Saturday, October 31, 2009

A totally non-spoilery discussion of the end of Demon Forged and the start of Rosemary and Rue.

I love when authors have big, surprisingly major, even earth-shattering things happen in their books, and when they do daring things to their characters.

I guess this post is partly about a feeling - that sort of "oooh" you get with big unexpected drama like that. As a reader, I just really so appreciate it. Do you know what I'm talking about?

Like, you're alone with this book, in this private world the book has created, and something big happens in that world, and it's just a kick. Even if you're with somebody at the time you get that oooh moment, it doesn't work to try and discuss it with them, unless they've read the book - pretty unlikely around here. So it's just this fun oooh between you and the book.

I just finished Demon Forged by Meljean Brook, and there's a lot of swashbuckling bigness I loved there, and I had that feeling a lot. I won't spoil the ending, but wow, there is a great deal at stake for us hapless humans what with the xxxxxx being xxxxxxxxx by xxxxx and then Irena has to xxxxx xx and stick xxx xxxx right xxxx xxx xxxxx!!!

What's more, ever since Meljean invented that wonderful xxx xxxxx in xxxxx, back in Demon Moon, I think it was, I wondered if she'd ever xxx a character xx xxxxx, but I never expected her to xxx xxxxxxxx xx xxxxx!!! I was shocked, but I loved it, and it provided such a strong xxxxxx xxxxx, too: xxxxxxx xx xxx xxxxxx! Outrageous!

I thought, nooooo! Meljean! Yet, oh, yes. That was so very dramatic. Whew! Where are my cigarettes? Oh, wait, I don't smoke.

Then I went on to crack Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire and a big thing happened in the front that was fun and startling and terrible all at once.

As it was happening, I was thinking, No way! This bad guy knows xxx xx xxxxx, and he just casually xxxxx her xxxx a xxxx! I mean, a xxxx?

And I read on, and yes, Wow, the heroine xxx a xxxx for xx xxxxx? I mean, for xx XXXXX? I loved it. I was so impressed. As you can see, I've only just started this book, but I'm richly enjoying it.

Is this helpful or coherent? I guess my point is, with both these books, some fine oooh moments.

More on Rosemary and Rue here; Read about Demon Forged and all the Guardian books here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Book Trailer Tuesday 3! The hippest one yet.

Hey! Okay, this is a trailer, or more a trailer tie-in that I stumbled across at Sci Fi Guy.

What I think is really neat is that it makes a kind of hip event out of the cover. And I think it adds a certain cache to the book, like it's cool and inventive by association. I love also, that an outside artist got involved and cross-promoted.

It's also very "now" in a way. Or at least to me, it is. Especially in that it reminds me of this other cool video that a friend recently sent me. Has everybody seen this thing? If not:

Okay, my trailer Tuesday buddy Anastasia at Bird Brain(ed) blog has a trailer with Jon Stewart in it! Go see! Anybody else participating in Trailer Tuesday yet???

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sprout update:

Okay, since I have an older Mac, the numbers countdown sprout was slowing things down, so Lea, in all her kindness, made a more static sprout. So, now there are two!!! Here is the other:

Thanks Lea! I'm glad you're not TOTALLY sick of me and my clunky mac now.

My new Sprout!!! & a winner

Okay, check this out!!! My own sprout! Lea of Closetwriter made it, and I'm so psyched. I like the space-age numbers, and the simplicity of it. Yummy. I just like looking at it.

Check it out: 148 days! That doesn't sound like a lot at all. Right now the info button leads only to a placeholder for my website that I am making and that hopefully will be amazing. But at this point I'll settle for live.

I'm going to stick this on my sidebar tomorrow, but today I wanted to show it in its own post and thank Lea!! You rock the sprouts, Lea!

Demon Forged WINNER!! picked #4 as the winner, which means KATI won! Kati, do you have this book yet? If not, you do now!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Reading personality quiz: Are you a Cinderella or a Little Red Riding Hood?

What is your reading personality? For each question, choose A or B.

You come upon a wolf in a bed. Your typical reaction:
A. Well well well...what have we here?

. Get out of here, you freak!!!!

Long road through town . . . or shortcut through the scary forest?
A. Oh, please. The forest. It'll be fine. And if I get into trouble I'll smash somebody over the head with my basket. The road through town is for sissies.

. Let me think: walking through a dark, scary, lonely forest or a riding in a fine carriage through town. Hold on, let me get back to you on that.*g*

What sounds more romantic?
A. Hero risks his life to save you and a beloved family member in a bloody and violent scene.

Hero recognizes your true fabulousness and must have you and only you, and this dictates his actions forevermore.

Fashion for an evening out:
A. You go for practicality over style. That said, you want to stand out in a crowd.

Evening out? Style all the way. There's nothing magical about practicality.

Evening out shoe choices:
A. Boots or flats. You prefer shoes you can walk and run in.

B. High heels. Because, hello, why do you think fairy godmothers make coaches with handsome coachmen?

Your problems:
A. They usually come from your not following directions or sticking to a schedule...but sometimes you need to stop and talk to interesting people and pick flowers!

. You can usually trace them back to those around you letting you down or being mean or just dense. People, can we try and be decent human beings and all just love each other and get along here?

Most important traits in a hero:
A. Hot, brave and kicks ass. Fun to have adventures with. Good at getting me out of trouble when necessary.

. Handsome, wise, strong and rich. Super devoted. Will worship me to the end of time.

Your idea of an excellent romantic gift is:
A. The blood-soaked decapitated head of your mortal enemy. Score!

The most beautiful ring in the world and, oh yeah, a kingdom to help rule over!

If you picked more A's: You're a Little Red Riding Hood. You like your HEAs, sure, but it's okay if it's a blood-soaked ending, or if you have to wait for it. Good reading choices: Anne Stuart, Ann Aguirre, ilona Andrews, Laurel K. Hamilton, Kelley Armstrong, Linnea Sinclair,

If you picked more B's: Surprise! You have a Cinderella reading personality. You love traditonal HEAs, magic and moonlight and crazy-in-love heroes, even epilogues with kids. Authors for you: Lisa Kleypas, Lisa Hendrix, J.R. Ward, Julia Quinn

If you went more half and half: You want it all! Drama, conflict, crazy devotion, HEA, heroines who can take care of themselves...extra points for a cool outfit. Authors: Kresley Cole, Meljean Brook, Richelle Mead, Joanne Bourne, some Loretta Chase,

Suggestions welcome! Okay, this post got away from me, and it was harder than I thought it would be to put books in these categories. What books would you put where? I might still shuffle them around.

Special bulletin to Little Red Riding Hoods: Jessica at Racy Romance Reviews is holding an open thread discussion tomorrow night, Sunday, on Anne Stuart's Black Ice! It starts at 7 pm EST.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Demon Forged: three aspects I'm loving + contest

Let me just say first: thanks to everybody who is not spoiling Demon Forged for me! I'm midway through right now, so thrilled with it, and so glad I don't know what will happen.
"Summarizing the plot of Demon Forged beyond this point would require the revelation of spoilers essential to the story, spoilers that reveal the revolutionary nature of this book and its role in the Guardian series..."

"This is the only book I read this year where my mouth dropped in shock and my hands were shaking over the ending. Demon Forged is my number one book for 2009."
And thanks to all others. I am so psyched to not know! This will not be a post on that, since I'm only midway through, but rather three aspects of the book that I am really loving.

Aspect #1 that I'm loving: Intricately drawn characters - so damn satisfying!
There's the bit on page 13 where I first felt like I really grocked the characters. It's right after Irena and Alejandro have an argument. Irena accuses him of splitting hairs. He accuses her of clumping them all together too much. And Irena muses that this is "the difference between them: details. She refused to focus on them."

This is so satisfying to me as a reader. Detail orientation is such a small, mundane thing. It's the sort of thing HR people write on job descriptions in the classifieds, but I it's one of the many aspects of these characters that shine through everywhere and make you feel like you know them.

This nuance affects the way these characters interact with people, the way they approach their jobs. It affects clothes, and the way Irena doesn't make distinctions between good and bad demons. (They're all demons.) It's a kind of inflexibility, but also a kind of integrity.

Then, later on this page:

Irena preferred rough edges, even though they scraped and tore. But Alejandro, he was all sleek speed and elegance, from his words to his body. The leopard to her bear, the fox to her wolverine. Solitary predators who avoided one another, respecting too well the teeth and claws of the other--and when they couldn't keep apart, they ripped pieces from one another in passing.
There are places in the book where Alejandro is likened to a knife, Irena is a blunt weapon. Even her name for him: Olek, is a blunt version of the smooth Alejandro. All this stuff just holds throughout the book, but it also intensifies. Like this midbook passage below:
Dear God, how she amazed him. Irena could be so stubborn and so unwilling to see any view but her own narrow and unyielding one. And yet she was also this. Able to see the nuances of a person's soul--to know how someone thought, how they would react. Able to anticipate conflicts, and maneuver around them.

Always as blunt as a sledgehammer, but never as dull. Little wonder that she fascinated him.
Is anybody else noticing this? I can't get enough of this character stuff.

Aspect #2 Varying music of the language
Another aspect I'm vastly enjoying here is how, when the passages switch between character points of view, the language differs in a way that also deepens the characters, makes them more vivid.

For example, the passage above that begins with "Irena preferred rough edges" is in Irena's head, and the cadence of it is totally different than the passage that begins with "Dear God, how she amazed him," which is in Alejandro's head.

Irena's "voice" has smaller, blunter words, with less abstract and more concrete concepts--she talks about bears and foxes, he talks about nuances and maneuvers. There is also a difference in the arrangement of the words; Irena has speech tics like that bit: "But Alejandro, he was..." whereas Alejandro would say "But Alejandro was..." And Brook is so consistent with that! You don't have to specifically notice it as a reader for it to enrich your overall experience. But it sure is enriching.

Aspect #3: Hugeness of passion and panorama
The thing about these two is that they have known each other for centuries, and have a complicated history where their potentially great love was all but destroyed by a demon. And they've stayed away from each other, but now they're thrown together. Irena comes to Alejandro's home for the first time ever and:

He wanted to show his home to her, to watch her face as she looked at each room. He would tear it down and start over if he sensed even a hint of displeasure.
I just like the dramatic nature of that. It's a small thing, but it goes to all the drama here. He's been building and perfecting the place forever but he would tear it down for her! Their failed yet fiery and blood-soaked love spans centuries! Prophecies and the fate of the world swirl around them!

And, I am SO SO curious what happens next.

CONTEST: Okay, I happen to have an extra copy of this fine book. How do you win it? Tell me in the comments what kind of animal you might be likened to if you were in a novel. You have until Monday morning, 10 a.m. CST. And I will also throw in a See's chocolate sucker!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Trail of two trailers for Book Trailer Tuesday!

It's really been interesting casting around and paying attention to trailers. And it sort of makes me think about what makes a good book trailer. And the answer there isn't so simple, because it depends on what you think a trailer should do. Should a trailer:

A. Raise awareness of the title and the book's existence.
B. Spark people's curiosity enough for them to pay attention to reviews and other info.
C. Show viewers fun stuff about the plot or characters.
D. Give viewers a cool experiential hit of the book.
E. Get viewers to want to read/buy the book.
F. Build positive awareness/the brand of the author, and the books on a secondary level.

Obviously any one trailer may be doing several of these things. I doubt a trailer can singlehandedly do (E), though a (C) or (D) trailer plus a good review is a powerful combo for me.

This PsyCop trailer is a perfect example of (D), a cool experiential hit. Like, a lot of trailers are just the blurbs set to music and visuals, but this one utilizes visuals to try and express what it's like to be a pscyhic. Or at least I think that's what it's doing.

I like the simplicity. I come away without any idea of the plot or characters, but it gives me the heart of the book, or what I hope would be.

Yesterday, Smart Bitches did a great post about Maggie Steifvater's book trailer, below. I'm not going to discuss this at length, because they did an excellent job of it.

A few notes, though: It's interesting how the Steifvater trailer barely talks about specific books; it's more her relating to her audience in a fun, playful way. It's a perfect example of (F) author brand building. If you look at the comments on that Smart Bitches post, it seems quite effective. There's a lot I enjoy about this trailer. The guitar music, the personality of the notecards, the illustrations.

Questions I'm pondering: I haven't read any of her books. Are her books humorous? What if they're not, does this trailer set somebody up to expect a humorous book? Or is it more like meeting Maggie at a party and liking her because she's playful and funny, but you don't automatically expect the books she writes to be that way?

Other book trailer Tuesday participants: BirdBrained! (anybody else??)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Kathleen Winsor Tribute - My top 16!

Inspired by Maili, Jessica has started an initiative to pay tribute to the pioneering, visionary author, Kathleen Winsor, who wrote Forever Amber, a 1944 trailblazer for some of the best books ever!!

From the obit:
Combing the text [Forever Amber], the Massachusetts attorney-general found 70 references to sexual intercourse, 39 illegitimate pregnancies, seven abortions, 10 scenes in which women undressed in front of men who were not their husbands, and nearly 50 "miscellaneous objectionable passages" - and announced that the book would be banned (an action overturned on appeal). Other states joined in the condemnation, and the critics, joyless and hostile, were led by Orville Prescott, who denounced the novel as "a crude and superficial glorification of a courtesan"
Sounds like a keeper! So, in honor of Winsor, people are doing top 16 lists. Here's mine, more of an of-the-moment list. I'm sure as soon as I post, I'll remember nine others that should be on here.
  1. The Spymaster's Lady by Joanne Bourne - Just enrapturing. If that's a word.
  2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon - Took over my MIND. In a good way.
  3. Bitten by Kelley Armstrong - It's such a perfect UF/Paranormal/romance blend with a krazy hot scene or two.
  4. Dark Desires after Dusk by Kresley Cole - Yummy fabulous perfection!
  5. Deeper by Megan Hart - This is such a strong, lovely, bittersweet romance. The more I think about it in retrospect, the more I love it.
  6. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase - So many scenes from this will never leave me.
  7. Demon Night by Meljean Brook - So into these characters, this relationship, this hotness! Demon Moon, too - oh, oh!
  8. Kushiel's Dart - Epic amazingness that took my breath away.
  9. Bound by Your Touch by Meredith Duran - Gorgeous, complex, fabulous.
  10. Practice Makes Perfect by Julie James - Fun, romance, and an exuberantly satisfying end.
  11. Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn - so wonderfully gothic and entrancing!
  12. Emma by Jane Austen - I know, everybody else is P&P, but I'm an Emma gal
  13. Kiss of a Demon King by Kresley Cole - Okay, can we just say the whole Immortals series?
  14. Games of Command by Linnea Sinclair - Loving the part-cyborg hero!!
  15. Dark Lover by JR Ward - I had to put this on. Some very key scenes that I SO loved.
  16. Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas - So fabu.
And here are even more lists - collected at Jessica's!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

chachbag time and scary song days

Sorry, this has been the week of random posts that have little to do with books! next week I promise to be way more booky.

In the meantime, two items:

1. Apparently, Chachi (Scott Baio) is not the nice feller he pretended to be on Happy Days--he threatened to sue a romance novelist for unfollowing him on Twitter due to crass remarks he made about President Obama.

Hey, I don't care how you lean politically--you should be able to unfollow somebody on Twitter for whatever reason you please without being threatened by a meanybuttons ex-child star. And don't romance authors already get enough flak?

So, our pals at Dear Author have made a new word:

1. an individual who has little-to-no sense of humor and perceives threats to his reputation at every social media corner.

See the rest of the definition for Chachbag here. The more people who link to it and click on it, just as I have here, helps to push it upwards on Google, and help make it the real term that it should be. Because, there isn't a word like that for a social media bully. Why not Chachbag? Read about the campaign here.

And also, you don't have to make a whole post on it here like I have. You can use the word in any other post, and link to their definition, and that works too.

Scary song days at Desert Island Keepers.
More scary songs will be appearing from all corners for the next couple days at the island. That is, unless nobody else wants to play the game I started. Go see!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

TMI Halloween post

Blogging offsite on Desert Island Keepers!

In a post that is possibly more pathetic than funny, I reveal something that haunted me horribly as a child.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Book Trailer Tuesday!

Hey, did you think I forgot Book Trailer Tuesday? Of course not.

Here it is, my trailer pick of the week, for Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book.

I love this deceptively simple trailer. The narration is light and friendly, but ever so slightly foreboding. The art is lovely and unusual, but most of all, I love the depth of it.

Note how the camera seems to move deeper. In a way, it feels like it invites the viewer into the experience of the book itself. It makes the book sound interesting, like there are things to discover and explore. Of course, I already thought that--I do really really want to read this book!!

Go to Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog for more links to Book Trailer Tuesday.

Monday, October 12, 2009

One fun news item, and one creepy one

The fun item: Our own damn blogger outing - with a picture!
As some of you may know, Chris from Stumbling Over Chaos lives on my same street, just SEVEN blocks away.
Well, we got together on Saturday for an outing, and it was super fun. She picked me up in her car and we had a brief discussion about how some people think it's creepy to meet people online and do stuff with them. Not us!

First stop: Uncle Hugo's Science Fiction bookstore. I will admit, being the online whore I am, I never go to Uncle Hugo's, but that is totally going to change. Chris, you have opened my eyes to my evil ways!

Chris was also a very sinister influence on my TBR pile. Books bought:
  • Unshapely Things by Mark del Franco (Chris' recommendation!)
  • On the Edge by Ilona Andrews (I went in wanting that one.)
  • Tanya Huff, Blood Price (Chris: It's really good!!)
  • Nightlife by Rob Thurman (Chris: You haven't read this series yet?)
  • Finders Keepers by Linnea Sinclair (I totally wanted to read this one)
  • Sins & Shadow by Lyn Benedict (Carolyn: Why haven't I heard of this series? Chris: something something something implying everybody who's cool knows about it.)
  • Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire (on my TBB)
Then we went out for soup after and talked and laughed and suddenly it was like two hours later. Chris is super funny and clever, and she reads faster than the dickens and carries more electronic equipment around with her than any girl I have ever met.

The creepy news item:
In honor of Halloween: a creepy writerly observation posted HERE!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Noooooo! I'm not ready!


Well, it's actually kind of pretty isn't it?. And hello fireplace season!

Luckily, I have some fabulous books going to keep me warm. And look how lovely the covers are.

I am dying at how good Bound by Your Touch is! Every page is so rich. Will post on it soon.

Just digging into the first pages. Already, the characters are awesome!

Next on deck. Can't wait to read this one!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The new meme I found: book trailers!

So last Tuesday, I stumbled on a new-to-me blog, Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog, run by a woman named Anastasia. She has this meme she came up with, Book Trailer Tuesday, which involves--you guessed it!--posting cool book trailers on Tuesdays. The past Tuesday she had the trailer for A Madness of Angels.

I decided I want to play, too. Because of course, who can't use another blog-bligation? Me, apparently. I emailed her to ask a few stupid questions and it turns out I'm the first person to jump on her meme bandwagon.

Okay, check out the button. And the description, cobbed from Birdbrained:
Book Trailer Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by me, Anastasia. It’s very simple to play along: find a particularly awesome book trailer, embed it in a post, then proceed to coo all over it. Or, y’know, talk about whatever you want to talk about. Why did this book trailer catch your eye? Why do you want to share it with people? Did it make you want to read the book? Why was it effective (or not)?
So I am going to start looking for my book trailer. Soon.

Alert for YA fans:
Jeri Smith-Ready is having kind of a big event this month at her blog: BLOG-TOBERFEST. It's a month-long mega-extravaganza for YA fans with daily interviews and giveaways of signed books, and a grand prize of one of each of the books. That's tons of books!

Update on True Blood:
Well, Mr. Crane and I watched the second episode, and we both enjoyed it more than the first. Mr. Crane particularly enjoyed the scene where Bill killed the Ratrays, those blood drainers. He complained bitterly, however, about the romance scene. I found I enjoyed Sookie and Tara more, and again had trouble zipping my lips about Sam being the dog.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Question of the day: what is the deal with True Blood?

Okay, I'm a day late and a dollar short. Literally. Or make that a year late, because our only TV is Netflix, which means we get TV shows a year later than everyone else unless I make my mom record them for me. We just finished the second season of Mad Men, we're about to watch last year's season of Dexter, and last night we started True Blood.

I guess my question, having just watched episode #1, is this: How do people like it? Does it evolve and improve? I'm sure it must when Eric comes on. But I bet he doesn't have that much screen time. Or does he?

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the Sookie series, and I so want to like the show, and so does Mr. Crane, and we're sticking with it, but neither of us are so sure. It's possible we are terribly spoiled by shows like, oh, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER.
Which brings me to my next item: last year there was this link on Marta Acosta's Vampire Wire to an interview where Alan Ball seemed to boast that he never watched Buffy. (Uh! I couldn't find it! But here's a link to an interview with another mention of comment.)

To Mark and me, Alan Ball deciding not to taint himself by watching Buffy is like a writer saying she wants to write a great classic novel, but not wanting to taint herself by reading Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, Jane Austen, Graham Greene, etc. In fact, that's barely a metaphor--it's exactly what Joss Whedon is to TV. (Mr. Crane feels even more strongly about this.)

Does Sookie evolve into somebody to somewhat admire?
Part of me liked Ball's choice to make Sookie a goofy wacky girl, but it robs the show of a shining moral center, like Buffy. In fact, in the books, Sookie is a shining moral center of sorts. I know Sookie can't be Buffy, but does Sookie evolve into somebody to somewhat admire?

Do adaptations have less excuse for not finding character sweet spots right away?
A lot of series that go on to greatness start annoyingly at first. A good example here is Star Trek: The Next Generation. I wanted to throw the toaster at the TV whenever Data would come on the screen with his lack of understanding of idioms, and Number One with his whole schtick, but that series became its own glorious animal once these characters got their right footing. Ball, however, is adapting a high-quality, character-rich series, so why did this pilot feel flat? Pat of me cuts Alan Ball less slack, because he started with ready made characters. Is that unfair?

One of my prime measures of the goodness of TV, movies or books is fun stuff to look forward to--a character to understand, a struggle I'm invested in resolved, a mystery solved, somebody realizing something fun, a couple united. Are people feeling it?

OMG, how tedious of me posting on this!! But now I have the benefit of everybody's experience.

A few random notes:
  • Okay, finally I see why everyone is so annoyed by Tara.
  • It is sort of weird to know what is going to happen. When the dog came around, I really wanted to tell Mark, Hey, guess what, that's really the bar owner, Sam! But I had to keep my lips zipped.
  • I see Alan Ball saw fit to keep Bill every bit the lame hero as he is in the series. Oh, of ALL the things to be true to, why that one?
  • The moments I liked Bill were when he was being really old fashioned.
  • Again, I was pleasantly surprised that Sookie came off as a bit of a wacky girl. I thought that was a great choice. From the pictures of the show, I totally thought she'd just be the neighborhood bombshell telepath.
Please advise!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Miss Doreen detects workplace Hijinks in Cover Me by LB Gregg

Miss Doreen: Dear readers, I have something very disturbing to report about Cover Me, the latest installment in LB Gregg's notorious Men of Smithfield series.

Carolyn Crane: Wait a sec, hold on here. Miss Doreen, there aren't any cowboy menages in Cover Me! What's the problem?

Miss Doreen: Apparently you think I have a one-track mind. The fact is, young lady, there is a recession going on, and the American economy is at an all time low. What's the problem you ask? It's workplace hijinks, killing American productivity. I was shocked at the workplace hijinks in this book. If this is what the men and women of the workforce are doing, why, it's no wonder everybody is running out of money.

These men are at a place of business for heaven's sake! I was aghast when Finn is called into Max, his boss's, office. Because what does Finn do? He begins to remove his clothes. He doesn't even hear what Max wants to say. Here, the offending passage:
I smiled deviously at Max and he froze, his brow lifting slightly. I was just going to do it. What the hell? Decision made, I nudged the door with my heel until it latched.
His voice rumbled through me. “You don’t need to close it, this won’t take long.”
Probably not, the way I was feeling. “I think it’s a good idea.”
“And why’s that?”
“Because I don’t want anyone walking in on us when we fuck.” I yanked my polo over my head as his eyes widened, his brows arching in surprise. I knew I was impressively cut. “C’mon Max.” I kicked my shoes off.
“What in the hell do you think you’re doing?”
“What’s it look like I’m doing? I’m coming on to you.” I didn’t glance at my polo where it lay crumpled on the floor. Had I gambled and lost? “You game, Max?”
“I don’t think this is wise, Michael. I think—”
“Of course it’s not wise. That’s part of what makes it exciting.” Max’s gaze wandered far below my chin. His curiosity finally got the better of him because he cast away from the desk’s edge, sailing toward me fast and focused. I’d chosen appropriately, thank God. For a second there, I thought he was going to toss my ass out.
Miss Doreen: And later in this scene, we have this morsel:
My socks flew in two directions. At last, here was a guy who promised to fulfill a very specific, very dirty fantasy. I wanted that shirt of his to stay on, please, so that the lines of his body would be tantalizingly hidden by his clothing. I stroked the planes of his abdomen. Christ, he was fit. “How do you want me, Max?”
Say on the desk. Oh, God, say it. Say it.
My cock reached to kiss his, but he ignored my erection and efficiently rolled the condom down his own. “Put your hands against the desk.”
Fuck yeah.
Miss Doreen: Are these men developing software? Are they making widgets to send to China? Are they conducting stem cell research? No.

Carolyn Crane: But the inappropriateness makes it a fun and hot scene! And funny. I love how Finn really wants Max to say The desk, and he did. In fact, when I first read that scene, I was like, Wow! They are actually going to have sex! The author isn't just teasing me! I love when books do that.

Miss Doreen: Yes, it's been clear for some time that you are every bit as depraved as the author in question. But this sort of activity is not how America is going to get back on the top of the food chain, is it? No. Alas, dear readers, the story then continues on to a new round of inappropriate workplace behavior.

Carolyn: OMG, I totally loved how mortified Finn was when Max turns out to be the security consultant hired to protect a celebrity's child at the boarding school where Finn works! And these two guys really don't get along. Like, with a lot of books, the H/H don't get along, but it's just a lot of sparky pre-love. Here, they have this sort of disdain for each other. Finn says talking to Max is like talking to Robocop—he was attractive, but emotionless. And here in another scene, Max is being his jerkish self:

“I intend to lay down some very specific rules in this dormitory.”
[Finn:] “Max. We have rules. They’re clear and are in place to protect us all.”
”They’re slack. And given your history of questionable judgment—”
What do you mean questionable judgment?” It had been one time in his office!
“—and your obvious impulsiveness, I think you can understand that to ensure Hemmi’s safety, things need to change.”
I sputtered, “This isn’t the Marines: it’s a high school.
Carolyn: Finn thinks Max is too hardass, and Max thinks Finn is too soft, but the funny thing is, they are totally each other's fantasy! LB Gregg totally delivers on creating characters that are great foils for each other.

Miss Doreen: I felt that Max should've been working harder to solve the mystery. Which brings me to another round of workplace hijinks--in Finn's kitchen in his dorm apartment!

Carolyn: That was one of my favorite parts. And Max tosses the book Finn was reading across the floor, and Finn goes, Hey! And Max is like, Is there a problem? And Finn's like, Uh, no. And the mystery is beautifully woven into the plot. Maybe you just wanted Max to solve the mystery because you didn't guess who the culprit was.

Miss Doreen: Did YOU guess who the culprit was? No.

Carolyn: Okay, let's not talk about the culprit anymore, we don't want to give it away!

Buy here: Cover me is available here from Aspen Mountain Press.

Read proper reviews here: Smexy books, Nobody Asked Me, (anyone else???)

LB Gregg's Happy Endings (reviewed by me here) is up for an award--namely, the Rainbow Award for Comedy Fiction! Go vote for our hometown gal pal, who has given us so many hours of reading pleasure:
Voting is simple!
1. Go HERE
2. In the comments, say you want to vote for LB Gregg's Happy Endings
3. Give your name or something else identifying to show you're not a robovoter.

New: Audio Review at Renee's!! (Her arm is in a cast over her elbow! What else is a girl to do?) Renee's audios are super fun, and this one covers Practice Makes Perfect, Set the Dark on Fire, and others!

Friday, October 2, 2009