Posted by Jeanne Adams Dec 8 2013, 12:44 am in Beefcake, Captain America, Chris Evans, Chris Pine, Hugh Jackman, Jeanne Adams, Jeremy Renner, Star Trek, The Avengers, Thor The Dark World
Don’t you love getting exactly what you want for your birthday? Isn’t that the best thing? Grins.
So, today’s my birthday and my boys – the DH, Eldest and Youngest Sons – did their best to make a weekend of it. It started Friday night when I got to go out with some girlfriends. (Their idea of “time-off for Mom”) This was indeed fun, but the REAL fun was yesterday.
On Saturday, I got a FABULOUS present. I got this on Saturday – the day before my birthday – because we’re supposed to get a major Winter Weather Event on my actual birthday. This is, of course, fine with me, since I’m the Winter Queen, but it does tend to curtail activity since no one ’round here can drive in messy weather. (This includes rain, by the way. Although DC drivers seem to be able to create havoc without any help from the weather!)
Back to the point, however, what, you might ask, did I get?
Yes, you read that correctly. My boys gave me something any gal would want. Delicious, beefy, yummy, wonderful-looking MEN!!! Bwahahahah!
Most of the day was fairly typical for a Saturday, including errands and kid stuff. However, after all that regular stuff we went to see THOR, THE DARK WORLD. Ohhhhh! The deliciousness of beefcake in THAT movie is just….just….yeah. First, of course, there is Chris Hemsworth. Total Hottie McHottie. That, however, doesn’t negate the sheer mesmerizing creative fabulousness of Tom Hiddleston, as the villain-turned-possible-hero-or-is-he?, playing Thor’s adopted brother Loki. Loki was the villain of the initial Thor movie and in The Avengers as well, seeking not only the throne of Asgard, but dominion over Earth as well.
Tom Hiddleston is brilliant in all these films. Sly. Creative. Devilishly attractive, even for a bad guy. Grins.
One of my favorite heroes also made a brief appearance – Captain America played by the most delicious Chris Evans. Triple delight. Hemsworth, Hiddleston and Evans. Oh, my!! (Photo of Tom is by Gage Skidmore for Wikimedia Commons)
Then after our wonderful fun of the movie, Hubby and I dropped the boys with the babysitter we had arranged and went out to dinner. Where did I wish to go? my darling husband asked. Buffalo Wild Wings to watch football. I got an enormous grin from my darling hubby. He knows me well.
So, with great delight, we ate sticky BBQ wings and watched football. After the incredibly high-scoring Auburn/Missouri game (WILD!) we watched simultaneous broadcasts of the Duke/Florida State game, and the Ohio State/Michigan game. Now those of you who are regulars know that I am a football fan. Actually that should be capitalized as FOOTBALL FAN. I lived in Ohio for a while and one of my brothers is an Ohio State grad. Then again, Banditas Suz and Donna are HUGE OSU fans. So I was keenly interested in that one.
Love me some Duke, but usually am rooting for them in basketball. This year – an historic year for Duke – they won, and won, and won…in FOOTBALL!! Amazing. Now, have to confess that they got stomped in the ACC Championship game with Florida State (probably revenge for how often Duke kicks their collective bums in basketball!) However, they played hard, and GOT THERE. Amazing for Duke. Proud of my team. Go Blue Devils!!
It’s been a great few years for movies coming out on my birthday and that has led to some ASTOUNDING Beefcake for My Birthday. Grins. I have been watching two fabulous shows on TV recently, one of which features a major piece of said beefcake in the person of Karl Urban. Karl played both Eomer, a Rider of Rohan in the Lord of the Rings movies – Yumbo! – but he also played Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy in the reboot of the Star Trek series. DOUBLE YUM! And, although I had hoped HE – Karl Urban – would have been chosen for Thor, he’s fabulous as Bones, as well as in the new TV show, Almost Human. (Check THAT one out for some serious beefcake! Oh and Tom Mison in Sleepy Hollow as well….slurp!!)
All the LOTR movies came out at the holidays, and oh, my, was that fun. That’s Legolas, Aragorn, Boromir, Eomer….yeah. Beefcake. This year, the second HOBBIT movie is going to be out, featuring our perennial Lair favorite, Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakinshield. Got to see his yummy self in the previews tonight since Hobbit comes out in a few days. That got us talking about The Avengers (Richard was in Captain America) and we got to see the trailer for Captain America, The Winter Soldier. MORE Beefcake! MORE Chris Evans!! Oooooooh!!! Scrumptious!! And of course, Avengers was a total beefcake movie – Downey Jr., Evans, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye….nummy.
We recently also saw Rise of the Guardians. Now this is an animated movie, but Chris Pine (beefcake), Jude Law (more beefcake), and the ultimate beefcake, Hugh Jackman. Siiiggggh! This has been out for a couple of years, but it’s total fun. Their voices are enough…mostly…for me. Grins.
So, it’s already been a good birthday and its hardly started. Weather permitting, we’re going to have a nice meal with friends and see another movie, FROZEN. This one too is animated – taking the kids! – and is evidently hot at the box office. Alas, no beefcake (not even in the voices on this one) but it should be fun!
So Banditas and Buddies, what’s the Holiday Movie Release you most looked forward to? LOTR? The new Hunger Games movie, Chasing Fire?
Do you have a “new favorite” holiday movie – something like Frozen or Rise of the Guardians?
What’s your old favorite Holiday Movie? (Mine’s White Christmas, must confess…)
Who’s your favorite beefcake? Someone listed or someone else? Grins.
Have you ever had Beefcake for your birthday?
Are you a fan of all the SuperHero movies? They’ll be introducing Falcon next.
Eldest Son and I are rooting for the Black Panther to be the next SuperHero to be introduced. I want Shemar Moore to play him…..ooooooh, plllllleeeeeeeaseeeeee!….. Grins. (And saying that gave me the perfect excuse to post a photo of him….ohhhh, yeah!)
Who’s your Beefcake?
Posted by Jeanne Adams Nov 8 2013, 12:10 am in Acorn Catalog, Alot, Commas save lives, Define Naughty, Hyperbole and a Half, Jeanne Adams, Keep Calm, Life is Good Catalog, Signals Catalog, T-shirt sayings
Y’know, I was reading Caren’s post from the other day and laughing to myself about the Acorn Catalog. (www.AcornOnline.com) I LOVE catalogs and delight in dreaming over the delicious furnishings and food and cool clothes. I often see things and think, “Oh, my friend so-and-so would LOVE That!!” When I win the lottery, I swear, I’m going to ACT on all those impulses! Snork! People will be sick of getting weird stuff in the mail from me that reminds me of them. Hahah!
Of course, I also spend time laughing my bahootie off at all the great t-shirts with fabulous sayings, like the one Caren mentioned in her post.
“Silently Correcting Your Grammar!” Grins.
I then realized that this year, there are MORE of the pithy or wise sayings showing up in the catalogs – pillows, wall art, and the inevitable tee shirts. And in this season of giving, what better thing to give a writer than a shirt or pillow with….you guessed it….
MORE WORDS!! Grins.
Of course, there are seasonal greetings like “Give Thanks” or “BOOO!” or one of my personal favs from the latest Pottery Barn Catalog “Its The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” Grins. LOVE that. Of course, like the fabulous and famous Staples Commercial, I start singing that one in August, when the kids go back to school and I get a schedule again! Hahahah!! ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DComGO8JYo)
But I started laughing over and thinking about what kind of shirt-with-a-saying would I get for my Bandita Sisters? It didn’t take long to realize I could think of a saying for pretty much EVERY Bandita.
For instance, in the Signals Catalog, (http://www.signals.com/) there’s a shirt I need to get for Anna Campbell. It says:
7 Days Without a Pun Makes One Weak.
(Or, as an alternative….
“I feel Pithy, Oh, so Pithy!)
For Caren, who actually will be seen with me in public, the one above, about Best Friends, works well, or perhaps, since she is the Mistress of Haiku, she should have this one to the left.
If I were to get one for Bandita Nancy, it would be one with a photo of her favorite Stargate character, Teal’c and his favorite saying, “Indeed.”
Or for Jo and Nancy, who love to really DIG into history….
“History Buff: I’d Find You More Interesting if You Were Dead”
Or even better, for Nancy, a
“Richard the Third – He put the KING in ParKING!”
(Or the one about him being a Hide and Seek Champion….) *Ducks flying fruit*
And if y’all didn’t see Trish’s fabulous posts on her Facebook Page back in August with #30DaysofGeekGirlTees about her many amazing DragonCon and geek-girl shirts, you should go over there right now and check them out. They are hysterical!!
(I’d obviously have to get Trish a Supernatural tee, or something deliciously geeky which could appear in next year’s round up! Maybe something from Firefly or The Walking Dead…)
I’d have to buy some for me, of course. I couldn’t resist. Having the macabre sense of humor that I do, a good one might be:
“Let’s Eat Grandma. Let’s Eat, Grandma. – Commas Save Lives.”
Grins. Oh, what a different experience the lowly comma can provide!
Or for both Cassondra and for me, the one with a leg bone and the saying, “I Find This Humerus” Snork.
Then there were the LIFE IS GOOD Halloween shirts… ) a witch hat with “Be Witching” Or a picture of a zombie and the saying, “You Only Live Twice.” Or the other zombie shirt, “I Like You For Your Brains.”
I’d probably also have to go for: “Being a Good Writer is 5% Talent and 95% Not Being Distracted by the Internet.”
For Jo, Anna S, Nancy, and Donna and all the Banditas who are English Majors, teachers/former Teachers, and/or Grammar Police, I’d have to get:
“The Past, The Present and the Future Walked into a bar…It was Tense…”
Or “I Before E…Except when Eight Feisty Neighbors Seize a Surfeit of Weighty Heifers” Snork!!
Or even better, for all the Bandits…. “Keep Clam and Proofread!”
“There. Their. They’re NOT the same!”
Since all of us are book lovers, I could fall back on the perennial favorite,
“Next to a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside a dog, it’s too dark to read.”
Or the always popular: “So Many Books, So Little Time.”
For Kate, I was laughing over wine shirts – In Vino, Veritas! - but decided since her Brooklyn Wainwright is always caught up with the irony of the situation, I would have to get at least two shirts going for that….
One, which features a photo of an enormous grizzly bear and says:
“I Ate a Guy Wearing a PETA Shirt Yesterday, and Nearly Choked on the Irony.”
I know, I know, it’s verging on politically incorrect, but it reminded me of the irreverence of Brooklyn’s family. Grins.
Or another one, which I might have to get for both Kate and Susan because they always crack me up, which says:
“Irony. The Opposite of Wrinkly.”
For my Evil Twin Cassondra, and for myself, I should probably order
“I Drink Coffee for YOUR Protection…”
For Cassondra, I’d probably also have to order a shirt that says something hysterically funny and relatively inappropriate about secret squirrel organizations, or perhaps C4. SNORK!!
For the Golden Rooster, I REALLY have to get the t-shirt that says:
“I dream of a society where a Chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned”
Frankly, for OUR bird, I question anything he gets up to, including his motives for crossing ANYTHING! Ha!!
For the somewhat hapless Paolo, I might have to get
“If you Can’t Stand the Heat, Don’t Tickle the Dragon!”
Or “Do Not Meddle in the Affairs of Dragons…For You are Crunchy and Good with Ketchup”
For Suz, given her murderous proclivities, and medical knowledge, I would have to get a shirt written in Latin:
“Quondo Omni Flunkus Mortati!” (When All Else Fails, Play Dead!)
(She’d probably have to get an equally inappropriate but hysterically fun secret squirrel organization shirt, or something about labor and delivery and the general naughtiness preceding it!)
For Tawny and Anna S, I saw a shirt that said
“A New Pair of Shoes Can Change Your Life – Cinderella”
That one would be a must-buy. Grins. Again, here, there were SO Many choices…Johnny Depp, Shoes, Hockey….yeah, I could send these two Bandita’s a box of shirts a month and not run out of funny things to send them…
I know Donna already has the “Be Careful, Or You’ll End Up in my Novel” shirt, but I saw one that made me LOL and think of her:
“Everyone Remain Calm, I’m an Accountant.” And there was this one with a peacock, but the saying on it was NOT g-rated. SNORK.
For Joan, who is as you know loves her kittehs, but is also a nurse, there were so many choices! OMGosh….
“Do you want to talk to the Doctor in charge, or the Nurse who knows what’s going on?” SNORK!! Since I also have a sister who’s a nurse, and our Bandita Suz is a nurse, I love that one.
Joan would also have to get a fabulous shirt about Sacking Rome as well as something about the cats…. I could do the funny-cat-shirt for Joan, Christie, Caren, Cassondra, and Donna. Grins. (So many funny cat shirts, so little space on the blog…)
For Christie, Christina, and our other historical authors, I think I’d get
“Sorry Mr. Grey, I’m Sticking With Mr. Darcy”
(Take THAT, Christian Grey!) Christie would have this one I saw about Lord Baltimore too. Grins. And I saw so many about handbags, Christina, which would suit us both that I just ran out of time! Bwahahahah! (Christina, it’s an addiction, I tell you!) Oh, and Christina, there were two about being the mother of all boys (MOABs) which were beyond funny.
For Susan, whose wit is sharp as a rapier, I think I’d have to go for the Downton Abbey shirt, “Vulgarity is No Substitute for Wit.” Or this one:
“A GOOD friend will bail you out of jail. Your BEST friend will be sitting next to you saying, “DAMN, that was fun!”" Grins.
And, given that it’s the holidays, I think I’d have to get everyone one of my Bandita Sisters some Holiday pillows or shirts, like
And “Santa, I’ve been good! Really, Really Good!” Grins. (Take that however you’d like…)
So what are some of your favorites?
Do you have a favorite shirt-with-a-saying that you wear?
Is there one you’ve seen and laughed over?
Do you watch Downton Abbey? Would you wear a shirt saying “Do as the Dowager Countess Says”? Grins
What about other shows? Do you have a shirt or sweatshirt from Star Trek, Star Wars, True Blood or other popular shows or movies?
What T-Shirt would you get for the Golden Rooster? For other various Lair inhabitants? For Yourself?
(The I Care About this Alot is from www.hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/store and is fab! ALL Allie’s stuff is great! Also check out http://www.caravanshoppe.com/product-category/wall-art/ for some great wall art with words, and other items!(http://www.lifeisgood.com/clearance/women/ )
Posted by Jeanne Adams Oct 31 2013, 12:01 am in Ellen Dugan, Garden Witch, Halloween, Halloween Party, Jeanne Adams, Joyce Tabor, Mulan, Shakespeare in Love, Some Like it Hot, Tess Whitehurst, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Tootsie
Scared yet? Bwahahahahah!!!
Longtime Bandit Buddies know that this is my favorite holiday. Last weekend – the 26th – I hosted my annual Ad(d)ams Family Halloween Party. It was raucous as usual. Here’s the view which greeted my guests….the theme this year was Things That Go Bump in the Night. Grins. We figured the Skellys trying to get in the house would probably do a little bumping, as they attempted the windows at night. Bwahahahah!!
It was exciting as always to welcome the crowd, but the real fun is today and tonight. Halloween is that day of the year when the “Veil” is thin between this world and the next….the Ancient Celts began their New Year on Nov 1 and so Oct 31 was the last night of the year. They believed that the ghosts and shades returned to make mischief, so bonfires were lit and house lights extinguished so that the ghouls would be drawn to the crowded town square and thereby cross through again, by the light of the Druidic bonfire.
The Romans co-opted the myth, and then the Christians added on as well, so that those crazy pagans would fall in with the Christianization more easily. All Saints Day (Nov 1) honored the Saints and Martyrs, and All Souls Day (Nov 2) honored the dead. But the whole dress up thing? Yeah, that’s a constant. The Celts dressed up to scare the ghosts, the Romans honored the dead as well as the Goddess Pomona – she who loves apples, adding that fruit to the Halloween panoply! – and the early Christians were urged to dress as the aforementioned saints and martyrs. Grins.
I have to say that I really, really, really love dress up!! I think the choice of costume says a lot about a person, and can even be a form of divination…almost like fortune-telling! I don’t know about you, but I’ve had my palm and tea leaves read and my fortune told many a time. Each time this happens, I’m amazed at what comes out. Sometimes it’s so accurate, it’s scary – one of my BFF’s can read Tarot cards so well it’ll give you shivers!
And sometimes, it’s just funny/silly/ridiculous, like the time I had my tea leaves read and the person told me I’d marry a wealthy Italian and live abroad. SNORK!!! (My DH is about as English/American as you can get with a name like Adams, and DC is about as “abroad” as I want to live. Hahahah!)
But all the spooky of storytelling – Go, Bandits! – and the fun of the cards (Check out my pal Ellen Dugan’s new Tarot Deck!!http://ellendugan.com/13.html ), and even the wonder of a psychic reading can’t be beat by a good bout of dress-up-and-pretend.
What’s more fun that dressing up, for one night, and pretending to be someone else? Famous books and movies are based on just this premise! Think of Working Girl. Shakespeare in Love. Tootsie. Trading Places. Some Like it Hot. Mulan. Dave. The Scarlet Pimpernel. The Saint. Mrs. Doubtfire. Even the fabulous While You Were Sleeping is someone pretending to be something she’s not. :>
I’ve always thought that a great day rummaging in the costume shop will give you a hell of an insight into who you REALLY are or want to be. (However, if you ever want a psychic reading that will make you say HOLY WOW! BATMAN!, check out www.DonnaSpringGulick.com, the psychic for whom I used to work!)
Seriously, SuperHeroes, don’t you think that all those cats and vampires, cops and robbers, Elvises and Elivras are keying in on something really true about who they/we are? Cats are sleek and have their secrets. Vampires are powerful, but often underrated or slip into the shadows to do their work. Cops have their hero-powers, and robbers too. Elvis is Out There and Elvira laughs at it all - the spooky, evil, silly or banal. They’re a hallmark of who some of us want to be, if we could dress up for a day.
This year, my Eldest is Batman. He’s my “white knight” son, as opposed to The Black Knight. He’s the one who’ll step into a fight and break it up, or make a case for the underdog. And like Bruce Wayne, he’s handsome and charming and abhors injustice.
My Youngest is Iron Man this year. Did you see the movie The Avengers? When taunted by Captain America as to what he is without the suit, Iron Man/Tony Stark replies, “Genius, Billionaire, Playboy, Philanthropist.” Grins. This pretty much sums up my youngest’s character. While I doubt he’d ever go to the playboy excesses of the famous Tony Stark, he’s already a charming, smooth-talkin’ smarty-pants. And he’d give you his allowance if he thought you needed the help.
Yep. Pretty accurate casting, and an interesting a self assessment.
In another “assessment,” I never wanted to dress up as a princess. I never saw myself in that role. A knight, yes. A dragon? (Props to Ermingarde…) Oh, hell yes! A princess – as then-princesses were depicted? Nope, not me. I might do it now, given how gutsy today’s princesses are! :> But not then.
Instead, I wanted to be a Brilliant Sorceress, a Mystic Elf, Wonder Woman, a female Green Lantern, or Sheena-the-Jungle-Woman who had a bond with all the big cats. Grins. Bat-girl was too tamed down, but Cat Woman? I’d've gone for her, even in her villany. I’d've turned Middle Earth inside out to be a Girl-Gandalf, or a Female Rider of Rohan. I also wanted to be the girl who rode National Velvet, or spunky Anne of Green Gables. (And yes, that’s me, sans witch hat with my faboo co-hostess for the annual Adams Family Halloween fest!)
But that whole princess thing? Nope.
Instead, I wanted to make magic. Break the spell. Fight the good fight. Be with the animals. Adventure through the worlds and be proactive, positive and out there on the front of things.
Funny how being a storyteller is all that and more. I’m living it all. My choices of costumes agreed with all those Tarot Readings and psychic predictions. I AM a storyteller. I DO make magic. And I have to laugh about the other bit too….in my house, you couldn’t be much more “ONE” with the animals! Hahah!! (Three dogs, three men…yeah, it’s Animal House all over again!)
So what about you Bandits and Buddies? Was there Prophecy in some of your early Halloween costume choices? (I’m not talking the last-minute, pulled together hobo or gypsy, but the ones YOU chose, the costumes you made or saved for….)
Do you read Tarot Cards? (Ellen’s deck now has an APP!! WOW!! There’s an App for that!!) Or have you had yours read to good effect?
What other ways of future-forecasting have you heard of, believed in, or used?
What other movies can you think of where the hero or heroine goes in disguise, or pretends to be something/someone else?
And the Veil is Thin Tonight….what handsome, hunky actor, living or now beyond the Veil, would you like to come trick or treating at YOUR house tonight?
Can’t wait for the answers!! (And comments on the picture of Jewelry Designer Joyce Tabor, Me, Author and Garden Witch, Ellen Dugan and Author Tess Whithurst!)
BUMP, THUMP! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!
Posted by Jeanne Adams Oct 22 2013, 12:24 am in favorites, Food Fight, Jeanne Adams, Spaghetti
Yes, I know that the saying is that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. But in my house that heart has a longing for pasta with meat sauce.
Of course, food in general is the way to my heart too, I must confess. Having read Tawny’s Favorite Things post, and Anna C’s post about cookies, over the last few days, I’m really hungry. Of course, I too am about to go on a cooking jag, as I’m prepping for the Annual Ad(d)ams Family Halloween Party.
The perennial favorite dishes which I cannot do without – hordes of people complain if I don’t make these dishes for the party! – vary from vegetable to fruits to meats. Oh, and there’s a cookie too that cannot be done without.
My aunt’s asparagus casserole is, for one, a “must do” dish. This involves an entire stick of butter, lots of asparagus, crackers, cheese, cream of mushroom soup…..yummmmmy. Even those who don’t like asparagus love this dish. I’ve caught guests licking the spoon to get the last of it. Grins.
Then there’s my own favorite, a Southern staple of a Sweet Potato Casserole. Sweet potatoes, not yams, mind you. Most Southerners use the terms interchangeable, but yams just aren’t right for this dish. Gotta be sweet potatoes. This dish also involves a full stick of butter, several big fat potatoes, eggs, milk, brown sugar and lots and lots of pecans.
And absolutely NO marshmallows. None. Zero. Zip. So put that right out of your mental picture. The cookie is a secret-recipe molasses/ginger cookie. YUMMY!!!
I was thinking about all this, and plotting out my course of cooking over the next few days, and I asked my husband and sons which were their favorites. Most of the “most requested recipes” hit the “do for the party” list, but in terms of general foodishness, they had some other favorites.
My youngest son told me he could eat my homemade yeast rolls “Until I explode, mom! I love them!” Okay, so this was actually news to me. He feels this same way about the coffee cake that my husband makes on Saturdays. A family recipe as well, that one. Good to know, since he’s my picky eater! He’d live on corn dogs, pineapple pizza and Cheerios if I’d let him.
Obviously, he got my carb-loving, bread-devouring gene. Ha!
My older son, who will at this teenaged point in his life, eat anything not nailed down, had favorites other than bread products. For him, his hands-down favorite is spaghetti. I make a lot of spaghetti because EVERYONE in this house will eat spaghetti, even picky Youngest Son. So, it seems fairly commonplace right?
Evidently not so much.
According to the Eldest Son, I make spaghetti differently than any other mom of his acquaintance. Now those of you who have kids – or were kids - and live in the suburbs know about this. There are always play dates. Often as not, as a mom, you end up feeding someone else’s kids for these events, either lunch or dinner, or at least snacks. As the boys get older, I find I make a LOT of food to feed growing boys. (The other moms do too, so it evens out!) Everyone of my son’s friends likes my spaghetti. Now THEY will ask for it, if they’re coming over. “Hey, do you think your mom will make spaghetti?”
Grins. I’m a hit! They like me – or at least my spaghetti! – they really like me! SNORK!!!
My husband describes it as “A lot of great lightly-spiced meat with some sauce and noodles.” Grins. Pretty accurate. That appears to be the way to most of these young men’s hearts. Ha!
Being a confirmed “Meat-a-tarian” I always prefer the meatier dishes and my spaghetti is no exception. Eldest Son claims he could eat his weight in spaghetti, and never get tired of it. And while he and my husband sometimes request chicken pot pie or beef brisket or I try and branch out, try lighter recipes or different things, they may appreciate or like the new things, but they always, consistently request spaghetti as the ”stand-by-favorite.”
Yes, meat-a-tarians all, in this family!!
So Banditas and Buddies, do you like spaghetti?
General meat with sauce, or meatballs and sauce? Or do you go all veg?
Parmesan cheese, or just sauce and noodles?
Do you get your sauce from a jar or make it homemade?
Bandita Nancy’s now-grown-son used to famously request “Plain Spaghetti” – bare noodles with butter. Is this a favorite with your kids?
Do you ever make spaghetti with something other than long, thin noodles? (I.e. shaped pasta instead of noooodly-noodles?)
What “sides” to you add? I can get my family to add bread, a salad, or edamame, but not much else. What about you?
Do you have, or were you, a picky eater? What was your staple food? Pizza? Marshmallow Fluff? Cheerios?
Posted by Jeanne Adams Oct 8 2013, 12:08 am in Ancestor Hunting, Arlington National Cemetery, DC, FindAGrave.com, Jeanne Adams
Now y’all know I love cemeteries. I find them fascinating. Not only is the history of the world laid out in stone, but some of the most magnificent sculptures you’ll ever see are found in the hallowed grounds devoted to the dearly departed.
And what better time than October to talk about the Dead!!??
Now I’m usually Cemetery Walkin’ to find ancestors, not stories. Sometimes I’m even looking for MY ancestors. Grins. Recently, I’ve been haunting a cemetery in Washington, DC to get pictures for some genealogy buffs who live in far-flung corners of the country. They don’t have time or money, or sometimes the health, to come to DC and hunt down their own ancestors so I do it for them. This is a so-called “Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness” where I look something up here, and hope that sometime, someone in a town where one of my ancestors are buried looks something up for me. Gratis. It’s the Pass-it-On and Pay-it-Forward method of genealogical research.
The stories I hear about those people I hunt up are often really cool too. For my Rock Creek Cemetery jaunt, I’ve been in touch with people in Idaho, California, British Columbia and Australia. One lady, her ancestor harbored Civil War Southern President Jefferson Davis as he fled Richmond. Another had family buried in Rock Creek who were “the rich folk in the family” while her line were the poorer cousins, but the poorer cousins survived to this century and the rich folk died out in the last one. Another was a military attache in Russia during the Cold War. There are Quisenberrys, Uphams, Chapins, Quattlebaums, Coblentzes and plain old Smiths and Joneses.
It’s just cool.
Now, I’m about to put up my own little Cemetery for my famous annual Halloween Bash. (The pictured one isn’t mine – it’s from Pinterest – permission requested) Mine’s pretty close to this, but I’ve not yet got the cool columns or the iron fencing….give me another year though and I will!
Somehow, though, no matter how spooky we try to make it for Halloween, our little patch out front doesn’t compare to the acres and acres of majesty at Rock Creek, or at Arlington National Cemetery, or at the fabulous Jefferson Barracks Military Cemetery in St. Louis. Or the crooked and creepy ones in Braintree, Massachusetts where all those Adamses are buried, or the deeply creepy ones in Salem, Massachusetts! (But it’s fun, and the kids adore doing the tombstones and deciding on eptitaphs like the old: “I Told You I Was Sick” one. Grins.)
Online, one of my favorite places to “play with the dead” as my sons call it, and do some Virtual Cemetery Walkin’ is a site called www.FindAGrave.com On this site you can locate ancestors, famous actors, politicians, playmakers, scandal-sheet-Scarletts and socialites galore. If you want to know where Bob Hope is buried, check it out. Or Boris Karloff. Or the aforementioned Jefferson Davis.
If you want to replicate Al Capone’s tombstone for your Halloween display, well, you can find a picture of it on Find-A-Grave!
There are also great stories on FindAGrave too. Most of the stories in my family are prosaic, compared to the “hide a criminal” stories, or “my ancestor was a famous judge who sentenced Jesse James to hang” kinds of things that I’ve encountered in my cemetery jaunts for others.
Then again, while wandering about, you find other stories as well. Sometimes the stories are laid out on the stones themselves, like this one on the right which tells everything this man ever did in his career, as well as that he was a beloved father, husband, grandfather and friend.
Sometimes, you just know….”there’s a story there….”
Like the plot that has fifteen elaborate headstones for one old family, tidily encased in an iron fence, only to see that one lone marker about 15 feet away that bears the same family name and says “son of….” or “daughter of….” or “Second wife of…” And you know there’s a story. Or the bronze angel on the stone of a sailor. Who was he to warrant such extravagance? How deep ran the grief which prompted such a memorial? There’s a story there too.
I can find hundreds of stories in every visit I make to the cemetery. From the tragic ones to the ones that make you smile (“Pastor Joseph lived to 93, and served as pastor of the church for 73 of those years, and blessed us all with his wit and fellowship!”)
Or you can see from the years and dates and names that the wife buried husband after husband. Or the husband buried wife after wife.
I must confess that these tend to make my inner writer go the direction of Blackbeard. And the wife burying more than one or two husbands gets my story-teller cap on for a black-widow-gone-mad, 1750s-style! Some of those things would have been so easy to pull off back then….no forensics…..no lawyers lurking….so many ax-wielding frontiersmen, Indians and gamblers. Or snakes. Or falling down the well….
Gosh! Lost another one! Better start looking for husband #32!!
What about you? Do you like cemeteries too? Or do you find them depressing and creepy?
Have you ever been on FindAGrave?
Ever gone to Graceland, or to the gravesite of a famous person? (Jane Austin? Ian Fleming? Margaret Mitchell?)
Anyone famous who’s tombstone you’d LIKE to go see?
Any fun stories like ”the family all died when the moonshine operation blew up” or “my g-g-g-grandfather was on the supreme court”?
‘Round DC you can’t shake a short stick without hitting a monument or stone or honorary marker.
Have you ever been to Arlington National Cemetery in DC?
What about where you live? Who’s the famous person buried in YOUR neck of the woods?
Is there a graveyard outside YOUR house for Halloweeeeeen?
Let’s talk about the Dead!!
Posted by Jeanne Adams Sep 27 2013, 12:10 am in Anna Sugden, Fall, Grace Kelly, Halloween Weddings, Happy Anniversary, I Do, Jeanne Adams, Jo Robertson, Nancy Northcott, Starbucks, Susan Sey, weddings
After Bandita Susan’s post the other day about “I Do” – and receiving a very cool wedding invite just today! - I’m in the mood for a wedding! Also, I’m ever so fond of Bandita Anna S’s Quick Fives, so I thought I’d try my hand at it and make it a combo! Grins. By the way, Bandita Nancy was also a bit of the inspiration for this post, since she and her DH have been married 26 wonderful years, as of yesterday! (Congrats, Nancy!!)
This one, however, is about relationships. Whether you’re in one or not, you have an idea of what works and what doesn’t. As Romance writers and readers we delve into the whole dynamic of relationships, and get to see both the best and worst of what happens. As writers, we often create terrible relationships in our characters’ past so that they are overcoming those wounds in the present, and with the help of their heroine or hero, they come to see the joy and grace that CAN be in relationship.
In short, we create characters who have either found the will to love again, or have opened up to it when they meet their match.
So….here we go….
1. What’s the longest running HAPPY relationship you know of?
For me, this is my Aunt, as she and my Uncle were married for 53 years prior to his passing and were always giggling and happy with one another as well as respectful and supportive! Oh, wait…there’s also Pat Cochran – Bandita Buddy Extraordinaire – she and her Honey have been married quite a while too! And Bandita Jo has put in some years as well….
(And NO, that picture on the right is NOT a picture of any of the aforementioned! Hahahah!)
2 A If you’re married, how long have you been married? (Or if widowed, how long were you married?)
I’m joyfully heading for the fifteen year mark! That’s me and the DH up there with the Dalmatians.
2B If you’re not married, but in a relationship, how long has it been going on? Or what’s the longest running relationship you’ve had?
This IS the longest relationship I’ve had (Almost 17 years together!), and although I’d been married before, I gotta say…this is GREAT!
3. What is the best thing, to you, about being in a relationship?
Love, obviously, but what’s next? Comfort? Sex? Security? Laughter? Fun? Shared experiences?
For me, its about laughter, connection, sex (sorry, honey, gotta brag!), and shared experiences…and of course love, love, love!
4. If you were/are single today, and were a heroine or hero in a book, what would be the most important positve trait you’l look for in a mate? (Isn’t that kilted groom pic on the left fun? Pic from Wikimedia commons, as is the Grace Kelly photo.)
For me, the positive trait I looked for and found (besides physical compatibility!) was laughter/sense of humor!
5. If you were planning a wedding for yourself today, or vow renewal, and money was no issue, would you go for a big party and a new wedding dress?
White or cream or a color?
Or would you go for a big party or BBQ, and just have fun with friends and family?
Or would you go to the beach/mountains/special place with just a few close friends and say those words all over again?
Describe!! (There’s a picture – above right - of the incredibly elegant Grace Kelly on her wedding day…do you think Nicole Kidman’s going to pull it off in the new movie?)
If I were doing it again – the wedding or vow renewal with the darling DH – I’d do it in October and have all the pumpkins and hay bales and corn stalk bundles and mums I could possibly find. Grins.
(Cake pic from Yahoo Images, pumpkins and other pics from my collection)
This should be fun! I can’t wait to hear what YOU would do!
And just because it’s FALL and FOOTBALL season and I’m LOVING it (and the delight of going to a wedding again!), I’m going to randomly give out some Starbucks Cards to today’s commenters!!
Posted by Jeanne Adams Sep 1 2013, 12:10 am in Anna Campbell, Anna Sugden, coming attractions, JD Tyler, Jeanne Adams, JK Rock, Joanne Rock, Mary Buckham, Miranda Neville, Regina Hart, Theresa Romain
WOOT! It’s September! For those of us who are parents, it’s a time of rejoicing because the kids are back in school and we can actually get on a schedule again. Yee-ha!
For all of you, it’s also exciting because we have some superb news, wonderful guests and exciting contests this month!
First for the superb news! Tune in tomorrow - Sept 2 – Because Bandita Anna Sugden is having a DEBUT BOOK LAUNCH PARTY!!! WOOT!!! The hockey hunks will pull out all the stops, turning the Lair’s ice rink into an all-out ice bar and lounge. Everything made of ice, like the famous ice hotels in Sweden and Norway!! While you’re in the party mood, check out Anna’s redesigned website www.AnnaSugden.com and check out the cool hover effects on the tool bar!
Kicking off the wonderful guests for this month, on Tuesday, 3rd September, Bandita Anna Campbell hosts recent RITA Award winner Sarah MacLean http://macleanspace.com/ who will be talking about her Rule of Scoundrels series. As anyone who has read Sarah’s books knows, she has a delicious sense of humor so this should be fun!
Another wonderful guest debuts in the Lair with Bandita Nancy on Wednesday, September 5th. Many of us already know Mary Buckham for her Breaking Into Fiction book with Lair-Favorite Dianna Love, or her Writing Active non-fiction book, but this time, she’ll be sharing her Alex Noziak urban fantasy series with us. Be prepared for the uber-hotness!!
On Friday, 6th September, another lair favorite Miranda Neville www.mirandaneville.com returns to visit with Bandita Anna C to tell us about her latest luscious Regency historical, THE RUIN OF A ROGUE. The cabana boys are already getting excited. They love Miranda’s visits! (And so do we!)
Join us in the lair on September 9th when Bandita Cassondra hosts prolific contemporary and historical author Joanne Rock. A three-time Rita nominee, Joanne has published more than 60 novels–and she has a cool new project to talk about. I love when guest to reveal secrets in the Lair! Yeah!
On Tuesday, 10th September, it’s another infamous LAUNCH PARTY in the Lair. Bandita Anna Campbell www.annacampbell.info will be sending A RAKE’S MIDNIGHT KISS out into the world in style – and asking you all to kiss AND tell! Ooooh, Can’t WAIT for that!
I swear, Miranda and Anna get some of the BEST covers, don’t they? LOVE both of them!!
On Saturday the 14th Tawny’s going to be rocking the Lair with a FEARLESS party. Prizes, hot excerpts and a lot of fun to be had, so be sure to stop by!!
On the 16th of September, JD Tyler visits with Bandita Suz and takes us into the Alpha Pack world once again with and interview of Ryon Hunter, the next Alpha pack hero in HUNTER’S HEART.
Gotta love those fabulous Alpha Pack men. *fans self, smiles*
On September 18th, Regina Hart talks to Bandita Donna about the second book set in her Trinity Falls series. Ean Fever returns to his small hometown where the girl next door has become the woman of his dreams. But can he convince her, this time he is home to stay?
Don’t you just love the trend for small town series?
Last but certainly not least, Bandita Christie will hosting historical author Theresa Romain on September 24th to chat about her two latest releases: October 1st’s SEASON FOR SCANDAL and September 3rd’s IT TAKES TWO TO TANGLE.
Whew!! That’s a lot of hot men, smart women, tangled situations, small towns, cool capers and amazing authors to visit with! And seriously, what a great month for LAUNCH PARTIES!!! YEEEEEE-HA!! Anna Sugden’s FIRST LAUNCH PARTY, and the latest for the other Anna, Anna Campbell.
It’s an Anna kind of month! Heehee.
And speaking of that, if you’re up for a contest this fine September, check out Bandita Anna Campbell’s website!!
Anna is celebrating the release of her latest Sons of Sin book, A RAKE’S MIDNIGHT KISS, by giving away five signed copies on her website. All you need to do is email her before Sept. 30 at anna @ annacampbell.info (no spaces) and tell her where the events described in the excerpt from the book on her webpage take place. You might just find the answer here: http://www.annacampbell.info/rakeskiss.html For more information, please visit Anna’s contest page: http://annacampbell.info/contest.html
And if you’d like to have a little FEARLESS fun, check out Bandita Tawny’s Fearless Launch page on her site to see her Blog Tour news, and the latest on her Facebook and Twitter parties.
As always, we’d love to have you follow us on Twitter indivdually and collectively @RomanceBandits.
Follow us on Facebook, again individually, and at www.facebook.com/RomanceBandits
Sign up for our newsletter/members only section to get cool content that isn’t on the blog, win additional prizes! Woot!
And most of all….HAPPY SEPTEMBER!!!
Posted by Jeanne Adams Aug 17 2013, 12:12 am in Apex Predators, August, Carnivore Preservation Trust, Carolina Tiger Rescue, CPTigers.org, Dr. Michael Bleyman, Expedition Cape Cod, Jeanne Adams, Kirkus, OCEARCH.com, Read a romance month, shark tracker, Tigers, werebeasts
So August is READ A ROMANCE MONTH. Did you know that?
I found it out from my pal at Kirkus Reviews, Bobbi Dumas. You see, she put together an absolutely SUPERB line up of romance writers to talk about Why Romance Matters. I’m over there today, as well as here on my usual Romance Bandits spot, because Romance matters. A lot. Not only to me, but to a lot of people – all you Banditas and Buddies included!
You can go read that blog and all the other wonderful ones today and those beginning August 1 as well. There’s a fabulous lot of evidence and support for why romance matters, and why even if “they” don’t take it seriously, WE should. Ha! I hope you’ll check it out at www.ReadARomanceMonth.com !
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I want to mention a couple of other Things That Matter. At least they Matter to me. And then we’ll circle back around to Romance, and how IT matters. Grins.
One thing that matters to me is also my current obsession, Great White Sharks.
Yes, you read that correctly. Part of me quivers in fear at the thought of these massive beasties of the sea. After all, I did see Jaws several times. It was also on TV recently. Roy Scheider is so good. And Robert Shaw. And Richard Dreyfuss. What great storytelling! I marveled again at the superb timing of Roy Scheider’s line, “We’re going to need a bigger boat.” I also laughed at Quint (Shaw) hollering “HOOOOOOPER! STEER THE BOAT!!” as the huge shark circled them in the first part of their dedicated chase of the Great White, and Hooper (Dreyfuss) making faces behind Quint’s back like a twelve years old when he felt Quint wasn’t giving him his due respect as a scientist.
Jaws shows up in the fabulous romantic comedy, The Holiday – surely you’ve seen that one! There’s this great line in it where Miles (Jack Black) and Iris (Kate Winslet) are in the movie store. Miles picks up the DVD case for Jaws and says: “Duuuuuuh-duh! Two notes, and you have a villain!” I LOVE that and it so sums up the the “villain” of Jaws. It also shows just how music can up the ante when it comes to the intensity of the movie! I don’t think I’d've been nearly as petrified of the shark without that music.
Unfortunatley for these sharks – incredible creatures! – Jaws did them a great disservice. People learned to fear them far more than they learned to understand their place in our ecosystem. There are, however, people who love them. SERIOUSLY love them. I’m fascinated with a fabulous program called OCEARCH which is even as I write this trying to catch – yes catch – and then tag and release Great White Sharks. They’re on Cape Cod right now, Expedition Cape Cod 2013. So far, they’ve seen lots of sharks and have already tagged one! Yeah! That would be Betsey, the newest member of the OCEARCH tracker family of sharks. You can see pictures on their Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/OCEARCH
OCEARCH has tagged dozens of these massive beasties and you can go on their website and see were they are. Real time. It’s so infernally addicting to go on to the Shark Tracker. I like to see where the big girls are - Lydia, Mary Lee and Genie - on any given day. These particular sharks cruise the Eastern Seaboard from Cape Cod to Jacksonville, FL. They’re just hanging out, catchin’ a wave I guess. Ha!
Why you ask (and rightly so), would these scientists be so in love with sharks, be so passionate about their preservation? Weeellllll, Great Whites are the Alpha Males/Females of the Sea. The crew at the Lair knows how passionate we can get about OUR Alphas - OCEARCH is the same about theirs! Sharks are what’s known as Apex Predators. If they die out, the squid population explodes and the fish we like to eat get eaten by squid and the whole system gets out of whack. No halibut for you, for a lot of years, until the species recovers! (Kinda like the Everglades right now, with it’s Burmese Python Issue – no ‘coons, no bunnies….) Problem is, we know there will be HUGE ramifications if Sharks get over fished or something like disease drops their numbers, but we don’t know that much about the sharks themselves.
I’ve always thought there’d be huge ramifications if human Alpha Males/Females get lost in the shuffle of political correctness too…but that’s for another blog! Ha! Ahem, but I digress…
Like those Alpha Males, sharks are mysterious, somewhat brooding and sinister from the outside view. Since we don’t know about them, we really don’t know how to help, or how much fishing is over fishing, etc. Hence the snag-and-tag games up on Cape Cod! Grins. (If you’d like to see the shark-tracker, check it out on www.OCEARCH.com )
There’s a similar group that did this same kind of research on the land-based Apex Predators. Started as The Carnivore Preservation Trust in the 1970′s to preserve keystone species whose habitats weren’t yet protected, the organization has morphed now, but it’s origins are in studying these great beasts. Now they work to rescue large Wild Cats.
You can find these fab folks at www.CarolinaTigerRescue.org That’s their gorgeous logo above right. I had the distinct pleasure of meeting the original organization’s founder, Dr. Michael Bleyman and seeing the most gorgeous snow leopard cub named Pena when Dr. Bleyman gave a talk at my Rotary Club. Dr. Bleyman has since passed away, as has Pena-leopard, but the mission to save these gorgeous cats continues on. (You can see one of their gorgeous, rescued tiger-boys at the bottom of the post!)
So why does all this matter? To me, it matters because there’s an order here that’s millenia in the making. That order and sequence – predator and prey, eat and be eaten – is also the basis for storytelling. As writers, we’re writing about predators, sometimes in the literal sense, in our work and how the average person can stand up to a villain and win, because we too are human and are apex predators in our own way. Or, that by banding together as some herd animals do, we can drive those selfsame predators away from all that we hold dear. Pick your story and you’ll find a metaphorical shark or big cat in there somewhere. (And with paranormals, you may find them there in the fur or fin, so to speak! Ha!)
So Banditas and Buddies, did you see Jaws? What about The Holiday?
Did you like either movie? Both?
Do you have an animal/fish/wildlife organization like these that you support and believe in?
Do you swim in the ocean, in deeper water, or do you keep to the shallows like me?
Are you afraid of sharks?
And last, but not least, since Romance Novels are like Catnip to most of us, I’ll go back to that bit I started with….Why does Romance Matter to YOU?
I’ll send one lucky commenter today an OCEARCH EXPEDITION CAPE COD T-SHIRT!
(Photos courtesy of OCEARCH and CAROLINA TIGER RESCUE Facebook pages, Wikimedia Commons, etc.)
Posted by Jeanne Adams Aug 8 2013, 12:02 am in Agnes Jayne, Crossfire Series, Donna MacMeans, Erica Bauermesiter, FATS simulator, Gail Barrett, Gideon Cross, Hagerstown Community College, Jeanne Adams, Jeanne Ford, John King, Lost Art of Mixing, Nora Roberts, Nora Roberts Writing Institute, Susan Donovan, Sylvia Day, Young Writers Institute
I like meeting new people.
I’m an extrovert, so this is one of those pastimes that thrill and excite me rather than terrify. It’s why I get myself into trouble when it comes to saying “no” to projects, meetings, running events, heading up the PTA, etc.
But I will never regret saying “YES!” to helping put together the inaugural Nora Roberts Writing Institute at Hagerstown Community College in Hagerstown, MD.
The fun people I met this weekend were wonderful. Exciting. Engaging. Like most events where writing-talk is involved, I came home eager to sit at the computer, eager to dive back into the story. It made every moment of committee work, planning and oh-my-goodness-can-we-pull-this-off nail-biting worth it.
New writers, beginning writers, came from all over the country to hang out in “Nora Country” in Maryland and learn about the process and art of writing. Washington County was the very first county in America to be named for George Washington – even before there WAS a country – so it’s fitting that these budding genius writers should start in such an auspicious place. I’m hoping some fabulous new blockbusting writers were born this weekend.
They certainly heard about the ups and downs, pains and joys of writing from the absolute best. Encouragement was the byword for the whole event, and “Go for it!” the unofficial slogan.
First off the bat on Friday night was Sylvia Day. Now you can’t have been in the writing/reading world at all for the last couple of years without hearing about Sylvia. She’s a Number One bestseller in FORTY – yes that’s 40! – countries. Her bestselling Crossfire series has just been optioned by Lionsgate Productions and is headed for TV. And before that, she was writing for Random House, Kensington, Tor and about five other publishers and nearly burnt herself out. She talked about that, and how you had to continue to read, to continue to feed the creative process by devouring books and stories and wondrous tales just like you did as a reader, before you started down the writing path. Otherwise, the well runs dry.
Oh, and as a writer? You better think about strategy…where you’re going, how you want to get there, and what you want it to look like when you arrive. Grins. With strategy, even if you get off track, or fabulous things happen, there’s a road map to which you can refer.
Hot-selling suspense author Gail Barrett and New York Times bestseller Susan Donovan, both Maryland authors, shared their wisdom about what’s hot, what’s selling, and what to do to keep yourself on track as a writer. And everyone shared their processes – all different! – which reassured every single writer there (me, included) that you don’t have to write like anyone else does to be a success.
The second keynote of the weekend was the fabulous Erica Bauermeister. Now you might think this event was totally focused on Romance, thanks to Nora’s name being on the marquee, but no! Erica writes fabulous interconnected shortstories. Rich, brilliant language and delicious metaphors and wonderful stories of life and loss, survival and joy all weave in and out thorugh Erica’s books. I loved her School of Essential Ingredients and was introduced to her wonderful work sheerly because of this event. I immediatly went on to buy Joy for Beginners, then The Lost Art of Mixing. What a delight they each were!!
Erica talked about coming to the writing game from a different path – from teaching, and real estate and cooking! And she talked about patience. About letting the story come to you, and flow through you, and be organic. She also talked about how her characters talked to her. Some of them liked to be written in the dining room. Others in the family room. And if she got stuck in her writing of a scene, she’d go to the kitchen and cook whatever was being prepared in the book to move the story forward.
Now that’s a thing to learn!
Writers Agnes Jayne (whom you met earlier this month), our own Bandita Donna MacMeans, and TV writer Jeanne Ford, also held panels and workshops along with wonderful research sessions on weapons, cybercrimes and biotech. Laura Reeth, Nora’s publicist, taught new writers the first things you should do to start making your stories “discoverable.”
I wanted to be in every session. I wanted to be in the audience soaking up the knowledge, absorbing the words and wisdom and stories. I wanted to go through the FATS simulator too. (That’s Firearms Training Simulator – you get to “ride along” and move through scenarios as if you were a law enforcement officer!)
I too was teaching. I figured the best way I can pay back all the wonderful help I’ve been given along this writing path, is to pay it forward to others – give a helping hand, as I was given one.
But most of all, I learned. Even from the podium, moderating, and from the stool in the front of the theatre where Erica and I presented, I learned. I learned from the questions other writers asked. I learned from the answers other authors gave. I learned just how much I love to be with people who love to write, to read, and to dream.
It was an utter, absolute blast.
So what, specifically, did I learn?
I learned that even the most accomplished writers often think their first draft is utter and complete crap. And that’s okay.
I learned that writers and readers love a good story enough to walk through the rain to hear it.
I learned that writers are among the most generous souls ever. (At least THESE writers were!) Every single presenter and writer present was willing to share of their knowledge and experience.
I learned that you actually can have too MANY contracts! (Sylvia Day had a year where she had due dates for books 15 days apart for much of that year and it nearly made her quit writing.)
I learned it’s never too late to start. (Erica Bauermeister didn’t start writing until she was in her forties)
I learned that the question someone thinks is “dumb” is exactly what everyone is wondering, and therefore is NEVER dumb.
I learned that pretty much every writer shared my perception that this is a “brave new wild west world” in publishing
And I learned that having a fellow Bandita on a project like this is worth it’s weight in gold. Thanks, Donna!!
So, Banditas and Buddies, although I’m exhausted, elated, and recovering from the long, fun weekend, I want to know….
Have you read Erica Bauermeister’s books? (If not, you should consider it! They’re gorgeous!)
Have you read Sylvia Day’s Crossfire Series? What do you think of Gideon and Eva’s Stories?
Have you read any of Sylvia’s SJ Day books? Or her Livia Dare stories? Or other books she’s written as Sylvia Day?
What about Gail Barrett’s Intrigues?
Picked up a Susan Donovan book? Wasn’t it great?
If you could hear any author speak – romance author, thriller author…any one! – who would you love to hear talk about their writing, their process and their characters? (They can be living or dead!)
(Next year’s event will be in June, and all pictures were used with permission. Nora’s photo by Bruce Wilder)
Posted by Jeanne Adams Jul 21 2013, 12:32 am in #RWA13, #RWA2013, Addison Fox, Bruce Kelly, Claudia Dain, Dee Davis, dianna Love, Golden Heart Awards, Jeanne Adams, Jill Shalvis, Kristin Higgins, Laura Griffin, Leslie Kelly, Mr. Marriott, Nancy Northcott, Nora Roberts, purses, Red Carpet, Rhonda Nelson, Rita Awards, roxanne st. claire, Sharon Wray, Shoes
Hello from HOTLANTA!!!
This is your roving Romance Bandits Reporter, coming to you (somewhat) live from the awesome, major, fabulous Rita and Golden Heart Awards Ceremony!! WOOHOOOO!!!!
There are Bandits in full force here, from the awesome Nancy Northcott to Donna MacMeans, Suz Ferrell and Susan Sey to…well a LOT of Banditas! Many of our favorite guests are here too, and all are decked out in their finery for one of Romance Writing’s finest hours. (This is, from L to R, Gerri Russell, a frequent Guest; board member and outstanding writer Dee Davis; “Mr. Marriott” – the hotel’s Atlanta Ambassador!; Bandita Nancy, and frequent Guest, TICD, AKA Claudia Dain!)
Nominees are nervous, former winners are more relaxed, even though they’re giving awards out, and more and more people fill the ballroom. As with any Red Carpet Event, it’s about the gorgeous dresses and the fabulous shoes. So here’s an amazing selection…I didn’t get all my subject’s names, but I asked them to come on the blog and identify themselves, or their purses and shoes!!
Much as I wanted to, I didn’t list Golden Heart finalists and winners because their books are not yet available. :> But some of these shoes and dresses belong to finalists!!
RITA Finalists include: (Winner marked with asterisks!)
Contemporary Single Title:
About Last Night by Ruthie Knox
Barefoot in the Sand by Roxie St. Claire – one of our guests! – (pictured to the left in coral with her editor, Micki Nuding!
(1) Forever and a Day; (2) Lucky in Love by Jill Shalvis
Melt into You by Roni Loren
Sugar Springs by Kim Law
**The Way Back home by Barbara Freethy
Zoe’s Muster by Barbara Hannay
Beauty and the Bounty Hunter by Lori Austin
Bride by Mistake by Anne Gracie – another of our frequent guests!!
Defiant by Pamela Clare
A Lady Never Surrenders by frequent guest Sabrina Jeffries
The Recruit by Monica McCarty
**A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean
(Just so you know, Pride and Prejudice over there on the right, is a PURSE!!)
Too Dangerous to Desire by Cara Elliott
Wedded in Sin by Jade Lee
(To the left is me with the elegant Sharon Wray whom I know from Washington Romance Writers!)
**Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden
Betrayal by Robin Lee Hatcher
An Heiress at Heart by Jennifer Delamere
A House Full of Hope by Missy Tippens (Missy finaled in the Golden Heart with us in 2006!)
My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade
Naomi’s Christmas by Marta Perry
The Soldier’s Wife by Cheryl Reavis
The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck (Gorgeous cover on this one!!)
(To the right is Laura Griffin who won the Romantic Suspense category, holding her lovely, lovely RITA!)
A Cold Creek Noel by RaeAnne Thayne
From Father to Son; and Making Her Way Home by Janice Kay Johnson
**A Gift for All Seasons by Karen Templeton (now a member of the prestigious Honor Roll!)
A Life Rebuilt; and A Texas Chance by Jean Brashear
No Ordinary Joe by Michelle Celmer
Out of the Depths by Pamela Hearon
(The ever-popular-on-the-Bandit-Blog-Guest, Dianna Love, who was a presenter, looking FABULOUS, dahling!)
Novel with Strong Romantic Elements:
The Anatomist’s Wife by Anna Le Huber (Also up for BEST FIRST BOOK)
Before and Ever Since by Sharla Lovelace
Bridge of Scarlet Leaves by Kristina McMorris
A Girl Like You by Maria Geraci
**The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James (Also Won BEST FIRST BOOK)
Time’s Echo by Pamela Hartshorne
The Welcome Committee of Butternut Creek by Jane Myers Perrine
(Check out that AB-FAB fascinator!! Hope this lovely lady will come on the blog and give a shout out!)
Angel in Chains by Cynthia Eden
Edge of Oblivion by J.T. Geissinger
Immortally Yours by Angie Fox
(1) Lothaire; and (2) ** Shadow’s Claim by Kresley Cole
(With this win, Kresley is ALSO now a member of the prestigious RWA Honor Roll after tonight!!)
Mark of the Witch by Maggie Shayne
Moonglow by Kristen Callihan
Rogue Rider by Larissa Ione
(The totally cool purse on the left is currently Bandita Nancy’s but Cassondra and I both covet it….beware, Nancy, beware!)
Breathless by Sophie Jordan
The Duchess of Love by Sally MacKenzie
Room at the Inn by Ruthie Knox
**Seduced by a Pirate by Eloisa James
(Check out these AMAZING dresses and fascinators to the right!! LOVE it! Ladies, I hope you’ll come on the blog and say hellow and identify yourselves!!)
Sleeping with a Beauty by my good friend Leslie Kelly
The Valentine’s Curse by Jodi Thomas
Celebrity in Death by JD Robb (Remember, Nora Roberts Writing Institute in two weeks….Grins)
Dead Heat by Bronwyn Parry
Don’t Cry for Me by the fabulous Sharon Sala
Forged in Fire by Trish McCallan
Last Man Standing by Cindy Gerard
(1) **Scorched; and (2) Twisted by Laura Griffin (See the picture above of Laura with her lovely RITA!)
Vortex by Cherry Adair
(To the left here, check out the lovely Rita Nominee Leslie Kelly and her handsome hubby!!)
Short Contemporary Romance Series:
Becoming Dante by Day Leclaire
Cowboy in the Crossfire by Robin Perini
The Last Single Maverick by Christine Rimmer
(Those totally hot shoes are red suede at the back and a black harlequin pattern across the front strap! GORGEOUS!!)
A Marriage Worth Fighting For by Lillian Darcy
**A Night of No Return by Sarah Morgan
Surgeon Sheik’s Rescue by my dear friend, Loreth Anne White
The Tycoon’s Secret Daughter by Susan Meier
We’ll Always Have Paris by Jessica Hart
(The ever-popular Guest, Addison Fox to the left there, was gorgeous in an off the shoulder number. Go, Addison!!)
And last but never least, Young Adult Romance!
Bound by Erica O’Rourke
**The Farm by Emily McKay
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry (Also up for BEST FIRST BOOK)
(To the left, check out the wonderfully funny ladies, Jill Shalvis (front) and photobomber Kristin Higgins!!)
Several up for BEST FIRST BOOK which did not final in a category:
Crazy Little Thing by Tracy Brogan
Firelight by Kristen Callihan
Forged in Fire by Trish McCallan
Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
That’s a great list of books! (Winners are marked with a double asterisk!)
(Just so you know, The Haunting of Maddy Clare won BEST FIRST BOOK!)
So, Banditas and Buddies….
What’s your favorite of these Red Carpet looks this evening?
And for you, do you go for Basic Black?
Or are you a color-all-the-way gal?
Have you read any of the finalists’ books?
Any great recommendations from either the finalist list or winners?
(All of the photos are mine, and taken with everyone’s permission. This totally cool purse on the right is a champagne bottle in a champagne bucket, but it’s a PURSE! Totally COOL!! I wish I could have used ALL the pictures I took!!)