Saturday, June 30, 2007

Lightening my Load! (Part A)

This will be here awhile. Scroll down for new reviews and stuff.

Recently, I've gotten into the habit of continually increasing my TBR pile. I'm constantly checking out books, buying from the UBS and library Friends shelves, buying new, then surfing the net and seeing e-books I want to. Meanwhile, books that I was excited to read get tossed into the milk crate while I go on looking for bigger and better things. Then I'm like, hey, didn't I want to read that? So, taking a cue from Ames (and I think someone else too), I'm setting myself a challenge. I'm not going to read anything new until I read these twenty books. Or at least give it the old College Try. If it just ain't happening I'll put it aside, but no more amassing until I'm done. This is gonna be tough, so let me see what happens in a month or so.

So here's the list:

1. Beyond the Edge by Susan Kearney
2. Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara
3. The Power of Two by Patti O'Shea
4. Claiming the Courtesan by Anna Campbell
5. 72 Hours by Shannon Stacey
6. The Leopard Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt
7. Warrior or Wife by Lyn Randal
8. Double Trouble by Claire Cross
9. Third Time Lucky by Claire Cross
10. One More Time by Claire Cross
11. All or Nothing by Claire Cross
12. The Dream Hunter by Sherrilyn Kenyon
13. The Revenge of the Second Son by Sara Orwig
14. Twilight Magic by Shari Anton
15. Mistress For a Weekend by Susan Napier
16. Midnight Eyes by Sarah Brophy
17. Summer Light by Jude O'Neill
18. Down the Garden Path by Dorothy Cannell
19. Love at First Bite by Sherrilyn Kenyon et. al.
20. Divine By Mistake by P.C. Cast

Purple means that I tried to read it at some point, then put it aside for whatever reason. Green means that these are old, old loves that I've been meaning to re-read to see how they stand the test of time.
I'm almost finished with No Humans Involved by Kelley Armstrong. I'm really enjoying it. I'm not going to read in any particular order, just whatever grabs me. But it must be off of this list. I do think I'm going to try the Susan Kearney next. I tried one by her before and it didn't quite work for me. But I thought she was worth trying again, and I'm curious about what an "Extreme Blaze" is. Extreme in what way?

Any thoughts, votes, comments? I wonder how many I'll read before the B&N gift card burning a hole in my backpack gets put to use.

Lightening my Load! (Part B)

This will be here awhile. Scroll down for new reviews and stuff.

This time inspired by a post at The Good, The Bad and The Unread, I'm doing a giveaway. When my parents moved last summer, I absconded with many, many paperbacks of varying quality. I had originally planned on reading some of them and using them for the blog, and also selling some on Ebay. It's been nine months and I can't quite be arsed to do anything about them. But after reading the post and comments at Sybil's, I thought some of them might have nostalgia or amusement value for others. So, without further ado, here is my list of vintage romances up for grabs. For the most part they are paperback editions from the late seventies.
Barbara Cartland (from the Bantam Barbara Cartland Library)
The Tears of Love
The Penniless Peer
The Wicked Marquis
Call of the Heart
The Impetuous Duchess
The Karma of Love
The Bored Bridegroom
A Dream From the Night
The Cruel Count
The Elusive Earl

Harlequin Romances
My Heart's a Dancer by Roberta Leigh
That Man Simon by Anne Weale
Under Moonglow by Anne Hampson
Love's Sweet Revenge by Mary Wibberley

Signet Regencies
An Honorable Offer by Catherine Coulter
The Counterfeit Marriage by Joan Wolf

Harlequin Presents
by Anne Mather:
The Arrogance of Love
Rooted in Dishonour
Beware the Beast
by Anne Hampson:
Dear Plutocrat
Fetters of Hate
Passionate Involvement by Lillian Peake
Tidewater Lover by Janet Dailey

This is how it will work. If you are interested, comment and we will get in touch. Each commenter can have up to four. I will pay for Media Mail postage if you are in the US or Canada. If you live elsewhere, we will work together to come to a cheap solution we both like. If nobody wants any, I'll find some other use for them. Perhaps a cover collage.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Demon Moon by Meljean Brook

Demon Moon by Meljean Brook
Every once in awhile a book comes along that makes you think the author may have written it just for you, so well does it push all of your buttons. Demon Moon was such a book for me. It's hard to write a review of a book you really liked. I don't want to sound totally gushing and fangirly. But I swear, this book had so many of the things I love, which is tough to find. An unusual (yet hot) hero, an intelligent, fully realized heroine, loads of internal and external conflict, as well as great emotional and sexual tension. It wasn't a perfect book, but I loved it. It just got the angsty romance bit so right, while still having a nice wit to it. It was a genuinely smart book, with a fast moving plot. Let's get to some specifics.

The Hero: Colin Ames-Beaumont is the oldest and strongest of his kind, after many vampires were wiped out in an attack. He is different from other vampires though. He can't feed others because his blood carries a taint. Thus, he has to drink from different human women each night. He also carries a curse which makes it impossible for him to see his reflection in a mirror. Instead, he catches a glimpse of Chaos, the horrifying realm above Hell. Colin is cursed, isolated and tormented, for sure. He can also kick ass, owns a nightclub, and wears leather pants at at least one point in the book. But this is where the similarity to other vampire heroes end. He doesn't particularly sweat who he is. He's still the handsome, indolent second son of a nobleman, after all. Colin is unashamedly vain and arrogant, sarcastic and superior. He is very smart and witty, and can come off like an asshole. And I loved him. I think it's the influence of too much Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels, PBS Mystery and British mysteries (in general) growing up. Nothing revs my engine like an arrogant, witty, overbred Englishman. I think the reason I love heroes like this is because when they fall, they have far to fall, and the fall is hard, and it's bewildering to them (and highly entertaining for the reader). Colin just adores Savi, and is amused and fascinated by everything about her. There are a number of reasons they can't be together, but it's clear that's going to be a losing battle. He tries to keep away, and acts like a douchebag, and it's almost like he can't help himself, which I actually found kind of endearing. I just loved how in love he was. A great flawed hero.

The Heroine: Sometimes in romance, "geeky" or intelligent heroine are rather annoying and TSTL, but I really liked Savitri Murray. The techno-geek (and Hugh from Demon Angel's "sister") who invented the video game based upon Hugh and Lilith's past, she genuinely seemed like a smart, slightly eccentric twentysomething woman. She lacked the other characters' supernatural abilities (to start with, anyway) and fighting skills, but in her own arena she was very confidence. I liked her curiosity as well. Too often these human chicks just get swept off her feet by some sexy otherworldly dude, and don't ask enough damn questions! Her strong sense of responsibility to her Grandmother was another interesting trait. Having some close friends of Indian heritage, the doing the whole matrimonials bit, and the pressure to marry a fellow educated Indian rang true to me.
And man, she had it bad for Colin!

The Conflict: She's a human, and mortal, and he's not. Plus, even if she was turned into a vampire, Savi would not be able to feed from Colin because his tainted blood will kill her. He can't feed from her to often without seriously weakening or draining her. Savi would have to deal with Colin feeding from a parade of other humans. In Brook's universe, the need for blood and sex are tied (called "bloodlust"). After a certain point, the lust for sex as well as blood overtakes the vampire. Not surprisingly, Savi doesn't think she can handle Colin screwing other women. All this makes for lots of lovely angst, because these two are just so head over heels for each other, and they know it won't work, but they can't stay away from each other. They have a fun relationship, a real battle of wits. They can make each other laugh even when bad shit is going down. I liked the sense of friendship and appreciation that came through, as well as the desire.

Oh man, I'm sleepy. I had more I was going to write, but I have a feeling I'm just babbling and not doing the book any justice. But hopefully this expresses a bit of why I gave Demon Moon an A. As I said, it's not a perfect book. The worldbuilding is pretty intricate, and sometimes I had to stop and mentally review who was who and what was what, when I just wanted more Savi/Colin loving. Pesky thing, that plot, although I did enjoy the plot as well. This series is definitely worth a try, especially if you enjoy good characterization, writing that actually assumes you're intelligent, and something a bit out of the ordinary. I'm going bye-bye now.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Here an epub, there an epub...

Everywhere an epub!

I've been following the folding of Triskelion with interest. Dear Author has been providing thorough coverage of the situation, as well as the implications for authors. I know so little about the whole business end of books, and I feel so bad for the authors, it just has me so darn curious. While reading the comments, several authors had mentioned electronic publishing companies that I had never heard of. I've purchased books from Samhain, Ellora's Cave, Liquid Silver, Loose-Id and Changeling Press (Shit, the covers are off putting at this site. Too bad, some decent authors, and heavy on the parnormal/fantasy). There are some others I had heard of (like Triskelion), but had never bought from. And now, some others I had never heard of? Just how many small romance-focused epubs are there? Investigating was in order. Because I'm a librarian, I am prone to information gathering and lists. So without further ado here is the list of new-to-me epublishers:

Amber Quill Press (Having a 25% off storewide sale, btw. The site is decent, i.e. the blurbs make sense. The covers aren't awful, except for a preponderance of eighties looking people.)
Cobblestone Press
Freya's Bower
Champagne Books
loveyoudivine (Erm...are separate categories for "Tales of the Slave Girl" and "Erotic Power Exchange" really necessary? The brevity of the blurbs, plus the lack of excerpts makes me leery.)
Uncial Press
Mundania Press
Aspen Mountain Press
Phaze Books (An imprint of Mundania, upon closer look)
Extasy Books (Interesting logo, bad poser covers, their little bookshelf problem sounds troubling.)
Drollerie Press (I like the concept behind this one, we'll have to see how it turns out.)
Torquere Press--LGBT
Chippewa Publishing
Lady Aibell--Chippewa's Erotic Romance Imprint. There are some doozies of covers on this one too. Home of "Oklahoma Space Odyssey", one of my favorite Bam snarks ever. I think they did proofread the blurb a bit since then.

So what did I discover, besides the best author name ever (Trixie Stiletto), and some intriguing books? There's a shitload of e-pubs out there. I saw many authors whose names I recognize from blogs and other publishers. So feedback time--

Readers: Anyone ever read anything from any of these companies? How's the quality? Decent editing or no? Heard any buzz, good or bad?

If any writers pop by: Any experiences with any of these sites? Do they treat their authors well?

If anybody knows of another Epub that I left off, let me know and I'll add.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

And the hits just keep on coming...

To make a stupid story short, I whacked my head on my son's night table in the wee hours of Friday morning. Hard. Really hard. Like, maybe I should go to the ER--just in case--hard. But I didn't. I went to sleep on the floor next to H-Bomb's bed, woke up, dragged myself back to my own bed, then woke up feeling like I'd been doing shots of Stoli. The back of my head was incredibly sore and tender, but I also felt all headache-y and foggy. Maybe I should've gone to the doctor. Instead I lay on the couch with an icepack on my head and looked at random blogs, until I realized that staring at the computer screen might not be helping. I blame my mildly concussed state (rather than a lack of will power) on my impulse purchases from Samhain. [Sigh, at least I have a better idea of what's in the TBR now.] BTW, if anyone's interested in any of their most recent releases, they were 10% off at My Bookstore and More.

Felt a bit better on Saturday, but still desperate for sleep. I'm really behind on my blog hopping, but I ran across some interesting things this evening. There's a new group author blog, The Bradford Bunch, which looks to be interesting. I don't follow author blogs religiously, but I drop in from time to time, because they do have interesting topics and I like to see stuff from the author POV from time to time. The situation with Triskelion Publishing really stinks. I feel bad for the authors, who have not only gotten screwed financially, but the books they slaved over, some of which haven't even been published yet, will be in limbo for the forseeable future, from what I understand. This, from KarenS' blog, had me in tears, nearly, especially the bit where the woman wonders whether Karen is "that hag from Dear Author." (I love Jane!) To think I felt sorry for Carol Lynne! Be careful what you put out there, folks.

I think I had something else to say, but I don't remember. And I still need to write my Demon Moon review. But I need to sleep more, methinks.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

It's Not Easy To Satisfy Me

Okay, the whole challenge thing is just not working out. I'm going to plug away for another week, but I guess I just can't be arsed. I've tried a couple that just aren't grabbing me. That's kinda why they were in still in the TBR milk crate to begin with. I'm starting to think that it wasn't a case of "It's Not You, It's Me" after all. I did find time to read Demon Moon, and am currently mentally composing a rambling review full of gushing and squeeing, to hopefully go up tomorrow. It took me awhile to read, but it was because I was delaying the gratification, not that I couldn't get into it.

I've been a bit scatty in general. I was in the mood to change the blog, and spent the day trying out new ones. I couldn't make one myself, but I have very definite ideas about how they should look. I love the ones at Pannasmontata Templates, but the one I wanted was too dark. I wanted light and bright. Then there was one from Finalsense, but the font didn't stand out from the background enough, and the sidebars were too narrow. Then I was feeling pink, so I was poking around Blogskins. There was some neat and creative stuff, but a lot of it was very...busy. This is what I've settled on for now. I like the colors and the sidebars, but it's a little plainer than I wanted. Ho hum, just can't settle on anything.

I've been on a decluttering kick, so I took a bag of books to the UBS. Yeah, I'm really not sticking with the no new books thing. I ended up taking ten books home (Five dollars total). It was a good thing that the Destroyer kept trying to escape out the open front door, or I'm sure I would have spent more. It looks like the shadiest place on the planet, but it's got a great selection. I went a little wild with the Harlequins. I have such a weird relationship with Harlequins. I find so many of them disappointing, but they always sound so damn good when I read the blurbs. I ended up putting some back.

Here's what I got:
The Might Quinns: Ian

Coming Undone by Stephanie Tyler (Cute Butt!)

Release by Jo Leigh

Pregnancy of Passion by Lucy Monroe

The Prince's Virgin Wife by Lucy Monroe ("...Being naked in the prince's bed is no longer a firing offense--it's a requirement!"<gasp!>) Wait a second...some places consider that a firing offense?

Unforgiven by Lindsay McKenna

Crazy Cool by Tara Janzen (Already read it, but I needed to own it!)

Fool for Love by Eloisa James (Read this one too, but needed it.)

Prince of Midnight by Laura Kinsale (With Fabio Cover!)

A Woman Scorned by Liz Carlyle

Phantom Waltz by Catherine Anderson

More books to fill the milk crate!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Four down, Sixteen to go...

HP the way it oughta be!

Mistress for a Weekend by Susan Napier

The two haiku review:

Nerd and the tycoon,
Corporate Espionage,
Or just a big klutz?

Weekend together,
He will find out. Fun banter,
characters, dumb end.

Comments from the peanut gallery:
Aside from Lucy Monroe, my previous HP experiences have fallen short. Instead of the titillating, glamorous cheese I expected to devour, they were a chore to finish. I'm going to add Susan Napier to the list of HP authors to read. I enjoyed this one. I liked the hero and heroine, and the banter between them and the growing tension were great. The big issue was the weak ending. I hate it when books fast forward and we're supposed to just believe that their relationship developed in the meantime. From what we did see, they seem like they are at the start of something big, but a marriage proposal? It seemed silly and tacked on. C+ for the ending and the stupid title. Will someone please explain to me the Harlequin/Silhouette obsession with the word "mistress"? They seem to use it interchangeably with "lover" or "f***buddy." What makes someone a mistress, and why does every other heroine have to be one?

Okay, okay I admit it!

I went to Barnes and Noble yesterday, and bought two books, which I wasn't supposed to do until the end of the month. But I get these weekly emails from Harlequin, and I always read them. And every once in awhile there is a book that I decide that I simply must have. Such was the case yesterday. I remembered that I had a B&N GC, so off to the store I ran, not wanting to miss it. You, know, with these Harlequins, they're only available for a limited time. It took two hours, tops, to read, but I'm feeling a bit guilty that I cheated on my challenge. But let's get to the two haiku review.

Step-sibling tension,
Wanting each other for years,
Him: cold, her: awkward.

Insecure female,
asshole male are among flaws.
But it was yummy.

Comments from the peanut gallery:
Yes, this was the book that I broke my challenge for. Was it worth it? Yeah. This was angsty, melodramatic, cheese at its best. Stepbrother and sister secretly in love with each other for years? He treats her like dirt because he feels guilty? She's still a virgin because she can't get him out of her head? Tawdry. Sign me up please! It wasn't without its flaws. The heroine's overriding character trait was being awkward and insecure, not the most attractive. The hero was a bit of a douche, and he was one of those mood swingy, "I won't, I won't, I won't, no, I will" types. But it was delicious, sexy and emotional and intensely readable. It gets a B- for keeping my interest and not making me roll my eyes too much. I devoured it. And for a yummy dessert I polished off an HP, which did come off of my list. Two books in one day! Review to come later.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Three down, seventeen to go...

The Power of Two by Patti O'Shea

A two haiku review--

Soldier and Tech Geek,
Bound together by implants,
Partners on missions.

They meet, sparks fly,
Love blooms in time of danger,
Strong start, weak finish.

Comments from the peanut gallery:

This book started off great. I liked the idea of the quandem: a female anchor and a male recep, each fitted with a set of neural implants through which they can pass intel and communicate while the recep is out in the field and the anchor in front of a bank of computers. The book sets up an interesting future world which is refreshingly lacking in incomprehensible future speak. I liked the heroine Cai, a super intelligent computer nerd who lacks social skills and confidence. She could be quite kick ass, but also knew when to defer to the expertise of her partner, Special Forces Captain Jacob Tucker. I liked Jake as well, although I thought he got over the fact that she was a human rather than a computer rather quickly. Even though these two begin the book with an established relationship of intimacy and trust, when they finally meet in person, the tension is delicious. I quite enjoyed the banter and head butting that ensued.

Unfortunately, the book kind of fell apart for me. I thought that they were going on some mission to capture a rebel leader named Banzai Maguire (Awesome name, btw. I'm changing the Destroyer's name to Banzai, because that's what she's shouting inside as she leaps off the couch wearing nothing but a pair of Fairy wings). I was intrigued by this Banzai, a woman who had come from 175 years in the past. Was she a rabble rouser? Did the country need to be reformed? Was the man with her brainwashed, as thought by the military? As it turns out, this was just an excuse to get Cai into the slimy villain's compound to save her parents, a much less compelling story, IMO. Banzai does get captured in the end, but there is nary a face to face encounter with her. As it turns out this was #4 in a series. I guess the series has to be read in order, because this one felt very disconnected to me. You don't want an info dump, but I had little idea of the greater canvas. And was it ever explained why anchors are always female, receps always male? This gets a C+. I enjoyed the characterization and relationship development, and despite the many questions I had (or perhaps because of them) I want to seek out others in the series.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Calling all authors!

"Just because it's free, don't mean it's no good", as my sister used to say. (A free book to anyone who knows the original source of that quote.)

Romantic Advances News from Sybil:

As you know we are in beta and while doing the design it made sense to put the ad space in now vs try and fit it in later. Since we are a new site and something of an untried idea it doesn’t seem right for us to open the site and charge for ads.

But we have received quite a few emails asking what to do to place ads (you guys rock!). So we brainstormed and came up with a plan. We will give the ad space away and how better to do that than a contest?

How do you enter this nifty contest you ask?

You send in your ad to The size needs to be 200 x 350. And we will pick three to ‘win’ the ad space. We will do this for the rest of June and most likely July. Depending on the response we may continue and give away a spot or two per month but you know, we are in beta and all things are subject to change.

The first batch is due by Friday June 15, 2007 @ midnight and will begin running by Monday June 18 and will run for the week. We will be judging based on appeal to the reader (that’s us).

I am sure I am forgetting all sorts of stuff I should tell you, so ask any questions you like!

Good Luck!

This is a great, free opportunity to promote your work! Remember also that if you are published with an RWA recognized publisher, you can submit your book's information to Romantic Advances for posting. While RA's primary focus is to be an information resource for romance readers, I think it is also an easy way for newer authors to get their stuff out there to those who don't comb blogs and epublisher websites. See here for more info.

two down, eighteen to go...

Double Trouble by Claire Cross

ETA: an actual review. Oops! I accidentally published.

Two sisters. One disaster.

First things first: I’m the bad twin. While my sister, Marcia, has the perfect family in the perfect suburb, I’ve been making my living as an Internet advice columnist and designing Web sites in my downtown loft. I always thought I had the right answer - and hair color - for any occasion. That is, until Marcia ran up loads of debt and ran out on her husband and kids, and I was left helping to pick up the pieces.

Her husband, James, is a lawyer who I hate on principle alone. But for a guy who’s just lost his job, his marriage, and his expensive toys, he’s keeping it together - and making me rethink my feelings toward him. It’s not that he’s traded in his conservative suits for sexy jeans. It’s that he’s not giving up what’s important to him, and oh baby, I’m a sucker for a guy who hangs tough.

That doesn’t mean I’m ready to step into Marcia’s designer shoes now that she’s gone AWOL. And it doesn’t mean I’m going to fall for James’s easy charm...not again, anyhow. Besides, I’ve had a lifelong policy of not being mistaken for my twin and I’m not backing down on that one now - no matter how convenient it might be for a certain sexy (and persuasive) man...

I'm not up to summarizing. DT was, for me, a book which had flaws, but worked very well in spite of it. Every problem or question I had was adequately explained or solved, and the few issues that remained didn't really matter, because it was such an involving and enjoyable read.

The basic premise of the free-spirited heroine and the uptight hero is one that I am always drawn to. It always seems like it could be exciting and sexy and a nice twist on the bad boy/good girl plot. Unfortunately, in romanceland, an independent or idiosyncratic woman is often characterized as self-centered, bitchy and judgmental. At first I thought that Maralys O'Reilly was going to be a heroine in this vein. The Boston computer programmer grated on me with her insistence on independence and her "unconventional" lifestyle, meaning she dyes her hair a lot. But as the book unfolds , the reader gets to know Maralys a lot better (it's from her p.o.v.). How she would like to see herself, and how she really is, are two different things. And they are also very different from how her family sees her. She ends up being very likable and sympathetic. She is someone who has had to build a hard shell around her because of events and treatment in her past, but underneath she is a very caring person. I was so pleased to see her get her HEA.

I was also concerned that the hero was actually her twin's husband. I thought it had some squick potential. James was a great hero though, and given what happens to him, i.e. the fact that his self-centered bitch of wife took off after practically bankrupting him, I got over it quickly. James is strong, kind, empathetic and intelligent. Totally dreamy, and the chemistry between James and Maralys was great. I would've liked to see some flashbacks or something, to better illustrate the dislike that was supposed to have existed between them over the years. But there was some great tension between them. It's clear from the start that Maralys' distaste for her brother-in-law is not what it seems. There is a surprising twist that really upped the emotional ante for me. I don't want to give it away, but it was painful and revealed a lot about the two of them, as well as the missing wife, Marcia.

The supporting cast of characters was interesting and sometimes surprising as well: Maralys' crochety Dad, James' not-annoying children, her group of girlfriends, even her twin sister. This book was about family and familial expections: how they shape a person, how they shape a person's self-image, and how hard it can be to subvert them. It takes awhile for things to develop (the characters, the backstory), which gave me a feeling of disjointedness at first. When the full picture became clear, that feeling went away. I found this to be a sweet and emotional read.

Hmmm...other things. I wasn't thrilled by some of the netspeak, which I found a bit forced and cutesy. This book was originally published in 2002, so at that point it may have been a bit different, but I found it unnecessary. The sex scenes were very brief, just barely getting through the bedroom door, which is bad or good depending on your preferences. I'm going to give this a B, and I'm keeping it. I recommend it for someone looking for a straight-up contemporary that is a bit different, and bit surprising, and more focused on emotion than sex.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Everybody Join Hands...

board the L.U.R.V.E. Train!

I won a copy of Demon Moon! Yay! Meljean Brook left a comment mentioning that no one had nominated their own sexiest vampire alive yet, and I thought to myself,"Self, who would be better equipped to come up with a vamp than you?" But who to pick? Kiefer Sutherland in "The Lost Boys"? Max Schreck in Nosferatu? Vishous? Spike? Edward from Twilight? Glenn Danzig? But then I thought to myself what vampire commonly starts young ladies down the road to romanticizing creatures of the night? And an idea was born. (Or rather ganked from my sister.)

Without futher ado--

lurve train animationDear People Magazine,

Meljean Brook wants us all to take a ride on the L.U.R.V.E. Train, and is nominating Colin Ames-Beaumont as the "Sexiest Man Alive (and Undead)" for 2007. Because Colin's picture can't be taken, she is submitting evidence in the form of her book, Demon Moon, and a long PDF excerpt.

But, come on! Everyone knows that Count Von Count is the sexiest vampire alive (or undead, anyway). He's great with kids, which is sexy. He's also good with numbers, which means he'd probably be good with money, and stay financially stable. And that accent! That laugh! Sends shivers down the spine. The Destroyer loves him, and she's a tough sell. He's got to be the most beloved vampire ever. Thus, I nominate for your consideration the Count Von Count for sexiest man alive (and undead), for his charm and his hard work teaching children numbers and making vampires lovable.

Living and Undead Readers for Vampire Equality

Join the L.U.R.V.E. Train - Because vampires are beautiful people, too.

(Want to join the L.U.R.V.E. Train? Nominate your own vampire, win books and Amazon gift certificates? Climb aboard here.)

Enter your own nomination! She's giving away lots of stuff!


Perhaps this wasn't the best month to do a reading challenge. Reading is coming in a distant last to the usual family, home and work duties, getting my house back in shape post-construction, attempting to help out with Romantic Advances, trying to make my very first website ever (for my husband's karate school), and doing the occasional update and blog hop. I've read one more book, Double Trouble by Claire Cross, which I quite enjoyed and will review soon.

However, I've been thinking about preposterous plotlines. The other day, I began a Harlequin Blaze, and I became completely stuck on the setting of the book, a supposedly upscale, sex themed hotel for rich dilettantes, with armoires of sex toys in the rooms, and an erotic lounge for indulging one's pervy tastes. Wh-what? You know what three words come to mind? Used sex toys. I am expected to believe that those with too much money and time on their hands would frequent some kind of sex-themed tourist attraction, and risk ending up on Page Six of the Post? Some sort of top secret, members-only sex club featuring all sorts of debauchery is one thing, but the Plaza with dildoes? I don't think so. I was pondering whether or not I'd be able to go through with it when I realized that it wasn't on my list, after all. So I brought it back to the library. Phew.

Friday, June 01, 2007

I can't resist....

Something as fun and loopy as this. From Meljean Brook's blog. I really want this book, already.

lurve train animationDear People Magazine,

Every November, you come out with your "Sexiest Man Alive" issue; every spring, you print your list of the "World's Most Beautiful People."

But in 2007 -- for the last two hundred years -- the sexiest man and the most beautiful person has been ... a vampire.

George? Pffft. Brad? Come on! Jude?

Why isn't it that Colin Ames-Beaumont hasn't graced your cover? Is it simply because his picture cannot be taken? (He's so beautiful a blank cover with just his name on it would make your readers drool.) Because he usually only comes out at night? (How is that different than Johnny Depp?) Because you think he hasn't bared his assets for a Hollywood camera?

Are you afraid of his tainted blood? You shouldn't be: one look will not send you to the Chaos realm, surrounded by flying dragons and the screams of the damned. Only Colin sees that realm when he looks into a mirror -- it will not trouble you. Is it the woman he's falling in love with? Geeks need love, too, People Magazine -- a fact you have long overlooked (but that is another campaign to be won.)

Is it the fear that if you met him in a dark alley, the words "Oh my God you're so beautiful!" would hardly be past your lips before he had you up against the wall for some hot sexing that you wouldn't remember the next day?

No; none of those things are true impediments to being called "the sexiest" or "the most beautiful". I think the problem is that you've been stuck on one pesky little word in the "Sexiest Man" title: Alive.

But there are those of us -- readers and authors, geeks and norms -- who know that Undead can be just as sexy as Living. And we've got hundreds of paranormal romances to prove it.

So I'm beginning my campaign to get a vampire on the cover of your magazine. To no longer be forced to stare longingly at men who can't read my mind. Men who can't use a sword. Men who can't wear satin-lined capes and look good doing it. I'm calling for all readers, living and undead, to fight for vampire equality.

And I'm nominating Colin Ames-Beaumont to the be first representative of the "Sexiest Man Alive (and Undead)" for 2007. What separates him from other vampire romance heroes, you wonder? He's strong, as they are. He sucks blood, as they do. He's got out-of-control sexual appeal, as they do. But there is one thing, People Magazine, that makes Colin stand out from the rest of the vampire heroes.

Colin ... is blond.

But do not take my word for it; judge for yourself. And because he is cursed, unable to see his reflection or to have any pictures taken, the only proof I can offer is in Demon Moon. The book cover cannot do him justice -- you must look inside. Want a peek? The first four chapters are here. Or you can buy it at Amazon (it is available June 5 in stores everywhere).


Meljean Brook

Living and Undead Readers for Vampire Equality

Join the L.U.R.V.E. Train - Because vampires are beautiful people, too.

(Want to join the L.U.R.V.E. Train? Nominate your own vampire, win books and Amazon gift certificates? Climb aboard here.)