Posts tagged with: Caren Crane

On the Third Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Three listing snowmen. Listing because certain snowman builders had likely overindulged in the holiday wassail Sven had warming over a low, slow flame all last evening. Yes, I fear Paolo and a couple of his cabana boysin-training had far too much wassail and not nearly enough cookies to soak it all up last night.

leaning snowman 1This gentleman was found in the formal garden. I can tell Paolo made this one because it shows a heavy bent toward the traditional while displaying a marked lack of creativity. Note the big, goofy smile and lumps of coal placed disturbingly close to the ground. Paolo: cute, but not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree!


leaning snowman 2I suspect newbie Henri of building this snowman out near the fire pit. He appears to be wearing a beret of some sort, as well as a saucy neckerchief, and displays remarkable flexibility. Henri has shown similar limber inclinations. How do I know? Erm…the boys were were practicing…diving. In the indoor pool. Yes, diving. That’s exactly where I saw Henri bending and stretching and flexing his beautiful…but I digress. Henri’s artistry, even when inebriated, far surpasses darling, dim Paolo’s.


leaning snowman 3And then there is this inebriated redneck snowman. I’m pretty sure we can blame our equally redneck cabana boy-in-training, Travis. Travis is already on Sven’s shit list and has managed to rack up more demerits in his three weeks in the Lair than any other cabana boy ever. We would get rid of him altogether but…


Travis the cabana boyWell, here is Travis as I found him this morning, passed out on a bench outside the cabana boy bunkhouse down near the pool area. Don’t you feel the teensiest bit sorry for him? I sure did. He looked plum worn out from all that snowman building! Plus, he’s probably still growing or something and just needs extra sleep. Poor Travis. He just lives life a little bigger and louder than some of the others. I’m sure he’ll get trained right up and learn to mind his manners well enough to please even Sven the Taskmaster!


Swedish GloggJust for funsies, here is the recipe for Sven’s wassail. It actually isn’t wassail at all (which is English) but is a Swedish drink called Glögg. Glögg is served in Finland and Sweden during the six weeks leading up to Christmas. This is a cold, dark time of year in Scandinavia. This glögg recipe resembles a variety of historical mulled wines, such as wassail and gluwein. Here is Easy Swedish Glögg, courtesy of (though Sven claims he posted it there!):


2 cups water or orange juice
1 (3-inch) piece orange rind
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
2 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
5 whole allspice
2 cardamom pods, bruised
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 (750-ml) bottle red wine, such as Burgundy
1/2 cup sugar

Combine first 9 ingredients in a pot over medium heat. Bring mixture to a simmer, being careful not to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves. Strain mixture, and serve immediately, or gently reheat before serving. If you prefer a stronger flavor, steep spices longer before straining.

Yummy! Nice and warming on a cold winter day. Just be sure not to overserve yourself or others. You may end up with listing snowmen and hungover cabana boys like we did! I must talk to Sven about appointing someone (other than Paolo) minder of the Glögg pot…

Forget Me Not_Meanwhile, I will give a copy of the Forget Me Not anthology (all proceeds benefit Alzheimer’s and brain health research and I have a Cross Springs prequel novella in there) to a commenter who tells me this: If you found a leaning snowman on your lawn one snowy morning, who would be your likeliest suspect for drunken snowman builder?

If you’d like to get your own copy of the FORGET ME NOT anthology, hurry! It will only be on sale through December 31. Here’s the Amazon link, but it’s available at all e-tailers:

Christmas Shopping a Tad Early

Snow may not be falling where you live, but Christmas is just around the corner, as they say.  Whether you’re buying books as gifts, or just looking for something seasonal to read curled up on the couch, here’s a number of fantastic Christmas books, novellas, and short stories to put you in the holiday spirit.  I hope you can find something to your liking.

Scotland Christmas Reunion


Widow Edith MacPherson faces a lonely Christmas in isolated Scotland at a time when the holiday wasn’t celebrated with glitz and glamour.  She misses the comaraderie of her friends and festivities in London.  However, when an acquaintance from her youth lands on her son’s doorstep, he awakens feelings that she thought she’d buried long in the past.  A copy of Scotland Christmas Reunion will go to someone leaving a comment!

(Short story) Scotland Christmas Reunion



Cover-APerfectReunionA Day of Thanksgiving? (note: This short story will only be available in November. Don’t miss this opportunity!)
When Ice Cats’ defenseman, Troy Davidson, sees his ex-fiancé at his parents’ Thanksgiving party, he’s determined to make things right. He screwed up five years ago, when he ditched their engagement party to elope with a movie star. Now divorced, he realises he’s only ever loved one woman. Charlotte Daniels claims she’s forgiven Troy. But can she trust him enough to take another chance on him and love?

(Short story)



Snowbound! (This short story will not be available until December, but watch Anna’s website (above) for details 🙂 )
When Ice Cats’ forward, Vladimir ‘Vlad’ Ralinkov, gets caught in a snowstorm, on his way back from a game, he seeks refuge in his favourite diner. Could this be the opportunity he’s been waiting for to heat things up with lovely diner owner, Poppy Lambert, or will she leave him out in the cold?

A signed, limited edition of the first two short stories, A Perfect Party and  A Perfect Lucky Charm  will go to someone leaving a comment!



LydiasChristmasCharadeFrom Bandita friend Saralee Etter:  Dutiful, practical Lydia Potts knew that her father, a wealthy commoner, planned to announce her engagement to a nobleman at their Christmas house party. But she didn’t expect her prospective fiancé to be in love with another woman!
Anthony wasn’t usually so reckless but something about the unknown lady’s sweet manner and big pansy-brown eyes made him want to share a bit of juicy gossip with her. Everybody knew Lord Danville needed to marry an heiress to save his family from financial ruin, but nobody but Anthony would mention it to the heiress herself.
To fix the mess he’s created, Anthony must woo Lydia on his noble friend’s behalf—and Lydia will have to decide between duty and desire.
This story features some characters also seen in A Limited Engagement, another Regency romance by Saralee Etter. This is a sweet romance (kisses only, no sexual content).

(Novella) Lydia’s Christmas Charade

APFC FOR WEBPursued by the pirate…
Bess Farrar might be an innocent village miss, but she knows enough about the world to doubt Lord Channing’s motives when he kisses her the very day they meet. After all, local gossip insists that before this dashing rake became an earl, he sailed the Seven Seas as a ruthless pirate.
Bewitched by the vicar’s daughter…

Until he unexpectedly inherits a title, staunchly honorable Scotsman Rory Beaton has devoted his adventurous life to the Royal Navy. But he sets his course for tempestuous new waters when he meets lovely, sparkling Bess Farrar. Now this daring mariner will do whatever it takes to convince the spirited lassie to launch herself into his arms and set sail into the sunset.
A Christmas marked by mayhem.
Wooing his vivacious lady, the new Earl of Channing finds himself embroiled with matchmaking villagers, an eccentric vicar, mistaken identities, a snowstorm, scandal, and a rascally donkey. Life at sea was never this exciting. The gallant naval captain’s first landlocked Christmas promises hijinks, danger, and passion – and a breathtaking chance to win the love of a lifetime.

Anna is offering a kindle copy of A Pirate for Christmas to someone leaving a comment!

(Novella) A Pirate For Christmas

SafeInHisArms_800x1200When Aimee Brandon flees from a cult’s compound into a freezing Wyoming winter, she knows she has to survive and find help in order to save her mother and protect innocents from the cult’s plans. When she collapses on the cabin steps of former CIA agent Gideon Oakes, her plans are put on hold as Gideon nurses her back to health and they wait out a wave of snowstorms. The last thing Gideon wants is to return to the outside world, the one in which his mistakes cost lives. But if he doesn’t get Aimee to the authorities, he might be responsible for even more deaths. What neither of them expects is to fall for each other in such a short amount of time, but there’s no arguing with the truth. This man who wants to hide from the world and the woman who has to return to it, find love in the least-expected place at the least-expected time.

(Novella) Safe In His Arms


Close to the Mistletoe final for Barnes and NobleClose To The Mistletoe is part of a 19 e-book bundle releasing on November 17th for $0.99. It’s the fifth installment in Suzanne Ferrell‘s popular small town Westen series and will be published as a stand-alone title in December.

When teacher Holly Murphy walks into Westen’s only bar to help her friend celebrate a divorce, she doesn’t expect hot carpenter Nick Fisher to save her from an embarrassing situation. His heated kisses awaken something deep inside her, but when someone sets his sights on Holly, will Nick be the one to protect her close to the mistletoe?

(Boxed set)  Mischief Under the Mistletoe


From NYT Bestseller Tawny Weber, A SEAL’s Proposal
Being the best means making sacrifices, but do vows made at 16 hold true at 24?

Duty First, Duty Only…
As a teenaged Sea Cadet, Sam Morelli joined the elite club his brother formed with other teens, focused on a single goal: to become Navy SEALs. Membership required a vow that once he became a SEAL, the team would be his only commitment. Distractions like relationships or dependents would be forbidden. Eight years later, on the cusp of achieving his goal, Sam has forgotten that vow. But Bryanna Spencer hasn’t.

Sugar, shoes, and a sexy SEAL…
Numbers whiz Bryanna Spencer loves chocolate, designer shoes, and Sam Morelli. She’s always dreamed of one thing: being Sam’s wife. Raised in a Navy family, she knows the rules: to be a great SEAL, a man can’t have a woman weighing down his thoughts. Bryanna’s been nibbling on sweet, sexy, better-than-chocolate-covered-caramel Sam for four years, but Sam’s dream of being a SEAL has been with him longer. His dream is her nightmare.

Some vows are made to be broken…
With Sam home on leave for Christmas, Bryanna has one last chance to prove to Sam that he wants her more than he wants his SEAL Trident. But time is running out. Once he finishes the last phase of his training, she may lose him forever. But Sam may have different kind of vow in mind…

(Novel) A SEAL’s Proposal

Yuletide Lies FINAL front
From Bandita Buddy Susan Gee Heino: Yuletide Lies–A Regency Christmas Novel
Amid mistletoe, mystery, and a motley menagerie, the greatest gift this Christmas is love.
Cassandra Loring awakes from a nightmare to find herself in a mysterious castle, tended by a host who thinks she’s someone she’s not. Lord Braden has secrets to hide and is willing to do just about anything to save his crumbling estate—including marry an heiress he’s only just met. As their Christmas Eve wedding approaches, will deception bring ruin, or will truth rescue them both?
(Novel) Yuletide Lies

Susan will give one person leaving a comment a copy of Yuletide Lies!

box set 2



Another boxed set!  This is from the Bluestocking Belles.  You may recall their blog on Monday.  All proceeds go to The Malala Fund to ensure every girl has access to 12 years of free, safe, quality primary and secondary education.

(Boxed set) Mistletoe, Marriage & Mayhem




Forget Me NotHere’s a boxed set that, while not Christmas themed, is inspired by the Christmas spirit of giving in that the proceeds go to prevent Alzheimer’s and support brain health research!

Caren Crane is participating in an anthology of ten short stories by ten different authors, all set in the world of Tammy Falkner’s Reed Brothers’ tattoo shop. The authors are donating 100% of the proceeds to benefit Alzheimer’s and brain health. Join Tammy Falkner, Jane Charles, Ava Stone, Marquita Valentine, Lexi Eddings, Lj Charles, Andris Bear, Caren Crane, Jerrica Knight-Catania and Diane Franks to help combat this terrible disease!

Caren’s story in the anthology is Lakewood Confidential: Tondra is struggling for attention on the New York art scene when a chance to ink notorious hip-hop legend Lakewood lands in her desperate hands. The reclusive rapper shares a part of his history he’s never told anyone, forcing Tondra to choose between ensuring her own success and safeguarding Lakewood’s secrets. This story is a prequel to Caren’s fourth, as-yet-untitled Cross Springs novel.

Available for pre-sale now and live on Thanksgiving Day!

(Anthology) Forget Me Not


Magic_and_Mistletoe_finalMagic & Mistletoe, Nancy Northcott‘s Light Mage Wars holiday story, asks whether a bookworm and a badass can find love. It will be out in late November.

Peri Lee grew up in a dangerous neighborhood, worrying each day that her loved ones might not make it home. Now a mage teacher, she loves her quiet, bookish life. Deputy Shire Reeve Roland Wade is a good guy but not much of a reader, not the type he figures Peri needs. Especially since his linebacker build, broken nose, and badass attitude remind her of the thugs who haunted her childhood. As though that weren’t enough, his job puts his life on the line daily. Will Peri’s fears doom their chance for a relationship, or will they find their own special magic under the mistletoe?




And just in case you missed it last year…Tiny Treats!

Extremely short vignettes from several of the Romance Bandits and others – all for the affordable price of FREE!

(Anthology) Tiny Treats




So there you have it.  Holiday stories to take you through Thanksgiving, Christmas, the holiday season and well beyond!

Which one of the above would you like to find under your tree (or in your Kindle 🙂  )  The prizes noted above will go to someone leaving a comment!

November Coming Attractions

Can you believe it’s November already?  Where has the year gone!

PrintI hope you’ll join us for an exciting November here in the Lair.


The Bluestocking Belles will join us on Monday, November 9th to talk about their new boxed set of Regencies.


Scotland Christmas ReunionYou won’t want to miss the blog on November 11th for some early Christmas shopping.  We’ll have a number of Christmas releases from the Banditas and friends for you to browse and enjoy.  Should be fun!





Osburn-OurNowandForever-FT-V2-200x300On November 17, Nancy welcomes Terri Osburn to celebrate the release of Our Now and Forever, the first book in Terri’s new Ardent Springs series.






Charming the Professor finalDonna MacMeans will talk about her upcoming December release, Charming the Professor, on November 23rd.  I guarantee she’s thankful for that one 🙂



November 26 is Nancy’s regular blog day, but it’s also Thanksgiving Day in the US.  Join Nancy Northcott and chat about the holiday season.



Forget Me Not_

Don’t miss the Thanksgiving Day release of Caren Crane’s new novella Lakewood Confidential. It’s part of a 10-novella collection called FORGET ME NOT, with all proceeds being donated toward Alzheimer’s and Brain Health research. Great reads and a great cause! Pre-order links up now on Caren’s website!


We’ll continue our talk into November 27, when anyone who’s avoiding the whole shopping thing or just needs a break from it can find a refuge in the Lair!

Coming Attractions

I don’t know about you, but it’s BEAUTIFUL around Ohio this time of the year!  Flowers are bursting out everywhere and the trees are blossoming in beautiful pinks, purples and whites.  I’m inclined to spend more time outdoors in May, but then there’s those rainy days when you want to snuggle down with a good book.  Which is exactly what we have for you this month.


2015 SEALs on sale


On May 1, Tawny’s latest Sexy SEAL hits the shelves.  A SEAL’s Pleasure is hot, hotter, hottest and follows on the heels of her most recent USA Today bestseller, A SEALs’ Secret.





May 4 offers a bit of Scotland with debut author Madeline Martin.  She’ll be here to talk about Deception of a Highlander. 








Join me on May 13 (Caren’s birthday!) as I launch my first contemporary paranormal short story Smoke and Mirrors.  (Love this story.)





I’ll be back at my usual day on May 23 to tell you all about the Barbara Vey luncheon in Milwaukee. Great Fun!



RT promoCaren Crane and Suzanne Ferrell will be attending the ROMANTIC TIMES BOOKLOVERS CONVENTION in Dallas on May 12 -17. Be sure to look for them at CLUB RT at the following times:

  • Caren – Wednesday, May 13, 4:00 pm (her birthday!!) and Friday, May 15, 10:30 am
  • Suzanne – Wednesday, May 13, 4:00 pm and Thursday, May 14, 1:30 pm

We hope to meet lots of our favorite readers there and see how many free books you are hauling home!!


Just Like Old Times….

sven_cropped-1Hey gals and guys!

It sure is quiet around here with all the Banditas busily writing away!  Sven is NOT happy with us, but the staff has taken several much needed vacations.  You know, we kept them hopping around here all the time.  No one’s had a vacay in what….nearly 8 years!  Grins.

So, anyway, I wanted to let you in on a little secret.  Remember how we used to have Author Invasions, back in the early days?  Some of you will remember us invading the Good Ship Revenge, RomanceNovelTV and many more!

Well there’s another invasion today.  A goodly number of the Bandits, along with some other wonderful NYTimes, USA Today (TAWNY! SQUEEEE!), and Amazon Bestselling authors are invading the blog.  Rae Latte has been gracious enough to host many of the Bandits, and today is no exception.

The FUN, FUN, FUN part, however, is that there’s a really sexy man involved.  He’s from Austrailia and his name is Dan Churchill.  He’s the #FoodDude  He believes that #RealMenCook

Well, ’round here, as you know, WE believe that #SexyHeroesCook.   So a bunch of us invaded Rae Latte’s blog and brought our Heroes (and Heroines!) over to prove that Dude Food is cool.  That’s the title of Dan’s Cookbook… Dude Food, A Guy’s Guide to Cookin Kick-Ass Food.

This cookbook is one I really like.  Not only do the recipes sound awesome, but the pictures are GREAT! (Snork!)  I’m buying it for Hubby for Father’s Day.   It’s so simple – but good – that any Dude could do the recipes.  Grins.

So if you’ve got a moment and you want a bit of a tantalizing taste of my next book, DEAD RECKONING, and Cassondra’s hero from HONEY BEND, and one of Tawny’s heroes, and Donna’s and Caren’s, heroes from Anna S’s NJ Ice Cats, one of Anna C’s heroes…you get the idea.

If you’re tantalized by #SexyHeroesCook then pop over to Rae’s blog beginning at 9 in the morning and going til 9 at night.

Other authors featured include some fab authors, some of whom have been our Lair guests – Natalie Damshroeder, Sandra Lake, Jade Lee, Barbara Devlin, and more.

You’ll be glad you checked it out…I’ll be on at 11 am Eastern!!

See you again, HERE, on the 8th May!!




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!!

March Coming Attractions

Finally March!  Can spring be far behind?  I sure hope not!

Welcome to the first month of the new, laid-back Lair.  As you can see, we’ll be around from time to time, and we’ll also have guests on occasion.




Bandita Jeanne Adams will be in the Lair on March 8th to talk about Spring Books, Springboks, Reeboks and Heading Into Bloom Time (just kidding about the Springboks.  Wanted to see if you were paying attention!)  She’ll also be giving away a copy of her WWII Novella, Behind Enemy Lines.





On March 17, celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the Lair.  We’ll have Sven’s special canapés along with other yummy treats and, of course, the traditional green beer.  Rumor has it that the cabana boys will all join in the wearin’ o’ the green.

We’re also celebrating the launch of a new anthology, Tiny Treats 2: A St. Patrick’s Day Collection, which features micro-stories that are great for the occasion. Some of the authors will be dropping in. So come join the party!



Dangerous SecretsCaroline Warfield will be back in the lair on March 24th to talk about sex (Heavens!) and her new release.

As Donna MacMeans will be on the road on March 23rd (at least she’s headed someplace warm and sunny) she’ll be blogging on March 25th instead.

Nancy Northcott will be in the Lair on March 26 to chat about books under the bed and other unfinished projects.





Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00004]Caren Crane is taking part in a special IDES OF MARCH sale by some of the Red Door Reads authors! To get you in the spirit (or spirits?) of the Ides Of March, the authors at Red Door Reads have put titles on sale for only 99 cents! Caren’s TIARA WARS is part of this sale. Check out a list of all the sale titles at (And while you are there, please sign up for my newsletter! 😮 )


If you want a reminder when we’re here and chatting, remember that you can sign up for the RSS feed.  If you have any problem with that, email romance bandits AT gmail DOT come (no spaces) and let us know.

What’s your favorite thing about the month of March?

So Long! Farewell! Auf Wiedersehen! Adieu!

Well, kids, it’s my last regular blog day here in the Lair. Somehow, though, it doesn’t feel like it. I fully intend to come back and harass you guys from time to time. You know, new releases. Special events. I will probably also host guests and just come by to say hello.

Red Door Reads profile picY’all know we are moving lots of our activity to our Romance Bandits Facebook page, right? Well, I am usually terrible about posting things to Facebook, but since Red Door Reads and now Romance Bandits are using it so heavily, I am trying—slowly, painfully—to change my slothful habits and hang out there more. Really!

killLarry2dThe Red Door Reads chicks have kicked my behind long enough and hard enough that I actually have a NEW novella coming out in April. It is called CROSS SPRINGS SCANDAL and it is the story of what really happened to Katie Warren’s husband Larry. Larry has been dead for a year when Tiara Wars begins. We know Larry had a massive coronary, but we only get some sketchy details about what brought it on. Cross Springs Scandal will give you the rest of the story, told from the viewpoint of a certain Other Woman. Sounds super fun, huh? Cross Springs Scandal is available ONLY as part of the novella anthology 50 Ways To Kill Your Larry. It is available for pre-order now from all major e-tailers for only 99 cents! But the anthology of 10 novellas is a limited time release and won’t be for sale long, only a few weeks. Snatch it up while you can! All pre-order links are available at the Red Door Reads website.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00004]If you haven’t yet read Tiara Wars, shame on you! Just kidding. You will have the chance to buy it ON SALE in March. Keep your eyes peeled and on those Facebook pages! I will also be announcing it in our Romance Bandits newsletter, so be sure to sign up here! And to keep up with what I am doing, sign up for my newsletter here!

In case you haven’t sensed it yet, there is a theme here. Sign up for things! Like things! Subscribe to the Romance Bandits RSS feed on our comments page! Stay notified! I am, selfishly, glad not to be forced to blog several days every month. But I am going to be forced to post to Facebook and to update my lamentably neglected website. So hang onto your hats, Bandita Buddies, ’cause things be changing and we very ancient Banditas be changing with them!

Okay, that was BORING! Now, tell me what you are changing this year. Not whatever you resolved for the New Year and promptly forgot, but what you are really changing. I am moving my fat butt around more this year. I have been doing a pretty good job of that so far. Now your turn!

Valentine’s Day – What’s All the Hubbub?

Once again this year, I watched florists try to make special deliveries of flowers, balloons, chocolates and teddy bears to the completely locked-down building I work in. We have no security guard and an unattended lobby. It’s always fun for those of us who take pity on and end up running interception for the poor delivery drivers, because we get to see who got what and make happy phone calls telling the recipients to come get their goodies. One thing I can always count on, though, is that none of the thwarted deliveries will be for me.

valentines-gift-basketThat doesn’t make me sad, so please don’t feel sorry for me. I find it terribly sweet that other people’s significant others think to send them lovely, expensive tokens to their workplace, so that all their co-workers can see the evidence of their love and devotion. I also believe what Cher’s character Loretta in one of my favorite movies, Moonstruck, says to the florist whose books she is balancing. The florist says to her, about the deep red roses he is carefully packing in a box, “The man who send these really knows what he’s doing.” Loretta says, “The man who sends those spends a lot of money on something that ends up in the garbage.” Amen, Loretta!

Foot-MassagerI truly enjoy Valentine’s Day, but I guess I never really bought the hype. As you guys know by now, I am terribly pragmatic. I would much rather have the carpets cleaned than get an expensive bouquet of flowers. An expression of love? Changing the sheets on the bed. Want to make me swoon? Buy me a foot massager. A really romantic gesture? Cleaning the bathroom spontaneously. Honestly, I would rather my husband took my car to get it detailed than for him to take me out to dinner. For a romance writer, I am not terribly romantic, I suppose. At least not in the way the marketers define it.

Valentines_Day_Chocolates_from_2005One thing my husband and I can both get behind, though, is really good chocolate. Or pretty good chocolate. Or even fair-to-middling chocolate. He prefers his with nuts, I prefer cream centers. We both prefer dark chocolate to milk. But chocolates have a way of showing up at our house on Valentine’s Day. Or sometimes after Valentine’s Day, when they were seriously on sale. We usually (but not always) remember to send cards.

pharmacy greeting cardsThis year, my darling mother and precious children will only get e-cards, I’m afraid, not mailed cards or lovely See’s Chocolates as in years past. A combination of ongoing anemia, with a chills-and-fatigue virus piled on top this week just for giggles, have left me with no energy for card buying. But I will, no doubt, drag myself to the pharmacy today to buy a card and some chocolates for my darling husband. In an act of true love, he went to the grocery store on his way home from work last night and got everything on the grocery list. He also bought me a bottle of wine and a box of sea-salt covered dark chocolate caramels. Is he a Keeper or what?

How do you approach Valentine’s Day? Do you get all jazzed up, with raised expectations and hopes (or plans) for huge romantic gestures? Is anything that turns up a nice surprise? Do you create gorgeous expressions of True Love for the special people in your life? Or do you remember a card (if your lucky) and hope the drugstore or supermarket has a decent selection of chocolates? I will admit, I have done it ALL for Valentine’s Day over the years!

And for all my beloved Banditas and Bandita Buddies, here is a special holiday greeting just for you: happy blogantines day

First Daughters Winner!

1BanditBootyWe had a great time getting to know the First Daughters of Laura Simcox’s contemporary series on Saturday. Laura was giving away the winner’s choice of her First Daughters series to a lucky commenter. The prize goes to…Elaina!!

Elaina, to claim your prize, please e-mail laura @ and let her know which of the three titles you would like, along with your snail mail address. The titles to choose from are:

  • Various States of Undress: Carolina
  • Various States of Undress: Virginia
  • Various States of Undress: Georgia

Congratulations, Elaina!!

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