasing can be so sweet at times… and as much as I  wanted you to get down and dirty from the moment go, you and Adam sure did bring a smile to my face and gave me some fun moment watching you work your through all the misunderstandings.

Lovely to have meet you  - and just the fact that you were just as the tin said you were was really cute and I am so glad you got your HEA, now to work on that brother-in-law of yours… 

A fan,

Erotic Horizon
© Erotic Horizon
© Erotica Romance Reading Challenge




No Matter What
Erin Nicholas
The best doesn’t come cheap…and this time it could cost him his heart.
Adam Steele is good. Good at using his money to get his way. Money always works—until he realizes he can’t buy his daughter’s way out of her new wheelchair. Three private physical therapists later, he’s almost given up on Emily walking again. Then he meets Dr. Jaden Monroe. And his match.
Jaden doesn’t know the meaning of the word “quit”. But she knows a lot about “fired” after a public blowout with her ex jeopardizes the donation her hospital was counting on. Now the most tempting man she’s ever met has made her just the offer she needs to save the new children’s rehab wing—one million dollars to rehabilitate his daughter. In return she finds herself making Adam rash promises: that his daughter will walk in time to take the lead in the school play. And that he won’t entice her into his bed. No matter what.
But Jaden didn’t anticipate a teen whose injuries are more than physical. Or a man so passionate and devoted—and as tenacious as she is. As Adam wears down her defenses with kiss after kiss, the only thing harder than keeping her promise will be keeping a hold on her heart.


_________________________________________________________________________________






Letter To A Character

This is the first week of the Letter To A Character weekly stint…. Leontine letter to Jack Cole is the featured letter this week…

To get involved

Write a letter to any character of your choice…. And talk about anything…
It can be as  fun as you want it to be, it can be serious or as outrageous as you want it to be…
ONE THING IT MUST NOT BE – A letter directed to the author…..

Have fun






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Wednesday, 20 January 2010

DISCUSSION POINT: Steampunk

Last year there was an explosion around the blogs about this fantastic new genre called Steampunk…  but was it new and was it actually an explosion…

…and more importantly what the hell is Steampunk – I remember when I first heard the word, I giggled, yeah I did, just because it’s one of those words that allowed the imagination to run rampant with possibilities…

Me being me – I started my own little search to get to the bottom of this genre in a more malleable form than some of the more convoluted description that I have seen around the net…

 

Steampunk is a subgenre of speculative fiction or science fiction that emphasizes anachronistic technology, usually from the Victorian age. It is also used to refer to a trend in fashion and music.

Wikipedia ©

 

 

I wont get into the many layers of Steampunk – For today’s discussion I am leaning towards Romance/adventure and Steampunk. Last year we had a few book hit the market and another set are earmarked for this year. Steampunk is traditionally regulated to the Sci-fi or Spec fic area of fiction but since more and more fantasy approach is being incorporated - -the possibilities have become endless..

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the pen of Gail Carriger

I tend to think of there as being two main kinds of Steampunk. The first, and most common, envisions a future as the Victorians imagined it. Steampower dominates (usually at the expense of electricity) and Victorian science, morals, and manners reign supreme. The writings of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne are good starting points. In the alternative option, Steampunk is used to depict a far future world that hearkens back to Victorian culture, for example a bustle dress made of Kevlar. There are other temporal "punks" like clockpunk (c. 1500s) and dieselpunk (WWII).

 

I'm fascinated by Steampunk because it allows me to play with all the intriguing and appealing bits of Victorian era, while ignoring the rotten underbelly (bigotry, slavery, destitution). But then again, I also write with a heavily comedic overtone.

As to where it fits into the genre? Officially, it's a sub-genre of science fiction, which is to say all Steampunk should employ a plot wherein science plays a key role. In common with its Victorian heritage, however, that science can be not-so-very  scientific by modern standards, involving anything from alchemy, to magic, to the paranormal in a Jekyll & Hyde kind of way. To confuse matters further, a new wave of Steampunk authors are   busy exploring tropes of other sub-genres, from paranormal romance to post-apocalyptic dystopian horror.

 

For further info

Here's a link to Gail’s Steampunk page, it has images, as well as links to other more in depth articles, and a long list of Steampunk fiction.
http://www.gailcarriger.com/steampunk.php

 

 

 

Not every romance is about getting down and dirty and Steampunk so does not go that route. That said there is however the adventure of a good team, a team that work – that you want something more to come from their association and Nick Valentino does this so well with Thomas and Cynthia in THOMAS RILEY.

 

 

 

From the pen of Nick Valentino

Steampunk is a slightly difficult thing to describe. The reason being is that it’s can mean different things for different people. The best way to think of it is as alternative history. To narrow this down here is a general idea of how the genre breaks down:

 

  • The setting: Victorian times (mostly in London or in this case Europe-ish).
  • The culture: Inventions, science and alchemy dominate the popular culture of the day.
  • The style: Corsets, vests, overcoats, wire framed spectacles, bowler hats, goggles and cloves.
  • The twist: The world has experienced a huge boom in technology based on steam, clockwork mechanics and alchemy.

 

So the difference between Steampunk history and history as we know it is that steam powered inventions dominate the world. Hence dirigibles, steam weaponry, and everything as we know it is now powered by steam.

So anything imaginable existed in the Victorian period, just with steam power and gears instead of fossil fuels and electricity. So take the pioneering and explorative spirit of the era and multiply it by the ability to fly great distances with heavy weaponry. Watch out though, the world is at war and dangerous sky pirates could be lurking in great airships just beyond the horizon.

 

To me, Steampunk is the expression of mankind’s desire to build, explore, and create, while accompanied by high adventure and sometimes romance. It’s the spirit of the Victorian era with machines that resemble those of the present.

 

~Nick Valentino, Author of Thomas Riley - www.sirthomasriley.com

 

 

I am not going to belabour the point of how far or where Steampunk is going, I want to know what you guys think of Steampunk as a genre and if you haven't thought of it -why not?  if you have what are you jonesing for?

Personally I cannot wait for this genre incorporating the fantasy and romance element to hit the market. It's a change, it gets the juices flowing - we have to rethink our whole way of thinking of a book. Cover artist have also been out in their droves enjoying the limelight that this new genre will and has brought to them.

One of my favourite covers of last year is WHITECHAPEL GODS  - S.M. Peters, I was literally blown away by this cover – I loved it, the book itself could have been a little tighter, a little more detailed – but all in all  I didn’t regret reading it…

 

My Favourite Steampunk cover of last year

A thrilling new Steampunk fantasy from a talented debut author
TWO GODS-ONE CHANCE FOR MANKIND
In Victorian London, the Whitechapel section is a mechanized, steam-driven hell, cut off and ruled by two mysterious, mechanical gods-Mama Engine and Grandfather Clock. Some years have passed since the Great Uprising, when humans rose up to fight against the machines, but a few brave veterans of the Uprising have formed their own Resistance-and are gathering for another attack. For now they have a secret weapon that may finally free them-or kill them all...

 

My Favourite Steampunk read of last year.

Flight is freedom--
but death hangs in the skies

Taya soars over Ondinium on metal wings. She is an icarus, a courier privileged to travel freely across city's sectors and mingle indiscriminately among its castes. But even she cannot outfly the web of terrorism, loyalty, murder, and intrigue that snares her after a daring mid-air rescue. Taya finds herself entangled with the Forlore brothers, scions of an upperclass family: handsome, brilliant Alister, who sits on Ondinium's governing council and writes programs for the Great Engine; and awkward, sharp-tongued Cristof, who has exiled himself from his caste and repairs clocks in the lowest sector of the city. Both hide dangerous secrets, in the city that beats to the ticking of a clockwork heart...

Excerpt and Buy Here

 

Upcoming Releases

 

Two books are earmarked for release this year – that have garnered alot of interest. Firstly there is Kate MacAlister  - STEAMED – due for the shelves on Feb 10th..

Blurb:

Jack Fletcher's heart is about to get punked.

Computer technician Jack Fletcher is no hero, despite his unwelcome reputation as one. In fact, he's just been the victim of bizarre circumstances. Like now. His sister happens to disturb one of his nanoelectromechanical system experiments, and now they aren't where they're supposed to be. In fact, they're not sure where they are when…

…they wake up to see a woman with the reddest hair Jack has ever seen-and a gun. Octavia Pye is an Aerocorps captain with a whole lot of secrets, and she's not about to see her maiden voyage ruined by stowaways. But the sparks flying between her and Jack just may cause her airship to combust and ignite a passion that will forever change the world as she knows it…

Read the Excerpt (PDF)

 

 

Then there is Meljean Brook THE IRON DUKE…. I am having fun watching this book come together…  The blurb has barely had Click to jump onto the postthe time to settle and Ilona Andrews has done her magic and created a FAKE COVER – Yes you heard me right the cover to the right for THE IRON DUKE is not real…. But my word – how brilliant is that… and this is what I love about Steampunk.. it’s is so outside of the box….

Blurb:

After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power — and fear — of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.

Mina can’t afford his interest, however. Horde blood runs through her veins, and despite the nanotech enhancing her body, she barely scratches out a living in London society. Becoming Rhys’s lover would destroy both her career and her family, yet the investigation prevents her from avoiding him…and the Iron Duke’s ruthless pursuit makes him difficult to resist.

But when Mina uncovers the victim’s identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans — and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke.

© Ilona Andrews – THE IRON DUKE COVER IS FAKE…. THIS IS A FAKE COVER

 

There are fun ways to get involved and find out about this cool upcoming genre

There are workshops available for you to get involved in

Click to get to Romance Diva

 

 

image

Or the personal touch like Nick Valentino has set up with his Sky pirate programme…  which is total fun.. I have been a Sky Pirate since last year and you all had better watch out….

 

 

 

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