Posts Tagged ‘humor’

Guest Post

Guest Post: Why THE LIST Author, Tawna Fenske, Should NOT Make List of Her Own

The List Tawna Fenske

Sometimes I think I should have been a doctor instead of a romantic comedy author. I mean, I have no aptitude for science, and needles make me woozy, but I could totally rock the bad handwriting.

Which I why I probably shouldn’t rely my own grocery lists, to-do lists, or other organizational tools that require handwritten words. Besides the abysmal penmanship, I have a tendency to get distracted or to use unclear phrasing in my lists. The results can be confusing. And comical. But mostly confusing.

Here are a few choice items that have appeared on my recent lists:

  • This word showed up on my grocery list, and I spent a good twenty minutes perusing the store looking for something resembling seemach. Turns out it was my chicken-scratch way of writing “spinach.”Semach
  • Buy ball, strap. It was for yoga, I swear. But I had a solid minute of trying to recall when I decided to get into hardcore bondage.Buy ball strap
  • Reply to sketchy lady. This was on my to-do list at the day job, where I work as the PR & Communications Manager for my local tourism bureau. I had a tough time narrowing down which sketchy lady I meant to remind myself to contact.Reply to sketchy lady
  • FAM planning. In the aforementioned PR world, a “FAM trip” is a familiarization tour designed to acquaint a group of journalists with a destination. Common enough lingo in the day job, but I was in author mode when I glanced at it. Immediately began pondering what sort of birth control/family planning plotline I meant to include in my manuscript.
  • Mom = Not a raccoon. This was on a list of plot ideas for a book I was working on a few months ago. I still have no idea what it meant.Mom not a raccoon

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Guest Post

Guest Post: “Top Five Romantic First Dates That Are Problematical” by Jess Anastasi

Diffraction Jess Anastasi

Ah romance. It’s that magical thing we live to experience. Relationships are made and broken over it, some people will do anything for it, and lives are changed by it. It’s why we read romance novels, right? We want to experience the blissfully rosy glow of finding new love and getting to know that special someone.

But life isn’t often a romance novel, which we all know well. So, think about it. Some of those scenes out of your favorite romantic book or movie, how would they have really gone down if they’d happened in real life? Well, luckily I’m here to burst your romantic bubble with a smack-down of reality.

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Guest Post

“5 Crazy Sexual Rendezvous Spots, Debunked” by Sarah Ballance

The Millionaire's Gamble Sarah Ballance

Have you ever heard rumors of ERMAGERD sex in unusual or oddly cliché places and wondered if it could POSSIBLY be that great? I mean, how do these people not end up in the emergency room? (Spoiler: I’m pretty sure some do, LOL.) In honor of Jagger’s and Kennedy’s near miss (or maybe not) with the Mile High Club in The Millionaire’s Gamble, here’s a look at some of the most popular places for “wild” sexual encounters…and why they actually suck.

  1. The Beach. Seriously, is anything more romantic than the surf tumbling around you, your sexual rhythm at one with the sun, surf, and tide? Maybe not in theory but OMG HAVE YOU ACTUALLY TRIED THIS? First, sand is abrasive, and abrasion is no way to kick off sex. Second, there’s almost zero chance you won’t drown. Anyone who has spent more than ten minutes by the ocean has probably noticed the amount of water that churns from crested surf is inconsistent at best. Sure, there will be a couple of waves that delightfully tickle the naughty bits, but then one will come along that will want you dead. A six-inch surge of water driven straight up your nostrils will suck if you’re on the bottom, but it’s not so great on top, either. Mainly because when you start laughing at your drowning partner, he or she will not be amused. (You can file that under Mood Killers.)

 

  1. First of all, the lavatories are notoriously disgusting. But let’s pretend you found a clean one without questionable wet spots on the floor or dubious streaks anywhere else. We still have two problems. One, no matter how clean it looks, it’s not. Two, you’re fornicating in the same canned air where countless people have taken care of business. Not exactly a venue for heavy breathing. And if you pull this encounter off elsewhere in the plane, remember it’s probably not much cleaner. That said, if you manage to rock it out in first class, carry on. *fist bump*

 

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Guest Post

Guest Post: “That One Time at Camp” by Jenny Holiday

His Heart’s Revenge Jenny Holiday

Ah, summer camp. The idea of summer camp appeals to me so much. A break from school and parents. Stargazing, canoeing, idolizing the counselors, sharing secrets by the campfire while you promise to be BEST FRIENDS FOREVER AND EVER AMEN with your crew.

So when I got a chance to write a book that included some flashbacks to summer camp (and some modern-day camping, too), I jumped at it.

The only problem was that, like many things I tend to get excited about, there’s fantasy and then there’s reality.

I only went to camp once. It was the Girl Scout variety. I think it was the summer between second and third grade. My friend Kim and I packed up our sleeping bags and bug repellant and headed for the north woods.

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Autumn Thorns Yasmine Galenorn
Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt: Scenes in SADDLE UP to Make You Laugh & Blush

Saddle Up Victoria Vane

We are so thrilled to have Victoria Vane on our blog! Today she’s sharing  one scene from Saddle Up that made her laugh and one that made her blush!


Saddle Up is an emotionally engaging story. I ran the whole gamut of emotions while writing it.  My hero and heroine are both sympathetic characters who are disillusioned with their dreams and now trying to find their place in the world.  While Keith is jaded, Miranda is still idealistic enough to want to make a difference in the world.  It is my hope that readers will find Saddle Up to be an emotionally engaging story. The ending is satisfying but also bittersweet and may even bring on a tear or two.

There are several scenes that will definitely inspire a good chuckle.  Here’s a favorite funny snippet between Miranda and her grandmother, Jo-Jo:


“When we’re finished here, we should also go and take a look at some used equipment. With winter coming on, we’re going to have to feed a lot of hay to those mustangs. I think we might need a bale splitter. I wish I hadn’t already sold ours, but I didn’t think I’d ever need one again. I’m hoping we might be able to rent one.”

“Shouldn’t we wait until we hire someone to help us?” Miranda asked.

“I suppose we could,” Jo-Jo agreed. “I’ve just become used to doing everything myself. To be honest, now that you’re doing my morning chores, I’m not even sure how to occupy my time.”

“That’s probably a good thing. You’ve worked hard for a lot of years. You should do something for yourself now, Jo-Jo. Something you enjoy.”

“You mean like reading, knitting, or needlework?” Jo-Jo rolled her eyes. “I’ve tried all of those things over the years, but never could sit still long enough to do any of them.”

“Then maybe you need to find something more active? How about a yoga class?”

“Yoga? Sweetheart, I’ve had no reason to put my legs around my neck since Bud passed on.”

“Jo-Jo!” Miranda squealed.

“Don’t look so scandalized.” Jo-Jo laughed. “I’ll have you know I’ve read the Kama Sutra cover to cover.” She added with a wink, “You gotta spice things up from time to time when you’re with the same man for fifty-some years.”

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Fitness Fridays

Fitness Fridays: The 5 Stages of the Triathlon

We’ve got a real treat this week. We’ve dug up Sally Kilpatrick’s very first triathlon, straight from the (really really clever) archives! Check out her site for more!


A few weeks ago, I completed my first triathlon. I wasn’t feeling as though I did a very good job until Ryan pointed out that about 10% of the entrants didn’t finish. So. Finishing is pretty awesome. The triathlon was far more grueling than the 2 half marathons I’ve done so far. This could be due to the extreme humidity. It could be that I didn’t get all the training in that I should have. It could be any number of things. It could be because it was a mother loving triathlon. Either way, forget about the stages of grief, here are the 5 stages of completing a triathlon. (Words have been changed for the good of people reading this article. I wish I could tell you my vocabulary the day of wasn’t as spicy, but….)

1. You start with the swim. No matter how much you practice, there’s something about that murky lake water that induces a certain kind of panic. So, my first thought was “Spoon! I hate this forking swim!” as I gasped my way through the first 500 meters using the…sidestroke. *Sigh*

my-opinion-is-i-hate-it[1]

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Guest Post

Guest Post: Love In an Elevator with Kerri Carpenter

Flirting With The Competition Kerri Carpenter

Thanks for having me here today! I’m so excited to announce that my contemporary novella, Flirting with the Competition, is on sale this week. In Flirting with the Competition, Whitney and Jordan get stuck in an elevator on their way to a really important job interview. Even worse, they are competing for the same dream job. Okay, I had to make things even worse than that…they hated each other before they stepped into the elevator.

Yikes!

So that got me thinking. If I had to be stuck in an elevator, who would I like to spend some time with? Well, there’s any of the Chris’s – Pine, Hemsworth, Evans, Pratt. You get the picture. But what about being stuck with someone famous who is no longer with us? Wouldn’t that make for an interesting story? Without further ado, here are the top five famous/dearly-departed people I’d like to be stuck with on an elevator.

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Steals & Deals

Deal Alert: Elise Sax, Susan Gabriel, and Donna Michaels

Is there ever enough on your TBR pile? At these prices, the more the merrier! Get these amazing titles from Elise Sax, Susan Gabriel, and Donna Michaels!


 

Switched by Elise Sax

Debra’s wedding day ended when the groom jilted her three hours before the ceremony, leaving her with a stiff catering bill and a broken heart. Now, he’s off to Bora Bora on a one-man honeymoon, and she’s on the couch in her wedding dress, watching Christmas movies and eating her way through the corner market. Inspired by her movie marathon, she decides to do a home exchange on a Spanish island to get over her ex. But Debra’s life is nothing like the movies, and her home exchange goes terribly wrong. Stranded, she draws the attention of a hunky café owner who might know more than he admits about the disappearances of some local women. If Debra’s not careful, she may be the next one to disappear.


Temple Secrets by Susan Gabriel

Every family has secrets, but the elite Temple family of Savannah has more than most. To maintain their influence, they’ve been documenting the indiscretions of other prestigious southern families, dating as far back as the Civil War. When someone begins leaking these tantalizing tidbits to the newspaper, the entire city of Savannah, Georgia is rocking with secrets.

The current keeper of the secrets and matriarch of the Temple clan is Iris, a woman of unpredictable gastrointestinal illnesses and an extra streak of meanness that even the ghosts in the Temple mansion avoid. When Iris unexpectedly dies, the consequences are far flung and significant, not only to her family–who get in line to inherit the historic family mansion–but to Savannah itself.

At the heart of the story is Old Sally, an expert in Gullah folk magic, who some suspect cast a voodoo curse on Iris. At 100 years of age, Old Sally keeps a wise eye over the whole boisterous business of secrets and the settling of Iris’s estate.

In the Temple family, nothing is as it seems, and everyone has a secret.


Her Fated Cowboy by Donna Michaels

L.A. cop, Jordan Masters Ryan has a problem. Her normal method of meeting a crisis head-on and taking it down won’t work. Not this time. Not when fate is her adversary. Having kept her from the man she thought she’d always marry, the same fickle fate took away the man she eventually did. Thrown back into the path of her first love, she finds hers is not the only heart fate has damaged.

Widower and software CEO, Cole McCall fills his days with computer codes and his free time working the family’s cattle ranch. Blaming himself for his wife’s death, he’s become hard and bitter. When his visiting former neighbor sets out to delete the firewall around his heart, he discovers there’s no protection against the Jordan virus. Though she understands his pain and reawakens his soul, will it be enough for Cole to overcome his past and embrace their fated hearts?

Guest Post

Guest Post: Kasia Bacon’s Dirty Dozen of 2015

Kasia Bacon's DD

I believe there is nothing wrong with occasionally making yourself the centre of the universe (#narcissist). So because I can, I decided to disregard publication dates on this occasion and make my literary Dirty Dozen – or my top twelve M/M books, about the most memorable novels I have read in 2015. Therefore, my finalists are not necessarily recent releases, or even ones published within the last 12 months. For reasons known precisely to no one, I missed some gems released in previous years, and clearly have been playing the catch-up game. So there you have it, in no particular order, a peculiar mix of new, and slightly older – twelve separate and varied categories, twelve superb books. All captivating reads, very much on point and highly recommended, even if I say so myself (#narcissist).


Scrap Metal by Harper FoxHARPER FOX, Scrap Metal

This book goes under my BEST BRITISH CONTEMPORARY NOVEL category. The most striking thing about it is the exquisite style of writing– elegant and refined, but intense all the same. Few authors in the M/M genre share this unique ability to dress their thoughts in the language so lyrical and poetic, yet crisp and clear.

Vividly emotional and angsty, this story is touchingly romantic. It features one of my most beloved secondary characters – the curmudgeonly, tough as nails, Gaelic speaking old devil, hiding a huge heart underneath his surly exterior. A subtle pinch of the supernatural adds flavour into the mix. A crime to miss it.

Harper Fox quote

 

 

 

 

 

 


In The Absense of Light Adrienne WilderADRIENNE WILDER, In the Absence of Light

Here goes my BEST AMERICAN CONTEMPORARY NOVEL award. This book is unusual, kooky and completely delightful. I loved every page of this fluidly written emotional journey. I found the setting of a small sleepy town utterly charming. The characters are bold, quirky and powerful; the relationship building tugged at my heart. The plot is intriguing, a little on the thriller side at times, and the humour – dry. Overall, it’s an uplifting, charming story with a lot of beauty and some shadows along the way, a tad of angst, finally concluded with a satisfying HEA.

Adrienne Wilder quote

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sutphin Boulevard Santino HassellSANTINO HASSELL, Sutphin Boulevard

This is, unquestionably, my HOTTEST BOOK OF THE YEAR. Steamy, passionate and damn sexy, it features some top-notch erotica. For me, its attractiveness also originates from the fact, that this novel peruses edgier, darker avenues, marred with difficult, real topics with some raw authenticity about them. The characters, despite messing up badly and being greatly flawed and damaged, exude seriously irresistible charm and possess ridiculously high likeability factor – and the dynamics between them, Lord Almighty! In addition, it’s a bromance. And the sex is scorching. Just making sure I’ve made my point about the fiery sex crystal clear.

Santino Hassell quote

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Nightingale Aleksandr VoinovALEKSANDR VOINOV, Nightingale 

This book wins my BEST HISTORICAL QUEER NOVEL award easily. I’m a massive fan of the World War II time period in fiction. The historical detail is executed just right – there’s enough of it to create the ambiance, but not enough to overwhelm. What I most loved about this book, is its atmospheric feel – the fear, the anxiety, and anticipation of something dreadful about to happen any time soon, the suspenseful vibe keeping me on the edge. The emotions are flying high – it’s not really a romance, although there’s a love story there. The writing is brilliant – articulate and well-turned. To my mind, Aleksandr is pretty much a unique phenomenon within the M/M fiction; I’m convinced there isn’t a subgenre he couldn’t proficiently do.

Aleksandr Voinov quote

 

 

 

 

 

 


In the Middle of Somewhere Roan ParrishROAN PARRISH, In the Middle of Somewhere

This novel takes podium as the BEST DEBUT of the year. Although it contains a relatively angst free, sweet, and heart-warming story, it doesn’t come across as corny or overly saccharine. There are many interesting cinematic and culinary references within. The style is innovative and the language – imaginative with a fair portion of humour woven in between. And what an engaging pair of main characters! It is a book about a character’s growth and it’s just as endearing, as it is amusing.

Every household should come equipped with Rex.

Roan Parrish quote

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Restless SpiritsJORDAN L. HAWK, Restless Spirits

This marvellous combination of a sexy historical romance and spooky supernatural tale tops my BEST URBAN FANTASY category. One could call it the Ghostbusters of the 1800s. I enjoyed the original concept and well developed plot. The world building thrills with its creativeness, the cast of characters is diverse, the writing witty and the editing – thorough.  This is an excellent introduction to the new paranormal series – eerie and creepy just enough, with a touch of heat.

Restless Spirits Quote

 

 

 

 

 

 


Charmed and Dangerous ASTRID AMARA, K.J. CHARLES, CHARLIE COCHET, RHYS FORD, GINN HALE, LOU HARPER, JORDAN L HAWK, NICOLE KIMBERLING, JORDAN CASTILLO PRICE, ANDREA SPEEDASTRID AMARA, K.J. CHARLES, CHARLIE COCHET, RHYS FORD, GINN HALE, LOU HARPER, JORDAN L HAWK, NICOLE KIMBERLING, JORDAN CASTILLO PRICE, ANDREA SPEED, Charmed & Dangerous

I’ve read tonnes of anthologies this year. This collection claims the BEST ANTHOLOGY title with no qualms whatsoever. Those ten highly entertaining stories about miscellaneous sympathetic monsters and magical abilities, written by a solid crew of my favourite M/M paranormal romance and urban fantasy authors, are an obligatory read for the fanciers of this subgenre. This anthology is as varied content and style wise, as it is homogeneous regarding the quality of writing, which is, frankly, outstanding. I guarantee that fun times will be had by all.

 


 All She Wrote Josh LanyonJOSH LANYON, All She Wrote (Holmes & Moriarity #2)

My Dirty Dozen would feel all wrong without a Lanyon in it. This novel gets the BEST MYSTERY title hands down. I loved the vintage whodunit feel about it, complete with the classic secluded manor setting and amateur sleuthing. My favourite trope – the lovers reunited theme – makes an appearance, giving this novel a surprisingly romantic vibe. The writing is precise and eloquent, as ever. Josh generously displays her trademark humour – the dry, ironic, and witty type, characterised by its deadpan and sarcastic delivery. A superb and refined read.

Josh Lanyon Quote

 

 

 

 

 

 


Ginn Hale quoteGINN HALE, Swift and the Black Dog

I’ve read a staggering amount of short stories this year, possibly more than over the previous three years combined. Many of them were simply fabulous, so the competition within this category was fierce, indeed. Ginn’s is, undoubtedly, the BEST SHORT STORY I’ve read not only this year, but in a long time. It features somewhat darker, dystopian undertones and an endearing romantic element. Fascinating characters, exquisite world building, smooth composition, compelling story telling – it bears the Ginn quality stamp all over it. This story practically screams for a follow-up or a prequel (seriously, I’ll take either or both, I’m not fussy in this case).


Shattered Glass Dani AlexanderDANI ALEXANDER, Shattered Glass
This book contains the BEST HUMOUR I’ve encountered in the M/M romances in 2015. Its hysterically funny lines had me in stiches, roaring with laughter like a loon several times, what resulted in receiving funny looks from alarmed co-commuters, while travelling on public transport. The story is fast-paced and presented in the most brilliantly executed first person narrative I’ve come across in ages. The whole thing is just one effortless, smooth and hilarious ride.  I’m virtually getting RSI in my finger, hovering over the one-click button, in a nervous anticipation of book two.

Dani Alexander quote

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Damages Incurred J. R. GrayJ.R. GRAY, Damages Incurred (Bound #4)

I’ve read a heap of BDSM books this year, as it is my favourite subgenre. Sadly, I remained unimpressed by it to a large extend, due to its repetitiveness and playing to the stereotypes. This book decisively stands out for me, so awarding it the BEST BDSM ROMANCE title, truly is a no brainer. There’s nothing trite about it; it’s written with verve, the plot is gripping and the action quick moving. Having a range of well-developed characters – imperfect and broken, just as I like them – to follow increased the book’s attractiveness.  Not to mention that the sex is, fittingly, ass-whippingly good.

J.R. Gray quote

 

 

 

 

 

 


Channeling Morpheus Jordan Castillo PriceJORDAN CASTILLO PRICE, Channeling Morpheus for Bloody Mary

This choice, for once, was a piece of cake to make. I award this book the BEST AUDIOBOOK prize without even breaking a sweat. It is a complete masterpiece and has class coming out of its ears. The highly sensual combo of JCP’s writing & the velvety, sexy ooze of Gomez Pugh’s low voice should be made illegal. Whenever they come together, the magic happens and my insides quiver perilously. There’s nothing better than having your favourite, madly talented narrator reading one of your most beloved books, which features a character you have a ginormous crush on (#TeamWildBill4Eva).

Jodan Castillo Price quote

 

 

 

 

 

 


Stygian Santino HassellSANTINO HASSELL, Stygian

Cheekily rounding my collection up to a baker’s dozen, I’ve added the thirteenth book, which is my BEST PARANORMAL NOVEL of the year. This dark, suspenseful, eerie Southern Gothic fiction, featuring vampires, musicians, and complicated romance, hits just the right balance between creepy and hot. The storytelling carries inarguable cinematic quality and aesthetics about it and the character creation kicks major ass.

Santino Hassell quote 2

 

 

 

 

 

 


The M/M genre has experienced its fair share of difficulties this year, scandals and dramas included. Regardless of its assorted struggles and hiccups, I feel the genre has grown, in terms of both popularity and diversity, which is a promising factor for its future. As for literary value, 2015 was a very fruitful year, indeed. I’ve accumulated a sizable (or, well, unrealistic) to-be-read pile for the next year and discovered many exciting new authors. I need to mention at least one – J.C. Lillis, whose poignant and masterfully written short story entitled Memory Hills stunned me with its originality and left me teary-eyed. Choosing a dozen novels out of almost three hundred I’ve read in 2015 was an agonising and exhausting exercise. Frankly, I’m relieved I don’t need to repeat it for another twelve months.


Kasia BaconA bilingual Londoner Kasia Bacon is a literary/medical translator and a proofreader. An avid reader, reviewer and book blogger, she’s currently working on her debut M/M fantasy novel, filled with the shenanigans of assassins and sexy elves. She has a mild coffee and lemon tart addiction, coupled with a slight obsession of all things paranormal. She is a lover of MMA, nature and the great outdoors. She can be found on her website, Twitter, or on Goodreads.

Steals & Deals

Deal Alert: A Double Deal Special For Julie Ann Walker and Shelly Laurenston!

The second Deal Alert today is double deal with titles by Julie Ann Walker and Shelley Laurenston! Get these deals before they’re gone!


Too Hard to Handle by Julie Ann Walker

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julie Ann Walker continues her red-hot Black Knights Inc. series in rough-and-tumble Peru

“The Man” is back
Dan “The Man” Currington is back in fighting form with a mission that takes him four thousand miles south of BKI headquarters, high in the Andes Mountains of Peru. He’s hot on the trail of a rogue CIA agent selling classified government secrets to the highest bidder, when Penni DePaul arrives on the scene. Suddenly the stakes are higher, and keeping Penni safe becomes Dan’s number one priority.

And this time she’s ready
A lot has changed since former Secret Service Agent Penni DePaul last saw Dan. Now a civilian, she’s excited about what the future might hold. But before she can grab onto that future with both hands, she has to tie up some loose ends-namely, Dan Currington, the man she just can’t forget. And a secret that’s going to change both their lives-if they can stay alive, that is.


The Mane Event by Shelly Laurenston

Mace Llewellyn. Brendon Shaw. Two tall, gorgeous, sexy alpha heroes who are 100% male—with a little something extra. Lion-shifters, to be exact, who can unleash every woman’s animal side and still look good—make that spectacular—in a suit. . .and even better out of it. . .

NYPD cop Desiree “Dez” MacDermot knows she’s changed a lot since she palled around with her childhood buddy, Mace. But it’s fair to say that Mace has changed even more. It isn’t just those too-sexy gold eyes, or the six-four, built-like-a-Navy Seal body. It’s something in the way he sniffs her neck and purrs, making her entire body tingle. . . Meanwhile, for Tennessean Ronnie Lee Reed, New York City is the place where any girl—even one who runs with a Pack—can redefine herself. First order of business: find a mate, settle down, and stop using men for sex. Even big, gorgeous, lion shifter men like Brendon Shaw. But she needn’t worry, because now that Brendon’s set his sights on her, the predator in him is ready to pounce and never let go…