Article

Used Sony Reader at Thalia

For people living in Germany this might be an interesting offer. Thalia, the shop who introduced the Sony Reader in Germany some time ago, will sell a limited number of used Sony Readers for 179,99€. The readers were used to train Thalia employees and have been tested and reset and come with the usual warranty. The price for a new one is 249,00€, so the offer is not too bad.

Sales will start on Oct. 04 and will last until supplies run out. Go here for more info on the Sony Reader sale at Thalia.

Article

Lights, Camera…Monsters by Lila Dubois

Blurb: Luke is desperate to save his people. A lifetime of sneaking in to human houses and watching movies has convinced him that if he can make a great movie about monsters, humanity will change its opinion of them. With his friends at his side, all in shiny new human bodies, Luke heads for Tinsel Town.

A rising Hollywood producer, all-business Lena knows a good story when she sees it. Luke? He’s just another amateur who wants to get famous. But Luke’s too gorgeous to pass up. And there’s something vulnerable about him that leads her to throw caution to the wind and invite him to dinner.

One night of incredible sex later, Lena wakes up next to the surprise of her life. She’s sleeping next to a monster. Literally. Appearances aside, she finds herself wanting to help Luke save his people. But they’ve got more to worry about than just human prejudice.Some of the monsters would rather stay in the closet—and to make them all stay there, they’re willing to kill.

My thoughts: This the first hetero romance I’ve read for ages. I have noticed the series “Monsters in Hollywood” some time ago and thought it sounded quite interesting, but then totally lost interest when I switched to m/m stories. Yesterday I read a review over at Literary Nymphs of the third book in the series (“Gone with the monster” – I love the title) which won me over so I went and bought the first one right away.

Lila Dubois cuts to the chase here. I don’t like long prologues and eternal back story on the first 100 pages, but, wow, Luke and Lena had sex so quickly, even I thought that was a bit premature. But then, they clicked from the start, so I could live with it. For a man/monster who never had sex with a human woman and who was quite insecure about how to do it, he was impressive, to say the least. It seems there’s more to monsters than meets the eye indeed. But as Luke’s fellow monster Henry tells him:

…I’ve never had sex with a human either, though she shouldn’t be that different from a succubus, they’re all cut from the same cloth.

Well, thank you!
By the way, the plural of succubus is succubi and not succubae, as referred to a few times in the course of the book.

After a night of the hottest sex of her life Lila wakes up next to a monster. Ok, her initial reaction was to kill the thing, since she thought it had eaten poor Luke, but once she realizes the monster IS Luke she’s ok with it. Astonishingly she accepts the fact hat monsters exist without batting an eyelid. That is explained by the fact that in LA all people are storytellers and believe in the unbelievable. I don’t know whether I can believe that. Just because I’m a storyteller doesn’t necessarily mean I believe in the supernatural per se. On the other hand I can’t blame her. If a gorgeous sex god needed my help and revealed to me that he was a monster I’d probably accept it pretty quickly as well as a given.  
Even Lena’s friends were quite cool about it and they didn’t have the benefit of the night before to help them. I’ve got to totally revise my opinion about the US film industry.

In the course of the book there were the inevitable misunderstandings between Luke and Lena, but to my surprise they were resolved rather quickly, i.e. immediately. They talked about the issues RIGHT AWAY and cleared things up. Unheard of in hetero romance, as far as my experience goes. Plus, Lena had some very sensible friends who actually helped them to overcome some misgivings instead of being a destructive force. Another thing that I haven’t encountered very often in that genre.

The conflict that is hinted at in the blurb is a minor one. When I read the blurb I thought that maybe those opposing monsters and the resulting fight against them would distract from the main couple, but this is not so. The plot focuses on Luke and Lena and all the other characters are simply a nice finishing touch.

Available at Samhain Publishing

Article

Take me always by Ryan Field

Blurb: Kadin Mahoney is ten years older than his lifelong partner, Gregory. But when Gregory is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and winds up in a nursing home, Kadin decides to move there with him in spite of the fact that Gregory doesn’t even recognize him. His three children aren’t happy about this and his friends think he’s crazy. But Gregory is the love of Kadin’s life, and he’s not going to let him slip away without a struggle.

So he conceives a plan to help him remember their passionate, sexy past. With the help of a notebook computer and a personal blog, he begins telling him the story of two good-looking young men who fell in love with each other during the l950’s in Savannah. One is a recent college graduate, and the other is a thirty-year-old lawyer and divorced father of three. They meet by accident at the movies the day Kadin’s divorce is finalized, and wind up spending a full summer together engaged in every act of true love that is humanly possible.

But it all comes to an abrupt halt in mid-August, when Gregory’s family begins to suspect his forbidden feelings for Kadin. They drag him back to Atlanta early, where he enlists in the army to get even. Five years later, Kadin has moved on with his life and Gregory is engaged to be married. But Gregory sees Kadin on TV, and he goes back to Savannah one more time before the wedding. He only wants to find out what happened to Kadin, but the moment he arrives his clothes come off and their lives are never the same again.

My thoughts: This was totally different from “Pretty Man” the only other book by Ryan Field that I have read. In my review of “Pretty Man” I sort of complained about the lack of romance in it. Well, I can’t complain here.

Kadin and Gregory were obviously meant for each other, even though circumstances separated them for a number of years. That separation was a good opportunity to describe a few sexual adventures of Kadin and Gregory with other men that were pretty hot. I absolutely loved delicious Eddie. As an aside, I have no idea how this guy could drive around town and do things without scandalizing his fellow citizens… Even though I’m no fan of threesomes I almost regretted the fact that Gregory and Kadin turned down Eddie’s offer. That would have been real fun. I know, I asked for more romance and I got it and a scene with Eddie probably wouldn’t have added much to the romance factor, so I shouldn’t speculate about it, but I really liked Eddie.

The story switches back and forth between Kadin and Gregory in the nursing home and the past that Kadin writes down for Gregory to remember. The scenes in the nursing home were heartbreaking. How hard a situation like this must be I can only begin to imagine. The scenes in the past cover the time period from when Kadin and Gregory meet for the first time until when they finally settle down together. However, from conversations between Gregory and Kadin in the nursing home we know that the rest of their life together was just as we imagined a HEA.

I liked the supporting characters, especially Betsy. I liked the way she would have settled into a marriage with Gregory and being quite content with it. And I liked the way she accepted the fact that this was not going to happen. No fuss, no scene, no hysterical accusations. I’m glad for her that she has obviously found a happy life herself with Clem.

“Take me Always” was a great read. Totally different from “Pretty Man” and extremely romantic with a touch of sadness. For people who like a story that focuses mainly on the main couple this is highly recommended. 

Available at Ravenous Romance

Article

Sunday Stealing: One long meme (part one)

Sunday Stealing: One Long Meme (Part One)

1. The phone rings. Who will it to be? How the hell should I know.

2. When shopping at the grocery store, do you return your cart? Of course, I had to insert money to get it. If I don’t return it I won’t get that money back.

3. In a social setting, are you more of a talker or a listener? Both.

4. Do you take compliments well? No.

5. Do you play Sudoku? No.

6. If abandoned alone in the wilderness, would you survive? No.

7. Did you ever go to camp as a kid? No.

8. What was your favorite game as a kid? I can’t remember.

9. If a sexy person was pursuing you, but you knew she was married, would you? No, I don’t roll that way.

10. Could you date someone with different religious beliefs than you? Depends on those beliefs. If he’s a missionary who wants to convert me to his side, I’m out of there. If they are too fanatical, I wouldn’t date him. If he keeps them to himself, yes, I would.

11. Do you like to pursue or be pursued? Be pursued, but I have been known to do the pursuing, too.

12. Use three words to describe yourself? No, I won’t.

13. Do any songs make you cry? No.

14. Are you continuing your education? No.

15. Do you know how to shoot a gun? Guess, I should re-consider #14.

16. Have you ever taken pictures in a photo booth? Yes.

17. How often do you read books? Every day.

18. Do you think more about the past, present or future? Future.

19. What is your favorite children’s book? When I was a kid, I can’t remember. Now it is “Where the wild things are”

20.What color are your eyes? Blue

21. How tall are you? 1.70m

22. Where is your dream house located? Every place can be a dream location, that depends totally on oneself.

23. If your house was on fire, what would be the first thing you grabbed? Things, right? My hard drives and my insurance papers.

24. When was the last time you were at Olive Garden? We don’t have Olive Garden. I’ve been to one years ago. Can’t even remember where that was.

25. Where was the furthest place you traveled today? I haven’t even left my house yet, so I suppose it is to the kitchen.

26. Do you like mustard? Not with everything.

Article

Weekly Geeks 2009-35: What’s the plan?

This week’s weekly geeks: It’s hard to believe we’re approaching the last quarter of 2009. Soon those of us in the northern hemisphere will be curled up in front of the fire (or solar heater) with our favorite wintry reads, and those in the southern will be off to the beaches with their summer books.
Do you have a plan of what you’re going to read the rest of the year? Have you had a master plan all along? If so, have you stuck to it? What helps you to decide what you’re going to read next? Challenges? Book groups? Or do you have the luxury of closing your eyes and picking any book off your shelf?
I know some of you have spreadsheets and other devices to help you keep track of your books and challenges. (I even succumbed to using a spreadsheet this year after teasing my friends relentlessly about theirs.) If you have online spreadsheets, such as Google, can you give us a peek at them with a link or a screen shot?

I found this question somewhat strange. I don’t have any plan whatsoever, as far as reading is concerned. Reading is mere pleasure and I don’t read according to a plan. I read what I want when I want it. A spreadsheet to organize my reading? Don’t think so.

I loosely use Shelfari for keeping track of what I read but since I only started doing that last year I only have books on my shelf that I could remember. They should have Shelfari 36 years ago! But even on Shelfari I don’t use all the options for tagging and adding information on my books. I’m a member of a few Shelfari groups, but don’t follow them closely either. I’m to fickle obviously – and lazy.

My Shelfari shelf

Book challenges: Well, yes, I entered a few this year, but only followed through with one. All the others I gave up sooner or later. Now I’ve got tons of TBR books from those challenges on my bookshelf.

At the moment the books that are sitting there waiting to be read are:

  • The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
    That’s the book I bought in English instead of German because of the nicer cover. I’m crazy.
  • I capture the castle by Dodie Smith
    Got that because of Claire’s review. Thanks, Claire, for the recommendation.
  • Gods behaving badly by Marie Phillips
    Twelve Olympic Gods crammed into a London town house in the 21st century sounds like fun.
  • The Beautiful Being by Jessica Inclan
    This will be out end of September, but Jessica generously sent me an ARC. Thanks, Jessica.
  • Enzyklopädie der Alltagsqualen by Hannes Stein
    A very amusing book in which Hannes Stein describes everyday ordeals. Unfortunately strictly German.
  • Der schönste deutsche Satz
    A book with the entries of the competition of which sentence is the most beautiful first sentence in a German book. By the way, the winner was the first sentence of “Der Butt” by Günther Grass.

To see what other weekly geeks have to say, go here.

Article

Freebie from Jessica Freely

I blogged quite some time ago about the first three stories about David and Seth by Jessica Freely. “Hero”, “Stay” and “Scars” were available at Torquere books, but now only the last one is still up for sale. The fourth story “Rust Belt” is due to come out in a few weeks at Loose ID, and Jessica has generously offered the now out of print stories as freebies on her yahoo group. Right now “Hero” is there to download, “Stay" will follow a bit later. Plus, there is another free story called “Feast” about the two guys available. If you’d like to get them all, just sign up for Jessica’s yahoo group.