Posts tagged with: Jeanne Adams

It’s A Fine Day for Capitol Danger!

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!

CapitolDangerfinalrevisedAs 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.

 

Ground floo floor plan Capitol Danger

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:

Capitol Danger

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!)

Nemesis_finalWriting 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.

kidnapped-revamped-finalSuz’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.

DeadRunfinalMy 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.

9780451466921_p0_v3_s118x184J.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!

It’s AUGUST! Coming Attractions….

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!

CapitolDangerfinalrevised

June Coming Attractions

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 theCapitol Danger final revised party.

GreekDocCoverOn 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!

Cover Reveal

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?

Capitol Danger final revised

“Country is Your Core Not Just Your Cowboy Boots” – A Thought From NBC’s The VOICE

the-voice-bientot-de-retour-sur-tf1So, 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.

Grins.

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….)640px-TimGunnSmileAAFeb09_portrait_crop

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.  American_Ninja_WarriorYou 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 BlakeSheltongenuinely 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.

TL7955-260x260But 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.1

It’s substance.

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.

01tom-colicchioAs 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

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 www.BooksILoveALatte.wordpress.com 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.  DSC_1420www.DanielChurchill.com.au  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!!

Jeanne

 

 

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

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

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

TheLuckyonefinal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And now, that Excerpt of THE LUCKY ONE!

 

The Descendants
Portsea Island, England
March, 1814

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coming Attractions….April!

Hey Everyone!

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

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

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

 

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

Spring Books, Springboks, Reeboks and Heading into Bloooom Time!

snowWe got 10″ of snow in the DC area on Thursday.  The kids were off Friday too, thanks to that 10″ snowfall.  We’d already had a snow day on Monday, and two days off the previous week.  So, with that, we’ve had only two weeks since January 1 where the kids have been in school for a full 5-day week.

Now, for the kids, this has been fun.  For those of us who are parents, trying to actually do jobs for which we get paid?  Its a nightmare.  As a writer who works from home, it’s already hard enough to get everything done.  For those of you who’ve never tried it, working from home is a challenge.

It SEEMS like it would be great – do some work, sneak in an extra load of laundry, a little more work, do a little billpaying or whatever – then get back to more work, right?

Nope.

Those home-things are the things you HAVE to turn off.  You have to put the hours in at the desk, doing the work.  If you start doing the other “home chores,” its too easy to get caught up in them.  As anyone knows, there’s a never-ending supply of house stuff to do at any given time. When you work in an office, one where you get up and drive every day to a building that isn’t your house, there’s a definite pressure to actually Do the Job, right?  Sure, everyone makes the occasional personal call – sets up a doctor appointment, takes a call from Mom – or steals a few minutes to write a few bills so they can be mailed.  But those are stolen moments, and peer pressure makes you get back to the WORK of work.HPIM1396

When you’re home, working, no one gives you the “Get back to work!” stink eye when your mom/sister/brother/friend calls.  No one cares if you take a two-hour lunch.  There’s no one to disapprove if you do the entire week’s laundry when you should be working, or pop up to school for an hour to see the Halloween parade.

Just you and the dog or cat or the simple silence.  So you, the worker, the writer, the owner of your business, YOU have to be the one who cares.

And that’s hard.

booksstackedBut I’ll tell you a scary secret….shhhhhh….lean in close…..Here’s the deal: If you don’t value your work time, your writing time, your creative time, or even you “me time,”  and protect it with jealous fury, then no one else will value or respect it either.

You’ll be barraged with “Oh, since you work from home, can you pick up all the kids?  I’ve got an important meeting…”  And, “Oh, you work from home?  Great!  You’ll be perfect for PTA President next year, you have LOTS of time!”

Why is it that people assume working from home means extra time?  I just can’t figure this out.  It’s WORKING from home.  Not Slacking From Home.  Not Pretending to Work From Home.

This, however, is not how books get written.BehindEnemyLinesfinalforBarnesandNoble

Books get written by assigning working time, making SURE its undisturbed even if you have to put up a privacy screen, and putting ye
olde butte in ye comfortable chaire and yon hands on yon keyboarde.

I’m hoping to get out a number of books this year, so I am jealously guarding that writing time.

One book, which is forthcoming this month, is a single story form of the novella that was in the Christmas Anthology, A Jewel in Time.  That story, BEHIND ENEMY LINES, is set in WWII.  Its my first historical and I hope to revisit the time period next year in another series.

But for now, I’m working on getting back to my roots, sharpening my Suspense and Mystery prowess and delivering a whole lot of rollicking good reading as we head into Spring, and Bloom Time.

(By the way, don’t you just love that cover?  Once again, the fabulous Lyndsey Lewellen delivers!!)

Saut_de_gazelle_SpringbokSo for those of you who’ve been with the Romance Bandits from the beginning, you’ll appreciate that I’m actually going back to “The Beginning.”

Coming soon, I’ll be reissuing the very first book I every published with Kensington/Zebra.  Originally titled Dark and Dangerous, the book will be updated, have a new title and some new scenes.

It will now start a series, as was originally intended when Kate Duffy and I started together.  The idea was that Dark and Dangerous would come out.  Dark and Deadly would follow it.  Then there would be a follow up book to Dark and Dangerous, then a new two-book series, and then the final book in the Dark and Dangerous trilogy.  Then more new stuff, then a follow-up to Dark and Deadly….you get the picture.

The illustrious dragon of the editing world, Kate Duffy, was a long-term planner.  She built careers, not one-book-wonders.  (Her words, not mine)  Gotta tell you, I still miss her.  She and I got as far as that two-book series….(Deadly Little Secrets and Deadly Little Lies respectively), but she died before we could execute (so to speak, bwahahahah!) the rest of the plan.

Now, with independent publishing, I’m going to be able to finish.

I LOVE the finish line.  LOVE.  IT.  Fall Winter 2014 009

I run.  Not well, not fast, but I run.  (Usually NOT in Reeboks, and definitely NOT like a springbok, tho I had fun playing with the names for the title of the blog!)  When I enter races, I love the finish line.  I love having run.  Don’t always love DOING it, but love finishing it.

Same thing with writing.  I don’t always love the process.  I don’t always love the editing.  I don’t always love the sheer amount of space writing occupies in my cranium.

But I love, love, love having written.  LOVE.  IT.  I love creating stories.  I love giving towns and people and love stories new life.  I love showing that love can always find a way.

HPIM0929So, those characters that originated in Dark and Dangerous will now be the genesis – The Spring Bloom! – of a new series.  Dana, Caine, Xavier and all the villains who chase them will leap forth to new, vibrant life.  (How’s that for flowery prose?)

The first book (formerly Dark and Dangerous) is retitled DEAD RUN.  Next month on April 8th, as we head into Bloom Time I’ll be back to Launch it.

Hope you’ll come back and see THAT new cover which Lyndsey Lewellen also designed.  And in subsequent months, I’ll introduce you to the characters from Dead Run who have thier own stories in which to shine.  You’ll find them in DEAD RECKONING, and DEAD WRONG.  These three books are the start of the #FaithfulDefenders series, all of which feature highly trained guard dogs, guide dogs, working and retired military dogs, therapy dogs, or Search and Rescue dogs.  (Those four dogs up on the right are my highly skilled BED dogs. They’re fearfully well trained at…nothing!  Grins.)

So, Banditas and Buddies, have you ever seen a police or bomb dog working?  

Have you ever seen a Guide Dog or Therapy Dog working or known someone who has one?

Did you watch the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show a couple of weeks ago?  (Or have you ever seen Crufts???  Going to Crufts is on my Bucket List!)

Do you think working dogs are interesting?Fall Winter 2014 018

What’s your favorite Spring flower?  I know Aus and everything in the Southern Hemisphere is heading into Fall, so what’s your favorite Fall Flower?

For those of you in the Northern Hemisphere, are you as ready for Spring as I am?  

What books are you looking forward to???

Let’s chat!  (That’s my guard dog over there…guarding the bed, and the clean sheets….)

(All photos belong to the Author except the SpringBok which is from Wikimedia Commons)

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.

BehindEnemyLinesfinalforBarnesandNoble

 

 

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.

 

11001894_10204486677381567_7092697888401229058_n

 

 

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.

 

 

 

SALE NEWS!!

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 www.CarenCrane.com. (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?

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