Posted by Beth Andrews May 20 2013, 4:32 am in Beth Andrews, Bewtitching, carla neggers, His Secret Agenda, Launch Party
It’s an impromptu launch party in the lair! I’m so excited and honored that Harlequin is reissuing my Oct 2009 release, HIS SECRET AGENDA as the bonus book with Carla Neggers’s BEWITCHING, which comes out next Tuesday. Carla is such a fabulous author and I know she’s a favorite around the lair
HIS SECRET AGENDA was my third book – it’s also the third book in my Serenity Springs series. Here’s the original back cover blurb:
Dean Garret is about to break the number one rule of undercover work. And it’s all because his new “boss” is as pretty as a professional cheerleader and has a do-gooder’s heart. Who can resist that combination? Still, Dean suspects Allison Martin is hiding something behind her dazzling smile. That something being the runaway mother and son he’s been hired to find.
To get the job done, he needs to gain Allie’s trust. Only, the lawyer-turned-bar-owner isn’t cooperating. But she can’t remain immune to his good ol’ boy charm and sexy drawl forever. Because Dean never fails. And he’ll do anything to solve a case. Even if it means he has to break all the rules.
That part about Allie being as pretty as a professional cheerleader still makes me smile!
I hadn’t really planned on throwing a party in the lair (there’s a lot going on at my house right now and believe me, things are crazy *g*) but then I realized that maybe a party is just what I need *g* The only problem with hosting or attending a last-minute-get-together? What to serve/bring!
Tell me, what’s your Go To recipe? The one thing you make/bring/buy/serve when you’re short on time but still want to serve a winner? And, just for fun, which cover do you prefer?
Posted by Beth Andrews Apr 20 2013, 4:22 am in Beth Andrews, favorite foods, paninis
Over the last few years, ever since my sister bought me a Panini pan for Christmas, Saturday nights at my house have become known as Panini Night for obvious reasons. I love me a panini sandwich, a love my son shares as every time he comes home from college, whether it’s for a few days or a few weeks, he asks me to make paninis *g* While he’s more than capable of making his own grilled sandwich (and he often does, making what he calls Man-wiches for snacks – triple layered sandwiches that usually include a fried egg and at least two cheeses) he still loves his mama’s cooking more! As we’ve had Panini Night for a few years now, each family member has their favorite:
Little Sis – Caesar shrimp panini on ciabatta rolls with spinach and slices of Parmesan cheese.
Only Son – grilled chicken on thick sliced sourdough with Cheddar and Swiss, avocado, bacon, spinach and tomato
Husband – Classic Reuben
Me – roasted broccoli, turkey and cheddar with honey mustard on cheesy focaccia bread
Big Sis – none. She doesn’t like her sandwiches grilled *g*
It’s easy to find recipes for paninis since they’ve become so popular and one of my favorite resources is Panini Happy. Here’s the link: http://paninihappy.com/
Do you like paninis? Do you have anything like a weekly Panini night? Maybe spaghetti Thursday (my parents do this *g*) or Meatless Mondays?
Posted by Anna Sugden Apr 3 2013, 6:05 am in Anna Sugden, Beth Andrews, Exclusive excerpt, Talk of the Town
Want an exclusive sneak peek at Beth’s April release, Talk of the Town?
Check out the Member’s Den and see this month’s exclusive excerpt.
If you’re not a member, what are you waiting for? Sign up today! It’s really easy. Bandita Buddies get access to exclusive content. Receive our monthly newsletter and be entered into the draw for unique, Members Only prizes.Tell us your birthday for a special greeting from the Banditas and the Lair hunks.
Posted by Beth Andrews Apr 3 2013, 4:14 am in Beth Andrews, Launch Party, Talk of the Town
Whoo Hoo! It’s another launch party in the lair! I’m so excited to be celebrating the release of my eleventh book for Harlequin Superromance! Talk of the Town is the first story in my new series, In Shady Grove. The fictional town of Shady Grove, Pennsylvania is based on my own hometown and I had so much fun coming up with ideas for the series.
Talk of the Town is a reunion story about a professional hockey player and the girl he left behind. Here’s the back cover blurb:
Shady Grove – where everyone knows your secrets
Once, Neil Pettit was the only thing Maddie Montesano wanted. She tried every trick in the book to keep him, but no luck. It took some time – and a lot of holding her head up while the town gossiped – but she’s made a good life for herself and her daughter.
Now, Neil’s back and is trying to be the father he never was. Maddie so doesn’t need this kind of disruption. Not when the crazy attraction she’s spent years ignoring still sizzles between them. The temptation to give in and have Neil again is strong. And when he offers that dream of forever she’d abandoned, well, she might give this town something new to talk about…
I won’t say it was easy writing Neil and Maddie’s story but I’m very happy with how it turned out! Here’s a peek at their first kiss in over twelve years:
She should do something, Maddie thought, frantic. Shove him on his ass or dump her beer in his lap. All viable options, options she should take. Instead she let him pull her, oh, so slowly, toward him. It was shock, she told herself, that had her thoughts fuzzy, her chest tight. Not anticipation. Not hope or excitement. Certainly not fear.
His eyes, hot with want, dropped to her mouth. Her lips parted. Her throat dried. Oh, God. She stiffened but his fingers delved into the hair at the nape of her neck and he held her head. Just like he used to. His hand large and warm, his thumb brushing against the sensitive skin on the underside of her jaw. And he was looking at her as if she was the only woman in the entire world, the only one who mattered.
The only one he wanted.
It was a lie, one she’d fooled herself into believing years ago. One she couldn’t afford to believe now.
His face filled her vision, his head blocking the light from the lantern. He became her focus, all she could see was the blue of his eyes, all she could feel was the warmth of his breath on her mouth. He hesitated, his lips a hair’s breadth from hers, and that feeling she’d insisted wasn’t anticipation built until she was afraid she couldn’t take it anymore. That if he didn’t close the distance between them, the unthinkable, the unfathomable, would happen.
He saved her ego and her pride, let her keep believing the lies she told herself by brushing his mouth against hers. Her breath stuttered out, her heart pounded, the sound echoing in her ears. She froze, her hands clenched in her lap, as his lips settled against hers, warm and firm. He kept the kiss gentle. Sweet. Like their first.
Like their last.
Time to party! Roll out the Gladiators and bring on the Hockey Hunks…er…I mean roll out the party favors and bring on the tasty snacks! What are your favorite party snacks? Do you have a favorite reunion romance story?
Posted by Beth Andrews Apr 1 2013, 4:07 am in Beth Andrews, Exclusive excerpt, Talk of the Town
A sneak peek of Beth Andrews’s April 2013 release, Talk of the Town
The next morning Neil forced himself to jog up the steps to Maddie’s house instead of turning around, like he wanted, and heading back to Carl and Gerry’s place. Or better yet, driving to the airport and grabbing the first westward flight he could get.
But there’d be no escaping Shady Grove. Not yet, anyway. He was there for the duration. He was there for his sister who, according to Gerry, never came out of her bedroom last night. Mostly, he was there for his daughter. Whether she or her mother liked it or not.
He knocked on the door. Birds chirped loudly, some cheerful song that set his teeth on edge. A chipmunk raced onto the sidewalk then rose onto its hind legs, its nose twitching. At the edge of the lawn, where the green blades sparkled with dew, two rabbits nibbled on grass.
It was like being in a freaking Disney movie. Next thing he knew, one of those birds would land on his shoulder and all the woodland creatures would break into a dance routine.
Cupping his hands, he peered through the glass of the door. The kitchen was dark. And empty. He knocked again, this time using the side of his fist. The rabbits startled then darted into the underbrush. But the birds kept right on chirping.
The rising sun broke through the shroud of fog, made it look as if God Himself was shining His holy light down on what Neil thought of as the Montesano Compound. Across the street, Rose and Frank Montesano’s two-story brick home towered over Big Leo’s place, a small cottage they’d built on the front corner of their property. From what Gerry said, Eddie Montesano and his son lived on this street as well.
The Montesanos always did like to stick close together.
The door opened. Maddie, a cup of coffee in her hand, blinked at him. Blinked again
“’Morning,” he said, edging his foot forward to stop the door in case she decided to slam it in his face.
A distinct possibility given the scowl she aimed at him.
“It’s six-fifteen,” she said.
“In the morning.”
“I didn’t wake you.” It wasn’t a question since she’d already made coffee and had on a pair of faded jeans and a black tank top.
He told himself he wasn’t disappointed she no longer wore those tiny blue shorts from last night.
“That’s not the…oh, never mind.” She exhaled heavily, which did some really interesting things to that tank top. “Why are you here?”
It wasn’t easy for him to share his thoughts, to put everything he had on the line for others to use against him. But this, this was easy. Because it was right.
“I’m here for my daughter.”
“Your daughter is sleeping. And is, as far as I know, unaware that you two had plans this morning.”
“We don’t. Have plans, that is. But I’d like to see her.”
Maddie leaned against the door frame. “Why?”
Damn it, she couldn’t make this easy, could she? She wasn’t about to let him in, not until she got what she wanted—for him to open up, to share what was on his mind. She’d always demanded too much from him. As if she’d had a right to his every thought, to know what he felt at any given time just because they’d been a couple. But they weren’t together now, hadn’t been in a long time. And he was getting mighty tired of always toeing that line she tossed out for him.
It didn’t help his equilibrium that he hadn’t been able to get her out his head, had even fantasized about her as he fell asleep. Her and those damn shorts, her tanned legs smooth and bare, her hair tumbling around her face.
Today was somehow worse. Her shirt accentuated the curve of her waist, clung to her breasts. Her neck was long, the muscles in her arms defined but still feminine. The strap of her bra—black, to match the shirt—slid down her arm. She ignored it, was way too busy glaring at him to slide it back into place.
It was all he could do not to slip his finger under the silk and do it himself.
Hell. He was losing his mind. Either that or he’d regressed. Right back to his eighteen-year-old self, the kid who’d been crazy for her. Who’d known, even then, that she had the power to bring him to his knees.
When all he’d ever wanted, all he’d needed, was to stand on his own two feet.
Posted by Beth Andrews Mar 20 2013, 4:29 am in Beth Andrews, field trips, travel
Today, Big Sis (older daughter) is heading out bright and early to Gettysburg, PA for a field trip for her US Gov and Politics class. She and her classmates are very excited to get a chance to see the historic battlefields, take a ghost tour and visit the museums. This will be her last official school field trip which has me thinking of the field trips of my own youth.
Trip number one was to a local grocery store when I was in kindergarten. We toured the bakery and, I believe, got a cookie at the end of it all (yes, I’m all about the cookies *g*)
Trip number two was a few years later. In fourth grade, all kids in town go to Crook Farm, a local, historical landmark. We visited the original Crook family farmhouse, had a spelling bee in the school house, made candles and learned what life was like over one hundred and fifty years ago. Fun note: at the end of each summer, there’s a Crook Farm Country Fair and Old Time Country Music Festival held at Crook Farm. There are crafts, music, food and games for the kids. Lots of fun!
My last field trip was in sixth grade when all the patrols (most kids in town walked to school and the older kids helped them cross the busiest streets) in our town went to Washington, DC. I honestly don’t remember much about that trip except the long bus ride *g*
Only Son went on field trips to an amusement park (which I chaperoned. The joys of trying to keep six, twelve-year-old boys in line!) a sugarhouse to see how maple syrup is made and a fossil site.
Big Sis has taken excursions to a water park (I think that was supposed to be more fun than educational *g*) the zoo (chaperoned that one, too *g*) and the Corning Museum of Glass.
Little Sis went to a minor league baseball game (again, fun beats educational!) and to the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.
Actually, I wouldn’t mind going to either of those museums! Hmm…maybe this summer I’ll take a couple of field trips on my own
Did you take any field trips while you were in school? What was your favorite one?
Posted by Anna Sugden Mar 9 2013, 2:03 am in A Perfect Distraction, Anna Sugden, bear, Beth Andrews, first sale, Harlequin Superromance, hockey, hockey hunks, New Jersey Devils, Tawny Weber
Some of you may have seen on Facebook, that I recently received a lovely gift in the post from some of my dear writing pals.
It’s been a long-standing tradition among the gang at Writers at Play to celebrate a first sale with a bear and pen. The bear is dressed to represent a character from the book you sold and the pen, in your favourite colour, is engraved with the title of the book and the date you got the call.
Banditas Tawny and Beth both belong to the same group and have kindly agreed to let me show you pics of their celebratory bears. Tawny’s Sultry Bear celebrated her first sale to Blaze – Double Dare. Can you believe that this month’s release, A SEAL’s Surrender, is Tawny’s 18th Blaze?!
Beth’s Jack Bear was created to represent the hero of her first sale to SuperRomance, Jack from Not Without Her Family. Beth’s April release, Talk of the Town, will be her 11th SuperRomance!
My book, A Perfect Distraction, which will be out in September, features a hockey hunk hero – Jake ‘Bad Boy’ Badoletti – so my bear is dressed as a hockey hunk. Meet Jake ‘Bad Boy’ Bear! He’s got a fab New Jersey Devils jersey on (my favourite team) and even has skates, a helmet, a hockey stick and a puck! I hope he brings me the same success as Sultry and Jack brought Tawny and Beth.
As we speak, Bad Boy Bear is seated on my desk, overseeing my writing!
That got me thinking about bears and other childhood toys. Sadly, my lovely, little, childhood teddy bear got lost in our move home from New Jersey. I’m sure he’s in a box somewhere, but I can’t find him. .
But I do have some other special cuddlies:
- a cute little sheep who baas, from my dear friend Christyne Butler, to celebrate my first Golden Heart final (my book featured a difficult sheep called Heidi *g*).
- a set of Moomins, which many of you know are my favourite characters from the children’s stories by Tove Jansson.
- a Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, my favourite Beatrix Potter character, from one of my lovely step-daughters
- a kookaburra from my trip to Australia – if you press his belly, he laughs!
- a whole colony of penguins (what is the collective noun for penguins?) given to me by various friends and family, including a precious Steiff penguin from a couple of former pupils.
So, here’s today’s Quick Five:
1. Did you have a teddy bear, or other cuddly toy, as a child?
2. Do you still have that bear/cuddly toy?
3. Did that bear/cuddly toy have a name?
4. Do you have any other special bears/cuddly toys – tell us about them?
5. If you were to get a special bear, dressed up to represent you or something special you’ve done, what would your bear be wearing?
Posted by Beth Andrews Mar 2 2013, 4:32 am in Beth Andrews, favorite foods
Isn’t it funny how our tastes can change over the years? TV shows we used to think hilarious now make us cringe, ones we thought were sappy now make us bawl. Same with music, movies and books. I guess it only makes sense as we’re always evolving, growing and changing so why shouldn’t our tastes?
What really surprised me was when I was making my salad for lunch the other day and realized I was picking all of the sliced radishes out. Not to throw away, as I used to do, but to eat! That’s when it hit me that there are plenty of foods I used to avoid that I now enjoy. So, without further ado:
Here are the Top Five Foods I Used to Avoid but Now Eat:
1. Radishes (as mentioned above). Love the crunch and slight bitterness to them!
2. Walnuts. I used to hate walnuts but now love them – except in desserts. If you put walnuts in my chocolate cake (as my mom did for my birthday) I’ll still eat around them.
3. Dark Chocolate. Must be from cutting back on my sugar but milk chocolate is often too sweet. I especially love Newman’s Own organic dark chocolate! Yum!
4. Beer. I always sort of liked beer but now I really like it. As in really, really. I’m still craving that pizza and beer from my last Chit Chat post
5. Yogurt. When I was a teenager I couldn’t even stand the smell of yogurt, I hated it so much. Then I had my first kid and suddenly, I couldn’t eat enough of it *g*
And here are five foods I still can’t stand:
2. Nuts other than walnuts (pecans, cashews, filberts etc)
4. Pickles (it’s a taste and texture thing)
What foods do you now enjoy that you used to avoid? What foods do you dislike?
Posted by Beth Andrews Dec 21 2012, 11:30 pm in 12 Bandita Days of Christmas, Bandit Booty, Beth Andrews
Thanks for sharing your Christmas Don’ts with me! The winner of The Diamond Dust trilogy plus either a rooster ornament or a dragon cookie cutter and sugar mix is:
Congrats, Amy! Please use the Mail Room link above to send me your snail mail address and I’ll get the books out to you right away!
Posted by Beth Andrews Dec 21 2012, 4:00 am in 12 Bandita Days of Christmas, Beth Andrews, history, Jeannie Watt, Sewing
Today I’m thrilled to welcome fellow SuperRomance author Jeannie Watt to the lair! Jeannie is one talented lady and I highly recommend you all check out her books including her latest reelease, CROSSING NEVADA! Here’s Jeannie…
I can’t say that I’ve always loved to sew, but my mom made certain that I knew how to sew, which came in very handy when I immersed myself in Gone With the Wind at the age of fifteen and decided that I simply had to have some southern belle gear.
At that time, there were no readily available patterns for such things as corsets and hoop skirts, but there was the library. I checked out many books, studied pictures and made a plan. I would start from the inside and work out, since corsets took less fabric than hoop skirts. My mother is the sensible sort and had I asked her for nine yards of fabric so that I could indulge in a fantasy, I don’t know that she would have been in favor. Not when that same nine yards of fabric could have made me three school outfits.
I found some sturdy floral fabric that I believe was originally intended to upholster something and began working on my corset. I had no idea what whalebone was, but it seemed to me that baling wire should be a suitable substitute. I’m pleased to say that my baling wire/upholstery fabric corset actually turned out pretty well, although I never got the chance to wear it. I couldn’t find enough fabric to make a dress to go over it. My baling wire hoops didn’t work quite so well and before I got the design flaws worked out, I started reading Regency romance and abandoned hoops and corsets. From that point on, I was all about empire waists—which also happened to be in style, so I could indulge.
Fast forward a couple of boring, non-costumed decades to December 2011 to when I found out that a friend of my husband sang at Dicken’s Fair.
Dicken’s Fair…hoop skirts…
The seed was planted. The sewing began—for the entire family. It took about six months but I got everyone outfitted. Do you have idea how much more comfortable actual store-bought boning is compared to baling wire? There is no comparison. I still haven’t got to wear real hoops, though. My daughter and I settled for stiff crinolines, which worked, but next year we’re wearing hoops for sure. I have plans for a new dress and my husband, the non-costume guy, wants a fancier vest.
The most wonderful part of preparing for Dicken’s Fair is that, despite a rather hectic schedule, I had an excuse to sew. I became so involved with sewing that when I wrote my December SuperRomance, Crossing Nevada, it was natural to have my heroine learn to sew as a way to deal with the trauma of being attacked and permanently scarred. She never made a hoop skirt, but she did find confidence learning a new skill.
Have you ever made anything comparable to a baling wire corset? Indulged in a little costume mania? Learned to sew? Tell me your secret costume fantasy or what you love to do in your spare time and I’ll give away copies of Crossing Nevada to three respondents.
It’s been great being here. Thanks for having me!
Thanks for being with us, Jeannie! Don’t forget to check out Jeannie’s website:
These are a wonderful Sunday breakfast muffin. They have a lovely crunch on the outside and are deliciously moist on the inside.
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs lightly beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
1/4 cup lime juice
Preheat over to 400°F. Grease twelve 2 ½ inch muffin pan cups.
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into large bowl.
Mix milk, eggs, oil, lime rind and lime juice in a two-cup measure. Add all at once to flour mixture; stir lightly with fork until just moist. (Batter will be lumpy.) Spoon into prepared muffin-pan cups, filling each three quarters full.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden. Remove muffins from cups to wire rack. Serve warm with butter.
Note—these muffins are a bit flat on top, but the taste makes it totally worthwhile not to have a mini-mountain muffin.
It’s the 12 Bandita Days of Christmas! From now until December 25th we’re celebrating the holidays with daily recipes and PRIZES! It’s all leading up to a HUGE Prize bundle of books and goodies on Christmas Day so make sure you stop back each day!