Posts tagged with: Barbara Devlin

LAUNCH PARTY in the Lair! It’s love Under the Kissing Bough….

barbHey everyone!!  Happy (early) Thanksgiving!  You need something to take the pressure off and help you get through Thanksgiving with your family.

an-irish-gift-finalReally.  You do.

Grins.

How about 15 FABULOUS, fun, happy tales of love under the Mistletoe?  Mischief, reunions, magick, and happily ever afters abound in these fifteen gems from authors in all genres.

Need a historical taste of love under the kissing bough?

That would be regency from Barbara Devlin’s Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me;  medieval from Kathryn le Veque’s Upon a Midnight Dream, Catherine Kean’s One Knight’s Kiss, Anna Markland’s Unkissable Knight, and Elizabeth Rose’s Destiny’s Kiss and Meara Platt‘s If You Loved Me; mail-order brides from Hildie McQueen’s Christina, A Bride for Christmas; Victorian in frequent Lair Guest Sandy Blair’s Tartan Bows and Mistletoe; Regency  from our own Bandita, Anna Campbell’s annacampbell_mistletoeandthemajor_v1Mistletoe and the Major!

For spirited tales of love, adventure and magick, you’ll want my contemporary paranormal A Yule to Remember and Jordan K Rose’s Her Vampire Protector, and for a little Historical paranormal fun, there’s Lana William’s Dancing Under the Mistletoe and our own Joan Kayse’s An Irish Gift.

For a contemporary romp with wonderful fun try Tina DeSalvo with Hunt for Christmas and our own Suz Ferrell returns to her town of Westen with Close to Santa’s Heart.

There’s nothing more fun at this time of year than the magic of love!  I’m so excited about this set.  I’ve read several of the stories and Iclosetosantasheartfinal can tell you they are captivating, LOL funny in some places, joyful, poignant, and perfect.

I know you’ll enjoy them as much as I have.

So….I’m giving away 5 copies of Under the Kissing Bough to commenters today!!  Just tell me…

What’s your FAVORITE mistletoe story?  Did you steal a kiss?  See Mama kissing Santa Claus?

If you don’t have a favorite mistletoe story from your own life, let’s talk carols!!  What’s your abso-favo Christmas/Holiday tunes?  Mine are the Hannukah Song, O Holy Night, O Come, O Come Emanuel, Adeste Fideles in Latin, It caem Upon a ayuletorememberfinalMidnight Clear….so many favorites!  Tell me yours!!

Welcome to Haven Harbor – an Anthology!

welcometohavenharborfinalHey everyone!  I am so psyched to introduce my co-conspirators in an anthology set in my Witches Walk world!!  Here’s the final cover art!!  Yay!!

That said, WELCOME TO HAVEN HARBOR! 

The anthology will feature five fabulous stories by amazing authors – and all set in the world I created in The Witches Walk.  

The anthology is set to come out October 20th, just in time fofb-logo-3r my favorite holiday!

A you know, if you’ve read the blurb for – or read the book – The Witches Walk takes place in the fictional town of Haven Harbor, Massachusetts.  This lovely New England town is the home of the renegade witches who fled Salem prior to the infamous Witch Trials.

The Witches Walk takes place during the annual Walk which recreates the flight of those renegades.  During Witches Walk, it’s September, at the Solstice…perfect!  Now…We move to my favorite season…drumroll please….HALLOWEEN!!

All the Welcome to Haven Harbor novellas have an October setting, and most finihh-ellensh at the annual Haven Harbor Halloween Ball.  Grins.

You just KNEW I had to do that, right?  This is me we’re talking about, the Halloween Queen.  Bwahahahah!!

So in this fun new anthology in Haven Harbor, you’ll meet Ellen Dugan’s Gypsy at Heart, Nilah.  There’s some Romany mischief with Madame Sabina’s granddaughter and you won’t want to miss it…  (She’s posted a quick blurb on her Facebook page, so go check it out!!)hh-barb

Then you’ll meet Bandita Donna’s Chelsea, in Hollywood Ghost – and for those of you who loved Donna’s Bound By Moonlight, you’re in for a treat!!

Frequent Bandit Lair guest, bestselling and amazing historical author, Barbara Devlin, is taking her first venture into the modern-day with Magic, Straight Up.  This is one couple who’ve got the best mix ever and they’re having fun shaking up Haven Harbor!

And last but not least, I’ll be entertaining you with Adele and Dan’s story, A Midnight Promise.  As I wrote Witches Walk, Dan and Adele kept popping up.  I just knew they had to have a story, but I wasn’t sure they could carry a whole book.  So…here you go!

These fabulous collages are done by Ellen Dugan, and this one gives you some hints about Librarian Dan and Adele, the town Vet!  Grins.hh-jpa

I’ll be traveling today, so I won’t be able to check in on the blog as much as I’d like to, but feel free to comment and I’ll check in and answer when I can.  I hope you’ll leave a hello, as I’ll pull three people’s names (randomly, of course) for a copy of The Witches Walk!

So, what’s your favorite way to carve a pumpkin – scary, silly, not at all, fancy faces/patterns?

Have you ever used a pattern to carve a pumpkin in a fancy way?

How many jack-o-lanterns do you carve each year?

Do you use real pumpkins or do you have the cool foam ones that you can carve?

John Adams for President….No, not really…

blog - teddy Now don’t get worried or gear up for a political discussion here….

I absolutely refuse to talk politics in my favorite place to escape, The Bandit Lair.

PLEASE do not bring this current election here.

Okay, thanks.

That said, I was rereading the John Adams Biography by David McCullough and thinking that things have changed, and yet not.  There was plenty of mudslinging and downright lies back in the “good old days” too, when it came to politicking.  Adams and his rivals were just that, rivals, and had little good to say about one another.

A friend recently said – and please, Lord, I DO hope she was joking – that I should run for President of these United States.

“You’re honest, you already live there, so no relocation costs, you’ve never been arrested, you even drive blog - grinchsafely.”

As if these were the qualifications most needed.  Grins.

I wouldn’t touch the job with a 39 and a half foot pole, to quote Dr. Seuss’s Grinch Song.

In fact, I love the job I have.  Really, really love it.  And I think I’m very qualified for it too.

And I love the job perks.  Nobody tells me what to write, what to think, what’s politically correct for my “position” in the (non-blog - bookstackexistent) Writers’ Party.  I can write as little or as much as I can or want to.  I can write a book a year or ten books a quarter if I could manage the time in the writing chair.  Grins.

When it comes to marketing and publicity, I don’t have to worry about where or with whom I advertise.  If the book fits, it’s gonna sell to that market and I’ll see sales.  If it doesn’t, I won’t and I’ll stop going to that Con or Event or stop advertising in that venue.  Pretty simple.  I like that.blog - ravencon

One thing is for sure, going to Cons is not only great for sales, but freakin’ FUN!!!  Bandita Nancy and I attended two different reader/sci-fi-fantasy Cons in the last month.  The first was RavenCon, in Williamsburg, VA.  What a great Con!  Such friendly people, super accommodations, and other than the flat on the way home, a great time was had by all!

blog con carolinasThe second Con was this last weekend in Concord, NC.  Nancy and I were happily bouncing about ConCarolinas, listening to great panels on writing shared worlds, and participating, in  my case, in one about how writing and stories have changed in a post-9/11 world.  I also got to be part of a panel on medicine after the fall of civilization.  Whoa, talk about apocalyptic!  I was surprised to be on this panel, given my normal optimistic outlook, but Nancy reminded me that the Con folks didn’t know I wasn’t a big post-apocalyptic fan.  Ha!  I’m actually glad about that, since doing this panel with Faith Hunter and Darin Kennedy and Jake Bible was just a hoot!

Later this month, Nancy and I are going to be hosting some of the authors in the boxed set Modern Magic.  As one of the participants labeled it, it’s “10 metric tons of fabulous stories” – it’s blog - modern magicactually not that heavy, but it IS a monster boxed set for the outstanding intro price of $1.99.  Yes, you read that right.  One dollar and 99 cents.  Holy COW, that’s a steal!!  You can get it here:  http://amzn.to/1OQMMC4  You can get The Tentacle Affaire in this set, along with AMAZING stories from some of Sci-fi-fantasy’s best authors!!

But I digress.

As I see it, the biggest problem with politics today is that the people who really SHOULD be doing the job – great leaders and thoughtful men and women who have experience and intelligence – don’t WANT the job.  The people who DO want the job…well….let’s just say I don’t love any of the candidates.

This isn’t true with writing.  In the Writing Party, the candidates for Awesome Writer of the Year are so vast, we could never choose just one.  Ha!

So, here’s today’s fun….

blog - allegianceGive me your FIVE NOMINEES for the Writer’s Party’s Summer Beach Read Extraordinaire (This can be a current fav, a forthcoming summer book, or a longtime take-it-to-the-shore-for-sure favorite!)

Mine are:

Any “In Death” Book by JD Robb; Anne of Green Gables which I re-read every summer; forthcoming Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh; Any Bandit Book, but especially Bandita Nancy’s forthcoming Herald of Day, Bandita Anna C’s latest novella, and Bandita Kate’s new Bibilophile mystery!  And last, but never least, Illona Andrews Kate Daniels books.

Give me your FIVE NOMINEES for the Writer’s Party’s Book I’m Most Dying to Read (What books are you jonesing for that aren’t yet out?)blog - Lackey

OMGosh, I’m jonesing for Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh due out next week, and Archangel’s Heart due out November 1; Herald of Day by Bandita Nancy; Mercedes Lackey’s Study in Sable (due out tomorrow! Squee!) and Closer to the Chest, which isn’t out till October. (Sigh)  Oh!  And Barbara Devlin’s latest Brethren of the Coast story and her venture into Piracy with The Black Morass, due out July 4.

Give me your current Favorite Read of the Week

Mine is a book I picked up at ConCarolinas by author Ursula Vernon called Castle Hangnail.  It’s a Middle Grade story about a witch, a school and the fact that the school needs a wicked witch or else the Board of Magic will blog - castle hangnaildecomission them.  Molly is a very polite witch, and at 12 years old, she’s a bit young for the job, but she assures the Castle Keepers that she’s up to the task.  Hijinks ensue and I’ve yet to discover just how they’re gonna make this work, but I’m loving the journey!  Grins.

Can’t wait to hear what you’re reading as Summer starts, and get more ideas for filling up my Kindle!

The de Wolfe Pack Invades!!

lone-wolfe-kw-500WELCOME!!  Come one, come all to the Wolfe’s Lair, home of the legendary de Wolfe family.  Men who’ll make your heart beat a little faster, women with grit and determination despite their circumstances, and heat and action galore!

This is the world of the de Wolfe men and women, created by Kathryn LeVeque, and expanded upon by fifteen different authors who’ve had a blast playing in Kathryn’s rich, imaginative world.

When our frequent Bandit guest Barbara Devlin told me about this intriguing de Wolfe Pack Kindle Worlds project, I was thrilled for her to be going back to writing in the medieval period.Arucard-Kindle

For those of you who are fans or have found Barb through the Bandit Blog, she’s got some FAB new books since the last time she was with us!  Her amazing prequels to her Brethren of the Coast series, starts with ARUCARD, (which is one of the best reads of the year).  These books are all set in medieval times, as the Templar knights flee France and persecution.  I LOVED Arucard’s story and am eagerly awaiting the next in The Brethren’s Origin Novels!!

And now… DRUM ROLL PLEASE….. this is the official cover reveal for the SECOND book in the origins series:

Demetrius-smDEMETRIUS!!

(OMGosh, I loved Arucard, but gotta say y’all are going to totally ADORE this story!!!!!)

And if you’re dying for more Brethren of the Coast, you’ll only have to wait another couple of weeks for LOVE WITH AN IMPROPER STRANGER (November 16)

So, from all that exciting news, and great new stories coming down the pike, I was even more excited when Barb told me about the de Wolfe project.  I love how Barb’s author “voice” suits the medieval, I was delighted to find out about LONE WOLFE.

Here’s the blurb for this exciting tale….

LONE WOLFE by Barbara Devlin (A de Wolfe Pack Kindle Worlds novella)LoveWithanImproperStrangerfinal

It is the tempestuous time of the Wars of the Roses and, as the Lancasters and the Yorks battle for the Crown, Lady Desiderata de Mandeviel is
caught in the games men play in their lust for power and privilege.  Contracted to wed from birth, she welcomes a union with the love of her life, the greatest lancer in England, Titus Saint-Germain.  When her father delivers news of her betrothed’s untimely demise, and demands she marry another, Desi must choose between her heart’s desire and family loyalty.  Will Desi trust her instincts or yield to paternal authority?

Harboring a secret, the truth of his parentage, imparted by his mother on her deathbed, Titus Saint-Germain finds himself trapped between two warring factions with no escape.  A loyal Yorkist, the warrior knight serves with distinction and valor, until his own men, in the heat of battle, betray him.  It is a scene eerily similar to the one that claimed the life of his father, the great Titus de Wolfe, at Towton, with a singular exception.  Help arrives in the form of an unlikely ally—an uncle unaware of his brother’s progeny.  Will Titus resist fate and deny his destiny, or will the Lone Wolfe, at long last, journey home to the Lair

What’s more, Barb is giving away a Kindle Fire and 3 copies of LONE WOLFE – we’ll chose from among our commenters and winners will be posted on Barb Devlin’s Facebook Page.  Grins.

As I said, I think it’s totally cool that all these wonderful authors came together to play in Kathryn’s beloved world.  Here are a few of the other authors who are playing in the de Wolfe world….

BRETONWOLFE BRETON WOLFE by Victoria Vane

She swore to defy him to her dying breath… But passion blurs the line between love and hate…
The bluest blood and the hardest heart… at least when it comes to marriage… The daughter of a duke and granddaughter of a king, Adele of Vannes was bartered at birth in a marriage treaty for the sole purpose of producing a royal heir. When her philandering husband is slain by Norse marauders, she is coerced to wed again in order to protect her home and her people. Adele knows that her beloved Brittany needs a strong hand to survive, but how can she ever reconcile her bitterness and hatred with the desire she feels for her mortal enemy?
She’s the jewel he seeks for his Breton crown…A Barbarian bent on building a dynasty, Valdrik Vargr, ‘the Norse Wolf,’ is renowned for both his bravery in battle and shrewdness in statecraft. Setting his sights on claiming the kingdom of Brittany, he knows that siring sons from royal blood would solidify his hold, but the woman he would claim as his queen refuses to have him. Will he fuel her hatred by taking her to his bed, or will the man who strikes terror in the hearts of men be reduced to wooing his bride?

Victoria will be giving away ……  Her winners will be posted on her website, and here on Romance Bandits!

LanaWilliams_TrustingTheWolfe_200px

TRUSTING THE WOLFE  by Lana Williams

Stabbed and left for dead in one of London’s most dangerous neighborhoods, Marcus de Wolfe is astounded when a woman resembling the angel from the famous family legend saves him. Once recovered, he shoves aside his angel’s captivating image and focuses on his goal of stopping whoever is smuggling cargo on his ships.

Left penniless by her wastrel father, seamstress Tessa Maycroft doesn’t trust men, especially not the handsome earl with the golden eyes she saved. To keep others from facing the fate she barely escaped, she offers seamstress apprenticeships for impoverished girls, giving them a chance for a better life.

But when Marcus appears in her shop and insists there’s a terrible connection between her girls and his ships, she agrees to help him once more. He tempts her to believe there might be more to life than she’s dared to hope.

Marcus soon realizes Tessa is anything but a simple seamstress. His angel shows him he’s not as dead inside as he believed. Can the passion they find in each other’s arms unite these lonely souls or will the plot they uncover threaten not only their new-found love but their lives?

Lana will be giving away 2 ebook copies (Kindle only, obviously) of Trusting The Wolfe, the novella featured and part of the world. 

 

LovesLegacynewcover

LOVES LEGACY by Amanda Mariel

Can love’s legacy bring two war weary souls together?

Drawn by a flicker of light coming from the ruins of Babylon Castle, Rebecca Sumerfield is driven to investigate. The last thing she expects to find is the castle’s owner, a Captain in the British Army. Still devastated from her brother’s death in battle, she despises all things military.

Having survived Waterloo, Captain Camden Le Bec isn’t in the market for romance. He stops at Babylon Castle, the perfect place to gather his thoughts, only for the spirited Rebecca to storm his castle and demand he leave at once. Her fearless defiance and selfless heart awaken a desire Camden has never known. He’s determined to possess her, but Rebecca refuses to risk another broken heart.CatherineKean_AKnightsDesire down sized

Will they find solace in each other’s arms, or has war pushed them both beyond any hope?

 

 

A KNIGHT’S DESIRE by Catherine Kean

Lady Rosetta Montgomery, a descendant of the fierce Norman de Wolfe warriors who subdued England alongside William the Conqueror, is on her way to her wedding when she’s kidnapped by a rider dressed all in black. She discovers her abductor is Lord Ashton Blakeley, her first and only true love, who left her to go on Crusade. Ash is a changed man now, with disfiguring scars and agonizing secrets. As rumors of lost Anglo-Saxon gold and treachery unfold, and Rosetta grows to understand the man Ash has become, will she help him fight for their love, or will the danger surrounding the hidden riches cost them all that they treasure?

Catherine will be giving away a Kindle copy of her Knight’s Series boxed set (the first four novels in her series) plus a Kindle copy of Dance of Desire – her winners will be posted here and on her Facebook page!

Wolfe500WOLFE OF THE WEST by Elizabeth Rose

Billy de Wolfe is a loner and bounty hunter who has no ties to anyone. But when his

ancestor, a medieval knight named Sir William de Wolfe, appears as a ghost to set him straight and remind him of the importance of family – his life takes a twist. He finds himself returning to his family’s ranch, having to face not only his siblings but his best friend from childhood – the woman he’s loved and lost – Lexi Marquardt. Can a ghost help a lost soul realize his mistakes of the past before he loses his family and the woman he loves forever? And can a lone wolf learn that the De Wolfe Pack always runs together?

Elizabeth will be giving away an ebook copy of Sapphire – Book 2 of her Daughters of the Dagger Series! Her winner will be posted here and on her Facebook Page 

So, this is just a small sampling of the fab fifteen who joined Kathryn in her wonderful de Wolfe World.  :>  I hope you’ll check them ALL out!

 

Now…Banditas and Bandita Buddies, all these books are set in different time frames.  Even though they all involve the fabulous de WolfedeWolfe family, some are westerns, some are medieval, some are Regency.

What time period would YOU want to live in?

If you lived in the medieval period, and were a man, would you be a knight or a tradesman, or the king?

If you lived in the Western US, would you be a cowboy, a rancher, or a Lady Outlaw?

If you could try any profession, other than the one you’ve already done, what would you like to try doing?  (Me?  I’d like to be an orchestra conductor.)

Let’s Chat!!

 

Coming in October

Wow, it’s hard to believe it’s October already and the year is almost over!  It seems like the summer just started, but we’re rolling up on Jeanne’s favorite holiday, Halloween.

We have a great month lined up in the Lair.  Here’s what’s coming!

Bandita Jeanne will do her usual post on October 8 and will be hosting the annual Halloween Party in the Lair on the 31st.

9780765335128On October 13, USA Today bestselling author Jon Land returns with Strong Light of Day, the seventh and latest Caitlin Strong/Cort Wesley Masters thriller!  In this RT Top Pick, Caitlin faces down a man whose engineered pesticide may have poisoned a huge tract of land and hunts for Cort Wesley’s son and other students from his school who’ve disappeared.

On top of that, there’s a crazed rancher whose entire herd has been killed and picked clean by something inexplicable. Add Russian extremists into the mix, and this is sure to be another dynamic page-turner. Join us and see what Jon has to say about it. He’ll be giving away a signed hardcover of Strong Light of Day.

DEADLY CURIOSITIES-VENDETTAOctober 26 marks the return of bestselling fantasy author Gail Z. Martin to the Lair.  Gail with chat with Jeanne and Nancy about alternate history.  The cover at right is for Vendetta, the forthcoming book in her Deadly Curiosities urban fantasy series, and we hope to get her to dish a little about that while she’s here. Gail will give away a copy of the first book in the series, Deadly Curiosities.

BrethrenBoxsetVolumeonefinalOn October 29, Jeanne welcomes frequent guest Barbara Devlin and her hot, sexy, historical Nautonnier Knights.  Barb not only has a new boxed set of the first three Brethren books coming out, but if you tune in on October 29, she’s got a HUGE announcement to make!  Here’s a little taste of The Brethren of the Coast Boxed Set…

Let the Brethren rock your boat in a Limited Time–Limited Edition .99-cent Boxed Set of the first three Brethren of the Coast long novels.

Enter the Brethren

Fate brings them together in a dimly lit cabin, where Trevor is looking for revenge, and Caroline is taking a bath.

My Lady, the Spy

Can Nautionnier Knight Dirk Randolph accept that his ladylove, Rebecca Wentworth, and the spy, L’araignee, exist as two sides of the same coin?

The Most Unlikely Lady

Oh-so dashing–but untitled–Everett Markham seeks a bride, and he has charged the field of Miss Sabrina Douglas, a woman who prefers trout to truffles.

***Bonus Extra***

Loving Lieutenant Douglas – Prequel to the Brethren of the Coast series

It is the Age of Sail, England is on the brink of war with France, and Royal Navy First Lieutenant Mark Douglas is not looking for a wife, but fate has other plans…

Join us on October 29 for the big announcement!
 ~~~
Jeanne is bookending this month, starting it on her regular day and closing it on October 31 with her annual Halloween bash blog. Stop by and join the party!
What’s on your calendar this month?  Are you going to have a Halloween bash? A Harvest Moon party? A hayride? Give us the scoop!

A Lucky One/Dead Run Launch PARTY!!! WOOT!!

balloonsSome things you just have to share.  And what better thing to share than a Launch Party in the Lair?  Seriously, who does launches and parties better than the Romance Bandits?

So Lair favorite, and Bestselling author, Barbara Devlin is joining me today for a Launch Party for HER book, THE LUCKY ONE – the 6th in her amaaaaaaazing Brethren of the Coast series!  WOOT!  I have loved this series since it’s inception.  I got to read almost every one of these books in draft and OMGosh, I LOVE them!!!!  I’m not even the biggest historical fan in the universe and I confess, I just jones for the next Brethren book.  Barbara never disappoints, and THE LUCKY ONE is no exception.

TheLuckyonefinal

Those of you who’ve been around the Lair have met Barb, but if you’re new ’round here, you are in for a treat!  For a great example of her writing, and a taste treat of THE LUCKY ONE, check out the excerpt at the end of today’s post.

So that’s the 19th Century part of this Launch Party…The Cabana Boys, Paolo, and the ever popular Sven, the Lair Chef and Chief Masseuse have been hard at work replicating some serious Regency party food and drink, so make sure you partake.

On the 20th and 21st Century end of the spectrum, I have two books launching, both of them re-releases.  Some of our long term Bandita Buddies would remember and might have bought DEAD RUN in its original incarnation (Dark and Dangerous), but I’ve updated it for today’s market, and re-set it to start a series as it was originally intended.

DeadRunfinalAs I mentioned last month, DEAD RUN is the first in the Faithful Defenders series and hopefully will please you just as much in this new incarnation.  The second book in the series, DEAD RECKONING will be here before summer.  Hopefully, I can do the cover reveal on that on the 8th of NEXT month!

In DEAD RUN, Dana Markham is up against her worst enemy, and a man who knows her all too well – her mobster ex-husband Donovan Walker.  He wants their son in his hands, not in Dana’s.    And he wants Dana very, very, dead.   He’s also willing to go to almost any length to make sure of it.  Caine Bradley is an undercover FBI agent working inside Donovan Walker’s organization.  When he’s sent to kill her, Caine must make the desperate choice to reveal himself, and save her.  Dana’s no slouch at saving herself, though.  Between her own wits, her faithful defender, a German Shepherd AJewelinTimefinalnamed Shadow, and a full arsenal of weapons, she turns the tables on Donovan Walker at every turn.  Can she and Caine work together to defeat Donovan Walker one last time?

And if German Shepherds weren’t enough….Grins…Let’s go back to Germany in the 20th Century!

The second book I’m launching today, is my World War II novella, BEHIND ENEMY LINES, originally published with the above mentioned Barbara Devlin!!  Hopefully you remember that Barb and wonderful debut author, Caitlenn Ainnsley, and I launched the anthology A JEWEL IN TIME back in December.  Barb’s story, LOVING LIEUTENANT DOUGLAS started the show, then my WWII story, then Caitlenn’s sexy Contemporary THE BRIT, THE BROOCH, AND THE BLIZZARD.

If you want all three, go for A JEWEL IN TIME as an anthology.  If you just love historicals – especially if you love the Brethren Series! – just buy Loving
91WDgDbBjmL._SL1500_ Lieutenant Douglas as a single.  If you love WWII stories, the single of BEHIND ENEMY LINES is what I’m launching today!

BEHIND ENEMY LINES is set in 1939, right as the world began to realize that Germany, under Hitler, was a threat to freedom around the globe.  These first stirrings of war were so dangerous, so dark, that my lady spy, Grace Corvedale, misses her chance to get out before the Nazi’s invade.  Can handsome American spy, Lt. Robert “Dix” Dixon, save her – and himself! – from Hitler, and from the SS Officers who are hunting Grace?

Just so you know…I dedicated BEHIND ENEMY LINES to my father and all the wonderful men in my family who served.  Y’all who’ve been with the JamesH.PickeringWWIIBandits for a while know some of my stories about Daddy.  This is the picture I put up one Veteran’s Day.  Grins.

So, as I said…it’s time to PARTY!!!!!  WOOHOOO!!!

Snitzel, Schnapps, and all sorts of slurpy good pastries are on the party menu as well.  SVEN!!!  Bring on the beverages!!

So what is YOUR party preference?  Scnapps or a lovely wine?

What’s your era of preference?  19th Century historical, WWII Historical, or present day contemporary?

If you could walk back in time for just a day, what day would you choose?  What era?

Who would you want to dance with?  Prinny?  Lt. Douglas?  HRH King George?  Winston Churchill?  (I’m going to claim Richard Armitage as John Thornton from North and South !!!)

And now, that Excerpt of THE LUCKY ONE!

 

The Descendants
Portsea Island, England
March, 1814

The diminutive, hooded thief, bearing a rucksack over his shoulder, skulked along the waist, hesitated for a scarce second, and then scampered below decks and into the cargo hold. Following in the scoundrel’s wake, Dalton Randolph hugged the shadows and grinned, as the unknown gadling lifted the lid on a barrel and retrieved several potatoes.

After a French ship had landed one too many direct hits to the Siren’s boards, Dalton had anchored off Portsea Island for an emergency field refitting. Once the leaks had been sealed, he had permitted the greater portion of his crew to indulge in a bit of local entertainment, while he remained aboard ship.
As a Nautionnier Knight of the Brethren of the Coast, a daring band of experienced sea captains descended of the Templars, the warriors of the Crusades, he savored the quiet hours, with nothing but the wind thrumming in the rat lines and the waves lapping at the hull. And even at the age of one and thirty, stargazing reigned supreme as a particular favored hobby, so he often doused the stern lanterns and studied the night sky, which is why the three bandits had not noted his presence, or the first mate, when they scampered over the larboard rail.

Given the interloper’s small frame, Dalton guessed the criminal could not have been more than a lad. As the Siren’s stores contained plenty of supplies, and hunger persisted during times of war, he abided the bit of mischief, in the spirit of generosity.

The plunderer bent to pilfer a tin of tea, and his breeches stretched taut over his backside. To Dalton’s amazement, he realized the villain was a woman, as he would know the telltale shapely, feminine derriere from a distance of fifty paces. Judging from the silhouette, the mystery lady had been blessed with a prime figure, which he ached to know on a more intimate level.

“You know, there are easier ways to earn a bit of coin and food, my dear.” He emerged from his hiding place. “Take off your hood, and let me gaze upon the rest of you. If I like what I see, we may broker a deal.”

The infinitely interesting prey shrieked and cringed. Then she edged toward the companion ladder, but he beat her to it.
“Come now, dove. There is no need to fear me, as we might strike a bargain, which benefits us, both.” Now he noted her ample bosom, as his soon-to-be bunkmate faced him. Fascinated, he longed to assess her complexion, as he splayed wide his arms. “And if you apply yourself, in earnest, and please me, I shall bestow upon you a handsome reward, and you need never burgle passing ships, again, as it is dangerous business.”
When he moved in her direction, she emitted the softest whimper and retreated. Clutching the bag to her chest, she skittered to the left and sheltered behind a few crates of vegetables. His quarry was fast, but Dalton was faster. As he closed the distance between them, she leaped atop a heap of sacks containing rice and dried beans.

The thrill of the chase burned in his loins and piqued the pirate in his pants, which had suffered serious neglect, in recent months. Given the importuning antics of his latest paramour, the well-used Lady Moreton, whose harbor had seen more action than Deptford, he sported for a new conquest, and it appeared she had found him, to his credit.

In the soft lamplight, he discovered the purest blue eyes he had ever glimpsed, peeking from the mask, and a lush mouth with lips as red as a pomegranate, and he had to have her. But the captivating swindler remained mute and refused to cooperate, as she evaded his spontaneous lunge. While his grand maneuver granted him nothing more than a close inspection of the wood grain on the deck, she availed herself of the opportunity to sprint to the companion ladder, and he shot to his feet and pursued what he vowed would be his future courtesan.

At the waist, she collided with one of her cohorts, just as shouts of alarm signaled the first mate and the cook, who wielded a large frying pan, chased the third conspirator.

“Come back here, you rascal.” Mr. Shaw bounded onto the deck, with a pistol aimed at the tallest of the boarders. “You there, hold hard.”
“As you were, Mr. Shaw.” Dalton stayed the first mate. “There is no need for violence, given the lady and I have just entered negotiations. What say you, pretty britches? I shall let your friends go free, if you agree to spend the night with me.”

For a few seconds, the odd trio shuffled their feet and exchanged wary glances. Then the two heartier thieves drew the woman to the rear and shook their heads.
“More’s the pity.” Dalton chuckled. “As you leave me no option but to summon the watch and have you arrested.”
The female flinched, and he could smell her fear. Together, the clumsy band of vagabonds inched closer to the rail. When the woman peered over the side, he guessed her intent.

“Steady, love. Do not attempt something you might later regret, as we are all friends, here.” With palms upraised in implied surrender, Dalton glanced at the first mate. “Mr. Shaw, lower the weapon.”

The first mate vented a snort of disgust. “But, sir—”

“Lower the bloody weapon. That is an order.” Dalton took two tentative steps forward. “Easy, love. Remain calm, as I will not hurt you.”
Just then, one of the bandits untied and kicked over an empty rain barrel, which had been lashed to the side, and sent it tumbling in Dalton’s direction. In a panic, the first mate discharged the pistol, and the female screamed.

“Stand down, Mr. Shaw.” Dalton cursed under his breath, as two of the thieves jumped the railing. After unleashing a second barrel, the last of the criminals escaped.

“Hell and the Reaper.” The cook blanched and scratched his chin. “I presumed you were joking, but they had a woman in their midst.”

“Sorry, Cap’n.” The first mate tucked the firearm in his waistband. “Had I known of the lady, I would not have fired.”

“No worries, as their theft consisted of nothing more than food from our stores, and I do not believe you hit anyone.” Standing a-larboard, Dalton smiled, as the brazen crooks eluded capture via a small rowboat. Then a scrap of red caught his attention. The velvet pouch, which he bent to retrieve, had protected a valuable artifact, but now it sat empty. “Did our uninvited guests invade my cabin?”

“Aye, sir.” Mr. Shaw nodded. “That is when I roused the villains.”

In that instant, Dalton frowned. “Then the nameless scoundrels are not harmless, and their cause is not so noble, as I had thought, given they have taken something invaluable to my family, so we shall meet again.”

“But how will we find them, sir?” The cook hugged his cast-iron skillet. “As they have disappeared around the bend.”

“Fret not, old friend.” Dalton lowered his chin and flipped his familiar coin, which landed, however apropos, on tails. “They don’t call me the lucky one, for nothing.”

Coming Attractions….April!

Hey Everyone!

DeadRunfinalKeep your eyes on the 8th of April – Bestselling author Barbara Devlin will be here with Bandita Jeanne chatting about her fabulous new book The Lucky One.  This is the 6th book in her Brethren of the Coast series.  It’s up on Amazon for a great low price right now and I must say, it’s FABULOUS!!  Chalk up another winner for Barb!

Also, you’ll get a Launch Party for my re-release of my first book, as I mentioned last month.  So come hang out on the 8th and win a copy of DEAD RUN as well!

11001894_10204486677381567_7092697888401229058_nAlso, don’t forget, the fabulous TINY TREATS 2 is up on Amazon!  It’s a St. Patrick’s themed anthology and is currently sitting at #21 on the anthology list!

 

killLarry2dSpeaking of anthologies, be sure to pre-order the new Red Door Reads anthology 50 WAYS TO KILL YOUR LARRY. All new shorts by 10 fantastic Red Door Reads authors for only $0.99! Includes work by our own Caren Crane and Lair favorites Claudia Dain, Dee Davis, Lori Handeland, Deb Marlowe, Susan Gee Heino, Ava Stone, Jane Charles, Michelle Marcos and Jerrica Knight-Catania. Available everywhere for pre-order (click the cover for the Amazon link). Release date is April 15 and it is only available for a few weeks. Get it now!!

Romance Bandits Backlogged Booty!!

1BanditBootyHey everyone!  Here’s some backlogged Booty from Jeanne And Cassondra!

Oct 23 – The Winner of DEMON STORM from Dianna Love is..

Suzette Henderson!

– You’ve won a copy of  DEMON STORM from Dianna Love.   Suzette, if you’re in the Continental US, you’ll receive a print copy of DEMON STORM. If you’re international, you’ll get an e-book from either Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Dec 3 – From Jeanne’s December 3 Blog about cookies – The winner is…

BethInIL!

Beth, you win a copy of the Christmas Anthology, A Jewel in Time, featuring Jeanne Adams, Barbara Devlin and Caitlenn T Ainnsley; a copy of Barbara Devlin’s Enter the Brethren, and a copy of Jeanne’s Deadly Delivery!

Dec 12 – From the blog featuring Debut Author Louisa Cornell, the Winner is…

HEATHER CM2001 

December 17 – The first day of the epic Donut Food Fight – the winner of the DC Mug and $10 Starbucks card from Jeanne “Cake Donuts Rule” Adams is…

MIKE MILLER!

 and the Two Grab Bag Books and Conference Swag from Cassondra “Glazed Yeast Donuts Are ALL!” Murray is..

AMY CONLEY!

December 18 – The second day of the epic Donut Food Fight – the winner of the Two Grab Bag Books and Conference Swag from Cassondra “I Love Peppermint” Murray is…

TERESA HUGHES!

and the winnner of the Starbucks DC Mug and $10 Starbucks card from Jeanne “No Additives” Adams, is…

LOIS M!!

Y’all contact us at jpagryphon AT aol.com or Cassondrawrites AT gmail.com with your snail mail addy so we can ship your loot!

 

C is for Cookie, That’s Good Enough for Me….To Eat!

C&KhopCOOKIES!!!

I LOVE Cookies.  I love them in all shapes and sizes and varieties.

I love short cookies (not so sweet, more cake-y) and gooey cookies (the gumdrop cookies I put in the recipe book I’ll mention in a minute), and soft cookies (ginger molasses and chocolate and chocolate chip) and crisp cookies (sugar and gingersnaps and pecan sandies).

I love shaped cookies like gingerbread people and sugar cookie stars and hearts and christmas trees.  I love blob cookies (AKA “drop cookies”) that you slide off the spoon and onto the cookie sheet and hope they end up in some kind of vague cookie shape.

TollHouseCookies

I’m good with your basic oatmeal cookie, your peanut butter cookie, and le basic Toll House chocolate chip.  They are the standards.  The “go to” cookie of any season.  They are the blue-chip-stock of cookies.  You cannot go wrong with those basic cookie types, no matter what the occasion.

But when it comes to the Holidays, beginning with Halloween in our household, it’s ALLLLLLLL about the Molasses Ginger Cookies, the soft Chocolate Sugar Cookies, the 7 layer Cookie Bars, the gingerbread and oooohhhhhhh! The cut out sugar cookies.

So when Tawny asked me if I wanted to be a stop on her Cookies and Kisses Author Hop, to celebrate the Holiday Cookie Season, I was all over it.  Grins.  There’s even a Cookies & Kisses cookbook!  Go to Tawny’s website and you’ll find the link!  0Q1qz4d4bo1_500_zpsb68a339fwww.TawnyWeber.com (that’s where my gumdrop cookie recipe can be found!)

Looking up that gumdrop recipe really took me back in time.  You see, when I was little, the Cookie Season began when Mama got out her recipe book – a heavy, black, leather journal-type book – and made cookie dough.

She loved to bake.  Baking was her glory.  Pies were her first love and like our Joan, she entered the Fair and won her “Fair Share” – hahah – of ribbons.  I even have a picture of her with a prize winning pie.

But her cookies were the highlight of my childhood.

So how do Cookies relate to Kisses?  In my Christmas story BEHIND ENEMY LINES in the Anthology, A JEWEL IN TIME, which I wrote with my pals Bestselling Author Barbara Devlin and debut author Caitlenn Ainnsley, there aren’t any cookies, alas, but there are LOTS of kisses!

Behind Enemy Lines is set in the chaos preceding WWII.  I was actually talking to my sons about my Mom and Dad both having been alive during WWII – my dad served in the Army with Patton’s divisions in France, Belgium and the Netherlands.  So was telling my Eldest, now 14, about this time-honored connection of cookie dough, recipes, and cut-out-cookie baking with my Mom and her notes in the margins, many of which were written during the War Years.

Did he feel the connection via these yummy cookies, to his elders, to his Grandmother Pickering whom he never met?

“Ummmm, kinda,” he said, munching on the last of the molasses ginger cookies I made last weekend.  “This was her recipe, right?  The one you won’t share?”

IMG_3162“Yes,” I replied, pleased that he remembered.  “The one she wrote by hand, in fountain pen.”  (You can see an example there below, of her hand written, fountain-pen elegance in recipe writing)

“You said she started that during the War, right?  By the way, what’s a fountain pen?  And are we making cookies this weekend?  You got the jam, right?”

I beamed.  He remembered. (BTW, the jam is for Apricot Jam Tarts.  Grins.  Slurpy Good.)

photoAlthough my sons never met my mother, they knew my stories about her writing notes in her own private recipe book – notes about how to get by without rationed sugar or without shortening or hard-to-get-in-the-city brown sugar.  Its funny, I can tell if a recipe is from the WWII era when it calls for “heavy cream skimmed off the top of the milk” or “lard” or it says “fresh eggs best, esp. from the Reds”  (Mother raised Rhode Island Red chickens as a girl.  Grins.)  So, despite never having met her, my sons and even my husband kind-of “know” my Mom.

I hope, when they’re older, they’ll read BEHIND ENEMY LINES and know a little about that history-shaping time of  World War II.  So to go with your coffee and cookies this fine December day, here’s a short excerpt:

Grace conned enough German to know she was being held until Adolf Hitler himself arrived to talk to her. Somehow he’d learned about her antique jeweled brooch, and the legend around it, and around her family’s ancient Templar origins. Her lip curled in a silent snarl. It wasn’t like anyone had kept the legend secret, exactly. Each generation’s eldest daughter, if there was one, received the brooch. The previous generation’s eldest daughter passed it on to her daughter, or to the niece or cousin she felt should be the recipient. Grace’s Aunt, also named Grace, had passed it to her namesake on the day Grace turned eighteen. Aunt Grace’s brood was large, but they were all boys.

Grace didn’t really believe in the legend. How could dreaming of your “destined love” be helpful in any way? And really.AJewelinTimefinal
Different dreams? Compelling futures?

Balderdash. But she loved the jewel, and kept the tradition of wearing it, always. And because she did that bit, she kept the jewel-journal with her at all times, as well.

Grace looked at her watch as she heard the creaking of the great stairs down the hall from her room. There was a perfunctory knock and the grate of a key in the old fashioned lock.

The same pattern had been repeated for three days now. She’d been here a week, but within the last few days, three more generals had arrived. She’d been introduced, but then sequestered in her room.

“Fräulein Corvedale, your dinner.”  A woman, the lodge’s housekeeper, bustled in. Her name was Frau Shemper and she spoke superb English. “Come, come, I will set it up here, yes?”

She motioned the servant following her to put the tray down on the table near where Grace sat.  As he set down the tray, the man watched her. Harsh white scars ran like claw marks under a black eye patch. His stooped posture and distinct limp should have made him look menacing.  Instead, there was a knowing look in his good eye, an assessing look. It was as if he wanted–needed–to talk to her, but dared not.

“It won’t be long now,” Frau Shemper chirped chattily, pulling the curtains, shutting out the winter landscape. “Tomorrow night our special guests will be here,” the woman said, her smile twinkling, inviting Grace to enjoy the idea of that.

“Danke, Frau Shemper.”

The manservant had tended the fire, and now stood at the door, a hulking, dark-haired reminder that she was a prisoner.  His presence sent a shiver down her back, which she disguised by rising from her seat, moving to the newly awakened fire. There was something about him…something compelling.

Under her shirt, the jeweled pendant shifted against her skin. It was a warm and reassuring weight. Somehow, she’d get out of here.  Grace had been well trained as a spy, and her self-defense skills were superb. Unfortunately, even if she could take out both Frau Shemper and the manservant, there was a guard in the hall, and another patrolling the lower floor. Yet another guard walked a beat in the garden, with one at the gate, and at least one at the end of the drive, which she could see from her windows.

“Come, now, Fräulein. You must be hungry, yes?”

“Yes, of course. Thank you, Frau Shemper, for bringing dinner up yourself. You must be very busy with such important guests to tend.”

She and the man left, and Grace returned to the stew and her questions.  What could Hitler want with her? With the jewel? She didn’t want to think about the diary. She prayed it was still in the lodge, that she could find it. Though not as ancient as the brooch, it told only the stories of the women in her family who’d possessed the jewel through the centuries.

It was a story book, but a precious one. Those stories, magical or not, were her history, her people. Still. They were stories. Fables.  If it were only that, well, it wouldn’t be so dangerous. Unfortunately, she’d used the book to create a code system. She stored her notes in it, and had given her father the key to the code should she die.

“Lovely thoughts, Grace,” she chided herself as she sat brooding by the fire. The heavy tread in the hallway and subsequent scrape of the key in the lock startled her. She rose, expecting Frau Shemper.

The manservant was alone. He left the door open and Grace assessed her chances.

“I wouldn’t try it, Lady Corvedale,” the man said, his voice low and controlled. He spoke English! An American!

“What did you say?” As she watched, he transformed, standing taller, looking leaner and less bulky as he stood straight. His shoulders, already broad, were even bigger when he stood up to his full height, his posture exact and erect.

“Don’t try to jump me and I won’t have to hurt you.”

 

Squidge and CoffeeAnd there you have it, Banditas and Buddies!  A little taste treat for the day!

Do you like your cookies with Coffee?  

(There’s my daily dose with Squidge.  Squidge appears courtesy of the darling JADE LEE! I love my Squidge!)

Do you like your cookies with tea?

With hot chocolate?

With Milk?

Do you leave milk and cookies for Santa – or did you as a child, or with your children if you had/have them?

What’s your favorite store-bought cookie? Pepperidge Farm Orange Milanos?  Oreos?  Keebler Fudge Stripes?

Do you dunk?  That is, do you dunk your cookies in milk/coffee/tea/chocolate or just eat them as an accompaniment? 

 

One lucky poster today will get a copy of A JEWEL IN TIME, and a copy of ENTER THE BRETHREN from Barbara Devlin.  (Her story in A Jewel in Time is a prequel to her Brethren of the Coast series, so you’ll get a great start to the series!!)  I’ll also put a copy of my Thanksgiving Themed novella, Deadly Delivery in today’s prize bundle!  (KINDLE ONLY!)

 

 

December’s Coming Attractions!

100_6265Welcome to the Holidays, Bandits and Bandit Buddies!

Have we got a Jingle Bell Lineup for YOU!!!

On December 5, Allie Burton returns to the Lair with her newest LOST DAUGHTER OF ATLANTIS book

– ATLANTIS GLACIAL TIDES

Atlantis+Glacial+Tides+final

On Tuesday, 9th December, lair favorite Annie West (www.annie-west.com) returns to talk about the latest instalment in her HOT ITALIAN NIGHTS series, the sizzling novella BOUGHT BY THE ITALIAN.

Isn’t that a gorgeous cover down below there on the right?

ChristmasRevels1-187x300On December 12th, we have a very special interview in the Lair!  Longtime Lair Buddy and dear friend Louisa Cornell!  We who know Louisa have waited a long time for a story from her, and A PERFECTLY DREADFUL CHRISTMAS – in the brand new Christmas Revels anthology – is worth the wait.

Louisa’s fantastic regency story warrants a souped-up, chandelier-swiging, full bucket-boots-and-regalia celebration!  Join us as Bandita Cassondra hosts Louisa for her debut guest spot in the Lair!!

Then….drum roll please….

You’ll have to come party with us on FB on the 11th of December as we launch the beginning of our annual 12 Days of Bandita Christmas!!  The FACEBOOK ARTY, THURSDAY the 11th of December, and the Holidays kick off on the blog on SUNDAY, December 14th!annieitalian

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 11!  FACEBOOK PARTY!!!!  WOOT!!!

Prizes, books, fun, laughter, nog, grog, and nosh!

The 14th is Tawny’s Holiday Blog day

ClosetoChristmasfinalforBarnesandNobleThe 15th is Trish’s Holiday Blog day

The 16th is Nancy’s Holiday Blog day

The 17th and the 18th will feature one of Bandita Cassondra and Bandita Jeanne’s famous (or is that infamous…?)  FOOD FIGHTS!!  What kind of food?

Well you’ll just have to tune in and find out, right?

The 19th is Susan’s Holiday Blog day

The 20th is Suz’s Holiday Blog day

The 21st is Caren’s Holiday Blog day

The 22nd is Anna S’s Holiday Blog day

The 23rd is Donna’s Holiday Blog day

AJewelinTimefinalOn the 24th…The Night Before Christmas…Our own Bandita Jo will take center stage

On the 25th,  The Very Merriest of Christmas Days, Kate Carlisle will blog!

There will be cookie, candy and sweet recipes.  There will be prezzies and prizes.  There will be fun galore!  Be sure to stop in once a day and comment for a chance to win a HUGE PRIZE BUNDLE on December 25th.

Also…There are lots of wonderful Christmas and Holiday novellas out!  Just the right “bite-sized” story between shopping and cooking, working and the holiday party, etc. And fabulous for that rare moment where you just have a little while to put your feet up and get away…

In that spirit, don’t forget to download your copy of Tiny Treats: A Holiday Collection, a collection of micro holiday stories by nearly 30 authors, including Banditas Nancy Tiny TreatsNorthcott, Suzanne Ferrell, Tawny Weber, Donna MacMeans, Anna Sugden, and Trish Milburn.

Sign up for our Members Only Newsletter for a chance to win a monthly book-pack!  This month’s prize includes….

A Perfect Gift  (Novella) by Jo Robertson

 An ebook copy of CLOSE TO CHRISTMAS by Suz Ferrell

 Her Christmas Earl (Novella) by Anna Campbell

Cross Springs in Bloom (Novella) by Caren Crane

Both A Jewel in Time and Deadly Delivery (1 Novella, 1 Anthology) – by Jeanne Adams

A Perfect Distraction (full novel) by Anna Sugden

 In News…. Bandita Kate Carlisle made the NEW YORK TIMES list with the first book in her new series, HIGH END FINISH!!  WOOT!! GO KATE!!!

anthologyHER CHRISTMAS EARL: A REGENCY NOVELLA by Anna Campbell is burning up the Amazon lists, making it to the number one spot in Regency romance and Scottish romance. Buy link: http://www.amazon.com/Her-Christmas-Earl-Regency-Novella-ebook/dp/B00OQY2X06/ref=zg_bs_158573011_2

 Anna also has a contest on her website…go check it out!TPG Final cover

And don’t miss out on the FREE anthology A GROSVENOR SQUARE CHRISTMAS with stories by Bandita Anna Campbell, Vanessa Kelly, Shana Galen and Kate Noble. Currently in Amazon’s top 1000 free books.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Grosvenor-Square-Christmas-Shana-Galen-ebook/dp/B00FSLF4NO/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1416347343&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=christmas+in+grosvenor+square

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-grosvenor-square-christmas-vanessa-kelly/1117251695?ean=2940045347853

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