Jason Kellerman’s life revolves around his eight-year-old daughter. Teenage curiosity with his best friend led to Maggie’s birth, her mother tragically dying soon after. Insistent on raising his daughter himself, he was disowned by his wealthy family and has worked tirelessly to support Maggie-even bringing her west on a dream vacation. Only twenty-five, Jason hasn’t had time to even think about romance. So the last thing he expects is to question his sexuality after meeting an undeniably attractive park ranger.


Ben Hettler’s stuck. He loves working in the wild under Montana’s big sky, but at forty-one, his love life is non-existent, his ex-boyfriend just married and adopted, and Ben’s own dream of fatherhood feels impossibly out of reach. He’s attracted to Jason, but what’s the point? Besides the age difference and skittish Jason’s lack of experience, they live thousands of miles apart. Ben wants more than a meaningless fling.


Then a hunted criminal takes Maggie hostage, throwing Jason and Ben together in a desperate and dangerous search through endless miles of mountain forest. If they rescue Maggie against all odds, can they build a new family together and find a place to call home?


Road to the Sun, by Keira Andrews


I picked up this book because my travels this summer will take me to Glacier National Park, so it seemed particularly relevant. I’m glad I did – the setting for the story is lovely, and Andrews gives a nice sense of place. (The fact that Andrews renamed Going to the Sun Road to Road to the Sun for the book title makes me twitch a bit, but I’ll get over it.)


This was a nice story, and plot-wise it flowed reasonably well, though it tended to slow down a bit toward the end. The biggest issue I had with it was the pacing of the relationship. Yes, Ben and Jason went through a lot together in a very short time, but 7 days from just meeting to True Love Forever is still rather a stretch. Likewise, Jason jumps from “I admire men in the locker room only for their physique” to “Hey, I may not be so straight after all, let’s have anal sex our first time together!”


The characters are well-defined and relatable. Ben is the strong, stoic type, still recovering from a bad breakup. Jason is a hardworking single father. Maggie is a precocious eight-year-old, though not obnoxiously so. About the only problem I had was that I wanted to smack Jason upside the head for his indecisiveness and worrying, but even that was understandable given his past.


This was a fun, if not particularly deep, read. I’d give it a rating of 4 out of 5. I would be happy to read more of Andrews’ work in the future.

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([personal profile] gale_storm Jun. 19th, 2017 01:49 pm)
Imagine that you're switching through channels on tv because chance is much better than any tv guide, right?

You settle for a moment on one of the channels with a look into the wildlife out there, by which I mean the ones without paying jobs... or, ummm, the ones who don't have bank accounts... or, ummm, okay. The furry, scaly, swimming sort, the ones not like us people at all. 

Yeah, this was on one of the NatGeo channels, and it was about king cobra. What really caught me -- for a moment, anyhow -- was the narrator saying, 'as he inserts one of his two penises into her cloaca.'

Yep. Snake porn. Bisexuality was too boring for king cobra, so they developed a second penis.

Welcome to my brain.

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([personal profile] gale_storm Jun. 18th, 2017 02:33 pm)
Damnark has shown their orchestra playing a wide variety of music from the Star Wars films. Per and I happened upon the show by accident last week, and we stuck it through to the end. Just now, I switched the tv on and looked through to see what was on, saw that Galaxymphony was being shown again, so here I am once more!

A few notes from my watching this again:
  • What are those instruments? They're probably classed as tympani, but they look like gourds that had been dried and carved for having a cinnamon stick dragged over said carved bits. 
  • Wow, the French horn is an incredibly loopy looking instrument, and now I'm wondering how it was developed.
  • This is one of the few performances where musicians wearing disco-ball earrings or deely-boppers look perfectly at home! 
  • Few things have made me regret not having kept up with violin -- or at least being able to read music -- from being forced into it and nagged daily for not having sufficiently practised.
  • The director of this orchestra looks like he could have benefited from having worn an athletic sort of headband to keep his sweat at bay!
  • A few of the reed-based instruments seem to not have a more ornate mouthpiece or input or whatever than just a reed, although I wouldn't know a bassoon from a baboon if I were asked.  
  • One of the instrumments looks like it was produced by a French horn mating with a trombone. 
  • The theme from the Mos Eisley cantina band, of course, cool! And for this piece, a few of the orchestra members popped on face-masks, Chewbacca and Darth Vader!


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([personal profile] duncandahusky Jun. 14th, 2017 06:34 am)
In a little over two and a half weeks I will be packing up the (rental) car and hitting the road for a three-week solo road trip across the western US and Canada. Major stops will include Minneapolis, Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary, Glacier National Park, Portland, San Francisco, Denver, Kansas City, and St. Louis (the full route is here). Oh, and the rental car will be a Mustang convertible, because hey - go big or go home!

I can't begin to say how much I'm looking forward to this. I have always loved long road trips and wanted to make an extended trip like this. Due to various health issues Dan simply wasn't able to do it, so the dream waited. Now, in part tribute, in part reset button, in part just getting out and living a little, I'm making it happen. We were supposed to do a two-week cruise earlier this spring which we had to cancel with Dan's initial spinal surgery. This gives me both the funds and the vacation time to take this trip. Plus, Dan's mom is sweet enough to watch the dogs for those three weeks for me. The fact that she adores them doesn't hurt!

There's a lot to do between now and then, though. This weekend we're taking over a hotel near O'Hare Airport and throwing a memorial/celebration of life/wake to remember Dan and all of the good that he brought into the world. Then there's a party some friends are throwing next week, as well as the Chicago Pride Parade. Side note about that - For the past several years, Dan organized the Siemens Corp. group's appearance in the Chicago Pride Parade. This year, one of his co-workers contacted me and asked if I would march with them again, in Dan's memory. Damn, that's so sweet.

On June 29 I pick up the rental car, and early on June 30 I hit the road! I will be taking lots of pictures and probably posting like mad to Twitter (@duncandahusky), and posting day-by-day wrap-ups to my blog as well. I have archives of my years and years on LiveJournal (all archived as part of my person blog); I've realized that I really like being able to go back and read about past vacations and experiences.

This is gonna be great!


Book Review: Werewolves of Chernobyl, by K. A. Merikan and L. A. Witt


— Being kidnapped by two werewolves is an adventure after all, right? Right?! —


Quinn


If Quinn wants to get the best photos for his travel blog, no gate is too tall, and no ‘do not enter’ sign actually means he won’t go in. What he finds in a hidden exclusion zone by Chernobyl blows his mind. Mutants? Monsters? He doesn’t know, but he is bound to find out when not one but two of them break into his hotel.


Too bad the rules and attitudes they have toward sex don’t match Quinn’s at all.


Dima


Born with a disabled hand, smaller than the other werewolves, Dima is the lowest of the low in his pack, but when he meets the loveliest human he’s ever seen, he knows his luck has changed.

The last thing he expects though is his beloved friend Nazar turning on him once Dima’s affection for Quinn deepens, and he refuses to be mounted by Nazar anymore.


Nazar


Nazar is a high ranking soldier in his pack, but in his powerful body hides a gentle soul, and all he wants is to escape the pack with Dima. But once Dima claims Quinn as his, secrets Nazar has so far kept hidden rear their ugly head.


The werewolf language doesn’t have words to describe what they crave, so Quinn might be the only one to help them solve the puzzle of the desires that go against the rules of their pack.


Rating: 4.5 out of 5


Prior to reading this I was unfamiliar with the Russian concept of bodarks, and how they differ from the standard Western version of “werewolf”. It’s not a big difference but it helps to understand the goings-on a bit more. That said, I really enjoyed this book. The shifting points of view were fascinating, from the American Quinn’s familiar outlook on events to Dima and Nazar’s foreign view, both Russian and strictly pack-hierarchical. The difference between the two provided a great contrast too: Dima, the submissive bottom who longed to be dominant, and Nazar, the strong dominant who wants to let someone else take control but is forbidden by the pack structure


The overall story is pretty basic, though there are some interesting twists and turns along the way. There was a bit of insta-love and development of relationships and trust a little too quickly. I was able to overlook that because holy cats, this book is SMOKING HOT! The scenes of Dima and Nazar, Dima and Quinn, and Dima, Quinn, and Nazar were amazing and well-written. I was also pleased that there were definitely places that the book did not take itself too seriously, with some observations by Quinn that completely cracked me up.


The net result:

3.75 for the story

+0.25 because werewolves (hey, I know what I like)

+0.25 for laugh-out-loud moments

+0.25 for being incredibly sexy

Total: 4.50 stars


I loved it!

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([personal profile] duncandahusky Jun. 11th, 2017 04:14 pm)

Note to self: Do not set up WordPress to crosspost to Tumblr when Tumblr is crossposting to WordPress. Sorry about all the spam! 🙂

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([personal profile] duncandahusky Jun. 11th, 2017 03:41 pm)


I repeat, we have Squirrel Sign. This is not a drill!



On the road again with Charlie and Nora! (at Volo, Illinois)


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