What’s up for January in the Bandit Lair?

2014 is here! freevintagedigitalstamps.comcom

I don’t do resolutions, but I will admit that  last year about this time, I set a goal.

I wanted to laugh more. Smile more during 2013.  And I have!

Sometimes it was just a matter of getting out an old I Love Lucy episode or choosing to go with my husband to his dental appointment, just because I know they keep a constant marathon of  Andy Griffith running on the tv in the waiting room. 

I love Andy Griffith.

If I had to, I went to Comedy Central on the internet, or one of the humor sites on facebook, and found something to laugh at.  And I felt better for it.

My goal for 2014 is to laugh even MORE.

  I want to find something to laugh at every day.  Or even on those days when it’s hardBrooke-The Greatest Lover Ever to find a reason, I want to at least find something that makes me smile and if possible, laugh out loud. 

One of the things that almost always makes me smile is the antics here in the Bandit Lair.  I love hanging out with all of y’all.

I hope it does the same for you in the coming year, as we talk about everything from books to ball dressing (ahem…Jeanne?), get to know authors and find great new reads, since the one thing we all have in common is a love for books and the joy of a happy ending.

We’ll get thinGianni-Changed by his sons smilegs romping right out of the starting gate with a monster launch party tomorrow, January 2nd, for Christina Brooke’s  THE GREATEST LOVER EVERHint–It was released yesterday–New Year’s Eve! 

I mean SERIOUSLY LOOK at that cover up there on the right.  Is that not one of the best covers you’ve ever seen?

So grab your copy and come to lair tomorrow to party like it’s..well..2014!

 Friday, January 3rd Losing Dani once was hard enough. Losing both her and their son is not an option!  That’s the teaser line for Robin Gianna’s new Harlequin Medical romance, CHANGED BY HIS SON’S SMILE

Join us  as Donna brings this debut author to the Lair for the first time.

  On TueBrannagh-Blitzing Emilysday, 7th January, Anna Campbell will host another new author,  Julie Brannagh.  

Julie will be talking to us about her sparkling debut BLITZING EMILY!

We love new authors in the lair so don’t miss Julie’s visit.

 Author Kelly Stone

We know our buddies love to get a look inside the writing life, so on January 9th, I’ll be hosting author and creativity expert Kelly Stone.  That’s her picture over there on the right. 

She’ll talk about her journey into writing, and how she’s gone on to help some of the writers you love, as well as other creative people who were having trouble setting their muses free.

Can’t WAIT for you to meet Kelly!

We’ll party hard in the lair in the middle of the month.

Osburn--Up to the ChallengeOn Sunday, January 12th, get away from winter with a trip to Terri Osburn’s Anchor Island.  

I’ve gotta tell you that I (Cassondra)  just read the first Anchor Island novel and I fell so hard for this series.  Thank GOODNESS the next one is already out! 

Terri joins Bandita Nancy Northcott to chat about weather and tension in romance.  They’ll also discuss the latest Anchor Island release, UP TO THE CHALLENGE.

TIP!–There is an awesome Christmas story FREE on Terri’s website as a gift to you, the readers.  Go to http://www.terriosburn.com/.  It’s right there

on the front page.

We claim Terri as one of our own.  She’s a Bandita Buddy from way back.  We are SO excited for her success!

Milburn-marrying the cowboy

Wednesday January 15th, we’ll all don cowboy hats for a monster party in the


We love launch parties, and Bandita Trish will host the celebration to launch the latest in her Blue Falls, Texas, series, MARRYING THE COWBOY.

This is Elissa’s story.

I know y’all have been waiting for this one, and can I say, as covers go, this one is…well…slurpalicious? Can’t wait!


Shepherd--The Summer They Never Forgot On Thursday, 16th January, lair favorite Kandy Shepherd returns with exciting news of her debut Harlequin Romance, THE SUMMER THEY NEVER FORGOT.

Bandita Anna Campbell is hosting.

Look at that….two beach/ocean covers in one week!  Not a bad thing for the middle of winter, is it?  


Okay, okay. I know it’s the middle of SUMMER in the Southern

Burton --Soul Slam

Hemisphere. But right now I’m cold, and those beaches and strappy sundresses are looking pretty darn good!

January 21st, Bandita Suz has a guest in the Lair. 

 “Raised by a ring of thieves, sixteen-year-old Olivia is on her first heist to steal an ancient Egyptian amulet when she inadvertently receives the soul of King Tut and the deadly curse that comes with it. And she’s not alone at the museum.”

That’s the teaser for Suz’s guest, Allie Burton, who will talk about SOUL SLAM, Book 1 of her Soul Force Young Adult series.

 Weber-A SEAL's Salvation

On January 31st, at the end of the month, Tawny Weber will launch the latest in her sexy Harlequin Blaze series about US Navy SEALs.   A SEAL’s SALVATION is signature Tawny Weber, mixing intense emotion with sexy, steamy romance.  

Sey-Talent For Trouble


WOOOOOT!–Watch for the big surprises during the month, when Banditas Susan Sey and Nancy Northcott announce their latest releases.

Susan Sey will fill you in on the second installment of her Blake Brothers Trilogy, when she releases TALENT FOR TROUBLE. 

This is the first view of her cover!  Isn’t it awesome?

Susan is one of my favorite authors, and I’ve been waiting for this release.  Nobody makes me swoon like Susan.

Northcott--SentinelNeed a little magic in your January?

Grab onto the edges of your seats, because at the end of the month, Bandita Nancy will be  releasing SENTINEL, the latest story in her Light Mage Wars paranormal romance series. 

I’ve read every one of these books, and the combination of magic, romance and intense emotion keeps me awake at night.


 If you don’t get our newsletter, be sure to sign up for it, as we have an awesome monthly contest with cool prizes.  Just read the newsletter to be included in the drawing.

Yes, we DO know who reads it.  Muahahahahaha! 

Okay, yeah. It’s Ermingarde.  When she came here, she had this crystal ball in her stash of jewels…and we can’t help ourselves.  We’re always nervous about our newsletter so we look into her crystal ball and…well…we know…*grin*

Bandita Anna Campbell is hosting a contest!

She had such fun with her backlist contest last time that she’s doing it all again for her January/February contest. THREE people (international) will win their choice from her books (except for DAYS OF RAKES AND ROSES).

Just email Anna on anna @ annacampbell.info (no spaces) and tell her which book you’d like. If you need help choosing, check out her books page on her website:http://annacampbell.info/books.html  For more information, check out her contest page: http://annacampbell.info/contest.html

 That’s it for the month.  There’ll be plenty of laughter and smiles in 2014 here in the lair.  We look forward to sharing them all with you!

But tell me, Bandits and Buddies..

What do you do when you need to laugh?

Is your family naturally full of laughter and joking around?

Or are you like me, tending to be more somber unless you make the effort to find a reason to smile?

How do you break yourself out of a funk?  How do you cheer up when you’re down?

What shows do you watch?  What websites do you visit?

When you need a bit of joy–or a giant belly laugh, what do you do?

Happy New Year to you and yours from the Romance Bandits! 

“I dreamed my whole house was clean” from Free Vintage Digital Stamps.  Laughing Pig from RGBStock.

Posted in , , , , ,



  • Jane says:

    Happy New Year. We do kid around a lot in our family. There’s a lot of teasing going on. I love to watch my favorite comedy shows and movies like 30 Rock, Better Off Ted, Porky’s trilogy and The Hangover.

    • Cassondra says:

      Jane, you get the Rooster for the New Year!

      Congratulations, and all the best for 2014!

    • Cassondra says:

      I haven’t seen ANY of those movies!
      I may have to make a trip to the video store.

      I’m considering a Netflix membership.

      I’d pay a lot fewer late fees, that’s for certain.

    • Jane, first rooster of the year! That must mean fabulous stuff ahead. Or a lot of vacuuming up of feather dust! 😉

  • ki pha says:

    Happy New Year Ladies!!!!!
    I can’t wait to see what y’all have in store for us all!!!
    Thanks for another awesome year!!!

    • Cassondra says:

      ki pha, it kind of feels like it’s going to be a really good year, doesn’t it?

      So glad to have you in the lair with us!

  • Wow, talk about starting the year off with a bang. SOOOO many interesting parties coming up in the lair. I’m really looking forward to meeting Kelly, Cassondra! She sounds great. Laughed at you envying our hot weather. Right now, I’m envying your cold weather. I hung sheets out an hour ago and I tell you without a word of a lie, they’re now as dry as a bone! Gives you some idea of how darn hot it is in South East Queensland at the moment. Just about to jump in the pool and wallow and dream about a cold January!

    Happy new year, everyone! And thank you so much for your wonderful support in 2013.

    • Cassondra says:

      Anna, that sounds like a really DRY heat too. Now I have to say, THAT I would not like. My husband hates humidity, but I’d rather have the air a little humid than so darn dry.

      Have fun in the pool!

      • Actually it’s been really humid but it was just so baking hot yesterday, everything dried in two shakes of a lamb’s tail. Must say I’m not a fan of humidity!

  • Amy Conley says:

    The best thing to do, for me, for a sure fire smile at the very least, is talk to grandson #2. He/s so full of fun and funny antics. And 99% of the time he’s me “go-to” for a sure fire laugh.

    • Cassondra says:

      Amy, that’s really very cool.

      I don’t remember the adults in my family laughing with–or at–the kids much. At least not openly. Which is probably why I go looking for laughter now.

      I love it when parents and grandparents appreciate the fun kids bring into their lives. What an excellent way to find fun!

  • Helen says:

    Happy New Year Everyone 🙂

    Another awesome month coming up in the lair

    Cassondra our family does joke around a lot and the best way for me to get a good laugh is to be palying with the grandchildren they always make me smile

    Have Fun

    • Cassondra says:

      Another vote for the grandchildren!

      That’s such a wonderful thing, to have that light and fun surrounding you. Little kids sure do keep the energy up.

      My mom had me when she was older than the average mom, and she told me that she thought having little kids–or having them around– when you’re older keeps you young.

  • Becke Turner says:

    What an admirable resolution. I agree. We get so focused on tasks that we forget to enjoy the simple things.

    My new camel text message sound makes me smile. Cheap thrill!

    As my dh says, every day I wake up is a good day. Some are just better than others!

    • Cassondra says:

      Okay Becke, I’d like to hear that camel text message.

      I admit that my text message sound is boring. It’s a series of “spell” bells. Kind of magical. But when I hear a duck or crickets chirping on someone’s phone, it always makes me smile. I might have to change my ringtones up.

      A friend of mine has the music from the Wizard of Oz–the suspenseful sound when the Wicked Witch of the West is flying through the air–as my ring tone. Not sure what that says, but I love it!

  • Shannon says:

    I am fortunate to have a group of friends who understand my somewhat off beat sense of humor about the oddities of life. They actually laughed when I said that life is not like a lose fitting garment, it’s actually an ill-fitting bra on certain days.

    Not to ruin the release party… but I just have to say that The World’s Greatest Lover is about as good as it’s cover. I’m in that difficult place–if I say the cover is better than the story, then I insult the cover and vice versa. Keep digging

    Happy New Year to y’all.

    • Cassondra says:

      Shannon, great to hear that Christina’s new release has done its job–and I don’t think she’d take any of that as an insult at all! What a great conundrum–which is better, story or cover?–thank you for saying so!

      And we’ll rock out tomorrow, so no worries about spoiling the party. Can’t do that around here!

  • Diana says:

    Holy smokes! I just “found” y’all over the holidays and I’m so glad I have! This list of events just for January have blown me away! I’m so excited! 🙂

    I’m naturally upbeat but this past year has beaten me down quite a bit. I watch a lot of Comedy Central, look for light movies, love to watch silly dog videos (usually through Facebook), play with my own two dogs — Shih Tzus Minnie and Igor, and get lost in books.

    Here’s hoping 2014 is better… Happy New Year!

    • Cassondra says:

      Absolutely Diana, I’m thinking 2014 will be a better year. I know so many people who’ve had a difficult year with aging parents, health issues, or both. The turn of the year feels like a good, upward swing.

      And we are so glad you found our blog!

      Happy New Year to you, and a toast to a great 2014!

  • Debbie Oxier says:

    When I need a laugh I call my best friend, Carolyn. We grew up together, have been friends for 50+ years. Called her the other night, talked for 4 hours and laughed so hard we were both crying! Thankful for a friend like that!

    • Cassondra says:

      Debbie, that’s EXACTLY the kind of thing I need to do. Maybe I need to pick a friend and just get together over coffee for some fun time. Great idea!

  • Happy New Year Banditas and Buddies !! It looks to be another stellar year in the Lair !

    When I want to laugh I watch episodes of Keeping Up Appearances and Are You Being Served? I also have seasons of Designing Women, The Simpsons, and Mama’s Family on DVD – they’re always good for a laugh.

    I am fortunate in that despite working at a job I hate, my crew is insane enough to make the best of it. We laugh a lot at work. Lets face it, we have a front row seat to People at Walmart every day.

    My dogs and cat are a constant source of amusement to me. My big boy, Clyde (short for Clydesdale) should have his own show. Whether it is bringing me jars of peanut butter he has filched from God knows where to open or getting his head stuck in a bucket he is a one dog laugh riot.

    • Cassondra says:

      Louisa, we laugh SO hard at our cats. The other day I was cleaning out under the kitchen sink, and I’d taken all the loose plastic grocery bags (yes, many of them WalMart) out and stuffed them all together–so I had a sack full of bags. I heard them rattling from across the room. Umbra (the little black boy cat) got his head through one of the handles, and was running around the room dragging that stuffed sack of grocery bags, running, trying to get away from it. I laughed so hard I couldn’t breathe!

    • Caren Crane says:

      Louisa, I love Mama’s Family! I mourned when The Carol Burnett Show ended, but MF eased the pain. Vicky Lawrence is a hoot! These days, my kitten Kimba is keeping me amused. He’s only 4 months old, so still very kittenish and goofy. I love his antics!

    • Happy New Year to you, Louisa!

  • Deb says:

    Cassondra, I do need to laugh more. I take things too seriously sometimes. “I Love Lucy” and “Andy Griffith” are great shows! Growing up, my mom and I liked Carol Burnett; my dad couldn’t stand her, but every Saturday night we tuned into her show.

    I am so glad that I’ve been part of this great group of authors and friends in the last several years. I may not always comment, but I do, really, check in every single day.

    January looks to be another busy and great month.

    Happy New Year to all!

    • Cassondra says:

      Happy New Year Deb!

      We’re so glad you’re here with us. And I love Carol Burnett. She and Lucille Ball still rank as the two funniest ladies of my life. We also have some Ellen DeGeneres DVDs that we like to watch–but it’s a different kind of funny than those old, almost slapstick, videos of Lucy and Carol. Just thinking about Lucy trying to make that commercial for VitaVeetaVegamin (have no idea how you spell it) makes me laugh a little.

  • Susan Sey says:

    Happy New Year, Cassondra! This month is so full of good things, I can hardly stand it! My kindle’s going to be smoking from all the downloading!

    As for whether or not my family is given to laughing, oh boy. We’re a loud, laughy bunch. You how some families value achievement, some value education, etc.? Mine values laughter. The most important thing a person can do in my family is be funny. I’m convinced this is the reason I was drawn to story telling. I’m not great in the moment, but given enough time to think & mull & polish, I can transform a humiliating situation into comic gold.

    Which is lucky for me, because otherwise what would I do with all my humiliation? I have so much. It’s nice to think that my awkwardness serves a higher purpose.

    • Cassondra says:

      Ah, Susan, I didn’t know your funny bent came from a family background, but wherever you got it, keep it going. It’s a universal truth. WE all love to laugh.

      And if that laughter comes wrapped up in the kind of emotion you pack into your books, so much the better. I can’t wait for TALENT FOR TROUBLE to get here.

  • catslady says:

    Oh, looking forward to all the new posts and books coming up! Everyone says I take after my maternal grandmother – she was the one that laughed and enjoyed herself whereas my parents and sister were more contained. I am always so happy to be with friends and family. I have my quiet times but never when I’m around others. As for shows, The Big Bang makes me lol and I’ve seen the episodes so many times I can repeat many lines which makes me laugh even more. And I love any kind of games which are usually good for lots of laughter!

    • Deb says:

      Catslady, Catslady, Catslady, I like BBT, too. 🙂 Penny and Sheldon’s exchanges are funny! The whole show is quirky, isn’t it?!!

    • Cassondra says:

      Ooooo games! One of my favorite things to do is get together with friends and play games. But I always vote for games like Pictionary or Time’s Up or Catch Phrase–games where you just laugh the whole way through. Last weekend we had some friends over and played Time’s Up, and we were laughing so hard we couldn’t breathe! It’s good for the soul.

  • EC Spurlock says:

    Happy New Year, Banditas and Buddies! Sounds like we’re starting the year off with a bang! Congratulations and best wishes for great success to everyone having new releases this month!

    My go to website for cheer is http://cuteoverload.com/ I check it every day for a lift. There’s always something new and adorable and/or ridiculous! I also have a couple of favorite videos that always make me laugh when I need to. One is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIwrgAnx6Q8&feature=youtu.be (I can’t get past the octopus. The octopus knocks me out every time!) And more recently this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYIUFEQeh3g (Warning to arachnophobes: contains spiders. Hilarious spiders, true, but — spiders.)

    • Cassondra says:

      Okay I’m copying these down, and I’m going there to watch them.

      EXACTLY what I needed this afternoon while STeve is at the hospital–he’s on call in Nuclear Medicine–he’s not sick. But I’m home alone. Trying to get some work done, but I’m going to take a break to watch these!

  • Happy New Year, everybody!!!

    And that was a wonderful rundown, Cassondra! How can anyone possibly resist coming by the Lair every day this month to check out what’s happening?? I ask you! 🙂

    I’m taking notes of everyone’s happy advice, too. We can’t have TOO much laughter around here, right? For myself? Okay, I admit to occasionally tweeting photos of adorable kittens. I’m not even a cat person, but sometimes I just have to laugh and sigh at those cute little creatures doing something silly.

    I can’t believe I admitted that out loud, but yeah, I’m that person. LOL

  • Caren Crane says:

    Cassondra, I love your resolution because it’s so positive. I was considering making some resolutions for 2014 the other day (I almost never do that!), but they all had this negative connotation: lose weight, exercise more, eat less bread. I felt like I was condemning myself to an unsavory prison sentence!

    I love “laugh more”. I come from a hilarious family. We keep each other in stitches all the time. My poor husband came from a Very Serious family, although he and his older brother liked to rib each other. Our family together is a big old pack of goofballs. Even my son, who tries to take himself Very Seriously starts cutting up after he’s around us a little while.

    I have made an effort over the years to try and leaven my husband’s tendacity toward being a bit stodgy and stiff. My sense of humor is one of the things he loves about me.Of course, I love his, too, so I try to make sure it comes out to play. 🙂

    I hope it’s a happy, laughter-filled 2014 for all of us!

    • Cassondra says:

      Caren, I love that..Very Seriously. With capital letters.

      Yes, my family took itself–and every situation–Very Seriously.

      Laughter was the exception, not the rule, and when I get around people who laugh easily, I just revel in it. I want to learn that art. So I am determined to laugh more. Every Single Day.
      And I am Very Serious about that. ;0)

  • A very happy new year to you, Banditas and Bandita Buddies. (Hope y’all haven’t forgotten me.) I lurked for 2013, commenting only rarely, but I hope 2014 will be a more talkative year for me here.

    • Cassondra says:

      Keira, old and dear friend! We are so glad to see you here.

      Whether you comment or lurk, you are most welcome.

      We hope you’ll make yourself seen though, as we enjoy you!

  • Kaelee says:

    Cassondra ~ I come to the lair when I need a chuckle. Sounds like January is so full of parties that the cabana boys will have to hire outside help to get things cleaned up between them. We have a firm here called Men in Kilts, they might be up to the task. They do window cleaning and stuff like that. Even if they don’t want to clean up they can just join the party and give the poor Cabana boys a bit of rest.

    • Cassondra says:

      Kaelee, I’ve seen pictures of those guys with their ladders and vans.

      I would TOTALLY hire them to do stuff! And of course, there could be no better crew for us here in the lair than some hotties in kilts!

      Bring them with you next time! We might have to hire them full time.

  • Cassondra, Happy New Year! We’re not a naturally laugh-prone bunch. When I need catharsis, I tend to go for explosions rather than humor, but old Dave Barry books are always good for a laugh. So is a Susan Sey book because her voice is so funny.

    • Cassondra says:

      Susan’s books are WONDERFUL for laughs aren’t they? Part of the reason I’m so looking forward to this next one.

      I read Jill Shalvis for the light-hearted romance–for the same reason.
      And now I’ve found your guest for the month–Terri Osburn. OMG her books are WONDERFUL!

  • flchen1 says:

    Laughing sounds like an excellent plan–I think it happens more naturally when we make time to play together, so maybe that’s what we need to make time for this year 🙂 And woot! Another Susan Sey? Can’t wait!!

  • Laurie G says:

    My oldest son loves The Big Bang Theory show. He evens owns a Bazinga T-shirt! We gifted him all of the Seinfeld shows, 9 seasons of laughs about nothing.

    I love Catch Phrase , Apples To Apples, Cranium and Who Knoo.

  • Terri Osburn says:

    I feel horrible that I missed this blog until now! I was on the road all day on the 1st and suffering from a massive sinus infection at the same time. Just took me under for a while.

    But I am so excited about visiting here on Sunday. Thank you, Cassondra, for the lovely words. I’ll be smiling from ear to ear for the rest of the day!