Posted by Jeanne Adams Nov 8 2015, 12:55 am in All Blacks, Capitol Danger, football, Gonzaga College High School, Jeanne Adams, Labrador Retrievers, Rivalries, Rivalry games, Rugby World Champions, St. Johns College High School, Thanksgiving
So y’all know that I love Football, right? SERIOUSLY love football. I won the chance to kick a field goal at halftime at an NFL football game, and was one of the only women willing to do it. When they called me, they were hesitant…did I want to do it? Attempt a field goal ON the field?
I had three words for them: I’m SO THERE. (I didn’t win the car, but I got some great Carolina Panther gear and had a BLAST! And I made it from 25 yards, just couldn’t make it from 35)
That was a Carolina Panthers game a few years ago. Last time they were playing so well, in fact. Grins. Did you know they were STILL UNDEFEATED??? Yep. Shouting. I know. I’ll try to tone it down, buy I’m passionate about my football.
Now, that’s pro ball. NFL. The Big Show.
But I have to confess that local, high school football is among the best entertainment around. My Eldest goes to a Catholic High School in Washington, DC. Now, we’re not Catholic and he was recruited to go there for baseball, not football. That notwithstanding, it’s fall and football season, so of course, being a teenager, he usually wants to hang out with his pals at the football games.
Tonight (Saturday) was the enormous Rivalry Game between St. Johns College High School (SJC) and Gonzaga College High School. Both were aiming for the WCAC championship game. We (SJC) had a chance to get there, but we had to beat…you guessed it…arch-rivals, Gonzaga.
I must say that field conditions were NOT great today. It rained yesterday. It rained this morning. It rained as I drove over to Paint Branch High School and their lovely new turf-field stadium in Maryland. It wasn’t quite as bad as that picture to the left, from Yahoo Images, but first thing Saturday morning it would have been that way.
I was helping to set up the School Store. You see, this rivalry game draws so many people, from 100+ years of tradition in sports, that alumni from all over the country on both sides of the game, young and old, come to THIS game. This rivalry game. So both schools bring their “store” to the game. They have sweatshirts, t-shirts, blankets (much beloved this cold November day!), jackets, hats, you name it.
This year’s game was particularly well attended. Why? Well, last night was the Cadet Corps Centennial – 100 years of JROTC – and SJC is a HUGE JROTC school. So there were a lot of alumni and donors and supporters in town anyway. That meant an even BIGGER crowd for the big game. This game is so big that we play in neutral territory – Maryland – at a field that can actually hold all of our parents, students and guests because neither of OUR schools have big enough stadiums.
Now, we have a sizable field as you can see by that pic on the left. And it too, is turf. BUT, parking is a nightmare because the school’s got a construction project going. There’s also that little problem of not having opposing team bleachers. That’s usually not a problem unless it’s THIS game. The Rivalry Game. These two sides definitely need to be separated. There are so many stories of the pranks…omgosh. I heard some tonight. Evidently, one year, many years ago, thankfully, the Gonzaga pranksters bought hundreds of white mice, painted them purple, and turned them loose in the SJC Cafeteria. Major health code violation, not to mention a hell of a problem catching that many whit…Purple mice. Yikes! Also, evidently one unnamed team – neither one of ours, according to the tale teller – painted their bright, bright logo on the opposing team’s brand new turf field. On a regular field, no big deal because the grass grows out. A turf field doesn’t. That cost the school many thousands of dollars for a patch. OUCH! Not such an innocent prank!
This year, the prank by the SJC’ers was pretty innocuous, but darn funny, if you ask me. Some wiseacre managed to steal the Gonzaga team flag. You know, the one that someone runs on the field with prior to the players taking the field? So, at the beginning of the game as the players from Gonzaga came on, sans flag, the chant went up from the SJC students: “WHERE’S YOUR FLAG? WHERE’S YOUR FLAG?” There was much milling about and dismay on the Gonzaga side (sorry, folks, but there was!) Then from somewhere…who knows where?…the flag appeared on the SJC side of the field and was waved about to much laughter.
Security retrieved it and returned it, but it was fun.
(Yes, that IS a horse riding on with the SJC Team. They are the Cadets. Like I said, LONG JROTC tradition, and the Cadet on the horse leads the way…but not today. Too wet, expensive turf field…yeah. No horse)
I didn’t go to a school where there was this kind of tradition, either for high school or college. Where I went to college, football was popular, but there were no big rivalries, no deep abiding passions for or against anyone we played. I recognize now, going to these kind of games, just what I missed. There was a lot of good-natured ribbing on both sides, and, as I said, some mild pranks, but mostly it was good fun and major giggles were had by all. They even do something called the Fifth Quarter – an after party for parents and students of both schools – after the game.
Eldest and I didn’t go to this party last year, but we did this year. At first, I felt a bit like the dorky-tag-a-long parent with the popular kid. I didn’t know anyone, and even as an extrovert, I was feeling a bit lost.
Then, in a saving grace moment, I saw someone from my other “Tribe” of people. A woman in an SJC sweatshirt had her enormous Labrador with her. Yay! Someone to talk to. If it involves football or a dog, I can talk to anyone if I can just find a place to start. So, I struck up a conversation with her about the dog. Turns out Mr. Enormous Dog is a Lab/German Shepherd cross. He must have weighed in at 135 lbs, at least. He was my ice breaker. Grins. From that, I met other people, talked, laughed and enjoyed a nice post-game party. Oh, and it turns out that Ms. Labrador Owner’s daughter and my son, both sophomores, know one another. Hmmmm. Small world. (Actually, small school…)
Now, on to the next game. I get to look forward to Thanksgiving and even MORE football. I will be up early cooking, with my wonderful new flat screen TV in the kitchen. I made the DH buy it so I could watch football (and, yes, baseball) while I cook. I’m SO looking forward to it. I think there are great college rivalries to be had that day, and now, I know a little bit about how fun and exciting those games are. Even if there aren’t rivalry games, there will definitely be great football, great food and great fellowship. What more could a gal want?
What about you, Bandits and Buddies? I know football is beloved to some of you! But if not football, what’s your sport?
Does your high school, or college/university have a rivalry like this? Ever go to the big rivalry games?
I know that rugby and cricket are more popular in other parts of the world, are there rivalries there? Who’s team do you root for?
(Did anyone else see the All Blacks win the 2015 Rugby World Championship? OMGosh what a great game!!)
If you’re in the US, are you looking forward to Thanksgiving for the food, the football, or both?
Do you have a “Tribe”? Baseball fans, football fans, dog-lovers, readers, writers – those are my main tribes. What’s yours?
I hope that November’s a great month for you all! I’m planning to get another book in before the end of the year. DEADLY DELIVERY, my Thanksgiving story is available now too. But in the meantime, look for a special price on CAPITOL DANGER starting tomorrow!!
(Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Yahoo Free Images, and the author. No copyright infringement intended and any image will be taken down upon request)
Posted by Jeanne Adams Oct 31 2015, 1:15 am in Addams Family, Gomez, Grim Reaper, Halloween 2015, Jeanne Adams, Joan Cusack, Morticia, The Munsters
Hey everyone! Its my favorite time of the year again! WOOHOOO!!! Love me some HALLOWEEN! Now, most of you know this about me and have been enduring my Halloween posts for the last 8 years. Ha! This year will be no exception. Everything orange and black for me, ladies! Its just delicious, you know!
Did you know they made Halloween Crispie M&Ms this year? OMGOSH! Fabulous.
Just one more thing to make me love Fall.
My sons and I will carve the last of the pumpkins tomorrow, yay! The house has been decorated for a few weeks now, which has been huge fun. My youngest son and I love to do the decorating.
The front yard is lit in orange, green and purple. Lots of tombstones. Lots of skeletons. Just lovely.
Alas, however, Eldest Son is planning to NOT go trick or treating this year. Sigh. Given that he’s 6’3″ (but only 15), it’s probably for the best. Most people would see him as an adult-ish type of person going trick-or-treating with the little ones. I haven’t yet suggested that he go as Lurch, but the thought crossed my mind when he topped 6′ this early. (Photo of the fab Ted Cassidy as Lurch is from Wikimedia Commons)
But for him to not go hunting candy? It’s the passing of an era in our household. Double sigh. Only one trick-or-treater left.
Youngest son, however, is still a child after my own heart. He’s going out as the Grim Reaper. Bwahahahahah!!!
Now, don’t think Eldest Son has left the Halloween fun behind. Oh, no. He’s planning to put on a Batman suit and cape and scare the bejezus out of the whole neighborhood. Snork!
Yes, yes, I DID raise them right. (Me and Morticia….just raising the boys right! Photo from Pinterest, no copyright infringement intended)
But this is a Romance Blog. All about love and devotion. Nick and Nora. Eve and Roarke. Grace and Sheene. Ben and Kate. Val and Griff.
Gomez and Morticia.
What devotion! What intertwined souls! What weird and wonderful perfection!
There’s nothing like the Addams family for fanatical devotion, right? The dancing, the roses. The quips, the banter. The smokin’ hot glances. Even Fester has the hotness in the second movie – and wasn’t Debbie (Joan Cusack) perfect in the movie? Bwahahahah!! And then, young love, Wednesday and her beau…SNORK!!
Nothing in moviedom compares to the moment when Wednesday takes over the Thanksgiving play at camp. OMGosh. Who DIDN’T want to scalp that girl? Hahahah!!
Oh, and the line from the first movie with the Girl Scout Cookies. That….oh, yes. That. Anyone but me remember it?
You know, I never dreamed I’d grow up to marry and Adams, but when I was a little girl, I SO wanted to be Morticia. I mean, c’mon! She’s strong, capable, brilliant and mysterious. Who doesn’t want to be that? And then there’s the killer bod, and the equally mysterious smile. And Gomez is ALL about her. She rules his heart, the roost, the bat, the belfry – hell, the whole damn spooky, fabulous house is totally focused on Morticia. The eerie, amazing centerpiece of it all.
What’s not to love about THAT? (Photo from Iconosquare)
And I adored spooky, mysterious stuff. That was my stock in trade as a young girl and teen. Alas, I’m blonde. No one took me seriously as a Morticia-spook-a-like until MUCH later in life. And only after I started having the Annual Halloween Bash. Yes, that DOES pre-date my Mr. Adams. However, as a mark of his true devotion, my darling DH jumped right in with the festivities, and helps me start planning the event pretty much as soon as the last one ends. Grins.
This year’s event was sidelined by family events – a death in the family of my co-host and fellow Halloween fanatic BFF, and an illness in my family – but never fear, we’ll be back in FULL form next year. In the meantime I’ll be working on my eyebrow arching exercises, my sultry dark looks and my killer bod. Ha! (“Do it again” pic from Pinterest – no copyright infringement intended)
After all, I am blessed to have a love like Gomez and Morticia. My DH knows just how weird I am, and although he frequently teases me about having made the children weird, he’s right there with me in that. Snork! So, he knows my weird and loves me anyway. Isn’t that the best thing ever? So, what we want, what we write, what we read and enjoy, is really all there in the Addams family.
Love. Devotion. Weirdness. Special inside jokes. Odd relatives. Odd employees. All the things you need to make a perfect life….oh, and an even better HALLOWEEN!
Happy Samhain, Blessed All Hallows and a candy-fun-and-spook filled HALLOWEEN to you all!!
What about you, Bandits and Buddies? Do you have a love like Gomez and Morticia?
Did you ever see the movies?
What about the TV show, did you watch and like that?
What about the Munsters? Lily and Fred rocked.
What would you dress up as this year, for Halloween? I’m sure I’ll see a lot of Elsa and Anna’s, and a ton of Star Wars characters.
Batman, the Grim Reaper, Gomez and I will be happily handing out candy, what about you?
I know our continental and Aus neighbors don’t do Trick-or-treat, but is there another holiday where you are, where people dress up?
Posted by Jeanne Adams Oct 29 2015, 12:08 am in Amanda Mariel, Arucard, Barbara Devlin, Catherine Kean, Demetrius Cover Reveal, Elizabeth Rose, Jeanne Adams, Kathryn LeVeque, Lana Williams, medieval romance, Regency, Victoria Vane, westerns
WELCOME!! 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.
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:
(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)
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….
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!
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.
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.
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!
WOLFE 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 Wolfe 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.)
Posted by Jeanne Adams Oct 8 2015, 12:20 am in Carolina Panthers, Chicago Cubs, Fall, football, Football Mums, Jeanne Adams, Pumpkin Spice Latte, Starbucks
Hey y’all! It’s FALL!!! WOOT!! The temperatures may not be getting any cooler in DC (other than on the rainy days), but it’s definitely Fall. First of all, the kids are back in school.
That deserves a reverent pause and a chorus of Hallelujahs. Grins. Isn’t that a great Fall road shot? (courtesy of Quanticolive.com)
Second, its FOOTBALL SEASON!! WOOHOOO!!! Now, as you know, I love sports, especially baseball and football. While my Atlanta Braves have NOT had a good season, my darling husband’s Chicago Cubs are really doing pretty well, especially for the Cubbies. Grins. So my household is kinda happy about that.
And hey, the Carolina Panthers are off to a great start in the NFL season and are living up to their Twitter hashtag of #KeepPounding. Love me some Panther FOOTBALL!! (photo courtesy of PoughkeepsieJournal.com)
Everything has gone pumpkin spice-y and fallish in the stores. Ice cream. Coffee drinks. Pie. Even yogurt is all pumpkin-spice-nutmeg-cinnamon-y for fall. I blame Starbucks for starting this nonsense. They seriously started a trend – more like an avalanche – when it comes to fall flavorings. Not that I totally object, but when it’s pumpkin-flavored Greek yogurt…we may have gone a bit too far.
And then, there’s homecoming. When I was in high school, the boys asked the girls to go to homecoming, bought them a “football mum” – big yellow puffball mums with a little gold football wired into the flower – and off they went to the game, and then to the homecoming dance. I went all four years in high school because I was dating a tight end from the football team. (Mike Smardz, if you’re out there, thanks for the memories! And no, that ISN’T me, but that’s the kind of simple mum I remember)
So, my Eldest went to Homecoming this year – he went to the game his freshman year, last year, but not the dance. This year, he announced he was going to the dance.
“Are you taking a date?” I asked.
“Nah, a bunch of us are going as a group.”
This was NOT what we did. We had dates. If we didn’t have a date, we didn’t go. My son and his friends didn’t want the pressure of asking a date, and some of the girls wanted to be sure they could dance with all their guy-friends without pissing off a date, so they went solo too. A big ‘ol pack of sophomores and juniors hangin’ out at the dance together, dancing when they felt like it, hanging out when they didn’t, just having a good time.
But no football mums.
I looked this up online, googling “Football mums” only to come up with things like this concoction on the left. This is supposed to pass for a flower, I guess. Some of the ones I saw were so gaudy I had to look away. Snork! Long gone are the simple, if fluffy, mums.
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t be caught dead with one of these concoctions, and I wouldn’t let my son buy something this awful for a girl he liked. Its like a ribbon from a really out-there horse or dog show and, no offense to Michelle, whoever she may be, but it’s WAAAAY over the top! (Photo from Wikimedia commons)
Anyway. So, back to Eldest Son. Evidently, lot of the upperclassmen took this homecoming dance very seriously and it was very much a Date-Night-Event where the gals got very dressed up and the guys wore very nice suits. Eldest Son dressed nicely – nice pants, dress shirt, tie – but just didn’t take it that seriously. No steady girlfriend, so I guess he didn’t feel the pressure to dress to REALLY impress. Grins. But he does take after me in that he spent the evening dancing and having a great time. They had a theme – A Night in Gotham – which was right up Eldest Son’s alley because he really likes Batman in the movies, the New 52 Comics, and in the new series, Gotham.
So, on one hand, I was really pleased that the boy had a great time with no pressure to be uber-presentable for a date, and no anxiety about whether the girl he asked would say yes or no, or whatever. On the other hand, I was nostalgic for football mums and little football charms.
All that said, I’m overwhelmingly happy because it’s FALL. I love fall. I love pumpkin spice anything. I love cooking and making great, filling fall favorites without making my kitchen so unbearably hot I can’t breathe. I love the regular mums you put out for fall, as well as the football mums, and gourds and pumpkins and the leaves turning gorgeous colors. I love high school football, professional ball, and the Boys of October.
I love Fall.
What about you, Bandits and Buddies?
Do you like Pumpkin Spice Lattes? Do you wait for them to be available?
What about pumpkin pie and pumpkin ice cream?
Do you remember football mums – the non-gaudy kind?
Did you have a date for Homecoming, or go to the dance in a pack of friends?
Which NFL team – or Rugby or Footie – team do you root for?
If you live in a non-football country where it’s heading into Spring about now, was there a homecoming kind of thing at your high school?
Have you watched Gotham, the TV show? What did you think?
Does your Barrista at Starbucks ever get your name right? This was what I got when I said my name was Jeannie….
Let’s talk Fall!!
Posted by Jeanne Adams Sep 8 2015, 12:08 am in Boys of Summer, Capitol Danger, Dead Reckoning, Great Wolf Lodge, Jeanne Adams, Nalini Singh, Planner Pads, Scattered Squirrel, Staples Back To School, Washington Nationals
It’s still hot in DC. I know it’s September, but it’s still “summer weather” here. I know our Aussie pals are wishing we’d send it their way. They’ve had a long soggy winter down under. They could use some of this unrelenting sunshine. Grins.
The best news though is that it’s time for our kids, here in the States, to go back to school. Hallelujah!!!
Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy summer. Barbeques. Beach vacations. Pool time. And in our case, lots, and lots, and LOTS of baseball. My son, as you can see, has now topped me by a considerable amount.
(In that picture on the left, he’s measuring himself against a picture of one of the Washington Nationals’ players, Max Scherzer, who’s 6’3″ – eek! Eldest Son is only 15!)
We also got some time at a water park, wherein I got a new pair of Wolf Ears. The pic down at the very bottom is of me in said Wolf Ears. It’s from Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, VA, which I highly recommed for everyone, regardless of whether you have kids. There is something so exhilarating about slinging down a tornadic water ride….well, at least there is for me. Ha!
All that said, however, I haven’t gotten near as much writing done as I wanted and needed to do this summer. I had goals, people. Page goals, word goals, please-just-get-some-time-to-write goals.
Ah, but no joy here in Mudville, as the old story goes, because my time in the chair with my hands on the writing keyboard were not many.
But WAIT!!!! It’s September! Wonderful wonderful September! Schooooooool started last week. YEEEEEHA!!! I have a SCHEDULE again!
*Cue the happy chorus of klited singing Scotsmen!!* What, you didn’t know about the Singing Scotsmen? Well, heck, y’all, it’s my celebration, right? So sing on, Kilties, sing on!
Anyway, I keep a Daybook – a big fat paper calendar. It sits on my desk. The binder is from what used to be called a “DayTimer”system. Good leather, it’s lasted for years. But, alas, that company is no more. They were swallowed up by the Franklin-Covey planner people.
That’s okay, they make good stuff too. And I like Covey’s idea of putting the big stuff in first, then letting the other mess fill in around it, if it has to.
As I turned the pages of the calendar to SEPTEMBER, I breathed a great sigh of relief. I know how and when I can arrange my writing time, because my boys are in school. Again, I say, Sing HALLELUJAH!!!
I know, I know, most of you are probably thinking that I’m a total Luddite and asking yourselves WHY I would keep a paper calendar rather than keeping everything online? Online is so easy! And with several programs, everyone in the family can access it and add to it. Then all you have to do is check it and see where everyone is supposed to be, right?
Uh-huh, yep, it is. Except when you can’t get a cell signal on your phone and you need to schedule a doctor or hair appointment. Or you can’t get into the program because their server is down. Or they got hacked. Or you did. Or you’re so tired and the print is so tiny, you just give up and end up triple booking yourself.
*sigh* I adore the CONCEPT of those online calendar systems, I really do. But each one of those things has happened to me when I tried to switch to a paperless, computer driven calendar. The fallout for missed meetings and appointments – not to mention the cost when they charge you for missing at the doctor’s! – sent me right back to the good old-fashioned calendar on my desk.
Frankly, if it gets into the book, it gets done. If it doesn’t, well, it doesn’t.
My latest insert for the guts of the thing is a mish-mosh of different company’s products. I have some things from the Franklin-Covey system. The heart of it though is from a company called PlannerPads.com I like their layout and it has a ton of places for planning and making sure my to-do-list is accessible. I’ve also got some wonderful pages from a cool website called The Scattered Squirrel. A friend turned me onto this website because it has meal planners. It has calendar planning pages too, but I wanted it for meal planning. I’m actually TRYING to be more organized with the whole food thing so that I can get more writing time.
It’s ALLLLLLL about the writing time, you know?
(And playoff baseball, too, of course. That picture on the left is Nationals Stadium in DC. Off in the blue haze is the Washington Monument. Isn’t that cool?)
And now that Fall is upon us, and planning for the Annual A(d)dams Family Halloween Party has begun in earnest, I need all the time I can get. Thankfully, with school back in session, I can plan great swaths of time in my seat working on tremendously exciting stuff that I’m going to share with YOU, my darling Bandits and Bandit Buddies. DEAD RECKONING, the second in the Faithful Defenders series is almost done. DEAD WRONG, the third book, is drafted. I’ve begun the second SLIP TRAVELER novel, set in Savannah, GA. Planning and plotting are underway for things for next
year. Woohoo! I feel the energy of Fall coming to my aid, I’m ready to rock and write and roll!
So what about you, friends? Are you ready for Fall? (Or in the case of our friends in Oz and other down-under places, are you ready for Spring and Summer?)
Do you keep a calendar? Do you live by it, or is it just an afterthought?
Do you keep it on your computer/phone, or paper?
If you’re working in the corporate world, does your company keep a universal calendar on their server? Something you each have to put your meetings on, and time in and out of the office?
I joyfully finished Nalini Singh’s latest – Shards of Hope – at the last day of the pool being open. Now I have to wait for 2016 for the 15th Psy-Changling novel. Yikes!
What are you looking forward to this fall? Which Author’s books are coming out that you’re just dying to read?
Happy Fall, y’all!!
Posted by Nancy Northcott Aug 8 2015, 1:13 pm in anthology, Capitol Danger, JD Tyler, Jeanne Adams, Nancy Northcott, Romantic suspense, series, Suzanne Ferrell
Hello everyone! First of all, thank you for being here! The Romance Bandits blog got hacked and we’ve had no way to let you know and no way to answer comments or post blogs.(Jeanne actually wrote this post but couldn’t get in to put it up, so Nancy did that for her.)You may get lighter responses today because of that, but nevertheless, please know that we’re here and reading!
As you may have seen from the newsletter, Banditas Nancy Northcott, Suz Ferrell and our fabulous frequent guess, J.D. Tyler got together for a very cool anthology!
The world is changing and new things are happening – the idea of a woman president is on our doorstep, right? So we thought that we’d cook up some danger for that historic figure before she even is a twinkle in the eye of the voters. Grins.
We started with “What if…” my two favorite words. What if a woman was elected president and a whooooole group of people didn’t like it? We all have met those Neanderthals who think women should stay “in their place,” right? So, what if those people were organized?
They would be the Red Mantle. A home grown terrorist organization who doesn’t want women in power. Oh, boy….(so to speak!)
So what if they wanted to cause the most havoc, the most disruption possible? What would be more havoc-inducing than to take over an inaugural ball?
Voila! Capitol Danger!
I wrote the prologue, introducing both the plot and the plotters, the Red Mantle. Suz wrote the opening of the ball and the first signs of trouble. Then it switched back to me for the next phase, then to Nancy, then to J.D. who also wrote the wrap-up. So here’s the blurb:
A romantic suspense anthology like no other! Four stories, one event and four dangerous missions on the same night.
It’s Inauguration Night. Glamorous balls throughout the nation’s capital celebrate a landmark event. The town and nation are in the mood to celebrate. But not everyone is so pleased.
A home-grown sect known as the Red Mantle plan to make it an event to remember for their reasons. As their assault succeeds it will be up to those attending the ball to step up and face the fanatics, or die trying.
UNMASKED: An Edgars Family Novella by Suzanne Ferrell
Abigail Whitson and Luke Edgars are working an undercover operation during the inaugural ball in an attempt to discover who has stolen land to air missiles before they can be sold to a broker—their target for the night. When the playboy arms dealer arrives at the ball, his bodyguard turns out to be someone from Luke’s past.
That isn’t the only surprise of the night. When the ball is invaded by terrorists, Abby and Luke find themselves trying to extract the arms dealer from the fray to protect their mission, while they also risk their lives to protect innocents from the carnage.
DEATH UNDER GLASS: a Deadly Charms Novella by Jeanne Adams
Edward Millner and his girlfriend Retta Geminous, are celebrating a glittering inaugural. When Red Mantle terrorists take the ballroom, both bullets and glass start flying. Edward and Retta help the agents still standing retake the ballroom, but casualties are high. Can Edward face his demons and use his former Special Forces medical skills to save the night? Can Retta and Edward overcome their troubled hearts in the face of certain death?
DANGER’S EDGE: An Arachnid Files Novella by Nancy Northcott
When terrorists disrupt the inaugural ball, new Arachnid Agency operative Kelsey Mitchell tables her planned undercover operation and works to bring help into the hotel. Her only ally is Greg Reed, an FBI agent on medical leave after being shot during a robbery. Kelsey dreads making a novice mistake, and Greg is afraid he’s lost his edge.
Attraction flares between them though Kelsey knows the Feds disapprove of people who work for her freewheeling agency. Together, she and Greg must fight their demons and the terrorists to gather intel for the FBI and create a safe landing zone for a rescue force. Can they succeed against overwhelming odds, or will the battle cost one or both their lives—or their hearts?
LETHAL TARGET: An Armed & Deadly Novella by J.D. Tyler
FBI Special Agent Dalton McCoy is playing a deadly game, working undercover for Methan, leader of the extremist terrorist group, the Red Mantle. He’ll stop at nothing to keep Methan and his men from achieving their goal of bringing down key members of the government. When Dalton’s plans come to an unexpected head at the glittering inaugural ball, he doesn’t count on tenacious reporter Jolie Montfort placing herself in Methan’s line of fire as well. Now the agent must take out the terrorist leader and get them both to safety before it’s too late…
It was a blast! (And fun too, because we blew a lot of things up!)
Writing together like this was an amazing new adventure as well. Each of us used characters from our own works, although this is the first readers and fans will have seen of Nancy’s spies. You are SO going to love all the characters from the Arachnid Files, folks. Such fabulously sneaky people!
Meanwhile, she’s about to bring out the next mage book.
Suz’s Edgars are all family, by now, for most of us who read Romantic Suspense. I’m sure many of you Bandita Buddies will have read those Edgars men and their trials and tribulations.
My characters are from forthcoming books. If you read Dead Run (or its original incarnation, Dark and Dangerous), one of the secondary characters of this story, Burke Chapman, is the hero of the forthcoming Dead Reckoning. That is part of the Faithful Defenders series. (Dead Wrong, the third book, will be out in late fall) And Edward, Retta and many of the other characters will reappear in my “yes, it’s finally coming out” Deadly Charms series, again, later this fall.
J.D.’s characters are from her fabulous new Armed and Deadly series. The first book of that series, One Last Kiss, will be out soon. If you’ve not read J.D.’s Alpha Pack series, you’re missing something hot, dark and gripping, so check that out if you haven’t already. Her latest Alpha Pack novel, Chase the Darkness is just now out!
So that’s the dangerous news from the Bandit Lair! So good to see all of you! Sven and the boys have been enjoying their much-needed and various vacations, but they’re back to serve your every whim! Champagne, morning, afternoon and evening cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Have some icicle and snowflake cookies, some capitol shaped cookies (watch out for the ones shaped like the Washington Monument…). There’s food and drink a-plenty, so let’s have some LAUNCH IN THE LAIR fun!!
Have you ever been to an inaugural or swearing in for a politician?
What about a big Gala? Don’t you just love black-tie-events?
If you COULD go, either for the first time, or again, would you want to?
Tell us what you’d wear and what hero or Hollywood star you’d take as your hunky date for the night!
Posted by Jeanne Adams Aug 1 2015, 12:20 am in Capitol Danger, J.D. Tyler, Jeanne Adams, Nancy Northcott, political thrillers, Romantic suspense, suspense, Suzanne Ferrell, Thriller
Hey everyone! How’s your summer going?? How can it possibly be AUGUST already???
I hope you’ll join me and Banditas Suz and Nancy as we have a LAUNCH in the LAIR on August 8! We’ll be joined by the always awesome J.D. Tyler because the four of us collaborated on a really cool anthology.
In the meantime, the book is up on all the platforms, so if you’re interested, take a look! We’ll see you on the 8th!
Posted by Donna MacMeans Jun 1 2015, 12:27 am in Donna MacMeans, Jeanne Adams, Nancy Northcott, Robin Gianna
Can you believe June is here? This year is flying by!!! Maybe some of these new releases can accompany you to the beach this summer. Can’t think of better company.
On June 8th, Bandita Jeanne will be doing a COVER REVEAL for her next book, DEAD RECKONING! Woot!
Donna will be blogging on June 15th as she’ll be traveling on her regular day.
Not to worry as Jeanne will be talking on June 23 about CON CAROLINAs, a fabulous sci-fi Fantasy Con in North Carolina. Banditas Jeanne and Nancy were both speaker-guests and had a great time at the Con!
Don’t forget CAPITAL DANGER should be launching late in the month. Not sure when but check back for the party.
On June 29th, Robin Gianna will be back in the lair. This time she’ll be promoting her latest release, Her Greek Doctor’s Proposal, as well as sharing some of her recent adventures on a research (and family) trip to Greece. Should be fun!
Posted by Suzanne Ferrell May 28 2015, 12:18 am in Action adventure romance, Alpha heroes, anthology, J.D. Tyler, Jeanne Adams, Nancy Northcott, Romantic suspense, Suzanne Ferrell
Hey everyone! Thought I’d pop in and share some news with y’all. But first, I have to ask you a question.
Do you know what happens when authors get together? Quite often the conversation turns to books and stories. Sometimes that leads to the “what if?” game. You’ve heard us address that in the Lair a few times over the years. What if…hero meets heroine, but she’s the one woman in the world he can’t have? What if…vampires met wolf shifters and they had to join forces to defeat evil succubi? What if…bad boy turned millionaire returns to his hometown and the girl he’s left behind only to find out he left three sons too?
Yep, that’s how some of those stories come out, usually accompanied by some wine.
Well, a while back Jeanne Adams and I got together and were talking about doing a Romantic Suspense anthology. We both like to write fast-paced, action romances. Somehow the conversation took a left turn and we got on the subject of the movie Viewpoint. If you haven’t seen it, there’s an icident in another country, and you get to see the same incident before, during and after from various characters’ viewpoints.
Of course this led to a spark of an idea. What if…all the stories in the RS anthology took place at the same time at the same event…with the same bad guys involved? Jeanne suggested an inaugural ball? The juices started turning. Then we approached two other authors we thought would get excited about this project. Next thing we knew, Bandita Nancy Northcott and National Best Selling author J.D. Tyler were on board.
While I’m not going to give y’all intimate details…the book is in the editing phase and will be available late June, so look for a release party in the Lair…I can tell you one thing. The whole book, while written in four parts by four authors, is meant to be read from beginning to ending as one long book.
Yeah, I’m a tease like that.
So, for another tease, want to see the cover?
Posted by Jeanne Adams May 8 2015, 2:34 am in Adam Levine, American Ninja Warrior, Blake Shelton, Ceelo Green Tomy Lama, Jeanne Adams, Miranda Lamber, NBC The Voice, Tom Collichio
So, I like competition shows. Most specifically, I love NBC’s THE VOICE.
(Logo from Wikimedia Commons, via NBC, no copyright infringement intended)
I love to sing, I love to hear good music well sung, and *looks around, makes sure no one’s listening* I have a serious crush on Pharrell, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton. SERIOUS crush. I don’t exactly have a girl crush on Christina Aguilera but I respect her, and I adored Shakira and Gwen Stefani when they were on the show.
Don’t even get me STARTED on Usher. Mmmmmm-mmmmm.
It’s down to the top 6 and I’ve been sad to see many of the artists’ go home. The gal who led a prison choir was so inspirational. The other gal who was a bluesy crooner and reminded me of Amy Winehouse was also a loss.
And that’s just this season! Wow! Through 8 or 9 seasons now, this show has brought out and introduced us to some outstanding talent. Then, polished it just a bit so it shone. Really wow. (Christina Grimmie, Vedo, Tessann Chin, 2SteelGirls, CraigWayneBoyd, The Swon Brothers….)
I also love Top Chef and Project Runway. “Make it WORK, people!” – Tim Gunn’s famous line – is a funny standard around my house. And I have to admit that I love to watch Top Chef just to learn what the heck a ceviche is. Grins. And some of the ingredients? OMGosh, who actually eats EEL???? (other than in sushi or shashimi?)
Some of the other shows that are about competition or are “reality TV” are, to me, just people behaving badly while other people look on and say, “Oooh, I knowed she was wrong!” (And I didn’t do nothing about it, neither!) Sigh. It’s the lowest common denominator.
I don’t much care for that.
But true competition? Skill? American Ninja Warrior, anyone? That’s an ab-fest right there. Grins. Or Dancing with the Stars. Really, seriously amazing. I’m not a dancer, and I’ve never played one on TV, or anywhere else but a beach bar on a Saturday night. I have HUGE respect for anyone who can, in a week or so, master a complex dance routine, with a generally unfamiliar partner and go out and perform it. You GO, people! And So You Think You Can Dance? – that show is every teenage courage movie in one, one-hour segment. OMGosh, some of those people are so brave and talented.
(Logo from Wikimedia Commons via NBC who owns the copyright, no infringement intended)
But the one I keep coming back to is The Voice. It’s a simple premise. Blind auditions, so they don’t see the “package” a person is wrapped in, the Coaches just hear the voice itself, as it’s presented. Then they turn and try to get the artist on their team. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. Then each week, people sing and present themselves and hope they get better. If they don’t, they go home.
So I tried to analyze one day why I like this show.
It’s honest in a way that other shows aren’t. No bullshit about what someone looks like, the question is, can they SING? The celebrity Coaches aren’t Diva-ish, even when they can actually be counted AS Divas, like Christina, Shakira and Gwen. Or even CeeLo, with his cat and his wild outfits. Grins. They genuinely want people to succeed and they genuinely want to help those artists become the best they can be.
They “Pay it Forward.” And apologies to the most fabulous country singer evah, Miranda Lambert, but I adore her husband, Blake Shelton, not only for his wicked sense of humor, but for his constant approbation, approval and support to up and coming artists on The Voice, even artists who aren’t on his team. I love the way he’ll say, “Sis, I don’t think you could have done ANY better job, you deserve to be here” or something of that nature.
(photo by bubbledevswalls from photobucket, no copyright infringement intended)
This last week, as the field is narrowed to six brilliant new artists, I was disappointed when one of my favorites went home. This young man, Cory Kent White, is really a country star to his bootheels. He had some things to learn (open your eyes and look at your audience, kiddo!), but learn he did, and grow, he did, every week.
Last week, former coaches Gwen Stefani, Usher and CeeLo Green came back to be mentor coaches. CeeLo told Cory, as advice to keep him grounded, “Country is your core not just your Cowboy boots.”
That really struck me.
What a fabulous thing to say to someone. Applicable to this artist, particularly, sure, but so profound in that what we are, what we love, what we MUST DO, even if we don’t get paid for it, is at the core of who we are. It isn’t just the outer trappings. Any yayhoo can put on a pair of Tony Lama’s, as Miranda sings about in her song, Little Red Wagon. Anyone can don a plaid shirt or a fringed jacket.
But being a country artist, or a rocker, or a blues singer, or a writer or a chef or designer, is at your core. Many people go to writers conferences just to hang out. They say they write, but they don’t. They like the idea of being a writer, but they don’t actually write. You know the kind because they’re in every profession. The hangers-on.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not dissing these folks, but it’s not the core of who they are. They are not driven to write. Or if they are, fear is so blocking them that they cannot be happy doing it, or doing without it. Now there’s a terrible place to be.
But most writers I know can’t give it up. Most singers are the same way, and most serious chefs. Even if I never put out another word for publication, I’d be writing. In my head, on scraps of paper in the car while in carpool, in secret on the computer, like I used to do before I actually admitted to anyone that I wanted, desperately, to write books.
But when I see these folks, either cooking in the kitchen at Top Chef, or putting themselves through the grueling workouts of Biggest Loser (another fav), or matching wits and muscle with the American Ninja courses (OMGosh have you SEEN those things??), I’m moved.
Really moved. Why? Because this thing – whatever it is, whatever desire burns within – is so powerful, so important, that it shines through them like a lighthouse beam.
It’s not just cowboy boots, big belt buckles and a hat. It’s not just trappings.
It’s easy to forget that America (and really, every county) is made up of People of Substance. People who work hard, raise families, build good, solid lives. In these times when the media sensationalizes bad behavior – from Deflategate to the Clippers debacle to other more serious cases of people behaving badly – its really, really easy to forget that every country thrives on those who just do the work they love.
Its also easy to forget that people get up, head for work, only to stop and help someone who has a flat. Or to not notice that there’s a couple of cops who helped War Vet get his broken down scooter home, by pushing it, and him, for more than a mile. Then they walked back to their cruiser and went about the business of the law. Or in Nepal, and Oklahoma, where people have stopped everything else to help their neighbors.
Sometimes, it’s hard to remember that country – and the values it represents – isn’t just what flag we drape around our shoulders in victory. It’s the things we live day in and day out. As CeeLo said, it’s the core, not the cowboy boots.
As we head for Memorial Day, and BBQ (YAY!) and the “opening” of the Summer, remember what YOUR core is, and give it a little more time this summer.
If you’re a swimmer, go more often, enjoy it more often. Love to cook? You don’t need the chef judges to tell you you’re good. The licked-clean plates are victory enough most days, but consider putting that prize pie in the Fair this year. Learning to love running? Making that first mile, or the first time you break 3, or 5, or 50, that’s the core. The races and the t-shirts and any medals? Those are just the cowboy boots. The core is the love of the thing.
And if you’re a reader or writer at your core, then WOOHOOO!!! This is the year to read more, write more and believe in yourself.
Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t be what you want to be. If you have any doubts, Dr. Jeanne’s prescription is to watch The Voice, and/or go and binge watch all the Under Armour commercials. Grins. Watch Giselle Bundchen kick some ass. :> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-V7cOestUs Or Misty Copeland’s story. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZY0cdXr_1MA
And in the meantime….READ!
So what are your inspirations?
What’s your “core” – Gardening? Inventing? Parenting? Modeling? Cooking? Laughing and making others laugh?
What’s your Summer Go-To reading list? Banditas are on mine, of course, but so are Karen Robards, Mercedes Lackey, Nora Roberts, and Barbara Devlin.
And….what’s cooking for Memorial Day in the US? (It’s gonna be riiiiiibs at my house! Woot!)
All the Bandits are continuing to write wonderful books, and if you got our newsletter for May, you’ll see upcoming May. June will have another slew of releases, so keep an eye out for your first Beach Reads of the Summer. If you’re Down Under Bandita Buddies, or in the Southern Hemisphere, you’ve got great books coming up to snuggle in with! In your case, stay warm and read some great books! Grins.
Next month, I’ll be back on the 8th with the cover for DEAD RECKONING, and a publication date for it too! WOOT!!
Tom Collichio from Wikimedia Commons by bebe1991
“TimGunnSmileAAFeb09 portrait crop” by TimGunnSmileAAFeb09.jpg: Chrisa Hickey at http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisahickey/derivative work: Beao – TimGunnSmileAAFeb09.jpg. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
CeeLo Green from photobucket by BubbleDevWalls2 – no infringement intended